Union Government to launch a scheme to test sports ability of 2-3 crore children across the country
• The Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore has said that the Central Government will soon launch an ambitious scheme to test sports ability of two to three crore children across the country.
• Addressing a function at Ahmedabad in Gujarat on July 15, 2018, the Minister said that around one thousand children will be selected every year under the physical capability mapping programme.
• Each of the selected children will be provided with a scholarship of five lakh rupees per annum for eight years to help groom their sports talent.
India, Bangladesh sign revised travel agreement
• India on July 15, 2018 signed a revised travel agreement with Bangladesh to ease visa restrictions for citizens from the neighbouring country.
• The agreement was signed between the two countries in Dhaka in the presence of visiting Home Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan.
• Under the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018, freedom fighters and elderly Bangladeshi nationals will get five-year multiple visa from India.
• Besides this, both the leaders also held the 6th Home Minister Level Talks between India and Bangladesh.
Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin to hold first summit at Helsinki, Finland
• US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to hold their first summit at Helsinki, Finland on July 15, 2018.
• Trump’s meeting with Putin comes days after a federal grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials on charges of hacking the servers of the Democratic National Committee and that of its 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
• The host and President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto is scheduled to meet Trump before Trump and Putin sit down to a bilateral meeting first without aides and then with their teams of support staff.
• Trump arrived in Finland on July 15 with his wife, First Lady Melania Trump and a host of other dignitaries for the Helsinki summit.
Ravi Shankar Prasad unveils Goa IT Policy 2018
• Union minister for electronics, IT and law & justice Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled the Goa IT Policy 2018 at the Inox complex in Panaji on July 15, 2018, on the final day of Goa IT Day celebrations. The Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar was also present on the occasion.
• The Goa IT Policy focuses on infrastructure development, fiscal incentives, governance and human resource development.
• The policy offers special incentives for solar power-based units, internet subsidy and assistance for campus recruitment.
• Besides, there is a special provision for capital investment subsidy for the people of Goa.
China to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services
• China has announced that it plans to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services, with the first in the series to be launched later this year.
• Known as the Hongyan constellation, the first in the 300-satellite array is set to be launched by the end of this year. The constellation will be built in three stages.
• China’s Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said, once completed, the satellite communication network will take the place of the ground-based network and allow a mobile phone to be connected everywhere on the planet, even in a remote desert or at sea.
US rejects EU request for Iran sanctions relief
• The United States has rejected requests from the European Union to grant exemptions to European companies from its sanctions against Iran.
• In a letter to European nations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the US has rejected the appeal, as it wants to exert maximum pressure on Iran.
• The letter further read that the US is not in a position to make exceptions to this policy except in very specific circumstances. It also said that Washington will seek to provide unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime.
• The sanctions were imposed in May after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme. The withdrawal disappointed US allies including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, which have pledged their commitment to the nuclear deal.
BrahMos supersonic missile successfully test-fired from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha
• India’s indigenously developed surface-to-surface supersonic cruise missile- BrahMos was successfully test-fired from the Chandipur Test Range, off the coast of Odisha on July 16, 2018.
• The missile, developed with the help of Russia, has a 290-km target efficiency, which is going to be extended upto 400 kilometres.
• The previous test firing of the missile was conducted on May 21, when it was launched from a mobile launcher under life extension program.
• BrahMos is the first Indian missile whose life has been extended from 10 to 15 years.
Indian boxers bag 7 gold to finish on top of Vojvodina youth tournament in Serbia
• Indian boxers ruled the ring at the Golden Glove of Vojvodinayouth tournament at Subotica in Serbia, finishing at the top with seven gold medals.
• Overall, the Indian medal tally included 17 medals, which comprised 7 Gold, 6Silver and 4 Bronze.
• The gold medal winners were Aman, Akash Kumar, S Barun Singh, Vijaydeep, Nitu, Divya Pawar, and Lalita.
• Kazakhstan came second with a gold medal count of 5 in their overall haul of 7 medals, while Russia with 11 medals including 3 gold, 2 silver and 6 bronze finished third.
Ramesh Powar named Indian women’s cricket team interim coach
• Former Indian off-spinner Ramesh Powar has been named as the interim coach of the Indian women’s cricket team.
• Powar has been asked to coach the team by BCCI until they find a replacement for Tushar Arothe, who resigned as the coach of the women’s team five months after being appointed.
• The Indian women’s team will have a fitness camp from July 25 to August 3 in Bangalore and Powar has been asked to oversee the camp.
• Powar will be involved in planning the camp along with Biju George, the assistant coach.
• The BCCI has invited applications for the post of the coach of the women’s cricket team, with the last date to submit an application being July 30.