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Current Affairs Today June 30 2018

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First Delta Ranking of Aspirational Districts released by NITI Aayog
i. On June 29,2018, The NITI Aayog launched the first Delta ranking (incremental progress) for the Aspirational Districts, based on self-reported data of districts between March 31, 2018 to May 31, 2018.
ii. This was computed across five developmental areas of Health and Nutrition, Education, Agriculture and Water Resources, Financial Inclusion and Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure……………………………………………………………………….Click here to read more

DistrictStateDelta rankingBaseline ranking
West SikkimSikkim230

‘Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana’: scheme to disburse plant saplings announced by Maharashtra govt
On June 30, 2018, The Maharashtra government in the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister  Devendra Fadnavis announced  a new scheme called ‘Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana’, wherein farmers families where girl children are born, will be given saplings for plantation.
It is aimed at empowering women and promoting tree plantation.
Key Points:
i. A farmer family blessed with a girl child between April 1 and March 31 can make an application with the gram panchayat after which they will get 10 saplings free of cost from the forest department.
ii. Beneficiaries will have to plant the saplings between July 1 and 7.
iii. The income from these trees will be utilised for safeguarding the future of the girls.
iv. The scheme will be applicable for maximum two girls.
v.The beneficiaries will also be helped under the horticulture scheme.
vi.At least two lakh farmers families will benefit from the scheme every year.
vii.The saplings will be of different varieties, including teakwood, mango, jackfruit, black plum and tamarind. 
Maharashtra :
♦ Capital: Mumbai.
♦ Chief Minister: Devendra Fadnavis.
♦ Governor:  C. Vidyasagar Rao.

NITI Aayog & GNFC Ltd to implement Fertilizer Subsidy Disbursement through Blockchain Technology
On June 30, 2018, NITI Aayog and Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) have signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) today to work together towards implementing a Proof-of-Concept (“PoC”) application using Blockchain Technology for fertiliser subsidy management.
NITI Aayog & GNFC Ltd to implement Fertilizer Subsidy Disbursement through Blockchain TechnologyObjective:
This will enable NITI Aayog to suggest policy recommendations and actions in strengthening the subsidy mechanism.
Key Points:
i. There are multiple entities involved in verification process, and the transaction process which is why the subsidy disbursal takes two to three months’ time.
ii. With implementation of BlockchainTechnology,it is expected that the distribution will become effective and efficient, and subsidy transfer could be automated and made real time.
iii. It has inherent characteristics of distributed computing and ledger keeping of transactions i.e. confidentiality, authenticity, non-repudiation, data integrity, and data availability.
iv. The blockchain based process will also use Smart Contracts which will enable quick and accurate reconciliation of transactions between multiple parties with minimal human intervention.
About the subsidy dispersal:
Fertilizer units manufacture approximately 31 Million MT of fertilizers across country, where total approximately Rs. 70,000 Cr. of subsidy is disbursed to the manufacturing units.


Discussions on Education Cooperation with Australia held on Australia-India Ministerial Dialogue 2018
i. On June 29,2018, In a Joint Communiqué issued after Bilateral meeting between visiting Indian Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar and host Australian Minister of Education and Training, Mr. Simon Birmingham in Adelaide, Australia, the commitment of PM Modi with Australian counterpart, Mr. Malcolm Turnbull in made April 2017 was reaffirmed.
ii. It was proposed that the next meeting will be held in India in September 2019.
Three Institutional Agreements have also been signed in the presence of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and his Australian counterpart.They are : Deakin University agreement with India’s Central Jammu UniversityCurtin University agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and Indian National Council of Education Research and Training and Western Sydney University MoU with India’s Centurion University……………………………………………………… Click here to read more

International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo (IACT): Asia’s first patent arbitration centre to open in Tokyo
International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo (IACT), Asia’s first arbitration centre specialised in intellectual property, would be opened in Tokyo in September 2018, to resolve the increasing number of disputes in the region.
International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo (IACT):
i. International Arbitration Centre in Tokyo (IACT) will have around 12  arbitrators from various parts of the world, who would try to resolve disputes within a time period of 1 year.
ii. Technological progress and diversification of applications have increased the number of patent infringement disputes.
iii. The increased number of disputes and legal complexities have made the resolution process more time-consuming.
iv. The IACT would also handle disputes between non-Japanese companies if both the parties agree.
Tag lines of some banks:
♦ Syndicate Bank – Faithful. Friendly
♦ UCO Bank – Honors Your Trust
♦ Union Bank of India – Good people to bank with

India no longer a nation with world’s largest poor population: World Bank’s Brookings Institute
On June 30, 2018, as per Future Development blog of the World Bank’s Brookings Institute titled as ‘The start of a new poverty narrative’ India is no longer a nation having world’s largest poor population.
NITI Aayog & GNFC Ltd to implement Fertilizer Subsidy Disbursement through Blockchain Technologyi. Nigeria has overtaken India with the largest number of extremely poor people at 87 million in early 2018.
About The study:
i. The study has cited data from World Poverty Clock and new projections on country economic growth from the International Monetary Funds’ World Economic Outlook.
ii. This has been computed for 188 countries and territories, developed and developing, across the world.
About India’s progress:
i. India is moving down in global poverty ranking.
ii. From 125 million poor people in 2016, India had just 73 million people in the poorest of the poor index as of May 2018.
iii. As many as 44 Indians are being taken out of poverty every minute, which is highest in the world.
iv. The report predicted that India would be able to lift up to around 50 million more people out of poverty by 2022.
About the report’s predictions of African Countries:
i. By the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty.
ii. African continent would account for nine-tenths of the world’s extremely poor from two-thirds .
iii. 14 out of 18 African nations are seeing a rise in extreme poverty.
iv. Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon take over the number 2 spot as India continues to achieve high economic growth.
About the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030:
i. Between January 1, 2016 – when implementation of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) started – and July 2018, the world has seen about 83 million people escape extreme poverty.
ii. And about 725 million people were in extreme poverty in the beginning of 2016.
iii. If extreme poverty were to fall to zero by 2030,the number should have already reduced by about 120 million.

UAE’s Emirates and US Crop One Holdings to build world’s largest vertical farm in Dubai
On June 30, 2018, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) flagship carrier Emirates Airline has launched a joint project with US Crop One Holdings to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility near Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport.
UAE's Emirates and US Crop One Holdings to build world's largest vertical farm in Dubaii. They will will co-invest $40 million in the project.
ii. This is to align with the UAE’s drive for more agricultural self-sufficiency.
About the Farming facility:
i. The vertical farm facility will cover an area of 12,077 square metres with an output equivalent to 3.64 million square metres of farmland.
ii. The facility will harvest 2,700 kg of high-quality, herbicide and pesticide-free leafy greens daily, using 99 percent less water than outdoor fields.
iii. The construction of the facility is scheduled to start in November 2018 and will be completed by November 2019.
iv.The first products are expected to be delivered to EKFC’s customers, including 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges, in December 2019.
♦ Capital: Abu Dhabi.
♦ Currency: UAE Dirham.
♦ President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

India 4th as web attacks on the rise globally: Akamai Technologies
On June 30, 2018, Cloud delivery network provider Akamai Technologies announced that India ranked fourth in the list of top 10 target countriesfor Web Application Attacks.
i. Akamai researchers analysed nearly 112 billion bot requests and 3.9 billion malicious login attempts that targeted sites in the travel industry, including airlines, cruise lines and hotels among others.
ii. Akamai measured a 16 per cent increase in the number of DDoS attacks recorded since last year.
Other Countries facing threats:
i. Geographic analysis of attack traffic origination revealed that Russia, China and Indonesia were major sources of credential abuse for the travel industry.
ii. About half of their credential abuse activity is directed at hotels, cruise lines, airlines, and travel sites 
India’s Place in other reports:
i. Registering over 2.8 crore attacks, India also ranked eighth globally in the list of Web Application Attack source countries.
ii. According to Summer 2018 State of the Internet/ Security: Web Attack report , increasing threats are from organisations in the form of bot-based credential abuse targeting the hospitality industry and advanced DDoS attacks.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology:
♦ Union Minister: Ravi Shankar Prasad.
♦ Minister of State: Alphons Kannanthanam.

Norway : the best in world in traffic safety by European Transport Safety Council
On June 30, 2018,  according to  European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and reports from newspaper AftenpostenNorway has least traffic accidents in the world.
Norway : the best in world in traffic safety by European Transport Safety Councili. No other country in the EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) area has had a major reduction in death rates from 2010 up to now.
ii. The total number of traffic accidents in European Union has decreased only by 3 percent in four years.
iii. Last year Norway had 106 fatalities, which corresponds to 20 deaths per one million inhabitants still ranking Norway as one of  the least accident prone nation.
Reports of other Countries:
i. Sweden also has a low rate of 25 fatalities, and both Britain and Switzerland have 27 fatalities per one million inhabitants.
ii. In France, the number is 53 while the EU average is 50.
iii. The global average is 174 fatalities per one million inhabitants, according to WHO’s 2015 report.
♦ Capital: Oslo
♦ Currency: Norwegian Krone.
♦ President: Erna Solberg.

Abu Dhabi ‘smartest city’ in the Middle East and Africa: as per “Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future” report
On 29th June 2018, Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has topped the list of “smart cities” in the Middle East and Africa, as per a report by McKinsey Global Institute named “Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future”
Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Livable Future:
i. The study covered 50 international cities. It views how cities throughout the world use technology to enhance the quality of life.
ii. Abu Dhabi has ranked the first in the Middle East and Africa region with a rating of 18.4. It is followed by Dubai in the second position with a rating of 17.3.
iii. McKinsey states that, three factors make a city smart. First is the technology base, such as smartphones and sensors linked with high-speed communication networks.
iv.The second comprises specific applications, like translating raw data into alerts. The third is utilization of technology by cities, companies, and the public.
Some important bird sanctuaries in India:
♦ Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary – West Bengal
♦ Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary – West Bengal


MCX launches ‘Cotton Mission’ for Maharashtra farmers
On June 30, 2018, The Multi Commodity Exchange of India LTd. (MCX) signed a MoU with the Maharashtra government to create a value chain with final market linkages for thousands of cotton farmers in Vidarbha.
i. The agreement for the ‘Cotton Mission’ was signed by MCX MD and CEO Mrugank Paranjape and Additional Chief Secretary-Agriculture and Marketing Bijay Kumar in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
ii. Partners of the MCX in this project are: Agriculture department,  Farmer Producer Organisations. They will connect to MCX’s organised market network for capacity building.
iii. Under this mission, MCX already has accredited warehouses in Yavatmal and Jalna and plans to provide delivery facilities in three or more new locations.
iv. Special emphasis will be given to farmers’ training, education and awareness so that they can plan and produce quality and marketable crops.
v. This would support the farmers’ in their upliftment and contribute to doubling their incomes by 2022.
About doubling farmers income by 2022.
i. Government is committed to doubling farmer’s income by 2022 as stated by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Radha Mohan Singh while addressing the concluding ceremony of All India Farmers’ Fair and Agro-Industrial Exhibition in Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar on February 27,2018.
ii. The Government has increased the budgetary allocation of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Ministry in the budget 2018-19 to Rs 58,080 cr from51,576 cr in 2017-18.
iii. To achieve this ambitious objective, the government is encouraging to adopt the ‘multi-dimensional seven-point’ strategy suggested by Hon’ble Prime Minister, which includes-

  • Emphasis on irrigation along with end to end solution on creation of resources for ‘More crop per drop’
  • ‘Provision of quality seeds and nutrients according to the soil quality of each farm.
  • Large investments in warehouses and cold chains to prevent Post-harvest losses.
  • Promotion of value addition through food processing.
  • Implementation of National Agricultural Markets and e-platforms (e-NAM) to eliminate shortcomings of all the 585 centers.
  •  To mitigate the risk, introduction of crop insurance scheme at a lower cost.
  • Promotion of allied activities such as Dairy-Animal husbandry, Poultry, Bee-keeping, Medh Per Ped, Horticulture, and Fisheries.


NTPC ranked 25th in India’s Great Place to Work list
On 29th June 2018, NTPC announced that it has been ranked 25th in the list of India’s Great Place to Work for 2018.
NTPC ranked 25th in India’s Great Place to Work listNTPC – 25th in India’s Great Place to Work list:
i. NTPC is the only public sector undertaking in the top 25 of the India’s Great Place to Work for 2018 list. It has improved from the 38th position it had secured in 2017.
ii. NTPC has also been recognised as the Laureates for consistently getting featured in the list for 10 consecutive years.
iii. NTPC has been included in this list for successfully building and sustaining high trust-high performance culture. Only 5 companies have been given this recognition.
iv. The award was received by Rajesh Kumar, RED, West-I, NTPC at an an award ceremony held on 28th June 2018 in Mumbai.
v. The annual Best Workplaces List of the Great Place to Work institute is considered the gold standard certification for defining, assessing and recognising great workplaces.
About NTPC:
♦ CMD – Gurdeep Singh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

J P Nadda gives away the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) ‘IPledgefor9’ Achievers and MMR Reduction Awards
On 29th June 2018, J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare presented the ‘IPledgefor9′ Achievers Awards.
J P Nadda gives away the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) 'IPledgefor9' Achievers and MMR Reduction Awards‘IPledgefor9′ Achievers Awards:
i. The ‘IPledgefor9′ Achievers Awards were given to individuals and teams of doctors from the private sector and States for their remarkable services, outstanding support of institutions and commitment in achieving the mission’s objectives of safe motherhood to every woman in India.
ii. J P Nadda also presented awards to the States that have shown remarkable decline in MMR according to the recently released SRS data.
iii. He said that India has shown 22% reduction in Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) since 2013. Uttar Pradesh has shown 30% decline and has topped the chart in the reduction of maternal deaths.
iv. He said that, in just 23 months of launch of PMSMA (Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan), 1.3 crore antenatal check-ups at 12,900 healthcare facilities in India has been recorded.
About PMSMA (Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan):
♦ Launched by – Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW)
♦ Aim – to offer assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, to all pregnant women on the 9th of every month

Sonakshi Sinha joins hands with UNESCO to promote safe cyberspace for children
Indian actress Sonakshi Sinha has joined hands with UNESCO to promote a safe and secure cyber environment for youngsters.
Sonakshi Sinha joins hands with UNESCO to promote safe cyberspace for children:
i. This announcement was made by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s New Delhi cluster office on 28thJune 2018.
ii. Sonakshi Sinha will work to make sure that youngsters are not targeted for bullying, abuse, exploitation etc. through the internet.
iii. She highlighted the importance of education on the safe use of online spaces, and said that it will help boys and girls to be prepared to report any type of abuse or exploitation.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
♦ Director-General – Audrey Azoulay
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France


Indian-origin lawyer Dedar Singh Gill appointed judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme Court
Dedar Singh Gill, an Indian-origin intellectual property litigator in Singapore has been appointed judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme Court by Singapore President Halimah Yacob.
Indian-origin lawyer Dedar Singh Gill appointed judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme CourtDedar Singh Gill – judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme Court:
i. Dedar Singh Gill is 59 years old. He is a lawyer with over 30 years of experience. He is one of Singapore’s top intellectual property litigators.
ii. Dedar Singh Gill will take charge as judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme Court for a term of 2 years.
iii. Earlier he was managing director of law firm Drew and Napier LLC’s intellectual property department.
iv. He is also a member of the Law Society of Singapore, the Singapore Academy of Law and the International Trademark Association.

Janardan Singh Gehlot elected International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) chief for next 4 years
On 29th June 2018, it was announced that Janardan Singh Gehlot was elected the president of the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) for the next 4 years.
Indian-origin lawyer Dedar Singh Gill appointed judicial commissioner of Singapore’s Supreme CourtJanardan Singh Gehlot – president of IKF:
i. This announcement was made after the Annual General Congress (AGC) of IKF. Observer and Director of International Affairs Olympic Council of Asia Vinod Tiwari also took part in the AGC.
ii. The England Kabaddi Association, headed by Ashok Das, was disaffiliated due to anti-Federation activities. Ashok Das was removed from all posts of the Europe Kabaddi Federation.

Yousaf Saleem, who belongs to Lahore, has been sworn-in as the first-ever visually impaired judge of Pakistan
Yousuf Saleem, a visually impaired lawyer has become the first-ever visually impaired judge of Pakistan.
Yousaf Saleem – first-ever visually impaired judge of Pakistan:
i. Yousuf Saleem is 25 years old. He hails from Lahore. On 26th June 2018, he took the oath to be sworn in as a civil judge at Punjab Judiciary Academy.
ii. He is visually impaired by birth. He is affected by retinitis pigmentosa. It is a group of rare, genetic disorders that affect the light sensitive parts of the eye.


Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) technique — Direct to Slide: New method to detect cervical cancer
On 27th June 2018, A Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) technique — Direct to Slide — for screening cervical cancer was launched.
Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) technique — Direct to Slide:
i. A. Tamilselvi, consultant urogynaecologist and obstetrician, Madras Medical Mission, said that, the LBC technique would help in detecting cervical cancer during the pre-cancerous stages.
ii. The conventional pap smear has certain limitations. In LBC, a soft brush touches the cervix and take cells from the neck of the uterus.
iii. This is transferred to a bottle containing a preservative used for laboratory analysis. The contents of the cell are processed on a slide.
iv. In the conventional method, the total number of cells collected would not get transferred to the slide. In LBC, the sample is completely transferred to the slide.
v. Nearly 5 to 6 hospitals have launched this technique. A scientific session with obstetricians/gynaecologists, surgeons and pathologists was inaugurated by Bharathi Reddy, trustee and chief executive officer of Vijaya Group of Hospitals.
Some important lakes in India:
♦ Sankey Lake – Karnataka
♦ Ulsoor Lake – Karnataka
♦ Dalavai Lake – Karnataka


ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany
From 22nd June to 29th June 2018, the ISSF Junior World Cup was held in Suhl, Germany.
i. In the Junior men 10m air rifle final, India’s Hriday Hazarika shot 248.7 points and won gold medal.
ii. In the 10 Metre Air Rifle Team event, Indian team of Hriday Hazarika, Divyansh Singh Panwar, Sahu Tushar Mane with a score of 1875.3 won gold medal. They also created a Junior World record.
iii. In the 10m air pistol event India’s Saurabh Chaudhary with 243.7 points won the gold medal and also created a new world record…………………………………………………………….Click here to read more


International Asteroid Day – 30 June
On 30th June 2018, International Asteroid Day was celebrated all over the world.
International Asteroid Day - 30 JuneInternational Asteroid Day:
i. In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 June as International Asteroid Day.
ii. Near-Earth object (NEOs) is an asteroid or comet that passes near the Earth’s orbit. They pose potential threats to earth.
iii. The Tunguska asteroid event that happened on 30th June 1908, in Siberia, Russian Federation, was the largest asteroid impact recorded on Earth.
iv. International Asteroid Day marks the anniversary of the Tunguska. This day aims to create awareness about the asteroid impact hazard.
v. Also this day aims to inform people about the crisis communication actions to be taken in case of a possible near-Earth object threat.
About United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs:
♦ Director – Simonetta Di Pippo
♦ Located at – Vienna, Austria

International Day of Parliamentarism – 30 June
On 30th June 2018, the first International Day of Parliamentarism was observed all over the world.
International Day of Parliamentarism:
i. 30 June 2018, is celebrated as the first International Day of Parliamentarism. On 30th June 1889 the Inter-Parliamentary Union was established.
ii. This day celebrates parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government enhance the day-to-day lives of people.
iii. This day also provides an opportunity to parliaments to take stock, identify challenges, and find ways to address them.
About Inter-Parliamentary Union:
♦ President – Gabriela Cuevas Barron
♦ Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland