Latest Current Affairs – June 05 & 06 2018
1. Microsoft launches underwater data centre in Scotland
Microsoft has launched the prototype of an underwater data centre off the coast of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The 40-foot-long capsule, which contains 864 servers and 27.6 Petabytes of storage, has been placed 117 feet below the ocean’s surface. It is part of Microsoft’s Project Natick and is designed to hold data for up to five years without maintenance.
2. India fastest growing economy in FY19 at 7.3%: World Bank
India will retain the tag as the world’s fastest growing major economy advancing 7.3% this fiscal year and 7.5% in the next two, the World Bank has projected. India has overcome the temporary disruptions caused by the implementation of GST, it added. “India’s economy is robust, resilient and has potential to deliver sustained growth,” a World Bank official said.
3. RBI hikes repo rate for the first time in 4.5 years
The RBI has hiked the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, by 25 bps to 6.25% during its second bi-monthly policy review of 2018-19. This is the first hike since January 2014, when the rate was raised to 8%. The hike comes amid rising oil prices and high retail inflation, which accelerated to 4.58% in April.
4. Mayweather named world’s highest-paid athlete with $285 million
Undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather has been named the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes for the fourth time in seven years with $285 million in earnings. Cristiano Ronaldo, who stood first the last two years, slipped to third with Lionel Messi grabbing the second spot. UFC star Conor McGregor, who fought Mayweather last year, was ranked fourth with $99 million. With earnings of ₹161 crore, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was ranked 83rd.
5. Chennai startup wins Apple Design award 2018
Chennai-based startup Calzy 3 has won the Apple Design award 2018, along with nine other startups from different countries. Calzy 3 is a customisable calculator that uses iOS technologies such as Drag & Drop to share results in other apps to help users perform day to day mathematical calculations. Other winners included Amsterdam-based date-focused note-taking app Agenda.
6. UN General Assembly elects 1st Latin American woman President
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces was elected the next President of the UN General Assembly, making her the first Latin American woman to head the UN body. Espinosa Garces became only the fourth woman President of the General Assembly in its 73-year history. She will assume her duties in September.
7. Varanasi airport first to have national highway under runway
The Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport near Varanasi is set to become the first Indian airport to have a national highway underneath its runway. A new underpass that will convert the highway into a four-lane road will be constructed, while the current runway will be expanded from 2,750 metres to 4,075 metres.
8. Nuclear battery that can power spacecraft for 100 years made
Russian researchers have created a battery based on radioactive isotope nickel-63 that has a half-life of 100 years, which could help power deep space missions. The prototype packs about 3,300 milliwatt-hours of energy per gram, which is more than any other nuclear battery based on nickel-63 and 10 times more than commercial electrochemical cells, said researchers.
9. Pranjal Patil becomes 1st visually-challenged woman IAS officer
Thirty-year-old Pranjal Patil has become the first visually-challenged woman IAS officer in India as she joined her posting as Assistant Collector in Kerala’s Ernakulam district last week. The Maharashtra resident had lost her eyesight when she was six-years-old and faced difficulty in her initial academic years. In 2016, she secured 773 rank in the UPSC exam in her first attempt.
10. Tamil Nadu announces plastic ban from 2019 on World Environment Day
On the World Environment Day, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that the state would ban the use of plastic from 2019. However, milk and oil pouches, along with other basic need items will be exempted from the ban, he added. In 2017, the state government had banned the manufacture and use of plastic bags below 51 microns.
11. IISc develops ‘LifeBox’ to transport organs by drones
Researchers at IISc Bangalore have developed a ‘LifeBox’ that can extend the preservation time of organs, specifically the heart, and allows for increased travel time and distances. Researchers said that transport of organs using drones could cut down the transportation time by at least 50% compared to green corridors. The technology was used to transport a payload for 10 km.
12. India hosts 2018 World Environment Day (June 05)
India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day, a UN Environment-led global event which is taking place today. The theme of this year’s edition, ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, urges people around the world to explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce production and excessive use of single-use plastic.
13. India begins importing LNG from Russia in 20-yr deal
India began importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Russia as it received the first 3.4 trillion British thermal unit of cargo at Gujarat’s Dahej terminal. India will be importing LNG worth an estimated $25 billion over 20 years from Russia. India is the world’s fourth-largest buyer of LNG and imports the gas from Qatar, Australia and the US.
14. Japan plans to launch driverless car system in Tokyo by 2020
Japan is planning to launch a self-driving car service in Tokyo by 2020, according to a government strategic review announced on Monday. The strategy also includes plans to allow the development of virtual power plants by the fiscal year ending March 2022. The government will then try to commercialise the system as early as 2022, as per the review.
15. Forty ninth Conference of Governors Concludes In New Delhi
The two-day 49th Conference of Governors concluded in New Delhi. The President exhorted Governors to take the lead in adopting modern technology and methods.
The Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Minister for Home Affairs also addressed the concluding session of the Conference.
16. Polythene To Be Completely Prohibited From 31st July In Uttarakhand
In Uttarakhand, Polythene will be completely prohibited from 31st July in the state. All the polythene vendors have been asked to finish the polyethylene stock before 31st July.
In Dehradun on the occasion of World Environment Day, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat stated, a comprehensive public awareness campaign will be launched on environmental damage caused by polythene, one week before the entire ban on polythene in the state.
17. Union Government forms 3 key panels for museum of Prime Ministers Project
In a major push towards setting up a unique museum in Delhi on the ‘Prime Ministers of India’, the Culture Ministry formed three high-powered panels that will work to implement the project.
The three committees, one will focus on project implementation, while the other two will concentrate on choice and development of content for the one-of-its-kind museum.
The Ministry planning to set up a modern museum that will tell the story of all the Prime Ministers of the country at the premises of the iconic Teen Murti Estate, which was the official residence of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
18. Madhya Pradesh Announces Outstanding Power Bill Waiver Scheme
The Madhya Pradesh government announced an outstanding power bill waiver scheme for laborers and poor families.
The state cabinet headed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan approved the Bijli Bill Mafi Yojana 2018 (Power Bill Waiver Scheme) which is expected to benefit about 77 lakh people of the state. Laborers falling under the unorganized sector in Madhya Pradesh will get power supply at a subsidized rate.
The state cabinet also approved Mukhyamantri Jan Kalyan (Sambal) Yojana 2018 (a scheme to provide subsidized power) in the meeting.
19. Andhra Pradesh inks pact with Maharashtra to develop Fintech ecosystem
Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Nara Lokesh took to Twitter and shared the details about the pact signed with Maharashtra. The Minister termed Mumbai and Vizag as the driving force behind the Fintech platform. Lokesh hoped that new association will pave the way for enhanced financial technology innovation in both the states.
20. Cabinet gives relief to Cane Farmers
The Modi government has announced a major step to give relief to cane farmers. The Centre has granted nearly 8,000 crore rupees as relief to sugar mills and cane farmers. The cabinet’s decision is expected to benefit the entire sugar sector. Cane production is expected to be record breaking this year leading to surplus sugar production and decline in prices.