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July 28, 2016

28th July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (28th July) is World Hepatitis Day.
    • Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can affect any individual of any age including children.
    • This day aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis (a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E)
    • Theme of the year 2016 : Know Hepatitis-Act Now
    • Note : World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
      • Remaining Campaigns are
        • World Health Day, 
        • World Blood Donor Day, 
        • World Immunization Week, 
        • World Tuberculosis Day, 
        • World No Tobacco Day, 
        • World Malaria Day 
        • World AIDS Day
  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Pakistan to attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (SAARC) meeting of Home/Interior Ministers during 3rd and 4th  August  2016.
    • As per reports, Singh is expected to raise the issue of cross-border terrorism at the meeting. 

National Affairs
  • The Cabinet today approved the Setting up of a new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Bathinda in Punjab. 
    • To be established under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, it will provide super speciality healthcare and create a large pool of doctors. 
    • Important Note : Presently, there are seven functioning AIIMS, while three others, including Bathinda, have been approved.
  • The Lok Sabha today passed the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015
    • The amendments will allow the government to confiscate benami​ properties, referring to deals where the owner of a property denies knowledge of ownership, after due procedure. 
    • However, those who declare their benami properties under the Income Declaration scheme will get immunity under the Act.
  • The Lok Sabha has also cleared an amendment to the Lokpal Act giving an indefinite extension to the deadline for assets and liabilities' disclosure by central government employees and management personnel of NGOs. 
    • A Parliamentary Standing Committee will examine the Act's clause which requires disclosure by such public servants receiving foreign donations over ₹10 lakh or government aid over ₹1 crore.
  • The Cabinet has approved the signing of the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Cambodia, the first agreement to be inked on the basis of the model BIT text approved in December 2015. 
    • The treaty seeks to promote and protect investments from either country in the other's territory with the objective of increasing bilateral investment flows.

  • Writer and activist Mahasweta Devi (90) passed away in Kolkata today.
    • She had received Padma Shri (1986), Jnanpith Award (1996), Ramon Magsaysay Award (1997) and Padma Vibhushan (2006). 
    • Her notable works include Hajar Churashir Maa and Breast Stories among others.

New Appointments
  • Indonesia's ex-General Wiranto has been appointed the country's new Chief Security Minister. 
    • This comes as part of a Cabinet reshuffle that included the appointment of World Bank's Managing Director Mulyani Indrawati as the new Finance Minister.
  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker appointed Michel Barnier, a former EU Commissioner for internal markets, to lead negotiations with Britain to leave the European Union. 
    • Barnier will take up his post on October 1st 2016. 
    • Barnier was earlier involved in reforms of the financial services, some of which were opposed by Britain.

Places in News
  • Nalanda University, one of the India's oldest institutes, will conduct its first convocation in nearly 800 years on August 27 this year. 
    • President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to attend the event. 
    • Built in the 5th century as a Buddhist centre​ of learning, Nalanda started conducting academic sessions again in September 2014, with 15 students.
  • Punjab's Beas railway station was ranked the highest in cleanliness in a passenger feedback survey carried out by the Railway Ministry. 
    • The survey also ranked Bihar's Madhubani railway station the last in cleanliness. T
    • he survey, involving 1.3 lakh passengers in 407 railway stations, was conducted as a part of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's 'Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat' initiative.

Science & Technology
  • The European Space Agency has ended the support system for the Philae lander module, which was launched alongside 'Rosetta' orbiter and performed the first successful comet landing. 
    • It landed oddly on the 67P comet in 2014 and was unable to maintain consistent communication with Rosetta. 
    • This was done to conserve Rosetta's energy till the end of the mission in September.

General Knowledge
  • Triggered by the assassination of the Austrian crown prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Austria declared war and bombarded Serbia on this day (28 July) in the year 1914, starting the First World War
    • As many as 17 million people, including over 8.5 million military personnel, were killed in the four-year war that involved most of the European nations.

MOUs & Agreements
  • India today signed a deal worth about $1 billion with US-based aerospace company Boeing for four P-8I submarine hunter planes
    • This comes after Boeing delivered the last of eight such planes last year in a $2.1 billion deal. 
    • The eight submarine hunters have already been deployed and are tracking submarine movements in the Indian Ocean.

Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a total of ₹27 crore as penalty on 13 banks, including HDFC Bank and Bank of Baroda, for "violation of regulatory directions/instructions/guidelines, among other things, on KYC (Know Your Customer) norms". 
    • Eight other banks, including SBI and ICICI Bank, have been asked to “ensure strict compliance with KYC requirements and FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) provisions".
  • Multilateral funding agency Asian Development Bank today announced that it has raised around ₹500 crore by issuing five-year offshore Indian rupee-linked bonds
    • The proceeds from the bonds are meant to support private sector lending in India.

  • India has 33,000 atheists out of the total population of 1.2 billion, revealed a Census 2011 data released earlier this week. While nearly 50% of these atheists were females, 70% of all the atheists were from rural parts of the country. 
    • Further, Maharashtra had the maximum number of atheists at 9,652, followed by Meghalaya (9,089) and Kerala (4,896).
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