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Sitamarhi becomes 1st ODF district in Bihar

Under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Construction of over two lakh toilets in the last two months ensured that Sitamarhi became the first open defecation free (ODF) district in Bihar. Sitamarhi became the 416th ODF district in India. The district administration disbursed Rs 12,000 per toilet to 50,000 beneficiary households on July 21. Presently, Bihar needs to construct another 6 lakh toilets across its 37 remaining districts. ♦ Bihar Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar

Michael Ondaatje again named in Man Booker Prize list

Sri Lankan-born Canadian author Michael Ondaatje has again made the Man Booker Prize list with his latest novel ”Warlight”, which tells the story of two orphans in London in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Ondaatje’s “The English Patient,” which won the Booker in 1992, was named winner of the Golden Man Booker winner on July 8, a special award to mark the Booker’s 50th anniversary. 2018 Man Booker Prize includes six U.K. writers, three from the United States, and two each from Canada and Ireland.

Three Indian States launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018

Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand launched Swachh Survekshan Grameen 2018 (SSG-2018), which was announced by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation on July 13, 2018. Under the SSG 2018, an independent survey agency will conduct survey in all districts from August 1 – 31, 2018 on the basis of sanitation (Swachhata) parameters. The top performing states and districts would be awarded on October 2, 2018, ie., birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As part of Swachh Survekshan Grameen, 6980 villages in 698 districts across India will be covered.

Women and Child Development Ministry launches ‘Childline1098’ Contest

To mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, Women and Child Development Ministry has invited people to send logo and tagline for ‘Childline 1098’, which is India’s first 24-hour, free, emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance. At present, Childline 1098 is operational at 450 locations, including 76 key railway stations, across India. Union Minister of Women and Child Development – Maneka Gandhi.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won 2018 German Grand Prix

Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won the 2018 German Grand Prix, a race that Sebastian Vettel should have actually won. Hamilton finished 4.5 seconds ahead of Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas (who secured 2nd spot), and 6.7 clear of Ferrari’s third-placed Kimi Raikkonen.

JSW Steel plans to invest Rs.45,000 crore to expand its steel making capacities

JSW Steel is planning to invest about Rs.45,000 crore over a period of four years from FY2017-18 to FY2020-21. The investment is made for the expansion of steel making capacities, modernising and expanding capacities of its downstream businesses. Also, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) recently approved a Rs.2,875 crore bid by a consortium of Aion Investments and JSW Steel to acquire the bankrupt Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited (MIEL). MEIL owes more than ₹11,000 crore to its lenders.

India signed 4 MoUs with Uganda, agreed 2 LOC worth nearly $200 million

As part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Uganda, India and Uganda signed four agreements on ♦ defence cooperation, ♦ visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, ♦ cultural exchange programme, and ♦ material testing laboratory. The Indian government has also decided to gift a cancer therapy machine to the Uganda cancer institute in Kampala. The Prime Minister Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception in Uganda’s Entebbe town. He is on a three-nation tour to the African countries including Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa. 

North Korea took a step toward fulfilling the pledge made to U.S.

North Korea started dismantling key facilities at a site where ballistic missiles engines are developed. This is the first step toward fulfilling a pledge made to U.S. President Donald Trump in the Singapore Summit which was held in June 2018. Washington-based think tank 38 North said that Satellite images indicated that North Korea has dismantled a building where space-launch vehicles are assembled and a nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines.

Nineteenth Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations began

Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year for three days from 24th July – 26th July at the Drass War Memorial in Jammu and Kashmir to commemorate India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan.

Maruti Suzuki introduced Suzuki Connect Application to provide additional services to the customers

Maruti Suzuki introduced Suzuki Connect Application. It aimed at giving customers access to services such as emergency alerts, vehicle tracking and car assistance. It will be available for the company’s Nexa customers at a cost of Rs.9,999 for a three-year subscription. Once connected to the Nexa App on their smartphone, customers can experience features such as driving behaviour analysis and the driving analytics report.

Lok Sabha passed the Prevention of Corruption Amendment Bill 2018

The Lok Sabha passed the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018. The Rajya Sabha passed amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, which will make giving bribes to a public servant an offence. The Bill provides for jail terms of three to seven years, besides fine, to those convicted of taking or giving bribes to public officials. The Bill also extends in removing the provision of prior government sanction for the prosecution of public servants. The amendment bill also redefines criminal misconduct to cover just the misappropriation of property and the possession of disproportionate assets. It narrows definitions and penalties for a range of offences and outlines powers and procedures for seizing the property of public servants accused of corruption.

Tamil Nadus forest policy will be focusing on increasing green cover

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami released the State’s forest policy. He said that the State government will progressively increase the budget allotment for the Forest Department every year to fulfil the goals of the policy. The policy document stated the following goals: ♦To conserve the biodiversity and protect the ecology and environment of the State ♦To increase forest and tree cover to at least 30% by 2025 ♦To enhance participation of women in village forest committees (VFCs) ♦To strictly enforce the norms given by the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 in order to preserve the existing forest cover ♦To prohibit anti-poaching Special forces will be engaged The State expects the willing participation of the local people living near open forest land in re-afforestation and protection initiatives through the village committees.

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