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July 22, 2016

21st July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • France's National Assembly today voted to extend the country's state of emergency for Six months after the recent truck attack in Nice. 
    • This is the fourth extension since the emergency was imposed after the November Paris attacks. 
    • The extension, which needs the Senate's approval, would continue the additional powers granted to police like conducting searches without courts' authorisation.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country after the recent failed military coup. 
    • Note : The Turkish government has also imposed a ban on academic scholars from travelling abroad as a part of the wide-ranging purge of state institutions following the failed military coup. 
  • The six richest countries in the worldGermany, USA, UK, France, China, Japan host less than 9% (2.1 million) of the world’s 65 million refugees, analysis by development organisation Oxfam has revealed. 
    • Note : Germany hosts most (736,740) of the 2.1 million refugees, while 1.4 million are split between the rest.
    • The six countries account for 56.6% of the global economy.
MOUs & Agreements
  • India and Japan have signed a Social Security Agreement (SSA).
    • This agreement will come into force on 1st October 2016
    • The SSA will benefit Indian and Japanese professionals and skilled workers working in each other’s country and will also boost bilateral business linkages.
  • The NITI Aayog has signed Statement of Intent (SoI) with tech giant Intel India to set up Atal Tinkering laboratories (ATL) under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
    • The aim of Atal Tinkering laboratories is to cultivate adaptive learning and innovation skills among young minds in the country. 
    • NITI - National Institution for Transforming India

National Affairs
  • The Union Cabinet today approved the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 
    • The main aim of this bill is to protect the community from discrimination. 
    • It reportedly brings greater accountability to the government for issues concerning transgender persons.
  • The cabinet has also approved Introducing amendments to the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2015. 
    • The amendments will allow the Government to confiscate benami properties by following due procedures. 
    • Benami transactions refer to deals where the owner of a property denies knowledge of ownership, or the person paying for the property is fictitious or untraceable.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched National Electoral Roll Purification (NERP) 2016 across the country. 
    • ECI's Motto of the year 2016 : “No voter to be left behind”. 
    • The NERP 2016 programme aims to improve health of electoral rolls (ERs) and optimize the polling station (PS) location and area. 
    • Besides, it also seeks to correct errors in electoral rolls and enrolment of all eligible citizens, among other things. 
  • The Centre has created a new Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology by bifurcating the erstwhile Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. 
    • The newly formed Electronics and IT Ministry will deal with matters related to Aadhaar, promotion of internet, IT-enabled services, bridging the digital divide, and National Informatics Centre (NIC), among others.

People in News
  • The US government has arrested Artem Vaulin, the alleged founder of the torrent site 'KickassTorrents'
    • He has been charged with criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. 
    • The service, which went live in 2008, is reportedly the 69th most frequently visited website and gets over 50 million unique hits per month.

Awards & Honors
  • New Zealand's $5 currency note, featuring mountaineer Edmund Hillary, was named the Banknote of 2015 by International Bank Note Society. 
    • Hillary, who was born on July 20, 1919, was the first person, along with Tenzing Norgay, to reach the summit of Mt Everest. 
    • Note : He was one of Time's 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
  • The Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru has been listed as the top Indian university in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Rankings 2016 for BRICS nations
    • The institute has been ranked 6th in the list
    • Eight Indian universities ranked in the top 50, most of them, including IISc, lost ranks compared to their positions last year. 
    • Important Note : China's Tsinghua University maintained its top spot.
  • Advay Ramesh from Chennai has won Google's Community Impact Award in Asia for creating a mobile GPS to keep fishermen safe from crossing international maritime boundaries. 
    • The 14-year-old will receive $1,000 in scholarship to further develop the FishErmen Lifeline Terminal (FELT) system. 
    • Note : Ramesh is among 20 finalists shortlisted to compete for a $50,000 scholarship at the Google Science Fair 2016.

Business & Economy
  • Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has today announced that its Activa scooter has surpassed Hero Splendor to become India's largest selling two-wheeler in January-June 2016
    • Important Point to Note : This is the first time in 17 years that a scooter topped volume sales in the domestic two-wheeler market "ending...monopoly of motorcycles". 

General Knowledge
  • Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon on  this day (21st July) in the year 1969. 
    • The first words he said after his descent was "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." 
    • Apollo 11 mission successfully landed astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on the surface of the moon on July 20, 1969.
    • Important Points to Note
      • A total of 12 people have walked on the moon till date, two each on NASA's six different Apollo missions. 
      • The last Apollo mission to land humans on the moon was in 1972.
  • Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first ever woman Prime Minister in the world on this day (21st July) when she was appointed to Sri Lanka's top post in the year 1960
    • Note : The world's second woman Prime Minister was Indira Gandhi, who was elected for the office in 1966.
  • Cricket was one of the sports in the 1900 Olympic Games held in France
    • Four teams were scheduled to compete in the tournament, but Belgium and Netherlands pulled out, and Great Britain beat France in the only match played to win the gold medal. 
    • Note : Cricket has never featured in Olympics again since then.
  • Famous Windows XP desktop wallpaper (nicknamed as "Bliss") was clicked by Charles O'Rear, a former National Geographic photographer, in  the year 1996 while driving up Napa Valley in San Francisco. 

New Appointments
  • Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named brand ambassador of the Craig McDermott International Cricket Academy in Australia
    • The academy offers a four-year bachelor's degree in sports science and management with emphasis on cricket. 
    • Additionally, Dhoni has become the world’s first cricketer to be associated with a venture capital firm, tying up with Australia's Secured Venture Capital.

  • West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels was named Cricketer of the Year and ODI Player of the Year at the West Indies Cricket Board annual awards’ function in Antigua. 
    • Samuels was Man of the Match in the World T20 final, which West Indies won, earlier this year. 
    • Darren Bravo got the award for Test Player of the Year.
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