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Important Current Affairs 3rd August

NATIONAL:

CRISIL cuts India s GDP growth to for FY on weak monsoon rains muted corporate results.

• Credit rating agency CRISIL lowered Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for India by 20 basis points to 6.9 percent for this fiscal citing weak monsoon and slowing global growth.

The GDP data for the first quarter taken into account for powering India's growth estimates. 

The development came days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut India's growth by 30 basis points for the calendar years 2019 and 2020 to 7 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

The global analytical firm, in its latest report on the outlook for India in the financial year 2019 titled 'Uphill trek', the slowdown would be pronounced in the first half.

The agricultural terms of trade are also expected to improve with a pick-up in food inflation, adding that farmers would benefit from income transfer of Rs 6,000 per year announced by the Centre.

The sops announced so far might not be enough to pitchfork growth in this fiscal to, or above, the past 14-year average of 7 percent per annum.

CRISIL

It is a global analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services. The majority shareholder is Standard & Poor's, a division of McGraw Hill Financial and provider of financial market intelligence.

Founded: 1987

Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra

LS passed the Dam Safety Bill.

• The Lok Sabha passed the Dam Safety Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to provide an uniform safety procedures for the specified 5,600 dams in the country. It will also enhance the security of citizens. The introduction of the Bill will not take away the rights of the States.

The Bill was introduced in 2010. It was opposed in various edition in the State and has never been successfully passed until now.

Provisions of the Bill:

The bill stressed the establishment of the National Dam Safety Authority as a regulatory body. The regulator will implement the policy, guidelines, and standards on dam safety in the country.

It also entails the setting up of State committee on dam safety and State Dam Safety Organisation. It will be manned by officers from the field dam safety.

The Bill will set up a national committee on dam safety. It will be set up to introduce safety policies and recommend necessary regulations.

Steps taken by Centre for Dam safety:

As several dams does not have the emergency action plan, the government has provide safety measures to around 180 dams.

For example, Centre has alloted Rs.600 crore to repair the gates of Hirakud dam. Centre has also taken efforts to change the gates of Farakka barrage. 80% of the work had been completed so far.

West Bengal launches awareness campaign Save Green Stay Clean.

• West Bengal government launched an awareness campaign named ‘Save Green, Stay Clean’ for preserving the greenery and keeping the environment clean in the state. The campaign launched State Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. The campaign was launched on August 1, 2019. The state will also observe this day every year. It also plans to distribute more than 1 lakhs saplings throughout the state for spreading of greenery.

West Government

Government of West Bengal known as the State Government of West Bengal. It is the supreme governing authority of the Indian state of West Bengal and its 23 districts. It consists of an executive, led by the Governor of West Bengal, a judiciary and a legislative.

INTERNATIONAL:

US officially withdraws from INF treaty.

• The US has officially withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty with Russia. The withdrawal has ended a Cold war-era missile treaty with Russia. This could start an arms race between the US and Russia, the world’s top two nuclear powers.

Reason:

The US accused Russia of violating the INF treaty's agreement in recent years. The withdrawal announcement was made by the US President Donald Trump. Both the countries signed a deal to put  a way to improve relations toward the end of the Cold War.

During the Obama administration in 2014, Russia was accused of violating the agreement by testing a cruise missile in direct violation of the accord. In turn, Russia also said that the US has violated the agreement too. The US has denied the accusation.

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF):

INF treaty is a Nuclear disarmament type of agreement. It was signed on December 1987 in Washington D.C. The agreements was signed by the U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet General Secretary with an Unlimited duration.The agreement prohibits both the countries from fielding ground-launched cruise missiles that could fly between 310 and 3,400 miles. The treaty has been extremely successful in the destruction of a total of 2,692 missiles.

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Important Current Affairs of 2nd 2019 August

NATIONAL:

India drops to 7th largest economy in 2018, UK and France overtake.

• India's economy has been pushed to the seventh spot in GDP rankings in 2018 with the UK and France overtaking the country, the latest World Bank data showed. India's GDP was $2.73 trillion while that of UK was $2.83 trillion and France was $2.77 trillion. India had surpassed France and then the UK in 2017 to become the fifth-largest economy.

PM chaired the th PRAGATI interaction.

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed the 30th PRAGATI platform interaction. PRAGATI is the Information and communications technology (ICT)- based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation. This is the first PRAGATI interaction of the new government.

In the session, Narendra Modi reviewed the progress in the resolution of grievances under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban). He urged to achieve the government's objective of providing 'Housing for All by 2022'. He also suggested further improvements under the Ayushmann Bharat Scheme.

He reviewed the progress of eight important infrastructure projects in the railway and road sectors spread over several states including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

BANKS AND ECONOMICS:

RBI relaxes ECB norms.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has further relaxed the norms related to external commercial borrowing (ECB). It loosened the end-use restrictions with regard to working capital, general corporate purpose and repayment of rupee loans. The move comes  after RBI received feedback from stakeholders.

♦ As per the relaxation, all the eligible borrowers are allowed to raise following ECBs from recognised lenders with a minimum average maturity period of 10 years for working capital purposes and general corporate purposes. The foreign branches and overseas subsidiaries of Indian banks are exempted.

♦ It also permits borrowing for on-lending by NBFCs for the above maturity and end-uses.

♦ Borrowers are allowed to raise ECBs with a minimum average maturity period of 7 years for repayment of rupee loans that can be availed domestically for capital expenditure.

Ministry of Finance to conduct Indias first national Time Release Study for efficient trade flow.

• The Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance plans to conduct India’s first national Time Release Study (TRS) between 1st and 7th August, 2019. The study is a part of the department's strategic commitment to improve the global trade.

Time Release Study (TRS):

The TRS is an internationally recognized tool to measure the efficiency of the international trade flows. It is advocated by the World Customs Organization.

Aim:

The exercise aims to identify and remove the obstacles that are present in the trade flow. The exercise will benefit from the export oriented industry and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). 

 Analysis:

The national TRS will establish baseline performance measurement. It will also standardize the operations and procedures across all ports. The Ministry will conduct the exercise across 15 ports, including sea, air, land and dry ports at the same time. The ports cumulatively account for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India.

Depending on the results of the TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will diagnose the existing and potential bottlenecks that are barriers to the free flow of trade. The government will take remedial actions for reducing the cargo release time.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Cognizant’s Debashis becomes Mindtree’s 3rd CEO in its 20-yr history.

• IT services firm Mindtree on Friday named Debashis Chatterjee as its new Managing Director and CEO. Chatterjee, who previously led the digital systems and technology practice at Cognizant, will become Mindtree's third CEO in its two-decade existence. He replaces Rostow Ravanan, who quit along with Chairman Krishnakumar Natarajan and Vice Chairman NS Parthasarathy after L&T's hostile takeover

Mohapatra takes charge as DG of India Meteorological Department.

• Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, 54, took charge as the Director General (DG) of India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi. He was appointed as DG by the Ministry of Personnel on 4 June 2019. He will replace K.J. Ramesh, who headed the weather department for over three years. IMD is to request the government to bring new technology for the weather forecasting and provide accurate information of weather.

Mrutyunjay Mohapatra:

• Mohapatra is Odisha-born scientist. He is the first Odia to reach at the top position in IMD. He has led the effective early warning systems for cyclones, including Phailin, Hudhud, Vardah, Titli, Sagar, Mekunu and Fani.

• India Meteorological Department:

• Formed on: 1875

• Headquarters: New Delhi

• Functions under: Ministry of Earth Sciences

• Minister responsible: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

• Director General: Mrutyunjay Mohapatra

• The IMD is responsible for the weather and climate-related forecasts in the country. It is also mandated to issue warning to people about severe weather phenomenon.

AWARDS:

India-born doctor Bhasha Mukherjee crowned Miss England 2019.

• India-born doctor Bhasha Mukherjee was crowned Miss England 2019 on Thursday at a ceremony in Newcastle. The 23-year-old moved to England with her parents at the age of nine and settled in Derby. Mukherjee holds two different medical degrees, one in medical sciences and the other in medicine and surgery.

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Important Current Affairs 1st August 2019

NATIONAL:

Lok Sabha Clears Bill For Speedy Eviction Of Illegal Occupants From Government Houses.

• Lok Sabha passed a bill which seeks to crack down on unauthorized occupants of government residential accommodations. Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2019 Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs proposed amendments would enable the estate officer to apply summary proceedings for eviction unauthorized occupants from residential accommodations and to levy damage charges for accommodation held during the period of litigation. The bill was passed by the Lower House. There is 15,416 residential accommodation under the government quota.

The proposed amendments would enable the estate officer to apply summary proceedings for eviction unauthorized occupants from residential accommodations and to levy damage charges for accommodation held during the period of litigation.

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2019 - History

Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Bill 2019 introduced by the Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, in Lok Sabha on July 8, 2019. The Bill amends the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971.  The Act provides for the eviction of unauthorized occupants from public premises in certain cases.  The Bill defines ‘residential accommodation occupation’ as the occupation of public premises by a person for such an occupation.  The license must be given for a fixed tenure for the period the person holds office.   The Bill adds a provision laying down the procedure for eviction from residential accommodation.  It requires an estate officer (an officer of the central government) to issue a written notice to a person if he is in unauthorized occupation of residential accommodation.  The person fails to comply with the order, the estate officer may evict such person from the residential accommodation, and take possession of it.

Government aims to enrol million workers under PM pension scheme.

• Union government enrol around 150 million workers over the next three years under the scheme Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM). The pension scheme will benefit a large pool of people who earn less but form a large part of the labour market. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is targeting the bottom of the pyramid through various policy interventions, realising that they are a significant political constituency.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Scheme

The government is likely to achieve the 150 million number over the next two to three years. The total enrolment, 50-60 million workers will be from the construction sector.The government announced the scheme in February 2019 interim budget, promising to provide pension of ₹3,000 per month. There is a monthly contribution till the age of 60 years to get an assured pension of ₹3,000 every month.The 18-year-old starts out by paying ₹55 per month, which moves up to ₹80 at the age of 25, and ₹105, ₹150 and ₹200 for those aged 30, 35 and 40, respectively. When a regular contributor dies before the age of 60, the spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme by regular contribution or exit the scheme. Around 8% of the labour market are formal sector employees and social security benefits, including provident funds, pensions available.

Tarun Chaudhri becomes first IAF pilot to complete wingsuit skydive jump.

• Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Tarun Chaudhri became the first pilot to perform a wingsuit skydive jump. He jumped 8500 feet from the Mi-17 V5 helicopter at Air Force Station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. This is the first time when a pilot of the IAF jumped the wingsuit skydive with the same helicopter, which he has just flown. It is a military transport variant, equipped with modern avionics and glass cockpit instrumentation. The rotary-wing aircraft has state-of-the-art navigational equipment, avionics, weather radar.

Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July every year is celebrated in honor of the Kargil War’s Heroes. The Kargil war fought between India and Pakistan for more than 60 days. The event ended on 26 July 1999. India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders.

AGREEMENTS AND MOU's:

India signs deal to acquire R Missiles from Russia.

• India signed a deal worth Rs 1500 crore to buy R-27 air-to-air missiles from Russia.

The main objective of this deal is to boost the capabilities of Indian Air Force (IAF) R-27 air-to-air missiles will be equipped on the Su-30MKI fighter jets.

R-27 Missile

It is a medium-range air-to-air missile. It is initially developed for MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets. They developed these missiles to add the capability to the Sukhoi and MiG warfare aircraft. Indian Air Force signed Rs 7600 crore deals in the past two months.The actual design of R-27 missile was started in 1962 while its production was started in 1986. More than 25 countries are taking services of this missile.R-27 missile can destroy air targets even in adverse weather conditions. The length of the missile is 4 meter and the diameter is 0.23 meter. The weight of the missile is 253 kilograms.There are six extended versions - R-27ER1, R-27R1, R-27ET1, R-27T1, R-27EP1, and R-27P1.

The government gave emergency purchasing powers to all three military services. Indian army can buy whatever warfare equipment is important to safeguard our borders. The powers given to security forces within three months at a cost up to Rs 300 crore.

AWARDS:

Ruhan Rajput honoured with Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

• Ruhan Rajput co-founder and Director of Einfolge Technologies Pvt Ltd was awarded the prestigious Entrepreneur Award 2019. The event was held at the JW Marriot Hotel, New Delhi.

He won the award on 18 July in the category of 'Entrepreneur of the Year in Service Business. Ruhan was acknowledged for his contributions and achievements in the business industry.

Einfolge Technologies Pvt Ltd

Einfolge Technologies Pvt Ltd is one of the leading players in the knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) industry. The company operates to provide comprehensive research, analysis, and expert solutions. Entrepreneur India, America's number one business magazine along with Franchise India hosted the event from 17th July to 18th July. The inspiration behind the event is to bring leading entrepreneurs, start-ups, sme, investors, global luminaries; Indian government officials etc under one roof and acknowledge them for their milestones. They are the real heroes who work day and night to make this company great and achieve new heights.

Ruhan Rajput excels as an actor and model in Bollywood. He made a debut in the film industry with Pravat Rout's film, 'Prarabdh', followed by three music albums: 'Mohabataiyan', 'Khidki ka Parda' and 'Saiyan Re'.He was starred in 'Dil Mera' produced by Zee Music Company He is currently working on a music album with Arman Malik.       

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Important Current Affairs 31st July

NATIONAL:

Rajya Sabha passed the triple talaq Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill

• The Rajya Sabhapassed the triple talaq Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019.The bill makes the declaration of triple talaq means the police can arrest an accused without a warrant.

• It is the government's attempt to protect the rights of married Muslim women.

• Provisions of the Bill:The Bill makes the instant triple talaq a criminal offence. It provides a jail term to a Muslim man for the crime that prohibits divorce by pronouncing talaq thrice in one go.If the woman misuses the law, the man should have the right to appeal.

Rajya Sabha passed the IBC amendment Bill

• The Rajya Sabhaapproved the amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019provides clarity about preference to secured lenders over operational creditors.

• Provisions of the amendments: The amendments gives a loan defaulting company explicit authority over the distribution of proceeds of an auction in the resolution process.

With reference to the IBC, it has fixed a firm timeline of 330 days for resolving cases.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

Reliance Jio overtakes Vodafone-Idea network and became India's Largest Telecom Operator

• Reliance Jio overtook Vodafone-Idea to become India's leading telecom operator. While the monthly subscriber report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).The news comes from data collated off the quarterly financial reports furnished by Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone-Idea, India's three leading telecom operators.

• Bharti Airtel disclosed through TRAI its user base of 320.4 million users while enduring a rough quarter of high subscriber churn rate (subscribers unsubscribing from the network against new subscriptions). Jio's recently disclosed Q1 FY20 financial report showed 331.3 million subscribers in its network.

• Vodafone-Idea's financial report for the same quarter, it has come to light that the operator group lost 14.1 million in Q1 FY20, declining from the industry-topping 334.1 million subscribers as of March 2019, to stand at 320 million subscribers.

AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

DD News channel bagged Champions of Empathy Award

• DD News(Doordarshan)news channel of India awarded “Champions of Empathy Award” The award is given for spreading awareness about hepatitis. Mayank Agrawal, Director General of DD News received the Award from Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.The main responsibility of DD News is make people aware about various diseases and preventions by showing health-related programs, reports, and policies that help to spread awareness towards health in society.

• Hepatitis:

Hepatitis name has derived from the Greek word ‘Hepar’ meaning liver and ‘itis’ means inflammation. It is a medical condition in which inflammation occurs in liver cells and its complications vary with the type of infection. It is mostly caused by a group of viruses called hepatitis viruses. There are 5 types of hepatitis namely. A, B, C, D, and E. Each type is caused by a different hepatitis virus.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

Indian Federation of Sports Gaming appoints Justice A.K. Sikri as ombudsman

• Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), country’s self-regulatory industry body for the online fantasy sports gaming sector announced the appointment of Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri as its ombudsman and ethics officer.

• Justice A.K. Sikri responsible for investigating queries/complaints raised by the users of the online fantasy sports gaming platforms. The strategic council, resolve disputes brought forward regarding binding rules or financial discrepancies as well as steer hearings and make announcements for smooth operation and ease of functioning.

• Sikri served as a former judge of the Supreme Court of India and was recently appointed as a judge in the Singapore International Commercial Court. Justice Sikri several eminent positions. He retired as a senior-most judge of the Supreme Court of India on 6 March 2019. He has also served as a Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Acting Justice of the High Court of Delhi.

SPORTS:

Tamil Nadu girl won gold medal in World Deaf Youth Badminton Championship

• Tamil Nadu girl Jerlin Anika won the gold medal in the World Deaf Youth Badminton Championships.The competition is held in Taipei last week.

• Anika bagged four medals in the championship, including the gold, two silver, and one bronze. Anika is a tenth standard student in the Avvaiyar government in Madurai.

• The daughter's performance is a matter of pride for India and Tamil Nadu. It is a matter of pride for Tamil Nadu. The main reason behind her success is the support extended by her school and the efforts put in by her coach Saravanan.

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Important Current Affairs of 30th July

NATIONAL:

Indian Navy ship LCU L56 was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam.

• Indian Navy ship LCU L56 was commissioned into the Indian Navy at Visakhapatnam on 29 July. It was commissioned by Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, Eastern Naval Command. LCU L56 is the sixth ship of the MK IV class ships.

About LCU L56:

The LCU L56 vessel will be used for transportation, deployment and recovery of main battle tanks, armoured vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore and vice-versa. LCU L56 would be administered and based in Port Blair under the Naval Component Commander (NAVCC) in Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC). The measurement of the ship is 62 metres in length. It is fitted with two MTU diesel engines. These engines provides a sustainable speed of over 15 knots.

The ship was built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. This is the 100th warship built by GRSE. The ship will be used for various purpose like: beaching operations, disaster relief operations, search and rescue missions, coastal patrol, and surveillance operations along the Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands.

AGREEMENTS AND MOUS:

India and Mozambique signed two MoU to strengthen the Defence co operation.

• India and Mozambique signed two Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Maputo, Mozambique during the visit by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from 28 July to 30 July 2019. This is the first time that an Indian Defence Minister has visited Mozambique.

It agreement aims to strengthen the defence cooperation on 29 July.

The MoUs included:

♦ an agreement on sharing white shipping information

♦ another on cooperation in the field of Hydrography

The MoUs were signed by Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Mozambican counterpart Atanasio Salvador M'tumuke.

Aim:

The aim of the MoU is to strengthen the ongoing Indo-Mozambican Defence co-operation. India shares close relations with Mozambique. The relationship between the countries was cemented by robust development partnership and a large presence of the Indian Diaspora. This agreement aims to prevent non-traditional threats like piracy, smuggling, poaching, etc. and overall cooperation in the maritime domain. Mozambique sought co-operation from India to deal with the growing menace of terrorism and radicalization.

DAYS:

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: 30 July

• Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex.

• Since 2003 the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has collected information on about 225,000 victims of trafficking detected worldwide.

•  Globally countries are detecting and reporting more victims, and are convicting more traffickers. This can be the result of increased capacity to identify victims and/or an increased number of trafficked victims.

SPORTS:

Dalilah Muhammad set new world record in the 400m hurdles womens athletics at the U.S. Championships athletics

• American Athlete Dalilah Muhammad set new world record in the400m hurdles women’s athletics at the U.S. Championships athletics on 28 July. She colcked 52.20sec. The previous world record was set at 52.34 sec by Russia’s Yuliya Pechonkina in 2003.

• Other Winners:

Women’s 3,000m steeplechase:

Emma Coburn won first and clocked 9min 25.63 seconds.

Women's 200m:

Noah Lyles came first in the 200m and clocked 19.78sec. Christian Coleman came second and clocked 20.02. Ameer Webb was third in 20.45 in 100 m.

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Important Current Affairs 29th July

NATIONAL:

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind is to visit three nations in the West African region.

• Indian President Ram Nath Kovind is to visit three nations in the West African region. His tour to the countries began on 28 July. He has become the first Indian head of state to visit West African nation Benin. He will visit the Gambia and Guinea. Until now, no Indian head of state has yet visited the places.  Kovind is visiting to improve India's ties with the western nations.

Aim:

The President's tour is to recast India's ties with Africa. It aims for a major growth pole and a major source of resources.

Kovind to visit 3 African Countries:

On 28 July, Kovind started his visit with Benin. It is one of India’s key trading partners in West Africa.

After visiting Benin, he will be visiting Gambia. New Delhi has extended several Lines of Credit to Gambia, including $6.7 million in 2006 for a tractor assembly plant, approximately $27 million for construction of National Assembly Building Complex.

After that visit, he will be visiting Guinea. In 1960-1980, India was an influential country in Africa as India supported independence and decolonization in the continent.

Previous visits:

As India focused on closer ties with developed economies for investments and technology, Benin's President Boni Yayi visited New Delhi for the third India-Africa Summit in October 2015.

Benin’s current President Patrice Talon visited India to Attend  annual Meeting of African Development Bank (ADB) held in Ahmedabad in May 2017.

26-million-year-species-vine-snake-western-ghats

Pro Ahaetulla antique, 26 million years old species of Vine snake found in the southern  Western GhatsResearchers from Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru discovered new vine snake species named Pro Ahaetulla antique (member of the Ahaetuliinae family) evolved around 26 million years ago in the southern Western Ghats.

The common name suggested for these individuals is ‘keeled vine snake’.

Vine snakes get their names due to their slender bodies and vine-like appearances.

There are 4 species of commonly distributed vine snakes, and another one was discovered in Odisha recently in India

This research report has been published in the journal PLOS ONE in collaboration with researchers from Chennai Snake Park, Chennai, and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), DBT-IISc Partnership Programme and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.

INTERNATIONAL:

Apple to acquire Intels smartphone modem business for a transaction value of $1 billion.

• Apple announced the acquisition of chip-maker Intel's smartphone modem business for $1 billion.

There are around 2,200 Intel employees will join Apple along with intellectual property, equipment and leases, the Cupertino-based iPhone.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

This agreement us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created.

Apple will hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Intel will retain the ability to develop modems for non-smartphone applications, such as PCs, internet-of-things devices and autonomous vehicles. Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of Hardware Technologies said that Apple is excited to have excellent engineers to join its growing cellular technologies group.

Apple has been working on its own chips for quite some time.

Intel's technology could help the iPhone maker accelerate its plans.

Apple may have paid chip-maker Qualcomm somewhere between $5 billion-$6 billion for an agreement to dismiss all ongoing litigations, including those with Apple's contract manufacturers.

Intel working on a chipset for the iPhone maker, with the chip expected to be part of iPhones by 2020.

DAYS:

World Hepatitis Day was observed on 28 July.

• World Hepatitis Day was observed on 28 July every year. The Day aims to raise awareness about the disease which causes inflammation of the liver. The day has been observed since 2010. Study says that the disease claims around 1.4 million lives every year.  In 2004, the Patient groups of European and Middle Eastern observed the day as International Hepatitis C Awareness Day. The first World Hepatitis Day was observed in 2008. It was declared by the World Hepatitis Alliance. But in May 2010, the World Health Assembly changed the day to 28 July.

A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the second major killer infectious disease is Hepatitis, first being tuberculosis.

Theme:

The 2019 theme for the day is 'Invest in eliminating hepatitis'. The theme is fixed by the World Health Organization every year. This year the World Hepatitis Day was hosted by Pakistan. All the global events related to the day were held in Islamabad on 27-28 July, 2019.

Hepatitis:

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition caused by the viral infection caused in liver. The disease is also caused by the use of drugs, toxins, alcohol. Hepatitis is preventable and treatable. Nearly 80% of the people who are affected by Hepatitis still lack prevention, testing, and treatment services. Hepatitis is of A,B,C,D,E types.

OBITUARIES:

Former Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy passed away on 28 July.

• The Congress leader and former Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy, 77, passed away on July 28. He was suffering from pneumonia.

Jaipal's Career:

S Jaipal Reddy was a five-time member of Lok Sabha, four-time MLA and two-time Rajya Sabha member. He was known for his oratory skills. He held the petroleum portfolio but was shifted to science and technology. In 1977, the former Minister quit the Congress in protest against former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s imposition of the Emergency. In 1998, in IK Gujral cabinet he served as a Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting. After 21 years in 1999 he returned to Indian National Congress, he was elected as a Union Minister for the Ministry of Earth Sciences and the Ministry of Science and Technology from 29 October 2012 to 18 May 2014.

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Important Current Affairs of 28th July

NATIONAL:

Noida to get 100 charging stations for electric vehicles

• Hundred charging stations for electric vehicles are in the offing for Noida

The authority is planning a tie-up with a government-backed agency for setting up infrastructure for mobility based on clean energy. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) expected to be signed between Noida Authority and EESL.

The MoU will be signed in the presence of NOIDA Chairperson Alok Tandon, CEO Ritu Maheshwari and EESL Managing Director Saurabh Kumar

• The authority is also planning to lease five electric vehicles from EESL to be used for official purposes. Three of these stations will be on the road, while three off-road.

• Vehicle – Features Vehicle growth in the country has been rapid in recent years.

The need for switching to cleaner technology in the transport sector, around Rs.1.2 lakh crore could be saved in imported crude oil.

The central government issued a set of guidelines to set up charging stations for electric vehicles across the country, outlining ways to build such fuelling points every 25 km. The government expects 25 percent of the total vehicles on roads will be electric vehicles by 2030.

• The ministry made amendments to the Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 and the Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines.

Nagaland government has planned to form a commission to frame the modalities of creating RIIN

• The Nagaland government has planned to form a commission to frame the modalities of creating the Register of Indigenous Inhabitants of Nagaland (RIIN) on 27 July. It aims to prevent issuance of indigenous inhabitant certificates to ineligible persons.

Aim:

The RIIN aims to provide protection to genuine citizens who are permanent settlers of Nagaland and non-Nagas will not be harassed during preparation of the list of indigenous citizens. It also aims to help identify the citizens who settled in Nagaland prior to December 1, 1963 as it was the day when it became a full-fledged State.

• Board Members:The new Commission would be headed by retired Chief Secretary Banuo Z. Jamir as chairman. The Home Commissioner and the Commissioner Nagaland will be ex-officio members of the panel. The members of the panel are T. Kiheto Sema, S. Chingwang Konyak as members. Justice (Retd.) and Zelre Angami as the advisor to the Commission.

INTERNATIONAL:

IAF gets its first batch of the AH 64E Apache helicopters of the 22 helicopters

• US aerospace major Boeing handed over the first batch of the AH-64E Apache helicopters of the 22 helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The next batch of four choppers will be delivered in the month of August.The agreement:

In September 2015, the IAF signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd for 22 Apache helicopters.

Also, in 2017, the Defence Ministry approved to buy 6 Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from Boeing for the Army for the cost of Rs.4,168 crore.

• This will be its first fleet of attack choppers.AH-64E Apache attack helicopter:

The AH-64E Apache attack helicopter is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters. These helicopters are flown by the US Army. It has a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement. It has greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

GST Council to decide on tax cut on electric vehicles this week

• Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chair the 36th meeting of the GST Council through videoconferencing in Delhi. It is the first GST Council meeting after the Union Budget placed before the parliament in July 5 .The GST Council is expected to announce its decision lowering tax rates for electric vehicles solar power projects and rationalisation of GST rates on lottery.

• GST rates - Electric vehicles: The several sops for the electric vehicle (EV) sector includes income tax exemption and reduction in custom duties for certain components.The government is expected to push for a GST rate cut on EVs from 12% to 5%.The issue of GST rate cut on EVs earlier sent to a rate fitment committee to a rate fitment committee.

The Modi government wants to encourage domestic manufacturing of e-vehicles.

The GST rate for petrol and diesel cars and hybrid vehicles is already at the highest bracket of 28% plus cess.

GST rates on lottery:

The GST Council is likely to look at the issue of taxation of lotteries.

The two rates of GST on the lottery. The 12% GST is levied on lottery run by the state government and 28%.GST is levied on lotteries authorized by the state government.

Several industry bodies have demanded that the GST Council should expand

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION:

Lt Gen Paramjit Singh is appointed as the next Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army

• Lt Gen Paramjit Singh is appointed as the next Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army. He will oversee various operations of the Indian Army including along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. He will take over the position on 15 October 2019. He will replace Lt Gen Anil Chauhan who has been appointed new General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Command.

• Lt Gen Paramjit Singh:

Lt Gen Paramjit Singh has vast experience in counter-terror operations. He is currently serving as the General Officer Commanding of the Army's Nagrota-based XVI Corps.

• He has extensive experience of counter-terror operations including the 2016 surgical strike. He was involved in the planning of the 2016 surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

SPORTS:

The third edition of Khelo India Youth Games will be held in Guwahati in 2020 January

Ministry of Sports has announced that the third edition of Khelo India Youth Games will be held in Guwahati from January 18-30, 2020. The announcement was made by the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on 27 July. It will be conducted in partnership with IOA, SGFI, and Assam.

Participants: It is expcted that more than 10,000 athletes and officials will be participating in the mega event.

Khelo India is national level multidisciplinary grassroots games in India. It is held for two categories, mainly U-17 years school students and U-21 college students.

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Important Current Affairs 27th July

NATIONAL:

GUJRAT state assembly broke the record for longest sitting on a single day.

• Gujarat assembly’s Friday’s proceedings commenced at 10 am and concluded at around 12:09 am on Saturday, clocking more than 12 hours and nine minutes.

• The 14th Gujarat Legislative Assembly has broken its 1993 record of the longest sitting on a single day with its proceedings lasting for more than 12 hours and nine minutes on Friday-Saturday

• The “historic” feat was celebrated by the legislators and officials after the announcement was made by the Speaker.

• The proceedings of the Assembly had lasted for 12 hours and eight minutes on January 6, 1993.

• The Assembly has 182 MLAs

INTERNATIONAL:

Meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs / International Relations.

• The meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Foreign Affairs / International Relations took place on 26 July 2019, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the representation of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation,the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa.

• The Ministers exchanged views on key issues on the international agenda.Theyalso reviewed with satisfaction the progress of BRICS cooperation featuring mutual respect and understanding, equality, solidarity, openness, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. The Ministers agreed to further deepen BRICS three-pillar-driven cooperation in the areas of economy, peace and security and people-to-people exchanges.

• The Ministers reaffirmed the commitment toupholding and respecting international law and toan internationalsystemin which sovereign States cooperate to maintain peace and security, advance sustainable development and ensure the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. Theyunderlined support for multilateralism and the central role of the UN in international affairs,and the commitment to uphold the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. They reiterated the urgent need to strengthen and reform the multilateral system, including the UN, the WTO, the IMF, and other international organizations. The international system,including international organizations, in particular the United Nations,which Ministers stressed must be driven by Member States, should promote the interests of all.The Ministers reaffirmedthe commitment to the principles of mutual respect, sovereign equality, democracy, inclusiveness and strengthened collaboration,andto build a brighter shared future for the global community through mutually beneficial cooperation.To this end, international governance should be more inclusive, representativeand participator.

Iran Tests Medium-Range Missile.

• A Shahab-3 medium-range missile. It can fly 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles.

• The missile was launched from the southern coast of Iran and landed east of Tehran, the official said on Thursday, adding that it flew about 1,100 kilometers, or about 680 miles, and stayed inside Iran for the entire flight.

AWARDS:

TIFF 2019: Meryl Streep to receive inaugural TIFF Tribute acting award.

• Meryl Streep will be the first recipient of an acting award bestowed as part of the Toronto International Film Festival.

• The festival's organizers announced Friday that Streep will receive the inaugural TIFF Tribute Actor Award during a Sept. 9 charity gala.

• Streep stars in Steven Soderbergh's upcoming Panama Papers film The Laundromat with Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas. The film will have its North American premiere at TIFF.

• The award is separate from honours bestowed on films screening at the September festival.

SPORTS:

One gold, five silver medals for India at Makran Cup boxing

• Deepak Singh (49kg) was the lone Indian boxer

• Deepak Kumar produced a late surge to steal a silver in the men’s 10m rifle event at the Asian Games, giving the shooting contingent its second medal at the ongoing continental championships.

• China’s defending champion Yang Haoran was a cut above the rest, winning the gold with an aggregate of 249.1.

About Deepak Kumar:

• Deepak Kumar

• Date of Birth: November 5, 1987

• Event at Asian Games: men’s 10m air rifle

• Past performance (if any): N/A

• Best performance so far: Bronze, Commonwealth Championship in 2017

• Brief Description: Deepak Kumar has been the most consistent 10m air rifle shooter after Ravi Kumar in the last year.

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Important Current Affairs 26th July

NATIONAL:

Lok Sabha passed the 2019 Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill

• Lok Sabha passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 on 25 July. The Bill was introduced by the Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The bill is for the justice, respect and dignity of women.

• Provisions of th eBill: The Bill criminalises instant triple talaq among Muslims. It also approves a jail term of three years for the husband.

The bill will replace the ordinance passed by the previous government in February. It should be noted that around 20 Muslim countries in the world, including Pakistan and Malaysia, have banned the triple talaq.

Opposition:

The Bill was opposed by BJP ally Janata Dal (United). The party said that it will create distrust among a particular community.

The Companies Amendment Bill, 2019 introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 July

• The Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2019 has been introduced in Lok Sabha on 25 July. The Bill was introduced by the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

• Provision of the Ordinance:

16 of the offences that are punishable with fine or imprisonment, or both has been recategorised as it empowers the adjudicating officers, who are appointed by the central government, may now levy penalties instead.

The ordinance prohibits a company from issuing shares at a discount, except in certain cases.

• It also says that a company can not commence business unless it files a declaration within 180 days of incorporation or files a verification of its registered office within 30 days of incorporation.

The companies must register charges such as mortgages on its property within 30 days of creation of charge.

Lok Sabha cleared the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019

• Lok Sabha cleared theUnlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to end terrorism.

• Provisions of the Bill: The Bill will now empower the government to designate individuals as terrorists. If any person commits or participates in acts of terrorism or involved in terrorist, he/she can be designated as terrorist.

The Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can now grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the agency.

• Bill was opposed: The amendments to the Bill was opposed saying that the legislation violates Article 21 and also lacks judicial review. Also, the opposition said that the intent of the Bill will be used to just detain people in jail and deny them a trial. The Bill was also termed as anti-federalism and anti-people.

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:

RIL became the top Indian company in the latest Fortune Global 500 list

• Reliance Industries (RIL) has topped the Indian company to feature in the latest Fortune Global 500 list. RIL has moved 42 positions from its previous and has secured 106th ranking. The Indian company that stands next to RIL is the state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). It has secured 117th rank.

RIL:

The profit of RIL has been increased from $62.3 billion to $82.3 billion in 2019. IOC has recorded a 17.7% growth in revenue from $65.9 billion to $77.6.

• Other Indian Companies in the list:

The other companies that are included in the Fortune Global 500 list are ONGC that ranked 160, State Bank of India that ranked 236, Tata Motors that ranked 265, Bharat Petroleum which ranked 275 and Rajesh Exports that ranked 495.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION:

Priti Patel has been appointed as the Britains first Indian origin home secretary

• Priti Patel has been appointed as the Britain's first Indian-origin home secretary which is a part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top team on 25 July. She will replacePakistani-origin Sajid Javid. He has been transferred to the Treasury department as the first ethnic minority Chancellor of the Exchequer.

• About Priti Patel:

Patel was a prominent member from the Conservative Party leadership. She was a member of the Back Boris campaign. Since 24 July 2019, she has been Secretary of State for the Home Department. Also, a Member of Parliament for Witham in Essex since 2010. She was previously International Development Secretary from 2016 to 2017. Patel has also served as a junior Treasury minister. She has released a report on the British economy arguing for lower taxes and for a new Bank of England mandate more focused on asset price inflation and financial imbalances.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury appointed PAC Chairman

• Congress party leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury appointed as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).The post was held by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge .He recently concluded elections lost from Gulbarga constituency in Karnataka to BJP's Umesh Jadhav.Chowdhury along with former Union Ministers Satyapal Singh and Jayant Sinha elected as the members of PAC

• The other members elected to the committee from Lok Sabha are TR Baalu (DMK), Subhash Chandra Baheria, Sudheer Gupta, Darshana Vikram Jardosh, Ajay (Teni) Misra, Jagadambika Pal, Vishnu Dayal Ram, Ram Kripal Yadav (all BJP), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), Rahul Ramesh Shewale (Shiv Sena), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (JD-U) and Balashowry Vallabbhaneni (YSRC Party).

SPORTS:

Boxing Legend Manny Pacquiao won WBA Super Welterweight title 2019

• Manny Pacquiao(40) won the WBA (World Boxing Association) welterweight championship 2019. He defeated  Keith Thurman of US at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, United States. Two judges scored it 115-112 in favor of Pacquiao. The one judge scored it 114-113 to Thurman.

• The eight-division world champion Pacquiao improved to 62-7-2 score with 39 knockouts. He is currently serving as a senator of the Philippines won 12 major world titles as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes.

• He won the “Best Fighter ESPY Award. He currently ranks No. 4 in Boxer's ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.

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Important Current Affairs of 25th July

NATIONAL:

Asian Development Bank sanctions Rs 1,925 cr power project in Tripura.

• Asian Development Bank (ADB) sanctioned a Rs 1,925 crore project for up-gradation of power generation and distribution in Tripura, Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma.

The amount was recently sanctioned to the Tripura State Electricity Corporation Limited (TSECL) after the state government had sought the ADB's assistance, Dev Varma who is also the power minister.

The project sanctioned for upgrading capacity of 63 MW Rokhia Project to 120 MW

It is at an estimated cost of Rs 699.80 crore.

The project sanctioned for upgrading capacity of 63 MW Rokhia Project to 120. They modernising Gumti Hydro Electric Project at an estimated cost of Rs 1225.88 crore.

Rokhia project is located at West Tripura district

North East Council approved sanction of Rs 12.7 crore for an overhaul of the 49.15 km-long Ambassa-Gandacherra power transmission line.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS:

LSE appoints economist Francisco Ferreira to Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies.

• Economist Francisco Ferreira, who oversees the World Bank’s research program on poverty and inequality, has been appointed the inaugural Amartya Sen Chair in Inequalities Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

• The chair was announced in March to honour Nobel laureate Sen, who was professor of economics at LSE from 1971-82.

• Ferreira, who studied at LSE, has spent most of his career at the World Bank, most recently as acting director of the World Bank’s research department.

Priti Patel appointed home secretary, Javid gets finance in Johnson’s office.

• Priti Patel, who was sacked as international development secretary in 2017, was on Wednesday appointed to the key role of UK home secretary by the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson - the senior-most portfolio held by an Indian-origin MP in British history.

• London-born Patel, 47, has been an MP from Witham in Essex since 2010. An admirer of Margaret Thatcher, she was in the forefront on behalf of the David Cameron government (2010-2015) during the November 2015 visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to London.

Tesla Co-founder and CTO JB Straubel stepping down after 16 yrs

• Tesla has announced its Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) JB Straubel is stepping down from his role after nearly 16 years. The automaker's Technology VP, Drew Baglino, will take over the role of CTO.

SPORTS:

Kristof Milak created a new world record in the 200 metres butterfly at the 2019 FINA world championship.

• Hungaian swimmer Kristof Milak created a new world record in the 200 metres butterfly at theFINA world championship 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea. He clocked 1:50.73. He broke the record set by Michael Phelps who clocked 1:51.51 in an event in Rome 2009.

Kristóf Milák:

Milák is a swimmer from Hungary. He won the world championships gold in South Korea. He is is currently holding the world record in 200m butterfly.He won the silver medal, and set a new junior world record and a new national record a timing of 50.62 at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships. He won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.

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