1. Kerala Tourism’s Muziris Heritage Project wins 2015 PATA Award
i. Kerala Tourism has won 2015 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) award in the ‘Heritage & Culture’ category for its Muziris Heritage Project.
ii. The award bestowed in recognition project efforts which aim at restoring and conservation of historical and cultural significance of the ancient town and its uniqueness and impact on local community located in stretches from Ernakulam to Kodungalloor in Thrissur district of Kerala.
iii. Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban centre which dates from at least the 1st century BC and located at the mouth of the Periyar River in present south Indian state of Kerala. It was a key centre for trade in ancient times between southern India on one side and Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Roman Empire on the other side.
iv. Muziris Heritage Project is an ambitious tourism venture of Tourism Department of Kerala in order to reinstate the historical and cultural significance Muziris. It was started in 2006 and also covers various other historically significant sites and monuments in central Kerala.
2. Indian-origin doctor Shiv Pande receives honorary fellowship in UK
i. Shiv Pande, an Indian origin doctor has been award with honorary fellowship by prestigious University of Central Lancashire of United Kingdom. He was award with this fellowship in recognition of his contribution to the community as a general practitioner and medical educator.
ii. Pande was born and educated in India and had obtained his MBBS and Ms (General Surgery) degrees. Later in 1971 he had move to the UK in 1971.
iii. Till 1974, he had worked in cardio-thoracic surgery at London Chest Hospital, Fazakerley Hospital and Broad Green Hospital, Liverpool. Earlier, he was honoured with the award at Preston Guildhall by The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for his contribution to medical services.
iv. In 1989 for his community work Pande was presented with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen Elizabeth II.
3. India, Russia sign customs pact to boost trade
i. India and Russia have signed a customs and liberalize business visas agreement to boost trade between both countries to remove the hindrances and boost commerce. This pact will help to rapid clearances of imported goods at the land and sea ports and addresses the issues related to the non-tariff barriers.
ii. Both countries also have fixed a target of US 30 billion dollars to be achieved by 2025. This agreement will play important role proposed International North-South freight corridor (INSTC) for trade from India to Russia to central Asia through Iran.
iii. Presently, bilateral trade between both nations is extremely low and it was just 9.51 billion dollars. In Ufa, Russia prior to BRICS ministerial meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin had discussed ways to increase bilateral trade.
iv. Both countries also had reached an agreement on setting up a Joint Study Group which will recommend contours of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
4. Indo-Bangla joint survey in LBA enclaves over nationality preference concludes
i. The official nationality preference survey in recently swapped 162 enclaves on India- Bangladesh border under the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) has ended. The survey was conducted by the Enclaves Exchange Co-ordination Committee (EECC) of both countries for ascertaining the nationality preference of over 50,000 enclave-residents.
ii. On Bangladesh’s side it is found that 1,027 out of around 37,369 had opted for Indian nationality from the recently swapped 111 Indian enclaves now located in Bangladesh. In case of India’s side, over 14,000 residents in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves transferred to India have opted to relocate to Bangladesh.
iii. The nationality preference survey was conducted by 75 joint-teams of EECC under the modalities of the LAB. The agreement came in to effect after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015.
iv. India had swapped around 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, while the counterpart had had swapped 51 enclaves. As per LBA, all 162 enclaves will stand transferred to the two respective countries on midnight of 31 July, 2015.
5. Nelson Mandela International Day was observed across the world on 18 July 2015 to honour the former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)
i. Nelson Mandela International Day was observed across the world on 18 July 2015 to honour the former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela (1918-2013).
ii. The overarching objective of the Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good.
iii. For the first time the day was celebrated on 18 July 2010 as per a UN General Assembly resolution of November 2009. The UN created the Mandela Day to recognize his contribution to end the discriminatory apartheid system in South Africa.
iv. the day also presents an occasion to remember his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world.
6. Godfather actor Alex Rocco dies at 79
i. Alex Rocco, the US actor best known for his role in crime drama The Godfather, has died of cancer aged 79.
ii. Rocco played Moe Greene, the casino boss who angrily resisted a takeover attempt from rising mafia boss Michael Corleone and paid for it with a bullet through his eye.
iii. In a career spanning half a century, Rocco won an Emmy for his role in 1990s sitcom The Famous Teddy Z. He also voiced the studio boss behind Itchy and Scratchy in The Simpsons.
iv. Rocco made his debut in cult director Russ Meyer's 1965 film Motor Psycho. Six years later, he won a part in what was to become regarded as one of the best films ever made.
7. Uruguayan soccer legend Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia died
i. Alcides Edgardo Ghiggia, the Uruguayan soccer legend, died on 16 July 2015 following a heart attack. He was 88. Coincidentally, 16 July 2015 marked the 65th anniversary of the Maracanazo match in which Ghiggia won the goal in a stunning 2-1 victory over Brazil in the final game of the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
ii. Ghiggia gave Uruguay its second World Cup title in the Maracanazo match when Brazilians were expected to win but the loss is still known in Brazil. He was the last surviving Uruguayan player from the match.
iii. Ghiggia started his professional career with the famous Uruguay club Penarol. He played for both Uruguay and Italy's national teams in his career. He played 12 international matches for Uruguay and scored four goals, all of which came in the 1950 tournament.
8. Amelie Mauresmo inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame
i. Amelie Mauresmo, the two-time Grand Slam winner and former number one tennis player of France, was on 18 July 2015 inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
ii. Mauresmo was unable to travel to the ceremony on Bill Talbert Center Court at the Hall of Fame because she's in her third trimester of pregnancy.
iii. The Frenchwoman is one of 21 players in the history of the WTA to rise to No.1, spending a total of 39 weeks there in the 2004 and 2006 seasons. She won two Grand Slam titles in 2006 season, first at the Australian Open and then at Wimbledon (beating Justine Henin in both finals). She won 25 singles titles and was a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
iv. At present, she coaches Scottish professional tennis player Andy Murray. She is also the first woman to coach a top male tennis player.