Current Affairs

Weekly Current Affairs 1st To 7th July 2019

International News

Amendment to Factories Act approved by the Goa Government

  • The state government of Goa recently approved an amendment to Factories Act 1948 which will allow the deployment of women in night shifts (from 7pm to 6 am) in industries.
  • The Amendment Bill was approved by the state cabinet and is set to be tabled during the upcoming Legislative Assembly session.

  • Significance of the Amendment:
    • The amendment will allow the deployment of women in night shifts in industries and might end the discrimination against female workers as far as job opportunities are concerned.
  • What is the Factories Act 1948?
    • It is administered by Union Ministry of Labour and Employment via Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), which advises Central and State Governments on the administration of Factories Act and coordinates factory inspection services in States.

Trump for being the 1st sitting US president to enter North Korea

  • United States President Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in Democratic People's Republic of Korea (or North Korea) when he met its leader, Kim Jong Un, in Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea.
  • President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea and agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks.
  • About previous US-North Korea Meets:
  • 1st Summit:
    • At the summit, a joint statement was signed between the two agreeing to security guarantees for North Korea, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, new peaceful relations, recovery of soldiers' remains, and follow-up negotiations between high-level officials.
  • 2nd Summit:
    • This meet was cut short and no agreement was reached as the two sides failed to narrow differences between them.

India pledges USD 5 Million to UN Palestine Refugee Agency

  • As per India's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador K. Nagaraj Naidu, the government increased its annual financial contribution fourfold to the UNRWA core budget from USD 1.25 million in 2016 to USD 5 million in 2018.
  • India was represented at a meeting of the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee for Voluntary Contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
  • India is providing 150 places for Palestinian professionals every year under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation program.

After 31 Years, Japan resumes Commercial Whaling

  • Japan has resumed commercial whaling after a period of 31 years but will stay within the country's exclusive economic waters.
  • On 1st July 2019 Whaling boats embarked their first commercial hunts since 1988.
  • This comes after Japan's 6-month notice to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) took effect on 30th June 2019.
  • About the International Whaling Commission:
  • It is an international body set up under the International Convention for Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), which was signed in 1946 in Washington D.C., United States.
  • IWC headquarters are at Impington, England.
Weekly Current Affairs 1st To 7th July 2019

National News

U.P. Launches"Dastak Campaign" to eradicate AES & JE

  • Uttar Pradesh government has launched a massive campaign called 'Dastak' to eradicate the deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) disease.
  • It is a state-wide campaign against communicative diseases which will run from 1st to 31st July 2019.
  • Under the campaign, teams will go door to door in every village of the state's 75 districts to create awareness about communicable diseases as well as Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis.
  • The campaign will ensure the availability of clean drinking water and initiate sanitation drive.

'Tamil Yeoman' or 'Tamil Maravan' declared as the state butterfly

  • Maharashtra the first to declare Blue Mormon (Papilio Polgmnestor) as its state butterfly.
  • About Tamil Yeoman:
    • Its scientific name is Cirrochroa Thais.
    • It is endemic to the Western Ghats.
  • Features:
    • A dark brown outer ring.
    • Size: 60-75mm.

'Jal Shakti Abhiyan' launched for Water Conservation

  • Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched 'Jal Shakti Abhiyan'- a campaign for water conservation and water security in 1592 stressed blocks in 256 districts.
  • It is a collaborative effort of various Union Ministries and State Governments, being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).
  • Central Government officers, led by Joint Secretaries and Additional Secretaries, are assigned to these 256 districts and District Administration will also nominate 2 members to join the team.
  • Significance of this Campaign:
    • With this initiative, the Government aims to provide drinking water to every household on priority and in a sustainable manner.
    • The Campaign will help people to work for rainwater harvesting, maintenance and upkeep of ponds and village tanks and conservation of water.

Special Rhino Protection Force deployed in Kaziranga National Park

  • An 82-member Special Rhino Protection Force which is trained to combat poachers and understand animal behaviour was recently deployed in Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
  • In July 2018 members recruited were given appointment letter after which they were trained at the Forest Guard School in eastern Assam's Makum.
  • All recruits also underwent weapons training at the 9th Assam Police Battalion in Nagaon district of Assam.
  • The state government of Assam would be paying salaries to SRPF members and the amount would be reimbursed by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) which recommended setting up of this special force.
  • It consists of 82 personnel among whom eight are women.
  • About Kaziranga National Park:
    • The 430 sq.km national parks are located in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam.
    • It is home to World's largest population of One Horned Rhinoceros i.e. about 68%.
    • The One-Horned Rhinoceroses are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

34th edition of Hyderabad Sailing Week inaugurated

  • The 34th edition of Hyderabad Sailing Week- National Ranking Multi-Class Championship 2019 was inaugurated by Governor of Telangana ESL Narasimhan in Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • The championship is held every year in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and is going to be held at the Hussain Sagar Lake.
  • 2019 is a landmark year for EME Sailing Association as this year the event has been accredited as YAI National Ranking Event hence, participant sailors' performance will be ranked and this will give them points for selection into the National team.
  • About the Participants:
    • Participants include 190 plus sailors, 16 sailing clubs with around 21 sailors from Telangana state alone.

Mega Pollution Awareness Campaign Conducted by NCC

  • This is an 11-day national campaign to raise awareness among people about various kinds of pollution and their effect
  • The initiative is taken by the Ministry of Defence
  • It aims to mobilise NCC cadets spread across 17 different directorates, targets all districts of the country
  • On July 11, theme-based programmes will be culminated at various locations across the country to coincide with World Pollution Day

Zero Budget Natural Farming

  • The Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a proposal of Zero Budget Natural Farming in budget 2019 for doubling farmer’s income in the country.
  • “Zero budget” stands for no production cost in farming and “Natural Farming” stands for doing farming without any aided chemical fertilizer or external seed and only using natural resources.
  • Aim to pull farmers out of the debt trap, cutting production cost and make small scale farming a viable option
  • Features:
    • Practice only natural growth of crops
    • Bijamrita, Jiwamrita, Mulching and Waaphasa are the processes of ZBNF

Banking

Tapan Ray committee set up by RBI to review CIC

  • RBI has set up a committee to review the regulatory guidelines and supervisory framework of Core Investment Companies (CIC).
  • Tapan Ray will be the chairman of the working group (of 6 members) who is presently Non-Executive Chairman of Central Bank of India and former Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
  • Terms of Reference of the committee:
    • To examine the current regulatory framework for CIC and suggest changes therein.
    • To strengthen corporate governance and disclosure requirements for CIC.
  • Core Investment Companies (CIC):
    • CIC is a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) that is indulged in the business of acquiring shares and securities.
    • The CIC holds not less than 90% of its net assets in the form of investment.

DD channel for start-ups

  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposes to start a DD channel exclusively for start-ups announcing the Union Budget 2019-20
  • In 2016, the Department o.f Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has suggested setting up a channel dedicated to startups to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • Doordarshan:
    • Owned by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Appointments

Name of the Person Designation
Sarada Kumar Hota  MD of National Housing Bank
Manoj Kumar Nambiar New Chairman of MFIN

Awards and Honours

Award Awardee
'Lifetime Achievement Award' Mark Tully
President's award for utilisation of CSR NALCO
1st IPS officer to complete 7 Summits Challenge Aparna Kumar

Important Days

Date Day Theme
1st July 2019 GST Day
1st July 2019 National Doctor's Day  Theme: "Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishment"

Government Schemes

UGC launches STRIDE scheme to boost research culture in universities

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) has launched a STRIDE scheme to boost research culture and innovation in colleges & universities.
  • Its objective is to identify young talent, build capacity, strengthen research culture, support trans-disciplinary research and promote innovation for India's developing economy and national development.
  • An advisory Bhushan Patwardhan committee set up by UGC under the chairmanship of Professor Bhushan Patwardhan, Vice Chairman, UGC will oversee the entire scheme.
  • One must know:
    • STRIDE web portal will be open for receiving applications by 31st July 2019.

Last Date Extended for Alternate Composition Scheme

  • To bring simplicity and reduce compliance cost for small taxpayers.
  • Manufacturers or traders with a taxable business turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore are eligible for the scheme. The turnover limit is Rs 75 Lakh for the North-Eastern States.
  • For the service provider, the taxable business turnover is up to Rs 50 Lakh.
  • Under this scheme, the person can pay tax every quarter at a flat percentage of turnover, instead of paying tax at a normal rate every month.
  • Benefits:
    • Grants relief to the MSME (that contribute 29% of the country’s economic output) on GST filing and tax rates.

Discount on Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

  • The Government of India in consultation with the RBI has decided to allow a discount of Rs 50 per gram of gold. The discount is given on the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through Digital Mode in SGBs.
  • Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme:
  • SGSs are government securities denominated in grams of gold and act as substitutes for holding physical gold.
  • The Bond is issued by RBI on behalf of the Government of India.
  • Aim: To encourage people to buy gold bonds instead of purchasing physical gold.
  • Benefits:
  • At the time of redemption/premature redemption, the investor gets the ongoing market price for gold.
  • The risk and costs of storage are eliminated.

Science and Technology

NASA announces new mission to Explore Saturn's Largest Moon

  • NASA to launch a new mission to explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, using a drone lander called "Dragonfly".
  • The nuclear-powered Dragonfly is expected to spend two years flying vast distances across Titan's surface and touching down at different sites of interest.
  • It will visit the icy moon's dunes and the floor of a crater to search for signs of past or present microbial life.
  • About Titan:
    • Based on images collected by a previous mission, Titan has a rocky, rugged landscape, with lakes made of methane and ethane.
    • It is the only place, besides Earth, known to have liquid rivers, lakes and seas.
    • Of the more than 150 known moons in the solar system, Titan is the second-largest, and the only one with a thick, hazy atmosphere.

India's First SDG dashboard Launched

  • Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) launched India's first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Dashboard in a bid to effectively track the country's progress on Agenda 2030 adopted by the UN.
  • It is a first of its kind national platform that pulls together reliable data from more than 100 different data sets, portals and sectors on to only one easy to use and intuitive platform, to power better-informed decision making on SDGs.
  • It will be India's official data repository of National Indicator Framework (NIF) on SDGs, which is India's largest monitoring framework with 306 statistical indicators.

India’s third Radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B

  • RISAT-2B is a Radar imaging earth observation satellite which is indigenously developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • The satellite is placed in an inclined orbit, 37 degrees to the equator to increase the number of imaging angles and opportunities and is being operated in X band.
  • Features:
    • Effective for whole day operation during day/night/all weather conditions.
    • Allows high-resolution spot imaging of any location of interest.
    • It is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR): SAR is a form of Radar that creates 2-dimensional 0r 3-dimensional imaging of objects, for example, landscape.

NSIL: New Commercial Arm of Department of science

  • New Space India Limited (NSIL) is a Public Sector Enterprise that has been incorporated as a new commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the budget 2019.
  • Functions:
    • It is focused to tap the benefits of the Research & Development carried out by ISRO to boost its economic gain.
    • The function of NSIL is to spearhead commercialization of space products, small satellite technology transfer to industries, to aid the process of manufacturing of small satellite Launch vehicle (SSLV) and production of polar satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). 

Sports

Vaibhav Yadav becomes WBC Asia Silver Welterweight Champion

  • Indian pro boxer Vaibhav Yadav became World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia Silver Welterweight Champion after winning the title bout held in Pattaya, Thailand.
  • He won the title after defeating Fahpetch Singmanassak of Thailand.
  • About Vaibhav Yadav:
    • He is a cousin of Commonwealth Games (CWG) Gold-medallist Vikas Krishan who has also turned pro now.
  • About Asian Boxing Council:
    • It is a professional boxing organization that is responsible for sanctioning title fights in the Greater Asian region.
    • It was established in 1985 with headquarters in Thailand.
Weekly Current Affairs 1st To 7th July 2019 Weekly Current Affairs 1st To 7th July 2019 Reviewed by Neha on July 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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