28th July 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Recent Approvals by Central government – July 2017

  • Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval for amendment of the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954
  • Cabinet apprised of the MoU signed between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports
  • Cabinet apprised of the Joint Declaration of Intent between India and Germany on Indo German-Centre for Sustainability
  • Cabinet approves revision of cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011
  • Union Cabinet cleared a new Minimum Wage Code Bill that will integrate four different wage legislations.

Mumbai Metro launches India’s first mobile ticketing system

  • Mumbai Metro One Private Limited has announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’
  • It will help commuters to buy their tickets on their mobile phones.
  • Commuters will also be able to book tickets for future journeys up to seven days in advance using the system.
  • The system is currently at an advanced stage of testing and is set to be launched by mid-August.
  • Through ‘OnGo’commuters can purchase tickets on the Mumbai Metro App and other partner apps.

Business & Economy

Punjab National Bank ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) andBajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products
  • Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer Personal lines of insurance and Commercial line of insurance products to the banks customers.
  • Personal Line of Insurance includes health, personal accident, home motor and travel insurance.
  • Commercial Line of Insurance includes Property, marine and engineering insurance.
  • The insurance company will also offer wide range of rural insurance products.
  • Such type of insurance tie-ups leads 100 million customers to various products under one roof.

BSE inks Cooperation Pact with Egyptian Exchange

  • BSE has joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas.
  • The exchange aim is to cross list and trade securities and It would provide new investment alternatives to investors in both markets.
  • The MoU between BSE and EGX represents an important step in integrating both the exchanges to build capital market flows.
  • Through this MoU, a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.
  • This MoU further complements EGXs strategy to cooperate with global exchanges beyond its traditional markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
  • EGX and BSE both boost a long history of being in existence and business over 100 years.
  • The MoU between BSE and EGX represents a significant step in integrating both the exchanges to build capital market flows.

Codex Alimentarius Commission adopts Codex norms for three spices

  • Global food standard-setting body Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme paving the way for a universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries.
  • These three Codex standards were adopted at CAC’s recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code” is a collection of standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Australia sends its first uranium shipment to India

  • Australia has sent its first uranium shipment to India for testing purposes ahead of possible commercial sales.
  • It comes after India and Australia signed an agreement for civil nuclear cooperation in 2014 to meet India’s growing energy needs.
  • Australian uranium has played a reliable long-term role in supplying India’s growing energy needs.

Axis Bank to buy FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs 385 crore

  • Axis Bank has announced that it has agreed to buy mobile payments wallet provider FreeCharge from e-commerce company Snapdeal for Rs 385 crore.
  • By acquiring Freecharges business would give Axis Bank access to about 52 million mobile wallet holders of Freecharge as well as about 150 to 200 professionals.
  • The acquisition will double the customer base of the bank. Freecharge presently has revenue of about Rs 80 crore.
  • Axis Bank offers key payment modes — mobile banking, credit cards, debit cards, forex cards and UPI payments.
  • The bank has been driving digital acceptance and has established the second largest merchant network with over 4,33,000 PoS (point of sale) machines.
  • Axis Bank has been actively participating in market leading payment innovations through partnerships with Samsung Pay, Kochi Metro and BMTC.

People in News

JDU President Nitish Kumar sworn-in as Chief Minister of Bihar for 6th time

  • Janata Dal (United) PresidentNitish Kumar took oath as Chief Minister of Bihar for 6th time.
  • Ending the grand alliance between his party, Congress and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Nitish Kumar will now form the new government with the support of BJP-led NDA.
  • Senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi also took oath as Deputy Chief Minister.

Axis Bank approves re-appointment of Shikha Sharma as CEO

  • Axis Bank has re-appointed Shikha Sharma as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018.
  • Sharma began her career with the infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business.
  • She joined the bank in 2009 with a five-year mandate which was subsequently extended.

Science & Technology

NASA will chase total solar eclipse in jets to make it last longer

  • During the eclipse, the moon will pass between the Sun and Earth, blocking the face of the sun and leaving only its outer atmosphere, or corona, visible in the sky.
  • NASA will fly ”eclipse jets”to make totality when the moon blocks out the sun last nearly three times as long.’
  • The jets will use telescopes to study the sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere.
  • A partial eclipse will be visible in every state, a total eclipse will be visible only across 14 states in the continental US along a 112-kilometer-wide swath of the country.

DNA of human embryos edited for 1st time in US

  • Scientists in the US for the first time have successfully used gene-editing tools on human embryos to correct defective DNA that cause inherited diseases.
  • It involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the controversial gene-editing technique CRISPR.
  • Scientists wanted to show that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, like thalassemia.
  • The genetically modified child would then pass the changes on to subsequent generations.

 ‘India Quake’ – An App for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination

  • National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations. 
  • These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through VSAT for real time data communication.
  • To overcome this, a Mobile App has been developed by the NCS for automatic dissemination of earthquake parameter (location, time and magnitude) after the occurrence of earthquakes.
  • The App will make information dissemination faster with no restrictions on the number of recipients.
  • Any citizen can download this App and get the real time earthquake location information on his/her mobile.
  • There are two categories of events such as scrutinized and unscrutinized.
  • Unscrutinized events are the earthquake whose parameters have been estimated automatically by the software using the incoming waveform data from remote stations.
  • These solutions are scrutinized and confirmed by the NCS, which form the category of scrutinized events.

Environment and Ecology

Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India

  • Around 535 cameras installed in Corbett Tiger Reserve played a key role in collecting the recent data.
  • Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.
  • According to the latest statistics, at least 208 tigers have been identified in Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, up from last year’s 163. Also six cubs were identified there.
  • At least 34 tigers have been identified in Rajaji Tiger Reserve in 2016-17, up from previous year’s 16. Five cubs were also found there.
  • 562 cameras were put at strategic locations in core areas of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in collaboration with the Indian Wildlife Institute and World Nature Fund (WWF).

Glow-in-the-dark shark discovered in the Pacific

  • Scientists have discovered a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean.
  • They are not easily visible or accessible like so many other sharks.
  • It lives 1,000 feet below the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
  • The new species, a member of the lantern shark family, has been named Etmopteruslailae.
  • These creatures are living in a deep sea environment with almost no light so they need to have a big sniffer to find food.
  • It has other distinctive features like flank markings that go forward and backward on their bellies and a naked patch without scales on the underside of its snout.

Sports Current Affairs

 Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship

  • Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee has awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018.
  • The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from 18 October to 4 November 2018.
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