‘Yoga is an Indian Heritage’ campaign
- Culture Ministry celebrated ‘International Day of Yoga’ (21 June) this year under the ‘Yoga is an Indian Heritage’ campaign.
- Yoga Day was celebrated at 75 cultural places in the country.
ECI Releases Atlas on 2019 General Elections-India Education
- Chief Election CommissionerShrisSilchandra has announced “General Election 2019 – Atlas”.
- Since the first general election in 1951-52, the Commission has published compilations of election data in the form of stories and statistics books.
- The 17th general election in 2019 was the largest democratic movement in human history, with 61.468 crorevoters in India.
Zeinorin Stephen Angkang among 12 ‘exceptional’ Kofi Annan Changemakers of 2021
- Zeinorin Stephen Angkang, a 29-year-old woman from Manipur’s Ukhrul district, has been selected by the Geneva-based Kofi Annan Foundation as one of world’s 12 ‘exceptional young leaders’ for the Kofi Annan Changemakers 2021 initiative.
- Angkang will represent India at a six-month inter-generational dialogue, starting 28 June in Geneva, with international leaders.
- Angkang has been selected for her involvement with indigenous farmers of the Tangkhul Naga tribe in Manipur.
India launches new trilateral with Italy and Japan
- India-Italy-Japan launched their trilateral –– the second trilateral involving India and a European power –– hoping to create stability and a rules-based international order based on the consent of all, not on the power of the few in the Indo-Pacific region.
GI certified Jalgaon banana exported to Dubai
- India has exported 22 tonnes of Geographical Indications (GI) certified fiber and mineral-rich Jalgaon banana to Dubai.
- The GI tag helps growers get the premium price of the product as no other producer can misuse the name to market similar goods.
- A geographical indication (GI) tag is used for an agricultural, natural, or a manufactured product (handicraft and industrial goods) originating from a definite geographical territory.
- Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness, which is essentially attributable to the place of its origin.
India hostedtwo-day summit on Green Hydrogen Initiatives
- India hosted a two day-summit on Green Hydrogen Initiatives involving the BRICS nations.
- The event offers a platform to share their respective Green Hydrogen initiatives and views on how to take it to the next level in their own countries.
- The summit will bring the best brains, policy makers and major stakeholders from the BRICS nations deliberating and discussing at length the future of Hydrogen in the energy mix
Government resolves to reduce road accident deaths by 50%
- The Government of India has set target of reducing road accident deaths by 50% By 2024.
- The World Bank and ADB have already sanctioned a scheme by which the Government is allocating Rs.14,000 crores for states, NHAI and other stakeholders to remove black spots.
Oil Spill from Haldia-bound Portuguese container ship
- Indian Coast Guard is on vigilance after oil spill was reported from Haldia-bound Portuguese flag container ship.
- Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Colombo notified about mid-sea oil spill about 450 kms South East of Chennai.
- Portuguese flag Container ship MV Devon developed an underwater crack in fuel tank on passage from Colombo to Haldia, West Bengal.
- Tank was containing about 120 KL of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil.
Jaan Hai To Jahaan Hai’ campaign
- The Minority Affairs Ministry will be launching an awareness campaign ‘Jaan Hai ToJahaan Hai’ in rural and remote areas to dispel rumours against the ongoing Covid vaccination drive in the country.
- The campaign will be launched on 21 June to create awareness on the Covid vaccination programme in rural and remote areas of the country and to “crush and curb” the rumours and apprehensions, being spread by some vested interests regarding the ongoing drive.
‘EUNAVFOR’ joint naval exercise in Gulf of Aden
- The Indian Navy has conducted a two-day exercise with the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR).
- Indian Naval Ship Trikand, currently deployed for anti-piracy operations, is participating in the first ever exercise with EUNAVFOR in the Gulf of Aden.
100 mnUSD 1 LoC to Sri Lanka by India
- India has extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka to finance projects in solar energy sector.
- Agreement was signed between Sri Lankan government and Export-Import Bank of India.
- This LOC will also ensure that Sri Lanka’s 70 percent power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.
Deep Ocean Mission
- Government of India has approved ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ proposed by Ministry of Earth Sciences to conduct study on biodiversity, impact of climate change and to establish an offshore marine station in order to explore source of thermal energy.
- Mission will explore Deep Ocean for resources and help in development of deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
- It will be implemented in phases. First phase will be implemented during 2021-2024.
IIT Bombay Hosts Conference of BRICS Network Universities
- The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay hosted a three-day virtual conference of BRICS Network Universities on electric mobility. The conference is part of the engagements that India is hosting under the education stream during its 13th BRICS Summit this year.
- BRICS Network University is a union of higher education institutions of the five BRICS member countries.
- It was formed with the objective of enhancing educational cooperation, especially in the field of research and innovation. IIT-
ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh participated in the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) via video conferencing on 16 June.
- The ADMM-Plus is a platform comprising 10-nation ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and its eight dialogue partners to strengthen security and defence cooperation for peace, stability and development in the region.
- The inaugural ADMM-Plus was convened in Hanoi in 2010.
- In Punjab, Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device ‘Jivan Vayu’ which can be used as a substitute for CPAP machines.
- The machine uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open for easy breathing.
- This is the nation’s first such device which functions even without electricity and is adapted to both kinds of oxygen generation units like O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals.
- The Assistant Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Dr. Khushboo Rakha has developed the device.
Yuva Shakti Corona Mukti Abhiyan’
- The Madhya Pradesh Government has launched ‘Yuva Shakti Corona Mukti Abhiyan’ involving youth to make the people aware of the COVID-19 pandemic and covid appropriate behaviour.
- Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan while launching the programme said that about 10 lakh students of the colleges of the state will play an important role in the eradication of Corona.
Raja Parba festival: Odisha
- Raja Parba festival has started being celebrated in Odisha on June 14, 2021.
- It is a festival that celebrates womanhood.
- 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’.
Indians’ funds in Swiss banks jump to over ₹20,000 crore
- Funds parked by Indian individuals and firms in Swiss banks, including through India-based branches and other financial institutions, jumped to 2.55 billion Swiss francs (over ₹20,700 crore) in 2020.
Iran announces an emergency shutdown of its sole nuclear power plant
- Iran’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone an unexplained temporary emergency shutdown.
- The Bushehr plant shutdown will last for three to four days.
- The plant could stop working since Iran cannot procure parts and equipment for it from Russia due to banking sanctions imposed by the US in 2018.
Japan aims to issue vaccination passports
- As Japan prepares to lift the COVID-19 emergency measures in Tokyo, capital Osaka, it will also make a vaccine passport available for the Japanese travellers by the end of next month July.
- Vaccine passport, also known as immunity passport or immunity certificate, is a document in paper as well as digital format.
- The certificate attest whether its bearer is immune to a contagious disease or not.
The UNESCO Science Report, 2021
- The UNESCO Science Report, 2021 has been published recently.
- During the period from 2014 to 2018, spending on science worldwide increased by nearly 20 per cent.
- The number of scientists rose some 13.7 per cent, a trend that was further boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Just two countries – the United States and China, accounted for nearly two-thirds of this increase, or roughly 63 per cent.
- According to report, India has not adopted industry 4.0 technologies and job losses due to automation is not a serious threat now.
US displaces France as top country in NewsOnAir Radio Global Rankings
- All India Radio Streams on NewsOnAirApp have a large number of listeners not just in India, but globally, in more than 85 countries and 8000 cities across the globe.
- In a major development in these new rankings, United States has displaced France as the top country in the world, on the basis of popularity of NewsOnAir App in these countries.
- France stands now at number 2. Japan is the new entrant in the top 10 countries category.
World’s third-largest diamond unearthed in Botswana
- A 1,098-carat diamond believed to be the third largest gem-quality stone ever to be mined, has been discovered in Botswana, according to a joint venture between Anglo American’s (AAL.L) De Beers and the government.
- It is the third largest in the world, behind the 3,106 carat Cullinan stone recovered in South Africa in 1905 and the 1,109 carat Lesedi La Rona unearthed by Lucara Diamonds in Botswana in 2015.
World Competitiveness Index
- World Competitiveness Index was compiled by Institute for Management Development (IMD) which examine the impact of COVID-19 on economies worldwide.
- India was ranked at 43rd position among 64 countries.
- Switzerland has topped the list and is followed by Sweden (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Singapore (5th).
Global Peace Index 2021
- 15th edition of Global Peace Index (GPI) was announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney.
- GPI is world’s leading measure of global peacefulness.
- Index ranks 163 independent states and territories as per level of their peacefulness.
- Report provides a comprehensive data-driven analysis on trends in peace, its economic value and recommends on how to develop peaceful societies.
- Iceland is most peaceful country worldwide since 2008.
- Afghanistan is the least peaceful country again for fourth consecutive year.
- India has moved up by two positions from its last year’s ranking. It has become 135th most peaceful country while, 5th in South Asia region.
- US President Joe Biden is to sign a law to make June 19 or “Juneteenth” a national holiday.
- This holiday will be recognized by federal government to commemorating end of slavery after American Civil War.
UNESCO Science Report
- Latest edition of UNESCO Science Report (USR) was published on June 11, 2021 which is entitled as “race against time for smarter development”.
- USR is a flagship publication of UNESCO which is published once every five years.
- It is a report on science, technology and innovation (STI).
- Every edition comprises of a chapter on India.
World Giving Index 2021
- India is now ranked as the 14th most charitable country in the world as per a report released by the World Giving Index 2021 (WGI).
- In fact, India has been recognised among the Top 20 most generous countries across the globe, an improvisation from its earlier 10-year global rank of 82.
- Australia and New Zealand have maintained their top 10 rankings, the survey here was undertaken weeks before the first wave of the pandemic took hold.
- WGI is a global survey that has interviewed more than 1.6 million people since 2009. It conducts surveys by asking three questions: have they helped a stranger, given money, or volunteered for a good cause in recent month.
- It releases an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), using data gathered by Gallup and ranks countries in the world according to how charitable they are.
Sustainable Development Report 2021
- Sustainable Development Report was prepared and released by experts from UN Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The index compares how countries implement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- This year, Finland was ranked highest in the index.
- Finland has topped even when COVID-19 has slowed down sustainable development process across the world.
- Top 10 countries in Sustainable development index 2021 are: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Norway, France, Slovenia and Estonia (in that order).
Free Trade Deal between Australia-UK
- United Kingdom and Australia has signed a free trade deal on June 15, 2021. This trade deal eliminates tariffs on wide range of goods. This deal was signed following UK’s exit from European Union. With this deal, U.K. seeks to expand links across the world.
- This deal is expected to boost exports of traditional British products like Scotch whisky. It will also boost imports of lamb and wine from Australia.
- Deal will also help it join “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)”.
World’s First Wooden Satellite
- The world’s first “wooden satellite” is preparing to launch this year by Newzealand.
- WISA Woodsat, a nanosatellite and weighs that uses a special type of coated plywood (called WISA) for its surface panels.
- The wooden satellite will launch as part of a mission, designed by Arctic Astronautics, a Finnish company manufacturing cubesat kits for students.
NATO Summit 2021
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) held its 31st summit in Brussels recently.
- The NATO members issued a communiqué highlighting the “threat” presented by Russia and the “challenges” posed by China, following the meeting.
- NATO, also called as North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance of 30 European and North American countries.
- NATO implements North Atlantic Treaty which was signed in 1949.
- Originally, NATO had 12 members which has increased to 30 now.
- Most recent member state is North Macedonia which was added to organisation on March 27, 2020.
Shenzhou-12: China to launch first human spaceflight since 2016
- The first time China has sent humans into space for nearly five years.
- Shenzhou-12, meaning “Divine Vessel”, will be the third of 11 missions needed to complete China’s space stationTiangong by 2022.
- Among them, four will be missions with people on board, potentially propelling up to 12 Chinese astronauts into space – more than the 11 men and women that China has sent since 2003.
Science & environment
Sea-level will rise around Lakshadweep Islands
- Sea-level will rise around Lakshadweep Islands by 0.4 mm/year to 0.9 mm/year due to climate change, according to a recent study.
- As per the study, worst possible inundation scenarios projected for Lakshadweep Islands are similar under different emission scenarios projected.
- Smaller islands Chetlat and Amini are expected to have major land-loss.
- About 60%-70% of existing shoreline would experience land-loss in Amini and 70%-80% in Chetlat.
- Larger islands Minicoy and Kavaratti are also vulnerable to sea-level rise.
NGT forms committee for restoration of Rivers Assi, Varuna
- The NGT has directed authorities to take remedial measures for the restoration & rejuvenation of Assi&Varuna, the 2 tributaries of River Ganga.
- A National Green Tribunal bench, headed by chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, also asked for the constitution of an Independent Monitoring Committee to prevent pollution in the rivers.
Protest against Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project
- Citizens and Environmentalists are fighting against the proposal to clear over 6,000 trees in Singanayakanahalli to construct a lake under Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project by Minor Irrigation Department in Karnataka.
- Bengaluru lake was the first lake to receive treated water from this project.
AY.1 variant of Coronavirus
- Recently, WHO tagged B.1.617.2 strain of coronavirus as ‘Delta’ variant, which now has further mutated.
- Mutated form of Delta variant is being termed as “Delta Plus” or “AY.1” variant.
- Delta variant was identified as one of the factors of second wave of coronavirus infections in India.
- Initial data shows that, Delta plus variant have resistance against monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment, which was recently authorised by Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) for COVID-19 treatment.
Milkha Singh: Athletics legend and Padma Shri (1959) winner Milkha Singh died at the age of 91; he had won 4 gold medals at Asian Games (2 each at 1958 Tokyo and 1962 Jakarta Games) and finished 4th in the 400m final of the 1960 Rome Olympics.
Kenneth Kaunda: Zambia’s first president and one of the last of the generation of African leaders who fought colonialism has died.
Geneva:US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin concluded their summit meeting at Geneva with no concrete outcomes.
Antonio Guterres: He has been re-elected as UN Secretary General for five years. UN General Assembly appointed Antonio Guterres as the UN Secretary General for a second term beginning January 1, 2022, days after the powerful Security Council had unanimously recommended his name to the 193-member body for re-election
Ebrahim Raisi: He has been elected Iran’s next president. The conservative cleric will take over from Hassan Rouhani.
Aashish Chandorkar: Ahead of the WTO’s ministerial conference later this year, the government 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.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia:Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission and distinguished fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP), was named as a member of a High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) formed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the face of the dual crisis posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.
Satya Nadella: Microsoft names CEO Satya Nadella as tech giant’s new Chairman. Microsoft’s India-born CEO Satya Nadella has been appointed as the technology giant’s new Chairman, an additional role in which he will lead the work to set the agenda for the board.
Karim Khan: British lawyer Karim Khan was sworn in Wednesday as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, pledging to reach out to nations that are not members of the court and to try to hold trials in countries where crimes are committed.
Naftali Bennett: He was sworn in as Israel’s new Prime Minister, ousting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power after an uninterrupted 12 years at the helm of affairs.