July 26, 2019

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National

  1. Piyush Goyal reviews preparations of India’s Participation in Dubai World Expo 2020
  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Piyush Goyal reviewed the preparations for the construction of the India Pavilion at the Dubai World Expo 2020.
  • The expo will take place for 6 months from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 with the theme of the Expo is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” with three sub themes include Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
  • India Pavilion to be a Permanent Showcase for the Country in Dubai & is being constructed in the ‘Opportunity’ segment. It showcase entertainment industry, the hospitality and tourism sector, cultural diversity of India, etc.,and will have stalls displaying Indian handlooms. It will also showcases 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi being celebrated in 2019.
  1. Inter-State River Water disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 introduced in LS seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956
  • Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat introduced the Inter State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill 2019 that seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to resolve water disputes in a time-bound manner.

Key features of the bill:

♦It proposes Central Government to set up Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC), for resolving any inter-state water dispute.

♦It also proposes to set up single, permanent Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal to adjudicate on inter-state river water disputes to streamline existing dispute redressal mechanism. This tribunal can have multiple benches.

♦Structure: It will comprises Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and not more than six nominated members (judges of Supreme Court or of a High Court), nominated by Chief Justice of India (CJI).A retired Supreme Court judge will head the tribunal.

♦Time frame: The proposed tribunal has to give its decision on dispute within a period of 2 years.

♦Currently there are nine Tribunals including those on Cauvery, Mahadayi, Ravi and Beas, Vansadhara and Krishna rivers.

International

  1. London to become first ‘National Park City’
  • London will be officially confirmed as the world’s first National Park City.
  • Along with the Mayor of London, organizations and individuals will sign a London National Park City Charter demonstrating their support for making the city greener, healthier, and wilder.
  • The National Park City Foundation (NPCF), in partnership with World Urban Parks and Salzburg Global Seminar, created the first International Charter for National Park Cities (NPC).
  • While London is the first, NPCF is aiming to name at least 25 National Park Cities by 2025 and is already in discussion with other UK and world cities to help them gain NPC status.

Business & Economy

  1. Fortune 500 List: RIL tops the list among Indian companies
  • Reliance Industries (RIL) has become the top-ranked Indian company to feature in the latest Fortune Global 500 list.
  • Other Indian companies in the Fortune Global 500 list include ONGC (160), State Bank of India (236), Tata Motors (265), Bharat Petroleum (275) and Rajesh Exports (495).
  • RIL has got a rank of 106 in the latest list, recording an improvement of 42 positions from its previous ranking.
  1. DCC imposes penalty of Rs.3050 crore on Airtel, Vodafone Idea on recommendations by TRAI
  • The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) , on recommendations by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), approved the penalty of Rs.3050 crore to be imposed on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea for not providing points of interconnection to Reliance as TRAI recommended imposing a total penalty to those network operators for allegedly denying inter-connectivity to Reliance Jio in October 2016.

Key points

♦The DCC, which is an apex decision-making body of the Department of Telecom(DoT), last month approved imposing a penalty.

♦But citing the ‘present financial health of the sector’, the Commission decided to seek TRAI’s views on revising the Rs.3,050-crore suggested penalty before imposing the fine.

♦Telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan told that the same recommendation will be sent to the competing authority by DCC for their decision.

  1. NTPC & BHEL ink pact to set up 800 MW TDP in Sipat, Chhattisgarh
  • National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) signed a pact, forming a joint venture (JV) company, to set up an 800 MW Technology Demonstration Plant(TDP) at NTPC’s existing power plant in Sipat, Chhattisgarh. It will be world’s most efficient and environment friendly coal-fired power plant.

Key Points:

♦It will be based on the Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) technology which marks a significant improvement in operational parameters over contemporary super-critical technology.

♦It will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% as compared to the conventional sub-critical technology.

♦It will support fulfillment of the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) committed by India as part of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Sports

  1. Kulasekara retires from international cricket
  • Fast bowler of Sri Lanka Nuwan Kulasekara has announced his retirement from international cricket.
  • The 37-year-old former world number one ODI bowler, will finish as Sri Lanka’s fifth-highest ODI wicket-taker with 199 wickets in 184 matches.
  • Kulasekara, who had made his ODI debut in 2003, had last played an ODI in 2017. He also played 21 Tests and 58 T20Is.
  1. Boxing Legend Manny Pacquiao Wins WBA Super Welterweight title 2019
  • Filipino professional boxer, Manny Pacquiao(40) claimed the WBA (World Boxing Association) welterweight championship 2019 by defeating Keith Thurman of US at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, United States.

Key points:

♦Two judges scored it 115-112 in favour of Pacquiao, while one judge scored it 114-113 to Thurman.

♦The eight-division world champion Pacquiao has improved to 62-7-2 score with 39 knockouts.

♦He currently serving as a senator of the Philippines won 12 major world titles as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes.

♦In 2009, he won the “Best Fighter ESPY Award “ & currently ranks No. 4 in BoxRec’s ranking of the greatest pound for pound boxers of all time.

Appointment & Resignation

  1. Subhash Chandra Garg offers to resign after being shifted to Power Ministry
  • Disappointed with the move Subhash Chandra Garg offered to resign after his transfer to the power ministry.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet transferred SC Garg to the power ministry and appointed Atanu Chakraborty as the new economic affairs secretary.
  • Garg, a 1983 batch IAS officer from the Rajasthan cadre took over as department of economic affairs secretary in 2017. He became the finance secretary in March, 2019.
  1. Ehsan Mani appointed ICC’s Financial Committee Chair
  • Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has been appointed Chairperson of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Financial and Commercial Affairs Committee.
  • ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar appointed Mani during the ICC Annual Conference.
  1. President’s secretary Sanjay Kothari gets 3 year extension in post
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the tenure extension of Sanjay Kothari (a 1978-batch IAS officer Haryana) as President’s secretary .His extension of service will be effective parallel to the President’s tenure or till further orders.

Key points:

♦Kothari, who retired in the year 2016, was appointed by the President as his secretary. He will now remain his secretary until the end of President Kovind’s tenure (25 July 2022).

♦After retiring from the post of Secretary of Personnel and Training, Kothari was appointed Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board.

Books

  1. PM releases the book “Chandra Shekhar – The Last Icon of Ideological Politics”
  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, released the book “Chandra Shekhar – The Last Icon of Ideological Politics.”
  • The book has been written by Shri Harivansh, Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha; and Shri Ravi Dutt Bajpai. The book release event was held at the Balayogi Auditorium, Parliament Library Building.
  • The book is based on the life of Chandra Shekhar who served as the eighth Prime Minister of India.

Science, Space & Technology

  1. “Dracaena cambodiana”, India’s first dragon blood-oozing tree discovered in Assam
  • A three-member research team led by Assam forest officer Jatindra Sarma has discovered Dracaena cambodiana, a dragon tree species in Dongka Sarpo area of West Karbi Anglong district in Assam.
  • This is the first time that a dragon tree species, whose sap turns bright red after coming in contact with air has been reported from India.

Key points:

♦Journal: The discovery has been published in the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

♦Family:  In India, from the asparagus family (Asparagaceae), the genus dracaena is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

♦Uses:  The plant that yields the dragon’s blood, a bright red resin is one of the renowned traditional medicines used in different cultures of the world. It has got several therapeutic uses namely, antifungal and antibacterial, wound healing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, etc

♦Threat: overexploitation to meet the increasing demand for dragon’s blood has resulted in speedy depletion of the plant.

Important Days

  1. National Refreshment Day
  • National Refreshment Day is observed annually on fourth Thursday in July which falls on 25 July in 2019.
  • This day is basically to celebrate about the fun and refreshment during the hottest time of the year that is in summers.

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July 26, 2019

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