Current Affairs, News & Facts of 08 Jul 2015

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  • Indian Skipper Mithali Raj creates history
    • Indian Skipper Mithali Raj created history as she became the first woman to cross the 5000 runs  in One-Day Internationals
    • Playing against New Zealand in Bengaluru, Mithali Raj's unbeaten knock of 81 runs took her run tally to 5029 runs comprising of 5 centuries and 37 half centuries at an average of 48.82 in 157 matches
    • Chasing down the target of 221, the hosts got home with 34 balls to spare. Mithali shared a 124-run stand with opener Smriti Mandhana (66) for the second wicket
    • Mithali also became the second highest scorer of all time in women's cricket. Before her, English player Charlotte Edwards had completed 5000 runs in ODIs.
  • China nominates Jin Liqun for the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
    • China has nominated Jin Liqun as the Chinese candidate for the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
    • Jin Liqun as is the former deputy finance minister of china and currently secretary general of AIIB's interim secretariat. 
    • Prior to this Jin Liqun has also held positions at the World Bank and was the first Chinese national to serve as a vice president at the Asia Development Bank
    • Other countries had until July 31 to nominate candidates for the position of president and a final candidate will be confirmed in late August.
    • Jin Liqun  during his 5-year-long tenure at Asian Development Bank, headed its programmes for South, Central and West Asia and private sector operations.
    • Jin Liqun holds degree in English Literature from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow in Boston University's economics graduate programme.

    The China-led infrastructure bank was formally launched late last month with representatives from 57 countries, including Australia, gathering in Beijing, where the bank will be headquartered.Australia will contribute about $930 million as upfront capital to the bank over the five years and will be the sixth-largest shareholder.

  • MoU inked between ICRISAT and Telangana government  to promote digital agriculture
    • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics [ ICRISAT ] and Telangana government have joined hands to implement Information and Communication Technology-based knowledge sharing platforms for farmers.
    • The MoU aims at promoting agricultural innovation initiatives to improve productivity and profitability of small-holder farmers.
    • The partnership will explore areas of collaboration in the field of digital agriculture which will give Information that would be  precisely targeted towards individual farmers .This will help farmers to access agricultural-related and market-related information, which gives them an opportunity to sell their produce at fair prices 
    • The MoU will enable the government to create new economic opportunities for rural populations through digital agriculture and enable consumers to create direct linkages to farmers 
  • SC issues notice to Centre, pol parties on a plea to bring political parties under RTI
    • The apex court of the country i.e, Supreme court  has issued notices to the Central Government, Election Commission of India and the six National Political Parties - BJP, Cong, BSP, CPI, CPI(M) and NCP, on a plea to bring all political parties under the law of  Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
    • The petition was filed by an NGO Association for Democratic Reforms seeking court direction to bring political parties under the RTI Act
    • Notice was issued by a bench headed by chief justice of India HL Dattu, Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy. The bench ordered all the eight respondents to submit their responses within six weeks. 

    Petitioners had asked   :-

    1. Political Parties be more transparent in their working and accountable towards citizen
    2. Political parties would have to deposit 35 per cent of donation received by them since they are exempted from filing income tax returns.
  • Rajasthan may follow Maharashtra's 'Jal Yukt Shivar Abhiyan'
    • Impressed with the progress of  'Jal Yukt Shivar Abhiyan,' the ambitious program of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Rajashtan may also adopt the state's flagship water conservation and Integrated water management scheme
    • To learn more about the state's water conservation programme, a delegation from Rajasthan, comprising a minister and senior bureaucrats are on Maharashtra tour and will visit a few sites where the project is currently underway. 

    Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan :-

    • Maharashtra government launched "Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan" which aims at making Maharashtra a drought-free state by 2019.
    • The programme aims to make 5000 villages free of water scarcity every year by ainwater harvesting thereby increasing ground water levels
    • Under the programme, micro-irrigation systems would be encouraged for proficient use of water, hence increasing the irrigated area. 

    Maharashtra is a drought prone area, especially its region of Vidarbha and Marathwada. In 2014, Vidarbha was deficit by 14 per cent, while Marathwada was deficit by 42 per cent, putting both the regions in the category of drought. 

  • Meiji sites in Japan get world heritage status
    • Japan's Meiji period or Meji era (1868-1912) that includes 20 old industrial sites in Japan coalmines and shipyards that  contributed to Japan's transformation from feudalism into a successful modern economy has been granted World Cultural Heritage status from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
    • An estimated 60,000 labourers from South Korea were forced to work at seven of the sites, including the island coalmine Gunkanjima, during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula.
    • For the first time Japan mentioned the historical fact that Koreans were drafted against their will and forced into labour under harsh conditions in the 1940s. Now with this inclusion the total number of sites with World Heritage Status in Japan have increased to 15 along with 4 natural sites.

    Facts about Meiji period or Meji era :-

    1. Meiji period timeline :- 1868-1912
    2. Meiji period location :- Southwest of Japan
    3. Meiji period economy :- The Industrial Revolution in Japan occurred during the Meiji period it transformed Japan from feudalism into a successful modern economy
  • India, Uzbekistan ink pacts to boost cooperation
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his first visit to  five Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and Russia.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on key bilateral and regional issues and inked pacts to boost cooperation between their foreign offices and in the field of culture and tourism.

    Issues that have been discussed between India and Uzbekistan :-

    Strategic, economic ties:- 

    • Enhance strategic, economic and energy ties apart from reviewing key regional issues including the situation in Afghanistan was discussed between Mr. Modi and Mr. Karimov

    Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism:-  

    • Intensify security cooperation and exchanges. The bilateral Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism will meet later this year both the countries also agreed to strengthen cooperation in defence and cyber security.

    The International North-South Transport Corridor :-

    •  The International North-South Transport Corridor is a ship, rail and road route for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia which is very similar to Ashgabat Agreement which  is a transit pact established in 2011 between Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman.

    Strengthening cooperation :- 

    • Both the countries agreed to  strengthen ongoing cooperation in the areas of agriculture, information technology and energy.
  •  IPV Rani Durgavati Commissioned to  Indian Coast Guard
    • Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) Rani Durgavati, the 3rd Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) of its kind has been commissioned in to Indian Coast Guard
    • Inshore Patrol Vessel Rani Durgavati, has been designed and built by Hindustan Shipyard Limited ,It is equipped with the most-advanced and sophisticated navigational communication sensors and equipment. 
    • Rani Durgavati has a maximum speed of 34 knots and at an economical 14 knots has an endurance of 150 nautical miles
    • The ship was commissioned by Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral Satish Soni. 

     Indian Coast Guard is  fourth largest Coast Guard in the world with 118 ships, 63 aircraft, and over 10,000 officers and men besides, 84 ships and craft are under construction at eight different yards which are expected to join the Coast Guard by 2019 and they would be evenly distributed across the 42 stations

  • Indian conservation biologist Kamal Bawa elected as Fellow to Royal Society

    Renowned Indian conservation biologist Kamal Bawa will be formally admitted to the prestigious Royal Society as a fellow on July 10 for his “pioneering contributions to understanding the population biology of tropical forest trees”

    About Kamal Bawa :-

    • Kamal Bawa is an internationally recognised evolutionary ecologist and a distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, was elected a fellow of the London-based society in April
    • By this prestigious Royal Society  fellowship Kamal Bawa joins former and current fellows such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and about 80 Nobel laureates

    About Royal Society of London :-

    • Royal Society of London was founded in 1660. The Society today acts as a scientific advisor to the British government
    • There are currently about 1,450 Fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FRS
    •  Existing fellows of  Royal Society proposes about 700 candidates for election out of which 52 fellows are elected from England and 10 foreign nationals
  • Environment and forest ministers of six states to discuss conservation of Western Ghats
    • Environment and forest ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu held a meeting to discuss conservation of biodiversity of the Western Ghats and ways to provide adequate livelihood security to the local residents.
    • The environment ministry had published a draft notification last year for declaring an ecologically sensitive area in the Western Ghats in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
    • The environment ministry had published a draft notification last year for declaring an ecologically sensitive area in the Western Ghats in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu
    • Western Ghats is regarded as a global biodiversity hotspot harbouring many endemic species of flowering plants, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates. It supports population of about 50 million people.
  • Fergusson College of Pune wins heritage status of UGC
    • Fergusson College of pune which was founded  in 1885 ,has been accorded the special heritage status by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
    • St Xaviers College in Mumbai, Fergusson College in Pune and Hislop College in Nagpur are among 19 institutes in India which have bagged special heritage status from the University Grants Commission
    • With the status comes financial assistance for its upkeep, the UGC has approved grants worth Rs23 crore for these institutes under the special heritage scheme , St Xaviers College has got 1.67 crore, Hislop and Fergusson have been granted Rs79 lakh and Rs20lakh respectively. 
    • The grants can be used for conservation work of the campus and for specialised courses related to heritage. Cotton College of Guwahati has received maximum grants of Rs435 crore.

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