Current Affairs: 15 July 2017

Important Days

World Youth Skills Day: 15 July

  • Today, on July 15, the world celebrates “Youth Skills Day” as a U.N. international day that was adopted by a resolution of the U.N. General Assembly.
  • Theme: Skills for the Future of Work



National Events

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on SDG index

  • India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). 
  • The SDG Index and Dashboards Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that world leaders need to strengthen their joint efforts to realise the 17 global goals. 
  • Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. Among the G7 countries, only Germany and France can be found among the top ten performers. 
  • The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively. 

Indian Railways launches first solar-powered DEMU train

  • In line with the Indian Railways ‘Solar Mission’ to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, Railways launched its first 1600 HP solar-powered DEMU (Diesel Electric Multiple Unit) train from Safdarjung railway station 
  • The train has six trailer coaches, with 16 solar panels fitted in each of them. The solar panels will power all the electrical appliances inside.
  • Railways’ first DEMU rake with solar power hotel load system, based at Shakurbasti shed, was launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Shakurbasti DEMU shed has provisioned dual fuel arrangement in 16 of the total holding of 1400 HP Driving Power Cars.

Delhi Police to be equipped with 'super cop belt'

  • National capital police will be the first state police who will get ‘super cop belt,’ a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. Recently, Delhi Police has flouted a tender for 10,000 belts for its officers performing ground duties. 
  • This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch.
  • currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability, a Delhi police official claimed. 
  • In a case, a police constable posted in security unit of Delhi police, attached with a Member of Parliament lost his official pistol and 12 rounds. Later, he was arrested after an audit of weapons was done.

International Events

India contributes additional $1 million to UN partnership fund

  • India has contributed an additional million dollars to a UN partnership fund launched to support sustainable development projects across the developing world. 
  • The India-UN Development Partnership Fund was set up last month as a partnership between India and the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC).
  • India had made an initial contribution of a million dollars when the fund was created and the amount was allocated for the implementation of a project benefiting seven Small Island Developing States in the South Pacific.

France Celebrates Bastille Day 

  • Bastille Day is a day of celebrations of French culture. 
  • Many large-scale public events are held, including a military parade in Paris, as well as communal meals, dances, parties and fireworks.
  • The Bastille is a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. Many people in France associated it with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy in the late 1700s. 
  • On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. This was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. Fête de la Fédération was held on July 14, 1790. This was a way to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France.
  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris and the French national flag, or tricolor, are important symbols of Bastille Day. 
  • The French national flag is one-and-a-half times as wide as it is tall. 
  • It consists of three vertical bands of equal width colored blue, white and red.
  •  The same colors are displayed in bunting and banners of many shapes on Bastille Day. People may also wear clothing or face paint in these colors.

Model United Nations Regional Conference underway at Kathmandu

  • A Model United Nations Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker's Society.
  • Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5 day conference.
  • The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelise energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world.
  • The event is also providing an opportunity to youths to get familiar with the operations of UN conference and other agencies.
  • The conference simulate four UN committees–United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Sports

Gurjar 2nd Indian to win gold at World Para Athletics C'ship


  • Para-athlete Sundar Singh Gurjar became only the second Indian to win a gold at the World Para Athletics Championships, winning one in javelin at the 2017 edition in London. 
  • Gurjar, whose left hand is amputated, recorded a personal best of 60.36 metres to win in the F46 category. Rio gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia won a gold in 2013.

Awards & Honours

Film Baahubali and ISRO honored at TIMES NOW ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards 2017

  • TIMES NOW and ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, jointly hosted the fourth edition of ‘TIMES NOW ICICI Bank NRI of the Year Awards powered by Global Indian International School’

List of Winners 2017

  • Global Indian Impact Icon: Baahubali –Tamannaah Bhatia and V Vijayendra Prasad (writer of Baahubali), India
  • India’s Global Icon: Shri A. S. Kiran Kumar, India
  • Special Jury Award: Vilanyur Ramachandran, USA
  • Global Indian Award – Science: Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai, India; Dr Koppillil Radhakrishnan, India
  • Global Indian Award – Sports: Pankaj Advani, India
  • Academics: Suresh Bhargava, Asia Pacific; Shinjini Kundu, USA; Simran Vedvyas, Middle East; Abhinav Singla, Middle East
  • Professional: Rhys Concessao, UK; Byrappa Venkatesh, Asia Pacific; YKS Vishwanath, UK; Kuppusamy Uthaman, Middle East; Sitharama Iyengar, USA
  • Philanthropy: Ronald Colaco, Middle East
  • Start-Up: Neil Parikh, USA
  • Art & Culture: Dhanoday Srivastava, UK
  • Entrepreneur: SanjeevTikam Mahtani, Asia Pacific; Shri Thanedar, USA; Sanjay Pitalia, UK; Birbal Dana, Middle East

Appointments

Mukesh Kumar Jain appointed MD & CEO of Oriental Bank

  • Mukesh Kumar Jain was appointed as the managing director and chief executive officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce.
  • He is at present the executive director in Punjab and Sind Bank.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Jain's appointment to the post for a period of three years

4 new members appointed in CBEC

  • Senior bureaucrat John Joseph and three other officials have been appointed as members in the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved appointment of Sushant Kumar Panda, Ameeta Suri, Pranab Kumar Das and Joseph as the new members
  • All of them are officers of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise). They are working in different departments of the CBEC, the apex policy-making body for indirect taxes. Joseph was recently appointed as chief of Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence.
  •  The CBEC is headed by a chairperson and can have a maximum of six members. 
  • The board and its officials are key stakeholders in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax 

IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus, Professor Subra Suresh, named President of NTU Singapore

  • Professor Subra Suresh, a distinguished alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Madras and a native of Chennai, has been chosen as the fourth President of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. 
  • Prof. Suresh will begin his presidency on 1 January 2018, when the current President Prof. Andersson retires.
  • NTU Singapore is one of the world’s leading universities. In its QS World University Rankings this year, the Quacquarelli Symonds group placed NTU 11th in the world and the best in Asia. 
  • NTU has also been placed the world’s top young university for the last four consecutive years.

Books & Authors

President Pranab Mukherjee receives first copy of book on his late wife

  • President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday received the first copy of a book on his late wife, Suvra Mukherjee.
  • The book, ‘President’s Lady’ (Pranaber Preyosi), was released by vice president Hamid Ansari during a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan on a day that marked the President’s wedding anniversary.
  • The book has been written by Sangeeta Ghosh.
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