Daily Current Affairs of 12th July 2017
International Current Affairs
- The United States has deployed anti-aircraft missiles for the first time in the Baltics for use in NATO military drills in Lithuania.
- This comes ahead of the Zapad exercise by Russia and Belarus, which NATO allies believe could increase Russian presence.
MOUs & Agreements
- The United States and Qatar today signed an agreement on combating terrorism and terror financing.
- Note : Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Egypt had imposed sanctions on Qatar last month accusing it of financing extremist groups.
- The Telecom department has made it mandatory for all phones, including feature phones, to install Global Positioning System (GPS) from January 1, 2018.
- The order aims to ensure consumers’ safety as GPS can help locate them in emergency situations.
- To create awareness about Aadhaar number, the government has started a story-telling contest named ‘Aadhaar Hai To Aasaani Hai‘.
- People willing to participate can send in a 200-500 word-long story about Aadhaar till August 8 midnight.
- The top five stories will be awarded ₹20,000 each, while the next 20 stories will be awarded ₹5,000 each.
- The Telangana government has issued an ordinance to curb the “social evils” caused by online rummy card games.
- Note : Online gaming is an offence as per the provisions of another ordinance issued by the state a month ago.
- The National Zoological Park, New Delhi is going to launch an Animal Adoption Scheme.
- Citizens would be able to adopt an animal after paying a fixed amount of money, usually spent on food and medicines for the animal.
- The adopter would have free entry for a year and their name will be displayed on the cage.
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today directed a complete ban on ‘manja’ (kite strings) made of or coated with any synthetic material that is non-biodegradable.
- Maharashtra has become the first Indian state to provide free injectable contraceptives to women under the state’s family planning programme, Antara.
- The injection contains a female birth-control hormone, which prevents pregnancy for three months.
- Rajasthan has become the first State to lay down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies.
- In this regard, state government has amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003.
Places in News
- A total of 36 places in India are recognised as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, with the latest addition being the city of Ahmedabad.
- With four of its sites recognised, Maharashtra tops the list in India.
- India’s World Heritage Sites include West Bengal’s Sundarbans, Maharashtra’s Ajanta and Ellora Caves, UP’s Taj Mahal, Goa’s Churches and Convents, among others.
Banking, Business & Economic Affairs
- 5 Indian States (Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh) and a Union Territory (PUducherry) have formally adopted the Centre’s Government e-Marketplace (GeM) initiative.
- In this regard, these states/UT have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join GeM initiative.
- 4 more states including Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Haryana, will ink such MoU soon.
- What is Government e-Marketplace (GeM) initiative ?
- GEM Initiative is an Online Market platform to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various Ministries and agencies of the Government.
- It aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement of goods and services and eliminate corruption.
- The government has approved e-commerce giant Amazon‘s proposed $500 million (over ₹3,200 crore) foreign direct investment (FDI) in retailing of food products in India.
- As per the proposal, the company will sell food products online via its wholly-owned subsidiary.
- Note : The government allows 100% FDI in food retail, including e-commerce, provided the items are produced or manufactured in India.
- Traders and businesses will have to display the Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration number on their business sign boards and the registration certificate on the premises.
- This is to ensure that a citizen can easily find out whether a business is registered or not.
- The GSTIN is a 15-digit number which taxpayers get after registering with GST Network portal.
- Ned Segal, a longtime Goldman Sachs banker and the former Senior Vice President of Finance at Silicon Valley’s financial software company Intuit, has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer at Twitter.
- He will take over the CFO role from Anthony Noto, who was promoted to COO post last November.
Science & Technology
- NASA’s James Webb Telescope, the largest space telescope ever built, has been locked in a vacuum vault for testing at sub-zero temperatures to simulate its working in deep space.
- The 6.5-metre diameter telescope has 18 gold-coated mirrors and a tennis court-sized sunshield to gather light and protect its instruments.
- The $8.8 billion telescope took 20 years to build.
- The Chinese government has ordered telecommunications firms to completely block access to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) by February 2018, in a crackdown aimed at suppressing dissent over the legitimacy of the ruling Communist Party.
- Note : China operates the world’s largest Internet censorship regime and has banned several social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Sports Current Affairs
- Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj has became the all-time highest run-scorer in women’s ODI cricket.
- She also became the second player after Charlotte Edwards to score over 500 runs in four different calendar years in women’s ODI cricket.
- Following Angelo Mathews’ resignation as Sri Lanka’s captain from all three formats, the country’s cricket board has named :
- Dinesh Chandimal as the Side’s Test captain.
- Upul Tharanga as the limited-overs captain.