Daily Current Affairs - 15th Jul 2018

Angelique Kerber stuns Serena Williams to win maiden Wimbledon title

  • Angelique Keber stunned seven-time champions Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 in the final to claim her maiden Wimbledon title.
  • Kerber has become the first German women's singles champion at Wimbledon in 22 years. The last German to do so was Steffi Graf in 1996.
  • It is the third Grand Slam title of Kerber's career, adding to her Australian and U.S. Open triumphs in 2016. She prevented Serene Williams from claiming an eighth title at Wimbledon and 24th from all Grand Slam tournaments, which would have equaled Margaret Court's record.

Elevanil wins gold in junior shooting meet

  • Young Indian shooter Elavenil Valarivan claimed the women's air rifle gold medal in the 28th Meeting of Shooting Hopes junior international championship in Plzen, Czech Republic.
  • The 18-year-old shot 250.8 in the final to get the better of Italy's Nicole Gabrielli (249.7) by 1.1 point. She had also topped the qualification with 628.0. Aleksandra Szutko of Poland won the bronze with 228.2.
  • The other Indian shooter in the final, Shreya Agrawal finished fourth with 206.6.

Gennova Bio gets US drug patent to treat brain clots

  • The Pune based biotech company has been granted a patent in the USA for its version of drug tenecteplase, to treat brain clots (ischemic stroke), the 1st ever in the world.
  • In India Gennova has already started marketing Tenectase for ischemic stroke as an alternative to drug alteplase, which reduced the cost of treatment to Rs 29000.
  • The CEO of Gennova Bio ------- Sanjay Singh

Government sets up task force on ways to reduce import

  • The Union Government constituted a high-level task force under Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to identify various items and policy interventions to reduce dependence on imports. It will suggest ways to cut import of those items which can be manufactured or explored in the country. The task force includes secretaries from Departments of Commerce, Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Revenue, Skill Development, Defense Production, Petroleum, Steel, Electronics and Telecommunications.
  • On an average, India’s imports stand at around US $450 billion per year. In financial year 2017-18, the inbound shipments grew about 20% to US $460 billion. India’s oil imports during same fiscal had risen by 25.47% to US $109.11 billion.

Haryana top state in per capita revenue collection under GST

  • Haryana has topped other states in per capita revenue collection under GST, and is also the fourth highest generator of e-way bills in the country.
  • About 1.12 crore e-way bills were generated in Haryana between April 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018, catapulting the state to the position of 4th highest generator of e-way bills in the country. The compliance percentage of assessees in the state is 5-7% higher than the national average and revenue collection under commercial taxes has registered double-digit growth.

Iceland takes up US seat at UN rights council

  • Iceland was elected to take up the seat left vacant at the United Nations Human Rights Council after the United States quit the body over what it charges was anti-Israel bias.
  • In a vote at the General Assembly, Iceland picked up 172 votes during a secret ballot as the candidate put forward by the regional grouping for that seat.
  • The US exit from the rights council was seen as the latest move by the administration of Donald Trump to step away from multilateral cooperation.

India invites US President Donald Trump to be Republic Day chief guest in 2019

  • Union Government has invited United States President Donald Trump to be the chief guest at 2019 Republic Day celebrations. The invite was reportedly followed up with multiple rounds of diplomatic talks. If President Trump accepts the invitation, he will be second serving US President after Barack Obama to be invited as chief guest of Republic Day Parade. It will indicate importance of the Indo-U.S. relationship.
  • Earlier Chief guests of India’s Republic Day parades are 2018- 10 Leaders of ASEAN Countries (It was first Republic Day event that saw participation of many leaders at same time as chief guests), 2017- Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi), 2016- Francois Hollande (President of France), 2015-Barack Obama (US President).

Integrated Indian Visa Application Centre Inaugurated in Dhaka

  • A new integrated state-of-the-art integrated Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) was jointly inaugurated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan at Dhaka.
  • The High Commission of India in Dhaka, the new IVAC in Jamuna Future Park will replace the existing IVACs in Motijheel and Uttara from July 15. The remaining two IVACs in Dhaka (Gulshan and Mirpur Road) will also be shifted to the new facility by August 31. Thereafter, only one IVAC will be functional for all categories of visa applications without prior appointment, as per a release by the High Commission of India in Dhaka.

Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launches Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018

  • Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) has launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 (SSG 2018) in New Delhi, a rural cleanliness survey to rank all states and districts on basis of qualitative and quantitative evaluation.
  • The objective of SSG 2018 is to undertake ranking of states and districts on basis of their performance attained on key quantitative and qualitative Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) parameters. The rankings will be based on taking into account set of comprehensive cleanliness parameters.
  • The SSG 2018 will be conducted by independent survey agency in all districts from 1st to 31st August 2018.

Ministry of Mines Organizes 4th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in Indore, Madhya Pradesh

  • The Ministry of Mines organized the 4th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals at Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan was the chief guest of the conclave.
  • For the first time, the conclave had an exhibition in which States put up stalls to showcase their more than 100 mineral blocks which have been prepared to be put up on auctions during 2018-19.
  • The conclave, first of its kind, will go a long way in strengthening the efforts of the Ministry in enabling the mining sector to contribute its fullest to foster the rapid growth of national economy and employment generation. It will help the Central Government to further improve the policy environment to promote best practices and addressing various issues in the mining sector leading to the enhanced contribution to GDP.

Mukesh Ambani Dethrones Alibaba's Jack Ma, Becomes Asia's Richest Person

  • Billionaire Mukesh Ambani has overtaken Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma to become Asia's richest person as he positions Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to disrupt the e-commerce space in India.
  • Ambani's net worth now stands at $44.3 billion as compared to Jack Ma's $44 billion wealth, according to Bloomberg. Ambani has added $4 billion to his wealth this year.
  • Ambani is known for executing large-scale projects. He led the construction of the world’s largest refining complex in Jamnagar, Gujarat, owns the most-widespread mobile data network globally and claims to have India’s biggest as well as most profitable retail firm.

NCPCR drafts fee regulations to check arbitrary increases in school fees

  • National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has drafted fee regulations to put in place uniform fee framework to check frequent and arbitrary increases in school fees by unaided private schools. NCPCR is country’s apex child rights body. It will recommend these draft regulations to Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD).
  • It proposes 10% yearly cap on the fee hike permissible by private, unaided schools. It suggests setting up district fee regulatory authority in states to monitor school fee increases.
  • NCPCR is a statutory body set up in 2007 under Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005. Its objective is to protect, promote and defend child rights in India including rights adopted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, 1989, ratified by India in 1992. (This convention defines child as a human being below 18 years of age).

Nilgiri tahr: Climate change threatening 60% of its habitat

  • According to study published international journal Ecological Engineering, climate change is threatening the Nilgiri tahr. It is estimated that endangered wild goat could lose approximately 60% of its habitat, starting from 2030s. There are only around 2,500 Nilgiri Tahrs left in the wild and their population is small and isolated.
  • Nilgiri tahr is state animal of Tamil Nadu. It is endemic to Western Ghats from the Nilgiris to Kanyakumari. It is confined to a narrow belt of higher elevation (altitudes) of Shola Forests in Western Ghats.

Odisha constitutes Heritage Cabinet

  • The Odisha government issued a notification on the constitution of a 'Heritage Cabinet,' headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
  • Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said the 'Heritage Cabinet' would aim at protection of ancient monuments, temples and archaeological sites in Odisha and take steps to preserve the states culture, language and literature.
  • The ministers of Finance, Odia Language, Literature &Culture and Tourism, Handlooms, Textiles & Handicrafts, SC, ST Development, Higher Education, School & Mass Education and Electronics & IT are other members of the cabinet.
  • Chief Secretary A P Padhi will be the secretary to the newly constituted cabinet.

President Kovind nominates four members to Rajya Sabha

  • President Ram Nath Kovind, made four nominations to Rajya Sabha in the exercise of powers conferred by Article 80 of the Constitution of India and on the Prime Minister’s advice.
  • Former MP Ram Shakal, ideologue Rakesh Sinha, classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and stone artist Raghunath Mohapatra were nominated to the Upper House.
  • Article 80 of the constitution of India provides that the President can nominate to Rajya Sabha, 12 persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art and social service. There were currently 8 nominated members in Rajya Sabha and hence, four vacancies.

UN Secretary General sets up panel on digital cooperation to tackle cybersecurity threats

  • United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has established first-of-its-kind panel on digital cooperation aimed at addressing concerns of cybersecurity threats and rise in hate speech. The high-level panel on digital cooperation will be co-chaired by US philanthropist Melinda Gates and China-based Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
  • The panel will have 20 members in total and include leaders from technology, public policy, science and academia etc. Senior Indian diplomat Amandeep Singh Gill along with former diplomat Jovan Kurbalija will be executive directors of panel’s secretariat. It will focus on cyber-bullying, abuse rise, fake news, cybercrime and security aspects.

UNSC adopts Resolution 2428 to impose arms embargo on South Sudan

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted Resolution 2428 (2018) to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan, almost five years after ruinous civil war was started in infant country. The resolution was drafted by United States and won minimum nine votes needed in favor to none against with 6 abstentions.
  • Resolution 2428 calls upon all UN member states to prevent supply, sale or transfer to South Sudan — from or through their territories till 31 May 2019.