Current Affairs July 12, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of July 12, 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. On 12th July 2019, Indian weightlifter Ajay Singh has won Gold in 81 kg category at the Commonwealth Championships in Apia, city of Samoa. He has also created a new Commonwealth record in the clean and jerk category by lifting more than double his body weight (190kg) to score vital points at the Olympic qualifying event. He also smashed the national record in the same category. The other Indian in the 81kg category, Papul Changmai clinched the silver medal by lifting a total of 313kgs.

2. Vikas Swarup, a 1986-batch officer of the Indian Foreign Service, has been appointed as Secretary, (consular, passport, visa and Overseas Indian affairs) in the External Affairs Ministry. His appointment will come into effect from August 1, 2019. At present, he is India's High Commissioner to Canada. Swarup is the author of award-winning book Q&A, which was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. The book bagged the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize 2006 and the Paris Book Fair’s Reader’s Prize.

3. According to a study conducted by property consultant Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE), New Delhi's Connaught Place (CP) is the 9th most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of nearly USD 144 per sq ft. In its annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey, CBRE tracks the cost of leasing prime office space globally. At the top of the list was Hong Kong (Central) for the second consecutive year with an average price of $322 per square feet. , followed by London (West End) with an average occupancy rate of $222.7 per square feet. London's (West End) is ranked 2nd, followed by Hong Kong (Kowloon) and New York (Midtown Manhattan). Beijing's (Finance Street) is at the fifth position on the list. As per the report, Mumbai's Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Nariman Point-Central Business District (CBD) ranked at 27th and 40th positions, respectively.

4. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has recently launched ‘Operation Thirst’ to crackdown the selling of unauthorized Packaged Drinking Water (PDW). According to RPF, the operation was launched in all major railway stations across the country to curb the menace of unauthorized PDW in the premises of railway stations. During the operation, which was carried out on 8th & 9th July, 1371 persons were arrested for selling of packaged drinking water of unauthorised brands under different sections i.e. 144 & 153 of Railway Act. A total fine amount of Rs 6,80,855 has been realized from these offenders.

5. The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) has recently released by UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). As per the report, India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016 & recorded the fastest reductions in the MPI values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition. The global MPI tracks 101 countries on deprivations across 10 indicators in health, education, and standard of living. The report underscored that the traditional concept of poverty is outdated, demonstrating more clearly than ever that labelling countries – or even households – as rich and poor is an oversimplification. The report also highlighted a positive trend that those furthest behind are moving up the fastest. The multi-dimensionally poor means that poverty is defined not simply by income, but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor quality of work and the threat of violence.

6. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has conducted the quarterly Residential Asset Price Monitoring Survey (RAPMS) on housing loans disbursed by select banks / Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) across 13 cities. The report indicated that housing affordability has worsened over the past 4 years as the House Price to Income (HPTI) ratio increased from 56.1 in March 2015 to 61.5 in March 2019. The HPTI ratio reflects affordability. Mumbai (with a HPTI of 74.4) remains the least affordable city in India. While Bhubaneswar (54.3) remains the most affordable city for home buying with a price-to-income ratio of 54.3 in the March quarter compared to 47.2 in March 2015. The concept of price-to-income ratio is used by lenders to measure affordability of residential property, essentially as a measure of purchasing power for home buyers.

7. Italian socialist David Maria Sassoli has been elected as the new President of the European Parliament and will lead Parliament until January 2022. He will succeed Antonio Tajani. Sassoli is a member of the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The President of the European Parliament presides over the debates and activities of the European Parliament. He also represent the Parliament within the EU and internationally. The president's signature is required for enacting most EU laws and the EU budget.

8. The Odisha government has decided to provide monthly financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to Padma award winners of the state belonging to Economically Weaker Section (EWS). The move has come days after media reports highlighted the plight of several Padma Shri winners from the state and how they are forced to do odd jobs like grazing goats for survival. A total of 84 persons from the state have so far been honoured with Padma Sri award of whom 45 have passed away. Of the remaining 39 persons, financial condition of some is precarious. Recently, 75-year-old tribal farmer Daitari Nayak of Talabaitarani village, who was awarded the 2019 Padma Shri for digging a 3-km long canal through a mountain in Odisha, had openly announced to return the award as he was not given work by the villagers after getting the award.

9. The first-of-its-kind Global Conference for Media Freedom was co-hosted by the UK and Canada in London. The conference was aimed to strengthen media freedom around the world. It was attended by Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash, Member of Parliament Swapan Das Gupta and Kanchan Gupta, Member of Press Council.

10. In Mumbai, a documentary film club “KSHITIJ” has been launched by Film Division of India (FDI) in association with Indian Documentary Producer Association (IDPA). The public screenings will be organized on the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month during 5:00 pm - 6:30pm at Films Division Complex, followed by a short interaction of audience with the director / curator of the film. The acclaimed documentary film “Secret Life of Frogs” by Ajay & Vijay Bedi will be screened as the inaugural film. Films Division, established in 1948, has been relentlessly striving to maintain a record of the social, political and cultural imaginations and realities of the country on film. It works under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to produce documentaries and news magazines for publicity of Government programmes and cinematic record of Indian history.

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