Current Affairs Today June 4 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

‘Taj Mahal Declaration to beat Plastic Pollution’ adopted to clean Taj Mahal premises around 500m radius
On June 4, 2018, World Environment Day is celebrated annually worldwide on June 5 and to support it this year , the Union Minister of Culture and Environment Mr. Mahesh Sharma announced the ‘Taj Mahal Declaration’.
Key points:
i. The declaration is called ‘Taj Declaration to Beat Plastic Pollution’.
ii. Under this declaration, Agra residents would take pledge to keep 500 m around Taj Mahal plastic free and reduce the use of polythene and plastic products in the vicinity.
iii. This decision was taken by the Union and State government and applies to the 100 ‘Adarsh’ monuments across the country.
iv. The pledge was taken in the presence of Erik Solheim, executive director of UN Environment Programme  and UN goodwill ambassador and actress Dia Mirza.
v. It is under the scheme of Swachh Bharat and this scheme would aim to reduce , reuse, recycle , re collect and redesign .
vi. Earlier to the declaration there was a ‘Clean Yamuna Programme’.

13 Indian beaches to get prestigious Blue Flag certification for being clean & environment-friendly ; first time in Asia.
On June 4, 2018, 13 beaches will be given Blue Flag certification for being clean and environment friendly. This was announced by Project head of SICOM Mr. Arvind Nautiyal in a five day conference ahead of World Environment Day.
13 Indian beaches to get prestigious Blue Flag certification for being clean & environment-friendly ; first time in Asia.Objective:
This is to mark the beaches as environment friendly, clean and equipped with amenities for the tourists.
Key Points:
i. The 13 beaches are : Chandra Bhaga beach of Odisha (first to get the flag in the lot), konark coast; Maharashtra’s Chiwla and Bhogave beaches; one beach fromPuducherry, GoaDaman and DiuLakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar Islands .
ii. The Indian beaches are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management(SICOM), an environment ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas.
iii.  These beaches are being developed in accordance with the Blue Flag beach standards under a Unified Coastal Areas Management Programme.
iv. This project has two main aims- First is to improve the aquatic habitat by cleaning the growing pollution and garbage in the Indian beaches. Second is to develop ecological tourism with constant progress and development of tourist facilities.
v. There are currently no Blue Flag beaches in Asia .
About The Blue Flag Programme:
The Blue Flag beach standards were established by Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985. The Blue Flag programme, which requires 33 standards in four areas to be met to make beaches environment-friendly, first started from Paris.

Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan to promote best farming practices and double farmers income launched in 25 villages
On June 4, 2018, Ministry of Agriculture announced the launch of ‘Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan’ from June 1 2018 till july 31st 2018.
Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan to promote best farming practices and double farmers income launched in 25 villagesObjective:
To help , advise, assist farmers to improve their farming techniques and increase their income.
Key points:
i. This is in line with PM Modi’s vision of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
ii. The krishi kalian abhiyaan will take place across 25 villages (with more than 1000 population each ) in Aspirational Districts identified by the Ministry of Rural Development with the help of NITI Aayog.
iii. The overall coordination and implementation in the 25 villages of a district is being done by Krishi Vigyan Kendra of that district by appointing 111 officers in charge of each district .
iv. The various departments associated are : Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Animal Husbandry Dairying & Fisheries (DAHD&F) and Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE-ICAR)
The activities are:
i. Distribution of soil health cards, mini kits of pulses and horticulture plants.
ii. 100% coverage of bovine vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD),
iii. 100% coverage of Sheep and Goat for eradication of  Peste  des Petits ruminants (PPR ) ,
iv. Making 100 NADAP Pits in each village,
v. Artificial insemination saturation,
vi. Demonstration of micro irrigation practices and integrated cropping practices.
vii. Training programmes are being conducted by ICAR/KVSs for Bee Keeping, Mushroom cultivation and Kitchen garden. Women participants and farmers will be given preference for the training program.

427 Ganga Praharis to Boost Bio-Diversity conservation to educate, motivate and ensure protection of aquatic species of river Ganga among 5 states
On June 4, 2018, A volunteer workforce of 427 trained volunteers have been given the task to boost the biodiversity and raise awareness among the states along the river Ganga.
Objective:
To educate , motivate and ensure protection of the biodiversity of aquatic species of river Ganga.
Key points:
i. The group is called ‘Ganga Praharis’.
ii.They will work along the ganga basin spreading across the states of : Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhanad, Jharkhanad, Bihar and West Bengal.
iii. It is a part of a project named ‘ Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvination’ of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun sponsored by National Mission of Clean Ganga (NMCG).
iv. Activities of the Praharis are : Ghat Cleaning, Awareness Campaigns, Shram Daan,  Plantation drives and coordinating with the local self governments . Each Prahari should work on the model of ‘Each One make Ten’ .
v. They are linked through apps such as Bhuvan Ganga appMy gov appSwachhta  app.
vi. Three livelihood centres have been established in villages around Varanasi(Rampur, Tantepur and Dhakka). Ganga Praharis particularly women are being imparted trainings in these centres.
vii. Around 210 Sensitization programs, village level meetings training  and workshops have been conducted .

State Environment Ministers Conference Inaugurated
On 4th June 2018, the State Environment Ministers Conference in the run-up to World Environment Day was held in New Delhi.
State Environment Ministers Conference InauguratedState Environment Ministers Conference:
i. Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan delivered the inaugural address at the conference. He said that, 25, 000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day.
ii. Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Erik Solheim,  Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Mr. Sushil Kumar Modi, Secretary, MoEF&CC, Mr. C.K. Mishra, Director General, Forest & Special Secretary, MoEF&CC, Mr. Siddhanta Das, Additional Secretary, MoEF&CC, Mr. A.K Jain, etc. also addressed the gathering.
iii. E.K. JanakiAmmal National awards on taxonomy were also presented on the occasion. The awards comprises Rs. 5 lakh cash, a scroll and a medallion.
iv. The awards were presented to:

  • Dr. S.R Yadav for Plant Taxonomy
  • Dr. P.T Cherian for Animal Taxonomy
  • Dr. S. Sivaji for Microbial Taxonomy

v. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and other officials released The State of Environment Report 2015.
vi. National Geographic’s plastic wrapper-free magazine (India, US and UK editions) was released.
vii. National Geographic’s initiative of plastic wrapper-free magazine will save over 2.5 million single-use plastic bags every month.
Some important wildlife sanctuaries in India:
♦ Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary – Assam
♦ Bhimbandh Wildlife Sanctuary – Bihar
♦ Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh

Shri Rajen Gohain flags off Santragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya Express
On 4th June 2018, Minister of State of Railways, Rajen Gohain flagged off a new Antyodaya train named 22841/22842 Santragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya Express (Weekly) from Kolkata.
Shri Rajen Gohain flags off Santragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya ExpressSantragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya Express:
i.T he coaches of the Antyodaya Express are fully unreserved LHB second class coaches. They have the following additional facilities:

  • Cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats
  • Additional hand holds in doorway area
  • J-Hook near longitudinal luggage racks
  • Multiple Unit cables at both ends of the coach
  • Vestibuled ends for internal movement of the passengers
  • Potable Drinking water dispenser
  • Mobile charging points
  • Fire Extinguisher with anti-theft lock
  • FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) Modular Toilets
  • Pleasing interior colour scheme
  • Toilet Occupation indication display board
  • LED Lights
  • SS Slip-free flooring at Doorway & Gangway
  • Anti-Graffiti coating for exterior painting

ii. The One way distance covered by the train is 1656 km.
Some important national parks in West Bengal:
♦ Singalila National Park
♦ Sundarbans National Park
♦ Gorumara National Park

India’s forest cover stood at 21.34 per cent in 2015: report
On 4th June 2018, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan released ‘Status of Environment Report, India 2015’ at the state environment ministers’s conference held in New Delhi, as per which, India’s forest cover was 21.34 % in 2015.
Status of Environment Report, India 2015:
i. Forests and tree cover jointly contribute nearly 24.16 % of India’s geographical area.
ii. According to the recent estimate by Forest Survey of India (FSI), in 2015, the forest cover was 21.34 % of India’s total geographical area. This is an increase of 1.29 % from 20.05 % in 2009.
iii. Mizoram with 89 % has the highest forest cover compared to other states and Union territories in India.
iv. It is followed by Lakshdweep (84.56 %), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (82 %), Arunachal Pradesh (80 %).
v. Assam has the lowest forest cover with 35 % among the listed 15 states and Union territories (UTs) having over 33 per cent forest cover.
vi. The forest cover of India has increased from 692,027 square kilometres in 2010 to 701,673 square kilometres in 2015.
vii. An overall increase of forest cover in hill states has been witnessed. The northeastern states contribute for one-fourth of India’s forest cover.
viii. Degraded forest land with canopy density less than 10 % is classified as scrub.  The area under scrub is 41,362 sq km, which is 1.26 % of the total geographical area of India.
ix. Overall decline of 628 sq km in forest cover and an increase of 112 sq km in mangroves was registered, compared to 2009. Madhya Pradesh has the maximum forest cover of 72,462 sq km in India.
About Forest Survey of India (FSI)
♦ Functions under – Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India
♦ Formed – 1981

Commerce Ministry approves 15 projects for export infrastructure under TIES
On 4th June 2018, 15 projects were approved under Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) of commerce ministry to develop infrastructure for promoting exports.
Projects approved under TIES:
i. In 2017 the commerce ministry introduced the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) to create required infrastructure for development and growth of exports by engagement of central or state agencies.
ii. The total scheme outlay is Rs 600 crore. Out of this Rs 80 crore was provided in 2017-18. During then current fiscal year another Rs 80 crore will be offered.
iii. The scheme has been launched for three years up to 2020. Some of the approved projects are:

  • setting up of an integrated cargo terminal at Imphal international airport
  • establishment of trade promotion centre in Bhopal
  • solid waste management system at Noida SEZ
  • construction of office cum laboratory complex of export inspection agency at Vishakhapatnam
  • setting up of a cold chain in Madhya Pradesh

iv. The implementing agencies of these projects are:

  • Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation Ltd
  • Visvesvaraya Trade Promotion Centre, Bengaluru
  • Cochin SEZ
  • Airport Authority of India
  • Coffee Board, Exports Inspection Council
  • Andhra Pradesh Med Tech Zone (AMTZ) etc.

v. The cost of projects under TIES are equally shared between the Centre and the states.
vi. The central and state agencies like Export Promotion Councils, Commodities Boards, SEZ authorities and apex trade bodies are eligible to avail financial support under the scheme.
vii. The Central government will fund in the form of grant-in-aid, usually not more than the equity being put in by the implementing agency or 50 % of the total equity in the project.
viii. The proposals of the implementing agencies for funding is considered by an empowered committee. The committee is chaired by the commerce secretary.
Some important temples in India:
♦ Meenakshi Amman Temple – Madurai, Tamil Nadu
♦ Brihadisvara Temple – Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu
♦ Somnath temple – Gir Somnath district, Gujarat

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India among top 5 nations in e-waste generation: ASSOCHAM & NEC
On June 4, 2018, according to a report released by ASSOCHAM and NEC , India is among the top 5 nations in producing e-waste. This study was taken ahead of World Environment Day on June 5.
India among top 5 nations in e-waste generation: ASSOCHAM & NECKey points:
i. The other countries besides India are : China , US, Japan and Germany.
ii. Out of the total e-waste generated in 2016, only 20% (8.9 MT) has been recycled and the rest has no records.
iii. Among the states Maharashtra ranks first with 19.8%, Tamil Nadu ranks second with 13% , Uttar Pradesh 10.1%, West Bengal 9.8%, Delhi 9.5%, Karnataka 8.9%, Gujarat 8.8% ,Madhya Pradesh 7.6%.
iv. The global volume of E-waste would rise to 52.2 million tonnes or 6.8 kg per person on an average by 2021 from 47.7 MT from 2016 at an annual growth rate of 20% .

Commerce Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu attends informal gathering of WTO in Paris
On June 4, 2018, Minister of Commerce and Industry , Mr. Suresh Prabhu attended an informal meeting of the commerce ministries in World Trade Organisation in Paris.
Key points:
i. There were commerce ministers from 28 member states and Director General of WTO were present.
ii. He stressed the need of political engagement for the trade.
iii. There is a Work Programme in Ecommerce in which India is an active member.
iv. He stressed that working multilaterally with the developing and Least developed countries would help in boosting trader and addressing the challenges faced by WTO.
v. The Commerce Minister also had meetings with the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment and the EU Trade Commissioner.
World Trade Organisation (WTO):
♦ Headquarters – Gneva, Switzerland.

BANKING & FINANCE

Rs 5400 crore dispersed for Telangana government’s scheme ‘Rythu Bandhu’: RBI
On June 4, 2018, RBI supplied Rs.5400 crore for the implementation of Telengana Governement’s investment program ‘Rythu Bandhu’ launched in May 2018.
Govt Appoints IDBI Bank MD Mukesh Kumar Jain As fourth RBI Deputy GovernorKey points:
i. Under the scheme the state govt. will give  4000 per hectare for two seasons by cheques  .
ii. The Govt. has allotted 12000 crore as the budget in the scheme.
iii. The amount of total Rs.5400 crore was given to the banks and the State Financial Department.
v. A total of 59 lakh cheques has been dispatched by the banks headed by SBI.
vi. For the current season total requirement for the scheme is Rs.5700 crore.

Govt planning another SBI-like 4 bank mega merger
On June 4, 2018, After the success of SBI merger , the government is planning another big merger of 4 banks : Bank of Baroda, Central Bank , IDBI bank, Oriental Bank.
Key points:
i. These four banks has a combined loss of Rs. 21,646.38 crore in the financial year end of March 31.
ii. The Government is planning to merge and create 4-5 global sized lenders like SBI.
iii. This will create India’s second largest bank after SBI having combined asset of Rs 16.58 trillion .
iv. The share of bad loan  has increased . The total quantum of bad loans – loans where corporate borrowers are not repaying their dues to banks- has crossed Rs 10 lakh crore. This includes the Rs 8.9 lakh crore share of government owned banks.
In other banking news , under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, seven top lenders including SBI, ICICI Bank and IDBI Bank are said to be in the process of selling outstanding loans totaling a little less than Rs 28,000 crore. 
Taglines of :
♦ SBI – The Nation banks on Us .
♦ Bank of Baroda – India’s International Bank.
♦ IDBI Bank – Banking for All/ Aao Sochein Bada.
♦ Oriental Bank – Where Every Individual is committed.
♦ Central Bank – Central to You since 1911.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Vijay Mahajan appointed Secretary, CEO of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation & Director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies
On June 4, 2018, Mr. Vijay Mahajan has been selected as the Secretary and CEO of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation(RGF) and the Director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS).
Key Points:
i. He is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of NGO PRADAN which encourages the young entrepreneurs to work for the betterment of livelihoods of the poor in the country and the Basix Social Enterprise Group that helps 3 million poor households with microfinance.
ii. He has worked on the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) , the Rangarajan Committee and Raghuram Rajan Committee earlier.
About RGF and RGICS:
RGF is a trust founded in 1991 to pay tribute to the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his visions and RGICS is a think tank under RGF that works on the research and development  on the social challenges faced by India.

Government appoints experienced banker Mahesh Kumar Jain, MD & CEO of IDBI Bank as Deputy Governor
On June 4,2018, the MD&CEO of IDBI Bank Mr. Mukesh Kumar Jain has been appointed as fourth RBI Deputy Governor for a 3 year term.
Govt Appoints IDBI Bank MD Mukesh Kumar Jain As fourth RBI Deputy GovernorKey points:
i. He was MD&CEO of IDBI since March 2017 and previously he was CEO of Chennai based Indian Bank.
ii. He will be replacing SS Mundra whose tenure ended in July 2017.
iii. As per RBI Act , there are 4 deputy governors : 2 from within the bank , a commercial banker and an economist.
iv. The other current Deputy governors are : i. Shri B. P. Kanungo , ii. Dr. Viral V. Acharya , iii. Shri N.S. Vishwanathan.
RBI:
♦ Headquarters : Mumbai.
♦ 24th Governor : Dr. Urjit Patel.

Madagascar prime minister announces resignation
On 4th June 2018, Madagascar’s Prime Minister Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana announced his resignation.
Resignation of Olivier Mahafaly Solonandrasana:
i. Madagascar has been witnessing violent protests since 21st April 2018. The protests initially opposed the new laws the opposition claimed to bar their candidates to take part in the upcoming elections.
ii. The Constitutional Court has ordered Madagascar President Rajaonarimampianina to form a government of national unity with a consensus prime minister.
iii. As per this, the current government had to resign and the president was ordered to name a new prime minister by 12th June 2018. New Prime Minister has not yet been named.
Tag line of some banks:
♦ Union Bank of India – Good people to bank with
♦ United Bank of India – The Bank that begins with “U”
♦ Vijaya Bank – A Friend You Can Bank On

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

NASA’s mini-satellites successfully steer towards Mars
NASA, has said that, the world’s first mini-satellites to enter deep space, which were designed to monitor NASA’s InSight Mars lander, have successfully oriented towards Mars.
MarCO-A and MarCO-B:
i. In the last week, two CubeSats named MarCO-A and MarCO-B fired their propulsion systems to guide themselves toward Mars.
ii. This process is called a trajectory correction manoeuvre. It enabled the spacecraft to refine its path to Mars after launch.
iii. MarCO-A and MarCO-B successfully completed this manoeuvre. These two CubeSats comprise the Mars Cube One (MarCO) mission.
iv. They were launched on 5th May 2018 along with the InSight lander. They were designed to follow InSight on the way to Mars.
v. They are aimed to send back data about InSight as it enters Mars’  atmosphere and tries to land.
vi. The MarCOs were not intended to collect science data. They are a test of miniaturised communication and navigation technology.
viii. MarCO-A and B successfully finished a set of communications tests in the past two weeks. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory built both MarCO-A and B and leads the mission.
ix. MarCO-A corrected its course to Mars smoothly compared to MarCO-B.  MarCO-B faced certain issues.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):
♦ Administrator – Jim Bridenstine
♦ Headquarters – Washington, D.C., U.S.

SPORTS

Ariya Jutanugarn is the first player from Thailand,who won the trophy in 73rd US Women’s Open (Golf)
On 3rd June 2018, Ariya Jutanugarn won the 73rd US Women’s Open at the Shoal Creek, Alabama course, United States.
Ariya Jutanugarn won the 73rd US Women’s Open:
i. Ariya Jutanugarn is 22 years old. She hails from Bangkok. She has become the first player from Thailand to win a US Women’s Open title.
ii. She finished with a one-over 73 and a 72-hole total of 11-under 277. She was followed by South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo in the second position.
iii. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda secured third place. American Danielle Kang was in fourth position.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Eden Gardens – Kolkata, West Bengal
♦ Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Kochi, Kerala
♦ Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium – Hyderabad, Telangana

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression – 4 June
On 4th June 2018, International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed all over the world.
International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression - 4 JuneInternational Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression:
i. On 19 August 1982, the UN General Assembly declared 4 June as the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression.
ii. This day is observed to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse.
iii. The six most common violations faced by children are: use of children in war, killing, sexual violence, abduction, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access.
Some important museums in India:
♦ Visakha Museum – Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
♦ Sanskriti Kendra Museum – Delhi
♦ Kutch Museum – Bhuj, Gujarat

29th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre Observed
On 4th June 2018, the 29th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre was observed.
29th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre:
i. Over 10,000 activists gathered in Hong Kong to commemorate the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.
ii. This year’s observance focused on freeing “dissidents imprisoned or under home arrest” and pushing for greater democracy in mainland China.
iii. The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 is also known as the June Fourth Incident in China. On this day in 1989, students held demonstrations in Beijing.
iv. The protests were forcibly suppressed after Chinese Premier Li Peng declared martial law. This is referred as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
v. Troops killed several hundred demonstrators. The number of deaths has been estimated from 180 to 10,454.
Some important dams in India:
♦ Pandoh Dam – Beas River
♦ Panchet Dam – Damodar River
♦ Tunga Bhadra Dam – Tungabhadra River

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