DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 30 2018

1) National Statistics Day: 29 June

  • The National Statistics Day is observed across India on June 29 with an aim to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation. The theme selected for the 2018 Statistics Day is ‘Quality Assurance in Official Statistics’. The objective of the celebration of this Day is to acknowledge the contribution of Prof. PC Mahalanobis and to pay homage to him.  On the occasion, Vice President of India released a commemorative coin of Rs 125 and circulation coin of Rs 5 denomination as a mark of respect/homage to Prof. Mahalanobis.

2) International Day of the Tropics – 29 June

  • On 29th June 2018, International Day of the Tropics was celebrated all over the world. On 29th June 2014, Aung San Suu Kyi launched the first State of the Tropics Report. International Day of the Tropics marks the anniversary of the report’s launch. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly declared 29 June as the International Day of the Tropics. The International Day of the Tropics is observed to create awareness on specific challenges faced by tropical areas and to highlight the important role that the countries in the tropics will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

3) DISHA Week is being celebrated from June 25 to 29

  • From 25th to 29th June 2018, DISHA Week is celebrated to mark completion of 2 years of the District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee. On 28th June 2018, Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar discussed on the DISHA initiative with some MPs and senior officials in New Delhi. Awards of appreciation were given for remarkable work in regular organisation of DISHA meetings to Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Mizoram and Uttarakhand.
  • State-level guidelines and District committees guidelines were released. District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (DDCMC) was named as Disha. The main purpose of this committee is to coordinate with Central and State Governments and local Panchayat to successfully implement the Central schemes such as infrastructure development or Social and human resource development.

4) North Korea Named ‘Worst Human Trafficking Country’

  • The US State Department categorised North Korea as one of the “worst human trafficking nations” for the 16th straight year, citing the use of forced labour. According to the annual ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’, North Korea has been included in the Tier 3 category, which is the lowest ranking, along with China, Russia and Iran.
  • Reasons for categorisation of North Korea as the worst human trafficking country:
    1. North Korea used state-sponsored forced labour to fund government functions as well as other illicit activities.
    2. The North Korean government continued to use forced labour in prison camps and labour training centres and even encouraged forced labours of students and exported forced labour to foreign organisations.
  • The ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’ placed India in Tier 2 category for making significant effort to comply with the US standards. However, India does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

5) Total market cap of top 100 global companies increases by 15% and reaches USD 20 trillion: PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking

  • On June 29, 2018, According to PwC’s Global Top 100 ranking the total market capitalisation of the top 100 global companies has increased by 15 per cent to USD 20 trillion, as the US retained the leading position with 54 companies in the list.
  • The Top 10 of the list are as follows:
    Company Amount Increased Country
    Amazon 278 mn US
    Tencent 224 mn China
    Alibaba 201mn China
    Microsoft USA
    Alphabet USA
    Apple USA
    Ping An Insurance 90 mn
    ICBC 89 mn
    Boeing 85 mn
    Berkshire Hathaway 81 mn

     

  • About USA’s Position:
    for the fourth year running, the US accounts for more than half of the top 100 (54 companies, down from 55 in 2017). It also weighs in with 61 per cent of the overall market capitalisation, down from 63 per cent last year.
  • About China’s M-Cap:
    the market capitalisation of the companies from China in the top 100 leaped by 57 per cent compared to 2017, with 12 Chinese companies making the top 100, up from 10 in 2017. Hong Kong also contributed another two companies, up from one in 2017.
  • Sector wise:
    i. Technology remains ahead of the financial sector in market capitalisation for the third successive year, with consumer goods in third place.
    ii. The global top three are still technology companies – Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft – followed by Tencent in fifth position and Facebook in eighth, down from sixth in 2017.
  • About Apple’s Position:
    i. Despite coming sixth in terms of absolute growth in value, Apple retained 1st position in terms of market capitalisation for the seventh year in a row.
    ii. Apple has also returned more cash to shareholders than any other company, handing back another USD 31 billion to investors in dividends and share repurchases in calendar year 2017 (having distributed USD 29 billion in calendar 2016).

6) Foundation stone of National Centre for Ageing laid at AIIMS by the PM;dedicated a tunnel connectin AIIMS and JNPA and 807 bedded Super specialty Block at Safdarjung

  •  On June 29, 2018, The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the National Centre for Ageing at AIIMSThe Prime Minister also dedicated the underground connecting tunnel between AIIMS and JNPA Trauma Centre, and Power Grid Vishram Sadan at AIIMS along with the 500 bedded New Emergency Block and 807 bedded Super Specialty Block at the Safdarjung Hospital to the nation. An underground connecting tunnel between AIIMS and JNPA Trauma Centre will reduce the commute time between the two centers to 1 km. It has a cost of Rs 44 crores
  • Dignitaries present at the event:Smt. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Prof. Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS New Delhi, Dr. Rajendra Sharma, Medical Superintendent, VMMC & Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi and Shri I S Jha, CMD, Powergrid Corporation along with the senior officers from the Health Ministry and faculty of AIIMS.

7) Renewable Energy Dialogue-2018 held in New Delhi ; focus on India’s energy expansion

  • On June 29, 2018, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, addressed the Renewable Energy Dialogue in New Delhi. He announced that India is running one of the largest and most ambitious renewable energy capacity expansion programmes in the world. The Dialogue brought together several national and international stakeholders from the renewable energy community to deliberate on the drivers and challenges facing the sector. Independent studies on scaling up rooftop solar panels, clean energy investment trends, addressing renewable energy curtailment, and risks in renewable energy markets in emerging economies were released at the Dialogue.
  • About India’s Target :
    i. Government of India’s target of installing 20 GW of solar power by 2022 was achieved four years of ahead of schedule in January, 2018 through solar parks and India has set a fresh target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
    ii. International Solar Alliance Project will promote the growth and development of solar power in over 120 countries.
    iii. Further, India has set a target of achieving 40% of its total electricity generation non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.
  • About Renewable Energy Dialogue-2018:
    The Renewable Energy Dialogue was organised by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), International Solar Alliance (ISA), International Energy Agency (IEA), Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (SSEF), and REN21. This edition of the Dialogue had a special focus on market creation and market trends.

8) Suresh Prabhu Launches Mobile App ‘ReUnite’

  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu launched a mobile application called ‘ReUnite’ which helps to track and trace missing and abandoned children in India. The app is multiuser where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children, and provide detailed description like name, birthmark, address, report to the police station, search and identify missing kids. The app is available for both Android and iOS.

9) Gujarat CM Announces Agriculture JWG With Israel

  • On the second day of his visit to Israel, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani met Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Uri Ariel and announced a joint working group  (JWG) between Gujarat and Israel in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors. The objective of the meeting was strengthening the Indo-Israeli agricultural cooperation and extension of theIndo-Israel Agriculture Plan (IIAP) and also to explore the opportunities of using the hi-tech protective cultivation and precision farming methods of Israel.

10) 173 offices in Punjab and 5 sub offices in Andaman& Nicobar Islands adopted National Generic Document Registration System.

  • On June 29, 2018, The Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated the National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) in all sub-registrar offices in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Punjab from New Delhi through a Video-Conferencing.To address the diversity and variations prevailing across the States on account of languages, processes, formulae and formats. This has been developed by the Department of Land Resources through the National Informatics Centre.
  •  This generic customizable software will enable ‘anywhere access’ to data and information to both the common man and the enforcement and regulatory agencies. Due to registration through digital means transparency will be promoted and people will get the benefits in a hassle-free manner.
  • In Andaman & Nicobar Islands:
    All 5 sub-registrar offices in the UT of Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been computerized and the NGDRS has been adopted in all 5 offices.
  • In Punjab:
    All 173 sub-registrar offices in the State of Punjab have been computerized and the NGDRS has been adopted in all 173 offices.

11) Dutee Chand Sets New National Record In Women’s 100m

  • India sprinter Dutee Chand set a new national record in the women’s 100-metre race when she clocked 11.29 seconds at the 58th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships being held in Guwahati, Assam. The previous record of 11.30 seconds was also held by Dutee, which she achieved at the Indian Grand Prix in 2017. Dutee has qualified for the Asian Games in 100m and 200m by breaching the qualifying timings at the Inter-State Championships.

12) Rani Rampal Announced Captain Of Indian Women’s Hockey Team

  • Forward Rani Rampal was named as the captain of India’s 18-member squad for the women’s hockey World Cup to be played in London in July 2018. Hockey India announced the 18-member Indian women’s team for the prestigious tournament. India have been placed in Pool B alongside hosts and world no. 2 England, world no. 7 USA and world no. 16 Ireland. Goalkeeper Savita has been named vice-captain. The tournament will also witness the return of goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu after having rested for the Spain Tour.

13) Madhya Pradesh to be awarded for reducing maternal mortality

  • On 29th June 2018, Madhya Pradesh will be awarded for reducing maternal mortality under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Jagat Prakash Nadda has invited Minister of Public Health and Family Welfare of Madhya Pradesh Rustam Singh for the award function that will be held on 29th June 2018. The Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign was launched to ensure quality of care of more than 3 crore pregnant women in India before delivery.
  • A 48-digit decline in maternal deaths in Madhya Pradesh has been registered by the office of the Registrar General of India 2014 to 2016. The maternal mortality rate was 221 in 2011-13. Now it has reduced to 173. A decline of 22% in the last 3 years has been witnessed in Madhya Pradesh. Results of awareness programmes such as institutional delivery, ANM, Anganwadi workers, knock-out campaigns etc. have started giving results.

14) Haryana government to start 5 more concessional canteens for labourers: Nayab Singh Saini

  • Minister of State for Labour and Employment Nayab Singh Saini said that, the Haryana government will launch 5 more concessional canteens in Haryana to offer food to labourers for Rs 10. The concessional canteens will be opened in Panchkula, Ambala, Panipat, Karnal and Bhiwani. At present, concessional canteens are present in Sonipat, Gurgaon, Yamunanagar, Faridabad and Hisar districts.
  • Nayab Singh Saini said that, a special campaign to register building and construction labour will be conducted from 2nd July to 31st July in Haryana. The registered workers can avail various labour schemes of the government. Nayab Singh Saini said that, the cooperation of the public works, irrigation, mandi board and other government departments is also required for the registration of labourers.

15) Inauguration of MAKAUT’s placement portal done by West Bengal’s Education Minister

  • On June 29, 2018, The Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT) launched a placement portal for graduates of the affiliated colleges under it to help the students get proper placement offers. It was launched by West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee. It contains information about students of 196 affiliated colleges under the university – MAKAUT.
  •  The portal will also enable companies to post placement or internship opportunities. The resume of the students will be extensively visible to potential employers. The portal will be a database of all students from MAKAUT colleges along with their academic and experience backgrounds. The talented students will be able to showcase themselves to the national and global job market through the portal.

16) RRVUNL gets additional financial aid of Rs 2626 cr from State owned Power Finance Corporation (PFC)

  • On June 29, 2018, State-owned Power Finance Corporation has provided additional financial aid of Rs 2,626 crore to Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam (RRVUNL) to meet new emission norm. The financial aid is to support their efforts to comply with the new emission norms of Ministry of Environment and Forest. It is mainly for installation of Flue Gas Desulphurisation Plant (FGD) & Selective Catalytic Reactor (SCR) as part of environmental up-gradation works at ongoing super-critical thermal power projects at Suratgarh and Chhabra having a capacity of 2×660 MW each. With this the cumulative sanction of PFC for above two projects amounts to Rs 10,218 crore.

17) Global Restructuring Review’s award for “most improved jurisdiction” goes to India for improved insolvency and restructuring regime

  • On June 29, 2018, The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) announced that India has won Global Restructuring Review’s “most improved jurisdiction” award. This award is to honour the jurisdiction which improved its restructuring and insolvency regime the most over the last year. In 2017, India lost the title to Singapore.
  • “Most improved jurisdiction” is one of the nine categories in which GRR presents the award, which were introduced in 2017.

18) Monti Rajkhowa first Assamese to scale Mt. Kanchenjunga

  • Monti Rajkhowa has become the first Assamese to scale Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. Monti Rajkhowa is an executive engineer of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) based in Mumbai. She has also become the first female ONGC officer to scale Mt. Kanchenjunga. She was born and brought up in Meghalaya. Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off the ONGC Kanchenjunga expedition in April 2018. This expedition was a unique employee engagement initiative to encourage team spirit and experience adventure among the employees of ONGC.

19) Climate change may cost India 2.8% of GDP, says World Bank

  • On 28th June 2018, a World Bank report named ‘South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards’ said that, Climate change might cost India 2.8 % of GDP. The report also said that, the climate change can depress living standards of around half of India’s population by 2050. Average annual temperatures are expected to increase by 1-2 % over three decades. If no measures are taken, average temperatures in India would increase by 1.5-3 degrees. Even if preventive measures are taken in line with recommendations of Paris climate change agreement of 2015, India’s average annual temperatures would increase by 1-2 degrees celsius by 2050.
  •  As per the report, nearly half of South Asia’s population, including India, lives in the “vulnerable areas” at present. These regions will be affected by declining living standards that could be attributed to lowering agricultural yields, lower labour productivity or related health impacts. Nearly 600 million people in India currently live in locations that could become moderate or severe hotspots of climate change by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario.States in central, northern and north-western India are the most vulnerable to changes in average temperature and precipitation.
  •  By 2050, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh would be the top two climate hotspot states. They would witness a decline of over 9 % in their living standards. They are followed by Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. 7 out of the top 10 most-affected hotspot districts will belong to the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. These weather changes will lead to lower per capita consumption levels. This would further increase poverty and inequality in South Asia.To handle negative economic impact in India, the report recommends to improve educational attainment, reducing water stress, and improving job opportunities in non-agricultural sectors. It also predicts that a 30 % improvement on these measures could reduce the decline in living standards by nearly 1 % from 2.8 % to 1.9 %.

20) ICICI Bank appoints ex-IAS G C Chaturvedi as non-executive chairman

  • On 29th June 2018, ICICI Bank said that, it has appointed Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as the company’s non-executive chairman. G C Chaturvedi is a former petroleum secretary. Incumbent non-executive chairman M K Sharma’s term ends on 30th June 2018. G C Chaturvedi’s appointment is effective from 1st July 2018 for a period of 3 years. His appointment is subject to the approval of shareholders.

21) ICICI Bank appoints Walker Chandiok & Co as auditors

  • On 28th June 2018, ICICI Bank said that, it has appointed Walker Chandiok & Co as statutory auditors of the bank. B S R & Co LLP, Chartered Accountants, the statutory auditors of ICICI bank for the last 4 consecutive years will retire at the conclusion of the 24th Annual General Meeting on completion of maximum period of 4 consecutive years as per RBI guidelines.
  • ICICI board approved the appointment of Walker Chandiok & Co LLP as statutory auditors for the year ending 31 March 2019, at a board meeting held on 27th June 2018. Walker Chandiok & Co LLP will hold office from the conclusion of the 24th annual general meeting to the conclusion of the 25th annual general meeting. This appointment has been approved by RBI. It is subject to the approval of shareholders.

22) Ravi Thapar concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Costa Rica

  • Ravi Thapar has been appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Costa Rica. Ravi Thapar is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of the 1983 batch. At present, he is the Ambassador of India to Panama. He has been concurrently appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Costa Rica. He will take up the new assignment soon.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 29 2018

1) President of Seychelles visit to India

  • On June 26,2018, The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, received His Excellency Mr Danny Antoine Rollen Faure, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. He also hosted a banquet in his honour.India, Seychelles ink six agreements in several fields
  • On June 26,2018, Six MOUs were signed between various dignitaries of India and the Republic of Seychelles. Following table shows the MOUs:
    S.No. MoU/Agreement Indian side Seychelles signatory
    1 MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the

    Republic of Seychelles regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Small Development Projects through Local Bodies, Educational and Vocational Institutions

    Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Ms. Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
    2 Twinning Agreement on the Establishment of Friendship and Cooperation between the Corporation of the City of Panaji (Municipal Corporation) and the City of Victoria of the Republic of Seychelles Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Ms. Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
    3 MOU between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), Ministry

    of Electronics and Information Technology, Republic of India and the Department of Information Communications Technology of the Republic of Seychelles on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security

    Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Charles Bastienne, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture
    4 Cultural Exchange Programme between the Government of the Republic of India and

    the Government of the Republic of Seychelles for the years 2018-2022

    Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Ms. Pamela Charlette, Minister for Habitat Infrastructure and Land Transport
    5 Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the National Information Sharing and Coordination Center of the Republic of Seychelles Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. Charles Bastienne, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture
    6 MOU between the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India and theDepartment of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of

    Seychelles

    Shri J.S. Mukul, Dean, Foreign Service Institute Amb. Barry Faure, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

     

  • India, Seychelles agree to work on naval base project. On June 26,2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Danny Faure agreed to work on the Assumption Island project  in the Indian Ocean as a naval base to expand its footprint.
    • An agreement to develop the island was inked in 2015 between India and Seychelles.
    • This was earlier cancelled by Seychelles due to internal conflicts.

2) India increases grants to $15 million to handle global environment crises

  • On 26th June 2018, India announced that, it will raise the fund from $12 million to $15 million to the Global Environment Facility (GEF)’s new four-year investment cycle called GEF-7. This announcement was made by India’s representative to GEF Council Aparna Subramani at a GEF meeting in Vietnam. The GEF council meeting is held from June 24 to June 28, 2018. Aparna Subramani also represents India in the World Bank. She represents Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, apart from India in the GEF Council.
  •  GEF was formed in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit to manage serious environmental problems. It has so far provided $17.9 billion in grants and mobilised an additional $93.2 billion in financing for over 4,500 projects in 170 countries. India is both a donor and a recipient of GEF. GEF has 183 countries as members. The 6th GEF Assembly was held on 27th and 28th June 2018.

3) India Pledges $5 Million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for the welfare of Palestinian refugees

  • India has pledged USD 5 million in assistance to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) working for the welfare of Palestinian refugees. This move has been made by India to manage the severe funding crisis faced by UNRWA after US reduced its annual funding to UNRWA. In January 2018, US said that it would withhold USD 65 million of USD 125 million it had planned to offer to UNRWA. US has been a major contributor to UNRWA. 20 countries, including India, announced contributions to the 2018 budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East at a meeting.
  •  In March 2018, India announced that it will raise its annual contribution to  UNRWA from USD 1.5 million to USD 5 million from 2018-19 for a period of 3 years. Sweden will contribute USD 250 million over 4 years. UK will offer USD 51 million. UAE will contribute USD 50 million. In January, UNRWA faced a loss of USD 300 million in voluntary contributions. It has been offering health, education, relief, social services, emergency humanitarian assistance, to around 5.3 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for 65 years.

4) Cost of Living Survey published by Mercer: Mumbai costlier than Washington and Melbourne

  • According to the 2018 Cost of Living Survey published by Mercer, Mumbai continues to be the most expensive city in India to live in for expatriates. It has secured rank 55 globally and has surpassed Washington and Melbourne. Mumbai has surpassed Washington ranked at 56, Melbourne ranked at 58, Frankfurt at 68, Buenos Aires at 76, Stockholm at 89 and Atlanta at 95. Mumbai is expensive for expatriates due to the rise in prices of food items like meat, butter, and poultry.
  •  Other Indian cities listed in the survey are:
    • Delhi – 103
    • Chennai – 144
    • Bengaluru – 170
    • Kolkata – 182

     

  • Hong Kong has been ranked as the world’s costliest city for expatriates. It is followed by Tokyo, Zurich, Singapore, and Seoul. This year’s ranking lists 209 cities in five continents. It measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location like housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.

5) PASSEX 2018: Passage exercise untaken by Indian and Indonesian navies

  • On June 28, 2018, The navies of India and Indonesia participated in Passage Exercise (PASSEX). This exercise was decided during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia on May 29,2018 for enhancing maritime cooperation. From the Indian side , Indian Naval ships INS Shakti and INS Kamorta under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet participated in the event.
  •  From the Indonesian side, Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Madidihang (855) a Stingrays Class Fast Patrol Craft participated in the event.

6) Indian real estate transparency ranked 35th globally: JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2018

  • On June 28, 2018, India has emerged as one of the top 10 countries to have registered maximum improvement in transparency in real estate over last two years as per  JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) 2018. India has moved up by five places to 35 since 2014 out of 100 countries that are mapped to over 180 parameters. It ranked 36th in 2016. Initiatives like implementation of Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, land title insurance, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, aligning the sector with the Goods & Services Tax, demonetization, opening up of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are prompting improvement in the country.
  •  Other factor effecting the positive change are : Improved market fundamentals, policy reforms, liberalisation of FDI into realty sector and retail, strengthening of information in public domain, digitisation of property records and assigning “industry status” to affordable housing.
    iv. Private equity investment in Indian realty has grown in every year from $2.2 billion in 2014 to $4.7 billion in 2015, to $6.9billion in 2016 and it was $6.3 billion in 2017.
  • About ranking of other nations:
    Country Rank
    UK 1
    Australia 2
    US 3
    France 4
    Canada 5
    Netherlands 6
    New Zealand 7
    Germany 8
    Ireland 9
    Sweden 10
    Sri Lanka 66
    Pakistan 75
    Venezuela (least transparent market) 100

     

  • Among BRICS Countries:
    Country Rank
    Brazil 37
    Russia 38
    India 35
    China 33
    South Africa 21

7) FATF placed Pakistan in ‘grey list’ during its plenary session in Paris

  • On June 28, 2018, Pakistan was placed in the ‘grey list’ of Financial Action Task Force. The decision was made at the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) plenary session in Paris.Despite submitting a 26-point action plan Pakistan was placed in the grey list for failing to curb anti-terror financing. It will stay on the list for a year or so. The process began in February 2018 when FATF approved the nomination of Pakistan for monitoring under its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) commonly known as ‘grey List’. Earlier Pakistan remained on the FATF grey list from 2012 to 2015.

8) Jai Hind 1-S: World’s lightest satellite

  • Four students from department of aerospace engineering in Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science near Chennai have designed the world’s lightest satellite named Jai Hind 1-S that weighs only 33.39 grams. Jai Hind 1-S will be put into space in August 2018 from at the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, NASA, United States. Jaihind-1S is an experimental satellite. It might also be the cheapest satellite. It has been built with a very low budget of Rs 15,000.
  • The students were selected through “Cubes in Space” competition organised by Colorado Space Grant Consortium, NASA and idoodle-learning in January 2018. The satellite has been made by 3D printed PLA Nylon. It has been designed to conduct three experiments. The satellite mainly aims to check the working of nylon in microgravity. K.J. Harikrishnan is the team leader of the project. Other members of the team are: P. Amarnath, T. Giri Prasad and G.Sudhi. The satellite was assembled in less than a month. The satellite can also collect details about the temperature, pressure, altitude, UV ray intensity, rolling movement of the satellite cum rocket or balloon. The satellite can work for 15 to 20 hours.  It will travel up to 65 km to 70 km high in the atmosphere.

9) Launch of MES (Military Engineer Services) Website

  • On 28th June 2018, Military Engineer Services (MES) launched its newly designed website. The website was launched by Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra. The website is bilingual. It was developed to benefit 3500 officers and nearly 1.2 Lacs subordinate staff of MES. Policies and advisories associated with Recruitment, Promotions, Postings and other personnel matters of MES civilian employees can be accessed using the Website.
  • The website has been made more user friendly. It is line with the GIGW (Guidelines For Indian Government Websites) guidelines. Online Registration of Contractors, approved list of contractors and consultants, product approvals and enlistment procedures are also available in the website. Certain Technical Drawings of unclassified nature is also present in the website. MES publications like MES Regulations, Standard Schedule of Rates and scales of Accommodation will also be available to authenticated registered users. The website features information about MES to be published in compliance with section 4(1) of RTI Act 2005. The website possesses clutter free design, better functionality and user friendliness.

10) 5 SoIs signed by NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP)

  • On June 28, 2018, NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) signed five separate Statement of Intent (SoIs) with Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited, Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited, Sreemanta Sankar Mission and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). It is a platform dedicated to increase the number of women entrepreneurs who will create and empower a dynamic New India. The WEP was established on the occasion of International Womens’ Day in March 2018. This initiative will work through its partner organizations, private as well as public organizations; by bringing their existing as well as new women specific initiatives on a single platform.
  • About the SoIs :
    The SoIs signed with financial institutions such as the Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank, Indiabulls Housing Finance and SREI Infrastructure Finance shall be housed under the WEP-Finance vertical and will provide financial assistance to women entrepreneurs through WEP. And those signed with the Sreemanta Sankar Mission of Guwahati to empower established as well as aspiring women entrepreneurs in North East India through WEP North East Chapter. The SoI with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a trade union and as an organization of poor, self-employed women workers, includes commitments to mobilize women entrepreneurs in rural areas and promote them in Livelihood Entrepreneurship.
  • About Women Entrepreneurs Platform(WEP):
    The WEP is an initiative under the NITI Aayog which was launched on March 8, 2018 on the occasion of the International Women’s Day. The idea of the Platform was first mooted by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog who announced the setting-up of a Women Entrepreneurship Platform in NITI Aayog at the conclusion of the 8th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Hyderabad in 2017 with the theme of ‘Women first, Prosperity for All’.

11) Government Approves Draft Act To Replace UGC With HECI

  • The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) proposed a draft bill to repeal the University Grants Commission (UGC) and set up the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI). This move that aims to reform higher education in India. The HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar stated that the draft Act is in accordance with the commitment of Government for reforming the regulatory systems that provide for more autonomy and facilitate the holistic growth of the education system.
  • The Act entitled ‘Higher Education Commission of India Act, 2018 (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act)’ revamps UGC Act, 1951 and its parent legislation completely. The HECI Act, 2018 is expected to be introduced in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session.

12) Government Approves 2 More Strategic Oil Storages In Odisha And Karnataka

  • The government has decided to set up two more underground crude oil storages in Odisha and Karnatakato increase emergency stockpile cover by 12 days to 22 days. The Cabinet has approved setting up of 4 million tonne (MT) storage at Chandikhole in Odisha and 2.5 MT storage at Padur in Karnataka. The announcement was made by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in New Delhi. The storages will be additional to the existing rock caverns to shore 5.33 MT of crude Visakhapatnam (1.33 MT), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).

13) Institution of “Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal”

  • Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the institution of “Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal”. Police Officers of States & Union Territories, Central Police Organisations (CPOs), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Security Organisation involved in Special Operations are eligible for this medal.
  • Rajnath Singh has also instituted 3 more Medals namely:
    • Antarik Suraksha Medal
    • Asadharan Aashuchan Padak
    • Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal

     

  • The Medals will be presented annually. HM’s Special Operation Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be awarded on 15th August (Independence Day). Antarik Suraksha Medal and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal will be announced on 26th January (Republic Day). Asadharan Aashuchan Padak: will be awarded to officials of Intelligence organization of Central Government and Intelligence Dept./wings/Special Branches/Units of all State/UT Police, CPOs, CAPFs, Assam Rifles (AR) and National Security Guard (NSG) for exceptional courage and skill in intelligence gathering.
  •  Antarik Suraksha Medal: will be presented to Police personnel of States/UTs/ CPOs/CAPFs/Security Organisation for Operation Duty performed by them for every 2 years in Internal Security in J&K State/LWE region/NE region. Utkrisht and Ati Utkrisht Seva Medal will be presented to permanent Police personnel and other permanent support staff working in CAPFs, State/UTs Police Forces, CPOs, AR, NSG, Home Guard (HG) and Intelligence organization of Central Govt/State Govt./CAPFs for Long Service of 15 and 25 years and good service records.
  • There is no limit/quota for receiving the HM’s Special Operation Medal, Antarik Suraksha Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak. There will be a cap of 1% and 0.5% of the sanctioned strength rank wise (Constable/HC/ASI/Sl/lnsp./Dy. SP/SP & above) subject to the eligibility conditions for the Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal respectively. The medal would be withdrawn if the holder is found guilty of disloyalty or brings the Force to disrepute like removal, major penalty, criminal offence etc.

14) To boost cooperation in agriculture & allied sectors a bilateral meeting amongst Union Agriculture Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh & Deputy PM of Uzbekistan, Mr. Suhrob Kholmuradov is being held

  • On June 28, 2018, The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh met Mr. Suhrob Kholmuradov, Deputy Prime Minister, Uzbekistan and Chairman of the State Investment Committee in Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi to strengthen bilateral cooperation inagriculture and allied sectors. India will partner with Uzbekistan in providing training and sharing expertise in skill development, effective and optimum use of water for dry lands, integrated farming systems, mechanization and farm machinery.
  • India can provide training to Uzbekistan for the development of Green House with the help of Centre of Excellence (CoE). A revised draft agreement on cooperation in the field of Plant Quarantine as proposed by Uzbekistan is under active consideration. Both parties will promote interaction among government agricultural institutions, experts, scientists and agro business and would work in the area of animal husbandry and India is willing to assist in setting up food processing industries in Uzbekistan. India is currently importing moong, natural gum, walnut, chickpeas, and juices from Uzbekistan. The Union Minister urged Mr. Suhrob to also consider importing mango, potato, wheat, meslin, sugar etc. from India.

15) 222nd Meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, EPFO held in New Delhi

  • On June 27, 2018, The 222nd meeting of the Central Board of TrusteesEPFO was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment (Independent Charge) Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar at New Delhi. The Central Board approved the proposal for insertion of Paragraph 68HH in EPF Scheme, 1952 provisioning advance from the fund to a member who ceases to be in employment for a continuous period not less than one month.
  •  Under this proposal a member can avail 75% of the total fund (including employee as well as employer share) standing to the member’s credit with interest thereon. The Board took note of the Investment of Rs 47,431.24 crore in Exchange Traded Funds (SBI MF, UTI MF, CPSE, Bharat 22) and notional return on ETF investments which stood at 16.07% for the period from August 2015 to 31st May 2018. It approved the proposal to continue SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund as ETF manufacturer for investment in ETF by EPFO for tenure of one year i.e. till 30/06/2019. It has considered and adopted the Consolidated Annual Accounts with Audit Report for the year 2016-17.

16) NIMHANS Digital Academy: for training medical professionals inaugurated by Shri JP Nadda

  • On June 27, 2018, Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the NIMHANS Digital Academy and addressed the first batch of professionals enrolled for undergoing courses in the fields of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Social Work in New Delhi. Smt. Anupriya PatelMinister of State for Health & Family Welfare also graced the occasion. The training modules and curricula for various training programmes were also released.
  • This will enhance the skill and potential of healthcare professionals and also serve the purpose of mental healthcare needs. Especially with the passing of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 brings forth a stronger and more robust legal scaffold and humane and patient-centric rights based approach for mental healthcare in our country.

17) BHEL Inks Pact With Korean Firm For Emission Controlling Equipment

  • Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) has inked a pact with South Korean firm NANO Co Ltd for design and manufacture of emission controlling devices for coal-based power plants. The Technology Collaboration Agreement (TCA) with NANO Co is for design and manufacture of SCR Catalysts for De-NOx application in coal-fired plants. The pact will enable BHEL to enhance its offerings for emission control systems (De-NOx applications).

18) TECH-THON: Seminar on Technology Partnership for POSHAN Abhiyaan in New Delhi; organized by WCD Ministry

  • On June 28, 2018, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India organized a day-long Seminar on Technology Partnerships for Steering POSHAN Abhiyaan called ‘TECH-THON’ for POSHAN Abhiyaan – PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment  at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in New Delhi. Toshowcase and initiate a ‘Peoples Movement’ or Jan Andolan towards Nutrition.
  • Dignitaries present at the seminar:
    The WCD Minister Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi and Minister of State for WCD, Dr.Virendra Kumar was present in the Seminar. The seminar was inaugurated by Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog. Secretaries of convergent Central Ministries , Secretaries of State WCD/Social Justice Department, Director in-charge of ICDS/POSHAN Abhiyaan and nodal officer of the States/UTs were also present in the daylong seminar. Multilateral partner institutions like UNICEF, World Bank, WHO, WFP etc, the partners of MWCD – Tata Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) etc, Philanthropic Private Sectors (viz CSR) and Civil Society Organizations were also present.

19) Ecotourism policy 2017:  a community based tourism policy released by Tamil Nadu Govt

  • On June 28, 2018, The Tamil Nadu government today released its Ecotourism Policy 2017 which is a community based ecotourism policy. The Forest Department will be the nodal department for implementing the policy. The SEB will finalise the strategies regarding pricing and appropriate packaging and branding of ecotourism destinations. The Ecotourism policy will be reviewed after five years.
  • About the policy:
    i. The ecotourism sites will be identified and will have specific ecotourism product associated with it in their uniqueness and value in terms of aesthetic, natural, cultural and landscape characteristics.
    ii. The initiatives will include hiking, trekking, wildlife sighting, bird watching trails, boating, photography, visit to medicinal plants conservation area, craft making, local handicraft, promoting local festivals, and adventure sports.

20) 6 reactors for Jaitapur nuclear plant to be built by France’s EDF and General Electric

  • On June 28, 2018, French utility EDF and General Electric have signed a pact to jointly build six reactors for India’s most ambitious nuclear power plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. This pact was signed between French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to India. The 9,900 megawatt (mw) plant at Jaitapur is being built by State run-Nuclear Power Corporation of India.This will be the world’s largest nucler power unit. The plant will have six nuclear reactors of capacity 1,650 mw each.
  • GE Power will design the conventional island for the Jaitapur plant and supply its main components. It will also provide operational support services and a training programme to as per the requirements of NPCIL E DF will be responsible for engineering integration for the entire project and will provide all the requisite input data. India aims to have nuclear power generation capacity of 22,480 mw by 2031, and the Jaitapur power plant would be crucial to achieving this target.

21) Mumbai based Swadhaar FinServe has been acquired by RBL Bank

  • On June 28, 2018, Private sector lender RBL Bank has fully acquired Mumbai-based financial product distribution firm Swadhaar FinServe Pvt Ltd from their earlier holding of 60.49%. RBL has purchased 35.94 per cent from Accion International and 3.58 per cent from promoters and others.  After the acquirement , RBL Bank’s share was up 0.17 per cent to Rs 545.60 on BSE.
  • About Swadhaar Finserve:
    It started operations as a non-banking finance company in 2008 and subsequently converted into a NBFC-MFI. It became a business correspondent for RBL Bank in 2014 and transferred its micro credit portfolio to the bank. It then surrendered the NBFC license in 2015. It holds responsibility for sourcing clients, evaluating credit worthiness and monitoring repayments for RBL, leveraging the bank’s balance sheet and infrastructure.

22) Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) to acquire Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited (MIDPL) for Rs 1,950 crore

  • On 28th June 2018, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZ) signed an agreement to acquire Marine Infrastructure Developer Private Limited (MIDPL) for Rs 1,950 crore. APSEZ is India’s largest port developer and a part of Adani Group. Out of the Rs 1,950 crore, APSEZ will pay Rs 1,562 crore for settlement of dues of MIDPL. The company has signed share purchase agreement on 27th June 2018, between Larsen and Toubro, MIDPL, L&T Shipbuilding Limited and Adani Kattupalli Port Private Limited to acquire 97 % stake of MIDPL.
  • MIDPL is involved in construction, maintenance, development and operation of Kattupalli Port. The acquisition would be completed in a week. Tamil Nadu government had granted approval for the transaction based on an order dated 29th February 2016. MIDPL was established in 2016.

23) Kanwaljeet Jawa becomes 1st Indian to be appointed as board member of Daikin

  • Daikin Industries Ltd has appointed its India operations MD & CEO Kanwaljeet Jawa into the board of the parent company. Kanwaljeet Jawa will be the first Indian on the Daikin Industries board. He will be a part of the 10 member board council. Kanwaljeet Jawa joined Daikin India in 2010 as the COO. He was then promoted as the MD & CEO of the Company.

24) Anoop Kumar Pandey to replace Rajiv Kumar as UP’s Chief Secretary

  • Anoop Kumar Pandey would replace Rajiv Kumar as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. Anoop Kumar Pandey is a 1984-batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer. He will replace Rajiv Kumar as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. Rajiv Kumar will retire on 30th June 2018. At present Anoop Kumar Pandey is the Industrial and Infrastructure Development Commissioner (IIDC) in Uttar Pradesh.
  •  Rajiv Kumar was appointed as chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh in June 2017. Earlier he was the Secretary in Shipping Ministry. He had also served as the divisional commissioner of Saharanpur and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and also in the industrial development department.

25) B Sriram resigns as SBI MD amid IDBI stake sale buzz

  • SBI managing director B Sriram has resigned as SBI MD after his appointment as chief executive of IDBI Bank. B Sriram was appointed as managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank for a temporary period of 3 months, recently. He has submitted his resignation from the board of SBI. His resignation has been forwarded to Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC). ACC will take the final decision on this.
  • B Sriram assumed charge as MD and CEO of IDBI Bank on 22nd June 2018 after M K Jain left the bank to serve as Deputy Governor of RBI. LIC is trying to enter the banking sector by acquiring majority stake in IDBI Bank. IDBI Bank would become a private sector bank if the government’s share reduces below 50%. B Sriram has been the MD (Corporate and Global Banking) in SBI since July 2014. He has served as Managing Director of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur.

26) Madhav Kalyan, CEO and MD, JPMorgan Chase Bank in India, to become the head of corporate banking in South and South East Asia

  • JPMorgan has promoted Madhav Kalyan, CEO and MD, JPMorgan Chase Bank in India, as the head of corporate banking in South and South East Asia. Madhav Kalyan will hold this position in addition to his existing responsibilities as head of corporate banking in India. JPMorgan’s corporate banking heads in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will report to Madhav Kalyan.
  • JP Morgan has promoted P D Singh as the head of the team, which serves local corporate clients. Rohit Khatri will head the MNC (Multinational) clients’ division. Guhaprasath Rajagopal will head treasury services. Brijen Puri, the managing director and head of currency and emerging markets, India, has been moved to Singapore with additional responsibilities of other markets of South East Asian countries.

27) Punjab Congress leader Surinder Singla passes away

  • On 28th June 2018, Punjab’s former finance minister Surinder Singla passed away after suffering from breathlessness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi. Surinder Singla was 78 years old. He hailed from Samana town in Patiala, Punjab. He was a senior state Congress leader. He was a former Rajya Sabha member from Punjab. He had also served as Punjab’s finance minister.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 28 2018

1) Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day – 27 June

  • On 27th June 2018, Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day was celebrated all over the world. In UN General Assembly declared 27th June as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day in 2017. This day was coined to recognize the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals, promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.
  • President Inaugurates Udyam Sangam-2018:
    i. On 27th June 2018, Indian President Ram NathKovind, inaugurated the Udyam Sangam-2018 in New Delhi.
    ii. He said that MSME sector accounts for around60% employment in India. He said that there are 6.5 crore MSME units in India providing jobs to more than 11 crore people.
    iii. He said they contribute to more than 10% growth which is higher than heavy industrial units.
    iv. He said that, UdyamSakhi portal of the MSME Ministry will empower women and weaker sections by offering training to 80 lakh women.
    v. He said that micro and small units are manufacturing parts for Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Tejas fighter aircraft.
    vi. A portal of the Ministry of MSME named “Sampark” was also launched by the President. This portal will link talent youth and enterprises looking for trained man power.
    vii. Over three thousand delegates participated in the conclave. The Conclave aims to promote dialogue and partnerships among stakeholders of the MSME ecosystem to encourage innovation and knowledge sharing on MSME related issues.
  • President launches Solar Charkha Mission, recruitment portal for MSMEs:
    i. On 27th June 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission covering artisans in 50 identified clusters.
    ii.Every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans. The Mission has been approved by the Government.
    iii. MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores in the initial two years to the artisans for this purpose.
    iv. Ram Nath Kovind said that, Solar Charkha Mission will produce employment in rural areas and enhance green economy.

2) 26th edition of world’s largest multilateral naval exercise RIMPAC has begun in Hawaii from June 27 to Aug 2 2018

  • On June 27, 2018, 26th edition World’s largest multilateral naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) began off Hawaii in the western Pacific Ocean from June 27 to August 2,2018. This will be a month long exercise and 26 countries are participating in it including India. About 25000 personnel and 52 ships will take part. From India’s part , INS Sahyadri will take part in it .
  •  It will be commanded by Captain Shantanu Jha and it is a indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate of the Eastern Fleet under Eastern Naval Command. Countries taking part on this exercise are : Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam.

3) MoU for upgrade of Construction of Amravati between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore has been signed

  • On June 26,2018, Andhra Pradesh entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore  to accelerate the construction work of its new capital, Amratvati. The MOU has been signed between AP Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Building (APRERA) and Construction Authority of Singapore in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.
  • The MOU will promote and create a safe, high quality, environment-friendly built environment in Andhra Pradesh. This will focus on Green Building Roadmaps and Green Mark Certification. The construction City of Amravati will be created as a hub for manufacturing of construction materials, designing, construction academies and trade.

4) Important Cabinet Approvals- 27th June 2018

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the following set of approvals. The important Cabinet Approvals are given as follows.
  • The Cabinet has approved-
    1. MoU between India and Singapore on Cooperation in the field of Planning- The objective of the MOU is to facilitate government agencies in the Centre and States, including Municipal Bodies, to readily tap into the expertise of Singapore agencies in the areas of urban development and management and other areas, and thus help in urban rejuvenation, mission.

    2. Agreement between India and Denmark on Cooperation in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation- The objective of the Agreement is to encourage, develop and facilitate co­operation between India and Denmark in fields of common interest within Science, Technology and Innovation.

    3. MoU between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation– The main objective of this Joint Declaration of Intent is to promote and facilitate mutual cooperation in the areas like Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Management, Heliports and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), Corporate and Business Aviation Development, and Training and Skills Development.

    4. Implementing Arrangement between India and France on Cooperation on Maritime Awareness Mission- The objective is to monitor the maritime traffic and to identify the non-compliant ships at the maximum possible revisit frequency.

    5. MoU between India and Denmark for cooperation in the fields of Animal Husbandry and Dairying- The MoU aims to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of Animal Husbandly and Dairying for the purpose of broadening the existing knowledge base on the dairy development and institutional strengthening.

    6. MoU between India and Indonesia on Technical Cooperation in the field of Railways sector.

    7.MoU between India and Bahrain on cooperation in the field of Healthcare.

    8. Capital infusion in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd.- The capital infusion of Rs.2000 crore for strengthening of  Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) would be infused in the three financial years i.e. Rs.50 crore in 2017-18, Rs.1450 crore in the year 2018-19 and Rs.500 crore for 2019-20.

    9. A Corpus to National Export Insurance Account Trust- The Cabinet has approved the contribution of Grant-in-Aid (Corpus) of Rs.1,040 crore to National Export Insurance Account Trust (NEIA). The Corpus would strengthen NEIA to support project exports from the country that are of strategic and national importance.

5) President Inaugurates Udyam Sangam-2018 To Mark UN SME Day

  • President of India, Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Udyam Sangam-2018 in New Delhi. It is a step forward towards consolidating the convergence and synergy of all the government initiatives relating to MSME Sector. The President of India launched the Solar Charkha Mission which will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans.
  • The Mission has been approved by the Government of India for which the MSME Ministry will disburse subsidy of Rs. 550 crores to the artisans. A portal of the Ministry of MSME called “Sampark” was also unveiled by the President. This portal will act as a bridge between the talent pool and those enterprises seeking trained manpower.

6) Key Decisions In 222nd Meeting Of Central Board Of Trustees, EPF

  • The 222nd meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment (Independent Charge) Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar at New Delhi. The Central Board approved the proposal for insertion of Paragraph 68HH in EPF Scheme, 1952 provisioning Advance from the fund to a member who ceases to be in employment for a continuous period not less than one month.
  • Under this proposal, a member can avail 75% of the total fund (including employee as well as employer share) standing to the member’s credit with interest thereon. The Board took note of the Investment of Rs 47,431.24 crore in Exchange Traded Funds (SBI MF, UTI MF, CPSE, Bharat 22) and notional return on ETF investments which stood at 16.07% for the period from August 2015 to 31st May 2018.
  • The Central Board approved the proposal to continue SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund as ETF manufacturer for investment in ETF by EPFO for the tenure of one year. The Central Board has considered and adopted the Consolidated Annual Accounts with Audit Report for the year 2016-17.

7) MoU for upgrade of Construction of Amravati between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore has been signed

  • On June 26,2018, Andhra Pradesh entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Singapore  to accelerate the construction work of its new capital, Amratvati. The MOU has been signed between AP Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Building (APRERA) and Construction Authority of Singapore in the presence of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee. The MOU will promote and create a safe, high quality, environment-friendly built environment in Andhra Pradesh. This will focus on Green Building Roadmaps and Green Mark Certification. The construction City of Amravati will be created as a hub for manufacturing of construction materials, designing, construction academies and trade.

8) Oxytocin formulations ban to come into effect from 1st July 2018

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations for domestic use to public sector only from 1st July 2018. The import of Oxytocin and its formulations is also banned. From 1st July 2018, private manufacturers will not be allowed to manufacture Oxytocin for domestic use. Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, will manufacture Oxytocin for domestic use from 1st July 2018.
  • Oxytocin formulations for domestic consumption will be supplied by KAPL to the registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector directly. Oxytocin in any form or name will not be allowed to be sold by retail Chemist. All the registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector in India are asked to contact only KAPL and place orders.

9) ISSF Junior World Cup: Saurabh Chaudhary Sets World Record, Wins Gold

  • Sixteen-year-old Indian shooter Saurabh Chaudhary set a new world record on the way to winning a gold medal in the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. Saurabh shot a total of 243.7 in the 10m air pistol event in the ongoing International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) tournament.
  • The junior world record prior to this was 242.5 by Chinese shooter Wang Zhehao at the first ISSF Junior World Cup of the year in Sydney. In the women’s 25m pistol final, Manu Bhaker was fifth with 19 hits and Devanshi Rana was eighth with five. With 8 gold medals, 1 silver and 5 bronze, India continued to top the medal standings.

10) Sanitation Action Plans Prepared For 10 New Swachh Iconic Places

  • Ten new Swachh Iconic Places of the country came up with the thorough action plans for raising their sanitation standards to exemplary levels. The plans were formulated at a two-day consultation in Hyderabad held between Central and State Government agencies, local administrations and the Trusts of the iconic places. Over 100 delegates from across the country attended the consultation. All the 30 Swachh Iconic Places, selected so far under the Swachh Bharat Mission, also resolved to make their sites completely free of plastic.
  • These 10 sites constitute Phase-III of the Swachh Iconic Places (SIP): 
    Sl. No. Swachh Iconic Place Location State
    1. Raghavendra Swamy Temple Kurnool Andhra Pradesh
    2. Hazardwari Palace Murshidabad West Bengal
    3. Brahma Sarovar Temple Kurukshetra Haryana
    4. VidurKuti Bijnor Uttar Pradesh
    5. Mana village Chamoli Uttarakhand
    6. Pangong Lake Leh-Ladakh J&K
    7. Nagvasuki Temple Allahabad Uttar Pradesh
    8. ImaKeithal/market Imphal Manipur
    9. Sabarimala Temple Pathanamthitta District Kerala
    10. Kanvashram Kotdwara Uttarakhand

     

11) E Sreedharan Committee To Lay Down Standards For Metro Rail Systems

  • The government has set up a committee under former Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan to lay down standardisation norms for components with an aim to cut costs in the construction and operation of metro rail systems in the country and bring them under the Make in India umbrella.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the proposal, following a meeting at the PMO to review ongoing and upcoming metro projects. The standards, once finalised by the committee, will be mandatory for all metro projects coming up with central assistance. Currently, metro projects with a total length of 370km are operational in eight cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi and Mumbai.

12) Bengal swimmer Swadesh Mondal made yet another national record

  • On 26th June 2018, Bengal swimmer Swadesh Mondal created another national record at the 45th Glenmark Junior and 35th Sub Junior National Aquatic Championships in Pune, Maharashtra. Swadesh Mondal clocked a timing of 01:07.51 in the 100m breast stroke event and created a new national record. Earlier in the Boys Group II category he won gold medal with a national record breaking time of 02:10.93.
  • He has won four gold medals in the event so far. In the Boys Group I category Srihari Nataraj broke the National record in the 50 m backstroke with a time of 00:26.31. He has broken his own record. Neel Roy has made a new national record in the 200 m Individual Medley Boys Group I breaking his own record set in 2014 with a time of 02:10.26. Md. Rehan Mirza of Assam won the Boys Group III 50 m Breaststroke with a time of 00:34.61 and made a new National record.
  •  In the 4 X 100 m Medley relay Boys Group I, Srihari Nataraj set a new national record of 04:00.76. Karnataka’s Khushi Dinesh won gold medal in the 1500 m race for girls Group I with a timing of 17:58.81. R. Navneeth Gowda won the 100 m freestyle in the boys Group IV category with a time of 01:07.57. Kiara Bangera has won the 100 m Freestyle in Girls Group III with a time of 01:03.52. Anubhuti Baruah of Assam won gold medal in the 100 m Butterfly Girls Group I. Ankit Yadav of Uttar Pradesh won gold in the 50 m breaststroke Boys Group IV with a time of 00:39.31. Sahil Laskar of Bengal won gold medal with a time of 00:29.25 in the Boys Group II 50 m backstroke event.

13) 6 MW small Hydro-electric power project inaugurated by Arunachal Pradesh CM in Gongkhar village

  • On June 26, 2018, The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu inaugurated the 6 MW Shaikangchu small hydro electric project at Gongkhar village in Arunachl Pradesh. Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju was present.  It is considered to be the biggest project undertaken by the department of hydropower in the state. It has 14 hydel stations with total installed capacity of 11.41 MW developed by hydropower department of the state. It will supply electricity to 27 villages around Mukto circle and the surplus power will be supplied to Tawang headquarters.

14) Exim Bank of India extends $10 mn loan facility to Seychelles for healthcare

  • On June 27, 2018, The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) announced that it has extended $10 million worth of line of credit (LOC) toSeychelles. This is for healthcare and procurement of goods and projects. It is the first tranche of the $50 million sanctioned by the Exim Bank to the country. With this agreement for $10 million, Exim Bank, till date, has extended two LOCs to Seychelles, taking the total value to $28 million.
  • Other LOCs of EXIM Bank:
    i. Exim bank earlier had extended two LOCs aggregating $31 million to the Republic of Suriname for upgradation of transmission line network and maintenance of Chetak helicopters there (during the President’s visit in Suriname on June 21,2018)
    ii. Exim Bank has 233 LOCs in place at present, covering 62 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the CIS, with credit commitments of around $22.86 billion, available for financing exports from India.

15) Health Cover Under Odisha’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana Increased

  • The Odisha government decided to raise the health cover from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh under Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) for women. This was announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while interacting with the people of four districts during a video conferencing on Ama Gaon Ama Bikash Yojana. On the occasion, the chief minister also sanctioned Rs 31.54 crore for 154 panchayats in seven blocks of six districts under Ama Gaon Ama Bikash Yojana at the block level.

16) Anant Barua is new SEBI whole-time member

  • Anant Barua has been appointed the new whole-time member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Anant Barua is currently the executive director in SEBI. He has been appointed as whole-time member of SEBI for 3 years. His pay is as admissible to additional secretary to the central government or a consolidated salary of Rs 4 lakh per month. He became the executive director of SEBI in May 2010. Earlier, he was legal adviser, Legal Affairs Department (LAD), SEBI. He started working with LAD from 1992.

17) Nasser Khan Janjua resigns as Pakistan’s National Security Adviser

  • On 27th June 2018, National Security Adviser (NSA) of Pakistan, Nasser Khan Janjua, submitted his resignation. Nasser Khan Janjua is a retired Lieutenant General of the Pakistan Army. He had been Pakistan’s National Security Adviser since October 2015. He had succeeded Sartaj Aziz as NSA. Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk has accepted Nasser Khan Janjua’s resignation. The reason for Nasser Khan Janjua’s resignation has not been mentioned. Earlier, he had served as the Quetta corps commander and National Defence University president.

18) HCL acquires German IT firm H&D International Group

  • HCL Technologies has acquired H&D International Group, a German IT and engineering services provider. Acquisition of H&D International Group is a part of HCL’s long-term growth plan in Germany. H&D International Group is involved in IT Infrastructure, application services particularly in R&D IT, shop floor IT and Industry 4.0 solutions and has extensive expertise in SAP, computer-aided technologies (CAx), engineering services and customer-specific product development. It functions in more than 20 locations worldwide. H&D’s existing delivery centre in Gifhorn, Germany, will become part of HCL Tech’s global delivery footprint. It will focus on IT and engineering services in Germany and across the world.

19) Sagarmala’ receives Gold Award at the 52nd Skoch Summit 2018

  • The Ministry of Shipping’s ‘Sagarmala’ programme was awarded the ‘Gold Award’ in infrastructure sector in the 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 that recently ended in New Delhi. The award was presented in recognition of the programme’s contribution to India’s socio-economic transformation and in enhancing fast-track growth and infrastructure development. The Sagarmala Programme was also awarded the ‘Order of Merit’. The Secretary (Shipping) Gopal Krishna shared the award with Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari.
  •  The Skoch Awards honours leadership and excellence in promoting socio-economic changes. The Joint Secretary (Sagarmala), Ministry of Shipping, Kailash Kumar Aggarwal received the award from Sameer Kochar, Chairman, Skoch Group and Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, who was the Chief Guest at the valedictory session of the awards ceremony. The ‘Order of Merit’ was received by Abhishek Chandra, Deputy Secretary (Sagarmala) Ministry of Shipping. Sagarmala is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for port-led-development of India by utilising India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location of India on major international maritime trade route.
  • The Sagarmala programme aims to double the share of domestic waterways (inland & coastal) in the modal mix, produce logistic cost savings of Rs. 35,000-40,000 Cr per annum, enhance merchandize exports by USD 110 Billion and creation of 1 Crore new jobs, including 40 Lac direct jobs, in the next 10 years. Under Sagarmala programme, over 576 projects with an estimated project cost of Rs. 8.7 Lac Crore have been identified for implementation over 20 years. Out of the 576 projects, 69 projects worth more than Rs. 13,500 Crore have already been completed. Another 424 projects worth more than Rs. 4.1 Lac Crore are under various stages of implementation and development.
  •  Nearly 97 projects worth more than Rs. 38,000 Crore would be completed in 2018. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had given its ‘in-principle’ approval for the concept and institutional framework of Sagarmala Project in 2015. The National Perspective Plan (NPP) was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inaugural Maritime India Summit in April 2016, in Mumbai.

20) Social activist Pushpa Bhave selected for Rajarshi Shahu award

  • On 26th June 2018, Pushpa Bhave, an eminent scholar and social activist was awarded the ‘Rajarshi Shahu Puraskar’ at an event in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.The function was organised on 26th June 2018 on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Rajarshi Shahu, a former ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Kolhapur. The ‘Rajarshi Shahu Puraskar’ award is given in the memory of Rajarshi Shahu, a well-known social reformer. The award consists of a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh. The award honours remarkable contribution of an individual in social work, science, fine arts, education and sports sectors.
  •  Pushpa Bhave is a resident of Mumbai. She has been active in several fields. She is 79 years old. She is also a thinker and an author. She has been honoured with this award for her contribution to several fields. She has fought for the empowerment of Dalits, women head loaders, sweepers, women beedi workers etc.She had involved in many political struggles. She also participated in the Samyukt Maharashtra Movement that started in 1956 to fight for a separate state for Marathi-speaking people. She also supported the Narmada Bachao Andolan for rehabilitation of dam-affected people.

21) Aye Finance introduces android-based App to expedite MSME lending

  • On 27th June 2018, Aye Finance announced the launch of an android-based loan application workflow for its fleet executives.The android-based loan application solution to expedite MSME lending will help in faster delivery for micro businesses.Aye Finance has equipped its 1000+ field staff with an android based loan application workflow that works on the cloud infrastructure enabling low cost operations that helps the inclusion of a larger number of grassroots businesses in organized lending.This platform integrates the entire loan process including customer enrolment, underwriting, monitoring and disbursal, improved accuracy and turnaround times.

22) Payment for ASHA workers hiked by 25%: Himachal Pradesh Cabinet

  • On June 26,2018, The Himachal Pradesh cabinet announced increment of the honorarium of ASHA workers of the health department from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,250. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. This will benefit 7,829 ASHA workers in the state.
  •  It was also decided to open a Government Model ITI at Sansarpur Tarrace in Kangra district along-with creation of requisite staff to manage the institute. Approval  to open a Regional Horticulture and Forestry Development and Extension Centre at Thunagand Jhanjehli in Mandi district was also given.

23) TechnipFMC India CSR initiative “’Seed of Hope” wins special recognition from GCNI

  • On 8th June 2018, TechnipFMC was awarded a special recognition award for their community development initiative in India called ‘Seed of Hope’, at the 13th National Convention 2018 at Shangri-La, Bengaluru. The 13th National Convention 2018 was conducted by Global Compact Network India (GCNI). More than 65 entities from private sector, public sector, NGOs and academic institutes took part in the Case Study Competition to exhibit Innovative Practices on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  •  TechnipFMC has been adjudged by the jury as a responsible corporate citizen in private sector for their integrated village development project at Suva Village in Dahej, Gujarat under the Seed of Hope program. Seed of Hope is the flagship CSR program of TechnipFMC. The project was started in 2016. It aims to enhance the quality of life of the village people in Suva in line with the UN SDGs framework:
    1. improving the quality of education
    2. better access to healthcare
    3. improving skill development
    4. women empowerment with livelihood opportunities
    5. environmental sustainability such as promoting clean energy, hygiene, sanitation and improving biodiversity

24) Uddhav Thackeray’s younger son Tejas Thackeray discovers 11 rare species of crabs

  • Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s younger son Tejas has discovered 11 rare species and a new genus of fresh water crabs in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Tejas Thackeray is 20 years old. His scientific research has been published by the journal named Zootaxa. The team has named the new genus ‘Sahyadriana’. It has been derived from “Sahyadri”. Sahyadri is the name for the Western Ghats in Marathi Language. The genus is endemic to this Mountain range.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 27 2018

1) International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – 26 June

  • On 26th June 2018, International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was observed all over the world. In 1987, the UN General Assembly declared 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This day was coined to enhance efforts to achieve an international society free of drug abuse. This day aims to create awareness of the problems caused by illicit drugs to the society. The theme for International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2018 is: “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.”

2) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – 26 June

  • On 26th June 2018, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was observed all over the world. In 1997, the UN General Assembly declared 26 June as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This day aims to achieve total eradication of torture experienced by victims throughout the world. The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture that is administered by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva is a victim-focused mechanism that provides assistance to victims of torture and their families.

3) India most dangerous country for women due to high risk of sexual violence: survey

  • On 26th June 2018, a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey stated that, India is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence. India is followed by war affected Afghanistan and SyriaSomalia and Saudi Arabia are ranked fourth and fifth respectively. The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey involved around 550 experts on women’s issues. The poll of 548 people was held online, by phone and in person from 26th March and 4th May 2018. It was performed in Europe, Africa, America, South East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific.
  •  The only Western country in the top 10 was the US, which ranked joint third. The survey asked which five of the 193 UN member states they thought were most dangerous for women, which country was worst in terms of healthcare, economic resources, cultural or traditional practices, sexual violence and harassment, non-sexual violence and human trafficking. India is also ranked the most dangerous country for women in terms of human trafficking, sex slavery, domestic servitude, forced marriage, stoning and female infanticide.

4) 15th Session of the India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission co-chaired by Suresh Prabhu was held in Canberra, Australia

  • On June 25, 2018, Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation of India, Suresh Prabhu co-chaired the 15th Session of the India-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission with the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo was held  in Canberra, Australia. Discussion on two-way trade and investment. Discussions on India’s reform journey, including GST implementation, competition policy, insolvency and bankruptcy acts, and ease of doing business initiatives were held and India’s contribution to Australia’s economy.
  • The critical role of the private sector andthe importance of Australian and Indian businesses engaging directly for practical solutions. The success of Australian Business Week in India (ABWI) in connecting Australian businesses with contacts in India. The Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to a high quality and balanced Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries.
  • With the PM of Australia Mr. Malcolm Turnbull:
    Suresh Prabhu met the PM of Australia Mr. Malcolm Turnbull and discussed transfer of technology and expertise related to solar power generation and storage and utilization of power. He also discussed about the reforms like : Goods and Services Tax and JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile connectivity).
  • With the Treasurer, Government of Australia, Scott Morrison:
    They discussed tax reforms and issues arising out of the digital modes of payment.
  • With the David Littleproud, Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources: They shared information about respective agricultural development initiatives and of investments by Australia in the area of agriculture related infrastructure.
    Shri Prabhu also had bilateral meeting with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.

5) World’s Largest Multilateral Naval Exercise RIMPAC Begins

  • The world’s largest multilateral naval exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) begun off Hawaii in the Western Pacific Ocean. The two-month long biennial exercise is likely to be attended by navies of 26 countries including India. Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri has already reached the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to participate in the 26th edition of RIMPAC exercise. INS Sahyadri, commanded by Captain Shantanu Jha, is a state-of-the-art indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate which is a part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command.

6) India, Bangladesh Navies Institute Annual Coordinated Patrol: CORPAT

  • India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual exercise between navies of two neighbouring countries. The first edition of CORPAT between two navies was inaugurated by Indian Navy’s Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit to Bangladesh. The aim Navy Chief’s visit was to consolidate bilateral defence relations between India and Bangladesh and to explore new avenues for naval cooperation. Indian Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.

7) India Is World’s Most Dangerous Country For Women, US 3rd: Survey

  • India is the world’s most dangerous country for women due to the high risk of sexual violence and being forced into slave labour, according to a poll of global experts. War-torn Afghanistan and Syria ranked second and third in the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of about 550 experts on women’s issues, followed by Somalia and Saudi Arabia. The only Western nation in the top 10 was the United States, which ranked joint third when respondents were asked where women were most at risk of sexual violence, harassment and being coerced into sex. Government data shows reported cases of crime against women rose by 83% between 2007 and 2016.

8) President Presents ‘National Awards For Outstanding Services In The Field Of Prevention Of Alcoholism And Drug Abuse’

  • The President of India Ram Nath Kovind presented the “Fourth National Awards for outstanding services in the field of Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drug) Abuse” to the institutions and individuals on the occasion of ‘International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking’  (26 June) at a function organized by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • Here is the complete list of awardees:
    Sl. No. Name of Category of Award Name of Institution/Individual
    1. Best Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts (IRCA) for providing rehabilitation services to alcoholics and drug users. Tapovan Nashamukti Evam Punarwas Sansthan, Rajasthan.
    2. Best Panchayati Raj or Municipal Body working for prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse Lariapali Gram Panchayat, District Sambalpur, Odisha.
    3. Best Educational Institution doing outstanding work in awareness generation and prevention of alcoholism and substance (drug) abuse Punjab Institute of Medical Science, Jalandhar, Punjab.
    4. Best Non-Profit Institution, with outstanding contribution in Prevention of Alcoholism and Substance (Drugs) Abuse Nashabandi Mandal,  Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    5. Best Research or Innovation Drug De-addiction and Treatment Centre (DDTC), Chandigarh.
    6. Best Awareness Campaign State Literacy Mission Authority (SLMA), Bihar.
    7. Outstanding achievement by an Individual. i. Dr. R.C. Sahni, Rajasthan.
    ii. Dr. Rajesh Tukaram Patil, Goa
    iii. Shri L.R. Madhujan,  Kerala.

     

9) Ministry Of Women And Child Development Launches Report On ‘Women In Prisons’

  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has come up with its report titled ‘Women in Prisons’ which aims to build an understanding of the various entitlements of women in prisons, the various issues faced by them and possible methods for resolution of the same. The report contains a comprehensive list of 134 recommendations for improving the lives of women under incarceration, addressing a wide range of issues pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth in prison, mental health, legal aid, reintegration in society and their caregiving responsibilities among others.

10) World Food Prize 2018 awarded to Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro

  • On 25th June 2018, it was announced at an event in the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, that the World Food Prize 2018 will be awarded to Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro. Lawrence Haddad is a British economist and food policy researcher. Dr. David Nabarro has worked with the World Health Organization and United Nations on health and hunger issues. Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro have been recognized for their work to improve nutrition for mothers and children from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday. They have contributed in helping to reduce the world’s number of children stunted from malnourishment from 2012 to 2017.
  •  Lawrence Haddad lives in England. He is the executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. It is a Swiss-based non-profit launched at the United Nations that works to reduce malnutrition. Dr. David Nabarro retired from the United Nations a year ago. He is currently a professor at the Institute of Global Health Innovation at London’s Imperial College. He is setting up 4SD, a social enterprise in Switzerland. It is focused on mentoring the next generation of leaders in global sustainable development. The foundation that awards World Food Prize is based in Des Moines, Iowa. Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro will receive the prize at an event in October 2018 at Des Moines. The prize money is $250,000 (U.S.).

11) Power Discom BYPL Signs MoU With Finnish Company

  • Power distribution company BYPL (BSES Yamuna Power Limited) has signed an MoU with Business Finland, a Finnish government agency, for collaborative activities in different areas, including energy efficiency and electric vehicles. The three year MoU on ‘cooperation in the power distribution sector’ will encompass joint studies, pilot projects, knowledge-sharing and consultancy, research projects for inducting future and emerging technologies at the distribution utility level.

12) World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia from June 22-24, 2018

  • From 22nd to 24th June 2018, the 12th Tunis International Meeting was organized by the National Paralympic Committee of Tunisia, in Tunisia. 17 countries participated in the 2018 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia. 20 athletes from Iran participated. Iran won a total of 23 medals. The final Grand Prix of the 2018 season will be held in Berlin, Germany next week.
  • India’s Amit Kumar Saroha wins gold at World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia:
     India’s Amit Kumar Saroha won gold medal in the men’s club throw F51 event. He is a wheelchair-bound athlete. He made the season’s best performance of 29.42m. In the men’s shot put F57 Kuniya Puyil Sujith threw 11.47m with teammate Bhagat Singh (11.19m) in second place.
  • Some Highlights:
     Morocco’s Fouzia El Kassioui created a new world record in the discus F32. He made a throw of 13.97m and broke the record set by Algerian Mounia Gasmi in 2017. Tunisia’s Samar Ben Koelleb won the women’s shot put F41. Iran’s Mohsen Kaedi won the men’s javelin F33/34. Shahla Hadidi won the women’s discus F54. Mahdi Olad won the men’s discus F11. Mehdi Alizadeh won the shot put F33. Siamak Saleh Farajzadeh won gold medal in the men’s shot put F34.

13) S Ramesh appointed chairman of CBIC

  • S Ramesh has been appointed the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). S Ramesh will replace Vanaja N Sarna. Vanaja N Sarna will superannuates on 30th June 2018. S Ramesh is a 1981 batch officer of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise). He is currently a member in the board of CBIC.
  • He has been made the chairman of CBIC with the status of special secretary to the central government.  Raj Kumar Barthwa, a Senior IRS (Customs and Central Excise) officer, has been named as new member in the CBIC in place of S Ramesh.

14) British Queen Elizabeth Approves Brexit Law

  • Britain’s Queen Elizabeth granted royal assent to Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship Brexit legislation, ending months of debate over the legislation that will formally end the country’s European Union membership. The EU withdrawal bill, passed by both houses of parliament, has been signed into law by the monarch, to cheers from Conservative lawmakers The EU (Withdrawal) Bill repeals the 1972 European Communities Actthrough which Britain became a member, and transfers decades of European law onto British statute books in a bid to avoid any legal disruption.

15) 3,000 Van Dhan Kendras to come up under Van Dhan scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

  • On June 26, 2018, The Government proposes to set up 3000 Van Dhan Kendras involving 30,000 SHGs across the country under the Van Dhan Scheme of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The Prime Minister launched the Van Dhan Scheme of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and TRIFED on 14th April, 2018 during the celebrations of Ambedkar Jayanti at Bijapur Chattisgarh. This initiative has an estimated value: Rs.2 Lakh Cr. per year. Under Van Dhan Scheme, 10 Self Help Groups of 30 Tribal gatherers each have been constituted at Bijapur, Chhattisgarh.
  • The workers are trained by TRIFED and are provided with working capital to add value to the products, which they collect from the Jungle. Working under the leadership of Collector, these groups can then market their products not only within the States but also outside the States.Tribal community owned Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (the Kendra) constitutes of 10 tribal SHGs, each comprising of upto 30 tribal NTFP gatherers or artisans i.e. about 300 beneficiaries per Kendra.
  • It would be set up in predominantly forested tribal districts. It would provide  traditional knowledge & skill sets of tribals by adding technology & IT for value addition.

16) Committee to study for 1000MW floating solar power plant in Ujani Dam: Maharashtra government

  • On June 26, 2018, The Maharashtra government set up a committee to study issues related to the development of a 1,000-MW floating solar power plant at Ujani dam in Solapur district of Maharashtra. Director (Commercial) of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL),Satish Chavan, has been appointed as the head of the committee.
  • The committee will study the environmental impact of the project and monitor the month-wise water level of the dam. It will study the possibilities of using the water bed of the Ujani Dam for the floating solr power plant due to unavailability of large lands. It  will study the water levels of Ujani dam every month, total fluctuation in its water levels and obtain necessary permissions required for the project.

17) Ministry of Health signs a MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

  • On 25th June 2018, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed a MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to expand the short term healthcare courses through its available robust platform. The signing ceremony was presided over by J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.
  •  As per this MoU, curriculum for 10 courses particularly designed for the health sector, will offer over 14 lakh trained manpower by 2025. Aim of this MoU is to expand the health programs to develop trained personnel in the healthcare sector and to set up a dedicated cell for developing, implementing and certifying the skill based programs at IGNOU. A robust monitoring and assessment framework will be developed according to the MoU to make sure that Ministry of Health and Family Welfare standards are followed.
  • Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will offer financial assistance to IGNOU to implement the structure and initiating the programs. The courses will be initiated in phases by IGNOU throughout India. Initially four courses will be launched: Home Health Aide, Geriatric Care Assistant, Phlebotomist and General Duty Assistant. Six skill-based curriculum standardized by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare:  Diabetes Educator, Dietetic Aide, EMT-Basic, Dispensing Optician/VT and Medical Equipment Technology Assistant, will be launched later.
  •  Signing of this MoU is under the existing framework of ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ initiative. Under this, 10 short term course curricula were released in June 2017 by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Through this, training and monitoring network at District Level integrating the tertiary, secondary and primary health care institutions, will be developed. This MoU will handle large scale training in a time-bound manner at an affordable cost.

18) Two-day training workshop on cyber crime targeting children begins in New Delhi

  • On 26th June 2018, a two-day training workshop on cybercrime targeting children started in New Delhi.The workshop is organized by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) along with Police Bureau of Research and Development (PBR&D) and UNESCO. The workshop aims to offer professional training to the investigators who handle crime against children. Police investigators from all states are taking part in this workshop. Stuti Kacker is the Chairperson of NCPCR. Earlier, NCPCR had opened-up POCSO e-box to tackle cybercrime targeted on children.

19)  ‘Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao’ campaign launched aimed at checking depletion of underground water in Punjab

  • On 25th June 2018, a campaign to encourage farmers to voluntarily adopt a new scheme ‘Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao’, for checking depletion of underground water, was launched in Jalandhar, Punjab. Punjab government had proposed to launch this scheme at two clusters/feeders: Bambiwal and Nawajipur on a pilot basis. 178 farmers from Bambiwal feeder and 231 from Nawajipur will be motivated to adopt the scheme.Through this scheme, farmers will receive monetary benefit for less use of tube well.
  • This scheme aims to make sure that farmers utilise the power with restraint to pump out water from ground. Details related to the use of power and money transferred into account of farmers will be provided to them on phone. Initially farmers for Bambiwal, Khusropur, Kukar Pind, Aladinpur and Kot Khurd village of Bambiwal feeder and Malsian, Dabri, Lasuri, Nawajipur, Mullewal Khaira and Mulewal Gharnian under Nawajipur feeder were entitled for Paani Bachao, Paise Kamao.

20) Haryana village panchayat passes ‘No toilet, no bride’ resolution

  • The Godikan panchayat in Haryana has become the first panchayat in India to pass a resolution to marry girls only to families that have a toilet in their house. This move of the Godikan panchayat has been inspired by Bollywood movie Toilet- Ek Prem Katha. The Godikan panchayat has passed this resolution in a motive to ensure the safety and well-being of women. Posters and banners reading “Beti wahin byahenge, jis ghar me shauchalaya payenge” (will marry off our daughters to households where we find a toilet) will be put for display soon. Godikan panchayat has already been declared an Outdoor Defecation Free panchayat.

21) GOAMILES: App-based taxi service to be launched by Goa Tourism Department in July

  • On June 26, 2018, The tourism department of the state of Goa announced that it will launch app-based taxi services in the state called : ‘GOAMILES’ in July 2018. It would help in curbing fleecing by the taxi drivers and easy facilitation  for the passangers. It has more than 2,800 licensed taxi drivers partnering with the app. It aims to boost the digital economy, enable ease of travel for tourists and give taxi drivers better income. The key features of the initiative would be modest pricing and convenience to the traveller. As a part of the programme the taxi drivers would be trained in etiquette as well as knowledge of tourism related sites in Goa. They will be given courses in etiquette, knowledge of tourist places, basic first aid, knowledge of culture and traditions of Goa.

22) Establishment of independent Board of Management for urban co-operative banks for daily up keeping of business: RBI

  • On June 26, 2018, RBI has proposed to set up a board of management for the urban co-operative banks. The guidelines have been recommended by committee headed by former deputy governor of RBI R Gandhi. The objective of the board is to oversee daily business operations. The board should have well qualified members who do not have any business relation with the bank. Regulatory approvals such as expansion of area of operation and opening of new branches may be allowed only for UCBs that have made such a provision in their law.
  • The board of management may be appointed by the board of directors whose term end at the same time as the board of directors. RBI shall have powers to remove any member of BoM and/ or the CEO if the person is found to be not meeting the eligibility criteria prescribed by RBI. Board of directors would be responsible for the general direction and control of a UCB

23) EAM Sushma Swaraj Introduces ‘Passport Seva App’

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj launched the new Passport Seva App. Now, people can apply for a passport from any part of the country through the App. EAM Sushma Swaraj has launched Mobile Passport Application on the occasion of Passport Seva Divas (26 June) in New Delhi. Police verification will be done on the address, provided by the applicant on the app and passport will be dispatched on the same address.

24) Pallavi Darua Crowned As India’s 1st ‘Tribal Queen’

  • Pallavi Durua, who belongs to Odisha’s Koraput district, was crowned as the first Tribal Queen at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition held at Utkal Mandap. Panchami Majhi of Titlagarh and Rashmirekha Hansdah of Mayurbhanj were declared as the first and second runners-up of the beauty pageant respectively.

25) Second tranche of Bharat-22 ETF receives bids worth Rs 15,436 crore

  • On June 25,2018, The Further Fund Offer (FFO) of BHARAT 22 ETF was subscribed approximately 2.57 times the initial issue size and received Rs 15,436 crore in four day FFO period. The Anchor investor category subscribed 3.44 times raising approx. Rs 5,163 crore and Non-anchor investors raised approx. Rs 10,273 crore. It attracted approximately 1.2 lakh applications, oversubscribed across all the categories. The government had a target to raise Rs 6,000 crore through the second tranche of Bharat 22 ETF. It plans to raise Rs 80,000 crore in the current fiscal from disinvestment, lower than over Rs 1 lakh crore raised last year.

26) Lewis Hamilton Wins French Grand Prix

  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) reclaimed the world championship lead with a dominant victory in the French Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver led from start to finish other than one lap around his pit stop to move 14 points ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished fifth. Max Verstappen of Red Bull finished 2nd in the race.

27) South African Indian cinema mogul Moosa passes away

  • On 24th June 2018, South African Indian cinema star Moosa Aboobaker Moosa died due to heart attack, in South Africa. Moosa Aboobaker Moosa was 75 years old. He is said to be the longest-serving cinema group executive in the world. In 2007, he was awarded the South African Film and Television Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. He took over the family cinema business of the Avalon Group, started by his father, which is said to be the first and still only Indian-owned cinema group in South Africa.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 26 2018

1) Day of the seafarer – June 25

  • On 25th June 2018, Day of the seafarer was celebrated throughout the world. 25th June was declared as the Day of the seafarer in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised STCW Convention. The resolution encourages Governments, shipping organizations, companies, ship owners etc. to promote the Day of the Seafarer and celebrate it meaningfully. Day of the Seafarer is recognized as an observance day by the United Nations. This day recognizes the contribution of seafarers to international seaborne trade, the world economy and the global community. Day of the Seafarer is coordinated by the International Maritime Organization. The theme for Day of the Seafarer 2018 is:“seafarers’ wellbeing”.

2) Oslo hosts anti-doping sports conference: “Clean Sport=Fair Outcome?”

  • On 25th June 2018, an anti-doping sports conference named “Clean Sport=Fair Outcome?” was conducted to address the issue of doping, at Oslo, Norway. The conference is a joint initiative of the World Forum for Ethics in Business (WFEB), Anti-Doping Norway and FairSport. The conference was conducted to formulate a substantial agenda for action, to impact the current anti-doping reforms and policy framework. Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Founder of The Art of Living and WFEB, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Vice-President Linda Hofstad Helleland, US Anti-Doping Agency’s CEO Travis Tygart were among the 22 speakers.
  •  The conference addressed several governance issues in sports. The winner of the 2018 Ethics in Sports Award was also announced. The Anti-Doping in Sports conference is a continuation of WFEB’s conference series on Ethics in Sports’. Previous editions of the conference were held at the FIFA headquarters (2014, 2016) and at the stadium of Germany’s soccer club, Union Berlin (2015).

3) India, Bangladesh Navies to join hands for Coordinated Patrol for the first time

  • On June 25, 2018, to continue the traditionally strong bond between the navies of India and Bangladesh , the two navies have joined forces to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)This will be the first edition of such an exercise inaugurated by the Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit to Bangladesh from June 24 to 29 2018. This would ensure bilateral defence relation between the two nations.

4) RemoveDEBRIS: First satellite to demonstrate technology to clean up space junk deployed

  • RemoveDebris, the first-ever satellite to test possible solutions in cleaning up space junk has been deployed by theInternational Space Station (ISS). RemoveDebris will begin experiments in orbit soon. It will use various innovative technologies to clean up space debris. It will try to address the build-up of dangerous space debris orbiting Earth. It was transported to the ISS through the SpaceX CRS-14 launch in April 2018 from Florida. The satellite was designed, built and manufactured by a consortium of space companies and research institutions, led by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey.
  • The project is co-funded by the European Commission. The RemoveDebris mission will conduct 4 experiments, that involves harpoon capture in orbit and a net that will be used on a deployed target. The team will also test a vision-based navigation system that uses cameras and Light Detection and Radar (LIDAR) technology to observe CubeSats. RemoveDebris will deploy a large sail that will drag it into the Earth’s atmosphere and will be destroyed. RemoveDebris spacecraft weighs 100 kg. RemoveDEBRIS is built by the world’s leading small satellite manufacturer Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL). The technology on board is designed by Airbus.

5) Gender inequality extremely high in work & politics in India: McKinsey Global Institute

  • On June 25, 2018, a recent report by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) for the Asia-Pacific region, India’s gender inequality is extremely high on work & politics. India’s score was 0.30 in gender equality at work and 0.78 in legal protection and political voice out of 1.0 scale. India behind the Asia-Pacific average in all four, but ahead of Bangladesh and Pakistan. India has progressed faster than any other country in the Asia-Pacific region in the last 10 years.This was calculated on the basis of a Gender Parity Score (GPS) that uses 15 indicators of gender equality in work and society. It has broad categories : Work, Services & enablers, Legal & political, Physical Security. 
  • Here it can be categorized as :
    Points Category
    0.-0.50 Extremely high inequality
    0.50-0.75 High inequality
    0.75-0.95 Medium Inequality
    0.95-1.0 Low Inequality

6) Seychelles President’s Visit To India: List Of MoUs Signed

  • Seychelles President Danny Faure is on his first bilateral visit to India. He held the talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reviewed the wide-ranging cooperation between the two countries, including in the fields of defence and security.
  • Here is the list of MoUs signed between the 2 countries:
    1. MOU between India and Seychelles regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Small Development Projects through Local Bodies, Educational and Vocational Institutions,
    2. Twinning Agreement on the Establishment of Friendship and Cooperation between the Corporation of the City of Panaji (Municipal Corporation) and the City of Victoria of the Republic of Seychelles,
    3. MOU between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, India and the Department of Information Communications Technology of Seychelles on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security,
    4. Cultural Exchange Programme between India and Seychelles for the years 2018-2022,
    5. Technical Agreement on Sharing White Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the National Information Sharing and Coordination Center of Seychelles,
    6. MOU between the Foreign Service Institute of the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Department of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles.

7) Saudi ARAMCO, ADNOC Signed MoU For Refinery Project Of Maharashtra

  • Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The MoU was signed by Amin H. Nasser, Saudi Aramco President and CEO and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber,UAE Minister of State & ADNOC Group CEO. Earlier, Saudi Aramco had joined the Ratnagiri Refinery project by signing an MoU with the Indian consortium in April 2018 on the sidelines of the 16th International Energy Forum Ministerial.

8) NCST to organise “National Seminar on Conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands: The Way Forward” in New Delhi on June 27-28,2018

  • On June 25, 2018, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced that National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) is organizing a National Seminar on “Conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Way Forward” on 27th and 28th June, 2018 at Kamaladevi Multipurpose Hall, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. To discuss strategies for conservation of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Organizations involved in the seminar:
    This Seminar is being organized in collaboration with Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI)and Directors of 18 Tribal Research Institutes in different States have also been invited. The two day seminar is bring organized by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). Vice Chancellors of six Universities including Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak will provide academic inputs on PVTGs.
  • About the Seminar :
    This seminar would highlight the challenges they face and to preserve them as they are in the verge of extinction. The deliberations will discuss the impact of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation 1956 (amended in 2005 and 2012), 2004 Policy on Jarawa Tribes of Andaman and Nicobar and 2015 Policy on Shompen of Great Nicobar Islands. The concerened the most primitive tribal groups are: Great Andamanese, Onge, Jarawa, Sentinelese, Nicobarese and Shompens. Exclusive Thematic Sessions will be held on the Sentinelese, Great Andamanies, Onge, Jarawa, Shompen.

9) 2-Day Annual Meeting Of AIIB Begins In Mumbai

  • The 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has begun in Mumbai. In the past, AIIB annual meetings have been held in Beijing, China, in 2016 and in Jeju, South Korea, in 2017. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilising Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration” that will see leaders from varied organizations and levels of government to share ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.

10) UP CM launches campaign to clean Gomti river to create awareness of protecting the environment

  • On June 25, 2018, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a campaign to clean the Gomti river. To create awareness among people for protecting the environment. The Campaign was launched from Jhulelal Vatika on the banks of the Gomti river. Plant saplings were also distributed on this occasion.
  • Dams in UP:
    Rajghat Dam, Rihand Dam, Matatila Dam, Parichha Dam, Ganges Barrage, Sharda Barrage.

11) Gujarat Launches ‘Suryashakti Kisan Yojana’ For Farmers

  • The Gujarat government launched a solar power scheme for farmers- Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY)enabling them to generate electricity for their captive consumption as well as sell the surplus power to the grid and earn an extra buck. The announcement was made by the Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar.  As per the scheme, farmers having existing electricity connection will be given solar panels as per their load requirements. The State and Central governments will give 60% subsidy on the cost of the project. The farmer is required to take 5% cost, while 35% will be provided to him as an affordable loan with interest rates of 4.5-6%.

12) Archer Deepika Kumari Wins Gold At Salt Lake World Cup

  • Archer Deepika Kumari won her first individual gold medal in six years at the Salt Lake World Cup, in the USA. She defeated Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the recurve final. The win ensured Deepika will represent the country at the season-ending Archery World Cup Final in Samsun, Turkey in October 2018. In six appearances at the Archery World Cup, Deepika had come back with silver medals in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 but this time she finally got the Gold.

13) India is the largest borrower from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with borrowed grants worth $4.4billion

  • On June 25, 2018, In the 3rd annual meeting of AIIB Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs Shri Subhash Chndra Garg announced that India is the largest borrower from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.  India has a total project portfolios of US$4.4 BillionIt is being  held in Mumbai on June 25-26 2018. The third Annual Meeting of the bank focuses on infrastructure, with the theme of innovation and collaboration. The Annual Meeting will see participation from 86 members and member  states .
  •  AIIB has intended to invest in projects outside Asia . So far it has invested in solar projects in Egypt. While 75% of the capital is from Asia, several non-Asian regions like Europe, North America, some East African and Latin American countries have also joined the bank as members.
     Among other dicsussions the proposal to have an independent credit rating agency for the BRICS nations is on track and will be discussed at a meeting in Johannesburg in July 2018.

14) AIIB to invest $200 million into an NIIF fund of funds for infrastructure projects

  • On June 25, 2018, The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is likely to invest USD 200 million in a fund of funds set up by India to take interest in infra projects. Out of the $200 million, $100 million would be given now and the rest $100 million later. This investment is for the NIIF ( National Investments & Infrastructure Fund). There will be a leverage of 10-12 times on the original investment, which can result in up to USD 2.4 billion flowing into infrastructure projects.
  • About the NIIF: National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) is a fund created by the Government of India for enhancing infrastructure financing in the country.
    • This is different from the National Investment Fund.
    • NIIF was proposed to be set up as a Trust, to raise debt to invest in the equity of infrastructure finance companies such as Indian Rail Finance Corporation (IRFC) and National Housing Bank (NHB)

    The projected corpus of the NIIF is USD 6 billion. Other investment partners of NIIF is : the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority that has invested  USD 250 million.

  • About AIIB’s investments in India: The 2016-incorporated AIIB has approved USD 4.4 billion investments in the country, including USD 1.2 billion. The bank has a pipeline of USD 1.9 billion in six projects in projects in the transport, energy, water and waste management areas in the country. India’s proposal to AIIB to fund USD 475 million for the Mumbai Urban Transport Project- III has been approved.

15) Credit Rating Model: Government testing big data system to aid banks assess credit risks

  • On June 25, 2018, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has announced that it is testing a new credit rating model for assisting the banks especially rural and cooperative banks to tackle the issue of NPAs. The MeitY sponsored project includes Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Bangalore-based IT firm Processware System and two cooperative banks as partners. This project will help in assessing credit risk and probability of fraud using big data analysis. It will help banks quantify risks associated with retail loans such as personal loans, gold loans and vehicle loans. This is beign done with the help of a statistical and machine learning algorithm model to calculate the probability of default.

16) IFCI to raise Rs 3,000 cr from debt to fund business growth in the current financial year

  • On June 25, 2018, The country’s oldest public sector financial institution IFCI plans to raise Rs 3,000 crore from debt, including bonds, during the current fiscal. The company is targeting loan sanction of Rs 500 crore per month which rounds off to Rs.6000 crore for the period of 2018-19. To be able to do this it has to raise Rs.3000 crore thorugh bonds. The lender also expects to recover about Rs 2,000 crore of NPA. The net NPAs or bad loans of IFCI were at Rs 5,100 crore at the end of March 31, 2018. Of the 12 large NPA accounts with over Rs 5,000 crore identified by RBI as bad loan cases IFCI has of them.

17) Recep Tayyip Erdogan re-elected as President

  • On June 25, 2018, Recep Tayyip has been re-elected as President of Turkey. He got more than half the votes required to secure victory. The election saw a record turnout of 87 percent. The 64-year-old also declared victory for the People’s Alliance, a bloc between his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). They have won a parliamentary majority in the legislative elections. Muharrem Ince, of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), received 30.6 percent of the votes. The voting marked the first time Turkish voters cast their ballots in simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with the constitutional changes approved in 2017.

18) Kalki to be conferred with French honour

  • On June 22, 2018, Actor Kalki Koechlin will be conferred with the French distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for her contribution in enhancing Indo-French ties in cinema. It was presented by the Ambassador of France to India, Alexandre Ziegler on his visit to Mumbai from June 22-23,2018.

19) BSE to launch new platform to list startups next month

  • On June 25, 2018, BSE to launch platform to make stock market listing attractive for startups. It will be launched at its SME (small and medium enterprise) segment. It will facilitate the listing of companies in sectors like IT, ITES, bio-technology and life sciences, 3D printing, space technology and e-commerce. It will aid in listing of companies from hi-tech defence, drones, nano technologies, artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality, e-gaming, robotics, genetic engineering, among other sectors.
  • Eligibility of the company:
     A company needs to have a pre-issue paid up equity share capital of a minimum of Rs 1 crore. It should be in existence for a minimum period of three years on the date of filing the draft prospectus with BSE. It should have a positive net worth. The firm seeking to list on the platform should not have been referred to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (IBC):
    An Act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to reorganization and insolvency resolution of corporate persons, partnership firms and individuals in a time bound manner for maximisation of value of assets of such persons, to promote entrepreneurship, availability of credit and balance the interests of all the stakeholders including alteration in the order of priority of payment of Government dues and to establish an Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.

20) Realtor Sumadhura group ropes in MS Dhoni as brand ambassador

  • On 25th June 2018, Sumadhura Group, a Realty firm announced that, it has appointed cricket player MS Dhoni as its brand ambassador. MS Dhoni is the first brand ambassador to represent the Sumadhura group brand in their national campaigns in a multi-year engagement. MS Dhoni is the captain of Chennai Super Kings at present.

21) Chemistry World Cup of Olympic Boxing 2018 in Halle, Germany

  • From 19th to 24th June 2018, Chemistry World Cup of Olympic Boxing 2018 was held in Halle, Germany. The Chemistry Worldcup of Olympic Boxing 2018 for Men/ Elite was held in Halle, Germany. The Tournament was conducted in 10 Weight Categories: 49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg, 91+kg. Cuba topped the medal tally by winning 9 medals in total. It was followed by Germany with 8 medals. India won a total of 6 medals. India won 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals. It was followed by Ireland with 5 medals. Russia won a total of 4 medals.
  • Indian contingent picked up two gold, a silver and three bronze medals:
     Gaurav Solanki (52kg) defeated Cuba’s Jorge Alejandro Merencio and won a gold medal. Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) defeated India’s Madan Lal and won a gold medal. Madan Lal won the silver medal. The bronze medals were won by Amit Panghal (49kg), Dheeraj Rangi (64kg) and Narender (+91kg).

22) Lewis Hamilton wins French Grand Prix

  • On 24th June 2018, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes team won the French Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was given a five-second penalty for creating a collision with Valtteri Bottas. Sebastian Vettel finished the race in the fifth position. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen secured second place. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished in the third position. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo came fourth. Kevin Magnussen in the Haas came sixth. Mercedes’ Valterri Bottas finished in the second position. Renaults’ Carlos Sainz and Nico Hülkenberg secured eighth spot and 9th spot respectively. Sauber’s Charles Leclerc secured 10th position.

23) Ulaanbaatar Cup 2018 (boxing)

  • From 21st to 24th June 2018, Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing tournament 2018 was held in in Mongolia. This year marked the 70th anniversary since the tournament was introduced in Mongolia. India won a total of 9 medals in the tournament. India’s Mandeep Jangra (69kg) won a gold medal. Sonia Lather (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Himanshu Sharma (49kg) and Etash Khan (56kg) won silver medals. Shiva Thapa (60kg), Vanhmlimpuia (75kg), Ashish (64kg), and Bina Devi Koijam (48kg) won bronze medals.

24) Chain Singh wins gold in three-position rifle event in the KSS Memorial Shooting Championship

  • On 23rd June 2018, Chain Singh won gold in the three-position rifle event in the KSS Memorial Shooting Championship at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi. In the individual category of the three-position rifle event Chain Singh won gold with a score of 452.6. Gagan Narang missed by a margin of 2.4 points (450.2). Chain represents the Army Marksman Unit. Gagan Narang represents Air India. From Indian Army, Surendra Singh Rathore won bronze medal with a score of 438.3.
  •  In the team category, the Army team of Surendra Singh, Chain Singh and Satyendra Singh scored 3473 and won the first spot. Aishwarya Singh, Navdeep Rathore and Harshit Binjwa won silver medal with 3439 points for Madhya Pradesh. Navy team of G. Purshotam, Rahul Poonia and Nigma Parida won bronze medal.
  • In the junior (men) category of the same discipline, Abhay Kumar Goel surpassed Akash Patidar (441.9) by scoring 442.7. Goa’s Yash Padloskar with a total of 422.8, won bronze medal. Gaayathri N. of Tamil Nadu scored 453.3 and Haryana’s Sonika with 439.5 won bronze medal. Hema, Lajja Gauswami and Mistry Gunjan won gold medal in the team event. Haryana’s Sonika, Kajal Saini and Aditi Singh secured second spot with a total of 3411. Maharashtra team won the third spot with a score of 3390. Deepak Sharma won gold medal with 242. Om Prakash Mitharwal (241.8) won silver medal. Abhishek Verma won bronze with a score of 220.8.

25) Saketh Myneni jumps 85 places in ATP rankings after Fergana show

  • Saketh Myneni has improved 85 places and reached 362 in the latest ATP singles rankings. Yuki Bhambri has reached 85. He was followed by Ramkumar Ramanathan at 125, Prajnesh Gunneswaran at 165 and Sumit Nagal at 239. In the doubles, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan has entered top-100 again and has reached 93. Rohan Bopanna is in 24. He is followed by Divij Sharan at 43, Leander Paes at 67 and Purav Raja at 74. In the WTA chart, Ankita Raina has reached 213 and Karman Kaur Thandi has moved to 258.

26) IIFA Awards 2018 Announced: Complete List Of Winners

  • At the Indian International Film Awards (IIFA), late star Sridevi won Best Actress (posthumously) for MOM while Irrfan Khan was given the Best Actor Award for Hindi Medium. The award ceremony was held in Bangkok. Vidya Balan’s Tumhari Sulu was awarded the Best Film trophy. Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh hosted the show.

  • Here’s the complete list of winners:

    S. No. Category Winners
    1. Best Film Tumhari Sulu
    2. Best Actor in a leading role (Female) Sridevi (MOM)
    3. Best Actor in a leading role (Male) Irrfan Khan (Hindi Medium)
    4. Best Actor In Supporting Role (Female) Meher Vij (Secret Superstar)
    5. Best Actor In Supporting Role (Male) Nawazzuddin Siddiqui (MOM)
    6. Best Director Saket Chaudhary (Hindi Medium)
    7. Best Debut Director Konkona Sensharma (A Death in the Gunj)
    8. Outstanding Achievement by an Actor in Indian Cinema Anupam Kher
    9. Best Story Amit V Masurkar (Newton)
    `10. Best Music Direction Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva (Badrinath Ki Dulhania)
    11. Best Background Score Pritam (Jagga Jasoos)
    12. Best Screenplay Nitesh Tiwari, Shreyas Jain (Bareilly Ki Barfi)
    13. Best Playback Singer Female Meghna Mishra (Main Kaun Hoon – Secret Superstar)
    14. Best Playback Singer Male Arijit Singh (Hawayein – Jab Harry Met Sejal)
    15. Best Lyrics Nusrat Fateh Ali, A1 Melody Fana & Manoj Muntashir (Mere Rashke Qamar – Baadshaho)
    16. Best Choreography Vijay Ganguly and Ruel Dausan Varindani (Galti Se Mistake – Jagga Jasoos)
    17. Best Style Icon of the Year Kriti Sanon

     

27) Award-Winning Poet Donald Hall Passes Away

  • Award-winning American poet and writer Donald Hall passed away at the age of 89. He was the United States Poet Laureate for 2007-’08 and received the Robert Frost Medal in 1991 and the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honour for artists, in 2010. Hall began writing when he was just 12 years old. Over the course of a career that spanned more than seven decades, he wrote more than 40 books, half of which were works of poetry.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 24 & 25 2018

1) Mongolia launches construction of its first oil refinery with $1 billion Indian aid

  • On June 23, 2018, Mongolia launched construction of its first oil refinery that is funded by India in a ceremony that was attended by Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and the Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa. It will be capable of processing 1.5 million tonnes of crude oil each year That is about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd). The cost of the refinery is estimated at $1.35 billion, and it will include a pipeline and its own power plant. It is planned for completion in late 2022. It will meet demand for gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The project is expected to boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product by 10 per cent.
  •  Mongolia imported almost 1.5 million tonnes of oil products last year. Mongolia, a large landlocked country wedged between giants China and Russia, has a population of just 3 million. The refinery’s financing is part of a $1-billion credit line agreement between Mongolia and the Export-Import Bank of India, made during a 2015 visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

2) Tourism Minister to attend Incredible India road shows in the United States

  • On June 18- 22, 2018, The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, Shri K. J. Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the United States of AmericaThe road shows were held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston. This is to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination. Additionally, the Minister also attended the Federation of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA) Convention 2018 in Chicago on 22nd June 2018.

3) First-ever UK-India Week 2018 held in London to promote bilateral trade and investments

  • On June 23, 2018, to mark the start of UK-India Week 2018 a bilateral meeting was held at the Taj Hotel in London. This was held for promoting prosperity, generating jobs, developing skills, and enhancing the competitiveness of the 2 economies. The next UK-India Joint Economic Trade Committee to be held in India in 2018.
  • Achievements of UK-India Bilateral relations: Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, and reached some £18 billion in 2017. The rate of growth reached a remarkable 15% in the first 3 quarters of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. Over 80% of masala bond issuances to date have taken place in London, to a value of more than $3.9 billion. The UK has been the largest G20 investor in India over the last 10 years. There are over 270 British companies operating there, employing nearly 800,000 people.

4) President 3-Nation Visit: India & Cuba Sign MoUs

  • India and Cuba have signed two MoUs in the field of biotechnology, traditional medicine and homoeopathy. The agreements were inked following delegation-level talks between President Ram Nath Kovind and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel in Havana. Cuba also reiterated its support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in UN Security Council. The President is in the Latin American country on the final leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba.

5) India’s R Praggnanandhaa Becomes World’s 2nd Youngest Chess Grand Master

  • India’s R Praggnanandhaa has become the country’s youngest and the world’s second youngest Grand Master at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 13 days after reaching the final round of the ongoing Grendine Open in Italy. The Chennai-based player was paired with Grand Master Prujjsers Roland in the final round, which ensured that he would achieve the feat. Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin remains the youngest ever GM, having achieved the feat at the age of 12 years and seven months in 2002.

6) Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli Visits China, Signed Agreements

  • Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli is on his first visit to China after assuming the charge as Prime Minister. China will build a railway connecting the western region of Tibet with Nepal, one of several bilateral deals signed during Oli’s visit to Beijing. The link will connect the Tibetan city of Xigaze with Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. The two sides signed more than 10 agreements involving technology, transportation, infrastructure and political cooperation. Nepal has already scrapped a $2.5 billion deal with China’s state-owned Gezhouba Group to build a hydropower facility in the west of the country.

7) Minister of External Affairs visit to Italy, France Luxemberg and Belgium Visit to Italy

  •  On June 18,2018,marks the 70th year of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and Italy. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj  announced a bilateral Letter of Intent was signed between India and France in her presence on cooperation in the field of conservation of pre-historic ornate caves and rock shelters. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj announced the construction of a war memorial at Villers Guislain, a town around 200 km from Paris.

8) India’s first robotic telescope opens its eyes to the universe

  • India’s first robotic telescope located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at Hanle in Ladakh has started observing the skies.This is India’s first robotic telescope and the first one designed to observe dynamic or transient events in the universe. The telescope started observation on 12th June 2018. The facility at Hanle is called GROWTH-India. It is part of a multi-country collaborative initiative called ‘Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen’ (GROWTH) to observe transient events in the universe. The fully robotic optical research telescope has been designed to capture cosmic events happening in timescales much shorter than light years.
  • Universities and research institutes from the US, the UK, Japan, India, Germany, Taiwan and Israel are part of this initiative. Main objective of this project is time domain astronomy that involves the study of explosive transients and variable sources in the universe. The telescope is worth Rs 3.5 crore. It is a joint project of Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) based in Bengaluru and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB). The project is completely funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the PIRE project, administered by Indo US Science and Technology Forum. The robotic telescope measures 70 cm. It would produce more than one thousand gigabytes of data in one year.

9) Centre bans AIQS an affiliate of Al-Qaeda , Islamic State.

  • On June 21,2018, The Home Ministry issued a notification that Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), an affiliated of Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Khorasan Province(ISKP) has been banned under Anti-Terror Law , The Unlawful activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 Their recruitment of youth from India and radicalization are a matter of serious concern for the National Security and international peace. The AQIS has been spreading and promoting provocative messages in social media.

10) Power Minister Shri RK Singh launches campaign to promote energy efficiency

  • On June 23, 2018, Shri R.K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in the area of air-conditioning. According to a study carried out by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the guidance of Ministry of Power, the default setting in the air-conditioning should be at 24 degree Celsius. After an awareness campaign of 4-6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power would consider making this mandatory his will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone. The targeted commercial buildings will include Airports, Hotels, Shopping Malls, Officers and Government Buildings (Ministries & attached offices, State Government and Public Sector Undertakings).

11) PM Modi inaugurated urban projects worth over Rs 40 bn in Madhya Pradesh

  • On June 23, 2018, during his visit to Madhya Pradesh, Prime Miniser Narendra Modi inaugurated several urban development projects worth over Rs 40 billion, at various locations across the State. The development projects include : houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects. Mr. Modi will contribute the Mohanpura Irrigation Project worth ₹3,866 crore in Rajgarh district. He will also praise the winners of cleanliness survey — Swachh Survekshan 2018 and give away the Cleanliness Survey-2018 Awardsto representatives of Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh, the cities that secured top three positions in the survey.
  • He will also inaugurate the state government’s urban transport scheme named ‘Sutra Seva’ at Indore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. The ‘griha pravesh’ (house warming ceremony) of all 1,00,219 beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana also be performed . He dedicates 23 development projects at a cost of ₹278.26 crore under the Smart City Mission to various cities and also inaugurate drinking water schemes for 14 urban areas. Parks developed under the AMRUT Yojana in 10 urban areas.

12) Cabinet nod to set up private industrial park as DTA to be built by TATA Steels in Ganjam District, Odisha

  • On June 23, 2018, Odisha cabinet has approved a proposal to utilise a piece of land in Ganjam district as a Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) to set up a Private Industrial Park by Tata Steel company. The Park will be under The Odisha Industrial Infrastructural Development Corporation (IDCO). Out of the proposed 2970 acre land at Gopalpur in Ganjam district, 1235 acre to be utilised by TATA Steel Special Economic Zone Ltd (TSSEZL) and remaining 1735 acre would be utilised by the TSSEZL for setting up a Private Industrial Park as Domestic Tariff Area.

13)Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu lays foundation for iCon tower in Amaravati

  • On June 22,2018 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation for icon tower in Amaravati.It is to be constructed by Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugus (AP NRT) society at Rayapudi village, will become a center for many NRT owned IT industries. It is 33 floor/158-meter high. The construction of building will be in the form of letter ‘A’ and it represents Amaravati. The iconic structure will give a stunning 360° degree view of Amaravati for the occupants.
  • It will cost around Rs.500 with features like revolving restaurants, NRT club, world-class auditorium, high-end classrooms with state of the art audio video equipment, and sustainability features with water and energy conservation. This tower will enable the establishment of about a hundred software companies resulting in more than 5000 direct and several thousand indirect jobs.

14) Kota in Guinness World Records for largest yoga session with the presence of 1.05 lakh people

  • On June 21,2018, A Guinness World Record was created in Rajasthan’s Kota city, where more than 1.05 lakh people performed yoga to mark International Yoga Day. The event took place at R.A.C. Ground in the presence of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. The previous record of yoga, performed by 55,524 people, was achieved in Mysore in 2017. 177 countries of the world, including 43 Muslim countries, had adopted yoga for the benefit of their citizens.

15) Three day Photo Exhibition on ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Khelo India Khelo’inaugurated in Chandigarh inaugurated by Shri Vijay Sampla

  • On June 23,2018, The Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla in augurated a three day Photo Exhibition  on‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao  campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Khelo India Khelo’ in  Chandigarh. This event was organized by The Photo Journalists Welfare Association. 88 Photographs of 49 Photo Journalists are displayed in the exhibition from all over India and abroad. The participation of girls in the field of Photo Journalism was emphasized.

16) 22nd edition of 3-day annual Sindhu Darshan Festival begins today in Ladakh region of J&K on the banks of Indus

  • On June 23,2018, A three-day annual Sindhu Darshan Festival celebrates on the bank of Indus River starts from today in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. This year marked the 22nd Sindhu Darshan festival and it was started by the former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani in 1997. The Festival organised by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti and Ladakh Phandey Tsogspa, Leh. It was inaugurated by RSS General Secretary Bhaiya Ji. The event focused on national integration, communal harmony and national pride. It was marked by holy dip in the Indus River, hosting of national flag and cultural programme of different areas of the country.

17) Centre has sanctioned Rs 1800 crore Tourism projects for various districts of Himachal Pradesh

  • On June 24, 2018, The Union government has sanctioned Rs 1,800 crore for tourism development projects in Himachal PradeshThis would help in enhancing Himachal as major tourism destination.
  • In Garagushaini 
    The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced that Garagushaini area would be developed from eco-tourism point of view. He laid foundation stone of for the Science Lab block of the Government Senior Secondary School. The government has also provided Rs 5 crore for Degree College Gadaguisaini. Helicopter services between Shimla and Chandigarh are being operated thrice a week to facilitate tourists.
  • In the Kullu District:
    Central government has sanctioned development projects worth Rs 4,365 crore for the state. He also announced construction of helipad in Banjar and opening of fire sub-station, upgrade of police post to police station and the HRTC Sub Depot at Banjar. He performed ‘Bhoomi Pujan’ of the Jibhi-Tandi road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 2.45 crore. He also laid foundation stone for the new building of Block Development Officer, Banjar to be constructed at a cost of Rs 3.50 crore.

18) PM inaugurates 11.2km long Delhi Metro’s Mundka-Bahadurgarh section

  • On June 24, 2018, PM inaugurated the Delhi Metro’s Mundka-Bahadurgarh section. In a video conference he stressed the importance of Metros in urban development. The 11.2-km-long fully-elevated Mundka-Bahadurgarh corridor is part of the Delhi Metro’s Green Line. The Mundka-Bahadurgarh stretch, with seven stations, would be an extension of the existing Green Line (standard-gauge tracks) from Inderlok to Mundka.
  •  After the opening of this corridor, the entire Inderlok-Bahadurgarh section would become 26.33 km long. After this, The Delhi Metro network will now expand to 288 km with 208 stations. This is the third line of connectivity to the neighbouring state of Haryana. Metro services are already operational in Gurgaon and Faridabad. The stations will be Mundka Industrial Area, Ghevra, Tikri Kalan and Tikri Border, while in Haryana, it will be Modern Industrial Estate, Bus Stand and City Park.

19) Swachh Survekshan 2018 report was released by PM Modi; Indore and Bhopal retain their earlier top two positions

  • On June 24, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented awards to the top states, cities and Organizations of the Swachh Survekshan 2018 in Indore. Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan, Sh. ShivrajSingh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Sh. Hardeep S Puri, MoS (I/C), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and were also present .
  • About the Rankings:
    States:

    States Position
    Jharkhand 1
    Maharashtra 2
    Chattisgarh 3

    Cities:

    Cities Ranking
    Indore 1
    Bhopal 2
    Chandigarh 3

    Organisation:

    Organisation Place Category
    Bakeys Foods Private Limited  Hyderabad ‘Swachh Innovation’
    Saahas Waste Management Private Limited  Bengaluru Swachh Best Practice category
    Daily Dump Bengaluru Swachh Entrepreneur award

     

  • IT provides details regarding the activities and processes, the products (customized applications) and services deployed during this massive exercise which spanned over 66 days (Jan.4 to Mar.10) It is the list of all the awardees at the National Level under various population categories i.e. above 10 lakhs, between 3 to 10 lakh, and 1 to 3 lakh population ULBs and the Zonal level awards. It also has a separate section for the Cantonment Boards with a list of the awardees and the National Level Top 20 Cantonment Board Ranking.

20) Gujarat CM announces Suryashakti Yojana for farmers worth Rs.870 crore

  • On June 23,2018, The Gujarat Government announced the launch of the Rs 870-crore pilot project of Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY). This is a first of its kind in the country. This would cover, through solar power generation, 12,400 farmers in 33 districts through 137 feeders. Using this project the farmers would use solar energy for irrigation and they can sell the surplus power via grid. The farmers would have to invest only five per cent of the total amount and 60 per cent would be given as part of the Centre-state government’s subsidy. They can begin by generating 5 MW electricity.
  •  The state government will give a low interest loan on 35 per cent of the amount for seven years. Under this the state government will buy electricity from the farmers at Rs 7per unit and for the remaining 18 years at Rs 3.50 per unit. With the use of solar energy, the farmers would get electricity for 12 hours rather than the current hours. This would contribute towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

21) Mahesh Kumar Jain takes charge as the fourth RBI Deputy Governor

  • On 22nd June 2018, Mahesh Kumar Jain took charge as the fourth Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Mahesh Kumar Jain was the MD & CEO of IDBI Bank before being appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI. The government has appointed him as the Deputy Governor of the RBI for a term of three years. He succeeds SS Mundra who retired in August 2017. Deputy Governor N.S. Vishwanathan was looking over the banking supervision department after S.S. Mundra retired.
  •  Usually, the supervisory department is handled by the Deputy Governor who has been a commercial banker. As Deputy Governor of RBI, Mahesh Kumar Jain will handle the Department of Banking Supervision, Department of Co-operative Banking Supervision, Department of Non-Banking Supervision, Central Security Cell, Department of Corporate Services including Document Management System, Rajbhasha Department, Consumer Education and Protection Department, Financial Inclusion and Development Department and Premises Department.

22) Arijit Basu Appointed SBI’s New Managing Director

  • The government appointed Arjit Basu as Managing Director of the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI). He will fill the position that fell vacant following the elevation of Rajnish Kumar as the chairman. Now, after this, the SBI will have four managing directors. As per the SBI Act, the bank can have four managing directors. Mr Basu has held several key positions in various circles of SBI including the bank’s office in Tokyo, Japan.

23) B V R Subramanyam appointed as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary

  • On 23rd June 2018, BVR Subrahmanyam assumed charge as Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir.  B V R Subramanyam is a 1987 batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre. He assumed charges from the outgoing Chief Secretary B B Vyas. B B Vyas was offered 1 year extension in service last month. He has been appointed the adviser to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Narinder Nath Vohra. B V R Subramanyam served as the Additional Chief Secretary Home under the Chhattisgarh Government. He has held positions like Director in the Union Commerce Ministry, Private Secretary to the then Prime Minister during 2004-2008, Senior Advisor with the World Bank from June 2008 to September 2011.

24) Tamil Nadu students bag top spot at Smart India Hackathon 2018

  • Students from KCJ College of Engineering, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, have won first prize at the Smart India Hackathon 2018 Hardware Edition under the ‘Smart Communication’ category conducted at the CSIR-CEERI in Pilani, Rajasthan. Students from KCJ College of Engineering had made a device that helps school children with kinesthetic dyslexia who find it difficult to read, write or interpret words, letters and other symbols.
  • Second prize was won by a team from Bengaluru and third spot was secured by a team from Delhi for finding a solution to the problem of lost baggage at airports. This was the second edition of the hackathon. The hackathon was a technical event conducted at the national level. It was organised by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry to encourage creativity among youth and promote the digital India initiative. The grand finale of the event was conducted in 10 centres like: CSIR-CEERI, Pilani, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Roorkee and IISC Bengaluru. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar participated in the award ceremony.

25) FICCI awarded at X International IT Forum, Russia

  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) received an award at the X International IT Forum, in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, for its support and active participation at the forum, continuously two years.  The Forum was organised by the Government of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug-Ugra region. Industry leaders from BRICS and SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) countries and other countries participated in the forum. The forum acted as a single platform to discuss collaboration in information technology and digital transformation sectors.
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), industry members, senior government officials and representatives from academia also took part in the forum. The Indian delegation consisted of 20 members. It was supported by Indian Embassy at Russia. Senior members of Indian Delegation made several presentations at the forum. Over 1,500 participants from 55 countries took part in the forum.

26) Vasundhara Raje conferred with ‘Chief Minister of the Year’ award

  • On 23rd June 2018, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje was awarded the ‘Chief Minister of the Year’ award for her extraordinary work in e-governance, at the 52nd Skoch Summit, in New Delhi. Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh was the chief guest at the event. The award was received by Vasundhara Raje’s OSD in advisory council Dr Anuj Saxena and joint director of IT department R L Solanki on her behalf. The award was presented by Skoch Group chairman Sameer Kochhar. Vasundhara Raje’s efforts in implementing the prime minister’s Digital India campaign was appreciated.

27) L&T Finance increase rural focus, opens 1,000th meeting center in Kolkata for micro loans

  • On June 23, 2018, L&T Finance opened it’s 1000th meeting center in Kolkata for its micro-loans business. Over 30 per cent of the total disbursements of Rs 7214 crore in FY18 was added by the new meeting centers launched during that period. This would help increased rural focus.

28) Indian contingent, part of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, awarded for ‘selfless service’

  • On June 22 2018, Indian army announced that The 7 Garhwal Rifles Infantry Battalion Group , part of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was awarded the United Nations Medal for “selfless service”. Number of military and civil dignitaries, including Brig Gen Mohammed Al Masoom, Commander United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and a host of senior commanders of various nationalities also attended the ceremony. The parade was reviewed by UNMISS Deputy Force Commander, Maj General Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog. The two-hour ceremony saw immaculate drill parade by the Indian contingent led by Major Aman Lamba.

29) Abhay V. Udeshi appointed as International Castor Oil Association President

  • International Castor Oil Association (ICOA) has selected Abhay V. Udeshi Director at Jayant Agro Group, manufacturer of castor oil for its president position. ICOA announced it at Annual General Meet in Stockholm, Sweden. Abhay V. Udeshi has graduated from MS University of Baroda in B.E in Chemical Engineering.

30) Supreme Court judge Jasti Chelameswar resigns

  • On June 22 2018, Senior Supreme Court judge, Justice Jasti Chelameswar will resign after a nearly seven-year tenure in the apex court. Justice Chelameswar is one of the three judges, who had opposed Chief Justice of India (CJI) Deepak Misra’s ‘selective’ allocation of cases. Justice Chelameswar joined as a Supreme Court judge on October 10, 2011, was part of the nine-judge bench that had delivered the historic judgement which ruled that a citizen’s right to privacy was a fundamental right.

31) Heena Sidhu tops selection trial at KSS Shooting

  • Former World No.1 Heena Sidhu of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) topped the charts for the selection trials 5 in the 10M Air Pistol Women category at the Dr. Karni Shooting Range in the 18th KSS Memorial Shooting Championship. The para-shooter Rubina Francis from Madhya Pradesh clinched a gold and silver medal in the senior and junior category of the 10M Air Pistol (IPC) Championship women. Punjab’s Harveen Sarao who clinched a bronze in the 10M Air Pistol event had to settle for second spot with a score of 240.3. Double gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games Rahi Sarnobat took the third spot on the podium with a 217.7.

32) Sandeep Sejwal clinches gold at Singapore National Swimming Championships

  • On 23rd June 2018, Indian swimmer Sandeep Sejwal won gold medal in men’s 50 meter breaststroke event at the Singapore National Swimming Championships in Singapore. Sandeep Sandeep broke the Singapore meet record with a timing of 27:59 seconds and won gold medal. He improved his own time of 27.68 seconds in the semi-final. Also, India’s Virdhawal Khade secured a silver medal in the 50 meter freestyle event with a timing of 22.68 seconds.

33) Karman Kaur Thandi wins her first ever singles title on ITF Pro circuit (tennis)

  • India’s Karman Kaur Thandi bagged her first singles title on the ITF Pro circuit at the Hong Kong ITF Tournament. Karman Kaur Thandi defeated China’s Jia-Jing Lu 6-1 6-2 in the finals. Karman Kaur Thandi is 20 years old. She hails from Delhi. Karman Kaur Thandi who is ranked 261 has defeated Jia-Jing who is ranked 185 for the second time. Karman Kaur Thandi defeated Jia-Jing for the first time at the Navi Mumbai event in 2017. Karman Kaur Thandi obtained 50 ranking points through this win. She has already bagged three ITF doubles titles.

34) WWF-India launches first-ever nature-themed comic book: ‘The Great Indian Nature Trail with Uncle Bikky’

  • WWF-India has launched its first-ever comic book named ‘The Great Indian Nature Trail with Uncle Bikky’. The book was launched by Bikram Grewal, ornithologist and author, and Ravi Singh, Secretary and CEO, WWF-India. The book appreciates the geographical diversity of India. It follows the travels of its protagonists Uncle Bikky, Chunmun and their dog Duggu. During their travel they learn about wildlife throughout India. The book consists of facts and quizzes at the end of each comic. The book is divided into more than 16 chapters. The book is the joint work of Rohan Chakravarty and Bijal Vachharajani.

35) 150-Million-Year-Old Turtle Fossil Discovered In China: Report

  • turtle fossil that dates back to 150 million years ago, to the Jurassic period, has been discovered in Chongqing municipality, China. A turtle-shell-shaped “rock” was found by a farmer in Qijiang district in early June 2018. Paleontologists from the municipal exploration bureau confirmed that it was a fossil of a snake-necked turtle from the Jurassic period. The fossil will be placed for display at the geological museum of Qijiang district.

36) Six new spider species named after Enid Blyton characters discovered in Sri Lanka

  • On June 23, 2018, Six new species of minute goblin spiders discovered in the forests of Sri Lanka have been named after fictional characters described by English children’s writer Enid Blyton. The names given were: The goblins Bom, Snooky and Tumpy and the brownies Chippy, Snippy and Tiggy These are taken from ‘The Goblins Looking-Glass’ (1947), ‘Billy’s Little Boats’ (1971) and ‘The Firework Goblins’ (1971) A total of nine goblin spider species in six genera was described by Scientists Suresh P Benjamin and Sasanka Ranasinghe of the National Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka.

37) Poetess Sujatha Devi Passes Away

  • On 23rd June 2018, poetess B Sujatha Devi died at a private hospital after a short term illness, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. strong Sujatha Devi was 72 years old. She had received the Kerala Sahitiya Akademi award. She is the younger sister of Poetess Sugatha Kumari and late Hridya Kumari. She is also a popular travel writer. She had worked as English professor in several government colleges in Kerala.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 22 & 23 2018

1) Russia To Supply Technical Security Equipment To India

  • Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) had announced that its subsidiary Nikiret has signed an agreement with Indian engineering services firm Core Energy Systems Pvt Ltd for the promotion of its technical security equipment in India. The partnership will explore opportunities in the Indian government’s Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) project.

2) India & Tajikistan Agree To Enhance Mutual Cooperation For Sustainable Water Development

  • India and Tajikistan have reaffirmed their commitment to promote bilateral relations and agreed to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in sustainable water development. Nitin Gadkari, the Union   Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport & Highways and Shipping held wide-ranging talks with Sirodjidin Muhridin, Foreign Minister of Tajikistan in Dushanbe.
  • The two leaders underlined the need to give further impetus to the ongoing bilateral cooperation in various fields and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the area of sustainable water development. Mr Gadkari is in Dushanbe to represent India at the high-level global conference on “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development”.

3) 9 nuclear countries have total 14,935 nuclear warheads: SIPRI

  • The annual nuclear forces data has been released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). As per the report, Pakistan remains ahead of India in possessing nuclear warheads. China has double the quantity. Pakistan is said to possess 140-150 nuclear warheads this year. This is 10 more than last year. India is said to have 130-140 nuclear warheads. The report has said that, both India and Pa kistan are expanding their nuclear weapon stockpiles and creating new land-, sea- and air-based missile delivery systems. China is modernising its nuclear weapon delivery systems and is enhancing the size of its nuclear arsenal.
  • Russia and the US have more than 92 % of the total warheads. SIPRI has said that, 9 countries: US, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, had 14,465 nuclear warheads at the start of 2018. Out of this, 3,750 were deployed. At the beginning of 2017, total number of nuclear warheads was 14,935. The decrease is mainly due to the arms control commitments by the US and Russia in the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START).
  •  France with 300 warheads, China – 280, Britain – 215, Pakistan – 140-150, India – 130-140, Israel – 80 and North Korea – 10-20, are either deploying or planning to deploy new nuclear weapons system. Russia and US have long-term programmes to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities. SIPRI has said that, even though there is a reduction in the total number of nuclear warheads, modernisation of nuclear weapons continues.

4) 5th India-Japan 2+2 Vice Ministerial Dialogue on counter-terrorism held

  • On June 21, 2018, During the fifth 2 plus 2 vice-ministerial level dialogue India and Japan held talks on counter-terrorism, maritime security, and peacekeeping operations among other issues. The meeting was co-chaired on the Indian side by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and from the Japanese side by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori and Vice-Minister of Defence for International Affairs Ro Manabe. Both nations will work on  Japan’s ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy’ and India’s ‘Act East Policy’. They also discussed the issue of North Korea and the South Asian situations.
  • The Objective of ”Act East Policy” is to promote economic cooperation, cultural ties and develop strategic relationship with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional and multilateral levels. This would promote the North Eastern States which is the priority region. This would develop and strengthen connectivity of Northeast with the ASEAN region through trade, culture, people-to-people contacts and physical infrastructure (road, airport, telecommunication, power, etc.). Some of the major projects include Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project, the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway Project, Rhi-Tiddim Road Project, Border Haats, etc.
  •  This would bring in closer partnership with concerned regional and Multilateral organisation such as ASEAN, ARF, EAS, BIMSTEC, ACD, MCG and IORA. The countries include Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK), Australia, Singapore and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

5) United States quits United Nations Human Rights Council sighting UNHRC’s hypocrisy

  • On June 21, 2018, Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the UN announced that United States has resigned UN Human Rights Council. The US cited the UNHRC’s admission of nations  with questionable human rights records as the reason to quit. The UN set up the council in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights, which faced widespread criticism for letting countries with poor human rights records become members.
  • A group of 47 elected countries from different global regions serve for three-year terms on the council. The UNHRC meets three times a year, and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a special process the council says gives countries the chance to say what they have done to improve human rights, known as the Universal Periodic Review.

6) Swaraj, Sitharaman to visit US for 1st 2+2 dialogue

  • On June 22, 2018, The first India-US ‘2+2 dialogue’ will be held on July 6 and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead from the Indian side and US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James N Mattis from the US side. This meeting aims to focus on strategic and security ties and exchange views on a range of bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. This new dialogue format was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017.
  • Unesco Heritage sites in India:
    Currently India has 36 sites (6th most of any country). Some of them are: Sundarbans, Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Ajanta Caves, Hampi , Ellora Caves, Kaziranga Natioanl Park, Konark, Elephanta Caves, Mamallapuram (TamilNadu), Fatehpur Sikri, Bhimbetka rock Shelters, Manas National Park, Pattadakal, Sanchi, Kailasa Temple, Apatani People (living in Ziro Valley of Arunachal Pradesh).

7) President 3-Nation Visit: Observed Yoga Day In Suriname, Signed Agreements

  • President Ram Nath Kovind reached Suriname capital Paramaribo on the second leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. He was received at the Paramaribo airport by Suriname President Desire Delano Bouterse. Mr Kovind was given a Guard of Honour. President Ram Nath Kovind observed the Yoga day in Suriname along with his counterpart Desire Delano Bouterse. This will be the first time that heads of two countries will together participate in the International Yoga day. Later on, the two sides agreed to expand the bilateral agenda, especially in areas of economic relations, cultural cooperation and development partnership.
  • Further, India will assist Suriname to establish a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology. An MoU was signed in this regard, along with four others in the field of elections, diplomatic academies partnership, employment for the spouse of diplomats of the two countries and archives. The President also addressed the National Assembly of Suriname, thereby becoming the first foreign Head of State to address the Assembly.

8) President 3-Nation Visit: Arrived In Cuba On Final Leg

  • President Ram Nath Kovind arrived in Cuba on the final leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. He is accompanied by a delegation including Minister of State for Steel Vishnu Deo Sai. Mr Kovind was received in Santiago by Vice President of Cuba, Ms Beatriz Johnson. The President was escorted first to the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery where he witnessed Change of Guards ceremony. He then paid respects to Jose Marti Memorial. Jose Marti was Cuba’s legendary poet who led the 1895 Cuban revolution.

9) India hikes import duty on 29 US products

  • On June 21, 2018,The finance ministry announced that India has hiked customs duty on several goods, including Bengal gram, lentils and artemia, imported from the US. The move was against the duty hike by the US on certain steel and aluminium products which had tariff implication of $241 million on India.
  • About the hiked up products:
    Products Increased rate
    Chickpeas and Bengal gram 60%
    Lentils 30%
    Boric Acid and binders 7.5%
    Domestic reagents 10%
    Artemia ( a kind of shrimp) 15%

     The other products on which duties have been hiked include certain kind of nuts, iron and steel products, apples, pears, flat rolled products of stainless steel, other alloy steel, tube and pipe fittings, and screws, bolts and rivets. India has excluded motorbikes above 800 cc. now additional customs duties have been imposed on 29 items. The import duty hike would be effective from August 4 2018.

10) World’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics launched in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

  • The world’s first of its kind and state-of-the-art International Centre for ‘Humanitarian Forensics’ (ICHF) was launched at the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The centre is a joint venture of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and also Gujarat Forensic Science University. The main aim of the Centre would be to provide service to the nation and to the entire world when the need arises.

11) PM Modi Laid Foundation Stone Of Paperless Vanijya Bhawan

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Paperless Vanijya Bhawan in New Delhi. Once ready, the new building will house Department of Commerce. The building will accommodate about 1000 officers and staff. It will be a completely paperless office with state of the art facilities such as smart access control, central air-conditioning, video conferencing, and completely networked systems. The Department of Commerce is currently housed in Udyog Bhawan.

12) PM Modi To Inaugurate 3rd AIIB Meeting In Mumbai

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Mumbai. In the past, AIIB annual meetings have been held in Beijing, China, in 2016 and in Jeju, South Korea, in 2017. The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilising Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration” that will see leaders from varied organizations and levels of government to share ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.

13) Modi inaugurates nature center in New York

  • On June 22, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a nature center on the 4th International Day of Yoga at New York CityThe centre is called  ‘YO1 Nature Cure Center’.  YO1, which means youthful in Sanskrit, is the first of its kind nature cure center in America. It is situated in Catskills area of New York. A state-of-art facility and will be a wellness destination that will offer therapies based on ancient Indian Yoga and Pranayam. It has been founded by The centre, founded by Rajya Sabha MP and Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra. It will provide employment to at least 500 people and indirect employment to more than 1,500 people.

14) CEMS Sets Up First-Of-Its-Kind Labs In Mumbai And Vizag

  • The Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS), a well-funded start-up in skill development for maritime and shipbuilding sector, has announced setting up of 24 labs -6 in Mumbai and 18 in Vizag campus. The announcement was made in the first seminar on Competencies, Employability, Methodology and Skills organized by CEMS in Mumbai.
  • CEMS has established one of the first of its kind of infrastructure in Asia Pacific region with 24 labs. CEMS aims to build competency in the field of maritime & shipbuilding sector through skill development in the latest manufacturing technologies for shipbuilding/ repair and ancillary sectors.

15) 4 MoUs Signed Under ‘Adopt A Heritage’ Scheme

  • Four MoUs have been signed under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ scheme and six more are at an advanced stage, according to Mr Raghvendra Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Culture. The scheme was implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India. Around 31 more Adarsh Monuments have been enlisted for coverage under the scheme.
  • The four MoUs include:
    1. Mount Stok Kangri Trek Route, Ladakh: The MoU for adoption was signed between Ministry of Tourism, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) and the state government of Jammu & Kashmir.
    2. Gangotri Temple Area & Trail to Gaumukh, Uttarakhand: The MoU was signed between Ministry of Tourism, ATOAI and Uttarakhand Government.
    3. Red Fort, Delhi: The MoU was signed between Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, ASI and Dalmia Bharat Limited.
    4. Gandikota Fort, Andhra Pradesh:  The MoU was signed between Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, ASI and Dalmia Bharat Limited.

16) Radha Mohan Singh meets Nepalese counterpart for new partnership in agriculture sector

  • On June 21, 2018, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh met Mr. Chakra Pani Khanal, Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives of Nepal  in Ministerial meeting of India-Nepal “New Partnership in Agriculture” in New Delhi and assured him of India’s support to further Nepal’s agriculture sector. They discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the agriculture sector such as agricultural research and education, arrangement for supply of fertilizers, mutual recognition of inspection, testing and certification system, trade facilitation measures, strengthening livestock services, veterinary research and development facilities.
  • They also agreed on exchanges between the India Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC). Finalisation of a pilot project on organic farming and soil health for implementation by India in Nepal  also happened. Initiatives like Soil Health Card, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna, eNAM, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna etc. will be shared with Nepal for agricultural productivity.

17) 7th India Minerals and Metals forum inaugurated in New Delhi

  • On June 21, 2018, 7th India Minerals and Metals forum was inaugurated in New Delhi. The forum seeks to come up with solutions to consolidate small players for strengthening of overall health of the industry. The government officials emphasized on utilizing low grade minerals to reduce burden on high end minerals. There needs to be quick progress in exploration of deep seated minerals due to environmental concerns and there is a lot of scope for private sector for carrying out such researches. A joint venture between three Public sector companies has been formed to acquire strategic mineral assets to source and export from abroad.

18) New national targets for off-shore wind power to be : 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030

  • On June 19, 2018, The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has declared medium- and long-term targets 5 GW by 2022 and 30 GW by 2030 for offshore wind power capacity addition. India has an onshore wind target of 60 GW and its achievement of 34 GW and solar target of 100 GW by 2022. The National Off-Shore Wind Policy was notified in October 2015. Globally, 17-18 GW of offshore wind power has been installed, led by countries such as the UK, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and China.

19) Gujarat Launches Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy

  • The Gujarat government announced wind-solar hybrid power policy – 2018, aiming to make optimum utilisation of the land and grid. The policy, which will have a coverage period of five years, provides encouragement to renewable power producers supplying to the grid as well as to those having captive use.
  • The electricity generated from wind-solar hybrid projects will be exempted from energy charges. The policy provides 50% concession for cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge when the generated energy is sold to a third party. Gujarat currently generates over 5,500 MW of wind power and 1,600 MW of solar power.

20) Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir inaugurates the 2 day  19th All India Conference of Directors of Finger Prints Bureau in Hyderabad

  • On June 21, 2018, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir inaugurated the 19th all India Conference of Directors of Finger Prints Bureau in Hyderabad . It will be a 2 day conference on Automatic Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS), usage experience of AFIS in Maharashtra and Telangana, integration of Finger Prints with CCTNS/ICJS. Two books entitled ‘Compendium of Fingerprint equipment 2018” & ‘Award of excellence in FP identification / science competition –compilation of cases’ were released during the Conference.
  • Candidates holding first position in the All India Examination of Finger print experts would be awarded with ‘Aziz ul Haque Trophy’ and cash prize. The competition was conducted by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). NCRB, in cooperation with CMC Ltd., Secunderabad, developed the first indigenous AFIS called FACTS. This would help in matching the finger prints of more than a million individuals within seconds.

21) Kerala govt launches scheme to offer micro loans at low interest rates in the cooperative sector

  • On June 21, 2018, The Kerala Governement launhed an ambitious micro-finance programme in the co-operative sector. To help ordinary people who are being exploited by private financiers charging exorbitant interest rates for loans. The first phase would be launched in northern Palakkad district on June 29. It is a joint initiative of cooperative banks and Kudumbashree (women neighbourhood network ).
  •  They have launched the proposed scheme, titled ‘Muttathe Mulla’. Under the initiative, Cooperative banks would give away micro-finance loans to ‘Kudumbashree’ at an interest rate of per cent, which members of the neighbourhood network can avail at an interest rate of 12 per cent instead of 37-72% interest for mico loans that the private lenders are giving.

22) Haryana Finance Dept issues notification revising allowances in various categories

  • On June 22, 2018, Haryana Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu revised allowances in various categories on the basis of recommendations of 7th Central Pay Commission, effective from May 1, 2018. Revision of the existing rate of Children Education Allowance to Rs 1,125 from 750 per month per eligible child, limited to first two children. The state government has introduced Special Allowance for Child Care to differently-abled female government employees (40 per cent disability and above as certified) where it would be of Rs 1,500 per month per child.
  • Revised the pay structure to the doctors working in the Health Department, Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Department and Ayush Department. The sum of the Pay+ NPA would not exceed Rs 2,24,550 per month. The rates of Hill Compensatory Allowance to the Haryana Government Employees posted in “Morni Hills” have been revised at 2.5 per cent of the pay in pay matrix, subject to minimum Rs 350 and maximum Rs 700 per month. The rates of all Group D employees in the state has also been revised at the rate of Rs 200 per month.
  • The existing rate of special allowance to all safai karmcharis has been revised at the rate of Rs 625 per month. Rate of conveyance allowance to blind and orthopaedically differently-abled employees has been revised to minimum Rs 2500 per month and maximum Rs 7200 per month.

23) Ministry of Women & Child Development receives the ‘Best Performing Social Sector Ministry’ SKOCH Award for its Achievements and Initiatives

  • On June 22 2018 Ministry of Women and Child Development had honored by ‘Best Performing Social Sector Ministry’ SKOCH Award due to their efficient initiatives and significant achievements from the last 4 years. Smt.Maneka Sanjay Gandhi has received the award on behalf of the Ministry in an event held in New Delhi.  Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, flagship schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has achieved huge success within a very short period of time. It includes 6 months maternity leave, Sexual Harassment at Work Place Act, SHe-box, One stop centres, Universal Women help line (181), 33 per cent reservation in police.
  • Foundation of  Sakhi Suraksha Advanced DNA Forensic Laboratory was laid in Chandigarh and also 5 more advanced forensic labs would come up in Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Bhopal. The special forensic kits for rape cases will be provided to all police stations and hospitals.The funds for these kits will be provided from Nirbhaya Fund.

24) 9 awards  given to various entities for great momentum in Implementation of Projects Under ‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018

  • On June 21, 2018,  under the India Smart Cities Awards, which was launched on June 25, 2017 by Hon’ble Housing and Urban Affairs Minister, nine awards in three categories, i.e., Project Award, Innovative Idea Award and City Award had been announced. A technical committee of international/multilateral experts from UN Habitat, Asian Development Bank and NIUA evaluated the submissions based on Innovation, Impact, and Replicability/Scalability
  • Awardee of City Award:
    i. The city award is being given to Surat for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development.
    ii. The City Award was decided based on cities’ performance on their Awards Score and on Weekly Ranking score as on 2 May 2018
  • Awardee of Innovative Idea Award:
    i. Joint winners in this category are Bhopal for their Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) and Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) Project.
    ii. It is being given to a project/idea particularly remarkable for its innovative, bottom-up and transformative approach towards achievement of sustainable integrated development.
  • Awardee of Project Award:
    The Project awards are being given to most innovative and successful projects in seven categories that have been completed by April 1, 2018. They are :

    Awardee Place Category
    PMC Care Pune Governance
    Smart Place Making Pune Built Environment
    Smart Class rooms NDMC and Jabalpur Social Aspects
    Smart Campus Visakhapatnam
    Lighthouse Pune
    B Nest Incubation Centre Bhopal Culture and Economy
    Conservation of Rajasthan School of Arts Jaipur
    Public Bike Sharing Bhopal, Pune, Coimbatore Urban environment
    Waste to Energy Plant Jabalpur
    Integrated Transit Management System (TMS) Ahmedabad and Surat Transport and Mobility
    Smart Water Management through SCADA Ahmedabad Water and Sanitation

25) HRD nod to inter-university yoga centre in S-VYASA varsity

  • On June 22, 2018, The Ministry of Human Resource Development approved setting up an inter-university yoga centre at Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bengaluru. The announcement was made by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on the fourth International Yoga Day.

26) HRD Ministry issues fresh guidelines for Selection of Teachers for National Awards

  • On June 22, 2018, The Ministry of HRD has issued fresh guidelines for a new initiative of Selection of Teachers for National Awards. Teachers earlier had to send their entries to the State government but now can directly send them for National Awards for Teachers. To celebrate the unique contribution of some of the finest teachers in the country and to honor those teachers.
  • Eligible candidates are from :
    1. Central Govt. Schools i.e. Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs), Jawahar Navodaya     Vidyalayas (JNVs), Central Schools for Tibetans (CTSA), Sainik Schoolsrun by Ministry of Defence (MoD), Schools run by Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES).
    2. Schools affiliated to Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)
    3. Schools affiliated to Council for Indian Schools Certificate Examination (CISCE).

     

  • Teachers would be marked upon criterias like : initiatives to improve learning outcomes, innovative experiments undertaken, organization of extra and co-curricular activities, use of Teaching Learning Material, social mobility, ensuring experiential learning, unique ways to ensure physical education to students etc. These criteria are given the weightage of 80 out of 100. For the application a portal would be developed and managed by Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) assisted by CIET, NCERT under the overall supervision of MHRD. MHRD will bear the entire expenditure for development and maintenance of the portal. First level scrutiny will be done by District Selection Committee (DSC) headed by the District Education Officer.
  •  The State Selection Committee (SSC) will be headed by Principal Secretary/ Secretary of State Education Department. They would re-verify of the facts/ information/marks of the nominations received from all the DSCs. The Organization selection committee that would evaluate all the nominations and prepare shortlist of the best candidates, subject to the maximum number allotted to the Organizations. Independent Jury at National level headed by retired Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, MHRD would review the list of candidates as forwarded by all the 36 SSCs and 7 OSCs and carry out fresh assessment.The overall maximum number of nomination allowed across all states/UTs/Organizations is 145.

27) Emaar India appoints Prashant Gupta as CEO

  • Emaar India has appointed Prashant Gupta as CEO. Emaar India is a part of realty enterprise group Emaar Properties, which is based in Dubai. Prashant Gupta was working with Aditya Birla group since 2011. He has been appointed as CEO of Emaar India. He also served as President and CEO of online retail business ABOF.com. In April 2018, Emaar Properties appointed Hadi Badri as managing director of India business.

28) Nor Shamsiah appointed new Bank Negara Governor

  • Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus will be appointed as the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor for a term of five years from July 1, 2018 till June 30, 2023. She will be appointed as the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor for a term of five years from July 1, 2018 till June 30, 2023. She will replace Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim who resigned on June 15 2018.

29) Indian Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth named Sports Illustrated ‘India’s Sportsperson of the Year’

  • On June 21 2018, Commonwealth Games 2018 gold-medal winning shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, was honored as the Sportsperson of the Year for 2017 by the Sports Illustrated India magazine at the Roseate House, Aerocity in New Delhi. He won four Super series titles Indonesia, Australia, Denmark and France in the year 2017 and finished the season at the No. 2 position in World Rankings. In April 2018, he became the only male Indian badminton player to rise to the No. 1 in badminton rankings.
  • Other award categories:
    Team of the Year Women’s Cricket Team
    Coach of the Year  Stephen Constantine
    Editor’s Choice for Excellence (Team) Aizawl FC
    Editor’s Choice for Excellence (Male) Jitu Rai
    Young Sportsperson of the Year Manav Vikas Thakkar
    Community Development in Sport Sailen Tudu
    Comeback of the Year  Sushil Kumar
    Gamechanger of the Year Shubhankar Sharma
    Outstanding Contribution to Sport Leander Paes
    Lifetime Achievement Award Dhanraj Pillay
    Special Award Living Legend Balbir Singh Sr.
    Sportsperson Of The Year Kidambi Srikanth

     

30) ICICI Prudential AMC’s Raghav Iyengar to join Indiabulls AMC as chief executive

  • Raghav Iyengar, who was heading the institutional and retail business at ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company (AMC) has resigned from his position. He would join Indiabulls AMC as its chief executive officer (CEO). Raghav Iyengar will join Indiabulls Asset Management Company (AMC) in the third week of August 2018.  It is also said that, Akshay Gupta, who is at present the group executive head and CEO of Indiabulls AMC, will move to Prime Securities.

31) SEBI Simplifies Buyback Regulations, Changes IPO Price Band Timeline

  • The Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) has approved amendments to buyback and takeover regulations and changed the time for announcing the price band of initial public offering (IPO) from 5 to 2 days, according to the chairman of SEBI, Ajay Tyagi. SEBI had made a proposal to bring changes based on suggestions made by the regulator’s Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC). In a consultation paper, SEBI had proposed that entities would not be required to file draft papers for rights issue worth up to Rs 10 crore.

32) England set new ODI world record with incredible 481-6 as Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow score centuries vs Australia

  • On June 21 2018 ,England set a new one-day international world record total of 481/6  and defeat Australia by 242 runs at Trent Bridge. The victory gave the England to hosts 2019 World Cup. England was 3-0 lead in the five-match series. Captain Eoin Morgan became England’s highest ODI runscorer as the hosts set a towering total in the third match of the series.

33) SBI MD B.Sriram appointed MD & CEO of IDBI Bank

  • On 21st June 2018, State Bank of India’s Managing Director B Sriram was appointed as the MD and CEO of IDBI Bank for a temporary term of 3 months B.Sriram has been appointed in place of incumbent Mahesh Kumar Jain. Mahesh Kumar Jain was made Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently. B.Sriram has been the MD (Corporate and Global Banking) in SBI from July 2014. He was Managing Director of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur. He joined State Bank of India in 1981 as a Probationary Officer.

34) Indian scientists discover ‘sub-Saturn’ or ‘super-neptune’ size planet around Sun-like star

  • On June 22,2018 A team of scientists and engineers of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad have discovered a sub-Saturn or super-Neptune sized planet around a Sun-like star. The planet discovered by the team led by Prof. Abhijit Chakraborty .The planet will be known as EPIC 211945201b or K2-236b. The mass of the new planet is about 27 Earth mass and its size about of six Earth radii. By measuring the mass of the planet using the indigenously designed “PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search” (PARAS) spectrograph integrated with 1.2m Telescope at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, India.
  • Only 23 such planetary systems are known to this date with masses between 10 and 70 Earth mass and size of 4 to 8 Earth radii with such precise measurement of mass. This discovery is critical for understanding the formation mechanism of super-Neptune or sub-Saturn planets that lie too close to the host star and other planet formations around large stars.

35) HDFC Bank featured in BrandZ ranking

  • On June 22, 2018, HDFC Bank, has featured at 60th rank in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking.The brand value of HDFC Bank at $20.9 billion, up 22%. Google and Appleretained the number 1 and 2 spots in the rankings, followed by Amazon, which moved into the #3 position ahead of Microsoft. The report has also ranked India as 2 in the ‘Best Mover Countries’ ranking after UAE. Singapore was 3rd in the list. According to BrandZ’s “Cars top ten, 2018” , Toyota is ranked 1st followed by Mercedes-Benz (2) and BMW (3) and Maruti Suzuki made its debut on the top 10 list at number 9.

36) Paul Polman to succeed Sunil Mittal as ICC Chairman

  • On June 21 2018, Due to the completion of two-year tenure, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, the Sunil Bharti Mittal will quit his International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Chairman post. Mittal was the third business leader from India in the history of ICC to be appointed as the Chairman of ICC. Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever will succeed Sunil Mittal as ICC Chairman.Mittal will assume the role of ICC Honorary Chair from July 1, 2018. Ajay Banga, President and CEO MasterCard, has been appointed as the next ICC ‘First Vice-Chair’.

37) Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian Resigned

  • The Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) of India, Arvind Subramanian had resigned from the post and will return to the US because of “pressing family commitments”. The announcement was made by Mr Arun Jaitley. Subramanian was appointed as CEA to the finance ministry in October 2014, for the period of three years. In 2017 his term was extended for a year.

38) Pulitzer Prize-winning Columnist, Charles Krauthammer Passed Away

  • On June 21 2018 Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and occasionally dissented from the conservative movement as he evolved from “Great Society” Democrat to Iraq War cheerleader to denouncer of Donald Trump. He was being treated for a cancerous tumor in his abdomen. Krauthammer is credited with coining the term “The Reagan Doctrine” for President Reagan’s policy of aiding anti-Communist movements worldwide. Krauthammer was a former Harvard medical student.He had wrote wide range of subjects in Time magazine, The New Republic and other publications.

39) Australian golfer Peter Thomson also called “the thinking man’s golfer” dies at 88

  • On 20th June 2018, Australian golfer Peter Thomson, passed away after fighting Parkinson’s disease, at his residence in Melbourne, Australia.  Peter Thomson was 88 years old. He was the first Australian to win the British Open. He won the British Open five times also including three consecutive wins. He was president of the Australian PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) for 32 years. He was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.The World Golf Hall of Fame named him “the thinking man’s golfer”. He won the Victorian Amateur Championship in 1949. He was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979. He became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001.

40) Veteran Pak diplomat Jamsheed Marker passes away

  • On June 21 2018,Veteran Pakistani diplomat and world record-holder Jamsheed Marker,95 passed away in Karachi. He has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under the title of “World’s longest-serving ambassador. He served as Pakistan’s top diplomat to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for over three decades.

41) Koko: Gorilla who mastered sign language dies in California

  • On June 20 2018, The 46-year-old western lowland gorilla,koko who mastered sign language at the foundation’s preserve in California’s Sana Cruz mountains. Koko was born at the San Francisco Zoo, and Dr. Francine Patterson began teaching the gorilla sign language that became part of a Stanford University project in 1974.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 20 & 21 2018

1) World Refugee Day: 20 June

  • On World Refugee Day is held every year on 20th June to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is ‘Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees’. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

2) International Yoga Day 2018: 21 june

  • The 4th International Yoga Day is being celebrated across the globe today. In India Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of people in performing yoga asanas, in the main event organised at Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The theme for Yoga Day 2018 is “Yoga for Harmony and Peace”.
  • In 2015, United Nations General Assembly unanimously announced 21st June as the International day for yoga to raise awareness about the benefits of practising yoga. The resolution was co-sponsored in the General Assembly by 177 nations, the highest ever number of co-sponsors for any UNGA resolution of such nature.

3) Summit: World’s most powerful supercomputer unveiled by US scientists

  • US scientists have unveiled “Summit”, the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer. Summit can perform more than 2,00,000 trillion calculations per second. It would be of great help in research in energy, advanced materials and artificial intelligence (AI). The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) supercomputer called Summit will be 8 times more powerful than its previous system Titan. Summit can also perform over 3 billion mixed precision calculations a second, for some scientific applications.
  • The IBM AC922 system comprises 4,608 compute servers, each having two 22-core IBM Power 9 processors and six NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics processing unit accelerators, interconnected with dual-rail Mellanox EDR 100 Gb/s InfiniBand. Summit has more than 10 petabytes of memory with fast, high-bandwidth pathways for data movement. With advanced hardware and data subsystems Summit marks an evolution of the hybrid CPU-GPU architecture of Titan.

4) International Information and Communication Technology (ICT) 2018 held in Kathmandu on June 17-18

  • On June 19, 2018, International Conference on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be held in Kathmandu, capital city of Nepal from June 17-18, 2018. The Theme of two day conference is “Sustainable Development Goals for Smart Society”. The conference was organised by Federation of Computer Association Nepal (CAN).
  • The Objective of the conference was : to bring government and private sector together for developing plan of action using sustainable ICT applications. It also unleashed the prospects of SMART Nepal 2030. Around 500 delegates, including ICT users, professionals, trainers, researchers and experts from India, Japan, China, Korea and Nepal attended the conference.

5) Assumption Island: Seychelles denies joint project with India to develop naval base

  • On June 19, 2018, Seychelles have declined the proposal of ‘Assumption Island’ given by India to develop a naval base due to ongoing protests in the country against this issue.The proposal of Assumption Island owned by the Seychelles has been declined and puts a blow to the government’s “SAGAR” (Security and Growth for All in the Region) programme, announced by PM Modi during a visit to Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries in 2015. Seychelles would never accept any naval base of a foreign country .

6) UK excludes India’s from student visa norms list

  • On June 19, 2018, The UK government has directly linked the exclusion of Indian students from a list of countries to India’s refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the return of illegal migrants. This list would offer easier visa norms. The Indian Cabinet had approved the so-called MoU on returns to facilitate the deportation of alleged illegal Indian immigrants in the UK to India. India being excluded from Tier 4 overseas student visa relaxations unveiled by the UK But the UK government’s Tier 2 visa relaxation for doctors and other professionals from countries like India has been welcomed.

7) India gifts Dornier aircraft to Seychelles; To explore trilateral relations with Seychelles and France

  • On June 19, 2018, India is planning to gift a Dornier aircraft to Seychelles and explore trilateral cooperation involving France.This would safeguard the interests due to refusal of Seychelles on Assumption Island.  Dornier aircraft is second such aircraft that could be gifted to the Indian Ocean Region. India and France share a logistic service agreement to support each other naval forces in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • France also has strategic interests in Seychelles and recently engaged with Faure to expand French-Seychelles strategic ties The Assumption Island proposal entailed investment of $550 million in the development of an airstrip, jetty and housing infrastructure for the Seychelles Coast Guard . In 2017, 11 Indian naval ships visited Seychelles and eight have visited Seychelles so far this year. Half of Seychelles’ military assets have been provided by India, which has trained around 70% of Seychelles’ military personnel.

8) India and Russia to hold tri-service military exercise ‘Indra’ 2018

  • On June 20, 2018, According to a news agency , Russia would hold talks about the tri-service military exercise with India called : ‘INDRA’.  Indra-2018 will take place in an Indian military base in the second half 2018. Combined military Russian Eastern Military District force will participate in the exercise. The previous Indra execise was held in 2013 in Mahajan Field Firing range in Bikaner.

9) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos becomes world’s richest man with a net worth of $141.9 billion

  • On 18th June 2018, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became the richest man in the world with a net wealth of $141.9 billion, as per the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.  Bill Gates, the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, is the second-richest man in the world with a net wealth of $92.9 billion.
  • Warren Buffet, who is one of the most successful investors in the world, has secured third place with a net wealth of $82.2 billion. Jeff Bezos officially became the richest person in the world in early 2018. Amazon has become the second most valuable company in the world after Apple. As per Fortune’s last list, Amazon obtained 8th rank on the 2018 list of America’s largest companies, with revenue of $177.87 billion.

10) Dharmendra Pradhan on a visit to Austria and Germany

  • On June 20, 2018, The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan returned from his visit to Austria and Germany.
  • On His Visit to Austria:
    The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the 7th OPEC International Seminar organised by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a special guest in Vienna, Austria from 19-20th June 2018. Energy Ministers from all the OPEC countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran as well as Russia, China, Oman participated in the Conference. India’s engagement with OPEC is important as India sources about 82% of crude oil, 75% of natural gas and 97% of LPG from OPEC member countries. He delivered a speech on “Sustainable Global Energy Future”.
  • On his visit to Germany :
    He visited Germany from 21-22nd June, 2018. He will lead International Day of Yoga at Alexander Platz on 21stJune, 2018, Berlin wherein he will take part in an event organised by Indian Embassy to promote Yoga. He visited Lapp Company – a German SME, Vocational School ‘Berufsschule’ at Stuttgart and a Utility Company ‘Berlin Water and Energy supply’. He visited Siemens Dual VET Centre, Berlin, Germany and discussed the  role of the Chamber of Crafts in German Dual Training System at the Chamber of Crafts. He also met Ms. Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister for Education and Research on 22nd June, 2018 and discuss mutual issues on Vocational Education & Training (VET) Cooperation between India and Germany.

11) Bangladesh Appoints Lieutenant General Aziz Ahmed As Army Chief

  • On 18th June 2018, Bangladesh appointed Lieutenant General Aziz Ahmed as Bangladesh’s new army chief for a term of 3 years.  Lieutenant General Aziz Ahmed will take charge as new chief of Bangladesh Army on 25th June 2018.  Lieutenant General Aziz is at present the military’s quarter master general. Earlier, he was the director general of paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) from 2012 to 2016. He will replace General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haque. General Abu Belal Mohammad Shafiul Haque will retire on 25thJune 2018. Recently, Air Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat was appointed as Bangladesh’s air force chief.

12) US Withdraws From UN Human Rights Council

  • Nikki Haley, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations announced the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), accusing the council of bias against US ally Israel. Ms Haley also accused the council of maintaining a “disproportionate focus and unending hostility towards Israel” that shows it is “motivated by political bias, not by human rights”. The US withdrawal from the council marks the first time that a member has voluntarily left the UNHRC. A sitting member of the Council has never dropped out in its 12-year history, though Libya was thrown out after a vote from the General Assembly in 2011.

13) Inter-Governmental Ministerial Meeting On Anti-Doping Held In Colombo

  • The 15th annual Asia and Oceania Region Inter-Governmental Ministerial meeting on anti-doping was held in Colombo with representatives from 29 countries including India. The 15th such annual gathering is also being attended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to discuss important anti-doping issues that will help in the fight for clean sport. The two-day meeting will discuss how to make the most of government engagement, ensure compliance with the world anti-doping code, support capacity building and a range of other topics.

14) 5th National Standards Conclave Held In New Delhi

  • The 5th National Standards Conclave- Implementing the Indian National Strategy for Standardization was held in New Delhi. It was organized by Department of Commerce and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Two reports were also released by Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) and CII-ASL Study on TBT/SPS Notifications. INSS is the result of the combined efforts of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Consumer Affairs and industry stakeholders.

15) HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar Launched National Digital Library Of India

  • Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the National Digital Library of India (NDLI). The library will become a single window platform for all educational needs. Users can register for free on the National Digital Library from Google Play store. The library can be accessed atndl.iitkgp.ac.in. The library is an integrated platform for schools, colleges, universities, teachers, and students. Over 35 lakh e-books in more than 200 languages are available in the library.

16) Union Government Collaborates With Google For Flood Forecasting

  • The Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources has signed a Collaboration Agreement with Google for flood forecasting. According to the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari, the collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India.
  • Using its high-resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM), Google would help to generate flood inundation maps with the forecast inputs of CWC. The collaboration agreement between the Water Resource Ministry and Google includes projects related to the improvement of flood prediction systems, high priority research project to improve flood visualisation and online cultural project on the country’s rivers.

17) 3-Day National Yoga Olympiad 2018 Begins In New Delhi

  • A 3-day National Yoga Olympiad was inaugurated at the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in CIET in New Delhi by Mr. Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative of the New Delhi Cluster Office for India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka. This is the third consecutive year of National Yoga Olympiad of NCERT and this year about 500 students from 26 States and 4 RIEs are participating in the Olympiad. Two books – Joy of Theatre and Sangeet training packages were released on the occasion.

18) Health Minister Launched National Health Resource Repository

  • Union Health Minister JP Nadda launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR) — the country’s first-ever national healthcare registry of authentic, standardised and updated geo-spatial data of all public and private healthcare establishments. The vision of NHRR project is to strengthen evidence-based decision making and develop a platform for citizen and provider-centric services by creating a robust, standardised and secured IT-enabled repository of India’s healthcare resources.

19) Chief Ministers Subgroup Constituted to Coordinate Policy Approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS to double farmers income by 2022.

  • On June 20, 2018, Government has set up a Chief Ministers Subgroup to Coordinate Policy Approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS. It has the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh as the Convener . The members in the committee are : CMs of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim along with the Member NITI Aayog, Shri Ramesh Chand as its members. To work in coordination for realizing PM’s vision towards Doubling Farmers’ Income by 2022.
  •  Decision taken at the 4th meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog on  17thJune,2018. It would come out with approaches with emphasis on pre-sowing and post-harvest interventions using MGNREGS to further improve the thrust on incomes, water conservation and waste to wealth. This will improve thrust on Water Conservation, individual Beneficiary Schemes, Construction of Rural Haats, Vermi-Composting etc. The Committee will submit its report within three months from its date of constitution.

20) Women bear uneven burden of family planning through sterilisation: NHM report

  • On 18th June 2018, the 11th report of the Common Review Mission of the National Health Mission (NHM) was released and it has stated that, women bear uneven burden in family planning with women accounting for more than 93 per cent of sterilisations in India. The report also states that male sterilisation services still remain inadequately available in India. The data has been cited from the Health Management Information System (HMIS) where states upload data on different parameters of NHM. As per HMIS in 2017-18 (till October) out of the total 14,73,418 sterilisation procedures only 6.8 % were male sterilisation and 93.1 % were female sterilization.
  • This is a very slight improvement from previous years when women accounted for 98 per cent of the total sterilisations. Out of 41,41,502 sterilisations in India in 2015-16 under government programmes, 40,61,462 were tubectomies. In 2014-15, out of 40,30,409 sterilisations, 39,52,043 were tubectomies. It is said that, the reluctance of Indian men to undergo sterilisation arises from history, social taboo and logistical limitations. Vasectomy or male sterilisation involves cutting or tying the vas deferens that carries the sperm from the testes to the urethra. It is easier than female sterilisation or tubectomy that is clamping or blocking the fallopian tubes so eggs do not reach the uterus. Also, in most states sterilisation services were provided only in fixed places on fixed days. Exceptions are Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Manipur. As per the CRM, 13 years after the health mission was launched, the out of pocket spend is still high.

21) 3 MoUs signed and 6 at an advanced stage and 31 more under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ Scheme :Culture Ministry

  • On June 20, 2018, Under ‘Adopt a Heritage’ Scheme, MoUs have already been signed and 6 are at an advanced stage and 31 more Adarsh Monuments are enlisted for coverage under the scheme. The Ministry of Culture launched a report on Adopt a Heritage’ Scheme of the Government of India .The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India.
  • The project primarily focuses on providing basic amenities that includes cleanliness, public conveniences, drinking water, ease of access for differently abled and senior citizens, standardized signage, illumination and advanced amenities such as surveillance system, night viewing facilities, tourism facilitation center. This will be achieved through development, operation and maintenance of world-class tourist infrastructure and amenities at ASI/ State heritage sites and other important tourist sites in India.

22) Visva-Bharati University setting up ‘Yoga Gram’ with central grant

  • On 19th June 2018, the Visva-Bharati University received Rs 5 crore central grant for setting up a ‘Yoga Gram’ in the university campus, in Kolkata. Prof Samiran Mondal, Head of Department of Yogic Art and Science, said that, small ‘yoga’ themed cottages with tiled or straw roofs will be made in the ‘Yoga Gram’. Even tourists can participate in sessions conducted there. Work for the first phase of the project has started. Work is done on 15 acres of land in the compound of the ‘Vinay Bhavan’, the Institute of Education of the university. Books and audiovisual aids will also be available on the 2000-year-old yoga culture.
  • The first phase of the project is funded by the Ministry of Human Resources. The fund was allotted after project details were submitted before the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the second phase of the ‘Yoga Gram’ project, the Dinbandhu Andrews Hospital, will be renovated. This hospital was established by Tagore to offer non-allopaethic medicine to the poor at low cost. An ayurvedic garden with medicinal plants will also be set up near the hospital. The AYUSH ministry has been approached to offer funds for the second phase of the project.

23) Shillong Gets Selected As The 100th Smart City

  • Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya has been selected as 100th Smart City after evaluating the proposal submitted by it. Till now, 99 smart cities had been selected in four rounds of competition and with this announcement, selection of 100 cities has been completed under the Smart Cities Mission.
  • Previously, 20 cities were selected in January 2016, 13 cities in May 2016, 27 cities in September 2016, 30 cities in June 2017 and 9 cities in January 2018.  With the selection of Shillong, the total proposed investment in the finally selected 100 cities under the Smart Cities Mission would be Rs.2,05,018 crores.

24) kaiga Generating Systems Sets New Record Of Continuous Operation

  • The 220 MW Unit-1 of Karnataka’s Kaiga Generating Systems (KGS-1) set a new record of the continuous operation of 766 days, surpassing the earlier record of 765 days set by the Unit-5 of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS-5) in 2014 With this achievement, KGS-1 stands second in the world among the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and fourth among all nuclear power reactors in terms of continuous operation. The unit KGS-1 has been in operation since May 13, 2016. The 220 mw KGS-1 is an indigenous PHWR fuelled by domestic fuel.

25) SAIL Steel for World’s Tallest Girder Rail Bridge

  • Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has supplied nearly 60,000 tonnes of steel material for the 111-km-long Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project in Manipur. SAIL has supplied TMT rebars and structural, HR Plates and Sheets, Plate Mill Plates for this project. SAIL has been supplying the materials manufactured in the advanced mills at Durgapur, IISCO, Rourkela and Bokaro plants. The project was taken up in 2008. It is a National Project. It consists of the construction of 111-km long broad gauge railway line that includes 9 stations at: Dolakhal, Kaimai Road, Kambiron, Thingou, Khongsang, Noney Tupul, Haochang Road and Imphal, 148 bridges & 45 tunnels.
  •  In this tunnel No. 12 is 11.55-km long. It is India’s longest tunnel. The project is carried out in two sections. The first section comprises the construction of 84 km of railway line linking Jiribam to Tupul, that will be completed soon. The second section of 27 km linking Tupul to Imphal would be finished by 2019. Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is carrying out the construction of the project. Also, a bridge is being constructed near Noney that will become the tallest girder rail bridge in the world. With a height of 141 m, the bridge over river Iring will be as tall as two Qutub Minars.

26) Nasscom launches ‘Women Wizards Rule Tech’ programme to support women techies

  • On June 20, 2018, NAsscom unveiled its ‘Women Wizards Rule Tech’ programme for women techies to support women in being successful and thus increasing the number of women as senior officials in the IT field. The Women Wizards Rule Tech was announced in March at the Nasscom Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Chennai as a joint initiative by the Nasscom Sector Skills Council and the Data Security Council of India. This initiative will aid women techies in core technologies like IT-Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Business Process Management (BPM), product and research and development (R&D) sectors.

27) Google launches training programme for journalists to create awareness against misinformation and fake news

  • On 19th June 2018, Google announced the launch of a training programme for journalists, to create awareness against misinformation and offering new tools against fake news. The Google News Initiative India Training Network will offer training to 8,000 journalists in English and 6 other Indian languages in the next 1 year. The network will select 200 journalists from Indian cities. They will be provided training to enhance their skills in verification and training during five-day boot camps. The boot camps will be organised for English and 6 other Indian languages. This network of certified trainers will in turn train more journalists. The workshops will be conducted in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi and Kannada in various Indian cities. The main focus of the training will be fact-checking, online verification and digital hygiene for journalists. The curriculum is developed by experts from First Draft, Storyful, AltNews, BoomLive, Factchecker.in, and DataLeads.

28) Microsoft acquires video discussion platform Flipgrid which is used by 20 million teachers and students across the world

  • Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a video discussion platform, which has over 20 million teachers and students throughout the world as users. Flipgrid enables students to discuss and reply to topics with video clips. Now, Microsoft will make Flipgrid free for schools. Customers who already paid for a subscription will receive a prorated refund. Microsoft will help to develop the Flipgrid community. Flipgrid will retain its brand and team after the acquisition.

29) Defence Minister inaugurates Workshop on Cyber Security Framework – 2018

  • On June 19, 2018, A workshop on Cyber Security Framework for Department of Defence organised by DDP, Ministry of Defence was inaugurated by Defence Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman. To bring in synchronised approach for cyber security based on frame work document released by the Department of Defence Production in 2018.More than 100 Chief Information Security officers from Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA), Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA), Directorate of Standardisation, Defence PSUs and Ordnance Factories are participating in the workshop.

30) Chhattisgarh Govt approves merger of around 1.50 lakh ‘shikshakarmi’, with state school education department

  • On June 19, 2018, The Chhattisgarh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Raman Singh approved merger of ‘shikshakarmi’ with the state school education department. This will be effective from July 1,2018, and will benefit around 1.50 lakh shikshakarmi. In the first phase, the merger of 1.03 lakh shikshakarmi who have completed eight years of service will be carried out from the July 1. The remaining 48,000 shikshakarmi will become eligible for merger into the school education department as and when they complete eight years of service.The shikshakarmis will get the benefit of Pay Commission recommendations, pay scale, allowances and other facilities such as appointment on compassionate grounds and promotions to which regular teachers are entitled. The decision will put a burden of Rs 1,346 crore on the exchequer.

31) Second tranche of Bharat-22 ETF for raising Rs.6000 crore

  • On June 19, 2018, The second tranche of Bharat-22 ETF (exchange traded fund) opened for fresh subscription on June 19, 2018. The government aims to raise Rs 6,000 crore from this round. There is also a green shoe option of Rs 2,400 crore, subject to government approval. On November 14, 2017, the government launched the BHARAT-22 exchange traded fund (ETF), which is managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund. It’s a part of the government’s disinvestment programme. ETFs are essentially index funds that are listed and traded on stocks exchanges just like regular shares.
  • Bharat 22 comprises 22 stocks including those of central public sector enterprises, PSU banks and holdings under the Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India. Bharat 22 is a welldiversified ETF spanning six sectors — basic materials (4.4%), energy (17.5%), finance (20.3%), industrials (22.6%), FMCG (15.2%) and utilities (20%). The ETF is aimed at helping speed up the government’s disinvestment programme.

32) Mehbooba Mufti resigns as Jammu and Kashmir’s chief minister

  • On 19th June 2018, Mehbooba Mufti resigned as Jammu and Kashmir’s chief minister after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ended its alliance with Mehbooba Mufti’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In the Jammu and Kashmir elections of 2015, no party secured the 45 seats required for a majority win in the assembly. PDP was the largest party with 28 seats. BJP had secured 25 seats. PDP and BJP entered an alliance to form a government.
  • After the gang-rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl from the Muslim community in Kathua district of Jammu & Kashmir in April 2018, the relationship between BJP and PDP started weakening. After BJP ended its alliance with PDP, the Congress, which has 12 seats in the assembly, said it didn’t want to ally with PDP. Mehbooba Mufti said that PDP would not form any other alliance and resigned as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir will now be administered by the Centre through J&K Governor NN Vohra. Governor’s rule can continue for 1 year without the need for a reference to Parliament.

33) Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Rani Rashmoni’ commissioned in Visakhapatnam

  • On June 19, 2018, The last of the five Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) project of Indian Coast Guard (ICG) named ‘Rani Rashmoni’ was commissioned in the Indian Coast Guard in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The previous vessels included : Rani Abbakka , Rani Avanti , Rani Durgavati, Rani Gaidinliu. These patrols are equipped with advanced and state of the art sensors and are designed to perform tasks such as surveillance, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations.
  •  It is a 346-tonne ship with 51 meters length, 8.36 meters width has been named after the legendary  Rani Rashmoni of Kolkata. It has been designed and built by the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) indigenously. It is propelled by three MTU 40000 series diesel engines of 2720 KW capacity each coupled with three Rolls Royce Kamewa jets and can achieve a maximum speeds of 34 knots (63kmph). ICGS Rani Rashmoni has four officers and 34 men and is commanded by Commandant Navdeep Safaya.

34) RBI Alters ‘Relative’ Definition To Check Outward Remittances

  • Concerned over funds sent abroad under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category of the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has narrowed the definition of relatives to check the flow of funds. Hence, funds under the ‘maintenance of close relative’ category can be sent only to immediate relatives such as parents, spouses, children and their spouses.
  • This has brought about by defining ‘relatives’ under the Companies Act, 2013 instead of the same act of 1956. Outward remittances under maintenance of close relatives shot up to almost $3 billion in 2017-18 from a mere $174 million in 2013-14. In fact, funds sent under this category have more than doubled since 2015-16.

35) RBI Eases Norms For FPIs To Invest In Debt

  • The Reserve Bank of India has eased investment norms for Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in debt, especially into individual large corporates, a move that can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help arrest the recent fall in the rupee. FPIs are allowed to invest in various debt market instruments such as government bonds, treasury bills, state development loans and corporate bonds, but with certain limits and restrictions. The RBI increased the FPIs cap on investment in government security to 30% of the outstanding stock of that security, from 20% earlier. FPIs were allowed to invest in government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years.

36) ICICI Bank Names Sandeep Bakhshi As COO

  • The ICICI Bank board has appointed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO Sandeep Bakhshi as whole-time director and chief operating officer (COO), creating a new top position at India’s second largest private bank, to steer all its businesses. Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank’s managing director and CEO will remain on leave until a committee investigating allegations of impropriety completes its work. Bakhshi has been appointed for a period of five years. Bakhshi will continue as non-executive director of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. N.S. Kannan has been appointed as CEO of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance for five years.

37) World’s first known manta ray nursery discovered

  • The juvenile manta ray habitat located in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, has become the first of its kind to be described in a scientific study. Researchers have discovered the world’s first known natural manta ray nursery that allows them to observe the juvenile manta ray in their habitat. Joshua Stewart, a PhD candidate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University, spotted juvenile mantas during a research on manta population structure at Flower Garden Banks in 2016.
  •  The study has been published in the journal Marine Biology. Oceanic manta rays (Mobula birostris) are known as the gentle giants of the sea. They are large, plankton-eating rays. They live in the open ocean. They can reach sizes of up to 7 metres in wingspan as adults.

38) ICC announces World Test Championship, India to play first match against WI next year

  • On June 20, 2018, International Cricket Council (ICC) announced its Future Tours Programme (FTP) for a five-year period (2018-2023) which includes the World Test Championship and a 13-team ODI league. The ICC World Test Championship will be held in July of 2019. India will play the first match against West Indies . The Test championship will involve nine teams playing three home and three away series over a two-year cycle beginning in 2019. The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions which may be held in Lord’s in July 2021. Every series will comprise of just three matches and it will be held from 2020 to 2022.

39) Legendary mimicry artist Nerella Venumadhav passes away at 85

  • On June 19, 2018, Noted mimicry artiste Nerella Venumadhav died after a brief illness at his home in Mattewada in Warangal city in Telangana. He was 85 and is survived by wife, two daughters, and two sons. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2001. He had also received Kalaprapoorna award from the Andhra University and honour of GajarohanamHe was the first Indian mimicry and ventriloquism artiste to have performed at the UN headquarters. He  had served as a nominated Member of Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh from 1972 to 1978. He had even introduced the syllabus for a diploma course in mimicry for the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University and had even taught the subject.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 19 2018

1) Sustainable Gastronomy Day – 18 June

  • On 18th June 2018, the Sustainable Gastronomy Day was observed all over the world. In 2016, the UN General Assembly declared 18 June as Sustainable Gastronomy Day. Sustainable gastronomy can play a major role in promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and the conservation of biodiversity. Observance of Sustainable Gastronomy Day acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world.

2) International Picnic Day – 18th June 2018

  • On 18th June 2018, International Picnic Day was celebrated all over the world. The International Picnic Day is celebrated in many countries on 18th June every year. Its origin is uncertain. Charity events, school picnics and various types of group meals are held to commemorate this day. The word “picnic” originated from the French language. It relates to informal outdoor meal. Picnic became a popular time pass in France after the Revolution.

3) NSG plenary meeting held in Jurmala, Latvia on 14th and 15th June 2018

  • On 14th and 15th June 2018, the 28th Plenary Meeting of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was held in Jūrmala, Latvia. The NSG plenary meeting was chaired by Ambassador Jānis Zlamets of Latvia. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, H.E. Mr. Edgars Rinkēvičs, welcomed the Participating Governments on behalf of Latvia. The NSG reviewed the developments since the last meeting in Bern in 2017.  Participating Governments exchanged information on global proliferation challenges. They reiterated their support for the full, complete and effective implementation of the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). On the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Participating Governments noted the developments in the DPRK since the 2017 NSG Plenary in Bern. On Iran, the Participating Governments noted the continued implementation by the E3/EU+2 and the Islamic Republic of Iran of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). 
  •  At the Plenary meeting the NSG:
    1. maintained its focus on technical issues related to the implementation of the Control Lists
    2. discussed the significance of updating the NSG Guidelines
    3. strengthened the NSG’s policies on transparency and confidentiality
    4. discussed national best practices on licensing and enforcement and national experiences in implementing the NSG Guidelines
    5. welcomed the number of States that have harmonized their national export control systems with the NSG Guidelines and Control Lists
    6. took note of the report on outreach to non-NSG participants
    7. discussed on the national practices of awareness-raising and interaction with industry and academic and research institutions, related to NSG controlled items
    8. took note of an outreach event with the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the World Nuclear Association (WNA) on 10 April 2018
    9. decided to revise and update the NSG website
    10. continued to consider the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with Indiaand discussed the relationship with India

4) Dhanush artillery gun clears 3rd and final trials and soon to be inducted in the army

  • On June 18, 2018, The indigenously built Dhanush artillery gun passes the final tests successfully and is ready to be inducted to the Army. It was the 3rd and final phase of testing which was done from May 31 to June 7th 2018. There were firing of Dhanush guns in battery formation. A total of 301 rounds were fired from these 6 guns. Each gun travelled a distance of 1000km in desert and high altitude terrains. After the general staff evaluation the bulk production would take place where 114 guns would be inducted in the Indian Army by the next two years. The first phase was conducted in September 2016 in Pokhran and Babina and the second phase was conducted in December 2016 in Siachen base. A total of 1520 rounds have been fired in all the phases.

5) US Pips India As Top Greenfield FDI Investment Destination: Report

  • The U.S. has surpassed India to become the top destination for greenfield foreign direct investment in 2017, according to the FDI Report 2018, compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times Ltd. The number of greenfield FDI projects in India during the year fell sharply by 21% to 637. India had maintained the top slot in greenfield FDI investment in 2015 and 2016. However, in 2017, the U.S. reclaimed the spot from India, recording $87.4 billion of announced FDI. In the Asia and Pacific region, China was on top in terms of FDI in the total number of new projects and capital investment, followed by India.

6) European Union Film Festival (EUFF) starts in New Delhi; I&B Minister inaugurates it

  • From 18th to 24th June 2018, European Union Film Festival (EUFF) 2018 is held in Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi. European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will be held from 18th June to 31st August 2018 in 11 Indian cities: New Delhi, Chennai, Port Blair, Pune, Puducherry, Kolkata, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Thrissur, Hyderabad and Goa. 24 latest European films from 23 European Union (EU) Member States have been selected for EUFF 2018. On 18th June 2018, the Festival was inaugurated at the Siri fort auditorium in Delhi by Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
  • Amit Khare, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting; Raimund Magis, Deputy head of Delegation of the European Union to India; Chaitanya Prasad, Additional Director General, Directorate of Film Festivals; Katarina Tomkova, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Slovak Republic were also present at the occasion. Movies from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden will be screened.
  • The European Union Film Festival is organised by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting along with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in several city film clubs. Also, this year, audience, students and filmmakers will get an opportunity to interact with Katarína Krnáčová (Slovakian producer), Paula Ortiz (Spanish Director), Salvatore Alloca (Italian Director), Yannis Korris (Greek Director), Douglas Boswell (Belgium Director) and Ádám Fekete (Hungarian Actor).

7) EAM Sushma Swaraj Embarks On 4- Nation Tour

  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has left for a 4-nation tour to Italy, France, Luxembourg and Belgium. On her first leg of the tour, she will visit Italy. It will be the first major political exchange between India and Italy following the swearing- in of Mr Giuseppe Conte as Italy’s new Prime Minister. She will be in France on the second leg and will meet her counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris to review the bilateral relations. Mrs Swaraj will reach Luxembourg on the 3rd leg and she will be visiting Belgium on the last and 4th leg.

8) World Bank Approves $700 Mn To Improve Primary Education In Bangladesh

  • The World Bank has approved $700 million to help Bangladesh achieve its education for all vision by improving the primary education sector. The Quality Learning for All Program (QLEAP) will cover more than 18 million children studying in pre-primary level to grade 5. It will also finance implementation of the government’s Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4).

9) Ivan Duque Wins Election To Become Colombia’s President

  • Colombia has chosen Ivan Duque to be its next president after a long and divisive campaign that often centred on a controversial peace process with leftist rebels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Duque, who will turn 42 just before taking office will be Colombia’s youngest ever President.

10) 4th Governing Council Meeting Of NITI Aayog Held In Delhi

  • The fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the PM Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. It was attended by 23 Chief Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart from Union Ministers, who are ex-officio members and special invitees.
  • The PM highlighted the importance of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire cooperative federalism, stressing the need for effective centre-state cooperation to advance development outcomes and achieve double-digit growth for India. States were called up to fix growth targets for their economies as the world looks towards India soon becoming a USD 5 trillion economy.

11) 11th Common Review Mission Report Released

  • Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare released the 11th Common Review Mission (CRM) report of the National Health Mission. As per the Report, India has registered a record 22% reduction in MMR since 2013,which is the highest percentage decline so far when compared to all the previous reductions in MMR as per the earlier rounds of SRS. Maternal Mortality Ratio in India has declined from 167 in 2011-2013 to 130 in 2014-2016.

12) KisanKraft plans to take ‘aerobic rice’ technology to 5 states for the Kharif season; mainly aims to reduce cost for water stressed farmers

  • On June 18, 2018, The Bengaluru-based KisanKraft intends to take the ‘aerobic rice’ technology to five states during this kharif season and conduct demonstrations to reach out to more farmers.The aerobic rice technology is a solution for water-stressed paddy farmers. hIt would help in restoring soil conditions while contributing to national food security.  Since there is no puddling and no standing water, hence costs associated with the use of water and pumping cost is also minimized.
  • As against up to 5,000 litres of water required to produce one kg of wetland rice, the aerobic rice requires only up to 2,500 litres. This would save more than 60 per cent in water and 55 per cent in labour. Except the Himalayas, the coastal areas and the hilly areas (with excess water), the rest of the country can grow aerobic rice. Black cotton soil and lowlands in submerged water conditions are unsuitable.
  • Aerobic rice is direct-seeded into the field, eliminating the cost of raising nursery, transplantation and its related impact on labour health. Direct seeding also reduces ‘seed rate’ dramatically.Certain pests and diseases don’t breed in aerobic conditions, therefore, use of chemicals is also reduced.

13) RBI eases norms for FPIs to invest in debt securities and corporate bonds

  • On June 18, 2018, The Reserve Bank has eased investment norms for foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) in debt, especially into individual large corporates . It can help attract more overseas flows and thereby help elevate the recent fall in the rupee and also lift the recent fall in demand for corporate bonds. The RBI increased the FPIs cap on investment in government security to 30 per cent of the outstanding stock of that security, from 20 per cent earlier. FPIs were allowed to invest in government bonds with a minimum residual maturity of three years. 
  • FPIs are permitted to invest in Government securities (G-secs), including treasury bills, and SDLs without any minimum residual maturity requirement, subject to the condition that short-term investments( Investments with maturity of one year) by an FPI under either category shall not exceed 20 per cent of the total investment of that FPI in that category. FPIs were permitted to invest in government securities till the limit utilization reaches 90 per cent, after which the auction mechanism was triggered for allocation of the remaining limit.

14) IRDAI Sets Up Panel To Review Norms For Marketing Firms

  • IRDAI has formed a panel to review the regulations pertaining to insurance marketing firms. The committee is headed by Suresh Mathur, Executive Director (insurance marketing firms), IRDAI, with nine more members. The new distribution channel of insurance marketing firms was introduced in 2015 by IRDAI, with the objective of increasing insurance penetration in the country through an area-wise registration approach. The channel has now been in operation for three years. The committee will come up with recommendations before July 31, 2018, according to an order issued by IRDAI.

15) Muthoot Fincorp, NSDC To Train 10,000 Youth Under PMKVY

  • Muthoot Fincorp Limited announced its partnership with National Skill Development Corporation to train over 10,000 youth over the next three years and make them job ready. With the partnership, Muthoot Fincorp claims to have become the first major private sector player to partner with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to launch the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY.2) programme. NSDC has approved a target of 3,000 candidates in the first year and 3,500 each in the subsequent two years.

16) Tripura starts GPS (Global Positioning System) and wireless based 24×7 mobile policing service

  • On 16th June 2018, the Tripura government launched the GPS (Global Positioning System) and wireless based 24×7 “mobile policing” service to control crime, mainly against women. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb launched the “mobile policing” service. He said that, with the introduction of “mobile policing” service, people don’t have to go to the police. Police will reach the spot within a few minutes to tackle the situation.
  •  Police chief Akhil Kumar Sukhla said that, the complete service will be monitored and directed using GPS and wireless based technology. As per the ‘mobile policing’ service, a police van or a small vehicle with police personnel will be patrolling 24*7 in their assigned zone. The mobile patrolling will be in constant contact with the nearest police station, outpost and higher authorities.

17) Brooks Koepka Wins 2nd US Open Golf Title 2018

  • American golfer Brooks Koepka has made history and finished strong as he became the first player in 29 years to win back-to-back US Open titles at Shinnecock Hills in New York. The 28-year-old Florida native emerged victorious by one shot over England’s Tommy Fleetwood. The World number one Dustin Johnson finished third at plus-three on account of a 70. With this, Koepka becomes the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win back-to-back U.S. Open events.

18) Roger Federer Wins 98th ATP Title In Stuttgart, Regained No. 1 Title

  • Roger Federer claimed his 98th ATP title and re-established his unrivalled superiority on grass with a victory over Milos Raonic in the Stuttgart Cup final. Top-seeded Swiss beat his Canadian opponent for the 11th time in 14 meetings while winning a first Stuttgart title. The 36-year-old regained the world number one ranking. Federer made a return to the top ATP ranking for the sixth time. Tim Putz and Phillip Petzschner (Germany) won the Men’s Doubles title after defeating M. Matkowski (Poland) and R. Lindstedt (Sweden).

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 17 & 18 2018

1) Singapore’s NUS-ISS to implement skill development programmes in India

  • On June 16, 2018, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, government of India will partner with Singapore e-Government Leadership Centre (eGL) at the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Systems Science (NUS-ISS) for implementation of skill development initiatives of India.
  • Key points:
    i. They will work together to develop and implement skill development programmes across emerging technology areas like Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
    ii. They will give vocational training technologies, training of trainers and assessors, and promoting life-long learning.
    iii. NUS-ISS would provide strategies and will act as advisory to NSDC and  Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) .

2) India set to launch $240 million retaliatory tariffs on US imports

  • India would introduce retaliatory tariffs worth $240 million soon on a revised list of 30 items imported from the United States to counter United States’ move to increase duties on Indian steel and aluminium. This move has been made at a time when India is planning to negotiate a “trade package” with the United States to ease tensions between both the countries. On 13th June 2018, India notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) a revised list of 30 items imported from the US, like almonds, apples, phosphoric acid and motorcycles with engine capacity more than 800 cc (including Harley-Davidson Inc.), on which it has decided to impose retaliatory tariffs.
  •  On 18th May 2018, India had notified the WTO a list of 20 items imported from the US worth $166 million on which it was proposing to increase tariffs. In the revised list, India has reduced the proposed maximum additional duties from 100% (on walnuts) to 50% (on Harley-Davidson). India had asked the US government to exempt it from its 25% tax on steel and 10% on aluminium imposed by US President Donald Trump on the basis of national security. But it was rejected by the US. India has also invited the US to the dispute settlement mechanism in the WTO over the issue.

3) DRDO converts Pinaka rocket system into guided missile Pinaka Mark II

  • On June 16, 2018, Pinaka rocket system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), known for firing 12 rockets in just 44 seconds, is being converted into a precision-guided missile. Pinaka initially had a range of 30 to 40km. In its initial phase it has been developed into Pinaka Mark II, which has an enhanced range of 70 to 80 km. The actual ground trials will be held at Pokhran. The project duration is three years of which one year has been completed. After the developmental trials it is expected to be inducted in the Indian Army in coming two years.

4) US surpasses India as top greenfield FDI investment destination globally ; China tops in the Asia-Pacific Region : FDI Report 2018

  • On June 17, 2018, According to the FDI Report 2018 compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times Ltd. , US has surpassed India as the top destination to attract Greenfield FDI investment. In 2017, the US reclaimed the spot from India, recording USD 87.4 billion of announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The number of projects for the US was 1,627India has been the top destination for 2015 and 2016 but the number of investments has fallen by 21% for 2017.
  • Rankings for other countries:
    i. In the Asia and Pacific region, China was on top in terms of FDI in total number of new projects and capital investment, followed by India, as per the FDI report.
    ii. China received foreign capital investment of USD 50.8 billion in 2017 in greenfield projects, compared to India’s USD 25.1 billion.
    iii. The number of projects received by China was 681 projects as against 637 in case of India.
    Globally in 2017, greenfield FDI weakened with the number of FDI projects declining by 1.1 per cent to 13,200. Capital investment decreased 15.2 per cent to USD 662.6 billion alongside a 9.4 per cent decline in job creation to 1.83 million.

5) India has trade deficit with 10 out of 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership  members

  • On June 17, 2018, According to the data of Commerce Ministry , India had trade deficit with as many as 10 member countries out of 16 of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)nations. These RCEP bloc nations include : China, South Korea and Australia. The trade gap with China, Korea, Indonesia and Australia has increased to USD 63.12 billion; USD 11.96 billion; USD 12.47 billion and USD 10.16 billion in 2017-18. It was USD 51.11 billion, USD 8.34 billion, USD 9.94 billion and USD 8.19 billion respectively in the previous financial year, 2016-17 . It’s same with regard to Japan, Thailand and New Zealand. However, the trade gap has dipped with the remaining three nations – Lao, Brunei, Malaysia — in 2017-18. India would get market access in services and investment opportunities.
  • About Trade Deficit:
    ♦ It is the difference between imports and exports. With free trade agreements this would increase
    ♦ India’s foothold but also impact the domestic manufacturers. But as the strength of the domestic manufacturing is weak, India would not be able to take advantage of such free trade agreements.

6) President 3-Nation Visit: Leaves For Greece

  • President Ram Nath Kovind left on a three-nation visit to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. The first halt of the nine-day tour will be at Athens, where he will meet Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In Athens, the President will lay a wreath at the monument of unknown soldiers and visit other places of historical and archaeological importance. President will leave for Suriname on the 2nd leg where he will hold discussions with President Desire Delano Bouterse. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of health and medicine, elections, IT, Ayurveda are proposed to be signed.
  • In the last leg of his tour, the President will reach Cuba. He is scheduled to hold discussions with his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz – Canel Bermudez. A number of MoUs and Agreements in the areas of Biotechnology, Homeopathy and traditional system of medicine and medical plants would be signed during the visit.

7) Swajal scheme of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched in 115 Aspirational Districts of India

  • On June 16, 2018, In a National Consultation on National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) chaired by Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Uma BhartiSwajal scheme was announced in 115 aspirational districts of the country. This consultation had the Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Ramesh Jigajinagi, Ministers-in-charge of Drinking Water from13 States, including Assam, Bihar, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand as guests .
  • The Launch of the Swajal scheme has an outlay of Rs 700 crore. These scheme will aim to provide villages with piped water supply powered by solar energy. The scheme will train hundreds of rural technicians for operation and maintenance of Swajal units. Modernisation of 2000 water quality testing laboratories.  Rs.1000 crores allotted for addressing the drinking water needs of 27,544 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations of the country in this financial year under the National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM)Announcement of a special campaign made for awareness of rain water harvesting and its importance. States to cooperate for the fulfillment of goals of Sustainable Development Goal ‘safe drinking water for all’ in India by 2030.

8) Union Minister of Home Affairs gives financial assistance of Rs. 5.5 lakh per family to West Pakistan Refugees settled in J&K  on his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7-8 2018.

  • On June 16, 2018, The Union Government approved financial aid of Rs. 5.5 lakh per family to the West Pakistan Refugees settled in J&K. The amount was disbursed by Union Home minister Rajnath Singh on his visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 7-8 , 2018. It would come into effect from 13th JUNE 2018. This scheme would help 5764 families settled in J&K. The amount would be credited to the account of the eligible beneficiaries. The state government would appoint Nodal Officers for the smooth implementation of the scheme as well.

9) Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons launches the new Incredible India website

  • On 14th June 2018, the Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism K.J. Alphons launched the new Incredible India website in New Delhi. The New Incredible India website portrays India as a holistic destination with experiences in spirituality, heritage, adventure, culture, yoga, wellness, etc. The website is of international standard. It aims to project India as a “must-visit” destination. The new website is more interactive. Tech Mahindra, Google, Adobe and NIC team participated in the development of this website. Using Adobe solution suite, the Ministry of Tourism will provide real time personalized experiences for each visitor, based on their interest. Ministry of Tourism has tied up with Google Arts & Culture in creating great visuals for the website.
  •  Salient Features of the new website are:
    • User Friendly Design
    • RichContent
    • Advanced Personalization
    • Mobile Ready
    • Interactive Search
    • User Generated Content

    The website has been developed by Tech Mahindra. It is powered by NIC Cloud. The website will be available in Hindi and major international languages soon. The Website Link is: https://www.incredibleindia.org/

10) SAARC fund to launch 80 social enterprise programme in all 8 member nations

  • On June 17, 2018, SAARC Development Fund will soon be launching a social enterprise development programme (SEDP) to fund 80 entities annually across the 8-member states including India.  SDF would create access to financial services which can boost job creation, raise income, reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (SAARC members). 
  • SDF is currently implementing 12 regional projects with more than 70 implementing and lead implementing agencies covering all the member countries under the social window funding.It has already committed USD 73.74 million for social window projects as of date out of which it has disbursed USD 47 million to the member states. It has recently launched two energy infrastructure projects in the region :
    These include waste to energy project in Sri Lanka with participation of India and hydropower project in Nepal with participation of Bangladesh and India. The total loan commitment would be USD 30 million.

11) States collect taxes worth Rs 10,000 crore online post e-Governance initiatives : Road Ministry

  • On June 17, 2018, According to a report of the Road Transport and Highway ministry , states have collected taxes worth Rs. 10000 crore under Government’s e-governance initiative. Since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP), which has also automated regional transport operations (RTOs) the taxes has been collected. The government has set up a consolidated nation-wise transport database and launched citizens and trade-centric applications . More than 19-crore vehicles and 10-crore driving licence records have come under the National Register.
  • Two flagship applications under Transport MMP — Vahan and Sarathi Vahan – have been released. Vahan deals  with vehicle registration, taxation, permit, fitness and associated services. Sarathi Vahan deals with driving licence, learner licence, driving schools and related activities. The applications have been implemented in more than 1,000 RTOs across 33 states and Union territories – with state-specific rules, tax structures. And as  an achievement , more than 50 lakh national permits have been issued to Goods Vehicles through Online National Permit Portal.

12) PM Narendra Modi to Chair Fourth Meeting Of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council Today

  • On June 17,2018 Fourth meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council has began at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra modi. Various issues have been expected to be discuss on this meeting including measures taken to double farmers’ income. The progress of flagship schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission and Mission Indradhanush; development of aspirational districts; and celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi also to be discussed during this meeting.
  • The development agenda for ‘New India 2022’ was also expected to be approved. In this council , the apex body of Niti Aayog includes all the chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, several union ministers and senior government officials. NITI Aayog will act as the “think tank” of the government and work as a bridge between the centre and the states.

13) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu to lay foundation stone for sewage management system in Itanagar

  • On June 16, 2018, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone for sewage management system and Storm water drainage system in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.  This schemes are under government’s Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) scheme. To enable basic facilities like drainage system, basic water harvesting system in the region .
  • This would prevent migration of families from rural to urban due to the lack of health care, education and economic stability. This would ensure implementation of proper urban planning system. Besides this, The Vice President also met research scholars and faculty members of North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST)  in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh.

14) Government likely to penalise insurance companies for delaying payment under NHPS

  • The government has proposed to penalise insurance companies for delay in payment to hospitals for settlement of claims under the Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). Under the scheme, if an insurance company delays the claim payment over 15 days, then it should pay a penalty of 1 % interest on the claimed amount per week till it completely settles the claim. The insurance company will pay the penalty directly to the hospital, as specified in the model tender document that was released on 14th June 2018.
  •  The model tender document also consists of a list of the procedures and their rates that will be covered under the scheme along with those that require pre-authorisation. 20 states and Union territories have till now signed MoUs with the Union Health Ministry for executing the NHPS. NHPS aims to offer a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family every year to 10 crore vulnerable families. Four states namely Delhi, Odisha, Punjab and West Bengal have not given any positive sign regarding adoption of the scheme till now.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi would launch the scheme on 15th August 2018. This is expected to become the world’s largest healthcare programme. Government has allotted Rs 10,000 crore for the scheme on initial estimation for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20.

15) Foundation Stone of ‘Auxiliary Production Unit & Artificial Limbs Fitting Centre’ Laid at Nawada, Faridabad

  • On 16th June 2018, the Foundation of stone of “Auxiliary Production Unit and State-of-the-Art Artificial Limbs Fitting Centre” was laid by Manohar Lal, Chief Minister of Haryana and Krishan Pal Gurjar, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment at an event at village Nawada, Tigaon (Ballabhgarh), Faridabad, Haryana Foundation stone has been laid for the Auxiliary Production Unit & Artificial Limbs Fitting Centre of Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • The differently abled people face a lot of difficulties to visit Kanpur to avail facilities of evaluation, measurements and fitment of assistive devices from ALIMCO headquarters at Kanpur. These services provided at the auxiliary centres in other areas will help differently abled people to cover lesser distance for receiving these devices. Setting up of this Centre at Faridabad would reduce long travel for differently abled people from Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
  • This centre will reinforce capacity of the Corporation, offer other rehabilitation services such as limbs fitting, disabled help centres, awareness generation about other schemes for empowerment of differently abled people. Facilities for filment of advanced Artificial Limbs, Manufacturing of Tricycle, Wheelchair, Motorized Tricycle, Walker, Crutches, and Walking Stick etc. will also be performed in this centre.

16) Telangana govt to set up Child Protection Units in all 31 districts

  • On June 17,2018 Telengana Government will plan to set up Telangana govt to set up ‘District Child Protection Units (DCPU)’ in all 31 districts to protect the children from child abuse ,child labour and also to implement the child rights in all districts. Women and Children welfare department Secretary M Jagadeeshwar informed that ‘District Child Protection Units (DCPU)’ were already established in 10 districts and plan to extend another 21 districts of the state by next two months. The main aim of the development of DCPU is to protection of children,besides anti-trafickking and also to implement juvenile justice act.

17) Meghalaya to implement Ayushman Bharat Health scheme

  • On June 15,2018 As per the MoU has signed with Union Health Ministry, Meghalaya Health Minister A L Hek has informed that Meghalaya government will implement the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM). Hek also informed that state would merge its own Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) with the AB-NHPM. The existing health insurance cover is Rs 2,80,000 under Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS)  while the AB-NHPM will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually.

18) New Zealand’s teenage player Amelia Kerr sets world record in the women’s ODI cricket

  • On 13th June 2018, New Zealand’s teenage player Amelia Kerr has created a world record in the women’s ODI cricket by scoring an unbeaten 232 runs in a match against Ireland in Dublin. Amelia Kerr was 17 years old. She recorded 232 runs (unbeaten) that included 31 boundaries and 2 sixes, in 145 balls. She became the highest individual scorer in women’s ODI. She broke the 21-year-old record held by Australian Belinda Clarke, who scored unbeaten 229 runs against Denmark in 1997. Amelia Kerr has also become the third-highest individual run scorer in the history of men’s and women’s cricket. She has also become the second woman in the history of cricket to score a double hundred. She is also the youngest cricketer to have scored a double century.

19) World Bank,Pakistan ink agreements of $565 mn  in power, water sectors for NTDC project and Sindh irrigation project

  • On June 16, 2018, Pakistan and the World Bank inked agreements worth $565 million to help build and support the projects in power and water sectors. Out of the total grant of $565 million, $425 million is meant for the NTDC and $140 million is for the Sindh government.
  • Grant of $425 mn for NTDC:
    i. The total cost of NTDC’s project would be $536.33 mn out of which the NTDC would provide $111.33 mn.
    ii. Rest of the $425 mn will be provided by World Bank for the National Transmission Modernisation (Phase-I) project which is designed to increase the capacity and reliability of selected segments of the national transmission system and for NTDC.
  • Grant of $140 mn for Sindh Barrages:
    i. The total cost of the project is $152.2 million for Sindh Barrages Improvement Project which is aimed at improving the reliability and safety of Guddu Barrage and strengthening the Sindh Irrigation Department‘s capacity .
    ii. The World Bank will provide $140mn and the rest amount of $12.2 mn is given by Sindh Government.

20) Reliance Industries investing in India’s first carbon fibre manufacturing unit

  • On 15th June 2018, Reliance Industries said that, it is investing in establishing India’s first carbon fibre manufacturing unit to cater the aerospace and defence sectors. Reliance Industries will also make low-cost and high-volume composite products such as modular toilets, homes and composites for windmill blades and rotor blades. Reliance Industries has not revealed its investment details. It has said in its annual report that, it has developed capabilities for 3D printing of wide-range of plastic and metals products.
  •  Reliance Industries is enhancing its petrochemicals business to capture Rs30,000 crore composites market. It has planned to manufacture graphene, enhanced plastics and elastomers, fibre reinforced composites that can replace steel. Reliance Industries has said that, it is investing in India’s first and largest carbon fibre production line with its own technology. It has said that, it will focus on design and specifications driven markets and applications that would give better returns. The focus areas are: wind mill blades and parts for railways and metros, which have exacting standards of performance and safety (especially fire retardant). Carbon wraps to rehabilitate/refurbish India’s old infrastructure like bridges, buildings (for improved seismic performance) and pipes are also included.

21) Russia successfully launched Glonass- M positioning satellite

  •  On June 17,2018 Russia successfully launched a Glonass- M positioning satellite using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket. The Glonass network provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe, at an accuracy reportedly at par with the U.S. Global Positioning System.

22) Seychelles celebrates 4th International Yoga Day in Victoria with the theme “Yoga for Health”.

  • On June 17, 2018, The High Commission of India in Seychelles celebrated the 4th International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2018 at the iconic Palais des Sports indoor stadium in Victoria, Seychelles. The theme of the celebration was : ‘ Yoga for Health’. It was jointly organized by the High Commission of India in Seychelles and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Government of Seychelles. It was Inaugurated by Jean Paul Adam, Minister of Health.
  •  A Yoga souvenir published by the High Commission was released. It had a guided Mass Yoga Performance using the Common Yoga Protocol .and yoga for senior citizens and children, yoga for health, prenatal yoga, meditation and breathing sessions were also conducted. Photographs on Yoga shot by noted Indian photographer Binoy K. Behl were displayed. The event was attended by over 1000 yoga enthusiasts comprising more than 1% of the country’s population.

23) Omar Al-Razzaz sworn in as Jordan PM

  • On June 17, 2018, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has appointed Omar al-Razzaz as the country’s prime minister. He will be succeeding former Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki who had resigned due to mass protests. Omar Al-Razzaz is a former World Bank economist, previously served as Jordan’s education minister.

24) World’s Most Experienced Spacewoman Peggy Whitson Retires As Astronaut

  • NASA’s record-breaking astronaut, Peggy Whitson, retired after a 22-year-long career. Whitson, who joined NASA as a researcher in 1986, has spent more time off Earth than any other American, totalling 665 days over three International Space Station missions. The 58-year-old is the oldest woman to go into space and also the most experienced female spacewalker, with 10 missions.

25) Maharashtra CM Meets World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva

  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva in Washington DC to seek assistance for a Multimodal Transport Corridor and the Rural Livelihood Project which aims to provide sustainable livelihood enhancements in 10,000 villages in the state.
  • World Bank has assured of positive consideration of both the projects. Fadnavis, who is on a three-nation tour, also attended a business discussion organised by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum. Mr Fadnavis was bestowed with the Outstanding Leadership in Development Award by Georgetown India Initiative and Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

26) Former AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya resigns from Adani Group

  • On 15th June 2018, former AirAsia India CEO Mittu Chandilya announced his resignation from Adani Group. Mittu Chandilya has said that, he has resigned from the company to spend time with his family. He has resigned at a time when the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has registered a case against AirAsia for bribing government officials to obtain international flying licence for AirAsia India.

27) Muthoot Fincorp, NSDC to train 10,000 youth under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

  • On June 17,2018 Muthoot Fincorp Limited and National Skill Development Corporation announced its partnership to train over 10,000 youth under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) programme. Under the scheme, Muthoot Fincorp will train over 10,000 people over the next three years and make them job ready. NSDC has approved a target of 3,000 candidates in the first year and 3,500 each in the subsequent two years. The Muthoot Pappachan Group will also absorb 80 per cent of the trained students 8,000 into the Group for regular positions (Job Roles), after successful completion of training and assessment of the candidates. The programme will equip these candidates with job-ready skills to access steady income opportunity in the NBFC space in India.

28) Insurance regulator IRDAI has formed a 10 member committee to review regulations governing the Insurance Marketing Firms (IMF).

  • On June 17, 2018, The Insurance Regulating body IRDAI has formed a 10 member committee to review regulations of the Insurance marketing Firms (IMF). It will be a 10 member panel that would be revising the IRDAI( Registration of Insurance Marketing Firms) regulations 2015. The Committee consists of: K.G.P.L. Ramadevi, GM (IMF) of IRDAI; Sourabh Bhanot, senior VP of Aviva Life Insurance; Siddharth Pradhan, GM of New India Assurance; Amit Rathi, Senior VP of Max Life Insurance; Deepti Rastogi, senior VP of Apollo Munich Health Insurance; Rakesh Kumar, ED of LIC; Girish Joshi, ED and ISP of iKuber Financial Services IMF Pvt Ltd.; and Rajinder Singh, MD of JK Insurance Marketing Pvt. Ltd. IRDAI’s AM-IMF Priya Kumari would be the member secretary.
  •  It would recommend measures to strengthen the distributing channel by including products under the jurisdiction of other financial sector regulators. The committee is expected to deliver their recommendations by July 31,2018. This would be applicable to  the firms that serve as distribution channels for insurers and had been approved of area wise registration in the 2015 amendment. This would help the distribution channels to spread to every strata of society to provide insurance coverage.

29) Karnataka Bank has unveiled a novel card variant ‘KBL Deposit Only Card’ for hassle free cash deposit.

  • On June 16, 2018, Karnataka Bank introduced a novel card variant called ‘KBL Deposit Only Card’. This card is meant for Bank’s Current/Overdraft customers.This would ensure hassle free cash deposit transactions at Bank’s 24×7 e-Lobby Services. By using this card customers can perform cash deposit transactions even with higher deposit limit at Bank’s Bunch Note Acceptor (BNA) / Cash Recycler kiosks.

30) Former Bengal minister passes away

  • On 16th June 2018, Satya Sadhan Chakraborty, former West Bengal minister and CPI(M) leader, died due to heart attack, in Kolkata. Satya Sadhan Chakraborty was 85 years old. He was the state higher education minister for more than 10 years. In 1980, he was elected to Lok Sabha from South Kolkata constituency. He served as state higher education minister from 1991 to 2006.

31) Journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead by gunmen in Srinagar

  • On 14th June 2018, Shujaat Bukhari, a veteran journalist and editor of the Rising Kashmir newspaper was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside the newspaper’s office in Srinagar, Kashmir. Shujaat Bukhari was 50 years old. One of his personal security officers (PSO) was also killed in the shoot-out. Earlier he worked with The Hindu newspaper as its Kashmir correspondent. He had organized various conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He also participated in the Track II process with Pakistan.

32) Veteran Journalist Adiraju Venkateswara Rao Passes Away

  • Senior journalist and writer Adiraju Venkateswara Rao passed away. He was 79.  Rao worked in different Telugu and English newspapers. & also authored several books. He played an active role in the separate Telangana agitation in 1969 and the state government honoured him during the Telangana formation day celebrations recently.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 16 2018

1) Japan’s SoftBank to invest $60 bn to $100 bn in India’s solar power generation goal of 2022

  • On June 15, 2018, Japan’s Softbank Group Corp has decided  to invest $60 bn – $100 bn in India’s solar power generation.The investment would be made through a fund backed by Saudi Arabia’s government . Saudi Arabia is the largest investor in SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which raised over $93 billionlast year.  In 2015 SoftBank decided to invest $20 billion in Indian solar projects in a joint venture with India’s Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn. It had a goal of generating 20 gigawatts(GW) of energy. In April,2018  SoftBank teamed up with China’s GCLSystem Integration Technology Co Ltd on a $930 million Indian solar energy venture.
  • About India’s renewable energy goal:
    In 2015, India announced an ambitious goal of to increasing renewable power capacity to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, with 100 GW of solar60 GW of wind10 GW of bio energy and 5 GW of small hydro.

2) Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) to be implemented by 20 states under MOU with Health Ministry

  • On June 14, 2018, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri JP Nadda, signed Memorandum of Understanding with the State Health Ministers of 20 States to launch the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) at a Health Ministers conclave in New Delhi. AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). AB-NHPM will protect the people and at the same time Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) will deliver comprehensive primary health care. This would provide preventive, promotive, and curative care for non-communicable diseases, dental, mental, geriatric care, palliative care.
  • Government has initiated universal screening of common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancers along with Tuberculosis and Leprosy. Around 10 states and union territories are expected to implement the scheme through a trust model, while five may do so through a mixture of trust and insurance. Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Jharkhand are some of the states. West Bengal , Odisha, Karnataka, Punjab and Delhi are yet to implement this programme.
  • Another states and Union Territories will join this programme by the end of June. A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission was also launched. Training / Demo of empanelment software will be conducted and States can operationalize empanelment of hospitals by 1st of July.

3) Piyush Goyal dedicates NLCIL’s Three 100 MW Solar Power Projects to the Nation

  • On 14th June 2018, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Company Affairs, Piyush Goyal inaugurated Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL)’s three 100 MW Solar Power Projects for commercial operation and dedicated these projects to the Nation. The Solar Power projects located at Thoppalaakkarai and Sethupuram in Virudhunagar District and Sellaiya Sezhiyanallur in Tirunelveli District, with an installed capacity of 100 MW each, were set up at a cost of Rs.1300 Crores.
  • This is inclusive of Operation & Maintenance cost for 15 Years. The power generated from these units will be provided to Tamilnadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) at a cost of Rs.4.41/- per unit. A MoU was also signed by NLCIL and Anna University. The MoU was signed by Dr. V. Manoharan, General Manager/Centre for Applied Research & Development, NLCIL, Neyveli and Dr. S. Ganesan, Registrar, Anna University, Chennai. The MoU will help to establish a pilot project on solar drying of lignite, to increase its Caloric Value from 2700 Kcal to 4350 Kcal. The cost of the pilot project is Rs.2 Crore 69 Lakhs.

4) National Tribal Museum proposed to be set up at Delhi-Shri Jual Oram

  • A National Tribal Museum and a National Level Tribal Research Institute is proposed to be set up at Delhi by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. This announcement was made by Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram on 14th June 2018. He said that the Museum will feature the rich tribal culture and heritage using advanced technologies. The proposal to establish the Museum and Tribal Research Institute has been sent to the NITI Ayog.
  •  According to the announcement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th August 2016, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, is forming six Tribal Freedom Fighters Memorials. Out of which two are of national importance: Narmada (Gujarat) and Birsa Munda Central Jail (Ranchi). Secretary, Ms. Leena Nair said that out of 115 Aspirational Districts identified by NITI Ayog, Ministry of Tribal Affairs is focusing on 40 tribal dominated Aspirational Districts. She also talked about the, Van Dhan Yojana launched in 2018 for providing livelihood for tribals by using non-timber forest produce having an estimated value of Rs 2 lakh crore per year.

5) Niti Aayog’s Composite Water Management Index: Gujarat Tops, Jharkhand Lowest

  • Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari released Niti Aayog’s composite water management index report in New Delhi. Gujarat topped the list while Jharkhand was adjudged as the worst performer. Gujarat is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • In the northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam. Niti Aayog has ranked the states through first of its kind index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects.

6) India To Host European Union Film Festival

  • The European Union Film Festival (EUFF) will premiere in New Delhi at the Siri Fort Auditorium. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years’ film festival brings some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India partnering with the Delegation of the European Union and embassies of EU Member States in various city film clubs. The Festival will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Mr Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.

7) 10 day ‘Yoga Ambassadors Tour’ inaugurated by Ministry of AYUSH with Kerala Government

  • On June 15, 2018, As a part of Kerala government’s tourism promotion programme, ‘Yoga Ambassadors Tour’,a specialized trip for yoga professionals from around the world was inaugurated by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik It aims to design a wholesome yoga package for visiting tourists with well-known yoga destinations with related activities. It is a 10 day educational tour for yoga professionals .
  • It has been organized by Association of Tourism Trade Organisations (ATTOI) in association with the Ministry of AYUSH and Kerala Tourism department. Places like Ayurveda, Kerala , Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu , renowned Yoga destinations like Shivandanda yoga ashram, the meditation centre at Vivekanada Rock in Kanyakumari and  sites of Munnar will be included .

8) Former World Bank Economist Omar Al-Razzaz Sworn In As Jordan PM

  • Former World Bank Economist Omar al-Razzaz was sworn in as Jordan’s Prime Minister after King Abdullah issued a decree approving the new government. The 58-year-old, who studied at Harvard University, was tasked with reviewing the country’s disputed tax system. Omar succeeded Hani al-Mulki who resigned following mass protests over price hikes and other government economic policies.

9) Smriti Mandhana To Become 1st Indian To Play In England’s Kia Super League

  • India Women’s Cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana will become the first Indian player to appear in Kia Super League – the women’s cricket super league in England. Smriti was signed by Western Storm and will represent them in the upcoming edition of the tournament that features six teams. The 21-year-old India opener has scored over 826 runs with the highest score of 76 in the 40 T20Is that she has played so far.

10) ISRO offers transfer of e-vehicle cell technology to firms for Rs 1 crore

  • On June 15, 2018, Indian space agency ISRO announced it has decided to transfer its own lithium ion cell technology to Indian industry on a non-exclusive basis for usage in automobiles for Rs 1 crore. It aims to will accelerate the development of indigenous electric vehicle industry. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) located in Kerala will transfer the lithium ion cell technology to the successful Indian industries/start-ups.
  • The request for qualification (RFQ) will be issued from June 20 for a price of Rs 25,000 and a security deposit of Rs 400,000 has to be paid along with the application. The  firm’s security deposit will be adjusted against the technology transfer fee of Rs 100 lakh. The one-time technology transfer fee has to be paid within 30 days of qualification date.

11) NLCIL’s Three 100 MW Solar Power Projects Dedicated To The Nation

  • The Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Company Affairs, Mr Piyush Goyal inaugurated Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Limited (NLCIL)’s three 100 MW Solar Power Projects for commercial operation and dedicated these projects to the Nation in Tamil Nadu. The Solar Power projects with an installed capacity of 100 MW each, were erected at a cost of Rs.1300 Crores, which includes Operation & Maintenance cost for 15 Years. The power produced from these units will be given to Tamilnadu Power Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO) at a cost of Rs.4.41/- per unit.
  • An MoU was also signed by NLCIL and Anna University. The MoU would help set up a pilot project on solar drying of lignite, in order to increase its Caloric Value from 2700 Kcal to 4350 Kcal. The cost of the pilot project is Rs.2 Crore 69 Lakhs.

12) HDFC, 5th Biggest Consumer Financial Services Company Worldwide: Forbes

  • Housing finance major HDFC has been ranked as the 5th biggest public company globally in the ‘consumer financial services category’ on a list compiled by Forbes magazine. HDFC’s rank has moved up from 7th place last year. American Express has topped this category, while Indiabulls Housing Finance is the only other Indian company (at 13th place) on the list.
  • In the overall list, topped by China’s banking behemoth ICBC, HDFC took 321st place, up from 404th a year ago. There are a total of 58 Indian companies on the overall list of 2,000 firms from across the world. These include Reliance Industries at 83rd place, the only from India in the top-100. Besides, HDFC Bank is at 202nd, ONGC at 266th, Indian Oil at 270th and ICICI Bank at 320th.

13) Indian-American Dhivya Suryadevara to become CFO of General Motors

  • Dhivya Suryadevara, an Indian-American woman has been named the Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of General Motors (GM).  Dhivya Suryadevara is at present the vice president of corporate finance, General Motors. She will replace Chuck Stevens, General Motors’ current CFO, on 1st September 2018. Dhivya Suryadevara was born in Chennai, India. She is 39 years old. She has been vice president of corporate finance in General Motors since July 2017. She will report to Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Motors.
  • Dhivya Suryadevara will be the first woman CFO in the auto industry and Mary Barra is the first woman CEO in the auto industry, as no other major global automaker has a female CEO, or a CEO and CFO who are both women. Soon General Motors will join a very short list of S&P 500 companies in which women are serving as CEO and CFO. Divya Suryadevara got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commerce from the University of Madras in Chennai. She went to the US at the age of 22 to get an MBA from Harvard University. She joined General Motors in 2005.

14) Naval Women Mountaineers team led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan Summit Mount Deotibba

  • On 10th June 2018, an all women Naval mountaineering team led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan summited Mount Deotibba. The expedition was flagged off by Vice Admiral AK Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, Chief Of Personnel on 28th May 2018 from New Delhi. Mount Deotibba is the second highest peak (6001M) in the Pir-Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most difficult peaks to summit.
  • The team was led by Lt Cdr Kokila Sajwan. Team members are: Lt Cdr Nanadini Dam Roy, Lt Cdr Seema Chaudhary, Lt Cdr Pooja Sharma, Lt Cdr Rekha Shree, Lt Cdr Rashu Tyagi, Lt Saino Wilson, Lt Chamm Kumari, Surg Lt Himwant Kaur, Lt Surbhi Sharma, Lt Shristi Thakur, Lt Vipasha Sharma, Lt Kritika Sharma. They started the trek from the road head (Bara Hazari) to the base camp at a height of 4250 m through Chikka and Seri. They passed through advance base camp at 4700 m and the Summit camp at 5250 m. After 12 hours of climbing, they summited the peak.

15) 106th Science Congress to be hosted by Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar from January 3 to 7, 2019.

  • On June 15, 2018, It was announced that The 106th Indian Science Congress will be held at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar, Punjab from January 3 to 7, 2019. The event will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. The theme for the five-day science congress is ‘Future India: Science & Technology’. It will be organised by the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA). It will have 18 plenary sessions, including those of medical, environmental, chemical and other science domains.
  • It will also have four parallel mega events, including women’s science conference, children’s science conference, science communicators meet and science exhibition. Participant countries would be US, Australia, Germany and Switzerland. About 15,000 delegates, including 300 top scientists and Nobel Laureates worldwide are going to participate. India’s DRDO, DST, Defence units, Switzerland’s Aglient, Camag companies would be present.

16) Telangana has got annual allotment of Rs 1,813 crfrom the previous Rs.258 crore for Railway projects

  • On June 15, 2018, The Railway Minister PiyushGoyal announced the annual allocation of Rs. 1813 crore to Telengana for railway project. It is an increase from an average of Rs 258 crore. The minister flagged off the extended Kacheguda- Nizamabad passenger train up to Karimnagar. South Central Railway (SCR) has become the first railway zone in the country to complete 100 per cent LED lighting at all the stations under its jurisdiction
  • Initiatives and passenger amenities to be provided by the South Central Railway and at Nizamabad station of ‘Grade A’ category. Phase two of Multi-Model Transit System (MMTS) to be taken up by the state and central government. Setting up of a multi-storey car parking facility at Secunderabad station to be initiated soon. Secunderabad railway station would be connected to nearest Hyderabad Metro rail point through a skywalk for the benefit of passengers.

17) MARG ERP Limited Partners With ICICI Bank

  • Marg ERP limited, a leading Inventory and Accounting software solution company has partnered with ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets, to offer an integrated payments platform to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers, using MARG’s accounting software. This integration aims to promote ‘Connected Banking’ and enables ICICI Bank’s current account holders to securely connect their bank account with the MARG ERP software and undertake an array of digital transactions from within the ERP platform itself.

18) Dr Bindeshwar Pathak: Sulabh International founder honoured with Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community

  • On 13th June 2018, Indian social worker Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was presented the “Nikkei Asia Prize for Culture and Community” for this year at an award ceremony in Tokyo, Japan. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was presented this award by Naotoshi Okada, President of Nikkei Inc. Chairman of the Award Committee Mr Fujio Mitarai said that, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has been honoured for tackling two of India’s biggest challenge: poor hygiene and discrimination. He was awarded under the ‘culture and community’ category. Other two winners of the award are Ma Jun (Economic and Business Innovation) and Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem (Science and Technology).
  • Ma Jun is a Chinese environmentalist. He was awarded for using the internet to promote cleaner industry. Professor Nguyen Thanh Liem is a Vietnamese doctor. He was awarded for bringing advanced medicine for children. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak created the low cost toilet revolution ‘Sulabh Shauchalya’. He invented the two-pit pour-flush ecological compost toilets. These low-cost environment friendly toilets have also provided safety to rural women and freedom from manual labour of removing human waste.
  • Experts in the Asia-Pacific region submit nominations for the Nikkei Asia awards. Candidates can also nominate themselves. Japanese individuals and organisations are not eligible for the award. Dr Bindeshwar Pathak dedicated this award to the most affected section of the society.

19) Shikhar Dhawan is first Indian to score century before lunch

  • On 14th June 2018, Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan became the first Indian to score a century before lunch on the first day of the one-off test match against Afghanistan in Bengaluru.
  • Shikhar Dhawan’s century is the first by an Indian batsman in the first session of a Test. He has become the sixth batsman in the world to achieve this in the test format. Shikhar Dhawan scored unbeaten 104 (91 balls) and Murali Vijay (41 no off 72 balls).
  • The first batsman to achieve this mark was Australia’s V.T. Trumper against England in 1902.
  • The other batsmen to achieved this mark are: Australia’s C.G. Macartney, Don Bradman, David Warner and Pakistan’s Majid Khan and India’s Shikhar Dhawan now.

20) PhonePe Partners With Ola

  • Flipkart-owned PhonePe has partnered cab aggregator Ola that will allow riders to book rides using the former’s payment platform. With this partnership, users can enjoy the ease of using their preferred ride-sharing app from within PhonePe while being assured of the reliability and integrity of their payments. PhonePe has also added ‘Auto-pay’ featurethat allows users to make payments seamlessly.

21) Axis Bank and ICICI bank rating degrades : Fitch

  • On June 15, 2018, Global ratings agency Fitch today said ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have inequalities in their risk control mechanisms and has revised down its outlook on the latter to negative on sour assets worries. It downgraded ICICI Bank’s ‘support rating’ to ‘3’, from ‘2’, its support rating floor to ‘BB+’, from ‘BBB-’ .But the agency has affirmed the issuer default ratings and viability ratings of ICICI Bank and Axis Bank at ‘BBB-’ and ‘BBB-’. ICICI Banks governance is under investigation. Axis Bank’s rating degraded to negative from stable, pointing to the high proportion of NPAs.

22) Nitin Gadkari Releases ‘Water productivity mapping of major Indian crops’  book published by NABARD

  • On 14th June 2018, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari released a book ‘Water productivity mapping of major Indian crops’ published by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) at an event in New Delhi. The book ‘Water productivity mapping of major Indian crops’ is about a study on 10 major crops done by a team lead by eminent agricultural economist Dr. Ashok Gulati.
  • The 10 major crops are: rice, wheat, maize, pulses, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton and potato etc. The book recommends to realign cropping pattern with focus on water scarcity of irrigation, ration irrigation supplies in canal irrigation system, enhance micro-irrigation and invest in water harvesting and artificial recharge and promote participatory irrigation management through water user association and farmer’s producer organisation. He said that, proposal for three projects at Tuticorin, Paradip and Kandla for desalination of sea water for irrigational and other uses is under consideration.

23) Senior journalist and writer Adiraju Venkateswara Rao passed away

  • On 14th June 2018, Adiraju Venkateswara Rao, a senior journalist and writer died due to a long term illness in Hyderabad, Telangana. Adiraju Venkateswara Rao was 79 years old. His native was Khammam district. He had worked in several Telugu and English newspapers. He had also written few books. He had played an important role in the separate Telangana protests in 1969. He was honoured by the state government in the Telangana formation day celebrations recently.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 15 2018

1) Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Inaugurates BEL representative office in Vietnam

  • On 13th June 2018, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the first Representative Office of Navratna Defence Public Sector Unit Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Hanoi, Vietnam. Nirmala Sitharaman gave the symbolic key of the Representative Office of BEL at Vietnam (VIRO) to Chairman & Managing Director, BEL Gowtama MV during the Vietnam-India Defence Industry Business Meeting.
  • Ambassador of India to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam P. Harish, Secretary (Defence Production), Dr. Ajay Kumar and other senior officials of India and Vietnam Defence forces were present during the occasion. BEL is India’s leading defence electronics company. It is expanding its global presence in South East Asian countries like the Republic of Union of Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.
  • Now BEL has set up its first Representative Office at Vietnam for addressing export business opportunities and to offer product support and services to users in that area. The Representative Office will promote BEL’s exports in Weapon Systems, Radar Systems, Naval Systems, Military Communication Systems, Electronic Warfare Systems, Combat Management System and Coastal Surveillance System.

2) Fitch predicts India’s  growth forecast to 7.4% for FY’19 and 7.5% for FY20

  • On June 14, 2018, The Indian GDP has been predicted to grow by 7.4% in FY19 by Fitch. The Rupee has been among the worst performers in Asian currency. The higher oil prices as reason for financial risk. It has earlier predicted GDP growth by 7.3% for FY 2018-19 and For FY20 it is 7.5%.
  • It forecasted that oil prices will remain at $ 70/barre l up from $ 54.9 a barrel with an expected drop to $ 65/barrel for 2019. It projected retail inflation to be five per cent by the end of 2018. Predicted the global growth forecast at 3.3 per cent in 2018 and 3.2 per cent for 2019. expansion will be on-track or slightly better in the world’s two largest economies the US and China.

3) Reliance Industries the only company from India to rank under top-100: Forbes

  • On June 14, 2018, HDFC has been ranked as the 5th biggest public company globally in the ‘consumer financial services category’ compiled by Forbes in its 16th annual Forbes Global 2000 list. Data from FactSet Research systems has been taken to screen for the biggest public companies in four metric: sales, profits, assets and market value.
  • American Express tops the chart. Indiabulls Housing Finance is the only other Indian company (at 13th place) on the list. HDFC has ranked 7th in 2017 compilation. Other companies and their ranks are : Capital One Financial at the 159 place, followed by Visa (164),Orix (254), PayPal (337), Synchrony Financial (340), Discover Financial Services (356) and Mastercard (367).  In the overall list China’s ICBC topped and HDFC ranked 321st from 404th from previous year.
  • A total of 58 Indian companies on the overall list of 2,000 firms from across the world. Reliance Industries at 83rd place, the only from India in the top-100. Tata Motors at 385TCS at 404L&T at 471stSBI at 489th Collectively, the companies on this list account for USD 39.1 trillion in sales, USD 3.2 trillion in profitUSD 189 trillion in assets and USD 56.8 trillion in market value.

4) Georgia’s prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili resigns after mass protests

  • On June 14, 2018, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili has announced his resignation. Due to a disagreement with Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling party. Also due to growing popular unrest and discontent over his government’s handling of the economy. Kvirikashvili, 50, has been the country’s prime minister since 2015. The ruling party, Georgian Dream, has seven days to nominate a prime minister.

5) Moina Benazir, an officer of the Indian Defence Accounts Services appointed as the first woman to head 1300 women to Jeddah for Haj

  • On June 14, 2018Moina Benazir, an officer of the Indian Defence Accounts Service has been appointed as the first woman Haj coordinator by the Union ministry of minority affairs. She would lead a team of 1300 women to perform Haj without their male partners.
  • The team will be travelling to Jeddah. The team will have additional 4-5 male coordinators alongside Moina Benazir. In 2017, the Centre for the first time decided to allow women pilgrims over the age of 45 to undertake the pilgrimage in groups of at least four without any male companions.

6) SanjitaChanu, Yuki Bhambri dropped from TOP Scheme: Mission Olympic Cell

  • On June 14, 2018, Commonwealth Games gold medallist weightlifter Sanjita Chanu and tennis player Yuki Bhambri has been dropped from the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme. The reason behind this is a dope sample test that came out positive for a banned substance.
  • Sanjita, who won a gold in women’s 53 kg class in the Gold Coast CWG in April. Shehad tested positive for an anabolic steroid. The tests were conducted by World Championships in USA in November 2017. Yuki Bhambri will not be playing in the Asian Games, The decisions were taken at the Mission Olympic Cell. Rohan Bopanna has been sanctioned Rs. 26.03 lakh for the use of coach and physio for 12 weeks, starting May 7.

7) XXth International Umakhanov boxing Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia

  • On 5th to 13th June 2018, the XXth International Umakhanov boxing Tournament was held in Kaspiysk, Russia. The Indian contingent bagged a total of 7 medals comprising of four bronze, two silver and one gold medal. India’s Saweety Bora won gold medal in the Women’s 75 kg category after beating Russia’s Anna Anfinogenova in the final.
  • In the Men’s category, Brijesh Yadav in the 81 kg division and Virender Kumar in 91 kg lost in the Finals and won a Silver medal each. Indian women: Pinki Rani (51kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg) and Pavitra (60kg) and Gaurav Bidhuri had reached the last four-stage but lost their matches and won a bronze medal each.

8) PM inaugurates Integrated Command & Control Centre in Chhattisgarh; dedicate the modernized & expanded Bhilai Steel Plant

  • On 14th June 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a modernised and expanded Bhilai Steel Plant in Chhattisgarh. The modernization consists of installation of advanced technologies for improvement in productivity, yield, quality, cost competitiveness, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Narendra Modi also laid the foundation stone for the permanent campus of Indian Institue of Technology (IIT) Bhilai.
  • He unveiled the commencement of phase-2 of BharatNet (Bharat Broadband Network Limited). The BharatNet project aims to link Gram Panchayats with underground optical fibre network. He also inaugurated air services between Jagdalpur and Raipur. He distributed laptops, certificates, and cheques etc. to beneficiaries under several schemes. He also visited Naya Raipur Smart City, and inaugurated the Integrated Command and Control Centre for the city.

9) Mizoram government to bring resolution against Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016

  • On 13th June 2018, the Mizoram government decided to introduce a resolution in the state legislature objecting to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016. The council of ministers made the unanimous decision in a cabinet meeting. Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said in the meeting that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was earlier informed by Mizoram government of its objection to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
  • The government, all political parties, and the NGOs opposed the Bill mentioning that if it is legislated, the amendment will legalise thousands of Buddhists (Chakmas) who have illegally entered Mizoram from Bangladesh. Also, the cabinet approved the Sinlung Hills Council Bill, 2018. A special session of the Assembly will be held on 27th June 2018 to pass a legislation. The proposed formation of the Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) is a result of the peace accord signed by Mizoram government and the erstwhile underground Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) on 2 April 2018.
  • This resulted in laying down of arms by 114 Hmar militants on 13th April 2018. The tenure of the interim council will be 6 months. After that a formal election will be held. Also, the peace accord states that the present Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC) will be renamed as SHC and will be given more political and financial autonomy.

10) Maharashtra government, Quebec province sign pact to increase economic cooperation, welfare of tribals

  • An MoU has been signed by the Maharashtra government and Canada’s Quebec province to enhance economic cooperation, mainly in areas namely information technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and welfare of the tribal community. The agreement was signed by Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadanvis and Philippe Couillard, prime minister of Quebec province of Canada.
  • Discusssion was held on ways to increase collaboration in knowledge-sharing on ports as Maharashtra has the strength of majority of youngest population. Devendra Fadnavis also met Pierre Beaudoin, chairman of the Board Corporate office of Bombardier Inc. This company is a multinational aerospace and transportation company. It is the world’s leading manufacturer of aircraft and trains in Quebec.
  • Devendra Fadnavis and a delegation of bureaucrats are on a tour to Dubai, Canada and USA to get business for Maharashtra. The tour will last for a week. Devendra Fadnavis also met Michael Sabia, President and CEO of CDPQ. CDPQ is Institutional Fund Manager. It manages funds more than $ 298 billion. The meeting was aimed to attract more investment in Pension Fund from Canada. CDPQ agreed to tie up with some companies in India.
  • It also expressed interest in working with retail partners. Devendra Fadanvis put forth Maharashtra Samruddhi Corridor, logistic parks and few other projects as great options for investment. He said that Bombardier Inc has offered support to the Maharashtra Metro and Monorail Transport Infrastructure.

11) Tamil Nadu Government announces sops for MSME sector

  • On 13th June 2018, Tamil Nadu government announced sops for several sectors like Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. Establishment of an agency to attract foreign investment and cooperation in state MSMEs was also included. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said that, the proposed MSME agency will work on attracting investment, and obtaining foreign cooperation for such units.
  • It will operate as a coordinating agency for offering single window clearance for MSMEs in Tamil Nadu, to make agreements with trade and industry bodies and those proposing investment policies. Also, an Innovation Policy will also be launched through which the government will promote innovative ideas and develop entrepreneurs. This will be formulated in line with Tamil Nadu government’s Vision 2023 document which estimates a 11 per cent GSDP by that year.
  • K Palaniswami also announced a subsidy scheme for research and development in MSME sector. He said that this scheme would promote development of degradable products as per the government’s proposed plastic ban that will be brought into act from January 2019. Several other announcements were made in the Assembly regarding departments of Courts and Prisons, Social Welfare and Differently-Abled.
  • Construction of several facilities for judicial officers, setting up of jammer equipment in the Puzhal, Tiruchirappally, Madurai, Palayamkottai jails and five women’s prisons to prevent use of mobile phones by inmates, was also announced.

12) Two women battalions of Jammu and Kashmir Police to be raised

  • The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has approved the creation of two women Battalions for Jammu and Kashmir Police to improve the representation of women in the State Police. One battalion would be raised for Jammu region and the other for Kashmir region. 60% of posts will be reserved for women of 10 border districts: Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Kargil and Leh.
  • This will offer direct employment to more than two thousand (2014) women in Jammu and Kashmir. The recruitment process will be carried out by the Jammu and Kashmir Government within one year. The one-time fund needed for Buildings, Mobility, Arms and Ammunition, etc. is estimated as Rs. 105 crore for creating these two women Battalions of J&K Police.
  • This amount would be borne by the Indian Government and the recurring expenses like salary, etc. will be borne by the Jammu and Kashmir State Government. This initiative was announced by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to Jammu Kashmir on 7 and 8th June 2018.

13) PFRDA organized a Conference on Implementation of National Pension System (NPS) for Central Autonomous Body (CAB)

  • PFRDA organized a Conference on Implementation of National Pension System (NPS) for Central Autonomous Body (CAB). To ensure that NPS works efficiently and pensions are served effectively. Currently there are 557 CABs which have about 1.73 lacs subscribers and about Rs.11,800 crores of Asset Under Management (AUM). Theinitiative of PFRDA for holding this Conference exclusively for Central Autonomous Bodies would provide two-way communications between stakeholders for the ultimate benefit of the subscribers.

14) Concession Agreement Signed for development of sewage infrastructure through Hybrid Annuity based public-private partnership in Mathura

  • On 13th June 2018, a tripartite Concession Agreement was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), UP Jal Nigam and Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd. to develop an Integrated Sewage Infrastructure for Mathura on the Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode, in New Delhi.
  • Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, presided over the signing of the agreement. Also, an agreement was signed between NMCG and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for the reuse of 2 crore litres per day of treated sewage water by IOCL’s refinery in Mathura. The Mathura sewage project is India’s first Integrated Sewage Infrastructure project based on One City – One-Operator concept. This project integrates building of new STPs (sewage treatment plant) and maintenance of existing infrastructure under one operator for the entire city.
  • Also, in this project the treated sewage water will be reused by IOCL. This project is based on Hybrid Annuity Mode, the third of this type in this sector after the HAM based STPs that are being developed in Haridwar and Varanasi. The components of this project comprise  construction, operation, and maintenance of a 30 MLD STP in Masani. Work regarding this has been offered to the Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd. for an estimated cost of Rs. 437.95 crore on Hybrid Annuity Mode.
  • The project also involves development and rehabilitation of Masani Sewerage Infrastructure, upgradation and rehabilitation of the existing Masani STP with a capacity of 6.8 MLD, upgradation and rehabilitation of two existing STPs (14.5 MLD and 16 MLD) in the Trans-Yamuna region of Mathura, creating a total sewage treatment capacity of 67.3 MLD.
  • A 20 MLD Tertiary Treatment Plant (TTP) will also be established for the supply of treated wastewater to Mathura refinery of IOCL. The cost for the development and operation of the TTP for 15 years is Rs. 162.38 crore. IOCL will fund the entire operations and maintenance cost of the TTP which will be nearly Rs. 82.38 crore for 15 years. Also, IOCL will pay Rs. 8.70 per kilo litre for the partial capital cost for the development of the TTP. This will save 2 crore litres per day in Yamuna river, which was earlier utilised by IOCL. This will also encourage recycle and reuse of treated waste water in India.

15) Smart village initiative of Andhra Pradesh to be developed  for 100 villages of Arunachal Pradesh

  • On June 14, 2018, ​The Arunachal Pradesh Government has signed a MOU with Smart Village Movement (SVM) of Andhra Pradesh. The Mou was signed between Director-cum-member secretary of State Council for IT & e-Governance, Neelam Yapin Tana, and SVM project director Shreya Evani, in the presence of Chief Minister Pema KhanduDeputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein.
  • Mr. Solomon Darwin would be the adviser of the project. The project will focus on solving “pain-points” or challenges in rural segments by developing platforms driven by “open innovation” approaches. 100 villages spread over 60 assembly constituencies would be selected in consultation with the government for the SVM project. The project would offer a digital platform to corporate firms or startups for developing solutions for the challenges.

16) Himachal Cabinet approves admission of 100 MBBS students for 2018-19

  • On June 14, 2018The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet headed by Chief Minister gave the following proposals:
  1.  Enhancing the payment of part-time water carriers working on contract basis in the education department from Rs. 1,900 to Rs. 2,200 from April 1.
  2. Admission of first batch of 100 MBBS students in Dr. S RadhaKrishanan Medical College, Hamirpur for 2018-19.
  3. Restricted the quota of NRI seats to provide more merit based admissions reducing it from 34 to 20.
  4. Toengage 100 posts of accountant-cum-support staff and 30 posts of data entry operators at block level under the SarvShikshaAbhiyan.
  5. ‘Akhand Shiksha Jyoti, Mere School Se Nikle Moti, as fulfillment of promise made in the ‘Swarnim Himachal DrishtiPatra’ to honour pass outs from the government schools.
  6. Approval of an amendment in Rule-69A of Motor Vehicle Act, 1999 for rationalization of fee structure for contract carriages from other states.

17) Kalinga and Krishnan: Two frog species discovered in Eastern and Western Ghats

  • Two new species of cricket frogs named Kalinga and Krishnan have been discovered in the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats recently. The new frog species discovered in Eastern Ghats is named as Kalinga. It is spotted in the hilly regions. The other species has been named Krishnan. It was so far found only near Jog Falls, in Shimoga district of Karnataka.
  • The discovery was made by researchers from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) and North Orissa University (NOU). The findings have been listed in the records of the Zoological Survey of India. The Kalinga species was spotted in the hills extending from Odisha, north coastal Andhra Pradesh up to river Godavari. It has been named after the ancient kingdom of Kalinga. The other species from Karnataka has been named after eminent biologist, late Dr K Subrammaniasastri Krishnan.

18) Former Saurashtra cricketer Mulubha Jadeja dead

  • On 12th June 2018Former Saurashtra batsman Mulubha Jadeja passed away at his residence due to age related ailments in Rajkot. Mulubha Jadeja was 88 years old. He was a right-handed batsman. He represented Saurashtra and Railways from 1945 to 1964. He had played 31 first-class matches and scored 1,373 runs with an average of 26.92.

19) Shahzahan Bachchu, the prominent writer and publisher has passed away

  • On 11th June 2018, Shahzahan Bachchu, a Bangladeshi writer and publisher was pulled out of a shop and shot dead by unidentified attackers in Kakaldi village of Munshiganj district in Bangladesh. Shahzahan Bachchu was 60 years old. He owned a publishing house named ‘Bishaka Prokashoni’. The publishing house was known for publishing poetry. No group has claimed responsibility for his murder. He had earlier received threats from extremist groups due to his outspoken nature and his speech about secularism. He was a former district general secretary of the Communist Party of Bangladesh.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 14 2018

1) 11 countries awarded for elimination of LF in 10th Meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis

  • On June 13, 2018Union Minister of Health and Family WelfareShri J. P. Naddainaugurated the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) in New Delhi. ShriNadda also gave away the GAELF awards to 11 countries- Cambodia, Cook Islands, Egypt, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Niue, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Togo, Tonga and Vanuatu, for successfully interrupting the transmission.
  • He also released the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) 2018 for India. 100 districts out of total 256 endemic districts have achieved elimination target and stopped Mass Drug Administration after successful validation by Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS) and are under post MDA surveillance.

2) India, Kazakhstan to enhance military-industrial cooperation and cyber security

  • On June 13, 2018, India and Kazakhstan to develop bilateral relations in cooperating in the military-industrial field. This decision was taken during the 5th Joint Inter-Governmental Kazakh-Indian Working group meeting held in Astana. The agreement was between The Vice-Minister of Defense and Aerospace Industry ShaymergenovTimur and  Joint Secretary (Planning and International Cooperation), Ministry of Defence, ShambhuKumaran. This would boost interaction in the field of cyber security and peace making.

3) 2nd edition of India-US colloquium on Earth Observations and Sciences for Society and Economy by CSIR and NOAA

  • On June 11, 2018, Organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)-NIO and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the 2nd edition of India-US colloquium was inaugurated. It is an event that aims to focus on the emerging earth sciences issues. Consists of 200 delegates from India and US.
  • India today announced that it would share data obtained by its ocean buoys, positioned outside the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with others nations without any restrictions. This would help forecast monsoon as well as provide cyclone warnings. The data from RAMA buoy (marooned outside the EEZ) is given to students and researchers free of cost and now available to everybody.

4) Vijai Kumar appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea

  • On 12th June 2018, Vijai Kumar was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the independent State of Papua New Guinea. Vijai Kumar (YOA : 2003) is at present the Counsellor, Embassy of India, Stockholm. He has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. He will take up this new assignment soon.

5) US government clears sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $ 930 M

  • On 12th June 2018, United States government approved a deal to sell the Indian military six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for 930 million dollars. The agreement has been passed to the US Congress for approval. If no US lawmaker makes an objection the contract will be proceeded.
  • Boeing and Indian partner Tata have started production of Apache fuselages at a plant in India. But this approval involves a direct sale of finished products from the US manufacturers. The contract also includes night vision sensors, GPS guidance and hundreds of Hellfire anti-armour and Stinger air-to-air missiles. The main contractors are Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon.

6) USA, Canada & Mexico wins bid to host 2026 Football World Cup: FIFA

  • On June 13, 2018, FIFA’s congress voted USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 Football World Cup. Morocco would miss out for the fifth time. North America got 134 votes against 65 votes of Morocco. The 2026 tournament will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on 14thJune 2018. Of the 80 games, 10 matches will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the U.S. with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
  • The U.S hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but held the women’s tournament in 2015. This bid would generate $ 14 bn in revenue and make an $ 11 bn profit for FIFA. The bid also expects record ticket and hospitality revenue. The 2022 tournament will be hosted by Qatar while the 2018 edition kicks off in Moscow.

7) Gavit Murali Kumar bags gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands

  • On 13th June 2018, long distance runner Gavit Murali Kumar won gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands. Gavit Murali Kumar is 21 years old. He hails from Gujarat. He recorded a personal best of 28 minutes 43.34 seconds. It was the best by an Indian in the ongoing season. Also, it is the second fastest time by an Indian in the distance race, behind that of long-distance coach Surendra Singh’s national record of 28 minutes 02.89 seconds set at Vigo, Spain in 2008.

8) President Ram Nath Kovind To Launch Solar Charkha Mission

  • President Ram Nath Kovind will launch Solar Charkha Mission which will entail a subsidy of 550 crore rupees in the initial two years for 50 clusters. According to the Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Giriraj Singh, the scheme is aimed at linking five crore women and self-help groups to the initiative. 15 new technology centres will be set up and out of these, ten will be made operational this year. These centres will provide technological support to small industries.

9) Kohli conferred with Polly Umrigar award & Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana received their maiden BCCI awards for being best international cricketer (women)

  • On 12th June 2018, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was awarded the Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer at the BCCI Annual Awards in Bengaluru. Virat Kohli was awarded for his outstanding performance in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
  • Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were awarded their first BCCI awards for the best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 season, respectively. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen delivered the 6th MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture at the BCCI award. He has become the first non-Indian cricketer to deliver the opening speech of the award ceremony.

10) Govt approves revision of carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under PMAY (Urban) under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme

  • On June 13, 2018, the government has increased the carpet area of houses to be covered under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for interest subsidy for the middle income group under PradhanMantri Away Yojana (Urban). For MIG-I the carpet area has been increased to 160 sqmetres or 1722 sq. ft. from 120 sq. m. For MIG II, the carpet area has been increased to 200 sq. metre or 2153 sq. ft. from 150 sq. m.
  • This would boost the construction sector and enhance economic activity for the increased area coverage. Individuals with annual income of Rs.6 to 12 lakhs would qualify for MIG-I category. Individuals with annual income of Rs.12 to 18 lakhs would qualify for t he MIG-II category.
  • Interest Rate for MIG–I is 4 % and for MIG-II is 3% with a maximum tenure of 20 years. House Loan limits has been revised from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 35 lakhs for metropolitan cities and Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh for other centres provided the overall cost does not exceed Rs. 45 lakh and Rs. 30 lakh respectively. This would fall under Priority Sector Lending.

11) Shri Thawarchand Gehlot chairs ‘3rd Meeting of National Council of Senior Citizens’ in New Delhi

  • On 13th June 2018, Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment chaired the “3rd Meeting of National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC)” conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi. The NCSrC advises Central and State Governments on issues related to welfare of senior citizens and improvement of their quality of life.
  • The NCSrC meets at least two times a year. Its first meeting was held on 30th August 2016. The second meeting was held on 19th June 2017. Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the recently launched “Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana” offers Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices to Senior citizens in the BPL category. 290 districts have been identified for 2017-18 and 2018-19, out of which assessment has been done in 49 districts and camps held in 29 districts so far. 34069 senior citizens belonging to BPL families have benefitted.
  • He said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observes International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1stOctober every year. VayoshreshthaSamman/National Awards are awarded in 13 categories to institutions and senior citizens for their outstanding contribution for the cause of elderly persons from 2013. The closing date for receiving nominations for the awards is 30th June 2018.
  • Discussions held in the meeting were on: Amendments to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007,  RastriyaVayoshriYojana (A Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL Category), Revised Scheme of Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC), National Award/VayoshreshthaSamman; Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, Financial assistance under IGNOAPS, Social Security to Senior Citizens, Facilities at Railway Stations and Bridging of Inter-generational Gap.

12) Cashless Ticketing through ‘Utsonmobile’ app developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System)

  • The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a mobile based application called ‘utsonmobile’ for cashless train ticketing. The Utsonmobile application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and lets to maintain user profile management and booking history.
  • It is very handy, free and available for Android and Windows smart phone. It can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Windows for free. The passenger has to register using his/her mobile number, name, city, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passenger and frequently travelling routes. After registration, Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger. No extra cost will be charged for creating R-Wallet.
  •  The R-Wallet can be recharged at any UTS counter or through recharge option in the https://www.utsonmobile.indianrail.gov.in website. If internet connection of the mobile is not up, then ticket booking will not be allowed. Advance ticket booking is not allowed. The journey date should always be current date. The passenger need not take a hardcopy of the ticket. The passenger can use ‘Show Ticket’ option in the app, during ticket checking. To book paperless ticket, the smart phone should be GPS enabled. Paperless tickets cannot be cancelled.
  • The journey should commence within one hour after booking the paperless ticket. Season ticket can be issued/renewed using the app. It will be valid from the next day of booking the ticket. GPS is not required for issue/renewal of Season Ticket. Platform Ticket can also be booked using the app. In case passenger is not able to show the ticket on mobile then it will be deemed as ticketless travel.
  • Passenger can book paper ticket also through the mobile app. After booking he/she will receive Booking ID along with other ticket details. The booking details will be available in booking history also. The booking ID will be sent through SMS. Passenger can go to the journey originating (source) station and take ticket print out from any of the ATVM there.
  • Print out can be taken by entering his/her registered mobile number and booking ID. Journey is valid only if printed ticket is shown. Cancellation of Paper ticket is allowed. It can be cancelled at the counter after printing the ticket or using the app before printing the ticket. Cancellation fee will be charged. The journey should start within one hour after printing paper ticket in the kiosk.

13) Rs. 14.30 crore sanctioned for Block level sports in Jammu & Kashmir by the Union Sports Ministry

  • Grants-in-aid worth Rs. 14.30 crore has been sanctioned for Bock level sports in Jammu and Kashmir under the ‘Khelo India’ Scheme by the Union Sports Ministry. Funds of Rs. 10 lakh per Block will be spent under the scheme in all the 143 Blocks of 22 Districts of Jammu & Kashmir. The Central grant of Rs. 14.30 crore will be utilized to offer soft support like coaches, equipments, consumables, technical support, organizing competitions including boarding and lodging facilities and travelling expenses for the participants etc.
  • Sports competitions will be conducted based on popularity of the games in a particular district. A District Level Committee chaired by Deputy Commissioner will carry out this scheme. Superintendent of Police and District Representative of the J&K Sports Council are also members of this Committee. Implementation of this sports scheme at the Block level in all the 22 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir was announced by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the state on 7th and 8th June 2018.

14) NDMA to conduct flood preparedness exercise in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow

  • On 13th June 2018, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a table-top exercise at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. This exercise was conducted in the run-up to a State-level mock exercise on flood preparedness that will be conducted in 23 flood-prone districts of Uttar Pradesh on 14th June 2018. The exercise is held in collaboration with State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
  • All districts have confirmed that their Disaster Management Plans (DMPs) had been updated, Response Teams identified and other preparations for the exercise had been done. The table-top exercise was performed based on scenarios created in collaboration with State Department based on flood mapping and similar hazards. Independent observers were informed about their role and standard feedback forms were given to them.
  • Sites for the mock exercise and administrative arrangements were decided. A Coordination-cum-Orientation Conference was also held on 5th June 2018. These preparatory exercises were attended by senior-level officials of Uttar Pradesh, Army, Air Force and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). District collectors and their teams took part in these exercises through video conferencing.

15) KSLMA initiates ‘Water Literacy’ campaign with 70000 students to create awareness about importance of water

  • On June 13, 2018, the Kerela State Literacy Mission Authority has announced the launch of a ‘Water Literacy’ campaign to create awareness about the importance and optimal use of the resource and conservation in the state. The campaign would involve 70000 students for creating the awareness.
  • Every student will take classes about water conservation for 15 families in their locality. 10 lakh people will be benefited from the campaign scheduled to be held from June 20 to September 20. State Education Minister Prof C Raveendranath released a special course book containing 16 chapters for the purpose.

16) Odisha can produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes: Steel Minister Giriraj Singh

  • On June 13, 2018, Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh on his interaction with MDs/CEOs of major steel producing units located in the State of Odisha stated that in 2017-18India produced more than 100 million tonnes of steel. India has become the second largest steel producing country. Odisha is rich in minerals and mines and has a potential to produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes envisaged in National Steel Policy by the year 2030-31.

17) NITI Aayog to launch Composite Water Management Index to rank states for water management under ‘SabkaSaath ,SabkaVikas’

  • On June 13, 2018, NITI Aayog the think tank has launched ‘Composite Water Management Index’. To assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources. The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources. ShriNitinGadkari, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (WR,RD&GR) shall be releasing the Index. To fulfill the objective of ‘Sab kaSaath, Sab kaVikas’.

18) OPIC gives $5 mn loan to Grameen Impact via IndusInd Bank to support MSMEs

  • On June 13, 2018, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) under the US government gives $5 million or Rs. 33.5 crore to Grameen Impact Investments to support domestic small and medium enterprises. This loan comes via IndusInd Bank through an agreement. Grameen Impact is supported by Gramin Capital India including many leading impact investors like Acumen. India has rapidly become a global leader in impact investing, with over USD 5 billion of investments in this space.

19) NSE launches ‘Tri-Party Repo Market platform’ to facilitate repo in corporate debt securities

  • On June 13, 2018, National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched a ‘Tri-party Repo Market Platform’ for repurchase of corporate debt security. It is a repo contract where a third entity, apart from the borrower and lender, called tri-party agent acts as an intermediary to facilitate services like collateral selection, payment and settlement, custody and management during the life of the transaction.
  • It provides opportunity to borrow against the securities and provides short-term liquidity to participants. This wouldincrease demand for corporate bonds and may provide a boost to much needed liquidity in the corporate bond market. Under corporate bond repo a firm or a bank pledges corporate bonds with another company or lender to garner funds. The entity, who makes pledges, agrees to repurchase the bonds at a specified price. Axis Bank Ltd and ICICI Securities Primary Dealership are the first few members who have participated on the platform.
  • National Stock Exchange (NSE) will offer basket repo for 1 day to 7 days. It would facilitate borrowing and lending of funds against various baskets of corporate debt securities and the baskets would include corporate bonds, certificate of deposits and commercial papers. NSE would act as tri-party agent and offer an online web based, anonymous, order matching and multilateral trading platform. Settlement of repo transactions shall be guaranteed by NSCCL. The tri-party repo market platform is available to entities permitted by the RBI and who are members of NSE’s debt segment.

20) SEBI constitutes Expert panel for rules to attract direct listing of Indian firms abroad

  • On June 13, 2018, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a panel to make listings of startups attractive. The listings currently exist in Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) Framework. The expert Panel would submit the report to SEBI within a period of one month. The ITP has facilitated  listing of new age companies in sectors like e-commerce, data analytics, bio-technology and other startups.
  • Members of the group include representatives from the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT), The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), law firms, merchant bankers, and stock exchanges. SEBI board approved doubling the investment limit by angel funds in venture capital undertakings to Rs 10 crore to drive the startups.

21) Yes Bank reappoints Rana Kapoor as MD &CEO

  • On 12th June 2018, shareholders of Yes Bank approved the reappointment of Rana Kapoor as MD & CEO of Yes bank for a further period of 3 years with effect from 1st September 2018. Rana Kapoor’s reappointment is subject to final approval by the RBI. The following appointments were also made in the meeting: Subhash Chander Kalia as non-executive non-independent director and Rentala Chandrashekhar and Pratima Sheory as independent directors for a period of 5 years.
  • Also a proposal to borrow or raise funds up to Rs 30,000 crore in Indian or foreign currency was approved. A special resolution was passed in this regard, increasing the total borrowing limit of the bank to Rs. 1.1 lakh crore. The meeting was chaired by Ashok Chawla, non-executive chairman of the bank. It was attended by all nine directors on board.

22) Inder Jit Singh appointed as coal secretary

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cleared the appointment of Inder Jit Singh as the coal secretary. Inder Jit Singh is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1985 batch of Kerala cadre. He was the additional secretary, coordination in the cabinet secretariat. On 1st May 2018, the additional charge of coal secretary was given to mines secretary Anil Mukim after Susheel Kumar superannuated in April 2018.

23) Former financial services secretary DK Mittal joins Arohan Financial Services as chairman

  • On 13th June 2018, former financial services secretary DK Mittal assumed office as the chairman of Arohan Financial Services. Arohan Financial Services is a microfinance company. It is planning to publicly list its shares in 2018. DK Mittal is an Indian Administrative Service officer of 1977 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He will be the independent chairman to Arohan’s board. Arohan Financial Services is a part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group. It is the seventh largest MFI (microfinance institutions) in terms of outstanding loans at the end of 2017.

24) Mobile Banking Rank By SBI’s Annual Report: Paytm Tops By Volume And Axis Bank Tops By Value

  • At 17.2%, Axis Bank commands the largest value share of mobile banking transactions but it’s Paytm that tops volumes with 22%. However, Paytm’s value share is a meagre 0.25%, according to State Bank of India’s (SBI) annual report for 2017-18 which has put out Reserve Bank of India’s data for January 2018. ICICI Bank has a 17.1% share of transactions by value and 9.7% by volume. SBI’s volume share has slipped by over 5 percentage points from nearly 25% at the end of March 2017 to 19.5% in January 2018.

25) Bhayyu Maharaj passed away

  • On 12th June 2018, Spiritual guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj committed suicide by shooting himself dead at his residence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Bhayyu Maharaj was 50 years old. He was popular among political leaders mainly from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
  • His original name was Uday Singh Deshmukh. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Bhaiyyu Maharaj had set up Suryoday Parivar and carried out social welfare schemes in Vidarbha. Bhayyu Maharaj had left behind a suicide note that showed that he was depressed. The Madhya Pradesh government had recently included him in a committee of saints to conserve river Narmada. He was offered a state minister status But he refused it saying that posts meant nothing for saints.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 13 2018

1) Nepal Cabinet approves projects including repair of two ‘Friendship Bridges’ that link Nepal and China

  • On 11th June 2018, the Nepal cabinet approved the Chinese government’s proposal to repair two ‘Friendship Bridges’ that link Nepal and China, and few others. The bridges were damaged in 2015 due to earthquakes. Nepal government spokesperson Gokul Baskota, said that, China will fund the border bridges project.
  • It will also offer technical support to the bridges in Tatopani and Rasuwa districts. The Nepal Government also approved two proposals related to Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s upcoming visit to China that will be on 19th June 2018. Nepal cabinet has also approved the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation to sign projects that will be discussed during Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to China.
  • During the visit, a ‘Nepal-China Cooperation on Energy Sector’ would be signed. Hydroelectricity and cross-border transmission lines would be included in the proposals. Also, a dry port in Tatopani district that was damaged due to earthquakes and was dysfunctional since 2015 is being repaired by a Chinese company. An agreement regarding this was signed in May 2018 by the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board. The construction will involve a cost of RMB 147 million. It would be completed in April 2019. The Kodari highway would also be upgraded by the Chinese.

2) India to bring together a group of 8-10 countries in WTO to create a conducive atmosphere in WTO

  • India is working to bring together a group of 8-10 member countries of the WTO to develop an agenda to create a conducive atmosphere in Geneva for smooth functioning of WTO (World Trade Organisation). This will be an informal group within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It might include countries like Brazil, China, South Africa, China, Indonesia and Columbia.
  • The main focus is to develop a proper structured agenda that will be acceptable to all countries to reduce the tension prevailing among the WTO member countries. The commerce ministry will discuss the issue internally and will work on the structure. This move will be beneficial since trade tensions have heightened after the US levied high customs duties on some steel and aluminum products.
  • If trade wars begin, countries will restrict imports through tariff and non-tax related barriers. Increase in customs duties on a product will make that product less competitive in the importing country. Talks held in Argentina in December 2017 collapsed. Following this, India organised a mini-ministerial meeting of 45 WTO members in New Delhi on March 19-20, 2018. The talks at the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference collapsed after the US went back on its commitment to develop a permanent solution to the public food stockholding issue.

3) India to host the first military exercise of the 7 nation BIMSTEC group focusing on counter-terrorism in September 2018 in Pune

  • On June 12, 2018, It was announced that the first military exercise of the (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) BIMSTEC group would be held in Pune, India in the second week of September 2018. This exercise will focus on the counter-terrorism measures and to promote strategic alignment.
  • The army officers of all the 7 BIMSTEC nations would participate. The theme would be counter terrorism in semi urban and cordon and search and each side would bring 30 soldiers. The conclave of Army chiefs would be held in the last two days of the exercise where they would debate on the measures and strategies of counter terrorism. In 2017, a disaster management exercise was held by the BIMSTEC nations.

4) Financial aid of 99.21 million Nepalese rupees given for final phase of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project

  • On June 12, 2018, India gave a financial assistance of  99.21 million Nepalese rupees (61.93 million) to Nepal for the final step of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Irrigation Project. This is for the construction of 2700 shallow tube well irrigation systems in 12 districts of Nepal’s Terai region. This would help in promoting agricultural productivity.
  • This was handed to Nepal’s Energy Secretary Sanjay Sharma by India’s ambassador to Nepal Mr. Manjeev Singh Puri. The tube wells would be installed in Saptari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupendehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. Indian has so far released a total of 227.6 million Nepalese rupeesto Kathmandu for implementing the project. This project will give all season irrigation facility to 8115 hectares for cultivation of wheat, rice, seasonal fruits, vegetables and other crops.

5) 2018 Global Environment Performance Index (EPI) rankings, India at the bottom of EPI

  • India has ranked 177 out of 180 countries in the Global Environment Performance Index (EPI) rankings, as per the State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2018 in Figures that has been released recently. In 2016, India ranked 141 out of 180 countries. The SoE in Figures is an annual compendium of environmental statistics prepared by Down To Earth magazine. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps to publish it. State of India’s Environment 2018 in Figures is a quantified statement on issues and concerns of environment and development.

6) Jane Fonda to receive Lumiere Award

  • Jane Fonda, an American activist, will be awarded the Lumiere Award for this year in Lyon, France. Jane Fonda has won Oscar award. She has also won the Academy Award twice, BAFTA Award twice and Golden Globe Award four times. The Lumiere Festival is the largest international festival of classic cinema. It will be held from 13th October to 21st October 2018. Festival director Thierry Fremaux will present the award to Jane Fonda.

7) President Kovind To Embark On 3-Nation Visit To Greece, Suriname And Cuba

  • President Ram Nath Kovind will embark on a three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba. On the first leg of the visit, the President will leave for Athens. President Kovind will leave for Suriname on the 2nd leg. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of health and medicine, elections, IT, Ayurveda are scheduled to be signed.
  • Suriname is a founding member of the International Solar Alliance. A Line of Credit of 54.5 million dollars is being offered to Suriname for solar-related projects. On the last leg of the visit, the President will be in Cuba. A number of agreements and MoUs in the areas of biotechnology, research and education in homeopathic medicine, traditional system of medicine and medicinal plants would be signed during the visit.

8) Trump And Kim Sign Agreement On Denuclearization After Historic Talks

  • The United States has decided to provide security guarantees to North Korea, in exchange of Pyongyang’s firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. This is according to the joint document which was signed by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un following their historic maiden talks at Singapore’s Sentosa island. Both nations commit to establishing new relations in accordance with the desire of the people of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

9) Ronda Rousey To Be The First Female Hall Of Famer In UFC

  • American fighter Ronda Rousey will become the first female MMA fighter to be inducted into the Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame, the UFC announced. There would be no women in UFC without Ronda Rousey. Rousey had a 12-2 win-loss record, winning 11 of them within the first round of the fight.

10) 3,000 Additional Atal Tinkering Labs each given a grant of Rs20 lakh announced by the NITI Aayog totaling the amount to 5441 under Atal Innovation Mission

  • On June 12, 2018NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected 3,000 additional schools for the establishment of Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs), bringing the total number of ATL schools to 5,441. ATLs will soon be established in every district of India. The selected schools shall receive a grant of Rs. 20 lakh spread over the next five years to establish Atal Tinkering Labs for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among secondary school children across India.

11) Union Home Minister exhorts BPR&D to train policemen in soft skills

  • On 12th June 2018, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) to work on providing training in soft skills to all the policemen in India. He also asked to identify exceptional police officials at district level who can be role models for others.
  • He also stressed on imparting training skills to prevent cyber-crimes and to tackle the changing crime scenario. A presentation was done by Dr. A.P. Maheshwari, Director General, BPR&D on the ongoing activities and future projects of BPR&D, on the occasion. Rajnath Singh reviewed the progress of development of Central Detective Training Institutes (CDTI) at Jaipur and Chandigarh.
  • It has been decided to set up the Centre for Correctional Administration at the Central Academy for Police Training (CAPT) at Bhopal.  Separate Centres for training in Prosecution and Traffic Technologies will also be established at CAPT, Bhopal. He praised BPR&D for setting up a web-portal named e-USTAAD in which all training manuals, presentations and course material are available for users. A mobile app related to this is also being developed.

12) Ministry of Finance, RIS and FICCI organised Thematic Seminar on ‘Private Sector Participation and Innovation in Resource Mobilization’ for promoting Private Participation in Infrastructure building

  • On June 12, 2018, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) is hosting one day thematic Seminar on “Private Sector Participation and Innovation in Resource Mobilisation” in Mumbai.
  • To establish several regulatory, financial and operational structures to ensure the fast advancement of the infrastructure segment. It aims to address the critical dimensions of Infrastructure Projects Funding and underline the need for financial support from private sector players.
  • India’s Infrastructure Sector has received an investment worth $1 trillion in the period from 2007 to 2017. India aims to raise the investment in this sector to $200 billion every year from the present level of $110 bn per annum. Schemes such as the Brownfield Asset Mobilization for Infra Investments (BAMII), Credit Enhancement Fund for raising Bond Ratings issued by infra companies and the New Credit Rating scale for infrastructure projects creates opportunities have been launched to encourage private sector participation.
  • Government of India has financed various projects under National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF),Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) and Build Operate and Transfer (BOT). The Global Infrastructure Hub Report states that, investment worth $ 97trillion is needed in the global infrastructure sector of which 50% is required by Asia. India needs around $ 4.5 Trillion investments in the Infrastructure sector by 2040.
  • Various risks faced by a project are Regulatory Risks, Political risk, Market risk, Sponsoring risk and Judicial risk form the basis for risk management and measures have to be taken.

13) Union Steel Minister dedicates to nation rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 of Rourkela Steel Plant named ‘Parvati’ and founded Burns and Plastic Surgery department in Rourkela, Odisha

  • On June 12, 2018The Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birender Singhdedicated the rebuilt Blast Furnace-1 ‘Parvati’ of SAILRourkela Steel Plant (RSP) to the Nation. Parvati is the first Blast Furnace of SAIL that was dedicated to the nation on 3rd February 1959 by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
  • The annual production capacity, of the furnace has increased from 0.438 Million tonnes (MT) to 1.015 MT. The Steel Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Burns and Plastic Surgery Department (the only department of the region) of Super Specialty block at Ispat General Hospital. This will fulfil the requirements of not only Rourkela but also of the people of neighboring districts and states. He also visited the state-of-the-art New Plate Mill of RSP and planted saplings in the Pragati Udyan situated in front of the Mill.

14) Government sets up Technical Committee headed by T.C.A. Anant to bring transparency in jobs data

  • On 11th June 2018, the Labour ministry said that, the union government has set up a Technical Committee headed by T.C.A. Anant, former chief statistician of India, to bring transparency in the jobs data calculation and presentation. Labour bureau carries out two major surveys on employment scenario: Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey (AEUS) and Quarterly Employment Survey.
  • The Annual Employment Unemployment Survey was replaced by Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS). PLFS is performed by ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI). PLFS will have annual data on employment-unemployment on rural sector and quarterly data on employment-unemployment on urban sector based on larger sample size.
  • So this will be comparable with the corresponding AEUS data set. Also, the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has started releasing monthly payroll data. The Government has constituted a Technical Committee to look into the above matters. Chairman of the committee is T.C.A Anant. The committee has been asked to submit its report as early as possible.

15) Haryana raises age limit for entry in government service to 42 years

  • On 12th June 2018, the Haryana government increased the upper age limit to enter into government service from 40 to 42 years. All departments have been informed to incorporate the provisions related to increasing the upper age limit to enter into the government service in their service rules, at their own level.
  • The departments do not need to obtain the approval of council of ministers, general administration, Finance Department and Haryana Public Service Commission or Haryana Staff Selection Commission, according to  a decision taken by the council of ministers on 30th May 2018.
  • A circular regarding this has been sent to all administrative secretaries, heads of departments, commissioners of Ambala, Hisar, Rohtak and Gurgaon divisions, all chief administrators and managing directors of all boards, corporations and public sector undertakings, deputy commissioners, sub-divisional officers (Civil) and registrars of all the universities.

16) Bihar CM inaugurates, lays foundation stones for schemes worth Rs. 875 crore

  • On 12th June 2018Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated or laid foundation stones for 122 schemes, worth Rs. 875 crore, at an event to commemorate the 43rd establishment day of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd. Nitish Kumar praised the performance of Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam Ltd in the recent years.
  • It has earned a net profit of Rs. 50 crore in 2017-18. Its yearly turnover has increased to over Rs. 1600 crore. He said that, the company has contributed a lot to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. It has also spent about Rs. 70 crore for corporate social responsibility. He said that, work would be started soon, to make it possible that Patna, the state capital could be reached, from all district headquarters, within five hours. This will involve construction of lots of bridges.

17) Haryana CM approves e-auction for allotting petrol pumps, CNG sites

  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved introduction of e-auction with an amendment in the policy for allotment of petrol pumps, CNG (Compressed natural gas) or PNG (Piped Natural Gas) sites to oil companies in the urban estates of Haryana Shehari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP). This decision was taken by a committee formed under the chairmanship of the chief administrator, HSVP.
  • The committee has decided that in order to bring transparency in the allotment process, e-auction will be adopted. Only Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and CGD (City Gas Distribution) Companies will be allowed to participate in it. The sites will be on leasehold basis and designated as filling-cum-charging stations.
  • It can be utilised by the allottee for CNG or petrol pump and diesel pump or allied activities like battery-charging station for future e-vehicles etc. It is said that, with the introduction of e-auction, the existing system of branding the site as petrol or diesel pump will be discontinued.

18) KVIC created a world record for distributing maximum number of bee-boxes (2330 bee-boxes) at Kupwara in Kashmir

  • KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) has made a world record of distributing maximum number of bee-boxes in one day. This record was made by the KVIC in the Zangalee Army area at Kupwara in Kashmir. KVIC has broken its previous record of distributing 1000 bee boxes in Kaziranga forest area among the Mishing tribe on World Honey Bee Day (21 May 2018).
  • 2330 bee-boxes were distributed to 233 beneficiaries in the Zangalee Army area. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta, said that KVIC’s programmes would create jobs in the valley. KVIC made an action plan called ‘Honey Mission’ with an aim to distribute 1.3 lakh bee-boxes before November 2018 all over India.
  • Till now 27,000 bee-boxes have been distributed. KVIC is the nodal agency of Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP). As per the programme, loans will be offered to set up processing, bottling, packaging and labelling units for honey.
  • This event in Kupwara was held in collaboration with the Indian Army under its Sadbhawna programme to develop peace and harmony in the valley. Indian Army helped in offering training. It also offered 10 % finance for setting up of the apiaries (a place where bees are kept). This will help the beneficiaries to earn a livelihood.

19) The Assam government plans to introduce ‘Sanskar’ an an awareness programme against superstitions

  • On June 12, 2018, The Assam government announced the launch of an awareness campaign called ‘Sanskar’. In the wake of incidents triggered by superstitions the government has decided to take steps to launch this campaign in all development blocks and panchayats.
  • This was taken by high level meeting chaired by the chief minister of Assam Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal. Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC) would be the nodal agency and the programme and would involve all deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and all government departments concerned in a district.
  • Local bodies, womens’ organisations, voluntary organizations, media persons, leading citizens, academicians, MPs and MLAs are also included. Social activist Birubala Rabha, who has been tirelessly fighting against witch-hunting, will also be involved.

20) Mobile banking rank by SBI’s Annual Report: Paytm tops by Volume and Axis Bank tops by value

  • On June 12, 2018, According to SBI’s annual report for 2017-18, Axis bank has the highest value share of mobile banking transactions by 17.2%. Paytm tops the chart by volumes with 22% and by value it is 0.25%. ICICI has 17.1% share by value and 9.7% by volume. SBI has 19.5% by volume in January 2018 compared to 25% at the end of March 2019. By value share SBI has 16.8% from 44.4% in 2017. Mobile-banking usage itself has seen a steep jump, with volumes soaring a steep 91 per cent to 1,871 million in FY18 from 977 million in FY17.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS JUNE 12 2018

1) Mauritius to host 11th World Hindi Conference

  • On June 11, 2018, As part of the visit of the South African nations by the External Afffairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, she stopped by Port Louis to inspect the work on the 11th World Hindi Conference which will be hosted by Mauritius Government from August 18- 20, 2018.
  • The Event is organized by the Indian External Affairs Ministry every years. This year the organizing authority is World Hindi Secretariat located in Mauritius. The government has been suggested to support major Hindi scholars as this might be a public relations exercise before the 2019 general elections. Special focus of this year’s event will be on Bollywood and the global reach of Hindi through movies. The Conference will cover both the classical and modern elements of Hindi. The 10th World Hindi Conference was held in Bhopal in September 2015.

2) India Beat Kenya To Lift Intercontinental Cup Football Title

  • India has lifted the Intercontinental Cup football title. In the summit clash in Mumbai, they defeated Kenya 2-nil. Both the goals were netted by skipper Sunil Chhetri. He gave India the lead in the eighth minute before scoring the second goal in the 29th minute. Sunil Chhetri has become the joint second highest international goal scorer among active players along with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi with his 64th strike for the country against Kenya.

3) President Xi Jinping confers upon Vladimir Putin ‘ highest state honour of China ’

  • On 8th June 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented China’s first friendship medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a special event held at the Great Hall of People, China. This Friendship medal has been claimed to be the highest state honour of China. Xi Jinping praised Vladimir Putin’s contributions to build a peaceful world.
  • In 2017, Vladimir Putin awarded Xi Jinping the Order of St Andrew for his remarkable service to Chinese and Russian people. The Order of St Andrew was awarded to Xi Jinping during his visit to Moscow, Russia. Vladimir Putin was on his 19th visit to China. He held talks with Xi Jinping and attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting at Qingdao.

4) WHO Commends India For Reducing Maternal Mortality Ratio By 77%

  • The WHO has commended India’s progress in reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) by 77 percent, from 556 per one lac live births in 1990 to 130 per one lac live births in 2016.This progress puts the country on track towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target of an MMR below 70 by 2030. India’s present MMR is below the Millennium Development Goal target.
  • According to WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal, India has made a concerted push to increase access to quality maternal health services with the coverage of essential maternal health services has doubled since 2005. 

5) 44th G7 Summit Was Held In Canada

  • The 44th G7 summit was held on June 8–9, 2018, in Quebec, Canada. This was the sixth time since 1981 that Canada has hosted the meetings. The 44th G7 summit was the first summit for Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hosted this summit. The 45th G7 summit or next G7 summit will be held in 2019 in France.

6) Sunil Chhetri equals Messi’s record, joint second highest scorer among active players

  • On 10th June 2018, Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri became the joint second highest international goal scorer among active players along with Argentine player Lionel Messi with his 64th goal for India in the match against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup Football Tournament final in Mumbai.
  •  Sunil Chhetri scored 2 goals for India in the match in the 8th minute and 29th minute. He is 33 years old. This was his 102nd international match. He and Lionel Messi are behind Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo who has 81 goals from 150 matches. Sunil Chhetri and Lionel Messi are now in joint 21st in the all-time list of goal scorers. Sunil Chhetri is just one goal below former Chelsea and Ivory Coast player Didier Drogba (65 from 104 matches).
  • In terms of number of goals per match, Sunil Chhetri is better than Lionel Messi. Sunil Chhetri has scored 0.62 goals per match. Whereas Lionel Messi has scored 0.52 goals per match (64 goals from 124 matches). Also, Sunil Chhetri has a better goal average than Cristiano (0.54 per match). He is also the second Indian to feature in 100 international matches after former captain Bhaichung Bhutia.

7) Centre launches ‘Rail MADAD’, ‘Menu on Rails’ mobile apps

  • On 11th June 2018, the Ministry of Railways introduced two mobile applications ‘Rail MADAD’ and ‘Menu on Rails’ to improve the travelling experience. The apps were launched by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister of State (MoS) Manoj Sinha at a press conference held to highlight the achievements of the Railway Ministry in the past four years.
  • Rail MADAD app will help travellers to register complaints. Menu on Rails app will offer the facility to order food. Piyush Goyal said that, the theme for development this year is to enhance connectivity for the poor. He said that, the focus has been on enhancing safety, avoiding rail accidents, installation of CCTV on all coaches and clearing backlogs.

8) Met dept to use flash flood guidance system for first time to forecast floods

  • On June 11, 2018, The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will be able to issue forecast on floods and guidance on the preventive measures to the disaster management agencies with the help of a new soil study data named : ‘Flash Flood Guidance System’.
  • IMD would launch this service by July 2018. The soil study done from different soil types of different regions will also be accompanied by the rain forecast to ascertain how much water would be left behind after absorption into the ground. The state and district-level farmers’ bodies and disaster management agencies will be given appropriate guidance for flood preparedness.
  • In plains like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where the soil is more absorbent, 10 to 20 cm of rainfall will not cause floods. In hilly areas like Uttarakhand, where the soil is less absorbent, same amount of rainfall is enough to cause floods. Presently, the Central Water Commission (CWC) gives out flood warnings.

9) IT Minister launches 5000 Wi-Fi Choupals, delivery of rail tickets through CSCs

  • On June 11, 2018, Union Minister for Electronics & IT and Law Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad launched major services showcasing the impact and progress made by the Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) in promoting rural Wi-Fi network infrastructure. This was launched in a conference organized by CSC SPV.
  • 5000 Wi-Fi choupals have been launched to provide Internet connectivity to the 2.5 lakh gram panchayats through optical fiber cable. Mou between CSC and IRCTC has been signed for availability of railway services like booking railway tickets etc. through CSC centres. IndusInd bank will provide CSR support CSC SPV for digital literacy of 3 lakh candidates through PMGDISHA. 2.90 lakh CSCs will be able to work as Business Correspondents (BCs). CSC will also be used for first line maintenance of BharatNet in the country.

10) CM releases special booklet on 80-years of Odisha Budget

  • On June 11, 2018, The special booklet titled ’80-years of Odisha Budget – A Commemorative Volume’ was released by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Odisha’s annual budget was only Rs 1.77 crore for the year 1936-37 which has increased to Rs. 1,20,028 crore in 2018-19. Odisha is the first state in the country to bring out such a compilation. The state government has come up with a separate agricultural budget in 2016 with focused attention on the agricultural sector. In the year of 2000, the budget had only been Rs. 14,000 crore.

11) Haryana to organise awareness campaign for farmers

  • From 20th June to 15th July 2018, Awareness programmes will be held at the village, block and district levels for farmers in Haryana. These programmes will create awareness on the negative effects of stubble burning, its alternatives and several farmer welfare schemes. Principal Secretary of Haryana Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Abhilaksh Likhi said that, the programmes will be supervised by senior officials.
  • Seminars will be conducted in all districts as part of the campaign. The deputy directors of departments have been directed to ensure maximum participation of the farmers. Abhilaksh Likhi said that, farmers should be taught about modern agriculture techniques of the current time. He said that the agriculture department had created a portal in which officers will upload the biodata of farmers from their respective districts. The portal will share information about progressive farmers.

12) RBI to raise $ 30-35 bn via NRI bonds to support rupee: Report

  • One June 11, 2018, On the backdrop of rising oil prices and shortfall in FPI inflows to the country the RBI is expected to raise $ 30-35 billion via NRI bonds to raise the rupee. FPI has been slowed down amidst political volatility and with listing of Chinese forms in global benchmark indices.
  • China market could list a $ 100 billion in 2019. RBI would release a fourth tranche of NRI bonds. RBI will issue NRI bonds if the global oil prices persist at USD 70/bbl. NRI bonds are forex deposits raised from non-resident Indians at attractive rates for 3-5 years, with some lock-in and an implicit RBI guarantee.
  • RBI is expected to follow an asymmetrical policy of buying forex when the USD weakens and defending Rs. 66/USD when it strengthens. The rupee has been falling against the US dollar, the Indian currency is seen  at Rs. 69.75/USD by December. The rupee is currently hovering around Rs. 67/USD.

13) Government may launch Rs 500 crore credit enhancement fund in July

  • On June 11, 2018, The government is likely to launch a Rs. 500 crore credit enhancement fund next month to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds. This will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds issued by infrastructure companies and facilitate investment from investors like pension and insurance funds.
  • The initial corpus of the fund, to be sponsored by IIFCL (India Infrastructure Finance Company), will be Rs. 500 crore, and it will operate as a non-banking finance company. IIFCL will hold a 22.5 per cent stake in the NBFC, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has offered to pick up a 10 per cent stake,SBI, Bank of Baroda and LIC will also have stakes in the firm. World Bank had evinced interest to pump-in Rs. 5,000 crore for the fund initially, but the government declined it.

14) S. Ramesh is appointed as Chairman of CBIC

  • S. Ramesh has been appointed as the Chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has cleared the appointment of S. Ramesh as the next Chairman of CBIC. He has been a member of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). He will replace Mrs Vanaja N. Sarna, who will be retiring in the end of June 2018.

15) ISRO’s scientists discover an ‘EPIC’ planet

  • A team of researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, have discovered a planet named EPIC. The planet is six times bigger than Earth. It revolves around a Sun-like star about 600 light years away. Both the planet and the star have been named as EPIC. Now India has become one among the few countries that have discovered planets around stars.
  • Physical Research Laboratory’s parent organization is Indian Space Research Organisation. This discovery was made using a PRL-designed spectrograph, PARAS, to measure and confirm the mass of the new planet. EPIC 211945201b (or K2-236b) is the name assigned to the planet by the discovery team. The team was headed by Abhijit Chakraborty of PRL. The host star is named as EPIC 211945201 or K2-236. The spectrograph is indigenously designed and the first of its kind in India that can measure the mass of a planet going around a star.
  • Very few spectrographs like this are available in the world that can do precise measurements like this. The scientists observed the target over a time of 420 days or nearly 1.5 years. They measured the mass of the planet using the PRL Advance Radial-velocity Abu-sky Search or PARAS spectrograph integrated with the 1.2-metre telescope located at PRL’s Gurushikhar Observatory in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
  • PRL is considered the cradle of space sciences in India. It performs fundamental research in astronomy and space. EPIC was circling very close to the Sun-like star. It goes around it once in 19.5 days. This might not be inhabited, as its surface temperature is very high around 600°C. The planet is smaller in size than Saturn and bigger than Neptune.
  • Its mass is 27 times that of Earth’s and six times that of Earth in radius. Scientists have estimated more than 60% of its mass could be made up of heavy elements like ice, silicates and iron. The research work will be published in the June issue of the Astronomical Journal of the American Astronomical Society.

16) Senior journalist Xavier Rutsa Passed Away

  • On 11th June 2018, Xavier Rutsa, a senior journalist, passed away due to heart attack, in Nagaland. Xavier Rutsa was 42 years old. He was a senior journalist and was also involved with various social organisations, mainly sports bodies. He died due to heat attack when returning home from a meeting of New Market Youth Organisation Sports Committee.