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Important Current Affairs 25th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Nikol Pashinyan elected as the new Prime Minister of Armenia

•Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, kept power in a parliamentary election that boosted his authority despite being widely blamed for a military defeat last year in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Nikol’s Civil Contract party won 53.92% of the votes cast.

•An alliance led by his rival, ex-leader Robert Kocharyan, came second with 21%, according to the results based on ballots from 100% of precincts counted. Kocharyan was Armenia’s president from 1998 to 2008.

NATIONAL

Odisha’s CM Naveen Patnaik launched ‘Ashirbad’ for education and health of C-19 orphans

•Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a new scheme ‘Ashirbad’ for the education, health and maintenance of C-19 orphans. The Chief Minister announced that Rs 2500 per month will be deposited in the bank accounts of family members who have taken the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents.

•Children who lost their parents or the main earning person of the family on April 1, 2020, or thereafter to C-19 will be eligible to be covered under the scheme. Such children under distress have been divided into three categories. Those who have lost both their parents, those who have lost either father or mother and those whose main earning member of the family, either father or mother have died.

NTPC won recognition as India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021

•For the first time, NTPC won recognition as India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. It has been recognized as the ‘Great Place to Work’ for the 15th straight year by the Great Places to Work Institute. It has been ranked at 38th. It was ranked 47 last year.

•It also won its first-ever recognition of India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. NTPC, a Maharatna Community and Public Sector Unit work under the Ministry of Power. The PSU has also won the CII HR Excellence Role model award in March 2021. It is the highest award in the field of people management in the country.

•The ‘Great Place to Work’ certification is recognised worldwide and is considered the gold standard in identifying and recognizing great workplaces with high trust and high-performance cultures. It is the most definitive ‘Employer of Choice’ recognition certification that the organization aim to achieve.

SPORTS

India’s official Olympic theme song ‘Lakshya Tera Samne Hai’ released

•Ahead of the Tokyo Games, the official Olympic theme song for the Indian contingent was launched. Mohit Chauhan has composed and sung the song titled “Lakshya Tera Samne Hai”. The Games will open on July 23 and over 100 Indian athletes have qualified for the event so far.

•The event was organised by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and attended by its President, Secretary-General, Deputy Chef De Mission, Sports Secretary and DG Sports Authority of India (SAI). Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was the chief guest at the event.

OBITUARY

Founder of McAfee antivirus software J.D. McAfee, passed away

•British-American Software pioneer, John David McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, has passed away. John was found dead in his cell in a jail near Barcelona, where he had been since October 2020, for evading taxes.

•The incident happened shortly after his extradition to the United States was authorized by Spain’s National Court, on criminal charges filed in Tennessee by the Justice Department’s tax division. He was accused to have deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies, among other things.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Jasprit Bumrah appointed as the brand ambassador of OnePlus

•OnePlus, the global technology brand welcomed cricketer Jasprit Bumrah as Brand Ambassador for its Wearables category. The partnership with Bumrah reiterates the brand philosophy of ‘Never Settle’ and the company’s pursuit towards perfection.

•The OnePlus Wearable category includes the OnePlus Watch, the first global smart wearable from OnePlus that offers a premium design, seamless connection, smart fitness tracking and an incredible battery life.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Vitiligo Day 2021: 25 June

•World Vitiligo Day is observed on June 25 to build global awareness about vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disorder leading to loss of colour in the skin creating a variety of patterns on the skin from loss of pigment.

•Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder and that can have a significant negative social or psychological impact on patients. The first World Vitiligo Day was observed on June 25, 2011.

Day of the Seafarer2021: 25 June

•The International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates the annual Day of the Seafarer (DoS) on June 25 each year to pay respect to Seafarers and sailors who help the entire world function by conducting sea transport. 2021 marks the 11th anniversary of DoS. In the wake of the C-19 pandemic, seafarers found themselves both on the front line of the global response and subject to difficult working conditions surrounding uncertainties and difficulties around port access, re-supply, crew changeovers, repatriation, etc.

•The theme of the 2021 campaign is “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future”.

•The day was proposed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2010 to celebrate the contribution of the seafarer to the world economy and civil society. This special day has been celebrated since 2011.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and World Bank signs an loan agreement for Mizoram

•The Government of India, along with the Government of Mizoram has signed a $32 million loan agreement with World Bank for Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project. The project aims to improve the management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram, with a focus on the benefit of under-served areas and vulnerable groups.

•The project will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) and its subsidiaries, improve the quality and coverage of services delivered by the state government health systems, and invest in a comprehensive Quality Assurance program which would enable quality certification of health facilities.

•The Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project will benefit the people across all eight districts of the state. It will also benefit health sector staff, specifically at the secondary and primary levels, by strengthening their planning and management capacity along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘Will’ is the autobiography of Actor Will Smith

•Actor Will Smith, who revealed the title and cover of his upcoming autobiography “Will”. The book, to be published Nov. 9 by Penguin Press. Will Smith is co-writing the book with author Mark Manson, and the cover is designed by New Orleans artist Brandan “BMike” Odums. Smith will also narrate the audiobook of Will from Penguin Random House Audio.

•The book will delve into him being raised in West Philadelphia to entering superstardom as an actor and rapper. He’s a two-time Academy Award nominee and won a four-time Grammy winner. Smith starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Black and Pursuit of Happyness. He’s won Grammys for Summertime, Men In Black, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It and Parents Just Don’t Understand.

Harsh Vardhan unveils ‘My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child’ book

•Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has unveiled Krishna Saksena’s book “My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child”. It is the epitome of the bravery and endurance of a mother, in the best tradition of Indian motherhood.

•The book is full of beautiful photographs, including some black and white ones which have historical significance, not only because some of them feature public personalities but also because it chronicles the domestic as well as the professional context of the times.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Kotak Mahindra Bank launched the new feature ‘Pay Your Contact’ service

•Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced the launch of ‘Pay Your Contact’ the new feature that enables its customers to send money or make payments to any of their contacts across all payment apps simply by the beneficiary’s mobile number. The ‘Pay Your Contact’ service is available on the lender’s mobile banking app and uses the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.

•The ‘Pay Your Contact’ feature on Kotak mobile banking app has made payments as easy and simple as can be. Kotak customers can now make their payments to a friend, household help, neighbourhood shop etc. just by knowing the beneficiary’s mobile number.

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Important Current Affairs 24th June 2021

NATIONAL

Vijay Rupani CM of Gujarat launched Agricultural Diversification Scheme

•Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has virtually launched the ‘Agricultural Diversification Scheme-2021’, with the aim of making agriculture sustainable and profitable in the tribal areas of the state. The scheme will benefit more than 1.26 lakh vanbandhu- farmers from 14 tribal districts in Gujarat.

•The state government would distribute fertilizer-seed assistance worth around Rs. 31 crores to tribal farmers, which will also include 45 kg of urea, 50 kg of NPK and 50 kg of ammonium sulphate.

•Gujarat government has already provided assistance of Rs. 250 crore to 10 lakh tribal farmers under this scheme in the last ten years.

Jamsetji Tata tops inaugural Philanthropists of the Century

•Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, Indian pioneer industrialist and founder of the Tata Group, has topped the inaugural, EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list, which ranks the world’s 50 most generous individuals in the last century. As per the report, the total donations made by Mumbai-based Jamsetji Tata is estimated at US$102.4 billion. He is the only Indian among the top 10 list, compiled by Hurun Research and EdelGive Foundation.

•The only other Indian in the list of 50 global philanthropists is Azim Premji, former chairman of Wipro. He is ranked at 12th position. Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates ranked second with donations worth $74.6 billion. They are followed by Henry Wellcome ($56.7 billion), Howard Hughes ($38.6 billion), and Warren Buffett ($37.4 billion) respectively.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched “JaanHaiToJahaanHai” awareness campaign

•The Minority Affairs Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched a nationwide “JaanHaiToJahaanHai” awareness campaign on C-19 vaccination for rural and remote areas.

•The aim of this campaign is to aware people of the C-19 vaccination and to crush rumours and apprehensions related to C-19 vaccination. It has been launched by the Ministry of Minority Affairs in association with various socio-educational organizations, NGOs, and Women Self Help Groups.

Indian Navy and European Naval hold first joint exercise

•In a first, the Indian Navy is participating in a joint exercise with the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR). Stealth frigate INS Trikand, will participate in the two-day exercise in the Gulf of Aden as it is already deployed in the region on anti-piracy operations. The aim of the exercise is to enhance and hone their war-fighting skills and their ability as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the maritime domain.

•Along with the Indian Navy, other naval forces are from Italy, Spain and France. The naval exercise included advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, tactical manoeuvres, Search & Rescue, and other maritime security operations.

SPORTS

New Zealand won first ICC World Test Championship

•New Zealand defeated India to win the first ICC World Test Championship. New Zealand chased down the target of 139 to win the first-ever World Test Championship final with eight wickets in hand.

•The last day of the match was played on June 23, 2021. The match saw 6 days play in place of the regular 5 days due to the rain factor. Kyle Jamieson (NZ) has been adjudged as the “Player of the match”, while Kane Williamson (NZ) is the “Player of the series”.

Rani Rampal, Manpreet Singh named captains of Indian hockey teams

•Midfielder Manpreet Singh was named captain of the 16-member Olympic-bound Indian men’s hockey team, while experienced defenders, Birendra Lakra and Harmanpreet Singh, were named vice-captains. This will be Manpreet’s third Olympics. Under Manpreet’s captaincy, the Indian team won the Asia Cup in 2017, the Asian Champions Trophy in 2018 and the FIH Series Final in 2019. The team led by Manpreet also made it to the quarterfinals of the FIH Men’s World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar.

•Rani Rampal was named the captain of the 16-member Olympic-bound Indian Women’s Hockey Team, announced Hockey India. Rani is the obvious choice not just for her on-field exploits but also for her innate ability to guide the youngsters in the team. Under Rani’s Captaincy, the Indian team over the past four years have achieved significant results including winning the Asia Cup in 2017, Winning Silver at the Asian Games 2018, Silver at Asian Champions Trophy 2018 as well winning the FIH Series Final in 2019. The team led by Rani also made it to the quarterfinals of the FIH Women’s World Cup 2018 in London for the first time.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce becomes second fastest woman of all-time ahead

•Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the second-fastest woman of all-time behind 100 metres world record holder Florence Griffith-Joyner when she clocked 10.63 seconds at a meet in Kingston.

•American Griffith-Joyner still holds the women’s 100m world record of 10.49 seconds, set in Indianapolis in 1988, as well as the three fastest times ever, with 10.61 and 10.62, also in 1988.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Senior psychiatrist Pratima Murthy appointed as director of NIMHANS

•Dr Pratima Murthy, head of Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru has been appointed as Director of the Institute for a period of five years. She will retire in March 2026. She was awarded the WHO Regional Director’s Special Recognition Award on ‘World No Tobacco Day 2021’.

•She has been appointed by NIMHANS on the approval of the central government as the full-term director of the institute of national importance after Prof and Head of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Dr Padma Srivastava could not assume the top office due to some technical reasons.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

India and Fiji inks MoU for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

•A virtual meeting was held between the Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar with Dr. Mahendra Reddy, Minister of Agriculture, Waterways & Environment, Government of Fiji.

•During the meeting, both the ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors. This MoU will further strengthen the multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

RANKING

Bengaluru ranked as one of the Top 5 technology centers in Asia Pacific

•Bengaluru has emerged as the top five technology centres in the APAC region while Hyderabad is ranked in the Top 10 list, a report by Colliers titled ‘Growth Engines of Innovation: How Asia Pacific Technology Hubs are Reshaping Regional Real Estate’. The report ranks the most attractive technology submarkets within major APAC cities, which should serve as a navigation tool for technology groups, as they plan their expansion.

•Beijing, Shanghai, Bengaluru, Shenzhen and Singapore currently rank as the top five technology centres in APAC; they offer a compelling balance of infrastructure and talent for occupiers and are well-positioned to deliver future growth and investment opportunities for owners. Other cities are developing strengths in specific areas of technology, e.g., Seoul and Hong Kong in fintech, while new centres such as Hyderabad and Sydney are emerging.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

Arvind Gaur releases book ‘Habba Khatoon’ written by Kajal Suri

•Theatre personality Arvind Gaur has released the book ‘Habba Khatoon’ written by Kajal Suri. The book ‘Habba Khatoon’ was Published by Sanjana Prakashan.

•Habba Khatoon, also known by the honorary title ‘The Nightingale of Kashmir’, was a Kashmiri poet and ascetic. She was the wife of Yousuf Shah Chak, the last Emperor of Kashmir.

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Important Current Affairs 23rd June 2021

NATIONAL

Finance Ministry allowed HFCs above Rs 100 crore to use to SARFAESI law

•Ministry of Finance has allowed housing finance companies (HFCs) with asset size of over Rs. 100 crore to recover the dues using SARFAESI law. This move is expected to be a shot in the arm for thousands of small HFCs, as it will facilitate quick recovery of dues and encourage these companies to lend more.

•Earlier HFCs with assets over Rs. 500 crore (and notified by Finance Ministry) were allowed to use SARFAESI law to recover dues. Currently, there are nearly 100 HFCs that are registered with NHB. The top-10 HFCs account for 70-80 per cent of the assets of the housing finance industry. SARFAESI Act 2002 allows banks and other financial institutions to auction residential or commercial properties (of Defaulter) to recover loans.

No tax on cash deposits made by housewives during the demonetization scheme 2016

•The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Agra bench consisting of Judicial Member Lalit Kumar and the Accountant Member Dr Mitha Lal Meena has ruled that cash deposit made by the housewives during the demonetization scheme 2016, cannot be subject to addition if such deposits are below Rs 2.5 lakh and such amount shall not be treated as income of the assessee.

•The Tribunal was considering an appeal filed by a housewife, the assessee who deposited the cash of Rs 2,11,500 in the bank account during the demonetization period. It was the case of the assessee that she had collected/saved the above-said sum from her previous saving, given by her husband, son, relatives for the purposes of her and her family’s future.

Arunachal Pradesh’s woman, Tadang Minu becomes first to be appointed in AIBA

•Arunachal Pradesh woman, Dr Tadang Minu, becomes the first in the state and the second Indian woman in the country to be appointed as a member of the Coaches Committee of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). She has been appointed by AIBA for her enormous knowledge and experience in the field of boxing.

•Dr Tadang is currently the HOD of Physical Education at Rajiv Gandhi University(RGU) and is the chairman of the Boxing Federation of India’s Women’s Commission for two years.

SPORTS

New Zealand’s Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will be first trans athlete to compete at Olympics

•The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is poised to make history and headlines, as well as significant controversy, after being confirmed as the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games. The 43-year-old, who will be the fourth oldest weightlifter at an Olympics, is regarded as a genuine medal contender in the women’s super heavyweight 87kg-plus category in Tokyo.

•But while her inclusion has been welcomed by trans groups, it has also been questioned by those who believe she has unfair advantages in strength and power, having gone through male puberty before transitioning in 2012.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

British lawyer Karim Khan sworn in as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court

•British lawyer Karim Khan was sworn as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. He pledging to reach out to nations that are not members of the court and to try to hold trials in countries where crimes are committed. He has defended clients at international courts including former Liberian President Charles Taylor & Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto.

•Khan, a 51-year-old English lawyer, has years of experience in international courts as a prosecutor, investigator and defence attorney. He takes over from Fatou Bensouda of the Gambia, whose nine-year term ended.

Upasana Kamineni named ‘Ambassador of Forest Frontline Heroes’ at WWF India

•WWF India has inducted Upasana Kamineni, Director, Apollo Hospitals, as “Ambassador of Forest Frontline Heroes” with the aim to appreciate the efforts of frontline workers in hospitals and in the wildlife protection space. The focus of this will be on several States across the country covering most eco-regions.

•Frontline forest staff are often local community members themselves and play an important role in building an interface between communities and conservation.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Olympic Day 2021: 23 June

•The International Olympic Day is held on June 23 each year. The day is celebrated to encourage more people to participate in the Olympic Games and spread awareness about the event and promote the Olympic Movement. Based on the three pillars – “move”, “learn” and “discover” – the National Olympic Committees are deploying sports, cultural and educational activities to encourage participation regardless of age, gender, social background, or sporting ability.

•The Olympic Day 2021 theme is “Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the #OlympicDay workout on 23 June.”

•The International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved to observe Olympic Day in January 1948 to commemorate the creation of the International Olympic Committee on 23 June 1894. The creation of the modern-day Olympic Games is inspired by the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Olympic Day was celebrated in the year 1948.

United Nations Public Service Day 2021: 23 June

•United Nations Public Service Day is observed globally on 23rd June every year. This day is to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process and to value public service to the community. This day is widely known by various public service organisations and departments around the world by organising several events to recognise the role of public servants in making developments and improvements in the community.

•As a part of the occasion, the Division of Public Institutions and Digital Government of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs will host a virtual event, in collaboration with the government of the United Arab Emirates, under the theme of “Innovating the Future Public Service: New Government Models for a New Era to Reach the SDGs”.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

Bharti Airtel and Tata Group partner for 5G network solutions

•Bharti Airtel and Tata Group have announced a strategic partnership for implementing 5G network solutions for India, which will be available for commercial development from January 2022. Tata Group has developed an O-RAN (open-radio access network)-based radio and non-standalone architecture/stand-alone architecture (NSA/SA) core and has integrated a totally indigenous telecom stack, leveraging the capabilities of the group and its partners.

•The NSA/SA are radio technology that controls the signalling of 5G radio. While NSA can control signalling of 5G to the 4G core, the SA can connect the 5G radio directly to the 5G core network and control signalling does not depend on the 4G network.

•Airtel will pilot and deploy this indigenous solution as part of its 5G rollout plans in India and start the pilot in January 2022, as per the guidelines formulated by the government. According to sources, Tata Group will work with Indian tech companies and start-ups for hardware solutions, Tata ‘acting as a super integrator’. It can benefit from this partnership to export the technology to other countries such as Africa and Sri Lanka.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘The 7 Sins of Being A Mother’ book by Tahira Kashyap Khurrana

•Filmmaker-writer Tahira Kashyap Khurrana has announced her upcoming book about motherhood, titled “The 7 Sins of Being A Mother”.

•This is her fifth book and the second she wrote amid the pandemic. Last year, the filmmaker had released 12 Commandments of Being A Woman, which she finished writing during the coronavirus-induced lockdown. The writer has also penned books like Cracking The Code: My Journey in Bollywood and Souled Out.

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Important Current Affairs 22nd June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World Investment Report 2021: India was fifth largest recipient of FDI in 2020

•As per the World Investment Report 2021 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India was the fifth-largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in the world in 2020. The country received USD 64 billion FDI in 2020, which is an increase of 27 per cent, over USD 51 billion inflows in 2019.

•The United States remained the largest recipient of FDI, although, the FDI inflow to the country decreased by 40 per cent, to $156 billion, in 2020. China was the second-largest recipient with USD 149 billion FDI. The global FDI flows decreased by 35 per cent in 2020 to USD 1 trillion from USD 1.5 trillion in 2019.

NATIONAL

PM Modi launched mYoga App on the occasion of Yoga Day

•On the occasion of the seventh International Yoga Day on June 21, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the mYoga mobile app. The app has been developed in collaboration between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ministry of AYUSH), Government of India.

•The mYoga app is preloaded with many yoga training videos and audio practice sessions, in different languages, that can be done in the comfort of our own homes.

•Currently, the mYoga app is available in English, Hindi and French, but will be made available in other UN languages in the upcoming months. Through this initiative, PM Modi government aims to achieve the ‘One World, One Health’ motto.”

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar launched ‘Mukhya Mantri Udyaymi Yojana’

•Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has launched two ambitious schemes christened as the ‘Mukhya Mantri Yuva Udyaymi Yojna’ and the ‘Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyami Yojana. Both the schemes launched to promote entrepreneurship among youth and women of all sections under the state’s ‘Mukhaya Mantri Udyami Yojana scheme. The schemes were promised by the chief minister during the 2020 Bihar elections.

•Youth and Women-irrespective of caste and creed, wishing to start entrepreneurship, will get a loan of Rs 10 lakh, in which Rs 5 lakh would be a grant from the state government and the rest Rs 5 lakh will come as a loan, refundable in 84 instalments. He also launched a portal on which youth and women from all sections can register themselves for availing of the loan from the government.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Montek Ahluwalia named member of World Bank-IMF High Advisory Group

•Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia was named a member of a high-level Advisory Group formed by the World Bank and IMF. The group will be jointly led by Mari Pangestu, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu and Lord Nicholas Stern. The group was formed by the World Bank and IMF in the face of the dual crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

•Mari Pangestu is Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is Director, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, International Monetary Fund. The group will also include Gita Gopinath. Gita Gopinath as an Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the IMF.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Music Day 2021: 21st June

•World Music Day is observed globally on 21st June every year. This day is celebrated to honour amateur and professional musicians. Over 120 countries celebrate World Music Day by organizing free public concerts in parks, streets, stations, museums and other such public places. The aim of celebrating World Music Day is to provide free music to everyone, and also to encourage amateur musicians to showcase their work to the world.

•World Music Day was founded by France’s Minister of Culture, Jack Lang and also Maurice Fleuret, a French composer, music journalist, radio producer, arts administrator, and festival organiser, on the day of the summer solstice in Paris in 1982.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Chemist Sumita Mitra honoured with prestigious European Inventor Award 2021

•Indian-American chemist Sumita Mitra has been honoured with the European Inventor Award 2021 in the ‘Non-European Patent Office countries’ category. She was the first to have successfully integrated nanotechnology into dental materials to produce stronger and more aesthetically pleasing fillings.

•The award, one of Europe’s most prestigious innovation prizes, is presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to recognise outstanding inventors from Europe and beyond.

RANKING

Ease of Living Index 2020: Bengaluru ‘most liveable’ city of India

•Bengaluru has been named as the most liveable city of India, in the Ease of Living Index 2020, released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The Ease of Living Index 2020 is part of the report titled State of India’s Environment 2021. Bengaluru is followed by Chennai, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar, and Mumbai, as the top five best cities respectively.

•The report focused on four parameters to determine the ease of living index score of each city, which are: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizens’ perceptions.

•Each city was rated out of 100 in all parameters.

•The Ease of Living Index 2020 is the second edition of the index after the first one was launched in 2018.

6th Edition of Sustainable Development Report 2021: India’s Rank 120th

•According to the 6th Edition of ‘Sustainable Development Report 2021 (SDR 2021)’ released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), India with a score of 60.1 has been placed at 120th rank out of 165 countries. Finland topped the Index followed by Sweden & Denmark.

•For the 1st time since 2015, all countries have shown a reversal in progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SDR 2021 has been written by a group of authors led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of the SDSN and has been published by Cambridge University Press.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

 ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’ is a new book of Amitav Ghosh

•Jnanpith Awardee and renowned author Amitav Ghosh’s authored a book titled, ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis’. It is published by John Murray. The book talks about the history of the influence of colonialism on the world today, through the story of the nutmeg.

•In ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’, Ghosh discusses that the nutmeg’s journey from its native Banda islands sheds light on a widespread colonial mindset of exploitation of human life and the environment, which is present even today. Some of Ghosh’s other notable works include the Ibis trilogy and ‘The Great Derangement’ among others.

Bishnupada Sethi’s new book ‘Beyond Here and Other Poems’ released

•Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik released a book of poems ‘Beyond Here and Other Poems’ written by senior bureaucrat Bishnupada Sethi. It is a collection of 61 poems that are a reflection of a spectrum of experiences of life, perception of death and philosophical contemplation.

•Noted writer Haraprasad Das has written the preface. The cover design of the 161-page book has been made by eminent artist Gajendra Sahu. Sethi, Principal Secretary in the Information and Public Relations department has written several poetry and other books including ‘My World of Words’ and ‘Beyond Feelings’.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SEBI reconstitutes Four-member Takeover Panel

•Markets regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reconstituted its four-member Takeover Panel. The Takeover Panel looks into the applications that seek exemption from the mandatory open offer that an acquirer needs to make to minority shareholders. SEBI has appointed N Venkatram MD and CEO, Deloitte India as the new member of this Takeover Panel. SEBI had first constituted this Takeover Panel in November 2007, under the chairmanship of former Bank of Baroda chairman K Kannan.

Four- Members Panel are:

•Chairman: Justice N. K. Sodhi (Former Chief Justice of High Courts of Karnataka & Kerala and Former Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal).

•Member: Darius Khambata (Former Advocate General, Maharashtra).

•Member: Thomas Mathew T (Former chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India).

•Member: N Venkatram (MD and CEO, Deloitte India).

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Important Current Affairs 21st June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Ebrahim Raisi will be new President of Iran

•Ebrahim Raisi has won the 2021 Iranian presidential election, winning 62 per cent of the vote with about 90 per cent of ballots counted.

•The 60-year-old Raisi will succeed Hassan Rouhani in August 2021, to begin his four-year term. He is also the Chief Justice of Iran since March 2019.

NATIONAL

PAN to be declared ‘INOPERATIVE’ if not linked before June 30, 2021

•The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had recently extended the deadline to link Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar number to June 30, 2021, due to the difficulties posed by the ongoing C-19 pandemic. So now as the deadline is fast approaching, here are some guidelines which must be kept in mind.

•As per the new Section 234H of the Income-tax Act 1961, which has been recently introduced during Budget 2021, the PAN cards which are not linked to Aadhaar after June 30, 2021, would be declared “inoperative”, as well as a penalty of Rs 1,000 may also be imposed. On the other hand, the person will be considered as an individual without a PAN card.

OBITUARY

DPIIT Secretary G. Mohapatra Passed Away due to C-19

•Guruprasad Mohapatra, the Secretary in the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), has passed away due to C-19 related complications.

•Before being appointed as DPIIT secretary in August 2019, Mohapatra served as Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). He was a Gujarat cadre 1986 batch IAS officer, who had earlier served as joint secretary in the Department of Commerce.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice 2021: 21 June

•International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is observed globally on 21st June. This day bring awareness about solstices and equinoxes and their significance for several religions and ethnic cultures. The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 20th June 2019 within Resolution A/RES/73/300.

•Solstice is that the point at which the Sun is at its greatest distance from the world and equinox is when space is that the lowest. Both solstice and equinox have their own significance for Christians, Muslims, and other religions. A solstice derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”) because the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) appears to “standstill” at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction is an occasion that occurs when the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly day-arc relative to the equator.

International Day of Yoga 2021: 21 June

•United Nations celebrates International Day of Yoga globally on 21 June every year to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

•Recognizing this important role of Yoga, this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Yoga focuses on “Yoga for well-being” – how the practice of Yoga can promote the holistic health of every individual.

•India proposed the draft resolution establish the International Day of Yoga and the proposal was endorsed by a record 175 member states. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131.

World Refugee Day 2021: 20 June

•World Refugee Day is observed every year on June 20 to respect and honour the courage and resilience of refugees across the world. The United Nations observes this day to honour the refugees who have been forced outside of their homes. The day aims to build understanding and empathy for refugees building their lives in countries new to them.

•This year the theme for World Refugee Day is ‘Together we heal, learn and shine’. The United Nations has stated that the coronavirus disease (C-19) pandemic has made it evident that we can only succeed by standing together. The UN has called for the greater inclusion of refugees in the healthcare system across the world.

•World Refugee Day was celebrated for the first time on June 20, 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The United Nations General Assembly officially designated June 20 as World Refugee Day in December 2000.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Environmental Organisation ‘Familial Forestry’ wins prestigious UN Award

•The 2021 Land for Life Award has been won by Familial Forestry of Rajasthan, a unique concept that relates a tree with a family, making it a green “family member.” The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organises the Land for Life Award every two years to recognize excellence and innovation in efforts towards land in balance.

•The theme for the 2021 Award is “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”. The Land for Life Award was launched at the UNCCD COP (Conference of Parties) 10 in 2011. and is considered as the world’s highest reward regarding land conservation and restoration.

•Familial Forestry is an environment conservation concept by climate-activist Shyam Sunder Jyani, an Associate Professor for Sociology in Rajasthan, who has been campaigning for Familial Forestry for over 15 years.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Centrum gets RBI’s in-principle nod to take over PMC Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given “in-principle” approval to Centrum Financial Services Ltd (CFSL) to set up a small finance bank (SFB), which will take over the beleaguered Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank). It will get 120 days to commence operations. The amalgamation with PMC Bank is a separate process that would involve notification of the scheme by the government.

•The first year the partners would put in Rs 900 crore, which will be used for starting the business and acquiring PMC Bank. The second round of equity funding of Rs 900 crore will happen in the following year.

•The “in-principle” approval has been given to Centrum in accordance with the offer it made in response to the expression of interest (EoI) to take over PMC Bank. The consortium of Centrum and BharatPe had expressed an interest in taking over PMC Bank. According to reports, both Centrum and BharatPe will hold 50 per cent in the small finance bank and the assets and liabilities of the multistate cooperative bank will be transferred to it.

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Important Current Affairs 20th June 2021

NATIONAL

CM Arvind Kejriwal launched ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ Campaign

•Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ campaign, with the aim to vaccinate all people above 45 years against C-19 in Delhi within the next four weeks. There are around 57 lakhs people above 45 years in Delhi. Among them, 27 lakhs have been administered the first dose. The rest 30 lakh people still remain to be vaccinated with the first dose.

•The booth level officers (BLO) are being trained for this purpose. The BLOs will reach every home and enquire about people above 45 years. These officials will inform about the slots for vaccination at the nearest booth. If a person refuses to go to the vaccination centres, the BLOs will request him and try to convince him in this regard.

PM Narendra Modi launched crash course to train one lakh ‘C-19 warriors’

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a crash course to train more than one lakh “C-19 warriors” as he called on the country to be prepared for challenges the coronavirus pandemic may pose in the future. The programme will be to be carried out from 111 training centres spread across 26 states. Amid all these efforts, skilled manpower is critical. For this and to support the current force of coronavirus warriors, one lakh youths are being trained. This training should be over in 2-3 months.

•The training will be imparted to C-19 warriors in six customised job roles — Home Care Support, Basic Care Support, Advanced Care Support, Emergency Care Support, Sample Collection Support, and Medical Equipment Support. This will include fresh skilling as well as upskilling of those who have some training in this type of work.

SPORTS

Ireland’s all-rounder cricketer Kevin O’Brien Announces Retirement

•Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien has announced his retirement from one-day internationals. The 37-year-old Dubliner, who remains available for Test and T20 cricket, won 153 caps in the 50-over format, scoring over 3,000 runs and taking a national record 114 wickets in the format with his lively medium pace.

•But he is best known for a blistering World Cup hundred that saw Ireland beat England by three wickets in Bangalore during the 2011 edition. His 50-ball hundred remains the quickest in World Cup history, with O’Brien hammering an England attack that featured James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and off-spinner Graeme Swann.

OBITUARY

Mufti Faiz-ul-Waheed, passed away

•Renowned Jammu-based Islamic scholar Mufti Faiz-ul-Waheed, who first translated Quran into Gojri language, has passed away in a Jammu. The scholar had also authored several booklets including ‘Siraj-um-Muneera’, ‘Ahkam-e-Mayyat’ and ‘Namaz Kae Masayil Quran-o-Hadees Ki Roshni Mei’.

•Gurjari – also known as Gujari, Gujri, Gojari, or Gojri – is a variety of Indo-Aryan spoken by the Gurjars and other tribes of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The language is mainly spoken in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India.

First President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda passed away

•Zambian politician Kenneth Kaunda, who served as the first President of Zambia, has passed away.

•Mr Kaunda served as the first President of independent Zambia for 27 years from 1964 to 1991. Zambia gained independence from Britain in October 1964.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

LTI Awarded Snowflake Global Innovation Partner of the Year

•Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has been recognized as the Global Innovation Partner of the Year by Snowflake, the Data Cloud Company. LTI received this prestigious recognition during Snowflake Virtual Partner Summit.

•The award represents a key milestone for the strategic partnership between LTI and Snowflake and will strengthen collaboration between the companies to empower enterprises with innovative solutions and services.

ReNew Power CMD Sumant Sinha recognised as SDG Pioneers by UNGC

•United Nations Global Compact has recognised Sumant Sinha, Chairman & MD of ReNew Power, as one of the ten SDG Pioneers 2021, for his work to advance access to clean and affordable energy. SDG Pioneers are business leaders selected by the UN Global Compact for doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

•This honour comes in recognition of Sumant ‘s work to advance access to clean and affordable energy (SDG 7). As the leader of India’s leading renewable energy company, ReNew Power, Sumant has set an example by building the core business of ReNew Power around the targets of SDG 7.

RANKING

World Competitiveness Index 2021: India maintains 43rd rank

•India maintained 43rd rank on an annual World Competitiveness Index compiled by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) that examined the impact of C-19 on economies around the world this year.

•The IMD World Competitiveness Ranking ranks 64 economies and assesses the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people by measuring economic well-being through hard data and survey responses from executives.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IndusInd Bank launched digital lending platform “IndusEasy Credit”

•IndusInd Bank announced the launch of ‘IndusEasy Credit’, a comprehensive digital lending platform that enables customers to meet their financial requirements from the comfort of their homes. With this, both existing, as well as non-IndusInd Bank customer, can instantly avail of personal loans or credit cards on a single platform in a completely paperless and digital manner.

•A first of its kind proposition, ‘IndusEasyCredit’ offers a fully digital end to end process that leverages the power of India’s public digital infrastructure – ‘Indiastack’ to offer personal loans and credit cards in a paperless, presence less and cashless manner.

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Important Current Affairs 19th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

ESA will launch world’s first wooden satellite from New Zealand

•The European Space Agency (ESA) has planned to launch the world’s first wooden satellite. It is going to be launched from New Zealand. It will be launched from a Rocket Lab Electron rocket by the end of 2021. The satellite is the brainchild of Jari Makinen.

•The satellite, WISA Woodsat, is a nanosatellite. It is 10cm on each side, length, height, and width.

•The sensors of the satellite have been developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and designers have placed the wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to keep it dry.

•A very thin aluminium oxide layer has been used to minimize the vapour coming from the wood and to protect it from the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. The non-wooden external parts are made up of aluminium rails.

NATIONAL

MP Govt launched ‘Yuva Shakti C-19 Mukti Abhiyan’

•The Government of Madhya Pradesh has launched ‘Yuva Shakti C-19 Mukti Abhiyan’ to make the people of the state aware of the ongoing C-19 pandemic. It translates to free from C-19 with the help of the youth power campaign. Students in colleges in small groups will be given information and details about the significance of C-19-friendly behaviour and vaccination.

•On the instructions of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the campaign has been launched by the higher education and the technical education department of the state in collaboration with the public healthcare and family welfare department.

Rajasthan govt will set Vedic Education and Sanskar Board for Sanskrit scriptures and Vedas

•The Rajasthan government will soon set up a Vedic Education and Sanskar Board to revive the knowledge of Sanskrit scriptures and Vedas. The board is likely to be formed in the next four to five months.

•A committee, formed to define aims, objectives and functioning of the board, has submitted its report to the state government, Minister of State (MoS) for Sanskrit Education Subhash Garg mentioned, adding modules will be presented before the board based on the report. He stated the Vedic board would come into function after approval from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

OBITUARY

Legendary the Flying Sikh/Milkha Singh passed away

•Legendary Indian sprinter, Milkha Singh has passed away due to C-19virus disease (C-19), at the age of 91. A former army man, Milkha Singh won several laurels for the country in track and field events across the globe.

•Singh won four gold medals for India in the Asian Games, winning the 200 metre and 400-metre races in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad. He followed it up with gold medals in the 400 metre and 4×400 metre relay races in the 1962 Jakarta Asiad. He was unlucky to have missed out on an Olympic medal as he finished a close fourth in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Government of India appointed Aashish Chandorkar as director at India’s WTO mission

•The government of India has appointed a private person Aashish Chandorkar as Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission in the World Trade Organisation for three years. For the first time, a private person has been appointed at the Mission.

• Chandorkar is director of Bengaluru-based policy think tank Smahi Foundation of Policy and Research. The WTO is a 164-member multi-lateral body, which deals with global trade. India is a member since 1995.

Puma India has extended partnership with Yuvraj Singh

•Global sports brand Puma India has extended partnership with former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who has been associated with the brand for over a decade. Moving from cricket to the fast lane, Yuvraj will now be seen in a new avatar as the face of Puma Motorsport in India, showcasing his passion for fast cars and sports-inspired fashion. With this, Yuvraj has joined the brand’s global league of legends like Thierry Henry, Boris Becker and Usain Bolt.

•Globally, Puma is associated with Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, BMW M Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport. With India being one of the biggest markets for Puma motorsport, the brand looks to capitalise on the growing demand for street style products inspired by performance gear.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Reading Day 2021: 19 June

•The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) celebrates National Reading Day annually on 19 June. The Day is celebrated to honour the father of the ‘Library Movement in Kerala’, the late P.N. Panicker, whose death anniversary falls on June 19. In 2021, 26th National Reading Day is being celebrated. The week following June 19 will be observed as Reading Week and the entire month till July 18 will be observed as Reading Month.

•The first Reading Day celebration was held in 1996. On June 19, 2017, Prime Minister launched the 22nd National Reading Month Celebrations and called for unity to spread the message of ‘Read and Grow’ among all the citizens of the country by 2022.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 2021 : 19 June

•International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed globally on 19th June every year. The day aims to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.

•On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) announced 19 June of consistently the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The date was picked to recognize the selection on 19 June 2008 of Security Council goals 1820 (2008), during which the Council censured sexual savagery as a strategy of war and a hindrance to peacebuilding. 2021 marks the seventh year of celebration of the day.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

A new trade agreement between UK and Australia

•A new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will deliver more Australian jobs and business opportunities for exporters, bringing both countries closer together in a changing strategic environment. Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson have agreed on the broad outlines of an Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

•The FTA is the right deal for Australia and the United Kingdom, with greater access to a range of high-quality products made in both countries as well as greater access for businesses and workers, all of which will drive economic growth and job creation in both countries. Australian producers and farmers will receive a significant boost by getting greater access to the UK market.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

LIC CSL launched prepaid gift card in collaboration with IDBI Bank on RuPay platform

•LIC Cards Services (LIC CSL) has launched a contactless prepaid gift card, ‘Shagun’, in collaboration with IDBI Bank on the RuPay platform. The purpose of this card is to expand the gift card market with an intent to promote cashless ways of gifting and present a wide range of end-use choices and in a future foray into the market of e-gift cards. NPCI partnered with LIC CSL & IDBI Bank for the launch of the Shagun Gift Card on RuPay network.

•Shagun card, in the initial phase, will be available to LIC and its subsidiaries for official use. The card will be used to facilitate awards and special rewards during official conferences and functions.

•The Shagun gift card offers customisation in the form of flexible loading of any amount ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000. With this card, the customer can perform multiple transactions within the validity of 3 years.

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Important Current Affairs 18th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

SIPRI has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021

•Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021. The report assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security. China is in the middle of significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory, and India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals.

•According to the yearbook, India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to 150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020.

•China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads up from 320 at the start of 2020.

•The nine nuclear-armed states – the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.

NATIONAL

Validity of Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum extended till 31 December 2021

•The extension would facilitate the holders of EM Part II and UAMs to avail benefits of the provisions under the various existing schemes and incentives including Priority Sector Lending benefits of MSME, the ministry said.

•In a bid to provide relief to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) amid the Covid scenario, the government has extended the validity of the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) from March 31 to December 31.

•The ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises has issued an amendment to the original notification and extended the validity of Enterprise Memorandum (EM) Part II for the same duration as well. The extension would facilitate the holders of EM Part II and UAMs to avail benefits of the provisions under the various existing schemes and incentives including Priority Sector Lending benefits of MSME, the ministry said.

Telangana government has launched the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM)

•Telangana government has launched the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM) powered by Nasscom and as part of the T-AIM, an accelerator programme called “Revv Up” has been launched to enable and empower AI startups. The programme that will begin its first cohort in July is another step towards making Telangana and Hyderabad a global destination for AI and other emerging technologies.

•The accelerator programme, exclusively designed for growth-stage AI startups, will cover various sectors.

•Telangana Industries and IT principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan stated, “Telangana is committed to its vision of positioning the State as the leader in AI.

Government of India launched “Project O2 for India” initiative

•The government of India has launched ‘Project O2 for India’ to step up production of medical oxygen to meet the potential increase in demand due to further waves of the pandemic. ‘Project O2 for India’, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (GoI), aims to help stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet the rise in demand for medical oxygen.

•Under the project, a ‘National Consortium of Oxygen’ is enabling the supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators. Besides, the consortium is also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Approved Budgetary Support of Rs 499 cr for innovations

•Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX-DIO (Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation) for the next five years. The funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators with a larger goal of ensuring self-reliance in the defence sector. The scheme is in sync with the government’s push to cut imports of military hardware and weapons and make India a hub for defence manufacturing.

•Facilitate rapid development of new, indigenized, and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector in shorter timelines.

•Create a culture of engagement with innovative startups, to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace sectors.

•Defence Innovation Organisation(DIO) is a not-for-profit Organisation, incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act.

•Founding Members: Its two founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

SPORTS

Madhya Pradesh’s para shooter wins gold at Peru event; creates world record

•Madhya Pradesh shooter Rubina Francis has set a world record and won herself the gold in the 10-metre air pistol para women event at World shooting Para Sport Cup in Peru on Wednesday. Rubina, 21, scored 238.1 points and beat the world record of Aysegul Pehlivanlar of Turkey, also securing the Paralympic quota for India at the Tokyo games this year.

•Rubina started the learning basics of shooting in 2006 in a camp organised by an academy in Jabalpur where she practised for 10 years before moving to Bhopal. In 2017, she started practising at MP Shooting Academy.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Autistic Pride Day 2021: 18 June

•Every year, Autistic Pride Day is observed on June 18 globally to create awareness about autism among people and recognise the importance of pride for autistic people and its role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.

•The day is represented by a rainbow infinity symbol which denotes the infinite possibilities that autistic people have. Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 2005, at the initiative of an organisation named Aspies for Freedom.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2021: 18 June

•Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed on 18 June globally to focus the attention of the world on the role that sustainable gastronomy plays in our lives. The day was designated by UN General Assembly on 21 December 2016.

•Gastronomy means the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food. In other words, Sustainable gastronomy takes into account where the ingredients are from, how the food is grown and how it gets to our markets and eventually to our plates. The day reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.

RANKING

Turkey first & India ranked Second in share of central bank surplus transfers

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was second in terms of reserves transferred to the government as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year 2020-21. Turkey has been ranked first.

•RBI has transferred Rs 99,122-crore surplus to the government for FY21 which is 73% higher than the Rs 57,128 crore paid out in 2019-20. The surplus transferred by RBI constitutes 0.44% of GDP, while that of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey constitutes 0.5% of GDP.

15th edition of Global Peace Index 2021 released

•The 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney, the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. The index ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

Global

•Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.

•It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.

•Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.

South Asia:

•India has moved up two notches from its previous year’s ranking to become the 135th most peaceful country in the world and the 5th in the region.

•Bhutan and Nepal are named as the first and second most peaceful in this region.

•Bangladesh has been ranked 91th out of 163 countries in Global Peace Index for 2021. According to the list, Bangladesh is the 3rd most peaceful in South Asia.

•Sri Lanka has slipped down 19 rungs from 2020, to become 95th globally in this year’s rankings, and the 4th in South Asia.

•The largest improvement in peacefulness in South Asia occurred in Pakistan, which ranked 150th globally and 6th in the region, by moving up two notches from the previous year’s ranking.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank launched ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’

•ICICI Bank has announced the launch of ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’, a comprehensive set of digital banking solutions for corporates and their entire ecosystem including promoters, group companies, employees, dealers, vendors and all other stakeholders. The wide range of 360-degree solutions enables corporates to seamlessly meet all banking requirements of their ecosystem in an expeditious and frictionless manner.

•With this launch, ICICI Bank aims to be the preferred banking partner for companies and their entire ecosystem. The environment in which corporate customers operate is becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive with accelerated digital adoption transforming every business. In this ever-changing environment, a banking partner, which can serve not only the corporates but also the entire ecosystems where they operate, adds significant value to corporate customers.

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Important Current Affairs 16th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Joe Biden names big tech critic Lina Khan as FTC chair

•President Joe Biden named Lina Khan chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, an unexpected move that puts one of the most prominent advocates of aggressive antitrust enforcement against US technology giants in charge of the agency.

•News of Khan’s appointment came hours after the Senate confirmed her for a seat on the FTC by a vote of 69-28. She will take over the agency from Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who has been a commissioner for three years and had been expected by some to be tapped by Biden to lead the agency permanently.

•Khan’s elevation to chairwoman marks her rapid rise to the top of US antitrust enforcement. Currently a professor at Columbia Law School, just a few years ago she was a law student at Yale University. Now the 32-year-old is in charge of one of two agencies responsible for policing competition in the US The other is the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

2021 NATO Summit Held in Brussels, Belgium

•The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held a face-to-face summit on NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The 2021 Brussels summit of NATO was the 31st formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the alliance. The summit of the 30-member NATO group was held as a part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip since he took office.

•All the leaders agreed on the “NATO 2030” agenda, a comprehensive initiative to make sure that the alliance remains ready to face future challenges.

•The agenda also states that NATO will strengthen political consultation and the resilience of society, reinforce defence and deterrence, sharpen the technological edge, and develop its next Strategic Concept in time for the summit in 2022.

•The bloc agreed on a new cyber defence policy, to ensure that the bloc has strong technical capabilities, political consultations, and military planning in place to “keep its systems secure.”

NATIONAL

IIT Ropar develops India’s first power-free CPAP device ‘Jivan Vayu’

•The Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Ropar has developed a device dubbed ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.  Jivan Vayu can deliver high flow oxygen up to 60 Litres Per Minute (LPM).

•This machine is India’s first such device that functions even without electricity and can work on both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals.

•Earlier these provisions were not available in existing CPAP machines.

•CPAP therapy is a treatment method for patients having breathing problems during sleep called sleep apnea.

SPORTS

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat clinched gold medal in Poland open

•Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in the 53 kg category at the Poland Open. It is her third title of the season. Earlier, She had won gold at the Matteo Pellicone event (March) and Asian Championship (April).

•She defeated Ukraine’s Khrystyna Bereza in the final. Khrystyna Bereza won the silver medal at the Poland Open. Earlier, Indian wrestler Anshu Malik pulled out of the 57kg competition due to fever.

Portugal legend Ronaldo breaks Euros goal record and becomes first player to feature at five finals tournaments

•Cristiano Ronaldo now stands alone as the all-time record goalscorer at European Championships, after also becoming the first player to feature at five finals tournaments in Portugal's 3-0 win over Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday.

•The Juventus forward has represented his country at every Euros since Portugal hosted the tournament in 2004, and he remains the talisman of the reigning champions 17 years later.

•Ronaldo added several records to his impressive individual collection of honours on Tuesday, becoming the top scorer in Euros history when he netted his 10th goal in the competition with a late penalty, which was followed by his 11th in stoppage time.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Bijender Goel Nominated as Founder President of the Indian Delphic Council (INDC)

•Mr. Bijender Goel - a Former Special Representative to Jharkhand (Cabinet Minister Rank), Former Adviser to Union Labour and Employment Minister, Government of India, Chairman of the National Council on Disaster management, ASSOCHAM, Member, Governing Council of Bir Tikendrajit University, Manipur and known for introducing earthquake onsite early warning technology in South Asia; has been nominated as the Founding President of the Indian Delphic Council (INDC) to head the Indian movement.

•He is also Advisor of the South Asian Affairs of the International Delphic Council.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Global Wind Day 2021: 15 June

•Every year the Global Wind Day is celebrated worldwide on 15 June to spread awareness about wind energy, the various uses of wind energy, and the ways and possibilities as to how wind energy can help change the world. Global Wind Day was first observed as Wind Day in 2007. Later, it was renamed Global Wind Day in 2009. Global Wind Day is organized by WindEurope and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

•According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), wind energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the world. India will install 20GW of wind capacity over 2021-25. Wind energy is a source of clean energy and it is inexhaustible. At present, India has a total installed wind power capacity of 38.789 GW. India has the fourth-largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

RRU Signs MoU With The Black Cat Commandos, National Security Guard (NSG)

•Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) has signed an MoU with the Black Cat Commandos to create indigenous anti-drone systems and other advancements.

•Taking the endeavors to create indigenous anti-drone systems, agile bomb disposal suits, night vision optics, and setting up a state-of-the-art forensics lab ahead, Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) has signed an MoU with the Black Cat Commandos.

•Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), an Institute of National Importance pioneering in National Security and Police Administration of India set up under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India with a mandate to serve the nation by inculcating the latest technology for better Policing and National Security has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Security Guard (NSG) an elite zero error force under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The MoU was signed between Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Vice-Chancellor, RRU, and Shri M.A. Ganapathy, IPS, Director General, NSG in presence of Dr. Akshat Mehta, University Dean, RRU; Shri Konark Rai, Managing Director, Security, and Scientific-Technical Research Association and the entire NSG echelons. The occasion was witnessed online by Dr. Hemant Darbari, Director-General, C-DAC (RRU Partner), and the dignitaries from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

RANKING

International Day of Family Remittances: 16 June

•The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is observed on 16 June. The IDFR recognizes the more than 200 million migrant workers, women and men, who send money home to over 800 million family members.

•This day further highlights the great resilience of migrant workers in the face of economic insecurities, natural and climate-related disasters and a global pandemic. The first International Day of Family Remittances was celebrated on June 16, 2015.

India ranked 14th in World Giving Index 2021

•India has been ranked at 14th spot among 114 countries in the World Giving Index 2021, by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). This rank is up from its 10-year global rank of 82. The World Giving Index ranking has been topped by Indonesia, followed by Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar and Australia in the top five respectively.

•Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is an international organisation based in the United Kingdom, that promotes giving to transform lives and communities across the world. World Giving Index offers a unique glimpse of global trends in generosity, and people from which country are most likely to engage in social activities for the benefit of their communities and to champion the growth of global giving.

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Important Current Affairs 15th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Naftali Bennett is Israel’s new Prime Minister

•Naftali Bennett, the former Defence Minister of Israel, and leader of the Yamina party took oath as the Prime Minister of the country. The 49-year-old former tech entrepreneur replaces Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been forced out of office after 12 years (2009 to 2021). (Netanyahu is the longest-serving PM of Israel).

•Bennett will lead a new coalition government, formed with Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party. The new Coalition government will run on a rotation basis, which means that Bennett would serve as Israel’s prime minister until September 2023, following which Lapid would take charge of the office, for the next two years, until 2025.

NATIONAL

Jammu kashmir to set up mythological theme park

•The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to set up a theme park to showcase Indian mythology, particularly the Ramayana and Mahabharata, near the famous Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district and has sought investors for the project.

•The Katra Theme Park will combine education and entertainment and of course, mythology will headline Jammu and Kashmir's economic development, which aims to take a different route.

•The Union Territory's attempt at development, senior government officials said, will not be by building cement-making factories, but by using unique methods.

IIT launches new centre for digital Health

•The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has set up the 'Koita Centre for Digital Health' (KCDH) under the aegis of the Koita Foundation. KCDH will be focused on driving academic programmes, research and industry collaboration in Digital Health. KCDH's academic and research focus areas include clinical applications (including electronic patient records and medical imaging), healthcare data management (including healthcare data privacy and security), healthcare analytics, healthcare AI/ML, consumer health, public health and public policy.

•KCDH will offer minor, dual degree, Masters and PhD programs in Healthcare Informatics.

•KCDH will conduct industry, outreach programs for healthcare and industry professionals in digital health and enable them to act as force-multipliers.

SPORTS

Vinoo Mankad and 9 others inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

•The ICC has inducted 10 icons of the game, including India’s Vinoo Mankad, into its illustrious Hall of Fame with two players each from five eras, dating back to cricket’s early days, making it to the list. The announcement has been coincided with the inaugural World Test Championship final, to be played between India and New Zealand from June 18 in Southampton.

•The 10 legends of the game to be inducted have all made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket, and join an illustrious list of ICC Hall of Famers, taking the total number to 103 as a result of this intake. The inductees are:

•Aubrey Faulkner of South Africa and Monty Noble of Australia for the early era (pre-1918),

•Sir Learie Constantine of West Indies and Stan McCabe of Australia for the inter-war Era (1918-1945),

D. Gukesh wins Gelfand Challenge chess title

•D. Gukesh sensationally won the $15,000 Gelfand Challenge chess title and with it, a ‘wild card’ for the elite Meltwaters Champions Chess Tour.

•He won all four rounds, including the key battle against Praggnanandhaa, and emerged on top after a series of favourable results from the games involving other title-contenders.

OBITUARY

National award winning Kannada actor Sanchari Vijay passes away

•Veteran Kannada film actor Sanchari Vijay, who won the National award in 2015, has passed away.

•He made his debut in films in 2011 with the Kannada film Rangappa Hogbitna. His 2015 film Naanu Avanalla…Avalu, fetched him the Best Actor Award at the 62nd National Film Awards, in which he played the role of a transgender.

Former Indian volleyball captain Nirmal Milkha Singh passes away

•The former Indian women volleyball team captain Nirmal Milkha Kaur, who is the wife of sprint legend Milkha Singh (Flying Sikh), has passed away due to COVID-19 complications.

•Nirmal Milkha Singh was also a former Director of Sports for Women in the Punjab Government.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021: 15 June

•World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed globally on 15th June every year. This day is celebrated to raise a voice for the elderly who are abused and victimized. The main objective of this day is to provide an opportunity for communities around the globe to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by creating awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

•The day was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011 bypassing the resolution 66/127 of the United Nations following a request from the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Federal Bank partners with Infosys

•Federal Bank, to improve its marketing, sales and offer a better customer experience, has partnered with Infosys for Oracle CX adoption, a cloud-based tool to manage the relationship with customers.

•Federal Bank is an Indian commercial financial services institution headquartered in Kerala with generating revenue of more than $1.5 billion. The bank is spanned over 1,400 branches working with the cooperation of 11,000 employees.

•Now the bank has decided to transform its service offering model, and partnership with Infosys for Oracle CX implementation is a step in this direction.

•Shalini Warrier, the Executive director and business head for retail, in collaboration with Infosys for Oracle CX adoption, said that it fits with the bank’s value of using digital resources to build a human-like relationship with the customers.

India’s retail inflation touches 6.3%  in May 2021

•India’s retail inflation shot up to a six-month high of 6.3 per cent in May, after easing to a three-month low of 4.23 per cent in April. Inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), has breached the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target range for the first time after five months. The RBI is mandated to maintain the crucial number at 4 per cent in the medium term, with a 2 percentage point margin on either side as part of its inflation target.

•National Statistical Office data for retail inflation showed food inflation shot up to 5% in May from 2% in April as prices of protein items such as meat, fish, eggs, oils and fats accelerated. The fuel bill also went up 11.6% as the government increased retail prices of petrol and diesel after state election results on 2 May. Services inflation jumped as costs of health, transport and personal care rose during the second wave of the pandemic.

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