Current Affairs June 27 2019

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Around 2.22 crore villagers received Digital Education under PMGDISHA
On June 27, 2019, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that around 2.22 crore villagers were given Digital Education under Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The government has enrolled 636 training partners.
Key Points:
i. The target of the government is to make one lakh digital villages. In order to fulfill it, it has collaborated with Railways to lay the Optical fibre network at the gram level.
ii. It has prepared a draft 100-days action plan which includes National Policy on Electronics 2019 — new schemes to the Cabinet; National Policy on Software Products 2019 — launch of Registry; Digital India Infoway (National Government Network and National Knowledge Network 2.0); National Mission for Natural Language Translation – proposal to Cabinet (to overcome barriers across major Indian languages); and Personal Data Protection Bill – to Cabinet…………………………..Click here to Read more

Under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme, 81,03,196 houses were approved 
On June 27, 2019, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri announced that 81,03,196 houses were approved under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. 47,57,987 houses are at stages of construction and 26,07,913 houses were completed or occupied.
Key Points:
i. Central Assistance of Rs. 51,113 crores was released under the PMAY (Urban) and the assistance was met through Budgetary Resources as well as Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR).
ii. State Level Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (SLSMC) under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary of the concerned State/Union Territories reviews the progress of implementation of the Mission ‘Housing for All by 2022’ at the State level.
About PMAY:
PMAY is an initiative by the Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022.  It has two components: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY-U) for the urban poor and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin) (PMAY-G/ PMAY-R) for the rural poor.

Standing Group Of Secretaries Constituted on Resolving E-commerce Issues: Piyush Goyal
On June 21, 2019 Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated that a Standing Group of Secretaries (GoS) has been constituted for ensuring inter-ministerial coordination on resolving issues related to e-commerce.
Key points:
i. Chairman: The committee formed under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ramesh Abhishek.
ii. Draft national e-commerce policy: It has been drafted and placed in public domain. The 42-page draft addresses six broad issues of the e-commerce ecosystem such as data, infrastructure development, e-commerce marketplaces, regulatory issues, stimulating domestic digital economy and export promotion through e-commerce.

7th India and Brunei Darussalam Foreign Office Consultations held in New Delhi
On June 24, 2019, The 7th Foreign Office Consultations between India and Brunei Darussalam was held in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary(East) and Brunei side was led by Hajah Siti Norishan Haji Abdul Ghafor, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brunei Government.
Key Points:
i. They reviewed bilateral relations between the 2 countries, including political, trade and investment, defence, cultural & people to people contact and exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues.
ii. They agreed to explore cooperation in energy, health and pharmaceuticals, higher education and agricultural sectors.
iii. The next round of Consultations will be held in Brunei on mutually agreed dates.
About Brunei Darussalam:
Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan
Currency: Brunei dollar

23rd edition of 4-day Sindhu Darshan Festival held at Sindhu Ghat Shey in Leh
A four-day event of 23rd Sindhu Darshan Festival 2019 celebrated at Sindhu Ghat Shey in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh from 24 to 27 June 2019.Sindhu Darshan FestivalKey points:
i. Organizers: The festival was jointly organized by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti (SDYS) and Ladakh Phanday Tsogspa.
ii. It was inaugurated by Skyabje Choskyong Palga Rinpoche.
iii. Aim: The day celebrated with the aim to promote national integration and celebrate unity in diversity and it was first started in 1997.
iv. It was marked by a holy dip in the Indus River and the colorful cultural programme performed by cultural troupes from different parts of the country.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Russia extends ban on EU Food Imports till December 31, 2020
On June 24, 2019, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to extend the ban on food imports like meats, dairy products, fruits and vegetables from the European Union (EU) till December 31, 2020.Russia extends ban on EU Food ImportsKey Points:
i. In 2014, Russia had imposed an official ban on a wide range of imports from the EU and other countries in retaliation for international sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
ii. This has affected Russian economy by pushing up food prices.
About Russia:
Capital: Moscow
Currency: Russian ruble

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI issued guidelines for setting up of an FBAs for administering “significant benchmarks”
On June 26, 2019, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a regulatory framework for setting up of financial benchmark administrator (FBA) for administering ‘significant benchmarks’ in the markets for financial instruments.
i. Significant benchmarks:  It means any benchmark notified by the central bank taking into consideration its use, efficiency, and relevance in domestic financial markets and the benchmarks administered outside India do not fall under the norms.ii. The function of FBAs: It ensures significant benchmark’ is designed to be an accurate and reliable representation of the referenced (specified) financial instrument and data used for the administration based on an active market involving transactions then it submits the report to RBI…………………………….Click here to Read more

RBI recommends Commercial Banks to adopt Education Loan Scheme
On June 24, 2019, India’s central banking institution, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised all Scheduled Commercial Banks to adopt Education Loan Scheme which is formulated by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
Key points:
i. Model Education Loan Scheme: The IBA scheme circulated to all member Banks including State Bank of India (SBI) for providing financial support to meritorious students for pursuing higher education in India and abroad.
Salient features of the Scheme include
i.
Loan up to Rs 10 lakh for study in India and upto Rs 20 lakh for study abroad.
ii. Collateral free loans upto Rs 7.5 Lakh under the Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loans (CGFSEL).
iii. No Margin for a loan up to Rs 7.50 Lakh.
iv. Repayment period of 15 years.
v. One Year Moratorium for repayment after completion of studies in all cases.
vi. Moratorium taking into account spells of unemployment/under employment say two or three times during the life cycle of the loan.
vii. The moratorium for the incubation period if the student wants to take up a start-up venture after graduation.
About RBI:
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 April 1935

MobiKwik partnered with Max Bupa to launch ‘shampoo-sachet’ health plan
MobiKwik, a mobile payments service provider, partnered with health insurer Max Bupa to launch “shampoo-sachet” concept in the insurance sector. It will offer mini medical insurance products with premiums as low as Rs 20. The partnership enables financial inclusion by making pocket size health insurance solutions available through the Mobikwik platform.MobiKwik partnered with Max BupaKey Points:
i. Max Bupa and MobiKwik launched a HospiCash plan which has an annual premium of Rs 135.
ii. It provides daily cash allowance of Rs 500 for up to 30 days during the hospital stay. There is an inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh. The higher variants with annual premium of Rs 225 and Rs 400 will provide cash allowance of Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 per day respectively.
About Max Bupa:
Parent Organization: Max India Limited
MD & CEO: Ashish Mehrotra
About MobiKwik:
Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana
♦ Founded: April 2009
♦ CEO: Bipin Preet Singh

Oracle launches Crime Mitigation solution for smaller banks
A multinational software firm based in the United States, Oracle has introduced a new tool that will help small & mid-sized banks to tackle fraud.
Key points:
i. The Oracle Financial Services “Anti Money Laundering Express Edition(AMLXE)” is designed to detect, investigate, and report suspected money laundering and terrorist financing activity.
ii. It targeted at smaller banks that have to comply with regulatory norms with a limited budget.
iii. It uses new architecture principles which offer quick deployment on premise or on cloud infrastructures allowing firms to transition to their future states faster and at reduced implementation costs.
iv. The solution includes an in-built library with scenarios that have the ability to detect money laundering behaviors.
v. The solution designed to allow visual scenario configuration, reducing coding overheads, and enabling easy adaption to ever-changing compliance demands.
About Oracle:
Founded: 16 June 1977
Headquarters: Redwood City, California, U.S
Founders: Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, Ed Oates

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

According to FIEO, improvement in logistics, infrastructure will boost exports to $1 trillion in next 3 years
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has estimated that the focus of the government to improve logistics, ease of doing business and modern trade infrastructure will boost exports of the country from current $535 billion to $1 trillion in the next 3 years.
Key Points:
i. Initiatives like special focus on cutting logistics cost and time, further improvement in ease of doing business, proper implementation of government policies for exporters and timely refund of taxes like Goods and Service tax (GST) will result in the increase of exports.
ii. Reduction of logistics costs by 10% will help to raise exports by 5-8%.
iii. The focus should be given on export of GI (Geographical Indication) products as they assure quality. Adequate funds for the marketing of these goods in order to push their shipments should be given by the Government.
iv. In order to develop logistics sector, it is important to focus on new technology, improved investment, skills, remove bottlenecks, improve intermodal transportation, automation, single window system to give clearances and simplify processes.
About FIEO:
Headquarters: New Delhi
Founded: 1965
Founder: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
President: Ganesh Kumar Gupta

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Sameer Gulati bags Rs. 3 lakhs for ‘world’s best coder’ at TechGig Code Gladiators 2019
In the 6th Edition of TechGig Code Gladiators 2019, an annual coding competition, Ex-champion, Sameer Gulati won the title as ‘world’s best coder’ and took home prize money of Rs 3,00,000, a trophy and a certificate. The event was held at Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai.Sameer Gulati bags Rs. 3 lakhs for ‘world’s best coder’Key points:
i. Technology themes: The event also hosted a total of 10 exciting technology themes include Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Chatbots, Robotic Process Automation, Fintech, Software Testing, Location Services, Amazon Alexa Skills, Internet of Things, and New Commerce.
ii. Registration: This edition saw over 2.6 lakh registrations(Of this, 21 percent (55,633 out of 2,62,906) were female coders) for the 87-day long coding competition.
iii. Vaishnavi crowned as the Best Female Coder.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Samant Kumar Goel got appointed as RAW chief
As per the Personnel Ministry, Government of India, Samant Kumar Goel, a 1984 batch IPS(Indian Police Service) officer of Punjab cadre appointed as chief of  Research and Analysis Wing(RAW) for a fixed two-year term. He is presently serving as Special Secretary in the RAW. He will succeed Anil K Dhasmana.Samant Kumar GoelKey points:
i. He joined the RAW in March 2001.
ii. He is a recipient of the Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Meritorious Service.
iii. He is said to have played a key role in planning the Balakot air strike after the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir and surgical strikes in Uri.

Arvind Kumar becomes new IB head
According to the Personnel Ministry, Government of India, Arvind Kumar (59), a 1984 batch IPS (Indian Police Service) officer from Assam- Meghalaya cadre has been made the chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB) for the tenure of two years. He is currently serving as special director in the IB. He will succeed Rajiv Jain.Arvind Kumar becomes new IB headKey points:
i.
He has been working with the Intelligence Bureau since August 1991.
ii. He handled various desks including Kashmir and Naxal issues.
iii. He also served in the Indian Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

Author Amish Tripathi appointed as the Director of Nehru Centre in London
Author Amish Tripathi was appointed as the Director of Nehru Centre in London, which comes under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He succeeds Srinivas Gotru.Author Amish TripathiKey Points:
i. He has authored the best selling books like ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ and ‘Sita – Warrior of Mithila’.
ii. The Nehru Centre was founded in 1992 and Gopalkrishna Gandhi was its founder director.
About ICCR:
President: Vinay Sahasrabudhe
Founded: 9 April 1950
Headquarters: New Delhi

ENVIRONMENT

In Arunachal, New tortoise species have been discovered
A team of herpetologists from the Forest Department and two NGOs (Non-Government Organization)-Help Earth & Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) discovered two (one male and female) new species of tortoise In Yazali area of the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. The species is called Manouria impressa (Impressed Tortoises ) because of the ‘impressive’ orange-brown to dark brown patches on its carapace.
Key points:
i. With this discovery, India now has 29 species of non-marine chelonians and five tortoises.
ii. The species inhabits moist primary forests of the hilly tracts of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
♦ Capital: Itanagar
♦ Chief minister: Pema Khandu

SPORTS

IOC suspends Olympic status from AIBA
On June 26, 2019, International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended the Olympic status from the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and took over the responsibilities of the qualifying and final tournaments for the 2020 Tokyo Games. In May 2019, IOC members had voted to support the executive board’s recommendation to suspend AIBA’s Olympic status.IOC suspends Olympic status from AIBAKey Points:
i. AIBA had created “very serious reputational, legal and financial risks” for the IOC and its American stakeholders.
ii. AIBA has debts of about $17 million and it may be bankrupt in the near future. It is cut off from future income from Tokyo revenues.
iii. In 2018, IOC had started to investigate AIBA’s governance, debts and integrity of Olympic bouts after the election of AIBA president Gafur Rakhimov, who is under United States federal sanctions for suspected links to eastern European organized crime.
About IOC:
President: Thomas Bach
Founders: Pierre de Coubertin, Demetrius Vikelas
Founded: 23 June 1894; Paris, France
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
About AIBA:
Headquarters: Lausanne, Switzerland
Founded: 1946

Chris Gayle of West Indies to retire from international cricket 
West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, aged 39, will retire from international cricket after the home Test series against India in August-September 2019. He was the captain of the team in the past and has won 2 T20 World Cup titles with the Windies.Chris Gaylei. He is the second-highest run-scorer in ODIs (One Day Internationals) for West Indies.
ii. He is the first batsman to hit 200 in a World Cup 2015 and the only batsman to hit a triple century in Tests, a double-century in ODIs and centuries in T20 Internationals.
iii. Gayle has played in 103 Tests, accumulating 7215 runs at an average of 42.19. In 294 ODIs he scored 10345 runs and in 58 T20 Internationals he scored 1627 runs.

OBITUARY

Noted humanitarian activist Jharna Dhara Chowdhury passed away
Jharna Dhara Chowdhury, eminent social activist and secretary of the Gandhi Ashram Trust in Jayag, Noakhali, Bangladesh passed away due to old age complications. She was 81.Jharna Dhara ChowdhuryKey points:
i. She was born on October 15, 1938, at Lakshmipur of Bangladesh.
ii
. She dedicated her whole life to the Gandhian way of peacebuilding, communal harmony and social justice.
iii. She was honored with Padma Shri in 2013, Jamnalal Bajaj award in 1998 and Ekushey Award, the highest civilian honor in Bangladesh in 2015.
iv. She also received the Begum Rokeya Padak, Gandhi Seva Puraskar awards.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi pens her first novel ‘The New Delhi Conspiracy’
Meenakshi Lekhi, a women politician(MP of Bharatiya Janata Party and spokesperson) has written her debut novel titled ‘The New Delhi Conspiracy’.The New Delhi Conspiracy’Key points:
i. Ms. Lekhi is a Supreme Court lawyer by profession.
ii. The book is published by Harper Collins and has been co-written by Krishna Kumar who works with her.
iii. The novel talks about undercurrents of Delhi’s political landscape and attempts to lay bare what is influencing the course of the nation’s political trajectory.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International MSME Day 2019 observed on June 27
International Micro, Small and Medium-sized (MSME) Enterprises Day 2019 was observed on June 27. It aims to recognize the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals, promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.
i. International Trade Center, the United Nations launched its flagship report: “The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2019: Big money for small businesses”.
ii. The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises organized an international  convention on the theme “Indian MSMEs, Global Aspirations” in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport & Highways………………………Click here to Read more

STATE NEWS

Justice PK Saikia appointed as Chairperson of Lokayukta in Arunachal Pradesh
On June 27, 2019, Justice Prasanta Kumar Saikia (Retired) was sworn in as the Chairperson of the Lokayukta in Arunachal Pradesh. The oath was administered by Governor Dr. B D Mishra at Durbar Hall in Raj Bhawan in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh in the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, other ministers, and officials. He became the first Lokayukta of the state.
Key Points:
i. Mr. Yeshi Tsering, a retired IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer, was sworn in as the Member of the Lokayukta.
ii. On March 4, 2014, Arunachal Pradesh assembly had passed the Lokayukta Bill to establish an anti-corruption ombudsman in the state.
iii. The chairperson and members will hold office for a term of 5 years or till they attain 70 years of age.
About Arunachal Pradesh:
Capital: Itanagar
National Parks: Mouling National Park, Namdapha National Park
Wildlife Sanctuaries:  D’Ering Memorial (Lali)  WLS, Dibang WLS, Eaglenest  WLS, Itanagar WLS, Kamlang WLS, Kane WLS, Mehao WLS, Pakhui/ Pakke WLS, Sessa Orchid WLS, Tale Valley WLS

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