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July 08, 2016

8th July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches South African capital Pretoria.
    • He is holding talks with African President Jacob Zuma.
    • Several agreements and MoUs are signed.
  • The United Kingdom is going to have 1st female Prune Minister since Margaret Thatcher
    • Britain's ruling Conservative Party MPs have chosen two female leaders Home Secretary Theresa May and Junior Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom as the final candidates to become the country's Prime Minister.
    • Conservative Party members will now decide between them to lead the party and the country. 
  • Award-winning summer music festival Exit begins today at the Petrovaradin Fortress in the Serbian city of Novi Sad.
    • The festival will be held from July 7 to July 10, and its line-up this year includes artists Wiz Khalifa, David Guetta and Ellie Goulding. 
    • Note : Exit originated in 2000 as a student movement for democracy and freedom in Serbia​ and the Balkans.
  • The United States has imposed sanctions against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for the first time, along with 10 other senior officials, citing "abuses of human rights." 
    • Many of the abuses are reported in prison camps, which hold approximately 100,000 people including children, as per a US government report. 
    • Note : North Korea is already under sanctions over its nuclear activities.
  • India has set up an apparel training centre in Kaduna, Nigeria to support textiles industry of the West African country. 
    • This is a first of its kind centre in Nigeria which has been set up by India in partnership with their government.
    • Note : The training centre was established under the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme for Africa which is being implemented by the Department of Commerce.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated the BRICS‬ Heads of Drug Control Agencies Working Group Meeting, in New Delhi.
    • The Minister stresses on international cooperation to curb and stop the menace of drugs.
    • This meeting has been organised by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India.

  • India and South Africa have signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and agreements in four areas of bilateral co-operation.
    • They are, 
      • MoU on Information and Communication technology (ICT) 
      • MoU on Grass root innovation (Science and Technology) 
      • MoU on Tourism
      • Programme of Cooperation in Arts and Culture.

National Affairs
  • Under the 'Clean UP, Green UP' initiative, the Uttar Pradesh government has announced to plant a record five crore saplings across the state on 11th July 2016. 
    • Of these, 6.7 lakh saplings will be planted in Agra alone. 
    • Note : Last year, the state had entered the Guinness Book of World Records for planting 10 lakh saplings within a span of eight hours.
  • Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government today inducted 10 ministers into the state Council while promoting one existing minister to the Cabinet rank. 
    • Of the 10, six belonged to the ruling BJP, two to ally Shiv Sena, and one each to the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha. 
    • Five of the 10 were inducted as ministers of Cabinet rank.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet all Chief Ministers of the country on July 16 at the 11th meeting of the Inter-State Council (ISC) in Delhi. 
    • Issues like inter-state relations, internal security, school education, Aadhaar card, and economic planning will be discussed in the meeting. 
    • Note : The last ISC meeting was held in 2006 during the previous UPA regime.

Banking & Economy
  • The newly-elected Left Democratic Front government in Kerala has imposed a ‘fat tax’ of 14.5% on branded restaurants that sell junk food like burgers, pizzas, and pasta. 
    • This is the first such tax in India and is expected to help the government raise ₹10 crore annually. 
    • Note : A similar tax was imposed in Denmark and Hungary to fight obesity.
  • The private sector lender HDFC bank has launched an SME Bank which will provide full-fledged digital banking service to small and medium sector enterprises.

Books & Authors
  • Indian tennis player Sania Mirza’s autobiography Ace Against Odds’ has been released by its publishers. 
    • The book has been co-authored by Sania's father Imran Mirza, and features anecdotes from her professional and personal life.
New Appointments
  • Current Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council and NCP leader, Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar was re-elected unopposed as the Chairman of Maharashtra Legislative Council.

Awards & Honors
  • Waterfront resort Nihiwatu, which is on the Indonesian island of Sumba, has been voted the World's Best Hotel in a survey by the Travel + Leisure magazine.
    • The Spectator Hotel in United States' Charleston and the Huka Lodge in New Zealand were ranked second and third respectively.
    • Five Indian hotels have made it to the Best Hotels list, 
      • The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur ranked 22nd.
      • The Oberoi Vanyavilas (Ranthambhore) was ranked 28th, 
      • The Oberoi Rajvilas (Jaipur) was 59th. 
      • The list also included The Leela Palace New Delhi and the Taj Lake Palace (Udaipur).

  • Noted music director Om Prakash Sonik (77) passed away.
    •  He was composer part of the Sonik-Omi duo consisting of Master Sonik (a blind music director) and his nephew Omi.

  • The top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis was ousted from Wimbledon after losing to fifth seeds Yaroslava Shvedova and Timea Babos 2-6, 4-6 in the quarter-finals. 
    • Note : The duo were the defending champions at Wimbledon. 
    • This is the second consecutive Grand Slam where the pair have been eliminated before the semi-finals.

  • Professors of six IITsBombay, Madras, Delhi, Kharagpur, Kanpur, and Guwahati– are set to give video lectures to engineering aspirants via four DTH channels
    • The students can watch these channels for free of charge through Doordarshan's Free Dish DTH and will only need to get a set-top box. 
    • Note : The service will be launched by PM Narendra Modi on 15th August 2016.
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