26 July 2016

Kargil Vijay Diwas was observed

·        Kargil Vijay Diwas, named after the success of Operation Vijay. On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders.

·        The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July and resulted in the loss of life on both sides, India and Pakistan and with the India regain possessions of Kargil.

G-20 Finance Ministers pledge to boost global economy

The Finance Ministers from the Group of 20 (G-20) major economies have pledged to boost the global economy, which is showing a weak recovery. This announcement was made at the end of the two-day meeting of G-20 Finance ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting held in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

 Key Highlights of meeting

  •  G-20 Finance ministers expressed concern about Britain’s plan to leave the European Union and how Brexit will affect the world’s economy. 
  • Member nations are well positioned to pro-actively to address the potential economic and financial consequences from such developments. 
  • They vowed to reject trade protectionism, which became a prominent issue at the meeting. 
  • They expressed the importance of reducing the excess production of steel that has led to a glut on the global market.

 Budha Rashmi Mani appointed as Director General of National Museum

Former Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official Dr. Budha Rashmi Mani was appointed as Director General (DG) of National Museum. He was appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will have tenure of 3 years or till attainment of age 70.

 About Budha Rashmi Mani 

  • Budha Rashmi Mani is retired as Additional Director General (ADG) of the ASI in 2015. 
  • He is BHU (Banaras Hindu University) alumnus and holds PhD on the Kushanas. During his 30 archaeological career, he led excavations in Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • Earlier in 2003, he had led the excavation team in the disputed Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya.
  •  He is also serving as the General Secretary of the Indian Archaeological Society (IAS). He edits the journal Puratattva of IAS.

 Rio bound shot putter Inderjeet Singh fails dope test: NADA

India’s Rio Olympics bound shot putter Inderjeet Singh (28) has been tested positive for a banned substance. In the out-of-competition test conducted by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), Inderjeet’s ‘A’ sample was tested positive for a banned steroid. 

The NADA has asked Inderjeet Singh if he wants to test his ‘B’ sample and if so, to do this within seven days. 
If his ‘B’ sample also tests positive, he will have to miss 2016 Rio Olympics Games in August 2016. Besides, he may be banned for four years under the new WADA Code. Inderjeet Singh had won a bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games. He had won the gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships in 2015. He had qualified for the 2016 Olympics by achieving qualification mark with a throw of 20.65 m in May 2015 at 19th Federation Cup.

Lok Sabha passes Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The Lok Sabha has passed Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Bill, 2016 or opening six new IITs. The Bill seeks to amend the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 to add six new IITs as institutions of national importance.
 Key Features of Bill 
  • Addition of six new IITs in Palakkad (Kerala), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Goa, Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir). 

  • Bring the Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad (Jharkhand) within the ambit of the parent Act. All these institutions will be declared as institutions of national importance.
  •  Until the statutes in relation to IIT (ISM), Dhanbad are made under the parent Act, the statutes applicable to IIT Roorkee will apply to it.

Union Government issues notification for implementation of 7th Pay Commission

The Union Government has issued notification for the implementation of 7th Pay Commission. It was issued as per the Cabinet approval in June 2016. With this issuance, 4.8 million central government employees and 5.2 million pensioners will get the increased payout from their August 2016 salaries. Besides, Union Government has given CBSE chief Rajesh Kumar Chaturvedi an additional charge of Chief of the implementation cell of the Seventh Central Pay Commission.
Key Facts
  • The 7th Pay Commission hike will result in increase in salaries of central government employees in the range of 7 thousand rupees to 18 thousand rupees per month. 
  • A fitment factor of 2.57 will also apply for pay revision of all employees and the rate of annual increment has been retained at 3%. 
  • There will be two dates for grant of increment i.e. on January 1 and July 1 every year – instead of the existing July 1 only. 
  • Employees will be entitled to only one annual increment on either of these two dates depending on the date of appointment, promotion or grant of financial upgradation. 
  • It is estimated that the total burden on the exchequer on account of the 7th Pay Commission recommendation will be 1.02 lakh crore rupees in 2016-17. 
  • There will be an additional impact of 12,133 crore rupees on arrears and of salary and pension for two months.

Solar Impulse 2 completes historic round-the-world trip

The Solar Impulse 2 has become the first aircraft to circle the globe using solar energy after landing in Abu Dhabi on the last leg of its journey. In its journey, the long-range solar-powered aircraft has travelled 26744 miles across four continents, three seas and two oceans since setting off from Abu Dhabi in March 2015.

 Key features of Solar Impulse 2 
  • Solar Impulse 2 is a Swiss long-range solar-powered aircraft project. It is first aircraft to fly day and night without consuming conventional fuel in oder to promote renewable energy.
  •  Its construction was started in 2011. The first test flight of the aircraft was conducted in the United States in 2013. 
  • Structure: Single-seater aircraft made of carbon fibre. It has a 72 metre wingspan and weighs 2,300 kilo grams. It is solely propelled by the solar energy and emits zero Carbon dioxide (CO2).
  •  Solar cells: 17,248 solar cells inbuilt into its wings. These cells supply renewable energy to propel the electric motors of aircraft. 
  • These solar cells also recharge 4 lithium polymer batteries mounted on aircraft which allows it fly at night.

BRICS policy planning dialogue concludes in Patna

The BRICS Policy Planning Dialogue was successfully concluded in Patna, Bihar. Delegates of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had attended the meeting. The two day (25-26 July 2016) dialogue provided a common platform to BRICS countries for sharing of best practices in foreign policy planning and assessment between the BRICS countries. 

Key Highlights of dialogue 
  • It forwarded the Policy Planning talks initiated under the Chairmanship of Russia in 2015 in line with 2016 theme of “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”. 
  • Discussions on exchanges on strategic assessments of international situation and regional situation of each country were held. 
  • They also discussed the role of BRICS in international governance, ongoing cooperation at BRICS Forum and reflected on areas of convergence among BRICS.