11 July: World Population Day

  • The World Population Day is observed across the world on July 11 to attention on the urgency and importance of population issue.
  • It aims at increase people’s awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, maternal health, gender equality, poverty and human rights. .
  • The theme for this year is “Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations”.
  • The theme highlights importance of family planning as it allows people to attain their desired number of children and determine the spacing of pregnancies.

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates Ashiana Annexe in Dehradun

  • President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the ‘Ashiana Annexe’, comprising of 12 low cost dwelling units in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • It has been constructed to accommodate officers and staff of Rashtrapati Bhavan during Presidential visits to the Retreat at ‘Ashiana’.
  • These 12 dwelling units at the ‘Ashiana Annexe’ were constructed using the Habitech-NivaraTantra – Onsite Sanitation Integrated Community Housing Technology Innovations developed at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).
  • The technology is sustainable, cost effective, green and environment friendly with provision of disaster resilient features.
  • The Ashiana Annexe also has facilities for scientific treatment of sanitation waste.
  • Treated waste water from the dwelling is safely discharged for irrigation and non-drinking usage which ensure good health and well-being of residents.

Govt launches new tax payer service module

  • The Union Finance Ministry has launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax payer service module.
  • The new e-initiative literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in android phones.
  • It compiles various tax tools, dynamic updates, live chat facility and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department (ITD) in a single module.
  • Aaykar Setu has been launched in mobile responsive android application and also in desktop version to enhance mobile access as well as desktop access.
  • This e-initiative aims provide better taxpayer services and also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.
  • It will allow IDT to directly communicate with the taxpayers on a range of multiple informative and useful tax services.
  • The tax payers will also be able to receive regular updates regarding important tax dates, forms and notifications on mobile numbers registered with the ITD.
  • The mobile app will allow entities track TDS, pay taxes and apply for permanent account number (PAN).
  • It will also help people link their 12-digit biometric identifier Aadhaar with PAN card.
  • To avail this service, all taxpayers will have to register their mobile numbers in the Aaykar Setu module in order to receive such SMS alerts.

Saint Mother Teresa’s blue-bordered sari is Intellectual Property

  • The famous blue-bordered sari of Mother Teresa, who has been canonised as Saint Teresa of Calcutta by the Vatican, has been recognised as an Intellectual Property of the Missionaries of Charity.
  • The Trade Marks Registry, Government of India, has granted the registration of the trademark for that pattern of blue border of sari.
  • The blue-designed border on the sari worn by nuns of the Missionaries of Charity was recognised as Intellectual Property for the organisation on September four, 2016, the day the Mother was canonised. 
  • It is the first time ever that a uniform has been protected under the Intellectual Property rights.

Smartron inks pact with Chhattisgarh govt

  • Smartron, a digital technology products company, has signed an agreement with the Chhattisgarh govt to tap opportunities in smart health, infrastructure, education and home.
  • The memorandum of understanding was signed in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
  • The Hyderabad-based firm is building an Artificial Intelligence-based Internet of Things platform tronX.

India to become largest milk producer in 2026

  • The recently released OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 projected India to be the most populous country over the next decade.
  • India will be the world’s largest milk producer by 2026 and will account for the biggest increase in wheat production globally. 
  • The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 released by the UN and OECD.
  • According to the report, the world’s population will increase from 7.3 to 8.2 billion over the course of the next decade with India and Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 56 per cent of the total population growth.
  • India’s population will grow from 1.3 billion to 1.5 billion, an increase of almost 150 million.
  • India will overtake China and is projected to be the most populous country in the world by 2026.
  • Global production of wheat is projected to increase by 11 per cent over the outlook period of 2017-2026, while the wheat area increases by only 1.8 per cent.

IDFC and Shriram Group to finalise $10 billion mega merger within 90 days

  • IDFC and the Shriram Group have agreed to finalise the mega merser within 90 days.
  • The merger of financial services business of the two groups that will create a financial supermarket with offerings from motorcycle credit to lending for multi-billion dollar power projects.
  • All the operating businesses of the two groups will come together under IDFC Ltd.
  • The merger of the two group businesses may be the first of its kind in India with different businesses located in different companies.
  • These companies straddle various regulators, from the Reserve Bank of India to the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India to the Securities & Exchange Board of India. 

Tamil Nadu reports first case of Zika virus

  • Tamil Nadu has reported its first case of Zika virus in a 27-year-old man from a village in Krishnagiri district.
  • RT-PCR test conducted on patient’s blood, urine and throat samples were found to be positive for Zika.
  • This is second case Zika reported in India.
  • Earlier in May 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the first cases of Zika in in Ahmedabad, Gujarat after three cases were detected.
  • Zika virus is vector borne disease transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same mosquito that transmits dengue.
  • The virus is capable of causing serious birth defects i.e. neurological disorders and foetal deformation known as Microcephaly in which infants are born with abnormally smaller heads.
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available to treat Zika.
  • The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

Okinoshima Island: Japan’s men-only island gets UNESCO heritage tag

  • Okinoshima Island, Japan’s men-only island was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site.
  • The island will be the 17th set of Japanese cultural assets to be granted this status and overall 21st in the list.
  • The island is part of the prefecture’s Munakata region.
  • It is located in south-west Japan between the main island of Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).

Vaccine shows protection against gonorrhea for first time

  • Scientists from New Zealand for the first time have claimed that vaccine can protect against the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea.
  • They have found that Men B jab vaccine originally developed to stop an outbreak of meningitis B can protect from gonorrhoea.
  • Scientists claim was based on analysis of vaccination data of about a million adolescents in New Zealand who were vaccinated by Men B jab vaccine between 2004 and 2006.

Scientist create mini Saturns from charged liquid droplets

  • Scientists from Northwestern University in the United States have created miniature versions of Saturn, complete with rings, by electrifying tiny droplets of fluids.
  • Electrospraying Effect When a drop of electrically conductive liquid is exposed to an electric field, the droplet responds by forming two electrically charged poles.
  • If the pull is strong enough, the tips of the cones can spray jets of droplets. This effect is known as electrospraying.

Ravi Shastri appointed new head coach of Indian cricket team

  • Former skipper Ravi Shastri has been named as the new head coach of the Indian cricket team. 
  • An advisory committee of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman was tasked with selecting the new coach to head the world’s number-one ranked Test team.
  • The new head coach, Ravi Shastri, has been appointed until the next ICC World Cup, scheduled in 2019 in England.
  • Shastri, who served as the team director from 2014 to 2016, pipped Virender Sehwag and Tom Moody to be appointed the coach, and his equation with Kohli was said to be the deciding factor. 
  • He replaces Anil Kumble, who resigned last month following a rift with Kohli. Shastri’s first assignment will be India’s tour to Sri Lanka, which begins on the 26th of July. 

Leslie Thng to take over as new CEO of Vistara

  • Leslie Thng is to succeed Phee Teik Yeoh as the new Chief Executive Officer of Vistara.
  • Phee Teik Yeoh, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Vistara, will be returning to Singapore Airlines to take up a senior appointment.
  • Vistara is the brand name of the domestic airline set up by Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.
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