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National Current Affairs
Mixing of liquid nitrogen with drinks, food banned in Haryana
Haryana government has prohibited mixing of liquid nitrogen with any drink or food article announced on 29th of July 2017.
- The ban has been issued under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006).
- Liquid nitrogen is used at bars to quickly chill glasses, freeze ingredients or provide a smoky effect to drinks.
- According to expert medical opinion, any drink or food article whose preparation involves mixing of liquid nitrogen is detrimental for humans.
- Liquid nitrogen could be extremely damaging to body tissue, causing frostbite and cryogenic burning on contact.
- Liquid nitrogen releases a large volume of gas, and could burst open the stomach if ingested in sufficiently large quantity.
Maharashtra’s women commission to ink pact with UNDP
Maharashtra’s women commission will sign an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
- It has been signed for rescue and rehabilitation of women who are victims of sex trafficking, acid attack and domestic violence.
- The MoU has been signed with the UNDP in the next 15 days.
Delhi Metro first to become 100% ‘green’
Delhi Metro is the first Metro system to become completely green in the world announced on 28th of July 2017.
- The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had earlier received the green certificates for its Phase-3 stations, depots, and sub-stations.
- Delhi Metro has also secured the platinum rating for adherence to green building norms for its 10 residential colonies from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
- DMRC has generated new solar power facilities that produce 2.6 MW across the Metro network.
- DMRC also announced it is now generating 20 megawatt (MW) of solar power.
- The DMRC also mentioned ‘Swachh Chetna – An Eco Club’, a joint initiative of the DMRC and Shri Ram School, Gurugram. Delhi Metro first to become 100% 'green'
- It has been initiated to “encourage school children to participate in the more environment friendly projects and activities”.
- Energy consumption has increased by 700% in the last four decades in the country and this will increase further three times by 2030.
- It is necessary to focus on Metro systems and talk of green Metro
Punjab signs MoU with Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics
The Punjab government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) on 28th of July 2017. The MoU was signed on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day.
- It is a global diagnostic firmto help the state diagnose and treat Hepatitis C patients.
- The firm would provide rapid test kits for screening of high-risk patients, for disease like HIV, IVDU (Intravenous Drug Users).
- Punjab is also the first state in the country where the injection safety programme is being implemented in collaboration with WHO.
- The state health department has also released the action plan for injection safety programme, which is supported by WHO.
- The health department would also be introducing RPS (Reuse Prevention Syringes) in the state so that blood-borne infections cannot spread from one patient to another.
- The medicines for Hepatitis C, are being provided free of cost to Hepatitis C patients at state hospitals which have a market price of Rs 35,000-50,000 for full treatment.
- According to estimates, there are around 6 lakh Hepatitis C patients in the state.
International Current Affairs
2017 BRICS National Security Advisors (NSAs) meeting held in China
- National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval represented India at this meeting.
- This meeting is a major platform for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa 2017 BRICS National Security Advisors (NSAs) meeting held in China (BRICS) countries to discuss and conduct cooperation in politics and security fields.
- Discussions were held on topics including global governance, anti-terrorism, internet security and energy security, as well as major international and regional hotspot issues.
- National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held talks with his Chinese counterpart and state councillor Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the BRICS NSAs meeting.
- Chinese and Indian troops have been locked in a face-off in Doklam area for more than a month, since Indian troops stopped the Chinese army from building a road in the area.
Sri Lanka, China sign $1.5 billion Hambantota port deal
On July 29, 2017, Sri Lanka’s government signed an agreement to sell a 70% stake in a $1.5 billion Hambantota port to China in a bid to recover from the heavy burden of repaying a Chinese loan obtained to build the facility.
Details about $1.5 billion Hambantota port deal between Sri Lanka and China:
- The deal document was signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Merchants Port Holding Co. in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- According to the agreement, the Chinese company will invest $1.12 billion in the port, which sits close to busy east-west shipping lanes.
- Two local companies whose shares will be split between the Chinese enterprise and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will be set up to handle the port’s operations, security and services.
- The Chinese company will be responsible for commercial operations while the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will handle security.
Business & Economy Current Affairs
Indian Overseas Bank goes live with Bharat Bill Payment system
Indian Overseas Bank has offered the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) which is introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India, for its customers.
- Indian Overseas Bank is one of the three public sector banks (apart from Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India) to get the approval from RBI for providing the service.
- BBPS is an integrated bill payment system that offers inter-operable online bill payments to customers.
- The services include online payments of electricity, telecommunication, DTH, water and gas bills.
- The certification with NPCI has been completed and the BBPS system has been Indian Overseas Bank goes live with Bharat Bill Payment systemimplemented for customers and to the billers.
India is world’s third-biggest beef exporter says OECD-FAO report
As per Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 report released by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation (OECD), India is the world’s third-biggest exporter of beef and is projected to hold on to that position over the next decade.
- India exported 1.56 million tonnes of beef last year and is expected to maintain its position as the third-largest beef exporter over the next decade.
- According to the OECD database, India imported 363,000 tonnes of beef last year and the amount is projected to stay the same over the decade.It has been estimated that India will export 1.93 tonnes beef in 2026 which will account for 16% of global beef exports.
Lulu to acquire 100% of UAE’s Al Falah Exchange for Rs.95 crore
Lulu Exchange, a foreign exchange and remittance company, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent ownership of Al Falah Exchange Company in the UAE for Rs. 95 crore.
- This is a first of its kind large scale acquisition in the UAE, making Lulu Exchange the second largest player in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
- With this acquisition, Lulu Exchange’s total branch count goes up by 30 branches to reach 73 in UAE and 170 globally.
- The new acquisition would help Lulu Exchange consolidate its network of branches, thereby serving a much bigger customer segment.
- Lulu Exchange is part of Lulu Group International established by Yusuff Ali, NRI businessman from Kerala.
- Launched eight years ago in Abu Dhabi, Lulu Exchange currently operates in Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Seychelles.
People in News
Jhulan Goswami felicitated by Mohun Bagan at their annual awards ceremony
Kolkata-based football club Mohun Bagan conferred prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award on former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya, while Indian Women’s cricket team veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami was given a special award at the club’s annual day programme in Kolkata on July 29, 2017.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became world’s richest man
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become the world’s richest person with a fortune of over $90.5 billion announced on 27th of July 2017.
- At the start of 2017, Bezos was ranked fourth-richest in the world, behind Gates.
- According to the Forbes magazine jump in the share price of the US tech giant enabled him to overtake Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
- Bezos owns around 17% of the equity of Amazon. The company also recently announced plans to acquire US grocer Whole Foods.
- According to Forbes, Gates has been the richest person in the magazine’s annual rankings in March for the past four years.
- Amazon has now expanded beyond retailing. It now sells cloud computing services to thousands of businesses ranging from Netflix to the UK’s ministry of justice.
- Bezos also owns the private space firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi declared as interim Pakistan Prime Minister
Former Petroleum Minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will be appointed as the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan.
- According to the sources, the decision was made by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during an informal consultative meeting of the party.
- Nawaz Sharif resigned from the post of Pakistan prime minister following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi declared as interim Pakistan Prime Minister
- Abbasi would serve as the chief executive of Pakistan for 45 days.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Muntra – country’s first unmanned tank, rolls out from the Chennai lab
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an unmanned, remotely operated tank named ‘Muntra’ which has three variants – surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats.
- Muntra has been developed and tested for the Army by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) in Avadi, Chennai.
- Muntra-S is India’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions. The vehicle has been tested and validated at Mahajan field firing range in Rajasthan under dusty desert condition.
India finishes 6th in 2017 World Junior Squash
India finished 6th in the girl’s team event of the 2017 WSF-World junior squash India finishes 6th in 2017 World Junior Squash championship on 29th of June 2017.
- World Junior Squash held in Tauranga, New Zealand.
- In the third match of the tie, Aishwarya Bhattacharya lost against Elle Ruggerio by 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.
- Grace Doyle lost to Sunayna Kuruvillaby 11-7, 3-11, 7-11, 7-11.
- USA beat India by 2-1 and Marina Stefanoni beat Akanksha Salunkhe by 11-2, 11-9, 11-4.
- In the 2015 edition held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, India had placed in 8th position.