Latest Current Affairs – June 19 & 20 2018
1. Centre to increase operations against J&K militants under Governor rule
The Centre is planning to scale up its operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir under the rule of Governor NN Vohra, officials have said. Hardline security-centric policy will especially be used in the Shopian, Kulgam, Anantnag, and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir, the officials added. The government will also use a more aggressive approach along LoC and International Border.
2. J&K comes under Governor’s rule for 4th time in 10 years
Jammu and Kashmir came under Governor’s rule for the fourth time in a decade since Governor NN Vohra assumed the office on June 25, 2008. It is also the eighth time the state witnesses the Centre’s rule in the last 41 years. This comes after the BJP on Tuesday pulled out of the BJP-PDP coalition government in J&K.
3. Subramanian to step down as Chief Economic Advisor, will move to US
Arvind Subramanian will step down as the Chief Economic Advisor, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in a Facebook post. “He would like to go back to the United States on account of pressing family commitments,” Jaitley added. Subramanian’s extended term as the Chief Economic Advisor ends in October this year.
3. Railways to become net zero carbon emitter by 2030: Minister
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Indian Railways will become a net zero-carbon emitter by 2030 with the current action plans for 100% electrification and renewable strategies. Adding that the electrification in 2017-2018 has increased seven times, the minister said that a “good, efficient and modern Railways system can do wonders for the Indian economy.”
4. Tamil Nadu’s Anukreethy Vas crowned Miss India 2018
Tamil Nadu’s Anukreethy Vas was named Miss India at the 55th Femina Miss India 2018. Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar, who won the title last year, crowned Anukreethy, who will go on to represent India at Miss World. Haryana’s Meenakshi Chaudhary stood second while Andhra Pradesh’s Shreya Rao Kamavarapu ranked third. Malaika Arora and Irfan Pathan were among the judges.
5. US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council
The US withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) citing anti-Israel bias. US ambassador Nikki Haley termed the body “a hypocritical and self-serving organisation” which acted as a “protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias”. The US was elected to the Council for the first time in 2009 after boycotting it for three years.
6. Nepal, Bhutan spend more than India on health
Low-income nations like Bhutan and Nepal spend 2.5% and 1.1% of its GDP respectively on public health, which is more than India’s 1%, according to a report. Among the Southeast Asian nations, Maldives with 9.4% has the highest health expenditure. Meanwhile, India aims to increase its public health expenditure to 2.5% of the GDP by 2025.
7. Uber appoints Pradeep Parameswaran as new India head
US-based cab aggregator Uber has appointed Pradeep Parameswaran as the company’s President for India and South Asia business. Previously, the position was held by Amit Jain, who has been elevated to the role of Head of Asia Pacific region including Australia, and New Zealand. Parameswaran, a former McKinsey executive, joined Uber India in January last year as head of operations.
8. Japan first Asian team to defeat a South American nation in WC
Japan became the first-ever Asian nation to defeat a South American country in World Cup history. The East Asian country achieved the feat by defeating 10-man Colombia 2-1 in their first match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Before this, Asian teams had played against South American nations 17 times in World Cup, losing 14 and drawing 3.
9. Trump orders Defence Department to create ‘Space Force’
US President Donald Trump has ordered the Defence Department to create the sixth branch of the US military, the ‘Space Force’. “When it comes to defending America it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” he said. Notably, the US in 1967 signed a treaty which bans space warfare.
10. WHO declares gaming addiction a mental health disorder
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the addiction to video games or ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health disorder. Likening it to substance abuse, WHO stressed it is not a casual term applied to anyone who spends a lot of time gaming. Symptoms must be sustained for at least a year before coming under the category, the organisation added.
11. PM Modi to lead 4th International Yoga Day celebrations in Dehradun
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the 4th International Yoga Day Celebrations in Dehradun. The Prime Minister will join thousands of volunteers, performing Yoga asanas in the lawns of Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, located in the lap of the Himalayas.
A series of Yoga related events are being organized across the world to mark the occasion. The Prime Minister had earlier participated in Yoga celebrations at Rajpath in New Delhi in 2015, the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in 2016, and the Ramabai Ambedkar Sabha Sthal in Lucknow in 2017.
12. June 20 – World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day, international observance observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. The day commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.
In the world, one in every 113 people have been forced to flee their homes because of war or persecution.
The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is ‘Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees’.
World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations on December 4, 2000.
13. Indian Government to team up with Google for flood forecasting
Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari has expressed that Union Government’s collaboration with Google will help in effective flood management in India.
The Central Water Commission (CWC), India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources, on June 18, 2018 signed a Collaboration Agreement with Google for flood forecasting.
14. World Bank approves 700 mn dollar to improve primary education in Bangladesh
The World Bank has approved $700 million to improve the primary education sector in Bangladesh. It will also finance implementation of the government’s Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4).
This project will build about 95,000 classrooms, teachers’ rooms, and multipurpose rooms. It will also build 80,000 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) blocks and 15,000 safe water sources.
The projects will provide recruitment to about 100,000 teachers.
15. Punjab govt launched a mobile app named iHariyali to offer free saplings
Punjab govt launched a mobile app named “i-Hariyali” under ‘Mission Tandarust’ to offer free saplings for users. The users can book a sapling of their choice, a maximum of 25 per person, from a nearby government nursery.
16. Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launches National Digital Library of India
The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar has launched the new digital initiative of HRD Ministry ‘National Digital Library of India’ (NDL) on the occasion of National Reading Day in New Delhi.
The digital library at present hosts 17 million-plus items (books, audiobooks, images etc) in 200-plus languages from more than 170 institutions.
17. NHRR Project: Government launches India’s first Nationwide Healthcare Establishment Census
The Union ministry of health and family welfare has launched the National Health Resource Repository (NHRR), the first ever registry in the country registry of authentic, standardised and updated geo-spatial data of all public and private healthcare. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is the project technology partner for providing data security. It will now be possible to provide comprehensive data on all private and public health establishments and other resources, including Railways, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), defence and petroleum healthcare establishments.
18. Indra 2018: Tri-service joint India-Russia military exercise to be conducted in India
The tri-service joint Russia-India military exercise ‘INDRA-2018’ is scheduled for the second half this year. Combined military units of the Russian Eastern Military District will participate in the drills. Members of the Indian defence forces will also be involved in the planning of the exercise including practical operations of the units besides catering, consumer services and medical support for the Russian units.
INDRA, a joint bi-annual military exercise was launched in 2003 to boost cooperation and interoperability between the Russian and Indian navies.
19. Indian Army to observe 2018 as Year of Disabled Soldiers in Line of Duty
The Indian Army is observing the year 2018 as the ‘Year of Disabled Soldiers in Line of Duty’ to honour soldiers who have been disabled in the line of duty while serving the nation and to celebrate the undying spirit of ‘Soldiering’. The main aim of the observance is to alleviate the sufferings of the soldiers, who have done their duty with utmost dedication to the nation and have been disabled for life.
The Indian army plans to gather due support for the unemployable disabled soldier and his family with an initial financial support to ensure a life of dignity through partially-funded entrepreneurship venture. The army is also planning to felicitate the disabled soldiers along with selected organisations that are dedicated in their rehabilitation.
20. IRDAI constitutes Suresh Mathur committee to review norms related to Insurance Marketing Firms
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) constituted a committee to review the regulations pertaining to Insurance Marketing Firms (IMF). The committee is headed by Suresh Mathur, Executive Director (Insurance Marketing Firms), IRDAI and has nine more members.
Terms of reference of Suresh Mathur Committee
• Revisiting the IRDAI (Registration of Insurance Marketing Firms) Regulations, 2015
• Recommend guidelines on the areas on which the regulations are silent
• Recommend for strengthening the distribution channel of insurance marketing firms by taking up products which fall under the jurisdiction of other financial sector regulators.
• The committee will come up with recommendations before July 31, 2018.
21. June 19 – International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
In 2015 the United Nations adopted 19 June as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The day aims to “raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, to honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes”.
2018 Theme: “The Plight and Rights of Children Born of War”
22. Pakistan has more nuclear warheads than India: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Pakistan continues to be ahead of India when it comes to possessing nuclear warheads, with China having double the quantity. Pakistan is believed to have 140-150 nuclear warheads this year, 10 more than last year. In contrast, India is said to have 130-140 nuclear warheads, according to the annual nuclear forces data by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). SIPRI said nine countries—the US, Russia, Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—had 14,465 nuclear warheads at the beginning of 2018, of which 3,750 were actually deployed.
23. Actor Tim Robbins to receive Crystal Globe Award
Actor Tim Robbins, the Oscar winning star of “Mystic River” and popular film “Shawshank Redemption”, will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF). Robbins, who won an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in “Mystic River” in 2003, will also present his two films “Bob Roberts” and “Cradle Will Rock” at the festival.
24. Sandeep Bakhshi appointed Chief Operating Officer of ICICI Bank
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO Sandeep Bakhshi will assume charge as the chief operating officer (COO) of India’s largest private sector bank by consolidated assets. The ICICI Bank board appointed Bakhshi, 57, as the COO—a post that was created for him—for the next five years. In his new role, he will be responsible for handling all the businesses and corporate centre functions at ICICI Bank. N.S. Kannan, executive director at ICICI Bank, will replace him as CEO of ICICI Prudential. Bakhshi, however, will continue as an executive director at the insurer.
25. Renowned mimicry artiste Nerella Venumadhav dies in Warangal at 85
Renowned mimicry and ventriloquism artist Nerella Venumadhav passed away today at his residence in Warangal following a brief illness. Hailed as the pioneer and maestro of mimicry, Mr Venumadhav was the first Indian mimicry and ventriloquism artist to have performed at the UN headquarters. Born on December 28, 1932 in Mattewada of Warangal, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2001. Mr Venumadhav had served as a nominated Member of Legislative Council of Andhra Pradesh from 1972 to 1978.
Also, a recipient of honorary doctorate, he had introduced the syllabus for a diploma course in mimicry for the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University and had also taught the subject.