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31.4% of Indian children will be stunted by 2022: UN report
The report on Food & Nutrition Security (FNS) Analysis of India developed by UN (United Nations) World Food Programme in partnership with Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) stated that 31.4% of Indian children under five years will still be stunted by 2022.
i. India must double its rate of progress to reach the target of 25% by 2022 set by the National Nutrition Mission.
ii. The stunting in children under 5years of age is the highest in Bihar (48%), Uttar Pradesh (46%), Jharkhand (45%), and Meghalaya (44%). Only one in five children in Kerala and Goa (20% each) are stunted……………………………Click here to Read more
BDC under EAC-PM headed by Professor Bibek Debroy submitted its report
Beekeeping Development Committee (BDC) under the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) headed by Professor Bibek Debroy submitted its report to the Prime Minister on June 26, 2019. It was framed with the objective to identify ways of advancing beekeeping in India.
i. To recognize honeybees as inputs to agriculture and consider landless Beekeepers as farmers.
ii. As per the data from Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), in 2017-18, India was ranked eighth in the world in terms of honey production (64.9 thousand tonnes). China was ranked first with a production level of 551 thousand tonnes………………………….Click here to Read more
Centre constituted panel for better coordination among ministers
On June 23, 2019, Central Government has formed a committee for coordination among the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas(MoPNG), the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) and the state governments after a tug of war between the two ministries. The panel formation will help in speeding up hydrocarbon exploration-related clearances.
i. Members: The newly formed committee will have P K Sinha, Cabinet Secretary as chairman and secretaries of home, petroleum and environment ministry, a representative from the NITI Aayog & and chief secretaries of petroleum-producing states as members.
ii. Background: There are differences between the two ministries on whether exploration should be treated as mining.
iii. Issues: onshore and offshore projects under Discovered Small Fields (DSF) and Open Acreage Licensing Policy(OALP) are stuck with the MoEFCC and MoEF objected the companies involved in exploration state that exploration activities be considered as a temporary vegetation change.
It permits investors to select the exploration blocks on their own without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government.
It is based on Hydrocarbon exploration and licensing policy. It provides a uniform license for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon.
Korean Ambassador to India Bong-kil Shin signed agreement with BMVSS and launched ‘Jaipur Foot Korea’
On June 24, 2019, South Korean Ambassador to India Bong-kil Shin launched a collaborative initiative between South Korea and Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) named ‘Jaipur Foot Korea’. An agreement was also signed by the Korean Ambassador with BMVSS to provide assistance in prosthetic limbs sector.
i. Korea will grant financial and technical assistance for research and development collaboration in the med-tech sector in the area of prosthetic limbs, bionic arms, 3-D printing-based Flat foot solution and mobility solutions.
ii. It will provide opportunities to the Korean med-tech students to join the various prosthetic fitment camps in various countries and participate in certificate programmes offered by Jaipur Foot.
iii. It will provide overseas development assistance and grants from the Government of Korea and donations from private institutions and corporations from Korea to India.
♦ Headquarters: Jaipur, Rajasthan
♦ Founded: 1975
♦ Founder: D.R. Mehta
About South Korea:
♦ Currency: South Korean won
♦ Capital: Seoul
MHA released the rankings of Police Stations for 2018; Rajasthan tops the list
On June 25, 2019, The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) released the rankings of police stations for the year 2018. It covered 15,666 police stations. 20% weightage was assigned to the police station’s infrastructure and citizen feedback on the performance of the police personnel posted at the police station and they were evaluated on the basis of crimes against women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes & property related offences. The scores were calculated based on the number of FIRs (First Information Reports) chargesheeted within 60 days.
i. The Kalu police station in Bikaner district of Rajasthan was ranked the best police station in the country. It was awarded the first rank for its performance in crime prevention, investigation and disposal of cases, crime detection, community policing and maintenance of law and order, women help desk facility, drinking water facility and WiFi.
ii. Campbell Bay police station in Nicobar district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands was ranked second. It has facilities like a separate woman help desk, a child-friendly room, an IT (Information Technology) room and a proper waiting room for the complainants and visitors.
iii. Farakka police station in Murshidabad, West Bengal was ranked third for its facilities like air-conditioners, a gymnasium and playground that provides a comfortable environment for public-police interaction, CCTV cameras, fire safety facilities and oxygen cylinders.
iv. Nettapakkam in Puducherry, Gudageri in Dharwad,Karnataka, Chopal in Shimla, Lakheri in Bundi, Rajasthan, Periyakulam in Theni, Tamil Nadu, Munsyari in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, and Curchorem in South Goa were the other police stations that featured in the top 10 rankings of 2018.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 15 August 1947
♦ Minister In-charge: Amit Shah
India’s candidature for non-permanent seat of UNSC received Asia-Pacific Group’s unanimous endorsement
The Group of Asia-Pacific at the United Nations unanimously endorsed India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). This will be for a two-year term 2021-2022. This was informed by India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin. Every year, 5 non-permanent members are elected for a 2-year term.
i. 55 Member states extended the support to India which included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Papua New Guinea among others.
ii. India served as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for seven terms, the recent one was in 2011-12.
iii. Five permanent members of the Council are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
♦ Headquarters: New York, US
♦ Founded: 24 October 1945
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI panel led by U.K. Sinha suggests Rs.5,000 crore stressed asset fund for MSMEs
On June 25, 2019, The Reserve Bank released the report of the expert committee under former SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) chairman U K Sinha on measures for the economic and financial sustainability of the MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
i. FOF(Fund of Funds): In order to support Venture Capitalists or PE (private equity) investing in the MSME sector, the committee recommended the formation of government-sponsored FoF of Rs 10,000 crore.
ii. Distressed asset fund: It also recommends the creation of a distressed asset fund of Rs 5,000 crore for small enterprises. The fund will operate on the lines of the Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) which makes equity investments that lead to reviving the sick&Debt-burden units……………………..Click here to Read more
Wilful Defaulters in State-Run Banks increased by 60% in 5years
On June 24, 2019, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that the number of wilful defaulters in nationalized banks has risen 60% in five years to March 2019.
i. A number of wilful defaulters: The figure stood at 8,582 at the end of FY19(fiscal year) against 5,349 at the end of FY15.The silver lining is about Rs.7,600 crore has been recovered from those defaulters.
ii. In PSBs(public sector banks), out of 9856 wilful defaulters, 960 accounts from Punjab National bank followed by Union Bank of India and Central Bank Of India………………………………….Click here to Read more
World Bank commits $31.58 mn loan for Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project
On June 26, 2019, The Government of India, the State Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank signed a tripartite Loan Agreement of $31.58 million (about Rs 221 crore) for Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project. This will help improve the State’s ability to manage its Financial Systems and lead to Better Utilization of Development Resources.
i. The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the central government, Savin Bansal I.A.S, Additional Secretary, Finance of Uttarakhand on behalf of the Govt of Uttarakhand and Shanker Lal, Acting Country Director, World Bank India.
ii. The Project will benefit the citizens of Uttarakhand by enhancing accountability in public finances including administration of tax and non-tax revenues.
iii. It will also help the people of Uttarakhand to access a better quality of public services in the areas of cash and debt management, planning and budgeting, appraisal and monitoring of high-value projects and public audit.
iv. The $31.58 Million Loan from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 5 year grace period, and a final maturity of 11 years.
♦ Capital: Dehradun
♦ Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Tech Mahindra signed a contract with Airbus for cabin and cargo design engineering
On June 20, 2019, Tech Mahindra, an information technology firm, entered into a multi-year contract with Airbus for cabin and cargo design engineering. The contract is aimed to capitalise on the specialised skills and competencies in growing cabin engineering business over the next few years.
i. The partnership will strengthen Tech Mahindra’s aerospace engineering portfolio in areas like cabin engineering and customer services.
ii. The financial details of the partnership were not disclosed by the firms.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Malayalam film ‘Veyilmarangal’ won an award at Shanghai International film festival
In the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival, Director Bijukumar Damodaran has received the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award for the film, Veyil Marangal (Trees Under the Sun).
i. This is for the first Indian film to win a major award at the festival. The film was one among the 3,964 entries submitted from 112 countries in the prestigious Golden Goblet Award competition.
ii. The jury chairperson at the Fest was the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
iii. It is Dr. Biju’s second time at the fest, after featuring his film ‘Aakasathinte Niram'(Colour of Sky) in 2012 at Shanghai.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO gets a 2-year extension
On June 26, 2019, The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, Government of India has extended the tenure of Amitabh Kant, CEO(Chief Executive Officer) of Government’s think tank NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), by two years, up to June 30, 2021.
i. Kant, a 1980 batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre was appointed as CEO on February 17, 2016.
ii. He was Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) before serving as CEO of NITI Aayog.
iii. He has played a key role in ‘Make in India’, ‘Startup India’, ‘Incredible India’ initiatives.
About NITI Aayog:
♦ Formed: 1 January 2015
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
Head of Amazon India, Amit Agarwal appointed as the Chairman of IAMAI
On June 25, 2019, Amit Agarwal, Amazon India Senior Vice-President and Country Head, was named as the new Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He succeeds Rajan Anandan, who was the former Google India Managing Director (MD).
i. Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Yatra was appointed as the Vice Chairman of IAMAI succeeding Deep Kalra, Founder and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip.
ii. Satyan Gajwani, vice-chairman of Times Internet, was appointed as the new Treasurer of the IAMAI.
iii. Subho Ray will continue as the President of the association.
iv. The tenure of the new council is 2 years and the announcement on the new appointments was made at the 15th Annual General Meeting in New Delhi.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 2004
K Natarajan appointed as DG of ICG
Krishnaswamy Natarajan, 1984 batch officer, has been appointed as new Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard (ICG). He succeeds Rajendra Singh who will be retiring on 30 June 2019. At present, he is serving as Additional Director General (ADG) of ICG’s Western SeaBoard.
i. The flag officer had joined the ICG on January 18, 1984. He has a Masters Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University.
ii. He held various important command and staff appointments, both afloat and ashore. He served as the Commanding Officer, ICGS Mandapam.
iii. His key staff assignments at ICG headquarters included- Chairman, Coast Guard Service Selection Board (SSB), Principal Director (Policy and Plans), Principal Director (Projects), Joint Director (Operations), Coast Guard Advisor (CGA) to Director General, ICG, Chief Staff Officer (Personnel & Administration) at Headquarters Region (East), Chennai, Chief of Staff at Headquarters Region (West), Mumbai, Officer-in-Charge and Coast Guard Training Centre, Kochi.
iv. He is the recipient of President Tatrakshak Medal (Distinguished Service) in 2011 and Tatrakshak Medal (Meritorious) in 1996.
About Indian Coast Guard (ICG):
♦ Motto: We Protect
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Curiosity rover detects high amounts of methane on Mars
On June 25, 2019, The US (United States) space agency, NASA’s ( National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Curiosity rover has discovered the high amounts of methane gas on Mars that indicates life on the red planet.
i. The measurement found 21 parts per billion of methane in the air, three times what was found during 2013.
ii. The finding came from the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer.
iii. Curiosity rover has detected methane many times since its arrival on Mars in 2012.
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
♦ Founder: Dwight D. Eisenhower
♦ Founded: 29 July 1958
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Girish Koushik of Karnataka became India’s 63rd Grandmaster
22-year-old Girish A. Koushik of Mysore, Karnataka became India’s 63rd Grandmaster (GM) at the 37th Balaton International Chess Festival in Hungary.
i. He completed his second GM norm at the 8th Llucmajor Open in Mallorca, Spain in May 2019 and third norm in Budapest. The first GM norm was achieved in 2011 at the World Juniors.
ii. He became the third Grandmaster from Karnataka, after Thejkumar M S and Stany G A.
Sofia Kenin won the Mallorca Open Title 2019
Sofia Kenin (20) of the United States won the Mallorca Open Title 2019 against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland with 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 6-4 points in the finals. The 4th edition of the tournament was held at Santa Ponsa Tennis Club in Mallorca, Spain, from 17 June to 23 June 2019. The prize money of the tournament was $ 250,000.
i. This was her second WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) singles title of the season. She claimed her first WTA singles title in the Australian Open 2019 held at Hobart, Australia in January 2019.
ii. In the Doubles event, the pair of Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Johanna Larsson of Sweden defeated the Spanish pair María José Martínez Sánchez and Sara Sorribes Tormo.
Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj, a renowned seer, passed away at Dehradun in Uttarakhand
On June 25, 2019, A renowned seer, Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj (Swami Satyamitranand), aged 87, passed away at Dehradun in Uttarakhand after a prolonged illness.
i. He was born on September 19, 1932, in Agra, Uttar Pradesh as Ambika Prasad.
ii. He was the head of Bharat Mata Janhit Trust. He established Bharat Mata Mandir in Haridwar and Samanvaya Seva Foundation to serve poor people from tribal and hilly areas by providing free education and medical facilities.
iii. He was the recipient of Padma Bhushan in 2015.
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2019 observed on June 26
The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2019 was observed on June 26. The day is observed to enhance the efforts to achieve an international society free of drug abuse and create awareness on the problems caused by illicit drugs to society. The theme for 2019 was “Health for Justice. Justice for Health”.
i. On the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment launched “17th Run Against Drug Abuse” at JawaharLal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
ii. The theme for the day in India is ‘Listen First’………………………………….Click here to Read more
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture observed on 26, June 2019
On June 26, 2019, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture observed all over the world to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.
i. In 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly declared 26 June as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
ii. This day aims to achieve total eradication of torture experienced by victims.
iii. The UN(United Nations) Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture that is administered by the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva is a victim-focused mechanism that provides assistance to victims of torture and their families.
World Hydrography day 2019 observed on June 21
World Hydrography Day (WHD) 2019 was observed on June 21. It is observed to publicise the work of hydrographers and the importance of hydrography. It aims to increase awareness about the protection of safe navigation and marine life protection. The theme for WHD 2019 is “Hydrographic information driving marine knowledge”.
i. It was adopted by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and was first celebrated in 2006.
ii. In 2005, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted a resolution to celebrate WHD on 21 June every year.
iii. 2019 marks the centenary of the first Hydrographic Conference at Trinity House, London. At the Conference, representatives of 26 countries had discussed and agreed upon future technical cooperation in hydrography which resulted in the establishment of the IHO in 1921.
♦ Headquarters: Monaco
♦ Founded: 21 June 1921
♦ Secretary General: Dr Mathias Jonas
BIMSTEC Day- 2019 celebrated in Dhaka, Bangladesh
On June 26, 2019, The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) member countries consisting of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan celebrated the BIMSTEC Day- 2019 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
i. Dr. A K Abdul Momen, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh was the chief guest of the event.
ii. Bishwadip Dey, Acting High Commissioner represented India in the BIMSTEC founding day event.
iii. Secretary-General of BIMSTEC M. Shahidul Islam stated that BIMSTEC will be able to achieve further progress in various sectors of cooperation and applauded the progress of BIMSTEC in 14 priority areas in the last 22 years of its existence.
♦ Founded: 1997
♦ Secretariat: Dhaka, Bangladesh
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