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Current Affairs June 21 2019

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For the First time, India opens water clinic for Elephants in Mathura
India has opened its first specialized hydrotherapy treatment centre for elephants suffering from arthritis, joint pain and foot ailments. It is situated in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
It is a collaboration of Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), Wildlife SOS.

India opens water clinic for Elephants in MathuraKey points:
i. The jumbo hydrotherapy centre: It is near the Wildlife SOS’ Elephant Conservation and Care Centre (ECCC), which has over 20 rescued elephants.
ii. State-of-the-art modern facilities: It includes wireless digital X-ray, laser treatment, dental X-ray, thermal imaging and ultrasonography to treat injured, sick and geriatric elephants.
iii. The jumbo pool: It is situated 11foot deep and has 21 high-pressure jet sprays that help in massage the elephants’ feet and body and increase blood circulation of the elephant.
About Uttar Pradesh
♦ Capital
: Lucknow
♦ Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Governor: Ram Naik

Union Government Restored ‘ration in kind’ to military officers in peace areas
On June 18, 2019, The government of India has brought back the provision of ‘ration in kind’ to military officers in peace areas by approving proposal given by the Ministry of Defence. The decision is taken by the new Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Key points:
i. In 2017, The facility was withdrawn by the central government after the implementation of the seventh pay commission.
ii. All officers of the Armed Forces including those in peace stations will be getting ration now which was initially applicable only to junior officers.
iii. Instead of the ration, defense officers in peace areas were paid Rs 96 as ‘ration money allowance’.

20th Meeting of the FSDC chaired by Nirmala Sitharaman held in New Delhi
On Jue 20,2019 The 20th meeting on Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was held in New Delhi. This was chaired under the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman.

20th Meeting of the FSDCKey points:
i. The meeting was also attended by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, and Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg among others.
ii. Current global and domestic economic situation and financial stability issues including those concerning Banking and Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) were reviewed in the meeting.
iii. Consultations held on the progress to set up the Financial Data Management Centre (FDMC) and Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to strengthen cybersecurity services in the financial sector &Suggestions of Financial Regulators for Union Budget 2019-20.


India ranked 20th among the top capital importing countries by Knight Frank
i. Property consultants, Knight Frank in its “Active Capital” 2019 Report, assigned India with the 20th rank among the top capital importing countries, globally. In terms of outbound cross-border investments, it was ranked 30th.
ii. Globally, The United States (US) was the top capital importing country with an investment of $80.89 billion. It also topped the list of capital exporting countries with an investment of $59.62 billion, followed by Canada with $50.41 billion and Germany with $24.50 billion.
iii. Singapore was the biggest capital source country for Indian commercial real estate between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 with investment of $704.14 million……………………………………………………Click here to Read more

India’s data usage per smartphone is the highest in the world at 9.8GB per month
As per the Ericsson Mobility Report of June 2019 edition, India‘s data usage per smartphone was the highest in the world at 9.8 Giga Byte (GB) per month up to December 31, 2018. It is set to double to 18 GB by 2024. Indian smartphone users are willing to pay more than 66% premium for futuristic 5G services. Increased numbers of LTE (Long Term Evolution) subscriptions, attractive data plans being offered by service providers and young people’s changing video viewing habits were the reasons for the data usage.

Ericsson Mobility ReportKey Points:
i. North East Asia stood at the second place with 7.1 GB per month and North America at third with 7 GB. West Asia and Africa region had the lowest data consumption at 3 GB per month.
ii. The total smartphone subscriptions in the India region (including Nepal and Bhutan) will reach 1.1 billion by 2024, with an 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The total mobile broadband subscriptions in India are expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% from 610 million in 2018 to 1.25 billion in 2024.
iii. The 4G LTE subscriptions in India will grow from 450 million in 2018 to 1.16 billion in 2024.
iv. Total mobile data traffic per month will grow from 4.6 Exabytes (EB) in 2018 to 16 EB in 2024.
About Ericsson:
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
CEO: Börje Ekholm

Indian Navy executes Operation Sankalp in the Gulf of Oman to undertake maritime security
On June 21, 2019, India Navy launched “Operation Sankalp” in the Gulf of Oman. It is to recheck Indian flagged vessels operating through the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman following the maritime incidents in the region.
Key Highlights:
Deployment of Warships: Indian Navy has deployed (Indian Navy Ship) INS Chennai and INS Sunayna in the region to undertake maritime security operations.
ii. Aerial surveillance: It is also undertaken by Indian Navy aircraft in the area to check the movement of ships in the Gulf region, Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (Gurugram) keeping a close watch on the region.
iii. Background: The Operation was launched after the escalation of tension in Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked and four tankers off the United Arab Emirates. The incident has since heightened tensions between Iran and the United States. The US (United States) blamed Iran which denied the allegations for the incident.


Max Life Insurance launched ‘Max Life Smart Term Plan’
On June 20, 2019, Max Life Insurance Company Limited, one of the country’s leading life insurance companies, launched customizable ‘Max Life Smart Term Plan’. It will offer customers the flexibility to customize their own protection solution through the selection from a wide range of benefits and features.

Max Life InsuranceKey Points:
i. It will provide options of choosing from multiple premium payment term- Single payment, payment for limited term of 5, 10, 12 and 15 years in addition to the ‘pay till 60’ and regular pay options.
ii. It offers seven types of death benefits to customers to choose for their protection needs.
iii. Max Life Smart Term Plan covers a total of 40 critical illnesses under accelerated critical illness benefit.
iv. It comes with add on Max Life Waiver of Premium Plus Rider. It provides a waiver for all future premiums under the policy. This will help to create a customised protection solution for each customer.
v. It will also provide a ‘Premium Back Option’ on a term product till the age of 85 for the consumers.
About Max Life Insurance Company:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 2000
CEO & MD: Prashant Tripathy

IDBI Bank and Tata AIG Signed Bancassurance Corporate Agency Agreement
On June 19, 2019, Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) has signed a bancassurance agreement with Tata AIG General Insurance Company Ltd to provide Tata AIG’s suite of P&C (Property and Casualty (insurance) products to its customers.

IDBI Bank and Tata AIG SignedKey points:
i. Tata AIG’s products will now be available in IDBI bank’s 20 million customer base spread across its 1,850-plus branches.
ii. The product portfolio comprises Tata AIG’s flagship health (Medicare), motor, personal accident, home content, critical illnesses, Locker, SME (Small and medium-sized enterprises)and travel insurances.
iii. This tie-up comes after IDBI Bank and Max Bupa Signed Bancassurance Corporate Agency Agreement.
iv. In rural & semi-urban areas IDBI Bank has a strong presence.
v. Through this partnership, Tata AIG will deepen the penetration of its product offers and enable more customers to access their risk solutions anytime, anywhere.
About IDBI Bank:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ MD & CEO: Rakesh Sharma
♦ Tag Line: Aao Sochein Bada
About Tata AIG
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Neelesh Garg

Flipkart revamps MSME seller financing programme ‘Growth Capital’
E-commerce firm Flipkart has revamped its Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) seller financing programme ‘Growth Capital’ in order to empower MSMEs across the country. The program enables financial inclusion and independence for MSMEs who operate online.

Growth CapitalKey Points:
i. The changes will allow more than one lakh sellers to avail credit at competitive interest rates from 10 Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and banks with an approval time of one day and disbursal into the sellers bank accounts within 48 hours.
ii. The average loan size is Rs 7 lakh. But sellers can take loans up to Rs 3 crore with interest rates at 9.5%. The tenure on term loan and credit line options is 1 year.
iii. Financial partners for the programme are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, Aditya Birla Finance, Tata Capital, Flexiloans, Small Industries Development Bank of India, LendingKart, Indifi and Happy Loans.
About Flipkart:
Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka
Founded: October 2007
CEO: Kalyan Krishnamurthy

NHB issued stricter norms on HFCs’ capital adequacy ratios
The National Housing Bank (NHB) has tightened the norms on leverage and capital adequacy ratio for Housing Finance Companies (HFCs). It mandated the  HFCs to reduce their total borrowings in a phased manner to not more than 12 times( at present 16 times) of their Net-Owned Funds (NOF) as on March 31, 2022. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Housing Finance is the only HFC to have the highest leverage ratio of 14 times of NOF.
Key Points:
i. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) for HFCs is increased to 13% by March 2020, 14% by March 2021 and 15% by March 2022. Tier I capital should not be less than 10% (6% at present).
ii. Changes will not impact large HFCs like Housing Development Finance Corp. (HDFC), Repco Home Finance, Indiabulls Housing Finance and Dewan Housing Finance, which are capitalized above 15%. LIC Housing Finance and PNB (Punjab National Bank) Housing Finance have capital adequacy ratio below 15%.
iii. HFCs cannot accept fixed deposits of not more than three times their NOF. But if a HFC has obtained credit rating for its fixed deposits not below the minimum investment grade rating complying with all the prudential norms, it may accept public deposits not exceeding three times of its NOF.
About NHB:
Parent Organization: Reserve Bank of India
Founded: 9 July 1988
Headquarters: New Delhi


The US overtook China as India’s largest goods trading partner in 2018-19
The United States (US) overtook China to become India’s largest goods trading partner in 2018-19. Trade surplus of India with the US declined to $16.8 billion from $21.2 billion for 2017-18.

US overtook ChinaKey Points:
i. A trade deficit of India with China was at $53 billion in 2018-19, down from $63 billion for 2017-18.
ii. India’s dependency on Chinese imports saw a decline to $70 billion from $76 billion in 2017-18, with over a fourth increase in exports to $16.7 billion in 2018-19.
About USA:
Capital: Washington, DC
Currency: US Dollar
President: Donald Trump

DBS Bank revised India’s GDP forecast for FY20 to 6.8% from 7%
On June 20, 2019, DBS Bank in its report on the Indian economy revised India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for the fiscal year 2020 to 6.8% year-on-year (YoY) from 7% due to headwinds for exports amidst challenging trade outlook.
Key Points:
i. Inflation rate was estimated at 3.8% for FY20 against 3.4% of FY19.
ii. The Reserve Bank of India’s policy stance was changed from neutral to accommodative resulting in the 75 bps repo rate cut in one year.
About DBS Bank:
It was known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited.
Headquarters: Singapore
CEO: Piyush Gupta

SEBI sets up a working group headed by NSE Clearing Ltd to review margins on derivatives
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) framed a working group headed by NSE Clearing Ltd to review the current framework of margins in the futures and options segment.
Key Points:
i. It will submit its recommendations to the Secondary Market Advisory Committee.
ii. The existing derivatives segment is increasing the costs of trading and it does not manage risk in an efficient manner. In order to look into these details, the panel was formed.
iii. A collaborated study conducted by the Association of National Exchanges Members of India (ANMI) and the consultancy firm Ernst & Young (E&Y) pointed out that costs of trading in derivatives in India were high when compared to other leading markets. This made the institutional investors to trade Nifty Contracts on SGX (Singapore Exchange Limited), Singapore instead of National Stock Exchange (NSE).
About SEBI:
Founded: April 12, 1992
Headquarters: Mumbai
Chairman: Ajay Tyagi
About NSE Clearing Ltd:
♦ It was earlier known as National Securities Clearing Corporation Limited.
Chairman: Mr. Harun R Khan


Kolhapuri chappal gets GI (Geographical Indications) tag
World famous handcrafted footwear, Kolhapuri chappal gets a Geographic Indication (GI) tag from The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Mark. The tag was given to the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, covering four districts each.

Kolhapuri chappal gets GIKey points:
i. The four districts in Maharashtra are Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli, and Satara and four districts in Karnataka are Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot, and Bijapur.
ii.Benefits: Tagging will help artisans in Kolhapur make& market their products domestically and internationally. It will also help these artisans to tackle attempts to copy or imitate the footwear brand illegally.
iii. Kolhapuri Chappal: Brand Kolhapuri came at the beginning of the 20th century when the footwear began to be traded in Kolhapur. Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj encouraged production of Kolhapuri Chappal and opened 29 tanning centers during his rule.
About Geographical Indication
It is used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.


Scientists develop cancer cell detection ‘dots’ from coal in Assam
In Assam, a team of Scientists from CSIR-NEIST( Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-North East Institute of Science and Technology) have developed a chemical process that turns ‘dirty’ coal into biomedical ‘Carbon Quantum Dots (CQDs)’ which helps in detection of cancer cells.
For producing CQDs, cheap, low-quality and high-sulfur coals used by the team led by Binoy Kumar Saikia and Tonkeswar Das for a patent of their chemical method. The details have been published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology.
Key points:
i. Carbon quantum dots: These are carbon-based nanomaterials with the size of less than 10 nm or nanometer which are used as diagnostic tools for bio-imaging, especially in detecting cancer cells, for chemical sensing and in optoelectronics.
ii. The CQDs developed by the team possesses high stability, good-conductivity, low-toxicity, environmental friendliness, and good optical properties.
About Assam:
♦ Capital: Dispur
♦ Chief Minister: Sarbananda Sonowal

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IOC lifts sanctions against India to host international sporting events
On June 20, 2019, A non-governmental sports organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland, IOC (International Olympic Committee) lifted its sanctions imposed on Indian Olympic Association (IOA) hosting international sports events.

International Olympic Committee)Key points:
i. The decision was taken after finally receiving a letter of guarantee from the Government that it will allow all eligible athletes, sportspersons, and officials in events held in the country.
ii. The restriction imposed under points 2 and 3 of the IOC EB decision in relation to giving permission to host sports events, lifted by the IOC.
iii. Background: Pakistan shooters were denied visa by the Indian government for participation in the International Shooting Sport Federation Shooting World Cup 2019 that was held in New Delhi in the wake of the terror attack in Pulwama, Kashmir.
About IOC:
♦ President: Thomas Bach
♦ Director General: Christophe De Kepper
♦ Founded: 23 June 1894, Paris, France


International Day of Yoga 2019 observed on June 21

  • The 5th annual International Day of Yoga (IDY) was observed on June 21, 2019. There are two themes for World Yoga Day 2019 , United Nation has declared theme as “Yoga for Climate Action” and Ministry of Ayush , India has declared theme for Yoga Day is ” Yoga for Heart“.
  • Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of Yoga were given on the occasion of IDY 2019.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed Yoga asana along with 40,000 participants at Prabhat Tara ground, Ranchi, Jharkhand…………………………………...Click here to Read more

World Music Day celebrated on June 21, 2019
The world music day is being celebrated on June 21, 2019. It is also known as Fête de la Musique’ meaning “festival of music”.It aims to honor both amateur and professional musicians. The theme of world music day 2019 is “Music at the intersections”. In India, the second edition of Music Inc.(2.0), a music business conference was hosted by and exchange4media at the JW Marriott, Mumbai. It is India’s largest music business marketplace to boost the growth of the business.

World Music Day 2019Key points:
i. The first music celebration was initiated by French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang and Maurice Fleuret.
ii. The International Music day was first celebrated in Paris in 1982.
iii. This day is celebrated in 120 countries throughout the world.

Summer Solstice day was observed on 21st June 2019
On June 21, 2019, Summer Solstice day was observed. It is also known as the ‘June Solstice’. Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year which is considered as the start of the summer season. This day marks the official start of the summer season in Northern hemisphere.
Key points:
The solstice marks the moment the planet’s axis is either titled towards the Sun or away from the Sun.
ii. In June, on the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere tilts towards the Sun while the Sun faces away.


NPCI tie-up with Telangana to offer MeeSeva service portal
On June 18, 2019, The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) of Mumbai signed an agreement with the state Government of Telangana to offer a mode of payment options like UPI (Unified Payments Interface ) Collect Request, RuPay Debit and Credit Cards to the users of the ‘MeeSeva’ portal of the Telangana Government.
Key points:
i. The portal offers 150 government services and in 2018, it crosses 100 million transactions.
ii. The partnership will help the people of Telangana to get the benefits of debit and credit card payment network in India and it will be a true Make in India collaboration.
iii. NPCI, which runs the UPI, RuPay, is also in the process of enabling a Quick Response (QR) code-enabled payment mechanism as an additional feature on the MeeSeva portal, which will be available both online and offline.
About NPCI
♦ COO: Ms. Praveena Rai
♦ Founded: 2008
About Telangana
♦ Founded: 2 June 2014
♦ Capital: Hyderabad
♦ Chief Minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao

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