Daily Current Affairs - 11th Jul 2019

Aditya Birla World Academy is the Only Indian School to Feature in 'The Commonwealth at 70' Book

  • The Aditya Birla World Academy, India's leading International school is the only Indian school to be featured in 'The Commonwealth at 70:From Westminster to the World'.
  • The Aditya Birla World Academy, being one of the top international schools in Mumbai, focuses on academic excellence, as well as encourage their students to think critically and stimulate them to be mindful, sensitive and responsible members of society.

Arun Kumar appointed as DGCA chief

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Arun Kumar, Additional Secretary and Financial Advisor, Ministry of Civil Aviation as Director General in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
  • Kumar is an IAS officer of 1989 batch of Haryana cadre. Before Kumar, B S Bhullar was holding the full-time charge of DGCA chief.

Bengal port records country’s highest sea level rise in 50 years

  • Of the major ports in India, Diamond Harbour in West Bengal located at the mouth of river Hooghly has recorded the maximum sea level increase, according to data tabled in the Lok Sabha by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
  • While recent studies reveal that sea level rise in the country has been estimated to be 1.3 mm/year along India’s coasts during the last 40-50 years, at Diamond Harbour the rise was almost five times higher at 5.16 mm per year.
  • This is followed by Kandla port in Gujarat where the sea level rise was 3.18 (1950 to 2005) , followed by Haldia in West Bengal, which recorded a sea level rise of 2.89 mm a year (1972 to 2005). Port Blair also recorded a sea level rise of 2.20 mm per year (1916-1964).
  • Chennai and Mumbai, recorded a sea level rise far below the global and the national averages at 0.33 mm per year (1916-2005) and 0.74 mm (1878-2005) respectively.
  • Sea level rise is said be linked with global warming and as per the fifth assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change, the global sea level was rising at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over the last century.

Cabilet approves amendments to POCSO Act

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences, POCSO, Act, 2012. These amendments will make punishment more stringent for committing sexual crimes against children including the death penalty.
  • The amendments also provide for levy of fines and imprisonment to curb child pornography.
  • These amendment are expected to discourage the trend of child sexual abuse by acting as a deterrent due to strong penal provisions incorporated in the Act.
  • The amendment is aimed to establish clarity regarding the aspects of child abuse and punishment thereof.

Cabinet approves bill to merge all labour laws into single code

  • The Union Cabinet has approved a bill to merge 13 central labour laws into a single code which will apply to all establishments employing 10 or more workers. This consolidation can potentially benefit large sections of the 40-crore workforce. The proposed Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Bill, will enhance coverage of workers manifold.
  • The proposed changes are intended to improve ease of business and giving enhanced protection to employees by mandating certain norms.
  • The bill also provides for a single licence regime for staffing firms, thus significantly improving their ease of doing business.
  • The decision comes a week after the Cabinet gave its go-ahead to a labour code on wages, which has the provision of mandatory compliance of minimum wage and timely payment.
  • Labour minister Santosh Gangwar

Cabinet approves PMGSY phase III

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the launch of the third phase of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • Under PMGSY third it is proposed to consolidate one lakh twenty-five thousand-kilometre road length in the states. This scheme would facilitate easy and faster movement to and from Gramin Agricultural markets.
  • This scheme will entail an estimated cost of eighty thousand two hundred fifty crore rupees out of which the central share will be fifty-three thousand eight hundred crore rupees while the state would invest twenty-six thousand four hundred fifty crore rupees.

Cabinet clears Bill for single tribunal to hear water disputes

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that will help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys. The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes. A key feature of the bill is the constitution of a single tribunal with different Benches, and the setting of strict timelines for adjudication.
  • The Bill also proposes a Dispute Resolution Committee set up by the Central Government for amicably resolving inter-State water disputes within 18 months.
  • This new tribunal will have a permanent establishment and permanent office space and infrastructure, thereby avoiding the need to set up a separate Tribunal for each water dispute, which is a time consuming process.
  • There are about a dozen tribunals that now exist to resolve disputes among States on sharing water from rivers common to them.

Commonwealth C'ships: Rakhi Halder, Davinder Kaur win gold medals on second day

  • Rakhi Halder and Davinder Kaur have won a gold medal each in the senior women's section as Indian weightlifters continued their impressive show on the second day of the Commonwealth Championships in Apia Samoa.
  • India also won five other gold medals in the junior and youth sections.
  • On the first day, India had clinched 8 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.

Connaught Place 9th most expensive office location in the world: CBRE

  • According to property consultant CBRE, Connaught Place (CP) is the ninth most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of nearly USD 144 per sq ft. For the second year, Hong Kong's Central district retained the top spot as the world's most expensive market for prime office rents, with the prime occupancy costs valued at USD 322 per sq.ft.
  • Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex and Nariman Point CBD slipped to 27th and 40th positions, respectively.
  • London's (West End) is ranked 2nd, followed by Hong Kong (Kowloon) and New York (Midtown Manhattan). Beijing's (Finance Street) is at the fifth position on the list.

Defence Ministry signs MoU with IPFC and NRDC

  • Intellectual Property Facilitation Cell (IPFC), Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), Ministry of Science and Technology, have signed an MoU with a vision to bridge the capacity shortfall and provide a major fillip to the ongoing efforts of Ministry of Defence towards promoting a culture of Innovation and Intellectual Property Rights IPR in Indian Defence industry.
  • This move move will be a boost to the Mission Raksha Gyan Shakti which was launched with the aim to inculcate IP culture in Indian defence manufacturing ecosystem.
  • Under this mission, an IPFC has been established under the aegis of Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) which has within a short span of a year achieved the challenging target of training more than 12,000 personnel on IPR and facilitating the filing of more than 1000 new IPR applications.

Dutee Chand bags Gold medal in 100-metres event at World Universiade

  • India's Dutee Chand has clinched a Gold medal in the 100-metre dash event at the World Universiade at Napoli in Italy. She clocked 11.32 seconds as she led the race from start to finish. Del Ponte of Switzerland won the Silver, while German Lisa Kwayie took home the Bronze.
  • With the Gold, Dutee has become the first Indian woman track and field athlete to win the coveted yellow metal at the event.
  • She is also now only the second Indian sprinter to win a Gold in a global event after 19-year old Hima Das.

Govt accorded in principle approval for leasing of six airports: Minister

  • The Union government has accorded in principle approval for leasing of six airports of Airports Authority of India for operation, management and development through Public Private Partnership.
  • These airports are Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram, and Mangaluru.
  • The government has decided to hand over Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Managaluru airports to the winning bidder in the first phase.
  • Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

Govt initiates proposal to establish first National Police University

  • The Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy has stated that the centre has initiated a proposal to establish the first National Police University in the country, that will be dedicated to imparting education in policing and internal security.
  • The university will conduct undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate academic programmes in specialized subjects.

IAF to adopt ASRAAM missile for fighter fleet

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking to adopt a new European visual range air to air missile across its fighter fleet. The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) of European missile-maker MBDA has been approved for fitting on Jaguar jets and the IAF was looking to integrating it on the Su-30MKIs and the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as well.
  • ASRAAM is widely used as a Within Visual Range (WVR) air dominance missile with a range of over 25km.

India crashes out to New Zealand in Cricket World Cup semifinal

  • New Zealand produced a brilliant bowling performance to upset India with an 18-run victory in their rain-affected World Cup semi-final The Black Caps will face the winners of Thursday's semi-final between England and Australia in Sunday's final at Lords.
  • New Zealand add 28 runs to their overnight score from 23 balls to finish on 239 for eight.
  • Despite a superb 116-run seventh-wicket partnership between MS Dhoni (50) and Ravindra Jadeja (77), India bowled out for 221 with three balls remaining.

India Inc.'s FDI down over two times to $820 mn in June

  • According to data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India Inc.'s foreign direct investment in June fell by over two times from a year ago to $820.36 million. The outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) by the Indian firms stood at $2.29 billion in the year-ago same month.
  • In May, the Indian firms had invested over $1.56 billion in their overseas ventures.
  • Of the total overseas direct investment during June, $340.28 million was in the form of equity infusion, $222.06 million was through loan and $258.02 million came in through issuance of guarantee.

Lok Sabha passes New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill

  • Lok Sabha has passed the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Bill, 2019 by voice vote. This bill replaces an Ordinance which was promulgated in March this year. It seeks to provide for the establishment and incorporation of New Delhi International Arbitration Centre, NDIAC for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalized arbitration.
  • The legislation has provision to declare the NDIAC as an institution of national importance for its overall development as a major arbitration hub by promoting quick and efficient dispute resolution mechanism.
  • The proposed New Delhi International Arbitration Centre will be headed by a Chairperson, who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of the arbitration.

NFR’s ‘Plan Bee’ wins best innovation award

  • The system developed by North East Frontier Railway (NFR) to keep wild elephants away from crossing the railway track by playing the amplified sound of buzzing of honey bees has won the best innovation award in Indian Railways for the year 2018-19.
  • With a large portion of its track passing through vast areas of forest land which are home to various wild animals including elephants, NFR has been facing the serious problem of elephant dashing, posing a threat both to the trains and to the elephant population in the vicinity of tracks.

Overall Homicide Rate Declines by 10% in India: UN Report

  • The Global Study on Homicide 2019 published by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) stated that the overall homicide rate in India decreased by 10 per cent over the period 2009-2015, from 3.8 to 3.4 per 100,000 population, but the trend increased “noticeably” in some northern states.
  • The report also found that the number of female homicide victims were more than that of males in India. Males constitute less than 20 per cent of the total homicide victims in 2016 in India.
  • The study also found that Mumbai has one of the lowest homicide rates -- just 0.9 -- in large metropolises in Asia.
  • The report attributed dowry-related killings as one of the contributors to more female homicide in India.

RBI panel moots change in timings for foreign exchange market

  • An internal committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which was set up to review timings of different financial markets, suggested that the foreign exchange market could function from 9 am to 9 pm. At present, the currency market works from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • The extension of market timings is expected to provide benefits such as better pricing of post market hours information/data, improved onshore price discovery and a possible shift of offshore volumes to onshore.
  • The panel also suggested call money market timings could be extended till 6 pm instead of the 5 pm now, to facilitate liquidity management by banks.
  • The current market timings for government security markets may be retained on account of lack of demand from participants.

RIL races past TCS to become most valued firm by m-cap

  • Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) went past Tata Consultancy Services to become the most-valued firm in terms of market valuation. RIL's market capitalisation (m-cap) was at Rs 8,11,048.27 crore at the close of trade on July 9, which was Rs 11,246.23 crore more than that of Tata Consultancy Services' (TCS) Rs 7,99,802.04 crore valuation on the BSE.
  • Both the companies have in the past also competed against each other for the most valued company status.
  • In the list of top-five domestic firms, RIL was placed at the top of the pack followed by TCS, HDFC Bank (Rs 6,50,136.04 crore), HDFC (Rs 3,85,207.96 crore) and HUL (Rs 3,76,545.49 crore).

Serena Williams reaches 12th Wimbledon semi-final

  • Seven-time American champion Serena Williams has reached her 12th Wimbledon women's singles semi-final in a hard fought 6-4, 4-6,6-3 victory over unseeded compatriot Alison Riske.
  • Simona Halep of Romania also reached women’s singles semi-final today, beating Shuai Zhang of China 7-6, 6-1.
  • Simona Halep of Romania also reached women's singles semi-final today, beating Shuai Zhang of China 7-6, 6-1.

Sri Lanka: Annual festival at historic Kataragama temple attracts devotees

  • In Sri Lanka, the annual festival at historic Kataragama temple attracts devotees from all faiths. The fortnight long festival began last week and is joined by people all over Sri Lanka and abroad.
  • Kataragma is a multi religious city as it contains a mosque within the temple complex and a Buddhist temple nearby, considered to be one of the 16 main places of Buddhist pilgrimage in Sri Lanka.
  • This place finds mention in Skanda purana and is popular for centuries-old Hindu temple of Lord Kartika, known locally as Katargama Deviyo.

UK ambassador to US resigns following leaked memos row

  • UK ambassador to the US Kim Darroch has resigned following a row over leaked confidential memos, where the ambassador had described the president Trump and his administration as inept and uniquely dysfunctional.
  • Memos from Darroch were leaked to a British Sunday newspaper, infuriating Trump who launched a stinging Twitter attack on both the envoy and Prime Minister Theresa May.