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Govt approves revision of carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under PMAY (Urban) under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme
On June 13, 2018, the government has increased the carpet area of houses to be covered under Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for interest subsidy for the middle income group under PradhanMantri Away Yojana (Urban).
Govt approves revision of carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under PMAY (Urban) under Credit Linked Subsidy SchemeKey points:
i. For MIG -I the carpet area has been increased to 160 sqmetres or 1722 sqft from 120 sq m
ii. For MIG II, the carpet area has been increased to 200 sqmetre or 2153 sqft from 150 sq m.
iii. This would boost the construction sector and enhance economic activity for the increased area coverage.
iv. Individuals with annual income of Rs.6 to 12 lakhs would qualify for MIG-I category.
v. Individuals with annual income of Rs.12 to 18 lakhs would qualify for t he MIG-II category.
vi. Interest Subsidy Rate for MIG –I is 4 % and for MIG-II is 3% with a maximum tenure of 20 years.
vii. House Loan limits has been revised from Rs 28 lakh to Rs 35 lakhs for metropolitan cities and Rs.20 lakh to Rs.25 lakh for other centres provided the overall cost does not exceed Rs.45 lakh and Rs.30 lakh respectively. This would fall under Priority Sector Lending.
About PradhanMantriAwasYojana:
♦ Launched in 2015, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs , it provides affordable housing to urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022.
♦ It has two components: PMAY (Urban ) and PMAY (Rural).

Shri Thawarchand Gehlot chairs ‘3rdMeeting of National Council of Senior Citizens’ in New Delhi
On 13th June 2018, Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment chaired the “3rdMeeting of National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC)” conducted by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in New Delhi.
Shri Thawarchand Gehlot chairs ‘3rdMeeting of National Council of Senior Citizens’ in New Delhi3rd Meeting of National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC):
i. The NCSrC advises Central and State Governments on issues related to welfare of senior citizens and improvement of their quality of life.
ii. The NCSrC meets at least two times a year. Its first meeting was held on 30th August 2016. The second meeting was held on 19th June 2017.
iii. Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the recently launched “Rashtriya Vayoshree Yojana” offers Physical Aids and Assisted Living Devices to Senior citizens in the BPL category.
iv. 290 districts have been identified for 2017-18 and 2018-19, out of which assessment has been done in 49 districts and camps held in 29 districts so far. 34069 senior citizens belonging to BPL families have benefitted.
v. He said that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment observes International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) on 1stOctober every year.
vi. VayoshreshthaSamman/National Awards are awarded in 13 categories to institutions and senior citizens for their outstanding contribution for the cause of elderly persons from 2013.
vii. The closing date for receiving nominations for the awards is 30th June 2018.
viii. Discussions held in the meeting were on: Amendments to the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (MWPSC) Act, 2007,  RastriyaVayoshriYojana (A Scheme for providing Physical Aids and Assisted-Living Devices for Senior Citizens belonging to BPL Category), Revised Scheme of Integrated Programme for Senior Citizens (IPSrC), National Award/VayoshreshthaSamman; Senior Citizens Welfare Fund, Financial assistance under IGNOAPS, Social Security to Senior Citizens, Facilities at Railway Stations and Bridging of Inter-generational Gap.
About National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC):
♦ National Council for Older Persons (NCOP) was reconstituted and renamed as National Council of Senior Citizens (NCSrC) in 2012
♦ Chairperson – Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot

Cashless Ticketing through ‘Utsonmobile’ app developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System)
The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a mobile based application called ‘utsonmobile’ for cashless train ticketing.

Cashless Ticketing through 'Utsonmobile' app developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System)Utsonmobile:
i. The Utsonmobile application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and lets to maintain user profile management and booking history.
ii. It is very handy, free and available for Android and Windows smart phone. It can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Windows for free.
iii. The passenger has to register using his/her mobile number, name, city, default booking train type, class, ticket type, number of passenger and frequently travelling routes.
iv. After registration, Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger. No extra cost will be charged for creating R-Wallet.
v. The R-Wallet can be recharged at any UTS counter or through recharge option in the website.
vi. If internet connection of the mobile is not up, then ticket booking will not be allowed.
vii. Advance ticket booking is not allowed. The journey date should always be current date.
viii. The passenger need not take a hardcopy of the ticket. The passenger can use ‘Show Ticket’ option in the app, during ticket checking.
ix. To book paperless ticket, the smart phone should be GPS enabled. Paperless tickets cannot be cancelled.
x. The journey should commence within one hour after booking the paperless ticket.
xi. Season ticket can be issued/renewed using the app. It will be valid from the next day of booking the ticket.
xii. GPS is not required for issue/renewal of Season Ticket. Platform Ticket can also be booked using the app.
xiii. In case passenger is not able to show the ticket on mobile then it will be deemed as ticketless travel.
xiv. Passenger can book paper ticket also through the mobile app. After booking he/she will receive Booking ID along with other ticket details.
xv. The booking details will be available in booking history also. The booking ID will be sent through SMS.
xvi. Passenger can go to the journey originating (source) station and take ticket print out from any of the ATVM there.
xvii. Print out can be taken by entering his/her registered mobile number and booking ID. Journey is valid only if printed ticket is shown.
xviii. Cancellation of Paper ticket is allowed. It can be cancelled at the counter after printing the ticket or using the app before printing the ticket. Cancellation fee will be charged.
xix. The journey should start within one hour after printing paper ticket in the kiosk.
About Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS):
♦ MD – Mukesh Nigam
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Rs. 14.30 crore sanctioned for Block level sports in Jammu & Kashmir by the Union Sports Ministry
Grants-in-aid worth Rs. 14.30 crore has been sanctioned for Bock level sports in Jammu and Kashmir under the ‘Khelo India’ Scheme by the Union Sports Ministry.
Rs. 14.30 crore for Block level sports in Jammu & Kashmir:
i. Funds of Rs. 10 lakh per Block will be spent under the scheme in all the 143 Blocks of 22 Districts of Jammu & Kashmir.
ii. The Central grant of Rs. 14.30 crore will be utilized to offer soft support like coaches, equipments, consumables, technical support, organizing competitions including boarding and lodging facilities and travelling expenses for the participants etc.
iii. Sports competitions will be conducted based on popularity of the games in a particular district.
iv. A District Level Committee chaired by Deputy Commissioner will carry out this scheme.
v. Superintendent of Police and District Representative of the J&K Sports Council are also members of this Committee.
vi. Implementation of this sports scheme at the Block level in all the 22 Districts of Jammu and Kashmir was announced by the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during his visit to the state on 7th and 8th June 2018.
Some important stadiums in Jammu and Kashmir:
♦ Bakhshi Stadium – Srinagar
♦ Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium – Srinagar

NDMA to conduct flood preparedness exercise in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow
On 13th June 2018, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) conducted a table-top exercise at the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Table-top exercise:
i. This exercise was conducted in the run-up to a State-level mock exercise on flood preparedness that will be conducted in 23 flood-prone districts of Uttar Pradesh on 14th June 2018.
ii. The exercise is held in collaboration with State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).
iii. All districts have confirmed that their Disaster Management Plans (DMPs) had been updated, Response Teams identified and other preparations for the exercise had been done.
iv. The table-top exercise was performed based on scenarios created in collaboration with State Department based on flood mapping and similar hazards.
v. Independent observers were informed about their role and standard feedback forms were given to them.
vi. Sites for the mock exercise and administrative arrangements were decided. A Coordination-cum-Orientation Conference was also held on 5th June 2018.
vii. These preparatory exercises were attended by senior-level officials of Uttar Pradesh, Army, Air Force and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
viii. District collectors and their teams took part in these exercises through video conferencing.
About National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):
♦ Chairman – Narendra Modi
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

KSLMA initiates ‘Water Literacy’ campaign with 70000 students to create awareness about importance of water
On June 13,2018, the Kerela State Literacy Mission Authority has announced the launch of a ‘Water Literacy’(Jalasaksharatha) campaign to create awareness about the importance and optimal use of the resource and conservation in the state.
Key points:
i. The campaign would involve 70000 students for creating the awareness.
ii .Every student will take classes about water conservation for 15 families in their locality.
iii. 10 lakh people will be benefited from the campaign scheduled to be held from June 20 to September 20.
iv. State Education Minister Prof C Raveendranath released a special course book named as ‘The Water: Textbook for Environment Literacy Programme-1’ has been brought out for the campaign,which contains 16 chapters for the purpose.
About Kerala State Literacy Mission Authority (KSLMA):
It is an autonomous body under the General education department, Government of Kerala. It was set up in 1998 for coordinating and activating literacy and continuing education.

Odisha can produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes: Steel Minister Giriraj Singh
On June 13, 2018, Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birender Singh on his interaction with MDs/CEOs of major steel producing units located in the State of Odisha stated that in 2017-18, India produced more than 100 million tonnes of steel
India has become the second largest steel producing country.
ii. Odisha is rich in minerals and mines and has a potential to produce 100 million tonnes of steel out of 300 million tonnes envisaged in National Steel Policy by the year 2030-31.

NITI Aayog to launch Composite Water Management Index to rank states for water management under ‘SabkaSaath ,SabkaVikas’
On June 13, 2018, NITI Aayog the think tank has launched ‘Composite Water Management Index’.
To fulfill cooperative and competitive federalism among states and Union Territories.
Key points:
i. To assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources.
ii. The index would provide useful information for the States and also for the concerned Central Ministries/Departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
iii .ShriNitinGadkari, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (WR,RD&GR) shall be releasing the Index.
iv. To fulfill the objective of ‘Sab kaSaath, Sab kaVikas’.
Other Indexes released :
NITI Aayog ‘s“Healthy States, Progressive India” Report  ranks states and Union territories innovatively on their year-on-year incremental change in health outcomes, as well as, their overall performance with respect to each other.
Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index developed by the Commerce and Industry Ministry and Deloitte ranked states in terms of the logistical support they provided to promote goods trade.

50 clusters of Solar Charkha Mission to be launched  in June 27,2018 by President
On June 13, 2018, The government approved the Solar Chakra Mission of the Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) which will be launched by the President, Ram Nath Kovind on June 27, 2018 in New Delhi.
The Minister of State for MSME Mr.Giriraj Singh released a booklet on the 4 years’ achievement of his Ministry.
Key points:
i. The Mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans.
ii. It will provide subsidy of Rs. 550 crore to the artisans.
iii. 15 new state-of-the-art technology centers are being set up all over the country including North-East, of which 10 centers will become operational by March 2019.
iv .Each center is being built at a cost of around Rs. 150 crore.
v. The 10 centers are located in Durg (Chhattisgarh), Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Rohtak (Haryana), Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Sitarganj (Uttarakhand), Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Bhopal (M.P.), Kanpur (U.P.) and Puducherry.
vi. Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) budgetary allocation for FY 2018-19 has been increased by 75% to Rs. 1,800 crore.
vii. Government will be making an investment of about Rs. 10,000 crore in the micro sector in this financial year mainly to incentivize women and sc/st entrepreneurs.
viii. Ministry has promoted Ease-of-Doing-Business with the setting up of 4 portals: ‘MSME Sambandh’, MSME Samadhaan, UdyogAadhaar and UdyamSakhi.
ix. Ministry of MSME has provided training to over 15 lakh people during the last 4 years through its various initiatives.
About Solar Chakra Mission:
♦ The main objective of introducing the ‘Solar Chakra Model’ was to give employment to women.
♦ aims to increase the khadi sales from Rs 26,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crores
♦ The Solar Chakra Model will also generate anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 every month for every worker.


11 countries awarded for elimination of LF in 10th Meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis
On June 13, 2018, Union Minister of Health and Family WelfareShri J P Naddainaugurated the 10th meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF) in New Delhi.
11 countries awarded for elimination of LF in 10th Meeting of Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic FilariasisKey points:
i.  ShriNadda also gave away the GAELF awards to 11 countries- Cambodia, Cook Islands, Egypt, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Niue, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Togo, Tonga and Vanuatu, for successfully interrupting the transmission.
ii.Healso released the Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) 2018 for India.
iii. 100 districts out of total 256 endemic districts have achieved elimination target and stopped Mass Drug Administration after successful validation by Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS) and are under post MDA surveillance.
About Lymphatic Filariasis (LF):
Lymphatic Filariasis  (LF) or commonly known as Elephantiasis is one of the oldest and most debilitating neglected disease effecting 73 countries of the world, including India. LF disease is caused mainly by WuchereriaBancrofti and spread by Culex mosquito. This mosquito grows in dirty accumulated water. The disease affects the poorest population in society, particularly those living in areas with poor water, sanitation and hygiene. LF does not kill the affected people, but may cause permanent disfigurement, reduced productivity and social stigma.
About Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF):
GAELF is an alliance of partners from 72 LF endemic national country programmes, NGOs, private sectors, academic and research institutes and international development agencies  assisting WHO’s Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis. IT was formed in the year  2000.

India, Kazakhstan to enhance military-industrial cooperation and cyber security
On June 13, 2018, India and Kazakhstan to develop bilateral relations in cooperating in the military-industrial field.
Key points:
i. This decision was taken during the 5th Joint Inter-Governmental Kazakh-Indian Working group meeting held in Astana
ii. The agreement was between The Vice-Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry ShaymergenovTimur and  Joint Secretary (Planning and International Cooperation), Ministry of Defence, ShambhuKumaran.
iii. This would boost interaction in the field of cyber security and peace making.

2nd edition of India-US colloquium on Earth Observations and Sciences for Society and Economy by CSIR and NOAA.
On June 11,2018, Organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research)-NIO and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the 2nd edition of India-US colloquium was inaugurated.
2nd edition of India-US colloquium on Earth Observations and Sciences for Society and Economy by CSIR and NOAA.Key points:
i. It is an event that aims to focus on the emerging earth sciences issues .
ii. Consists of 200 delegates from India and US .
iii. India today announced that it would share data obtained by its ocean buoys, positioned outside the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with others nations without any restrictions.
iv.This would help forecast monsoon as well as provide cyclone warnings.
v. The data from RAMA buoy (marooned outside the EEZ) is given to students and researchers free of cost and now available to everybody.
About RAMA buoy:
The Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) was designed to study the Indian Ocean’s role in the monsoons. RAMA, the newest tropical buoy array, was initiated in the Ocean in 2004 following deployment of successful pilot scale arrays by Japan and India.  RAMA has since grown through the formation of new partnerships that at present include Indonesia, China, the USA, and the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) program. It works under NOAA.


OPIC gives $5 mn loan to Grameen Impact via IndusInd Bank to support MSMEs
On June 13,2018, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) under the US government gives $5 million or Rs.33.5 crore to Grameen Impact Investments to support domestic small and medium enterprises.
Key points:
i. This loan comes via IndusInd Bank through an agreement.
ii. Grameen Impact is supported by Gramin Capital India including many leading impact investors like Acumen.
iii. India has rapidly become a global leader in impact investing, with over USD 5 billion of investments in this space.
About Grameen Impact:
Grameen Impact Investing is to finance social enterprises and innovative microfinance to improve livelihoods of the people of rural areas.
About Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC):
♦ The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the United States government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and, in doing so, advances the foreign policy of the United States and national security objectives.
♦ Headquarters: Washington D.C.


NSE launches ‘Tri-Party Repo Market platform’ to facilitate repo in corporate debt securities
On June 13, 2018, National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched a ‘Tri-party Repo Market Platform’ for repurchase of corporate debt security.
Key points:
i. It is a repo contract where a third entity, apart from the borrower and lender, called tri-party agent acts as an intermediary to facilitate services like collateral selection, payment and settlement, custody and management during the life of the transaction.
ii. Itprovides opportunity to borrow against the securities and provides short-term liquidity to participants.
iii.This wouldincrease demand for corporate bonds and may provide a boost to much needed liquidity in the corporate bond market
iv. Under corporate bond repo a firm or a bank pledges corporate bonds with another company or lender to garner funds. The entity, who makes pledges, agrees to repurchase the bonds at a specified price.
v. Axis Bank Ltd and ICICI Securities Primary Dealership are the first few members who have participated on the platform.
vi. National Stock Exchange (NSE) will offer basket repo for 1 day to 7 days.
vii. It would facilitate borrowing and lending of funds against various baskets of corporate debt securities and the baskets would include corporate bonds, certificate of deposits and commercial papers.
viii. NSE would act as tri-party agent and offer an online web based, anonymous, order matching and multilateral trading platform
ix. Settlement of repo transactions shall be guaranteed by NSCCL .
x. The tri-party repo market platform is available to entities permitted by the RBI and who are members of NSE’s debt segment.
About corporate debt securities:
Debt security refers to a debt instrument, such as a government bond, corporate bond, certificate of deposit (CD), municipal bond or preferred stock, that can be bought or sold between two parties and has basic terms defined, such as notional amount (amount borrowed), interest rate, and maturity and renewal date.

SEBI constitutes Expert panel for rules to attract direct listing of Indian firms abroad
On June 13, 2018, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has set up a panel to make listings of startups attractive.
Key Points:
i. The listings currently exist in Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) Framework.
ii. The expert Panel would submit the report to SEBI within a period of one month.
iii. The ITP has facilitated  listing of new age companies in sectors like e-commerce, data analytics, bio-technology and other startups.
iv. Members of the group include representatives from the Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT), The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), law firms, merchant bankers, and stock exchanges.
v. SEBI board approved doubling the investment limit by angel funds in venture capital undertakings to Rs 10 crore to drive the startups.
About Angel Funds:
Angel funds, a sub-category of Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), encourage entrepreneurship by financing small startups at a stage when they find it difficult to obtain capital from traditional sources of finance such as banks and financial institutions.

US government clears sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $ 930M
On 12th June 2018, United States government approved a deal to sell the Indian military six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for 930 million dollars.
US government clears sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $ 930MSale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $ 930M:
i. The agreement has been passed to the US Congress for approval. If no US lawmaker makes an objection the contract will be proceeded.
ii. Boeing and Indian partner Tata have started production of Apache fuselages at a plant in India.
iii. But this approval involves a direct sale of finished products from the US manufacturers.
iv. The contract also includes night vision sensors, GPS guidance and hundreds of Hellfire anti-armour and Stinger air-to-air missiles.
v. The main contractors are Lockheed Martin, General Electric and Raytheon.
About Tata Group:
♦ Chairman – Natarajan Chandrasekaran
♦ Founded – 1868


Kohli conferred with Polly Umrigar award & Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana received their maiden BCCI awards for being best international cricketer (women)
On 12th June 2018, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was awarded the Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer at the BCCI Annual Awards in Bengaluru.
Kohli conferred with Polly Umrigar award & Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana received their maiden BCCI awards for being best international cricketer (women)BCCI Annual Awards:
i. Virat Kohli was awarded for his outstanding performance in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
ii. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were awarded their first BCCI awards for the best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 season, respectively.
iii. Former England captain Kevin Pietersen delivered the 6th MAK Pataudi Memorial Lecture at the BCCI award. He has become the first non-Indian cricketer to deliver the opening speech of the award ceremony.
About BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India):
♦ CEO – Rahul Johri
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


Yes Bank reappoints Rana Kapoor as MD &CEO
On 12th June 2018, shareholders of Yes Bank approved the reappointment of Rana Kapoor as MD & CEO of Yes bank for a further period of 3 years with effect from 1st September 2018.
Rana Kapoor – reappointed as MD & CEO:
i. Rana Kapoor’s reappointment is subject to final approval by the RBI. The following appointments were also made in the meeting: Subhash Chander Kalia as non-executive non-independent director and also approved the re-appointment of Ajai Kumar as Non-Executive Non-Independent Director.Rentala Chandrashekhar and Pratima Sheory as independent directors for a period of 5 years.
ii. Also a proposal to borrow or raise funds up to Rs 30,000 crore in Indian or foreign currency was approved.
iii. A special resolution was passed in this regard, increasing the total borrowing limit of the bank to Rs 1.1 lakh crore.
iv. The meeting was chaired by Ashok Chawla, non-executive chairman of the bank. It was attended by all nine directors on board.
About Yes Bank:
♦ Tag line – Experience our Expertise
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai

Inder Jit Singh appointed as coal secretary
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cleared the appointment of Inder Jit Singh as the coal secretary.
Inder Jit Singh appointed as coal secretary:
i. Inder Jit Singh is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1985 batch of Kerala cadre.
ii. He was the additional secretary, coordination in the cabinet secretariat. On 1st May 2018, the additional charge of coal secretary was given to mines secretary Anil Mukim after Susheel Kumar superannuated in April 2018.
About Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC):
♦ Purpose – decides appointments to several top posts under the Government of India
♦ Chairman – Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Vijai Kumar appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea
On 12th June 2018, Vijai Kumar was appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the independent State of Papua New Guinea.
Vijai Kumar appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to Papua New Guinea:
i. Vijai Kumar (YOA : 2003) is at present the Counsellor, Embassy of India, Stockholm. He has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
ii. He will take up this new assignment soon.
About Papua New Guinea:
♦ Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill
♦ Monarch – Elizabeth II

Former financial services secretary DK Mittal joins Arohan Financial Services as chairman
On 13th June 2018, former financial services secretary DK Mittal assumed office as the chairman of Arohan Financial Services.
DK Mittal – chairman of Arohan Financial Services:
i. Arohan Financial Services is a microfinance company. It is planning to publicly list its shares in 2018.
ii. DK Mittal is an Indian Administrative Service officer of 1977 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He will be the independent chairman to Arohan’s board.
iii. Arohan Financial Services is a part of the Aavishkaar-Intellecap Group. It is the seventh largest MFI (microfinance institutions) in terms of outstanding loans at the end of 2017.
About Arohan Financial Services:
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
♦ Chief Financial Officer – Milind Nare


USA, Canada & Mexico wins bid to host 2026 Football World Cup: FIFA
On June 13, 2018, FIFA’s congress voted USA, Canada and Mexico to host 2026 Football World Cup.
USA, Canada & Mexico wins bid to host 2026 Football World Cup: FIFAKey points:
i. Morocco would miss out for the fifth time.
ii. North America got 134 votes against 65 votes of Morocco.
iii. The 2026 tournament will be the first expanded tournament featuring 48 teams, up from the current 32-team tournament, which begins in Russia on 14th June 2018.
iv. Of the 80 games, 10 matches will be held in Canada, 10 in Mexico and 60 in the U.S. with the final played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, home to the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets.
v. The U.S hosted the World Cup previously in 1994 while Mexico hosted it in 1970 and 1986. Canada has never hosted a men’s World Cup but held the women’s tournament in 2015.
vi. This bid would generate $14bn in revenue and make an $11bn profit for FIFA. The bid also expects record ticket and hospitality revenue.
vii. The 2022 tournament will be hosted by Qatar while the 2018 edition kicks off in Moscow

Gavit Murali Kumar bags gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands
On 13th June 2018, long distance runner Gavit Murali Kumar won gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at the Gouden Spike meeting in Leiden, The Netherlands.
Gavit Murali Kumar bags gold in men’s 10,000 metre race at Gouden Spike meeting:
i. Gavit Murali Kumar is 21 years old. He hails from Gujarat. He recorded a personal best of 28 minutes 43.34 seconds.
ii. It was the best by an Indian in the ongoing season. Also, it is the second fastest time by an Indian in the distance race, behind that of long-distance coach Surendra Singh’s national record of 28 minutes 02.89 seconds set at Vigo, Spain in 2008.
About Gouden Spike meeting:
♦ One of the top meetings in The Netherlands
♦ Type – Outdoor Meetings with National Permit


Bhayyu Maharaj passed away
On 12th June 2018, Spiritual guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj committed suicide by shooting himself dead at his residence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
Death of Bhayyu Maharaj:
i. Bhayyu Maharaj was 50 years old. He was popular among political leaders mainly from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
ii.  His original name was Uday Singh Deshmukh. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Bhaiyyu Maharaj had set up Suryoday Parivar and carried out social welfare schemes in Vidarbha.
iii.Bhayyu Maharaj had left behind a suicide note that showed that he was depressed. The Madhya Pradesh government had recently included him in a committee of saints to conserve river Narmada.
iv. He was offered a state minister status. But he refused it saying that posts meant nothing for saints.
Some important national parks in Madhya Pradesh:
♦ Pench National Park
♦ Satpura National Park
♦ Van Vihar National Park


International Albinism Awareness Day – 13 June
On 13th June 2018, International Albinism Awareness Day was observed all over the world.
International Albinism Awareness Day:
i. In 2014, the UN General Assembly declared 13 June as International Albinism Awareness Day with effect from 2015.
ii. Albinism is a genetic condition that causes very little or no pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes.
iii. The International Albinism Awareness Day is observed to preserve the rights of persons with albinism and take efforts to ensure equal access for them to employment, education, justice and good health.
iv. The theme for International Albinism Awareness Day 2018 is: “shining our light to the world”.
Some UNESCO cultural Heritage Sites in India:
♦ Agra Fort – Uttar Pradesh
♦ Ajanta Caves – Maharashtra
♦ Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi – Madhya Pradesh