Current Affairs Daily Updates: 5th July 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 5th July 2017
Himachal Pradesh DGP Sanjay Kumar appointed as new NDRF Chief
  • Himachal Pradesh DGP Sanjay Kumar appointed as the new chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
  • The appointment was made after R K Pachnanda as the chief of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Sino-Indian border guarding force.
  • The officer served as vigilance wing of the Railway Ministry and the Railway Protection Force.
Achal Kumar Joti appointed as Chief Election Commissioner
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed election commissioner Achal Kumar Joti as the next Chief Election Commissioner (CEC).
  • He succeeds Nasim Zaidi.
  • A K Joti is retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1975-batch. He had retired as the Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013.
  • The election commission is the multi-member body and currently has three members including Chief Election Commissioner. They all are appointed by the President for a term which is fixed by the President.
TERI ranked second among world's climate think tanks
  • The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) was ranked number two by the International Center for Climate Governance (ICCG), an internationally-renowned body whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and related governance issues.
  • The New Delhi-based think tank was ranked under the category '2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World--Absolute Global Rankings' during ICCG's 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens in Greece.
Pune National Governmental Organisation wins UN prize for sustainable farming model
  • Swayam Shikshan Prayog is a city-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) awarded the United Nations Development Programme’s Equator Prize.
  • It is the only Indian organization to win the award, making the cut from more than 800 nominations across 120 countries.
  • The 15 prize winners will receive $10,000 each and a chance to participate in a week-long summit in New York during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.
Microsoft India inks pact with National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA)
  • Microsoft India signed an agreement with National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) to offer Microsoft Aspire School Program (MASP) Pro Plus to over 55,000 member schools.
  • The National Independent Schools Alliance (NISA) is a platform that brings together budget private schools (BPS) from across the country.
  • NISA represents over 36,400 schools, from 20 state associations, which cater to the needs of 9.35 million children at an average of 50 children per school.
ICICI Bank terminates joint venture agreement with Fairfax
  • ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company terminates with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings.
  • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.
  • In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18 per cent in ICICI General to obtain including Warburg Pincus, Tamarind Capital, and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, for 2,473 crores.
Veteran Marathi actor-writer Madhukar Toradmal passes away
  • Veteran Marathi actor-writer Madhukar Toradmal died. Toradmal (84) was suffering from kidney failure.
  • Toradmal was a writer, director and actor.
  • He had acted in Marathi as well as Hindi films including “Simhasan,” “Aapli Manasa”, “Atmavishwas” and “Raakh”.
United Forum of Bank Unions decided to observe July 19 as Save public sector banks day
  • The United Forum of Bank Unions decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalization of major banks, as Save public sector banks day.
  • They wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/demonstrations at all centers across the country.
  • The Government of India issued an ordinance and nationalized the 14 largest commercial banks with effect from the midnight of 19 July 1969.
New Israeli Crysanthumum flower named after PM Narendra Modi
  • A new fast-growing Israeli flower has named after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a special gesture to mark the first visit to the Jewish nation Israel.
  • New fast-growing Israeli, Crysanthumun’ flower will now be called "MODI"
  • Earlier, Mr. Modi visited the Danziger 'Dan' Flower Farm along with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu in Mishmar Hashiva.
Government launches e-bidding portal for domestic coal-based IPPs
  • The Ministry of Power launched a portal for optimum utilization of domestic coal by independent power producer (IPP). An official statement said this web portal would save the consumer close to Rs. 20,000 crore five years down the line.
  • According to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, with the help of this portal, Producers can reduce power costs by 10 paisa per unit by rationalizing coal supply made possible through the e-bid portal.
Haryana Government to run electric buses in Gurgaon
  • The Haryana Government will set up an environment-friendly transportation system in Gurgaon on the pattern of Poland.
  • In the first phase, electric vehicles would be operated in Gurgaon, which has excellent infrastructure and facilities in residential, commercial and public sectors, and is located in the national capital region.
  • Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority, Municipal Corporation, Gurgaon and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) bear 50 per cent to 40 per cent and ten per cent of the cost of the project respectively.
Environment Minister launches plantation drive to mark ‘Van Mahotsav’
  • The Union Environment Minister ‘Dr. Harsh Vardhan’ has launched a month-long plantation drive ‘Van Mahotsav’ at Ram Lila Park, C. C Colony, and Model Town early this morning in Delhi.
  • He also advised people to plant native trees because they readily adapt to local climate, integrate into the eco-system.
  • Van Mahotsav is usually observed in the first week of July every year and is celebrated on different days in different parts of India.
  • The objective behind celebrating the Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.
Union Ministry of Power announced the total outstanding debt in UDAY Scheme
  • The Union Ministry of Power announced that about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies (Discoms) has been covered under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
  • The total debt of all state-owned DISCOMS was Rs. 3.95 lakh crores.
  • The main aim is to help to make financially and operationally healthy so they can supply adequate power at affordable rates and play important role in Union Government’s ambition of meeting the target of 100% Village electrification and 24X7 Power For All.
  • The UDAY Scheme was launched by Union Power Ministry for the financial turnaround and revival package for electricity distribution companies of India (DISCOMs).
Karnataka launches ‘Elevate 100’ scheme for start-ups company
  • The Karnataka Government launched the ‘Elevate 100’ scheme to identify and nurture innovative start-ups.
  • The aim is to identify 100 most innovative start-ups in the state to elevate them to the next level of success.
  • The Elevate scheme is the brainchild of the start-up cell, Karnataka Biotechnology and Information Technology Services (KBITS), to help start-ups across the state succeed by providing them with access to mentors, networking opportunities, and in-depth sessions for start-ups on accounting, and emerging technologies.
President Pranab Mukkerjee approves Legislative Bill to ban hookah bar in Gujarat
  • President Pranab Mukherjee approved a Legislative Bill to ban the hookah bar in Gujarat.
  • The main aim of the government is to protect the youth from this dangerous addiction, which causes various types of cancer.
  • The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2017 passed by the Gujarat Assembly in February and sent to Governor O P Kohli.
  • As per the new Act, running a hookah bar in Gujarat will charge a maximum fine of Rs 50,000 and a jail term up three years.
Free GST facilitation centres set up across Goa
  • In Goa, the Office of the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes set up Goods and Service Tax (GST) facilitation centers in ward offices across the state. The department’s head office has set up in Panaji.
  • The chartered accountants will provide free consultation services related to GST between 4-6 pm till the 10 July.
  • The facility will also be available at the Commercial Tax Ward Offices in Panaji, Margao, Mapusa, Ponda and Vasco.
India’s tallest ATC tower to be operational at Delhi airport
  • The new 101.9-metre air traffic control (ATC) tower at the Delhi airport -- touted to be the country’s tallest -- is likely to start operations by December.
  • The airport operator has handed over the tower to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), whose chief said trial runs will begin soon.
  • The tower, among the tallest structures in Delhi, will give a 360-degree view of the airport to the controllers who will be able to see all the three runways, aprons and taxiways.
  • The tower, built at a cost of Rs 350 crore, has come up at a more centralised location. It is adjacent to the present tower and once ready, it will be the seventh tallest ATC tower in the world.
PM Narendra Modi adopts third village in Uttar Pradesh
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopts Kakrahia as the third village after Jayapur and Nagpur, as his first and second villages in his Lok Sabha Constituency.
  • It is under Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)  scheme for developing it as a model village in 2017-18.
  • Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAANJHI) scheme has been launched for developing model villages through the implementation of existing schemes and certain new initiatives to be done at local context, depending from village to village.
World's most detailed scan of the brain's internal wiring produced
  • The world's most detailed scan of the brain's internal wiring has been produced by scientists at Cardiff University.
  • The MRI machine reveals the fibres which carry all the brain's thought processes.
  • It has been done in Cardiff, Nottingham, Cambridge, and Stockport, as well as London England and London Ontario.
  • Doctors hope it will help to increase understanding of a range of neurological disorders and could be used instead of invasive biopsies.
India-Thailand military exercise begins in Himachal Pradesh
  • A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand started in Himachal Pradesh
  • The joint exercise of the Indian Army with the Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district
  • The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies.
  • Exercise Maitree 2017 is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016.
North Korea conducted a successful Intercontinental Ballistic Missile test
  • North Korea has successfully tested an Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • United States Pacific Command tracked “the single launch of a land-based, intermediate range ballistic missile” lifted off from an airfield northwest of Pyongyang.
  • The missile, which the US and South Korea was an intermediate-range projectile, landed inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
  • The missile could reach a maximum range of roughly 6,700 km on a standard trajectory.
22nd Asian Athletics Championships inaugurated at Kalinga Stadium
  • The 22nd Asian Athletics Championships has been inaugurated at Kalinga Stadium in Odisha capital Bhubaneswar.
  • Over 1,200 athletes and officials from 44 countries in Asia will witness the sporting event which will continue until 9th of this month.
  • Around 42 track and field events will be held in the championship and 20 world champions are likely to take part.