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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 17th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

NATO leaders declared China a global security challenge

•NATO leaders declared that China poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine global order. This is a message in sync with US President Joe Biden’s efforts to get allies to speak out with a more unified voice against China’s trade, military and human rights practices.

•The NATO leaders said that China’s goals and ‘assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security. The warning to China comes as Biden has stepped up his effort to rally allies to put up a unified voice about China’s human rights record. Biden has also criticised China’s trade practices and its military’s increasingly assertive behaviour that has unnerved US allies in the Pacific.

Satya Nadella as new chairman of Microsoft

•Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He took over as the software giant’s CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.  He is credited with bringing new energy to the company, founded in 1975. The company also appointed former chairman John Thompson as a lead independent director.

•The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.

NATIONAL

Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech

•Prime Minister, Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech. VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events of Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016. PM Modi was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, which has been organised from 16-19 June 2021 in Paris. During his address, PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars: Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.

•Other prominent speakers of the event include the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries.

•VivaTech is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group.

•The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem.

•It includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions and startup contests.

IIT Bombay Hosts Conference of BRICS Network Universities 2021

•The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) is hosting a three day virtual “Conference of BRICS Network Universities”. This conference is being held as a part of India’s Chairmanship of the 13th BRICS Summit in 2021. The basic objective of BRICS Network University is enhancing educational cooperation in general, and especially in the realm of research and innovation. The theme of the Conference of BRICS Network Universities is “Electric Mobility”.

•The event will see 18 experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China and S. Africa deliver keynotes on various aspects of electric mobility like traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and linkage between e-mobility and livelihoods.

•Around 100 students, researchers and faculty from the BRICS Network Universities of the five-member countries will participate in the conference.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the Global Yoga Conference 2021

•Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference 2021. The event was organised by ‘Mokshayatan Yog Sansthan’ along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India &Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga which falls on 21st June 2021.

•Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted how Yoga has helped people during COVID restrictions on public activities. The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence. With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practising Yoga and related activities.

Raja Parba- Odisha’s Famous Festival celebrated

•Raja Parba festival celebrated in Odisha. It is a 3-days unique festival in which the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood is celebrated by the state. It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation. The fourth day is the day of the ‘purification bath’. During 3 days, women don’t work.

•This festival is synonymous with varieties of cakes (pithas). Thus, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has also launched a special programme named ‘Pitha on Wheels’. Different kinds of pithas such as ‘Poda Pitha’, ‘Manda’, ‘Kakara’, ‘Arisha’, ‘Chakuli’ and ‘Chandrakala’ have been made available on ‘Pitha on Wheels’ (kiosks on wheels). These vehicles selling traditional cakes have been stationed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Sambalpur.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Mukesh Sharma appointed honorary member of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group

•Mukesh Sharma, a faculty at IIT Kanpur, has been appointed as an honorary member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Air Pollution and Health – Technical Advisory Group (GAPH-TAG). Members of the Technical Advisory Group are selected across the globe and appointed by the Director-General, WHO. Sharma, associated with the civil engineering department at IIT Kanpur and an air quality expert, has melded rigorous research with policy engagement.

•The Technical Advisory Group is an advisory body to provide technical guidance and inputs to support the WHO’s efforts and work in the fields of air pollution and health issues.

•It also helps with how member countries could achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) related to air pollution and health such as SDGs 3.9.1, 7.1.2 and 11.6.2.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021: 17 June

•World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, and highlight methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.

•“Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

•In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty. The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI allows prepaid mobile recharges through Bharat Bill Payment System

•According to RBI, The scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be expanded by August 31 this year by adding ‘mobile prepaid recharges as a biller category. BBPS is an interoperable platform for recurring bill payments operated by the National Payments Corporation of India.

•In May, 213.59 million bill payment transactions were carried out through the BBPS channel. BBPS was started in 2014 as a platform for repetitive bill payments.

Federal Bank enlists Infosys for Oracle CX implementation

•Federal Bank has expanded its strategic collaboration with Oracle and Infosys, to offer an enhanced customer experience through Oracle CX (Customer Experience) platform. The collaboration will focus on creating a comprehensive integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution across marketing, sales, customer service, and social listening to strengthen Federal Bank’s operations, and to deliver connected, data-driven, and intelligent customer experiences across all touchpoints.

•Federal Bank will launch a 360-degree view of the customer portfolio in a single application for its users, to achieve a ‘Single Source of Truth’. These services will help improve productivity and customer satisfaction by using the financial, biographical, and demographical information of customers. Oracle will co-innovate by partnering with the broader ecosystem of Infosys.

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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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Important Current Affairs 14th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Israel will become the World’s First Mask-Free Country from June 15

•Israel will become the world’s first mask-free country in the Corona period. Here the rule of applying masks in closed places will end from June 15. This was announced by Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. The rule of applying masks outside has already been abolished in the country.

•However, most restrictions related to foreign travel have not yet been lifted. For example, travel to nine countries is still banned. There is a rule of quarantine for travellers coming from these countries. His corona test is also being done.

NATIONAL

Weyan village in Bandipora, India’s first to inoculate all adults

•Weyan, a village in district Bandipora (J&K) has become the first village in the country, where the entire population above 18 years has been vaccinated. The vaccination in Weyan village was covered under the J&K model, a 10-point strategy to inoculate everyone who is eligible for the shots at a faster pace.

•The Union territory also achieved 70 per cent vaccination for those in the 45+ age group despite the initial vaccine hesitancy, almost double the national average. The village is located only 28 kilometres away from Bandipora district headquarters, but a distance of 18 kilometres has to be covered by foot as there is no motorable road.

SPORTS

Novak Djokovic wins French Open Tennis Title 2021

•Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the French Open title for the second time in his career. Djokovic, with his 19th Grand Slam title, has closed in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam titles list. Both the players have won 20 Grand Slams each.

•Djokovic has also become the first man in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice. (He has won the Australian Open nine times, Wimbledon five times, and the US Open three times.) He has become the first man in 52 years, after Rod Laver, to win all the four Grand Slams twice. Overall, he is the third male tennis player to achieve this unique feat. The third being Roy Emerson.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

IIT Roorkee prof bags NSG award for ‘blast-resistant’ helmet

•Shailesh Govind Ganpule, an assistant professor at the mechanical and industrial engineering department (MIED), was conferred the award with the ‘NSG Counter-IED and Counter-Terrorism Innovator Award 2021′ for developing a “blast-resistant” helmet. This was the second edition of the annual award by NSG. Ceremony held at the National Security Guard (NSG) campus in Maneswar, near Gurgaon.

•The ‘Blast-Resistant Helmet’ designed by Prof. Shailesh Ganpule is an advanced version of conventional helmets to protect military personnel from IED-induced blast waves with a technology readiness of 4.

OBITUARY

Mahavir Chakra recipient Brigadier Raghubir Singh passes away

•Mahavir Chakra recipient legendary veteran, Brigadier Raghubir Singh has passed away. He was commissioned on 18 Apr 1943 into the Sawaiman Guards as a Second Lieutenant and fought a number of wars including the second world war. For this gallant act, the then President of India, Dr S Radhakrishnan, honoured Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) Raghubir Singh with Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest gallantry award in the country.

•He participated in the Burma war in 1944 and went to Japan to fight.

•Thereafter, he fought in the Indo Pak war of 1947-48 in the Uri sector immediately after independence.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Biotechnology company MyLab appoints Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador

•Bollywood superstar, Akshay Kumar has been appointed as the new brand ambassador of biotechnology company Mylab Discovery Solutions.

•This announcement comes days after the Pune-based firm launched the country’s first COVID-19 self-test kit “CoviSelf”. The partnership with Akshay is aimed at creating awareness for Mylab’s products and kits such as CoviSelf.

RANKING

India ranks 67th in Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021

•As per the ‘Global Skills Report 2021’ released by Coursera, India has been ranked 67th overall globally. The report reveals that, overall, India ranks 67th globally, with 38 per cent proficiency, with mid-rankings in each domain, 55th in business and 66th in both technology and data science. Indian learners have high proficiency in digital skills like Cloud Computing (83%) and Machine Learning (52%) & 54% in Mathematical skills. Improvement is needed in digital skills because in Data Analysis and Statistical programming, ranked only at 25% and 15% skills proficiency. But, Indians trail behind in data skills and need to focus on that.

•The report is based on performance data of about 77 million learners (from across 100 countries) on the platform collected since the onset of the pandemic. It benchmarks skills proficiency across 3 categories – Business, Technology and data science.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘Home in the World’ Book: by Amartya Sen’s memoir

•One of the world’s leading public intellectuals of our time, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has penned his memoir ‘Home in the World’.

•The book will be published in July by Penguin Random House. In this book, Sen shares how it was Rabindranath Tagore who gave him his name Amartya. He also reminisces the conversations at Calcutta’s famous Coffee House and at Cambridge, and Marx’s, Keynes’ and Arrow’s ideas all of which shaped his views.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IDFC FIRST Bank launches Customer COVID relief Ghar Ghar Ration Program

•IDFC FIRST Bank has announced the launch of ‘Ghar Ghar Ration’ Program, an employee-funded program for its low-income customers whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19. The bank has also announced a comprehensive program for the families of employees who unfortunately lost their lives due to COVID-19, and a number of other social responsibility initiatives.

•“Ghar Ghar Ration” is a unique program where employees have contributed from their personal income to set up a Customer COVID Care Fund to provide relief to 50,000 COVID affected low-income IDFC FIRST Bank customers.

•Employees of the Bank contributed one day to one month’s salary for the purpose.  

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Important Current Affairs 13th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India ties with Russia as 4th largest forex reserves holder

•As per Reserve Bank of India’s data, the foreign exchange reserves of India has crossed  $600 billion marks for the first time. The Forex reserve of India increased by USD 6.842 billion to $605.008 billion in the week ended June 04, 2021.

•This is the lifetime high of India’s foreign asset. With this, India has tied with Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder in the world. The forex reserve of Russia is calculated to be $605.2 billion.

NATIONAL

AISHE 2019-20 report released by Union Education Minister

•All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20 report has been released by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. As per AISHE in the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20), student enrolment has grown by 11.4%. As per AISHE, female enrolment in Higher Education has increased by 18.2% from 2015-16 to 2019-20. AISHE 2019-20 is the 10 in the series of All India Survey on Higher Education. Department of Higher Education releases it annually.

•Total Enrolment in Higher Education: It stands at 3.85 crores in 2019-20.

•Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): It is denied as the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education. It is 27.1% in 2019-20.

•Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education: It stands at 1.01 in 2019-20. It shows improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.

European Space Agency to Launch ‘EnVision’ Mission to Venus in 2030

•European Space Agency (ESA), is now developing its own probe to study Venus, for holistic view of planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere. The mission dubbed as “EnVision” will probably be launched to the planet in early 2030.

•EnVision probe of ESA will determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently, even while being in the habitable zone to the Sun.

•ESA will undertake this mission with contributions from NASA.

•EnVision spacecraft will carry a range of instruments to study the planet’s atmosphere and surface, monitor trace gases in the atmosphere and analyse its surface composition. NASA would provide a radar to image and map the surface.

Ministry of Ayush Launches ‘Namaste Yoga’ App

•The Ministry of Ayush organised a curtain raiser event for the 7th International Day of Yoga. The event was organised by the Ministry of Ayush in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY). The event brought together several Yoga Gurus and experienced Yoga exponents on the virtual platform, to appeal to the world community to adopt Yoga in their daily life for the betterment of both the individual self and mankind.

•The event underlined the importance of the central theme of IDY 2021 “Be With Yoga, Be At Home”. As a part of the event, a mobile application devoted to Yoga named “Namaste Yoga”, was also launched. The Namaste Yoga” app has been designed as an information platform for the public, with the aim to raise awareness about yoga and make it accessible for the larger community.

SPORTS

Patiala to host Indian Grand Prix 4

•The Athletics Federation of India (AFI), announced that the Indian Grand Prix 4 will be held on June 21 at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. The decision to host the domestic events was made to give Indian athletes the maximum chance to qualify for Tokyo.

•India’s star sprinters Dutee Chand & Hima Das are expected to participate in the fourth Indian GP of 2021. National Inter-State Athletics Championships will be held at the same venue from June 25.

OBITUARY

Padma Shri Awardee Eminent Environmentalist Radhamohan Passes Away

•Padma Shri winning noted Economist and Environmentalist, Prof Radhamohan Ji has passed away.

•He was the former information commissioner of Odisha and had also served as a lecturer of Economics in different colleges in Odisha. He along with his daughter Sabarmatee were conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2020 for their contribution to the agriculture sector.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

India’s Nagraj Adiga elected in International Association of Ultrarunners Council

•India’s Nagraj Adiga has been elected as the Asia-Oceania Representative at the recently concluded 2021 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) Congress at which the IAU council elections were held.

•Adiga works closely with the Athletics Federation of India and with various Government bodies to promote health, fitness, and encourage budding sportspersons.

Rebeca Grynspan appointed as Secretary-General of UNCTAD

•The U.N. General Assembly has approved the appointment of Costa Rican economist Rebecca Grynspan, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She will serve a four-year term of office. She is the first woman and Central American to head UNCTAD. She was nominated as Secretary-General by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

•Grynspan would replace Isabelle Durant, who is serving as acting Secretary-General since 15 February 2021. Prior to this, Grynspan served as UNDP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean and second vice president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Albinism Awareness Day: 13 June

•The International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) is celebrated annually on June 13 to celebrate the human rights of persons with albinism worldwide. Each year events are held to educate people and celebrate people with albinism who continue to suffer all types of human rights violations.

•“Strength Beyond All Odds” is the theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day.

•In the mid-2000s, there had been reports of violent attacks on and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania. The attacks were linked to beliefs that people with albinism had magical powers, so they were preyed upon for parts to be used as lucky charms and in occult rituals.

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Important Current Affairs 12th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Former Mongolian prime minister Khurelsukh wins presidential election

•Former Mongolian Prime Minister, Ukhnaa Khurelsukh became the country’s sixth democratically elected president, further consolidating the power of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) with a landslide victory. With 99.7% of votes counted overnight, Khurelsukh’s tally had reached 821,136, or 68% of the total, the largest share of the vote since the democratic era began in 1990.

•Khurelsukh will replace incumbent Khaltmaa Battulga, who was denied an opportunity to seek re-election following controversial changes to Mongolia’s constitution that restricted presidents to one term in office.

NATIONAL

Chief minister of Assam Sarma launched Sishu Seva Achoni for C-19 Orphans

•Assam chief minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has dedicated Chief Minister Sishu Seva Scheme to the service of the beneficiaries and handed over the cheques of financial assistance to few beneficiaries who lost both their parents due to C-19. It may be noted that under the scheme an amount to the tune of Rs. 7,81,200 would be parked in the bank as fixed deposit in the name of each beneficiary.

•Monthly financial assistance of Rs. 3500 which will be realised from the fixed deposit will be given to the beneficiaries till they attain 24 years of age. On completion of 24 years of age, the principal amount parked as a fixed deposit against each beneficiary would be credited to their bank accounts.

DBS tops World’s Best Banks 2021

•DBS Bank has been named by Forbes in their list of World’s Best Banks 2021. DBS was ranked #1 out of 30 domestic and international banks in India for the second consecutive year. This is the third edition of the ‘World’s Best Banks’ list by Forbes, conducted in partnership with market research firm Statista. Over 43,000 banking customers across the globe were surveyed on their current and former banking relationships. The customer survey rated banks on general satisfaction and key attributes like trust, digital services, financial advice, and fees.

•Recently, DBS Bank India was recognised as ‘India’s Best International Bank 2021’ by Asiamoney.

•DBS was named ‘Safest Bank in Asia’ for the 12th consecutive year by New York-based trade publication Global Finance in 2020.

SPORTS

EFA named Debbie as Football Association’s first chairwoman

•England’s Football Association named corporate executive and former RAC chief, Debbie Hewitt as its first woman chair, ending months of speculation over Greg Clarke’s successor following his exit over inappropriate remarks.

•The FA, which was formed in 1863 and has been working to become more inclusive, launched its ‘Pursuit of Progress’ initiative in 2018. FA is the governing body of football located in England.

OBITUARY

Olympian S.S. Mathur passed away

•Olympian Surat Singh Mathur, the first from independent India to complete a marathon at the Olympics, passed away.

•Running with the legendary Emil Zatopek in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, Mathur completed the marathon in the 52nd place in 2:58.92s. A bronze medallist at the first Asian Games in 1951, Mathur, who was born in Mohammadpur Majri village (Karala) in Delhi, was a two-time National champion.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Ferrari appointed Benedetto Vigna as new company CEO

•Ferrari has named Benedetto Vigna as its new company CEO, taking over from interim chief John Elkann.

•Vigna currently serves as the president of STMicroelectronics’ Analog, MEMS and Sensor Group, and is a member of the company’s executive committee. Ferrari S.p.A. is an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer based in Maranello, Italy.

IFS officer K. N. Naidu named to lead UN bureaucracy for a year

•Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, K Nagaraj Naidu was named chef de cabinet by the incoming UN general assembly president, Maldivian foreign minister Abdulla Shahid. He was appointed for the duration of one-year tenure to lead the world body through its return to normalcy as countries strive to bring the pandemic under control.

•Naidu is India’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, and he will be on loan from the Indian government to the United Nations for a position that is comparable to the Indian prime minister’s principal secretary, who oversees the cabinet bureaucracy; also something like the chief of staff to the US president.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day Against Child Labour 2021: 12 June

•World Day Against Child Labour is observed globally on 12th June every year. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there are about 152 million children globally who are engaged in child labour, 72 million of whom are in hazardous work. This year’s World Day Against Child Labour focuses on action taken for the 2021 International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

•The theme of this year’s World Day Against Child Labour is Act now: End child labour!. It is the first World Day since the universal ratification of the ILO’s Convention No. 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and takes place at a time when the C-19-19 crisis threatens to reverse years of progress in tackling the problem.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

RS Sodhi conferred with Asia Pacific Productivity Champion award

•The Managing Director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), R.S. Sodhi, was conferred with the regional award as Asia Pacific Productivity Champion from Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Tokyo, Japan in recognition of enhanced productivity and efficient milk supply chain. He is the first Indian to have received the prestigious award, in the last 20 years.

•The award is conferred to eligible individuals who have significantly contributed to advancing the productivity movement in the Asia-Pacific region and those in a specific member economy of the APO. The APO regional awards are conferred every five years and each country can nominate only one candidate out of all nominations. Every five years only five regional nominees receive the award. Sodhi received the award on behalf of 3.6 million dairy farmers.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

BharatPe acquires loyalty platform PAYBACK India

•Merchant payments and financial services provider, BharatPe has acquired a multi-brand loyalty platform, PAYBACK India, to help its 6 million offline merchants roll out rewards and loyalty programmes for customers. The acquisition is expected to give an exit to American Express and ICICI Investments Strategic Fund, which hold 90% and 10% stake respectively in the entity.

•PAYBACK India will continue to function independently, after the acquisition. The deal is expected to be worth $30 million, an individual aware of the discussions told Mint on condition of anonymity.

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Important Current Affairs 11th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

UK Asian Film Festival 2021: India’s Tillotama Shome wins Best Actor award

•Indian actress Tillotama Shome has made the country proud by winning the Best Actor award at the 2021 UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF). Tillotama won the award for her role in the film Raahgir: The Wayfarers. The film has been directed by Goutam Ghose. The UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) 2021 was the 23rd edition of the annual event. Apart from Tillotama, filmmaker Goutam Ghose has also won the Best Director award at the UKAFF.

•The film Raahgir: The Wayfarers, stars Adil Hussain (Lakhua), Tillotama Shome (Nathuni) and Neeraj Kabi (Chopatlal). It is a story of three strangers, living on a daily wage basis, who cross each other’s path accidentally on a journey and develop a strong bond.

Google to build the longest undersea cable

•Google on Wednesday said it is building an open subsea cable that will connect the East Coast of the US and Las Toninas, Argentina with additional landings in Brazil and Uruguay.

•With the new cable, the tech giant aims to bolster internet connectivity to users in South America and enhance its existing cable investments in the region.

•The Firmina cable, named after Brazilian abolitionist and author Maria Firmina dos Reis, will be the longest cable in the world. It is capable of running entirely from a single power source at one end of the cable if its other power source(s) become temporarily unavailable, Google said in a blog post.

US traders have benefited the most in Bitcoin Investment Gain in 2020

•The US traders have benefited the most in Bitcoin Investment Gain in 2020, with a profit of $4.1 billion, according to the latest report by Chainalysis, a blockchain analysis company based in Manhattan, New York. Chinese traders stood second, with a profit of $1.1 billion. India has been ranked at 18th spot with a profit of $241 million, among the top 25 countries, in Bitcoin investment gains 2020.

List of top 5 countries in realised Bitcoin gains for 2020:

1.United States

2.China

3.Japan

4.United Kingdom

5.Russia

SPORTS

Sunil Chhetri surpasses Argentina’s Lionel Messi and become the second-highest active international goal-scorer

•Sunil Chhetri surpasses Argentina’s Lionel Messi and he has become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes. He made this record in a joint preliminary qualifying round match for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup. He is currently behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorer list.

•Chhetri also helped India register its rst win in six years in World Cup qualiers. Chhetri is just a goal away from entering world football’s all-time top-10. Sunil Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer. He is popularly known as Captain Fantastic.

OBITUARY

Dingko Singh, Asian Games gold-winning boxer, passed away

•Former Asian Games gold medalist boxer Ngangom Dingko Singh passed away early Thursday morning at his Sekta Mayai Leikai residence, in Imphal East district, after battling a prolonged illness. He was 47.

•Dingko had a long battle with liver cancer for which he received treatment in 2017. He also tested positive for C-19 last year but had recovered.

National award-winning Bengali Filmmaker Buddhadeb Dasgupta Passed Away

•The National award-winning eminent Bengali film Director Buddhadeb Dasgupta has passed away. He had won several National Awards for his contribution to Bengali cinema. Some of his national award-winning films include:

•Bagh Bahadur(1989), Charachar(1994), Lal Darja(1997), Mondo Meyer Upakhyan (2002) and Kaalpurush(2005) – National Awards for Best Film.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

LIC Chairman M R Kumar got extension till March 2022

•The appointments committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the extension of the tenure of MR Kumar as the Chairman of state-owned insurance company Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

•Now under the extended term, Mr Kumar will serve on the post till March 13, 2022. Earlier his term as LIC chairman was supposed to end on June 30, 2021.

Facebook named Spoorthi Priya as grievance officer for India

•Facebook has named Spoorthi Priya as its grievance officer for India, the company said on its website. This move comes close on the heels of the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, coming into force last month. According to the new government guidelines, social media companies with over 50 lakh users have to appoint a grievance officer, nodal officer and a chief compliance officer.

•All three personnel will have to be residents of India. Facebook owned messaging platform WhatsApp appointed Paresh B Lal as the grievance officer a few days ago. WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google had shared information on their compliance officer, resident grievance officer and nodal contact person with the government on May 29. Two days after the new IT rules kicked into action.

M. K. Jain gets two-year extension as RBI Deputy Governor

•The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the re-appointment of Mahesh Kumar Jain as the Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for two more years with effect from June 22, 2021.

•The three-year term of MK Jain as RBI Deputy Governor was to end on June 21, 2021. Currently, Michael Patra, M Rajeshwar Rao and Rabi Sankar are the other three serving RBI Deputy Governors.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga wins PEN Pinter prize 2021

•Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Booker-shortlisted Zimbabwean writer who was arrested last year in Harare while protesting against corruption, has been awarded the PEN Pinter prize, praised for her “ability to capture and communicate vital truths even amidst times of upheaval”. Dangarembga was also shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for her work, This Mournable Body.

•Established in 2009, PEN Pinter prize is given in memory of Nobel-laureate playwright Harold Pinter. The annual award is given to an author who, the website specifies, must have “a significant body of plays, poetry, essays, or fiction of outstanding literary merit, written in English.”

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Important Current Affairs 10th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender

•El Salvador has become the first country in the world to grant legal tender status to bitcoin. The use of bitcoin as legal tender will become law in 90 days.

•El Salvador’s economy heavily relies on remittances and so those who are working abroad can send money back home in bitcoins. The use of bitcoin will be totally optional. It will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development to the country.

Interpol launched "I-Familia" to identify missing persons

•Interpol has launched a new global database named “I-Familia” to identify missing persons through family DNA and help the police solve cold cases in member countries. Describing it as a groundbreaking database officially launched this month, the Interpol in a statement said it applied cutting-edge scientific research and used the DNA of relatives to identify missing persons or unidentified human remains around the world.

•I-Familia is a global database launched to identify missing persons through family DNA. It will help the police to solve cases in member countries.

•Interpol applies cutting-edge scientific research and uses the DNA of relatives to identify missing persons or unidentified human remains around the world.

•DNA kinship matching is used mostly in cases where a direct sample of the missing person is not available.

Indo-Thai CORPAT Begins in Andaman Sea

•The 31st edition of the India-Thailand Coordinated Patrol (Indo-Thai CORPAT) kicked off on June 09, 2021, in the Andaman Sea. The three-day coordinated patrol between the Indian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy is being conducted from 09 to 11 June 2021. From the Indian side, an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, is participating and from Thailand Navy, HTMS Krabi is participating in CORPAT, along with Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both navies.

•The CORPAT exercise is being conducted between the two navies bi-annually since 2005, along their International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

•CORPAT builds up understanding and interoperability between navies and develops measures to prevent and suppress unlawful activities like Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

NATIONAL

Anemia Mukt Bharat Index : Himachal in third spot

•Himachal Pradesh has climbed to the third spot in the Anemia Mukt Bharat Index 2020-21 national ranking with a score of 57.1. Himachal Pradesh was at rank 18 in the year 2018-19, but with consistent efforts of the government and the field functionaries, the state was able to achieve the third spot. Madhya Pradesh is in the first position with a score of 64.1 followed by Odisha with a score of 59.3. The prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths had decreased from 29% to 0.3% in a short span of three years.

•Anemia remains a major public health issue with high prevalence across the country irrespective of gender, age and geography.

First International Maritime Cluster of India to come up at GIFT City

•Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) will set up the country's first international maritime services cluster at GIFT City. The maritime cluster will be developed as a dedicated ecosystem comprising ports, shipping, logistics services providers and government regulators, all present in the same geographic vicinity — GIFT City. GIFT City is India's first operational smart city and international financial services.

•This will be a first-of-its-kind commercial maritime services cluster in India, which has been conceptualised to enhance the competitiveness and self-sufficiency of India in the maritime sector and provide a one-stop solution for the entire maritime fraternity.

Haryana CM announced creating ‘Oxi-van’ in Karnal

•Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, announced to create of 80 acres of ‘Oxi-van’ (a forest) in the Karnal district. It was announced on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2021. Oxi-van will consist of 10 types of forests. On the occasion, highlighting the importance of trees and encouraging promotion, protection, planting of trees Haryana Government launched four important schemes:

Pran Vayu Devta Pension Scheme:

•Under this scheme, a pension amount of Rs 2500 will be provided in name of Pran Vayu Devta to maintain trees above 75 years. This pension would increase each year on the line of old age Samman pension.

Panchavati Plantation in Haryana:

•Under this initiative, the plantation will be done in name of Panchvati across the villages in Haryana. It will promote the process of getting natural oxygen from trees. Agroforestry will also be promoted on vacant land under the initiative. Thus, it will increase the income of Panchayats in rural areas.

Oxy-Van in Karnal:

•Oxy Forest was launched on Forest Department land in Mughal Canal, Karnal. Panchavati, trees of Bel, Amla, Ashoka, Banyan and Peepal were planted. It will be built on 80 acres area.

Oxy-Van in Panchkula:

•It will be established in Bir Ghaggar on the area of one hundred acres in a bid to create Mother Nature’s green lungs, for residents of Panchkula, to get in fresh oxygen. Rs One crore has been sanctioned for this initiative.

SPORTS

Indian Cricketer Sehwag launched cricket coaching website 'Cricuru'

•Indian star cricketer Virender Sehwag has launched an experiential learning portal for Cricket coaching named CRICURU. CRICURU is India’s first AI-enabled coaching website, to offer a personalised learning experience for the younger players. The website can be accessed at www.cricuru.com

•The curriculum for each player has been developed personally by Virender Sehwag along with former Indian Player and Batting Coach of the Indian Cricket team Sanjay Bangar (2015-19). Young players will be able to learn to play cricket through master classes by 30 player-coaches from across the globe like AB de Villiers, Brett Lee, Brian Lara, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Jonty Rhodes, who will share their experience and learning with users.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Antonio Guterres second five-year term as chief of the world organisation

•The UN Security Council has recommended Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a second five-year term as chief of the world organisation beginning January 1, 2022.

•The 15-nation Council held a closed meeting where it unanimously adopted a resolution recommending Guterres’ name to the 193-member General Assembly for a second term as Secretary-General. Last month, India had conveyed its support to Guterres for his candidature as chief of the world body for a second term beginning January 2022.

CS Ghosh MD & CEO of Bandhan Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India has granted approval for the re-appointment of Chandra Shekhar Ghosh as MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank, for a period of three years. The re-appointment as above is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting of the bank.

•Ghosh, who has been one of the foremost proponents of microfinance in India, founded Bandhan in 2001 as a not-for-profit enterprise that stood for financial inclusion and women empowerment through sustainable livelihood creation. He was at the forefront of its transformation into an NBFC-MFI and finally the universal bank.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

BAFTA TV Awards 2021

•The winners of the BAFTA TV Awards 2021 were announced.  The ceremony itself, filmed at London’s Television Centre and hosted by Richard Ayoade, was a hybrid event that kept in line with COVID-19 protocols by allowing a number of nominees from the main performance categories to attend, with others taking part digitally.

Winners of BAFTA TV Awards 2021 are:

S.N.

Category

Winner

1

Leading Actress

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

2

Leading Actor

Paul Mescal, Normal People

3

Drama Series

Save Me Too

4

Best Comedy Performance

Charlie Cooper and Aimee Lou Wood

5

Best Comedy Series

Inside No. 9

6

Original Music  

Harry Escott, Roadkill

7

Sports

England v West Indies Test Cricket - Sky Sports Cricket

RANKING

QS World University Rankings 2022 released

•The London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has released the QS World University Rankings 2022 which compares and ranks Universities from across the globe on various parameters. Eight Indian universities have found a place among the best 400 global universities in the QS World University Rankings 2022, released on June 09, 2021. However, only three Universities namely the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT-Delhi, and IISc Bangalore feature among the top 200.

•IIT-Bombay is ranked as the best University in India with a rank of 177. It is followed by IIT-Delhi (185) and IISc (I86).

•The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has also been adjudged as “world’s top research university, achieving a perfect score of 100/100 for Citations Per Faculty (CPF) indicator, which measures research impact.

•This is the first time that any Indian institute has scored a perfect 100 in research or any other parameter.

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Important Current Affairs 9th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Abdullah Shahid was elected President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly

•Maldivian foreign minister, Abdullah Shahid was elected President of the 76th United Nations General Assembly (PGA) with an overwhelming majority. He garnered 143 votes in favour with 48 against – that gave him victory by a three-fourths majority. The post of the UN General Assembly President rotated annually among regional groupings. The 76th session (2021-22) is the turn of the Asia-Pacific group and this is the first time Maldives will be occupying the office of the PGA.

•The PGA’s office is the highest office in the UN System and reflects the collective goodwill of the 193 Member States of the UN. Both Maldives and Afghanistan have friendly ties with India. India’s vote however went to the Maldives since New Delhi had committed support to Shahid prior to Rassoul entering the fray.

India elected as member of UN ECOSOC for 2022-24

•India has been elected as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), one of the six main organs of the United Nations, for three-year terms of 2022-24. India was elected to the 54-member ECOSOC, by the UNGA on June 7, 2021, in the Asia-Pacific States category, along with Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Oman.

•ECOSOC serves as the central platform for discussing international economic, social and environmental issues and formulating policy recommendations addressed to member states and the United Nations system.

NATIONAL

Grading index in school Education: Punjab tops performance

•Punjab, which has improved its showing from the 13th position it attained in 2018-19, topped the charts this time among all the states and union territories with a score of 929 out of 1,000, followed by Chandigarh (912) and Tamil Nadu (906).

•The performance grading index ranks the states on a set of 70 parameters relating to learning outcomes and quality, access, infrastructure and facilities, equity and governance processes to catalyse transformational change in the field of school education.

Raimona reserve forest sixth national park of Assam

•Raimona in Kokrajhar district has become Assam’s sixth national park. The 422 sq ft wildlife habitat in Kokrajhar district adjoins the western-most buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve. The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq. km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.

•The Pekua river defines Raimona’s southern boundary. Raimona is an integral part of the 2,837 sq. km Manas Biosphere Reserve and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve. Such secured transboundary ecological landscape will ensure the long-term conservation of endemic species like the golden langur, the mascot of Bodoland Territorial Council and endangered species such as the Asian elephant, the Bengal tiger and varied other flora and faunal species it support.

Rhea Chakraborty has bagged the number 1 spot in ‘Times 50 Most Desirable Women 2020’

•The Times 50 Most Desirable Women 2020 list has been unveiled, and it features women under 40 across various fields. Rhea Chakraborty has bagged the number 1 spot on Times Most Desirable Women 2020 list. She was in the news for most of last year due to the sudden demise of Sushant Singh Rajput and the controversy around his death.

•Miss Universe 2020, 3rd runner-up Adline Castelino bagged the second spot in the list. Actress Disha Patani, Kiara Advani and Deepika Padukone were on the third, fourth and fifth spot respectively.

SPORTS

Oman will host Hockey World Cup in 2024

•Oman has been named as the host of the inaugural International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey’s World Cup. The FIH said the men’s and women’s events will take place in Oman’s capital city Muscat in January 2024. The governing body said its Executive Board named Oman as host, after a recommendation from the organisation’s Events Bidding Task Force.

•The FIH Executive Board announced the launch of the Hockey5s World Cup in 2019. The launch comes as Hockey is becomes an increasingly popular format of the sport, played on a smaller pitch and which has featured at the last two Summer Youth Olympic Games.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Anup C. Pandey appointed as new election commissioner of India

•The Union government has appointed Anup Chandra Pandey, a retired IAS officer of the 1984 batch, Uttar Pradesh cadre, as Election Commissioner. In the Election Commission, Pandey will have a little under three years in office and will retire in February 2024.

•Pandey has been appointed to the position left vacant by former Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora’s retirement on April 12. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar are the other two members of the panel. This restores the three-member commission to its full strength, which will now oversee the next set of crucial assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand next year.

V. Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar assumes Charge as Director General Naval Operations

•Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, AVSM, VSM has assumed charge as Director General Naval Operations. The Flag Officer is a specialist in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and has served on frontline warships of the Navy as ASW Officer and later as the Executive Officer and Principal Warfare Officer of Guided Destroyer INS Mysore.

•He has commanded the missile corvette INS Kora, the missile frigate INS Shivalik and the aircraft carrier INS Viraat.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Accreditation Day 2021: 9th  June

•World Accreditation Day (WAD) is celebrated every year on 9 June to promote the role of accreditation in trade & the economy. The theme for WAD 2021 is “Accreditation: Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”. It provides the opportunity for ILAC and IAF members to share examples with stakeholders, regulators and consumers of how accreditation may be applied to meet objectives such as increasing trade, addressing environment and health and safety concerns, and improving the general overall quality of output in an economy.

•WAD is a global initiative, jointly established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), to raise awareness of the importance of accreditation.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

NITI Aayog recommends privatisation of Central Bank, Indian Overseas Bank

•NITI Aayog has recommended divesting government stake in the Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) as part of the privatisation initiative announced in the Union Budget. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Budget speech, had announced privatising two public sector banks (PSBs) and one general insurance company in 2021-22. As per the new PSE (Public Sector Enterprise) policy for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, NITI Aayog is entrusted with the task to suggest names of PSUs in strategic sectors to be merged, privatised, or made subsidiaries of other PSUs.

•The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) and Department of Financial Services (DFS) will examine the proposal and discuss legislative changes needed for the privatisation of banks. The finalisation of privatisation and disinvestment of public sector enterprises is a multi-layered process. After a Core Group of Secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, clears the suggested names, the proposal will go to Alternative Mechanism (AM) for its approval and eventually to the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister for a final nod.

RBI imposed penalty on BoI & PNB of Rs 6 crore

•The RBI has imposed a penalty aggregating to Rs 6 crores on Bank of India and Punjab National Bank for contravention of norms, including one related to “Frauds – Classification and Reporting”. A penalty of Rs 4 crores has been imposed on the Bank of India and Rs 2 crores on Punjab National Bank.

•The bank had also conducted a review and submitted a Fraud Monitoring Report (FMR) dated January 1, 2019, pertaining to the detection of fraud in an account. In both cases, notices were issued to show cause as to why penalty should not be imposed on them for such violations of the directions.

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