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Evening news Digest 11 July 2018

Andhra Pradesh tops government's ease of doing business


  • Andhra Pradesh has topped the third edition of the government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index for States with a final score of 98.42%.
  • This is the second time in a row that A.P. achieved the first rank.
  • A.P., which was given second rank in 2015, outperformed other States and Union territories by maintaining its leadership position through implementation of 99.73% reforms.
  • Telangana and Jharkhand trailed behind A.P. though they scored 100% in reform evidence score.
  • A.P. got 99.73% score in reform evidence and 86.50% in feedback score. While Telangana stood second in the final score,
  • Haryana bagged the third position. A.P. and Telangana jointly occupied the top slot in fiscal 2015-16

Background :

-           Ease of doing business ranking of states of India is the annual ease of doing business index of states and union territories of India based on the completion percentage scores of action items points of annual Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) under the make in India initiative.

Rajya Sabha adds simultaneous interpretation facility in five more languages

  • Rajya Sabha members can speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages from the monsoon session of Parliament beginning on July 18, with the Secretariat arranging simultaneous interpretation for five more languages: Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Santhali and Sindhi.
  • The Secretariat inducted a panel of interpreters.
  • Background: The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India.Articles. Article 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution list these languages as official languages :
  • Assamese,Bengali,Bodo,Dogri,Gujarati,Hindi,Kannada,Kashmiri,Konkani,Maithili,Malayalam,Manipuri,Marathi,Nepali,Odia,Punjabi,Sanskrit,Santali,Sindhi,Tamil,Telugu,Urdu.


Sushma Swaraj most followed female leader in world

  • India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is not only the most followed female world leader but also the most followed foreign minister in the world.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the third most followed leader on Twitter after US President Donald Trump and Pope Francis.
  • With over 42 million followers on his personal Twitter account, Prime Minister Modi is behind US President Donald Trump (52 million) and Pope Francis (47 million) but in terms of influence on the microblogging site, Mr.Modi is the second most important world leader, according to the 2018 “Twiplomacy” study by Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW)-- a global communications agency.
  • Background :
  • In 2018, Xi JinPing is the most powerful leader of the world according to the Forbes list.


INS Sumitra First-ever warship to enter Sabang port in Indonesia :

  • Indian naval ship INS Sumitra became the first-ever warship to enter port of Sabang in Indonesia.
  • The ship was welcomed by Indian Ambassador to Indonesia PK Rawat, Indonesian foreign affairs officials, members from Indian embassy, Indian businessmen and Indonesian naval and air force officers onboard.
  • The warship was deployed in Malacca Straits.
  • During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jakarta in May 2018, in a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, it was decided that New Delhi will develop the strategically important Indonesian port Sabang in the Indian Ocean, close to the Andamans.
  • Background:
  • The Strait of Malacca or Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 550 mi (890 km) stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.



India-South Korea sign 11 agreements in various fields :

  • India and South Korea 11 agreements in various areas including trade and cultural exchange.
  • These agreements were exchanged after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.
  • In a joint press statement with the South Korean President, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed happiness that New Delhi and Seoul have taken a strong step towards upgrading Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in form of Early Harvest Package.
  • Mr Moon agreed to promote cooperation for people prosperity and peace and respond to the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Background: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century.It includes robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things, 3D printing and autonomous vehicles.
  • The First Industrial Revolution took place from the 18th to 19th centuries in Europe and America. It was a period when mostly agrarian, rural societies became industrial and urban.
  • The Second Industrial Revolution took place between 1870 and 1914, just before World War I. It was a period of growth for pre-existing industries and expansion of new ones, such as steel, oil and electricity, and used electric power to create mass production.
  • The Third Industrial Revolution, or the Digital Revolution, refers to the advancement of technology from analog electronic and mechanical devices to the digital technology available today. The era started during the 1980s and is ongoing


India bag four medals at Asia Cup Archery

  • India have bagged four medals in the Asia Cup World Archery Ranking Tournament Stage 3 in Taipei.
  • The feat comprised 3 silver medals and a bronze. India also finished joint third with Iran in the championship.
  • The event concluded in two days to avoid the incoming super typhoon Maria. India ended their campaign behind toppers Korea and hosts Chinese Taipei.
  • Korea topped the tally with 14 medals, 8 of them being gold. Taipei bagged 5 medals, two of them being gold. 
  • Background: Asian Archery Championships is the archery championship organized by the World Archery Asia.
  • It has been held biannually, and since 2001 has included both the recurve and compound disciplines. The tournament began in 1980 and it was first hosted in India.


Ondaatje’s 'The English Patient' Wins Golden Man Booker Prize

  • Sri Lanka-born Canadian literary icon Michael Ondaatje's 'The English Patient' has won the special one-off Golden Man Booker Prize to mark the 50th anniversary of the prestigious literary award.
  • 'The English Patient' is a tale of love and conflict during World War II.
  • The 74-year-old author beat the Man Booker Prize's previous 51 winners including Indian-origin VS Naipaul for his 1971 winner 'In a Free State'; Salman Rushdie for 'Midnight's Children' (1981), Arundhati Roy for 'The God of Small Things' (1997); Kiran Desai for 'The Inheritance of Loss' (2006); and Aravind Adiga for 'The White Tiger' (2008).
  • Previously, 'The English Patient' had shared the 1992 Booker Prize with Barry Unsworth's 18th century slave tale 'Sacred Hunger'.
  • All 51 previous Booker winners were considered by a panel of judges, who whittled them down to one from each decade.
  • The public then voted on their ultimate favourite and settled on Ondaatje's war-time romance.
  • Background:
  • One-off Golden Man Booker Prize: This special one-off award to celebrate the 50th anniversary in 2018 crowns the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize, as chosen by five judges and then voted for by the public.


M. Venkaiah Naidu becomes first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign an MOU

  • Rajya Sabha has, for the first time in 76 years since it came into being, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a foreign counterpart for promoting inter-parliamentary dialogue.
  • Shri Venkaiah Naidu, has, in the process, become the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha to sign such an agreement when he inked an MOU with the visiting President of the Senate of the Republic of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza.
  • The MOU with 6 articles of cooperation seeks to promote Inter-Parliamentary dialogue, Capacity building of parliamentary staff, Organisation of conferences, forums, seminars, staff attachment programmes, workshops and exchanges, Collaboration in mutual interest in regional and international multilateral parliamentary bodies in furtherance of bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.


All 12 boys and coach rescued from Thai cave

  • All 12 members of a Thai youth football team and their coach have been brought safely out of the cave in northern Thailand.
  • This has been stated by the Navy Seal team in charge of the rescue. This completed an extraordinary and arduous rescue operation that captivated the world.
  • The 12 boys and their coach were trapped by floods more than two weeks ago.
  • The Thai Navy Seals, who are leading the rescue operation, posted to Facebook that 12 wild boars- the nickname of the boys' football team- and coach out of the cave.
  • A rescue doctor and three Navy Seals who stayed with the group are still to emerge.
  • Background: Thailand occupies the western half of the Indochinese peninsula and the northern two-thirds of the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. Its neighbors are Burma (Myanmar) on the north and west, Laos on the north and northeast, Cambodia on the east, and Malaysia on the south.

China pledges 20 bn US dollar for Arab States


  • Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged a package of $20 billion in loans, and about $106 million in financial aid, to Middle East nations, as part of what he called an "oil and gas plus" model to spur economic growth in the region.
  • Beijing has ramped up engagement in the Middle East in recent years, as Arab nations play an important role in Mr Xi's signature Belt and Road foreign policy plan for strong trade routes linking China with central and southeast Asia.
  • Background:
  • Belt and Road Initiative :The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road is a development strategy proposed by the Chinese government 

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