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July 16, 2016

16th July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • After staying on top for two quarters, India slipped to the third position globally on the scale of Business Optimism because of delays in key reforms like the GST and bad loans facing state-owned banks, says a report.
    • According to the latest Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR), India ranked third during the April-June quarter of 2016.
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the truck attack in France's Nice in which 84 were killed.
  • Turkey's army today taken over the country’s administration in an attempted coup to protect the democratic order and to maintain human rights. 
    • Note : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regains control by this evening. 
  • UNESCO has also declared five 'World Heritage Sites' in Libya to be in danger, citing damage caused by the conflict in the country as well as the threat of further damages. 
      • The Historic Centre of Shakhrisyabz in Uzbekistan, the Old Towns of Djenné in Mali and Nan Madol in Micronesia were also declared 'World Heritage Sites in D​anger'.
  • The 11th Edition of the Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM 2016) has issued Ulaanbaatar Declaration
    • The declaration has reaffirmed ASEM’s commitment for greater partnership through informal political dialogue and initiatives in economic and socio-cultural fields. 
    • It also has expressed its commitment for united fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

National Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired the 11th meeting of the Inter-State Council (ISC) in Delhi. 
    • This is the first Inter-State Council meeting since 2006.
    • The council comprises of all Chief Ministers, Lieutenant Governors of all Union Territories and 17 Union Ministers. 
    • Modi asked the states to focus on intelligence sharing which will help the country to stay alert and updated in countering internal security challenges.
    • Issues like inter-state relations, internal security, school education, Aadhaar card, and economic planning were also discussed in the meeting. 
    • Note : The last ISC meeting was held in 2006 during the previous UPA regime.
  • The world's first hospital on a train, the Lifeline Express, today completed 25 years of service to the poor and underprivileged masses of rural India. 
    • Also known as the Magic Train of India, the train medically served more than 10 lakh poor in rural India and covered two lakh kilometres distance since its launch in 1991.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA) has been reshuffled, with Smriti Irani being dropped as a special invitee and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar elevated as a member. 
    • Najma Heptulla, who recently resigned from the Union Cabinet, was removed from the panel. 
    • Note : CCPA is headed by the Home Minister and is mandated to recommend the dates for Parliamentary sessions.
  • According to the recent data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, over 14 lakh LPG connections have been released to the women of BPL families under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).
    • Important Points to Note
      • The scheme, launched in May this year, aims at providing LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries over the next three years.
      • The scheme is currently under operation in 487 districts of 17 states.
  • The Union Government has launched Transforming India Website (, a repository for sharing the impact of various governance initiatives with citizens in real-time. 
    • It was launched by the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi. 
Awards & Honors
  • UNESCO today declared the Nalanda University in Bihar a World Heritage Site.
    • The university houses the remains of a monastic institution dating from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD. 
    • Considered the oldest university in the Indian subcontinent, it imparted knowledge for about 800 years.  
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • UNESCO also declared the Archaeological Site of Philippi in Greece and the Antequera Dolmens Site in Spain to be 'World Heritage Sites'.
      • It added nine sites to its 'World Heritage List', including the Archaeological Site of Ani in Turkey, the Persian Qanat in Iran and Nan Madol in Micronesia. 
  • Google has named the Aamir Khan starrer 'PK' as the most searched Indian film in the last 10 years
    • Other films among the most searched include 'Kahaani', 'Baahubali', 'Aashiqui 2', 'Dhoom 3' and 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan'. 
    • Other Toppers in the List : 
      • Directors : Filmmaker Prabhu Deva was the most searched director while Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Raj Kapoor and Farah Khan were also among most searched directors.
      • Actors : Salman Khan was the most searched actor in past ten years, followed by Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth.
      • Actresses : Sunny Leone topped the actresses list followed by Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor, Kajal Aggarwal and Deepika Padukone.

Business & Economy
  • The Indian Railways has launched a special train for car freight called 'Auto Express'. Currently available from Gurgaon to Nidvanda, the train can run at 100 kmph, reducing travel time to 57 hours from the current 70 hours. 
    • With the new train, the vehicles transported between the two regions will increase from the current 2,000 to 6,000 units per month.

People in News
  • Arunachal Chief Minister Nabam Tuki resigned today, following which the scheduled floor test will reportedly not take place. 
    • Note : The newly elected Congress leader Pema Khandu has staked claim to form the government, but the date of the swearing-in has not yet been decided. 

Books & Authors
  • Former Rajasthan governor Margaret Alva's autobiography titled "Courage & Commitment" was recently released. 
    • In this book Alva narrates her forty-year career under four Prime Ministers, namely Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV NarasimhaRao and Manmohan Singh.
    • It also tells about her transition from politician to Governor.

  • Singer Katy Perry has released her new single 'Rise', which has been chosen as the official anthem to be played during the Rio Olympics broadcast by the American television network 'NBC'. 
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