Daily Current Affairs – 17th and 18th July, 2016, Sunday and Monday

1) Forbes releases list of World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2016

a) Forbes magazine recently released a list of the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities of 2016. American pop singer Taylor Swift is ranked 1st on this list whereas, One Direction (band) took the No. 2 spot, followed by author James Patterson at the third place. Dr. Phil McGraw and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, are tied on No. 4.

b) According to this list, The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is the highest paid actor in the world.

c) Shah Rukh Khan ranks 86th on the list with earnings to the tune of $33 million, while Akshay Kumar comes in on the 94th spot with $31.5 million earnings.

2) World Youth Skills Day 2016 observed 

a) World Youth Skills day was celebrated on 15th July, 2016. The theme this year is Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment.

b) The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of investing in skill development among the youth.

c) The United Nations had organised an event facilitated by the UN Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi. The event was co-organised with the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

3) Pema Khandu sworn-in as Arunachal Pradesh CM

a) Pema Khandu has been sworn in as the ninth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Governor Tathagata Roy administered the Oath of Office and Secrecy to him.

b) Khandu has replaced Nabam Tuki, who resigned from the post after stepping down as leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP). Also, he is the youngest CM of Arunachal Pradesh.

c) Chowna Mein was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister.

4) UNESCO declares Nalanda Mahavihara as 33rd World Heritage Site in India

a) Bihar’s much awaited ancient site, the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara – barely 98 km away from Patna – has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The site comprises large number of remains of stupas, shrines, viharas and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

b) Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian subcontinent. It engaged in organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions.

5) SBI signs MoU with IIT Bombay to promote fintech start-ups

a) India’s largest public sector bank, State Bank of India (SBI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), which is IIT Bombay’s technology business incubator. The aim was to promote innovation by start-ups in the financial sector.

b) The deal also aims to help evaluate start-ups operating out of SINE or those being promoted by SINE for early stage funding within the bank’s norms.

c) As per the MoU, both the parties will identify fintech start-ups that have products or applications to cater to the financial sector and can help SBI explore opportunities to enhance synergy for their banking services. SBI will provide a platform for testing/ piloting such products/applications.

6) India, Bangladesh sign deal for construction of coal-fired power plant

a) India & Bangladesh recently signed a deal for the construction of a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant. The Rampal Power Station is the biggest project under bilateral cooperation.

b) This is the biggest project under India – Bangladesh cooperation and EXIM Bank of India will provide $1.49 billion for the project, scheduled to start generating power in 2019.

c) The deal came amid concerns by environmental groups that the plant could affect the delicate ecosystem of the world’s largest mangrove forest, spreading over both Bangladesh and India. The project is also known as Maitree Super Thermal Power Project.

7) Admiral Sunil Lanba commissions Marine Commandos’ base INS Karna

a) Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff, has commissioned the Marine Commandos (MARCOS-East) unit as ‘INS Karna’ at a function at INS Kalinga in the district.

b) The MARCOS unit is mandated to undertake special operations in the entire area of the Eastern Naval Command (ENC). MARCOS East was raised on October 26, 1992 and since then it has been the primary special operations unit in ENC.

c) This includes Operation Zabardast (Sri Lanka February 1993), Operation Tasha (1990-2009), Operation Leech (1998) and Operation Sagittarius (anti-piracy operations in Malacca Strait) and the unit is at present involved in two major operations, including Rakshak (counter terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir since 1997).

8) Health ministry launches nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight

a) Union Ministry of Health has launched a Nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight campaign. The drive intends to reach under-five children at the critical time of monsoon when diarrhoea becomes a common infection.

b) The Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) will be observed from 11th to 23rd July throughout the country. The Ministry also unveiled a package of measures putting the government’s resolve to end child diarrhoea deaths on the overdrive.

c) ASHAs shall visit households with children below five years of age to pre-position the ORS and explain its significance. Also, intensified community awareness campaigns on hygiene and promotion of ORS and Zinc therapy will be conducted at the state, district and village levels.

9) 6 more Indians qualify for Rio Olympics

a) Six Indians recently qualified for the Rio Olympics which will be held from 5 August to 21 August 2016.

b) In golf, which will make a return to the Olympics for the first time after the 1904 St. Louis Games, three Indians – Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok – bagged Rio berths.

c) Other include Renjith Maheswary (leaped with a national record of 17.30 metres bettering the Rio qualification mark of 16.85 metres), Dharambir Singh (broke the national record of running 200m in 20.45 seconds) and Jinson Johnson (ran the second fastest ever 800 metres race to qualify).

10) India, ADB sign $100 mn loan agreement for Cauvery Delta project

a) The Indian government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $100 million loan for ‘Climate Adaptation in Vennar sub-basin of Cauvery Delta project’ in Tamil Nadu.

b) The agreement aims to strengthen irrigation and drainage system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of the Cauvery delta, which is a major source of water for agriculture in Tamil Nadu as well as neighbouring states.

c) The funding will be used to reinforce embankments of six major irrigation water channels in the Vennar system and rehabilitate 13 irrigation pumping schemes.

11) RBI sets up panel to study Fintech, digital banking

a) The Reserve Bank of India has set up an inter-regulatory Working Group to analyse a host of issues pertaining to financial technology and digital banking.

b) Headed by Sudharshan Sen, Executive Director of the RBI, the group review and restructure the regulatory framework, based on the dynamics fast-developing Fintech. It has 12 members, including AP Hota, MD and CEO, National Payments Corporation of India; AS Ramasastri, Director, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology, among others.

c) Firstly, the Group will gain a broad understanding of major Fintech innovations, entities, technology platforms involved, and how markets as well as the financial sector are adopting new delivery channels, products and technologies.

d) It will evaluate opportunities and risks the financial system will face due to use of financial technology. It will also analyse how Fintech can be used for optimising financial product innovation and delivery to the benefit of users and other stakeholders.

e) The panel will assess consequences and challenges with respect to various financial sector functions such as intermediation, clearing, and payments, being taken up by non-financial entities.

12) Centre revises schedule for making payments under Income Declaration Scheme

a) The Union government has announced a revised time schedule for making payments under its Income Declaration Scheme 2016. The decision was taken after stakeholders felt that the existing time available (up to November 30, 2016) is “very short”.

b) As per the revision:

-Minimum amount of 25% of the tax, surcharge and penalty to be paid by November 30, 2016

-Further amount of 25% of the tax, surcharge and penalty to be paid by March 31, 2017

-The balance amount to be paid on or before September 30, 2017.

13) Portugal wins Euro 2016; defeats France 1-0

a) Portugal beat France 1-0 in Euro final to lift the championship trophy for the first time.

b) Éder’s goal in the second period of extra time won them the cup. With this win, their run of 10 consecutive defeats to France, stretching back to 1978, was over.

14) 2016 Wimbledon concludes

a) The 2016 Wimbledon Championships commenced on June 27 and concluded on July 10. This was the 130th edition of the championships, the 49th in the Open Era and the third Grand Slam tournament of the year.

b) Given below is the list of medal winners:

Women’s singles: Serena Williams

Men’s singles: Andy Murray

Women’s doubles: Serena Williams and Venus Williams

Men’s doubles: Pierre-Hugues Herbert / France Nicolas Mahut

Mixed doubles: Heather Watson / Finland Henri Kontinen

Girls’ singles: Anastasia Potapova

Boys’ singles: Denis Shapovalov

Girls’ doubles: Usue Maitane Arconada / United States Claire Liu

Boys’ doubles: Kenneth Raisma / Greece Stefanos Tsitsipas

Ladies’ invitation doubles: Martina Navratilova / Tunisia Selima Sfar

Gentlemen’s invitation doubles: Greg Rusedski / France Fabrice Santoro

Wheelchair women’s singles: Jiske Griffioen

Wheelchair men’s singles: Gordon Reid

Wheelchair women’s doubles: Yui Kamiji / United Kingdom Jordanne Whiley

Wheelchair men’s doubles: Alfie Hewett / United Kingdom Gordon Reid

15) ICC releases Test, ODI, and T20 rankings

a) The International Cricket Council (ICC) has released the latest Test, ODI and T20 rankings. Australia tops the Test rankings list with a rating of 118 for 32 matches. India comes second in the list with 112 for 20 matches. Pakistan, England and New Zealand are place third, fourth and fifth respectively.

b) Australia also topped the ODI list with a rating of 123 for 42 matches. It was followed by New Zealand (113), India (110), South Africa (110), England (106).

c) In T20 rankings, New Zealand topped the list with a rating of 132 for 20 matches. It was followed by India (128), West Indies (122), South Africa (119) and England (116).

d) Australian captain Steven Smith was ranked first among Test batsmen with 925 ratings. Pakistan’s Yasir Shah topped the list among Test bowlers with 878 points.

e) AB de Villiers topped the ODI batsmen list with 887 points. India’s Virat Kohli came a close second with 813 points while compatriots Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took the sixth and eighth places with 750 and 737 points respectively. West Indies’ Sunil Naraine has been ranked the best ODI bowler with 759 points.

f) Among best T20 batsmen and bowlers were Virat Kohli (837) and West Indies’ Samuel Badree (790) respectively.

16) Utpal Bora appointed as Chairman of Oil India

a) Utpal Bora has been appointed as the full time Chairman of Oil India. The appointment was recommended by a three-member search-cum-selection committee headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha.

b) D Rajkumar has also been appointed as the Head to Oil India. His appointment will be effective from 1 October 2016 after retirement of BPCL’s current chief S Varadarajan in September 2016.