Daily Current Affairs – 22nd and 23rd July, 2016, Friday and Saturday

1) 2016 Fortune 500 list released: India’s India Oil Corporation ranked at 161st

a) The 2016 Fortune Global 500 list of the world’s biggest firms was released on 21 July 2016. Seven Indian companies were featured in the list with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) ranking highest at 161st rank with revenues worth 54.7 billion US dollars.

b) The overall list was topped by retail giant Walmart with revenue of 482.130 million US dollars.

c) ONGC has been been replaced by gems and jewellery firm Rajesh Exports, which makes its Fortune 500 debut this year at 423rd position.

2) Former French cyclist Dominique Arnaud passes away

a) Former French cyclist Dominique Arnaud passed away at the age of 60 due to cancer.

b) Arnaud took part on 11 occasions in the Tour de France and won three stages of the Vuelta a Espana, reports Efe.

c) He also won the Tour du Limousin in 1983, which is a 4-day road bicycle race held annually in Limousin, France.

3) Union Cabinet approves Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016

a) The Union Cabinet has approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 to protect transgenders from discrimination.

b) The bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons, mitigate the stigma, discrimination and abuse against this marginalized section and bring them into the mainstream of society.

c) The Bill will make all the stakeholders responsive and accountable for upholding the principles underlying the Bill. It will bring greater accountability on the part of the Central Government and Slate Governments/Union Territories Administrations for issues concerning Transgender persons.

4) Union Cabinet approves signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique

a) The Union Cabinet has recently approved signing of the Air Services agreement between India and Mozambique. Presently there is no Air Services Agreement between India and Mozambique.

b) Under the agreement, airlines of the two countries will be allowed to set up offices in each other’s country for the purpose of promotion and sale of air services. The airlines of India and Mozambique can operate to multiple destinations in the other countries, an official statement said.

c) The two countries also signed an MoU on the prevention of illicit drug trafficking and precursor chemicals that are used to make narcotic substances.

5) ECI launched National Electoral Roll Purification 2016

a) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on 20 July 2016 has launched the National Electoral Roll Purification (NERP) 2016 programme across the country. “No voter to be left behind”is the motto of ECI for year 2016.

b) The programme will continue till August 31, 2016 and will ensure enrolment of all eligible citizens and removal of repeated and multiple entries; entries of dead, shifted and absent voters, correction of errors in EPIC and removal of other data errors.

c) An award has also been instituted for 100 % achievers at BLO, ERO and DEO levels in three categories of authentication, correction and deletion of DSEs/REs may be incorporated in the State Award.

6) Genes of 6000-year-old barley grains sequenced for first time

a) Scientists have successfully reconstructed the genome of barley grain dating 6000 years ago. With this, it has become the oldest plant genome to be reconstructed to date.

b) Age of the seeds were determined by subjecting one group to radiocarbon dating while extracting the DNA from the other. The ancient DNA functions like a time capsule, allowing researchers to study the domestication of crops at specific times in history.

c) Before this, only prehistoric corn was genetically reconstructed. The findings were published in the journal Nature Genetics on 18 July 2016.

7) Union Cabinet approves incorporation of Sagarmala Development Company

a) Union Cabinet has approved incorporation of Sagarmala Development Company under the Companies Act, 2013, with an initial authorised share capital of Rs 1,000 crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs 90 crore.

b) The prime objective of Sagarmala project is to promote port-led direct and indirect development and to provide infrastructure to transport goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.

c) Implementation of the identified projects will be done mainly through private or PPP mode. It will provide equity support for the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) set up by the Ports/State/Central Ministries window.

8) CCEA approves Ghatampur Thermal Power Project in Uttar Pradesh

a) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the installation of Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) of 1980 MW capacity through a Joint Venture Company.

b) The project will be implemented at an estimated cost of 17237.8 crore rupees. The commissioning of Unit I, II and III will be 52 months, 58 months and 64 months respectively from starting date.

c) The benefits of this generation will be available in the 13th Five Year Plan. The energy generated by the GTPS (about 14,000 MU/annum) will mainly be supplied to Uttar Pradesh said an official statement.

9) Facebook’s Aquila Internet drone completes first test flight

a) Facebook Inc on 22 July 2016 announced the successful completion of test flight of a solar-powered drone named Aquila. The social media giant believes that Aquila will help to extend Internet connectivity to every corner of the planet.

b) Facebook has been working on the project as part of the many connectivity initiatives under Internet.org. Aquila is very similar to Google’s project Lion, which plans to use high flying balloons to beam internet signals down to remote areas.

c) Aquila’s wingspan is bigger than that of a Boeing 737, and its wings and frame are made of carbon fiber. It is solar-powered, so it runs on solar energy during the day and battery power at night. The batteries can last for up to 13 or 14 hours.

10) Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveils foundation stone for revival of fertilizer unit at Gorakhpur

a) India’s PM Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the revival of a sick fertiliser plant here with an investment of Rs 6,000 crore.

b) This centre will create up to 4,000 jobs and ensure adequate supply of nutrients to farmers of Uttar Pradesh.

c) The gas-based urea plant of the state-run Fertiliser Corporation India Ltd (FCIL) will be revived by an equal joint venture company between Coal India Ltd (CIL) and NTPC.

11) Turkey declares three-month state of emergency after a failed military coup

a) A three month state emergency was recently declared in Turkey by it’s president following a botched coup attempt in the country.

b) This measure was taken by the Turkish Prime Minister to maintain the democracy in Turkey.

c) Since loyalist security forces and protesters quashed the rebellion, nearly 10,000 people who have been rounded up for security measures.