Daily Current Affairs and GK | 17 July 2020

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 18 Jul 2020 21:33 PM IST

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1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the high-level session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the United Nations Economic and Social Council high-level session in New York via video conferencing.
  • At the same time, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also addressed the inauguration ceremony.
  • Representatives from government, private sector, civil society and intellectual class attended this high-level session.
  • The theme of this year is “Multilateralism after COVID 19: What kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary.”
  • The following topics were discussed in this session-
    • Important powers that give shape to multilateralism.
    • Strong leadership.
    • Greater participation of influential international institutions.
    • To increase efforts related to the welfare of common people.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the United Nations for the first time since India was elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the year 2021-22 on 17 June this year.
  • United Nations Economic and Social Council:
    • It is one of the six major organs of the United Nations.
    • It is the organization responsible for coordinating the economic and social sectors of the organization.
    • Headquarters - New York, United States.
    • It was established in the year 1945.

2. Operation of international flights to the US on an interim basis under bilateral air bubble mechanism.

  • Recently, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed that under the bilateral air bubble mechanism, international flights to the US will be conducted amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Also on this basis, Air France will also operate 28 flights between Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Paris from 18 July to 1 August.
  • Bilateral Air Bubble Mechanism - It is a bilateral arrangement between two countries under which airlines of both countries can operate international flights with rules and restrictions.

(Source: News on AIR)

3. The first on-line NISHTHA program was launched for 1200 leading subject matter experts from Andhra Pradesh.

  • Recently Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has launched the first on-line NISHTHA program for 1200 leading subject matter experts from Andhra Pradesh.
  • 33 States and Union Territories adopted this program under holistic education.
  • NISHTHA training programs in 29 States and Union Territories were completed at the state level by NCERT.
  • NISHTHA is being operated online for the training of 24 lakh teachers and school heads and for this the DIKSHA and NISHTHA portals were started by NCERT.
  • National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers Holistic Advancement (NISHTHA):
    • It is a national initiative under which primary training is provided for the school heads and teachers under the Samagra Shiksha Program.
    • To improve the level of education, this flagship program of the Ministry of Human Resource Development was launched on 21 August 2019.

(Source: News on AIR)

4. Khadi and Village Industries Commission has opened the first-of-its-kind footwear training center in Delhi for leather artisans.

  • Recently the Khadi and Village Industries Commission has opened the first of its kind footwear training center in Delhi to train leather artisans.
  • The center is set up with technical experts from the Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra, a unit of the ministry.
  • This footwear training cum production center will provide a two-month comprehensive training program to leather craftsmen for making high quality shoes.
  • In addition, trained craftsmen will also be assisted to start their own shoe making business after completion of two months of training.
  • Artisans will also be provided with a tool kit of five thousand rupees to carry out their activities in future.
  • A similar footwear training center is being set up in Varanasi by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission.
  • Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC):
    • It is a statutory body formed by the Government of India in April 1957 under the Act of Parliament, Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act 1956.
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai.

(Source: News on AIR)

5. The first trial container ship from Kolkata to Agartala was dispatched by Bangladesh's Chattogram port.

  • Recently Union Minister of Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya flagged off the first trial container ship from Kolkata to Agartala via Chattogram port in Bangladesh.
  • The project is being operated under the agreement on the movement of Indian cargo vessels through Chattogram and Mongla ports of Bangladesh.
  • The operation process was finalized during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in October 2019.
  • This route will open new opportunities for both countries.
  • This will provide alternate and shorter routes connecting the North East region via Bangladesh.

(Source: News on AIR)

6. The 92nd Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research was celebrated.

  • The 92nd Foundation Day of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research was celebrated on 16 July 2020.
  • Some awards were also presented by ICAR on this occasion, the details of which are as follows:
  • Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar for the Best Agricultural University for fast progress in all fields like teaching, research, extension and innovation in Agricultural Universities and Deemed Universities.
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi awarded for Best Institute in the category of Large Institute.
  • Central Institute for Research on Cotton Technology, Mumbai was selected for the award of Best ICAR Institute in the category of Small ICAR Institutes.
  • All India Coordinated Research Project at Sorghum, Hyderabad and All India Coordinated Research Projecton Maize, Ludhiana were jointly selected for the Chaudhary Devi Lal Outstanding All India Coordinated Research Project Award.
  • At the national level, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Krishi Vigyan Promotion Award for KVKs was jointly selected for Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Datia, Madhya Pradesh and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Venkataramannagudem, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Chaudhary Charan Singh Award or Agricultural Journalism 2019 was given to six journalists, including 4 print and 2 electronic media persons. 
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research:
    • It is an autonomous institute under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
    • It was established on 16 July 1929 as a registration society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
    • The Council is the apex body coordinating, guiding and managing research and education in agriculture including horticulture, fisheries and animal science across the country.
    • It is one of the largest national agricultural systems in the world with 102 ICAR institutes and 71 agricultural universities across the country.


(Source: P.I.B)

7. CSL, Kochi bagged the contract to manufacture the world's first fully automatic electric ship for Norway.

  • Recently Cochin Shipyard Limited Kochi has bagged the contract to manufacture the world's first fully automatic electric ship for Norway.
  • ASKO Maritime AS, a subsidiary of CSL Norges Gruppen ASA, will manufacture and supply two vessels for Norway. Norges Gruppen ASA is one of Norway's largest retail companies.
  • It also has the option to build two other electric ships.
  • CSL is India's largest commercial shipbuilder.
  • This electric vessel project is an ambitious Norway project, partly funded by the Norwegian government. It aims to provide emission-free transport for freight transportation in Oslo.
  • This vessel will set a new standard in the commercial shipping sector of the world with zero carbon emissions.
  • Vessels are designed by Naval Dynamics Norway using the Kongsberg Maritime System, with detailed engineering done by CSL.
  • CSL is already building 23 hybrid electric boats for the Kochi Water Metro.
  • With this project, CSL will be known worldwide as a premier shipbuilding yard with the capability to build high-tech vessels.

8. Pilgrimage facilities were developed at Somnath in Gujarat under the PRASHAD scheme.

  • Pilgrimage facilities were developed at Somnath in Gujarat under the PRASHAD scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.
  • The development project was inaugurated recently.
  • In March 2017, Rs 45.36 crore was sanctioned for the development project of pilgrimage facilities at Somnath in Gujarat under the PRASHAD scheme.
  • Under the project, high quality world class facilities have been developed for parking, tourism facility and solid waste management.
  • PRASHAD Scheme:
    • The Ministry of Tourism launched Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive- PRASHAD Scheme- in 2014-15.
    • The objective of this scheme is integrated development of identified pilgrimage sites and heritage destinations.

9. Implementation Guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund were issued.

  • Recently Implementation Guidelines for Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund of Rs 15,000 crore have been issued by the Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy, Shri Giriraj Singh.
  • The package was approved on 24 June 2020 under the Atamnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Incentive Package.
  • On this occasion, Mr. Giriraj Singh said the following things-
    • Presently, India is producing 188 million tonnes of milk and by 2024 milk production is expected to increase to 330 million tonnes.
    • At present only 20-25% milk comes under the processing sector and the government is trying to take it to 40%.
    • The government has decided to vaccinate 53.5 crore animals and 4 crore animals have been vaccinated. Breed improvement is being done through technology interventions.
  • Several schemes are being implemented by the government to encourage investment made by the dairy cooperative sector for development in dairy infrastructure. AHIDF has been established as an MSME and private companies also need to be promoted and encouraged their participation in processing and value-added infrastructure.
  • To establish dairy and meat processing and value-added infrastructure or to strengthen the existing infrastructure, beneficiaries who wish to invest can apply for loan in the scheduled bank through the SIDBI's UDYAMI MITRA portal.
  • The measures, approved through AHIDF, will help in direct and indirect livelihood creation for 3.5 million people.

(Source: P.I.B)

10. World Day for International Justice: 17 July

  • Every year on 17 July, World Day for International Justice is observed to mark the adoption of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998.
  • The Day is also called International Justice Day or International Criminal Justice Day.
  • The day provides the platform to unite all those who support justice, promote victims' rights, prevent crimes against humanity, etc.
  • International Criminal Court (ICC):
    • It is an intergovernmental organization that can prosecute individuals for international crimes like war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, etc.
    • Its headquarters are located in The Hague, Netherlands.
    • It started functioning in 2002 when the Rome Statute came into force.
    • Current President: Chile Eboe-Osuji
    • Members: 123

11. China and Pakistan signed agreement for Azad Pattan Hydel power project in PoK.

  • China and Pakistan has signed an agreement worth $1.5 billion for the 700 MW Azad Pattan Hydel Power Project.
  • The project is a run-of-the-river scheme on the Jhelum River in the Sudhoti district of PoK.
  • This is the second power project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor after the 1100 MW Kohala project worth $ 2.3 billion on Jhelum river.
  • The project is still not in the public domain. 
  • The Karot Hydropower station is the third project on the Jhelum river in PoK.
  • India has protested against the construction of dams and other infrastructure projects in Pok and Gilgit Baltistan region as these are part of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is massive bilateral project worth for infrastructure development within Pakistan. It is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and was officially launched in 2015.

12. Alternate alignment to be considered for the proposed upgradation of the railway line passing through Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR).

  • The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has requested Centre to consider the alternate alignment for the proposed upgradation of the railway line passing through Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR).
  • Recently, India Railways has sought permission for the gauge conversion on the existing meter gauge line connecting Akola (Maharashtra) to Khandwa (Madhya Pradesh).
  • Around 23km of this line passes through the core area of Melghat Tiger Reserve. Therefore, the CM has requested to consider alternate alignment in the interests of wildlife conservation and especially tiger habitat.
  • Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR):
    • Melghat Tiger Reserve was one of the Nine Tiger Reserves in India that were established under the Project Tiger in 1973-74.
    • It is located in the Amravati district of Maharashtra and is a part of the Satpura Maikal landscape.
    • Gugamal National Park, Wan Sanctuary, Ambawarba Sanctuary and Narnala Sanctuary are part of this tiger reserve. 
    • Tapti river form the boundaries of this reserve.






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