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PM Narenrdra Modi Reconstituted NITI Aayog
On June 6, 2019, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi approved the reconstitution of government’s policy think tank, National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. It is scheduled to meet on June 15 for the first time after Modi government won a second term, chaired by the prime minister.
- Rajiv Kumar was retained as the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog whereas economist Bibek Debroy, a full-time member,was dropped from the team.
- V K Saraswat, Ramesh Chand and Dr V K Paul will continue as the members of NITI Aayog…………………………………….Click here to Read more
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal addressed meeting of Board of Trade & Council
A joint meeting of the Board of Trade and the Council for Development and Promotion, organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) was held in New Delhi.
i. Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Railways has asked the industry and export bodies to stop depending on subsidies and grants from the Central Government and make the industry more competitive and self-reliant.
ii. This is the first meeting after Piyush Goyal became the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry following Suresh Prabhu.
iii. The meeting was attended by many ministries such as Textiles, MSME Agriculture, Information Technology, NITI Aayog and other Ministries of government.
Shri Prahalad Singh Patel , Minister of State for Culture & Tourism inaugurate ‘Unknown masterpieces of Himachal Folk Art’, exhibition in New Delhi
The Minister of State for Culture & Tourism, Shri Prahalad Singh Patel inaugurated exhibition “Unknown Masterpieces of Himachal Folk Art”, at National Museum, New Delhi.
i. The exhibition is organized by the National Museum, New Delhi and Home of Folk Art of Tribal, Gurugram .
ii .More than 240 artifacts will be displayed. Out of this 230 objects belong to the personal lifetime collection of Late K.C. Aryan.
3rd advance estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19 released by the Government
On June 3, 2019, The Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare released the 3rd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19. The data was based on the feedback received from States and validated with information available from other sources.
As per 3rd Advance Estimates, the estimated production of major crops during 2018-19 is as follows:
i. Food grains production stood at 283.37 million tonnes, which was higher by 17.62 million tonnes than the previous five years’ (2013-14 to 2017-18) average production of food grain.
|Rice||115.63 million tonnes. (record)
(2017-18: 112.76 million tonnes)
|Wheat||101.20 million tonnes (record)
(2017-18: 99.87 million tonnes)
|Nutri / Coarse Cereals||43.33 million tonnes
(0.24 million tonnes higher than the average production)
|Maize||27.82 million tonnes|
|Pulses||23.22 million tonnes
(2.96 million tonnes higher than the 5 years’ average production of 20.26 million tonnes)
|Gram||10.09 million tonnes|
|Tur||3.50 million tonnes|
ii. Oilseeds: 31.42 million tonnes
|Soyabean||13.74 million tonnes (1.77 million tonnes higher than past 5-year average production)|
|Rapeseed and Mustard||8.78 million tonnes|
|Groundnut||6.50 million tonnes|
iii. Cotton production stood at 27.59 million bales (of 170 kg each)
iv. Sugarcane production stood at 400.37 million tonnes (record), which was higher by 50.59 million tonnes than the average sugarcane production of 349.78 million tonnes.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Minister In-charge: Narendra Singh Tomar
Dr Harsh Vardhan reviewed the status of Nipah virus disease in Kerala
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare(MoHWF), reviewed the status of Nipah Virus Disease (NVD) in Kerala along with Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary (HFW) and the Ministry officials. As of now, 15 people are under observation in the state.
i. Since June 4, 2019, Strategic Health Operation Centre (SHOC) at National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been activated and it is coordinating activities for Nipah containment.
ii. District Control Room was set up in the Collector Office. The Helpline No. is 04842425200.
iii. On June 7, 2019, the Health Minister of Kerala, Smt. K K Shailaja met the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan to discuss the status and preparedness of the State for containment and management of Nipah Virus Disease.
iv. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has permitted the Kerala Government to establish a regional Biosafety Level-3 (BSL-3) laboratory in Kozhikode district. The estimated cost for the project is Rs. 8 crores.
v. Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans and then spreads through people to people contact, causing respiratory illness. Its symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache, fever, dizziness, and nausea.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
India signed Rs 300-crore deal with Israel to buy more 100 SPICEbombs
On June 6, 2019, The Indian Air Force (IAF) inked Rs 300-crore deal with the Israeli government to buy more than 100 SPICE bombs (Balakot bombs). The newly ordered SPICE bombs are an advanced version of SPICE-2000 bombs, that were used to attack the Madrasa of Jaish-e-Mohammed in Balakot, Pakistan, on February 26, 2019.
i. They will be delivered in the next 3 months as the deal has been signed under emergency powers.
ii. They are manufactured by Israeli defence firm, Rafael Advanced Defence Systems.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 8 October, 1932
♦ Chief of Air Staff (CAS):Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Equator Prize 2019 announced by UNDP
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and partners announced the winners of the10th Equator Prize 2019. It recognized 22 local and indigenous communities from across the world.T he winners were selected from a pool of 847 nominations across 127 countries in a four-stage selection process by an independent Technical Advisory Committee of internationally renowned experts.
i. Winners will each receive $10,000 and the opportunity for two community representatives to join a week-long summit in New York during the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
ii. They will be awarded at the Equator Prize Award Ceremony on 24 September 2019, at the Town Hall theatre in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, US.
Telangana-based NGO won UN’s Equator Prize 2019
The women sangams (groups) of the Deccan Development Society (DDS) bagged the United Nation’s Equator Prize for 2019. They were selected for standing as ‘an outstanding example of a local, nature-based solution to climate change and sustainable development.’ The six women farmers are Maisanagari Ratnamma, Begari Tuljamma, Chilkapalli Ansuyamma, Nagwar Sunandamma, Yerrolla Kanakamma, and Nadimidoddi Anjamma.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan initiative Reduced Groundwater Contamination
According to the study on “Environmental impact of the Swachh Bharat Mission on Water, Soil, and Food” by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shows Swachh Bharat has reduced groundwater contamination.
i. The study showed that in terms of faecal contamination, non-ODF (Open Defecation Free) villages were, on average 11.25 times more likely to have their groundwater sources contaminated (12.7 times more from contaminants traceable to humans alone)
ii. 1.13 times more likely to have their soil contaminated.
iii. 1.48 times more likely to have food contaminated
iv. 2.68 times more likely to have household drinking water contaminated.
v. The study was released on the World Environment Day June 5, 2019.
vi. Union Minister Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat stated that a WHO study conducted in 2018 estimated that over three lakh lives will be saved by Swachh Bharat mission by the time India is Open Defecation Free.
Rihanna named as world’s richest female musician with $600 million wealth
Singer Rihanna of age 31 is named as the world’s richest female according to the Forbes magazine with an estimated fortune of $600 million. She overtook Madonna and Beyonce who topped the list previously. She is from Barbados.
i. She is the owner of Fenty Beauty, a cosmetics brand. She is also the first woman to have a clothing range with French company MoÃ«t Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH).
Tayari Jones Novel An American Marriage wins Women’s Prize for Fiction
US Novelist Tayari Jones received Women’s Prize for Fiction worth $40,000 for her novel An American Marriage. The novel was praised by Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey. This is her fourth novel based on a middle-class black couple torn apart by injustice. She also received Aspen Words Literary Prize for the same novel in April 2019.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Azim Premji, founder of Wipro, to Retire as Executive Chairman of Wipro
The founder of Wipro, Azim Premji, aged 74, will retire as Executive Chairman of Wipro on July 30, 2019. Although he will retire from the Executive functions as Chairman and Managing Director but will remain on the board as Non-Executive Chairman for a period of 5 years from July 31 – July 30, 2024. His elder son, Rishad Premji, who is the chief strategy officer and a board member, will take over as Whole-Time Director and designated Executive Chairman of the company.
i. The Chief Executive officer(CEO), Abidali Neemuchwala will be re-designated as CEO and Managing Director(MD).
ii. The changes will be effective on July 31, 2019.
iii. Azim Premji, who served Wipro for 53 years, had won special Economic Times (ET) Award for philanthropy in 2010 and ET’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. The Azim Premji Foundation was the recipient of the ET Corporate Citizen Award in 2006.
Pramila Jayapal first South Asian American woman to preside over US House
Indian-American Pramila Jayapal of age 53, a Democrat from Washington DC set a record by becoming first South Asian American woman to preside over the US House of Representatives as a temporary speaker. She was first elected in 2016. The Congress holds about 17 Asian Americans, with 14 in the House and three in the Senate.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Army launched RODRA website to address veterans’ issues
Army launched an online platform, Retired Officers Digital Records Archive (RODRA), https://rodra.gov.in with an aim to have a better connection with armed forces veteran officers and family pensioners.
i. The website provides facilities such as updating records, registration, and tracking of documents and pension-related grievances and communicating regarding various issues.
ii. It will act as an interface between the custodian of officers’ records, AG/MP 5&6 and veteran officers, next of kin (NOK).
iii. The website saves manpower, stationery, and postal charges by discontinuing Pension Payment Order (PPOs), which is now available in the website itself.
For the first time, China launched “Long March 11 rocket “, a rocket to space from a ship at sea
On June 5, 2019, For the first time, China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) successfully launched “Long March 11 rocket “, a rocket to space from a ship at sea. It was launched from a platform on a large semi-submersible barge in the Yellow Sea.
i. It carried on board a cargo of 7 rockets, including 5 designed for commercial use and 2 include experimental payloads for space-based research.
ii. The 2 larger satellites, named Bufeng-1A and Bufeng-1B built by the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing, will monitor ocean winds to help improve weather forecasts.
iii. Other payloads included an Earth-imaging CubeSat, an experimental communications satellite called Tianqi-3, China’s first two Ka-band communications satellites, and a new satellite for China’s Jilin-1 remote-sensing satellite constellation.
iv. In recent years, China has made its space program a top priority. It aims to become a major space power by 2030.
v. With this achievement, China joined the U.S. and Russia as the 3 global powers with proven ability to launch rockets into space from the sea.
♦ Headquarters: Haidian District, Beijing, China
♦ Founded: April 22, 1993
♦ Director: Zhang Kejian
Ebola drug ‘remdesivir’ to protect against Nipah virus
An experimental Ebola drug ‘remdesivir’ is found to cure Nipah virus also according to the new study published in Science Translational Medicine from National Institutes of Health scientists and colleagues. The drug was developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. in collaboration with scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
i. Nipah is a zoonotic virus which is transmitted from animals such as bats or pigs to humans and can also spread through contaminated food and people-to-people contact. In May 2018, it has claimed 17 lives in Kerala.
Six-time Grammy-winning musician Dr John passed away at age of 77
Musician Malcolm John Rebennack died at the age of 77 due to a heart attack. Dr John was nominated for 15 Grammy Awards and won six of them. He hailed from New Orleans, US state of Louisiana. He has recorded about 20 albums. He is known for blues, pop, jazz, boogie-woogie, and rock and roll.
World Food Safety Day 2019 Observed On June 7
The first-ever World Food Safety Day was celebrated on June 7, 2019. It was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in December 2018. The theme for the year 2019 is “Food Safety, everyone’s business”. On this occasion, an event was launched in New York with a panel discussion.
- It was celebrated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
- Golden Temple Street of Amritsar was recognized as a ‘Clean Street Food Hub’…………………………………………………Click here to Read more
Haryana Govt Withdraws EPBG Quota for accommodating EWS reservations
Haryana government has issued an order to withdraw Economically Backward Persons in General Caste Category (EBPG) reservation since Economically Weaker Sections reservation (EWS) came into effect. EWS comes under Constitution 124th Amendment Bill, 2019 passed by the parliament to allow 10% reservation for economically backward sections in the general category in government jobs and academic institutions in January 2019.
♦ Capital – Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister – Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Governor – Satyadev Narayan Arya
Uttarakhand’s minister for parliamentary affairs and finance Prakash Pant passed away
Uttarakhand minister Prakash Pant passed away at the age of 58 in the US where he was taking treatment for cancer. He is from Pithoragarh. Pant handed over his portfolios to Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat, before leaving to the United States.
♦ Capital – Dehradun
♦ Chief Minister – Trivendra Singh Rawat
♦ Governor – Baby Rani Maurya
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