Current Affairs - July 2019

Latest Current Affairs July, 2019 with Current Affairs, news summary on current events of National and International importance of July, 2019 for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS, Railways and other Competitive Examinations.

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Highlights: President Ram Nath Kovind Visit to Benin

President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Benin at Cardinal Bernadine de Cotonou International Airport in Cotonou, the largest city in the West African country. This visit is part of first leg of his 3 nations’ tour to West African region which includes Gambia and Guinea from July 28 to August 3. This is first visit by either a head of state or head of government to three West African countries.

This is the 23rd country to be visited by President Kovind during his Presidential tenure till now.

Key Highlights

President Kovind held talks with his Beninese counterpart Patrice Talon. He also traveled to Porto Novo, the seat of Beninese Parliament.

In a special honour extended to India by Benin, President Kovind addressed National Assembly in Benin.

He also met members of Indian community at a reception hosted in his honour in Cotonou.

Significance: The visit is expected to reinvigorate and give new direction to India’s ties with three countries.

India-Benin

Transformative growth of India and natural strengths of Benin complement each other.

In last 10 years, India-Benin bilateral trade has risen from $350 million over $800 million thus India has become Benin’s largest trading partner.

India’s duty free tariff preference scheme has helped Benin’s exports grow by more than 68% in 2018 to reach $376 million.

Various MoUs and Agreements were signed during President Kovind’s visit include-

India offered $100 million line of credit to Benin for its development projects.

India offered further training assistance to Benin to expand its anti-piracy capacity.

Both countries agreed to work together to combat climate change through International Solar Alliance.

Both countries showed commitment towards taking development partnership forward by signing of country agreement for Benin to avail various initiatives by India such as tele-medicine initiativee-Arogyabharati and tele-education programme– e-Vidyabharati.

India also extended free tele-education courses to over 15,000 Beninese students and tele-medicine courses to 1,000 doctors and paramedics in Africa.

Shawala Teja Singh temple in Pakistan opened for Hindus after 72 Years

Almost 1,000-year-old Shawala Teja Singh Temple located in Sialkot city of Pakistan, which was sealed for last 72 years, has been re-opened for devotees for the 1st time since partition. Decision to reopen temple was issued by Paksitan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Shawala Teja Singh Temple

History: Shawala Teja Singh temple is an ancient Hindu temple which was built by Sardar Teja Singh. It is dedicated to Hindu deity Shiva, in Sialkot in Punjab province of Pakistan. Pilgrims climb a steep staircase to reach temple. It was shut down during Partition. In1992 a mob protesting against demolition of Babri Masjid in India had reportedly damaged temple, following which Hindu pilgrims had stopped visiting it.

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) looks after holy places of minorities in Pakistan. ETPB has opened Shawala Teja Singh temple after Partition on demand of local Hindu community. The board is also undertaking restoration work of this temple which is still underway and is expected to complete it shortly.

Significance of Re-opening:

Restoring and re-opening of Shawala Teja Singh temple is a major decision in favour of Hindu pilgrims who form biggest minority community in Pakistan. As per official estimates nearly 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. Majority of them are settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with Muslims.

Hindu pilgrim from India will also be able to visit the temple.

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