International News Affairs
- “Maitree 2017” a 14 day joint military training exercise between Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh.
- Aim of this exercise:To build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies.
- Note: Maitree 2016 was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016.
- The United States of America (USA) has rolled out Global Entry programme (GEP), a pre-approved expedited entry clearance programme for low-risk Indian travellers.
- This program allows people to land at the country’s airports and enter through automatic kiosks without waiting in queues.
- With this initiative, India became 11th country whose citizens are now eligible to enroll in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative.
- Note: Indian Ambassador to US Navtej Sarna was the first Indian national to enroll in the programme.
National News Affairs
- Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan today launched a month-long plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav.
- Van Mahotsav is observed every year in the first week of July and is celebrated on different days in different parts of India.
- Objective of Van-Mahotsav : To keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.
- The Haryana government has decided to run electric buses, each capable of saving nearly 4.25 lakh litres diesel and reducing carbon emissions by 1,150 tonnes in 10 years, in Gurugram.
- Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority, Municipal Corporation, Gurgaon and Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation would bear 50%, 40% and 10% of the cost of the project, respectively.
- Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan jointly laid the foundation stone of India’s biggest Global Skill Park in Bhopal.
- The park will come up on 37 acre land allotted in Narela Shankari area of Bhopal.
- It will be established with the support of Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education and Education Services (ITEES).
Awards & Honours
- A new Israeli Chrysanthemum flower has been named ‘MODI‘ as a gesture to mark Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel.
- Important Note: This is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Israel.
Banking, Business & Economic News
- The Union Ministry of Power has announced that about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all state power distribution companies (discoms) has been covered under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY).
- As on September 2015, the total debt of all state-owned discoms was Rs. 3.95 lakh crore.
- The 26 states and 1 UT which have joined the UDAY scheme accounted for total outstanding debt of Rs. 3.82 lakh crore.
- Hence, about 97% of the total outstanding debt of all State discoms has been covered under UDAY.
Science & Technology
- The first successful rover called Sojourner was deployed on Mars‘ surface via NASA’s Pathfinder mission 20 years ago on this day (July 5) in the year 1997.
- India’s The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) has been ranked as the second best climate think tank in the world.
- The rankings were released by the the International Center for Climate Governance, which focuses on the design of climate policy and related governance issues.
- Senior IPS officer Sanjay Kumar was appointed as Director General (DG) of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
- He is going to replace R K Pachnanda who has been appointed as the DG of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
- Prior to this appointment, Sanjay was the Director General of Police (DGP) in Himachal Pradesh.
Current Sports Affairs
- The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has submitted an expression of interest to host the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in 2019.
- Preparing to organise October’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup, AIFF president Praful Patel has said that hosting the FIFA Under-20 World Cup would be the next “logical step for the development of football in India”.
- The 22nd edition of the Asian Athletics Championship is all set to be kicked off by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar
- Over 1,200 athletes and officials from 44 countries in Asia will witness the largest sporting event Odisha is organising.