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Daily Current Affairs for July 31,2018 ( English)

Important Days:
1.   July 30 -World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year to raise awareness of the plight of human trafficking victims, and promote and protect their rights. This years theme is ‘responding to the trafficking of children and young people’.
National:
1.   The blueprint of Deep Ocean Mission (DOM) has unveiled by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. For this mission, Centre has drawn up a five-year, Rs. 8,000 crore plans to explore deep recesses of the ocean. The mission proposes to explore deep-ocean by emulating success of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in designing and launching satellites.
2.   The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to provide death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below the age of 12 years has passed by Lok Sabha. It provides for stringent punishment of jail term of minimum 20 years or life imprisonment or death for rape of girl less than 12 years. It provides provides punishment with imprisonment for rest of life or death sentence in case of gang rape of girl below 12 years. It increases minimum punishment from 10 years to 20 years for crime of rape of girl under 16 years, which can be extended to imprisonment for rest of life. It increases minimum punishment for rape of women from rigorous imprisonment of 7 years to 10 years, which can be extended to life imprisonment. It provides for speedy investigation and trial, which must be completed in two months. It proposes 6 months’ time limit for disposal of appeals in rape cases in time bound manner. It provides no provision for anticipatory bail for person accused of rape or gang rape of girl under 16 years. It has also been provided that court has to give notice of 15 days to Public Prosecutor and representative of victim before deciding bail applications in case. It has provision for maintaining national database and profile of sexual offenders by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). This data will be regularly shared with States/UTs for monitoring, tracking and investigation including verification of antecedents by police. The Bill replaces ordinance promulgated by President in April 2018 and amends Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Indian Evidence Act.
3.   Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 has passed by Lok Sabha by voice vote to replace Ordinance promulgated by President in May 2018. The Bill amends 1973 Act to provide for supersession of Central Council with effect from May 18, 2018. 
4.   United Nation’s E-Government Index 2018 was released. India has jumped 22 places to break into the top 100. India, which was ranked 118 in 2014, jumped 11 places to be ranked 96 in 2018. The E-Government Development Index (EGDI) is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalized indices. The E-Government survey is released by the United Nations in every two years. The 2018 edition: 'Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies' was launched on July 19, 2018.


International:   
1.   The United States has eased export controls for high-technology product sales to India by elevating its status to a Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) country. The designation of ‘STA-1 country’ will allow India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies from the United States, at par with that of the closest US allies and partners and ensure enduring cooperation into the future. The information was shared by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on July 30, 2018. 
2.   The voting has been closed in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years of being in power. With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by August 4. A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 per cent of the votes. The historic vote saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former right-hand man in the ruling ZANU-PF party, face off against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change).
3.   U.S. spy satellites have detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. According to the images, North Korea appears to be building one or two new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles at the large research facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
4.   European Union countries decided to move the headquarters of the bloc's anti-piracy Atalanta patrols from London to the Spanish port of Rota on March 29 next year, when Britain exits the EU. An EU statement said that the member countries also agreed to transfer the London-based Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa, which informs shipping about piracy threats off Somalia, to the French port of Brest. The security centre will remain under the Atalanta command.
5.   The Myanmar Government appointed an independent commission to investigate the alleged human rights abuses against the ethnic Rohingya minority on July 30, 2018. The 4-member panel includes former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, former UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kenzo Oshima, former Philippine Vice Foreign Minister Rosario Manalo, former Chief of Myanmar's Constitutional Court Mya Thein and Aung Tun Thet, an economist and former UN official.
Science & Technology: 
1.   Scientists have identified new shape called scutoid while studying epithelial cells. Scutoid shape has five sides on one end and six on the other and a triangular surface on one of its longer edges and it is completely new to geometry and resembles beetle’s scutellum (shield-like structure) from top-down view. Epithelial tissue is one of four kinds of tissue that forms human bodym  which  acts as safety shield of body that make up cell walls lining our blood vessels and organs.
2.   e-Aksharayan - a desktop software to enable editing of text printed on scanned documents has launched by the Union IT ministry on July 31, 2018. It will convert scanned printed Indian language documents into a fully editable text format in Unicode encoding.  The software can be downloaded for free from its website. The software supports editing in seven Indian languages - Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Kannada and Assamese.
Defence:
1.   The proposal for acquisition of 8 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for Indian Coast Guard at an approximate cost of Rs 800 crore  has approved by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. These vessels will be procured under ‘Buy (lndian-lDDM)’ category. They will be indigenously designed and manufactured. Their induction will strengthen maritime security by undertaking day and night patrolling and policing of Maritime Zones of India.
2.   The implementation of Strategic Partnership guidelines has approved  by Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. SP model aims to revitalise defence industrial ecosystem and progressively build indigenous capabilities in private sector to design, develop and manufacture complex weapon system for future needs of armed forces. It is considered as major step towards boosting private sector participation in domestic defence manufacturing. The SP model has four segments — submarines, single engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks  which will be specifically opened up for the private sector. The policy had come into effect in May 2017 but progress was delayed due to lack of specific guidelines.
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Economy :  
1.   The three-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India began in Mumbai on July 30, 2018. In a release, the RBI said, the Monetary Policy Committee has decided to continue the practice of a three-day meeting format as was adopted in the meeting for the Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement of June 6, 2018. The meeting will discuss the Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2018-19 which will be issued on August 1, 2018.
2.   The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017 that merges the subsidiary banks with the State Bank of India (SBI) passed by the Indian Parliament on July 30, 2018. The Bill seeks to repeal the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959, the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956. These Acts established the State Bank of Bikaner, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore, and State Bank of Hyderabad, the subsidiaries of the SBI.
Awards:
1. Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been selected for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award for his outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill. The award will be presented to Gandhi at a special ceremony on August 20 at Jawahar Bhawan on the occasion of the birthday of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. 
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