Current Affairs July 16, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of July 16, 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. In August 2019, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will visit Australia to attend the 10th edition of Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) as its chief guest. Here, he is set to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Melbourne-based La Trobe University for his contributions and efforts towards underprivileged children, women's empowerment through Meer Foundation and his achievements in the Indian entertainment industry. La Trobe University is the first Australian university to award Khan with an Honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa), and will present the honorary doctorate ‪on August 9 at its Melbourne campus in Bundoora.

2. Well-known breast surgeon and Padma Shri awardee, Dr. P Raghu Ram has been conferred the Honorary Fellowship of The Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of Thailand in recognition of his bold vision coupled with an intense body of work that has paved the way for improving breast healthcare in India. It is the highest recognition bestowed by the institute. He received the honour at the 44th Annual Scientific Congress of the Royal College in Pattaya. With this, Dr. Ram achieved the rare distinction of having been conferred FRCS from five Surgical Royal Colleges (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ireland and Thailand) as well as FACS from the American College of Surgeons. He is also the president-elect of the Association of Surgeons of India.

3. The L&T Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (LTIF) has become the first Non-Banking Finance Company (NBFC) to get $100 million loan from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for on-lending to wind and solar power infrastructure projects in India. LTIF is a subsidiary of L&T Finance Holdings Ltd and a leading non-bank financier of renewable energy in India. The loan mobilises private capital from sponsors, other financiers and LTIF's own sources. India is committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 30-35% of the 2005 levels by 2030 under the Paris agreement.

4. In Tennis, Simona Halep defeated Serena Williams in the final by 6–2, 6–2 to win the Ladies' Singles tennis title at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships. Halep became the first Romanian female player to reach and win the Wimbledon final. At 37 years 291 days, Williams is the oldest Grand Slam women's singles finalist to compete since the start of the Open Era in 1968. This was the first Wimbledon where a final set tie break rule was introduced. Upon reaching 12–12 in the third set, a classic tie break would be played. No women's singles match required the use of the final set tie break.

5. Under climate resilience program, the World Bank has recently approved $250 million aid to Kerala for its Resilient Kerala Programme (RKP) to brace against natural disasters. Hence, Kerala has become the first Indian state to get this fund to enhance the state's resilience against the impacts of natural disasters and climate change. The Resilient Kerala Program (RKP) will focus on strengthening the state's institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach. The new program is part of the Government of India(GoI)’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala.

6. Justice Arjan Kumar Sikr, an eminent jurist and a former judge of the Supreme Court of India (SCI), has been appointed as an International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC). He will assume charge as an international judge with effect from August 1 & his term will expire on January 4, 2021. . The SICC is a division of the Singapore High Court and part of the Supreme Court of Singapore. It is designed to deal with transnational commercial disputes. It currently has 16 international judges as part of its panel. Justice AK Sikri was recently appointed as the Chairperson of the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA).

7. The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification. These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands). The Blue Flag certification is an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety. The Blue Flag Programme for beaches and marinas is run by a Denmark-based organization - Federation of Environment Education (FEE).There are nearly 33 criteria that must be met to qualify for a Blue Flag certification, such as the water meeting certain quality standards, having waste disposal facilities, being disabled- friendly, have first aid equipment, and no access to pets in the main areas of the beach. Some criteria are voluntary and some compulsory.

8. The researchers at the Indian Institute of Spices Research (IISR) in Kozhikode have developed a technology to pack microbial strains beneficial to farmers in tiny capsules. It will eliminate the need for lugging around sacks of bio-fertilisers as farmers do currently. The bio-capsules made with the technology weigh just one gram. But the microbial population they contain is equivalent to what is present in a one-kg pack of powder-based biofertliser or a one-litre bottle. The beauty of the technology is that it can be used for packing any kind of farm-friendly microbes, including nitrogen-fixing bacteria, solubolise phosphates, micronutrients and fungi that help control pathogens. The achievement by the IISR scientists led by Dinesh Raghavan is remarkable because no such technology is commercially available world over. The IISR is a subsidiary of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, under the Ministry of Agriculture.

9. The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is observed every year on 15th of July to generate awareness and discussion about skill development for the youths to have a better livelihood. The 2019 theme is “Learning to learn for life and work”. This year, the world’s leading short video platform ‘TikTok’ and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) have collaborated to support Skill Development in India and to celebrate World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) 2019. The partnership aims to leverage TikTok’s 200 million user community to build awareness around NSDC’s mission to educate India’s youth. The aim of NSDC is to promote skill development by catalysing creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions.

10. The first comprehensive census of orchids of India has been published by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) under the title “Orchids of India : A Pictorial Guide”. As per the census, the 1256 species or taxa of orchids belong to 155 genera and 388 species are endemic to India. The highest number of orchid species is recorded from Arunachal Pradesh with 612 species, followed by Sikkim (560 species) and West Bengal (Darjeeling Himalayas) with 479 species. There are 388 species of orchids, which are endemic to India of which about one-third (128) endemic species are found in Western Ghats. The publication point out that Kerala has 111 of these endemic species while Tamil Nadu has 92 of them. The publication, which has photographs of 60% of all species, is the first authentic inventory and will be useful for researchers, growers, nature lovers and people with different backgrounds. Another interesting factor is that the entire orchid family is listed under appendix II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and hence any trade of wild orchid is banned globally.

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