International News Affairs
- Today (18th July) is ‘Nelson Mandela International Day‘.
- He was born on this day in the year 1918.
- In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared 18 July “Nelson Mandela International Day” in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
- Important Points to Note :
- Mandela was awarded India’s highest civilian honour,the Bharat Ratna in 1990 for his role in the anti-apartheid movement.
- Apart from Pakistan nationalKhan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, he is the only non-Indian to have received the award.
- He was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1993.
- Somalia has entered the 4 week of internet blackoutafter a ship cut an undersea cable connecting the country to global data networks.
- With this, the Somalian economy has been losing $10 million a day in business without internet.
- Thailand has amended a royal property law to formally give King Maha Vajiralongkorn full control of the agency which manages royal assets worth more than $30 billion.
- The amendment, which is the first legislation concerning crown property in decades, also empowers the King to appoint any individual or agency to manage the assets and properties.
- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte today offered self-rule to the country’s Muslim minority in an attempt to defeat militants loyal to Islamic State who have besieged the city of Marawi for nearly two months.
National News Affairs
- The Karnataka government has set up a 9-member committeeto design a state flag (an identity symbol unique to the state).
- Important Note: As of now, Jammu and Kashmir is the only state that has its own flag.
- While hearing petitions challenging Aadhaar, the Supreme Court today appointed a9-judge bench to decide whether privacy is a fundamental right or not under the Constitution.
- The Delhi government has released ₹100 crorefor the completion of the Signature Bridge, which is twice the height of the Qutub Minar.
- The bridge was supposed to be ready by 2010 Commonwealth Games, but its construction was slowed down due to insufficient funds.
Science & Technology
- The United States and Australia have jointly test-fired a hypersonic missile capable of moving at a speed eight times faster than sound as part of a $54-million research project.
- The Union Ministry of Science and Technology has launched SOHUM, an indigenously developed low-cost hearing screening device for newborns.
- The portable Sohum hearing screening device measures auditory brain waves via three electrodes placed on the baby’s head.
- When stimulated, they detect electrical responses generated by the brain’s auditory system. If there is no response, the child cannot hear.
- The BJP-led NDA today announced Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naiduas its candidate for the upcoming Vice Presidential elections.
- He will contest against the Congress-led Opposition’s candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson).
- Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani was given the additional charge of theInformation & Broadcasting Ministry after M Venkaiah Naidu resigned.
- Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar gets additional charge of Urban Development Ministry.
- Tesla has added two new independent directors to its board, namely James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, and Linda Johnson Rice, Chairman of Johnson Publishing.
- Vikram Limaye has taken over as the Managing Director and CEO of the National Stock Exchange.
- He will have a term of five years at the exchange and will be paid ₹8 crore a year.
- Britain’s 1st woman Sikh MP, Preet Kaur Gill elected to influential cross-party panel in UK Parliament that examines workings of Home Office.
Banking, Business & Economic News
- The State Bank of India (SBI) today launched SBI Realty, a dedicated portal that will help home buyers to choose flats from its 3,000 approved projects across the country.
- SBI Realty will be a one stop integrated website for home buyers.
- It will help customers to choose their dream home from 3,000 SBI approved projects, which are spread across 13 states/UTs covering 30 cities.
- India has ranked 4th among world’s fastest growing economies. according to recently released World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects.
- Note: India has been placed behind smaller economies of Estonia, Uzbekistan, and Nepal in growth rate.
- SBI Life Insurance, a unit of State Bank of India, has filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO), that will reportedly raise over $1 billion (over ₹6,400 crore).
- Note: SBI Life will be the second Indian life insurer to go public.
Current Sports Affairs
- The BCCI today named former Indian cricketer Bharat Arun as the Indian cricket team’s bowling coach.
- Note: Sanjay Bangar and R Sridhar will remain the batting and fielding coach respectively.
- Italian football legend Francesco Totti today anounced his retirement from football after spending his 25-year-long playing career with Seria A club Roma.
- Former national-level hockey player Amit Saroha, who met with an accident in 2007, clinched the Silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category at the World Para Athletics Championships.