Current Affairs, News & Facts of 22 Jul 2015

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  • Anil Ambani's Pipavav inks pact with Russian firm to build ships under 'Make in India' initiative

     

    Anil Ambani-led Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company (PDOC) signed an agreement with JSC Ship Repairing Centre Zvyozdochka, Russia,for Medium Refits and Life Certification of 877 EKM Submarines in India. The agreement was signed  under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" initiative. The programme will be executed under a joint venture (JV) with 51 per cent stake, which is consistent with the Defence Ministry regulations.

    • The agreement marks the first instance of the refit of submarines being considered for the private sector in India, the estimated budget of the joint venture is around Rs.11,000 crore.
    • Under the agreement, Zvyozdochka will provide complete technical assistance and support to the JV, including for the enhancement of infrastructure at the PDOC facilities, training of engineers.
    • PDOC will undertake similar work for large submarine forces of similar class deployed by countries such as Algeria, Vietnam and Iran
    • Zvyozdochka is the premier ship repairing centre in Russia. It has undertaken upgradation/refurbishment of more than 120 submarines and 90 warships
    • The idea behind this joint venture is to have a 198-ship naval force by 2027, up from the current 137 vessels. Already, 48 warships are under construction at Indian shipyards, including aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers, submarines, corvettes and fast-attack craft.

    India has been stressing on domestic defence production under the "Make in India" programme, an important aspect of which is to get technology transfers and inviting foreign firms to manufacture in India

    Image source : wikipedia

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  • American Book Awards 2015 announced 

     

    • 36th annual American Book Awards has been announced  in which Carlos Santana, Marlon James and Naomi Klein are among the dozen of  recipients of the award.
    • Naomi Klein has been honoured with American Book Award 2015 for her revered 2014 title "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate"
    • Santana and co-authors Ashley Kahn and Hal Miller were honoured  for the memoir "The Universal Tone" while  James won the award for his nearly 700-page novel, "A Brief History of Seven Killings"
    • Poet Anne Waldman, whose books include The Iovis Trilogy, was honoured for lifetime achievement.

    About " American Book Awards "

    • American Book Award are presented by the Before Columbus Foundation, a non-profit educational and service organisation founded in 1976 by author-playwright Ishmael Reed.
    • American Book Award  is "a writers' award given by other writers" and "there are no categories, no nominees, and therefore no losers
    • The Award honors excellence in American literature without restriction to race, sex, ethnic background, or genre

    Image source :commdigi news

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  • BRICS New Development Bank starts its operations from Shanghai, China

    The New Development Bank (NDB) backed by BRICS members Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa collectively formally started its operations from its headquarters in Shanghai, China.

    • The bank is to start out with a capital of $50bn (£32bn) though the amount is to be doubled in the coming years.The banks is expected to issue its first loans early next year
    • The bank is seen as an alternative to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and will lend money to BRICS nation to help finance infrastructure projects.
    • Chinese Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Shanghai Mayor Yang Xiong and the bank’s first President K V Kamath from India attended the opening ceremony.
    • The New Development Bank (NDB) will be headed by a rotating leadership with the first president, Mr Kamath, from India. 

    The biggest contributor of  New Development Bank (NDB) will be China which is world's second largest economy . It should be noted that China has also led the establishment of another new international bank which is Beijing based Asian Infrastructure Development Bank

    Image source :hellenicinsider

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  • UN Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Iran nuclear deal

     

    • United Nations Security Council (UNSC)  backed Iran's nuclear agreement with world powers and thus unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a monitoring system for Iran’s nuclear programme and "eventual removal” of all nuclear-related sanctions against the country.
    • The resolution was supported by all 15 representatives of countries on the Security Council and opened path to lift nuclear-related economic sanctions on Iran.
    • UNSC’s passed resolution marks the endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which  concluded in the form of historic deal on  14 july 2015  in Vienna between Iran and the six powers and Iran reaffirmed “that it will under no circumstances ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons" .
    • The resolution provides for the eventual removal of all nuclear-related sanctions against Iran and guarantees that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will continue to verify Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA

    Image source: un.org

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  • Government proposes direct transfer of fertiliser subsidy to farmers 

     

    • Government has proposed to transfer fertiliser subsidy directly into farmers' accounts and is and is making a road map for the pilot project. 
    • However, a major challenge in operationalising this scheme lies in identification of beneficiary farmers as in many states the land records are neither accurate nor updated
    • The Department of Fertilizers is planning to have a phased approach and prepare a road map for pilot project in select districts to capture the details and identity proof of farmers like aadhaar number and land details
    • All information in this regard would be collected at retail fertiliser stores in order to build a comprehensive database of beneficiary farmers over a period of time 

    Image source :swarajyamag

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  • Govt extends interest subvention on crop loans to farmers

     

    • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the continuation of interest subvention by public sector banks, private sector commercial banks, regional rural banks, cooperative banks and NABARD to enable them to provide short-term crop loans of up to Rs. 3 lakh to farmers at 7 per cent a year during 2015-16
    • The government extended the interest subvention scheme to make banks advance crop loans to farmers the loan will be up to  Rs. 3 lakh at the rate of 7 per cent
    • The Cabinet decided to provide relief to farmers affected by natural calamities, where the interest subvention of 2 per cent will continue to be available to banks for the first year on the restructured amount

    Image source :thehindubusinessline

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  • KFC partners IRCTC, to serve meals on trains 

     

    • KFC has entered into a partnership with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation ( IRCTC) to launch a delivery system for consumers on trains. 
    • Now a person travelling on train can order KFC meal, while booking ticket through IRCTC from July 20 onwards, under e-catering service initiatives. Presently, this facility is available only on 12 trains passing through New Delhi railway station.
    • The facility will be expanded to Vishakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Bengaluru stations over the next 10 days. 
    • The service will initially be limited to trains which do not have pantry cars and subsequently would be expanded to trains like Rajdhani and Duronto
    • Consumers will have to visit the IRCTC website or call on 18001034139 (Toll Free) to place their order. A password will then be sent by KFC to the consumer's mobile phone which will have to be mentioned at the time of delivery

    Image source :Zeenews

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  • E.L. Doctorow author of Ragtime and Billy Bathgate passes away

     

    • Renowned historical fiction author E. L. Doctorow died at 84-years-old after suffering complications from lung cancer. E.L. Doctorow was one of America’s greatest novelists and he wielded a writing style that was bold and unusual.
    • EL Doctorow is most famously known for his award-winning novels Ragtime and  and Billy Bathgate. Several of Doctorow's novels including Ragtime and Billy Bathgate were turned into movies. Ragtime was so popular that it was also made into a Broadway musical in 1998
    • In a 50-year career, Doctorow published 10 novels, a stage drama, two books of short fiction and numerous essays
    • After studying at Kenyon College, Ohio, and Columbia University, New York, Doctorow served for the US army in Germany during the 1950s.
    • He was a book editor before he was an author but he  left the world of publishing in 1969 to write himself . Doctorow’s  first book came in 1960’s “Welcome to Hard Times” than 1966’s “Big as Life,” which was inspired by science fiction.
    • Doctorow was bestowed with a National Humanities Medal, a National Book Award, three National Book Critics Circle Awards and two PEN/Faulkner Awards. Last year, Doctorow won the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

    Image source :nydailynews

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  • Sangram Singh becomes the first Indian to win WWP Heavyweight Championship

     

    • Sangram Singh became the first Indian in history to win the World Wrestling Professionals (WWP) Commonwealth Wrestling Heavyweight Championship 
    • Sangram Singh made the country proud by defeating Canada's Joe Legend to win the WWP Commonwealth Championship held at  Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in South Africa.
    • He had signed the death contract that clearly stated no owning up by organizers if either of the two fighters are fatally hurt in the process. 
    • During fight with  Joe Legend, (Canadian wrestler)  Sangram Singh was nearly died as his opponent was on top of him for over 10 minutes and Sangram nearly suffocated to death
    • Sangram Singh is the brand ambassador of People for Animal and Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre
    • Sangram Singh was awarded the World's Best Wrester of 2012 by WWP. He was selected for the award among the other 118 wrestlers

    Image source :thenewsreports

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