Foundation stone of country’s biggest Global Skill Park laid by Rajeev Pratap Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal
On July 3, 2017, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan laid the foundation stone of the India’s biggest Global Skill Park in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
i. Global Skill Park will be constructed on 37 acre land allotted in Narela Shankari area of Bhopal.
ii. The park will be established with the support of Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education and Education Services (ITEES) with an estimated cost of Rs. 645 crore.

Madhya Pradesh sets record with plantation of 6 cr saplings in day
The Madhya Pradesh government has set a record of 6 cr saplings were planted in 24 districts of Narmada basin in just 12 hours.
Key Points:
i. MP government has undertook a massive plantation drive on 2 July 2017 to save the environment and for the conservation of the Narmada River.
ii. The plantation drive that started from 7 am continued till 7 pm along the banks of the river covering 24 districts of the state.
iii. The arrangement for 3 Cr saplings was done by the forest department, while the remaining 3 Cr were provided by other departments and private nurseries.
iv. Children, youth, men and women, cutting across the barrier of religion and class participated in the noble cause.
v. Representatives of the Guinness World Records too were present at different spots to monitor the drive.
vi. Uttar Pradesh currently holds the record of planting 5 Cr saplings in 24-hours. The state planted the trees in two days (12 hous per day) in July last year.
vii. Chouhan stated that now all the government programmes will begin with plantation in the state and Paudrakshaks will be deployed to look after these plants.
About MP
♦ Capital: Bhopal
♦ CM:Shivraj Singh Chouhan
♦Governor:Om Prakash Kohli

Supreme Court allows woman to abort 26-week foetus due to abnormalities
The Supreme Court has permitted a woman, who is in her 26th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus that is suffering from severe cardiac ailments. It has been announced by Supreme Court on 3rd of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and M Khanwilkar said the procedure of termination of pregnancy should be carried out “forthwith” at the SSKM Hospital in Kolkata.
ii. The direction came after the bench perused the report of the medical board.
iii. It has been adviced by the SSKM hospital the termination of pregnancy on the grounds that the mother would suffer “severe mental injury” if the pregnancy is continued and the child, if born alive, has to undergo multiple surgeries for severe cardiac ailments.
iv. The woman and her husband had approached the apex court seeking permission to abort her foetus on grounds of abnormalities which could be even fatal to her.
v. Supreme Court allows woman to abort 26-week foetus due to abnormalities.

Kerala CM launches ride sharing app for techies G-Ride
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has launched a G-Ride app. It is a digital ride sharing platform designed and deployed for the IT industry by the Group of Technology Companies (GTech).
Key Points:
i. The G-Ride app automatically matches co-workers and neighbours and help them travel together to work. It is available in Android and iOS versions.
ii. The main aim to launch this app is to bring down the use of vehicles by half.
iii. G-Ride will be a hit among IT professionals who are proficient in devising and also using such platforms.
iv. Several IT companies in cities like Bengaluru, Chennai and Noida already encourage car-pooling and ride-sharing.
v. G-Ride gives them the option to offer friends and colleagues a pick-up ride with someone in the neighbourhood.
About Kerala
♦ Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
♦ CM: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Governor: P.Sathasivam





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

WHO declares an end to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the end of the latest Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 
Key Points:
i. It comes at 42 days after the last confirmed case of Ebola.
ii. The last confirmed patient was in the affected Bas-Uele province and tested negative for the disease for the second time.
iii. The experts have said that two incubation period cycles of 21 days have passed with no new cases and thus it can be safely said that the outbreak has ended.
iv. WHO has assured that teams would be prepared to handle and manage outbreaks of Ebola.
v. This end of the epidemic of Ebola signifies that Democratic Republic of Congo is capable of controlling and combating the deadly Ebola virus.
vi. This outbreak killed 4 persons while 4 more persons survived.
vii. There were total of 583 contacts of these 8 persons who were deemed to be at risk. However none of them developed Ebola virus infection or signs and symptoms of the condition.
About WHO
♦ Formation on 7th April 1948
♦ HQ: Geneva Switzerland
♦ Director-General: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

World’s oldest emergency phone line 999 marks 80th anniversary
The world’s first emergency call telephone line marks 80th anniversary on 1st of July 2017 by police forces across Britain.
Key Points:
i. The best known phone number in Britain is now 999 number to alert police, fire, ambulance and coast guard in emergencies.
ii. The emergency service is run from three high-tech centralized communications complexes in Bow, Hendon and Lambeth.
iii. The three centralized complexes in Bow, Hendon and Lambeth employ over 2,000 people who deal with up to 20,000 “999” calls every day.
iv. The first case of a criminal being arrested through use of telegrams was recorded in 1845, while in 1910 the notorious murderer Dr Crippen was famously caught after telegrams between London, Canada and a ship in the Atlantic were sent.
v. Police in Britain have always made use of new technology to help them fight crime.


BANKING & FINANCE

Bashar Assad face of new Syria bank note 
The Syrian Central Bank has announced that a new 2000 Syrian Pound bank note with the face of President Bashar al-Assad will soon go into circulation.
i. The notes are the first time Syria will depict President Bashar al-Assad on its currency since he took office 17 years ago.
ii. Assad’s face appears on the new banknotes at a time when his government is boasting military successes against the armed rebellion across the country.
iii. The currency previously only carried images of historic icons or pictures of his father, Hafez Assad.
iv. Syria’s currency has crashed as the country’s seven-year-long war rages on. Trading at 47 pounds to the dollar in 2011, it’s currently going for 517 pounds to the dollar. Inflation in Syria has also soared, reaching an all-time high in 2013, at over 120 percent. Estimates in 2016 put the inflation rate at 50 percent.
Quick Facts about Syria:
♦ Capital: Damascus
♦ Currency: Syrian Pound
♦  Current President: Bashar al-Assad

FINO becomes payments bank
According to the Reserve Bank of India FINO Payments Bank has commenced the operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June, 2017
Key Points:
i. FINO Pay Tech Ltd, Navi Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. 
ii. Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Paytm Payments Bank).
About FinoPaytech
♦ FinoPaytech was founded on 13th July 2006.
♦ HQ of FinoPaytech is in Mumbai, India.
♦ The payments bank will be registered as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 2013 and licensed under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

UPI crosses 1 crore transaction in June, says NPCI
On July 3, 2017, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) announced that its Unified Payments Interface (UPI) has crossed 1 crore transactions mark in June 2017. 
Details about growing number of UPI Transactions:
i. NPCI Managing Director and CEO A.P. Hota has mentioned that this is a staggering 10-fold increase in 11 months from barely one million UPI transactions in August 2016 to over 10 million in June this year.
ii. Transactions on UPI are growing exponentially due to increased acceptance among member banks, merchants, and consumers.
iii. UPI transactions shot up from 7.20 million in April 2017 to 9.36 million in May 2017 and in June 2017 it crossed 10.35 million transactions.
iv. Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) has also been a significant contributor to rise in UPI transactions.
Unified Payments Interface (UPI):
♦ UPI was launched in August 2016 with 21 banks.
♦ Currently it is offered by around 50 banks.
♦  Around 22% percent transactions are merchant-based.


APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Signature Global Ropes In Vidya Balan As Brand Ambassador
Realty firm Signature Global, which is into development of affordable homes, has roped in Bollywood actress Vidya Balan as brand ambassador.
Vidya Balan as Brand Ambassador of Signature Global:
i. Vidya Balan has been signed as Signature Global’s brand ambassador for two years.
ii. In the advertisements, Balan would spread awareness about buying affordable homes.
iii. Earlier, Vidya Balan has been associated with awareness programme related to sanitation and hygiene. She was brand ambassador for Nirmal Bharat Abhiyaan under the Rural Development Ministry.
About Signature Global:
♦ Signature Global has launched 9 affordable housing projects, comprising about 9,300 units in a price range of Rs 15-25 lakh, in Gurgaon in the last three years of operations.
♦  All projects are under the Haryana Affordable Housing scheme.
♦  Signature Global plans to expand business beyond Gurgaon and targets to launch 20,000 more affordable housing units by 2019.

Cisco India President Dinesh Malkani quits
Dinesh Malkani is the President of Cisco’s India and SAARC theatre has quit from the Cisco India.
Key Points:
i. As President, Dinesh is responsible for sales, operations, growth initiatives, and investments in strategic aliances in the theatre.
ii. According to sources Malkani will continue in his role until 31st July and remain associated with Cisco till the end of September.
iii. Cisco India and SAARC President Dinesh Malkani has put in his papers at the networking solutions giant to take on a leadership role at a startup.





ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

NMCE, ICEX to merge creating 3rd biggest commodity exchange
National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE) will merge with Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) creating the India’s third biggest commodity exchange.
i. ICEX will hold a 62.8% stake in the merged entity, while NMCE shareholders will own 37.2%.This is the first merger deal in the commodity exchange space in India.
ii. The merged entity will offer the world’s first diamond futures contract along with a wide range of contracts, including bullion, oil, rubber and other agri-commodities.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India successfully test-fires short-range surface-to-air missile QR-SAM
The indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air (QRSAM) short range missile was successfully test-fired from a test range along the Odisha coast on 3rd of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. The missile has a capability of engaging multiple target and has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km.
ii. It has been designed to be a quick reaction missile and it involves an all-weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing.
iii. The missile was test-fired at about 11.30 am from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near Balasore.
iv. All radars, electro optical systems, telemetry systems and other stations have tracked the missile and monitored all parameters and the test met all the objectives.
v. All the technologies and sub-systems incorporated in the sophisticated missile have performed well.
vi. This was the second developmental trial of the state-of-the-art missile with an aerial target. The missile has been developed by the DRDO and other establishments.
vii. The first test launch of the missile was conducted on 4 June, 2017 from the same base.


ENVIRONMENT

Assam to raise new force for rhino protection
The Assam government has raised a new Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF)on 1st July, 2017.
Key Points:
i. It has been raised for better protection of the one-horned rhinos in Assam.
ii. The government has already started the process of recruitment for the proposed force, which will be deployed for better protection of the one horned rhinos in the state.
iii. Recently the Assam government has published advertisements for recruitment of 90 youths in the force.
iv. After selection, they will be given necessary training and the whole process is expected to be completed by August this year.
v. There will be 22 officers for the proposed force who will be appointed on deputation for leading the force.
vi. The Forest Department had already placed orders for procurement of arms and ammunition for the new force through the state Home Department.
vii. The arms and ammunition ordered are at par with the AK series rifles and other sophisticated weapons.
About Assam
♦ Capital:Dispur
♦ CM:Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor:Banwarilal Purohit


SPORTS

Novak Djokovic wins Eastbourne Aegon Championship by defeating Gael Monfils
On July 1, 2017, Novak Djokovic won his second ATP World Tour title of the season by beating Gael Monfils at the Aegon International in Eastbourne in Men’s Singles category.
Winners of Eastbourne Aegon Championship:

CategoryWinnerRunners-up
Men’s SinglesNovak Djokovic (Serbia)Gaen Monfils (France)
Women’s SinglesKarolína Plíšková (Czech Republic)Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark)
Men’s DoublesBob Bryan (US) & Mike Bryan (US)Rohan Bopanna (India) & Andre Sa (Brazil)
Women’s DoublesChan Yung-jan (Taipei) & Martina Hingis (Switzerland)Ashleigh Barty (Australia) & Casey Dellacqua (Australia)

Germany win first Confederations Cup title
Germany has won their first ever football Confederations Cup title after they secured a 1-0 victory against Copa America winners Chile on 2nd of July 2017.
Key Points
i. The football Confederations cup held at Saint Petersburg from 17th June to 2nd July 2017.
ii. Total 8 teams have participated and Germany has taken 1st title while Chile was runner up 3rdposition was taken by Portugal and fourth position Mexico.
ii. Earlier, Adrien Silva scored an extra-time penalty as Portugal recovered from a goal down to beat Mexico 2-1 in the third-place play-off in Moscow.
About Football Confederations Cup

♦ The FIFA Confederations Cup is an international association football tournament for national teams, currently held every four years by FIFA.
♦ Founded on 1992

Indian shuttlers win singles, doubles titles in Ivory Coast International tournament
On July 2, 2017, Indian woman badminton player Ritika Thaker defeated another Indian woman badminton player Simran Singhi to win the singles title in the Ivory Coast International badminton tournament at Abidjan. 
i. In women’s singles final, Ritika defeated Simran by 21-13, 21-19 in 31 minutes.
ii. Later, Ritika and Simran paired together to beat the Nigerian duo of Zainab Momohand Peace Orji 21-11, 21-14 in the women’s doubles final that lasted 20 minutes.

Jehan Daruvala becomes 1st Indian to win FIA Formula 3 European Championship race
On July 2, 2017, Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian driver to win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship claiming victory at Norisring in the final race of Round 5
i. Jehan Daruvala’s historic win comes 18 years after Naren Karthikeeyan won in the British F3 championship. 
ii. Daruvala made for an impressive run to victory facing constant pressure from series leader Maximilian Gunther of Prema Powerteam.
iii. The 2.3-km Norisring is an extremely fast and flowing layout for a street circuit and mistakes are punished by the concrete walls instead of tyre barriers.


NECROLOGY

Veteran Journalist Ravinder Randev passes away
Veteran journalist Ravinder Randev passed away in Shimla on July 2, 2017, following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 82.
Overview of Ravinder Randev’s Career:
i. After serving in the Himachal Pradesh Education Department for more than a decade, Randev joined the Vir Pratap daily newspaper as a staff reporter in 1972.
ii. During his career as a journalist spanning over 45 years, he worked for the Dainik Tribune, The Indian Express, Uttam Hindu, Pioneer and National Herald. 
iii. He was also associated with the Press Trust of India (PTI) for the last 20 years.

Veteran Marathi actor-writer Madhukar Toradmal passes away
Veteran Marathi actor-writer Madhukar Toradmal died on 3rd of July 2017.
Key Points:
i. Toradmal was a writer, director and actor. He had acted in Marathi as well as Hindi films including “Simhasan,” “AapliManasa”, “Atmavishwas” and “Raakh”.
ii. He had contributed immensely to the fields of acting, script-writing and translation as well as enriched Marathi theatre and culture.
iii. The Marathi play “Tarun Turk Mhatare Urk”,which he wrote and acted in, ran for as many as 5,000 shows.
iv. Other plays he wrote included “Rhunanu-bandh”, “Kale Bet LalBatti” and “Good Bye Doctor”.





BOOKS & AUTHORS

President receives first copy of book “President Pranab Mukherjee – a statesman”
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copy of a book“President Pranab Mukherjee – A Statesman” on 2nd July 2017 from Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Key Points:
i. The President expressed his gratitude to The Statesman for bringing out a photo essay on the 13th Presidency. 
ii. He wondered about the benefit the photo essay would have since the engagements of the President are all in public domain.
iii. He appreciated the wonderful photos taken by Shri Varun Joshi from The Statesman that feature in the photo essay.
iv. He also expressed his gratitude and deep appreciation to Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi who was present on the occasion to release the book.
v. Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said that the photo essay was important from the historical prospective.
vi. The photographs in the book immortalize history and also show the humane side of the President of India who is an inspiration for all of us.


IMPORTANT DAYS

International Plastic Bag Free Day – July 3 2017
International Plastic Bag Free Day has been observed on 3rd of July 2017.It has been dedicated to heightening awareness about plastic and disposable carrying devices. 
Key Notes:
i. International Plastic Bag Free Day gives us an opportunity to remind ourselves, and others, that every action we take, and every bag we dispose of, effects the lives of everyone in the world for generations to come.
ii. Plastic bags remain in the world for anywhere from 100-500 years before finally decaying completely.
iii. As a result Plastic bags have a profound impact upon our environment.
iv. Out in the great reaches of the ocean are massive reefs made up of all sorts of plastic waste, and plastic bags play heavily among them.
How to Observe International Plastic Bag Free Day
Choose paper over plastic, or even better bring your own bags to the retailers to pick up your goods.
♦ Some stores even offer discounts or other perks for the customers that bring their own bags.
♦ If you own a store yourself, start a program to encourage your customers to bring in their own reusable containers and stop offering plastic bags as an option.
♦ Among the most popular activities for International Plastic Bag Free Day are simple gatherings of people walking roadways, beaches, and rivers and picking up all the garbage they find there.