Current affair of 18th July, 2019

1. Cabinet approved 7 amendments to IBC

The cabinet approved key changes in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) aimed at restricting the resolution process to 330 days, including time for litigation, and ensuring the primacy of financial creditors over operational ones in case of recoveries. This clarifies ambiguities that had arisen following a recent ruling by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in the Essar Steel resolution case. Homebuyers have also been given a stronger voice in the bankruptcy resolution plan plans of developers that haven’t delivered projects. 

2. Rajya Sabha passes Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008

The Rajya Sabha on July 16 passed a Bill allowing the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA) to bid out any new airport at a pre-determined tariff structure. Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, “As many as 16 airports will be in the purview of AERA. All other airports continue to be looked after by the Civil Aviation Ministry.”

3. Demand for digitally skilled manpower  will increase at 35% CAGR: NASSCOM

The demand for digitally skilled workforce would rise at 35 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate till 2023 of the current talent base of four million, Information Technology body NASSCOM said here July 17. NASSCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions. "Lack of talent availability is one of the key challenges faced by organisations.

4. 8th meeting of India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism held in New Delhi

India and Uzbekistan on Tuesday decided to expand counter terror partnership and strengthen information sharing and capacity building mechanism against the menace  The 8th meeting of India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism was held in New Delhi on July 16, 2019. The meeting was co-chaired by Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary (Counter Terrorism), Ministry of External Affairs and Ambassador Farhod Azriev of Uzbekistan. The Joint Working Group reviewed threats posed by terrorist groups worldwide and in their respective regions including cross border terrorism.

5. Special Public awareness campaign on vector-borne diseases launched in Delhi

The Union Health Ministry will launch a three-day public awareness drive in Delhi from tomorrow to sensitise people on measures for prevention and control of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and chikungunya. The campaign will focus on increasing community engagement to combat the menace. "Community engagement is the key to combating malaria, dengue and chikungunya," Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a press statement on Tuesday.

6. ‘Internet Saathi’ programme of Google India & Tata Trusts to be extended to Punjab and Odisha

Google India and Tata Trusts on Tuesday said their Internet Saathi initiative, that aims to facilitate digital literacy among women in rural India, will be expanded to villages in Punjab and Odisha. Launched in July 2015, the Internet Saathi programme has so far, trained 70,000 ‘Internet Saathis’, who have in turn impacted 2.6 crore million women in the country. “The programme now reaches 2.6 lakh villages across 18 states and we are adding two more - Punjab and Odisha.

7. 12 beaches in India selected for Blue Flag certification

The Union Environment Ministry has selected 12 beaches in India to vie for a ‘Blue Flag’ certification, an international recognition conferred on beaches that meet certain criteria of cleanliness and environmental propriety. These beaches are at Shivrajpur (Gujarat), Bhogave (Maharashtra), Ghoghla (Diu), Miramar (Goa), Kasarkod and Padubidri (Karnataka), Kappad (Kerala), Eden (Puducherry), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Rushikonda (Andhra Pradesh), Golden (Odisha), and Radhanagar (Andaman & Nicobar Islands).

8. Palau became the 76th country to sign the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement

Palau signed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework Agreement here, lauding India for its efforts in promoting sustainable development projects through South-South cooperation. Palau became the 76th country to sign the ISA Framework Agreement, which till date has been ratified by a total of 54 of the 76 countries. Palau President Tommy Remengesau signed the ISA Framework Agreement on Monday during a special ceremony at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations.

9. ICICI Bank unveils digital platform InstaBIZ for MSMEs

ICICI Bank announces the launch of a new digital platform curated specially for MSMEs and self-employed customers to enable them to undertake their business banking transactions digitally and instantly. Called, ‘InstaBIZ’, it allows customers to avail as many as over 115 products and services in a digital and secure manner on their mobile phone or internet banking platform.  Many of the services are first-in-the-industry and are available instantly.

10. Centre to increase coal production to one billion tone by 2022-23

There is a plan to increase the total production of coal in the country to one billion tone by 2022-23, Coal minister Prahlad Joshi informed the Lok Sabha today. Mr Joshi said, the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is insufficient domestic availability of coking coal. He, however, added that all India raw coal production has increased its production from over 462 Metric tonnes in 2013-14 to around 730 metric tonnes in 2018-19. 

11. “Find the Incredible You” campaign of the Tourism Ministry wins PATA Gold Award 2019

The  Ministry of Tourism’s campaign, “Find the Incredible you” has won the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award 2019 under the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category. The  Ministry of Tourism’s campaign, “Find the Incredible you” has won the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Award 2019 under the “Marketing – Primary Government Destination” category. 

12. French Tycoon Bernard Arnault Overtakes Bill Gates To Become 2nd Richest Person In The World: Bloomberg

Bill Gates has never ranked lower than No. 2 in the seven-year history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That run ended on Tuesday when the Microsoft Corp. co-founder dropped to No. 3 behind France’s Bernard Arnault. LVMH, Arnault’s luxury-goods maker, advanced to a record in Paris and pushed his net worth to $107.6 billion and ahead of Gates by more than $200 million. Arnault has added $39 billion to his fortune in 2019 alone, the biggest individual gain by far among the 500 people in Bloomberg’s ranking. Arnault, 70, joined Gates and Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, in the most exclusive wealth club last month, when his fortune surpassed $100 billion for the first time. The trio’s collective wealth exceeds the individual market values of almost every company in the S&P 500 Index, including Walmart Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp. and Walt Disney Co.

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