Current Affairs: June 2016

Raj Ras 

Important Days


  • May 31: World No Tobacco Day
    • Theme 2016: “World No Tobacco Day – Get ready for plain packaging”
  • June 5: World Environment Day
    • 2016 Theme: Go Wild for Life (Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife)
  • June 8: World Oceans Day
    • 2016 Theme: “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”
  • June 12: World Day against Child Labor
    • 2016 Theme: ‘End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business.’
  • June 14: World Blood Donor day
    • 2016 Theme: “Blood connects us all”.
    • 2016 slogan: “Share life, give blood”.
    • 2016 host country: Netherlands.
  • June 17: World Day to Combat Desertification
    • 2016 Theme: “Inclusive cooperation for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality”.
  • June 20: World Refugee Day
  • June21: International Day of Yoga
    • 2016 Theme: “Connect the Youth”.
  • June 21: World Hydrography Day
  • June 23: United Nations Public Service Day
  • June 26: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
  • 29 June: National Statistics Day
    • June 29 is Birth anniversary of Late Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, India’s eminent statistician.
    • In 1933, he founded the first Indian statistical journal Sankhya.
    • He laid foundation of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and also contributed significantly to the design of large-scale sample surveys.

NATIONAL


  • In order to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country, Union Government extended the retirement age of government doctors’ to 65 years with effect from 31 May 2016.
  • President rejects 3 bills passed by Manipur Assembly:
    • Manipur Land Reforms and Land Revenue (7th Amendment) Bill, 2015,
    • The Manipur Shops and Establishment (2nd Amendment) Bill, 2015
    • The Manipur Protection of Peoples Bill, 2015.
  • The NITI Aayog submitted a 20-page note to the PMO arguing to scrap off the convention of presenting a separate railway budget every year.
    • Reason given: Rail Budget has been reduced to mechanism to announce popular measure.
    • Separate Rail Budget introduced as a result of Acworth Committee recommendation in 1921.
  • Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts.
    • IPBB will be 100% GOI Company.
    • IPBB will leverage the Department of Post’s network, resources and reach, to make simple, low-cost, quality financial services easily accessible to customers all over the country.
  • Dia Mirza was named as the ambassador for Swachh Saathi (student internship) programme.
    • Swachh Sathi Program:
    • It is a youth-based program under Swachh Bharat Mission.
    • In this program, more than 2000 interns will be enrolled to coordinate around 10000 schools across India. They also will ensure that all students in the schools across India take the pledge for Clean India.
  • Union Ministry of Railways launched a passenger service initiative Janani Sewa for mothers under which hot milk, hot water and baby food will be available at railway stations.
  • National Disaster Plan was release by PM
  • Aim to make India disaster resilient and reduce loss of lives.
  • Based on based on four priority themes of the “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-30”.
    • Understanding disaster risk
    • Improving disaster risk governance
    • Investing in disaster risk reduction
    • Disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • Union Home Ministry has decided to form new reserve battalion to be named after Maharana Pratap.
  • Axis Bank has launched India’s first internationally-listed certified green bond to finance climate change solutions around the world at London Stock Exchange (LSE).
  • Union Ministry of Power launched Surya Mitra mobile App to serve customers in the field of renewable energy.
  • Union Ministry of Railways flagged off Champaran Satyagrah Express train at a function in Motihari, Bihar. The train will run from Motihari, Bihar to Anand Vihar, Delhi.
  • The Google-India Inc and Tata Trusts have jointly launched ‘Internet Saathi’ program in Purulia district of West Bengal.
  • Prime Minister Modi outline RAPID, a five-point mantra for tax officials to reform and broaden the direct tax net base. The announcement was made while inaugurating Rajasva Gyan Sangam, a two-day Annual Conference of Senior Tax Administrators in New Delhi.
    • R for Revenue,
    • A for Accountability,
    • P for Probity,
    • I for Information and
    • D for Digitization.
  • Union Ministry of Power has launched ‘URJA’- Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan Mobile application for Urban Power Distribution Sector.
  • Union Cabinet has approved merger of India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) and its associate banks.
  • Why? To bring SBI on a par with global lenders.
  • 5 associate banks of SBI include:
    • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur
    • State Bank of Hyderabad
    • State Bank of Mysore
    • State Bank of Patiala
    • State Bank of Travancore.
  • Apart from these 5 associate banks, Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) shall also be merged with the SBI.
  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL) have signed a MoU for implementation of additional works on the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) in KaladanMyanmar.
  • What is Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP)?
  • See it uses terms multimodal, which means that it uses more than one mode of transport. In this case both Land and Sea.
  • It will establish an alternate route from Kolkata to Mizoram through Myanmar.
  • Hence, KMTTP is a project that will connect Indian seaport of Kolkata with Sittwe seaport in Myanmar by sea then Sittwe seaport will be linked to Paletwa in Myanmar via Kaladan river-boat route and then will use road transport to connect Paletwa to Mizoram (India).
  • Union Government has asked all the state governments to link Aadhaar Card with information on caste and to issue domicile certificates to school students.
    • Aadhaar is a 12-digit number
  • Prime Minister Modi released a book titled “The Birds of Banni Grassland”. The Birds of Banni Grassland is book is based on compilation of the research work, on more than 250 species of birds found in the Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat. 

STATES:


  • Odisha became the first state in the country to give transgender people social welfare benefits – such as a housing, pension and food grains.
    • Trivia: In 2014, Supreme Court had recognized transgender as a legal third gender and called on government to ensure their equal treatment
  • Haryana Government launched Asia’s first ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Program’ at the Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre at Pinjore.
  • Assam Assembly passed Assam Ease of Doing Business Bill, 2016 to facilitate ease of doing business in the state.
  • Gujarat Government announces IT policy to promote IT-based start-ups
    • Gujarat Government will develop 50 new incubators to mentor and guide 2,000 start-ups in the next five years.
  • Himachal Pradesh became the first state in the country to have a State Data Centre (SDC), designed using green data centre concept.
  • Rajasthan Government launched a mobile application named RajVayu for sharing information about air quality index of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur.
  • Assam’s Guwahati declared Gangetic River dolphin as its official mascot and hence became the first city in the country to have its own city animal.
  • Sikkim became the first state in India to have an open government data portal linked ‘sikkim.data.gov.in’.
  • Assam Government has launched a unique initiative ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ to link primary schools to high schools to colleges.
  • Punjab government launched a special fund “Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund” to provide free treatment for patients affected by Hepatitis C.
    • Because of the initiative, Punjab also became the first Indian state to provide free treatment to confirmed cases of Hepatitis C.
  • Maharashtra Government accorded minority status to Jews in the state as per the provisions of the Maharashtra State Minorities Commission Act, 2004.
  • Nagaland Government launched women helpline “181” and “Sakhi-One Stop Centre”, an institute to support women affected by violence.

MOU’s


 

  • Union Cabinet MoU between India and United States (US) to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking. MoU seeks cooperation in the following areas:
    • Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics.
    • Natural World Heritage Conservation.
    • Nature Interpretation and Conservation Awareness.
  • Later, India signed MOU with the United States
    • To enhance cooperation in energy security, clean energy and climate change.
    • On exchange of information on terror database
  • India and US has signed a MoU to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into America at selected airports. The facility will provide speedy security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk travellers from the country.
  • India and Morocco launched the India-Morocco Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI) in Morocco’s capital city of Rabat.
  • The Union Government and World Bank have signed a US 9.2 million dollar grant agreement for the Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project.
    • Grant under Global Environment Facility (GEF) program.
    • Selected demonstration cities include Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Chandigarh, Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Mira Bhayandar, municipality in the Thane district of Maharashtra.
  • Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Taiwan for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sector.
  • Union Cabinet has approved MoU between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space.
  • Union Cabinet approved signing of 15 years contract for undertaking exploration and other developmental activities related to Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS).
    • The contract was approved between the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences and the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
  • India and Tunisia have signed two MoU for co-operation in Information Technology (IT) and promotion of traditional handicrafts.
  • India has signed loan agreement of US 12 crore dollars with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve irrigation and water management infrastructure in Odisha.
  • Later, Asian Development Bank (ADB) also approved 100 million dollars loan to strengthen a key irrigation system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of Cauvery Delta in Tamil Nadu.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY


  • Scientists discover rare Einstein ring
  • Phenomenon was predicted by Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and has been given its own name “The Canarias Einstein ring”.
  • What is Einstein ring?
    • It is the deformation (distortion) of the light from a source (such as a star or galaxy) into a ring through gravitational lensing of the source’s light by an object with an extremely large mass (such as a black hole or another galaxy).
  • The world’s first 3D-printed aircraft THOR was unveiled by Airbus, the European aerospace company, at the International Aerospace Exhibition held in Schoenefeld, Germany.
  • Scientists from Iceland working on CarbFix project have discovered a new way to trap the greenhouse gas (GHG) carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground by changing it into rock.
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry -IUPAC has announced proposed names for the four new elements Nihonium (Nh), Moscovium (Mc), Tennessine (Ts), and Oganesson (Og).
  • Australian Great Barrier Reef rodent (Bramble Cay melomys) has become the first mammal species driven to extinction by human-induced climate change.
  • Scientists using NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope have discovered a Jupiter-like circumbinary planet named Kepler1647b orbiting a system of two stars.
  • Russia has launched the new Project 22220 nuclear powered icebreaker dubbed ‘Arktika’, world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind.
  • A recent report of World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that hot drinks (beverages) consumed at temperatures above 65 Celsius can cause esophageal cancer.
  • Scientists for the second time have successfully detected gravitational waves created by the collision of two black holes 1.4 billion light years away.
    • The waves were detected using the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) interferometers in the US.
  • Microsoft is going to design mobile application for HRD Ministry’s SWAYAM platform.
    • Under Swayam, ministry is going to launch 2000 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) for over 3 crore students in the year 2016.
  • The 2016 edition of Top500 list of supercomputers has revealed that China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is the world’s most powerful supercomputer system.
  • The Union Government has banned use of potassium bromate (KbrO3) as a food additive as it is carcinogenic.
  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named a crater on Mars as Langtang after one of the villages most affected by the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.
    • IAU – Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Scientists have developed a new stem cell-containing bio-ink that allows 3D printing of complex living tissues, which can be used for surgical implants.
    • The new bio ink contains stem cells, which allow scientists to 3D print living tissue, this is also known as bio-printing.
    • The ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer and a sacrificial synthetic polymer.
  • The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched BGR-34, an anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug designed for type 2 Diabetes mellitus.

PERSON in NEWS


  • Admiral Sunil Lanba took charge as Chief of the Naval Staff.
  • Oscar winning Indian music composer A R Rahman has been awarded Japan’s Fukuoka prize for the year 2016.
  • Former IPS officer Bhim Sain Bassi has been appointed as a member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) as per provisions of Article 316 of Constitution.
  • R Seetharaman, Group CEO of Doha Bank, has been honored with the 2016 Green Economy Visionary Award.
  • Rahul Johri took charge as first ever chief executive officer (CEO) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation has been nominated as a candidate to be a new member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
  • Two Indian-origin women Neerja Sethi & Jayshree Ullal have been named in the Forbes’ second annual list of America’s wealthiest and most successful self-made women.
  • American boxing icon Muhammad Ali passed away after 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Indian American author Akhil Sharma won the prestigious 2016 International Dublin Literary Award for his semi-autobiographical novel “Family Life.
  • Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson has been elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • The chief executive of Bharti Group, Sunil Bharti Mittal has been elected chairman of the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC).
  • Zubaida Bai, an Indian social entrepreneur, has been named among the ten ‘2016 Global Compact SDG Pioneers’, an initiative launched by UN.
  • Zubaida is the founder of ‘ayzh’, a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions and technology solutions to impoverished women worldwide.

SPORTS


  • Indian boxer Sonia Lather won silver medal at the AIBA Women’s World Championships, which was held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • World Number One tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia won the 2016 French Open title in the men’s singles category.
  • Garbine Muguruza (Spain) won the Women’s singles title of 2016 French Open
  • Lucknow city (Uttar Pradesh) will host the 2016 Junior Men’s hockey World Cup.
  • The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has banned former Russian World No. 1 tennis player Maria Sharapova for two years over doping charges.
  • Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has won the 2016 Australian Open Super Series Badminton tournament title in women’s singles category.
  • Australia has won the 2016 Champions Trophy title of Hockey by defeating India by 3-1 score. With this victory, Australia created history by winning the title for record 14 times.
  • The Indian mixed resurvey team of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das has won the silver medal at the Archery World Cup held in Antalya, Turkey.
  • Defending champion Chile won the 2016 Copa America Football tournament by defeating Argentina in a penalty shootout.
  • Ace Indian shooter Jitu Rai won silver medal at the ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) Shooting World Cup held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

DEFENCE


  • India has joined the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC):
  • What is HCOC?
    • Established in 2002
    • It is a voluntary, legally non-binding, international confidence building and transparency measure that seeks to prevent the proliferation of ballistic missiles that are capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
    • HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it calls for restraining their production, testing, and export. It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
  • India, Japan and United States (US) navies have kicked off 2016 MALABAR trilateral naval Exercise near South China Sea.
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) created history by inducting 3 women fighter pilots for first time.
    • These three women fighter pilots are Bhawana Kanth, Avani Chatuvedi and Mohana Singh.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has unveiled indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) HTT-40 in Bengaluru.
  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has given its approval to for the purchase of 145 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULH) guns from the US.
  • Indigenously built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra was successfully inducted in the Indian Navy.

INTERNATIONAL


  • The world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel: Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated in Switzerland.
    • The Gotthard Base Tunnel is 57-kilometer long and connects northern and southern Europe and also shortens travel time for rail route.
    • The tunnel is through the Alps Mountain and is situated 2.3 km deep under the Alps.
  • Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore to talk about security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
    • The forum has been organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
    • Attended by Defence Ministers
  • The New Development Bank (NDB) sponsored by BRICS countries is set to issue its first Gotthard Base Tunnel to finance sustainable development projects.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam in Herat province (Western Afghanistan).
    • The Afghan-India Friendship Dam was earlier called as Salma Dam,
    • It is earth and rock fill dam, built on Hari River.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with Amir Amanullah Khan Award, the highest civilian honour of Afghanistan.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that Thailand has become the first Asian country to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission.
    • Previously in 2015, Cuba was the only and first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission under the WHO’s criteria.
  • India has surpassed Japan to become the world’s third-largest oil consumer, this has been stated by recently released BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
  • Economic Forecast by World Bank:
    • The World Bank in its report on global economic prospects has cut global growth forecast to 2.4% in 2016 and at 2.8% in 2017.
    • India is stated to remain one of the fastest growing major economies, ahead of China, for the next three years.
    • India’s growth projections have been marginally lowered by 0.2% to 7.6% for 2016-17 and 7.7% in 2017-18 due to downfall of exports.
  • United States has recognized India as a major defense partner, as a result, India will come in category of closest US allies for defence related trade and technology transfer.
  • Pakistan has topped in the list of 19 countries figuring in the 2016 Malware Infection Index (MII) in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Most encountered malware in region:
    • Gamarue, a malicious computer worm that is commonly distributed via exploit kits and social engineering.
    • Trojan: Skeeyah
  • Norway has become the first country in the world to prohibit deforestation.
  • Prime Minister Modi along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna, which was renovated by India.
  • As per the recently released 2016 World Investment Report, India ranks 10th in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) inflows.
    • Highest US
  • The 2016 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit took place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The two-day meeting of heads of state of SCO was conducted under the presidency of Uzbekistan.
  • Mahasthangarh, the 3rd century BC archaeological site in Bogra, Bangladesh, has been declared as the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural capital for the year 2016-17.
  • How it will help: The historic place will now host festivals on literature, films, foods and dances from October 2016 to September 2017.
  • Further, the year 2016-17 has also been declared the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage.
  • The Colombian government and the leftist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels have signed a historic ceasefire and disarmament agreement.
  • China has launched its first dark sky reserve at Ngari, Tibetian Region, bordering Nepal and India.
    • The China Biodiversity Conservation, Green Development Foundation (GDF) and the regional government of Tibet have launched the reserve.
    • What is Dark-sky reserve: It is an area that is kept free of artificial light pollution. Generally, Surrounded by a park or observatory, the main purpose of a dark sky preserve is to promote astronomy.
  • People of United Kingdom (UK) in a historic referendum have voted in favour of leaving European Union (EU).
  • The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved first set of loans amounting to US 509 million dollars to finance projects in four countries viz. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Tajikistan.
  • India became the 35th full-time member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
  • Sweden inaugurated world’s first electric road
    • Test stretch of an electric road has been inaugurated in Sandviken to conduct tests with electric power for hybrid heavy transports on public roads.

 


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