GK Update & Current Affairs: 21st July 2018
1. PM Modi Inaugurates Ambulance Service in Sri Lanka:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday digitally launched an India-assisted emergency ambulance service in Sri Lanka.
- Addressing the inaugural event via video conference, Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the launch of the project as a “major achievement” in the development of Indo-Sri Lankan relations.
2. 8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting Held At Durban:
- The 8th BRICS Health Ministers’ Meeting was held at Durban, South Africa. Indian deligation was led by Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare. He stated that India is committed to eliminating TB by 2025.
- Highlighting the accomplishments of India in the health sector, he stated India’s achievement in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77%, from 556 per 1,00,000 live births in 1990 to 130 per 1,00,000 live births in 2016, was commended by the Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO).
3. 28th Meeting of GST Council Held in New Delhi:
- The 28th meeting of the GST Council chaired by interim finance minister Piyush Goyal was held in New Delhi. The Council was deliberated upon a number of key issues on its agenda which includes rate revision on a number of items, amendments to the GST law, simplification of return, and the setting up of a National Appellate Tribunal in Delhi.
- The GST Council has exempted sanitary napkins from Goods and Services Tax. Earlier, there was a 12% levy of tax on sanitary napkins. It has also recommended reduction in the GST slab for lithium-ion batteries used in electronic items from the current 28% to 18% along with a slew of reductions in other items like bamboo flooring, ice making machines, vending machines, water coolers etc.
4. Government Launched MicroDot Technology To Check Vehicle Thefts:
- The Indian Government has announced the launch of a new MicroDot Technology that would help check on vehicle thefts. Under this, thousands of small dots laser etched will be sprayed with a vehicle identification number on all over the vehicle’s body including its engine.
- This technology is yet to be finalized by the highest automobile technical standard making body Central Motor Vehicles Rules -Technical Standing Committee (CMVR-TSC).
5. 4th BIMSTEC Summit To Be Held In Kathmandu:
- The 4th BIMSTEC Summit will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal. The announcement in this regard was made by Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.
- The main focus of the summit will be to increase connectivity between the BIMSTEC nations including roads, airways and transmission lines.
- BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiatives for Multi-Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation.
6. National Mission for Clean Ganga organizes Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan:
- National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) had organised Ganga Vriksharopan Abhiyan in five main Ganga basin states – Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The drive was launched on 9th July 2018 for a week upto 15 July 2018 which was observed as ‘Shubharambh Saptah’.
- The campaign was initiated as part of Forest Interventions in Ganga (FIG) component of Namami Gange programme. It aimed to bring greater awareness among people and other stakeholders regarding importance of afforestation for task of Ganga Rejuvenation.
7. Facebook To Launch Satellite ‘Athena’ In 2019:
- Facebook has confirmed it is working on a new satellite project, named Athena, that will provide broadband internet connections to rural and underserved areas.
- The company aims to launch satellite in early 2019. In 2016, Facebook’s internet satellite for Africa was lost when SpaceX’s rocket exploded.
8. Flipkart And Hotstar Join Hands For Ad Platform:
- India’s largest online retailer Flipkart has forged an alliance with video streaming service Hotstar and launched a video advertisement platform. It is part of a broader strategy to generate more revenue from the booming video advertising business.
- The new platform, Shopper Audience Network, will allow brands to target consumers through personalized video ads on Hotstar.
9. Alisson Becker Becomes World’s Most Expensive Goalkeeper:
- Alisson Becker of Brazil has become the World’s most expensive goalkeeper while transferring clubs from Italy’s Roma to England’s Liverpool for a world record £56 million. The 25-year-old Brazilian has beaten Ederson Moraes (£34.7 million, Benfica to Manchester City).
- The deal could rise to as much as £65 million, with a further £10 million in add-ons, which are dependent on Liverpool’s qualification for the UEFA Champions League and wins in various competitions in the future.
10. Shubhankar Sharma Becomes Youngest Indian To Make Cut in A Major:
- Shubhankar Sharma became the youngest Indian golfer to make the cut in any Major after he capped a wonderful back nine to achieve the feat at the 147th Open Championships at Carnoustie, Scotland.
- Zach Johnson of the USA, the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open champion, rose to the top of the leaderboard.
11. Former Chhattisgarh Finance Minister Ramchandra Singhdeo Passes Away:
- Ramchandra Singhdeo, former and first Finance Minister of Chhattisgarh, passed away in Raipur.
- He was the Finance Minister in the cabinet of the then Chief Minister Ajit Jogi.