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Current Affairs Today – June 21 2017

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Current Affairs June 21 2017

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Indore India’s first city to use robot to control unruly traffic
Indore has become the first city in India where a robot is being used on an experimental basis to control its ever growing and unruly traffic.
i. The traffic police in association with a private engineering college of the city for the first time installed a metallic robot at a busy MR 9 intersection on an experimental basis to Indore India's first city to use robot to control unruly trafficcontrol the chaotic traffic in the locality.
ii. This robot has been designed and manufactured by two professors of an engineering college of the city, Prof Rahul Tiwari and Aniruddh Sharma.
iii. Since past two days since its installation, the robot has been quite successful in controlling traffic in this locality, which most of the time remains chocked and blocked in absence of traffic signals and traffic cop.
iv. Indore range DIG Harinarayanchari Mishra has said, steps are being taken to install similar robots at other junctions having large volumes of traffic movements, adding that works are also underway to equip this robot with announcement system and cameras so as to issue chalans to traffic offenders.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mumbai most expensive for expatriates in India says Mercer’s report
According to Mercer’s 23rd Annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India.
Top 5 Most Expensive Indian Cities for Expatriates:

City Rank
Mumbai 57
New Delhi 99
Chennai 135
Bengaluru 166
Kolkata 184

China unveils World’s First Train that runs on Virtual Tracks
China has unveiled world’s first train that operates on a virtual track using sensor technology instead of metal rails. This Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) has been developed by China’s CRRC Zhuzhou Institute
Salient Features of World’s First Train that runs on Virtual Tracks:
i. The train can move at a maximum speed of 70 km/hour.Instead of railway tracks, the train runs on rubber tyres.
ii. The 30-metre train has three carriages as of now and can carry 300 passengers. More carriages can be added – taking the total capacity up to 500 passengers.
iii. This train is equipped with sensors that allow it to read the dimensions of roads and plan China unveils World’s First Train that runs on Virtual Tracksits own route.
iv. It is environment-friendly as it is powered by electricity. On a full charge, the train can travel for distances up to 40 km.
v. China plans to build a 6.5-kilometre ART line through downtown Zhuzhou for this new train and operations will start some time in 2018.
Railway facts :
♦ The Qinghai-Tibet Railway, China – World’s highest train journey.
♦ Beipanjiang River Railway Bridge, China – World’s highest railway bridge
♦ India is building world’s highest rail bridge in Jammu and Kashmir over river Chenab

BANKING & FINANCE

Bank credit grows at 6.02%, deposits at 11.19%
According to data released by Reserve Bank of India, Banks’ credit growth grew at 6.02% to Rs 76,58,212 crore in the fortnight ended June 9. 2017 from Rs 72,22,939 crore in the same period of fiscal 2016, whereas bank deposits grew at 11.19% to Rs 105,77,947 crore from Rs 95,13,148 crore in the fortnight ended June 10, 2016.
i. Credit growth was slightly higher than the previous fortnight ended on May 26, 2017.
ii. In the fortnight ended May 26, 2017, credit growth grew by 5.08% with an outstanding loans at Rs 75,93,546 crore.
iii. It is to be noted that in the fiscal ended March 31, 2017, credit growth had plunged to a multi-year low of 5.08% with an outstanding loan at Rs 78.81 trillion as against Rs 75.01 trillion on April 1, 2016.

Axis Bank, Kochi Metro launches India’s first single-wallet contactless, Open Loop Metro Card
Axis Bank in association with Kochi Metro Rail Corporation (KMRL) has launched KMRL Axis Bank ‘Kochi1’ Card, India’s first open loop EMV contactless metro card that would make travel a convenient and hassle free experience for commuters in Kochi.
Salient Features of KMRL Axis Bank ‘Kochi1’ Card:
i. Axis Bank has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in developing this transit EMV contactless specification on interoperable open standards.
ii. The prepaid card has integrated benefits and offers a plethora of services to commuters such as shopping at merchant outlets.
iii. The commuter will receive a completely personalized (with name) KMRL Axis Bank ‘Kochi1’ Card across the counter in a matter of minutes.
iv. The commuter can easily top up the card through cash or debit or credit card.
v. Axis Bank has also launched a mobile app through which, commuters can check the Axis Bank, Kochi Metro launches India's first single-wallet contactless, Open Loop Metro Cardcurrent balance on the card, reload their metro card through any debit/credit card, generate mini statement of card usage, block their card, if required and can check the timetable and fare details of the metro
Axis Bank :
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Tagline: Badhti ka naam zindagi
♦ CEO: Shikha Sharma

NCAER pegs FY’18 GDP growth at 7.6% on normal monsoon
NCAER has revised up the country’s economic growth to 7.6 % for the current fiscal as compared with 7.3% on forecast of normal monsoon.
Key Notes:
i. In its quarterly review of the economy, NCAER prospects for the agricultural sector in 2017-18 remain optimistic on forecast of good rains.
ii. The World Bank has forecast growth to be 7.2 per cent during 2017-18.
iii. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) inflation is projected at 6.7 % for 2017-18.
iv.
Recent data shows that foodgrain production in 2016- 17 has set a new record of 273.4 million tonnes or 8.7% higher as compared to last year.
v. The forecast for growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at market prices in 2017-18 is 7.6% at constant (2011 -12) prices.
vi. The forecast of GVA (Gross Value Added at Basic Prices) growth at 7.3%for 2017-18compare with February month estimated of 7%.
vii. The economy grew 7.1% in 2016-17, lower than 7.6 % against 8% a year ago.
About NCAER
♦ National Council of Applied Economic Research or NCAER is a New Delhi based non-profit think tank of economics.
♦ President: Nandan Nilekani
♦ Director General of NCAER: Dr Shekhar Shah

GDP growth to rise To 7.5% In FY19 – Fitch
According to Fitch Ratings India’s GDP growth will steadily rise from 7.4% to 7.5% in 2018-19 and to 7.6% in 2019-20.
Key Notes:
i. Fitch has also reported that growth would be boosted by the goods and services tax, increased public spending on infrastructure, and a supportive monetary policy over the last two years.
Global rating agency Fitch has maintained the Forecast of India’s growth at 7.5ii. GDP growth expected to pick up to 3.1% in 2018 from 2.5% in 2016.
iii. As per the Fitch it would be the highest rate seen since 2010.
About Fitch
♦ HQ:  New York City USA
♦ Founded on 1914
♦ CEO: Paul taylor

BUSINESS

First unit of 100 MW Sainj Hydropower Project commissioned
The first 50 MW unit of 100 MW Sainj Hydro Power project of Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) has commissioned with northern grid through Parvati-Kol Dam transmission line.
Key Notes:
i. The impounding of water in the reservoir was started on February 2 this year and the mechanical testing was done successfully on April 25.
iiSainj Hydro Power Project has been constructed on Sainj River, a tributary of Beas River.
iii. The second unit of 50 MW would also be commissioned soon and the project would produce 322 million units of electricity every year.
iv. It will generate an income of Rs 100 crore to the state government.
v. It is a 6.36 km long tunnel with 3.85 metre diameter and two turbines of 50 MW each have been installed. 
vi. The families affected by the project would get 100 units of power per month free of cost for ten years.
vii. The affected families would also get 1% of income from the project while 1.5% of income would go to LADA (Local Area Development Authority).

Reliance Defence inks pact with Serbia’s Yugoimport to make ammunition in India
Anil Ambani Group company Reliance Defence Ammunition has signed a pact with Serbia’s defence major Yugoimport on 20th of June 2017.
Key points:
i. It has been signed to manufacture ammunition in India and target business opportunities of Rs 20,000 crore over the next 10 years.
ii. Defence Minister of Serbia, Zoran Dordevic, Assistant Minister of Defence, Nenad Moloradovic, and the CEO of Yugoimport were also present at the meeting.
iii. The two companies will work in the field of ammunition.
iv. The project cost requirement will be Rs 20,000 crore.
v. Yugoimport is a state-owned enterprise and is a market leader in the field of ammunition production.
vi. It has offered a fully compliant technical solution to meet the Make in India requirements of the Indian government.Reliance Defence inks pact with Serbia's Yugoimport to make ammunition in India
vii.India currently imports nearly 50 per cent of its ammunition requirements in value terms, with an annual spending of more than Rs 10,000 crore on ammunition.
About Serbia
♦ Capital: Belgrade
♦ Currency: Serbian Dinar
♦ President: Aleksandar Vucic

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Indian agri microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi given environment award in Japan
Indian agricultural microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi has been conferred the Ministry of Environment Award for 2017 in Japan.
Key Points:
i. The award has been conferred for developing cutting edge technologies to address burning environmental problems.
ii. Chandraghatgi is the President and CEO of EcoCycle Corporation.
iiiChandraghatgi hails from Siddapura in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. He has been residing in Tokyo for almost two decades.
iv. It is the highest award in environmental sector in Japan.
v. The award was given away recently by State Minister of Environment, Japan, Seki Yoshihiro, at a ceremony at Kasumegaseki, Tokyo.
vi. He has over a dozen patents against his name. These patented technologies have been applied over 400 sites in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, China and the US.
About Environment Award
♦ The Ministry of Environment Award is the highest honour given in the environmental sector every year.
♦ It is jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan and The Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun
Japan :
♦  Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese yen

Qatar Airways is voted the World’s Best Airline in 2017
Qatar Airways is voted the World’s Best Airline at the SKYTRAX 2017 World Airline Awards.
Key Points:
i. The Doha based carrier has won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time.
iiQatar Airways has also won major awards for the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best First Class Lounge and as the Best Airline in the Middle East.
iiiSingapore Airlines was ranked No. 2 in the world and also received awards as the Best Airline in Asia, the World’s Best Business Class seat and for having the Best Premium Economy Onboard Catering.
iv .The 105 nationalities participated in the survey from August 2016 to May 2017.
v. The survey covered over 325 airlines, from largest international airlines to smaller domestic carriers.
vi .It measures Quality standards for 41 KPI’s across front-line product and service factors in the Airport and Onboard environments.Qatar Airways is voted the World's Best Airline in 2017
Some More Points:
The World’s Top 7 Airlines 2017 as follows:
1 – Qatar Airways
2 – Singapore Airlines
3 – ANA All Nippon Airways
4 – Emirates
5 – Cathay Pacific
6 – EVA Air
7 – Lufthansa

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Manappuram Finance appoints Jeevandas Narayan as managing director of Manappuram Home Finance
Manappuram Finance has announced the appointment of Jeevandas Narayan as the Managing Director on 21st of June 2017.
Key Points:
iSubhashSamant as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance. 
ii. Narayan, who has more than 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, was Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore.
iii. Samant, with more than 20 years of experience, has worked with Larsen and Toubro Housing Finance, DHFL, ICICI Bank and GIC Housing Finance.

Uber CEO and Co-Founder Travis Kalanick resigns
Uber Technologies Inc co-founder Travis Kalanick has stepped down as CEO on 21st of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. Kalanick’s resignation comes after a month-long investigation led former US Attorney Uber CEO and Co-Founder Travis Kalanick resignsGeneral Eric Holder.
ii. In a statement, the 40-year-old co-founder said his resignation would help Uber go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.
iii. It was unclear who would replace Kalanick.
iv. Uber has suffered a $708 million first-quarter loss and unable to turn $3.4 billion in revenue into a profit.
.The loss narrowed from the $991 million it posted in the previous quarter.

Saudi Arabia names Mohammed Bin Salman as Crown Prince
Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was named as crown prince on 21st of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. Mohammed bin Salman has replaced his cousin as heir to the throne that confirms King Salman’s 31-year-old son as next ruler of the world’s leading oil exporter.
ii. The new crown prince already controls the defense, oil and economy portfolios.
iii. He also heads the Council for Economic and Development Affairs (CEDA).
iv. It is a group of cabinet ministers who meet weekly and which oversees all elements of policy that touch on the economy or social issues like education, health and housing.
v. Prince Mohammed chairs the supreme board of Aramco, making him the first member of the ruling family to directly oversee the state oil company
About Saudi Arabia
♦ Capital: Riyadh
♦ Currency: Saudi Riyal

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA tests flexible solar array on space station
Over the weekend of June 17-18, 2017, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) engineers, for the first time tested the effectiveness of a flexible solar array on space station that could be used to power satellites and spacecrafts in future.
i. The Roll-Out Solar Array, or ROSA is an advanced, flexible solar array that rolls out like a tape measure and can be easily adapted to different sizes, including very large arrays, to provide power for a variety of future spacecraft.
ii. As mentioned by NASA engineers, when launching into space, mass and volume are everything, and ROSA is 20% lighter and four times smaller in volume than rigid panel arrays.

SPORTS

ICC Women’s World Cup winner to get USD 660,000 prize money
The eight top teams of the world will be competing for a winner’s prize of USD 660,000 in the ICC Women’s World Cup.
Key Notes:
i. It will be held in the United Kingdom from June 24 to July 23.
ii. The ICC had earlier in May announced that the total prize money for the tournament would be USD 2 million which is 10 times of the amount at stake in the 2013 edition.
iii. The prize money filters down with the runner-up winning USD 330,000 and the losing semifinalists getting USD 165,000 each.

Anil Kumble steps down as India coach
India cricket coach Anil Kumble has stepped down from his position on 20th of June.
Key Points:
i. Anil Kumble has stepped down after a bitter quarrel with Captain Virat Kohli.
ii. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team.
iii. The team did well under Kumble in the past 12 months, winning Test series in the West Indies (2-0) before winning at home against New Zealand (3-0), England (4-0), Bangladesh (1- 0) and Australia (2-1).
iv. The team won eight ODIs and lost five during the 46- year-old’s tenure.
v. Kumble’s one year contract expired at the end of the Champions Trophy but he was given the option to travel with the team to the West Indies.
vi. BCCI had invited fresh applications for the post of head coach days before the start of Champions Trophy.
vii. Kumble was a direct entry into the coach selection process while the others who applied for the post were Virender Sehwag, Tom Moody, Richard Pybus and Lalchand Rajput among others.

OBITUARY

Italian fashion legend Carla Fendi dies at 79
Carla Fendi, one of the five sisters who transformed the family leather goods business into a global luxury fashion house passed away on June 20, 2017 following a long illness. She was 79.
About Fendi Fashon House and Carla Fendi’s Contribution:
i. Fendi was started in 1925 in Rome by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a small leather goods store.
ii. Their five daughters, Carla, Paola, Anna, Franca and Alda, who grew up on the shop floor playing and sleeping amid its samples and handbags.
iii. While Paola, Anna, Franca and Alda Fendi later became important creative forces in the evolution of the brand, it was Carla, born in Rome on July 12, 1937, who was the mastermind of its commercial and marketing strategies.
iv. Soon after the company moved to a site near the Spanish Steps in 1965, Fendi bags, furs and scarves became beloved by Hollywood, European royalty and the global glitterati.
v. To best ensure the future of the company — and to preserve familial relations — the sisters decided in 2001 to sell a controlling stake to LVMH.
vi. Post takeover, Carla Fendi remained honorary president until her death.
vii. Deeply committed to Rome and its culture, she helped finance the restoration of the Trevi Fountain, via her Carla Fendi Foundation.
viii. Carla Fendi was also a chief patron of the Two Worlds arts festival in the Umbrian city of Spoleto.
Italy :
♦ Capital: Rome
♦ Currency: Euro

President of Vanuatu Baldwin Lonsdale dies aged 67
The president of Vanuatu, Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale, has died at the age of 67 on 18th of June 2017.
Key Points:
i. President Baldwin Lonsdale served the people of Vanuatu with dignity and humility, and was much loved.He was elected in September 2014.
ii. The president, who took up the mostly ceremonial post on September 22, 2014, received international notice at a conference on disaster risk reduction in Japan in March, 2015.
iii. He made an emotional appeal for international assistance in the aftermath of devastating Cyclone Pam.
President of Vanuatu Baldwin Lonsdale dies aged 67iv. Cyclone Pam was one of the worst natural disasters in the country’s history.
v. Vanuatu is prone to natural disasters, such as cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes, and is one of the poorest nations in the world.
About Vanuatu
♦ Capital: Port Vila
♦ Currency: Vanuatu vatu

Veteran Bollywood actor Amrit Pal passes away in Mumbai
Veteran Bollywood actor Amrit Pal has passed away in Mumbai. He was 76.
Key Points:
i. Amrit was often seen as a villain in the 80s and 90s.
ii. The actor died at his residence in Malad, a western suburb of Mumbai. He was suffering from liver cirrhosis.
iii. Amrit Pal had acted in more than 100 films and he started his career in Bollywood with a Hindi film called Jaal as a villain.
iv. He also received a lot of praise for his role in Rajiv Mehra’s directorial PyarKe Do Pal where Poonam Dhillon and Mithun Chakraborty were the lead actors.

IMPORTANT DAYS

3rd International Yoga Day celebrated on June 21 2017
3rd edition of International Yoga Day was celebrated across India on June 21, 2017 with several government and private institutions organising yoga events for the masses.2017 International Yoga Day theme is ‘Yoga for Health’
i. This year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Lucknow where he performed yoga along with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and 51,000 participants at Ramabhai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal.
ii. The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute of Pune has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of yoga 2017.
iii. On June 21, 2017, more than 8,000 school children formed the “longest yoga chain” in front of the iconic Mysuru Palace in Karnataka to create a new world record.

World Music Day  – June 21 2017
World Music Day 2017 not to be confused with International Music Day is being celebrated on 21st of June 2017.World Music Day
Key Points:
i. World Music Day is first incorporated by France in 1982.It is a day of national importance which was later adopted by many countries.
ii. The theme of World Music Day 2017 is Musicians gather to perform at public place.
iii. It marks the beginning of summer solstice that is the longest day of the year.
iv. World Music day has been adopted by over 120 nations across the world, including India.

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