CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
World Population Day
- World Population Day is celebrated on 11 July annually to make people aware about the growing population issues and urgency of family planning.
- The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.
- The main aim behind having a World Population Day is to focus attention on consequence of population issues and how it affects overall development plans and programs.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
Unesco Recognizes Heritage Sites, Ancient to Modern, Around the World
- 43rdSession of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee which was held from June 30 to July 10, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added 29 sites into the list of the World Heritage Sites 2019.
- Australia: BudjBim Cultural Landscape
- Azerbaijan: Historic Centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace
- Bahrain: Dilmun Burial Mounds
- Brazil: Paraty and Ilha Grande — Culture and Biodiversity
- Burkina Faso: Ancient ferrous metallurgy sites of Burkina Faso
- Canada: Writing-on-Stone/Áísínai’pi
- China: Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City
- China: Migratory Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China, Phase I
- Czech Republic: Landscape for Breeding and Training of Ceremonial Carriage Horses at Kladrubynad Labem
- Czech Republic/Germany: Erzgebirge/Krušnohoří Mining Region
- France: French Austral Lands and Seas
- Germany: Water Management System of Augsburg
- Iceland: Vatnajökull National Park
- India: Jaipur City, Rajasthan
- Indonesia: Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto
- Iran: Hyrcanian Forests
- Iraq: Babylon
- Italy: Le Colline del Prosecco di Conegliano a Valdobbiadene
- Japan: Mozu-FuruichiKofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan
- Republic of Korea: Seowon, Korean Neo-Confucian Academies
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang — Plain of Jars
- Myanmar: Bagan
- Poland: Krzemionki Prehistoric Striped Flint Mining Region
- Portugal: Royal Building of Mafra — Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park, Tapada
- Portugal: Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga
- Russian Federation: Churches of the Pskov School of Architecture
- Spain: RiscoCaido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria Cultural Landscape
- United Kingdom: Jodrell Bank Observatory
- United States: The 20th-Century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Centre launches fertiliser DBT 2.0 initiatives
- The Centre launched three new technology initiatives to transfer over Rs 70,000-crore fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers’ bank accounts.
- These initiatives are — a dashboard with details of fertiliser supply, availability and requirement at national, state and district level; advanced version of point of sale (PoS) software and a desktop PoS version.
- These are part of the government’s effort to transfer the fertiliser subsidy directly to farmers’ bank accounts in the second phase of direct benefit transfer (DBT).
- In October 2017, the first phase of fertiliser DBT was rolled out, under which subsidy is being transferred to companies after checking retail sales data captured through the PoS machines.
- The government has developed the ‘PoS software version 3.0’ has a multi-lingual facility with a provision for Aadhar virtual identification option during use for registration, login and sale activity in the DBT software.
- Whereas the ‘DBT dashboard’ provides accurate information about the position of supply, availability and requirement of various fertiliser at national, state and district level. Even general public can access this and get the details.
- The Centre bears over Rs 70,000 crore annually as fertiliser subsidy to give cheaper farm nutrient to farmers.
Govt to launch 6th tranche of CPSE ETF on July 18; raise Rs 10,000 cr
- The government is planning to raise up to Rs 10,000 crore from the sixth tranche of CPSE ETF which would be launched on July 18.
- The CPSE Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) tracks shares of 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) — ONGC, NTPC, Coal India, IOC, Rural Electrification Corp, Power Finance Corp, Bharat Electronics, Oil India, NBCC India, NLC India and SJVN.
- The follow-on fund offer (FFO) 5 will have a base issue size of Rs 8,000 crore with an option to retain over subscription of another Rs 2,000 crore.
- Through the earlier five tranches of the CPSE ETF, the government has already raised Rs 38,500 crore — Rs 3,000 crore from the first tranche in March 2014, Rs 6,000 crore in January 2017, Rs 2,500 crore from the third in March 2017, Rs 17,000 crore in November 2018 and Rs 10,000 crore in March 2019.
- The government aims to raise a record Rs 1.05 trillion through disinvestment in 2019-20, up from Rs 85,000 crore raised last fiscal.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
NHAI inks deal with NIIF for funding of highway projects
- National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) inked a deal with quasi-sovereign wealth fund National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to fund large greenfield road projects, which will be executed by the highway authority in the future.
- The MoU with NIIF will provide innovative financial models including for the 24,000 km₹5 lakh croreBharatmalaPariyojana.
- The road sector can contribute in a big way in achieving Prime Minister’s vision to make India a $5-trillion economy in the next five years.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
India’s first cow sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh to be privatised
- India’s first cow sanctuary, set up by the previous BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government in September 2017, will be privatised by the Congress-led government.
- KamdhenuGauAbhyaranya in Agar Malwa, 190 km north west of Bhopal, was developed by the MP GauSamvardhan Board by spending about Rs 32 crore.
- Around 4,000 cows are living in the sanctuary which is spread across 472 hectares.
- The decision of privatisation is being taken due to financial crises. Soon, the department will issue a notification to invite interested organisations
India’s first elephant rehabilitation centre in the works at Kerala’s Kottoor
- The Kerala government is working to set up the country’s first elephant rehabilitation centre in Kottoor, an ecotourism village near the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The first phase of the Rs 105 crore-project was launched last month by chief minister PinarayiVijayan.
- The centre, expected to have an elephant museum, mahout training centre, super-specialty hospital, a retirement home and crematorium for the animals, will house orphaned, injured and older elephants. It is being planned on the lines of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka.
- While the centre has only 15 elephants so far, officials expect the numbers will go up once work on the infrastructure is complete.
- The centre has set up with 65 hectares of natural forests area will have elephant safari and other activities to attract tourists.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
Deposits in Jan Dhan accounts cross Rs 1 lakh crore
- Deposits in bank accounts opened under Jan Dhan scheme, launched about five years ago by the Modi-government, have crossed the Rs 1 lakh croremark. As per the latest finance ministry data, the total balance in over 36.06 crorePradhanMantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) accounts was at Rs 1,00,495.94crore as on July 3.
- The deposits in the account of the beneficiaries, which has been steadily rising, was Rs 99,649.84 crore on June 6 and Rs 99,232.71 crore in the week before.
- The PMJDY was launched on August 28, 2014, with an aim to provide universal access to banking facilities to the people in the country.
- Accounts opened under PMJDY are Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) accounts with additional feature of RuPay debit card and overdraft.
- The number of zero balance accounts under PMJDY declined from 5.10 crore (16.22 per cent of the total accounts) in March 2018 to 5.07 crore (14.37 per cent of the total accounts) in March 2019.
- There is no requirement of maintaining minimum balance in BSBD accounts.
- Enthused by the success of the scheme, the government enhanced the accident insurance cover to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1 lakh for new accounts opened after August 28, 2018.
- The overdraft limit has also been doubled to Rs 10,000.
- The government also shifted the focus on accounts from ‘every household’ to ‘every unbanked adult’.
- The objective of PMJDY is to ensure access to various financial services like availability of basic savings bank account, access to need based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension to weaker sections and low income groups.
Nabard to raise Rs 60,000 crore via non-convertible debentures this year
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) will raise long-term funds of Rs 60,000 crore through nonconvertible debentures in the current financial year.
- Its own requirements have been assessed at Rs 30,000 crore and the balance would be for the Centre to cover the shortfall in various schemes in rural development and sanitation in FY20.
- NABARD has already raised Rs 11,000 crore in the first quarter ended June 30, 2019.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Delhi-LucknowTejas Express to be Indian Railways 1st ‘private’ train
- The Delhi-LucknowTejas Express is set to be the first train to be operated by private players.
- The train that is being considered for Indian Railways experimental initiative is the Lucknow-Delhi-LucknowTejas Express.
- The move is part of Indian Railways plan to test private sector participation in the running of trains. Railway Minister PiyushGoyal-led Indian Railways has drawn up a 100-day roadmap for the national transporter, and the proposal to get private passenger train operators to provide world-class passenger services is part of that.
- The aim is to offer IRCTC two trains for operation on haulage concept, with onboard and ticketing services to be provided by the catering and e-ticketing arm. IRCTC will pay annual lease charges to Indian RailwayThe on-board services would be handed over to private players after an open bidding process. The routes, within 500-kilometres distance, will be identified on the basis of low congestion and tourist spots they can connect.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
Arun Kumar appointed as DGCA chief
- Arun Kumar, additional secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation, will now be holding thefull-time charge of the head of aviation regulator DGCA.
- Before Kumar, B S Bhullar was holding the full-time charge of DGCA chief.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BOOKS AND AUTHOR
DevikaSethi Pens Books Titled ‘War over Words: Censorship in India, 1930-1960’
- The book named “War over Words: Censorship in India, 1930-1960” has been authored by DevikaSethi and published by Cambridge University Press.
- Sethi teaches modern Indian history at IIT-Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.
- This book recovers, narrates, and interrogates the history of censorship of publications in India over three crucial decades – encompassing the Gandhian anti-colonial movement, the Second World War, Partition, and the early years of Independent India.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: RANKING
Connaught Place 9th most expensive office location; Hong Kong tops chart
- New Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) is the ninth most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of nearly $144 per sq ft.
- CP, located in the heart of the national capital, was at the ninth position even last year.
- For the second year, Hong Kong’s Central district retained the top spot as the world’s most expensive market for prime office rents, with the prime occupancy costs valued at $322 per sq.ft.
- Mumbai’s BandraKurla Complex and Nariman Point CBD slipped to 27th and 40th positions, respectively.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
Dutee Chand wins 100m gold in World Universiade
- Dutee Chand is the first Indian woman track and field athlete to win a 100m gold in a global event.
- National record holder Dutee Chand became the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal in the World Universiade after she won the 100m dash event in Napoli.
- The Universiade is an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). It is held once in every two years. This year it is being held in Naples, Italy.
- Headquarters of International University Sports Federation (FISU)- Lausanne, Switzerland
Meet ToranYadav, a para-athlete silver medals winner World Wealth Yoga Festival and Championship
- Meet ToranYadav, a para-athlete from Khatti village of Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh. He represented India at 4th World Wealth Yoga Festival and Championship in Europe.
- Yadav won three silver medals in the championship. Indeed, ToranYadav is an inspiration to all the youth.