Current Affairs June 17 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Centre constituted a committee headed by Kirit Parikh, an economist, to review LPG marketing

  • To review the existing marketing structure of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) in India, the Central Government constituted a five-member committee headed by economist Kirit Parikh.
  • The other members of the panel include the former petroleum secretary GC Chaturvedi, former Indian Oil chairman MA Pathan, IIM Ahmedabad director Errol D’souza, and a joint secretary in the petroleum ministry.
  • The newly constituted committee will look into the issues related to definition or quality standards of LPG being marketed……………………….Click here to Read more

India hosting Intersessional meeting of Kimberley Process 2019
India is hosting the Intersessional meeting of Kimberley Process (KP) from 17th to 21st June 2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Besides the meetings of different Working Groups and Committees of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), two special forums regarding Diamond Terminology and Artisanal Mining – Small Steps to Larger Outcomes will also be held.
Key points:
Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS):

i. India is the founding member of KPCS and is the chair of Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for the year 2019 with the Russian Federation as Vice Chair.
ii. It outlines rules that govern trade in rough diamonds.
iii. Participants: At present, KPCS has 55 members representing 82 countries including European Union with 28 members.
iv. India had earlier chaired KPCS in the year 2008.
About Kimberley Process
i.
It is an international certification scheme that regulates trade in rough diamonds with aim of preventing the flow of conflict diamonds while helping to protect legitimate trade in rough diamonds.
ii. It is a joint initiative involving Government, the international diamond industry and civil society to stem the flow of Conflict Diamonds.
iii. The Plenary meeting of Kimberley Process is scheduled to be held from 11th to 15th November 2019 in New Delhi.

2nd Meeting of India-Italy Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism was held in New Delhi
On June 13, 2019, The 2nd Meeting of India-Italy Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism was held in New Delhi. It was co-chaired by Mr. Mahaveer Singhvi, Joint Secretary (Counter Terrorism), Ministry of External Affairs and Mr Diego Brasioli, Principal Director for Security, Disarmament and non-Proliferation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.

Italy-IndiaKey Points:
i. They have discussed the threats posed by terrorist entities on a global front which also include transnational crimes and money laundering.
ii. The views were exchanges on the challenged faced during counter-terrorism.
iii. They discussed the measures to deepen bilateral cooperation for countering terrorism and transnational crimes through regular exchange of information, mutual capacity building efforts, sharing of best practices and mutual legal assistance.
iv. The next meeting of the JWG will be held in Italy.

BSF and BGB agreed to increase coordinated patrols
On June 15, 2019, Border Security Force (BSF) of India and the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) signed a Joint Record of Discussion at the 48th Director General (DG)-level talks which concluded in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It was signed between DG, BSF, Rajni Kant Mishra and DG, BGB, Major General Md Shafeenul Islam. Both sides agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down the killing incidents to zero. They will increase the coordinated patrols in the areas vulnerable to cattle and narcotics smuggling, educate the border population about the sanctity of International Border (IB) and prevent criminals from crossing the IB.

BSF and BGB agreed to increase coordinated patrolSKey Points:
i. Both sides agreed to implement Coordinated Border Management Programme (CBMP) to curb the danger of trans-border crimes.
ii. They agreed to pursue and share real-time information including a preliminary questioning report as applicable about the persons apprehended with smuggled items.
iii. They agreed to resolve the pending issues regarding development works including single row fencing of integrated check posts and land customs stations within 150 yards of IB by joint verification or re-verification of appropriate levels at the earliest.
iv. They agreed to declare new areas as crime free zone in phases. The proposed area within Sarail region or Tripura Frontier may be formalized in the first phase.
v. The next DG level conference will be held in New Delhi during the first week of November, 2019.
About BSF:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: December 1, 1965
Motto: Duty Unto Death
About BGB:
Headquarters: Pilkhana, Bangladesh
Type: Paramilitary

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kyrgyzstan

  • On June 13, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit 2019.
  • Prime Minister Modi, Kyrgyzstan President Jeenbekov jointly inaugurated India-Kyrgyz Business Forum
  • 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed between India And Kyrgyzstan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi granted 200 million dollar line of Credit (LoC) to Kyrgyzstan
  • India and Kyrgyzstan prepared a 5-year road map to increase bilateral trade apart from DTAA and bilateral investment treaty………………………………….Click here to Read more

BANKING & FINANCE

As per RBI, Digital transactions will rise four times by 2021

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its report “Payment and Settlement: The Plumbing in the Architecture of India’s Financial System” stated that, the digital transactions till March 2019 witnessed tremendous growth and they will rise by four times from Rs 2,069 crore in December 2018 to Rs 8,707 crore in December 2021.
  • RBI Report stated that in 2018-19, total digital transactions in volume terms recorded a growth rate of 58.8%. In 2017-18, growth was 50.4%.
  • Digital transactions in value terms grew by 19.5% during 2018-19. In 2017-18, it was 22.2%……………………………Click here to Read more

ADB sanctions Rs 1,650cr  infra projects in Tripura
On June 16, 2019, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a project submitted by the Urban Development Department (UDD) of Tripura amounting to Rs. 1650 crore for overall infrastructure development of seven districts headquarter towns of Tripura.

ADB agreed to grant USD 926 Million Loan for Mumbai Metro Rail ProjectKey points:
i. The fund is meant for development of piped water supply, underground drainage, underground sewage or scientific septage management, roads with pavement.
ii. The ADB will give 80 percent of Rs 1650 crore as grant-in-aid and the State Government of Tripura will have to repay back only 20 percent loan in due course of time.
iii. The seven district headquarters include-Khowai (Khowai), Ambassa(Dhalai district), Dharmnagar(North Tripura), Kailashahar (Unakoti), Udaipur (Gomati), Bishramganj (Sepahijala), Belonia (South Tripura) ,where the plan will be implemented.
About Tripura
♦ Capital:
Agartala
♦ Chief minister: Biplab Kumar Deb
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
♦ National parks: Clouded Leopard National Park ,Rajbari National Park
♦ Wildlife Sanctuary : Gumti Wildlife Sanctuary , Rowa Wildlife Sanctuary ,Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary

SEBI tightened rating guidelines to enhance standards
On June 13, 2019, The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued stricter norms for rating agencies to enhance standards. This move comes after a series of defaults at Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL & FS) in 2018.
Key Points:
i. SEBI will prepare and share standardized and uniform probability of default (PD) benchmarks for each rating category for one-year, two-year and three-year cumulative default rates, for the short run and long run and it will be disclosed on the website of each credit rating agency.
ii. It introduced disclosure of rating sensitivities in its press releases. It will help the end-users to understand the factors that would have the potential to impact the creditworthiness of the entity.
iii. Rating Agencies will have a specific section on rating sensitivities in each press release explaining broad level of operating and financial performance levels that could trigger a rating change – upward and downward.
iv. Rating agencies should make meaningful disclosures regarding liquidity using simple terms such as superior or strong, adequate, stretched or poor, with appropriate explanations.
v. They should assign the suffix ‘CE’ (Credit Enhancement) to rating of instruments that have explicit credit enhancements.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

44th Matri Shree Media Awards 2019 conferred upon 29 journalists
On June 17, 2019, Twenty-nine journalists from print and electronic media were honoured with 44th Matri Shree Media Awards for the year 2019 for their contribution towards journalism. The award ceremony was held in New Delhi.

Matri Shree Media AwardsKey points:
i. Namita (PTI (Press Trust of India ) Bhasha), Durga Pasad Mishra( PTI photo journalist), Agraj Pratap Singh (UNI), Jitender Kumar (Univarta), Poonam Gaur (Navbharat Times), Ravi Bhushan Dwivedi (Sandhya Times) and Kunal Kashyap (Punjab Kesari), Sandeep Ashwario Chief Cartoonist (Times of India) were among those honoured with the awards.
ii. The winners received the Matri Shree Bharat Mata shield and a pen
iii. Working President of Punjab Kesari Delhi Swadesh Bhushan Jain and Chairman of the Committee Ashok Aggarwal, Harish Chopra, Ankush Aggarwal, Chetan Sharma, Ramesh Bajaj, Vishal Rana and Kailash Agrawal presented the shield to the winners.
iv. A social activist has also presented the Bharat Mata shield at the award function.
v. ‘Badhai Ho’ got the prize for best film.
vi. Adesh Gupta, Former mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation was also honoured for the contribution to social service.
About Matri Shree Media Awards
i.
It is a series of awards for outstanding performance in different areas of journalism and related fields awarded in India.
ii. This award was established during the days of The Emergency (India) in 1975.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Denmark’s Inger Andersen appointed as UNEP’s Executive Director
On June 15, 2019, Inger Andersen, Denmark’s Economist and Environmentalist, took over as United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Executive Director, headquartered at Nairobi, Kenya, for 4 years. She was nominated for the post by United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres and approved by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in February 2019. She succeeded Joyce Msuya of Tanzania.

Inger AndersenKey Points:
i. Andersen was the Director General (DG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) between January 2015 and May 2019.
ii. She held various leadership roles at the World Bank as Vice President of the Middle East and North Africa, Vice President for Sustainable Development and Head of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers Fund Council.
iii. She worked at the United Nations (UN) for 12 years.

Zuzana Caputova sworn in as first female president of  Slovakia
On June 15, 2019, lawyer and Anti-corruption campaigner, Zuzana Caputova (45) sworn in as country’s Slovakia’s first female president. She defeated Smer-SD candidate Maros Sefcovic.

Zuzana CaputovaKey points:
i. She is the fifth president of Slovakia.
ii. She was elected in March 2019 with 58% of votes over Mr Sefcovic(42%).
iii. She was honoured with the Goldman Environmental Award in 2016 for her strong leadership regarding the Pezinok landfill affair, Caputova.
About Slovakia
♦ Capital: Bratislava
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ Prime Minister: Peter Pellegrini
It is a landlocked country in Central Europe It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, and the Czech Republic to the northwest.

D Sarangi re-elected as SRFI president, while Cyrus Poncha is the new Secretary-General
Debendranath Sarangi, an officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) of the 1977 batch was re-elected as president of Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) while Dronacharya awardee and national coach Cyrus Poncha was made secretary-general. They were elected unopposed for a period of four years from 2019 to 2023.
Key points:
i
. The SRFI also have Director of coaching, Dhiraj Singh and Former SRFI president N Ramachandran will be the Patron of SRFI.
ii. Other office-bearers elected unopposed are :

  • Vice-Presidents: T R Narayanaswamy, K Rajendiran
  • Joint Secretary: S Balasubramaniyan, Binod Kankaria
  • Treasurer: K Harish Kumar
  • Executive Commitee: V K Dabbas, Vinay Pandey, K P Balasubramaniam, Rajiv Reddy, A Dayanand Kumar, Bhuveshwari Kumari.

About SRFI:
♦ Sport: Squash
♦ Location: Chennai
♦ Regional affiliation: Asian Squash Federation

Ravinder Singh Dhillon elevated as Director (Projects) at PFC
On June 12, 2019, Mr. Ravinder Singh Dhillon took over the role of Director (Projects) in Power Finance Corporation Ltd (PFC). He is currently serving as an Executive Director in PFC.

Ravinder Singh DhillonKey points:
i. Dhillon, an Electrical Engineer with Post Graduation in Power Systems from IIT Delhi has more than 34 years of experience in various areas of power sector.
ii. Before joining PFC, Dhillon worked with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. and Central Electricity Authority for 9 years.
iii. He also served as Director (Public Grievances) in PFC.
iv. He has been a Nominee Director of PFC on the boards of various private and state-sector power companies.
About PFC:
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Owner: Government of India
It is an Indian financial institution, established in 1986. It is the financial backbone of Indian Power Sector. The Company has been conferred with many prestigious awards, the latest of which is “KPMG-Infrastructure Today Award 2008” for its contribution in development of power sector.

RBI appoints Rabi Mishra as Executive Director
On June 16, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has promoted Odisha-born Rabi N Mishra as the executive director (ED) after Rosemary Sebastian’s retirement. Previously, Rabi N Mishra was the principal chief general manager of the bank’s risk management department.

Rabi MishraKey points:
i. Mishra, a Ph.D holder in Monetary Economics hails from Mahendra Pur Shashan in Dhenkanal,Odisha.
ii.
He will handle the newly-created specialized supervisory and regulatory cadre within the RBI.
iii. Also, he will be supervising cooperative banks and the Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
iv. There are 12 executive directors including the chief financial officers in RBI.
About RBI
♦ Headquarters
: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das

SPORTS

Overview of 2019 World Archery Championships held in Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
The 50th edition of World Archery Championships, 2019 also known as Hyundai World Archery Championships were held from June 10, 2019, to June 16, 2019, in ‘SHertogenbosch, the Netherlands. It was comprised of Men’s Individual, Women’s Individual, Men’s team, Women’s team, and Mixed team.

World Archery ChampionshipsIndian medal winners are listed below:

Event NameWinnersMedal won
Women’s compound teamRaj Kaur, Muskan Kirar, Jyothi Surekha VennamBronze
Women’s Compound individual eventJyothi Surekha VennamBronze
Recurve men’s teamAtanu Das, Pravin Ramesh Jadhav,Tarundeep RaiSilver
Key Highlights:
i. South Korea topped the medal tally with 3 gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze. Chinese Taipei came second with 3 Gold,1 Bronze.
ii. India won three medals,1 silver, and 2 bronze.
iii. Indian men’s archery team secured the Olympic quota for the 2020 Tokyo Games by entering into the quarterfinals of the World Championships with a 5-3 win over Canada. After the 2012 London Olympics, this is the first time that Indian men could secure a team quota.
 iv. Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Muskan Kirar and Raj Kaur combined to beat the Turkish team of Yesim Bostan, Gizem Elmaagacli, and Ipek Tomruk by a score of 229-226.
v. Jyothi also clinched another bronze in the individual event against world number two Yesim Boston of Turkey with 10-9.
vi Indian men’s recurve team bag silver medal after 2-6 defeat to China.
About Netherlands
♦ Capital: Amsterdam
♦ Currency: Euro

OBITUARY

Franco Zeffirelli, Legendary ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Director dies at 96
The Italian legend director and two-time Oscar-nominee, Franco Zeffirelli passed away in Rome, Italy at the age of 96. Born in Florence, Italy in 1923, he was best known for his film career. He earned his big hit with 1968 film of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in which he famously cast then-teenagers Leonard Whiting & Olivia Hussey. The film has earned four Oscar nominations including Best Director and Best Picture but won Oscars for its costume design and cinematography.

Franco ZeffirelliKey points:
i. His other film credits include “The Taming of the Shrew”(196) and Hamlet(1990), ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’.
ii. He was also known for his theater and opera direction.
iii. A director, screenwriter, and producer, Zeffirelli earned five David di Donatello Awards from Italy.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2019 observed on June 17
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (WDCD) 2019 was observed on June 17. It is celebrated to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification. 2019 Theme of WDCD is “Let’s Grow the Future Together”. Desertification is the degradation of land in various areas like arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid. It is caused by human activities and then by climatic variations.
Key Points:
i. It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 1995.
ii. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) celebrates 25 years of progress made by countries on sustainable land management in 2019.
iii. The campaign slogan for the 25th anniversary is “Let’s grow the future longer.
iv. The 25th anniversary of the Convention on 17 June 2019 was held in Ankara, Turkey. It was hosted by the government of Turkey.
About UNGA:
Headquarters: New York, US
President: Prof. Tijjani Muhammad Bande

STATE NEWS

Bihar Cabinet approved the proposal to punish children who abandon their elderly parents; also sanctioned DPR for Dagmara hydel power project
Bihar Cabinet led by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar approved the proposal seeking provisions to punish children who abandon their elderly parents. They could face jail time over charges of abandonment.
Key Points:
i. The proposal seeking provision was submitted by the Bihar Social Welfare Department. The cases will be lodged on the complaints of the parents. They will be registered under the non-bailable section.
ii. In other approvals, the state cabinet also sanctioned Rs 11.68 crore for preparation of a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for construction of a multi-purpose 130-MW Dagmara hydel power project in Supaul district of Bihar.
About Bihar:
Capital: Patna
Governor: Lalji Tandon
National Parks:  Valmiki National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Barela Jheel Salim Ali Bird WLS, Bhimbandh WLS, Gautam Budha WLS, Kusheshwar Asthan Bird  WLS, Pant (Rajgir) WLS, Udaipur WLS, Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin WLS etc.

Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary launched State Transport Corporation’s Chalo app
On June 14, 2019, Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary launched the Assam State Transport Corporation’s (ASTC) Chalo app for Guwahati. It will help the travellers to know about the live arrival time of their bus.

chalo-appKey Points:
i. He also launched a transport map for the State Transport bus network in Guwahati developed by Chalo.
ii. Assam became the first state in India to have a state-wide smart transport solution and common mobility card for its commuters.
iii. Free travel was announced for Divyangs, freedom fighters and meritorious students of the state in State Transport buses.
iv. The Chalo app is developed by the Zophop Technologies Pvt Ltd, a technology-driven transport solutions company.
About Assam:
Capital: Dispur
Chief Minister: Sarbananda Sonowal
Governor: Jagdish Mukhi
National Parks: Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, Nameri National Park, Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries: Amchang WLS, Barail WLS, Chakrashila WLS, Lawkhowa WLS, Marat Longri WLS, Nambor WLS, Porbitora WLS, Pani-Dihing Bird WLS, Sonai Rupai WLS etc

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