Current Affairs: 19 July 2017

Important Days

Nelson Mandela Day: 18 July

  • Every year on 18 July — the day Nelson Mandela was born — the UN asks individuals around the world to mark Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) by making a difference in their communities. Everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better, and Mandela Day is an occasion for everyone to take action and inspire change.
  • In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
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National Events

Govt. clears three export infra plans

  • With deficient infrastructure severely hurting the competitiveness of India’s exports, the Centre – for the first time under a new scheme launched in March to address the problem — has given its approval for three proposals including one to establish an Integrated Cargo Terminal (ICT) at the Imphal International Airport.
  • The other applications that received the green signal from an (Inter-Ministerial) Empowered Committee (EC) chaired by Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia were: modernisation of infrastructure facility in Karnataka for marine exports – where the total cost is Rs. 13.34 crore; and construction of a new ‘Standard Design Factory’ building at Cochin Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for which a total of Rs. 61.63 crore will have to be spent
  • This is proposed to be established at the Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone in Visakhapatnam – with four separate facilities at a total cost of about Rs. 169 crore.
  • The Indian medical device market was worth about $4 billion in 2015 and exports of these items from India were close to $1 billion (in 2016).
  • The EC has, however, granted an in-principle nod for a proposal to establish a ‘Coastal Cashew Research and Development Foundation’ in Karnataka, for which the total cost estimated is Rs. 10 crore.

Sports

FIFA have lifted their ban on the Sudan Football Association

  • FIFA have lifted their suspension of the Sudanese Football Association, but the move comes too late to save the season of the country’s clubs competing in African club competition.
  • Al Merriekh and Al Hilal have been disqualified from the Champions League and Al Hilal Obeid eliminated from the Confederation Cup after the ban meant they could not honour their final group stage fixtures.
  • Confederation of African Football rules are clear that should a team fail to honour a fixture for any reason, there is no chance of it being replayed at a later stage under any circumstances.
  • Sudan was suspended by FIFA for government interference in the country’s football after they suspended the entire Sudanese Football Association board of directors, but the sports ministry later backed down.

Banking & Finance

SBI launches 'SBI Realty' portal for home buyers

  • India's largest commercial bank State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a dedicated portal 'SBI Realty' that will help home buyers to choose flats from its 3,000 approved projects across the country,which are spread across 13 states and Union Territories covering 30 cities.
  • At present, there are 9.5 lakh home units available on the website. Customers can compare current and past trends of prices for the properties in various localities in the city.
  • The SBI Realty website has been developed by SBICAP Securities in association with PropEquity in terms of data support, project information

Appointments

UK’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill elected to key Parliament panel

  • Britain’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill has been elected to an influential cross-party panel in the UK Parliament that examines the workings of the Home Office.
  • Gill, who won the Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 8 snap general election, was elected to the Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament.
  • The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee was chaired by Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP, until he stepped down from the post last year. Its newly-elected chair is Labour party MP Yvette Cooper, elected unopposed to the post last week.
  • The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry and seeks written and oral evidence from a wide range of relevant groups and individuals. At the end of an inquiry, the committee often produces a report setting out its findings and making recommendations to the UK government.

Smriti Irani gets I&B, Narendra Tomar Urban Ministry

  • With Union Minister Venkaiah Naiduresigning from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Cabinet, Smriti Irani was given additional charge of the Information & Broadcast Ministry and Narendra Tomar was made the Minister for Urban Development.
  • Tomar is currently the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and Irani is the incumbent Minister for Textiles. In a Cabinet reshuffle in 2016, both the Union Ministers lost their portfolios. Irani was replaced by Prakash Javedekar as the HRD Minister and Piyush Goyal replaced Tomar and was given additional charge of Minister of Mines.
  • On Monday, Naidu was picked as the NDA nominee for the vice presidential election in August. 

Books & Authors

Jaitley releases book on swim expedition Ganga Avahan

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today released a coffee table book on Ganga Avahan, a 2,800 km exploratory open-water swim expedition on the Ganga river.
The book - "Ganga Avahan: The Epic Tale of a Historic Swim", is on the first-ever human effort to swim down the entire stretch of the river
It is also the longest ever social campaign undertaken through an adventure sporting activity for the Swachh Bharat Mission, Clean Ganga project and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative.
A nine-member team of three swimmers and the rest rafters from the three services of the Indian Armed Forces, led by acclaimed international open-water swimmer Wing Commander Paramvir Singh was flagged-off here by Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on the first anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission on October 1, 2015.
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