Current Affairs Today June 17 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Narendra Modi to Chair Fourth Meeting Of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council Today
On June 17,2018 Fourth meeting of NITI Aayog’s Governing Council has began at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra modi.
PM Narendra Modi To Chair Fourth Meeting Of NITI Aayog's Governing Council TodayKey subjects to be discuss:-
i.Various issues have been expected to be discuss on this meeting including measures taken to double farmers’ income.
ii. The progress of flagship schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission and Mission Indradhanush; development of aspirational districts; and celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi also to be discussed during this meeting.
iii. The development agenda for ‘New India 2022’ was also expected to be approved.
iv. In this council , the apex body of Niti Aayog includes all the chief ministers, lieutenant governors of union territories, several union ministers and senior government officials.
v. NITI Aayog will act as the “think tank” of the government and work as a bridge between the centre and the states.

States collect taxes worth Rs 10,000 crore online post e-Governance initiatives : Road Ministry
On June 17, 2018, According to a report of the Road Transport and Highway ministry , states have collected taxes worth Rs. 10000 crore under Government’s e-governance initiative.
Key points:
i. Since the rollout of Transport Mission Mode Project (MMP), which has also automated regional transport operations (RTOs) the taxes has been collected.
Other initiatives taken under e-governance :
i. The government has set up a consolidated nation-wise transport database and launched citizens and trade-centric applications .
ii. More than 19-crore vehicles and 10-crore driving licence records have come under the National Register.
iii. Two flagship applications under Transport MMP — Vahan and Sarathi Vahan – have been released.
iv. Vahan deals  with vehicle registration, taxation, permit, fitness and associated services.
v. Sarathi Vahan deals with driving licence, learner licence, driving schools and related activities.
vi. The applications have been implemented in more than 1,000 RTOs across 33 states and Union territories – with state-specific rules, tax structures .
vii. And as  an achievement , more than 50 lakh national permits have been issued to Goods Vehicles through Online National Permit Portal.
About Government’s e-governance initiatives:
Under Pillar 5 of Digital India,  e-Kranti – Electronic delivery of services of Digital India programme, 44 Mission Mode Projects(MMPs) are being implemented by Central Ministries/Departments and State/UT governments to provide completely online services in various domains like Health, Education, Passport Seva, Trade, Income Tax, Excise & Customs, Corporate Affairs, India Post, e-Police, Land Records, etc. Several services are completely online while some services are partially online.
i. 13 of the MMPs are being implemented as Central MMPs
ii. 17 are being implanted as State MMPs
iii. 14 of them are being implemented as Integrated MMPs.
About Transport Mission Mode Project:
Under this project, Road Transport Offices (RTOs) are being computerized throughout India. Data is collected at State Registers, National Registers, and RTOs which are connected to one another and share comprehensive data. Vehicle registration (VR) services online can process applications for new licenses, select dates for driving skills test, and accept online payments for license-related fees. Driving license (DL) services include payment of registration related fees, clearance certificates, and ownership transfer.
The project is being implemented by NIC. The software for vehicle registration service is called Vahan and the software for drivers license services is called Sarathi.

Telangana govt to set up Child Protection Units in all 31 districts
On June 17,2018 Telengana Government will plan to set up Telangana govt to set up ‘District Child Protection Units (DCPU)’ in all 31 districts to protect the children from child abuse ,child labour and also to implement the child rights in all districts.
i. Women and Children welfare department Secretary M Jagadeeshwar informed that ‘District Child Protection Units (DCPU)’ were already established in 10 districts and plan to extend another 21 districts of the state by next two months.
ii. The main aim of the development of DCPU is to protection of children,besides anti-trafickking and also to implement juvenile justice act.
About Telangana
♦ Capital- Hyderabad
♦ Governor – E. S. L. Narasimhan
♦  Chief minister- K. Chandrashekar Rao

Meghalaya to implement Ayushman Bharat Health scheme
On June 15,2018 As per the MoU has signed with Union Health Ministry, Meghalaya Health Minister A L Hek has informed that Meghalaya government will implement the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).
Meghalaya to implement Ayushman Bharat Health schemei. Hek also informed that state would merge its own Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) with the AB-NHPM.
ii. The existing health insurance cover is Rs 2,80,000 under Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS)  while the AB-NHPM will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per family annually.
About Meghalaya
♦ Capital – Shillong
♦ Governor – Ganga Prasad
♦  Chief Minister – Conrad Sangma

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

US surpasses India as top greenfield FDI investment destination globally ; China tops in the Asia-Pacific Region : FDI Report 2018
On June 17, 2018, According to the FDI Report 2018 compiled by FDI Intelligence, a division of The Financial Times Ltd. , US has surpassed India as the top destination to attract Greenfield FDI investment.
US surpasses India as top greenfield FDI investment destination globally ; China tops in the Asia-Pacific Region : FDI Report 2018Key points:
i. In 2017, the US reclaimed the spot from India, recording USD 87.4 billion of announced Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The number of projects for the US was 1,627.
ii. India has been the top destination for 2015 and 2016 but the number of investments has fallen by 21% for 2017.
Rankings for other countries:
i. In the Asia and Pacific region, China was on top in terms of FDI in total number of new projects and capital investment, followed by India, as per the FDI report.
ii. China received foreign capital investment of USD 50.8 billion in 2017 in greenfield projects, compared to India’s USD 25.1 billion.
iii. The number of projects received by China was 681 projects as against 637 in case of India.
Globally in 2017, greenfield FDI weakened with the number of FDI projects declining by 1.1 per cent to 13,200. Capital investment decreased 15.2 per cent to USD 662.6 billion alongside a 9.4 per cent decline in job creation to 1.83 million
About green projects in India
National Mission for a Green India or the commonly called Green India Mission (GIM), is one of the eight Missions outlined under India’s action plan for addressing the challenge of climate change -the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). GIM, launched in February 2014, is aimed at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures.

SAARC fund to launch 80 social enterprise programme in all 8 member nations
On June 17, 2018, SAARC Development Fund will soon be launching a social enterprise development programme (SEDP) to fund 80 entities annually across the 8-member states including India.
Key points:
i. SDF would create access to financial services which can boost job creation, raise income, reduce vulnerability and increase investments in human capital in — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (SAARC members). 
ii. SDF is currently implementing 12 regional projects with more than 70 implementing and lead implementing agencies covering all the member countries under the social window funding.
iii. It has already committed USD 73.74 million for social window projects as of date out of which it has disbursed USD 47 million to the member states.
iv. It has recently launched two energy infrastructure projects in the region :
These include waste to energy project in Sri Lanka with participation of India and hydropower project in Nepal with participation of Bangladesh and India. The total loan commitment would be USD 30 million.
About SDF:
SDF was established by the Heads of the eight SAARC member states in April 2010 and its Governing Council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries.
It had launched the SEDP as part of its social window to be implemented in all the SAARC member states with the objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using a mix of grants and concessional returnable capital.
SAARC Countries :
Afghanistan , Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka.

India has trade deficit with 10 out of 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership  members
On June 17, 2018, According to the data of Commerce Ministry , India had trade deficit with as many as 10 member countries out of 16 of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)nations.
India has trade deficit with 10 out of 16 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership  membersKey points:
i. These RCEP bloc nations include : China, South Korea and Australia.
ii. The trade gap with China, Korea, Indonesia and Australia has increased to USD 63.12 billion; USD 11.96 billion; USD 12.47 billion and USD 10.16 billion in 2017-18. It was USD 51.11 billion, USD 8.34 billion, USD 9.94 billion and USD 8.19 billion respectively in the previous financial year, 2016-17 .
iii. It’s same with regard to Japan, Thailand and New Zealand.
iv. However, the trade gap has dipped with the remaining three nations – Lao, Brunei, Malaysia — in 2017-18.
v. India would get market access in services and investment opportunities.
About Trade Deficit:
♦ It is the difference between imports and exports. With free trade agreements this would increase
♦ India’s foothold but also impact the domestic manufacturers. But as the strength of the domestic manufacturing is weak, India would not be able to take advantage of such free trade agreements.
About RCEP Nations:
i. It consists of 10 Asean group members (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam) and their six FTA partners – India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. 
ii. India already has a free trade pact with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan and South Korea. It is also negotiating a similar agreement with Australia and New Zealand but has no such plans for China.

BANKING & FINANCE

Insurance regulator IRDAI has formed a 10 member committee to review regulations governing the Insurance Marketing Firms (IMF).
On June 17, 2018, The Insurance Regulating body IRDAI has formed a 10 member committee to review regulations of the Insurance marketing Firms (IMF).
Key points:
i. It will be a 10 member panel that would be revising the IRDAI( Registration of Insurance Marketing Firms) regulations 2015.
ii. The Committee consists of: K.G.P.L. Ramadevi, GM (IMF) of IRDAI; Sourabh Bhanot, senior VP of Aviva Life Insurance; Siddharth Pradhan, GM of New India Assurance; Amit Rathi, Senior VP of Max Life Insurance; Deepti Rastogi, senior VP of Apollo Munich Health Insurance; Rakesh Kumar, ED of LIC; Girish Joshi, ED and ISP of iKuber Financial Services IMF Pvt Ltd.; and Rajinder Singh, MD of JK Insurance Marketing Pvt. Ltd. IRDAI’s AM-IMF Priya Kumari would be the member secretary.
iii. It would recommend measures to strengthen the distributing channel by including products under the jurisdiction of other financial sector regulators.
iv. The committee is expected to deliver their recommendations by July 31,2018.
v. This would be applicable to  the firms that serve as distribution channels for insurers and had been approved of area wise registration in the 2015 amendment.
vi. This would help the distribution channels to spread to every strata of society to provide insurance coverage.
About IRDAI:
♦ Headquarters: Hyderabad.
♦ Chairman : Subhash Chandra Khuntia

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

WhatsApp Introduced payments service in India
On June 17, 2018, WhatsApp payment service has been in beta testing and almost one million people are testing the feature. This is being implemented with the help of NPCI and multiple banks.
WhatsApp Introduced payments service in IndiaKey points:
i. It has tied up with banks to facilitate financial transactions via Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
ii. The Reserve Bank of India has mandated all payment system operators to ensure that data related to payments is stored only in India giving firms six months to comply with it.
iii. The compliance would be monitored by NPCI.
iv. It has been stated that sensitive user data such as the last digits of a debit card and UPI PIN is not stored at all.
Whatsapp:
♦ Headquarters: California, US.
♦ CEO and co-founder : Jan Koum.
♦ It has been acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for $19.3 billion.

Muthoot Fincorp, NSDC to train 10,000 youth under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
On June 17,2018 Muthoot Fincorp Limited and National Skill Development Corporation announced its partnership to train over 10,000 youth under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) programme.
i. Under the scheme, Muthoot Fincorp will train over 10,000 people over the next three years and make them job ready. NSDC has approved a target of 3,000 candidates in the first year and 3,500 each in the subsequent two years.
ii. The Muthoot Pappachan Group will also absorb 80 per cent of the trained students 8,000 into the Group for regular positions (Job Roles), after successful completion of training and assessment of the candidates. The programme will equip these candidates with job-ready skills to access steady income opportunity in the NBFC space in India.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Omar Al-Razzaz sworn in as Jordan PM
On June 17, 2018, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has appointed Omar al-Razzaz as the country’s prime minister.
Omar Al-Razzaz sworn in as Jordan PMi. He will be succeeding former Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki who had resigned due to mass protests.
ii. Omar Al-Razzaz is a former World Bank economist, previously served as Jordan’s education minister.
Jordan:
♦ Capital: Amman.
♦ Currency:  Jordanian Dinar.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Russia successfully launched Glonass- M positioning satellite
i. On June 17,2018 Russia successfully launched a Glonass- M positioning satellite using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket.
ii. The Glonass network provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe, at an accuracy reportedly at par with the U.S. Global Positioning System.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought –June 17
The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) will be celebrated worldwide on 17th June with the focus on sustainable land management as a way to regenerate economies, create jobs and revitalize communities.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought –June 17
i. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed every year to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.
ii. 2018 Theme of WDCD :- “Land has true value – invest in “
iii. WDCD was established by the UN General Assembly 23 years ago to raise awareness on the global and national actions that address desertification, land degradation and drought.

Seychelles celebrates 4th International Yoga Day in Victoria with the theme “Yoga for Health”.
On June 17, 2018, The High Commission of India in Seychelles celebrated the 4th International Day of Yoga (IDY) 2018 at the iconic Palais des Sports indoor stadium in Victoria, Seychelles.
Key points:
i. The theme of the celebration was : ‘ Yoga for Health’.
ii. It was jointly organized by the High Commission of India in Seychelles and the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Government of Seychelles.
iii. It was Inaugurated by Jean Paul Adam, Minister of Health.
iv. A Yoga souvenir published by the High Commission was released.
v. It had a guided Mass Yoga Performance using the Common Yoga Protocol .and yoga for senior citizens and children, yoga for health, prenatal yoga, meditation and breathing sessions were also conducted.
vi .Photographs on Yoga shot by noted Indian photographer Binoy K. Behl were displayed.
vii. The event was attended by over 1000 yoga enthusiasts comprising more than 1% of the country’s population.
About International Day of Yoga :
♦ International Day of Yoga, or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. An international day for yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
♦ The date of 21 June was suggested  as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.