Latest Current Affairs – June 14 & 15 2018
1. Cristiano Ronaldo scores FIFA World Cup 2018’s 1st hat-trick
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored FIFA World Cup 2018’s first hat-trick as Portugal drew 3-3 against Spain in their first match of the tournament. The hat-trick was the 51st in World Cup history, as well as Ronaldo’s 51st career hat-trick. The 33-year-old scored his first goal in three minutes and 30 seconds, the fastest WC goal for Portugal since 1966.
2. SoftBank to invest $100 bn in Indian solar project
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank will invest up to $100 billion in solar power generation project in India. The company is expected to make the investment through a fund backed by Saudi Arabia’s government. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son may meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the deal.
3. Former World Bank economist sworn in as Jordan PM
Former World Bank Economist Omar al-Razzaz was sworn in as Jordan’s Prime Minister after King Abdullah issued a decree approving the new government. The 58-year-old, who studied at Harvard University, was tasked with reviewing the country’s disputed tax system. Omar succeeded Hani al-Mulki who resigned following mass protests over price hikes and other government economic policies.
4. North and South Korea hold military talks for the 1st time in 11 years
North and South Korea held military talks for the first time in over a decade. The talks came two days after US President Donald Trump said he would stop war games with the South, following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea had cancelled the talks in May in protest against the US-South Korea military drills.
5. India facing worst water crisis in its history: NITI Aayog
India is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat, a NITI Aayog report has stated. The report said 600 million Indians currently face high to extreme water stress and two lakh people die yearly due to inadequate access to safe water. The crisis will only get worse, it warned.
6 .Dhivya Suryadevara appointed as General Motors’ CFO
US automaker General Motors named Chennai-born Dhivya Suryadevara as its first-ever female Chief Financial Officer. The 39-year-old received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in commerce from the University of Madras and an MBA from Harvard. Suryadevara, who joined GM in 2005, had been VP of Finance since July 2017 and earlier managed the company’s $85 billion pension operations.
7. Author wins ₹80-lakh award for a one-sentence novel
Irish author Mike McCormack has won the €100,000 (nearly ₹80 lakh) International Dublin literary award for his one-sentence novel Solar Bones. McCormack wrote the 224-page book without using full stops, technically making the novel one sentence-long. The book was turned away by major publishers as too uncommercial while his Wikipedia page describes him as “disgracefully neglected”.
8. Antarctica lost 3 tn tonnes ice in 25 yrs, sea level rose 7.6 mm
Antarctica has lost about three trillion tonnes of sea ice since 1992 contributing to a global sea-level rise of 7.6 mm, according to a research published in the journal Nature. The study found melting tripled in the last five years compared to 2012. Antarctica has enough ice to raise seas by 58 metres if it ever all melted, noted researchers.
9. Dhawan 1st Indian to slam 100 before lunch on Day 1 of Test
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has become the first Indian and overall sixth batsman to smash a hundred before lunch on the opening day of a Test. The 32-year-old achieved the feat by reaching the three-figure mark off 87 balls in the 26th over against Afghanistan. This was the third time that Dhawan scored 100-plus runs in a session.
10. Telangana govt bans plastic items in all municipal offices
The Telangana government has directed all urban local bodies and civic municipal bodies to ban usage of single-use plastic in the offices. “The use of plastic in its various forms is everywhere in our daily life, little realising that the use and convenience of these items come at a very high cost to the environment,” the government letter read.
11. Macedonian Prez refuses to sign name change deal with Greece
After Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev signed an agreement with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras to rename the country as ‘Republic of North Macedonia’, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has refused to sign the “damaging treaty”. Greece objected to the name, saying it implies a claim to the whole geographic region of Macedonia, of which more than half is part of Greek territory.
12. India among over 90 nations without paid paternity leave for new dads: UNICEF
India is among almost 90 countries in the world without national policies in place that ensure new fathers get adequate paid time off with their newborn babies, according to a new UNICEF analysis.
Almost two-thirds of the world’s children under one year old, nearly 90 million, live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave, the UNICEF analysis said.
13. World Blood Donor Day – June 14
World Blood Donor Day is being observed on June 14 across the globe. The day is celebrated each year on 14 June across. It is also a day to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
The day also strongly encourages more people to donate blood so that the donor population does not decline and patients requiring transfusion have timely access to safe blood.
14. Sulabh Founder Honoured with Japan’s Nikkei Asia Prize
Noted social reformer and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak was honoured with Japan’s prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize. The award was given under Culture and Community category for his significant work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination.
Launched in 1996, the award honours people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas of regional growth; science, technology & innovation and culture & community.
15. Cashless Ticketing through ‘Utsonmobile’ App developed by CRIS
The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) developed a mobile-based application ‘utsonmobile’. The ‘utsonmobile’ application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and helps maintain user profile management and booking history.
16. HDFC Bank’s proposal to raise additional share capital approved
Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for grant of permission to HDFC Bank to raise additional share capital of up to a maximum of 24,000 crore rupees.
The composite foreign shareholding in the Bank will not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank. According to the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the proposed investment is expected to strengthen the capital adequacy ratio of the bank.
The Cabinet also approved reconstitution of North Eastern Council (NEC).
17. India to host first BIMSTEC Military Exercise
India will host first military exercise of the BIMSTEC Countries in September 2018 in Pune, Maharashtra. The theme of the exercise includes counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon and search.
The main aim of this military exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism.
Each participating member country will bring in some 30 soldiers. BIMSTEC countries had held disaster management exercise in 2017 in New Delhi, but this will be the first military exercise of the grouping.
18. President Ram Nath Kovind to launch Solar Charkha Mission on 27th June
President Ram Nath Kovind will launch Solar Charkha Mission on 27th of this month which will entail a subsidy of 550 crore rupees in the initial two years for 50 clusters.
The scheme is aimed at linking five crore women and self help groups to the initiative. The ministry has provided training to over 15 lakh people over the past four years through its various initiatives. The 15 new technology centres will be set up and out of these, ten will be made operational this year.
19. Gujarat tops Niti Aayog’s composite water management index; while Jharkhand ranked lowest
Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari released Niti Aayog’s composite water management index report in New Delhi. Gujarat topped the list while Jharkhand was adjudged as the worst performer. Gujarat is followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
In the northeastern and Himalayan states, Tripura has been adjudged as the top state in 2016-17 followed by Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.
Niti Aayog has ranked the states through first of its kind index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects.
The report predicted that by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people.
20. Integrated Command and Control Centre of Naya Raipur Smart City inaugurated
The Integrated Command and Control Centre of the Naya Raipur Smart City was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Integrated Command & Control Centre of Naya Raipurbecomes the 10th Smart City Centre to be operational in the country.
Under the ambitious Smart City Mission, ICCC in 9 cities had already become operational viz. Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Pune, Nagpur, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam, Bhopal and Kakinada.
Naya Raipur is one of the 3 Smart Cities of Chhattisgarh selected under the Smart Cities Mission. The other two cities are Raipur and Bilaspur.
21. Maharashtra Government & Quebec Province sign pact to increase Economic Cooperation
The Maharashtra government and Canada’s Quebec province have signed a pact to increase the economic cooperation, especially in areas of information technology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and welfare of the tribal community.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was on a week-long tour to the US and Canada signed MoU to this effect with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.
They also discussed ways to increase collaboration over knowledge-sharing on ports.
22. Government launches Swajal Scheme in 115 Aspirational districts
Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation announced that Swajal schemes in 115 aspirational districts of the country will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexi-funds under the existing NRDWP budget. These schemes will aim to provide villages with piped water supply powered by solar energy. The scheme will train hundreds of rural technicians for operation and maintenance of Swajal units. The Minister spoke about the relevance of Swajal in remote rural areas in the aspirational districts of the country.
23. DRDO converts Pinaka rocket system into guided missile
The indigenous Pinaka rocket system of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), known for firing a salvo of 12 rockets in just 44 seconds, is being evolved into a precision-guided missile, with enhanced range and accuracy to hit its targets. The missile, which has completed the initial trial, will undergo developmental trials next month and is expected to be delivered to the Army in two years, said senior DRDO scientists.
The initial version of the Pinaka rocket was further developed into Pinaka Mark II, which has an enhanced range of 70 to 80 km compared to Mark I, with a range of 40 km.
24. 106th Science Congress to be hosted by Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar
The Lovely Professional University (LPU) has announced it has been slated to host world’s biggest science event – the Indian Science Congress – next year, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate it. The 106th Science Congress will be held from January 3-7 on the private varsity’s campus with about 15,000 delegates, including 300 top scientists and Nobel Laureates, from across the world, attending the meet.
Themed “Future India: Science & Technology”, the five-day event will have 18 plenary sessions, including those of medical, chemical, environmental and other science domains.
25. Cabinet approves withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for withdrawal of Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha.
The Nalanda University was established on the basis of a Joint Press Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October, 2009, which supported its establishment as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Subsequently, the Nalanda University Act, 2010 was passed by the Parliament and came into effect from 25 November 2010.
The present proposal is for moving a motion in Rajya Sabha withdrawing the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013 introduced in Rajya Sabha on August 26, 2013 to amend certain existing provisions of the Nalanda University Act, 2010 and add some new provisions.
26. 20 States sign MoU for implementing Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding with the State Health Ministers of 20 States marking their commitment towards the launch of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM). J P Nadda said that the initiative will change the landscape of healthcare in the country and we would be remembered forever for our work.
AB-NHPM will protect around 50 crore people (from about 10 crore families). It will be cashless and paperless access to services upto Rs. 5 lakhs per year will be available for the beneficiary families at the point of service in both public and private empanelled hospitals across India.
A web portal for initiating the empanelment of hospitals under the mission was also launched.