Current Affairs July 07, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of July 07, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. After 18 years of research, the scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia and a team of Indian researchers have identified a new gene - called NAPRT1 - directly linked to schizophrenia. Using DNA from thousands of people in India, the team has found clues in the quest for the causes of schizophrenia, and for potential treatments. This study identified a gene that encodes an enzyme involved in vitamin B3 metabolism — we were also able to find this gene in a large genomic dataset of schizophrenia patients with European ancestry. The team of Indian researchers was led by R. Thara, co-founder and director of the Chennai-based Schizophrenia Research Foundation. Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality.

2. The scientists from 17 nations will take part in the year-long MOSAiC mission as they anchor the ship to a large piece of Arctic sea ice to study climate change. The German icebreaker RV Polarstern will be the base for scientists studying the impact of climate change on the Arctic and how it could affect the rest of the world. The MOSAiC mission stands for Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate. It comes about 125 years after Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen first managed to seal his wooden expedition ship (Fram) into the ice during a three-year expedition to the North Pole. The mission has received funding from U.S. institutions such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and NASA.

3. The historic walled city of Jaipur in Rajasthan has recently declared UNESCO World Heritage site at the ongoing 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at Baku, Azerbaijan. The city was founded in 1727 AD under the patronage of Sawai Jai Singh II. It is known for its iconic architectural legacy and vibrant culture, and serves as the capital city of the culturally-rich state of Rajasthan. In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the form of the city. In addition, Jaipur City is an exceptional example of a late medieval trade town in South Asia and defined new concepts for a thriving trade and commercial hub. Additionally, the city is associated with living traditions in the form of crafts that have national and international recognition.

4. The Government of India (GoI) has signed pact with IBM India for undertaking a pilot study to utilise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and weather technology solutions in agriculture in one district each in three states. The pilot study will be conducted for the Kharif crop season 2019 in three districts - Bhopal, Rajkot and Nanded - in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively. As part of the collaboration, IBM’s Watson Decision Platform will give solution in the field of agriculture through AI and weather technology at village level/ farm level to provide weather forecast and soil moisture information on pro bono basis to help farmers for taking decisions regarding water and crop management for better production and productivity.

5. In India, the National Doctor's Day (NDD) is observed every year on 1st of July to raise awareness about the importance of doctors and the crucial role they play in our day to day lives. The day aims at making the effort for helping medical professionals come closer and take their responsibilities more seriously and delicately. The day is also marked to honour the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. Dr Roy was a highly respected physician and a renowned freedom fighter. He is often considered the great architect of West Bengal, who founded five eminent cities, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar, and Habra. The 2019 theme is "Zero tolerance to violence against doctors and clinical establishment".

6. In Maharashtra, the state government has decided to inter-link rivers to solve the crisis of drought. For Mumbai, the best option is the Damnganga-Pinjal river inter-linking project that will fulfill Mumbai’s water needs till 2060. The project proposes to divert excess water from reservoirs in the Damanganga basin to Mumbai through the Pinjal dam, built on the Pinjal river in Vaitarna basin.

7. Afghanistan Wicket-keeper batsman, Ikram Alikhil has achieved a rare feat as he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the highest score by a teenager in the World Cup. He scored 86 off 92 balls in Afghanistan’s final league fixture against West Indies in Leeds on 4th July 2019. The record was previously held by Tendulkar who scored 84 against in the 1992 World Cup at the age of 18 years and 318 days.

8. The state of Maharashtra achieved first rank in NITI Aayog launched “Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index (AMFFRI). The index ranks states based on the degree of reforms they have undertaken in agricultural marketing. Gujarat ranked second with a score of 71.5 out of 100, closely followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. NITI Aayog launched an index to rank States and UTs based on implementation of seven provisions proposed under model APMC Act like joining e-NAM initiative, special treatment to fruits and vegetables for marketing and level of taxes in mandis. These indicators reveal ease of doing agribusiness as well as opportunities for farmers to benefit from modern trade and commerce and have wider option for sale of her/his produce. These indicators also represent competitiveness, efficiency and transparency in agri markets.

9. In Tamil Nadu, the Kanchi Athi Varadar festival has started in Kanchipuram from July 1, 2019. The temple of Varadar is in Kancheepuram. The deity is made of fig tree and hence the name Athi Varadar. He is immersed in Anantasaras, the temple tank. He is brought out once in 40 years, pujas done for 45 days and restored to his water bed. The last time he came out was on July 2, 1979, and earlier on July 12, 1939. More than one lakh devotees thronged the temple on the first day.

10. The ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Iraq has been lobbying since 1983 for the 4,000-year-old site to be added to the UN's prestigious list. The seat of successive empires, under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon represents the expression of the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire at its height. The city's association with one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World -- the Hanging Gardens -- has also inspired artistic, popular and religious culture on a global scale. It also warns that the site is in an "extremely vulnerable condition" and in need of urgent conservation. The city was famous for its Hanging Gardens, which were among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The site has suffered in recent years - first from the construction of a palace for Saddam Hussein, and later from being used as a base for US troops.

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