Today Current Affairs 4th July 2016

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Saudi Arabia was on 6 July 2016 unanimously elected as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) 39th Associate Member during its full council meeting in Edinburgh. The SCC’s application for Associate Membership had been pre-approved by the ICC development committee during its October 2015 meeting, which was followed by a full application and an ICC inspection in March 2016. Saudi Arabia national cricket team : The Saudi Arabia national cricket team is the team that represents the country of Saudi Arabia in international cricket matches. The team is organised by the Saudi Cricket Centre, which became an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council in 2003. Saudi Arabia made its international debut at the 2004 ACC Trophy in Malaysia, and has since played regularly in Asian Cricket Council (ACC) tournaments. After finished second in the 2014 ACC Elite League, the team qualified for the World Cricket League for the first time. Saudi Arabia was due to compete in the 2015 Division Six event, but members of the team were denied visas by the host country, forcing the team to withdraw.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) has inducted new Chairpersons for its Telangana and AP State Councils. The current chairperson Sangita Reddy, Jt Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, has handed over the chairmanship, on completion of her tenure on 6 July 2016,to Devendra Surana, MD, Bhagyanagar India Ltd., who is designated as the Chairman. FICCI Telangana State Council and M. Prabhakar Rao, CMD, NSL Group, will be the Chairman, FICCI Andhra Pradesh State Council. In Telangana, the industry body will focus on information technology, manufacturing & engineering, renewable energy, MSME, infrastructure, etc. It will focus on agriculture & food processing, pharmaceuticals, logistics & warehousing, and defence sectors in Andhra Pradesh. FCCI : Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India's struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies. A non-government, not-for-profit organisation, FICCI is the voice of India's business and industry. From influencing policy to encouraging debate, engaging with policy makers and civil society, FICCI articulates the views and concerns of industry. It serves its members from the Indian private and public corporate sectors and multinational companies, drawing its strength from diverse regional chambers of commerce and industry across states, reaching out to over 2,50,000 companies. FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policy makers and the international business community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has attended commemorative event to mark the 300th martyrdom anniversary of Sikh military commander Baba Banda Singh Bahadur on 6 July 2016.The Prime Minister also released a book and souvenir on Baba Banda Singh Bahadurji on the occasion. A coin was also released by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to mark the 300th martyrdom day of Banda Bahadur. Banda Singh Bahadur : Banda Singh Bahadur was born on 27 October 1670 in Jammu & Kashmir's Poonch district. His childhood name was Lachman Dev. At age 15 he left home to become an ascetic and was given the name Madho Das Bairagi. He established a monastery at Nanded, on the bank of the river Godavari. In September 1708, he was visited by Guru Gobind Singh and became his disciple, who gave him the new name of Banda Singh Bahadur. In 1716, he was captured by the Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyar and tortured to death.

China, a communist nation in East Asia, has completed installation of the world’s largest telescope in Guizhou province.  The 500 metre-diameter telescope covers an area larger than 30 football pitches. The telescope has overtaken the size of 300 metre-diameter Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. FAST : The largest-ever radio telescope completed installation as the last piece of 4,450 panels was fitted in the center of the big dish. The hoisting of the last triangular-shaped panel to the reflector began. Hundreds of Chinese witnessed the installation in a karst valley in Pingtang County of the southwestern province of Guizhou. The telescope is made up of 4,450 triangular-shaped panels. The five-hundred-metre Aperture spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) project began in the south-western province of Guizhou in 2011 and completed with a cost of 127 million Euros.  The telescope would begin operations in September and will collect signals from the universe.

Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth has clinched the Canada Open Grand Prix Badminton Men’s Singles title at Calgary on 3 July 2016.Praneeth defeated Lee Hyun II of Korea 21-12, 21-10. On the other hand, men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also grabbed Men’s doubles title at the tournament. Top seed doubles pair Attri and Reddy defeated Adrian Liu and Toby Ng 21-8 21-14 in a lop-sided final. The pair of Attri and Reddy is the first Indian men's doubles pair to qualify for the Rio Olympics. B Sai Praneeth : Sai Praneeth Bhamidipati is a badminton player hailing from Hyderabad, Telangana.He is currently ranked 33rd in the Badminton World Federation. His highest ranking has been 31st as on 23 July 2015. Canada Open Grand Prix Badminton :  The Canada Open in badminton is an international open held in Canada since 1957.In 1957, the Canadian Badminton Federation decided to open the Canadian National Championships and they were combined with the Canadian Open until 1961. In 1962, they were divided and held as separate tournaments.  Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia was the winner of 2015 Canada Open Men’s singles title.China’s Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen won the men's doubles title at the 2015 Canada Open.

Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France, passed away on 2 July 2016 in Paris, France. He was 85. Rocard served as Prime Minister under President Francois Mitterrand from 1988 to 1991. Michel Rocard : Michel Rocard was born on 23 August 1930 in Courbevoie, Hauts-de-Seine. He entered politics as a student leader whilst studying at Sciences-Po. He became chair of the French Socialist Students.From 1967 to 1974, he led the dissident Unified Socialist Party (PSU). He ran in the 1969 presidential election but obtained only 3.6% of the vote.  In 1974, he joined Francois Mitterrand and the renewed Socialist Party (PS).In 1977, he was elected as the Mayor of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. Under Mitterrand's first presidency, Rocard served as the Minister of Territorial Development and Minister of Planning from 1981 to 1983 and Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985.After Mitterrand's re-election, Rocard was chosen as Prime Minister.

Linda Burney, a former teacher, on 2 July 2016 became the first Indigenous woman elected to the House of Representatives (lower house) of the Parliament of Australia. She achieved the fete after claiming victory in the marginal seat of Barton. She won the seat as a candidate of the centre-left Labour Party in the national polls. With this, she joins first Aboriginal MP Ken Wyatt of the conservative Liberal Party who was elected in 2010. Olympian Nova Peris was the first indigenous woman in the upper house of the Parliament. Linda Burney :  In 2003, Burney (59) became the first woman Aboriginal to enter the New South Wales state parliament.She also was the first Aborigine to gain a Diploma of Teaching at Charles Sturt University. She had served on the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and with international United Nations working groups.  She is of Wiradjuri descent and grew up in Whitton, a small town in south west NSW near Leeton. She served in the state parliament for 13 years where she was deputy leader for five years.In 2005, she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Training. After 2007 election, she became Minister for Fair Trading, Minister for Youth, and Minister for Volunteering.In September 2008 she was promoted to Minister for Community Services. In December 2009 she was appointed Minister for the State Plan.She lost her portfolios following the change of government at the 2011 state election. In December 2014, she became the interim leader of the opposition after the resignation of John Roberson. She is an ambassador of the Australian woman Education Foundation.

The Haryana Government has announced that it would develop an industrial township in the state at an expense of 5 billion dollar on 2 July 2016. The new industrial township will spread in over 1500 acres of land in Sohna and Manesar areas of Gurgaon. For this purpose, the Haryana Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Fortune Land Development (CFLD) Company in New Delhi.  Under the agreement, HSIIDC and CFLD Company would execute the project as a joint venture (JV). Work of CFLD : The Chinese firm would develop infrastructural facilities, industrial units and residential and commercial projects in the township. Industrial units related to automobiles and electronics would be established in the township. The project that would be completed in next 10 years will help in generating employment opportunities for lakhs of youth.

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate passed away on 2 July 2016 in New York, U.S. He was 87. In his first book, Night, Wiesel gave an account of his family being sent to the Nazi concentration camps.  Elie Wiesel : Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor and political activist. He wrote mostly in French and English. He was the author of 57 books, including Night, in which he shared his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.He was also involved with Jewish causes and helped establish the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He had been described as the most important Jew in America by the Los Angeles Times. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Life at Auschwitz concentration camp : Elie Wiesel was only 15 years old when he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland with his family in 1944. After they were sent to Auschwitz, his mother and his younger sister were killed. Wiesel and his father were later deported to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. After they were taken to Buchenwald, his father only survived for eight months, dying just a few weeks before the camp was liberated.  In his book Night, Wiesel recalled the shame he felt when he heard his father being beaten and was unable to help. He was tattooed with inmate number A-7713 on his left arm.The camp was liberated by the U.S. Third Army on 11 April 1945.

Maharashtra government started an initiative for plantation of about 2 crores trees.  The initiative was flagged off by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis along with Finance and Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. As per the plan, while the forest department was supposed to plant 1.5 crore trees of the total target of 2 crore, officials claimed that they have gone beyond it and planted over 3 crore saplings. It's also expected that remaining 50 lakh trees to be planted by other government departments along with members of the public as well as NGOs will also exceed the target. While the plantation was going on at 65,674 sites, in Mumbai, it was kick-started at Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) with the plantation of 3,800 trees on a five-hectare plot along the banks of Mithi river, attended by minister of environment, forest and climate change Prakash Javdekar, governor C Vidyasagar Rao, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has  approved a change to the DRS (Decision Review System) playing condition relating to the LBW “Umpire’s Call” on 2 July 2016. The decision will allow changes to the decision review system which will make it easier to overturn not-out LBW decisions. The decision was taken at ICC’s annual conference in Edinburgh. As per the amendment, the size of the zone inside which half the ball needs to hit any part of the stumps for a not out decision.  Currently, half of the ball would need to be hitting a zone between the centre of leg and off stumps. This amendment will come into effect from 1 October (or from the start of any series using DRS that commences just prior to this date). Decision Review System : The Umpire Decision Review System is a technology-based system used in the sport of cricket. It was introduced in an attempt to eliminate incorrect umpiring decisions. The system was first tested in an India v Sri Lanka match in 2008 and was officially launched by the ICC on 24 November 2009 during the first Test match between New Zealand and Pakistan at the University Oval in Dunedin.It was first used in One Day Internationals in January 2011, during England's tour of Australia. Other decisions taken at ICC’s annual conference : ICC agreed to support the inclusion of a women’s cricket event in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Durban, South Africa. For this purpose, it has decided to work closely with the Commonwealth Games Federation in order to ensure cricket’s inclusion on the program and to determine the specific tournament structure and qualification process that will be applied. It decided to arrange a trial to better understand whether the third umpire could use instant replays to call No balls more accurately. Under this, the third umpire will judge No balls being delivered and communicate this to the on-field umpire. The ICC reiterated its position that the wearing of helmets in international cricket should not be mandatory, but that if a player decides to wear a batting helmet, then it must comply with the new British Standard (BS) - BS7928:2013.

Michael Cimino, the director of the Vietnam War classic The Deer Hunter, died on 2 July 2016 at his Los Angeles home. He was 77. Cimino was best known for directing, producing and co-writing the 1978 Academy Award-winning film The Deer Hunter. The film won five Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture for Cimino. He was also remembered for writing and directing Heaven's Gate, which proved to be a financial failure. Michael Cimino : He directed eight films, starting in 1974 with crime movie Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Other films directed by him includes a) The Deer Hunter (1978) b) The Rose (1979) c) Heaven’s Gate (1980), the film was based on the Wyoming Johnson County war of 1889-93 d) The Dogs of War (1981) e) Year of the Dragon (1985) f) The Sicilian (1986), which was adapted from a novel by Godfather author Mario Puzo. g) Desperate Hours (1990) h) Sunchaser (1996) In 2001, he published his only novel, BIG Jane. The book narrated the story of the 1950s and the Korean War.

The second BRICS Youth Summit was held in Guwahati, Assam from 1st July 2016 to 3rd July 2016. The theme of the summit was “Youth as bridge for intra-BRICS exchanges“.  The summit was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in presence of Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh. The summit focused on enhancing people-to-people contacts of BRICS member states viz. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.  It has called for shifting of power from the West to the member countries to maintain balance in the world. It also adopted the ‘Guwahati BRICS Youth Summit 2016 Call to Action’ and urged the youth from the five member nations to come together for working towards this goal.  It also focused on skill development and entrepreneurship, social inclusions, youth volunteerism and youth participation in governance.  The three day summit had witnessed 70-member foreign delegation including ministers and head of executive authorities on youth affairs from BRICS nations.

India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has signed an agreement worth 4,200 crore rupees ($625 million) with the World Bank to support its grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic (GRPV) programme. The programme also aims at improving the investment climate for solar PV, and increase the ease of doing rooftop business. It will also support development of the overall solar rooftop PV market. Under GRPV programme, at least 400 MW solar capacity will be created across the country. This agreement will help SBI to finance grid connected rooftop solar photovoltaic projects at very competitive rates.  The investment climate for solar PV projects will be improved through technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of key institutions. The eligible beneficiaries under the programme would be developers, aggregators and end-users.  Mainly they will set up solar projects on commercial, industrial and institutional rooftops.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has created significant uncertainty. The uncertainty is likely to dampen growth in the near term, particularly in the UK, but with repercussions for Europe and the global economy. IMF predicts that macroeconomic and financial market impacts in the UK and EU due to Brexit will radiate outward across the globe. The impacts of Brexit will lead to a rising level of uncertainty, both financial and possibly political in EU and UK.  IMF has urged policy makers to remain prepared to act to counter financial market turbulence and higher uncertainty to materially weaken the global outlook. Prolonged periods of uncertainty and associated declines in business and consumer confidence due to Brexit would lead to lower growth.  IMF has urged policymakers in EU and UK to play key role in helping to reduce the uncertainty during this period. It also has encouraged UK and EU to work together with a sense of collaboration in an effort to effect a predictable and smooth transition.

The first meeting of the BRICS Working Group on Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency began in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The two day conference will be attended by all 5 member BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries.  India being BRICS chair for 2016 has organised this event in order to shape and steer the BRICS agenda. The Union Power Ministry is hosting the meeting of the Working Group. The meeting will deliberate a work plan on development of cooperation in energy saving and energy efficiency with BRICS. The BRICS countries would make presentations on measures taken by them in the field of energy saving and energy efficiency. India will also showcase its efforts in energy saving, energy efficiency, in particular the LED street lighting programme.  It will also showcase PAT (Performance Achievement and Trade) programme for industrial energy efficiency. In November 2015, BRICS energy ministers had signed a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding in energy saving and energy efficiency in Moscow, Russia.  They had agreed to pursue their energy cooperation through technology transfer, joint research and technology projects, conferences and seminars and exchange of experience and best practices for energy saving and energy efficiency.

India’s first Commercial Court and Commercial Disputes Resolution Centre was inaugurated at Raipur, capital of Chhattisgarh. It was inaugurated by State Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh along with Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur. The first Commercial Court and Commercial Disputes Resolution Centre complex has ultra-modern facilities like e-Court, e-Library, e-Filing, Video-conferencing and e-Summons. It will help in improving the judicial system and the investors and business world. It will also facilitate the investors in their commercial dealings. The court also consists of arbitration centre and a mediation centre .

BEML Human Resources Director D K Hota has assumed charge as the company's new Chairman and Managing Director.  Before joining BEML, Hota had served in Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for 30 years; his last designation being Head, Natural Gas Division. He is an alumnus of St. Stephens, New Delhi graduating in Economic (Honours) and holds an MBA degree in Human Resources from XLRI, Jamshedpur.  After assuming charge, Hota said that Make in India campaign for BEML to grow and reach greater heights. BEML is a listed defence PSU with four major manufacturing complexes in the South.  Bharat Earth Movers Limited : Bharat Earth Movers Limited now known as BEML , is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, with headquarters in Bengaluru. It manufactures a variety of heavy equipment, such as that used for earth moving, transport and mining.

Lewis Hamilton collided with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on the last lap before passing him to claim a dramatic 2016 Austrian Grand Prix win. Hamilton, who had started from pole position, attacked the championship leader who defended hard at Turn Two where the pair collided. Rosberg, damaged his front wing in the collision which forced him to finish fourth. Hamilton's win cut the German's lead in the title race from 24 points to 11 ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Rankings after 2016 Austrian Grand Prix  1st position: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) of Mercedes.  2nd position: Sebastian Vettel (Germany) of Ferrari.  3rd position: Daniel Ricardo (Australia) of Red Bull.  4th position: Felipe Massa (Brazil) of Williams.  5th position: Romain Grosjean (France) Haas.  Top Teams : Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and William. Lewis Hamilton : He is a British Formula One racing driver from England.He currently races for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.He is the 2008, 2014 and 2015 Formula One World Champion. In his first season in Formula One, he set numerous records while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship.He won the World Championship the following season, becoming the then-youngest Formula One world champion in history before Sebastian Vettel broke the record two years later. Following his second world title in 2014, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.In 2015, he became the first British driver in history to win consecutive F1 titles.He is the only driver in the history of the sport to have won at least one race in each season he has competed to date.

Indian footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the first week of July 2016 became the first Indian to play in Europa League. Sandhu was named in Norwegian club Stabaek FC'ssquad for their Europa League qualifying match against Welsh Premier League side Connah's Quay Nomads FC. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu :  Gurpreet Singh Sandhu plays as a goalkeeper for Norwegian Tippeligaen club Stabæk and the India national team.He is the first ever Indian to play a competitive match for the first team of a top-division European club.He is the fifth Indian to play professionally in Europe after Mohammed Salim, Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Pal. He made his debut for the India U19s against the Iraq U19s in the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification on 5 November 2009.He was then called up to the senior Indian team squad of 23 for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. He made his debut against Turkmenistan in a 1–1 draw.