Current Affairs: 7 July 2017

Important Day

Global Forgiveness Day: 7 July 2017

  • Global Forgiveness Day is observed on July 07, 2017. 
  • It is a day to forgive, and a day to be forgiven! It was created in 1994 by the Christian Embassy of Christ's Ambassadors. 
  • The date has been moved from August 27th to August 7th. 
  • Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. 
  • Forgiveness is the renunciation or cessation of resentment, indignation or anger as a result of a perceived offence, disagreement, or mistake, or ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.
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Bank unions to observe July 19 as 'Save public sector banks day'

  • The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as 'Save public sector banks' day.
  • All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/demonstrations at all centres across the country.
  • Public sector banks are made to bear the cross for the sins of the private corporate defaulters

National Events

India declares itself free from Bird Flu

  • India has declared itself free from Bird Flu (highly pathogenic Avian Influenza - H5N1 and H5N8) and notified it to the World Organisation for Animal Health. 
  • The move will help it resume export of poultry products to the countries which had banned trade in such items early this year.
  • India had reported outbreaks of Avian Influenza at various epicentres in Delhi, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Rajpura (Punjab), Hissar (Haryana), Bellary (Karnataka), Allappuzha and Kottayam (Kerala), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Daman (Daman) and Khordha and Angul in Odisha during October 2016 to February 2017.
  • The countries which banned Indian poultry products, include United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Hong Kong.
  • The World Organisation for Animal Health is recognised as a reference body by the World Trade Organization. It has 181 countries as its members. 
  • This global body keeps tab on animal health issues and advises countries on best practices to be followed during such outbreaks.
  • India is, at present, the world's fifth largest egg producer and the 18th largest producer of broilers. In terms of export from India, poultry products recorded 18% growth during the 2015-16 financial year over the same period of 2014-15.

India among 5 countries using wastewater for irrigation

  • India and four other countries – China, Pakistan, Mexico and Iran — account for the most cropland in the world irrigated by dirty wastewater, putting millions of lives at serious health risks, new research has found.
  • The global use of untreated wastewater from cities to irrigate crops downstream is 50 per cent more widespread than previously thought, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
  • The study relies on advanced modelling methods to provide a comprehensive estimate of the global extent to which farmers use urban wastewater on irrigated cropland.
  • According to the study, farmers' use of wastewater is most prevalent in regions where there is significant wastewater generation and water pollution.

Odisha govt signs EOI with IAAF & AFI to establish High-Performance Academy

  • The Odisha government today signed an Expression of Intent (EOI) with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Athletics Federation of India (AFI) to establish a High Performance Academy in Bhubaneswar.
  • The EOI was signed by Sports Secretary Vishal Kumar Dev and AFI president Adille Sumariwala and IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
  • While Union Sports Ministry will provide coaching, integrated support services and education to athletes, the State Sports and Youth Services Department will provide funds and make sure availability of necessary infrastructure and support services, including an outdoor stadium. Besides, the IAAF will assist in educating elite coaches and provide specialists.

No detention policy to go away from next academic year

  • The government has decided to do away with the no-detention policy for students from the next academic session
  • The decision was taken following representation from most of the states as they said the quality of education has deteriorated because of the policy.
  • Under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, no child admitted in a school will be held back in any class or expelled till the completion of elementary education covering Class 1-8.

International Events

India slips to be fourth largest investor into UK

  • India has slipped by one spot to become the fourth-largest foreign investor into the UK, according to the official figures 
  •  The US remains on the top, investing in 577 projects in the UK, with China (including Hong Kong) remaining in second place with 160 projects. India set up 127 new projects in Britain last year and safeguarded 7,645 existing jobs as a result and created 3,999 new jobs in 2016-17, it said.
  • However, it lost its position as the third largest investor in the UK to France which set up 131 projects last year, according to the data. India shares the fourth spot with Australia and New Zealand, which also set up 127 projects collectively. 

Sports

Manpreet Kaur, Govindan Laxmanan win gold in Asian Athletics Championships

  • India’s Manpreet Kaur claimed the gold medal in the women’s shot put, while defending champion Vikas Gowda failed to retain his title in the men’s discus throw event on the opening day of the Asian Athletics Championships 2017
  • Laxmanan emerged triumphant in the men’s 5,000 metres. He had to struggle hard for his gold medal after he was trailing the leading four runners towards the end of the second last lap but produced a stunning sprint finish over the final 300 metres to win by a handsome margin.

India rise to 96th in FIFA rankings, second highest ever

  • As per the latest FIFA rankings updated on Thursday, India climbed four places to sit on the 96th position, the second highest ranking for the country ever.
  • This is also India’s highest FIFA ranking under coach Stephen Constantine. The result was updated following India’s 2-0 win against Nepal 
  • They also emerged victorious against Kyrgyzstan in AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers group match last month.
  • India is currently on 341 points, seven behind 95th placed Cyprus. The team has progressed brilliantly under Constantine, who started coaching the team when it was ranked 171st in the world. This is his second stint with India after taking charge.

Banking & Business

Indus OS, Yes Bank to Launch OS-Integrated UPI Payment Platform

  • Domestic android-based mobile operating system Indus OS on Wednesday announced a partnership with Yes Bank to launch an OS-integrated UPI payment platform.
  • Indian consumers will be able to use this platform through SMS, dialler interface and third party apps.
  • Indus OS is further working to link the platform with Aadhaar-authenticated OS to enhance the security of the framework.
  • Integrating UPI into the mobile OS will help in creating multiple use cases for payments and spur the adoption of UPI in our country

South Indian Bank ties up with PFG Forex

  • South Indian Bank has tied up with PFG Forex for remittance facility for the benefit of Indian expatriates from Australia. The new facility will leverage the bank to reach the Indian diaspora.
  • Under this arrangement, NRIs can enjoy cost-effective and fast remittance services using SIB's Express facility. 
  • NRIs can visit the PFG Forex outlets across Australia for remittances to India. SIB is already having correspondent banking arrangement with National Australia Bank and Fly World Money Exchange for remittances to India.
  • Recently SIB’s international banking division has been awarded the ISO 9001: 2015 certification for Quality Management Systems. 
  • The certification was awarded for implementing systems and procedures as per the standards laid down by the International Organization for Standardisation.

EPFO ties up with 5 banks to collect PF dues

  • Retirement fund body EPFO has inked pacts with five banks for collections of provident dues and to make retirement payments. 
  • The tie-ups with Bank of Baroda, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bankand Kotak Mahindra Bank will help EPFO save around Rs 125 crore a year and expedite its investments as well as payment of benefits to its members. 
  • Employers having bank account with these banks can now deposit PF dues directly in EPFO's account using internet banking in real time basis instead of going through the aggregator mode. 
  • EPFO is negotiating with seven more banks for the same purpose. Tie-ups with these banks will be beneficial because each of them accounts for 0.5 per cent of EPFO remittances a year. 
  • The seven banks are IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra. 

Awards & Achievements

Indian-origin man awarded Australia's highest civilian award

  • Guruswamy Jayraman, a 69-year-old Glenwood resident who migrated from Delhi to Australia in 1991, has been awarded Order of Australiafor community work, the highest civilian award in Australia.
  • He works as a senior accountant with Woollahra Municipal Council for a living and has been devoting most of his spare time in community work for the last 25 years.
  • Jayraman has received a number of awards, such as Outstanding Services to Older Citizens Award from the Auburn Council (2011), Service to the Indian Community and Seniors by the India Independence & Australia Day Celebration Committee (2010) and Community Services award from GOPIO Sydney (2012). 
  • He was also awarded for his contributions for seniors in Western Sydney by the Minister for Ageing & Disability.

Appointments

Indian Ambassador to Peru appointed New York Consul General

  • India’s Ambassador to Peru Sandeep Chakravorty has been appointed as the head of the Indian consulate in New York.
  • The 1996 Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer will replace Riva Ganguly Das as Consul General in one of the busiest Indian diplomatic missions overseas.
  • Chakravorty (47) was India’s Deputy High Commissioner in Dhaka, before being appointed as Ambassador to Peru and Bolivia.
  • He also served in India’s missions in Madrid and Bogota. In the Ministry of External Affairs of India, he served on several desks including working as Press Relations Officer and to the minister of state for external affairs.

Kewal Handa appointed non-executive chairman of Union Bank

  • Kewal Handa was today appointed as non-executive chairman of Union Bank of India.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Handas appointment as non-official director/non-executive chairman of the bank, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said, without citing any details about him.
  • Handa will hold the post for a period of three years.

Sanjiv Goenka picked again as IIT-Kharagpur chairman

  • RP Sanjiv Goenka Group Chairman, Sanjiv Goenka, has been selected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors at IIT-Kharagpur. He will be Chairman for three years.
  • Goenka’s name was nominated by the President, Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as Visitor of the Institute.
  • This will be his second stint as the Chairman of Board of Governors. His previous stint, being between 2002 and 2007.
  • The RP SG group chairman has also been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade & Industry; and has been associated with several academic institutions as member and chair of its Governing bodies.

Pradeep Kumar Rawat appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Indonesia

  • Pradeep Kumar Rawat has presently a Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Indonesia.
  • Rawat, an Indian ForeignService (IFS) officer of the 1990 batch, is expected to take up his assignment.

Science & Technology

SpaceX delivers for Intelsat on heavyweight Falcon 9 mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rumbled into the sky Wednesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, flexing the rocket’s muscles and lofting a massive Intelsat satellite to orbit supporting wireless communications, television broadcasting and trans-Atlantic data relays
Recovering from back-to-back countdown aborts earlier in the week, the two-stage, 229-foot-tall (70-meter) launcher lit nine Merlin 1D main engines and rocketed away from pad 39A at the Florida spaceport
The nine-engine first stage shut down less than three minutes after liftoff, and the booster dropped away with the help of pneumatic pushers for a destructive plunge into the Atlantic Ocean.
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