Current Affairs in Short: 31 July 2018
Gopalkrishna Gandhi to get Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award
• Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi has been selected for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award for his outstanding contribution towards the promotion of communal harmony, peace and goodwill.
• A decision in this regard was taken by the Advisory Committee of the award which met on July 28.
• The award will be presented to Gandhi at a special ceremony on August 20 at Jawahar Bhawan.
• The award, which carries a citation and cash amount of Rs 10 lakh, is given on the occasion of the birthday of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was instituted to commemorate the lasting contribution made by him to promote peace, communal harmony and fight against violence.
Government launches free software for editing text on scanned images
• The Union IT ministry on July 31, 2018 launched a desktop software e-Aksharayan to enable editing of text printed on scanned documents.
• The software can be downloaded for free from its website.
• It will convert scanned printed Indian language documents into a fully editable text format in Unicode encoding.
• The software supports editing in seven Indian languages - Hindi, Bangla, Malayalam, Gurmukhi, Tamil, Kannada and Assamese.
EU moving anti-piracy HQ to Spain after Brexit
• European Union countries on July 31, 2018 decided to move the headquarters of the bloc's anti-piracy Atalanta patrols from London to the Spanish port of Rota on March 29 next year, when Britain exits the EU.
• An EU statement said that the member countries also agreed to transfer the London-based Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa, which informs shipping about piracy threats off Somalia, to the French port of Brest. The security centre will remain under the Atalanta command.
• The EU launched Atalanta in 2008 to fight brazen acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia, including the spectacular hijacking of a Spanish tuna boat in 2009.
Myanmar appoints independent commission panel to probe Rohingya human rights abuses
• The Myanmar Government on July 30, 2018 appointed an independent commission to investigate the alleged human rights abuses against the ethnic Rohingya minority.
• The 4-member panel includes former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, former UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Kenzo Oshima, former Philippine Vice Foreign Minister Rosario Manalo, former Chief of Myanmar's Constitutional Court Mya Thein and Aung Tun Thet, an economist and former UN official.
• Myanmar's security forces are accused of massacres during a crackdown following attacks on police posts by a Rohingya armed group in 2017.
• Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled northern Rakhine state to Bangladesh since the crackdown, leading to one of the world’s biggest refugee crisis.
US spy satellites detect renewed activity at North Korean factory
• U.S. spy satellites have detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.
• As per reports, one satellite photo showed a truck and covered trailer similar to those used by North Korea to move its ICBMs.
• According to the images, North Korea appears to be building one or two new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles at the large research facility on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
Three-day meet of RBI’s MPC begins in Mumbai
• The three-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India began in Mumbai on July 30, 2018.
• The meeting will discuss the Third Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2018-19 which will be issued on August 1, 2018.
• In a release, the RBI said, the Monetary Policy Committee has decided to continue the practice of a three-day meeting format as was adopted in the meeting for the Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement of June 6, 2018.
Voting closed in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted
• The voting has been closed in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years of being in power.
• The historic vote saw President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former right-hand man in the ruling ZANU-PF party, face off against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change).
• Long queues at many polling stations suggested a high turnout nationwide.
• With 5.6 million registered voters, the results of the presidential, parliamentary and local elections are due by August 4.
• A run-off vote is scheduled for September 8 if no presidential candidate wins at least 50 per cent of the votes.