June 30, 2020

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED
The Trump administration unsuccessfully attempted to block release of the book titled "The Room Where It Happened" contending that Bolton had breached nondisclosure agreements he signed as a condition of his employment and that the book endangered national security. The book was recently released on June 23.

About:

  • The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir is a memoir by John Bolton, who served as National Security Advisor for U.S. President Donald Trump.

  • The room mentioned in the title forms the crux in this memoir of the White House, detailing the workings of the Trump administration.

  • According to Bolton, Trump was only concerned with being re-elected and not the nation. the president tended to side with foes and got suspicious of the government itself. It is these behavioural patterns, Bolton argues, that led Trump on to the path of impeachment.

  • Bolton further adds that for Trump foreign policies are akin to “closing a real estate deal”, concerning his own interests more than anybody else’s.

Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

KHOLONGCHHU HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT
The Concession Agreement for the 600 MegaWatt Kholongchhu (Joint Venture) Hydroelectric Project between Bhutan government and Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited was signed.

About:

  • The 600 MW run-of-the-river project is located on the lower course of the Kholongchhu River in Trashiyangtse District in Eastern Bhutan.

  • The Project envisages an underground powerhouse of four 150 MW turbines with water impounded by a concrete gravity dam of 95 meters height.

  • It will be implemented by Kholongchhu Hydro Energy Limited, a Joint Venture company formed between Druk Green Power Corporation of Bhutan and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited of India.

  • The is the first Joint Venture Hydroelectric Project between India and Bhutan. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2025. 

Important Info :
  • Hydropower sector is the flagship area of India-Bhutan bilateral cooperation.
  • The 720 MW Mangdechhu hydroelectric project was jointly inaugurated earlier in August last year by the Prime Ministers of India and Bhutan.
  • With this, four hydroelectric projects of bilateral cooperation totalling over 2100 MW, are already operational in Bhutan. 
Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

DELHI PLASMA BANK
Delhi chief minister announced setting up of a 'plasma bank' for treatment of COVID-19 patients in the national capital.

About:

  • The Plasma bank will be set up at the Delhi government-run Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and doctors or hospitals will have to approach it for plasma if a COVID-19 patient needs the same.

  • The plasma bank will be first of its kind for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Perhaps, it will be the first plasma bank in the country.

  • In the plasma therapy, antibodies from blood of patients, who have recovered from coronavirus, are used to treat infected patients. It is aimed at assessing the efficacy of convalescent plasma to limit complications in COVID patients.

  • Like in blood banks, where blood is extracted and stored for those who might be in need, the idea is to extract and store plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 and give it to someone suffering from the disease.

Source : Times of India
Health

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

COVAXIN
COVAXIN, India’s first vaccine candidate against novel coronavirus, developed by vaccine maker Bharat Biotech gets the approval of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for Phase I and II clinical trials.

About:

  • COVAXIN is an inactivated vaccine, created from a strain of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus, that has shown promise in preclinical studies, demonstrating extensive safety and effective immune responses.

  • COVAXIN has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

  • The SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech. The indigenous, inactivated vaccine will be developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech’s BSL-3 (Bio-Safety Level 3) High Containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad, India.

  • Human clinical trials of the experimental COVID-19 are scheduled to start across the country in July 2020. 

Source : Times Now
Health

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

BALOCHISTAN
Four heavily armed gunmen attacked the Pakistan Stock Exchange building in Karachi. Pakistan’s Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan:

  • The Balochistan region is divided almost evenly between Pakistan (where it's called Balochistan) and Iran. A part of it lies in Afghanistan too. Politically, it comprises the Pakistani province of Balochistan, the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan, and the southern areas of Afghanistan.

  • Formerly under British rule, Balochistan was declared independent on August 11, 1947 and it formed a parliament. But Pakistan illegally occupied (because people were never asked what they wanted) it on March 27, 1948.

  • The land holds significant reserves of gas, gold, copper, oil and uranium, but is mostly untapped by Iran. The Pakistani area continues to be poor too, because the country is accused of allegedly siphoning the area's resources away from its people and towards Punjab.

  • Pakistan is accused of systematically repressing and marginalising Balochs. It's said that over 1,40,000 have been displaced since 2004-2005. Balochs are denied jobs and even basic facilities like water and electricity.

Important Info :

Baloch Liberation Army (BLA):

  • The BLA, the armed wing of the Baloch movement, has carried out several violent attacks in Pakistan. It has about 6,000 cadre spread across the Balochistan Province and in the bordering areas of Afghanistan. It has been banned by Pakistan since 2006.
  • BLA rebels have claimed that they are aiming for both freedom from Pakistan and internal reform of the Baloch society. They are opposed to the traditional sardar or Kawailey system at home.
  • The BLA has often been accused of launching attacks on Pakistan’s military targets and on Chinese-built infrastructure. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is passing through Balochistan.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

INDIA BANS CHINESE APPS
Government of India has banned 59 apps originating from China, including very popular ones like the short video platform TikTok, UC Browser, file sharing app ShareIt, and CamScanner etc.

About:

  • The ban has been enforced by The Ministry of Information Technology by invoking it’s power under section 69A of the Information Technology Act and the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.

  • Title of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is “Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource”.

  • According to ministry, these Apps are engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.

  • The notification is expected to be followed by instructions to Internet service providers to block these apps. Users are likely to soon see a message saying access to the apps has been restricted on the request of the government.

  • This action could be a warning to bigger Chinese businesses in India, and to China itself. 

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PARLIAMENTARISM
International Day of Parliamentarism is being celebrated on June 30 under the theme “Parliaments in a time of Pandemic.”

About:

  • The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/72/278, recognized the role of parliaments in national plans and strategies and in ensuring greater transparency and accountability at national and global levels.

  • It is also the date, in 1889, on which the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) — the global organization of parliaments — was established. The IPU has permanent observer status at the United Nations General Assembly and is Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • This Day celebrates parliaments and the ways in which parliamentary systems of government improve the day-to-day lives of people the world over. 

Source : United Nations
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

INTERNATIONAL ASTEROID DAY
International Asteroid Day 2020 is being celebrated on 30 June.

About:

  • In 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/71/90, declaring 30 June as International Asteroid Day.

  • It is observed each year to mark the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908, and to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard.

  • The Tunguska asteroid event in Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908, was the Earth's largest asteroid impact in recorded history. 

Important Info :
  • Near-Earth objects (NEOs) represent potentially catastrophic threats to our planet. NEO is an asteroid or comet, which passes close to the Earth's orbit. According to NASA’s Center for NEO Studies, there are over 16 000 Near Earth Asteroids discovered.
Source : United Nations
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

CONTINUOUS GALVANIZED REBAR PRODUCTION FACILITY
Union Minister of Steel inaugurated Continuous Galvanized Rebar Production Facility at Mandi Gobindgarh in Punjab. This will support the much awaited need of supplying galvanized rebar to the construction industry.

About:

  • Galvanized reinforcing steel is bare reinforcing steel coated with a protective layer of zinc metal.

  • The zinc coating serves as a barrier to corrosive elements that the rebar is exposed to when embedded in concrete. 

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
June 30, 2020

SANSKRITIK SADBHAV MANDAP
Union Minister of Minority Affairs laid foundation stone for “Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap” in Rampur (Uttar Pradesh).

About:

  • The “Sanskritik Sadbhav Mandap” is being constructed with the cost of Rs 92 crore by Union Minority Affairs Ministry under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK).

  • This community centre will be utilized for various socio-economic-cultural activities, skill development training, coaching, relief activities during disaster such as Corona and different sports activities.

Important Info :

Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karykram (PMJVK)?

  • The erstwhile Multi-sectoral Development Programme (MsDP) has been restructured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram for effective implementation. it is implemented by Ministry of Minority Affairs.
  • the scheme seeks to provide better socio economic infrastructure facilities to the minority communities particularly in the field of education, health & skill development.
Source : PIB
Social Issues

June 29, 2020

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

चल दर बचत ऋणपत्र, 2020 (कराधीन)
केंद्रीय वित्‍त मंत्रालय ने चल दर बचत ऋणपत्र, 2020 (कराधीन) का शुभारंभ किया है। इससे सुरक्षित सरकारी साधनों में निवेश करने का अवसर मिलेगा।

इसके बारे में:

  • सरकार ने 28 मई, 2020 को बैंकिंग व्यवसाय बंद होने से सदस्यता के लिए स्थगित हो चुकी 75 प्रतिशत बचत (कर योग्य) ऋणपत्र, 2018 योजना के स्थान पर नई चल दर बचत ऋणपत्र, 2020 (कर योग्य) योजना को अधिसूचित किया है।

  • सात साल के ऋणपत्र पर ब्याज हर वर्ष पहली जनवरी और पहली जुलाई (अर्ध-वार्षिक) को देय होगा।

  • पहली जनवरी 2021 को 15 प्रतिशत की दर से भुगतान किया जाएगा। अगली छमाही के लिए ब्याज दर को हर छह महीने में पुन: नियोजित किया जाएगा, पहला नियोजन 01 जनवरी 2021 को होगा।

  • ऋणपत्र जारी होने की तिथि से 7 वर्ष की समाप्ति पर प्रतिदेय होंगे। वरिष्ठ नागरिकों की निर्दिष्ट श्रेणियों के लिए समय से पहले भुगतान की अनुमति दी जाएगी।

  • ऋणपत्र पर ब्याज आयकर अधिनियम, 1961 के तहत लागू किया जाएगा।

  • भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक (आरबीआई) सरकार की ओर से ऋणपत्र जारी करेगा।

  • ऋणपत्र भारत के निवासी और एक अविभाजित हिंदू परिवार के पास हो सकता है।

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

FLOATING RATE SAVINGS BONDS 2020 (TAXABLE)
The Union Finance Ministry has decided to launch Floating Rate Savings Bonds 2020 (Taxable) from July 1, giving an opportunity to invest in secured government instruments.
About:
• The new scheme has been brought in place of 7.75 per cent Savings (Taxable) Bonds, 2018, which was withdrawn from the close of banking business on May 28, 2020, 
• The interest on the seven-year bond will be paid semi-annually on January 1 and July 1 every year.
• The interest on January 1, 2021 will be paid at 7.15 per cent. The rate for next half-year will be reset every six months, the first reset being on January 1, 2021.
• The bonds will be repaid on the expiry of seven years from the date of issue. However, premature redemption will be allowed for specified categories of senior citizens.
• The interest on the Bonds will be taxable under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will be issuing the bonds on behalf of the government.
• The Bonds could be held by a person resident in India and a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).
 
Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

ZEALANDIA
GNS Science, a New Zealand research institute, has published two new maps covering Zealandia's tectonic profile and shape.

About:

  • Zealandia is an almost entirely submerged mass of continental crust located in the southern Pacific Ocean that subsided after breaking away from Gondwanaland 83–79 million years ago.

  • It has variously been described as a continental fragment, a microcontinent, a submerged continent, and a continent.

  • The land mass may have been completely submerged by about 23 million years ago, and most of it (93%) remains submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean.

  • Political Divisions Under Zealandia Are: New Zealand, New Caledonia, Norfolk island, Lord howe island group and Elizabeth and Middleton reefs.

  • Names: It is also known as Tasmantis due to its proximity to Tasman sea. Te Riu-a-Māui is another name for Zealandia.

  • The name and concept for Zealandia was proposed by Bruce Luyendyk in 1995.

Important Info :

Continent?

  • Definition: Originally the term "continent" was applied to any area of land, of any size, not separated by water, including islands. However, today, continents are understood to be large, continuous, distinct masses of land, ideally (but not necessarily) separated by expanses of water.
  • Criteria: No required minimum size to qualify as "large" (or "very large") has been defined, nor the requisite degree of physical separation. Continents are therefore defined by convention rather than some strict criteria. The criteria used can be of geographical, historical, cultural, anthropological, political, or even of philosophical nature.
  • Numbers: Number of continents varies from 4 to 7 depending on the criteria.
Source : News18
Geography

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

P.V. NARASIMHA RAO
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu paid tributes to former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao on his birth anniversary (June 28, 2020).

About:

  • Pamulaparthi Venkata Narasimha Rao (1921 –2004) was a politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of India from 1991 to 1996. He also became the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1971.

  • Father of Economic reforms: He sought to dismantle the License Raj system, reduce red tape and make Indian industries more competitive. He laid the foundation for trade liberalization and re-integration of Indian economy with the global economy, especially East Asian economies.

  • Foreign policy: Among his bold moves in foreign policy were establishing diplomatic relations with Israel and reversing decades of frosty relations between India and the United States by bringing them together. He also launched the Look East policy.

  • Father of Indian nuclear Program: He energised the national nuclear security and ballistic missiles program, which ultimately resulted in the 1998 Pokhran nuclear tests by Vajpayee-led NDA government (the tests were planned in 1996 but they were not carried out as government at centre got changed due to 1996 general election).

  • National Security: He was also fairly successful in controlling the separatist movements in Punjab and Kashmir.

  • Local governance: The path-breaking 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments empowering local bodies during Narasimha Rao’s tenure as the Prime Minister are worthy of mentioning.

  • Babri Mosque riots: Rao's term also saw the destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh when BJP's Kalyan Singh was Chief Minister, which triggered one of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in the country since its independence.

  • He was also referred to as Chanakya for his ability to steer economic and political legislation through the parliament at a time when he headed a minority government.

Source : All India Radio
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

STATISTICS DAY
Statistics Day of India is being celebrated on June 29, 2020 on the birth anniversary of Prof. P C Mahalanobis. This year’s Theme is "SDG- 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) & SDG- 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls)".

Contribution of PC Mahalanonobis to Statistics:

  • PC Mahalanonobis (1893 –1972) was an Indian scientist and applied statistician. He is referred to as the chief architect of Indian statistical system as well as father of statistical science in India.

  • He established the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) in 1931 in Kolkata. The institute founded the journal Sankhya, along the lines of Karl Pearson’s Biometrika. In 1959 it was made an autonomous body of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation.

  • Post-independence, he helped in the establishment of Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI).

  • His most important contributions are related to Large-Scale Sample Surveys. He introduced three key concepts to the theory and practice of sample surveys which are: Pilot surveys, Optimum survey design and Inter Penetrating Network of sub-samples technique (IPNS)

  • He also advocated the usefulness of sampling methods. He was elected Chairman of the United Nations Sub-Commission on Statistical Sampling in 1947, and held this post until 1951.

  • In 1936 he introduced a statistical measure named the Mahalanobis distance. It is widely used in cluster analysis and classification techniques.

  • In 1926, he analysed 60 years’ data related to floods in Orissa, which led to the construction, after three decades, of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi.

  • He was one of the members of the first Planning commission of free India. The Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan, which worked towards the rapid industrialisation of India.

Important Info :

Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis National Award in Official Statistics?

  • In 2019, the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) instituted a new award, namely, the Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis National Award in Official statistics for recognizing outstanding achievement of official statisticians in Central Government, State Governments and Institutions.
  • The award will be given on Statistics Day.
Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE TROPICS
The International Day of the Tropics 2020 is being celebrated on June 29.

About:

  • The inaugural State of the Tropics Report was launched on 29 June 2014, as the culmination of a collaboration between twelve leading tropical research institutions.

  • Marking the anniversary of the report’s launch the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2016, which declared that 29 June of each year is to be observed as the International Day of the Tropics.

  • The Day aims to raise awareness to the specific challenges faced by tropical areas and the role that countries in the tropics will play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Important Info :

Tropics?

  • The Tropics are a region of the Earth, roughly defined as the area between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn.
  • Although topography and other factors contribute to climatic variation, tropical locations are typically warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature.
  • An important feature of the Tropics is the prevalence of rain in the moist inner regions near the equator, and that the seasonality of rainfall increases with the distance from the equator.
  • The tropical region faces several challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanisation and demographic changes.
Source : United Nations
Geography

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

LIGHTNING
A World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) committee of experts said two new world records for the longest reported distance and the longest reported duration for a single lightning flash were set in Brazil and Argentina.

About:

  • A single Lightning flash stretched more than 700 kilometres across Brazil on October 31 last year has created a new world record for the longest reported distance of lightning. This was equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington in the US, or between London and Basel in Switzerland.

  • A lightning flash that developed continuously over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019 lasted a whopping 16.73 seconds creating new world record for the longest reported duration of lightning.

  • The new records for extreme lightning bursts, or 'megaflashes', during 2019, are more than double the size and duration of the previous record flashes.

  • The new record-breaking strikes were released on the occasion of International Lightning Safety Day on June 28.

Important Info :

30-30 rule?

  • The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reiterated the dangers of lightning.
  • The official advice from the agency is to follow the 30-30 rule: if the time between flash and thunder is less than 30 seconds, stay inside, and wait 30 minutes after the last observed flash, to resume outdoor activities.
Source : United Nations
Disaster Management

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

RIC TRILATERAL GROUPING
Recently, a special Russia-India-China- RIC trilateral Foreign Minister's Video Conference was organized to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second World War.

About:

  • RIC as a strategic grouping first took shape in the late 1990s under the leadership of Yevgeny Primakov as “a counterbalance to the Western alliance.”

  • Primakov, a Russian politician and diplomat who was also the prime minister of Russia from 1998 to 1999, is credited with the idea for RIC.

  • The group was founded for renewing old ties with India and fostering the newly discovered friendship with China.

Source : All India Radio
International

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

MONSOON
The monsoon covered the whole of India, 12 days before the normal date of July 8, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. This was the fastest progression of the rain-bearing system since 2013.

About:

  • The formation of a low pressure area over Bay of Bengal which moved west-northwest-wards and another cyclonic circulation over central India helped in advance of the current Monsoon season.

  • In the recent past, such early coverage of southwest Monsoon over the entire country occurred in 2013 when it had covered extreme north-western part of India on June 16 – almost a month ahead of then normal date of July 15.

Important Info :
  • As per the revised normal arrival dates, released last month by the IMD, the monsoon sets over Kerala around June 1, nearly same as the old normal date and covers the entire country by July 8 — one week before the old normal date (July 15).
  • Under revised reference dates for withdrawal, Monsoon withdrawal from northwest India will be delayed by more than two weeks (September 17) compared to the old normal date (September 1).
  • While the normal dates of onset are revised based on data during 1961-2019, dates of withdrawal are revised based on data during 1971-2019. The old normal monsoon onset and withdrawal dates were based on data during 1901-1940.
Source : Times of India
Geography

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

ARTICLE 371A
In a letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi has said the constitutionally established State government was being challenged on a day-to-day basis by armed gangs who question the integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

About:

  • The Governor said he could no longer abstain from constitutional obligations and proposed that under Article 371A (1) (b) of the Constitution, important functions like “transfer and posting of officials” entrusted with the maintenance of law and order of and above the district level will be with the approval of the Governor.

  • Articles 369 through 392 (including some that have been removed) appear in Part XXI of the Constitution, titled ‘Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions’.

  • Article 370 dealt with ‘Temporary Provisions with respect to the State of Jammu and Kashmir’.

  • Articles 371, 371A, 371B, 371C, 371D, 371E, 371F, 371G, 371H, and 371J define special provisions with regard to another state (or states).

  • Articles 370 and 371 were part of the Constitution at the time of its commencement on January 26, 1950; Articles 371A through 371J were incorporated subsequently.

  • Article 371A (13th Amendment Act, 1962), Nagaland says “Parliament cannot legislate in matters of Naga religion or social practices, Naga customary law and procedure, administration of civil and criminal justice according to Naga customary law, and ownership and transfer of land without concurrence of the state Assembly.”

Source : The Hindu
Polity & Governance

Current Affairs
June 29, 2020

KHUMUKCHAM SANJITA CHANU
Two-time Commonwealth Games gold-winning weightlifter K. Sanjita Chanu, who was recently exonerated of doping charges, will receive the Arjuna Award for 2018.

About:

  • Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu (born 1994) is an Indian weightlifter from Manipur.

  • She is a two time Commonwealth Games Champion. Chanu won the gold medals at the 2014 Glasgow and the 2018 Gold Coast events in the women's 48 kg and 53 kg weight category respectively.

Source : The Hindu
Sports

June 28, 2020

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

FIRST DOMESTICATION OF CHICKEN
A recent study by scientists has revealed new details about the earliest domestication of chicken.

About:

  • The DNA sequencing of 863 genomes has showed the first domestication of chicken occurred in southwestern China, northern Thailand and Myanmar.

  • The results contradicted the earlier claim that chickens were domesticated in northern China and the Indus Valley.

  • The study, which involved sequencing of genomes from all four species of the genus Gallus, five sub-species of Red Jungle Fowl and various domestic chicken breeds collected worldwide, revealed single domestication from Red Jungle Fowl sub-species Gallus gallus spadiceus.

  • The study also demonstrated that all five Red Jungle Fowl sub-species were genetically differentiated from each other approximately 50,000 years ago (much earlier than domestication), corresponding to their geographic ranges and taxonomic classifications.

Important Info :

Significance of Study

  • The research assumes significance as despite the substantial role played by chickens in human societies across the world, both the geographic and temporal origins of their domestication remain controversial.
  • Charles Darwin postulated that chickens were domesticated around 4,000 B.C. from a single ancestor, Red Jungle Fowl in the Indus Valley. 
Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

KOSOVO
The Specialist Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) at The Hague in the Netherlands has filed an indictment charging Kosovo’s president Hashim Thaci of war crimes during the Kosovo independence war in the 1990s.

About:

  • Kosovo is a partially-recognised state in Southeast Europe, subject to a territorial dispute with Serbia.

  • Kosovo is landlocked in the center of the Balkans and bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest and Montenegro to the west.

  • Its Capital is Pristinaa.

Important Info :

Recognition

  • On 17 February 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia.
  • Since declaring independence, it has become a member of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, though not of the United Nations.
  • It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 97 member states of United Nations.
  • Serbia does not recognise Kosovo as a sovereign state and continues to claim it as the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.
Source : Indian Express
International

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (DST)
Secretary of Department of Science and Technology (DST) launched the official Logo to celebrate Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year of DST.

About:

  • Department of Science & Technology (DST) was established in 1971 on 3rd May.

  • DST is observing Golden Jubilee Commemoration Year during the period 3rd May 2020 to 2nd May 2021 with activities like lecture series, bringing out publications, documentaries, updating Wikipedia pages of Survey of India, and Autonomous Institutions under DST etc.

Source : DST
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

ANTHROPAUSE
Researchers in the UK are set to study the “anthropause”, a term they have coined to refer to the coronavirus-induced lockdown period and its impact on other species.

About:

  • Researchers have suggested that the lockdown period, which is also being referred to as the “Great Pause”, be referred to with a more precise term. So they have proposed ‘anthropause’ to refer specifically to a considerable global slowing of modern human activities, notably travel.

  • Reduction in human activity during the coronavirus lockdown on both land and sea has been “unparalleled” in recent history. The unprecedented curbs imposed on millions of people around the world, mainly due to restrictions in travel, led to reports of unusual animal behaviour.

  • For instance, there were pumas sighted in Chile’s Santiago, jackals in the parks of Tel Aviv in Israel, dolphins in the waters of Italy and even a monkey fight on the streets of Thailand.

  • The researchers believe studying this period will provide valuable insights into the relationship between human-wildlife interactions in the 21st century.

Source : Indian Express
Environment

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

BANKING REGULATION (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE, 2020
President Ram Nath Kovind has promulgated the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 in pursuance of the commitment to ensure safety of depositors across banks.

About:

  • The Ordinance amends the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 as applicable to Cooperative Banks.

  • It seeks to protect the interests of depositors and strengthen cooperative banks by improving governance and oversight by extending powers already available with RBI in respect of other banks to Co-operative Banks.

  • The amendments do not affect existing powers of the State Registrars of Co-operative Societies under state co-operative laws.

  • The amendments do not apply to Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) or co-operative societies whose primary object and principal business is long-term finance for agricultural development.

  • The Ordinance also amends Section 45 of the Banking Regulation Act to enable making of a scheme of reconstruction or amalgamation of a banking company for protecting the interest of the public, depositors and the banking system and for securing its proper management, even without making an order of moratorium, so as to avoid disruption of the financial system.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

SANKALP PARVA
On the call of Prime Minister, Union Culture Ministry will celebrate “Sankalp Parva” to plant trees from 28th June to 12 July 2020.

About:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for planting at least five trees either in Office campus or wherever it is possible, to ensure clean and healthy environment of the country.

  • In this background, Union Ministry of Culture has decided to celebrate Sankalp Parva from 28th June to 12 July 2020, wherein Ministry expects all its Subordinate Offices, Academies, Attached Institutions, Affiliated Institutions to plant trees in its campus or at the surroundings wherever it is possible.

  • Ministry of Culture recommends to plants following five trees which represent the herbal heritage of our country: (i) “Bargad” (ii) “Awla” (iii) “Pepal” (iv) “Ashok” (v) “Bel”. 

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY COUNCIL (NPC)
The 49th Governing Council Meeting of National Productivity Council (NPC) was held under the Chairmanship of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

About:

  • Parent body: NPC is an autonomous body under Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.

  • Objective: NPC is a national level organization to promote productivity culture in India.

  • Established in: 1958. 

  • Status: It is an autonomous, multipartite, non-profit organization and has been registered as a Society under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.

  • NPC is a constituent of the Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an Inter-Governmental Body, of which the Government of India is a founder member.

Source : All India Radio
Economy

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

MAR THOMA CHURCH
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 90th birth anniversary of Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan. He conveyed his greetings and wished him a long life and good health.

About:

  • The Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, also known as the Mar Thoma Church, is one of the ancient, indigenous churches in Kerala.

  • It is traditionally believed that Saint Thomas, a disciple of Jesus Christ came to India in AD 52 and established the Church.

  • The Church is presently headed by their 21st Malankara Metropolitan, Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma, who has headed the Church for the last thirteen years.

  • The Church runs various social welfare institutions, destitute homes, hospitals, colleges, schools and technical institutions. 

Source : PIB
Culture

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

MARY JACKSON
Space agency NASA announced that its headquarters in Washington, D.C. would be named after Mary W. Jackson (1921-2005), the agency’s first African American female engineer.

About:

  • Mary Jackson (1921 – 2005) was an American mathematician and aerospace engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which in 1958 was succeeded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  • In 2019, Jackson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

  • In 2020 the Washington, D.C. headquarters of NASA was renamed the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters.

  • Her story features in the 2016 non-fiction book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” and the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures” that the book inspired. 

Source : Indian Express
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 28, 2020

ATMA NIRBHAR UTTAR PRADESH ROJGAR YOJANA
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the 'Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Yojana' for migrant workers.

About:

  • Atma Nirbhar Uttar Pradesh Rojgar Abhiyan is focused on generating employment for those migrant workers of Uttar Prdesh who recently returned from other states.

  • The programme is focused towards providing employment, promoting local entrepreneurship and creating partnership with Industrial associations to provide employment opportunities.

  • Under the campaign, around 1.25 crore people will be provided employment in the state in different schemes of central and state government.

  • The campaign is launched in 31 districts of the state. Villages across districts of state will join this program through the Common Service Centers and Krishi Vigyan Kendras. 

Source : All India Radio
Economy

June 27, 2020

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

MAAREECH
The Indian Navy said on Friday it has inducted an advanced anti-torpedo decoy system called ‘Maareech’ that is capable of being fired from all frontline ships.

About:

  • ‘Maareech’ has been designed and developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and it is capable of detecting, locating and neutralizing incoming torpedo.

  • Bharat Electronics Limited, a defence PSU, would undertake the production of this decoy system.

  • The prototype of this system installed onboard a nominated naval platform had successfully completed all user evaluation trials.

  • Anti-Submarine Warfare capability of the Indian Navy received a major boost with its induction.

Source : Hindustan Times
Defence & Security

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

INTERNATIONAL MSME DAY
The international Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day is being observed on 27 June under the theme “COVID-19: The Great Lockdown and its impact on Small Business.”

About:

  • The UN General Assembly in its 74th Plenary held on the 6th April, 2017 declared 27th June as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.

  • Objective of the day is to recognize the importance of MSMEs in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.

Important Info :

How they contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

  • SDG targets 8.3 and 9.3 call for enhancing the access of SMEs to financial services.
  • In addition, SMEs are an important element in the implementation of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).
Source : United Nations
Economy

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

NASHA MUKT BHARAT: ANNUAL ACTION PLAN (2020-21)
Nasha Mukt Bharat: Annual Action Plan (2020-21) for 272 Most Affected Districts was e-launched by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment on the occasion of “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”.

About:

  • The Nasha Mukt Bharat Annual Action Plan for 2020-21 would focus on 272 most affected districts and launch a three-pronged attack combining efforts of Narcotics Bureau, Outreach/Awareness by Social Justice and Treatment through the Health Dept.

  • The Action Plan has the following components: Awareness generation programmes; Focus on Higher Educational institutions, University Campuses and Schools; Community outreach and identification of dependent population; Focus on Treatment facilities in Hospital settings; and Capacity Building Programmes for Service Provider.

Important Info :
  • The Ministry has also prepared a National Action Plan for Drug Demand Reduction for the period 2018-2025 which aims at reduction of adverse consequences of drug abuse through a multi-pronged strategy involving education, de-addiction and rehabilitation of affected individuals and their families.
Source : PIB
Social Issues

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

CONSOLIDATED NOTIFICATION FOR CLASSIFICATION AND REGISTRATION MSMEs
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has come out with a consolidated notification in the form of guidelines for classification and registration of MSMEs.

About:

  • This notification supersedes all earlier notifications issued with regard to classification or registration of MSMEs. Now, the entrepreneurs, enterprises and the MSMEs have to refer to just this notification for matters relating with classification or registration.

  • As per the notification, an MSME will be known as Udyam, as this is more closer to the word Enterprise and accordingly, the registration process will be known as Udyam Registration.

  • It can be filled online based on self-declaration with no requirement to upload documents, papers, certificates or proof. An enterprise can be registered just on the basis of Aadhaar number.

  • Investment in ‘Plant and Machinery or Equipment’ and ‘Turnover’ are the basic criteria for classification of MSMEs now.

  • Exports of goods or services or both shall be excluded while calculating the turnover of any enterprise whether Micro, Small or Medium.

  • In another first, the Ministry of MSME has established a strong facilitation mechanism for the MSMEs. This process is in the form of Single Window Systems at the district level and regional level.

  • Similarly, Ministry’s recent initiative of Champions Control Roomsacross the country have been made legally responsible for facilitating such Entrepreneurs in registration and even thereafter.

Source : PIB
Economy

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE
International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2020 was observed on 26 June.

About:

  • Background: On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

  • Objective of the day: To ensure total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

  • Why do we mark 26 June? On 26 June, 1987, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect. Its implementation by States parties is monitored by a body of independent experts, the Committee against Torture.

Source : United Nations
Social Issues

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

PRODUCT APPLICATION AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (PADC), PARADIP
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas inaugurated a Product Application & Development Centre (PADC) setup by Indian Oil at Paradip.

About:

  • PADC has been setup by Indian Oil at Paradip, adjacent to its Refinery and Petrochemicals complex.

  • There are 4 laboratories in PADC namely Polymer Processing Lab, Analytical Testing Lab, Chemical Analysis Lab and Characterisation Lab.

  • PADC, Paradip is recognized as a research centre by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt of India.

  • The centre will render assistance to customers and investors in product and application development for polymer finished products such as molded furniture, houseware, wovensacks for packaging cement, fertiliser, healthcare applications like baby diaper, personal protective suit, mask etc.

Source : PIB
Science & Tech

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

GLOBAL EDUCATION MONITORING REPORT 2020
UNESCO has released the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report.

Key Findings:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in education systems across the world.

  • About 40% of low- and lower-middle-income countries have not supported learners at risk of exclusion during this crisis, such as the poor, linguistic minorities and learners with disabilities.

  • As substitutes for classroom instruction, while many poorer countries opted for radio and television lessons, 55% of low-income, 73% of lower-middle-income and 93% of upper-middle-income countries adopted for online learning platforms for primary and secondary education.

  • School closures also interrupted support mechanisms from which many disadvantaged learners benefit. For poor students who depend on school for free meals or even free sanitary napkins, closures have been a major blow. Higher drop-out rates are also a concern.

  • In order to combat the situation, 17% of low and middle-income countries are planning to recruit more teachers, 22% to increase class time and 68% to introduce remedial classes when schools reopen.

Source : The Hindu
Education

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

INDIAN MONEY IN SWISS BANKS FALLS 5.8%
The latest data from Zurich-based Swiss National Bank (SNB) released for the year 2019 shows that the Money parked by Indians in Swiss Banks fell for the second straight year — this time by CHF 55 million, or 5.8 per cent, to CHF 899 million (Rs 7,100 crore) — in 2019.

About:

  • Even as some nations witnessed a jump in 2019, there has been an overall decline in money parked by residents across countries in Swiss banks since the year of the global financial crisis.

  • While overall foreign deposits have fallen 41 per cent since 2007, that for India has declined by 79 per cent since 2007. For India, the total liabilities of Swiss banks stood highest in 2006 at CHF 6.46 billion.

  • It has come down in line with the Centre’s steps over the last few years to curb black money in the economy and following the setting up of new framework in 2016 that allowed exchange of information between Switzerland and India to help check the black money menace.

  • The SNB data comes after the first set of details of bank accounts held by Indian nationals were shared under the new framework for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) between Switzerland and India to help check the black money menace last September.

Source : Indian Express
Economy

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

“MONEY LAUNDERING AND THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE” REPORT
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released its first global report on the illegal wildlife trade titled the “Money Laundering and the Illegal Wildlife Trade” report.

Key findings:

  • Illegal wildlife trade is a “global threat”, which also has links with other organised crimes such as modern slavery, drug trafficking and arms trade.

  • The illegal trade is estimated to generate revenues of up to $23 billion a year.

  • During the study, 22 of the 45 respondent countries considered themselves as source for wildlife crime, 18 as transit countries and 14 as destination countries. All but nine reported to be impacted by the risks from financial flows linked to the trade.

  • Criminals are frequently misusing the legitimate wildlife trade, as well as other import-export type businesses, as a front to move and hide illegal proceeds from wildlife crimes.

  • Jurisdictions should consider implementing the good practices. The report noted that in 2012, India amended the Prevention of Money Laundering Act removing a value threshold — of ₹30 lakh and above — that was earlier applicable to the wildlife trade predicates. 

Important Info :
  • According to the 2016 UN World Wildlife Crime report, criminals are illegally trading products derived from over 7,000 species of wild animals and plants across the world.
Source : The Hindu
Environment

Current Affairs
June 27, 2020

PREFERENTIAL ALLOTMENT PRICING NORMS
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed the preferential allotment pricing norms for companies while tightening the insider trading regulations as part of its attempts to minimise instances of unpublished, price-sensitive information getting leaked.

Preferential Allotment Pricing Norms

  • It also amended the settlement proceeding norms to enable a faster disposal of cases while tweaking the Takeover Regulations as well.

  • Companies with frequently traded shares can take into account the average of the weekly high and low over the past 12 weeks or two weeks, whichever is higher, and price the preferential allotment above that mark.

  • While the existing pricing mechanism will continue, the relaxed pricing option will be available for all preferential allotments made between July 1 and December 31, 2020.

Important Info :

Insider trading

  • SEBI also amended the SEBI (Prohibition of Insider Trading) Regulations making it mandatory for companies to maintain a structured, digital database containing the nature of unpublished price-sensitive information (UPSI) and the names of persons who have shared the information.
  • This assumes significance as the SEBI has been probing various matters wherein UPSI was shared by company officials with outsiders through applications like WhatsApp.
Source : The Hindu
Economy
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