DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : July 15, 2019
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Fourth anniversary of Skill India Mission being observed today
- The fourth anniversary of the Skill India Mission is being observed on 15th July 2019.
- Several functions are being organized across the country to mark the occasion.
- The main function will be held in New Delhi where Home Minister Amit Shah will deliver the keynote address.
- Union Ministers Nirmala Sitharaman, Narendra Singh Tomar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Mahendra Nath Pandey and RK Singh will also be present on the occasion.
- National Skill Development Mission also known as Skill India Mission was launched on this day in 2015. Nearly One Crore youth are being presently imparted skills training annually under the mission.
Eleventh edition of Mekong Ganga Cooperation meet 2019 held in New Delhi
- The 11th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting (11th MGC SOM) held in New Delhi.
- The meeting was attended by Senior Officials from all 6 MGC Member States.
- Ms. Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs and H.E. Ms. Doan Phuong Lan, Deputy Director General, Department of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
- The meeting reviewed the progress of the 9th MGC ministerial meeting held in Singapore on August 2, 2018.
- It includes all seven areas of cooperation tourism and culture, education, science and technology, traditional medicine and health, agriculture and allied sectors, water resources management, transportation and communication, and small and medium enterprises.
- Discussed about the draft MGC Plan of Action (2019-22) to be adopted at the 10th MGC ministerial meeting in Bangkok on August 1, 2019.
KSUM to host Women Startup Summit 2019 on August 1 in Kochi
- Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in association with the Indian Women Network floated by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) host a one day event ‘Women Startup Summit 2019’.
- The event will take place at the Integrated Startup Complex, Kochi and Kerala on August 1, 2019. The theme of the event is “Developing an Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystem”.
- The main aim is to encourage aspiring women professionals to take up their entrepreneurial journey and develop an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem.
- Nearly 20 women startups are shortlisted for the summit from the “She Loves Tech 2019 Global Startup Competition”.
- The meet will be open for all women professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and startup founders.
- It is a global platform for women entrepreneurs as well as startups dedicated to improve the lives of women.
Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha
- Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari introduced the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha on 15th July 2019.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.
- Increasing penalties of traffic violations, address issues on third-party insurance, regulation of cab aggregators, road safety are among the changes proposed in the amendment.
- The amendment Bill proposes to omit a clause of the Motor Vehicle Act to decide how to maintain their registers for driving licenses, to centralize vehicle registration data and achieve standardization.
- It also proposes a National Transportation Policy for ushering guidelines on the transportation of goods and passengers.
Surrogacy Regulation Bill tabled in Lok Sabha
- Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha on 15th July 2019.
- The Bill had been passed by the last Lok Sabha but lapsed after the dissolution of the House. The Cabinet earlier approved the introduction of the Bill that aims to prohibit commercial surrogacy in India.
- The Bill proposes to regulate surrogacy in the country by establishing a National Surrogacy Board at the central level and state surrogacy boards and appropriate authorities in the state and Union Territories.
- The purpose of the Bill is to ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy, and allow ethical surrogacy.
NIA (Amendment) bill moved in Lok Sabha
- The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) bill 2019 was moved in the Lok Sabha on 15th July 2019 by Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy.
- Making a preliminary submission, the Minister said, the amendment will strengthen the investigation agency and speed up trials in terrorism-related cases.
- He further noted that the agency will be able to investigate terrorist acts against our embassies or assets abroad and take up cases of drug, arms and women trafficking apart from cyber terrorism.
- Speaking on the amendment bill, Manish Tiwari from Congress warned that additional powers to NIA may create police state as there are possibilities of using the agency for political vendetta.
- The amendment, he noted, should not curtail the rights of the citizens under article 14, 19 and 21.
China to impose sanctions on U.S. companies that are involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to Taiwan
- China has announced that it is to impose sanctions on U.S. companies that are involved in a potential arms sale worth $2.2 billion to Taiwan.
- China cited the reason as to safeguard national interests. The U.S. arms sale to Taiwan has severely violated the basic norms of international law and international relations.
- The planned weapons sale between US And Taiwan comes amidst the trade war between US and China. China views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to one day seize it, by force if necessary.
- The Chinese Foreign Ministry had already lodged formal complaints expressing strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition at the potential weapons sale. The weapon sale includes battle tanks and anti-aircraft missiles.
- China on demanded that the U.S. immediately cancel the sale.mBut, US shrugged off China’s complaints. The US said that the equipment would contribute to peace and stability in Asia.
China’s economic growth slows to 6.2 per cent in 2nd Quarter
- China’s economic growth slowed to a record low of 6.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year.
- This is the weakest growth rate in nearly three decades for the world’s second-largest economy, in the midst of a trade war with the United States and weakening global demand. Government data showed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth slid from 6.4 per cent in the first quarter to 6.2 per cent.
- China’s GDP expanded 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2019 to about 6.56 trillion US Dollars.
- The growth, however, was in line with the government’s annual target range of 6.0-6.5 per cent for the whole year, down from the 6.6 per cent growth China put up in 2018.
Cycle rally in S Africa to celebrate Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary
- Indian diplomats in South Africa participated in a cycle rally along with scores of people to promote greater awareness of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence and satyagraha to celebrate his 150th birth anniversary.
- Conceived by Indian Consul-General in Johannesburg Dr K J Srinivasa, the event was co-hosted by the Gandhi Walk Committee.
- Scores of cyclists joined Indian diplomats at the inaugural Block Ride in the sprawling Indian township of Lenasia.
BANKING & FINANCE
SBI to waive off the charges on NEFT, RTGS and IMPS
- State Bank of India (SBI) has waived the charges on National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions through YONO, Internet, and mobile banking.
- This will be effective from July 1. The move comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to waive off the charges with an aim to move the country towards less-cash economy.
- Before July 1, SBI used to charge between Rs.1 and Rs.5 for transactions through NEFT, and Rs.5 to 50 for RTGS transactions.
- SBI has also decided to do away with the charges on fund transfer using the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) through mobile phones. It will be effective from August 1.
- The bank has reduced NEFT and RTGS charges for customers transacting through branch network by 20% across all slabs.
- Real Time Gross Settlement System. The RTGS system is used for large value transactions. The minimum amount that can be remitted through RTGS is Rs.2 lakh with no upper or maximum ceiling.
- National Electronic Funds Transfer. NEFT is a nation-wide payment system that facilitates one-to-one funds transfer. NEFT system is used for fund transactions of up to Rs.2 lakh.
COMMITTEES & RECOMMENDATIONS
High-level committee proposes to set up National Digital Health Mission
- A high-level committee formed by the government has proposed setting up of a National Digital Health Mission.
- The report of the committee entitled ‘National Digital Health Blueprint’ was released by Health Minister Dr Harshavardhan in New Delhi on 15th July 2019.
- Both the Centre and state governments will be the owners and stakeholders in the new organisation.
- A combination of GST-N and UIDAI models of the institutional structure has been proposed. The proposal has been put in the public domain for suggestions from all stakeholders, including common people.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Kalraj Mishra appointed Himachal Pradesh governor, Acharya Devvrat sent to Gujarat
- The Rashtrapati Bhavan announced the appointment of former Union Minister Kalraj Mishra as the Governor of Himachal Pradesh on 15th July 2019.
- Incumbent Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Gujarat.
- Mishra, 78, had resigned from the Narendra Modi-led government as Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in 2017 after he crossed the age of 75, the BJP’s unofficial age limit for holding an elected post.
- Devvrat, 60, was appointed as Governor of Himachal Pradesh in 2015. He will replace OP Kohli, who retires on on 15th July 2019.
- Kohli, who took over as Governor from Margaret Alva on July 16, 2014, completes his five-year term on July 15.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Chandrayaan-2 launch called off after technical snag in rocket
- ISRO Scientists a few days to assess the seriousness of the problem. The launch in the current window of opportunity is available only till Tuesday (July 16). The next launch date could be months later.
- A technical snag detected in the GSLV-MkIII rocket, less than an hour ahead of the scheduled launch aborted the planned flight of Chandrayaan-2, India’s first attempt at landing a spacecraft on the moon.
- They indicated that it could take up to a few days to assess the seriousness of the problem. The countdown to the launch stopped at 56 minutes ahead of the scheduled time after scientists detected a problem in the rocket.
- ISRO did not specify it but there were indications that the problem was detected in the upper stage of the rocket having the cryogenic engine where liquid hydrogen fuel had been filled less than half an hour earlier.
Twitter bans religion-based dehumanizing tweets
- Twitter is one of the most important parts of the day to day life. Twitter is the land for such religion-based dehumanizing conducts.
- It helps too many people to check instant updates live when it gets updated instantly.
- The dehumanization on the religious reason is one of the frequent instances on social media.
- Twitter expanded its rules against hateful conduct to include language on its platform that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.
- Actually, the main aim of the twitter is to primary focus is on addressing the risks of offline harm, and research shows that dehumanizing language increases that risk.
- Twitter asked for feedback from different communities and cultures to ban hateful content based on religion.
- But many people also raised concerns about Twitter’s ability to enforce its rules fairly and consistently.
- The respondents also asked the company to use clearer language when defining policy violations and to be more consistent in its enforcement of the rules.
England lift ICC Cricket World Cup
- England lifted their maiden ICC World Cup cricket trophy beating New Zealand in a nerve-wracking final that was decided via a dramatic Super Over in London last night.
- Opting to bat, New Zealand put up a modest 241 for eight. In reply, England ended at the same score leading to the one-over eliminator at the Lord’s.
- In the Super Over, England batted first and the duo of Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler made 15, and New Zealand also ended at the same score but for the loss of one wicket, paving the way for an English victory on boundary count.
- England’s Ben Stokes is named player of the match for a heroic knock of 84 not out off 92 balls, while New Zealand’s skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged player of the tournament for his excellent returns with the bat and inspiring leadership.
World Youth Skills Day: 15th July
- On July 15 every year, World Youth Skills Day is marked to promote youth skills development and abilities. In 2019, UNESCO and the UNEVOC network will join the global celebrations to mark the day and also to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development.
- This year, the theme for World Youth Skills Day 2019 is ‘Learning to learn for life and work’
- As per UN (United Nation), there are 1.2 billion young people aged between 15 to 24 years which accounts for 16 percent of the global population.
- Engagement of the youths is considered important in achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies to prevent worst threats and challenges to sustainable development and others. But also young people are almost three times most likely to be unemployed than adults.
Bangladesh’s former military dictator Ershad passes away
- Bangladesh’s former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad died due to complications from old age at a hospital in Dhaka on 14th July 2019. He was 91.
- A former army chief, Ershad took over the state power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and subsequently ran the country for eight years until he was forced to quit in a pro-democracy mass upsurge in 1990.
- Despite being imprisoned subsequently on several charges, Ershad emerged as one of the most powerful political leaders in the 1990s after his Jatiya Party became the country’s third biggest political outfit.
- He was elected to parliament several times, once contesting from the prison even.
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