1. Union Government launched Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan
i. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan on 21 July 2015 launched the Surakshit Khadya Abhiyan, a countrywide campaign, to create mass awareness and capacity building for safe and hygienic food.
ii. The initiative complements the widely popular multi-media campaign Jago Grahak Jago which empowers the consumers of its rights and demands. This campaign, planned by CII and Consumer Organization VOICE, and National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI), is an effort towards building a culture of food safety in the country.
iii. Under the campaign, nationwide sensitisation sessions on cleaning, hygiene & sanitation for safe food, Walkathons and Media dissemination programmes for Consumers, Street Food Industries will be organized across the country.
iv. The ministry also launched a website and a logo of the campaign and also signed a pledge for adopting safe food practices.
2. NRIs can invest in NPS: PFRDA
i. Non-resident Indians (NRIs) can invest in National Pension System (NPS) to get a social security cover.
ii. While RBI has communicated to PFRDA about NRIs being eligible to make such investments, the government will shortly come out with a clarification on Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines to facilitate non-resident Indians to invest in National Pension System (NPS).
iii. Highlighting the importance of NPS scheme for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), he said such residents especially living in the Middle-East are not having any mandatory social security benefit.
iv. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is in talks with lenders such as SBI, HDFC Bank, Canara Bank, Indian Bank and several other south India-based banks to tap potential of NRIs.
3. United Nations Security Council adopts resolution endorsing Iran nuclear deal
i. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a resolution for endorsing the historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program. It was supported by all 15 representatives of countries on the Security Council and opened path to lift nuclear-related economic sanctions on Iran.
ii. It also paved the way for establishing a monitoring system for Iran’s nuclear programme. UNSC’s passed resolution marks the endorsement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which had find out the final historic diplomatic solution for Iranian nuclear issue in Vienna, Austria on 14 July 2015.
iii. There was a decade long deadlock between Iran and Western countries over the issue of Iran’s Nuclear Programme and safety concerns of uranium enrichment. Western Countries especially US, had alleged that Iran’s Nuclear Programme may be used by them to produce enriched uranium to develop nuclear warheads.
4. Naomi Klein wins 2015 American Book Award
i. Noted Canadian author Naomi Klein has won the 36th edition of American Book Award 2015. She has won this award for her environmental work This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate published in 2014.
ii. Apart from her, 14 others also have won the award. Some of them are Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings), Carlos Santana (The Universal Tone) etc. Poet Anne Waldman was honoured with lifetime achievement award in this edition of prize.
iii. American Book Award honours persons for their excellence in American literature without restriction to sex, race, ethnic background or genre. The awards do not have any individual categories and since 2000, Lifetime Achievement award is also given.
7. Pipavav Defence inks pact with Russian firm Zvyozdochka to refit submarines
i. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group’s Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering (PDOE) inked a multi-crore agreement with Russian firm Zvyozdochka, JSC Ship Repairing Centre.
ii. The agreement was signed in lines with Make in India initiative for the Medium Refits and Life Certification of 877 EKM Submarines in India. With this, Reliance Group became the first private sector Indian company to refit of submarines in India.
iii. Both entities will execute the programme under a joint venture (JV) company with an indicative value of 11,000 crore rupees in which PDOR will have 51 per cent stake.
iv. As per the agreement, Zvyozdochka will provide complete technical support and assistance to the JV Company. It will also provide the enhancement of infrastructure at the PDOC facilities in Gujarat and training of engineers.
8. Ananth Narayanan appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Myntra
i. Former McKinsey director Ananth Narayanan on 21 July 2015 was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Flipkart-owned fashion store Myntra. He will assume the charge on 1 October 2015.
ii. He will succeed Myntra’s co-founder Mukesh Bansal who is presently serving as the head of Flipkart's commerce platform.
iii. Prior to this appointment, he was leading McKinsey’s product development in Asia and its Automotive Practice in India. He has worked with McKinsey for 15 years across four offices, namely Chicago, Shanghai, Taipei and Chennai.
iv. The acquisition of Myntra by Flipkart for more than 300 million US dollars in May 2015, the company in June 2015 also roped in Google Chromecast head Ambarish Kenghe as Senior Vice President and Head of Product.
9. India and Singapore signed agreement to enhance maritime cooperation
i. India and Singapore on 21 July 2015 signed Technical Agreement (TA) on sharing white-shipping information to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies. The agreement was signed during the visit of Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan to Singapore.
ii. The White-shipping refers to commercial shipping information about movement of cargo ships.
iii. The Singapore Navy and the Indian Navy conduct the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) together annually. In 2015, the SIMBEX was held in May, this was the 22nd in the series.
iv. Both navies also interact regularly through high-level visits, dialogues, joint military training, courses and other professional exchanges.