1. Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal/Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) Vyapam scam was in news as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) constituted a special team of 40 officers, under a Joint Director level officer, to probe the multi-crore Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh.
Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh. The scam involved a collusion of undeserving candidates, who bribed politicians and MPPEB officials through middlemen, to get high ranks in these entrance tests.
2. The book Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India was in news in the second week of July 2015. It was written by former Union Environment and Forest Minister (Independent Charge) Jairam Ramesh.
It unveils the story of environmental policy making in India from the perspective of a pivotal decision maker.
3. Four Indians are among 32 young leaders named by a prestigious global non-profit organization as its 2015 class of young leaders, focused on shaping a brighter future for the Asia-Pacific region and confronting the most vexing challenges facing the region.
4. The Nashik-Trimbakeshwar Simhastha Kumbh Mela began on 14 July 2015. The year-long festival will end 11 August 2016.
The festival, known as largest peaceful gathering in the world, began with the traditional ceremony of hoisting of flags and thousands of people taking a holy dip in Kushawart and Ramkund in Godavari River in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar.
5. The 12-day Godavari Maha Pushkaram began on 14 July 2015 on the banks of River Godavari in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It will be held till 25 July 2015.
6. Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the broad-gauge railway-line between Gandhidham and Tuna-Tekra Portin Gujarat by flagging off a goods train.
The rail line is India’s first railway-line built with private sector participation under Non-Government Railway (NGR) Policy 2012 of Indian Railways.
7. Maharashtra legislative assembly passed the Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Bill, 2015. The bill was unanimously passed by the assembly in the absence of Congress and NCP members.
8. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched the #100Women Initiative in collaboration with Facebook to select 100 women achievers of India.
The initiative is aimed at recognizing and acknowledging women who are making a difference in their communities across the country.
9. Union Ministry of Urban Development launched the National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) for 12 cities in the country from Amritsar in Punjab.
10. United States (US) Department of Defense (DoD) decided to set up a working group to study the policy and readiness implications of allowing transgender persons to serve in the military of the nation.
11. Flipkart is making two top technology hires from the Silicon Valley -, Yahoo’s VP for analytics Eric Lange and Amazon’s Dan Rawson from its fulfilment business, – as India’s biggest ecommerce company continues to build a technology war chest for competing better with Amazon and Snapdeal.
12. India’s first defense industrial park will be set up at Ottappalam in Palakkad district of Kerala.
In this regard, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of Union Government has approved a proposal for this defense park forwarded by the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation.
13. Union government has brought 39 more Pharmaceutical drugs under price control as part of its efforts to make medicines affordable in the country.
14. Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the redevelopment of 400 major railway stations.
These stations generally are located in major cities, metros, pilgrimage centres and important tourist destinations.
15. Union Cabinet has given nod to introduce composite foreign investment cap in a bid to streamline the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) structure.
This move will help government to club all forms of overseas investments such as FDI, Non-resident Indians (NRIs), foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and other foreign investments to define sectoral limits as a composite cap.
16. Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has given nod to Chinese Telecom manufacturer Huawei to set up a manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu for its components.
17. Union Government has approved the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy for Delhi. TOD aims to address issues of pollution, congestion and shortage of housing for the poor and middle class.
18. Ministry of Railways modified some rules pertaining to purchase of takal tickets of Indian Railway. Under the modified rules, passengers booking tatkal tickets from computerized reservation counters will no longer be required to furnish photocopy of identity proof or to indicate its number at the time of booking at the counter or through internet.
19. Delhi High Court ruled that a woman, who is in government service and has a child through surrogacy, is also entitled to maternity leave.
20. The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary launched the Centralized Delhi Police Railway Helpline number 1512. This helpline will serve as a very useful mechanism for rail passengers.
21. The annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra (Chariot Festival) began at Puri of Odisha. The nine-day-long Rath Yatra will see congregation of more than 50 lakh devotees from India and abroad.
22. 2nd Sohra Marathon-2015 was held in Meghalaya. The marathon was flagged off at Mawkdok in East Khashi Hills District by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who also joined the runners in the marathon.
The marathon, named after the Cherrapunji’s historical name Sohra,started and ended at Mawkdok crossing through 13 destinations.
23. Justice Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court (SC) sought a clarification from the Union Government on the constitutional status of the Chief Justice of India.
24. Union Government brought 39 more drugs under price control regime. These drugs include the ones to treat diseases such as diabetes, infections, digestive disorders and pain among others, in an effort to make them affordable.
25. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to set up an expert group to classify the Caste names returned in the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011.
26. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the creation of an intra state transmission system in seven states of the country. The seven states include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
27. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indian Council for Research on International Economic relations (ICRIER) released a report titled An Inquiry into the Impact of India’s App Economy.
28. The report of the A K Bhargava committee on Net Neutrality was on 16 July 2015 released by the Department of Telecommunications.
Highlights of report
- Legitimate traffic management practices may be allowed but should be tested against the core principles of Net Neutrality. Further, Improper (Paid or otherwise) Prioritization may not be permitted.
- India specific Net Neutrality approach should be formulated by taking into account international best practices that serve specific needs of the country.
- The primary goals of public policy in the context of Net Neutrality should be directed towards achievement of developmental aims of the country by facilitating Affordable Broadband, Quality Broadband and Universal Broadband for its citizens.
- User rights on the Internet need to be ensured so that Telecom or Internet Service Providers do not restrict the ability of the user to send, receive, display, use, post any legal content, application or service on the Internet, or restrict any kind of lawful Internet activity or use.
- Over-the-top (OTT) application services should be actively encouraged and any impediments in their expansion and growth should be removed.
- There should be a separation of application layer from network layer as application services are delivered over a licensed network.
- Specific OTT communication services dealing with messaging should not be interfered with through regulatory instruments.
- In case of OTT VoIP international calling services, a liberal approach may be adopted. However, in case of domestic calls (local and national), communication services by TSPs and OTT communication services may be treated similarly from a regulatory angle for the present.
- Content and application providers cannot be permitted to act as gatekeepers and use network operations to extract value in violation of core principles of Net Neutrality, even if it is for an ostensible public purpose. In this regard, the committee expressed its objections to Facebook’s Internet.org.
- In order to deal with the complexities of the new digital world, a think-tank with best talent may also be set up.
29. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directed banks to ensure that their overall direct lending to farmers should not fall below the average of last three years.
30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana in New Dehi.
The program aims to impart skill training to 24 lakh youth during 2015-16 with focus on first time entrants to the labour market and class 10 and class 12 drop outs.
31. The Archery Association of India (AAI) constituted a three-member committee to investigate the reasons behind men’s compound archery team’s failure to appear for the bronze medal play-off at the World University Games.
32. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched 3 web portals viz. Soil Health Card portal, Fertiliser Quality Control System (FQCS) portal and Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) – India portal.
1. The QS Intelligence Unit released the QS University Rankings: BRICS 2015. This 2015 edition reflects the increasingly strong global presence of leading Chinese universities with the top three spots going to Tsinghua University, Peking University and Fudan University.
2. All BRICS countries that is Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are represented within the top 20, however China’s dominance is clear throughout the ranking.
3. India and Myanmar have announced plans to strengthen their defence cooperation during a joint consultative commission (JCC) meeting held in New Delhi. This meeting was chaired by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Myanmar’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin.
4. Lower House of Japan’s Parliament (Diet) on 16 July 2105 approved 11 security-related bills that change the self-defense law, which was followed by Japan since World War -II.
1. The 2015 Wimbledon Championships was a tennis tournament held from 29 June to 12 July 2015. The tournament had taken place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. It was the 129th edition of the championships and the 48th edition in the Open Era.
2. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, the top-seeded Indo-Swiss pair of Tennis won women’s doubles title at Wimbledon. In the title clash played at Centre Court in London, the Indo-Swiss pair defeated Russian duo of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.
3. The Indo-Vietnamese pair Sumit Nagal-Nam Hoang Ly won the 2015 Wimbledon Boys’ Doubles title by defeating Opelka and Akira Santillan in the final match held in London.
4. Seventh seed Indo-Swiss pair of Leander Paes and Martina Hingis won mixed doubles title at Wimbledon.
5. World Number One Serena Williams has won Wimbledon Women’s Single title.
6. Defending champion Novak Djokovic won men’s singles title of Wimbledon.
7. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended Mumbai Ranji cricketer Hiken Shah with immediate effect. BCCI suspended him after he was found guilty of breaching BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Code for participants.
8. Two major Indian Premier League teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the cricket league for two years.
9. India won the three-match One Day International (ODI) Series against Zimbabwe 3-0 played in Harare.
10. International Cricket Council (ICC) has banned Pakistan’s all-rounder cricketer Mohammad Hafeez from bowling in international cricket for a period of one year. He was banned after he failed in ICC’s independent assessment on his suspected bowling action which violated permitted 15-degree limit.
11. The Governing Council (GC) of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) decided to scrap the CLT20 competition due to its limited public following.
12. The Kerala High Court observed that the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) was not a public office. KCA is a member of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
13. The Archery Association of India (AAI) constituted a three-member committee to investigate the reasons behind men’s compound archery team’s failure to appear for the bronze medal play-off at the World University Games.
Awards & Recognition:
1. ‘Buddha in a Traffic Jam’ film has won the best original screenplay in a Foreign Language award at the Madrid International Film Festival.
The film is a political satire directed by filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri. It stars Arunoday Singh and Mahi Gill in a lead role along with Anupam Kher, Pallavi Joshi and introduces Anchal Dwivedi.
2. Krishnapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh has been awarded Golden Peacock environment management award for its achievements and initiatives in the field of environment.
3. Make in India initiative of DIPP won Frost and Sullivan’s 2015 Economic Development Innovation Award.
4. An India-based software products and technology services company Comparex India Pvt. Ltd on 14 July 2015 won the prestigious Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for 2015.
5. Indian American woman Sunita Viswanath was honored as Champions of Change by the White House of United States (US). She was among 12 other faith leaders who were awarded for their efforts in protecting environment and communities from the effects of climate change.
1. State-run National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has set a target of providing 30,000 crore rupees as credit to farmers for irrigational purpose.
It was announced by Bank’s Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala in Mumbai on the occasion of 34th Foundation Day of NABARD.
2. India and Kyrgyzstan signed four agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) to strengthen bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, in warm and friendly atmosphere.
3. India and Turkmenistan signed eight agreements/ Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two nations. They discussed ways to increase regional cooperation and connectivity.
4. The Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate strategic partnership on skill development and entrepreneurship.
5. India and Tajikistan have inked 2 pacts to strengthen bilateral relations. It was his last leg of strategic tour to 5 Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and Russia.
6. India and Georgia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of election management and administration.
7. Union Government has cleared worth over 30,000 crore rupees for buying four more P81 long-range maritime patrol aircraft for the navy and to replace army’s 60s vintage air defense guns.
8. Union Government decided to cap the subsidy payout on kerosene at 12 rupees per litre.
At present, kerosene is sold through public distribution system at 14.96 rupees per litre against the actual cost of 33.47 rupees.
9. The Reserve Bank of India signed a Special Currency Swap Agreement with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Under the arrangement, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka can draw up to1.1 billion US dollar for a maximum period of six months.
10. India and World Bank signed Financing Agreement for assistance of 250 million US dollars for Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project.
11. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposed penalty of 671.05 crore rupees upon four Public Sector Insurance Companies.
12. European Union (EU) has approved a short-term loan of 7.16 billion euros to Greece after it was backed by the 28 member states.
This loan will allow Greece to pay its debt to European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) till new bailout plan is ratified.
1. The Union Government appointed international lawyer Rodrigo Oreamuno to arbitrate with the UK telecom major Vodafone in the 20000 crore rupees tax case on its behalf.
2. Oreamuno replaces former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti, who recused himself in May 2015.
3. NRI entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria has been appointed as the president of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
4. Lieutenant General Man Mohan Singh Rai was appointed as the Vice-Chief of the Indian Army. Rai will succeed Lt Gen Philip Campose, who will superannuate the office.
5. Madhya Pradesh government has appointed Rakesh Sahni as the Chairman of Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA).
6. Ajay Kumar Pandey was appointed as new Managing Director and Group CEO of Gandhinagar based Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City).
7. Children-focused e-commerce company Firstcry.com has picked actor Amitabh Bachchan as its brand ambassador.
8. Ramakant Jha, who was heading the pet project of Narendra Modi of developing a financial centre in Gandhinagar is joining IL&FS as CEO for smart city initiative.
9. Information and Broadcasting Ministry has given additional charge to Prashant Pathrabe as Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
10. FlipKart appointed Eric Lange as Vice President of Product Management.
Mergers & Acquisition:
1. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZELL) is all set to acquire Odia general entertainment channel Sarthak TV which is owned by Sarthak Entertainment.
The acquisition will be from current shareholders of Sarthak Entertainment Private Limited, subject to requisite regulatory approvals, as an all-cash deal at a consideration of maximum of INR 115 Crores.
2. Mid-tier IT services company Mindtree has acquired two companied from United States and United Kingdom. Acquired companies are in BlueFin Solutions Ltd of UK and Relational Solutions Inc of US.
Science & Technology:
1. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju launched the GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system, which would make airline operations more efficient and reduce costs.
2. GAGAN is a satellite-based navigation system which provides autonomous, high precision geo-spatial location information of the user in terms of latitude, longitude and height along with velocity and time.
3. The Income Tax (IT) Department launched One Time Password (OTP) based e-filing verification system for taxpayers.
This OTP will help in ending the practice of sending paper acknowledgement, called ITR-V, through post to the I-T Central Processing Centre (CPC) based in Bengaluru.
4. Indigenously developed Nag anti-tank guided missile was successfully tested from a helicopter platform.
5. China has set up the world’s largest cancer registry system in a bid to fight the cancer diseases with more-targeted and evidence-based intervention programs.
6. Scientists at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) have discovered a new class of exotic subatomic particles called the Pentaquarks. The discovery was made by the scientist’s after watching the decaying of a subatomic type particle known as the Lambda B baryon.
7. As per recently published study in the journal Nature Communications, Volcanic eruptions by injecting particulates into the atmosphere may have slowed down global warming. The study was based upon research of a team of international researchers including Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) scientists.
8. Two new plant species were discovered in Edmalayalar, Pooyamkutty-Adamalayar and Neriamangalam forest regions of Western Ghats in Ernakulam ,district of Kerala. The discovered species have been christened as Vellithumpa and Eriocaulon manoharanii.
9. Scientists belonging to the University of California of the USA conducted a research that led to the development of mini heart (Cardiac Microphysiological System) on a microchip using human stem cells. The study was led by Indian-origin scientist Anurag Mathur.
10. White-Fi technology or TV White Space Technology was in news in the second week of July 2015 as Microsoft announced plans to introduce this technology in India to providelast mile connectivity and give a boost to the Digital India initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
1. Former Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) President Pashupatinath Roy died at a private hospital in Kolkata. He was 76.
2. Doyen music composer Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was 87. The veteran musician had composed music for over a thousand films in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and was fondly called as the King of Light Music (Mellisai Mannar in Tamil).
3. Iconic Mexican musician Joan Sebastian passed away after battling bone cancer for more than 15 years in Juliantla.
4. Iconic Tamil music composer Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan (MSV) died on 14 July 2015 following a brief illness. He was 87.
5. Veteran Telugu playback singer Vissamraju Ramakrishna passed away due to cancer. He was 68. He had sung many memorable songs for legendary south Indian actor turned politician N T Rama Rao and other top stars.
6. Uruguayan soccer legend Alcides Ghiggia has passed away due to heart attack in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was 88.