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Important Current Affairs 22nd June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

World Investment Report 2021: India was fifth largest recipient of FDI in 2020

•As per the World Investment Report 2021 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), India was the fifth-largest recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in the world in 2020. The country received USD 64 billion FDI in 2020, which is an increase of 27 per cent, over USD 51 billion inflows in 2019.

•The United States remained the largest recipient of FDI, although, the FDI inflow to the country decreased by 40 per cent, to $156 billion, in 2020. China was the second-largest recipient with USD 149 billion FDI. The global FDI flows decreased by 35 per cent in 2020 to USD 1 trillion from USD 1.5 trillion in 2019.

NATIONAL

PM Modi launched mYoga App on the occasion of Yoga Day

•On the occasion of the seventh International Yoga Day on June 21, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled the mYoga mobile app. The app has been developed in collaboration between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (Ministry of AYUSH), Government of India.

•The mYoga app is preloaded with many yoga training videos and audio practice sessions, in different languages, that can be done in the comfort of our own homes.

•Currently, the mYoga app is available in English, Hindi and French, but will be made available in other UN languages in the upcoming months. Through this initiative, PM Modi government aims to achieve the ‘One World, One Health’ motto.”

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar launched ‘Mukhya Mantri Udyaymi Yojana’

•Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has launched two ambitious schemes christened as the ‘Mukhya Mantri Yuva Udyaymi Yojna’ and the ‘Mukhya Mantri Mahila Udyami Yojana. Both the schemes launched to promote entrepreneurship among youth and women of all sections under the state’s ‘Mukhaya Mantri Udyami Yojana scheme. The schemes were promised by the chief minister during the 2020 Bihar elections.

•Youth and Women-irrespective of caste and creed, wishing to start entrepreneurship, will get a loan of Rs 10 lakh, in which Rs 5 lakh would be a grant from the state government and the rest Rs 5 lakh will come as a loan, refundable in 84 instalments. He also launched a portal on which youth and women from all sections can register themselves for availing of the loan from the government.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Montek Ahluwalia named member of World Bank-IMF High Advisory Group

•Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia was named a member of a high-level Advisory Group formed by the World Bank and IMF. The group will be jointly led by Mari Pangestu, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu and Lord Nicholas Stern. The group was formed by the World Bank and IMF in the face of the dual crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

•Mari Pangestu is Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank. Ceyla Pazarbasioglu is Director, Strategy, Policy and Review Department, International Monetary Fund. The group will also include Gita Gopinath. Gita Gopinath as an Economic Counsellor and Director of the Research Department at the IMF.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Music Day 2021: 21st June

•World Music Day is observed globally on 21st June every year. This day is celebrated to honour amateur and professional musicians. Over 120 countries celebrate World Music Day by organizing free public concerts in parks, streets, stations, museums and other such public places. The aim of celebrating World Music Day is to provide free music to everyone, and also to encourage amateur musicians to showcase their work to the world.

•World Music Day was founded by France’s Minister of Culture, Jack Lang and also Maurice Fleuret, a French composer, music journalist, radio producer, arts administrator, and festival organiser, on the day of the summer solstice in Paris in 1982.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Chemist Sumita Mitra honoured with prestigious European Inventor Award 2021

•Indian-American chemist Sumita Mitra has been honoured with the European Inventor Award 2021 in the ‘Non-European Patent Office countries’ category. She was the first to have successfully integrated nanotechnology into dental materials to produce stronger and more aesthetically pleasing fillings.

•The award, one of Europe’s most prestigious innovation prizes, is presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to recognise outstanding inventors from Europe and beyond.

RANKING

Ease of Living Index 2020: Bengaluru ‘most liveable’ city of India

•Bengaluru has been named as the most liveable city of India, in the Ease of Living Index 2020, released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). The Ease of Living Index 2020 is part of the report titled State of India’s Environment 2021. Bengaluru is followed by Chennai, Shimla, Bhubaneshwar, and Mumbai, as the top five best cities respectively.

•The report focused on four parameters to determine the ease of living index score of each city, which are: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizens’ perceptions.

•Each city was rated out of 100 in all parameters.

•The Ease of Living Index 2020 is the second edition of the index after the first one was launched in 2018.

6th Edition of Sustainable Development Report 2021: India’s Rank 120th

•According to the 6th Edition of ‘Sustainable Development Report 2021 (SDR 2021)’ released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), India with a score of 60.1 has been placed at 120th rank out of 165 countries. Finland topped the Index followed by Sweden & Denmark.

•For the 1st time since 2015, all countries have shown a reversal in progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SDR 2021 has been written by a group of authors led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of the SDSN and has been published by Cambridge University Press.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

 ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’ is a new book of Amitav Ghosh

•Jnanpith Awardee and renowned author Amitav Ghosh’s authored a book titled, ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis’. It is published by John Murray. The book talks about the history of the influence of colonialism on the world today, through the story of the nutmeg.

•In ‘The Nutmeg’s Curse’, Ghosh discusses that the nutmeg’s journey from its native Banda islands sheds light on a widespread colonial mindset of exploitation of human life and the environment, which is present even today. Some of Ghosh’s other notable works include the Ibis trilogy and ‘The Great Derangement’ among others.

Bishnupada Sethi’s new book ‘Beyond Here and Other Poems’ released

•Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik released a book of poems ‘Beyond Here and Other Poems’ written by senior bureaucrat Bishnupada Sethi. It is a collection of 61 poems that are a reflection of a spectrum of experiences of life, perception of death and philosophical contemplation.

•Noted writer Haraprasad Das has written the preface. The cover design of the 161-page book has been made by eminent artist Gajendra Sahu. Sethi, Principal Secretary in the Information and Public Relations department has written several poetry and other books including ‘My World of Words’ and ‘Beyond Feelings’.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

SEBI reconstitutes Four-member Takeover Panel

•Markets regulator Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reconstituted its four-member Takeover Panel. The Takeover Panel looks into the applications that seek exemption from the mandatory open offer that an acquirer needs to make to minority shareholders. SEBI has appointed N Venkatram MD and CEO, Deloitte India as the new member of this Takeover Panel. SEBI had first constituted this Takeover Panel in November 2007, under the chairmanship of former Bank of Baroda chairman K Kannan.

Four- Members Panel are:

•Chairman: Justice N. K. Sodhi (Former Chief Justice of High Courts of Karnataka & Kerala and Former Presiding Officer of the Securities Appellate Tribunal).

•Member: Darius Khambata (Former Advocate General, Maharashtra).

•Member: Thomas Mathew T (Former chairman of Life Insurance Corporation of India).

•Member: N Venkatram (MD and CEO, Deloitte India).

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Important Current Affairs 21st June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Ebrahim Raisi will be new President of Iran

•Ebrahim Raisi has won the 2021 Iranian presidential election, winning 62 per cent of the vote with about 90 per cent of ballots counted.

•The 60-year-old Raisi will succeed Hassan Rouhani in August 2021, to begin his four-year term. He is also the Chief Justice of Iran since March 2019.

NATIONAL

PAN to be declared ‘INOPERATIVE’ if not linked before June 30, 2021

•The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had recently extended the deadline to link Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar number to June 30, 2021, due to the difficulties posed by the ongoing C-19 pandemic. So now as the deadline is fast approaching, here are some guidelines which must be kept in mind.

•As per the new Section 234H of the Income-tax Act 1961, which has been recently introduced during Budget 2021, the PAN cards which are not linked to Aadhaar after June 30, 2021, would be declared “inoperative”, as well as a penalty of Rs 1,000 may also be imposed. On the other hand, the person will be considered as an individual without a PAN card.

OBITUARY

DPIIT Secretary G. Mohapatra Passed Away due to C-19

•Guruprasad Mohapatra, the Secretary in the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), has passed away due to C-19 related complications.

•Before being appointed as DPIIT secretary in August 2019, Mohapatra served as Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI). He was a Gujarat cadre 1986 batch IAS officer, who had earlier served as joint secretary in the Department of Commerce.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice 2021: 21 June

•International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is observed globally on 21st June. This day bring awareness about solstices and equinoxes and their significance for several religions and ethnic cultures. The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on 20th June 2019 within Resolution A/RES/73/300.

•Solstice is that the point at which the Sun is at its greatest distance from the world and equinox is when space is that the lowest. Both solstice and equinox have their own significance for Christians, Muslims, and other religions. A solstice derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”) because the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) appears to “standstill” at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction is an occasion that occurs when the Sun reaches its most northerly or southerly day-arc relative to the equator.

International Day of Yoga 2021: 21 June

•United Nations celebrates International Day of Yoga globally on 21 June every year to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.

•Recognizing this important role of Yoga, this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Yoga focuses on “Yoga for well-being” – how the practice of Yoga can promote the holistic health of every individual.

•India proposed the draft resolution establish the International Day of Yoga and the proposal was endorsed by a record 175 member states. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131.

World Refugee Day 2021: 20 June

•World Refugee Day is observed every year on June 20 to respect and honour the courage and resilience of refugees across the world. The United Nations observes this day to honour the refugees who have been forced outside of their homes. The day aims to build understanding and empathy for refugees building their lives in countries new to them.

•This year the theme for World Refugee Day is ‘Together we heal, learn and shine’. The United Nations has stated that the coronavirus disease (C-19) pandemic has made it evident that we can only succeed by standing together. The UN has called for the greater inclusion of refugees in the healthcare system across the world.

•World Refugee Day was celebrated for the first time on June 20, 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. The United Nations General Assembly officially designated June 20 as World Refugee Day in December 2000.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Environmental Organisation ‘Familial Forestry’ wins prestigious UN Award

•The 2021 Land for Life Award has been won by Familial Forestry of Rajasthan, a unique concept that relates a tree with a family, making it a green “family member.” The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organises the Land for Life Award every two years to recognize excellence and innovation in efforts towards land in balance.

•The theme for the 2021 Award is “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”. The Land for Life Award was launched at the UNCCD COP (Conference of Parties) 10 in 2011. and is considered as the world’s highest reward regarding land conservation and restoration.

•Familial Forestry is an environment conservation concept by climate-activist Shyam Sunder Jyani, an Associate Professor for Sociology in Rajasthan, who has been campaigning for Familial Forestry for over 15 years.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Centrum gets RBI’s in-principle nod to take over PMC Bank

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given “in-principle” approval to Centrum Financial Services Ltd (CFSL) to set up a small finance bank (SFB), which will take over the beleaguered Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank). It will get 120 days to commence operations. The amalgamation with PMC Bank is a separate process that would involve notification of the scheme by the government.

•The first year the partners would put in Rs 900 crore, which will be used for starting the business and acquiring PMC Bank. The second round of equity funding of Rs 900 crore will happen in the following year.

•The “in-principle” approval has been given to Centrum in accordance with the offer it made in response to the expression of interest (EoI) to take over PMC Bank. The consortium of Centrum and BharatPe had expressed an interest in taking over PMC Bank. According to reports, both Centrum and BharatPe will hold 50 per cent in the small finance bank and the assets and liabilities of the multistate cooperative bank will be transferred to it.

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Important Current Affairs 20th June 2021

NATIONAL

CM Arvind Kejriwal launched ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ Campaign

•Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched the ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ campaign, with the aim to vaccinate all people above 45 years against C-19 in Delhi within the next four weeks. There are around 57 lakhs people above 45 years in Delhi. Among them, 27 lakhs have been administered the first dose. The rest 30 lakh people still remain to be vaccinated with the first dose.

•The booth level officers (BLO) are being trained for this purpose. The BLOs will reach every home and enquire about people above 45 years. These officials will inform about the slots for vaccination at the nearest booth. If a person refuses to go to the vaccination centres, the BLOs will request him and try to convince him in this regard.

PM Narendra Modi launched crash course to train one lakh ‘C-19 warriors’

•Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a crash course to train more than one lakh “C-19 warriors” as he called on the country to be prepared for challenges the coronavirus pandemic may pose in the future. The programme will be to be carried out from 111 training centres spread across 26 states. Amid all these efforts, skilled manpower is critical. For this and to support the current force of coronavirus warriors, one lakh youths are being trained. This training should be over in 2-3 months.

•The training will be imparted to C-19 warriors in six customised job roles — Home Care Support, Basic Care Support, Advanced Care Support, Emergency Care Support, Sample Collection Support, and Medical Equipment Support. This will include fresh skilling as well as upskilling of those who have some training in this type of work.

SPORTS

Ireland’s all-rounder cricketer Kevin O’Brien Announces Retirement

•Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien has announced his retirement from one-day internationals. The 37-year-old Dubliner, who remains available for Test and T20 cricket, won 153 caps in the 50-over format, scoring over 3,000 runs and taking a national record 114 wickets in the format with his lively medium pace.

•But he is best known for a blistering World Cup hundred that saw Ireland beat England by three wickets in Bangalore during the 2011 edition. His 50-ball hundred remains the quickest in World Cup history, with O’Brien hammering an England attack that featured James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and off-spinner Graeme Swann.

OBITUARY

Mufti Faiz-ul-Waheed, passed away

•Renowned Jammu-based Islamic scholar Mufti Faiz-ul-Waheed, who first translated Quran into Gojri language, has passed away in a Jammu. The scholar had also authored several booklets including ‘Siraj-um-Muneera’, ‘Ahkam-e-Mayyat’ and ‘Namaz Kae Masayil Quran-o-Hadees Ki Roshni Mei’.

•Gurjari – also known as Gujari, Gujri, Gojari, or Gojri – is a variety of Indo-Aryan spoken by the Gurjars and other tribes of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The language is mainly spoken in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India.

First President of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda passed away

•Zambian politician Kenneth Kaunda, who served as the first President of Zambia, has passed away.

•Mr Kaunda served as the first President of independent Zambia for 27 years from 1964 to 1991. Zambia gained independence from Britain in October 1964.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

LTI Awarded Snowflake Global Innovation Partner of the Year

•Larsen & Toubro Infotech, a global technology consulting and digital solutions company has been recognized as the Global Innovation Partner of the Year by Snowflake, the Data Cloud Company. LTI received this prestigious recognition during Snowflake Virtual Partner Summit.

•The award represents a key milestone for the strategic partnership between LTI and Snowflake and will strengthen collaboration between the companies to empower enterprises with innovative solutions and services.

ReNew Power CMD Sumant Sinha recognised as SDG Pioneers by UNGC

•United Nations Global Compact has recognised Sumant Sinha, Chairman & MD of ReNew Power, as one of the ten SDG Pioneers 2021, for his work to advance access to clean and affordable energy. SDG Pioneers are business leaders selected by the UN Global Compact for doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

•This honour comes in recognition of Sumant ‘s work to advance access to clean and affordable energy (SDG 7). As the leader of India’s leading renewable energy company, ReNew Power, Sumant has set an example by building the core business of ReNew Power around the targets of SDG 7.

RANKING

World Competitiveness Index 2021: India maintains 43rd rank

•India maintained 43rd rank on an annual World Competitiveness Index compiled by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) that examined the impact of C-19 on economies around the world this year.

•The IMD World Competitiveness Ranking ranks 64 economies and assesses the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people by measuring economic well-being through hard data and survey responses from executives.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IndusInd Bank launched digital lending platform “IndusEasy Credit”

•IndusInd Bank announced the launch of ‘IndusEasy Credit’, a comprehensive digital lending platform that enables customers to meet their financial requirements from the comfort of their homes. With this, both existing, as well as non-IndusInd Bank customer, can instantly avail of personal loans or credit cards on a single platform in a completely paperless and digital manner.

•A first of its kind proposition, ‘IndusEasyCredit’ offers a fully digital end to end process that leverages the power of India’s public digital infrastructure – ‘Indiastack’ to offer personal loans and credit cards in a paperless, presence less and cashless manner.

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Important Current Affairs 19th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

ESA will launch world’s first wooden satellite from New Zealand

•The European Space Agency (ESA) has planned to launch the world’s first wooden satellite. It is going to be launched from New Zealand. It will be launched from a Rocket Lab Electron rocket by the end of 2021. The satellite is the brainchild of Jari Makinen.

•The satellite, WISA Woodsat, is a nanosatellite. It is 10cm on each side, length, height, and width.

•The sensors of the satellite have been developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) and designers have placed the wood in a thermal vacuum chamber to keep it dry.

•A very thin aluminium oxide layer has been used to minimize the vapour coming from the wood and to protect it from the erosive effects of atomic oxygen. The non-wooden external parts are made up of aluminium rails.

NATIONAL

MP Govt launched ‘Yuva Shakti C-19 Mukti Abhiyan’

•The Government of Madhya Pradesh has launched ‘Yuva Shakti C-19 Mukti Abhiyan’ to make the people of the state aware of the ongoing C-19 pandemic. It translates to free from C-19 with the help of the youth power campaign. Students in colleges in small groups will be given information and details about the significance of C-19-friendly behaviour and vaccination.

•On the instructions of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the campaign has been launched by the higher education and the technical education department of the state in collaboration with the public healthcare and family welfare department.

Rajasthan govt will set Vedic Education and Sanskar Board for Sanskrit scriptures and Vedas

•The Rajasthan government will soon set up a Vedic Education and Sanskar Board to revive the knowledge of Sanskrit scriptures and Vedas. The board is likely to be formed in the next four to five months.

•A committee, formed to define aims, objectives and functioning of the board, has submitted its report to the state government, Minister of State (MoS) for Sanskrit Education Subhash Garg mentioned, adding modules will be presented before the board based on the report. He stated the Vedic board would come into function after approval from Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

OBITUARY

Legendary the Flying Sikh/Milkha Singh passed away

•Legendary Indian sprinter, Milkha Singh has passed away due to C-19virus disease (C-19), at the age of 91. A former army man, Milkha Singh won several laurels for the country in track and field events across the globe.

•Singh won four gold medals for India in the Asian Games, winning the 200 metre and 400-metre races in the 1958 Tokyo Asiad. He followed it up with gold medals in the 400 metre and 4×400 metre relay races in the 1962 Jakarta Asiad. He was unlucky to have missed out on an Olympic medal as he finished a close fourth in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Government of India appointed Aashish Chandorkar as director at India’s WTO mission

•The government of India has appointed a private person Aashish Chandorkar as Counsellor in India’s Permanent Mission in the World Trade Organisation for three years. For the first time, a private person has been appointed at the Mission.

• Chandorkar is director of Bengaluru-based policy think tank Smahi Foundation of Policy and Research. The WTO is a 164-member multi-lateral body, which deals with global trade. India is a member since 1995.

Puma India has extended partnership with Yuvraj Singh

•Global sports brand Puma India has extended partnership with former Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who has been associated with the brand for over a decade. Moving from cricket to the fast lane, Yuvraj will now be seen in a new avatar as the face of Puma Motorsport in India, showcasing his passion for fast cars and sports-inspired fashion. With this, Yuvraj has joined the brand’s global league of legends like Thierry Henry, Boris Becker and Usain Bolt.

•Globally, Puma is associated with Scuderia Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, BMW M Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport. With India being one of the biggest markets for Puma motorsport, the brand looks to capitalise on the growing demand for street style products inspired by performance gear.

IMPORTANT DAYS

National Reading Day 2021: 19 June

•The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) celebrates National Reading Day annually on 19 June. The Day is celebrated to honour the father of the ‘Library Movement in Kerala’, the late P.N. Panicker, whose death anniversary falls on June 19. In 2021, 26th National Reading Day is being celebrated. The week following June 19 will be observed as Reading Week and the entire month till July 18 will be observed as Reading Month.

•The first Reading Day celebration was held in 1996. On June 19, 2017, Prime Minister launched the 22nd National Reading Month Celebrations and called for unity to spread the message of ‘Read and Grow’ among all the citizens of the country by 2022.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 2021 : 19 June

•International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed globally on 19th June every year. The day aims to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, honour the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world and pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.

•On 19 June 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/69/293) announced 19 June of consistently the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The date was picked to recognize the selection on 19 June 2008 of Security Council goals 1820 (2008), during which the Council censured sexual savagery as a strategy of war and a hindrance to peacebuilding. 2021 marks the seventh year of celebration of the day.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

A new trade agreement between UK and Australia

•A new free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will deliver more Australian jobs and business opportunities for exporters, bringing both countries closer together in a changing strategic environment. Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson have agreed on the broad outlines of an Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

•The FTA is the right deal for Australia and the United Kingdom, with greater access to a range of high-quality products made in both countries as well as greater access for businesses and workers, all of which will drive economic growth and job creation in both countries. Australian producers and farmers will receive a significant boost by getting greater access to the UK market.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

LIC CSL launched prepaid gift card in collaboration with IDBI Bank on RuPay platform

•LIC Cards Services (LIC CSL) has launched a contactless prepaid gift card, ‘Shagun’, in collaboration with IDBI Bank on the RuPay platform. The purpose of this card is to expand the gift card market with an intent to promote cashless ways of gifting and present a wide range of end-use choices and in a future foray into the market of e-gift cards. NPCI partnered with LIC CSL & IDBI Bank for the launch of the Shagun Gift Card on RuPay network.

•Shagun card, in the initial phase, will be available to LIC and its subsidiaries for official use. The card will be used to facilitate awards and special rewards during official conferences and functions.

•The Shagun gift card offers customisation in the form of flexible loading of any amount ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 10,000. With this card, the customer can perform multiple transactions within the validity of 3 years.

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Important Current Affairs 18th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

SIPRI has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021

•Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) has released the SIPRI Yearbook 2021. The report assesses the current state of armaments, disarmament and international security. China is in the middle of significant modernisation and expansion of its nuclear weapon inventory, and India and Pakistan also appear to be expanding their nuclear arsenals.

•According to the yearbook, India possessed an estimated 156 nuclear warheads at the start of 2021 compared to 150 at the start of last year, while Pakistan had 165 warheads, up from 160 in 2020.

•China’s nuclear arsenal consisted of 350 warheads up from 320 at the start of 2020.

•The nine nuclear-armed states – the U.S., Russia, the U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,080 nuclear weapons at the start of 2021.

NATIONAL

Validity of Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum extended till 31 December 2021

•The extension would facilitate the holders of EM Part II and UAMs to avail benefits of the provisions under the various existing schemes and incentives including Priority Sector Lending benefits of MSME, the ministry said.

•In a bid to provide relief to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) amid the Covid scenario, the government has extended the validity of the Udyog Aadhaar Memorandum (UAM) from March 31 to December 31.

•The ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises has issued an amendment to the original notification and extended the validity of Enterprise Memorandum (EM) Part II for the same duration as well. The extension would facilitate the holders of EM Part II and UAMs to avail benefits of the provisions under the various existing schemes and incentives including Priority Sector Lending benefits of MSME, the ministry said.

Telangana government has launched the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM)

•Telangana government has launched the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM) powered by Nasscom and as part of the T-AIM, an accelerator programme called “Revv Up” has been launched to enable and empower AI startups. The programme that will begin its first cohort in July is another step towards making Telangana and Hyderabad a global destination for AI and other emerging technologies.

•The accelerator programme, exclusively designed for growth-stage AI startups, will cover various sectors.

•Telangana Industries and IT principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan stated, “Telangana is committed to its vision of positioning the State as the leader in AI.

Government of India launched “Project O2 for India” initiative

•The government of India has launched ‘Project O2 for India’ to step up production of medical oxygen to meet the potential increase in demand due to further waves of the pandemic. ‘Project O2 for India’, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (GoI), aims to help stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet the rise in demand for medical oxygen.

•Under the project, a ‘National Consortium of Oxygen’ is enabling the supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators. Besides, the consortium is also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Approved Budgetary Support of Rs 499 cr for innovations

•Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX-DIO (Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation) for the next five years. The funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators with a larger goal of ensuring self-reliance in the defence sector. The scheme is in sync with the government’s push to cut imports of military hardware and weapons and make India a hub for defence manufacturing.

•Facilitate rapid development of new, indigenized, and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector in shorter timelines.

•Create a culture of engagement with innovative startups, to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace sectors.

•Defence Innovation Organisation(DIO) is a not-for-profit Organisation, incorporated under Section 8 of the Companies Act.

•Founding Members: Its two founding members are Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) & Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) – Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

SPORTS

Madhya Pradesh’s para shooter wins gold at Peru event; creates world record

•Madhya Pradesh shooter Rubina Francis has set a world record and won herself the gold in the 10-metre air pistol para women event at World shooting Para Sport Cup in Peru on Wednesday. Rubina, 21, scored 238.1 points and beat the world record of Aysegul Pehlivanlar of Turkey, also securing the Paralympic quota for India at the Tokyo games this year.

•Rubina started the learning basics of shooting in 2006 in a camp organised by an academy in Jabalpur where she practised for 10 years before moving to Bhopal. In 2017, she started practising at MP Shooting Academy.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Autistic Pride Day 2021: 18 June

•Every year, Autistic Pride Day is observed on June 18 globally to create awareness about autism among people and recognise the importance of pride for autistic people and its role in bringing about positive changes in the broader society.

•The day is represented by a rainbow infinity symbol which denotes the infinite possibilities that autistic people have. Autistic Pride Day was first celebrated in Brazil in 2005, at the initiative of an organisation named Aspies for Freedom.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2021: 18 June

•Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed on 18 June globally to focus the attention of the world on the role that sustainable gastronomy plays in our lives. The day was designated by UN General Assembly on 21 December 2016.

•Gastronomy means the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food. In other words, Sustainable gastronomy takes into account where the ingredients are from, how the food is grown and how it gets to our markets and eventually to our plates. The day reaffirms that all cultures and civilizations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.

RANKING

Turkey first & India ranked Second in share of central bank surplus transfers

•The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was second in terms of reserves transferred to the government as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) for the fiscal year 2020-21. Turkey has been ranked first.

•RBI has transferred Rs 99,122-crore surplus to the government for FY21 which is 73% higher than the Rs 57,128 crore paid out in 2019-20. The surplus transferred by RBI constitutes 0.44% of GDP, while that of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey constitutes 0.5% of GDP.

15th edition of Global Peace Index 2021 released

•The 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney, the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. The index ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

Global

•Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.

•It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.

•Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.

South Asia:

•India has moved up two notches from its previous year’s ranking to become the 135th most peaceful country in the world and the 5th in the region.

•Bhutan and Nepal are named as the first and second most peaceful in this region.

•Bangladesh has been ranked 91th out of 163 countries in Global Peace Index for 2021. According to the list, Bangladesh is the 3rd most peaceful in South Asia.

•Sri Lanka has slipped down 19 rungs from 2020, to become 95th globally in this year’s rankings, and the 4th in South Asia.

•The largest improvement in peacefulness in South Asia occurred in Pakistan, which ranked 150th globally and 6th in the region, by moving up two notches from the previous year’s ranking.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

ICICI Bank launched ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’

•ICICI Bank has announced the launch of ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’, a comprehensive set of digital banking solutions for corporates and their entire ecosystem including promoters, group companies, employees, dealers, vendors and all other stakeholders. The wide range of 360-degree solutions enables corporates to seamlessly meet all banking requirements of their ecosystem in an expeditious and frictionless manner.

•With this launch, ICICI Bank aims to be the preferred banking partner for companies and their entire ecosystem. The environment in which corporate customers operate is becoming increasingly dynamic and competitive with accelerated digital adoption transforming every business. In this ever-changing environment, a banking partner, which can serve not only the corporates but also the entire ecosystems where they operate, adds significant value to corporate customers.

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Important Current Affairs 17th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

NATO leaders declared China a global security challenge

•NATO leaders declared that China poses a constant security challenge and is working to undermine global order. This is a message in sync with US President Joe Biden’s efforts to get allies to speak out with a more unified voice against China’s trade, military and human rights practices.

•The NATO leaders said that China’s goals and ‘assertive behaviour present systemic challenges to the rules-based international order and to areas relevant to alliance security. The warning to China comes as Biden has stepped up his effort to rally allies to put up a unified voice about China’s human rights record. Biden has also criticised China’s trade practices and its military’s increasingly assertive behaviour that has unnerved US allies in the Pacific.

Satya Nadella as new chairman of Microsoft

•Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He took over as the software giant’s CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.  He is credited with bringing new energy to the company, founded in 1975. The company also appointed former chairman John Thompson as a lead independent director.

•The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.

NATIONAL

Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech

•Prime Minister, Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech. VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events of Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016. PM Modi was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, which has been organised from 16-19 June 2021 in Paris. During his address, PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars: Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.

•Other prominent speakers of the event include the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries.

•VivaTech is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group.

•The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem.

•It includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions and startup contests.

IIT Bombay Hosts Conference of BRICS Network Universities 2021

•The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) is hosting a three day virtual “Conference of BRICS Network Universities”. This conference is being held as a part of India’s Chairmanship of the 13th BRICS Summit in 2021. The basic objective of BRICS Network University is enhancing educational cooperation in general, and especially in the realm of research and innovation. The theme of the Conference of BRICS Network Universities is “Electric Mobility”.

•The event will see 18 experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China and S. Africa deliver keynotes on various aspects of electric mobility like traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries and linkage between e-mobility and livelihoods.

•Around 100 students, researchers and faculty from the BRICS Network Universities of the five-member countries will participate in the conference.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan addressed the Global Yoga Conference 2021

•Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare addressed the inaugural ceremony of Global Yoga Conference 2021. The event was organised by ‘Mokshayatan Yog Sansthan’ along with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India &Indian Council for Cultural Relations to mark the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga which falls on 21st June 2021.

•Dr Harsh Vardhan highlighted how Yoga has helped people during COVID restrictions on public activities. The benefits of Yoga in immunity building and management of stress are well documented with evidence. With programmes like this Global Yoga Conference, more people shall be drawn into the fold of practising Yoga and related activities.

Raja Parba- Odisha’s Famous Festival celebrated

•Raja Parba festival celebrated in Odisha. It is a 3-days unique festival in which the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood is celebrated by the state. It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation. The fourth day is the day of the ‘purification bath’. During 3 days, women don’t work.

•This festival is synonymous with varieties of cakes (pithas). Thus, Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has also launched a special programme named ‘Pitha on Wheels’. Different kinds of pithas such as ‘Poda Pitha’, ‘Manda’, ‘Kakara’, ‘Arisha’, ‘Chakuli’ and ‘Chandrakala’ have been made available on ‘Pitha on Wheels’ (kiosks on wheels). These vehicles selling traditional cakes have been stationed in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Sambalpur.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Mukesh Sharma appointed honorary member of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group

•Mukesh Sharma, a faculty at IIT Kanpur, has been appointed as an honorary member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global Air Pollution and Health – Technical Advisory Group (GAPH-TAG). Members of the Technical Advisory Group are selected across the globe and appointed by the Director-General, WHO. Sharma, associated with the civil engineering department at IIT Kanpur and an air quality expert, has melded rigorous research with policy engagement.

•The Technical Advisory Group is an advisory body to provide technical guidance and inputs to support the WHO’s efforts and work in the fields of air pollution and health issues.

•It also helps with how member countries could achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG) related to air pollution and health such as SDGs 3.9.1, 7.1.2 and 11.6.2.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021: 17 June

•World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, and highlight methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.

•“Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

•In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty. The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

RBI allows prepaid mobile recharges through Bharat Bill Payment System

•According to RBI, The scope of the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) will be expanded by August 31 this year by adding ‘mobile prepaid recharges as a biller category. BBPS is an interoperable platform for recurring bill payments operated by the National Payments Corporation of India.

•In May, 213.59 million bill payment transactions were carried out through the BBPS channel. BBPS was started in 2014 as a platform for repetitive bill payments.

Federal Bank enlists Infosys for Oracle CX implementation

•Federal Bank has expanded its strategic collaboration with Oracle and Infosys, to offer an enhanced customer experience through Oracle CX (Customer Experience) platform. The collaboration will focus on creating a comprehensive integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution across marketing, sales, customer service, and social listening to strengthen Federal Bank’s operations, and to deliver connected, data-driven, and intelligent customer experiences across all touchpoints.

•Federal Bank will launch a 360-degree view of the customer portfolio in a single application for its users, to achieve a ‘Single Source of Truth’. These services will help improve productivity and customer satisfaction by using the financial, biographical, and demographical information of customers. Oracle will co-innovate by partnering with the broader ecosystem of Infosys.

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Important Current Affairs 16th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Joe Biden names big tech critic Lina Khan as FTC chair

•President Joe Biden named Lina Khan chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, an unexpected move that puts one of the most prominent advocates of aggressive antitrust enforcement against US technology giants in charge of the agency.

•News of Khan’s appointment came hours after the Senate confirmed her for a seat on the FTC by a vote of 69-28. She will take over the agency from Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who has been a commissioner for three years and had been expected by some to be tapped by Biden to lead the agency permanently.

•Khan’s elevation to chairwoman marks her rapid rise to the top of US antitrust enforcement. Currently a professor at Columbia Law School, just a few years ago she was a law student at Yale University. Now the 32-year-old is in charge of one of two agencies responsible for policing competition in the US The other is the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

2021 NATO Summit Held in Brussels, Belgium

•The leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held a face-to-face summit on NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The 2021 Brussels summit of NATO was the 31st formal meeting of the heads of state and heads of government of the alliance. The summit of the 30-member NATO group was held as a part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first foreign trip since he took office.

•All the leaders agreed on the “NATO 2030” agenda, a comprehensive initiative to make sure that the alliance remains ready to face future challenges.

•The agenda also states that NATO will strengthen political consultation and the resilience of society, reinforce defence and deterrence, sharpen the technological edge, and develop its next Strategic Concept in time for the summit in 2022.

•The bloc agreed on a new cyber defence policy, to ensure that the bloc has strong technical capabilities, political consultations, and military planning in place to “keep its systems secure.”

NATIONAL

IIT Ropar develops India’s first power-free CPAP device ‘Jivan Vayu’

•The Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT) Ropar has developed a device dubbed ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.  Jivan Vayu can deliver high flow oxygen up to 60 Litres Per Minute (LPM).

•This machine is India’s first such device that functions even without electricity and can work on both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals.

•Earlier these provisions were not available in existing CPAP machines.

•CPAP therapy is a treatment method for patients having breathing problems during sleep called sleep apnea.

SPORTS

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat clinched gold medal in Poland open

•Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat won the gold medal in the 53 kg category at the Poland Open. It is her third title of the season. Earlier, She had won gold at the Matteo Pellicone event (March) and Asian Championship (April).

•She defeated Ukraine’s Khrystyna Bereza in the final. Khrystyna Bereza won the silver medal at the Poland Open. Earlier, Indian wrestler Anshu Malik pulled out of the 57kg competition due to fever.

Portugal legend Ronaldo breaks Euros goal record and becomes first player to feature at five finals tournaments

•Cristiano Ronaldo now stands alone as the all-time record goalscorer at European Championships, after also becoming the first player to feature at five finals tournaments in Portugal's 3-0 win over Hungary in Budapest on Tuesday.

•The Juventus forward has represented his country at every Euros since Portugal hosted the tournament in 2004, and he remains the talisman of the reigning champions 17 years later.

•Ronaldo added several records to his impressive individual collection of honours on Tuesday, becoming the top scorer in Euros history when he netted his 10th goal in the competition with a late penalty, which was followed by his 11th in stoppage time.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Bijender Goel Nominated as Founder President of the Indian Delphic Council (INDC)

•Mr. Bijender Goel - a Former Special Representative to Jharkhand (Cabinet Minister Rank), Former Adviser to Union Labour and Employment Minister, Government of India, Chairman of the National Council on Disaster management, ASSOCHAM, Member, Governing Council of Bir Tikendrajit University, Manipur and known for introducing earthquake onsite early warning technology in South Asia; has been nominated as the Founding President of the Indian Delphic Council (INDC) to head the Indian movement.

•He is also Advisor of the South Asian Affairs of the International Delphic Council.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Global Wind Day 2021: 15 June

•Every year the Global Wind Day is celebrated worldwide on 15 June to spread awareness about wind energy, the various uses of wind energy, and the ways and possibilities as to how wind energy can help change the world. Global Wind Day was first observed as Wind Day in 2007. Later, it was renamed Global Wind Day in 2009. Global Wind Day is organized by WindEurope and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

•According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), wind energy is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy sources in the world. India will install 20GW of wind capacity over 2021-25. Wind energy is a source of clean energy and it is inexhaustible. At present, India has a total installed wind power capacity of 38.789 GW. India has the fourth-largest installed wind power capacity in the world.

SUMMITS AND MOU’S

RRU Signs MoU With The Black Cat Commandos, National Security Guard (NSG)

•Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) has signed an MoU with the Black Cat Commandos to create indigenous anti-drone systems and other advancements.

•Taking the endeavors to create indigenous anti-drone systems, agile bomb disposal suits, night vision optics, and setting up a state-of-the-art forensics lab ahead, Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) has signed an MoU with the Black Cat Commandos.

•Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU), an Institute of National Importance pioneering in National Security and Police Administration of India set up under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India with a mandate to serve the nation by inculcating the latest technology for better Policing and National Security has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Security Guard (NSG) an elite zero error force under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The MoU was signed between Prof. (Dr.) Bimal N. Patel, Vice-Chancellor, RRU, and Shri M.A. Ganapathy, IPS, Director General, NSG in presence of Dr. Akshat Mehta, University Dean, RRU; Shri Konark Rai, Managing Director, Security, and Scientific-Technical Research Association and the entire NSG echelons. The occasion was witnessed online by Dr. Hemant Darbari, Director-General, C-DAC (RRU Partner), and the dignitaries from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

RANKING

International Day of Family Remittances: 16 June

•The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is observed on 16 June. The IDFR recognizes the more than 200 million migrant workers, women and men, who send money home to over 800 million family members.

•This day further highlights the great resilience of migrant workers in the face of economic insecurities, natural and climate-related disasters and a global pandemic. The first International Day of Family Remittances was celebrated on June 16, 2015.

India ranked 14th in World Giving Index 2021

•India has been ranked at 14th spot among 114 countries in the World Giving Index 2021, by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). This rank is up from its 10-year global rank of 82. The World Giving Index ranking has been topped by Indonesia, followed by Kenya, Nigeria, Myanmar and Australia in the top five respectively.

•Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is an international organisation based in the United Kingdom, that promotes giving to transform lives and communities across the world. World Giving Index offers a unique glimpse of global trends in generosity, and people from which country are most likely to engage in social activities for the benefit of their communities and to champion the growth of global giving.

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Important Current Affairs 15th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Naftali Bennett is Israel’s new Prime Minister

•Naftali Bennett, the former Defence Minister of Israel, and leader of the Yamina party took oath as the Prime Minister of the country. The 49-year-old former tech entrepreneur replaces Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been forced out of office after 12 years (2009 to 2021). (Netanyahu is the longest-serving PM of Israel).

•Bennett will lead a new coalition government, formed with Yair Lapid, head of the centrist Yesh Atid party. The new Coalition government will run on a rotation basis, which means that Bennett would serve as Israel’s prime minister until September 2023, following which Lapid would take charge of the office, for the next two years, until 2025.

NATIONAL

Jammu kashmir to set up mythological theme park

•The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to set up a theme park to showcase Indian mythology, particularly the Ramayana and Mahabharata, near the famous Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district and has sought investors for the project.

•The Katra Theme Park will combine education and entertainment and of course, mythology will headline Jammu and Kashmir's economic development, which aims to take a different route.

•The Union Territory's attempt at development, senior government officials said, will not be by building cement-making factories, but by using unique methods.

IIT launches new centre for digital Health

•The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has set up the 'Koita Centre for Digital Health' (KCDH) under the aegis of the Koita Foundation. KCDH will be focused on driving academic programmes, research and industry collaboration in Digital Health. KCDH's academic and research focus areas include clinical applications (including electronic patient records and medical imaging), healthcare data management (including healthcare data privacy and security), healthcare analytics, healthcare AI/ML, consumer health, public health and public policy.

•KCDH will offer minor, dual degree, Masters and PhD programs in Healthcare Informatics.

•KCDH will conduct industry, outreach programs for healthcare and industry professionals in digital health and enable them to act as force-multipliers.

SPORTS

Vinoo Mankad and 9 others inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

•The ICC has inducted 10 icons of the game, including India’s Vinoo Mankad, into its illustrious Hall of Fame with two players each from five eras, dating back to cricket’s early days, making it to the list. The announcement has been coincided with the inaugural World Test Championship final, to be played between India and New Zealand from June 18 in Southampton.

•The 10 legends of the game to be inducted have all made a significant contribution to the history of Test cricket, and join an illustrious list of ICC Hall of Famers, taking the total number to 103 as a result of this intake. The inductees are:

•Aubrey Faulkner of South Africa and Monty Noble of Australia for the early era (pre-1918),

•Sir Learie Constantine of West Indies and Stan McCabe of Australia for the inter-war Era (1918-1945),

D. Gukesh wins Gelfand Challenge chess title

•D. Gukesh sensationally won the $15,000 Gelfand Challenge chess title and with it, a ‘wild card’ for the elite Meltwaters Champions Chess Tour.

•He won all four rounds, including the key battle against Praggnanandhaa, and emerged on top after a series of favourable results from the games involving other title-contenders.

OBITUARY

National award winning Kannada actor Sanchari Vijay passes away

•Veteran Kannada film actor Sanchari Vijay, who won the National award in 2015, has passed away.

•He made his debut in films in 2011 with the Kannada film Rangappa Hogbitna. His 2015 film Naanu Avanalla…Avalu, fetched him the Best Actor Award at the 62nd National Film Awards, in which he played the role of a transgender.

Former Indian volleyball captain Nirmal Milkha Singh passes away

•The former Indian women volleyball team captain Nirmal Milkha Kaur, who is the wife of sprint legend Milkha Singh (Flying Sikh), has passed away due to COVID-19 complications.

•Nirmal Milkha Singh was also a former Director of Sports for Women in the Punjab Government.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2021: 15 June

•World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is observed globally on 15th June every year. This day is celebrated to raise a voice for the elderly who are abused and victimized. The main objective of this day is to provide an opportunity for communities around the globe to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by creating awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.

•The day was officially recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011 bypassing the resolution 66/127 of the United Nations following a request from the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA).

BANKING AND ECONOMY

Federal Bank partners with Infosys

•Federal Bank, to improve its marketing, sales and offer a better customer experience, has partnered with Infosys for Oracle CX adoption, a cloud-based tool to manage the relationship with customers.

•Federal Bank is an Indian commercial financial services institution headquartered in Kerala with generating revenue of more than $1.5 billion. The bank is spanned over 1,400 branches working with the cooperation of 11,000 employees.

•Now the bank has decided to transform its service offering model, and partnership with Infosys for Oracle CX implementation is a step in this direction.

•Shalini Warrier, the Executive director and business head for retail, in collaboration with Infosys for Oracle CX adoption, said that it fits with the bank’s value of using digital resources to build a human-like relationship with the customers.

India’s retail inflation touches 6.3%  in May 2021

•India’s retail inflation shot up to a six-month high of 6.3 per cent in May, after easing to a three-month low of 4.23 per cent in April. Inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), has breached the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) target range for the first time after five months. The RBI is mandated to maintain the crucial number at 4 per cent in the medium term, with a 2 percentage point margin on either side as part of its inflation target.

•National Statistical Office data for retail inflation showed food inflation shot up to 5% in May from 2% in April as prices of protein items such as meat, fish, eggs, oils and fats accelerated. The fuel bill also went up 11.6% as the government increased retail prices of petrol and diesel after state election results on 2 May. Services inflation jumped as costs of health, transport and personal care rose during the second wave of the pandemic.

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Important Current Affairs 14th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

Israel will become the World’s First Mask-Free Country from June 15

•Israel will become the world’s first mask-free country in the Corona period. Here the rule of applying masks in closed places will end from June 15. This was announced by Israel’s Health Minister Yuli Edelstein. The rule of applying masks outside has already been abolished in the country.

•However, most restrictions related to foreign travel have not yet been lifted. For example, travel to nine countries is still banned. There is a rule of quarantine for travellers coming from these countries. His corona test is also being done.

NATIONAL

Weyan village in Bandipora, India’s first to inoculate all adults

•Weyan, a village in district Bandipora (J&K) has become the first village in the country, where the entire population above 18 years has been vaccinated. The vaccination in Weyan village was covered under the J&K model, a 10-point strategy to inoculate everyone who is eligible for the shots at a faster pace.

•The Union territory also achieved 70 per cent vaccination for those in the 45+ age group despite the initial vaccine hesitancy, almost double the national average. The village is located only 28 kilometres away from Bandipora district headquarters, but a distance of 18 kilometres has to be covered by foot as there is no motorable road.

SPORTS

Novak Djokovic wins French Open Tennis Title 2021

•Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to lift the French Open title for the second time in his career. Djokovic, with his 19th Grand Slam title, has closed in on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the all-time Grand Slam titles list. Both the players have won 20 Grand Slams each.

•Djokovic has also become the first man in the Open Era to complete the career Grand Slam twice. (He has won the Australian Open nine times, Wimbledon five times, and the US Open three times.) He has become the first man in 52 years, after Rod Laver, to win all the four Grand Slams twice. Overall, he is the third male tennis player to achieve this unique feat. The third being Roy Emerson.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

IIT Roorkee prof bags NSG award for ‘blast-resistant’ helmet

•Shailesh Govind Ganpule, an assistant professor at the mechanical and industrial engineering department (MIED), was conferred the award with the ‘NSG Counter-IED and Counter-Terrorism Innovator Award 2021′ for developing a “blast-resistant” helmet. This was the second edition of the annual award by NSG. Ceremony held at the National Security Guard (NSG) campus in Maneswar, near Gurgaon.

•The ‘Blast-Resistant Helmet’ designed by Prof. Shailesh Ganpule is an advanced version of conventional helmets to protect military personnel from IED-induced blast waves with a technology readiness of 4.

OBITUARY

Mahavir Chakra recipient Brigadier Raghubir Singh passes away

•Mahavir Chakra recipient legendary veteran, Brigadier Raghubir Singh has passed away. He was commissioned on 18 Apr 1943 into the Sawaiman Guards as a Second Lieutenant and fought a number of wars including the second world war. For this gallant act, the then President of India, Dr S Radhakrishnan, honoured Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) Raghubir Singh with Maha Vir Chakra, the second-highest gallantry award in the country.

•He participated in the Burma war in 1944 and went to Japan to fight.

•Thereafter, he fought in the Indo Pak war of 1947-48 in the Uri sector immediately after independence.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

Biotechnology company MyLab appoints Akshay Kumar as brand ambassador

•Bollywood superstar, Akshay Kumar has been appointed as the new brand ambassador of biotechnology company Mylab Discovery Solutions.

•This announcement comes days after the Pune-based firm launched the country’s first COVID-19 self-test kit “CoviSelf”. The partnership with Akshay is aimed at creating awareness for Mylab’s products and kits such as CoviSelf.

RANKING

India ranks 67th in Coursera’s Global Skills Report 2021

•As per the ‘Global Skills Report 2021’ released by Coursera, India has been ranked 67th overall globally. The report reveals that, overall, India ranks 67th globally, with 38 per cent proficiency, with mid-rankings in each domain, 55th in business and 66th in both technology and data science. Indian learners have high proficiency in digital skills like Cloud Computing (83%) and Machine Learning (52%) & 54% in Mathematical skills. Improvement is needed in digital skills because in Data Analysis and Statistical programming, ranked only at 25% and 15% skills proficiency. But, Indians trail behind in data skills and need to focus on that.

•The report is based on performance data of about 77 million learners (from across 100 countries) on the platform collected since the onset of the pandemic. It benchmarks skills proficiency across 3 categories – Business, Technology and data science.

BOOKS AND AUTHORS

‘Home in the World’ Book: by Amartya Sen’s memoir

•One of the world’s leading public intellectuals of our time, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has penned his memoir ‘Home in the World’.

•The book will be published in July by Penguin Random House. In this book, Sen shares how it was Rabindranath Tagore who gave him his name Amartya. He also reminisces the conversations at Calcutta’s famous Coffee House and at Cambridge, and Marx’s, Keynes’ and Arrow’s ideas all of which shaped his views.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

IDFC FIRST Bank launches Customer COVID relief Ghar Ghar Ration Program

•IDFC FIRST Bank has announced the launch of ‘Ghar Ghar Ration’ Program, an employee-funded program for its low-income customers whose livelihoods are affected by COVID-19. The bank has also announced a comprehensive program for the families of employees who unfortunately lost their lives due to COVID-19, and a number of other social responsibility initiatives.

•“Ghar Ghar Ration” is a unique program where employees have contributed from their personal income to set up a Customer COVID Care Fund to provide relief to 50,000 COVID affected low-income IDFC FIRST Bank customers.

•Employees of the Bank contributed one day to one month’s salary for the purpose.  

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Important Current Affairs 13th June 2021

INTERNATIONAL

India ties with Russia as 4th largest forex reserves holder

•As per Reserve Bank of India’s data, the foreign exchange reserves of India has crossed  $600 billion marks for the first time. The Forex reserve of India increased by USD 6.842 billion to $605.008 billion in the week ended June 04, 2021.

•This is the lifetime high of India’s foreign asset. With this, India has tied with Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder in the world. The forex reserve of Russia is calculated to be $605.2 billion.

NATIONAL

AISHE 2019-20 report released by Union Education Minister

•All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20 report has been released by Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. As per AISHE in the last five years (2015-16 to 2019-20), student enrolment has grown by 11.4%. As per AISHE, female enrolment in Higher Education has increased by 18.2% from 2015-16 to 2019-20. AISHE 2019-20 is the 10 in the series of All India Survey on Higher Education. Department of Higher Education releases it annually.

•Total Enrolment in Higher Education: It stands at 3.85 crores in 2019-20.

•Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): It is denied as the percentage of students belonging to the eligible age group enrolled in Higher Education. It is 27.1% in 2019-20.

•Gender Parity Index (GPI) in Higher Education: It stands at 1.01 in 2019-20. It shows improvement in the relative access to higher education for females of eligible age group compared to males.

European Space Agency to Launch ‘EnVision’ Mission to Venus in 2030

•European Space Agency (ESA), is now developing its own probe to study Venus, for holistic view of planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere. The mission dubbed as “EnVision” will probably be launched to the planet in early 2030.

•EnVision probe of ESA will determine how and why Venus and Earth evolved so differently, even while being in the habitable zone to the Sun.

•ESA will undertake this mission with contributions from NASA.

•EnVision spacecraft will carry a range of instruments to study the planet’s atmosphere and surface, monitor trace gases in the atmosphere and analyse its surface composition. NASA would provide a radar to image and map the surface.

Ministry of Ayush Launches ‘Namaste Yoga’ App

•The Ministry of Ayush organised a curtain raiser event for the 7th International Day of Yoga. The event was organised by the Ministry of Ayush in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY). The event brought together several Yoga Gurus and experienced Yoga exponents on the virtual platform, to appeal to the world community to adopt Yoga in their daily life for the betterment of both the individual self and mankind.

•The event underlined the importance of the central theme of IDY 2021 “Be With Yoga, Be At Home”. As a part of the event, a mobile application devoted to Yoga named “Namaste Yoga”, was also launched. The Namaste Yoga” app has been designed as an information platform for the public, with the aim to raise awareness about yoga and make it accessible for the larger community.

SPORTS

Patiala to host Indian Grand Prix 4

•The Athletics Federation of India (AFI), announced that the Indian Grand Prix 4 will be held on June 21 at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. The decision to host the domestic events was made to give Indian athletes the maximum chance to qualify for Tokyo.

•India’s star sprinters Dutee Chand & Hima Das are expected to participate in the fourth Indian GP of 2021. National Inter-State Athletics Championships will be held at the same venue from June 25.

OBITUARY

Padma Shri Awardee Eminent Environmentalist Radhamohan Passes Away

•Padma Shri winning noted Economist and Environmentalist, Prof Radhamohan Ji has passed away.

•He was the former information commissioner of Odisha and had also served as a lecturer of Economics in different colleges in Odisha. He along with his daughter Sabarmatee were conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award in 2020 for their contribution to the agriculture sector.

APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATIONS

India’s Nagraj Adiga elected in International Association of Ultrarunners Council

•India’s Nagraj Adiga has been elected as the Asia-Oceania Representative at the recently concluded 2021 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) Congress at which the IAU council elections were held.

•Adiga works closely with the Athletics Federation of India and with various Government bodies to promote health, fitness, and encourage budding sportspersons.

Rebeca Grynspan appointed as Secretary-General of UNCTAD

•The U.N. General Assembly has approved the appointment of Costa Rican economist Rebecca Grynspan, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She will serve a four-year term of office. She is the first woman and Central American to head UNCTAD. She was nominated as Secretary-General by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

•Grynspan would replace Isabelle Durant, who is serving as acting Secretary-General since 15 February 2021. Prior to this, Grynspan served as UNDP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean and second vice president of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Albinism Awareness Day: 13 June

•The International Albinism Awareness Day (IAAD) is celebrated annually on June 13 to celebrate the human rights of persons with albinism worldwide. Each year events are held to educate people and celebrate people with albinism who continue to suffer all types of human rights violations.

•“Strength Beyond All Odds” is the theme for this year’s International Albinism Awareness Day.

•In the mid-2000s, there had been reports of violent attacks on and murders of people with albinism in Tanzania. The attacks were linked to beliefs that people with albinism had magical powers, so they were preyed upon for parts to be used as lucky charms and in occult rituals.

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