Current Affairs Daily Updates: 2nd and 3rd July 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 2nd and 3rd July 2017
Achal Kumar Jyoti is new Chief Election Commissioner of India
  • Narendra Modi Government appointed Achal Kumar Jyoti as Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India for a tenure of one year.
  • Achal Kumar Jyoti replaces Nasim Zaidi, who retires on July 6.
  • 64-year-old Jyoti was former Chief Secretary of Gujarat.
Rajkiran Rai G as New Chief of Union Bank of India, Melwyn Rego as New Chief of Syndicate Bank
  • Rajkiran Rai G has been appointed as Managing Director & CEO of Union Bank of India for three years by the government.
  • Melwyn Rego has assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of Syndicate Bank for up to August 13, 2018.
Writer Preeti Shenoy honoured with the Indian of the Year 2017 Award
  • One of India's top five highest selling women authors, Preeti Shenoy was honoured with the Indian of the Year award by the Brands Academy.
  • Shenoy's famous books include "It's All In The Planets", "Why We Love The Way We Do", "It Happens For A Reason", "The One You Cannot Have" and "34 Bubblegums And Candies" among others.
  • Other winners of the "Indian of the Year 2017" Award are Deepa Malik (Paralympics Gold Winner), Kavita Krishnamurty (Singer) and Ranveer Brar (Celebrity Chef and TV Host).
Indian Americans Shantanu Narayen, Vivek Murthy Honour with Great Immigrants Award by US
  • Two Indian-Americans, Shantanu Narayen (Adobe chief) and Vivek Murthy (former US Surgeon General) is honoured with the prestigious Great Immigrants annual award 2017 on US independence day on July 4.
  • Reason:- For their role in helping to advance the society, culture and economy of the Country.
  • This year 38 Immigrants are honoured with this award. Among other honorees include Canadian-origin social entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, PayPal cofounder of Ukrainian origin Max Levchin, Iranian-origin philanthropist and entrepreneur Hushang Ansary.
Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, Telangana IPS officer conferred with an Award by the US State Department
  • Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, a Telangana IPS officer (in Rachakonda area), has been conferred with the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes Award by the US State Department.
  • Bhagwat is the third IPS officer to get this prestigious Award.
  • Reason:- Mahesh Bhagwat has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the fight against organised human trafficking for the last 13 years.
  • The previous recipients of the award from India include Amod Kanth (2005), Kari Siddamma (2006), Kailash Satyarthi (2007), Sunitha Krishnan (2009), Sattaru Umapathi (2010), Swati Chauhan (2011), and Bhanuja Sharan Lal (2014).
Karnataka Bank unveils 'KBL Image Debit Card'
  • City based private sector bank - Karnataka Bank, in its pursuit to transform customer satisfaction into customer delight, has unveiled yet another novel card variant 'KBL-image debit card. It is intended to enable bank's debit cardholders to customize/personalize debit card with image of their choice.
  • This card is one of the new-fangled card products that will fulfil debit cardholders' desire to capture their best moments/family/friends impression on the face of debit card.
  • The customers will have the option of selecting an image either from bank's gallery of images or any image of their choice to be printed on the debit card.
  • This will foster cardholders' emotional attachment towards the cards. All our debit cardholders can get their existing card converted to image debit card with their personalized image.
PNB To Block All Maestro Debit Cards Soon
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) Maestro debit cards holders will face a card blockage if they fail to replace it with a more secure EMV chip based card by the end of this month.
  • The bank will not charge anything for the replacement and it will be provided free of cost.
  • All Maestro cards issued by PNB will be blocked or hotlisted on July 31, 2017 for security based reasons
  • As per RBI advisory, existing magnetic stripe only cards need to be replaced with EMV chip and pin based cards by December 31, 2018, irrespective of the validity period of the cards.
  • And from January 31, 2016 onwards, banks are directed to issue only EMV based debit and credit cards.
GST to boost GDP: positive for rating: Moody's
  • According to the Moody's Investors Service, Implementation of the GST will be positive for India's rating as it will lead to higher GDP growth and increased tax revenues.
  • GST is likely to contribute to productivity gains and higher GDP growth by improving the ease of doing business, unifying the national market and enhancing India's attractiveness as a foreign investment destination.
  • Both will be positive for India's credit profile, which is constrained by a relatively low revenue base.
FINO becomes payments bank
  • According to the Reserve Bank of India, ‘FINO Payments Bank’ has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017.
  • FINO PayTech Ltd was one of the 11 applicants which were issued the in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank.
  • Other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are ‘Airtel M Commerce Services’, ‘Department of Posts’ and ‘Paytm Payments Bank’.
Highlights of GST Launch, A look at tax rates
  • A dual Central and state Goods and Services Tax (GST), the biggest tax reform since Independence, came into force from July 1. GST is part of a One Nation, One Tax vision of the Modi-led government.
  • A look at Tax Rates under GST:
    • GST has been primarily categorised into four tax slab rates- 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
    • Gold, rough diamond has been taxed under a separate slab of 3 per cent.
    • Foodgrains, cereals and vegetables have been zero rated under GST.
    • Most medicines will carry a tax of 12 per cent while essential drugs such as insulin will be taxed at 5 per cent, Under GST.
    • Mobile phone, Banking Services, Credit card bills, Personal care products, Cigarettes, Insurance premium, Home appliances, Sanitary napkins, Hotel stays will now become expensive due to implementation of GST.
World Sports Journalists Day: July 2
  • World Sports Journalists Day is a global professional observance held on July 2. It was established by the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in 1994 to mark the 70th anniversary of its foundation.
  • The term “sports journalism” refers to a form of writing that reports on sporting topics, it is an essential element of any news media organization.
  • AIPS was founded on July 2, 1924 during the Summer Olympics in Paris. It comprises continental sub-associations and national associations. Among its partners are many big sports federations, such as International Olympic Committee, FIFA, IAAF and others.
Carrie Lam Is Sworn In as Hong Kong’s First Female Leader
  • Carrie Lam was sworn in as Hong Kong’s chief executive, becoming its first female leader and the fourth person to hold the top government post since China regained control of the former British colony in 1997.
  • She was previously the top deputy to Leung Chun-ying, the unpopular chief executive who chose not to seek a second term.
  • Mrs. Lam was sworn in by President Xi Jinping of China on his final day of a three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese control.
  • Mrs. Lam, 60, was chosen by the previous system, with a largely pro-government election committee selecting her from three candidates vetted by the central government.
Ana Brnabic elected as first gay woman Prime Minister of Serbia
  • Ana Brnabic became Serbia's first female Prime Minister and the first openly Gay Premier after being proposed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
  • The 41-year old Brnabic and her cabinet were backed by 157 MPs in the 250-seat parliament.
Iran to sign over Rs. 31,000 crore gas deal with French oil firm called Total
  • Iran, the third largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), plans to sign a new contract to develop its giant South Pars gas field with France's oil firm named "Total" and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
  • The firm Total will grant USD 4.8 billion (Rs. 31,000 crore) to develop a gas field in Persian Gulf alongside China's CNPC and Iran's Petropars.
  • Total holds a 50.1 interest in the South Pars project with state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation owning 30 percent and Iran's Petropars 19.9 percent.
Largest Fresh water aquarium of India inaugurated in Jharkhand
  • Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das inaugurated the India's largest fresh water aquarium “Ranchi Machchli Ghar” at Bhagwan Birsa Munda Biodiversity Park in Ranchi to encourage tourism in the state.
  • This aquarium is established over 36,000 square feet area and it has 58 fish tanks, where 120 species of 1500 fishes have been exhibited. Besides Indian breeds, rare and popular species of Fish have been brought in from Bangkok, Malaysia and Singapore.
Maharashtra govt launched scheme to deposit salary into their bank accounts
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnav has launched a scheme to deposit the salary of two lakh six thousand Anganwadi Sevika and assistants in the state directly into their bank accounts.
  • The scheme which reduces the delay in disbursement of the salary of these employees.
  • The money will be deposited through Public Financial Management System.
  • Earlier the disbursement of salary used to delay due to the seven-stage money transfer system.
Biggest Global Skill Park of India to be developed in Bhopal
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan lays foundation of the India's biggest Global Skill Park to be developed in Bhopal.
  • This Park will be developed around 37 acres for Rs. 645 crore. 1000 students will be imparted training every year in the park. The trainers will be world-class. Trained students will be given placement in India as well as outside India at international level.
  • Theme - 'With Industry, For Industry'.
Madhya Pradesh sets Guinness World Record by planting 6 crore Saplings in 12 hours
  • Madhya Pradesh sets new Guinness World Record by planting over six crore saplings in 24 districts of Narmada basin in just 12 hours.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the plantation drive at Amarkantak of Anooppur district.
  • Previously, Uttar Pradesh holds the record of planting five crore saplings in 24-hours.
Indira Gandhi name removed from Rajasthan Scheme for girl students
  • Rajasthan Government removed "Indira Gandhi" name from the Scheme called "Indira Priyadarshini Puruskar Yojana" under which school girls who score the highest in their districts in Classes 10 and 12 of the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) are given cash awards and now be called "Padmakshi Puruskar Yojana".
  • Padmakshi, meaning a woman with lotus-like eyes, is another name for Goddess Saraswati, the deity of wisdom and knowledge.
  • Background Fact:- The Ashok Gehlot government started the Indira Priyadarshini Puruskar Yojana in 2010-11 to award school girls with Rs. 50,000 to Class 12 and Rs. 40,000 to Class 10, district toppers in four categories: schedules caste, scheduled tribe, other backward class and minorities.
India’s own Fast-Breeder Test Reactor in Kalpakkam, Worlds envy, India’s pride
  • India is getting ready to commission its high-tech giant stove - Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) on the shores of the Bay of Bengal at Kalpakkam near Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • This will generate electricity commercially using the fast breeder route. These Fast reactors can help extract up to 70 per cent more energy and safer than traditional reactors.
  • The world's only commercially operating fast breeder reactor is situated in the Ural Mountains of Russia at the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant.
Wrestlers village Kakrahia in Varanasi will be adopted by PM Narendra Modi
  • India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will adopt Kakrahia, a village in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh, which is known for its wrestlers and wrestling arenas, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
  • This will be the third village to be adopted by the Prime Minister in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi, after Jayapur and Nagpur villages.
IGNOU Offers Free Education for Transgenders
  • The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), the world’s largest open university, now offers higher education free of cost for its transgender students in all the courses that the University grants.
  • Background Fact: In a landmark judgement in April 2014, the apex court accorded "third gender" status to transgenders, directing the Centre to treat them as socially and economically backwards.
Vikrikar Bhavan in Mumbai was renamed to GST Bhavan
  • Vikrikar Bhavan which is Maharashtra governments erstwhile Sales Tax department headquarter, was renamed to "GST Bhavan" after launching of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • This GST Bhavan is located in south Mumbai’s Mazgaon area.
  • Important Perons:-
    • Maharashtra Finance minister - Sudhir Mungantiwar
    • Maharashtra Chief Minister - Devendra Fadnavis.
World's sharpest laser developed
  • Scientists have developed the world's sharpest laser wit a record-breaking precision that can help make optical atomic clocks more precise as well as test Einstein's theory of relativity.
  • Theoretically, laser light has only one colour, frequency or wavelength. In reality, however, there is always a certain linewidth.
  • Ideally, laser light has only one fixed wavelength or frequency. In practice, the spectrum of most types of lasers can, however, reach from a few kHz to a few MHz in width, which is not good enough for numerous experiments requiring high precision.
  • Research has therefore focused on developing ever better lasers with greater frequency stability and a narrower linewidth.
  • Within the scope of a nearly 10-year-long joint project with researchers from from JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado Boulder in the US a laser has now been developed at PTB whose linewidth is only 10 mHz (0.01 Hz), hereby establishing a new world record.
Jehan Daruvala becomes first Indian to win FIA F3 European Championship
  • Jehan Daruvala (18-year old) of Sahara Force India Academy created history by becoming the first Indian to win in the FIA F3  European Championship at Norisring in the final race of Round 5.
  • Jehan's victory in race 3 comes 18 years after Narain Karthikeyan won in the British F3 Championship.
  • FIA Formula 3 is the toughest junior racing category in the world.
Jeff Horn stuns Pacquiuao in WBO welterweight world title fight
  • Jeff Horn has defeated legendary ‘Manny Pacquiao’ by a unanimous decision at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
  • Horn put up an incredible performance to claim Pacquiao's WBO welterweight championship.
  • The three judges scored the closely-fought bout 117-111, 115-113, 115-113 in Horn's favour.
Germany won the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 for the first time
  • Germany have won the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 for the first time, ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup.
  • Germany defeated Chile 1-0 at the Saint Petersburg Stadium, Russia. German Player - Lars Stindl scored the only goal in the 20th minute.
  • Portugal earned third place in the tournament, after defeating Mexico 2-1.