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Important Current Affairs 19th July 2021


Syria’s President Assad sworn in for fourth term with 95% of vote

•President Bashar al-Assad took the oath of office for a fourth term in war-ravaged Syria on Saturday, after officially winning 95% of the vote in an election dismissed abroad.

•It was the second presidential poll since the start of a decade-long civil war that has killed almost half a million people and battered the country’s infrastructure.

•Shortly before the ceremony, rockets fired by pro-government forces killed six people including three children and a rescue worker in the country’s last major rebel bastion of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan to form new quad grouping

•The US, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan have agreed in principle to establish a new quadrilateral diplomatic platform focused on enhancing regional connectivity. The parties consider long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan critical to regional connectivity and agree that peace and regional connectivity are mutually reinforcing.

•Afghanistan’s strategic location has for a long time been touted as a competitive advantage for the country. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast.

•The formation of the new quad group is important amid China’s desire to extend its Belt Road Initiative (BRI) to Afghanistan. The BRI, a multi-billion-dollar initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he came to power in 2013, aims to link Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Gulf region, Africa and Europe with a network of land and sea routes. By virtue of its location, Afghanistan can provide China with a strategic base to spread its influence across the world.


West Bengal government to set up 15,000 telemedicine centres

•The West Bengal government is planning to set up at least 15,000 telemedicine centres in the next two years.

•The government has experience in running such units with around 120 doctors serving during the C-19 pandemic, state health secretary Narayan Swaroop Nigam said.

•Speaking at a virtual conference organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce, Nigam said the authorities are developing an integrated health management system to provide an end-to- end service to the government and private healthcare facilitates.

High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh renamed as ‘High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh

•The ‘Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh’ has been officially renamed as the ‘High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.’ The order was notified by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of Justice.

•President Ram Nath Kovind has signed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2021 to effect the change, in the exercise of the powers conferred Section 103 (1) of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.

•The Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh as well as the then Chief Justice of the Common High Court for Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have conveyed that they have no objection to the proposed change in the name of the High Court.


Shikhar Dhawan Second Fastest Indian After Virat Kohli to Reach 6,000 Runs in ODIs

•Shikhar Dhawan has become the second fastest India batter after Virat Kohli to reach the milestone of 6,000 ODI runs on Sunday during the series opener against Sri Lanka in Colombo. It took the India opener 140 innings to reach the figure while Kohli did it in just 136 innings which is also the second fastest in ODI history.

•Overall, Dhawan is the fourth fastest with former South Africa opener Hashim Amla fastest to 6,000 ODI runs, taking a mere 123 innings.

•The 35-year-old Dhawan is leading India on the Sri Lanka tour in the absence of regular skipper Kohli who is in England for the Test series starting in the first week of August.

Mercedes-Great Britain, Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2021

•Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain), won the British Grand Prix 2021, for a record-extending eighth time. The event was held on July 18, 2021, at the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom.

•This is the 99th career win of seven times world champion Hamilton and the fourth win of the current season after 10 races. Monaco based Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) stood second. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas from Finland, finished third.


Nelson Mandela International Day 2021:18th July

•The United Nations observes 18 July every year as Nelson Mandela International Day. The day acknowledges Nelson Mandela’s contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world. Nelson Mandela Day is an occasion for all to take action and inspire change.

•On 18 July 2009, the first Mandela Day was observed in New York. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 10 November 2009 declaring 18 July as “Nelson Mandela International Day”. This day marks his contribution to peace through his active involvement in resolving conflicts, promoting human rights, international democracy and reconciliation and addressing racial issues.

•Nelson Mandela was born as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela in Transkei, South Africa on 18 July, 1918. His mother was Nonqaphi Nosekeni and father Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela.


Cannes Film Festival 2021

•The Cannes Film Festival 2021 concluded on 17 July 2021. The jury, presided by Spike Lee, presented the awards at the Closing Ceremony. Julia Ducournau won the Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or, for her film Titane, making her the second woman ever to win the award. The first was Jane Campion in 1993.

•This year’s Cannes had a wide range of films, from Wes Anderson The French Dispatch to Julia Ducournau’s Titane, and Leos Carax’ Annette. Jodie Foster and Marco Bellocchio won the Honorary Palme d’Or.

•Palme d’Or: Julia Ducournau for Titane (France)

•Best Actress: Renate Reinsve for Worst Person in the World (Norway)

•Best Actor: Caleb Landry Jones for Nitram (US)

Bangladesh Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to get Olympic Laurel

•Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus will receive the Olympic Laurel at the Tokyo Games, the second time the trophy will be awarded. Yunus, whose pioneering micro-lender has been hailed for cutting poverty across the globe, will be honoured for “his extensive work in sport for development. The 81-year-old economist-turned-globe-trotting celebrity speaker won the Nobel in 2006. He will be given the award at the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony on July 23.

•The Olympic Laurel was created five years ago to recognise endeavours in culture, education, peace and development through sport. It was given for the first time at the 2016 Rio Games to Kenyan former Olympian Kip Keino, who opened a children’s home, a school and an athletes’ training centre in his home country.