Current affair of 21st July 2019

1. E-postal ballot registered 60.14% turnout in 2019 Lok Sabha elections

Among the many milestones recorded by Election Commission of India during the recently concluded Lok Sabha Election 2019, Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) is one of its kind. Compared to 13,27,627 number of registered Service Electors of last General Election in 2014, a record highest number of 18,02,646 were enrolled as Service Electors in 2019 in the world’s largest democratic election process.

2. IEA praised PMUY for providing free cooking gas connection to poor

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Ujjwala scheme for providing free cooking gas connection to poor came in for praise from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Agency said it is a major achievement in improving the environment and health of women. Speaking at a conference in New Delhi, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, providing access to LPG across India by 2020 is a major achievement. Mr Birol said it is not an energy issue, it is an economic issue and it is a social issue.

3. Amit Shah will head ministerial panel on Air India sale

The panel will now have four ministers - Amit Shah, Nirmala Sitharaman, Piyush Goyal and aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri. In its first term, the Modi govt invited bids from investors in 2018 to buy out the govt's 76% stake in Air India, along with management control. However, the process failed. Home Minister Amit Shah will head a reconstituted group of ministers (GoM) on Air India disinvestment and Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has been dropped from the panel, sources said.

4. Amita Prasad takes charge as ‘Inland waterways’ authority chief and AK Jha to lead NPC

According to a government order issued by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC), Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the appointment of Amita Prasad, a 1985 batch Karnataka cadre officer, has been entrusted with the charges of Inland Waterways Authority of India, which is an arm of Ministry of Shipping. Similarly, another 1985 batch IES official, Arun Kumar Jha, has been appointed as the Director General of National Productivity Council (NPC).

5. Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru tops “most digitised cities” list: Razorpay report 2019

Bengaluru has topped the list of "most digitised cities" accounting for highest card payments in a study conducted by payments solution company Razorpay. According to the Era of Rising Fintech Report, released by Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd, here Thursday, Bengaluru is followed by Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. The top five digitised states as per the report are Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and New Delhi.

6. Architectural illumination of historic Safdarjung Tomb in Delhi inaugurated by Culture Minister

Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated the architectural illumination of the historic Safdarjung Tomb in New Delhi yesterday. A total of 213 technologically advanced LED lights have been used to highlight the 17th century monument. The consumption of LED lights is approximately 62 percent less than conventional light fixtures. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Patel said, to highlight the archaeological magnificence of historical monuments, Archaeological Survey of India has taken up the project to illuminate the important monuments of Delhi.

7. National award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Indu Sarkar’ is now a part of National Film Archives

National award-winning filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar's 'Indu Sarkar,' that released on July 28, 2017, became a part of National Film Archives of India on Friday. The director of the period political thriller handed over a digital copy of the film to NFAI Director Prakash Magdum for the purpose of archiving the flick during his visit to NFAI. The movie, which is based on true events of the emergency period of 1975 to 1977, stars Kirti Kulhari, Tota Roy Chowdhury, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Supriya Vinod, Rashmi Jha and Anupam Kher in pivotal roles.

8. G7 finance ministers agree on a plan for taxing Gigantic digital companies

G7 Finance Ministers meeting in France today agreed a plan for taxing digital companies such as Facebook and Google that will set a minimum level of taxation for them.  A statement from France said that Ministers fully supported a two-pillar solution to be adopted by 2020.  France, which holds the rotating chairmanship of the group of world's most developed countries, said, new rules should be developed to address new business models allowing companies to do business in a territory without any physical presence.

9. ABIPBL to shut down within 18 months of launch

The Aditya Birla Payments Bank board informed the stock exchanges on July 19 about the decision to wind up operations. Aditya Birla Payments Bank, a venture between Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Nuvo, has shut down its operations. The payments bank that was only 18-month old has asked its customers to transfer their balances before July 26. "We will be restricting any further credits (add money) to your account from July 26, 2019," the payments bank informed its customers in a note. It further said that full and complete arrangements have been made to return all the deposits.

10. Li Na, Mary Pierce and Yevgeny Kafelnikov inducted into Tennis Hall of Fame

Li Na has broken new ground at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The 37-year-old former Chinese star on Saturday became the first Asian-born player to be inducted. She was enshrined along with Mary Pierce of France and Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov during a lengthy on-court ceremony that followed the Hall of Fame Open semifinals and stretched from sunset into night-time, forcing grounds’ crew members to scramble and bring in smaller spotlights. Li became the first Asian to win a Grand Slam tournament, capturing the 2011 French Open in a final that was watched by an estimated 116 million people in her country.

11. Prithu Gupta of Delhi is India’s 64th Grandmaster

Delhi's Prithu Gupta has become India's 64th Grandmaster, crossing the Elo threshold of 2500 points after beating IM Lev Yankelevich in the fifth round of the Portuguese League 2019. Gupta, who picked up the sport as a nine-year-old, has achieved the sensational feat at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 10 days. His achievement came 31 years after Viswanathan Anand had become India's first Grandmaster. "And we are complete. 64th GM!! Welcome our newest GM Prithu Gupta!," Anand posted from his twitter handle.

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