Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

17th & 18th July Current Affairs Headlines

National Headlines

HRD Minister releases ‘Pragyata’ guidelines for online education

Union Human Resource Development Ministry has released ‘Pragyata’ guidelines for Digital Education. As per the guidelines, online classes for pre-primary students should not be for more than 30 minutes. It further mentions that two online sessions of up to 30-45 minutes each should be conducted for classes 1 to 8 and four sessions for classes 9 to 12.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Union HRD Minister: Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’

Indian Railways creates ‘Post-Covid Coach’ to ensure safer journey

The Indian Railways has launched a new state-of-the-art, ‘Post COVID Coach’ in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus infection. The Indian Railways’ production unit, Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, has developed this new Post COVID Coach.

The salient features of the Post COVID Coach are handsfree amenities, copper-coated handrails & latches, plasma air purification and titanium di-oxide coating for COVID free passenger journey.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Railways: Piyush Goyal.

Anji Khad bridge: Indian Railways’ 1st cable-stayed rail bridge

The Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has announced, India’s first cable-stayed Railways bridge “Anji Khad Bridge” to connects Katra and Reasi in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). This bridge being developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL). This bridge is as a part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project.

The total length of the Anji Khad Bridge is 473.25 metres. It has a single pylon, standing at a height of 331 metres above the river bed. The pylon had to be constructed in a vertical slope using micropiles of 40-metre depth all around the circumference of 20 metres well foundation. It has the support of 96 cables and has been designed to handle heavy storms of strong winds.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Konkan Railway Corporation Limited Chairman & Managing Director: Sanjay Gupta.
  • Konkan Railway Corporation Limited Headquarter: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

DCGI approves India’s 1st homemade Pneumonia vaccine

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved India’s first fully indigenously developed Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine (Pneumonia vaccine). The vaccine will be utilized for active immunization against invasive disease and pneumonia caused by “Streptococcus pneumonia” among infants. The vaccine has been developed by Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, Pune. It is India’s first indigenously developed vaccine in the field of pneumonia.

Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing

The opening session of the Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing has commenced virtually. The two-day event will include digital conferences, trade fair and B2B meetings.

The opening session of the mission was addressed by the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal. The Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission will witness the participation of 23 Italian companies and will conduct virtual exhibition of their products & services and also participate in the Business (B2B) Meetings with the end-users and other industry players in India.

Meetings and the webinars across the key areas such as Fruits & Vegetables, Cereals, Milk & Dairy Processing, Packaging & Bottling will also be held during the virtual session.

International News

Tunisia’s Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigns

Prime Minister of Tunisia, Elyes Fakhfakh has submitted his resignation to the President of Tunisia. His resignation has come after a campaign to oust him in a vote of no confidence gathered momentum and to avoid more conflicts between state institutions in the country.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • President of Tunisia: Kais Saied; Capital of Tunisia: Tunis.

Suriname elects Indian-origin ‘Chan’ Santokhi as President

Indian-origin, Chandrikapersad ‘Chan’ Santokhi has been elected the president of South American country “Suriname”. A former Justice Minister, Santokhi of the Progressive Reform Party (PRP) was elected unopposed.

He will succeed Desi Bouterse, a former military strongman, whose National Party of Suriname (NPS) lost the election in May as he sent the country to an economic precipice. Suriname is a former Dutch colony where people of Indian descent make up the largest ethnic group comprising 27.4 per cent of the population of 587,000.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Suriname: Paramaribo.
  • The currency of Suriname: Suriname Dollar.

Pakistan & China sign agreement for “Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project”

Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the 700 MW Azad Pattan hydel power project on the Jhelum river in Sudhoti district of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The $1.5-billion project is the second power project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The first agreement, for the 1,100 MW Kohala project, was signed on June 23. That project, worth $2.3 billion, too will come upon the Jhelum near Muzaffarabad.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Pakistan: Imran Khan.
  • President of Pakistan: Arif Alvi.
  • Capital of Pakistan: Islamabad.
  • China Capital: Beijing; Currency of China: Renminbi.
  • President of China: Xi Jinping.

State News Headlines

Telangana Police rolls out “CybHer” campaign

The Women Safety Wing, Telangana State Police has launched the “CybHer” campaign in association with the Legal Aid Centre, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. The “CybHer” campaign has been rolled out to tackle cybercrime against children and women in the state. It is a month-long virtual campaign which will make cyberspace safe for both women and children. “CybHer” campaign will create awareness and offer proactive measures to help them stay alert and not become a victim of cyberattacks.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Telangana: K Chandrasekhar Rao; Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

Hyderabad Airport gets India’s 1st contactless car parking

The GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL) has introduced India’s first-ever fully contactless airport car parking to provide a safe airport amid COVID-19. GHIAL has also scaled up its NETC (National Electronic Toll Collection) FASTag Car Parking in collaboration with NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India).

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • NPCI MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe.
  • NPCI Head Office: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Poba Reserve Forest in Assam will be upgraded to Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal has announced, Poba Reserve Forest in Dhemaji district would be upgraded to a wildlife sanctuary.
  • The announcement was made during a meeting with senior officials of Lakhimpur, Dhemaji and Majuli districts at Jonai.
  • Poba Reserve Forest declared in 1924 with an area of 10,522 hectares is home to a large number of flora and fauna.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Assam: Dispur.
  • Governor of Assam: Jagdish Mukhi.

Business News

Google to buy 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms

Google to buy 7.73% stake in Reliance Industries Limited(RIL)’s Jio Platforms for Rs 33,737 crores. For this purpose, they have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement. This investment will strengthen the existing efforts of Google and Jio Platforms to expand the benefits of digitization across India.

According to exchange filing, Google is investing at an equity valuation of Rs 4.36 lakh crore. With this, the total investment from financial and strategic investors into Jio Platforms stands at Rs 1,52,056 crore.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • RIL of Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Chairman & Managing Director of RIL: Mukesh D. Ambani.
  • Google Headquarters: California, United States.
  • CEO of Google: Sundar Pichai.

CCI approves acquisition by Aceso Company Pte. Ltd. in HCG

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition by Aceso Company Pte. Ltd. (Aceso) in HealthCare Global Enterprises Limited (HCG). CCI has approved acquisition under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairperson of Competition Commission of India: Ashok Kumar Gupta.

Agreement & MoUs

AAI & BEL signs MoU for co-operation in civil aviation sector

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Defence Public Sector Unit (PSU) Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU aims to tap the emerging global markets in the airport business, including the ones in the Asia-Pacific region. The partnership between the two companies will support each other in addressing the emerging global opportunities in the airport business.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chairman of Airports Authority of India: Arvind Singh.
  • Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Electronics Ltd: MV Gowtama.

Appointments News

ADB appoints Ashok Lavasa as new Vice President

Election Commissioner, Ashok Lavasa has been appointed the vice-president Asian Development Bank (ADB). He will succeed Diwakar Gupta, whose term will end on 31 August. Lavasa, a retired 1980 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, was appointed as an Election Commissioner in January 2018.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • President of Asian Development Bank: Masatsugu Asakawa.
  • Asian Development Bank Headquarters: Mandaluyong, Philippines.
  • Asian Development Bank Founded: 19 December 1966.

Awards & Rewards

Ved Parkash Dudeja conferred with ‘Infra Business Leader of the Year’

Rail Infra and Mobility Business Digital Awards (RIMBDA) has awarded Ved Parkash Dudeja with the coveted ‘Infra Business Leader of the Year’ award for 2020. He is the vice-chairman of the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). He has been awarded for his contribution to infrastructure development. Under his leadership, RLDA has launched various commercial projects, multifunctional complex, colony redevelopment and station redevelopment projects.

N Chandrasekaran & Jim Taiclet to receive Global Leadership Award 2020

Tata group chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran and Chief Executive Officer and President of Lockheed Martin, Jim Taiclet to receive the US-India Business Council(USIBC) Global Leadership Award 2020.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • USIBC Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • USIBC President: Nisha Biswal.
  • USIBC Managing Director for India: Ambika Sharma.

Science and Technology

IIT Delhi develops COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit “Corosure”

Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has developed the world’s most affordable COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit “Corosure”. The kit has been e-launched by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

The kit has also received the approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as well as the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). The launch of this kit is expected to significantly bring down the cost of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing.

Sports News

IOC postpones 2022 Dakar Youth Olympics to 2026

The Senegal and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have “mutually agreed” to postpone the Youth Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Dakar in 2022. The Youth Olympic Games will now be held in 2026.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • Senegal Capital: Dakar.
  • Senegal Currency: West African CFA Franc.
  • International Olympic Committee Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • International Olympic Committee President: Thomas Bach.

Defence News

DRDO develops P7 Heavy Drop System for IL 76 aircraft

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed the P7 Heavy Drop System. It is capable of para dropping military stores up to 7-ton weight class from IL 76 aircraft.

The design of this fully indigenous system has been developed by Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE), a Research & Development (R&D) lab of DRDO based in Agra, Uttar Pradesh (UP).

P7 Heavy Drop System system has been made under the Make in India programme. It’s a platform system manufactured by L&T (Larsen & Toubro) while parachutes manufactured by Ordnance Factory.

Useful Notes for all competitive exams:

  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.

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