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Current Affairs June 18 2019

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For the first time, India to host COP-14 of UNCCD in September 2019

  • To address the issues of land degradation and desertification, for the first time, India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2019. It will be held between September 2 and 13, 2019 at the India Expo Center and Mart, New Delhi.
  • India will take over the COP presidency from China for the next two years till 2021 until the next COP. Last Conference was held from 6-16 September 2017 in Ordos in the People’s Republic of China.
  • Ahead of COP-14 Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Prakash Javadekar launched a flagship project. It is a part of a larger international initiative ‘Bonn Challenge’. It will increase India’s capacity for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR)…………………………..Click here to Read more

Second Edition of World Food India to be held in New Delhi from 1-4 November, 2019
On June 17, 2019, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal announced that World Food India (WFI) 2019, a biennial event, will be held at Vigyan Bhawan and Rajpath Lawns in New Delhi from 1-4 November 2019. It will be the biggest gathering of all global and domestic stakeholders in the Food Processing Sector. This will be the second edition of WFI, first was held in 2017.

Second Edition of World Food IndiaKey Points:
i. The tagline of the event will be “Forging Partnerships for Growth”.
ii. Meetings were organized to discuss the investment opportunities available in India in the Food processing industry and to sensitize the gathering about the participation in WFI 2019.
iii. WFI 2019 will comprise of top level seminars, investment opportunities, exhibitions, high level Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) roundtables, country sessions, B2B (business to business) and B2G (Business-to-government) networking etc.
iv. The ministry targets to partner with at least 15 countries and participation from at least 80 countries.
v. Indian Food processing industry has grown and registered a growth of 11% which is twice the pace of global industry.
About the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI):
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 1988

10th edition of Regional GRIHA Summit 2019 was held in Nagpur,Maharastra
On June 15, 2019, The 10th edition of  Regional Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) summit, 2019 was held in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari addressed this meeting.

regional-girha-summitKey points:
i. The theme of 2019 summit was “Transformation Strategies for Built Environment”. This theme was adopted to focus on the impact of incorporating sustainability initiatives into functioning public buildings.
ii. The summit was organized with the help of the Public Works Department (PwD) of the State Government.
About  GRIHA:
i. It is a rating tool that helps people assesses the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks.
ii. It is given by GRIHA Council, a not-for-profit society jointly setup by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Unon Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to promote green buildings in India.

Lucknow builds its first road from plastic waste
In an environment-friendly initiative, Lucknow constructed its first plastic waste road. The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) has started using plastic waste to construct roads as a pilot project. This environment-friendly road is being constructed as a trial from Gomti Nagar Police Station to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow.

Lucknow builds its first road from plastic wasteKey points:
i. The LDA will follow all the road-making guidelines set by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) for the construction.
ii. Mixed plastic waste increases the durability of roads by 40 to 50 percent. About 8-10 percent of plastic waste mixed in coal tar and it will be durable for a longer time.

3rd edition of Namaste Thailand Festival 2019 concludes in New Delhi
A two-day event of Namaste Thailand Film Festival 2019 concluded its third edition at Select Citywalk in New Delhi. It was organized by Royal Thai Embassy with an aim to strengthen bilateral ties and increase cultural exchange between India and Thailand. The festival was inaugurated by the Ambassador of Thailand to India, H.E Chutintorn Gongsakdi.

Namaste Thailand Festival 2019Key highlights:
i. The 1st edition of Thai film festival was inaugurated in 2017 to celebrate the 70 years of Indo-Thai diplomatic relations.
ii. The festival featured stage performances by Thai artistes including Thai folk-jazz band Asia-7.
iii. It featured a series of Thai craft activities including mulberry paper mini umbrella making, fan painting, body paint, and button badge making along with the traditional Thai cuisines.
About Thailand
♦ Capital: Bangkok
♦ Currency: Thai Baht
♦ Prime minister: Prayut Chan-o-cha

Armies of India and Myanmar carried out a coordinated operation ‘Operation Sunrise 2’
The armies of India and Myanmar carried out a three-week-long coordinated operation from May 16 in their respective border areas named ‘Operation Sunrise 2’. They targeted the militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland, and Assam to bust terror camps.
Key Points:
i. The armies coordinated with each other to bust camps of militant outfits. It included the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), NSCN-K (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang), the United Liberation Front of Assam (I) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).
ii. Troops from the Assam Rifles also participated in this event.
iii. During the operation, six dozen militants belonging to these groups were captured and several of their camps were destroyed.
iv. NSCN(K) militants had killed 18 army men in Manipur. Therefore, in June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out an operation against them near the Indo-Myanmar border. Since then operations against militants are actively undertaken.
v. Both sides might launch the third phase of the operation.
About “Operation Sunrise 1”:
The first phase of “Operation Sunrise” was conducted three months ago (February 2019) along the Indo-Myanmar border. The Indian Army targeted members of the Arakan Army which an insurgent group in Myanmar. They were opposed to the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project, which is viewed as India’s gateway to Southeast Asia.
About Myanmar:
Capital: Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw)
Currency: Burmese kyat
President: Win Myint


5th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit 2019 held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

  • The 5th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit 2019 was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from 14-15 June 2019.
  • The theme of the 5th Summit is “Shared Vision for a Secure and More Prosperous CICA Region”. India is a member of CICA since 1999.
  • While addressing at 5th CICA Summit 2019, India’s Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar pitched for rules-based order in Asia and world at large amid emerging geo-political and geo-economic faultlines……………………..Click here to Read more

India will overtake China as world’s most populous country: UN report
On June 17, 2019, According to the 26th edition of the UN (United Nations) population estimates and projection report, ‘The World Population Prospects 2019: Highlights’ published by the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs states that  India is going to surpass China as the world’s most populous country by 2027.

world’s most populous countryKey points:
i. As per the report, India likely to add nearly 273 million people between 2019 and 2050.
ii. According to the World Population Review 2019, India currently ranks second in the index (out of 230 countries), with over 17 percent of the world population.
iii. Previous UN projections had estimated that India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country as early as 2022.
iv. The report also stated that among the Southeast Asian counties, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar have witnessed a large net outflow of migrants between 2010 and 2020.
v. Nigeria with 733 million, the United States with 434 million, and Pakistan with 403 million are the three countries will be expected to get a place after India and China.
About UN:
♦ Headquarters: New York,United States
♦ Founded: 24 October 1945
♦ Secretary general: António Guterres

BIFAN 2019 to be held in Bucheon, South Korea 
2019 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFAN) will be held in Bucheon City, South Korea from June 27 to July 7, 2019. This is the 23rd edition of the film festival. This film festival is known as a Mecca of the film culture.
Key Points:
i. 288 movies from 29 countries will be screened and the film festival will be inaugurated through Edgar Nito’s movie, “The Gasoline Thieves”.
ii. 4 Indian movies Gully Boy directed Zoya Akhtar, Andhadhun directed by Sriram Raghavan, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi directed by Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Krish) & Kangana Ranaut and a Tamil movie, Super Deluxe directed by Thiagarajan Kumararaja, will be screened at the festival.
iii. Korean director Lee Eon – Hee, Japanese director Kaneko Shusuke and Korean actress Uhm Junghwa are the jury members of the festival.
About BiFAN:
Founded: 1997
♦ Prior to 2015, it was known as the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan)


Jammu and Kashmir Bank brought under RTI, CVC guidelines
The Board of Directors (BoD) of Jammu & Kashmir Bank under the chairmanship of the bank’s Interim Chairman and Managing Director (MD) R.S. Chhibber decided to bring the bank under Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2009 and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) guidelines with effect from June 17, 2019.
Key Points:
i. The decision was taken after receiving directions from the State Government, which owns 59% of the bank’s shares, in order to improve the governance and bring transparency & accountability in the functioning of the bank.
ii. BoD decided to arrest any further slippage of accounts to Non-Performing Assets (NPA) by initiating strong action against wilful defaulters.
iii. This move is implemented after Parvez Ahmed was removed as the Chairman of the J&K Bank for alleged corruption, nepotism and favoritism.
iv. BoD directed to strengthen the technological framework. It includes migration of its core banking solution Finacle 10 and further strengthening of the early warning and alert generation systems. This is to boost the digital vision of the bank.
About Jammu & Kashmir Bank:
Headquarters: Srinagar
Tagline: Serving to Empower


DCC approved to impose penalty on Airtel, Vodafone Idea
The highest decision-making body of the Department of Telecom (DoT), Digital Communications Commission (DCC) approved to levy penalties on Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone Idea Ltd for denial of interconnection to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd when it had entered the market in 2016.

DCC approved to impose penalty on Airtel, Vodafone IdeaKey Points:
i. In October 2016, Telecom Regulatory authority of India (TRAI) had fined Airtel and Vodafone with Rs. 1,050 crore each ( Rs 50 cr per circle for 21 circles) and for Idea ( Rs 50 cr per circle for 19 circles) it was Rs 950 crore. But as Vodafone and Idea merged ( August 2018) to form Vodafone-Idea, the new entity had to bear the combined burden of Rs. 2000 cr.
ii. Reliance Jio had complained that its subscribers were unable to call other networks as its rivals did not release sufficient number of Points of Interconnect (PoI).
iii. The inter-ministerial panel of DCC has asked TRAI to review penalty amount worth ₹3,050 crore considering the financial stress in telecom sector.
About DCC:
♦ DCC was formerly called ‘Telecom Commission’.
♦ It comes under the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.


Nirmala Sitharaman and S Jaishankar to be honoured with ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will honour Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar with ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’. This was decided by the Executive Council of JNU. They will be awarded on the third convocation ceremony of the university, which will be held in August 2019. They will be the first recipient of this award.

'Distinguished Alumni AwardKey Points:
i. Union External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar is an alumnus of JNU’s School of International Studies. He completed his Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) as well as Doctoral Research from JNU. He is specialized in the field of nuclear diplomacy from JNU.
ii. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is an alumnus of the University’s School of Social Sciences. She earned her Master of Arts (M.A) degree and she completed her M.Phil from School of International Studies.
About JNU:
Founded: 22 April 1969
Vice-Chancellor:  Prof. M Jagadesh Kumar


Hero MotoCorp appoints Yerry Mina as its new brand ambassador
On June 17, 2019, India’s leading two wheeler company, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, appointed Colombian professional footballer, Yerry Fernando Mina González(24) as its new brand ambassador.

Hero MotoCorp appoints Yerry MinaKey points:
i. Yerry Mina has the record for most goals in a single World Cup by a defender at the 2018 FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association ) World Cup, France.
ii. Hero MotoCorp became the first Indian two-wheeler company to set-up a manufacturing base in Latin America when it commenced operations at Villa Rica, in Cauca province, Colombia in 2016. It has a capacity of 80,000 units of two-wheelers production.
About Hero MotoCorp
♦ Headquarters
: New Delhi
♦ Founder: Brijmohan Lall Munjal
♦ Founded: 19 January 1984


NASA to shut down Spitzer Space Telescope after 16 yrs in 2020
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration‘s (NASA) Spitzer Space Telescope will be shut down on January 30, 2020, after 16 years of exploring the cosmos in infrared light. This was announced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

NASA to shut down Spitzer Space TelescopeKey Points:
i. It was launched in January 1983 as Infrared Astronomical Satellite to conduct the first infrared survey of the sky. It was jointly developed by the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
ii. Spitzer was originally built to last for a minimum of 2.5 years and by 2020 it will operate for more than 11 years beyond its prime mission.
iii. Spitzer is a small, transformational observatory. It captures infrared light, which is emitted by ‘warm’ objects that are not quite hot enough to radiate visible light. In 2017, the telescope revealed the presence of seven rocky planets around the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) -1 star.
iv. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be launched in 2021 after the expiry of Spitzer’s Mission.

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Nihal Sarin wins blitz event at 2019 Asian Continental Chess Championship held in Xingtai, China

  • Nihal Sarin, a 14-year-old Indian Chess Grandmaster has secured a win at the 2019 Asian Continental Chess Championship in Xingtai, China in the blitz event. Vietnam GM Le Quang Liem secured the second spot and Indian Srinath Narayanan was placed third on the list.
  • Sarin, who was recently crossed the 2600 Elo points mark to become the third youngest player…………………………….Click here to Read more

India beats South Africa to win FIH Series Finals 2019
On June 16, 2019, In the FIH (Federation Internationale de Hockey) Men’s Series Finals hockey tournament 2019, India thrashed South Africa with 5-1 in a summit clash at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The goals were scored in the 2nd, 11th, 25th, 36th and 50th minutes.

India beats South Africa to win FIH Series Finals 2019Key points:
The points scored with this win will place India in the top five of the FIH World Rankings, to be updated in September.
iiManpreet Singh won the Best Player of the Tournament Award, while Vivek Sagar wins the Best Junior Player Award.
iii.  Jonathan Klagus of USA gets the Best Goalkeeper Award.
iv.  Harmanpreet and Varun shared the top scorer award along with Semen Matkovsky.

Joshna claims her 17th national title at the 76th Senior National Squash Championship, 2019.
Indian professional squash player, Joshna Chinappa won the national squash title for the record 17th time at the 76th Senior National Squash Championship, 2019 held in Pune, Maharastra. Chinappa overcame her Tamilnadu rival, Sunayna Kuruvilla in the final with 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5 scores.

Joshna claims her 17th national titleKey points:
i. Joshna Chinappa surpassed the record of 16 titles, which stood for 27 years held by Bhuvneshwari Kumari of Rajasthan who won the national titles from 1977 to 1992.
ii. She is a two-time Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallist.
iii. Meanwhile, in the men’s category, Mahesh Mangaonkar of Mumbai claimed the national crown against Abhishek Pradhan with 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 win.
iv. Vikas Jangra of Rajasthan, Amitpal Kohli of Maharashtra, Saurabh Nayar of Chandigarh, Dalip Tripathi of West Bengal, Vivan Khubchand of Delhi, Dushyant Jamwal of Delhi, Vijay Jaini of Haryana and Rajiv Reddy of Tamil Nadu have also emerged winners in the other age group events.


Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2019 observed on June 18
Sustainable Gastronomy Day was observed on June 18, 2019, across the world. It highlights the need to focus the attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play.
Key Points:
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated to celebrate June 18 as Sustainable Gastronomy Day through its resolution A/RES/71/246 adopted on 21 December 2016.
ii. Sustainable gastronomy plays a major role in promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and the conservation of biodiversity.
iii. Observance of this day acknowledges gastronomy as a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world.
About UNGA:
Headquarters: New York, US
President: Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande

International Picnic Day celebrated on June 18, 2019
On 18 June 2019, International Picnic Day was celebrated all over the world. It is a day to encourage people to go outdoors and enjoy each other’s company.
International Picnic Day
i. The word “picnic” originated from the French language. It relates to informal outdoor meal. Picnic became a popular time pass in France after the Revolution.
ii.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest picnic was held in Lisbon, Portugal.
iii.  Charity events, school picnics and various types of group meals are held to commemorate this day.


In Bihar, 160 children lost their lives due to Encephalitis and heat-wave
In Bihar, 160 children have lost their lives due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and heat wave. The total toll due to AES and heat wave has been pegged at 104 and 56 respectively.
i. National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) has issued notices to the Union Health Ministry to review the situation prevailed in Bihar.
ii. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan held a meeting with the stakeholders taking measures including setting up first line treatment facilities and 100 bedded ICU for pediatrics unit.
iii. The centre also decided to deploy a high-level team to be sent to Bihar immediately for undertaking the necessary groundwork for setting up a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary research center at Muzaffarpur.
iv. Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia package of Rs 4 lakh each to families of the children who died.
About Encephalitis:
The toxic substance in lychee causes Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), locally known as Chamki Bukhar, which is a form of brain fever that happens due to the inflammation of the brain.

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