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  • Current Affairs 13th July 2017

    Updated : 14-Jul-2017
    Current Affairs 13th July 2017

    Current Affairs 13th July 2017- Important Points

    • Israel transfers authority for West Bank Electrical Substation to - Palestinians
    • Bengaluru-based startup Halli Labs acquired by - Google
    • India grants Rupees 3.2 crore help to Philippines- To fight ISIS
    • LIFE program at Songsak launched by - Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma
    • Who has been appointed as Chairperson of BCCC? - Justice Vikramajit Sen
    • Troops to open First overseas military base in Djibouti sent by - China
    • Growing threat of Malaria in India launched - The National Strategic Plan
    • Physical education for girls in state schools approved by - Saudi Arabia

     Current Affairs 13th July 2017- Details

    Israel transfers authority for West Bank Electrical Substation to - Palestinians

    Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of Palestinian, and Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Energy Minister launched the first power plant in the West Bank that transforms high to medium voltage in Jenin, north of the West Bank on 10th July 2017.
    For the first time that Israel has given the ownership of electricity infrastructure to the Palestinian Authority.
    The official ceremony included signing a commercial agreement between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Israeli Electric Corporation (IEC) to enhance power supply through operating a new substation in the north of West Bank.
    As per the agreement, the Palestinian National Authority will be paying around USD 47 million to the Israeli Electric Corporation every year, in order to boost the supply of the new power plant by 60 Megawatts in full operation.

    More about West Bank

    • The West Bank is a landlocked territory near the Mediterranean coast of Western Asia,making the bulk of territory now under Israeli control, or else under joint Israeli-Palestinian Authority control.
    • The West Bank also contains a good section of the western Dead Sea shore.The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, has a land area of 5640 kilometers per square plus a water area of 220 kilometers per square, including the northwest quarter of the Dead Sea.
    • As on July 2015, the area has an estimated population of 2785366 Palestinians and 371000 Israeli settlers approximately, plus another 212000 Jewish Israelis approximately in East Jerusalem.
    • The international community considers Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal under international law, though Israel disputes for this.

    Bengaluru-based startup Halli Labs acquired by - Google

    Google acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum on 12th July 2017. Pankaj Gupta founded Halli Labs in 2017 with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Pankaj Gupta, an IIT Delhi and Stanford University alumnus, had earlier served as CTO of online homestay aggregator Stayzilla and as senior data scientist at Twitter too.

    Important Information

    • Halli Labs becomes the latest Artificial Intelligence start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms like Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and so on. More than 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year.
    • Google has been the top most buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

    India grants Rupees 3.2 crore help to Philippines- To fight ISIS

    India granted USD 500000 to the Philippines for the rehabilitation and relief efforts in war-torn Marawi City in July 2017.
    India announced an immediate assistance on the Facebook account of its embassy in Manila on 11th July 2017. For the first time India is sending financial aid to another country affected by terrorism.
    As per the embassy, Sushma Swaraj has offered the assistance to the Philippines during her conversation with Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on 6th July 2017.
    India’s assistance is a part of the Union Government’s Act East policy and comes at a time when the Philippines is getting ready to host India-Asian foreign ministers meeting in Manila in coming August 2017. The Philippines is the only Southeast Asian nation where ISIS has established its presence.

    More about Marawi Crisis

    • The Marawi crisis is an ongoing armed conflict in Marawi which was started on 23rd May 2017 between Philippine government security forces and affiliated militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, including Abu Sayyaf Salafi jihadist and the Maute groups.
    • The Philippine Government stated that the clashes were started when it launched an offensive in the city to capture Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the ISIL-affiliated Abu Sayyaf group, after receiving reports that Hapilon was in the city, possibly to meet militants of the Maute group.
    • A deadly firefight was erupted when Hapilon's forces opened fire on the combined Army and police teams and called for reinforcements from the Maute group, an armed group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, and who are believed to be responsible for the 2016 Davao City bombing.
    • Maute group militants attacked Camp Ranao and also occupied several buildings in the city, including Mindanao State University,Marawi City Hall, a hospital and the city jail.
    • The group also attacked the Marawi Cathedral, taking a priest and several churchgoers hostage.
    • On 26th May 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines stated that some of the terrorists are foreigners, who have been in the country for quite some time, offering support to the Maute group in Marawi.
    • The militants focuses to raise an ISIL flag at the Lanao del Sur Provincial Capitol and declare a wilayat or provincial ISIL territory in Lanao del Sur.

    LIFE program at Songsak launched by - Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma

    Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma launched a flagship program ‘Livelihood Intervention and Facilitation of Entrepreneurship’ (LIFE) at Songsak in East Garo Hills on 12th July 2017. Songsak is about 210 kilometer west of the capital of the state, Shillong.

    The program was launched with an aim to ensure that people can generate income on their own in
    backwards , they are being provided assistance to do plantation and other income-generating activities through different livelihood missions of the state.
    LIFE is a program of the State Rural Livelihood Society (MSRLS), an agency of the Community and Rural Development Department of Government of Meghalaya, which implements the Centre's flagship program - National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

    This mission promotes livelihood through women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their Federations.
    The NRLM is being implemented in 21 blocks of Meghalaya currently and so far, a total of 1472 people in different blocks have received the benefit from the scheme.
    The program offers help in improving the livelihood of rural poor in a sustainable manner through Village organization , the process of SHGs and Producers Groups.
    After the inauguration of the program LIFE, Mukul requested people to form Self-Help Groups (SHG) in their area so that different activities would be started to ensure people are able to generate income and eradicate poverty.

    Who has been appointed as Chairperson of BCCC? - Justice Vikramajit Sen

    Justice Vikramajit Sen is appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC) on 12th July 2017. by Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF). He will be succeeding Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end.

    Key Information
    Mr. Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier's School (Delhi) and St Stephen's College (Delhi) and Law graduate from Faculty of Law, Delhi University.
    He was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court after a long tenure as a judge of the delhi high court.
    He was promoted as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012 where he served till 2015.
    BCCC is an independent self-regulatory body constituted by IBF to examine content-related complaints related to all non-news general entertainment channels in India in June 2011.
    Founder cum chairperson of BCCC was former Chief Justice and former Chairperson of Law Commission of India Justice A P Shah .
    BCCC, a 13-member body, has handled more than 40000 content-related complaints since its formation till date.

    Troops to open First overseas military base in Djibouti sent by - China

    Ships carrying personnel for China's first overseas military base in Djibouti have set their sail to initiate setting up the facility.  On the other hand, Djibouti's position on the northwestern edge of the Indian Ocean has raised worry in India as China is building on its military alliances with countries that encircle India, especially Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
    Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is China's first overseas naval base, Beijing officially describes it as a logistics facility.
    The dragon stated that the base will going to be used to resupply navy ships taking part in humanitarian missions and peacekeeping off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia particularly.
    However, China did not specify how many troops or ships it would be sending to Djibouti or when maneuvers would start.

    Important Highlights

    • China’s military base in Djibouti is located in close proximity to Camp Lemonnier, which is operated by the United States Navy.
    • The facility, built around the Djiboutian town of Obock, is expected to significantly raise China's power projection capabilities in the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean.
    • The base is constructed next to the Port of Doraleh, China financed it primarily.
    • Negotiations with President Ismail Omar Guelleh made by China in 2015 to create a strategic base in Djibouti. Negotiations were concluded in January 2016, with China and Djibouti having reached consensus for the construction of naval facilities.
    • Base Construction was started in 2016.
    • On 11th July 2017, the People’s Liberation Army Navy dispatched ships from South Sea Fleet Zhanjiang to the base, ceremonially opening it.

    Growing threat of Malaria in India launched - The National Strategic Plan

    Malaria and its growing threat in India were recently in news as Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 12th July 2017 launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination for 2017-22. This Strategic Plan has year wise removal targets in different parts of the country depending upon the menace of malaria in the coming 5 years.

    More about Malaria

    • Plasmodium Parasites causes Malaria.
    • It is transmitted from one human to another by the bite of infected Anopheles mosquitoes.
    • Sporozoites get migrated to the liver where they mature and release another form, the merozoites in human beings.
    • The majority of Malaria symptoms are caused by the massive release of merozoites into the bloodstream such as anaemia is caused by the destruction of RBC.
    • There are five parasites responsible to cause Malaria in human beings and the deadliest of all is Plasmodium Falciparum.
    • Children below 5 years and pregnant women are most susceptible to the disease.
    • More than 70 percent of total malaria deaths constitute children under the age of 5.
    • Diagnosis followed by speedy treatment is of the utmost treatment.

    Physical education for girls in state schools approved by - Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education (MoE) finally approved a physical education program at girls’ schools starting in the coming academic year in July 2017. Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa issued a decree on 11th July 2017.

    The program will be compliant with Islamic rules and will be implemented in the 2017-2018 school year.
    The decision comes after three months of intensive studies by a specialized team commissioned by the minister to review all directives and recommendations in this regard.
    The committee will be preparing a document containing performance indicators and objectives for the program, in addition to prepare an interim operational plan and working with universities.
    The move is a step forward to boost sports activities among all members of Saudi society, one of the targets of the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan.

    More about Saudi Vision 2030

    • It is a plan to reduce diversify its economy, Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, develop service sectors such as education, health, recreation, infrastructure and tourism.
    • Its details were announced on 25th April 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
    • Saudi Arabia will going to work to transform the Saudi Public Investment Fund to sovereign fund assets valued at USD 2.5 trillion under the vision, making it the largest global sovereign fund.
    • The vision is aiming to boost non-oil revenue six-fold from about USD 43.5 billion annually to USD 267 billion.
    • The country will offer less than 5 percent of the national oil company Aramco in a public offering on the stock exchange, and will allocate the proceeds of this  IPO to finance the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.
    • The Kingdom is also planning to increase the number of pilgrims every year from 8 million to 80 million by 2030.
    • It will also set up the largest Islamic museum in the world, which will be based in Riyadh, to provide an opportunity for non-Muslims to visit.
    • Saudi Vision 2030 aims to increase the participation of women in the labor market from 22 percent to 30 percent.