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July 26, 2016

26th July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • India has the highest number of stunted children in the world owing to 'severe' sanitation crisis due to lack of clean toilets and water, according to a report by international development charity WaterAid. 
    • The report said that 48 million, or 40% Indian children under the age of five, suffer from stunted growth. 
    • Nigeria and Pakistan rank second and third respectively.
  • The US today sought the removal of customs duties by India on information and communications technology (ICT) products in a bid to introduce these products into supply chain operations. 
    • The US is working with India for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, a US trade representative said, adding that India should tap its ICT segment potential.
National Affairs

  • Nation pays tribute to martyrs on 17th Kargil Victory Day (Kargil Vijay Diwas) today.
    • Kargil Vijay Diwas is named after the success of Operation Vijay.
    • This day is is celebrated on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War's Heroes
    • On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. 
    • The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July 1999. 
    • Defence Minister, 3 service chiefs pay tribute to Kargil heroes at Amar Jawan Jyoti.
      • Defense Minister : Manohar Parrikar 
      • Chief of the Air Staff : Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha
      • Chief of the Army Staff : General Dalbir Singh Suhag 
      • Chief of the Naval Staff : Admiral Sunil Lanba
  • According to the latest tourism statistics by the government, Jharkhand is the fastest growing tourist destination in India
    • The state recorded a 40% increase in tourism from 2012 to 2014, with Ranchi being the most popular destination among tourists. 
    • As per the statistics, Tamil Nadu emerged as the top destination for foreign tourists.
  • The Lok Sabha has passed Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for opening six new IITs. T
    • he Bill seeks to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to add six new IITs as institutions of national importance.
    • The Six new IITs are :
      • Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) 
      • Dharwar (Karnataka)  
      • Goa 
      • Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir)
      • Palakkad (Kerala) 
      • Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh)

Business & Economy
  • The Centre today  published the implementation notification of the 7th Pay Commission, stating that central government employees will get the revised pay from August
    • Further, arrears, which are to be paid from January 2016, will be credited to employees within 2016-17. 
    • Note : The Commission’s recommendations, including increasing minimum pay from ₹7,000 to ₹18,000 per month, were cleared in June.
  • The government today announced that about ₹7 lakh crore would be spent to develop around 50,000 kilometres of national highways over the next five years. 
  • Flipkart today announced the acquisition of fashion e-commerce platform Jabong through its unit Myntra for an undisclosed amount. 
    • Jabong, which went live in 2012, has been looking for a buyer following reports of its investors being unwilling to infuse fresh capital.
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on HDFC Bank for lapses in adhering to Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) norms.
  • Global payments leader SWIFT today announced that ICICI Bank and Axis have become the first domestic lenders to sign up for its global payments innovation initiative, which already has over 70 other leading banks globally.
    • The initiative aims to enhance cross-border payments by leveraging Swift's messaging platform and global reach and in the first phase, the initiative will focus on business-to-business payments.
  • The International Tribunal in The Hague has ruled against the Indian government in a 2015 case filed by Devas Multimedia for cancellation of a deal by Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 
    • India could reportedly have to pay nearly $1 billion in damages. 
    • The deal, involving leasing of spectrum from two satellites, was terminated in 2011.

People in News
  • AFSPA activist Irom Chanu Sharmila (44) has announced to end her 16-year-long fast on August 9, stating she would now contest 2017 Manipur elections. 
    • Known as ‘Iron Lady’, Sharmila said she no longer believes her fast will bring an end to the Army's special powers under AFSPA in Manipur. 

Science & Technology
  • With 1,263 bird species, India is home to nearly 12% of the total number of 10,135 bird species in the world, according to a study published in the journal 'Indian BIRDS'. 
    • Among the 1,263 species, Himalayan Forest Thrush (Zoothera salimalii) is reportedly the newest species discovered, while White-browed Crake (Amaurornis cinerea) is the latest entry to the country’s bird list.

New Appointments
  • Former Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official Dr. Budha Rashmi Mani was appointed as Director General (DG) of National Museum
  • Former Olympian PT Usha today joined running and fitness app Fitso as an advisory head coach
    • Usha will overview all the training activities on the platform. 
    • Launched in January, Fitso tracks users' fitness, and helps them to lose weight and reach their fitness goals.
  • Mumbai-headquartered, Axis Bank appointed Sanjiv Misra as Additional Director and the Non-Executive (Part-Time) Chairman of the bank.

  • Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Test bowlers' rankings after his overall figures of 7/126 helped India win the first Test against the West Indies on Sunday. 
    • He replaced Pakistani leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who held the top spot for only a week. 
    • English pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad are placed second and third respectively​.
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