Ministry of Urban Development launches Liveability Index for 116 cities to measure quality of life
On June 23, 2017, Urban Development Ministry launched “City Liveability Index”. It is a first of its kind initiative to measure the quality of life in 116 major cities including capital cities and those with population over one million.
♦ The index was launched by Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu at a National Workshop on Urban Transformation in New Delhi.
Top 5 Highest Scoring States:
Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates ‘Homes For All’ property show in Ahmedabad
Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Poverty Alleviation Venkaiah Naidu inagurated the ‘Homes For All’ property on 24th of June 2017.
i .The show is organized by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and GIHED CREDAI in Ahmedabad.
ii. On the occasion, Mr. Naidu has launched several smart initiatives such as Janmitra Card -‘One Card Many Services’, AMC Seva Mobile Application, Amdavad Airport Shuttle Service, and Intelligent Transit Management System among others.
iii. The Janmitra card enables multimodal transport journey payments like Transit Services Ticketing for BRTS, AMTS, Payments for Municipal Services, Payment for any other retail transaction.
iv. The government has put in place an enabling eco-system to speedily promote affordable housing.
Govt clears proposal for setting up new airport in Greater Noida
The government has cleared a proposal for setting up a greenfield airport in Jewar in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh
i. It is likely to be operational in the next five to six years.
ii. The airport will help reduce congestion at the Delhi international airport.
iii. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said to a media on 24th of June that “in-principle clearance has been granted” for the airport.
iv. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has notified 3,000 hectares of land for a world-class international airport.
v. Noida International Airport will cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10-15 years.
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s 3-day visit to Russia from June 21-23, 2017
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley was on an official visit to Russia from 21st to 23rd June 2017. The visited was aimed at strengthening bilateral defence and security cooperation between India and Russia.
i. On June 21, 2017, Mr. Jaitley co-chaired the first meeting of the India-Russia High Level Committee on Science and Technology with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.
ii. On June 23, 2017, Mr. Jaitley co-chaired the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in Moscow with Russian Defence Minister General Sergei Shoigu.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI amends Banking Ombudsman Scheme
RBI amends banking ombudsman scheme under which banks could be penalised for mis-selling third-party products like insurance and mutual funds via mobile or electronic banking.
i. Under the amended scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to mobile banking and electronic banking services in India.
ii. As per the amendment, the pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled to 20 lakh rupees.
iii. Amends banking ombudsman scheme includes deficiencies arising out of sale of insurance, mutual fund and other third party investment products by banks.
About Banking Ombudsman Scheme
♦ Banking Ombudsman is a quasi-judicial authority functioning under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006.
♦ The authority was created to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to services rendered by the lenders.
Incubation centre for biotech start-ups to be set up at CCMB, Hyderabad
An incubation centre for biotechnology start–ups is to be set up at the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, Telangana
i. It will be supported by the NITI Aayog and will create facilities and bring in stakeholders to ensure the success of innovative ideas.
ii. The Centre has set up the Atal Incubation Centre in the NITI Aayog to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.
iii. The CCMB is one of the 10 organisations identified to host the ‘Atal Incubation Centre’.Under this, the government will release funds of Rs 10 crore in the coming five years.
iv. The incubation centre would engage with all the stakeholders of a biotechnology translational journey and it includes intellectual property agencies, regulators, seed funders, business developers, successful businessmen and research institutions.
♦ Hyderabad is the capital of the southern Indian state of Telangana and capital of Andhra Pradesh.
♦ Hyderabad is Founded by MuhammadQuliQutb Shah
♦ National Park: Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Salman Khan’s Sultan wins Best Action Movie at 20th Shanghai International Film Festival
Superstar Salman Khan’s “Sultan” has won the best action movie award at the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) on 24th of June 2017.
i. “Sultan” became the first ever Bollywood film to win the award in the Jackie Chan Action Movie week section.
ii. The movie is directed by Ali Aabbas Zafar, the movie also featured Anushka Sharma.
UN honours Mamata Banerjee with highest public service award
The West Bengal government has won the prestigious United Nations (UN) Public Service Award for the ‘Kanyashree Prakalpa’ initiative aimed to combat child marriage and ensure education to the girl child in the state.
i. On June 23, 2017, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received the 2017 UN Public Service Award at a ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands on behalf of her government.
ii. West Bengal Government has been awarded in the category of “ability to reach the poorest and most vulnerable communities through inclusive services and participation”.
Sahitya Akademi awards for Vincy Quadros and Amey Naik
The country’s highest literary body the Sahitya Akademi award has been presented to two Konkani literary personalities Vincy Quadros and AmeyNaik from Goa
i. Quadros is being awarded Sahitya Akademi’s Bal SahityaPuraskar for his book‘Jaduche Petul’ for children in Konkani.
ii .Amey Naik has been selected for Yuva Puraskar 2017 for his Konkani poetry collection ‘Mog Dot Com’.
iii. SahityaAkademihas announced the awards after its executive board meeting held in Guwahati on 22nd of June.
iv. Quadros who writes both in Devnagri and Romi scripts, has written eight short story books, seven books on children’s literature, one novel and another book on spiritual matters.
v. The awards will be in the form of a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cheque of Rs 50,000.
vi. According to the Sahitya Akademi secretary K Sreenivasarao the Bal Sahita Puraskar will be presented to the awardees at a special function to be held on November 14
Nisha Dutt bags Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Nisha Dutt has been honoured with the “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the 7th Asian Awards in London. She is a Chief Executive Officer of Hyderabad-basedIntellecap.
i. Nisha is the first Indian woman leader to have been conferred with this recognition.
ii. This award has been presented to her for leading Intellecap to become a globally known enterprise that focuses on social capital and impacts the underserved communities.
iii. Nisha guides the global positioning of Intellecap business.
iv. Her key contribution has been integrating technology with challenges of healthcare, financial services, incubation and conceptualizing programs such as Innovations Labs and Credit-tree.
About Asian Awards
♦ The Asian Awards function was founded by businessman and philanthropist Paul Sagoo through his Lemon Group Company.
♦ The awards are presented in 14 categories.
♦ Earlier winners from India include Ratan Tata, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and singers Asha Bhosle and Zayn Malik to name a few.
♦ In the Social Entrepreneur category, personalities such as Professor Muhammad Yunus, Masa Kogure and Vikram Patel have been honored over the years.
Vijaya Bank bags nine Skoch Awards
Vijaya Bank has received Skoch Awards in following 9 categories — Best Bank in Public Sector; Best Bank for NPA Management – Organization Category; Retail Lending; Inclusive Wallet – VPAYQWIK; Digital Inclusion; IT Security; e-Surveillance of ATMs and branches; and 100 Digital Villages – Financial Inclusion.
i. Vijaya Bank’s Executive Director B. S. Rama Rao received the NPA Management Award (individual category) from Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, Skoch Group at Mumbai.
ii. Skoch Group is a Gurgaon based think tank dealing with socio-economic issues with a focus on inclusive growth since 1997.
iii. Skoch Awards are independent benchmark of best practices in India in the fields of governance, finance, banking, technology, corporate citizenship, economics and inclusive growth.
Quick Facts about Vijaya Bank:
♦ Formation Year: 1931
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Current CEO: Kishore Kumar Sansi
Azim Premji Honoured with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy
Wipro Chairman Azim Premji honoured with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. It considered the most prestigious prize in philanthropy. He has given the award for his efforts to reform India’s public school system.
i. Premji who founded the Azim Premji Foundation,is among the 9 philanthropists named recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in “recognition of their outstanding and innovative leadership in philanthropy.”
ii. Premji currently serving seven states and over 300,000 schools and with plans to expand.
iii. The foundation went on to establish the Azim Premji University in 2011, with a focus on school education and related fields of human development.
iv. The 2017 honorees of the Carnegie Medal include:
1.Mei HingChak the founder of the Heung Kong Charitable Foundation in China.
2.Julian Robertson of the Robertson Foundation focuses on high-impact grants in education, the environment, and medical research.
3.American entrepreneur Jeff Skoll who founded the Skoll Foundation.
v. The recipients of the 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy were selected for their distinguished and longstanding contributions to the public good.
vi. Ther ecepients will be honoured in a ceremony to be held in October.
About Carnegie Medal
♦ The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy was established in 2001.
♦ It is awarded every two years to individuals for their exemplary philanthropic work.
♦ The 22 Carnegie institutions in the US and Europe nominate the medalists, and a selection committee representing seven of those institutions makes the final selection.
What is Philanthropy?
Philanthropy is an idea, event, or action that is done to better humanity and usually involves some sacrifice as opposed to being done for a profit motive.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Imran Khawaja Appointed as ICC Deputy Chairman
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has appointed Imran Khawaja as its deputy chairman on 24th of July 2017.
i. Imran Khawaja is a Chairman of Associates counties and a veteran administrator from Singapore.
ii. He is a senior lawyer and has been serving in the ICC Board for several years. He had also served as a part of influential committees of the ICC.
iii. He was part of a five member ICC working team that framed ICC’s new constitution last year.
♦ The International Cricket Council (ICC), was founded in 1909 as the Imperial Cricket Conference.
♦ ICC is responsible for setting professional standards of discipline for international cricket.
♦ It was founded by the representatives of England, Australia and South Africa.
♦ The body was renamed as International Cricket Conference in 1965 and again renamed as International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1989.
♦ The ICC consists of 105 members, out of which 12 are full members, 37 are associate members and another 56 are affiliate members.
Indian-origin Sikh Palbinder Kaur becomes first turbaned judge in Canada
An Indian-origin Sikh woman human rights activist, Palbinder Kaur Shergill has been appointed as a judge of the Canadian Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster.
About Palbinder Kaur:
i. Following her appointment to this post, Palbiner Kaur has become the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary of Canada.
ii. Palbinder Kaur Shergill, a sole practitioner with Shergill & Company, has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across Canada, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
iii. She has been instrumental in helping shape human rights and religious accommodation law in Canada through her work as general legal counsel for the World Sikh Organisation (WSO) since 1991.
♦ Capital: Ottawa
♦ Currency: Canadian dollar
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Indians working on world’s biggest telescope: Harsh Vardhan
Union minister Harsh Vardhan has praised Indian scientists’ contribution to the world’s biggest telescope on 24th of June 2017. It would enable astronomers to observe the intricacies of the universe from the comfort of the earth.
i. The site for the telescope is a multi- million dollar project and developed by an international consortium including India.
ii. Hanle in Ladakh was one of the sites being explored.
iii. India would spend Rs 1,300-crore on it.
iv. TMT is to be built at an estimated cost of USD 1.47 billion by an international consortium consisting of institutions from India, the United States, Canada, Japan and China.
v. India is a 10% partner in this global project. On the Indian side, the project is being handled by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy.
vi. The huge telescope scheduled to be ready by 2020 and will provide astronomers with unparallelled power to observe the universe.
vii. India is collaborating with the US, Japan, and other countries for the world’s biggest telescope project.
China develops world’s most powerful submarine detector
Chinese scientists have developed world’s most powerful submarine detector which could find hidden metallic objects, including minerals and submarines.
i. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is the China’s largest research institute and a “superconductive magnetic anomaly detection array” has been developed in Shanghai.
ii. The device, which works from the air, could be used to pinpoint the location of minerals buried deep beneath the earth.
iii. The device will also be used on civilian and military aircraft as a “high performance equipment and technical solution to resources mapping, civil engineering, archaeology and national defence.
iv. The technology could also be used to detect minerals on land, and in the ocean to nail down submarines.
♦ Capital: Bejing
♦ President: Xi Jinping
♦ Currency: Renminbi
ICC announces two new Test nations Ireland and Afghanistan
On June 22, 2017, International Cricket Council (ICC) conferred Test match status on Ireland and Afghanistan, thereby taking the number of test-playing nations to 12.
i. Both countries were confirmed as full members after a unanimous vote at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting during its annual conference in London.
ii. The Ireland and Afghanistan’s men’s teams will now be eligible to play five-day Test cricket, widely regarded as the sport’s supreme format.
iii. Bangladesh was the last country to be granted Test status in 2000.
iv. Afghanistan and Ireland have joined an exclusive club that also includes founder members Australia and England, who played the first Test match at Melbourne, Australia in 1877, South Africa, New Zealand, the West Indies, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
♦ Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
♦ CEO: Dave Richardson
Kuldeep 1st male Chinaman bowler to represent India in ODIs
Kuldeep Yadav has become first male Chinaman bowler to represent India in One Day Internationals (ODI). He made a debut in ODI against West Indies on June 23, 2017.
About Chinaman Bowlers:
i. In the world of cricket, left-arm spin bowlers generating an off spin delivery are referred to as Chinaman.
ii. The origin of term can be traced back to Ellis Achong, the West Indies, left arm orthodox spinner (left-arm spin that turns from leg to off) who played in 1933.
iii. Ellis Achong was of Chinese ancestry. Once Achong bowled a delivery which turned from off to leg, which was quite unorthodox for a left arm spinner. This delivery fetched him the wicket of an English batsman who first referred to him as ‘Chinaman’.
iv. There have been very few Chinaman bowlers in International Cricket so far. Batsmen often face difficulty in playing against Chinaman bowlers.
v. Indian Women’s Cricket Team has already had a Chinaman bowler in Priti Dimri, who has played 26 matches for India from 2006-2010.
About Kuldeep Yadav:
♦ Kuldeep Yadav made his Test debut against Australia in March 2017.
♦ He was a part of the Indian team at the 2014 ICC U-19 World Cup.