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Current Affairs Today – June 18 2017

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Current Affairs June 18 2017


CRPF launches toll-free helpline ‘Madadgaar’ to assist Kashmiri people
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has launched a 24×7 helpline – Madadgaar – at Srinagar’s Tagore Hall. It has been launched with an aim to help citizens.
Key Notes:
i. The helpline is the first of its kind in Kashmir with a toll free number (14411).
ii. The aim of the helpline is to assist Kashmiris, especially students studying all over the country who face security issues and other problems away from the home.
iii. Director General of CRPF is Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar.

Sushma Swaraj inaugurates KIP for young overseas Indians
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for young overseas Indians at a function in New Delhi.Sushma Swaraj inaugurates KIP for young overseas Indians
Key Notes:
i. The Know India Programme is a three-week orientation programme for the Indian diaspora.
. This programme is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India and the progress made by the country in various fields such as economic and education.
iii. It provides a unique forum for students and young professionals of Indian origin to visit India, share their views, expectations and experiences and develop closer bonds with the contemporary India.

Govt announces 149 new Post Office Passport Kendras in second phase
Sushma Swaraj has announced the opening of 149 new Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs). It will be set up in the second phase.
Key Notes:
i. In the first phase 86 POPSKs were to be set up52 of which are now functional.
ii. According to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajthe government is planning to set up a comprehensive network of Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) across the nation, with major post offices to provide the service.
iii. Apart from centres in the post offices, the government had earlier also announced 16 full-fledged PSKs taking the total number of new centres to the 251.
iv. Earlier it had only 77 PSKs to cater to the whole nation.
v. The government has planned to set a target and decided that no individual should have to travel more than 50 km for a passport.

Atal Pension Yojana (APY) can now be subscribed digitally through APY@eNPS
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) the administrative authority of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has now introduced “APY@eNPS” which involves e-SOT, e-PRAN cards launched for Atal Pension Yojana usersa complete digital enrolment process.
♦ The digital subscription to APY has been enabled to give additional push to cover the as yet unreached population at greater ease.
About Atal Pension Yojana (APY):
i. Atal Pension Yojana is a guaranteed pension scheme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 9, 2015. It became operational from June 1, 2015.
ii. It is administered by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
iii. All Indian citizens in the age group of 18-40 years are eligible to subscribe for this scheme.
iv. APY subscribers’ base is more than 54 Lakhs subscribers.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram Celebrates 100 Years
The centenary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat has celebrated at the Nehru Centre on 17th of June.
Key Points:
i. It was celebrated with the screening of a documentary depicting its founding and construction.
ii. Mahatma Gandhi lived in the ashram, situated on the banks of Sabarmati River in Ahmedabad along with his wife Kasturba from 1917 and 1930.
iii. To mark the event, the Ashram trust has planned several programmes, including opening of two permanent galleries at the Ashram, tree plantation and release of two books on Mahatma Gandhi.
iv. The Ashram which came into existence on June 17, 1917, has completed 100 years on 17th of June 2017.
v. Gopalkrishna Gandhi will be invited to grace the centenary celebrations to be held at the Ashram.
vi. Gopalkrishna Gandhi will inaugurate two galleries titled ‘My Life is My Message’ and ‘Charkha.’
vii. He will also release two books titled ‘Letters to Gandhi’ and ‘Pioneers of Satyagraha.’


Arun Jaitely’s four days visit to South Korea
Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley was on an official visit to South Korea from 14th -17th June 2017. During the course of this visit, Arun Jaitley participated in the India-Korea Financial Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB.
i. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Sustainable Infrastructure”.Board of Governors of the AIIB at their second annual meeting announced that its third annual meeting will be held in Mumbai in June 2018.
ii. On June 14, 2017, Arun Jaitley co-chaired the fifth India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul with South Korea Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon.

India-Afghan air freight corridor to open soon
India and Afghanistan are set to operationalize their first air-freight corridor.
Key Points:
i. The first flight will be operated by Ariana Afghan Airlines, which is the Afghanistan’s national carrier.
ii. The flight which will initially operate once or twice in a month will carry commodities to and from Delhi.
iii. India-Afghanistan discussed the idea of commencing the air-freight corridor during the visit of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit last year.
iv. The key elements of India’s Afghanistan policy will include – friendly relations with afghan India & Afghanistanfactions, tacit support for anti-Taliban forces, more focus on economic engagement than military engagement, humanitarian and development assistance etc.
About Afghanistan
♦ Capital: Kabul
♦ President : Ashraf Ghani


RBI initiates Prompt Corrective Action against Bank of Maharashtra as NPA mounts
The Reserve Bank has initiated Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) against Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) in view of high level of bad loans and negative return on assets
Key Points:
i. BoM has become the sixth bank to be put under the PCA.
ii. Reserve Bank of India has initiated PCA on 15th June 2017 for the bank in view of high net NPA.
iii. The PCA will help in contributing to improve the internal controls of the bank and improvement of its asset quality, profitability and efficiency.
iv. For the year ended March 2017, the net non-performing assets (NPAs) of the bank rose to 11.76% while return on assets declined to (-) 1.09%.
v. Bank has reported a loss of Rs 455.4 crore for the fourth quarter, while for entire fiscal 2016-17 booked loss of Rs 1,372 crore.
vi. It is to be noted that IDBI Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Dena Bank and Central Bank of India have already come under the PCA initiated by the RBI.
About BOM
Founded: 1935
♦ CEO &MD: Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe
♦ Tagline: One Family One Bank


Connaught Place is ninth most expensive office market in world; Mumbai lags
According to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey of US-based CBRE, Connaught Place in Delhi has been ranked ninth most expensive prime office Connaught Place is ninth most expensive office market in world; Mumbai lagsmarket in the world.
i. Occupancy cost of Connaught Place in Delhi is $153.89 per square feet per annum.
ii. Connaught Place was seventh in the last year’s survey.
iii. Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) moved one place up from nineteen to 20 while the Central Business District(CBD) of Nariman Point ranked thirty-third on the list of the top 50 most expensive office markets around the world.
iv. Hong Kong (Central) topped as world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq ft per annum.

Adani Group set up 50-MW solar PV plant in Mahoba district of Uttar Pradesh
Infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group in the second week of June 2017 has announced commissioning of a 50 megawatts (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh.
Key Points:
i. Under the National Solar Mission Scheme the plant has been set up with an investment of Rs. 315 crore.
ii. In a first, the plant will use String Inverter Technology with crystalline silicon modules allowing miniature level control of solar power generation.
iii. As per the agreement signed with NTPC, power generated by the plant will be transmitted through 21.5 kilometre long 132 kilovolts transmission line connecting with UP Power Transmission Corporation’s (UPTCL) Mahoba Substation.
iv. The recently unveiled 648 MW solar power plant in the Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu, which is also the world’s largest solar power plant at a single location.
.With this, Adani Group’s total solar energy capacity goes up to 838 MW.
About UP
Capital: Lucknow
♦ CM: Yogi Adityanath
♦ Governor: Ram Naik


Queen of Dhwayah, Kerala’s first beauty pageant for transgender women
The Pageant for the title of the Queen of dhwayah 2017 was held in Kerala.
Key Notes:
iSyama Sanju was declared the Queen of Dhwayah, the winner at Kerala’s first ever beauty pageant for transgender women.Syama Sanju was declared the Queen of Dhwayah, the winner at Kerala’s first ever beauty pageant for transgender women.
ii. Jaz D’souza was crowned the first runner-up while Harini Chandana came third from among fifteen participants.
iii. Among the audience there were several celebrities.
iv. The pageant was attended by actors like Madhoo, Parvathy Omanakuttan, Ramya Nambeeshan, Sadhika, Muktha, Krishna Prabha, Shamna Kasim, singer Rimi Tomy and several others.
v. Former Miss World runners-up Parvathy Omanakuttan was one of the judges.


Electric propulsion to usher in new era of satellite launches
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been working on a new propulsion system known as the Electric Propulsion (EP) system that is set to usher in a new era of cost effective satellite launches.
i. The Electric Propulsion (EP) system converts solar energy into electrical energy which, in turn, is used to change the velocity of a satellite in space.
ii. This technology was first used as a technology demonstrator in GSAT-9 or theSouth Asia Satellite launched on May 5, 2017.
iii. Dr K Sivan, Director of Thiruvananthapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre said, the EP system, is currently being used by NASA and Russian Space Agency.

NASA’s Orion spacecraft passes key safety tests
On June 15, 2017, NASA’s Orion spacecraft, designed to take astronauts to deep space destinations successfully completed a series of tests for its critical safety systems.
More Details about NASA’s Orion Spacecraft’s Safety Tests:
i. This week, NASA engineers tested the abort motor for Orion’s launch abort system (LAS).
ii. The launch abort system is an important part of making sure that crew members stay safe on the launch pad and on their way to space.
iii. The abort motor is responsible for propelling the crew module away from the Space Launch System rocket in case of an emergency, and one of three total motors that will send the crew module to a safe distance away from a failing rocket and orient it properly for a safe descent into the Atlantic Ocean if such a situation ever occurs.
iv. Researchers NASA's Orion spacecraft passes key safety testsalso evaluated how the parachute system that ensures the crew module can safely descend to Earth performs during an abort scenario.
Quick Facts about NASA:
♦ Formation Year: 1958
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., US
♦ Administrator (Acting): Robert M. Lightfoot Jr.

NASA reveals first target for James Webb Megatelescope
Scientists have revealed some of the targets to be observed by James Webb this includes celestial objects both inside and beyond our solar system.
Key Notes:
i. It will observe Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, as well as Trappist-1e and the massive space telescope will also observe distant galaxies and asteroids.
ii. According to NASA, the initial observations will explore a broad spectrum of the universe’s mysteries, including the first light and the birth of stars and planets.
iii. Scientists have selected some of the targets to be observed by the James Webb Space Telescope, the colossal instrument that will allow researchers to peer 13.5 billion years back in time.
iv. These targets include objects both inside and beyond our solar system, from Trojan asteroids to the mysterious world Trappist-1e.
About The James Webb Telescope
♦ The James Webb telescope has been described as a ‘time machine’ that could help unravel the secrets of our universe.
♦ It will be launched in 2018 and it will be the world’s biggest and most powerful telescope, capable of peering back 200 million years after the Big Bang.
♦ It will help in observing the sources of stars, exoplanets, and even the moons and planets of our solar system.


No ICC World T20 in 2018, next edition in 2020
According to sources in ICC, the next edition of World T2O will only be held in 2020.
Key Points:
i. The main reason is the top member nations will be busy with bilateral commitments in 2018.No ICC World T20 in 2018, next edition in 2020
ii. International Cricket Council, the next edition of ICC World T2O will only be held in 2020. However, the venue is yet to be decided.
iii. The ICC World T-20 could be held in South Africa or Australia in 2020.
iv. The previous ICC World T20s have been held in South Africa (2007), England (2009), West Indies (2010), Sri Lanka (2012), Bangladesh (2014), India (2016).


Harry Potter’s actor Sam Beazley dies at 101
Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix‘, has passed away. He was 101.
Key Notes:
Harry Potter's actor Sam Beazley dies at 101i. He began his professional acting career as a teenager in 1930s, which saw him acting in films like “Hamlet” and “Romeo and Juliet”.
ii. Beazley also appeared in movies such as “Don Bosco” and “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason”.
iii. He was from Kensington, London UK.


Father’s day – June 18 2017
Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Although Fathers Day is celebrated on different dates in different countries, many countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day on third Sunday of June.
More Information about Father’s Day:
i. Celebrating Father’s Day on third Sunday of June originated from US.
ii. After few failed attempts at establishing a Father’s Day, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
iii. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

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