The International Army Games 2018 are being held at 24 training grounds in seven countries namely Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Kazakhstan, China and Russia from July 28 to August 11. It is for the first time that Armenia and Iran are co-hosting events of the Army Games. Indian teams are taking part in two major competitions– Tank Biathlon event at Alabino ranges, Moscow region and Elbrus Ring competition in Caucasus mountains. The opening ceremony was attended by Indian Ambassador to Russia, Pankaj Saran along with Indian attaches attended the ceremony.
Karman Kaur Thandi from Delhi has become only the 6th Indian woman tennis player to crack the top-200 rankings in singles and is now ranked exactly 200 in the WTA list. Karman, backed by Mahesh Bhupathi, has been in good form in the past few weeks, winning her maiden ITF singles title in Hong Kong and making the semi-finals in two others in China. In April 2018, India’s top singles player Ankita Raina had broken into the top-200 and is now ranked 195 (-4). Before these two girls, Sania Mirza, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Shikha Uberoi and Sunitha Rao had made it to the top-200. While Sania, winner of six Grand Slam titles in doubles, touched a career-high of 27 in singles in 2007, Nirupama’s best rank was 134 in 1997.
Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), the marketers of the popular Amul brand of milk and dairy products, was awarded the ‘Marketer of the Year’ award by the International Advertising Association of India (IAAI). The award was received by RS Sodhi, the Managing Director (MD) of GCMMF, on behalf of the 36 lakh milk farmers and producers of Gujarat. Amul is the brand worth Rs 41,000 crore and is the biggest cooperative owned by 36 lakh farmers of Gujarat. Amul is not only known for its cooperative structure and farmer’s faith but is also known for its marketing and advertising strategies.
The World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year on July 30 to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. The 2018 theme “Responding to the trafficking of children and young people” highlights the fact that almost a 3rd of trafficking victims are children. The theme draws attention to the issues faced by trafficked children and to possible action initiatives linked to safeguarding and ensuring justice for child victims.
India’s first in-phone tourism guide and mobile application “Go whats That” has launched by Dharmendra Pradhan, the Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, at Rock Garden in Chandigarh on July 28, 2018. This is first of its kind app where tourist can scan QR code at a heritage site to download the history & details of that place in multiple languages. Initially, 1,100 tags have been placed at different tourist spots, which will give accurate information on each artefact. The app will also help the UT Administration in data analytics by getting real-time updates on each place, including the number of tourists visiting the places, scan details, etc.
John Sankaramangalam (84), the Veteran filmmaker and former director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTTI), has passed away in Thiruvalla, Kerala on July 30, 2018. A multi-time recipient of national and state awards, Sankaramangalam was known for his experimental movies. Some of his directorial ventures are “Aval Alpam Vaikippoyi”, “Janmabhoomi” and “Samantharam”.
Pradip Choudhury, who formed the central defensive pair with Subroto Bhattacharya when Mohun Bagan took on Pele’s Cosmos team in 1977, has been conferred the Mohun Bagan Ratna 2018 at the annual day of the 129-year-old club on July 29. On the occasion of Mohun Bagan Day 2018, Shilton Paul was given the Best Footballer for the Year award and Sudip Chatterjee was handed the Best Cricketer of the Year honour. Sourav Das was the Best Youth Footballer. Rahim Ali received a special award for his performance for the Indian team in the FIFA under-17 World Cup 2017. The day is celebrated to commemorate the Mariners’ victory over East Yorkshire Regiment 2-1 in the IFA Shield final on July 29, 1911.
Prabhat Koli (19) from Maharashtra, who crossed the English Channel when he was 16, has become the first Asian to swim the choppy water from Jersey (an Island in the UK) to France in cold weather. The long-distance sea swimmer covered 25km in 6 hours and 54 minutes. He started off from La Coupe Point of Jersey, behind St Catherine’s backwater and touched the shore of St Germain Plage on the Normandy coast of France. As part of his seven seas challenge, Prabhat is now training to cross the North Channel in Ireland in the first week of August.
The Union Government has constituted a high-level empowered committee to address the issues of stressed thermal power projects. The committee will be headed by Cabinet Secretary, Pradeep Kumar Sinha with representatives from the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal and the lenders having major exposure to the power sector. The Committee would look into the various issues with a view to resolve them and maximize the efficiency of investment including changes required to be made in the fuel allocation policy, regulatory framework, mechanisms to facilitate sale of power, ensure timely payments, payment security mechanism, changes required in the provisioning norms/Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Asset Restructuring Company (ARC) Regulations and any other measures proposed for revival of stressed assets so as to avoid such investments becoming NPA.
The Andhra Pradesh government will set up ‘iHub’ (the intelligent hub), a first-of-its-kind global research centre for scientific learning with an initial investment of Rs 245 crore spread over five years. For this purpose, the state government has already collaborated with UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). Some of the social and economic objectives of iHub will be to create 50,000 future-ready skilled manpower, reduced school dropouts and capture the EdTech market. The initial staff will be about 40 International researchers in disciplines such as neuroscience, education, psychology, digital instructional design, educational technology, Artificial Intelligence, data sciences, and gaming among others. The centre will also issue “Global Certification” for digital educational content.