Current Affairs Today June 23 2018

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 INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Modi inaugurated urban projects worth over Rs 40 bn in Madhya Pradesh
On June 23, 2018, during his visit to Madhya Pradesh, Prime Miniser Narendra Modi inaugurated several urban development projects worth over Rs 40 billion, at various locations across the State.
The development projects include : houses under Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana, urban drinking water supply schemes, urban solid waste management, urban sanitation, urban transportation and urban landscape projects.
Highlights of the PM visit in Madhya Pradesh
i. Mr. Modi will contribute the Mohanpura Irrigation Project worth ₹3,866 crore in Rajgarh district
ii. He will also praise the winners of cleanliness survey — Swachh Survekshan 2018 and give away the Cleanliness Survey-2018 Awardsto representatives of Indore, Bhopal and Chandigarh, the cities that secured top three positions in the survey.
iii. He will also inaugurate the state government’s urban transport scheme named ‘Sutra Seva’ at Indore’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
iv. The ‘griha pravesh’ (house warming ceremony) of all 1,00,219 beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana also be performed .
v. He dedicates 23 development projects at a cost of ₹278.26 crore under the Smart City Mission to various cities and also inaugurate drinking water schemes for 14 urban areas.
vi. Parks developed under the AMRUT Yojana in 10 urban areas.
 Some important schemes in Madhya Pradesh
Lok Seva Guarantee Act, Ladli Laxmi Yojna, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojna, Mukhyamantri Ki Panchayaten, On-line Samadhan, Beti Bachao Campaign

Cabinet nod to set up private industrial park as DTA to be built by TATA Steels in Ganjam District, Odisha
On June 23, 2018, Odisha cabinet has approved a proposal to utilise a piece of land in Ganjam district as a Domestic Tariff Area (DTA) to set up a Private Industrial Park by Tata Steel company.
About the Private Industrial Park:
i. The Park will be under The Odisha Industrial Infrastructural Development Corporation (IDCO).
ii. Out of the proposed 2970 acre land at Gopalpur in Ganjam district, 1235 acre to be utilised by TATA Steel Special Economic Zone Ltd (TSSEZL) and remaining 1735 acre would be utilised by the TSSEZL for setting up a Private Industrial Park as Domestic Tariff Area.
Other Projects approved by the Odisha cabinet:
i. The government land measuring 881.745 acre of 172 villages of Nayagarh, Boudh, Sonepur and Balangir districts will be alienated for the construction of Daspalla-Bolangir segment of Khurda-Bolangir New Broad Gauge Railway line.
ii. Gave grant of land to IIM Sambalpur free of premium and incidental charges for setting up its permanent campus.
iii. Several rural piped water supply projects were also approved.

Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu led two-day National Consultation on Farm Sector issues in Pune , Maharastra.
On June 20, 2018, The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated and participate in a two-day National Consultation on ‘Making Agriculture Sustainable and Profitable’, at Pune, Maharashtra.

Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu led two-day National Consultation on Farm Sector issues in Pune , Maharastra.Key points:
i. This event was organized by the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) of which the Vice President of India is the Chairman and Shri Vaikuntha Mehta National Institute of Cooperative Management, Pune.
ii. This event aims to efforts at various levels to double farmers’ incomes by 2022.
iii. It will focus on six themes viz. Creating an enabling policy framework; Intensification of farming diversification to high value agriculture and supplementation of incomes through allied activities; Marketing and Agri-logistics; Agricultural Trade Policy; Transfer of technology from labs to the land and Agricultural credit and insurance.

Centre bans AIQS an affiliate of Al-Qaeda , Islamic State.
On June 21,2018, The Home Ministry issued a notification that Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), an affiliated of Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Khorasan Province(ISKP) has been banned under Anti-Terror Law , The Unlawful activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 .
i. Their recruitment of youth from India and radicalization are a matter of serious concern for the National Security and international peace.
ii. The AQIS has been spreading and promoting provocative messages in social media.
About AQIS:
AQIS was created in August 2014 and is led by an Indian, Maulana Asim Umar, who was later identified as U.P. resident Sanaul Haq. It has committed acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries, has been promoting and encouraging terrorist acts on the Indian interests in the Indian sub-continent .

Power Minister Shri RK Singh launches campaign to promote energy efficiency
On June 23, 2018, Shri R.K Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable launched a campaign to promote energy efficiency in the area of air-conditioning.
i. According to a study carried out by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the guidance of Ministry of Power, the default setting in the air-conditioning should be at 24 degree Celsius.
ii. After an awareness campaign of 4-6 months, followed by a survey to gather public feedback, the Ministry of Power would consider making this mandatory his will result in savings of 20 billion units of electricity in one year alone.
iii.The targeted commercial buildings will include Airports, Hotels, Shopping Malls, Officers and Government Buildings (Ministries & attached offices, State Government and Public Sector Undertakings)

Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu lays foundation for iCon tower in Amaravati
On June 22,2018 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu laid the foundation for icon tower in Amaravati.It is to be constructed by Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugus (AP NRT) society at Rayapudi village, will become a center for many NRT owned IT industries.
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu lays foundation for iCon tower in Amaravatii. It is 33 floor/158-meter high. The construction of building will be in the form of letter ‘A’ and it represents Amaravati. The iconic structure will give a stunning 360° degree view of Amaravati for the occupants.
ii. It will cost around Rs.500Crore with features like revolving restaurants, NRT club, world-class auditorium, high-end classrooms with state of the art audio video equipment, and sustainability features with water and energy conservation.
iii. This tower will enable the establishment of about a hundred software companies resulting in more than 5000 direct and several thousand indirect jobs.
Some important dance forms in Andhra Pradesh
Kuchipudi , Vilasini Natyam, Andhra Natyam, Dappu, Lambadi, Kolatam

Kota in Guinness World Records for largest yoga session with the presence of 1.05 lakh people
On June 21,2018, A Guinness World Record was created in Rajasthan’s Kota city, where more than 1.05 lakh people performed yoga to mark International Yoga Day.
Kota in Guinness World Records for largest yoga session with the presence of 1.05 lakh peoplei. The event took place at R.A.C. Ground in the presence of yoga guru Baba Ramdev and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
ii. The previous record of yoga, performed by 55,524 people, was achieved in Mysore in 2017.
iii. 177 countries of the world, including 43 Muslim countries, had adopted yoga for the benefit of their citizens.
Other announcements:
The chief Minister of Rajasthan announced that yoga parks would be established at each district headquarters in the State.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mongolia launches construction of its first oil refinery with $1 billion Indian aid
On June 23, 2018, Mongolia launched construction of its first oil refinery that is funded by India in a ceremony that was attended by Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh and the Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa.
Mongolia launches construction of its first oil refinery with $1 billion Indian aidKey points:
i. It will be capable of processing 1.5 million tonnes of crude oil each year That is about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd).
ii. The cost of the refinery is estimated at $1.35 billion, and it will include a pipeline and its own power plant.
iii. It is planned for completion in late 2022.
iv. It will meet demand for gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
v. The project is expected to boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product by 10 per cent.
Background:
i. Mongolia imported almost 1.5 million tonnes of oil products last year.
ii. Mongolia, a large landlocked country wedged between giants China and Russia, has a population of just 3 million.
iii. The refinery’s financing is part of a $1-billion credit line agreement between Mongolia and the Export-Import Bank of India, made during a 2015 visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tourism Minister to attend Incredible India road shows in the United States
On June 18- 22, 2018, The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, Shri K. J. Alphons will attend a series of ‘Incredible India road shows’ in the United States of America.
i. The road shows were held in several major cities of US including New York, Chicago & Houston.
ii. This is to project India as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination.
iii. Additionally, the Minister also attended the Federation of Malayalee Associations of Americas (FOMAA) Convention 2018 in Chicago on 22nd June 2018.

First-ever UK-India Week 2018 held in London to promote bilateral trade and investments
On June 23, 2018, to mark the start of UK-India Week 2018 a bilateral meeting was held at the Taj Hotel in London.
First-ever UK-India Week 2018 held in London to promote bilateral trade and investmentsi. This was held for promoting prosperity, generating jobs, developing skills, and enhancing the competitiveness of the 2 economies.
ii. The next UK-India Joint Economic Trade Committee to be held in India in 2018.
Achievements of UK-India Bilateral relations:
i. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, and reached some £18 billion in 2017.
ii. The rate of growth reached a remarkable 15% in the first 3 quarters of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.
iii. Over 80% of masala bond issuances to date have taken place in London, to a value of more than $3.9 billion.
iv. The UK has been the largest G20 investor in India over the last 10 years. There are over 270 British companies operating there, employing nearly 800,000 people.

Dharmendra Pradhan on a visit to Austria and Germany
On June 20, 2018, The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan returned from his visit to Austria and Germany.
On His Visit to Austria:
i. The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the 7th OPEC International Seminar organised by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a special guest in ViennaAustria from 19-20th June 2018.
ii. Energy Ministers from all the OPEC countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iran as well as Russia, China, Oman participated in the Conference.
iii. India’s engagement with OPEC is important as India sources about 82% of crude oil, 75% of natural gas and 97% of LPG from OPEC member countries.
iv. He delivered a speech on “Sustainable Global Energy Future”.
On his visit to Germany :
i. He visited Germany from 21-22nd June, 2018.
ii. He lead International Day of Yoga at Alexander Platz on 21st June, 2018, Berlin wherein he will take part in an event organised by Indian Embassy to promote Yoga.
iii. He visited Lapp Company – a German SME, Vocational School ‘Berufsschule’ at Stuttgart and a Utility Company ‘Berlin Water and Energy supply’.
iv. He visited Siemens Dual VET Centre, Berlin, Germany and discussed the  role of the Chamber of Crafts in German Dual Training System at the Chamber of Crafts.
v. He also met Ms. Anja Karliczek, German Federal Minister for Education and Research on 22nd June, 2018 and discuss mutual issues on Vocational Education & Training (VET) Cooperation between India and Germany.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

L&T Finance increase rural focus, opens 1,000th meeting center in Kolkata for micro loans
On June 23, 2018, L&T Finance opened it’s 1000th meeting center in Kolkata for its micro-loans business.
L&T Finance increase rural focus, opens 1,000th meeting center in Kolkata for micro loansi. Over 30 per cent of the total disbursements of Rs 7214 crore in FY18 was added by the new meeting centers launched during that period.
ii. This would help increased rural focus.
Other achievements of the bank:
It has also launched an app that will providing instant loan sanctioning for micro-loans, which as of March 2018 stood at Rs 7,549 crore with a customer base of about 38.2 lakh women across 57,500 villages.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Indian contingent, part of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, awarded for ‘selfless service’
On June 22 2018, Indian army announced that The 7 Garhwal Rifles Infantry Battalion Group , part of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was awarded the United Nations Medal for “selfless service”.
Indian contingent, part of UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, awarded for 'selfless service'i. Number of military and civil dignitaries, including Brig Gen Mohammed Al Masoom, Commander United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and a host of senior commanders of various nationalities also attended the ceremony.
ii. The parade was reviewed by UNMISS Deputy Force Commander, Maj General Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog.
iii. The two-hour ceremony saw immaculate drill parade by the Indian contingent led by Major Aman Lamba.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Abhay V. Udeshi appointed as International Castor Oil Association President
International Castor Oil Association (ICOA) has selected Abhay V. Udeshi Director at Jayant Agro Group, manufacturer of castor oil for its president position. ICOA announced it at Annual General Meet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Abhay V. Udeshi appointed as International Castor Oil Association Presidenti. Abhay V. Udeshi has graduated from MS University of Baroda in B.E in Chemical Engineering.
About International Castor Oil Association (ICOA)
i. ICOA is an organization involved in growing, processing, trading, marketing and/or consuming Castor Oil.
ii. The main aspirations of the ICOA are the improvement in the agronomic conditions of castor beans, the development of new applications for castor oil and its derivatives and the dissemination of information to its members and the industries they serve.

S Balasubramanian replaces Pankaj Miglani as Bharti Infratel CFO 
On June 23,2018 Mobile tower firm Bharti Infratel has appointed S. Balasubramanian as new chief financial officer (CFO). Board of directors selected S Balasubramanian as the CFO and Key Managerial Personnel (KMP) of the company from Aug. 10 2018.
i. He replaces Pankaj Miglani. He will be taking up another role within the Bharti Group.
ii. Balasubramanian has over 28 years’ of experience and has handled global and large-scale operations in India, Middle East and Africa. He has been associated with other organisations like Pepsi, Eicher, Sify, Hutch and Coke.

Arijit Basu to be new Managing Director of State Bank of India
On June 23,2018 The appointments committee of the cabinet has appointed Arijit Basu as the new Managing Director of State Bank of India till October 31, 2020. He served as managing director of SBI Life Insurance . As per the SBI Act, the bank can have four managing directors.
Arijit Basu to be new Managing Director of State Bank of Indiai. He graduates in Economics and a Master of Arts in History, Basu started his career with State Bank of India in 1983 as a probationary officer.
ii. He has held several key positions in various circles of SBI including the bank’s office at Tokyo.

P S Jayakumar, chief executive of Bank of Baroda (BoB), could become the successor of Axis Bank
On June 23, 2018, the appointments committee of the Axis bank had hired a committee headed by Egon Zhender to identify a new CEO afterShikha Sharma and that is considered to be PS Jayakumar, the Chief Executive of Bank of Baroda (BoB).
i. He is a former Citibanker and the first lateral recruit into the top position at a public-sector bank.
ii. He joined BoB on October 2015 and was heading VBHC Value Homes prior to taking charge of the lender.
iii. The other candidates considered are deputy MD V Srinivasan and executive director Rajiv Anand .
iv.The decision would be finalized by September 2018.
Other appointees by the governement:
Rakesh Sharma, former CEO of private lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank, was appointed to head Bengaluru-based Canara Bank.

Supreme Court judge Jasti Chelameswar resigns
On June 22 2018, Senior Supreme Court judge, Justice Jasti Chelameswar will resign after a nearly seven-year tenure in the apex court.
i. Justice Chelameswar is one of the three judges, who had opposed Chief Justice of India (CJI) Deepak Misra’s ‘selective’ allocation of cases.
ii. Justice Chelameswar joined as a Supreme Court judge on October 10, 2011, was part of the nine-judge bench that had delivered the historic judgement which ruled that a citizen’s right to privacy was a fundamental right.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Google introduces offline mode for Chrome on Android
On June 21 2018, Tech giant Google announced the rollout of an offline mode for users on Android. They are introducing another way for Chrome on Android users in India, along with more than 100 countries including Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil, to surf the web with Chrome on Android devices – even without a constant internet connection.
Google introduces offline mode for Chrome on Androidi.The users who are signed into Chrome can also access relevant articles, based on browsing history.
ii. “Chrome’s goal is to make the web work well for everyone, everywhere. From building offline capabilities to an automatic data saver, we’ve launched a number of features to improve web accessibility.
iii. The new feature will be available to users by updating to the latest version of Chrome on Android in Google Play.

ENVIRONMENT

Six new spider species named after Enid Blyton characters discovered in Sri Lanka
On June 23, 2018, Six new species of minute goblin spiders discovered in the forests of Sri Lanka have been named after fictional characters described by English children’s writer Enid Blyton.
i. The names given were: The goblins Bom, Snooky and Tumpy and the brownies Chippy, Snippy and Tiggy .
ii. These are taken from ‘The Goblins Looking-Glass’ (1947), ‘Billy’s Little Boats’ (1971) and ‘The Firework Goblins’ (1971).
iii. A total of nine goblin spider species in six genera was described by Scientists Suresh P Benjamin and Sasanka Ranasinghe of the National Institute of Fundamental Studies in Sri Lanka.

SPORTS

Heena Sidhu tops selection trial at KSS Shooting
Former World No.1 Heena Sidhu of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) topped the charts for the selection trials 5 in the 10M Air Pistol Women category at the Dr. Karni Shooting Range in the 18th KSS Memorial Shooting Championship.
i. The para-shooter Rubina Francis from Madhya Pradesh clinched a gold and silver medal in the senior and junior category of the 10M Air Pistol (IPC) Championship women.
ii. Punjab’s Harveen Sarao who clinched a bronze in the 10M Air Pistol event had to settle for second spot with a score of 240.3.
iii. Double gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games Rahi Sarnobat took the third spot on the podium with a 217.7.

OBITUARY

Renowned humourist, satirist Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi passes away
On June 20 2018, Renowned Urdu satirist and humour writer Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi has passed away after a protracted illness in Karachi.
Renowned humourist, satirist Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi passes awayi. Some of his most popular works include Chiragh Talay, Khakam-ba-dahan, Zarguzasht, Aab-E-gum and Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaaraan.
ii. In recognition of his contributions to Urdu literature, the government of Pakistan conferred upon him two highest literary awards Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1999 and 2002, respectively.

Veteran journalist Prabhakar Choubey passes away
On June 22 2018, Veteran journalist and littérateur Prabhakar Choubey passed away after a prolonged illness at a city hospital in Raipur .
i. He made invaluable and memorable contribution in the fields of journalism and literature.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Olympic Day celebrated worldwide in June 23
On June 23, 2018, The International Olympic Day is celebrated all around the world for commemorating the birth of modern Olympic games on June 23, 1894 at Sorbonne in Paris.

International Olympic Day celebrated worldwide in June 23i. Olympic day was introduced in 1948.
ii.Olympic Day Run is an international Olympic Movement activity promoting mass participation of sports held in June organized by National Olympic Committees (NOCs).

United Nations Public Service Day – 23 June
The United Nations Public Service Day is celebrated of every year on June 23.

United Nations Public Service Day - 23 Junei. The UN Public Service Day celebrates

  • Value and virtue of public service to the community;
  • Highlights the contribution of public service in the development process;
  • Recognizes the work of public servants, and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

ii. The 2018 United Nations Public Service Forum will take place in Marrakesh, in the Kingdom of Morocco from 21- 23 June 2018, with the theme of “Transforming governance to realize the Sustainable Development Goals”.

International Widows Day – June 23
International Widows Day is a global awareness day on 23rd June every year. This Day was introduced to address poverty and injustice faced by widows and their children in many countries.
i. The day was launched by the United Nations in 2010 to raise awareness of the violation of human rights that widows suffer in many countries following the death of their spouses.
ii. The ultimate goal of the day is to develop resources and policy to empower widows and allow them to have access to education, work, healthcare and lives free of violence and abuse.