Current Affairs 31st July 2017

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The Executive Committee of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its 4th meeting approved seven projects in the sector of sewage infrastructure that development and research. Three projects were approved in sewage sector in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Central Government will provide operation and maintenance cost for 15 years to all these six projects along with 100% central assistance. The study will be an extension of a research carried out by National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to identify the special properties of river’s waters.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari wins Hungarian Grand Prix won his fourth victory of the season. Valtteri Bottas from Mercedes obtained the third place in the season. He defeated Kimi Raikkonen.

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counselled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theatre group and Lilia de Lima, a Filipino.

The world's smallest spacecraft ever launched have successfully been placed in low Earth orbit by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) PSLV rocket. It is named as Sprites, the 3.5cmx3.5cm space probes weigh 4 grams each and run on sunlight.  The probes are part of Breakthrough Initiatives, a $100 million program aimed at sending one-gram chips to star systems beyond the solar system in search of extraterrestrial intelligence.

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel as America’s newest star of the pool recently became the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

The Union Ministry of Minority Affairs launched Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra under the Jiyo Parsi scheme. The Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 aims to decline trend of the population of the Parsi community and reverses it to bring their population above the threshold level. Jiyo Parsi scheme is a Central Sector Scheme for containing population decline of Parsis in India. Its main objective is to reverse the declining trend of the Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. It aims to stabilize and increase the population of Parsis in India.

Governor of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu (additional charge) C. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis released the book ‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’ at Raj Bhavan. The book includes transcripts of the first 23 episodes of Prime Minister’s monthly address on radio ‘Mann Ki Baat’.This book will enable citizens to read and understand Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and his ideas of development. Union Minister Piyush Goyal was also present on the occasion. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a new design of communication to reach people and it has truly worked as a revolution. He chose All India Radio as the medium for broadcasting his programme because it is the only medium which reaches 99% of the population of the country.

Ravi Mittal appointed an additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachiis now a part-time member of the board of IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India). He replaced N S Rao who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala appointed as the Executive Director (ED). Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) is an autonomous, statutory agency tasked with regulating and promoting the insurance and re-insurance industries in India.

Canara Bank launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ at Spencer Towers in MG Road, Bengaluru. The branch is titled “CANDI” and its aim to provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. It will enable customers to get most of the information related to their accounts without visiting the branch. It further offers Digital Challan to facilitate filling up challans digitally by customers at their own convenience for services like cash deposit, fund transfer, and cheque clearing.

Sri Lanka signed $1.1 billion deal to the United States of America to sell a 70% stake in the strategic Hambantota deep-sea port to China. It is a deep-water port in the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The deal was signed between Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and China Merchants Port Holding Company (CMPort) These sea lines run through several major maritime choke points such as the Strait of Mandeb, Strait of Hormuz, Strait of Malacca and the Lombok Strait as well as other strategic maritime centres in Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Somalia. 

The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed on  30 July across the world. This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) selected ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’ as the focus of the Day. The theme aims at one of the most pressing issues of the largest mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants.

Pakistan Muslim League selected Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to be the interim Prime Minister of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif recently resigned as Pakistan Prime Minister after the Supreme Court disqualified him from holding public office.

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India's first unmanned tank, which has three variants namely surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab. The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S developed for unmanned surveillance missions, whereas Muntra-M is built for detecting mines.