GK Update & Current Affairs: 31st July 2018
1. Chhattisgarh CM Launch Mobile Distribution Scheme ‘Mobile Tihar’
- Actress Kangana Ranaut and Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh launched a smartphone distribution scheme called ‘Mobile Tihar’ under Sanchar Kranti Yojna.
- The scheme includes distribution of smartphones to 45 lakh women and 5 lakh children and setting up of 556 new mobile towers.
2. Rajasthan Signs MoU For The 1st Cow Sanctuary in State:
- Rajasthan Government signed an MoU with a private trust Sohanlalji Buladeviji Ojha Gaushala Samiti to build its first ‘Cow Sanctuary’, a shelter for 10000 cows.
- The cow sanctuary will be spread over an area of more than 220 hectares in Bikaner district. This will be the first cow sanctuary in Rajasthan and will be situated in Bikaner’s Napasar.
4. US Elevated India’s Status To STA-1 To Ease Export Controls For High-Tech Product Sales
- The United States has eased export controls for high-technology product sales to India by elevating its status to a Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) country. The information was shared by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
- With the move, the United States has granted India the same access as NATO allies, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
5. DAC approves acquisition of 8 Fast Patrol Vessels for Coast Guard:
- Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approval proposal for acquisition of 8 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for Indian Coast Guard at an approximate cost of Rs 800 crore.
- It also approved platform specific guidelines for procurement of Naval Utility helicopters. Similar guidelines for the other categories will be issued soon.
- DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force). These vessels will be procured under ‘Buy (lndian-lDDM)’ category.
6. Scientists Discover New Shape ‘Scutoid’ From Human Cells
- American and Spanish Scientists have discovered a new shape called ‘scutoid’ while studying nature’s way of moulding tissue to form the skin, cavity linings and the building blocks of organs.
- The shape has five sides on one end and six on the other and a triangular surface on one of its longer edges. Scientists have referred to it as a twisted prism kind of shape that allows the tissue to mould around organs.
7. 1st Nepal-India Think Tank Summit Begins in Kathmandu
- The first Nepal-India Think Tank Summit has begun in Kathmandu to foster greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the think tanks of the two countries.
- Former Prime Minister of Nepal and Co-chairman of ruling Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda inaugurated the summit.
4 Sessions-4 Themes:
1st session- Building innovative cooperation between Indo-Nepal think tanks,
2nd session- Bolstering bilateral economic ties for the shared prosperity,
3rd session- Managing security dilemma,
4th session- Redefining Nepal-India relations in 21st century.
8. Reliance Beats TCS to Become India’s Most Valued Company
- India’s richest person Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) beat Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to become the most valued company in India.
- RIL’s market capitalisation during the day was Rs7.44 trillion as compared to TCS’ Rs7.39 trillion. RIL had recently reported its highest ever quarterly net profit of Rs9,459 crore, for the April-June quarter.
9. 3rd BRICS Film Festival Concluded: Complete List of Indian Winners
- The 3rd BRICS Film Festival took place in Durban, South Africa, along with the International Durban Film Festival (DIFF).
- The last day of the festival (27th July) was celebrated as India Country Day, followed by Awards and Closing Ceremony.
- Awards won by Indian films in the 3rd BRICS Film Festival, Durban, South Africa:
1. Best Actress: Bhanita Das, Village Rockstars,
2. Best Film: Newton by Amit Masurkar,
3. Special Jury Award: Village Rockstars by Rima Das.
iii. The festival screened four Indian Films in the following category:
(a) Films in Competition Section:
Newton by Amit Masurkar,
Village Rock Stars by Rima Das.
(b) Films in Non-competition Section:
Sinjar by Sandeep Pampally,
Bhanayakam by Jayaraj.
10. Surendra Rosha Named HSBC India CEO
- The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) announced the appointment of Surendra Rosha as Chief Executive Officer for HSBC India, subject to regulatory approvals.
- Rosha succeeded Jayant Rikhye. Rosha, who is currently HSBC’s Head of Financial Institutions Group (FIG) for Asia-Pacific, has 27 years of experience in the financial services sector.
11. Renu Satti Quits As Paytm Payments Bank CEO
- Paytm Payments Bank CEO Renu Satti has resigned from the role and will now head Paytm’s new retail initiative.
- Paytm will look for a replacement for Satti, who had taken over the CEO role last year.
12. Veteran Bengali Writer Ramapada Chowdhury Passes Away
- Acclaimed Bengali writer Ramapada Chowdhury, whose story ‘Abhimanyu’ was made into a Hindi movie ‘Ek doctor ki maut’, passed away. Chowdhury was 95.
- He was conferred with the Sahitya Academy award for ‘Bari badle jay’ in 1988. He was also the recipient of Rabindra Puraskar, Ananda Puraskar and Rabindranath Tagore Memorial International Prize.
13. World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: July 30
- World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year on July 30 to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights.
- This year, theme chosen by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is “responding to the trafficking of children and young people”.
- It highlights fact that almost third of trafficking victims are children. It draws attention to issues faced by trafficked children and to possible action initiatives linked to safeguarding and ensuring justice for child victims.