Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

14th and 15th July 2021 Current Affairs, Daily Gk Updates

National

Rail Cargo movement between India and Nepal gets a big boost

India and Nepal have signed a Letter of Exchange(LoE) to revise the 2004 India-Nepal Rail Services Agreement (RSA). The revised agreement allows all authorized cargo train operators to utilize the Indian railway network to carry Nepal’s container and other freight – both bilateral between Indian and Nepal or third countries from Indian ports to Nepal.

The authorized cargo train operators include public and private container trains Operators, automobile freight train operators, special freight train operators, or any other operator authorized by Indian Railways.

It will allow market forces (such as consumers and buyers) to come up in the rail freight segment in Nepal and is likely to increase efficiency and cost- competitiveness.

It will reduce transportation costs for automobiles and certain other products whose carriage takes place in special wagons and will boost rail cargo movement between the two countries.

The agreement is another milestone in India’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity under the “Neighbourhood First”.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime minister of Nepal: KP Sharma Oli; President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
  • Capital of Nepal: Kathmandu; Currency: Nepalese rupee.

ICCR will set up the ‘Bangabandhu Chair’ at the Delhi University

Delhi University will have a ‘Bangabandhu Chair’ to foster a better understanding of developments in Bangladesh. An MoU was signed between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Delhi University in Dhaka to set up this Chair at Delhi University.

The Chair will focus on the common heritage of the two countries and subjects like Anthropology, Buddhist Studies, Geography, History, Modern Indian languages including Bangla, Music, Fine Arts, Political Science, International relations and Sociology.

The chair will set up to honour Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s Liberation War as well as India’s diplomatic ties with Dhaka.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina; Capital: Dhaka; Currency: Taka.
  • President of Bangladesh: Abdul Hamid.

India launches BHIM-UPI services in Bhutan

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has launched BHIM-UPI QR-based payments in Bhutan will further strengthen the cooperation between the two neighbouring nations.

With the launch in Bhutan, the payment infrastructures of the two countries are seamlessly connected and will benefit tourists and businessmen from India who travel to Bhutan. This will enhance the ease of living and travelling through cashless transactions.

The services have started in Bhutan under India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy. She described BHIM UPI as one of the brightest in facilitating digital transactions in India during the pandemic.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Bhutan Capital: Thimphu;
  • Bhutan Prime minister: Lotay Tshering;
  • Bhutan Currency: Bhutanese ngultrum.

Amit Shah inaugurates centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University

Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated a research-based centre of excellence at National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.

The research-based centre of excellence at the National Forensic Science University in Gandhinagar will help our youths to become free from addiction to drugs and narcotics.

This centre will help in research and analysis of drugs and narcotics seized in the different parts of the country and its routes. Home Minister Amit Shah also inaugurated the virtual training model on Investigation of Crime against women for Indian Police.

EAM Jaishankar unveils statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has unveiled a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Georgia at a prominent Tbilisi park.

During his two-day visit to Georgia, a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Jaishankar held talks with the country’s top leadership & also handed over the relics of 17th century St. Queen Keteva.

St. Queen Ketevan was a 17th century Georgian Queen who attained martyrdom. Her relics were found in 2005 at the St. Augustine Convent in Old Goa, India, on the basis of medieval Portuguese records.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Georgia: Irakli Garibashvili
  • Georgia Capital: Tbilisi;
  • Georgia Currency: Georgian lari.

Assam to create a new department for indigenous faith and culture

The Assam Cabinet has announced the creation of an independent department to protect and preserve the “faith, culture and traditions of tribes and indigenous communities” of the state.

The new department would ensure that the state’s indigenous population gets to preserve their faith and traditions, while also providing requisite support to them.

Indigenous tribes such as the Bodos, Rabhas, Mishings, along with others have their own religious beliefs and unique traditions, which so far have not received the support necessary for their preservation.

The cabinet, during the meeting, agreed that financial and administrative reforms were necessary to ensure speedy implementation of various schemes floated by the government. It decided that departmental committees, headed by commissioners, will be entitled to give their nod for projects worth ₹ 2 crores and below.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi;
  • Assam Chief Minister: Himanta Biswa Sarma.

UP population draft bill proposes two-child policy

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has launched a population policy that aims to incentivise couples who do not have more than two babies. Stating that population control is related to awareness among masses and poverty, Adityanath said every community has been taken care of in Population Policy 2021-2030.

The health minister Jai Pratap Singh said Uttar Pradesh is aiming for stability by 2050 and the government is trying to reduce the population growth rate to 2.1 per cent.

The UP law commission that has formulated a population control bill said the policy would be voluntary and nobody would be forced to follow any rule.

However, if any person decides to on his or her own to not have more than two babies, they will be eligible for government schemes., while those who do not follow the policy will face restrictions in government jobs, availing ration, and other benefits.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • UP Capital: Lucknow;
  • UP Governor: Anandiben Patel;
  • UP Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath.

International

Sher Bahadur Deuba becomes Nepal’s Prime Minister for 5th time

Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on 13th July became the country’s Prime Minister for the fifth time.

His appointment is in line with the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on 12th July to make way for his claim to the premiership, replacing incumbent K P Sharma Oli.

Previously, Deuba served as Nepal’s Prime Minister four times from June 2017 to February 2018, June 2004 to February 2005, July 2001 to October 2002 and September 1995 to March 1997.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Nepal Capital: Kathmandu;
  • Nepal Currency: Nepalese rupee;
  • Nepal President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Agreements

Nepal Inks USD 1.3 billion mega-deal with India to develop a Hydropower project

Nepal has signed a USD 1.3 billion deal with India, to develop a 679-megawatt Lower Arun Hydropower project, located between Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts in eastern Nepal.

As per the deal, India’s state-owned Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), will develop the 679-megawatt hydropower project in the neighbouring Himalayan nation.

This will be the second mega project undertaken by India in Nepal, after the USD 1.04 billion 900-MW Arun-3 hydroelectric projects. The project will be developed under the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model.

This 679 MW Hydropower project is the single largest foreign investment project in the country, based on the 2017 cost estimates.

Defence

Indian Navy receives 10th Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft ‘P-8I’

Indian Navy received the 10th anti-submarine warfare aircraft P-8I from the US-based aerospace company Boeing.The Defence Ministry had signed a contract for eight P-8I aircraft in 2009. However, later in 2016, it signed a contract for four additional P-8I aircraft. The remaining two aircraft are expected to be delivered in the last quarter of 2021.

P-8I is a long-range maritime reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine Warfare Aircraft, and a variant of the P-8A Poseidon used by the US Navy. India was the first international customer of Boeing for this aircraft. The Indian Navy inducted the first P-8I aircraft in 2013, while the ninth P-8I aircraft was received in November 2020.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarters of Boeing: Chicago, United States.
  • Boeing Founded: 15 July 1916.
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of Boeing: David L. Calhoun.

Science and Technology

ISRO plans to launch geo imaging satellite on August

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is getting back into launch activity fully at Sriharikota spaceport with the planned orbiting of geo imaging satellite GISAT-1 onboard GSLV-F10 rocket on August 12.

GISAT-1 will be placed in a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit by GSLV-F10 and, subsequently, it will be positioned in the final geostationary orbit, about 36,000 km above earth’s equator, using its onboard propulsion system.

The 2,268-kg GISAT-1 was originally slated to be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 km north of Chennai, on March 5 last year but was postponed a day before the blast-off due to technical reasons.

According to ISRO, GISAT-1 will facilitate near real-time observation of the Indian sub-continent, under cloud-free conditions, at frequent intervals.

The earth observation satellite will provide the country with real-time images of its borders and also enable quick monitoring of natural disasters.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

SAMVEDAN 2021: IIT Madras and Sony India team up to host

IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation (IITM-PTF) and Sony India Software Centre Pvt Ltd have joined hands to organise a national-level hackathon named ‘SAMVEDAN 2021 – Sensing Solutions for Bharat’.

With this hackathon, the foundation aims to inspire citizens to use IoT Sensor Board in order to solve India-specific problems of societal interest. It is based on the Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation’s SPRESENSE™ Board, which participants can use for this challenge. A team with a maximum of three members can register for the grand challenge, which will be held in three stages.

Awards

Sophie Ecclestone, Devon Conway win ICC Player of the Month Award

England Left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone has been named ICC Women Player of the Month for June. She is the second English female to win the title after Tammy Beaumont, who was awarded the title in February 2021.

In Men’s category, New Zealand opener Devon Conway has bagged ICC Player of the Month for June. He became the first New Zealand player to win the award after an astounding first month in Test cricket.

Journalist N N Pillai honoured with BKS Literary Award

Journalist and playwright Omchery N N Pillai has been selected for the Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS)’s Literary Award for 2021. BKS president P V Radhakrishna Pillai, general secretary Varghese Karackal and literary wing secretary Firoz Thiruvathra announced the award.

The Jury was headed by the novelist M Mukundan. Literary critic Dr K S Ravikumar, writer and Kerala Chief Secretary Dr V P Joy, and Radhakrishna Pillai were part of the jury. The award constitutes a cash prize of `50,000 and a citation acknowledging the achievement.

The award ceremony will be held later in Delhi. “His enormous contributions as a whole to Malayalam language and literature are remarkable, which ultimately led to this award.

Sports

Deepak Kabra becomes first Indian gymnastics judge at Olympics

Deepak Kabra has become the first Indian to be selected for judging the gymnastics competition of the Olympic Games, a life goal achieved for the man who knew he wouldn’t have made it there as an active gymnast because of his not-so-strong fundamentals. He will be seen officiating the men’s artistic gymnasts at the Tokyo Games, which gets underway on July 23.

India to host 2026 World Badminton Championships

The Badminton World Federation has allotted the BWF World Championships to India for 2026. This will be the second time that India will host the premier tournament, which is held every year except for the Olympic year. India had hosted the BWF World Championships in Hyderabad in 2009.

Since then, India has played host to various major badminton tournaments including the 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup Finals, the Asian Championships apart from the annual BWF Super 500 event, the Yonex-Sunrise India Open.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Badminton World Federation President: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen;
  • Badminton World Federation Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
  • Badminton World Federation Founded: 5 July 1934.

2022 Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Haryana

The state government of Haryana will organise the Khelo India Youth Games 2021 in February 2022. Earlier the sports show was scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 5, 2021, but has been shifted due to the possible third wave of Covid-19 pandemic and keeping in mind that Khelo India Youth Games 2021 are to be held in the Under-18 category.

Around 8,500 players will participate in the event of which 5,072 will be athletes, including 2,400 females and 2,672 males.

Euro 2020 Final: Italy beat England on penalties

The European Championship final pits England and Italy against each other. Italy won 3-2 on penalties. Italy, one of the most decorated teams in the world, has ended a few years of trophy drought.

England, on the other hand, we’re in uncharted territory. They haven’t even reached a final since 1966. Italy has already reached the final twice in recent years — in 2000 and 2012 — whereas England hasn’t got close until now. Italy’s Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma named player of UEFA EURO 2020.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo wins Golden Boot in EURO 2020

Portugal captain and modern-day great Cristiano Ronaldo won the Euro 2020 Golden Boot after finishing as the top-scorer in the tournament. Despite playing just four games, Ronaldo clinched the top honours as he scored five goals.

Czech Republic’s Patrik Schick also ended the tournament with five goals but the award went to Ronaldo via the tie-breaker of assists.

Books and Authors

The Struggle Within A Memoir of the Emergency authored by Ashok Chakravarti

A book titled “The Struggle Within A Memoir of the Emergency” authored by Ashok Chakravarti. He is an economist who has been providing policy advice to countries, mainly in the African region, for the past forty years.

He is currently Senior Economic Advisor to the Government of Zimbabwe, based in Harare. The Book is Published By Harpercollins India.

The Struggle Within A Memoir of the Emergency book deals with one of independent India’s darkest hours during the emergency period.

The Emergency (1975-1977) was one of independent India’s darkest hours. In that period, Over 150,000 people were imprisoned without trial; as many as eleven million forcibly sterilized, and countless killed in police firings or otherwise eliminated.

A book titled “The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities”

A new book titled ‘The Art of Conjuring Alternate Realities: How Information Warfare Shapes Your World’, authored by Shivam Shankar Singh and Anand Venkatanarayanan. The Book is Published by HarperCollins.

The Book deals with human history, societal control was determined by various hierarchies like military, colonialism, mega-corporations and now by information.

This book widely talks about how information warfare is shaping your life and world. Parallelly it deals with the operations of political parties, cybercriminals, godmen, national states in manipulating the thoughts.

A book titled “The Great Big Lion” written by child prodigy Knight

A book titled “The Great Big Lion” drawn and written by child prodigy Chryseis Knight.  This book is a story about a lion and two children. It talks about friendship, inclusivity, wildlife conservation and the world of imagination.

The book was published by Penguin Random House India’s “Puffin” imprint. Knight, who is currently residing in Canada, learnt how to read at the age of one, started writing the story of “The Great Big Lion” in her notebook when she was three years old.

She then shared it with her family and became determined to do the artwork with the motivation of getting the book published.

Obituary

1983 World Cup-winning former India cricketer Yashpal Sharma passes away

Former Indian cricketer, Yashpal Sharma, who was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, has passed away.

He represented India in 37 Tests and 42 ODIs. He was a middle-order batsman, who played during the 1970s and 80s. The Punjab-born cricketer had represented three teams in Ranji including Punjab, Haryana and Railways.

Former WWE Wrestler ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff passes away

The renowned American professional wrestler, Paul Orndorff, who is best known by his nickname Mr Wonderful, has passed away.

He was one of professional wrestling’s biggest stars of the 1980s and was famous for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He retired in 2000. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.


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