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 AIIMS. The 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.