1. Navjot Singh Sidhu resigns from Rajya Sabha:
- BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Navjot Singh Sidhu has resigned from house.
- Earlier,Cricketer-turned-politician Sindhu was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April this year.
- Sidhu was MP from Amritsar from 2004 to 2014.
- In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, finance minister Arun Jaitley had contested from Amritsar in place of Navjot Singh Sidhu.
- Dr. Navjot Kaur, BJP MLA from Amritsar (East) and Chief Parliamentary Secretary (CPS) in the SAD-BJP government, has also reportedly resigned from the post of CPS.
2. 3 Indian sites listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites:
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Chandigarh's Capitol Complex and Sikkim's national park home to the world's third highest peak Mount Khangchendzonga among its World Heritage Sites.
- This approval comes two days after the ruins of Nalanda University in Bihar made to the elite tag at the 40th session of The World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul. This is the first time that any country got three sites inscribed in the Word Heritage List at a single session of the committee meeting.
- India now has 35 sites, including 27 cultural properties, seven natural sites, and one mixed site, notified as World Heritage Sites.
- A World Heritage Site is a place (such as a building, city, complex, desert, etc.) that is listed by UNESCO as being of special cultural or physical significance.
- The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
3. 18th July : Nelson Mandela International Day:
- Nelson-Mandela-International-DayNelson Mandela International Day is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July ( Mandela’s birthday).
- The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.
- The Day recognized Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity, in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights.
- Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact.
- The Nobel Peace Prize 1993 was awarded jointly to Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.
4. Sovereign Gold Bond scheme opened for subscription:
- Today, the fourth tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bonds scheme opened for subscription .
- The bond can be purchased from the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange, besides all Bank branches, select Post Offices and the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited.
- The government had fixed 3,119 rupees per gram as the issue price for the bond.
- India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold every year and it is the second-biggest constituent of the import bill after crude oil.
5. India's first e-court opened in Hyderabad:
- India's first e-court has opened at High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad. It is the common high court for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
- Inaugurating the e-court, Supreme Court judge Justice Madan B Lokur stated that Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were first two states in the country to be chosen for Integrated Criminal Justice System project.
- Justice Lokur, who heads the e-Committee of the Supreme Court, said modalities of the system will be worked out at a meeting scheduled on July 28.
6. NGT asks Delhi Transport Authority to de-register 10 year old diesel vehicles:
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered immediate banning of diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in Delhi to deal with pollution in the national capital.
- Earlier, the tribunal had asked Delhi to ban such vehicles saying that pollution levels are at alarming levels.
- Vehicles coming from other states should also not be allowed to enter Delhi.
- Over 15 years old vehicles are already banned in the national capital.
- National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 (NGT) is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues.
- It draws inspiration from the India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
7. Government launches Transforming India portal:
- Union Minister for Electronics & Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched a website 'Transforming India', a repository for real-time sharing of the impact of various governance initiatives with citizens.
- The Transforming India portal will provide information in a user-friendly format enabling citizens to view the content in the form of Infographics, e-books, performance dashboard, videos, daily news corner, and so on.
- Viewers can engage with the content by comments and share it through social media.
8. Delhi CM launches live interactive programme TalkToAK:
- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a live interactive programme, titled 'TalkToAK', aimed at directly engaging with the Delhiites, where people from across the country can ask him questions over the phone, by sending text messages and through social media.
- The first programme went on for nearly two hours, in which the Chief Minister answered a wide variety of questions based on education, youth and city administration.
- During the programme TalkToAK, on education, Mr. Kejriwal stated that his government has planned 100 new schools, which would be better than private schools and speaking about the youth, the CM exhorted them to participate in politics on a large scale. Speaking on the issue of flyover construction in the city, Mr. Kejriwal stated that his government has managed to save over Rs. 350 crores in the construction of five flyovers in the national capital since his party came to power in February, last year.
9. Dabur and DRDO unit tie up for high altitude medicinal plants:
- Dabur has tied up with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO’s) unit Defense Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), Leh for sustainable cultivation of high-altitude medicinal plants in Ladakh.
- As per this deal, both organizations will educate farmers and help enhance livelihood opportunities in the cold desert area.
- This is the first step towards the goal of implementing conservation & environmental development benefits in Leh-Ladakh.
- Under this tie-up with the unit of DRDO, Dabur will also impart training to the villagers on sustainable cultivation of herbs.
10. Vice President Hamid Ansari unveils Gandhi’s stone statue:
- Vice President Hamid Ansari has unveiled a stone statue of Mahatma Gandhi at Pethub Monastery in the Mongolian capital which is seen as a symbol of India-Mongolia cultural and spiritual ties.
- After unveiling the statue of the 'Father of the Nation', the Vice President also went to the monastery founded by former Indian ambassador Kushok Bakula Rinpoche.
- Pethub Monastery, seen as a symbol of India-Mongolia cultural and spiritual ties, was inaugurated in August 1999 by Indian Vice President Krishan Kant. Rinpoche named his monastery as 'Pethub', which in Tibetan means a model or exemplary. The name is drawn from the main monastery in Ladakh which is also known as Spituk Monastery and is over 800 years old.
11. Coimbatore-based Air Carnival commences operations:
- Low cost airline with pink and white themed Air Carnival has been launched its operations with its maiden flight from Coimbatore to Chennai.
- Air Carnival is the subsidiary of Coimbatore Marine College Group of Institutions, which was established in 2002 in Coimbatore.
- The airline will focus on short-haul services with ATR72-500 aircraft.
- It plans to keep the tariff at Rs. 999 for the first three months. It will focus on South Indian market for a year and then it plans to expand to other parts of the country.
- The airline has started operations using only one aircraft. It would add its second aircraft by end of September and a third one by the end of October.
12. Govt releases Rs 100 Cr towards co-contribution in APY:
- The Government has released Rs 100 crore towards its co-contribution for Atal Pension Yojana (APY) for 2015-16. APY provides minimum guaranteed pension ranging between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month for the subscriber from the age of 60 years. The same amount of pension is paid to the spouse in the case of the subscriber's demise.
- Under the scheme, individuals who have registered before March 31, 2016, will get a co-contribution from the government, which will be 50 per cent of the subscriber contribution up to a maximum of Rs 1,000. The co-contribution will be for 5 years from 2015-16 to 2019-20.
- The government is implementing Atal Pension Yojana (APY) through banks and the Department of Post. The total number of subscribers registered under APY as on June 30, 2016, has crossed 30 lakh and every day, nearly 5,000 new subscribers are added. Only those users who are not income tax payers and not part of any other social security schemes are eligible for the central government co-contribution.
13. India beat South Korea 4-1 in Davis Cup:
- India has defeated South Korea 4-1 in the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group-I in Chandigarh.
- Playing his first Davis Cup singles match in four years, Rohan Bopanna edged past Hong Chung in a tough match.
- India will now make its third attempt to qualify for the elite 16-nation World Group.
- They await the results of the World Group matches to know the rival in the play-offs to be held in September.
- India last played in World Group in 2011 when it lost the first round against Serbia.
- After that, they have lost play-offs twice – against Serbia (in 2014, Bangalore) and Czech Republic (in 2015, New Delhi).
14. Vijender Singh beats Kerry Hope to clinch WBO Asia Pacific title:
- Vijender Singh, the boxing star from India, has clinched the WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title at the Thyagraj Stadium, New Delhi.
- To win the title, the six-footer from Haryana defeated former WBC European champion Kerry Hope.
- The 30-year-old Vijender Singh took all 10 rounds to dismantle the 34-year-old Australian Hope and record his seventh straight win in the circuit. He scored 98-92, 98-92, 100-90 to be the unanimous winner. With this, Singh also became the country’s first-ever professional boxing title holder. The win also helped him to climb to 15th in the world in his category.
15. Dipika and Saurav Ghosal clinch National Squash tittles:
- Dipika Pallikal Karthik dethroned defending champion Joshna Chinappa to regain the women’s title in the 73rd Senior National Squash Championship in Mumbai.
- The men’s crown was captured by title holder and top seed Saurav Ghosal, who created history by winning it for the 11th times.
- He beat fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu (11-7 7-11 3-11 11-8 14-12) in five hard-fought games.
- Dipika,made it to the tops once again by beating arch-rival Joshna(4-11 11-6 11-2 11-8).