i. Today is 17th Kargil Vijay Diwas which named after the success of Operation Vijay. The day is observed on 26 July every year in honour of the Kargil War Heroes.
ii. On this day, 26 July 1999, India successfully took command of the high outposts which had been lost to Pakistani intruders. The Kargil war was fought for more than 60 days, ended on 26 July and resulted in the loss of life on both sides, India and Pakistan and with the India regain possessions of Kargil.
iii. This day is celebrated in the Kargil – Dras sector and the national capital New Delhi, where the Prime Minister of India, pays homage to the soldiers at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate every year.
2. 7th Pay Commission to be implemented from August
i. The Centre has published the implementation notification of the 7th Pay Commission, stating that central government employees will get the revised pay from August.
ii. As the Commission had recommended a 23.55 percent overall hike in salaries, allowances and pension involving an additional burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore, or nearly 0.7 percent of GDP.
iii. The entry-level pay has been recommended to be raised to Rs 18,000 per month, from the current Rs 7,000, while the maximum pay, drawn by the Cabinet Secretary, has been fixed at Rs 2.5 lakh per month from the current Rs 90,000. The previous 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 percent hike which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008.
3. Policy planning dialogue meeting of BRICS has begun today in Patna
i. BRICS policy planning dialogue meeting has begun today in Patna. Delegates of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are participating in this meeting.
ii. The dialogue meeting is being held ahead of the 8th BRICS Summit, which is going to be held in Goa on October 15-16 under the chairmanship of India.
iii. This year’s theme of dialogue is Building responsive, Inclusive and collective solutions. The dialogue will provide an opportunity for exchange on strategic assessments of an internal situation and the regional situation of each country. The dialogue will also seek to enhance sharing of best practices in foreign policy planning and assessment between the BRICS countries.
4. Hinduja National Power commissions 1,040 MW thermal power project in Visakhapatnam
i. Part of the Hinduja Group, Hinduja National Power Corporation Limited (HNPCL) has commissioned its 1,040 MW coal fired thermal power project on the coast of Bay of Bengal at Palavalasa village in the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
ii. The company has commissioned 2×520 MW thermal power plants and expects it to cater to the increasing demand for electricity in Andhra Pradesh, which has become the first southern State to become power surplus.
iii. Andhra Pradesh is implementing 24X7 “Power for All Scheme.” The State had initiated the power sector reforms in 1998 and now has a total installed capacity is 15,311 MW. It is aiming at achieving 29,000 megawatts installed capacity by 2019.
5. Rajasthan planned to double farmers’ income in six years
i. In an attempt to double the income of farmers by 2022, the Rajasthan government plans to bring in latest technological innovation and introduce best farming practices by inviting experts to Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in Jaipur from November 9 to 11.
ii. The event, organized by the Rajasthan government in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), will showcase investment opportunities in the sector involving products such as pressure irrigation, solar pumps, the custom hiring of farm machinery and implements, farm mechanization and agro-processing etc.
iii. To be attended by over 40,000 farmers, it will have representatives from the Netherlands, Israel, Australia and Canada.
6. Karnataka opens dedicated start-up cell
i. The Government of Karnataka has set-up a dedicated start-up cell for speeding up the implementation of the initiatives under its start-up policy.
ii. This is the first time in India that a government has come up with a dedicated Start-up Cell guided by the Start-up Policy, which envisages the growth of 20,000 new start-ups, including 6,000 product start-ups, by 2020 in Karnataka.
iii. A portal was also launched to enable and educate start-ups on the State government’s policies and provide access to various benefits under the policy. All technology-based start-ups that fall under the criteria listed by the State government can register with the portal.
7. Solar Impulse completes historic round-the-world trip
i. The Solar Impulse has become the first aircraft to circle the globe powered by the sun, after landing in Abu Dhabi on the last leg of its journey, where it first took off on an epic 25,000-mile (40,000-kilometer) journey that began more than a year ago.
ii. Since its March 2015 take off, the Swiss-engineered Solar Impulse has made 16 stops across the world without using a drop of fuel to demonstrate that using the plane’s clean technologies on the ground can halve the world’s energy consumption, save natural resources and improve the quality of life.
iii. The journey took in four continents, three seas, and two oceans. The longest leg, an 8,924km (5,545-mile) flight from Nagoya in Japan to Hawaii, US, lasted nearly 118 hours and saw Mr. Borschberg break the world record for longest uninterrupted solo flight.
8. Oldest elephant in Kerala set to enter Guinness World Records
i. Dakshayani, 86, is all set to enter the Guinness World Records as the oldest living elephant.
ii. The Travancore Devasom Board (TDB) – the owner of the elephant – has already written to the Guinness authorities staking claim to Dakshayani being the oldest living elephant in the world.
iii. The TDB claims that Dakshayani is with them since 1949.
9. Dr. Buddha Rashmi Mani appointed as Director General of National Museum
i. The Central government has appointed Dr. Buddha Rashmi Mani as the Director General of the National Museum for three years or till attaining the age of 70 years.
ii. He is an ex-Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official who was part of the team that had discovered remains of a likely temple during excavation at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
iii. The National Museum in New Delhi, also known as the National Museum of India, is one of the largest museums in India. Established in 1949, it holds variety of articles ranging from pre-historic era to modern works of art. It functions under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
10. Vodafone M-Pesa ties up with Punjab power utility
i. Vodafone M-Pesa, a mobile phone-based money transfer service, has tied up with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to enable consumers pay their electricity bills instantly.
ii. Vodafone M-Pesa offers customers a cashless, secure platform for electricity bill payments with the largest network of agents (or CashIn Points) to enable digitization of money for cash holding population.
iii. M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, launched in 2007 by Vodafone. M-Pesa allows users to deposit, withdraw, transfer money and pay for goods and services (Lipa Na M-Pesa) easily with a mobile device.
11. Flipkart’s Myntra acquires Jabong
i. Online fashion marketplace Myntra has announced that it has acquired its rival Jabong from Global Fashion Group to create India’s biggest fashion shopping destination.
ii. The acquisition of Jabong further strengthens Myntra and its parent company Flipkart’s position as the undisputed leader in fashion and lifestyle segment in India.
iii. Jabong is among India’s major fashion multi-brand e-store with more than 1,500 on-trend international high-street brands, sports labels, Indian ethnic and designer labels and over 150,000 styles from over a thousand sellers.
12. R Ashwin becomes No. 1 Test bowler again after taking 7 wickets
i. Indian offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin has become the number one Test bowler again, after taking 7 wickets in the 1st Test against West Indies on Sunday (July 24).
ii. With this Ashwin has returned to the top of the charts, replacing Pakistani legspinner Yasir Shah. Ashwin moved one spot to achieve 876 rating points while Yasir slipped 4 positions. (Indian team can become No. 1)
iii. In the rankings for Test batsmen, Australian captain Steve Smith is still at the top. England’s Joe Root has gained 2 places to be second after his double century against Pakistan. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third. Indian captain Virat Kohli is 12th after moving 2 places.