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July 03, 2016

3rd July 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) today issued an Orange alert for the next 24 hours in Uttarakhand
    • This comes after heavy rains and cloudbursts in the state killed at least 38 people, flooded rivers, and blocked the Rishikesh-Badrinath National Highway (NH-58). 
    • Important Note : An orange alert implies that people in the affected areas should prepare themselves for the upcoming weather conditions.
  • Haryana state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma today announced that the Texts from the holy books of various religions will be incorporated in the curriculum of government schools from this month. 
    • For this, moral education will be introduced as a subject for classes 6-12.
  • The Haryana government is planning to set up Satkar Bhojan canteens, that provide subsidised food to people, across the state by 1st November 2016. 
    • As a pilot project, the first such canteen was opened in the Kurukshetra city last year with a full meal costing ₹25. 
    • The canteen has been providing meals to at least 350 people daily.
  • The Ministries of External Affairs and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship today signed an MoU to implement the Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY), a scheme aimed at providing skill training and certification to Indians seeking jobs overseas. 
  • The government of India has announced to make several monuments accessible for the differently-abled persons
    • For the initial phase, 50 ancient sites including Ajanta and Ellora Caves of Maharashtra, Delhi's Qutb Complex and Red Fort, have been identified. 
    • Under the project, the monuments will be equipped with wheelchairs, disabled-friendly toilets, Braille signages, tactile pathways and ramps.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee today inaugurated the Smart Model Village pilot project at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
    • The project aims to replicate the techniques used for transforming the President's Estate into a model township, in five selected villages in Mewat and Gurgaon districts of Haryana.
  • Union Minister Ananth Kumar today announced the government has decided to reduce the prices of key fertilizers, claiming that this is the first such decrease in fertilizer prices in 15 years. 
    • The prices have been reduced by about ₹4,000 per tonne. 
    • Note : The fertilisers include Diammonium Phosphate, Muriate of Potash and Nitrogen Phosphate, and Potash composition.

Science & Technology

  • In order to hunt for extraterrestrial life and explore space, China has built the world's largest radio telescope, named FAST.
    • FAST - Five Hundred Metre Aperture Spherical Telescope.
    • The radio telescope is equivalent to the size of 30 football fields. 
    • It took about five years to build and is expected to begin operations in September.
  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched "TRAI MySpeed", a mobile app to help consumers check the internet speed on their smartphones.
    • The app will help its installers check their data speed on 3G/4G networks.
    • The mobile application is expected to be officially launched on Tuesday, July 5; however, it is already available for download on the government-run Mobile Seva App store.
    • The "MySpeed" app will work on any smartphone that runs on an OS above Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean).

Business & Economy
  • The State Bank of India (SBI) and the World Bank have signed agreements for a $625 million (around ₹4,200 crore) facility to support Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (GRPV) programmes in India. 
    • This will help finance GRPV projects at competitive rates.
    • Eligible beneficiaries would be developers, aggregators, and end-users, especially for commercial and industrial rooftops.
  • Belarus today wiped four zeroes off its Ruble, redenominating its currency for the third time since 1992. 
    • The country has issued new banknotes, wherein one 'new Belarusian ruble' would equal 10,000 'old Belarusian rubles'. 
    • The decision was announced last year, when Belarus was hit by an economic recession which forced it to devalue its currency.

Awards & Honors
  • India's six amusement parks have been listed among Asia's top 25 by Tripadvisor. 
    • These parks include,
      • Wonderla (Bengaluru), 
      • Ramoji Film City (Hyderabad), 
      • Imagica Theme Park (Mumbai), 
      • Wonderla (Kochi), 
      • EsselWorld (Mumbai), 
      • Nicco Park (Kolkata). 
    • The list, topped by Singapore's Universal Studios, has the most listings from India, followed by Japan and China with five each.
  • Maintaining the title of the most followed person on Twitter, singer Katy Perry today hit the highest ever mark of 90 million followers on the micro-blogging website. 
    • Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift are second and third most followed on Twitter with over 83 million and 78 million followers, while US President Barack Obama is fourth with 75.8 million followers.

  • Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel (87) passed away. 
    • Credited with giving a voice to millions of holocaust victims, Wiesel authored over 50 books including 'Night', a memoir of his experiences in Nazi concentration camps. 
  • Former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard (85) passed away.
    • Rocard, a socialist, served as the Prime Minister from 1988 to 1991 under President Francois Mitterrand.

  • Triple Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Austrian Grand Prix today.
  • The ICC has amended the existing 'Umpire's Call' in LBWs under the Direct Review System.
    • The ruling will add half a stump's width in either direction of the leg and off stumps, for the ball to lie in for a successful LBW dismissal appeal. 
    • The amendment will come into effect from October 1, and will apply on all DRS-employing teams.
  • Current national champion Joshna Chinappa became the 2nd Indian in history to enter into the top 10 in PSA World Squash Rankings
    • The 29-year-old climbed a rank after finishing as the runner-up in the HKFC International tournament in Hong Kong. 
    • While, Dipika Pallikal, who was the first Indian to crack the top 10 back in 2012, was ranked 19th globally.
  • India will host the world’s first Mixed Martial Arts League.
    • This league is going to be held from 26th August 2016 to 1st October 2016. 
    • The league, consisting of eight regional teams, will feature 72 bouts in the league stage, alongside two semi-finals, a third-place​ match and the final. Each team will comprise of 12 players, both male and female, with nine Indian fighters and three international players.
  • Rufus the hawk, is the official bird scarer at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club's Wimbledon tennis championships each year. 
    • The hawk ensures that no birds litter in or around the Wimbledon tennis courts.
    • Rufus has been the official bird scarer for the past 15 years, after having taken over from Hamish the hawk.
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