Thursday, 7 July 2016

Daily Current Affairs Update (7th July 2016)

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1. Namami Gange projects for cleaning river Ganga launched:
  • Today, Namami Gange programme for cleaning of river Ganga has been launched by Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti from Haridwar.
  • She has  inaugurated 231 projects under the Namami Gange Programme.
  • These programmes were launched at many other places also for cleaning of Ganga and its tributaries from Gangotri to Howrah.
  • According to Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharati ,the cleaning up of Ganga from Gangotri to Ganga Sagar will be completed by 2018.
2. Prakash Javadekar takes charge of HRD ministry:
  • Newly-elevated Cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar took charge of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, HRD.
  • He replaces Smriti Irani, who after serving as the HRD minister for two years, took charge of the Ministry of Textiles yesterday.
  • He is the only Minister of State to be elevated to cabinet rank in reshuffle.
  • Javadekar was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament from Maharashtra in 2008, and re-elected from Madhya Pradesh in 2014.
  • His wife Dr Prachee Javadekar is a leading education researcher and consultant and is a former Director of Indira Institute of Management, Pune
  • He has two sons Dr. Ashutosh Javadekar who is a dentist and an artist and Apoorva Javadekar, who is pursuing a PhD in Economics from Boston University.
3. India slips to 91st place in 2016 Networked Readiness Index:
  • India has slipped by two places to 91st position in the recently released 2016 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • The index was released as the part of the WEF’s Global Information Technology Report. It measures countries’ success in creating the necessary conditions for a transition to a digitized economy and society.
  • The 2016 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) is topped by Singapore. While Finland (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Norway (4th), United States (5th), Netherlands (6th), Switzerland (7th), UK (8th), Luxembourg (9th) and Japan (10th). Among BRICS nation, Russia (41st), China (59th), South Africa (65th) and Brazil (72nd). 
  • India was ranked the lowest. India's position on the list has come down for the fourth year in a row, from 89th in 2015, 83rd in 2014 and 68th in 2013.
4. Odisha government doubles prize money of Unesco Kalinga prize:
  • The Odisha government has decided to double the Unesco Kalinga prize-2017 money from 20 thousand to 40 thousand US dollars.
  • The increase in the prize money was approved by the Odisha government.
  • The government also decided to double the administrative expenses regarding the prize from 10 thousand to 20 thousand US dollars.
  • The Kalinga Prize was established in 1951 by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco, with a generous grant from Mr Biju Patnaik, the founder-president of the Kalinga Foundation Trust.
  • The biennial award is jointly financed by the Government of India through the Ministry of Science and Technology, Odisha government and Kalinga Foundation Trust.
  • Argentinian scientist Diego Andres Golombek received the Unesco Kalinga Prize 2015.
5. South African writer Lidudumalingani Mqombothi wins 2016 Caine Prize:
  • South African writer Lidudumalingani Mqombothi has won the '2016 The Caine Prize' for African Writing for his story ‘Memories we Lost’.
  • The prize, launched in 2000, is awarded annually to an African writer of a short story published in English.
  • Lidudumalingani wins £10,000 ($13,152) and a month at Georgetown University in the US as a writer-in-residence.
6. China inducts largest homegrown Y-20 military transport plane:
  • China has inducted its largest indigenously-built transport aircraft, which is named as Y-20
  • Y-20 is a breakthrough in military aviation technology for the PLA that allows the world's largest force to transport cargo and troops over long distances in diverse weather conditions.
  • The Y-20 entering into service marks a crucial step for the Air Force improving its strategic power projection capability. 
  • The Y-20 which can carry a maximum take-off weight of 200 tons, has officially joined the PLA Air Force in Chengdu. It is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions. 
  • The plane is comparable to the Russian-made IL-76 and the US C-17.
7. SBI Card launches premium credit card ‘ELITE’:
  • SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBI Card) has launched a premium credit card ‘Elite‘.
  • Elite is a bundle of several privileges and benefits for high net worth individuals .
  • This card is launched on the Master Card World platform which is enabled with Near Field Communication technology.
  • This allows customers a contact less payment experience, adding more speed and save to their wallets.
  • The new card comes with a joining fee of Rs 4,999 and all customers will receive a welcome gift worth Rs 5,000 in the form of vouchers from popular lifestyle and travel brands.
8. Deepak Singhal becomes new Chief Secretary of UP:
  • Principal Secretary of Irrigation Deepak Singhal has been appointed the new Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
  • He has replaced Alok Ranjan, who has got retire on 30 June 2016 after a three-month extension of service.
  • Mr. Singhal will also hold additional charge of Principal Resident Commissioner of UP in New Delhi, and chairman of the Pradeshiya Industrial & Investment Corporation of UP.
9. Film festival on wildlife has begun in Shimla today:
  • A three-day Woodpecker Environment and Wildlife Film Festival has begun at historic Gaiety Theatre in Shimla from today (7th July).
  • The festival is being organized by WWF-India in collaboration with CMSR foundation, Delhi with the support of the Himachal Pradesh's Department of Language, Art and culture and Department of Forest.
  • The focus of the festival is the critical environment and wildlife conservation issues like climate change, forest conservation, biodiversity and man-animal conflict and success stories will also be showcased in it. As many as 45 films, including several national award-winning movies and five films from Himachal Pradesh, will be screened at the festival, which is aimed at highlighting the environmental concerns.
10. Govt forms panel to examine desirability and feasibility of new financial year:
  • The government has set up a four member committee to examine the desirability and feasibility of having a new financial year.
  • Committee will be headed by former Chief Economic Advisor Shankar Acharya.
  • The committee will examine the merits and demerits of various dates for commencement of financial year including the existing dates.
  • The panel will take into account the genesis of current financial year, suitability of financial year from point of view of correct estimation of receipts and expenditure of Central and State governments.
  • The committee has been asked to submit its reports by 31st of December this year.
11. Google buys France-based startup Moodstocks:
  • Search giant Google has acquired a French startup called Moodstock.
  • The Moodstock is a Paris-based startup that develops image recognition technology for smartphones whose APIs for developers have been described as "Shazam for images."
  • The terms and conditions of the acquisition including its value have not been announced.
12. TripAdvisor appoints Gary Fritz President Asia Pacific:
  • Travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor has appointed Gary Fritz as its Chief Growth Officer and President of the Asia-Pacific region.
  • In his role as President of APAC, he is responsible for leading the company's operations and strategy throughout the Asia Pacific region.
  • TripAdvisor, Inc. is an American travel website company providing reviews of travel-related content. It also includes interactive travel forums.
13. Former Nokia executive Tejinder Kalra joins Indus Towers as COO:
  • Telecom tower company Indus Towers has announced the appointment of Tejinder Kalra as its Chief Operating Officer. The appointment came into effect on July 1.
  • With over 26 years of experience in the telecom and telecom services industry, Tejinder holds an extensive experience in strategy development, implementation and service delivery across geographies. 
  • Kalra joins Indus Towers from Nokia, where he was the Global Head for Bharti business in his most recent role. 
14. Dipa Karmakar becomes first Indian gymnast to bag ‘World Class Gymnast’ award:
  • Gymnast Dipa Karmakar created history as she clinched ‘World Class Gymnast‘ award by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG).
  • She is the first Indian gymnast to secure this award as ‘Gymnaste de Classe Mondaile’ given by FIG.
  • Earlier, she also sparked her name as the first Indian woman gymnast to make it to the Olympics.

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