Daily Current Affairs 24th July, 2017
Iran, Iraq ink pact on military cooperation
- Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up military cooperation and the fight against terrorism and extremism.
- The MoU encourages promotion of interaction and share of experiences in the fight against terrorism and extremism, border security, training and logistical, technical and military support between both countries.
India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways
- India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh.
- Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya stated in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh, West Bengal and the Brahmaputra in Assam.
World’s largest supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford commissioned in USA
- US Navy commissioned world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford into the fleet. The commissioning ceremony was held at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia in presence of US President Donald Trump.
- USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in this new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford and has been built by Newport News Ship Building Company. The massive 1,106-foot-long carrier is powered by two new generation nuclear reactors.
Bengaluru Declaration calls for SC/ST quota in judiciary
- The Bengaluru Declaration was recently adopted by the Karnataka State government sponsored Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Conference 2017. The theme of the conference: “Quest for Equity”.
- The declaration recommends a slew of affirmative action measures in private sector, judiciary, educational institutions, government contracts and promotions for Dalits.
- The declaration has 40 recommendations under six broad categories — safeguarding the people, strengthening democratic institutions, deepening social justice, enhancing human development, ensuring responsive governance, and promoting social security.
- The Preamble of the declaration states, “This Peoples’ Declaration hopes to be a dynamic blueprint that addresses the needs and aspirations of all Indians, and a starting point for an ‘alliance of equity’ of all progressive forces committed to safeguarding the idea of India”.
Kiren Rijiju inaugurates RIWATCH Museum in Arunachal Pradesh
- Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has inaugurated the Research Institution of World Ancient, Traditional, Culture & Heritage (RIWATCH) Museum at Roing in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Later, on the sideline of his visit to Roing, Rijiju also inaugurated the 235-meter long Chimari Bridge, which would serve as a life line between the National Highway 52 of Roing-Tezu.
ECONOMY,BANKING AND FINANCE
MPC members to get Rs. 1.5 lakh per meet, must disclose assets
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently notified the Monetary Policy Committee and Monetary Policy Process Regulations, 2016.
- Remuneration: Members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be paid Rs. 1.5 lakh per meeting along with air travel and other reimbursements.
- Silent period: Members will have to observe a “silent period” of seven days before and after the rate decision for “utmost confidentiality”. Members are also required to be mindful of any conflict between their personal and public interest while interacting with profit making organisations and making personal financial transactions.
- Voting pattern: Each member of the MPC has one vote and in case the numbers are equal, the governor has the casting vote.
- Report:The MPC, which has the responsibility of achieving a set inflation target, should submit a report to the government in case of failure to achieve the required target. In such instances, the report shall be sent to the central government “within one month from the date on which the bank has failed to meet the inflation target”.
- Meetings: MPC has to hold meetings at least four times in a year. The schedule of the MPC meetings for the entire fiscal year needs to be announced in advance. At least 15 days of notice is required for convening a meeting ordinarily, but an emergency meeting can be called with 24 hours notice for each member and technology-enabled arrangements need to be made for even shorter notice period meetings.
- Assets declaration: All members need to disclose their assets and liabilities and update this information once every year.
- After conclusion of MPC meeting, a resolution needs to be made public including on the policy repo rate and any other monetary policy measures at the discretion of the Chairperson while keeping in view the functioning and timing of financial markets.
Government plans new agency to keep check on Chartered Accountants
- The government is reviewing plans to put in place the National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) as it seeks to rein in the Institute of Chartered Accounts for India (ICAI) for its perceived failure in enforcing discipline.
- While Companies Act 2013 had provided for NFRA as a regulatory agency for audit, accounts and financial reporting, Section 132 of the law has remained on paper as the rules are yet to be notified. It is one of the few sections of the law that has not been notified yet.
Cyber space global conference
- India will be hosting the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) in 2017, one of the world’s largest conference on Cyber Space and related issues.
- The GCCS is taking place outside OECD nations for the first time.
- It is being held in India for the first time.
- The theme for the GCCS 2017 is ‘Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace’.
- The conference will see participation of around 2000 delegates from senior Government officials, industry leaders, academia and civil society from over 100 countries.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
World’s first wind farm being built off Scotland coast
- The world’s first full-scale floating wind farm is being built off the coast of Scotland. The wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial project which will bring power to 20,000 homes.
- The technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters that are too deep for the existing bottom-standing turbines.
Spanish scientists discover novobiocin compound as anti-Zika drug
- Researchers San Antonio Catholic University of Murcia, Spain have discovered novobiocin compound that could be used as a potential drug to fight the effects of a Zika virus infection.
- The novobiocin molecule (compound) was previously used in antibiotic drug to fend off “nosocomial” infections (those acquired inside a hospital).
- However, the drug was withdrawn from the market because it had lost its potency as an antibiotic.
Former ISRO Chairman U R Rao passes away at 85 years of age
- Internationally-renowned space scientist and former chairman of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru.
- Prof Rao is credited with having played an instrumental role in building up Indian satellite programmes right from nation’s first satellite Aryabhatta.
UK govt appoints Brenda Marjorie Hale as first female President of SC
- The UK government appointed Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female President of the Supreme Court, the senior-most judge of the country. Hale, 72, will take charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current President, Lord Neuberger.
- She has served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013. Three new justices have also been appointed to the Supreme Court – Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Brigg – who will take up the role when Lady Hale is sworn in officially as President on 2nd October.
Meghalaya CM launches ‘Mission Football’ in Shillong
- Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma launched ‘Mission Football’ at a grand ceremony at JN Sports Complex, Shillong recently.
- Mission Football is an initiative to help develop skills of football enthusiasts and develop young footballers for the country. It is a dedicated program for talent identification and nurturing of talents to develop national and international players.
H S Prannoy wins US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton title
- Ace Indian Shuttler H S Prannoy won the 2017 Yonex US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament title.
- It was his third grand prix gold title of badminton. In the final match held at Anaheim, California, Prannoy defeated his compatriot Parupalli Kashyap by 21-15, 20-22, 21-12.
- In the women’s singles category of the tournament, Aya Ohori of Japan won the final by defeating Michelle Li of Canada.