Daily NEWS Update - 29th July 2015

1. Sanjeev Chaturvedi, Anshu Gupta win Ramon Magsaysay Award.

i. Whistleblower bureaucrat Sanjeev Chaturvedi and human rights activist Anshu Gupta are among five persons from India, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines who will receive Asia’s coveted Ramon Magsaysay Award.

ii. The 2002-batch Indian Forest Service officer, who is currently embattled in a protracted battle with the Centre over alleged harassment for his tough stance on graft, was the former Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) at the AIIMS in New Delhi.

iii. According to the foundation, Mr. Chaturvedi has been awarded for “his exemplary integrity, courage and tenacity in uncompromisingly exposing and painstakingly investigating corruption in public office, and his resolute crafting of program and system improvements to ensure that government honorably serves the people of India.” 

iv. Anshu Gupta, the founder of NGO Goonj, the statement said, is being recognised for “his creative vision in transforming the culture of giving in India, his enterprising leadership in treating cloth as a sustainable development resource for the poor, and in reminding the world that true giving always respects and preserves human dignity.”

v. Goonj is a non-governmental organisation based in Delhi, which works in 21 states across India in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development. It has converted 1,000 tonnes of used clothes, household goods and other urban discards into usable resources for the poor.

vi. The other awardees are Kommaly Chanthavong, from Laos who is being recognised for her efforts to develop the ancient Laotian art of silk weaving, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa from the Philippines for “her single-minded crusade in preserving the endangered artistic heritage of southern Philippines".

2. Dr. Suniti Solomon, Pioneering Indian HIV/AIDS Researcher, Dies at 76.

i. India’s foremost HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Suniti Solomon, who documented the nation’s first HIV case before setting up the first voluntary testing and counseling center for the disease, died Tuesday at her home in the southern city of Chennai.

ii. India’s foremost HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Suniti Solomon, who documented the nation’s first HIV case before setting up the first voluntary testing and counseling center for the disease, died Tuesday at her home in the southern city of Chennai.

iii. In 1986, her discovery of the infection in six blood samples collected from female sex workers in southern India generated headlines internationally. 

iv. Trained in the U.K., the U.S. and Australia, Solomon won a string of awards for her HIV/AIDS work.

3. Gujarat makes voting compulsory in local body polls.

i. Gujarat became the first state to have a provision for compulsory voting with the state government on Monday putting out a notification in this regard.

ii. Besides making voting mandatory in the local body polls, the communiqué, dated July 17, announced the reservation of 50 per cent seats for women in municipal corporations, municipalities, and village panchayats.

iii. With the government notifying the Gujarat Local Authorities Act(Amendment) 2009, a voter in the state would now invite punitive action in case he or she fails to vote in the local body elections without any acceptable reason.

4. World Hepatitis Day observed with theme ‘Prevent hepatitis. Act now'.

i. World Hepatitis Day was observed across the world on 28 July 2015 with the theme Prevent hepatitis. Act now. The day acts as a significant global platform for raising awareness about hepatitis and influence real change in disease prevention, testing and treatment.

ii. The theme highlights the fact that infection through transmission can be prevented through proven and effective interventions. It is important for everyone to be aware of hepatitis and to learn how they can protect themselves from being infected.
iii. The observance of the day in 2015 focuses particularly on Hepatitis B and C. These two combined cause approximately 80 percent of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.

iv. In 2015, WHO’s flagship event to mark the day will take place in Egypt, which has one of the world’s highest hepatitis burdens. It is estimated that 10 percent of the ‎Egypt’s population between 15 and ‎‎59 years is chronically ‎infected with hepatitis C.

5. World Tiger Day infographic: India home to 70% of world's tigers.

i. World Tiger Day is an annual celebration to raise awareness for tiger conservation, held every year on 29 July. It is a day to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.

ii. The tiger population in the country is estimated to be around 2,226, which represents a rise of over 30 percent since the last count in 2010, according to the latest census report released in January.

iii. The total number of tigers was estimated to be around 1,706 in 2010, after dipping to an alarming 1,411 in 2006, but it has improved since then, reported PTI.

iv. India is now home to more than 70 percent of the world's tiger population. Releasing the countrywide tiger assessment report for 2014, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar termed it as a "success story" and noted that while the tiger population is falling in the world, it is rising in India.

6. Former South African cricketer Clive Rice passes away.

i. Former South African all-rounder cricketer Clive Rice passed away in Johannerburg, South Africa. He was 66 and was suffering from brain tumour.

ii. He was one of the best all-rounders of his era alongside Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Ian Botham and his county team-mate Richard Hadlee.

iii. Rice had started his cricket career in 1969 with Transvaal (first-class cricket team). He had played most of his cricket during South Africa’s 2 decade long isolation from the international games. He mostly had played for Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club from 1975 to 1987 and was captain of the club from 1979 to 1987.

7. GM to invest $1 bn in India; to launch 10 Made-in-India vehicles over 5 years.

i. General Motors, as part of Chevrolet's global growth strategy, on Wednesday said it will invest Rs. 6,400 crore ($1 billion) in India to strengthen its market here over the next five years.

ii. The India investment is part of the announcement made yesterday by the company to make investment of $5 billion to strengthen its business in global growth markets.

iii. Through such investments, the company will develop all-new vehicle family that will meet rapidly changing demands of customers in Brazil, China, Mexico and India, Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, GM, told reporters here.