Latest Current Affairs – June 24 & 25 2018
1. Southern Railways imposes penalty of Rs.2,000 for taking selfie in front of train
Indian swimmer Sandeep Sejwal clinched the gold medal in men’s 50m breaststroke event at the Singapore National Swimming Championships held in Singapore. Virdhawal Khade grabbed a creditable silver medal in the 50m freestyle event with a timing of 22.68 seconds even as compatriot Aaron Agnel Dsouza crashed out in the semifinals.
2. India’s R Praggnanandhaa becomes world’s II youngest Chess Grand Master
Chennai’s R Praggnanandhaa has become the second youngest Grandmaster in chess history at the age of 12 years, 10 months, 13 days. The youngest Grandmaster ever is Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, who achieved the feat aged 12 years, 7 months and has held the record since 2002. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title a chess player can attain.
3. 3-day Annual Sindhu Darshan Festival begins in Ladakh Region of J&K
The three-day annual Sindhu Darshan Festival celebrates on the bank of Indus River started in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. The Festival organised by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti and Ladakh Phandey Tsogspa, Leh, will be inaugurate by RSS General Secretary Bhaiya Ji. The programme is focused at national integration, communal harmony and national pride. It will be marked by holy dip in the Indus River, hosting of national flag and cultural programme of different areas of the country. This year mark the 22nd Sindhu Darshan festival and it was started by the former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani in 1997.
4. Abhay V. Udeshi appointed as International Castor Oil Association President
Abhay V. Udeshi Director at Jayant Agro Group, manufacturer of castor oil has been selected by International Castor Oil Association (ICOA) for the position of its President. He will be succeeding Marjorie Klayman. The announcement was made in the recently held Annual General Meet in Stockholm, Sweden. The ICOA is an organization whose members are involved in growing, processing, trading, marketing and/or consuming Castor Oil.
5. Paul Polman Appointed as Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, will step down as International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Chairman, following the completion of his two-year tenure. Mittal will be succeeded by Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. Mittal will assume the role of ICC Honorary Chair from July 1, 2018. The telecom czar served as ICC Chair since June 15, 2016, and prior to that was ICC ‘First Vice-Chair’ and Vice-Chair. He became the third business leader from India to be appointed as the Chairman of ICC.
6. PM Modi lays foundation stone of paperless Vanijya Bhawan
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today laid the foundation stone for Vanijya Bhawan, a new office complex for the Union Government’s Department of Commerce, at New Delhi. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the building will be completed well within the stipulated time. He emphasized that this would be in keeping with the spirit of New India, and moving away from old practices, under which important building projects, even in the Capital, had been inordinately delayed. He hoped that the new office building – Vanijya Bhawan – would further facilitate elimination of silos in India’s commerce sector.
7. Martin Scorsese get Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rome Film Festival
Veteran director Martin Scorsese will be conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rome Film Fest which will run from October 18-28. The announcement was made by director Antonio Monda and Laura Delli Colli, the head of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma. Italian director Paolo Taviani will present the award to Scorsese, who is best known for modern American classics such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Aviator and The Departed.
8. China launches bird-shaped drones to monitor citizens
China has launched bird-shaped drones fitted with a camera, GPS antenna, and satellite communication capability, to monitor citizens living in different parts of the country. The program reportedly codenamed “Dove”, is run by Song Bifeng, a professor at Northwestern Polytechnical University. These drones replicate about 90% of the movements of a real dove like diving and turning in the air.
9. Iran bans import of 1,400 items to support domestic products
In a move aimed at boosting the sales of domestic products amid US sanctions, Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade has banned the import of 1,400 items. Managing Director of Iran’s Commerce Services of Trade Development Organisation, Farhad Noori, said that all the banned items have their similar domestic alternatives, adding that “we expect people to support domestic products”.
10. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan re-elected Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been re-elected as the Turkish President, extending his 15-year grip on power. With 99% of votes counted, Erdoğan had won a 52.54% share of the national vote, however, the opposition party did not immediately concede defeat. “Starting tomorrow, we will start working to realise the promises we made our people,” Erdoğan told his supporters.
11. England post their 1st ever 5-0 ODI whitewash over Australia
England posted a one-wicket victory in the fifth ODI to register their first-ever 5-0 series whitewash over Australia in ODI cricket. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler slammed an unbeaten 110 off 122 balls to help England score 208/9 despite being 114/8 at one stage. England have now won nine of the ten ODIs they have played against Australia in 2018.
12. Bill Gates pumps $4mn in modified mosquitoes to eradicate malaria
Microsoft Co-founder Bill Gates is investing $4 million in genetically-modified mosquitoes to eradicate malaria which is spread by female mosquito bites. The research, conducted by UK-based company Oxitec, involves releasing the modified male mosquitoes to mate with female mosquitoes. The male will pass on a self-limiting gene, which will kill their female offspring before reaching maturity.
13. West Bengal seeks GI tag for Kohitur mango that cost ₹1,500
The West Bengal government has applied for a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kohitur mango, which was sold for ₹1,500 a piece last season. The mango is believed to have been cultivated by a royal breeder named Hakim Ada Mohammadi at the behest of the last Nawab of Bengal Siraj-ud-Daulah. The variety was reportedly only consumed by royals.
14. Baidu tests driverless cars in China for the first time
China’s artificial intelligence major Baidu has tested its two driverless cars for the first time in Tianjin City, the company said. The trial run would enable developers to collect data on the cars’ performance in positioning, mapping, and self-control, a company engineer said. In 2017, Baidu launched its Apollo program which is a software solution for driverless cars.
15. Saudi Arabia becomes last country to allow women to drive
Saudi Arabia became the last country in the world to allow women to drive after it lifted the ban on female motorists on Sunday. “Now every woman has the right to drive a car anywhere in the kingdom,” the country’s traffic authorities spokesman said. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had announced the lifting of the ban last year.
16. Centre approves tourism projects worth ₹1,800cr for Himachal Pradesh
The Centre has approved projects worth ₹1,800 crore for the development of tourism in Himachal Pradesh. He added that the government will make efforts to develop lesser known areas in the state as tourism sites. This comes after tourism was affected in Shimla over severe water scarcity in May.
17. India, Seychelles ink six agreements in several fields
India and Seychelles have signed six MoUs to further expand bilateral ties between the two sides. These include areas of naval cooperation, cybersecurity, culture, dvelopment projects among others. The MoUs were exchanged in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Seychelles President Danny Faure after the two leaders held bilateral and delegation level talks in Hyderabad House. The Prime Minister announced a line of credit worth 100 million USD for Seychelles. PM Modi announced that India would help Seychelles in enhancing its defence capability and maritime infrastructure.
18. Gujarat Government launches Suryashakti Kisan Yojana
Gujarat is poised to become the first state in the country to roll out a scheme where farmers can generate electricity using solar energy and sell the surplus to the electric grid. Chief minister Vijay Rupani announced Suryashakti Kishan Yojana, besides producing electricity for farm and irrigation purposes, can also sell surplus power to the state owned power companies at Rs7 per unit for a period of seven years under this scheme. The state government launched a pilot project for the scheme which aims to cover 33 districts by setting up 137 feeders, covering 12,400 farmers. The cost of the pilot project is estimated to be about Rs870 crore
19. Deepika Kumari wins individual recurve gold at Salt Lake World Cup
Archer Deepika Kumari won her first individual gold medal in six years at the Salt Lake World Cup following a 7-3 win over Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the recurve final. Abhishek Verma had won an individual silver in the Compound category and was part of the mixed team bronze winning side alongside Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
20. RemoveDEBRIS: First satellite to demonstrate technology to clean up space junk deployed
A spacecraft that will demonstrate a range of innovative technologies to clean up space debris has been deployed from the International Space Station (ISS) and will soon begin its experiments in orbit. RemoveDebris, will attempt to address the build-up of dangerous space debris orbiting Earth.
It was transported to the ISS via the SpaceX CRS-14 launch in early April. The satellite was designed, built and manufactured by a consortium of space companies and research institutions, led by the Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey. The project is co-funded by the European Commission.
21. CORPAT: India, Bangladesh navies institute annual coordinated patrol
India and Bangladesh have agreed to institute a Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) as an annual feature between the two Navies. The first edition will be inaugurated by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba during his visit there from June 24 to 29. Naval cooperation between India and Bangladesh has been traditionally strong, encompassing a wide span which includes operational interactions through port calls, passage exercises along with capacity building, capability enhancement and training initiatives.
The Navy regularly conducts CORPATs with Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. It also conducts EEZ surveillance of Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles on their request.
22. AIIB to invest $200 million into NIIF to boost infrastructure projects
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will invest $200 million in India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund even as it assuaged concerns over China’s dominance over it and stressed that it works for all its shareholders. India is already the largest borrower from the AIIB with $1.2 billion financing in six projects. In total, the AIIB has invested $4.39 billion in projects. India is the second largest shareholder of the AIIB with an 8.72 per cent stake.
Though the AIIB has 86-member countries, China has the largest shareholding at about 31 per cent leading to concerns that it may increase the country’s influence across the region.
23. India, Cuba sign two MoUs
Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (East) Preeti Saran informed that India has signed two Memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with Cuba. First MoU signed between India and Cuba is on Bio Technology and another one is on Traditional Systems of Medicine. President Kovind and his Cuban counterpart Miguel Diaz-Canel witnessed the signing of MoUs.
24. PM approves setting up of E Sreedharan committee to lay down standards for metro rail systems
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a proposal to set up a committee to lay down standards for metro rail systems in the country. The committee will be headed by E Sreedharan, also known as the “Metro Man”. A retired Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer, Sreedharan has served as the managing director of Delhi Metro from 1995 to 2012. Inaugurating Delhi Metro’s Mundka-Bahadurgarh section, Modi said his government’s priority was to build convenient, comfortable and affordable urban transport systems.
25. Government to make 24 degrees celsius as default setting for air conditioners
Power Minister R K Singh said that the government will consider making 24 degree Celsius as mandatory default setting for air conditioners within a few months. At a meeting with Singh, AC makers were also advised to have labelling indicating the optimum temperature setting for the benefits of consumers both from financial and their health points of view. The temperatures settings in ACs will be in the range of 24 to 26 degree Celsius. Some countries like Japan have put in place regulation to keep the temperature at 28 degree Celsius. The new campaign will result in substantial energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emission. The power ministry estimates indicate that if all the consumers adopt, this will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone.
26. Russia to supply technical security equipment to India
Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom said that its subsidiary Nikiret has signed an agreement with Indian engineering services firm Core Energy Systems Pvt Ltd for the promotion of its technical security equipment in India. According to Core Chief Executive Pranay Kumar, the partnership will explore opportunities in the Indian government’s Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) project.
27. Pulitzer Prize winning political commentator Charles Krauthammer dies at 68
Charles Krauthammer, a longtime Fox News contributor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and best-selling author who came to be known as the dean of conservative commentators, died at 68. He is credited with coining the term ‘The Reagan Doctrine’, a reference to former US President Ronald Reagan’s support for those fighting communism.