Daily Current Affairs 3rd July, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 3rd July, 2017

INTERNATIONAL

WHO declares end of Ebola outbreak in Congo

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of the most recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
  • The announcement comes 42 days (two 21-day incubation cycles of the virus) after the last confirmed Ebola patient in the affected Bas-Uélé province of DRC tested negative for the disease for the second time.
  • It was DRC’s eighth outbreak of EVD since the discovery of the virus in the country in 1976. It killed four of the eight people infected in the central African country.
  • The recent outbreak in DRC is not connected to the 2014 deadly Ebola outbreak that had worst hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and killed more than 11,300 dead, highest ever since its discovery of virus. This outbreak was declared finished in 2016.

Serbia lawmakers elect first gay woman Prime Minister Ana Brnabic

  • The Serbian parliament voted in Ana Brnabic, an openly gay woman,  as the country’s prime minister in a landmark move for the patriarchal conservative country and the entire Balkans region. The 41-year old Brnabic and her cabinet were backed by 157 MPs in the 250-seat parliament after being proposed by President Aleksandar Vucic.
  • Brnabic becomes Serbia’s first female prime minister and the first openly gay premier in the Balkans, where homophobia remains widespread.

Carrie Lam sworn in as first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong

  • Carrie Lam was sworn in as the first female Chief Executive (CE) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), an autonomous territory of China on the Pearl River Delta.
  • The CE of Hong Kong is the head and representative of the Hong Kong and also head of the Government of Hong Kong.
  • Carrie Lam took her oath to office before Chines President Xi Jinping on the occasion marking 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China from Britain.
  • She is fifth CE of Hong Kong since it became part of China in 1997. Prior to getting electing as CE, she was the Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong SAR Government (from 2012 to 2017), the senior most rank of principal officials of Hong Kong.

NATIONAL

IGNOU announces course fee waiver for transgender students

  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has announced exemption of fees for its transgender students of all programmes.
  • Vice Chancellor Ravindra Kumar announced the initiative during the 22nd Prof G Ram Reddy Lecture.
  • The university holds the lecture on July 2 every year in the memory of the founding Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. G Ram Reddy. It invites eminent educationists and scholars to deliver lecture on higher education, especially in the open and distance learning domain.

ECONOMY,BANKING AND FINANCE

NMCE, ICEX to merge to create India’s third biggest commodity exchange

  • National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE), India’s first demutualised online national multi-commodities exchange will merge with Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX).
  • The merged entity will create India’s third biggest commodity exchange.
  • The largest commodity exchange by volume is the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) followed by National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX).
  • This is the first merger deal in the commodity exchange space in India.
  • It has been approved by the boards of both exchanges and is expected to be completed by December 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
  • In the merged entity, the ICEX will hold a 62.8{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} stake, while NMCE shareholders will own the rest. The new exchange will offer a wide range of contracts, including bullion, oil, rubber, and other agri-commodities.
  • It will also offer the world’s first diamond futures contract,which has already received in-principle approval from the marker regulator SEBI.
  • The merger will help ICEX to further strengthen its position in the country’s fast-growing commodity derivatives market.
  • It will result in greater financial strength, the consolidation of clients and members, an enhanced product basket, and higher operational synergies.

FINO becomes payments bank

  • FINO Payments Bank has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017 according to the Reserve Bank of India. FINO PayTech Ltd, Navi Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued the in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank.
  • Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Paytm Payments Bank

Rajeev Pratap Rudy & Shivraj Singh Chouhan laid foundation stone of country’s biggest Global Skill Park

  • Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy and MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has laid the foundation stone of the country’s biggest Global Skill Park in Bhopal.
  • The 37-acre land has been allotted in Narela Shankari area of Bhopal for the Global Skill Park. The park will be constructed at a cost of 645 crore rupees. Training will be imparted to 1000 students every year by trainers of international standard.
  • The park will function on the spirit of ‘With Industry -For Industry’.

RBI report sees India’s economic growth rate at 7.3{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} in 2017-18

  • The Reserve Bank stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Sevice Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added -GVA in the current fiscal year (2017-18).
  • The Financial Stability Report 2017 released, going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. According to the RBI report, GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3 per cent in 2017-18.

DEFENCE

Indigenously developed quick reaction surface-to-air short range missile successfully test-fired

  • India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed quick reaction surface-to-air short range missile (QR-SAM).
  • The sophisticated missile was test fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur. It was the second successful developmental trial of the state-of-the-art missile with an aerial target. The first test launch of the missile was conducted in June 2017 from the same base.
  • The QR-SAM has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other establishments.
  • It has been designed to be a quick reaction missile. It is an all-weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing.
  • The missile has a strike range of 25 to 30 km and can engage multiple targets. QR-SAM will complement the existing Akash short range SAM (surface-to-air missile) with a range of 25 kilometres which has already been inducted into the services.

ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH

Sunderbans mangrove cover at risk

  • Remote sensing and GIS-enabled data offer definite proof for the first time that the mangrove forest cover in the Sunderbans has been depleting alarmingly. From 1986 to 2012, 124.418 sq. km., or about 5.5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the mangrove cover, was lost.
  • Variable degrees of erosion was observed in at least 18 islands. The continuation of this process is a serious ecological threat, say experts.
  • Noted islands experiencing erosion include Sagar, Gosaba, Dulibhasani, Dalhousie, Bhangaduni and Jambudwip

Nine more bird, biodiversity areas in Kerala

  • Nine more locations in Kerala have been identified as Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs).
  • The new list was released by the Bombay Natural History Society, a partner of BirdLife International, in its recent publication, Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in India Priority sites for conservation.
  • With the latest addition, Kerala now has 33 IBAs. Kerala IBAs are home to three critically endangered species — Whiterumped Vulture, Indian Vulture, and Red-headed Vulture.
  • The newly identified IBAs of Kerala are Achencoil Forest Division; Anamudi Shola National Park; Camel’s Hump Mountain, Wayanad; Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary; Malayattoor Reserve Forest; Mankulam Forest Division; Mathikettan Shola National Park; Muthikulam-Siruvani; and Pampadum Shola National Park.

Scientists develop world’s sharpest laser

  • Scientists from Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany have developed the world’s sharpest laser with record-breaking precision.
  • This precision can be useful for various applications such as optical atomic clocks, radioastronomy, precision spectroscopy, testing the theory of relativity and carry out new precision measurements on ultracold atoms.

Assam to raise Special Rhino Protection Force for rhino protection

  • The Assam government is going to raise a new Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) for better protection of the one-horned rhinos in Assam.
  • State government has already started the process of recruitment for the proposed force. The cadre for the force will selected from local youths hailing from the fringe areas of the Kaziranga national park.
  • After initial selection, recruits will be given necessary training. They will be also provided with arms and ammunition for better protection of the one horned rhinos.

Madhya Pradesh sets record with plantation of 6 crores saplings in day

  • In Madhya Pradesh, a massive plantation campaign was undertaken to save the environment and conservation of the Narmada river. According to official sources over six crores, saplings were planted in 24 districts of Narmada basin in just 12 hours.
  • Arrangements were made to record the whole event for the Guinness World Record. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the plantation drive at Amarkantak of Anooppur district. Later he also took part in plantation drives in Jabalpur and Omkareshwar.

Germany wins 2017 Confederation Cup Football title

  • Four-time FIFA World Cup winner Germany won maiden FIFA Confederation Cup Football title by defeating Copa America Champion Chile by 1-0 goals in the final match held at St Petersburg, Russia. Lars Stindl of Germany score the goal in the first half against the run of play.
  • Chile was not able to score goal.
  • Earlier, in the third-place play-off match, Portugal defeated Mexico by 2-1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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