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09 July 2017 - Current Affairs

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

  • In the 12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany, the leaders of the G20 countries has agreed for taking concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. 
  • The leaders have also pledged for a joint crackdown on the global scourge of terrorism and check its funding sources.
  • Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for united action against terrorism and elimination of terrorist safe havens, the G20 countries strongly condemned all terrorist attacks worldwide and pledged greater coordination to counter the menace.
  • The Group of Twenty (G20) is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making.
  • It is a forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies on economic issues and other important development challenges.
  • The G20 comprises of total 19 countries plus the European Union (EU), representing 85% of global GDP, 80% of international trade, 65% of world’s population.
  • Its members include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, UK, US and EU.

“JIGYASA” – Student-Scientist connect Programme launches

  • Jigyasa, a student- scientist connect programme has been launched by the government in New Delhi.
  • The programme would be implemented by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in collaboration with Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).
  • The main focus of the programme is to connect school students and scientists as well as to extend student’s classroom learning to a very well-planned research laboratory based learning.
  • The programme has been inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a new India and “Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR)” of scientific community and institutions.
  • The JIGYASA programme is expected to inculcate the culture of inquisitiveness and scientific temper on the minds of children and school teachers.
  • The programme will connect 1151 Kendriya Vidyalayas with 38 National Laboratories of CSIR and will target 100,000 students and 1000 teachers every year. 
  • Under this programme, the CSIR would launch a talent hunt among the visiting students for furthering the cause of scientific development.

India emerging as front-runner in fight against Climate Change

  • The World Bank has observed that India is emerging as a frontrunner in the fight against climate change.
  • It has noted that India is gradually replacing coal energy with solar power as a source of energy.
  • The World Bank has observed that India has made a sweeping commitment to solar power, innovative solutions and energy efficiency initiatives to provide round the clock electricity to its people by 2030.
  • With these initiatives and a firm decision to use more clean energy, India has emerged as the front-runner in the global fight against climate change.
  • The report of the World Bank had also praised India for walking away from plans to install nearly 14 GW of coal-fired power plants in order to use solar power to generate electricity as it is affordable for the country now to use solar power instead of fossil fuels. 
  • India has set an ambitious target for generating 160 gigawatts (GW) of the wind and solar power by 2022.
  • It would help India to help its population to light their homes, study at night, provide families with refrigerators to preserve food items.

MRP to be sole price decider from Jan. 1

  • From January 1, 2018, the price of a packaged good would no longer depend on where you bought it — be it a local kirana store, a mall, a five-star hotel or an airport. 
  • The Consumer Affairs Ministry has amended the rules that govern packaged commodities to this effect.
  • As per the amended Legal Metrology rules for packaged commodities, which will come into effect from the next calendar year, the Centre has clarified that the retail sale price shall be the maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes, with the provision to round off the price to the nearest rupee or 50 paise. 

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons 

  • The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons.
  • The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour.
  • The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty.
  • Singapore abstained from voting.
  • Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. 
  • The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20.
  • It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it.

UNESCO puts Old City of Hebron on its heritage in danger list

  • The UNESCO World Heritage Committee acting on a proposal brought by Palestine has put the West Bank city of Hebron on its list of world heritage in danger.  
  • This has made Israel angry and has triggered a new Israeli-Palestinian spat at the international body. 
  • The inclusion of the Old City of West Bank into the list of World Heritage in danger is aimed at drawing world’s attention to the situation in Hebron. 

Vietnam renews Indian Oil Deal

  • Vietnam has granted ONGC Videsh a two-year extension to explore oil block 128 in the South China Sea.
  • The permission was first granted in the year 2006 which is due to expire in mid-June.
  • The part of the oil block 128 is in the U-shaped ‘nine-dash line,’ the area which is claimed by China.
  • The area is also a route for more than $5 trillion in trade every year and is also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.
  • In the areas south of block 128, the drilling works have already commenced.
  • The block is owned jointly by Vietnam’s state oil firm, Spain’s Repsol and Mubadala Development Co of the United Arab Emirates.

India plans to invite Leaders of ASEAN countries for 2018 Republic Day celebrations

  • India has planned to invite the ten leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as Chief Guests for 2018 Republic Day celebrations.
  • This Plan has come at a time when India is engaged in a stand-off with China in the Sikkim sector.
  • If invited Republic Day 2018 would be the first Republic Day event that will have so many leaders as the chief guests.
  • In the recent past, world leaders like former US President Barack Obama, former French President Fran├žois Hollande and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have been invited as the chief guests for the Republic Day celebrations. 
  • ASEAN consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • The founder members of the grouping were Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand.
  • Later the group was expanded by adding the remaining members with Cambodia becoming the last entrant added to the group in 1999.

India and Bangladesh have decided to construct bridge along Mizoram Border

  • India and Bangladesh have decided to construct a bridge over Mizoram’s Khawthlangtuipui river (also known as Karnaphuli river) to facilitate trade and to improve communication between the two countries.
  • The decision was taken after officials from both the side met at Tlabung town in Mamit district of Mizoram.
  • The Mamit district is situated adjacent to Khagrachari district of Southeast Bangladesh.
  • The proposed bridge is expected to be constructed as closer as possible to the nearest custom station located in the Bangladesh side. 
  • India-Bangladesh Border Mizoram has a 318 km unfenced border with Bangladesh. 
  • In March 2017, the Union Govt had announced that half of the 4,096-km long border India shares with Bangladesh has been fenced.
  • The remaining half will be fenced by 2019 deadline.
  •  India and Bangladesh share a 4,096 km land boundary, largest among the international boundaries that India shares with its neighbours.
  • The border runs along five states, West Bengal (2,216.7 km), Assam (263 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Tripura (856 km) and Mizoram (318 km).

Tata Steel receives PM’s trophy for best Integrated Steel Plant

  • Tata Steel Ltd has bagged Prime Minister’s trophy for ‘Best Performing Integrated Steel Plant’ in the country for the performance years 2014-2015 and 2015- 16.
  • For the third consecutive year, Tata Steel has bagged the award.
  • Overall, the company has been recognised as the best integrated steel plant for 12 times and has won the PM’s Trophy 10 times.
  • Tata Steel Group is ranked as one of the top 10 steel companies in the world with an annual crude steel capacity of 27.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) as of March 2017.
  • The company is also the world’s second most geographically diversified steel producer. 
  • It is operating in 26 countries and has a commercial presence in over 50 countries.

Soil of Mars may be Toxic to Alien Life

  • According to the research carried out by Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, surface of Mars has chemical compounds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms.
  • The researchers have found that the chemical compounds found on the surface of Mars when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light can kill the bacteria which are commonly carried by spacecraft.
  • This finding has given a blow to the hopes of finding alien life on the surface of the Mars.

Hossain made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism in South Asia


Indian-origin man awarded Australia’s highest civilian award

  • Guruswamy Jayraman, a 69-year-old Glenwood resident who migrated from Delhi to Australia in 1991, has been awarded Order of Australiafor community work, the highest civilian award in Australia. 
  • He works as a senior accountant with Woollahra Municipal Council for a living and has been devoting most of his spare time in community work for the last 25 years.

Harinder Pal Sandhu Wins South Australian Open Squash Title

  • India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu has defeated Rhys Dowling of Australia 11-8 12-10 11-4 to lift South Australian Open squash title.
  • This will be Sandhu’s first PSA tournament victory in Australia. 
  • South Australian Open squash title is on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) international circuit. 
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