19 July

International News Affairs

  • IndiaUS, and Japan have concluded the ‘Malabar 2017‘ international naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal.
    • As many as 16 ships, 95 aircraft, and two submarines from the three countries took part in the 21st edition of the annual exercise.
    • The drill was aimed at increasing interoperability among the three countries’ navies to counter shared maritime threats.
  • China today announced that it would stop accepting shipments of garbage such as waste plastic and paper as part of a campaign against “foreign garbage”.
    • The ban will come into force by the end of this year.
    • Note: China imported 7.3 million tonnes of waste plastics, valued at $3.7 billion last year, accounting for 56% of world’s waste imports.
  • Lahore High Court today lifted a ban on the airing of Indian television serials in Pakistan.
    • The court noted that instead of a blanket ban, Indian content with “objectionable” or “anti-Pakistan” content could still be censored.
  • The United States has imposed new economic sanctions against Iran over its ballistic missile programme and for contributing to regional tensions.
    • Under the new sanctions, the US Department of Treasury targeted 16 entities and individuals from Iran citing them as illicit Iranian actors or transnational criminal activity.
  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp has been partially blocked in Chinafollowing a censorship crackdown by the government.
    • Note: China operates world’s largest censorship system, called the ‘Great Firewall‘, blocking platforms like Facebook, Google, and Instagram.

National News Affairs

  • Karnataka government has recently formed a panel to design a separate flag for the state.
    • Significance of Design And Colour of Kannada Flag
    • The official state flag for Karnataka is a longstanding demand of pro-Kannada activists.
    • The Kannada flag, which is divided into two equal horizontal stripes, a yellow strip for the top half and a red strip below, could become the official state flag of Karnataka.
    • This flag was designed by Kannada writer and activist Ma Ramamurthy for a pro-Kannada political party.
    • The flag’s red colour stands for Kumkuma (Vermilion) and the yellow stands for Arrishna (Turmeric), symbolising auspiciousness and well-being of the state and its people.
    • This flag is unofficially adopted and is hoisted on the state’s formation day every year since 1960s.
  • The Telangana School Education Department today issued an order capping the weight of school bags for students in primary, upper primary and high schools.
    • The order directed school managements to ensure that the weight of a bag does not exceed 5 kilograms for class 10 students.
  • The Delhi government today announced a ‘merit cum means‘ scholarship for students from low and middle-income groups studying in state universities.
    • The scheme has three categories based on the students’ family income and will provide fee waivers up to 100%.
    • However, students will need a minimum of 60% in the class they passed to qualify for the scheme.

Banking, Business & Economic News

  • The Bank of England today unveiled a new polymer£10 note featuring 19th century novelist Jane Austen, in a move to replace paper £5, £10 and £20 with secure plastic notes.
    • This makes Austen the only woman other than Queen Elizabeth to be featuredon a polymer British banknote.
    • Note: This note’s introduction marks the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death.


Science & Technology

  • US Navy today successfully tested the world’s first-ever active Laser Weapons System (LaWS).
    • In the test, the LaWS deployed aboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets on the Persian Gulf.
    • Note: USS Ponce is first ship in the world to be deployed with such advanced weapons system.

New Appointments

  • TR Zeliang, the former Chief Minister of Nagaland, was today appointed to the post again.
    • This decision was took by the state’s governor PB Acharya after CM Shurhozelie Liezietsu failed to turn up for the floor test.
  • Actor Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the Ambassador of the new Kabaddi team Tamil Thalaivas for the fifth season of Pro Kabaddi League.
    • Note : The team Tamil Thalaivas is co-owned by Sachin Tendulkar.

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