Current Affairs in English – August 7 , 2019

Veteran BJP Leader, Former Minister Sushma Swaraj passes away

Former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj passed away in New Delhi last night after suffering a massive cardiac arrest. She was 67. The country has lost a much loved leader who epitomised dignity, courage and integrity in public life. The President said, she will always be remembered for her service to the people of India. Swaraj was an excellent administrator, outstanding Parliamentarian and a remarkable orator. Swaraj was the first woman to serve as chief minister of delhi.

An excellent administrator,Swaraj set high standards in every ministry she handled. Sushma Swaraj was a seasoned Parliamentarian and widely respected cutting across the party lines. Sushma Swaraj was a truly endearing public figure who treated every person with empathy.

Mohali got first 3-D traffic signal

Mohali traffic police launched 3-D Smart Traffic Signal devised by the students of a Chandigarh university. The wireless system, called ‘Intelights’, has been installed at the traffic crossing near the Airport Road, on a pilot project basis. It will regulate traffic signals with a smart bird’s eye view wireless sensor system. It uses existing CCTV cameras to gather live traffic video feed.

PM Modi Tweets JK Reorg. Bill 2019 as ‘momentous occasion’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the passing of landmark bills pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir in Parliament, with overwhelming support. Saluting the courage and resilience of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Mr Modi, in a series of tweets, said, a better tomorrow awaits them. He stated that the Bills pertaining to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh will ensure integration and empowerment.

Earlier, Parliament had adopted the resolution revoking the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, with Lok Sabha approving it last evening. The Rajya Sabha had adopted a similar resolution on 05 August, 2019.

Parliament passes Consumer Protection Bill

Parliament has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019, with the Rajya Sabah approving it on 06 August, 2019. The Lok Sabha has already passed it. The bill aims at protecting the interests of consumers by establishing authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers’ dispute.  The Bill has a provision to set up a Central Consumer Protection Authority to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.  It will regulate matters related to violation of consumer rights, unfair trade practices, and misleading advertisements. 

US ends visa-free entry for visitors to North Korea

The United States has revoked visa-free entry rights to the country, for foreigners who have visited North Korea in the past eight years. This move may deal a new blow to the isolated country’s nascent tourism industry. The US allows citizens of 38 countries – including South Korea, Japan and France – to enter for up to 90 days without a visa under a waiver programme. But visitors who have travelled to eight countries including North Korea since March 1, 2011, are “no longer eligible”. As per details posted on the US Customs and Border Protection website, they will have to apply for tourist or business visas. The other seven countries – most of them in the Middle East – were already on the exclusion list.

Bangladesh signs uranium supply deal with Russia

Bangladesh on 06 August, 2019 signed a deal with Russia for the supply of uranium for its 2,400 MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP). Under the deal, Russia will supply the nuclear fuel needed for the plant during its entire life cycle.  The deal was signed today in Dhaka between the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission and Russian Nuclear Fuel Supply Company (TVEL).  Work on the two units of the plants, each producing 1200 MW of electricity is scheduled to be completed in 2022 and 2024 respectively. The two countries have also signed ‘spent fuel sent back’ agreement in 2017 for management of the nuclear waste of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP).

Rajasthan Assembly passes honour killing, Mob Lynching bills

Rajasthan legislative assembly passed two important bills to curb honour killings and Mob Lynching in the state on 6 August 2019. ‘The Rajasthan Protection from Lynching Bill, 2019’ and ‘The Rajasthan Prohibition of Interference with the Freedom of Matrimonial Alliances in the Name of Honour and Tradition Bill, 2019’ was passed by the assembly with a voice vote.

Mahesh Bhupathi named captain for Davis Cup

All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced Mahesh Bhupathi as the skipper for the India- Pakistan Davis Cup tie. It will be held on September 14 and 15, 2019 in Islamabad. Six players have been named by the association, who will be taking part in Davis Cup. Mukund has been named as the reserve and Zeeshan Ali will be the coach of the team.

India contributes USD 5 million to UN Palestine refugee agency

On 06 August, 2019, India contributed USD 5 million to the UN Palestine refugee agency and called for ensuring sustained fiscal support for the organisation’s work. The cheque for the amount was handed over to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian Refugees by Representative of India (ROI) in Palestine, Sunil Kumar, at the Agency’s headquarters in Jerusalem. India increased its annual financial assistance to the UNRWA by four fold, from USD 1.25 million to USD 5 million, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palestine in February 2018, the first-ever visit by an Indian Premier to Ramallah. 

The UNRWA has been providing health, education, relief and social services, as well as emergency humanitarian assistance, across its five areas of operations in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, and the Gaza Strip since 1950.

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