Latest Current Affairs – June 29 2018
1. France brings back mandatory national service for 16-yr-olds
The French government has announced a plan to reintroduce compulsory national service for all 16-year-olds. Under the plan, French boys and girls would do a minimum of one-month service in the first phase which would focus on voluntary teaching and working with charities among others. The second phase will be voluntary and focus on areas linked to defence and security.
2. Bali volcano erupts again, 450 flights cancelled
Bali’s Mount Agung volcano erupted again forcing the cancellation of nearly 450 flights to and from the Indonesian island. The closure of the Ngurah Rai airport affected about 75,000 passengers, said the National Disaster Mitigation Agency. The airport was closed temporarily after a pilot flying overhead detected traces of volcanic ash as high as 7,000 metres.
3. ICICI names ex-IAS Girish Chaturvedi as part-time Chairman
ICICI Bank has appointed retired IAS officer and former petroleum secretary Girish Chandra Chaturvedi as part-time non-executive Chairman and independent Director on the bank’s Board. Chaturvedi has previously served as a government-nominee director on the boards of LIC, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, among others. Chaturvedi will replace current Chairman MK Sharma after his term ends on June 30.
4. US postpones 2+2 dialogue with India
The much anticipated dialogue, between the defence and foreign ministers of India and the United States scheduled for July, has been postponed. The Ministry of External Affairs said the message postponing the talks came from the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The talks were expected to boost bilateral ease of ties in the backdrop of growing disagreement over the Iran nuclear deal and the brewing tariff war between the two sides. The high-level dialogue was designed to address bilateral issues following a summit-level meeting between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Modi in 2017.
5. Financial Action Task Force places Pakistan in Grey List for failing to curb terror financing
Financial Action Task Force places Pakistan in Grey List for failing to curb terror financing. The annnoncement comes a day after Pakistan submitted a comprehensive 26-point action plan to the FATF to choke the funding of militants groups, including Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led JuD and its affiliates, to avoid being blacklisted by it.
The placement on to grey list could hurt Pakistan’s economy as well as its international standing. The process began in February 2018 when FATF approved the nomination of Pakistan for monitoring under its International Cooperation Review Group (ICRG) commonly known as Grey List. Pakistan was asked to prepare a plan to address international body’s concerns and get its approval or it could risk being moved to the black list.
6. Global Real Estate Transparency Index: India ranks 35
India has moved up just one spot in the global real estate transparency index from 36 in 2016 to 35 in 2018, despite the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act or RERA. RERA was implemented in May 2016 to bring accountability and transparency into the sector. However, unlike a few states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, several states have been slow in its implementation.
The countries in the top 30 ranks have been defined as transparent markets, while those in the top 10 are categorized as highly transparent. The UK, Australia, the US, France and Canada are the top five countries.
The index measures transparency based on factors such as data availability, authenticity and accuracy; governance of public agencies as well as stakeholders of the realty sector; transaction processes and costs associated with those; and the regulatory and legal environment.
7. National Statistics Day: June 29
The National Statistics Day is celebrated every year in India on June 29. The day is observed to commemorate the birth anniversary of late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis, the Father of Indian Statistics. Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu released a commemorative coin of Rs 125 and circulation coin of Rs 5 denomination as a mark of respect to Professor P. C. Mahalanobis on the closing ceremony of his 125th Birth Anniversary at Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
In recognition of the notable contributions made by Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning, Government of India in 2007, has designated 29thJune as the “Statistics Day” in the category of Special Days to be celebrated every year at the National level
8. Government institutes Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the institution of “Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal”. Police Officers of States & Union Territories, Central Police Organisations (CPOs), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Security Organisation involved in Special Operations will be eligible. The Union Home Minister has also instituted three more Medals, – the Antarik Suraksha Medal, Asadharan Aashuchan Padak, and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal.
- The Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be given to officials of Intelligence organization of Central Government and Intelligence Dept./wings/Special Branches/Units of all State/UT Police, CPOs, CAPFs, Assam Rifles (AR) and National Security Guard (NSG) for acts of exceptional courage and skill in intelligence gathering.
- The Antarik Suraksha Medal will be bestowed upon Police personnel of States/UTs/ CPOs/CAPFs/Security Organisation in recognition of Operation Duty rendered by them for a tenure of every two years in Internal Security in J&K State/LWE region/NE region.
- The Utkrisht and Ati Utkrisht Seva Medal will be awarded to permanent Police personnel and other permanent support staff working in CAPFs, State/UTs Police Forces, CPOs, AR, NSG, Home Guard (HG) and Intelligence organization of Central Govt/State Govt./CAPFs in recognition of Long Service of 15 and 25 year and good service records.
9. President launches Solar Charkha Mission
President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission covering artisans in 50 identified clusters and the Sampark portal — a digital platform to connect five lakh job seekers with recruiters — at an event to mark the important economic role played by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Solar Charkha Mission will entail a subsidy of Rs 550 crore in the initial two years for 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans. The mission will generate employment in rural areas and contribute to the green economy. The digital platform `Sampark portal’ will be useful in creating a skill pool of workers and connecting trained youth with job opportunities.
10. Women Entrepreneurs Platform: NITI Aayog signs SoI with Financial Institutions & Social Organisations
NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) today signed five separate Statement of Intent (SoIs) with Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited, Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited, Sreemanta Sankar Mission and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
The WEP was established on the occasion of International Womens’ Day in March 2018 to substantially increase the number of women entrepreneurs who will create and empower a dynamic New India.
11. Rare Nevada toad species may get endangered species tag
U.S. wildlife officials have agreed to consider Endangered Species Act protection for a rare toad in northern Nevada. The toad was discovered in 2007 in the Dixie Valley. It is 2-inch-long with flecks of gold on its olive-colored body. Conservationist produced scientific shreds of evidence that the Dixie valley toads could be at a risk of extinction.
12. Dutee Chand sets new national record in womens 100m
Odisha’s Dutee Chand set a new national record in the women’s 100m race when she clocked 11.29 seconds at the 58th National Inter-State Senior Athletics Championships being held at Sarusajai Stadium, Guwahati, Assam.
The previous record of 11.30 seconds was also set by Dutee at the Indian Grand Prix in 2017. Dutee has qualified for the Asian Games in 100m and 200m by breaching the qualifying timings at the Inter-State Championships.
13. Rani Rampal to lead Indian Womens Hockey team in 2018 World Cup
Rani Rampal was announced as the captain of Indian Women’s Hockey team for the World Cup London 2018. Goalkeeper Savita has been named vice-captain.
Hockey India announced the 18-member Indian women’s team for the prestigious World Cup tournament to be played in London in July 2018. India has been placed in Pool B alongside hosts and world no. 2 England, world no. 7 USA and world no. 16 Ireland.
14. North Korea is named as Worst Human Trafficking Country by the US State Department
North Korea has been categorized as one of the “worst human trafficking nations” for the 16th straight year by the US State Department according to the annual 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report.
The report said that the North Korean government continued to use forced labour in prison camps and labour training centers and even encouraged forced labours of students and exported forced labour to foreign organizations. North Korea used state-sponsored forced labour to fund government functions as well as other illicit activities’.
North Korea has been included in the Tier 3 category, which is the lowest ranking, along with China, Russia, and Iran.
15. Kanwaljeet Jawa becomes first Indian to be appointed as board member of Daikin
Japanese air-conditioner maker Daikin Industries Ltd has appointed it’s India operations MD & CEO Kanwaljeet Jawa into the board of the parent company. Jawa joined Daikin India in 2010 as the COO and later became the MD & CEO who transformed an engineering company to a full scale HVAC organisation.
16. Indian, Indonesian navies participated in PASSEX
Indian Naval ships INS Shakti and INS Kamorta under the command of Rear Admiral Dinesh K Tripathi, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, undertook Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Madidihang (855) a Stingrays Class Fast Patrol Craft on leaving the Port of Makassar, Indonesia. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Indonesia last month, the two countries decided to enhance their maritime cooperation.
17. Mumbai is India’s most expensive city, Hong Kong named World’s most expensive city
According to Mercer’s 24th annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi and Chennai. Kolkata and Bengaluru are the least expensive Indian cities ranked.
Mercer’s survey reveals that Hong Kong took the top spot as the world’s most expensive city for expatriates. Tokyo and Zurich are in second and third positions, respectively, with Singapore in fourth.
18. Bengaluru ranked world’s 2nd best location to launch tech startups
According to research firm SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk, Bengaluru has claimed the second spot in the list of best locations for launching tech startups. The first place was secured by Boulder city in the US while the third best location was Johannesburg in South Africa. The research measured the average internet speed, the average business valuation, and cost of living, among other metrics.