1. 7th Meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers held in Shanghai, China:
- The 7th Meeting of Brazil Russia India China and South Africa (BRICS) Countries with the corresponding Trade Ministers was held in Shanghai, China.
- A six-member delegation led by Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman along with Ambassador J.S. Deepak, PR to WTO participated in the meetings. Mr. Zhong Shan, Minister of Commerce from China, presided over the meetings.
- Sitharaman discussed with her Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan, the trade deficit in India-China bilateral trade which stands at $51 billion for 2016-17 from the $71.48 billion bilateral trade between the two countries.
2. Cabinet approves MoU between India and BRICS countries to set up BRICS Agriculture Research Platform:
- The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and various BRICS countries for the establishment of the BRICS Agriculture Research Platform (BRICS-ARP).
- During the 7th BRICS Summit held in July 2015 at Ufa in Russia, PM Modi proposed to establish BRICS Agriculture Research Centre which will be a gift to the entire world.
3. India and Somalia sign agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners:
- India and Somalia have signed a bilateral agreement for the transfer of sentenced prisoners.
- The agreement was signed between External Affairs Minister ‘Sushma Swaraj’ and Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia ‘Yusuf Garaad Omar’.
- The agreement will help Indian inmates imprisoned in Somalia or vice versa be near their families while serving the remainder of their sentence and also facilitate their social rehabilitation.
4. East Bengal honors Dhanraj Pillay with Bharat Gaurav:
- Former India hockey skipper Dhanraj Pillay has been awarded East Bengal football club’s highest honor ‘Bharat Gaurav’ on its foundation day.
- Pillay has played a huge role in reviving the Indian team and performed brilliantly during his 15-year career.
- He represented the country in four Olympics, World Cups, Champions Trophy, and Asian Games.
- Dhanraj Pillay played total 339 matches for India, scoring 170 goals and received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for his remarkable performance in 1999-2000 and was later awarded the Padma Shri.
5. Cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur to be appointed DSP by Punjab government:
- The Punjab govt. has initiated the process of inducting Harmanpreet Kaur (all-rounder cricketer) to the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the state police.
- The state Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed the state Director General of Police (DGP) to complete the necessary formalities for her appointment.
Currently, Harmanpreet Kaur working in the Railways, in Punjab.
- Kaur scored 171 not out from 115 balls in the semi-final against Australia powering the Indian team into the Women’s World Cup 2017 finals.
6. Indian Army develops app for soldiers to track promotions, postings:
- The Indian Army has developed a mobile application named ‘Humraaz’ through which serving soldiers can track details like postings and promotions.
- With the help of this app, soldiers can view their monthly ‘salary slips’ & the ‘Form 16’ and also download them.
- The app will be launched in the second week of August for prompt communication of information to junior commissioned officers and other personnel. The mobile app has been developed in-house by the Army.
- The installation of the application has been linked to verification of Aadhar details due to security reasons.
7. Lok Sabha passes two key bills for implementation of GST in J&K:
- The two bills will replace the ordinances promulgated earlier in this regard to complete rolling out GST regime the Himalayan State.
- The first bill provides for the extension of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 to J&K and the other also provides for the extension of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) Act, 2017 to J&K.
8. Telecom Market likely to cross Rs 6.6 trillion revenue by 2020:
- According to the union Communications Minister Manoj Sinha, Indian Telecom Market is expected to cross the 6.6 trillion rupees revenue mark by the year 2020.
- By the end of last year, the number of internet subscribers in India was more than 391 million (2nd highest in terms of internet users).
The Indian telecom industry has seen a paradigm shift from a voice centric market to a data-centric market.
9. Aadi Perukku festival being celebrated in Tamil Nadu:
- The Aadi Perukku festival is being celebrated with traditional gaiety to express gratitude to water bodies in Tamil Nadu.
- The festival is celebrated on the 18th of Aadi month in Tamil calendar year to express gratitude to water bodies especially Cauvery river.
Banking & Finance
10. Sanjaya Baru appointed as Secretary General of FICCI:
- Sanjaya Baru has been appointed as the Secretary General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with effect from 1 September this year.
He succeeds A Didar Singh.
- Previously he had served as associate editor at ‘The Economic Times’ and ‘The Times of India’, and then the chief editor at ‘Business Standard’.
- He also served as the media advisor (from May 2004 until August 2008) to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
- FICCI is an association of business organizations in India.
11. SEBI approves the appointment of Dhirendra Swarup as BSE chairman:
- Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has approved the appointment of Dhirendra Swarup as the chairman of the board of directors of the BSE. Swarup replaces incumbent Sudhakar Rao.
- Swarup was the former Chairman of the Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
- The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is an Indian stock exchange located at Dalal Street, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai Maharashtra.
12. SBI to mobilize Rs 2,000 cr via Basel-III bonds:
- India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) plans to raise Rs. 2,000 crore by allotting Basel-III compliant bonds to various investors.
- The bonds will carry a coupon rate of 8.15% per annum with a call option after 5 years or the anniversary date thereafter.
- The committee of directors for capital raising accorded its approval to allot 20,000 AT1 Basel-III compliant non-convertible, perpetual, subordinated bonds in the nature of debentures.
13. Gautam Kaushik appointed as PAYBACK India’s new CEO:
- Payback India has appointed Gautam Kaushik as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
- Gautam Kaushik will spearhead the India operations and lead all the critical business areas. Prior to joining PAYBACK, Gautam was working with American Express (AMEX) as Vice President (VP) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
14. Facebook Acquires AI Startup to Make Messenger Smarter:
- To build out a more elaborate personal assistant for the Messenger users, Facebook has acquired an artificial intelligence (AI) startup Ozlo that specialises in understanding text-based conversations.
- Ozlo claims that its virtual assistants can understand and provide answers to questions which do not have simple “yes” or “no” answers.
15. Renowned scientist Pushpa Mitra Bhargava passes away:
- Renowned scientist & ardent critic of Genetically Modified crops Pushpa Mitra Bhargava (88-year) passed away due to illness.
- Bhargava was the Founder-Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad.
- Bhargava is a recipient of over 100 national & international awards and the Legion d’Honneur in 1998 of France.
- He returned his Padma Bhushan award two years ago in protest against the NDA government’s stance towards liberal ethos in the country.