18 July

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.


New Appointments

  • 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.