Daily Current Affairs – 21st July, 2016, Thursday

1) Chennai’s Advay Ramesh wins Google Community Impact Award from Asia

a) Google India has announced the results of Google Community Impact Award from Asia which is a part of Google Science Fair 2016. Advay Ramesh, a 14-year-old student from Chennai, has created a device that enhances fishermen’s safety and productivity.

c) Advay’s project titled ‘FishErmen Lifeline Terminal (FELT)’ won him $10,000 in funding and a year-long mentorship from Scientific American. The project looks at how to enhance fishermen safety and productivity using GPS (Global Positioning Services).

d) Google Community Impact Award received projects from over 107 countries. The award recognises projects that make a difference in community by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge.

d) Ramesh, a Class 10 student from Chennai’s National Public School, is also among 20 finalists shortlisted to compete for a $50,000 scholarship from Google.

2) Kerala Assembly passes Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Bill 2016

a) Kerala Assembly has passed the Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Bill, paving way for the appointment of CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan as Chairman of the proposed Fourth Administrative Reforms Commission.

b) The bill seeks to amend the Section 2 of the 1951 Act by adding sub-section 2 which says that “No person shall be disqualified from being the member of legislative assembly (MLA) on the grounds that he or she holds the office of profit in term of being the Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission.”

c) The section 2 in the 1951 Act was added to give effect to the sub-clause (angel) of clause (1) of Article 191 of the Constitution. The Article says that an MLA shall be disqualified if he or she holds any office of profit under the Union Government or any of the state governments, other than an office declared by law.

3) Quarter of a million children severely malnourished in Borno state, Nigeria: UNICEF

a) As per the recently released report by UNICEF, almost a quarter of a million children in parts of Borno state, North-East Nigeria, are suffering from severe malnutrition and risk death. The humanitarian crisis is caused due to Boko Haram that is controlling the state since 2013.

b) UNICEF said that out of the 244,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno this year, around one in five will die if they do not receive treatment. Also, the agency stated that there had been a large rise in the number of children suffering from this condition in Borno state, from 35,000 in 2013 and 57,500 in 2014.

c) UNICEF is working with partners to screen and treat children for malnutrition and improve access to water and sanitation. UNICEF’s humanitarian response also includes providing medical care, immunization, education and psychological support to the children affected by the violence.

4) Parliament passes Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016

a) The Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 seeking to establish a Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, Haryana has been passed by the Rajya Sabha.

b) The bill provides for establishing a regional biotechnology centre that will work on education, training and research, under the auspices of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the National Capital Region and declare it to be an institution of national importance said an official statement.

c) This will help to create a hub of Biotechnology expertise and will facilitate transfer of technology and knowledge in the SAARC region and generally Asia. It also intends to promote cooperation at the international level.

5) Softbank to acquire ARM Holdings for $32 billion

a) Japan’s Softbank on 18 July 2016 agreed to acquire ARM Holdings, the U.K. based semiconductor firm, in a deal worth more than 32 billion US dollar. The deal is the first major cross-border transaction in Britain since it voted to exit the European Union in June 2016.

b) As part of its bid to bolster its presence in the growing internet of things (IoT) sector, Softbank will pay about 22.50 US dollar per share for ARM.

6) Union Cabinet approves establishment of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences at Gorakhpur

a) Centre has approved the establishment of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences at Gorakhpur under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).

b) The cost of the project for establishment of the new AIIMS in Gorakhpur shall be Rs 1011 crore. This recurring expenditure will be met by the respective new AIIMS from their annual budgets through Grant-in-Aid to them from Plan Budget Head of PMSSY of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

c) The institution shall have a hospital with capacity of 750 beds which will include Emergency/Trauma Beds, AYUSH Beds, Private Beds and ICU Speciality & Super Speciality beds. In addition, there will be an Administration Block, AYUSH Block, Auditorium, Night Shelter, Hostels and residential facilities.

d) The establishment of new AIIMS will serve the dual purpose of providing super specialty healthcare to the population while creating a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary level institutions/facilities being created under National Health Mission (NHM). This institute will also conduct research on prevalent regional diseases and other health issues and provide for better control and cure of such diseases.

7) SC approves Lodha panel recommendations for cricket reforms

a) The Supreme Court has upheld nearly all recommendations of the R.M. Lodha Committee to revamp the cricket administration.

b) The cricket administration maintained an aggressive stance throughout this process. However, the SC has advised it to work toward effecting long-term reforms that would benefit the game.

c) The SC approved the panel’s restrictions like ‘One State, One Vote’ or setting an age limit for cricket administrators (at 70) or keeping government ministers and bureaucrats out or including a representative of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) office and even the basis for disqualification, which includes relinquishing of position when an office-bearer becomes a government minister.

d) The SC judgement has also approved the overhaul of the existing BCCI Committees on the basis that they do not have clearly defined terms of reference.

8) Odisha govt. to celebrate bicentenary of 1817 Paika revolt

a) The Odisha government has decided to celebrate the bicentenary (200 years) of the 1817 Paika revolt against the British Empire in 2016. For this, the state will organise a series of events in Odisha and at national level.

b) Given below are some of the measures to be taken:

. An Amar Jyoti Pillar will be installed at Barunei hills, the place from where the rebellion began.

. The Paika revolt will be documented by bringing historical facts to the fore.

. Khurda fort will be conserved and protected and a road leading to it will be developed by the state government.

c) The Paika revolt is considered the first war of Indian independence by many. Paikas (a martial race) first raised the banner of revolt against the British Raj on March 29, 1817 at Barunei near Khurda. They organised the rebellion due to social, economic and political reasons.

9) Russian PM suspends sports ministry official named in doping report

a) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has suspended Deputy Sports Minister Yury Nagornykh, whose named recently cropped up in a report on the doping of Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

b) The investigation was led by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren, who was present on the independent commission that exposed doping and corruption in Russian track and field in 2015.

c) The report stated that Nagornykh had been advised of every positive test across all sports from 2011 onward and decided “who would benefit from a cover-up and who would not be protected.

10) Cabinet approves amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015

a) The Cabinet has approved amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015 to strengthen the bill as regards legal and administrative procedure.

b) The law also aims to prohibit benami transactions and subsequently prevent evasion of law through unfair practices.

c) It enables the government to seize benami property by adhering to procedure and promote equality.

11) CCEA approves Rs1799 cr investment to augment Cochin Shipyard capability

a) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved construction of a new dry dock within the existing premises of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) at an estimated cost of Rs 1799 crore to enhance shipbuilding and repair capacity of India.

b) The augmentation will enable Cochin Shipyard to utilise the market potential of building specialised and technologically-advanced vessels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels, indigenous higher capacity aircraft carriers, jack up rigs, drill ships, large dredgers and repairing of offshore platforms and larger vessels.