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July 01, 2016

1st July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan launched a Program to help advance educational opportunities for Afghan women.
    • Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Promote Scholarship Program will provide aid to 720 Afghan women over the next five years.
  • United States President Barack Obama today signed into law measures to give the public greater access to government documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act.
    • The new law requires agencies to consider releasing records instead of presuming the information is secret. 
    • It also places a 25-year-limit on the government's ability to withhold documents related to decision-making.
  • Austria's Constitutional Court today ruled that the presidential elections must be held again, as irregularities were found in the counting of over 700,000 ballots. 
    • The court said there was enough doubt over the result, as Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen had won the elections by 30,863 votes. 
    • It said there is no proof that the count was actively manipulated.
  • India withheld from voting at a United Nations Human Rights Council session today to appoint an investigator to help protect homosexuals and transgender people from violence and discrimination
    • The 47-member forum ultimately voted in favour of the bid, with 23 states for and 18 against it. 
    • Note : India, South Africa, and the Philippines were among the six abstainers.
  • The main Opposition in Mongolia, the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) has returned to power after 4 years by winning 65 seats in the 76-member parliament. 
    • MPP is the former communist party which ruled Mongolia for 70 years before its transition to democracy. 
    • The outgoing Democratic Party won nine seats with the public reportedly blaming it for the country's "economic woes".

National Affairs

  • Today (1st July 2016) is National Doctors' Day.
    • This day is observed in India to honour the contributions of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy (1st July 1882 – 1st July 1962), former West Bengal Chief Minister who was also a physician.
    • Born in 1882, the legendary physician, who was also honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 1961, died on his birthday in 1962.
  • The 2nd BRICS Youth Summit has begun in Guwahati today.
    • Theme of this year : "Youth as bridge for intra-BRICS exchanges
    • Several foreign delegates, including ministers and heads of executive authorities on youth affairs from BRICS nations, will participate in the three-day summit. 
    • The summit will focus on skill development, entrepreneurship, and youth participation in governance.
  • The Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has launched ‘Prashikshak’- an online teacher education portal for District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs). 
    • The Prashikshak portal was launched by the Union HRD minister Smriti Irani in New Delhi.  
    • It seeks to strengthen DIETs and bring quality teachers into the school education system.
  • The Kerala government has decided to ban the production, sale, and advertisement of e-cigarettes in the view of studies claiming that its use can cause health issues like cancer and heart ailments.
  • The Union Railway Ministry has launched Nivaran portal, an online system for redressal of service related grievance of serving and former Railway employees. 
    • It was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at function held in Rail Bhawan, New Delhi. 

New Appointments
  • Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy was given additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh during JP Rajkhowa’s absence on leave.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook was today appointed as the lead independent director of Nike's Board
    • Cook, a Nike director since 2005, is Chairman of the Board’s Compensation Committee and also serves as a member of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee. 
    • Note : Cook's appointment comes after Nike Chairman Phil Knight retired from the Nike's Board of Directors.

Awards & Honors
  • Indian writer P T Bopannas's book The Romance of Indian Coffeehas been chosen as the Worlds Best Book on Coffee at The Gourmand World Awards function at Yantai in China.
    • The Romance of Indian Coffee was published in 2011, and takes a 360-degree view of Indian coffee.
    • The Gourmand Awards celebrate global cookbook and wine book publishing, and feature many world-renowned chefs each year.

Business & Economy
  • Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairman, State Bank of India, on the occasion of 61st State Bank Day, launched a social media banking platform for Facebook and Twitter users, called ‘SBI Mingle’.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has today announced that it will accept pre-2005 banknotes only at its select branches from today as majority of the old series banknotes have been withdrawn.
    • Note : RBI is pulling out the pre-2005 banknotes because of fewer security features compared to banknotes printed after 2005.
  • The Union Government has decided to enhance financial powers of its Ministries, Departments for appraisal and approval of Non-Plan Schemes or Projects. 
    • In this regard, Union Finance Ministry has issued a notification in order to expedite appraisal and approval process in the Union Government Ministries and Departments. 

  • American writer and futurist, known for his works discussing modern technologies, including the digital revolution and the communication revolution, Alvin Toffler (87) passed away.
    • Toffler is a former associate editor of Fortune magazine.
    • In his early works he focused on technology and its impact, which he termed "information overload." 
    • In 1970 his first major book about the future, Future Shock, became a worldwide best-seller and has sold over 6 million copies.
  • Renowned Marathi literary scholar Dr. Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere (86) passed away.
    • He was an Insightful scholar who has unraveled the Cultural linkage between the past and the present through his path-breaking literally research. 

Science & Technology
  • The first squadron of indigenously designed and manufactured Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas was inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF). 
    • State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first two Tejas aircrafts to IAF as part squadron at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment in Bengaluru. 
    • Check complete details about TEJAS LCA from here.
  • Google today announced 'Nougat' as the name for the upcoming Android version 'Android N', continuing the dessert-themed names for the operating system.
    • 'Nougat' refers to the family of sweets made from honey, nuts and egg white. 
    • This was the first time that the company crowd-sourced the name of the mobile operating system.
  • 12 Indian students have been selected to participate in the prestigious "International Space Settlement Design Competition" (ISSDC) at National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) in Florida, US.
    • They won the Asian regional round against teams from countries including Pakistan, China, Japan and Korea, to reach this stage.
  • India’s first integrated Defence Communication Network (DCN) was launched by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in South Block, Delhi.
    • The network will enable India Army, Air force, Navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process. 

  • The Italian Cricket Board President Simone Gambino, has today revealed that Cricket will be a part of the 2024 Olympics if Rome gets to host the tournament.
    • As per new rules, host cities will have the opportunity to add five sports to the Games.
    • Other cities vying for host status are Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, with France also keen to add cricket.
  • Russian 800-metre runner Yuliya Stepanova, who helped expose the Russian athletics' systematic doping, will be the first neutral athlete to compete at the Rio Olympics
    • The 29-year-old passed the IAAF doping review board's "exceptional eligibility" guidelines that allow individually-cleared athletes to participate in Rio. 
    • Over 80 Russian athletes have applied to IAAF for "exceptional eligibility".
  • Anil Kumble, the newly appointed Indian team coach, will continue as the Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee
    • Earlier it was being speculated that Kumble might have to step down from the post after his appointment as India's coach.
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