1. PM Modi reaches Mozambique on the first leg of four-nation tour
i. In the first leg of his four-nation tour of African countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Maputo, the capital of Mozambique today. This is the first official visit of the Prime Minister to Mainland Africa.
ii. The trip to Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya is being seen as a fresh chapter in India-Africa engagement. The focus of the African tour will be on deepening cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, maritime security, defence technology, maritime co-operation, trade and investment, Sports, tourism, agriculture, and food.
iii. In Maputo, Mr. Modi will hold a restricted meeting with President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi. This will be followed by delegation-level talks and signing of agreements. During the visit, the signing of MoUs on Government to Government Purchase of Pulses, Civil Aviation sector, Cooperation for Youth in the area of Sports and Prevention of trafficking of narcotics will take place.
2. 231 Namami Gange projects have been launched
i. Giving a major boost to Namami Gange Programme, Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti has inaugurated 231 projects at various locations across seven states including Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Haryana and Delhi.
ii. These projects will involve modernization and redevelopment of Ghats and crematoriums, development of sewage infrastructure and treatment, afforestation, tree plantation, pilot drain project, interceptor drain project, trash skimmers and conservation of biodiversity.
iii. As per the ministry, the results of these projects will be visible from October this year as the government is committed to clean Ganga completely by 2018.
3. India slips to 91st place in 2016 Networked Readiness Index
i. India has slipped by two places to 91st position in the recently released 2016 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF).
ii. The index was released as the part of the WEF’s Global Information Technology Report. It measures countries’ success in creating the necessary conditions for a transition to a digitized economy and society.
iii. The 2016 Networked Readiness Index (NRI) is topped by Singapore. While Finland (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Norway (4th), United States (5th), Netherlands (6th), Switzerland (7th), UK (8th), Luxembourg (9th) and Japan (10th). Among BRICS nation, Russia (41st), China (59th), South Africa (65th) and Brazil (72nd). Thus, India was ranked the lowest. India's position on the list has come down for the fourth year in a row, from 89th in 2015, 83rd in 2014 and 68th in 2013.
4. The GOI constitute a Committee to examine desirability and feasibility of new FY
i. The Finance Ministry of Government of India has constituted a four members committee to examine the feasibility and desirability of having a new financial year.
ii. The Committee will examine the merits and demerits of various dates for the commencement of the financial year including the existing date (April to March), taking into account the various relevant factors. The Committee has been given time till 31st December 2016 to submit its Report.
iii. The Committee will be headed by Dr. Shankar Acharya (former Chief Economic Adviser) and will have Shri K.M. Chandrasekhar (former Cabinet Secretary), Shri P.V. Rajaraman (former Finance Secretary, Tamil Nadu) and Dr. Rajiv Kumar (Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research) as other Members.
5. Film festival on wildlife has begun in Shimla today
i. A three-day Woodpecker Environment and Wildlife Film Festival has begun at historic Gaiety Theatre in Shimla from today (7th July).
ii. The festival is being organized by WWF-India in collaboration with CMSR foundation, Delhi with the support of the Himachal Pradesh's Department of Language, Art and culture and Department of Forest.
iii. The focus of the festival is the critical environment and wildlife conservation issues like climate change, forest conservation, biodiversity and man-animal conflict and success stories will also be showcased in it. As many as 45 films, including several national award-winning movies and five films from Himachal Pradesh, will be screened at the festival, which is aimed at highlighting the environmental concerns.
6. China inducts largest homegrown Y-20 military transport plane
i. China has inducted its largest indigenously-built transport aircraft, which is named as Y-20. Y-20 is a breakthrough in military aviation technology for the PLA that allows the world's largest force to transport cargo and troops over long distances in diverse weather conditions.
ii. The Y-20 entering into service marks a crucial step for the Air Force improving its strategic power projection capability. It is also regarded as a major breakthrough in military aviation technology for the PLA which is more reliant on Russian-made planes so far.
iii. The Y-20 which can carry a maximum take-off weight of 200 tons, has officially joined the PLA Air Force in Chengdu. It is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions. The plane is comparable to the Russian-made IL-76 and the US C-17.
7. SBI Card launches premium credit card 'Elite'
i. SBI Cards and Payment Services (SBI Card), the third-largest card issuer by number has launched a premium credit card 'Elite'. Elite is a bundle of several privileges and benefits for high net worth individuals (HNIs).
ii. The 'Elite' card is launched on the Master Card World platform which is enabled with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. This allows customers a contactless payment experience, adding more speed and save to their wallets.
iii. The new card comes with a joining fee of Rs 4,999 and all customers will receive a welcome gift worth Rs 5,000 in the form of vouchers from popular lifestyle and travel brands. ELITE offers privileges such as 24x7 concierge services, golf course reservations, spa, and limousine or movie ticket bookings, all of these can be availed with just one phone call.
8. Google buys France-based startup Moodstocks
i. Search giant Google has acquired a French startup called Moodstock.
ii. The Moodstock is a Paris-based startup that develops image recognition technology for smartphones whose APIs for developers have been described as "Shazam for images."
iii. The terms and conditions of the acquisition including its value have not been announced.
9. TripAdvisor appoints Gary Fritz President Asia Pacific
i. Travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor has appointed Gary Fritz as its Chief Growth Officer and President of the Asia-Pacific region.
ii. In his role as President of APAC, he is responsible for leading the company's operations and strategy throughout the Asia Pacific region.
iii. TripAdvisor, Inc. is an American travel website company providing reviews of travel-related content. It also includes interactive travel forums.
10. Deepak Singhal takes charge as the Chief Secretary of UP
i. Principal Secretary Irrigation Deepak Singhal has been appointed the new Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh.
ii. He has replaced Alok Ranjan, who has got retire on 30 June 2016 after a three-month extension of service. Senior IAS officer Pravir Kumar was looking after the charge of Chief Secretary after the retirement of Ranjan.
iii. Mr. Singhal will also hold additional charge of Principal Resident Commissioner of UP in New Delhi, and chairman of the Pradeshiya Industrial & Investment Corporation of UP (PICUP). Prior to this appointment, he has served as the commissioner of Meerut, Agra and Bareilly and was on Central deputation between 2006 and 2011.
11. Former Nokia executive Tejinder Kalra joins Indus Towers as COO
i. Telecom tower company Indus Towers has announced the appointment of Tejinder Kalra as its Chief Operating Officer. The appointment came into effect on July 1.
ii. With over 26 years of experience in the telecom and telecom services industry, Tejinder holds an extensive experience in strategy development, implementation and service delivery across geographies. Kalra has done his engineering from Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology and Executive Diploma in International Business from IIFT.
iii. Kalra joins Indus Towers from Nokia, where he was the Global Head for Bharti business in his most recent role. He has been associated with Reliance Infocomm, Satyam Infoway, Sprint RPG India amongst other organizations in the past.
12. South African writer Lidudumalingani Mqombothi wins 2016 Caine Prize
i. South African writer Lidudumalingani Mqombothi has won the 2016 The Caine Prize for African Writing for his story ‘Memories we Lost’.
ii. The prize, launched in 2000, is awarded annually to an African writer of a short story published in English.
iii. Lidudumalingani wins £10,000 ($13,152) and a month at Georgetown University in the US as a writer-in-residence.