NASA to launch Parker Solar Probe to touch the Sun
The US space agency NASA on July 20, 2018 announced to launch the Parker Solar Probe, a robotic car-size spacecraft, to study the Sun and reveal multiple mysteries behind the star. The spacecraft will be launched in August 2018 on the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Parker Solar Probe is part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program to explore aspects of the Sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society. The spacecraft has been designed to endure wicked heat while zooming through the solar corona to study the outermost part of the stellar atmosphere that gives rise to the solar wind.
Tokyo 2020 committee officially launches Olympic mascots
The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on July 22, 2018 officially launched its Olympic mascots Miraitowa and Someity at a ceremony attended by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Committee’s President Yoshiro Mori.
The name of the blue-checked Olympic mascot ‘Miraitowa’ is derived from a combination of the Japanese words for future and eternity and seeks to "promote a future full of eternal hope in the hearts of people all over the world". The pink-checked Paralympic mascot Someity owes its name to a type of cherry tree blossom and exhibits enormous mental and physical strength.
GST Council recommends GST Rates reduction on several goods & services
The GST Council in its 28th meeting on July 21, 2018, under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal , Union Minister for Railways , Coal , Finance & Corporate Affairs, reduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rates on various goods and rationalised the rates on various services.
Now, 5 percent GST will be levied on footwear having a retail sale price of up to Rs 1000. Footwear having a retail sale price exceeding Rs 1000 will attract 18 percent GST. The GST Council also announced exemptions and changes in GST rates on various services in sectors like agriculture, education and social security.
Supreme Court lifts ban on protests at Jantar Mantar
The Supreme Court of India on July 23, 2018 ruled that there cannot be a "complete ban" on holding protests at Jantar Mantar or India Gate. The bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said there was a need for striking a balance between conflicting rights such as right to protest and right of citizens to live peacefully.
The apex court stated that there cannot be a complete ban on holding protests at places like Jantar Mantar and Boat Club, near India Gate. The verdict came on a batch of petitions, including the one filed by Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghtan challenging the decision of the National Green Tribunal, which had banned all kinds of protests at these locations.
Environment Minister inaugurates advanced system of air quality ‘SAFAR’
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan unveiled a state-of-the-art Air Quality and Weather Forecast System– ‘SAFAR’ (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting) at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi on July 21, 2018.
First of its kind in the country, the system was developed indigenously in record time by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune and operationalised by India Meteorological Department (IMD). The giant true colour LED display will give out real-time air quality index on 24x7 basis with colour coding along with 72-hour advance weather forecast.
Video: Check out the latest current affairs of this week
Parliament passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018
Assam-NRC Draft can’t be basis of any action by any authority: SC
Government to soon introduce bill proposing death penalty for mob lynching
Ministry of Shipping issues new guidelines for improving treasury investment for Major Ports