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CURRENT AFFAIRS -- 16TH TO 20TH JULY 2017 -- IBPS PO/CLERKS/SSC/IAS

16th July 2017
IIFA Awards 2017
18th edition of International Indian Film Academy Awards was held in New York. Alia Bhatt won Best Actress Award for Udta Punjab while her co-star in the film, Shahid Kapoor, won the Best Actor Award. Neerja won the Best Film Award, while Pink director Aniruddha Roy was awarded the Best Director. AR Rahman, who completed 25 years in Indian cinema was awarded for his contribution to films.
Muguruza wins first Wimbledon title
Garbine Muguruza won a maiden Wimbledon title after defeating 5 time champion Venus Williams under the roof on Centre Court. She is now a double Grand Slam champion, having won the French Open last year. Muguruza became the 2nd Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title after her coach, Conchita Martinez. She is also the 1st woman to beat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals.
Open schools to reduce drop-out rate
To arrest number of drop-outs and increase literacy, Maharashtra’s school education department has passed a resolution to start Maharashtra Institute of Open Schooling. MIOS will have an easier syllabus, flexible exams, and skill-based subjects for those who cannot attend regular school. Students will not have to appear for the minimum five subjects required to pass the exam at once.
Free set-top boxes in naxal-hit areas
Prasar Bharati is likely to distribute around 10 lakh free of cost DTH set-top boxes in naxal-hit areas of the country. It would enable people in naxal-affected states to connect with various schemes of govt. Centre will distribute 10,000 free DTH set-top boxes in remote & tribal areas of Chhattisgarh. It will enable people to watch about 100 television channels free of cost.
Soldiers exempted from toll tax
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced exemption for soldiers from paying toll-tax on highways in the state. Jawans will be provided with the relief in Madhya Pradesh after they present their official identity cards. The decision came after a delegation of BSF officials apprised him about their grievances while he was on a personal tour to Jaisalmer.
7% rise in transactions through cards
Govt officials have told a parliamentary panel that transactions through debit & credit cards rose by 7% post demonetization. Digital transactions in all modes increased by 23% to 27.5 million in May 2017. Highest jump was witnessed in transactions through UPI, from 1 million per day to 30 million. Least rise in digital transactions was witnessed in case of plastic cards.
Raymond to launch khadi range on Oct 2
Textile & apparel major Raymond will launch Khadi by Raymond on October 2. Raymond was 1st to forge the first partnership with Khadi & Village Industries Commission and will promote fabric in India & global markets. It will be launched through 300 exclusive stores & about 10 KVIC stores across India. Raymond is initially working with 40 khadi clusters across India and will expand gradually.
Parliament approves judiciary bill
            Poland’s Parliament has approved a bill to give MPs & justice minister the power to appoint judges without consulting judicial circles. The bill, which must be signed by the president in order to become law, would force the sitting Supreme Court judges to resign a day after it comes into force. Opposition parties and human rights groups say this would erode the independence of the judiciary.
Biggest government litigant
According to Law ministry, Railway ministry is the biggest litigant among the govt departments. Railways with 66,685 cases pending has highest no. of pending cases out of which 10,464 cases are pending for more than 10 years. Govt litigation includes service matters, disputes with private entities, disputes b/w 2 govt departments & 2 PSUs. Finance ministry follows Railways with 15,646 cases
India tops the world in spam calls
According to a report by Truecaller, India tops the list of countries most affected by spam calls. India is ahead of countries like US, Brazil, Chile & South Africa with an average user receiving over 22 spam calls a month. Telcos and telemarketing accounted for a major chunk of the spam calls at 54% & 13% respectively. 3% of spam calls are scams, while 1% is insurance related.
Peacekeepers rescue humanitarian workers
Indian peacekeepers have rescued more than a dozen humanitarian workers who came under heavy firing from unknown gunmen in a town in South Sudan. Troops serving with U.N. Mission in South Sudan were alerted about the firing, peacekeepers responded by firing warning shots into the air which caused attackers to flee. As of June 2017, as many as 7676 Indian peacekeepers are serving in UNMISS.
Vijay Goel flags off Slum Yuva Daud
Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel flagged off Slum Yuva Daud to mark the beginning of the Adopt Slum Campaign. Run started from Delhi University’s Shankarlal Hall and ended at the Rugby Stadium with participation of about 5000 youngsters from various slums of Delhi. Slum Yuva Daud & Adopt Slum campaigns aim at highlighting the govt’s pro-people schemes among masses.
2nd Anniversary of Skill India Mission
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship celebrated the 2nd anniversary of Skill India Mission on the World Youth Skills day. 100 GST training centres, 51 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras and 100 Yoga training centres were inaugurated on the occasion. MSDE had launched the SKILL INDIA Campaign on the occasion of the first ever World Youth Skills Day on 15th July 2015.
Maryam Mirzakhani dies at 40
Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian- born mathematician who was the first woman to win the coveted Fields Medal, has died of cancer. Mirzakhani, a professor at Stanford University in California won the Fields Medal, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for Mathematics in 2014. She was named for her work on complex geometry and dynamic systems. She was born in Tehran and studied there and at Harvard.
First anniversary of failed coup
Turkey is holding a series of events to mark 1st anniversary of a failed coup in which at least 260 people died. An army faction tried to seize power last July but the attempt collapsed. About 100,000 govt employees were dismissed & 40,000 were arrested. President Erdogan lead a National Unity March across Bosphorus Bridge which has been renamed Martyrs Bridge to commemorate those who died.
Part of South China Sea renamed
Indonesia will now refer to the northern areas of its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea as the “North Natuna Sea”. Part of the renamed sea is claimed by China under its contentious maritime boundary, known as the “nine-dash line”. Indonesia is not the first country to rename part of the South China Sea. In 2011, the Philippines renamed the waters as the “West Philippine Sea”.
MobiKwik partners with Samsung Pay
Digital payments company MobiKwik has partnered Samsung Pay under which consumers will be able to make payments with a single tap using select Samsung handsets. MobiKwik wallet is now integrated with Samsung Pay Mini to enable one-tap payments at more than 1.4 million MobiKwik-powered merchants across the country. MobiKwik’s mobile wallet will also be available soon to Samsung Pay users.
Govt launches GST training programme
Govt has launched a GST training programme to skill around 2 lakh youths in 6 months to handle tax compliance issues like invoice making. People would be trained under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. The training course would cater to the need of GST trained professionals to help businesses in areas such as registration and calculation of tax liability under the new tax regime.
MoU for regional air connectivity
An MoU was signed in presence of Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for promoting regional air connectivity in Bihar. Under regional connectivity Purnea, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Saharsa and Valmikinagar have been chosen in Bihar. Bihar CM laid emphasis on early start of work for expansion of Patna Airport and building up of a new one at Bihta.
Misbah gets honorary life membership
Former Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq has been honoured with Honorary Life Membership by Marylebone Cricket Club for his services to the game. He was presented with the membership at Lord’s Cricket Ground. Misbah is the 22nd Pakistani to receive the honour and joins the likes of Zaheer Abbas, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram. Last Pakistani to receive the honour was Ramiz Raja in 2015.

17th July 2017
Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton took a dominant victory at Silverstone to tie the all-time record of five career wins in the British Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was second and Kimi Raikkonen was third. It was first held in 1926.
2017 Kids’ Choice Sports Awards
Nickelodeon’s 4th Annual Kids’ Choice Sports Awards was held at the Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, California. Stephen Curry won the Best Male Athlete award, while Simone Biles won the Best Female Athlete. Laurie Hernandez won the awards in  Favorite Newcomer, Serena Williams the  Queen of Swag and Usain Bolt the Need for Speed categories respectively. Michael Phelps won the Legend Award.
Memorial for Sikh ‘Dharmi Faujis’
The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee has announced that it would set up a memorial in the memory of ‘Dharmi Faujis’ – Sikh soldiers in the Indian army who committed mutiny during Operation Blue Star. SGPC had recently decided to set up a gallery on the premises of Golden Temple for the militants and devotees killed. Operation Blue Star was conducted between 1–10 June 1984.
50 monuments to have Braille signboards
50-odd protected monuments across Gujarat will soon be visually-impaired-friendly. This as Archaeological Survey of India,Gujarat circle, is set to install braille signboards at around 50 monuments in the state for explaining their historical and cultural significance to the visually-impaired visitors. The monuments include Kevda Masjid, Kabutarkhana Pavilion etc.
Disney villains immortalised
The US Postal Service honoured the rich legacy of the Walt Disney Studios Ink and Paint Department by dedicating a sheet of 20 “Forever” stamps, featuring 10 classic Disney villains. Each stamp showcases one of 10 classic Disney villains set against a blue background. It features villains like Scar, Gaston, Honest Johne etc.
Science Express to be inaugurated
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the Science Express Climate Action Special — Exhibition Train through video conferencing from New Delhi. The exhibition train will be at Roha railway station for a day on July 18. It will be on the display at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), here from July 19-22.
Nandakishore Kapote awarded
Internationally-acclaimed senior kathak dancer Pandit Nandakishore Kapote was conferred with a fellowship by the Department of Culture, Government of India. In 1976-77 Nandkishore received National Scholarship from the Department of Culture to learn kathak under the guidance of Pandit Birju Maharaj. He has launched a Kathak University in Pimpri-Chinchwad, Pune.
New galaxy discovered
Scientists have discovered a very distant galaxy, some 10 thousand million light years away, which is about 1,000 times brighter than the Milky Way. It was discovered by Polytechnic University of Cartagena in Spain used gravitational lensing. The galaxy is notable for having a high rate of star formation. It is forming stars at a rate of 1,000 solar masses per year.
New species of crab discovered
Scientists have discovered a unique new species of hermit crab that measures merely 70 millimetres in length and sports a colouration of mottled orange nuanced with cream to white. The newly discovered crustacean is called Paragiopagurus atkinsonae or the ‘Green-eyed hermit crab’. The new species was discovered during a three-week survey back in 2013 in South Africa.
IBBI notifies rules for bankruptcy probe
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India has powers to start probe against service providers registered with it without intimating them, according to new regulations. IBBI, which is implementing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, has notified the regulations. The code became operational in December 2016.
India not to host G20 meet
The absence of a world-class convention centre and the 2019 general elections have prompted the government to give a go-by to hosting the G20 meeting. Now, Japan will be the host country in 2019. It will have to compete with Indonesia to be the host, according to sources.
2017 Wimbledon Tournament
Martina Hingis clinched her 23th Grand Slam title as the Swiss star and Scottish partner Jamie Murray beat Henri Kontinen and Heather Watson in the Wimbledon mixed doubles final. This was the second Wimbledon mixed doubles title for both Murray and Hingis. Hingis has now amassed 6 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, 12 Grand Slam women’s doubles crowns and also won 5 major singles titles.
China conducts live military exercise
China’s military has conducted live-fire exercises in Tibet amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector. The People’s Liberation Army conducted live-fire exercises in Southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region. China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Dokalam area in the Sikkim sector since 16 June.
BPCL purchases US oil companies
Bharat Petroleum Corp has made its first purchase of US oil, buying high sulphur crude Mars and Poseidon in a tender. BPCL is the second Indian refiner to buy US Gulf crude after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington last month. BPCL has bought a cargo containing 500,000 barrels each of Mars and Poseidon for delivery from 26 September to 10 October.
Air Chief Marshal to visit France
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa will be on an official visit to France from July 17- 20 to further strengthen the existing defence cooperation between the the two countries. The areas of cooperation presently include exchanges in the military training courses, mutual visits by the subject matter experts & the joint air exercises. He has also planned to fly a sortie in Rafale.
World Day for International Justice
World Day for International Justice is an international day celebrated throughout the world on July 17 as part of an effort to recognize the emerging system of international criminal justice. July 17 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the International Criminal Court. The day is used to focus on many issues like genocide etc.
Harinder Pal Sandhu wins squash title
Harinder Pal Sandhu won the Victorian Open squash tournament held in Melbourne, Australia. He defeated Rex Hedrick. It was Sandhu’s 9th title at the PSA level and the 4th of this season after winning 2 in Malaysia. It was also his second title in two weeks after he had won South Australian Open by defeating Rhys Dowling of Australia.
Roger Federer wins Wimbledon title
Roger Federer won the 2017 Wimbledon title in the men’s single category. In the final match he defeated Marin Cilic of Croatia. It was Federer’s record 8th Wimbledon title and overall 19th Grand Slam. With this victory, 36-year old Federer also became Wimbledon’s oldest champion, succeeding Arthur Ashe.
Minerals found in Indian waters
Scientists from the Geological Survey of India have discovered the presence of millions of tonnes of precious metals and minerals deep under the waters that surround peninsular India. It was first identified off Mangaluru, Chennai, Mannar Basin, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and around Lakshadweep in early 2014. 3 research vessels — Ratnakar, Kaustabh and Saudikama carried out the research.
Scientists create artificial silk
Scientists from the University of Cambridge have developed super-stretchy and strong artificial spider silk, almost entirely composed of water. The fibres of the synthetic spider silk are spun from hydrogel, a soupy material which is 98% water & remaining 2% of the hydrogel is made of naturally available silica and cellulose. The silk can support stresses in the range of 100-150 megapascals.

18th July 2017
Made in India micro circuit boards
The Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Thrissur, has developed low-cost microwave printed circuit boards.  The boards are required in strategic applications such as space, defence, and atomic energy. This is one of the major steps in the indigenisation of electronic materials drive, especially for wireless communication sectors
SC allows Centre to replace MCI
The Supreme Court allowed the Centre to replace the oversight committee set up to supervise the functioning of the Medical Coucil of India with a fresh panel of 5 eminent doctors. A 5 judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar, said the Centre had proposed the names of five eminent doctors to replace the oversight committee. The committee was setup in May 2016.
Website for home buyers
SBI has launched SBI Realty, a one-stop integrated website www.sbirealty.in for home buyers. It will help customers to choose their dream home from 3,000 SBI approved projects across the country. Customers can compare current & past trends of prices for properties in various localities. It is developed by SBICAP Securities in association with PropEquity in terms of data support, among others
Future of Indian Universities
President Pranab Mukherjee was handed over the first copy of the book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives. Book has been compiled by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of Jindal Global University and has been published by  Oxford University Press. It was presented by Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen at Rashtrapati Bhavan during an event.
CCI approves Softbank’s 20% stake
Competition Commission of India has given its nod to Softbank Group Corp’s acquisition of 20% stake in One97 Communications. SoftBank will now own about one fifth of the company estimated at about $7 billion. Approval comes 2 months after Paytm raised Rs 9,000 crores from SoftBank, making it the biggest investment by the Japanese internet conglomerate’s in Indian internet ecosystem.
Smriti Irani Gets Additional Charge
Textile minister Smriti Zubin Irani has been given the additional charge of information and broadcasting. She gets additional charge as Venkaiah Naidu resigned from the post following his nomination as National Democratic Alliance’s vice-presidential candidate. She will be the 4th I&B minister appointed in 3 years by the Modi government. Prior to textile ministry, Irani held HRD ministry.
Mayawati resigns from Rajya Sabha
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati has resigned from Rajya Sabha. Decision came after the chair of the upper house asked her to restrict her impromptu speech on anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh. Her Rajya Sabha term ends in April next year and re-election will be a tough task, after her party’s poor performance in UP. She handed over her resignation to the Vice President.
National digital-only marketing campaign
HDFC Bank has launched a national digital-only marketing campaign, reinforcing its position as ‘India’s No. 1 Bank’ in products like credit cards, personal loans. It aims to connect with customers by asking them to #StartDoing and talk to India’s No 1 Bank, to fulfil all their needs. It involves a series of creatives including films that will be showcased across on platforms like Youtube, FB
Team India’s new bowling coach
BCCI has named former Indian cricketer Bharat Arun as the Indian cricket team’s bowling coach. He will join Indian team on a 2 year period until end of the 2019 ICC World Cup. He had previously served in same capacity during Shastri’s tenure as team director from 2014 to 2016. He has been handed a full-time role as bowling consultant Zaheer Khan will only be available for 150 days a year.
RIL crosses Rs 5 lakh cr market-cap
Reliance Industries has attained a market valuation of over Rs 5 lakh crore, becoming the 2nd firm after TCS to achieve this milestone. Market capitalisation of RIL stood at Rs 5,04,458.09 crore, making it the most valued company in the country. Shares of RIL have been on the surge since the launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm. TCS had attained a market valuation of over Rs 5 lakh crore in 2014
Kargil International Marathon concludes
The first ever Kargil International Marathon ‘Run for Sarhad’ concluded with more than 800 runners from all over the world participating in the event. The marathon was organised by Sarhad Pune, Run Buddies, SEWAK, All Kargil Tour and Travel Association with support from LAHDC Kargil and Indian Army. Sarfaraz Rahman won the 120 km & Zaheer Abbas won the 60 km marathon respectively.
Nelson Mandela International Day
Mandela Day celebrated on July 18, is an annual international day adopted by the UN. In November 2009, UNGA declared 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. Objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good
Naidu as vice-presidential candidate
NDA has picked Union urban development and I&B minister M Venkaiah Naidu as its candidate for Vice-President of India. He is 2 time BJP president and served 3 full terms in Rajya Sabha from Karnataka and was elected from Barmer in Rajasthan for his current term. He will be going up against Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition’s candidate. Vice-presidential election will be held on August 5.
Manudev wins National Masters
Karnataka’s Manudev has won the first National Masters snooker tournament title in Chennai. Manudev got better of Alok Kumar of PSPB by 4 frames to 1 in the finals. Earlier in the semifinals, Manudev knocked out former Asian Games gold medallist Rafath Habib of RPSB 4-2. Manudev, Alok Kumar, Chirag Ramakrishnan and Rafath Habib have qualified for world 6 red & team championship snooker.
New Members of Lok Sabha
National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir CM Farooq Abdullah and Indian Union Muslim League leader PK Kunhalikutty took oath as members of Lok Sabha. Abdullah won the by-poll from Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency while Kunhalikutty won the Malappuram by-poll in Kerala. Abdullah had lost in 2014 to the then PDP candidate Tariq Karra, who is now with Congress.
Fastest Growing Economies
According to the World Bank’s latest edition of the Global Economic Prospects, India is the fourth fastest growing economy in the world. India is expected to grow at 7.2% in the current fiscal and domestic demand is expected to remain strong, supported by policy reforms. In terms of growth rate, India is placed behind smaller economies of Estonia, Uzbekistan and Nepal.
MoU to develop village in Anuradhapura
India & Sri Lanka have signed a MoU to develop a village in Anuradhapura District. Village named after Buddhist monk Sobitha Thero is being developed at a cost of 30 cr Sri Lankan rupees. Development will include construction of 153 houses, a multipurpose community building & renovation of monk’s quarters & library. It is in line with Sri Lankan govt’s policy of rehabilitation of villages.
Country’s First Biomethane Bus
Tata Motors has developed India’s first Bio-CNG (bio-methane) bus which was unveiled recently at a bio-energy programme, ‘Urja Utsav’. Tata Motors has designed and developed bio-methane engines (5.7 SGI & 3.8 SGI) for LCV, ICV & MCV buses. Bio-CNG will contribute in a positive manner to the Smart Cities proposition of keeping them clean and will be a good option for wet garbage management.
PM to inaugurate Abdul Kalam’s memorial
PM Modi will open the national memorial for former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam at Peikarumbu near Rameswaram on July 27. The national memorial is set up by DRDO in 2.11 acres at a cost of Rs 20 crore. 2nd death anniversary of Dr A P J Abdul Kalam will be observed on July 27. Dr Kalam died on July 27 in 2015 at IIM Shillong where he had gone to deliver a lecture.
GST Council raises cess on cigarettes
GST Council raised cess on cigarettes to address an anomaly under GST that had resulted in lower tax incidence than before. Tax burden on cigarettes will go up by Rs4.8-7.9 per 10 sticks, depending on their length & whether or not they have filters. Increased cess is in addition to the highest rate of GST i.e. 28% & ad valorem cess of 5%. Anomaly would have cost govt Rs 5000 crore in tax.

19th July 2017
Rs20 notes in Mahatma Gandhi series
Reserve Bank will shortly issue bank notes of denomination Rs 20 in Mahatma Gandhi series 2005 that will be similar in design to those currently in circulation. The new notes will be bearing inset letter ‘S’ in the number panel and signature of Governor Urjit R Patel. All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 20 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender.
AIR earns Rs10 crore from ‘Mann Ki Baat’
PM Modi’s monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat has generated a revenue of about Rs10 crore for All India Radio in last 2 fiscals. In 2016-17, revenue was Rs5.19 crore, while it was Rs4.78 crore in 2015-16. Mann Ki Baat is disseminated on transmitters for domestic audience and via internet for global audience. Launched on 3 Oct 2014, Modi addresses nation every month in Mann Ki Baat programme.
Development of beaches as tourist spots
Govt has sanctioned more than Rs1,200 crore for development of beaches & rivers as tourists spots. 11 projects have been sanctioned under coastal circuit of Swadesh Darshan Scheme. 4 Projects have been earmarked under PRASAD to harness the potential of beaches as a tourist attraction. Goa is set to receive highest payout of around Rs 200 crore during 2016-17 & 2017-18 to develop its beaches
Odisha’s longest bridge
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the nation Odisha’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 2.88 km bridge over the river Kathajodi will connect Bhubaneswar with Cuttack reducing the distance b/w the 2 cities by 12 km. Construction work started after Patnaik laid foundation in February, 2011, the completion missed the deadline by over 3 years.
Tamil Nadu doubles MLAs’ salaries
Tamil Nadu govt has almost doubled the salary and allowances of its MLAs, taking their new pay from Rs 55,000 per month to Rs 105,000 per month. Govt. also announced an increase in MLAs Local Area Development Fund from Rs 2 crore to 2.5 crore. The decision comes as farmers are protesting in Delhi to press for better crop prices and a loan waiver.
Hearing on right to privacy
A 9 judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court has began hearing arguments to determine whether right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution. The hearing was triggered by a petition that challenged mandatory use of Aadhaar identity card based on biometrics, which its opponents say infringe the right to privacy. The bench is headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar.
Deepika to become an Academy member
Deepika Padukone has been inducted as one of the newest members of the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts & Sciences,Class of 2017. Deepika made her Hollywood debut with Vin Diesel’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage. AMPAS has invited 774 new members from 57 countries around the world to join the organisation’s ranks. Apart from Deepika, Priyanka Chopra has also joined the Academy Class of 2017.
Govt launches low-cost screening device
Indigenously developed newborn hearing screening device – SOHUM was launched in New Delhi. SOHUM is a low-cost indigenous screening device to detect a congenital hearing loss in newborns. It uses brainstem auditory evoked response to check for hearing response in a newborn. It is developed by School of International Biodesign startup M/s Sohum Innovation Labs India.
Cap On Weight Of School Bags
Telangana govt has put a cap on the weight of bags carried by school children from primary to Class X. According to the order maximum weight of a school bag with textbooks and notebooks should not exceed 1.5 kg for Class 1 and II and 2 to 3 kg for Classes III to V. School children were currently carrying bags weighing from 6 kg to 12 kg at primary level and up to 17 kg at high school level.
World’s most streamed song ever
Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’ has become the most-streamed song of all time, 6 months after it was released. It has been played 4.6 billion times across all streaming services, overtaking Justin Bieber’s Sorry, which previously held the title. Despacito which means slowly in Spanish has spent 10 weeks at no. 1 on US singles chart, the 1st Spanish song to reach the top spot since Macarena in 1996
mAadhaar app launched
mAadhaar, a new app for syncing Aadhaar data on mobile phone, has been launched by the UIDAI. It will allow users to carry their Aadhaar demographic information, i.e. name, date of birth, gender, address and the photograph linked with their Aadhaar number, on their smartphones. App is currently available for Android users & requires users to have their mobile numbers registered with Aadhaar.
World’s First Drone Destroyer Laser
U.S. Navy successfully tested world’s 1st laser gun system that has been designed to target drones. Laser Weapons System gun was tested by the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport ship on a mock enemy drone. The laser moves at the speed of light, is “more precise than a bullet” and is expected to be used in combat by the year 2020. It is operated by electricity derived from a small generator.
Zeliang appointed Nagaland CM
Nagaland Governor P.B. Acharya has appointed T.R. Zeliang as the new Chief Minister of the State. This comes after CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu and his supporters failed to turn up in the Assembly for the floor test. Acharya had directed Speaker Imtiwapang to summon an emergent special session of the Assembly for the CM, who is facing a rebellion from MLAs of his party to seek confidence vote.
RBI Sets up Enforcement Department
RBI has set up an Enforcement Department which would serve as a centralised department to speed up regulatory compliance. EFD has been entrusted with the responsibility of enforcement action on commercial banks. EFD has been set up to separate those who oversee the possible rule breaches and those who decide on punitive actions so that enforcement process operates fairly.
Somalia back online after three weeks
Internet has returned to Somalia after an outage of more than 3 weeks that reportedly cost Somalia’s economy $10 million a day. Internet was restored after repairing a severed undersea cable that was accidentally hit by a ship. Major companies reported millions of dollars in revenue losses, university studies were also disrupted. It also complicated efforts to combat a nationwide drought.
U.S. puts new sanctions on Iran
United States has slapped new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme. U.S. govt said it was targeting 18 entities and people for supporting what is said was “illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.” U.S. has also alleged that Tehran’s malign activities in Middle East undercut any positive contributions coming from 2015 Iran nuclear accord.
Gill elected to key Parliament panel
Britain’s first woman Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill has been elected to Home Affairs Select Committee in the UK Parliament. Labour Party candidate Preet Kaur Gill became Britain’s first female Sikh to be a member of parliament after she won her Birmingham Edgbaston seat in the June 8 snap general election. She has also been chosen to lead the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Sikhs.
Manpreet Kaur fails dope test
Asian champion shot-putter Manpreet Kaur has been caught in the dope net after testing positive for a banned stimulant. Manpreet, who won a gold medal in the recently-concluded Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, tested positive for stimulant dimethylbutylamine. India will lose the gold medal she won in Bhubaneswar if her confirmatory urine sample ‘B’ test also returns positive.
Gujarat Retains Top Slot
According to a report by economic think-tank NCAER, Gujarat has retained the top position in the list of 21 states and UTs with most investment potential. Ranking were based on 6 pillars – Labour, Infrastructure, Economic Climate, Governance & political stability, perceptions & land. While Gujarat topped in economic climate & perceptions, Delhi ranked 1 in infrastructure.
ISRO battery to power e-vehicle
Indian Space Research Organisation has approved commercial use of its indigenously developed lithium-ion battery. Use of ISRO’s indigenous battery technology is bound to reduce the cost of e-vehicles, whose manufacture is currently dependent on costly, imported parts. It has been developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and is currently used in satellites & launch vehicles like GSLV, PSLV.

20th July 2017
Agreement on N-energy comes into force
India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force from today. The agreement was signed on 11th November last year in Tokyo during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement seeks to promote full cooperation b/w the 2 countries in the development and uses of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes on a stable, reliable and predictable basis.
Hike for public sector employees
The Cabinet headed by PM Modi has approved implementation of the recommendations of the 3rd Pay Commission for central public sector enterprises’ employees. The Cabinet has cleared a 15% hike, lowest so far. The previous commission had given a 37.2% rise in 2007 and the first commission had given between 24% and 30% increase. Higher wages are effective from January 1, 2017.
Kovind elected as President of India
Former Bihar governor Ram Nath Kovind has been elected as the 14th President of India. He was the NDA’s presidential candidate and won with over 7 lakh votes against Opposition candidate Meira Kumar. He is the first President from Uttar Pradesh and the second Dalit after KR Narayanan to adorn the coveted post. He is the first BJP member to be elected as President of India.
Chennai Open renamed
India’s lone ATP tournament, the Chennai Open, will now be held in Pune next year and would be henceforth called “Maharashtra Open”. The Chennai Open, owned by IMG and organised by IMG-Reliance, has been held in Chennai for the last 21 years. The Chennai Open became an important fixture on India’s international sporting calendar, drawing top players from across the world.
Projects for Climate Change
Proposals for climate adaptation projects submitted by Rajasthan, Gujarat & Sikkim have been approved by Ministry of Environment. Projects approved by National Steering Committee on Climate Change will receive funds under NAFCC. Projects in Rajasthan & Sikkim will focus on water security while project in Gujarat will focus on increasing capacity of communities dependent on natural resources.
Petroleum institute in Andhra Pradesh
A bill for setting up of Indian Institute of Petroleum & Energy in Andhra Pradesh has been introduced in Lok Sabha. It would be established in Visakhapatnam district. It would actively pursue research & development in fields such as LNG, biofuels & renewables. Curriculum of the institute is proposed to be a specialised one and would include advanced programmes at PG & doctoral level
AIDS claimed 1 million lives
According to a UN report, AIDS claimed a million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of deadly epidemic. In 2016,19.5 million of 36.7 million people living with HIV had access to treatment, 1st time more than half of infected people were receiving the treatment. There is no cure for AIDS, infected people rely on anti-retroviral therapy to stop virus from replicating
Internet link to village bodies
Union cabinet has approved a modified implementation strategy for the BharatNet project which aims to provide broadband connectivity to all village bodies or gram panchayats by March 2019. Govt now plans to spend Rs42,068 crore on the project, more than triple its earlier budget of Rs13,000 crore for village connectivity. The project will be funded by the Universal Service Obligation Fund.
US ends laptop ban
US has ended its four-month ban on passengers carrying laptops on inbound flights from the Middle East and North Africa. It ended after King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, became the last of 10 to have the ban lifted. Ban was brought in after intelligence officials learned of efforts by the Islamic State group to produce a bomb that could be hidden inside such devices.
Revised policy to raise girl child ratio
The Maharashtra govt has approved a revised policy of the ‘Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree’ scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited. According to the earlier provisions, the scheme catered to girls from Below Poverty Line families and those whose annual income was upto Rs 1 lakh. The scheme is aimed to improve girl child ratio.
Advani gets Lifetime Achievement Award
Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha. Award was given by the Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organised by Lokmat Media Group. Advani has served as 7th Deputy Prime Minister of India from 2002 to 2004 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee and was the Leader of the Opposition in 10th & 14th Lok Sabha.
ICICI Bank instant personal loan via ATM
ICICI Bank has launched a facility whereby its existing salaried customers can avail personal loans at ATMs. Using data from credit information companies, the lender will pre-qualify select customers for personal loans. A customer can get personal loans of upto Rs. 15 lakh for a fixed tenure of 60 months which will be credited instantly into the bank account.
Cabinet nod to tax MOC with BRICS nation
Union Cabinet has approved signing of a memorandum of cooperation in respect of tax matters b/w India & revenue administrations of other BRICS countries. It aims to promote cooperation among BRICS revenue administrations on common areas of interest in tax matters and in capacity building & knowledge sharing. It also accords confidentiality & protection to information exchanged under the MoC.
Google launches Hire
Google has officially released a new tool named ‘Hire’ to help small and medium sized businesses recruit talent. The service is built on G Suite and lets employers track candidates’ contact information, resume and allow business partners to share feedback within the candidate’s profile. Hire has been rolled out only for US-based business with less than 1,000 employees.
Lok Sabha clears IIIT PPP Bill
Lok Sabha has passed Indian Institute of Information Technology Public Private Partnership Bill 2017 that seeks to allow 15 IIITs established on PPP model to grant degrees & get statutory status. It also seeks to grant institute of national importance tag to such institutes on the lines of IIT & NIT. UPA govt initiated opening of 20 IIITs with private partnership of which 15 are operational.
First global robotics competition
A group of 7 Indian students has bagged two awards at the first global robotics Olympiad in the US where 157 countries participated. Students from Mumbai, won gold for Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award and bronze for Global Challenge Match. The Afghan team won the Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli award for courageous achievement. Mexico City would host the competition next year.
Australia joins Int’l Solar Alliance
Australia became the 35th country to join the International Solar Alliance, an initiative launched by PM Modi in 2015 in Paris. The platform brings together countries that are keen to massively ramp up their solar power production. It is co-led by India & France. Till May this year, 6 countries had ratified the agreement, once 15 countries ratify it, the agreement will become a legal entity.
Providing “safe havens” to terrorists
US has listed Pakistan among the nations providing safe havens to terrorists. Report said Pak did not take sufficient action against terror groups such as LeT & JeM and allowed them to operate, train & fundraise inside the country. Annual Report on Terrorism said UN-designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed continued to address rallies despite being proscribed under provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act.
India on track to grow at 7.4% in 2017
According to an ADB supplement report India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4% in 2017 and further up 7.6% next year on strong consumption demand. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub- regions in Asia and the Pacific. ADB has upgraded its growth outlook in the Asian region to 5.9% in 2017 from 5.7% and to 5.8% for 2018 from 5.7%.
Cabinet approves sale of stake in HPCL
Union Cabinet has given its nod for the sale of govt’s 51.11% stake in HPCL to ONGC for Rs 30,000 crore. HPCL will however not be merged with ONGC. It will remain a separate entity and operate as ONGC’s subsidiary. HPCL will add 23.8 million tonnes of annual oil refining capacity to ONGC’s portfolio, making it the third-largest refiner in the country after IOC and Reliance Industries.


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CURRENT AFFAIRS -- 16TH TO 20TH JULY 2017 -- IBPS PO/CLERKS/SSC/IAS Reviewed by BANK INTERVIEWS on 10:02:00 PM Rating: 5

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