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Current Affairs Update: 26th July 2017

Current Affairs Update: 26th July 2017

Current Affairs Update: 26th July 2017

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Out of the Loop
9 held for spreading 1 of world's largest malware infections

  • Chinese authorities have arrested at least nine hackers who developed the 'Fireball' malware that affected 25 crore computers worldwide. Believed to be one of the world's most extensively-spread malware, Fireball hijacked browsers to force people to download spam software. The hackers reportedly earned ₹76 crore by generating fake clicks and driving traffic to other websites through the malware.
Google launches SOS alerts to help users during crises

  • Google will make it easier to find safety information during a crisis with a new SOS alert tool in its Maps apps and Search browser.
  • The alerts are designed to respond to natural disasters, severe weather warnings and terror attacks. 
  • Users searching for information about a disaster on Google who are in close proximity to it will receive extra details, such as numbers for helplines and emergency services, the latest news updates, and a link to maps with travel and traffic updates.
Britain to ban sale of all diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040
Britain is to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.
The commitment, which follows a similar pledge in France, is part of the government’s much-anticipated clean air plan, which has been at the heart of a protracted high court legal battle. 
The government warned that the move, which will also take in hybrid vehicles, was needed because of the unnecessary and avoidable impact that poor air quality was having on people’s health. Ministers believe it poses the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK, costing up to £2.7bn in lost productivity in one recent year.
Important Days
26th July was observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas

All you need to know

  • July 26. It was on this day 18 years ago that the Indian Army recaptured all the Indian posts in Kargil that had been occupied by Pakistan's army. Since then, July 26 has been observed annually to commemorate the sacrifices made by soldiers in this war. Here's all you need to know about the Kargil war.

  • The war took place between May and July of 1999 in Jammu and Kashmir's Kargil district.
  • The conflict is believed to have been orchestrated by the then Pakistan army chief General Pervez Musharraf without the knowledge of the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
  • It began with the infiltration of both Pakistani troops and terrorists into Indian territory.
  • The infiltrators positioned themselves in key locations that gave them a strategic advantage during the start of the conflict.
  • Based on information from local shepherds, the Indian Army was able to ascertain the points of incursion and launch "Operation Vijay".

  • The Army declared the mission successful on July 26, 1999; since then the day has been celebrated annually as Vijay Diwas.
New Appointments
Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet board of directors

  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet board of directors, which includes founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and chairman Eric Schmidt.
  • Google’s chief executive officer Sundar Pichai is getting another role: Alphabet board member. The appointment is another signal of his rising importance at the company—and the trust the founders place in him.
  • Alphabet Inc., the parent company of the web search giant, added Pichai to its board of directors on Monday. He joins the company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin; its chairman, Eric Schmidt; and nine other veterans of technology, finance and automotive industries. Outside of Google, Alphabet hosts several early-stage companies in a variety of sectors, including its self-driving car unit, Waymo, and two healthcare efforts.
  • “Sundar has been doing a great job as Google’s CEO, driving strong growth, partnerships, and tremendous product innovation,” Page said in a statement. “I really enjoy working with him and I’m excited that he is joining the Alphabet board.”
  • The move also resolves a potentially awkward situation: As CEO, Pichai was responsible for the Google Cloud business run by Diane Greene, but Greene also had oversight of Pichai as an Alphabet board member.
Banking/Economic Affairs
Standard Chartered Bank has launched a ‘Multicurrency Forex Card’.

  • Standard Chartered Bank has launched a ‘Multicurrency Forex Card’ that offers customers the convenience of loading up to 20 widely used currencies on one card.
  • The card comes with an online reload facility during overseas travel and is designed to offer travelers a secure way to carry money when travelling abroad, Standard Chartered Bank said in a statement.
  • Some of the currencies that can be loaded are the US dollar, Euro, British Pound, Singapore dollar, Swiss franc, Thai baht, Japanese Yen and South African rand, it said.
  • "The card will also provide forex rate lock-in with zero mark-up on cash withdrawals and shopping abroad. Travellers get protection against the frequent currency fluctuations by locking in the currency exchange rate they availed during the time of loading the card, and not pay different rates every time they use the card," it said.
  • Additionally, it will provide travelers insurance covers against misuse of lost card, personal accident insurance and loss of baggage or personal documents.
Axis Bank set to buy Freecharge from Snapdeal for up to Rs400 crore

  • Private sector lender Axis Bank Ltd is nearing a deal to buy digital payments platform Freecharge for Rs350-400 crore in cash, giving much-needed breathing space to Freecharge’s parent company Snapdeal, which is separately in talks to sell itself to larger rival Flipkart.
  • By buying Freecharge, Axis Bank will get a popular digital payments brand as well as access to high-quality technology that traditional companies typically struggle to build compared with internet start-ups.
  • Axis Bank and Freecharge are likely to announce the deal this week, two people familiar with the matter said, on condition of anonymity.
  • Freecharge had also held lengthy talks with Paytm (One97 Communications Ltd) but chose to go with Axis Bank as the bank offered a higher price, the people said.
  • Axis Bank and Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd) didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
  • The sale of Freecharge will mark the most stunning collapse in India’s start-up world, even more so than that of its parent company, which has seen its fortunes dip since the start of 2016. Snapdeal bought Freecharge for $400 million in April 2015 in what was then the largest start-up deal in India.
RBI stops printing Rs 2000 notes, focus now on new Rs 200 notes

  • RBI hasn’t printed Rs 2000 notes for five months now, even as its Mysuru printing press stepped up printing of Rs 200 notes that are likely to be introduced next month.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stopped printing Rs 2000 notes about five months ago and is unlikely to print more in the current financial year, said people aware of the development. The central bank, however, has stepped up the printing of other denominations, including new Rs 200 notes, the people added on condition of anonymity.
  • About 3.7 billion Rs 2000 notes amounting to Rs 7.4 trillion have been printed, said one of the people cited above. That more than compensates for the 6.3 billion Rs 1000 notes that were withdrawn after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move on 8 November 2016.
  • “Most of the printing that’s being done, about 90% is only Rs 500 notes. Nearly 14 billion pieces of new Rs 500 notes have been printed so far,” this person said.
  • That is also close to the 15.7 billion of old Rs 500 notes (amounting to Rs 7.85 trillion) withdrawn from circulation after 8 November.
  • RBI data shows that currency in circulation stood at Rs 15.22 trillion as on 14 July, eight months after demonetization. This is about 86% of the Rs 17.7 trillion that was in circulation on 4 November.
Aurionpro launches a Bank in a Box to reduce branch expansion cost for banks 

  • AurionproBSE -1.81 % Solutions a global leader in digital innovation, enterprise security and banking solutions, announced its Branch-in-a-Box product, the Virtual Teller Machine (VTM) a fully integrated self-service kiosk for automating 90% of banking transactions at the branch level. 
  • Speaking on the occasion,, “Bank Branches have a dire need to reinvent themselves as cost pressures mount and reducing transaction based revenue force them to downsize and become leaner. The VTM repre .. 
International Affairs
Bolivia declares "total independence" from World Bank, IMF

  • Bolivia's President Evo Morales has declared "total independence" from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, after announcing last year that Bolivia will no longer respond to their demands. Protests in Bolivia have targeted the policies of the agencies that have focused on privatisation and austerity measures to combat corruption in the country.
Application / Portal 
Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app

  • Kaizala is a ‘Made for India’ product and brings together the two disparate worlds of mobile-only messaging apps and a digitally integrated modern workplace, says Microsoft.
  • Technology giant Microsoft has officially launched ‘Kaizala’, a productivity app that has been designed to enhance the collaboration and communication experience for Indian enterprises.
  • The ‘Made for India’ app is designed for large group communications and work management, and works even on 2G networks.
  • “Microsoft Kaizala is a ‘Made for India’ product and brings together the two disparate worlds of mobile-only messaging apps and a digitally integrated modern workplace,” Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari told reporters in New Delhi.
  • The product will make it possible for organisations to interact with people within the organisation as well as outside like partners and vendors in a seamless manner, he added.
  • “Microsoft Kaizala has been optimised to work on 2G networks to enable connectivity in remote locations and offers features with offline support,” he said. While the basic version will be free for Android and iOS users, Microsoft will also make available a ‘Pro’ version for Rs130 per user per month.
Summit /Conference / Events / Host
BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing, China

  • The five BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa.
  • The 2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened here on Tuesday to discuss the development of the youth in the countries of the grouping. Themed ‘Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development’, the three-day forum gathered 50 youth representatives working as civil servants, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and journalists from the BRICS countries.
  • Representatives will hold discussions on issues concerning youth policies and entrepreneurship, as well as the roles of BRICS youth in global governance, before formulating an action plan for the forum, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
  • The five BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa. In the past three years, the forum has had achievements in various fields, such as youth policies and employment through dialogue, the report said.
India to host maiden men's World Boxing Championship in 2021

  • The AIBA made the announcement at the end of its two-day executive committee meeting in Moscow
  • India has never conducted the men's World Championship but has played host to the 2006 women's mega-event
  • "BFI continues to show its commitment to developing the sport," AIBA president said.
  • It was only late last year that India ended their banishment from the world boxing fold which lasted almost four years. Since then, Indian boxing have enjoyed some good tidings, highlighted by country's pugilists securing seven 2017 World Championships berths so far.
  • On Tuesday, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) managed a major coup by bringing to India the 2021 men's World Championship for the first time as well as the women's Worlds next year.
  • Both the events will be taking place in the Capital, according to the proposal submitted by BFI president Ajay Singh at the two-day International Boxing Association (AIBA) meeting in Moscow. "This is a great day for Indian boxing and Indian sport. To get the hosting rights for these two major events represents the strides that Indian boxing has managed to make in the last few months," a happy Ajay Singh told TOI from Moscow on Tuesday.
Union Home Minister chairs first meeting of Islands Development Agency (IDA) IDA focuses on Holistic Development of Islands

  • The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA), here today. The IDA was set up on June 01, 2017 following the Prime Minister’s review meeting for the development of islands.
  • The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation. 
  • The CEO, NITI Aayog made a detailed presentation on the current status and the way forward for holistic development of identified islands. He informed that Concept Development Plans and Detailed Master Plans are being prepared for identified islands with principles of sustainability, people’s participation, eco-system preservation and determination of carrying capacity as the guiding principles. Such an exercise is being taken up for the first time in the country. 
  • Admiral D.K. Joshi, former Navy Chief and Vice Chairman of IDA suggested taking up suitable interventions for sustainable implementation of planned projects. 
Sports/Awards & Honours
Veteran actress Shakuntala Barua gets Mahanayak Samman 2017.

  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today conferred this years Mahanayak Samman 2017 to veteran actress Shakuntala Barua for her contribution to the world of cinema.
  • "Lifetime Achievement award was conferred on the distinguished actress, Shakuntala Barua," Banerjee posted on her Facebook wall.
  • "Awards were also presented to Prosenjit Chatterjee, Nusrat Jahan, Arindam Sil, Bickram Ghosh, Soumik Halder and Padmanabha Dasgupta," she said.
  • "Suparnokanti Karati for Bisarjan film and Shiboprasad Mukhopadhyay of Windows Productions for Praktan film were also among the awardees for Best Film and Best Producer categories," Banerjee wrote.
  • She also mentioned that Mahanayak Uttam Kumar would continue ruling our hearts forever.
  • "Bengali cinema has a great place of distinction in the country and the world," she stated. PTI SCH SBN
Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar CM tomorrow with BJP support

  • BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi says BJP has decided to support Nitish Kumar, hours after his resignation as Bihar chief minister rankled the Grand Alliance with Lalu Prasad.
  • Hours after Nitish Kumar resigned as the chief minister of Bihar, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) extended support to him and the Janata Dal (United) to form the next Bihar government, a move that effectively brings an end to the Mahagathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, in the state.
  • “BJP has decided to support Nitish Kumar as chief minister,” said senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday evening. “Legislators of NDA constituents and JD(U) will meet and elect Nitish Kumar as their leader; the BJP will be part of the new Bihar government.”
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