Important National, International, Economy, Sports, Environment & Ecology and Science & technology related news of July 8th, 2017.
No-detention policy to go from 2018
- Government has decided to do away with the no-detention policy for students from the next academic session.
- Decision was taken as the standard of education had deteriorated because of the policy.
- Under the Right to Education Act, 2009, no child admitted to a school will be held back in any class or expelled till the completion of elementary education covering Classes 1 to 8.
SC stays HC verdict on Ganga status
- Supreme Court froze the status of “legal persons” accorded to rivers Ganga and Yamuna by the Uttarakhand HC in March 2017.
- A Bench of CJI J.S. Khehar and D.Y. Chandrachud stayed HC verdict which held that the rights of 2 major rivers shall be equivalent to the rights of human beings.
- Stay came on a petition filed by Mohammad Salim over mining and stone crushing along the banks of the Ganga.
India plans to invite leaders of ASEAN countries for 2018 Republic Day Celebrations
- India has planned to invite the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as Chief Guests for 2018 Republic Day celebrations. This Plan has come at a time when India is engaged in a stand-off with China in the Sikkim sector.
- If invited Republic Day 2018 would be the first Republic Day event that will have so many leaders as the chief guests.
Scheme for IPR Awareness
- A ‘Scheme for IPR Awareness – Creative India; Innovative India’ has been launched by CIPAM.
- It aims at raising IPR awareness amongst youth, authors, artists and inventors to inspire them to create, innovate & protect their creations and inventions across India.
- It aims to conduct over 4000 IPR awareness workshops/seminars in academic institutions and industry including MSMEs and Startups.
NBFCs to offer NPS
- RBI has allowed systematically important non-banking finance companies to offer new pension scheme.
- NBFCs with asset size of Rs 500 cr & above, that have made a net profit in preceding year will be permitted to offer NPS after registration with the pension regulator.
- They will have to deposit the subscription collected from public on the day of collection itself with the trustee bank.
GST Rates Finder app
- Centre has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the GST regime.
- This app will not only benefit tax payers but also every citizen of the country will be able to find out how much GST is charged on a particular good and service.
- The app can be downloaded on any smart phone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded.
IISc to get Rs 3000-crore foundry
- Indian Institute of Science has received initial approvals from the govt to set up a Rs 3,000-crore foundry to produce a wonder nano material, gallium nitride.
- The nano material Gallium Nitride is a superior alternative to silica-based semiconductors.
- Foundry is proposed to be developed around an existing facility for producing gallium nitride transistors on silicon wafers, at IISc’s CeNSE.
India – China
China issues safety advisory
- China has issued a safety advisory to its citizens travelling to and living in India over the worsening border row between the two countries.
- It also asks them to strictly comply with Indian laws and regulations and respect local and religious customs.
- The advisory comes as Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in a stand-off in Doklam region in Sikkim sector since mid-June.
India – Bangladesh
India and Bangladesh to construct bridge along Mizoram Border
- India and Bangladesh have decided to construct a bridge over Mizoram’s Khawthlangtuipui river (also known as Karnaphuli river) to facilitate trade and to improve communication between the two countries.
- The decision was taken after officials from both the side met at Tlabung town in Mamit district of Mizoram. The Mamit district is situated adjacent to Khagrachari district of Southeast Bangladesh.
- The proposed bridge is expected to be constructed as closer as possible to the nearest custom station located in the Bangladesh side.
Tie up for marketing bancassurance
- Private life insurance company Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance has entered into an alliance with Dhanlaxmi Bank for marketing various life insurance products.
- As part of the agreement, the Bank will be a corporate agent for 3 years.
- The company has access to around 115 million customers and a pan-India network of over 9500 branches of the three shareholder banks.
World Bank: India emerging as front – runner in fight against Climate Change
- The World Bank has observed that India has made a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives to provide round the clock electricity to its people by 2030.
- With these initiatives and a firm decision to use more clean energy, India has emerged as the front-runner in the global fight against climate change.
Science & Technology
Soil of Mars may be Toxic to Alien Life
- According to the research carried out by Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, surface of Mars has chemical compounds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms.
- The researchers have found that the chemical compounds found on the surface of Mars when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light can kill the bacteria which are commonly carried by spacecraft. This finding has given a blow to the hopes of finding alien life on the surface of the Mars.
Ceasefire deal for southwest Syria
- US and Russia have reached an agreement on a cease-fire in southwest Syria as Trump held his first meeting with Putin.
- It aims at permanently ending hostilities, restoring stability and allowing free access of humanitarian aid.
- Jordan and Israel also are part of the agreement, they share a border with the southern part of Syria and have been concerned about violence spilling over the border.
UN adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons
- The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons with 122 members in favour.
- None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons took part in the negotiations or the vote.
- Only the Netherlands voting against while Singapore abstained.
2017 G20 Hamburg summit
- In the 12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, the leaders of the G20 countries has agreed for taking concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities.
- The leaders have also pledged for a joint crackdown on the global scourge of terrorism and check its funding sources.
- Theme for this year’s summit is Shaping an Inter-connected World.
- Issues like free & open trade, climate change, migration and global stability will be discussed.
- Summit witnessed massive protests, as protesters believe that G20 has failed to solve many issues threatening world peace.
UK launches ‘Grand Trunk Road’ project
- British govt has launched a new project ‘Grand Trunk Road’ to mark 70th anniversary of India’s partition.
- Project was launched this week to bring British Asians of all faiths & backgrounds together to reflect on their shared history through 11 special events.
- The aim is for the participants to remember lives lost and learn about history of partition from those who lived through the violence.
International Aviation Security seminar
- NSG organised the first International Aviation Security seminar in Manesar.
- It aimed at bringing all major stakeholders under one roof and facilitate them sharing views/opinion, discussions with the matters concerning Aviation Security.
- Weapons & equipment were also displayed showcasing the current weapons & systems used by the forces and cutting edge systems considered for future planning.
Sandhu wins South Australian Open
- India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu has defeated Rhys Dowling of Australia 11-8 12-10 11-4 to lift South Australian Open squash title.
- It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May and first in Australia.
Kohli breaks Tendulkar’s record
- Virat Kohli has surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s record for most hundreds in chases during the 5th ODI against West Indies. This was Kohli’s 28th ODI hundred.
- While Sachin took 232 innings to score 17 hundreds, Virat has taken just 102 innings to score 18 ODI tons while batting second.
- Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan and West Indies’ Chris Gayle are joint third with 11 tons each.
Sportsperson of the Year 2017
- Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu was bestowed with the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award during the ‘Maruti Suzuki Sportsperson of the Year’ Charity Gala Awards.
- The awards were initiated by Sports Illustrated India and were given to various sportspersons for their achievements.
- Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand received the ‘Coach of the Year’ award.
Appointments & Awards
Saima as goodwill ambassador for autism
- Saima Wazed Hossain has been appointed as the WHO goodwill ambassador for autism in South-East Asia.
- She has been appointed as the goodwill ambassador for a period of 2 years.
- As a Goodwill Ambassador she will be promoting Thimphu declaration which also emphasises on integrating the needs of autism affected people, into national health and socioeconomic development plans.
Tata Steel bags PM’s trophy
- Tata Steel has bagged Prime Minister’s trophy for being the best performing integrated steel plant in India during 2014-15 & 2015-16.
- This makes it the 3rd consecutive-year for the firm to be honoured with this award.
- The Group is among top 10 global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes per annum.
- It is the world’s 2nd-most geographically diversified steel producer.
Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois resigns
- Microsoft’s chief information officer, Jim DuBois has decided to quit the company amid a broader reshuffling of its global sales organization to focus on cloud services.
- DuBois had been with Microsoft since 1993 and was named CIO in 2013.
- News came after Microsoft announced nearly 4000 job cuts from its global sales force outside US.
- Kurt DelBene will replace DuBois as Chief Digital Officer
Australia’s highest civilian award
- Guruswamy Jayraman has been awarded Order of Australia for community work, the highest civilian award in Australia.
- He works as a senior accountant with Woollahra Municipal Council for a living and has been devoting most of his spare time in community work for the last 25 years.
- He was also awarded for his contributions for seniors in Western Sydney by the Minister for Ageing & Disability.
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