Daily Current Affairs – 30th and 31st July, 2016, Saturday and Sunday

1) Second phase of the Feed the Future-India Triangular Training Programme launched

a) Second phase of the Feed the Future-India Triangular Training Programme was launched on 25 July 2016 in New Delhi by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the U.S Agency for International Development (USAID).

b) The programme will provide specialized agriculture training to 1500 agricultural professional across Africa and Asia in following countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam, Kenya, Malawi, Liberia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, Botswana and Ethiopia.

c) Under this 32 Training programme of 15 day-duration will be conducted in India and 12 Training programs of 10 days duration will be conducted in selected African and Asian Countries during 2016-20.

2) Solar Impulse 2 completes first round-the-world journey

a) The world’s first round the world solar powered flight created history as it landed in Abu Dhabi after travelling an epic 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) journey that began more than a year ago.

b) Since its March 2015 take off, the Swiss-engineered Solar Impulse 2 has made 16 stops across the world without using a drop of fuel to demonstrate that using the plane’s clean technologies on the ground can halve the world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve quality of life. The aircraft has racked up 558 hours of flight time.

c) The aircraft is uniquely powered by 17,248 solar cells that transfer energy to four electrical motors that power the plane’s propellers. It runs on four lithium polymer batteries at night. The plane’s wingspan stretches 236 feet (72 meters) to catch the sun’s energy.

3) International Day of Friendship 2016 observed globally

a) The International Day of Friendship was on 30 July 2016 observed worldwide. The Day is aimed at supporting the goals and objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001-2010).

b) On this day, UN encourages governments, international organizations and civil society groups to hold events, activities and initiatives that contribute to the efforts of the international community towards promoting a dialogue among civilizations, solidarity, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

c) The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly with the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.

4) Father of Hybrid Sorghum Neelamraju Ganga Prasada Rao passes away

a) Noted agricultural scientist Neelamraju Ganga Prasada Rao, passed away in Hyderabad recently at the age of 89 years.

b) He was well-known for basic and applied research in breeding and agronomy of several dryland crops especially towards sorghum improvement, hence also earned the title of ‘Father of Hybrid Sorghum’ in India.

c) Dr. Rao was awarded the C Subramaniam Gold Medal (1966) for the development of the first Sorghum Hybrid; SS Bhatnagar Prize for Biological Sciences (1967); Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award for Plant Breeding (1974); and VASWIK Award for Agricultural Sciences (1979). A.P. government bestowed the Atma Gaurav Award (2003), and the Distinguished Agricultural Scientist Award (2008).

5) European Commission appoints Michel Barnier as Chief Brexit Negotiator

a) Michel Barnier is appointed as the Chief Brexit negotiator by European Union’s executive.

b) Didier Seeuws, a Belgian diplomat was appointed as the head of a Brexit task force by the European Council.

c) Michel Barnier is a well known politician of the French union for a popular movement and vice president of the European People’s party.

6) James Alan McPherson, first black writer to win Pulitzer Prize in fiction, dies

a) First black writer to win the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, James Alan McPherson has recently passed away in Iowa city.

b) He received Pulitzer prize for his story collection ‘Elbow Room’. He was a long time faculty member at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop.

c) His other works included the story collection “Hue and Cry” and the memoir “Crabcakes.” In 1981, McPherson was named a MacArthur fellow.

7) United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2016 observed

a) On 30th July, 2016 world has observed the United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2016.

b) To raise of the issue of victims of human trafficking, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched the campaign #igivehope.

c) The core objective of this day is to raise awareness of the plight human trafficking victims, and promoting and protecting their rights.

8) IOC to launch Olympic Channel on August 21

a) The Olympic Channel is set to start to broadcast the Olympics 2016.

b) The new streaming service will be available worldwide through a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices, and at olympicchannel.com.

c) The Olympic Channel will provide original programming, live sports, new and highlights year round. Programming will consist of both short- and long-form content, focusing on international athletes.