Current Affair of 12-17 July 2018. Read Important Current Affairs for UPSC/SSC/Bank and other state exam

Current Affairs 17 July 2018


Telecom Commission of India approves Net Neutrality

Ihe government of India has approved the principle of Net neutrality. This means that telecom and Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, site, platform, or application. They cannot engage in practices such as blocking, slowing down or granting preferential speeds to any content

In November 2017, the regulator batted in favour of Net neutrality – which has been one of the most hotly debated topics in India for over 4 years now.

  • According to GOI, certain emerging and critical services would be kept out of the purview of these norms.
  • Andhra Pradesh tops Ease of Doing Business Rankings

    For the second year in a row, Andhra Pradesh has topped the third edition of the government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ Index 2018 with a final score of 98.42 percent. Andhra Pradesh outperformed 28 other states and seven union territories (UTs) to be the best state to do business in the country.

    Andhra Pradesh was followed by neighbouring Telangana (98.33 percent score) and Haryana (98.07 percent score) at the second and third position, respectively. This year, Gujarat has slipped to the fifth rank in the ease of doing business from last year’s third position. Other states in the top ten are Jharkhand (4), Chhattisgarh (6), Madhya Pradesh (7), Karnataka (8), Rajasthan (9) and West Bengal (10).

    Gujarat Government grants Religious Minority Status to Jews

    Gujarat Government granted Religious Minority Status to Jews living in the state. In this regard, Gujarat’s Department of Social Justice and Empowerment issued a GR to this effect. With this, Gujarat became the third state in India to grant religious minority status to Jews after West Bengal and Maharashtra.

    There are now seven religious minorities in the state. The other six are - Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains. As religious minority members, Jews in the state will get religious minority rights envisaged in Constitution of India and various acts and rules of the state government.

    Indian Railways launches its first consolidated Bridge Management System

    The Indian Railways on July 12, 2018 launched its first consolidated Bridge Management System (IR-BMS), a web-enabled IT application that will store data on its 1.5 lakh railway bridges. The system was launched by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The launch comes days after a bridge in Mumbai collapsed on a railway track.

    BMS aims to enable meaningful assimilation, analysis and dissemination of information related to various activities about its bridges. The web-based platform will show the bridge master data, works data, information regarding inspection/monitoring and maintenance of the bridges and other essentials.

    Indian Railways introduces first dwarf container service

    The Indian Railways has introduced a commercial service to run double-stack dwarf containers on trains to capture the lost traffic through a new delivery model for domestic cargo.

    The introduction of the double stacked dwarf container service has helped the Indian Railways receive increased revenue worth Rs 18.50 lakh. It will also help significantly reduce the cost, as rail transport is cheaper than road. The containers can easily run on most tracks, even electrified ones.

    Government launches ‘Technology Challenge’ to eliminate human entry into sewers

    The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a ‘Technology Challenge: Identifying solutions for cleaning of Sewerage Systems and Septic Tanks’ to promote suitable techniques for cleaning sewers and septic tanks.

    The move is in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had desired a technology challenge to promote latest technologies to avoid human intervention in the cleaning of sewers and septic tanks.

    The challenge will be a part of the Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention that will be held on October 2, 2018 and will remain open up to 5: 30 pm on August 14, 2018. Proposals have been invited by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry from interested innovators, individuals, consortium partners, companies, academic institutions, research and development centers, NGOs, Parastatal and municipal bodies to provide innovative technical solutions that will eliminate the need for human entry into septic tanks and sewers.

  • A special jury comprising experts from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, faculty from IITs/IIMs and representatives of leading civil society groups will be constituted for evaluation and scrutiny of the technological solutions submitted by the participants.
  • M. Venkaiah Naidu Becomes 1st Chairman of Rajya Sabha To Sign MOU

    The Rajya Sabha on July 10, 2018, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Senate of Rwanda for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.

    In this process, Venkaiah Naidu became the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such MoU with the visiting President of the Senate of Rwanda Bernard Makuza.

  • The MoU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, capacity building of parliamentary staff, organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges.

    India, South Korea ink agreement to boost bilateral trade

    Minister for Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu and South Korean Minister for Trade Kim Hyun-Chong today signed agreements in New Delhi to boost bilateral trade.

    South Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-Chong said, keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' policy, the first step has been taken today and South Korean President and Prime Minister Modi will visit Samsung's manufacturing site which will be producing 10 million units of mobile phones per month by 2020.

    Many H-1BNew rule allows deportation if H-1B extension is rejected

    holders could find themselves facing deportation proceedings if their application for a visa extension or change of status has been rejected and the tenure of stay granted originally by the US authorities (as reflected in Form 1-94) has expired. To make matters worse, despite no longer holding on to a job, they would have to stay on in the US for several months, waiting to be heard by an immigration judge.

  • Once an NTA has been served, the individual must remain in the US and appear before an immigration judge. A failure to appear for removal proceedings carries a five-year ban on re-entry to the US
  • Earlier, on being denied an H-1B extension, the employee concerned could immediately return to India without the NTA-related hassles. His employers could reapply for a fresh H-1B in the next season.
  • The revised policy could result in a horrendous situation. As the H-1B extension has been denied, the employee can’t work, but he has to linger on in the US for several months to appear before the immigration court.

    UN Secretary-General constitutes High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation

    The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on July 12, 2018 constituted a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. The panel will be co-chaired by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group.

    The Panel has a total of 20 members, representing a cross-section of expertise from Government, private industry, civil society, academia and the technical community. The Panel will hold its first in-person meeting in September 2018 and is expected to submit its final report to the Secretary-General within nine months.

    World Population Day 2018 : 11 July

    The World Population Day was observed across the globe on July 11, 2018 to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues.

    This year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights wherein for the first time, family planning was globally affirmed as a human right. As per the UN report 2017, the current world’s population is 7.6 billion and is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030.

  • The theme of the World Population Day 2018 was ‘Family Planning is a Human Right’.

    Once criminality under section 377 goes, discrimination against LGBTQ will go: SC

    The Supreme Court of India on July 12, 2018 stated that the social stigma and discrimination attached to the LGBTQ community would go if the criminality of consensual gay sex is done away with.

    The SC bench rejected a proposal of the lawyers, seeking retention of section 377, that public opinion should be elicited on the matter, saying it did not want a referendum but would go by constitutional morality. The bench stated that once the criminality under section 377 goes, then the stigma and discrimination will also go.


    LIC board approves acquisition of up to 51% stake in IDBI Bank

    The Life Insurance Corporation, LIC, board today gave approval to the acquisition of up to 51 per cent stake in debt-ridden IDBI Bank.

    Insurance regulator IRDAI has already given its approval to the LIC for the stake purchase. The LIC stake buy will help the IDBI get a capital support of 10,000 to 13,000 crore rupees.

    BSNL launches India’s first internet telephony service ‘Wings’

    State-run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on July 11, 2018 launched its first internet telephony service ‘Wings’ that will allow users to dial any telephone number in India through its mobile app. With the launch of this service, the BSNL customers will be able to make calls to any phone number in the country using the mobile app.

    The launch of this app came after the Telecom Commission, highest-decision making body of the Department of Telecom, had allowed companies who hold valid telecom licence, to provide app-based calling service even by using wi-fi connection.

    India becomes world's sixth largest economy, France pushed to seventh rank

    India has surpassed France to become the world’s 6th largest economy, as per World Bank data on the gross domestic product (GDP) of countries for 2017.

    The data revealed that India recorded a GDP of USD 2,597,491 million in 2017, while France recorded a GDP of USD 2,582,501. India is now placed just below the United, which recorded a GDP of USD 2,622,434 million in the same period.

  • According to the World Bank, the surge in India's GDP has been a result of the good performances in the manufacturing sector driven by increased consumer spending.
  • However, the bank noted that the Indian economy has recovered from the effects of demonetisation and GST implementation and the predicted growth rate for India in 2018 is 7.3 percent.
  • The International organisation has predicted India to grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2019, leaving behind its nearest rival China, which is expected to grow at 6.6 and 6.4 per cent respectively in the next two years.
  • The world economy, on the other hand, is expected to grow at 3.9 per cent over the next year.
  • The study stated that India had a good chance of becoming the world's third-biggest economy by 2032.
  • Mukesh Ambani becomes Asia’s richest person

    • Reliance Industries Ltd Chairman Mukesh Ambani has surpassed Alibaba Group’s Jack Ma to become Asia’s richest person.
    • According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ambani’s wealth rose to $44.3 billion while Jack Ma’s wealth stood at $44 billion.
    • He is the 18th wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes.
    • Reliance is India’s largest payer of GST and Income Tax in the private sector.


    France clinches their second World Cup Football title

    France have clinched their second World Cup Football title. In a thrilling final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow last night, they defeated Croatia 4-2. France led 2-1 at halftime courtesy of the first own-goal and the first video-reviewed penalty in a World Cup final. The own-goal off the top of Mario Mandzukic's head came in the 18th minute. Croatia rallied to equalize on a terrific left-foot strike by Ivan Perisic in the 28th minute. But France took the lead once again when Antoine Griezmann converted the penalty in the 38th minute.

    Four pitch invaders disrupted the game in the 52nd minute for about a minute before being dragged away by security and police. Play resumed and France quickly took a 4-1 lead. Goals came through Paul Pogba in the 59th minute and Kylian Mbappe in the 65th minute. The 19-year-old Mbappe became only the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final. Mario Mandzukic pulled one back for the Croatians in the 69th.


    BrahMos supersonic missile successfully test-fired from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha

    India's indigeneously developed surface-to-surace supersonic cruise missile BrahMos was successfully test-fired this morning from the Chandipur Test Range off the Odisha coast. The test was conducted at 10:18 AM on 16th July 2018 in order to increase the longevity of the missile's life. The missile, developed with the help of Russia, has a 290-km target efficiency, which is going to be extended upto 400 kilometres.

    The previous test firing of the missile was conducted on 21st May when it was launched from a mobile launcher under life extension program.

  • BrahMos is the first Indian missile whose life has been extended from 10 to 15 years.
  • LIFE

    MeerKAT radio telescope

    • MeerKAT telescope is a scientific mega-project in South Africa.
    • It will be an array of 64 interlinked receptors to unlock cosmic conundrums from dark energy to detecting extraterrestrial life.
    • A receptor is the complete antenna structure, with the main reflector, sub-reflector and all receivers, digitisers and other electronics installed.
    • It will be incorporated into the complex Square Kilometre Array (SKA) instrument.
    • It is the biggest radio telescope of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

    Harrier birds

    • Harrier birds are migratory raptor species that regularly visits vast swathes of India.
    • India has one of the largest roosting sites in the world for Pallid Harriers and Montagu’s Harriers.
    • Recent reports highlights that the numbers of birds visiting the site are declining.
    • While a general declining trend was observed in all the monitored sites, researchers noted the most dramatic changes at the Rollapadu Bustard Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district.
    • In Hessarghatta on the outskirts of Bengaluru, Western Marsh Harriers declined significantly, leaving the area nearly deserted.
    • The gravest concern is the loss of grasslands, either to urbanisation or to agriculture.
    • Excessive use of pesticides in farms in and around the roosting sites could also be a reason for the lowered population counts.

    Swachh Survekshan Grameen

    • Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation recently launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018.
    • It is an Independent Survey to be Conducted in all Districts from 1st to 31st August.
    • The results will be announced in the form of a ranking of all districts and states on the basis of quantitative and qualitative sanitation (Swachhata) parameters.
    • As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen 6,980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered. Total 34,000 public places namely schools, anganwadis, public health centres, haat/bazaars/religious places in these villages will be visited for survey.

    Draft Rule on Blood Donation

    • Union government has proposed to rename 'blood banks' as 'blood centres'.
    • According to the proposed rules approved by the Drugs Technical Advisory Board blood centres' will be authorised premises in an organisation or institution for carrying out all or any of the operations including collection, processing, storage and distribution of blood.
    • The minimum age for a blood donor remains 18 years and the maximum 65 years.
    • According to the proposed rules, women cannot donate blood for 12 months after delivery, six months after abortion, during breast-feeding and menstruation.
    • The rules recommend deferring blood donation for six and 12 months after recovery following a minor and major surgery respectively.
    • Also, one cannot donate blood for three months after recovering from malaria, for six months after recovering from dengue and Chikungunya and four months after recuperating from being infected by Zika virus.

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