Current Affairs- 24th & 25th July
Science and Technology
Philippines approves GMO 'golden rice'
- The Philippines has become the world’s first country Friday to approve the commercial production of genetically modified “golden rice”.
- Crops such as rice, wheat, and soybeans, as well as fruits and vegetables have a naturally occurring “glitch” in the way they photosynthesize that causes the plants to use up energy and resources, drastically suppressing productivity.
- Russell Reinke of the Philippine-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said “It’s a really significant step for our project because it means that we are past this regulatory phase and golden rice will be declared as safe as ordinary rice.”
India gets its 39th World Heritage Site Rudreswara Temple
- India today gets its 39th World Heritage Site. The Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The decision was taken at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO today.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated everyone, specially the people of Telangana.
- In a tweet, PM Modi said, the iconic Ramappa Temple showcases the outstanding craftsmanship of great Kakatiya dynasty. He urged everyone to visit this majestic Temple complex and get a first-hand experience of it’s grandness.
Celebrations of Kargil Vijay Diwas begins
- The celebrations of Kargil Vijay Diwas began today, with the visit to places of action 22 years ago. Continuing its rich traditions, the senior Army officers met war veterans and Veer naaris at Lahmochan view point. 22nd anniversary celebrations of Kargil Vijay Diwas began with Army traditions of remembering martyrs who laid their lives in the fierce battle India fought.
- From Lahmochan View Point at Manman Top, one can view all peaks India fought heroically and captured, like Tiger Hill, Tololing Top, Three Pimples, Trshul HT and other targets of enemy, including Drass Town and NH 1D during the Kargil War. These peaks and places stand tall ever reminding Indian Army’s valour, courage and commitment.
Production Linked Incentive scheme for Speciality Steel
- The Confederation of Indian Industry – CII has welcomed the Production Linked Incentive scheme for Speciality Steel.
- In a statement, CII President T V Narendren said the decision will boost investment in the high grade steel sector and drive global competitiveness of the Indian manufacturers.
- DG, CII, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee said the decision shows the government’s commitment towards AtmaNirbhar Bharat. He said this visionary initiative for the steel sector, where India has a global competitive edge will lend more strength to the entire value chain.
India's forex reserves touch record-high of $612.73 billion
- India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by 835 million dollars to touch a fresh lifetime high of 612.73 billion dollars in the week ended 16th July. A RBI press release informed that foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves, increased by 463 million dollars to 568.748 billion dollars. In the previous week, the reserves had jumped by 1.883 billion dollars to 611.895 billion dollars.
- The gold reserves went up by 377 million dollars in the reporting week to reach 37.34 billion dollars. Country’s special drawing rights with the International Monetary Fund went up by 1 million dollars to reach 1.548 billion dollars while reserve position with the IMF declined by 7 million dollars to 5.1 billion dollars.
‘Jogajog’, ‘Alapon’ to be Bangladeshi alternative to Facebook, WhatsApp
- The Bangladesh government is working to develop a social media platform named ‘Jogajog’ as an alternative to Facebook. Addressing the virtual meet of the ‘Entrepreneurship Masterclass Series 2’ organized by Women e-Commerce (WI) on Saturday, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said that the ICT Ministry has taken the initiative in this direction to make the country self-reliant. He said that the platform will help the local entrepreneurs to create their own marketplace for sharing information and data without depending on any foreign platform.
- He said that the government is also working to develop a communication app ‘Alapan’ as an alternative to Whatsapp.
India sends first 'oxygen express' to Bangladesh to help out with Covid-19
- Ten container rakes of Indian Railways left for Bangladesh on Saturday morning from Tatanagar station in Jharkhand with 200 metric tonnes of the Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO). It will reach Benapole in Bangladesh on Sunday.
- The container rakes were loaded on Friday after the indent was received at Tatanagar under Chakradharpur Division of the South Central Railway to transport the LMO to Benapole in Bangladesh.
- The consignment will be decanted in Bangladesh and supplied to hospitals in the country to support it in the fight against the current covid wave.
Norovirus outbreak in UK
- England has reported a rise in cases of Norovirus, a highly contagious virus similar to the coronavirus. Public Health England said that in the last 5 weeks, 154 outbreaks have been reported, compared to an average of 53 outbreaks reported over the same time period in the previous 5 years.
- “The overall number of laboratory-confirmed norovirus reports across all age groups has also recently increased to the levels seen in previous years before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” it said in a statement on July 16.
- The increase in outbreaks has been mostly in educational settings, particularly in nursery and childcare facilities, with far more incidents reported to PHE than would be expected in the summer months, it added.
Another presidential hopeful arrested in Nicaragua
- Another potential presidential contender has been arrested in Nicaragua as President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on potential opponents in the lead-up to November elections continues.
- Noel Vidaurre was put under house arrest and accused of “undermining the sovereignty” of the country, police said on Saturday, in the latest of a series of arrests condemned by the United States and European Union.
- At least seven presidential hopefuls have been arrested in a crackdown that began in early June with a police raid on the home of journalist Cristiana Chamorro, the daughter of ex-President Violeta Chamorro.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu wins silver medal, opens India's tally
- Indian Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has secured the first medal for the country at the Tokyo Olympics, winning the silver medal in the women’s 49 kilogram category. She lifted a total 202 kilograms in clean and jerk category. Hou Zhihui of China won the gold lifting 210 kilograms creating an Olympic record.
- Shooter Saurabh Chaudhary was placed at the 7th number in 10- metre Air Pistol finals.
- Boxer Vikas Krishna Yadav lost to Japan’s Okazava Sewonrets 5-0 in 63-69 KG category.
2-day Golf Tournament concludes at Royal Springs Golf Course
- In the Kashmir Valley, a two-day Golf tournament concluded today in Srinagar with the distribution of prizes among the winners and runners up. The Golf tournament was teed off yesterday and it was held at the Royal Springs Golf Course and Kashmir Golf Club.
- The refurbished and upgraded Kashmir Golf Course was thrown open recently and it was the first major sporting activity at the course.
- Ace and nationally acclaimed Golfers from J&K and at national level participated in the tournament which was sponsored by the Tourism Department of Jammu and Kashmir.
Book and Author
Shifting Orbits: Decoding the Trajectory of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem
- NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant at the book launch ceremony has said that iVEAIN is a consortium of some of India’s finest institutes. This book, which is a comprehensive guide for start-ups, is authored by some of the most prominent voices in the Indian start-up ecosystem.
- The book titled, ‘Shifting Orbits: Decoding the Trajectory of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem’, co-edited by Professor Rohan Chinchwadkar, a finance professor at the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management at IIT Bombay, was launched yesterday evening by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.
Days and Dates
Income Tax Day: 24th July
- Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) celebrated the 161st anniversary of Income Tax Day on Saturday, July 24. In her message to the Income Tax Department, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman appreciated the Department for being successful in implementing in right spirit the reform measures undertaken by the Government since 2014.
- She observed that the honest taxpayers deserve to be recognized for the contribution they are making to the progress of the nation by dutifully paying their due share of taxes. She also complimented the Department for continuing to work towards simplifying its procedures and processes, and making the department’s functioning hassle-free, fair and transparent.
Other Important Affairs
- Health Ministry today organized communication awareness workshop with Community Radio Stations from 16 States in partnership with UNICEF.
- In Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior and Orchha cities have been selected by UNESCO under ‘Historic Urban Landscape Project’, which was started in the year 2011, for the inclusive and well-planned development of fast-growing historical cities while preserving the culture and heritage.
- Louise Joy Brown on 25 July became the first baby to be born due to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) method in 1978 and so every year on 25 July World Embryologist Day is observed.
- India is discussing a plan to create so-called power islanding systems in several cities to protect critical infrastructure from potential attacks on the electricity grid, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said.
- For the second time this week, U.S. forces on Friday conducted an airstrike against the al-Shabaab extremist group in Somalia. The earlier strike, on Tuesday, was the first in Somalia.