Current Affairs

Competitive Guidance Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

■ AIDS-related deaths decline: UN report According to the United Nations report, for the first time in the fight against AIDS, more than half of all people living with the HIV virus now have access to treatment, while AIDS related deaths have nearly halved since 2005, according to a new United Nations report. India, China and Pakistan are among the 10 countries that accounted for more than 95 per cent of all new HIV infections in the Asia and the Pacific region in 2016. The UNAIDS report, Ending AIDS: Progress towards the 90-90-90 targets, gives a comprehensive analysis of the 2014 targets to accelerate progress so that by 2020

■ World’s first floating wind farm in Scotland The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm has started to take shape off the north-east coast of Scotland. The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines. The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20,000 homes

■ UN selects Dubai as data hub for Menasa Dubai has been selected to be a regional hub for city data for the Mena and South Asia (Menasa) region at the UN headquarters in New York City, enabling the Emirate to drive progress towards the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

NATIONAL

■ RTE implementation poor: CAG According to Comptroller and Auditor General latest report, the Centre and States are failing to implement the Right to Education Act (RTE) in its entirety. The CAG has found several lacunae related to financial management and implementation of the Act. Retention of huge balances by the State Government, year after year at the close of each financial year was indicative of poor internal control. Unutilised grants at the close of each year ranged between Rs 12,259.46 crore and Rs 17,281.66 crore in 35 States/UTs, the report said.

■ Nitish Kumar forms government in alliance with BJP Nitish Kumar on 26th July resigned as chief minister and joined new alliance with BJP. Nitish Kumar resignation was immediately accepted by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. On 27th July, Nitish Kumar again sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar. With this 20-month-long coalition of the grand alliance that defeated the BJP in 2015 came to an end. In the 243-member Assembly, the RJD has 80 MLAs, the JD-U 71 and Congress 27. The BJP has 53 MLAs and its allies LJP 2, RLSP 2 and HAM 1. There are four independents and four MLAs belong to the CPI-ML.

BILATERAL

■ India-Bangladesh agreed on waterways connection India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh.

ECONOMY

■ Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) launched Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY) on 21st July. It is a Pension Scheme announced by the Government of India exclusively for the senior citizens. This scheme provides an assured return of 8% p.a. payable monthly (equivalent to 8.30% p.a. effective) for 10 years. The scheme is exempted from Service Tax/GST.

■ Cabinet clears Minimum Wage Code Bill The Union Cabinet on 26th July, cleared a new Minimum Wage Code Bill that will integrate four different wage legislations. The Bill, which was approved by a ministerial panel earlier, will empower the central government to fix universal minimum wage applicable on all establishments and workers across the country.

■ India @ 132 in income inequality India was ranked 132nd among 152 nations in a new index tracking commitment to reducing income inequality. Sweden led the index while Nigeria remained the worst performer. The index prepared by Development Finance International, Inc. and Oxfam. The ranks were given on the basis of their welfare spending, the progressive nature of their tax system and prevailing wage inequality in the labour market. The report highlights India’s less-than adequate spending on welfare measures on account of its low tax to GDP ratio compared to that of some other nations as well as the disparity between wages of men and women for the same work.

SPORTS

■ England won ICC women World cup England won the ICC women World cup, defeating India in the final on 23rd June. The tournament was held in England from 24 June to 23 July 2017. Eight teams participated in the event. England’s Tammy Beaumont was chosen as the Player of the tournament. India skipper Mithali Raj was chosen as the captain of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team. She was selected as captain after she led India to the final. Mithali led by example, scoring 409 runs in the tournament.

■ India to host men’s World Boxing Championship India will host the men’s World Championship for the first time in 2021 besides next year’s women’s World Championship. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) made the announcement at the end of its two-day executive committee meeting

PERSONS IN NEWS

■  Ram Nath Kovind: Ram Nath Kovind sworn in as the 14th President of India on 25th July. Kovind was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar. Kovind is the second Dalit President of India after K R Narayanan. Ram Nath Kovind was born on October 1, 1945 in Paraukh village in the Kanpur Dehat district, Uttar Pradesh. Kovind did his graduation in law from a Kanpur college.

■ Deepak Mishra: Current incumbent Chief Justice of India J S Khehar has named Justice Deepak Mishra as his successor. Justice Khehar retires on August 27. Justice Mishra, is the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court after Justice Khehar. Justice Deepak Mishra will be the 45th Chief Justice of India. He will have a tenure of nearly 14 months as the CJI. He will retire on October 2, 2018.

■ Yash Pal: Renowned scientist Professor Yash Pal passed away on 24th July in Noida in Uttar Pradesh. Professor Pal was born in 1926 in Jhang district of British India that is now in Pakistan. He gained recognition due to his contribution in the study of cosmic rays. Professor Yash Pal was appointed as the Chief Consultant of the Planning Commission. He acted as the Secretary of Department of Science and Technology from 1984 to 1986. He was appointed as the Chairman of University Grants Commission where he served a full single-term of five years and also served as the Chancellor of JNU. He served as a member of UN Advisory Committee on Science and Technology for Development.

■ U R RAO:Former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away on 24th July. He was the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and the Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space science and Technology at Thiruvananthapuram. After working as a Faculty Member at MIT and Assistant Professor at University of Texas at Dallas where he carried out investigations as a prime experimenter on a number of Pioneer and Explorer spacecrafts, Prof. Rao returned to India in 1966 as Professor at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.

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