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CURRENT AFFAIRS 31 JULY 2017

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Operational Guidelines for Family Participatory Care RELEASED BY HEALTH MINISTRY
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has released Operational Guidelines for Planning and Implementation of Family Participatory Care (FPC). These guidelines are aimed at improving newborn health.
1. The guidelines will serve as a guiding document for those intending to introduce FPC in their facility as an integral part of facility based newborn care.
2. It also provides details of infrastructure, training, role of health care providers and steps in the operationalization of FPC in the newborn care unit.

 ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme:
The Punjab government has announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes.
IMPORTANT Points:
1. Under the scheme the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidised rates.
2. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab.
3. Uber is also ready to offer luxury vehicles for those who want to spend lavishly. Its focus is mainly on providing affordable products.
4. Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar Scheme aims to create entrepreneurship opportunities for the youths
5. Under this scheme, Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.
About Uber
♦ Uber is an app through which you can avail taxi services.
♦ It provides transport facility from Uber Bikes to sedan cars and planning to include luxurious cars in its service as well.
♦ Uber India is currently operating in Delhi-NCR, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and many other cities of India.
♦ Headquarters : US





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Exhibition of Paintings 
The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu on 28th of July 2017. 
Key Points:
1. These events provides platform to artists to exchange ideas with fellow artists and help in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp.
2. Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event.
3. The event is aimed to bring art and culture of member countries together. It strengthens people to people contact.
4. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

About SAARC
♦ The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of nations in South Asia.
♦ Its member states include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
♦Headquarters:Kathmandu





BANKING 

 Digital Evolution Index:
India has featured among 60 nations on Digital Evolution Index 2017, exhibiting a high potential in terms of digital payments.
1. On the Digital Evolution Index 2017, India has been categorised under the “break out” segment which refers to countries that have relatively lower absolute levels of digital advancement, yet remain poised for growth and are attractive to investors by virtue of their potential.
2. The report outlined that India has been experiencing rapid strides of progress with an evolving payments landscape, catalysed by the government’s demonetisation decision.

Canara Bank launches “CANDI"
Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ at Spencer Towers in MG Road, Bengaluru.
Important Points:
1. The branch is titled “CANDI” and its aim to provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers.
2. It will enable customers to get most of the information related to their accounts without visiting the branch.
3. The bank becomes the first in the public sector category to initiate artificial intelligence in banking.
4. humanoid has been introduced in the branch to addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services.
5. It brings advanced technology to streamline services and improve efficiency.The branch offers a variety of tools and devices that include Customer On-Board Application.

About Canara Bank :
♦ Tagline Of Canara Bank: “Together We Can “.
♦ App Launched By Canara Bank: M-Wallet
♦ Headquarters: Bangalore, Karnataka, India
♦ Chairman: Shri T. N. Manoharan
♦ MD & CEO: ShriRakesh Sharma





AWARDS 

Japanese, Sri Lankan among Magsaysay award winners
Japanese historian Yoshiaki Ishizawa, who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples and a Sri Lankan teacher Gethsie Shanmugam, who counselled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards.
1. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is an annual award named after former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay.
2. It is regarded as Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize and was first awarded in the year 1958.





APPOINTMENTS 

Ravi Mittal :

Ravi Mittal has appointed an additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachiis now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI announced on 30th July 2017.
Important Points:
1. According to Ministry source, Former finance secretary Sushma Nath is another part-time member on the IRDAI board.
2. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority ofIndia) who is a joint secretary level officer.
3Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, (Indian Post & Telecommunication Accounts and Finance Service) officer has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI.
4. He is a 1990-batch IP&TAFS officer and his position will be equivalent to a joint secretary.
5. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer.

About IRDAI :
♦ Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is an autonomous, statutary agency tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India
♦ IRDAI is a 10-member body including the chairman, five full-time and four part-time members appointed by the government of India.
♦ Headquarters:Hyderabad, Telangana
♦ Chairman:T.S. Vijayan





SCIENCE 

World’s smallest spacecraft:

Breakthrough Starshot, a Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s $100-million effort to explore the closest star system to our own, has launched the smallest-ever spacecraft into orbit around Earth.
1. Known as “Sprites”, the miniature satellites are just 3.5cm x 3.5cm and carry radios, sensors and computers, with each device powered by sunlight and weighing just four grams.
2. Scientists say, this latest development is an important precursor to an ambitious attempt to send space probes to planets beyond our solar system.
About Breakthrough Starshot:
♦ Announced last year by Stephen Hawking and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who has put $100m into funding the project, Breakthrough Starshot’s goal is to develop chips with a weight of roughly one gram and fit them to a lightweight sail before propelling them through space with a 100-billion watt laser.





ENVIRONMENT

China produces gas from ‘flammable ice’ under South China Sea
According to the Land and Resources Ministry China has successfully produced natural gas from methane hydrate, also known as “flammable ice”, in an experimental project in the South China Sea (SCS).
Important Points:
1. Under the experiment, a drilling platform had produced a total of 309,000 cubic meters of natural gas from gas hydrate in 60 days.
2. China has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations and has made a historical breakthrough.
3. The methane hydrate is highly flammable and energy-intensive fuel as one cubic meter of the compound can releases about 164 cubic meters of natural gas.
4. Flammable ice consists of methane trapped within water crystals.Methane hydrate has been identified as a potential new gas source for China, with the South China Sea.
5. India, Canada and US are also believed to be looking at hydrates as an alternative energy source.
About South China Sea

♦ The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Karimata and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwanof around 3,500,000 square kilometres .
♦ The South China Sea contains over 250 small islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs, and sandbars, many of which are naturally under water at high tide, and some of which are permanently submerged.





SPORTS

Caeleb Dressel:

The 20-year-old American Swimmer Caeleb Dressel has become the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the FINA World Swimming Championship or the Olympics.
1. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat on July 29, 2017 at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 
2. He now has six gold medals in the championships, putting him in position to tie Phelps’ record of seven at the 2007 Champonships in Melbourne, Australia.
Dressel even managed to overshadow Katie Ledecky, who won her fifth gold medal of the meet by cruising to victory in the 800 freestyle.

Peaty & Masse: 

Peaty sets world record in 50m
On July 25, 2017, Britain’s Adam Peaty broke the 50m breaststroke world record for the second time in a day as he reached the World Aquatics Championships final in Budapest, Hungary. In medal tally US topped with  39 medals(17 gold, 12 Silver and 10 bronze)
1. Adam Peaty is the defending champion. He won the semi-final in 25.95 seconds, becoming the first person to break 26 seconds record.
2. Peaty has now broken the 50m breaststroke world record four times – the first in Berlin in 2014.He swam his 100m world record of 57.13 at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Masse wins 100m backstroke world gold in record time:
On July 25, 2017, Kylie Masse of Canada won women’s 100m backstroke gold in a new world-record time at the world aquatics championships.
1. Masse locked 58.10 seconds, breaking Gemma Spofforth‘s previous mark of 58.12 seconds from the 2009 championships.
2. Kathleen Baker of the United States won silver, while Emily Seebohm of Australia won bronze.
Hungary :
♦ Capital: Budapest
♦ Currency: Hungarian forint

Manoj Kumar, Shiva Thapa: 
Indian boxers have bagged a total of 8 medals at the 48th Grand Prix at Usti Nad Labem in Czech Republic. 
Exam Points:
1. In the tournament out of the eight, five were gold medals. The three other medals are two silver and one bronze.
2. The five gold medals for India were bagged by world championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa(60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar(69kg), Amit Phangal, Gaurav Bidhuri(52kg) and Satish Kumar(+91kg).
3. Amit, Kavinder, Gaurav, Shiva, Manoj, Sumit and Satish will be competing in the World Championships.


BOOKS 

Book ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’
Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu (additional charge) C. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has released the book ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’ at Raj Bhavan in Mumbai on 29th of July 2017. 
Exam Points:
1. The book includes transcripts of the first 23 episodes of Prime Minister’s monthly address on radio ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
2. This book will enable citizens to read and understand Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and his ideas of development.
3. Union Minister Piyush Goyal was also present on the occasion. He also said that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a new design of communication to reach people and it has truly worked as a revolution.
4. PM Modi has chosen All India Radio as the medium for broadcasting his programme because it is the only medium which reaches 99% ofthe population of the country.
Heritage Sites of Maharashtra :
1) Ajanta Caves: Ajanta caves of Aurangabad, Maharashtra, are listed under UNESCO’s “World Heritage sites” as the Cultural Heritage sites of Maharashtra. It was in the year 1983 when this site was recognized by UNESCO.
2) Ellora cave: Ellora in Aurangabad district is another group of rock cut caves that are listed in cultural heritage sites of Maharashtra
3) Elephanta Caves: Elephanta caves consist of two groups. The first group consists of five Hindu caves and the second group consists of two Buddhist caves.


IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day Against Trafficking – July 30 2017
The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 was observed on 30 July 2017 around the world.
Exam points:
1. Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex.
2. The day aims at raising awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promoting and protecting their rights.
3. The theme of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’.
4. It highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants.