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August 07, 2016

7th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (first Sunday of August) is International Friendship Day.
National Affairs
  • Today (7th August) is 2nd National Handloom Day.
    • 7th August was notified by the Government of India as National Handloom Day vide Gazette Notification dated 29th  July, 2015.
    • The main objective of this day is to generate awareness about the importance of handloom industry and its contribution to the socioeconomic development of the country.
    • Important Note : The date August 7 has been chosen due to its special significance in India’s freedom struggle; it was on this day in 1905 that the Swadeshi Movement was formally launched, at a massive meeting in the Calcutta Town hall. 
      • The movement involved revival of domestic products and production processes. 
    • Union Textiles Minister : Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani
  • Prime Minister Modi today officially launched the first phase of 'Mission Bhagiratha' in Telangana's Medak district to provide piped drinking water to​ every household in Telangana
    • The mission, expected to cost around ₹42,000 crore, aims to create a water grid for supplying drinking water. 
    • Note : PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for a 1,600 MW super thermal power plant.
  • The Kerala Congress (M) today left the United Democratic Front (UDF) after being a part of it for more than three decades
    • The Kerala Congress (M) will now work as a separate independent opposition block in the Assembly.
  • All houses in Tiring, Jharkhand, will have nameplates bearing the names of unmarried girls and their mothers residing there, to address the village's skewed sex ratio and female literacy rate. 
  • Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar today inaugurated the transit campus of Indian Institute of Technology in Jammu

MOUs & Agreements
  • The Telangana government today signed an MoU with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for setting up a Telangana Water Resources Information System (TWRIS) on ISRO’s geo-portal Bhuvan (similar to Google Earth). 
    • The system aims at capturing and marking every field-level irrigation structure, including dams/barrages, canals and field channels, on the satellite visualisation tool.

Awards & Honors
  • 'Father of the Green Revolution' MS Swaminathan was placed in the 'Time 20' list of the most influential Asian people of the 20th century. 
    • Born on August 7, 1925, Swaminathan led the development of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice to avert a famine in India. 
    • Note : The only other Indians in the list were Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore.

New Appointments
  • BJP leader Vijay Rupani (60) today took oath as Gujarat Chief Minister at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar. 
    • He was declared the CM by the BJP after former CM Anandiben Patel resigned from the post citing age factor. 
    • Important Note : Besides Rupani, Nitin Patel was also sworn in as Deputy CM of Gujarat.
      Actor Ajay Devgn has been named the ambassador for KFC India's initiative 'Hope'. 
    • The initiative is looking to provide 20 million meals to underprivileged children by 2020 through its partnerships with World Food Program (WFP) and India Food Banking Network (IFBN)
    • To support this campaign, customers can choose to add ₹5 to their bill for every meal at KFC.
Business & Economy
  • The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions has accepted the 7th Pay Commission's recommendation of increasing the minimum monthly pension for retired central government employees by 157.14%, from ₹3,500 to ₹9,000. 
    • Further, such employees will be entitled to a maximum pension of ₹1.25 lakh, a Ministry order said. 
    • India currently has about 58 lakh central government pensioners.
  • The Central Bureau of Investigation has been made the Nodal authority for banks to report high-value frauds worth over ₹50 crore in public sector banks.
    •  A Joint Director-level officer has been authorised to receive complaints, who can recommend an investigation by any CBI wing. 
    • The CBI had probed 171 bank fraud cases involving funds of over ₹20,000 crore in 2015.
  • Vietnam has the second fastest GDP growth rate per capita in the world since the 1990s, behind only China. 
    • Reports suggest this may be due to Vietnam simplifying its trade rules, with trade accounting for 150% of its GDP. 
    • Note : Vietnam's government has barred officials from forcing foreigners to buy inputs domestically and promotes competition among its 63 provinces.
  • London-based risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft has ranked India the fourth riskiest in a​ list of 198 countries losing out on business opportunities due to civil unrest. 
    • War-torn countries​ Syria, Yemen and Libya took the first three spots on the list. 
    • Note : Countries like Bangladesh (6th) and Nigeria (10th) were found to be safer for conducting businesses than India.

Science & Technology
  • NASA has announced five research projects that may help make planes more efficient and green
    • The projects are aimed at shrinking fuel use, reducing aviation’s impact on the environment and quieting noise around airports. 
    • One of these studies will be based on Lithium-Air "breathing batteries” which expel oxygen as the battery is being charged.

General Knowledge
  • Bengali poet, popularly called 'Gurudev', Rabindranath Tagore's  (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) Death Anniversary today.
    • The writer, most famous for composing India's national anthem, passed away 75 years ago on August 7, 1941.
    • He was the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize, when he received the award for Literature in 1913.  
    • The national anthems of both India and Bangladesh have been taken from his works. 
      • Indian national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' was taken from a hymn titled 'Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata'.
      • Bangladesh's national anthem 'Amar Sonar Bangla' is derived from a song of the same name. 
  • Veteran Tamil director and script writer Vietnam Veedu Sundaram (73) has passed away.
    • 'Vietnam Veedu' became part of his name after he wrote the script for the film 'Vietnam Veedu', starring actor Sivaji Ganesan in the 1970s. 
    • Sundaram is also known for directing films including 'Gauravam', 'Gnana Paravai' and 'Payanam'.

  • The Olympic flame made its first appearance in the modern Games at Amsterdam in 1928, where it was lit atop a tower overlooking the Olympic Stadium. 
    • The first time a torch was used to transport the flame was in 1936 Berlin Olympics, when the originating flame was lit in Olympia, Greece, a tradition that continues till date.
  • The International Paralympic Committee has confirmed a blanket ban on Russia in the Paralympics Games. 
  • India’s women archers defeated the Colombian archery team in the Round of 16, to advance to the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics’ women archery recurve team event. 
    • The Indian trio of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi, defeated the Colombians 5-3 in a 4-set match. 
    • The team will now face Russia in the quarters today's night.
  • Australia's Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie, Bronte Campbell and Cate Campbell set a world record in the 4x100 metres freestyle relay with a time of 3:30.65 minutes.  
    • Note : Australian squad's Cate Campbell currently holds the 100 metres freestyle world record with 52.06 seconds.
  • Hungary's 'Iron Lady' Katinka Hosszu broke the world record in the women's 400 metres individual medley (IM) to claim her first Olympic medal at her fourth Olympic Games. 
  • Vietnam clinched their first ever Olympic gold medal when Vinh Xuan Hoang won the men's 10m air pistol event today. 
    • The nation, which has a population of around 89.71 million, had won a total of two silver medals and three bronze medals in eight previous editions of the Olympics it had participated in.
  • Great Britain’s 21-year-old swimmer Adam Peaty set a new world record in the men’s 100 metres breaststroke heats at the Rio Olympics. 
    • Peaty broke his own record of 57.92 seconds by clocking a timing of 57.55 seconds. 
    • Important Note : This is the Rio Olympic’s first new world record in swimming, and the second new world record overall.
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