Current Affairs July 31, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of July 31, 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. Red Bull's driver Max Verstappen clinched the rain-hit German Grand Prix 2019 at Hockenheim. He secured his 2nd win of the season and 7th of his career. He held himself calm and composed in a race littered with crashes and safety cars. Four-time former champion Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel claimed the 2nd spot after starting from the rear of the grind. Russian Daniil Kvyat achieved the third spot for Toro Rosso followed by Canadian Lance Stroll in fourth for Racing Point.

2. Rajiv Kumar, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Jharkhand cadre, has been appointed the new Finance Secretary. He succeeded Subhash Chandra Garg, who is currently the power secretary. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the designation of Kumar as the new Finance Secretary. The finance secretary is the administrative head of the Ministry of Finance and is the principal adviser to the Finance Minister on all matters of policy and administration within the Finance Ministry. He is the senior-most bureaucrat among the five Secretaries of the five Departments of the Ministry of Finance, viz. Economic Affairs, Revenue, Expenditure, Financial services and Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).

3. Pakistan has opened a 1,000-year-old Hindu temple in eastern city Sialkot for worship for the first time since partition on the demand of the local Hindu community. The step was taken on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Shawala Teja Singh Temple in Dhaarowal was built by Sardar Teja Singh and closed during partition. The Hindus of Sialkot stopped visiting the temple after a mob damaged it in 1992 while protesting the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country.

4. The researchers from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru have discovered a new vine snake species called Proahaetulla antiqua in Western Ghats . This is an ancient species which is endemic to southern Western Ghats. This is thought to have evolved around 26 million years ago during the mid-Oligocene period. Vine snakes get their names due to their slender bodies and vine-like appearances. These new vine snakes are named after the Latin words 'antiqua', meaning 'old or ancient'. The common name suggested for these individuals is 'keeled vine snake'. They are found in the protected habitats of the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu and the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, both located in the southern Western Ghats. The discovery not only help the researchers know more about the evolution of vine snakes but also the evolutionary history of the Western Ghats (a landmass older than the Himalayas).

5. On the occasion of 2019 International Tiger Day (ITD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the results of the 4th cycle of All India Tiger Estimation report 2018 in New Delhi. The count of tigers in India has risen to 2967 in 2018. The rise in tiger numbers was in conformity with the average annual growth rate of tigers since 2006. According to the Tiger census, Madhya Pradesh saw the highest number of tigers at 526, closely followed by Karnataka at 524 with Uttarakhand at 442. It was a moment of pride for the country as it achieved its commitment to the St. Petersburg Declaration, of doubling Tiger population, much in advance to the 2022 deadline. Chhattisgarh and Mizoram saw a decline in their tiger numbers while tiger’s numbers in Odisha remained constant. The Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh recorded the highest number of tigers, while Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu registered the maximum improvement since 2014. The ITD is observed every year on 29th of July to spread the message to protect these endangered species and assist in maintaining ecological integrity. It was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia with the goal to bring worldwide attention to the dwindling numbers of tigers and their plight.

6. The Ministry of Finance has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on all imports of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) from South Korea and Thailand. PTA is primary raw material in the manufacture of polyester chips, which in turn are used in a number of applications in textile, packaging, furnishings, consumer goods, resins and coatings. The latest action comes in less than a month after the Designated Authority came up with its final findings on the sunset review.

7. The Ministry of Culture has recently announced to include the remaining languages from 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution -- Nepali and Santhali in the Sub-Field of Field “Literature” in the scheme component ‘Award of Senior/Junior Fellowships to Outstanding Artistes in the Fields of Culture’. The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) of Dwarka is the nodal institute for handling the scheme of the fellowship till selection process. “Literary Arts” is one of the Fields under this Scheme where candidates can apply for research in 22 languages as their Sub-Field. These 22 languages include the following 20 languages from the 8th Schedule of Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution along with English and Khasi:- (1) Assamese, (2) Bengali, (3) Bodo, (4) Dogri, (5) Gujarati, (6) Hindi, (7) Kannada, (8) Kashmiri, (9) Konkani, (10) Maithili, (11) Malayalam, (12) Manipuri, (13) Marathi, (14) Oriya, (15) Punjabi, (16) Sanskrit, (17) Sindhi (18) Tamil, (19) Telugu and (20) Urdu.

8. Wing Commander Tarun Chaudhri has become the first Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot to perform a wingsuit skydive jump. He achieved the feat on July 21 during the Kargil Diwas celebrations at Air Force Station in Jodhpur. The jump was accomplished from a Mi-17 helicopter from an altitude of 8,500 feet. This is the first IAF Wing Suit Skydive Jump by a pilot who has flown and captained the same type of helicopter. The Kargil Diwas celebrations were held at Air Force Station in Jodhpur on July 21 and 22.

9. The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow in Russia eyeing Russian partnership for 2022 Gaganyaan Mission . The unit will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and neighbouring countries for realization of the programmatic targets of ISRO. The ITLU will also support the ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO. The Cabinet has also approved the signing of United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements (UNISA) resulting from mediation by India. The move will send a positive signal to foreign investors about India's commitment to adhere to international practice on Alternative Dispute Resolution.

10. Tamil Nadu girl Jerlin Anika has won gold at the 2019 World Deaf Youth Badminton Championships in Taipei, Taiwan. She has also bagged two silver and one bronze medal in the championship in the Under-18 category. She is just 15 years old and a student of class 10 in a government school in Madurai.


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