PM attends centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram and launches several projects
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on a two-day visit to Gujarat on 29th and 30th June 2017. He attended following events, during the course of this visit:
i. Centenary celebrations of Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on 29th June, 2017.Event to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Shrimad Rajchandraji at Sabarmati Ashram on 29th June, 2017.
ii. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released coins and a stamp on Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual guide, Shrimad Rajchandraji, at the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He also inaugurated the filling of Aji Dam near Rajkot under SAUNI Yojana.
iii. On June 30, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Textiles India’, country’s first-ever mega trade event for the textiles sector in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
DDA launches new housing scheme with 12,000 flats
The Delhi Development Authority will launch its new housing scheme on 30th June.
i. The scheme is being floated under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to help a large number of people avail subsidy on interest.
ii. The cost of the flats varies from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 1.44 crore, depending on the type and location.
iii. A majority of these flats fall under the LIG one-bedroom category.
iv. There are 10,000-plus flats in the LIG-one-bedroom category and the price range is between Rs 14 and Rs 30 lakh.
v. DDA, which is the nodal agency for PMAY in Delhi, has sought to help people avail the benefit of the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS), a key component of PMAY.
vi. Under the scheme, eligible allottees can avail of subsidy on interest.
vii. The benefit will range between Rs 2.4 lakh and Rs 2.7 lakh. But only those allottees can benefit from CLSS who meet the income status and other criteria of the scheme.
viii. To apply for the flats, people will have to pay Rs 1 lakh for LIG and Rs 2 lakh for MIG HIG flats as earnest money.
ix. No penalty will be levied on the earnest money if an applicant withdraws before the draw of lots but they will have to forfeit 25% of the amount if they surrender the flats within 90 days after the draw of lots.
x. If a person surrenders within three months of issue of the demand letter, then they will lose 50% of the earnest money
6th Joint Trade Committee Meeting between India and Myanmar held in New Delhi
On June 27, 2017, 6th India Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting co-chaired by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar was held in New Delhi.
Highlights of 6th India Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting:
i. Ms Nirmala Sithraman sought the cooperation of the Myanmar side in actively pursuing enhanced road, sea and air connectivity between the two countries.
ii. Highlighting the progress made by India in various components of the Kaladan Multimodal Transport Project, she sought the cooperation of the Myanmar to expedite work on their side.
iii. She drew the attention of the Myanmar side to an expeditious negotiation of a Motor Vehicle Agreement bilaterally which would facilitate seamless movement of cargo vehicles.
iv. During the meeting, discussions were held on exploring the feasibilities of direct shipping lines with Sittwe port and Vizag/ Chennai. Similarly, the need for direct air connectivity with Chennai/ Guwahati was also discussed.
v. 10 points spread across 4 states viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur, have been identified for operationalising Border Haats.
vi. Both sides also agreed to explore opening of two new Border Trade Points at Pangkhuwa and Zoninpuri.
vii. Both sides also agreed to deepen their engagements in some of the mutually identified core sectors.
Quick Facts About Myanmar:
♦ Capital: Naypyidaw
♦ Currency: Burmese Kyat
♦ Current President: Htin Kyaw
Germany legalises Same-Sex Marriage
Germany’s parliament has voted to legalise same-sex marriage by 393 votes to 226.
i. German lawmakers have agreed to put the legalisation of same-sex marriage to a vote in parliament’s last session.
ii. Germany has allowed same-sex couples to enter civil partnerships since 2001, but same-sex marriages remain illegal.
iii. All of Merkel’s potential coalition partners after the Sept. 4 election, including the center-left Social Democrats of her challenger, Martin Schulz, have been calling for same- sex marriage to be legalised.
♦ Capital: Berlin
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ President: Frank-Walter Steinmeier
British PM Theresa May narrowly wins Parliament confidence vote
British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won a confidence vote in parliament on 30th June 2017.
i. Theresa May won by 323 votes in favour and 309 against in the 650-seat parliament.
ii. May was finally confirmed as the British Prime Minister three weeks after the election, after winning the vote on her legislative program known as the Queen’s Speech.
iii. In order make her minority government won the vote, May struck a deal with the DUP and its 10 MPs at Westminster.
iv. She had to agree for funding a package worth a billion pounds for DUP’s projects in Northern Ireland.
v. The vote on the Queen’s Speech is considered as a vote of confidence on the Government as a whole which means that May would have had to quit if she lost.
vi. Rejection of the legislative plan would have been a major blow to May’s already weakened administration.
♦ National flower of Britain is Rose
♦ National game: cricket
BANKING & FINANCE
Indian funds in Swiss banks hit record low of 676 mn francs
As per latest data published by Swiss National Bank (SNB), money parked by Indians in Switzerland’s banks nearly halved to 676 Million Swiss francs (CHF) in 2016. As per current exchange rate, the approximate amount stands at Rs. 4500 crore.
i. Indian funds in Swiss Banks dropped by nearly 45% in 2016 as compared to 2015, marking the biggest ever yearly decline in such funds.
ii. This is the lowest amount of funds held by Indians in the Swiss banks ever since the Switzerland began making the data public in 1987.
ADB pledges USD 10 bn for development projects in India
On June 29, 2017, Asian Development Bank (ADB) committed USD 10 billion support for infrastructure building and immediate development needs of less-developed states in India.
i. Takehiko Nakao, the President of ADB, was on a 3-day visit to India during which he met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
ii. Takehiko Nakaosaid the ADB stands ready to meet immediate development needs of up to USD 5 billion over the five-year period for less developed states, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, addressing critical infrastructure and capacity deficits.
iii. In addition, ADB is also prepared to invest up to USD 5 billion during 2018-2022 for infrastructure building to develop the East Coast Economic Corridor.
iv. This combined total of USD 10 billion in major investments would be part of ADB’s new country strategy, which proposes annual lending over the 5-year period of USD 3-4 billion from sovereign and non-sovereign operations.
Quick Facts about Asian Development Bank (ADB):
♦ Formation Year: 1966
♦ Headquarters: Manila, Philippines
♦ Current President: Takehiko Nakao
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to implement Energy Efficiency Programmes signs MoU
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Implement Energy Efficiency Programmes has Signed MoU with EESL.
i. Under the administration of Ministry of Power Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Energy Services Company .
ii. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is going to implement energy efficiency programmes and scale-up demand side measures in the Gulf country.
iii. As per the MoU, EESL will provide consultancy and expand the capacity of the National Energy Services Company.
iv. The MoU was signed by Mr. Waled Alghreri, Chief Executive Officer, National Energy Services Company and Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL.
v. According to the estimates by the World Bank, the electricity generated in Saudi Arabia completely depends on non-renewable sources like oil, gas and coal sources.
vi. EESL is working towards promoting energy efficiency in all sectors and is implementing the world’s largest energy-efficiency portfolio.
vii. It is worth of 5.6bn over a period of 3 years and will mark a 20-fold growth.
viii. EESL has retrofitted over 23 crore LED bulbs and 20 crore smart LED streetlights across India through self-sustaining commercial models.
ix. It has also retrofitted energy efficient appliances in nearly 30 buildings and has a strong pipeline of covering 1500 more buildings.
x. EESL has begun its operations in UK, South Asia and South-East Asia.
xi. It aims to leverage this implementation experience and exploit the new opportunities
US to sell $366.2 million C-17 Globemaster aircraft to India
US Government has decided to sell one C-17 transport aircraft to India, which will improve India’s capability to meet current and future strategic airlift requirements.
About C-17 Globemaster Aircraft:
i. The proposed sale of C-17 transport aircraft by Boeing at an estimated cost of is USD 366.2 million includes one missile Warning System, one Countermeasures Dispensing System, one Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Transponder and precision navigation equipment.
ii. The C-17 is capable of strategic delivery of up to 170,900 pounds of personnel and/or equipment to main operating bases or forward operating locations.
iii. This aircraft is also capable of short field landings with a full cargo load. It is capable of performing tactical airlift and airdrop missions as well as transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuation when required.
iv. A fully integrated electronic cockpit and advanced cargo delivery system allow a crew of three: pilot, co-pilot, and loadmaster, to operate the aircraft on any type of mission. overseas to diversify its portfolio.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
SIERRA ODC building in Coimbatore gets world’s second highest green rating
SIERRA ODC building of Coimbatore-based IT Solutions Company has been recognised as the world’s second highest ranking Green Building, with a score of 103 out of 110 under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
i. SIERRA ODC Building has been designed and constructed with an emphasis on increasing the efficiency of energy, water or materials that were used, while reducing its impact on human health and the environment through its entire lifecycle.
ii. SIERRA ODC is carbon-neutral building and has registered a cost saving of 64% on energy.
iii. This is the first building in South India, where Amorphous Silicon Thin Building Vortec technology has been implemented. Due to this technology, photovoltaic modules produce power at low cost per watt.
Indian-origin boy in UK scores 162 on Mensa IQ, two points higher Einstein & Hawking
An 11-year-old boy Arnav, who is of Indian origin, has scored higher in an IQ test than Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
i. The so-called genius benchmark is set at 140 and Arnav Sharma gained a score of 162 – the maximum possible result you can achieve on the paper.
ii .It is a whole two points higher than German-born theoretical physicist Einstein and celebrated cosmologist Hawking.
iii. Arnav,from Reading, passed the infamously difficult test a few weeks back with zero preparation and had never seen what a typical paper looked like before taking it.
iv. His mark in the exam, which primarily measures verbal reasoning ability, puts him in the top 1% of the nation in terms of IQ level.
v. The Mensa test is quite hard and not many people pass it so do not expect to pass,” Arnav confidently told The Independent from his home in Reading town UK.
What is Mensa IQ Test?
♦ Mensa is believed to be the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.
♦ Membership is open to anyone who can demonstrate an IQ in the top 2% of the population, measured by a recognised or approved IQ testing process.
♦ Anyone scoring more than 98 percentile or higher can become a member of the community.
♦ The Mensa IQ test consists of questions related to Analogies, spatial, visual, pattern driven etc.
♦ It was founded in 1946 in Oxford by Lancelot Lionel Ware, a scientist and lawyer, and Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, but the organisation later spread around the world.
TS Vineeth Bhatt conferred with the ‘best astrologer of world’ award
Astrologer and numerologist TS Vineeth Bhatt has been conferred with the ‘Best astrologer of the world‘ award at the ‘Russian-Indian economic dialogue’ round-table meet held in Moscow, Russia. The event was organized by Peacemakers International, a charity that works for advancement of conflict resolution through mediation services and training.
About TS Vineeth Bhatt:
i. TS Vineeth Bhatt, 37, is from Kerala and lives in Bowenpally, Hyderabad.
ii. Three generations of his family have been practising astrology.
iii. He is a personal astrologer to ministers, ambassadors, senators across the globe.
iv. Senator and Historian Viktor Kondrashin conferred the award on Bhatt, and Andrey N Svintsov, deputy speaker of Russian state Duma, awarded him the certificate.
Health Ministry’s mobile app EVIN wins GSMA Asia Mobile Award
Indigenously developed mobile application for digitising vaccine logistics, eVIN, has won the prestigious GSMA Asia Mobile Award 2017 (AMO) on 29th June 2017.
i. It has won for outstanding contribution to the UNs sustainable development goals in Asia.
ii. The Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) is an online real-time vaccine logistics management system developed and implemented by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
iii. The ceremony, held during the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Shanghai.
iv. It has recognised the contributions of several transformative mobile innovations making a mark in the Asian region.
♦ eVIN is presently being implemented across 12 states in the country.
♦ It aims to support the governments Universal Immunization Programme by providing real-time information on vaccine stocks and flows and storage temperatures across all cold chain points in these states.
♦ The mobile and web-based application is empowering last- mile healthcare workers, thereby strengthening immunisation system in India
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Shamma Jain appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Greece
A senior diplomat Shamma Jain has appointed as India’s ambassador to Greece on 29thof June 2017.
i. Shamma is a 1983-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Jain is currently serving as Indian envoy to Panama.
ii. She succeeds M Manimekalai as Indian envoy in Greece.
iii. She had earlier served as ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire.
iv. She has also served in Indian missions in Italy, the Philippines, Washington DC, Turkey and Argentina.
♦ Capital: Athens
♦ PM: Alexis Tsipras
♦ Currency: Euro
SN Subrahmanyan new CEO & MD of Larsen & Toubro
SN Subrahmanyan will take charge as the CEO and Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro from 1st of July 2017.
i. Subrahmanyan is currently the deputy managing director and president of the company.
ii. The appointment was approved by the company board on 7th April and marks a major change in leadership positions at L&T where Naik has served for over 52 years, including as its head for over 17 years.
iii. Subrahmanyan will assume the new role of non-executive chairman for a period of three years beginning from 1st October.
iv. Subrahmanyan termed the appointment high honour and immense responsibility.
v. He joined the construction business of L&T in 1984 as a project planning engineer after completing a degree in civil engineering and post-graduation in business management.
vi. The L&T construction business has grown multifold under his leadership to rank among the top 25 global contractors and by far the largest EPC player in the country.
vii. In 2011,he was inducted into the L&T board.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA launches rocket in 11th attempt to form colourful cloud
NASA has launched rocket in 11th attempt to form colorful cloud on 29th of June 2017 of the NASA Terrier-Improved Malemute suborbital sounding rocket for the vapor release mission.
i. The launch time has been refined to 4:25 – 4:48 a.m. The backup launch day is June 30.
ii. The launch window is determined by sun angles and also moon down conditions.
iii. This launch window is early morning compared to the previous evening launch window for this mission.
iv. The rocket is to test a new multi-canister ejection system for deploying vapors in ionosphere or aurora sounding rocket missions.
v.The vapors will form artificial clouds that may be seen from New York to North Carolina.
NALSA launches Web application for free legal services to prisoners
National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) has launched a Web Application for freelegal services to prisoners and the Legal Services Management System.
i. National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) is entrusted with responsibility to provide legal aid inter-alia to all persons in custody.
ii. The software will be able to generate reports showing total number of inmates, number of inmates unrepresented, number of inmates represented by legal services lawyers and number of inmates represented by private lawyers.
iii. Through Web Application the State Legal Services Authorities and District Legal Services Authorities shall feed the data for each individual prison inmate in the jails within their jurisdiction.
iv. All the above information can be generated State wise, District wise and also in respect of each jail.
v. The reports can also be generated by the period of incarceration, which will in turn generate information with regard to prisoners eligible for bail under Section 436-A Cr.P.C.
vi. Application shall make the legal services system more transparent.
vii. This application will be universally useful for all the relevant authorities to monitor the grant of legal aid to the prisoners.
Van Niekerk breaks 300m World Record at Golden Spike Meet
Wayde Van Niekerk breaks the World Record in 300m at Golden Spike Meet
i. Wayden Van Niekerk ran 30.81 at the Ostrava Golden Spike Meet in the Czech Republic to break Michael Johnson’s previous world record in the 300m of 30.85.
ii. Michael Johnson and Usain Bolt (30.97 in Ostrava in 2010), had been under 31 seconds for 200m.
iii. Van Niekerk was already the first ever sprinter to run sub-10 in the 100m, sub-20 in the 200m, and sub-44 in the 400m, and now he can add an impressive sub-31 in the 300m to that resume.
iv. He will be running the 200m and 400m at this summer’s World Championships in London.
v. He got a great start, and powered to the line. He was racing the clock.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
President of India inaugurates an exhibition of art works at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata and receives first copies of two Coffee Table books
Pranab Mukherjee will grace the 125th Anniversary celebration of Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis, doyen of Statistics in India at Amarkunja, Indian Statistical Institute.
i. Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate an exhibition of art works at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.
ii. He also received the first copies of two Coffee Table books ‘Images and Impressions – Profile and Persona of Pranab Mukherjee’ and ‘Pranab Mukherjee 100 Frames’from the Governor of West Bengal, Shri Keshari NathTripathi who formally released these books.
iii. The President will inaugurate the Unified Campus of Bose Institute at Salt Lake Sector – V on 30th of June.
iv. The next day the President will receive the first copy of a coffee table book written by Shri Bahar Uddin at the Academy of Fine Arts and he will also formally inaugurate an exhibition of Painting and Sculptures there.
v. The President on June 30, 2017, will inaugurate the celebration to commemorate the Bi-centenary of Bengali Newspaper organized by the Press Club, Kolkata.
vi. A Banquet will be hosted by the Governor of West Bengal in honour of the President at the Raj Bhawan later.
Former CPI legislator N Gurusamy dead
Former Puducherry CPI legislator and freedom fighter N Gurusamy died on 30th of June 2017.
i. Gurusamy was 95 years old and a champion of farm labourers’and industrial workers’ rights.
ii. He was member of the territorial assembly between 1969 and 1973.
iii. He was also an awardee of the Centre’s Tamara Patra.
iv. He had earlier been the member of the erstwhile Representative Assembly.
v. He was member of the Tamil Nadu CPI committee’s executive committee.