Current Affairs 19 June 2024

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HAL Received RFP from MoD for 156 Light Combat Helicopters worth Rs 45000 croreHAL receives request for proposal from Defence Ministry for 156 light combat helicopters worth ₹45,000 croreOn 17th June 2024, Bengaluru (Karnataka)-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received  Request For Proposal (RFP) from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for procurement of 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) Prachand, estimated to cost Rs 45, 000 crore.

  • MoD has issued this RFP in terms of Regulation 30 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015.
  • Out of this 156 LCHs, 90 is for the Indian Army (IA) and remaining 66 is for the Indian Air Force(IAF).

About Light Combat Helicopter (LCH):
i.The LCH Prachand is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter designed and manufactured by HAL in collaboration with French engine-maker Safran.
ii.Key aviation technologies such as: glass cockpit and composite airframe structure have been indigenised.
iii.This is the world’s only attack helicopter that can land and take off at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 ft). It is suitable to operate in the high-altitude areas like the Siachen glacier and Eastern Ladakh.
iv.LCH is a 5-8 tonne class dedicated combat helicopter powered by twin Shakti engines.

  • It has countermeasure dispensing system that protects it from detection of enemy radars.

i.It is armed with 20mm turret guns, 70mm rocket systems and air-to-air missiles.
ii.It is equipped with requisite agility, manoeuvrability, extended range, high altitude performance and all-weather combat capability.
iii.It has also stealth features, armoured-protection systems, night attack capability and crash-worthy landing gear for better survivability.
i.It can perform Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), Destruction of Enemy Air Defence (DEAD), and Counter-Insurgency (CI) operations, high-altitude bunker-busting operations in the jungles,  and urban environments as well as for supporting ground forces.
ii.LCH can also be used against slow-moving aircraft and Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs) of adversaries.
Point to Note: In April 2024, MoD issued a tender to HAL for the procurement of indigenously developed 97 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mark 1A fighter jets for Indian Air Force (IAF)with estimated worth of over Rs 65, 000 crore.
About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
HAL is a Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)- C.B. Ananthakrishnan (Additional Charge)
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka
Established- 1940

Centre Extends DHIS by a Year Till June 2025 to Digitise Patients’ Health RecordThe Government of India (GoI) has extended the Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS) by a year until 30 June 2025 (or till funds for DHIS are available), aiming to digitise patients’ health records and integrate them with Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Account (ABHA ID).

  • The scheme which was set to end on 30 June 2024, aims to boost adoption of digital healthcare services and promote the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).
  • As part of the scheme, hospitals receive Rs 20 per patient for digitising health records and linking them with ABHA IDs.

i.Both government and private hospitals and Digital Solution Companies (DSCs) can earn incentives for digitising health records.
ii.ABHA ID is an unique digital ID for storing and sharing medical records securely.
Utilisation of Funds:
i.States and Union Territories (UTs) must report on fund utilisation, directed towards enhancing digital healthcare infrastructure.
ii.For utilisation of funds released under DHIS, the National Health Authority (NHA) has also issued an “incentive utilisation guidelines.”

  • The guidelines help hospitals use these for digital infrastructure or any improvements related to the patient welfare.

iii.All health facilities registered with the Health Facility Registry (HFR) can earn incentives of up to Rs 4 crore, benefiting clinics, nursing homes, hospitals, laboratories, and digital solution providers.
Current Progress:
i.Over 633 million ABHA IDs have been generated nationwide, with ongoing efforts to expand coverage.
ii.According to the public dashboard, 4,005 healthcare facilities, including 1,085 private and 41 DSCs which include 36 private companies have registered for the scheme. ‘

  • 584 health care facilities including 83 private health facilities, and 12 DSCs including 10 private companies have availed the scheme,

ii.Funds totaling Rs 34 crore have been disbursed to hospitals, with emphasis on effective utilisation.
About Digital Health Incentive Scheme (DHIS):
The NHA has launched the DHIS in January 2023. NHA has come up with some relaxations like reduced transaction limits in the existing scheme with effective from 1st April 2023.
Digitisation Impact on Hospitals:
i.The scheme helps reimburse hospitals their expenditure on digitising their facility.
ii.It encourages the adoption of digital health management systems and reduces patients’ waiting time and minimises repeated tests.
Benefits for Patients:
i.Enables quick access to healthcare services via ABHA ID.
ii.Reduces healthcare costs and enhances patient convenience.
iii.Prevents loss of medical records during patient mobility.


IFC to Finance USD 105 million to Brookfield’s 550 MW Solar Project in Bikaner, Rajasthan The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has committed USD 105 million to part finance a 550 Megawatt peak (MWp) solar power project in Bikaner, Rajasthan, which is being developed by Brookfield Asset Management Ltd(BAM), a leading global investment firm based in Canada.

  • The investment will be made through long-term non-convertible debentures issued to the project’s Special-Purpose Vehicles(SPVs).

i.This marks IFC’s first investment in Asia and the Pacific using a hybrid offtake structure, selling solar power to the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers under corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and the merchant markets.
ii.Since 2010, IFC has invested USD 2.79 billion in projects to strengthen India’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
Key Points:
i.Brookfield will offer solar power at competitive tariffs to Commercial and Industrial (C&I) consumers across India and significantly contribute to India’s decarbonisation goals.
ii.The project will be connected to the inter-state transmission system section of India’s green energy corridor.
iii.In collaboration with Brookfield, the IFC aims to demonstrate the viability of large-scale renewable energy generation, and sale to C&I across India using the interstate transmission system.
iv.Through this collaboration, Brookfield plans to expand its renewable energy footprint in India, capitalising on India’s clean energy transition with a portfolio of over 25 Gigawatt (GW) of renewable assets in operation or development.
v.The project is expected to annually mitigate Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 804,408 tons of Carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, equivalent to removing over 173,680 cars from the road.
India’s Green Energy Goals:
i.India aims to increase its non-fossil fuel capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
ii.India’s renewable energy sector is projected to generate USD 25 billion annually through 2030, with 20% directed towards the C&I and merchant market.

  • The sector has already attracted around USD 10 billion in annual investments between 2017 and 2022.

About International Finance Corporation (IFC):
IFC is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and shares its mission to reduce global poverty.
Managing Director (MD)– Makhtar Diop
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., the United States of America (USA)
Established- 1956

RBI Cancels Licence of Purvanchal Co-operative Bank, UP
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of Purvanchal Co-operative Bank, Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh (UP) due to lack of adequate capital and earning prospects.
i.The Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Uttar Pradesh has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator.
ii.On liquidation, each depositor would be entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to Rs 5 lakh only from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
iii.Purvanchal Co-operative Bank has also been prohibited from conducting the business of ‘banking’ which includes, among other things, acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits.


Fitch Ratings Raised India’s GDP Growth Projection to 7.2% for FY25Global rating agency Fitch Ratings released its report titled  “Global Economic Outlook (GEO) for June 2024”,  has raised its projection for India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by 20 basis points (bps)  from 7% (projected in March 2024) to 7.2% for fiscal year FY25 (2024-25).

  • This projection is mainly driven by improving consumer spending and increasing investments.
  • But, India’s GDP growth for FY26 (2025-26) and FY27 (2026-27) will remain unchanged at 6.5% and 6.2% respectively.

Key Findings:
i.The report raised the global growth forecast in 2024,  to 2.6% from 2.4% projected earlier. This projection is mainly backed by increased confidence in Europe’s economic recovery, revival of export sector in China and strong domestic demands across the emerging markets excluding China.
ii.The Indian economy grew 8.2 % in FY24, with a 7.8 per cent expansion in the March quarter.
iii.According to the report, the growth rate of the United States of America (USA) will remain unchanged at 2.1% in 2024.

  • However, It expected that global growth rate for 2025 to decrease to 2.4% due to slow US growth i.e. to a below –trend rate of 1.5% while, the growth in the Eurozone picks up to 1.5%

i.Fitch estimated that inflation will decrease to 4.5% by the end of FY2025 and will be 4.3% on an average for FY26 and FY27
ii.Fitch expected the Reserve Bank(RBI) to cut policy interest rates by 25 basis to 6.25% for FY25.
iii.For global inflation, Fitch observed that central banks are cautious about loosening policy too rapidly, due to high inflation. The services inflation will remain elevated due to increasing labour costs and housing rents and the normalization of relative price trends.


Siddesh Sakore, Indian Farmer from Maharashtra Named Land Hero by UNCCD Siddesh Sakore, a farmer from Kendur village, Maharashtra (India) and founder of AGRO RANGERS has been named as the ‘Land Hero’ by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCCD) i.e. on 17th June 2024.

  • Sakore along with 9 others were recognised as  ‘Land Heroes’ ,during a programme of 30th anniversary of the UNCCD hosted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, Germany.
  • Theme of 2024 WDCCD is, “United for Land : Our Legacy. Our Future”.

About Siddesh Sakore:
i.He worked as intern for an Non-Government Organisation (NGO) named, Vigyan Ashram  and developed a scalable project around waste management for Pune city, Maharashtra.
ii.He founded AGRO RANGERS with objective of empowering small and marginalized farmers to tackle soil degradation and climate change challenges.
Key Points:
i.These 10 Land Heroes are from 10 different countries such as: India, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, Mali, Morocco, the Philippines, the United States of America (USA), and Zimbabwe.
ii.These land heroes were honoured in recognition of their work to restore land, boost resilience to drought, develop sustainable agricultural businesses , and harness technology and innovation to address global environmental challenges.
iii.While, addressing the programme, António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations (UN) emphasized for united global efforts such as collaboration of governments, businesses, academics, communities, among others for implementation of UNCCD goals.
iv.The programme highlighted that land degradation affected up to 40% of the world’s land and nearly 50% the world’s population particularly, indigenous communities, rural households, smallholder farmers , and especially youth and women.

  • It also emphasized that youth in land restoration can create the estimated 600 million jobs required in the next 15 years which will contribute towards both economic growth and environmental sustainability.

v.A New Programme was launched to train youth negotiators to become future decision-makers on land and drought issues.

  • The programme in its 1st year aims to give training to youth negotiators from over 30 countries ahead of the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) to the UNCCD which is scheduled to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2024.

About United Nations (UN) Convention to Combat Desertification (UCCD):
UNCCD is the only legally binding global agreement dedicated to sustainable land management. At present, it is ratified by 196 countries and the European Union (EU).
Executive Secretary – Ibrahim Thiaw
Headquarters – Bonn, Germany
Established – 17th June, 1994


British Actor Theo James Appointed as UNHCR’s Global Goodwill Ambassador The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, has named British actor, producer, and model Theo James (Birth Name: Theodore Peter James Kinnaird Taptiklis) as its new Global Goodwill Ambassador.

  • Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent public figures associated with UNHCR, enhancing the organization’s global visibility through their influence, dedication, and hard work.

Note:  UNHCR, formally known as the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.
Theo James’ Support for UNHCR:
i.Theo James has been a High Profile Supporter of UNHCR since 2016, supporting their work through field visits, fundraising events, and lending his voice to campaigns.
ii.He went on his first UNHCR field mission to Greece in 2016 to learn about the work of the UNHCR and the refugee situation.
iii.In 2019, he lent his voice to a video for UNHCR’s High-Level Segment on Statelessness, highlighting global efforts to combat statelessness under the #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness.
Notable Works of Theo James as an Actor:  Underworld: Awakening (2012); Divergent (2014); The Divergent Series: Insurgent (2015); Allegiant (2016); How It Ends (2018); The White Lotus (2022); The Gentlemen (2024), etc.
About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):
UN High Commissioner for Refugees– Filippo Grandi
Headquarters– Genève, Switzerland
Established- 1950


MRU Installs GNSS Receiver In Partnership with ISRO
Manav Rachna University (MRU) has become the first University in Delhi, National Capital Region (NCR) to install a ‘Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiverand Space Weather Laboratory at its campus in collaboration with the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL)-Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

  • The installation of the GNSS receiver at MRU enables multi-parametric data collection across various atmospheric and space parameters, significantly enhancing research capabilities in atmospheric sciences and related fields.
  • The setup includes a GNSS receiver, antenna, 30M Radio Frequency (RF) cable, laptop, and iron mast.
  • This GNSS receiver is integrated into the NARL North-South chain of receivers, contributing to critical studies on weather, climate, space weather, and planetary ionospheres.

Ukraine Launches Unmanned Systems Forces; World’s 1st Stand-alone Military Branch for Drone System
The Armed Forces of Ukraine officially launched “Unmanned Systems Forces (USF)”, a new stand-alone military branch aimed at supporting and developing units of unmanned systems.. With this, Ukraine has become the 1st country in the world to establish a military branch dedicated to drone systems.

  • USF was unveiled by representatives from the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in Kyiv, Ukraine.

About USF:
i.USF aims to advance the capabilities of unmanned and robotic warfare across air, sea, and ground domains in combat operations.
ii.The Former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Vadym Sukharevsky, has been appointed as the 1st Commander of the USF.
iii.Symbol: The symbol for this new military branch is a “steel swallow” designed by a neural network. The swallow is a revered symbol of victory in Ukrainian culture.
iv.The branch will be tasked with providing units with drones, their support, recruiting and training specialists, and planning military operations involving unmanned systems.


Sumit Nagal Finishes as Runner-Up at ATP Challenger 125 PerugiaIndian tennis player Sumit Nagal finished as runner-up in the Men’s Singles at the Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia 2024 (ATP Challenger 125 Perugia), a part of Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour 2024, held in Perugia, Italy.

  • Italy’s Luciano Darderi won the Men’s Singles title by defeating Sumit Nagal in the finals. Following his win, the 22-year-old rose to No. 34 in the PIF ATP Rankings.

2024 ATP Challenger 125 Perugia, the 9th edition of the tournament, was organised by MEF Tennis Events at the Tennis Club Perugia from 9th to 16th June 2024.
i.ATP Challenger 125 tournaments are the second highest tier of annual men’s tennis tournaments on the ATP Challenger Tour, with 125 ranking points awarded to each singles champion.
ii.Internazionali di Tennis Città di Perugia is also known as Gruppo Italiano Mangimi (G.I.Ma Tennis Cup)
Sumit Nagal achieved career-high Ranking of 71 
With this victory, 26-year-old Sumit Nagal has reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of 71, so far he has secured 777 ATP points. His previous best was 77.

  • Career-high singles ranking achieved by other Indian players: Leander Paes (73 in 1998); Sashi Menon (71 in 1975); Somdev Devvarman (62), Ramesh Krishnan (23) and Vijay Amritraj (18).

About Sumit Nagal: 
i.Sumit Nagal will be the only Indian participating in the Men’s singles event at the 2024 Paris Olympics.
ii.During the Australian Open 2024, He defeated Kazakh Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan and became the first Indian man in 35 years to defeat a top-ranked player in a Slam.
iii.Sumit Nagal won his 2nd Challenger title of the season by winning the men’s singles title in 2024 NECKARCUP (ATP Challenger 100) in Heilbronn, Germany.
iv.He previously won the Men’s singles title at the Chennai Open (ATP Challenger 100) and debuted in the top 100 in the ATP ranking.
v.He is also set to compete in the main draw of the 2024 Wimbledon which will be held in July 2024.
Men’s Doubles: 
India’s Sriram Balaji Narayanaswamy and his partner Andre Begemann of Germany finished as runners-up in the Men’s Doubles.
They were defeated by Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela of Mexico and Guido Andreozzi of Argentina in the finals of the tournament.
Winners of ATP Challenger 125 Perugia: 

Category Winners Runner-ups
Men’s Singles Luciano Darderi (Italy) Sumit Nagal(India)
Men’s Doubles Miguel Ángel Reyes-Varela (Mexico) & Guido Andreozzi (Argentina) Sriram Balaji Narayanaswamy (India) & Andre Begemann (Germany)


International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2024 – June 18 The United Nations (UN)’s International Day for Countering Hate Speech is annually observed across the globe on 18 June to highlight and address global concerns over the rapid spread of hate speech worldwide.
The day aims to promote inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech.

  • 18 June 2024 marks the observance of the 3rd International Day for Countering Hate Speech.
  • The theme of International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2024 isThe Power of Youth for Countering and Addressing Hate Speech”.

i.On 21 July 2021, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/309, proclaiming 18 June of every year as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, building on the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech.
ii.The 1st ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech was observed on 18 June 2022.
>> Read Full News

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2024 – June 18 The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Gastronomy Day is annually observed across the globe on 18 June to raise public awareness about Gastronomy (the art of food) and its contribution to sustainable development.

  • The annual observance of the Day is led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).

i.On 21 December 2016, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/71/246, proclaiming 18 June of every year as Sustainable Gastronomy Day.

  • The resolution recognises gastronomy as a cultural expression tied to global natural and cultural diversity.

ii.The 1st ever Sustainable Gastronomy Day was observed on 18 June 2017.
About the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO):
The FAO established in 1945, is a specialised agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
Director-General– QU Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
>> Read Full News

Autistic Pride Day – June 18 2024Autistic Pride Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th June to promote awareness about the understanding and acceptance of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurological and developmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction.

  • This year 2024 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Autistic Pride Day.
  • The theme of Autistic Pride Day 2024 is ‘Taking the Mask Off’.

i.Autistic Pride Day was initiated by Aspies For Freedom (AFF), a solidarity and campaigning community that works towards spreading awareness about autism.
ii.The first autistic day was celebrated in 2005 in Brazil by AFF, created by Gareth and Amy Nelson which gained significance around the world and eventually became a global event.
Why June 18?
June 18 was chosen to coincide with the birthday of renowned autism rights activist, Dr. Jim Sinclair. He is credited with coining the term ‘autistic pride’ in his famous essay ‘Don’t Mourn for Us’ published in 1993.
Autistic Pride Symbol:
i.Autistic Pride Day is characterised by the Rainbow Infinity Symbol, in which the infinity symbol represents neurodiversity and the rainbow represents the pride movement.
ii.This symbol signifies the diversity of individuals with ASD and the endless opportunities and differences within the autistic community.
Note: Gold is used by autistic advocates as the chemical symbol for gold is Au (from the Latin aurum).
About Autism:
i.According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave.
ii.Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a ‘Developmental Disorder’ because symptoms generally appear in the first 2 years of life.
Related Observance:
World Autism Awareness Day is annually observed globally by the United Nations (UN) on April 2nd to raise awareness about ASD and to promote the livelihood of people with autism.

International Picnic Day – June 18 2024International Picnic Day is annually observed across the globe on June 18 to celebrate the tradition of meals taken outdoors in a park, lakeside, or any spot with a beautiful view.

  • The observance also celebrates the beauty of nature, strengthens family bonds, promotes an active lifestyle and fosters a sense of togetherness.

i.The word ‘picnic’ gets its origins from the French language, specifically from the word ‘pique-nique – a very informal meal eaten in the open air.
ii.In 1789, France opened its royal parks to the public after the French Revolution, marking the observance of the first ever Picnic day celebration.
iii.Following the French Revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, people attended parks and open spaces with their loved ones to eat outside.
Note: In 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records recognised the biggest picnic which was held in Lisbon, Portugal, and was attended by more than 20,000 people.


Assam Secretariat Becomes India’s 1st Eco-friendly State Govt Headquarters
The Assam secretariat became India’s first green (eco-friendly) state government headquarters with the inauguration of a 2.5 Megawatt (MW) solar power project on the campus of Janata Bhawan in Dispur, Guwahati, Assam.

  • The secretariat complex will now run solely on solar power installed at Rs 12.5 crore.
  • This grid-connected rooftop solar power plant will save Rs 30 lakh every month in electricity bills.

i.Government office power installations will have automatic disconnection facilities at 8-9 pm, except for the home, finance, and Chief Minister (CM) secretariat.
ii.From July 2024, ministers and officials residing in official quarters will pay their electricity bills, ending a 75-year-old practice.
iii.The state-run Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) aims to reduce power tariffs by Re 1 from 1 April 2025, benefiting consumers.


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