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CURRENT AFFAIRS 02 JUNE 2017

 NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Inauguration of MITS Mega Food Park at Rayagada, Odisha.
On June 1, 2017, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated first Mega Food Park in the state of Odisha M/s MITS Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. at Rayagada district.
♦  Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.
About MITS Mega Food Park at Rayagada, Odisha:
i. MITS Mega Food Park has been set up in 50.05 acre of land at the cost of Rs. 80.17crore.
ii. Government of India has provided a financial assistance of Rs. 50.00 Crore to the project.
iii. The food park is having facilities of fully operational industrial sheds for SMEs, developed industrial plots for lease to food processing units, Rice Processing Complex of 12 TPH, Dry Ware-House of 10,000 MT, Cold Store of 2500 MT, Multi Fruit Processing facility and other food processing facilities etc.
iv. The Park also has a common administrative building for office and other uses by the entrepreneurs.
v. MITS Mega Food Park will benefit the farmers, growers, processors and consumers of Odisha and prove to be a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the state of  Odisha
vi. This is the 7th Mega Food Park operationalized in the last 3 years by the present government.

Stamp on Noted Playwright Balwant Gargi released
A stamp on noted playwright and theatre director late Balwant Gargi was released on 31st of May.
Key Notes:
i. BJP leader and Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher has released the stamp on the commemoration of Balwant Gargi centenary by the Panjab University.
iiBalwantGargi was the founder-director of the Indian Theatre Department, Panjab University Chandigarh.
iii. The Punjab University, in 2016, had declared the 100th year of his birth as a year-long celebration.
iv. He was born in 1916 in Bathinda.
v. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi award, the highest Indian literary award, in 1962 for his book Rang Manch.
vi. He had also received Padma Shri in 1972 and the Sangeet NatakAkademi Award in Punjabi Playwriting in 1998.
vii. On this occasion, the stamps of two other writers Krishan Chander and Bhisham Sahni were also released. They both were also the alumni of Panjab University (PU).

Railways introduces buy now, pay later service
The Indian Railways has introduced a facility on 1st of June of Buy Now, Pay Later service for passengers to book tickets online first and make payment for the reservations within a window of 15 days.
Key Notes:
i. The facility will allow passengers to travel after five days of booking the ticket.
ii. It will be available for confirmed, waitlisted, and Reservation against Cancellation berths.
iii. The new Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is in partnershipwith the Mumbai-based ePaylater company.
About IRCTC
♦ It is a subsidiary of the Indian railways.
♦ HQ- New Delhi
♦ Services- Catering, Tourism and online ticketing
♦ Railway Minister- Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu

Govt. doctors in UP to retire at 62 years
The Uttar Pradesh Government has extended the retirement age of doctors from 60 to 62 years.
Key Notes:
i. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in a meeting held at Lucknow on 30 May 2017.
ii. This move has been taken in the view of non-availability of medical practitioners across the state.
iii. The state requires more doctors to open new units at different hospitals, to set up a new hospital, to open a new 100-bed hospital and to run trauma centres and women care centres.
iv. According to UP health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that around 7,327 posts of doctors were lying vacant in the state against the sanctioned strength of 18,382.
v. The current decision of raising the retirement age is expected to reduce the shortage of doctors by about 1000.
About UP
♦ Capital: Lucknow
♦ Governor: Ram Naik
♦ National Park: Dhudwa NP

Telangana government to launch its own ‘T-Wallet’
‘T-Wallet’, the official digital wallet of Telangana State was launched on June 1, 2017 by Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao.
Features of ‘T-Wallet’:
i. T Wallet is available as an ‘Any Time, Any Where’ digital payment option for everyone.
ii. Citizens can use T Wallet to make payments for both Government and Private transactions.
iii. It has been integrated with various Government departments and services such as Mee Seva, GHMC, HMWSSB, TSNPDCL, TSSPDCL, RTA.
iv. T Wallet can be accessed through Online Web Browser, Smart Phone, Feature Phone and even No phone.
v. Citizens with feature phone or no Phone can use Mee Seva centres to open T Wallet, Load money into wallet and make payments.
vi. It supports Telugu & Urdu besides English.There is no service charge for using T Wallet.
vii. T Wallet uses two factor authentication through Aadhaar + Biometric or Aadhaar + OTP to Aadhaar linked mobile number, for feature phone and no phone users.
viii. It is hosted on Microsoft Azure platform.





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

India ranked 137th in the Global Peace Index 2017
India has ranked 137th out of 163 countries on Global Peace Index 2017 published by The Institute of Economics and Peace. This is the eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI).
Top 5 Most Peaceful Countries as per 2017 Global Peace Index:

RankCountry
1stIceland
2ndNew Zealand
3rdPortugal
4thAustria
5thDenmark

BANKING & FINANCE

India’s GDP in Q4 grows 6.1%, loses fastest growing economy tag
As per Government data released on May 31, 2017, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at 6.1% year-on-year in fourth quarter of financial year 2016-17 i.e. during January 2017 to March 2017.
i. Owing to this lower number; India lost the fastest growing economy tag to Chinese economy, which grew at 6.9% during January 2017 to March 2017.
ii. The Q4 GDP growth was lower than the general expectation. Analysts believe that demonetisation drive of Government, weighed down on the Q4 GDP numbers, as it was the first full quarter post demonetisation.

India signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 36 Million for “Himachal Pradesh Public Financial Management Capacity Building Program”
On June 1, 2017, Indian Government signed USD 36 million loan agreement with World Bank for Himachal Pradesh Public Financial Management Capacity Building Program in New Delhi.
Objective and Expected Benefits:
i. The objective of the project is to improve the efficiency of Public Expenditure Management and Tax Administration in Himachal Pradesh.
ii. The Program is expected to contribute to enhancing efficiency of key departments, improving budget credibility, strengthening systems and procedures to improve fiscal discipline, improving revenue administration to increase fiscal space, and targeted organizational reforms including human resource reforms.
iii. The programme has been planned for 5 years duration with a total outlay of $45 million. USD 36 million will be procured through this agreement, whereas remaining amount will be drawn from state budget.

SEBI bars Cypress Money from acting as Investment Advisor
Markets regulator SEBI has barred Cypress Money from acting as Investment Advisor. SEBI found guilty of providing unauthorized trading tips to investors.
Key Points:
i. SEBI found that the entities were acting as investment advisors and research analyst without securing registration from the regulator.
ii. By indulging in such activities, they have violated the regulator’s investment advisors as well as research analyst services norms.
iii. Accordingly, these entities have been ordered “to cease and desist” from acting as investment advisor or research analyst as well as undertaking such activities in the securities market, directly or indirectly.
iv. The firm and its partners asked to immediately withdraw and remove all advertisements, representations and the like in relation to their investment advisory or any unregistered activity in the securities market.
About SEBI
♦ Formed: 12th April 1988
♦ HQ: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ CEO: Ajay Tyagi




BUSINESS

India is world’s third largest Aviation Market
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha  has delivered an statement India becomes the world’s third largest aviation market with passenger traffic of over 10 crore travelers reported for 2016-17 during an event on the achievements of the Ministry of Civil Aviation on the completion of three years of the NDA government.
♦ He is also added that schemes like government’s key aviation sector scheme – the regional connectivity scheme  will allow India to have 200 plus airports in the next 10-15 years.
♦  Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has mentioned  that under National Civil Aviation Policy 2016, his ministry has worked towards restructuring the aviation ecosystem for “affordable and convenient flying for everyone”.
Civil Aviation Minister Raju indicated the following
i. Average or median air fares fell by 18 percent during 2016-17.
ii. Scheduled domestic flight movements rose from 7 lakh in 2014 to 8.2 lakh in 2016, an 8.2 percent compounded annual growth rate.
iii. The minister also added that there are currently 496 aircraft in operation with domestic airlines, and another 654 planes are under purchase orders.


AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Prestigious APQN Quality Award to NAAC for International Co-operation in Quality Assurance
National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) of India received prestigious International Award of Asia Pacific Quality Network (APQN) titled “APQN Quality Award 2017 for International Co-operation in Quality Assurance” on May 26, 2017 in Moscow, Russia.
♦ NAAC has been awarded for playing a pro-active role in international quality assurance scenario.
About APQN Quality Awards:
i. APQN Quality Awards are among the most prestigious International Awards in quality assurance of higher education.
ii. In the past, reputed organisations like QAA, UK, European Network – ENQA, HKCAVQ from Hong Kong, etc have received this award.
Quick Facts about National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC):
NAAC is an organisation that assesses andaccredits institutions of higher education in India.
♦ It is an autonomous body funded byUniversity Grants Commission.
♦  It was formed in year 1994.
♦  Headquarters of NAAC is located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
♦  D. P. Singh is the current Director of NAAC.





APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

UN General Assembly elects Slovakia’s Miroslav Lajcak as next president
On May 31, 2017, Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak was elected as the President of 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
i. Lajcak, will succeed Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson. The 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly will commence from September 12, 2017.
ii. In May 2016, the Slovak government had formally nominated Lajcak as a candidate for the position of UN Secretary-General.

Ramachandra Guha steps down as BCCI Administrator
Ramachandra Guha has stepped down as BCCI Administrator. He told the Supreme Court that he has presented his resignation to Vinod Rai on 28thMay, 2017
i. According to the reports, Guha has reportedly mentioned some personal reasons for his resignation.The SC has asked Guha to file plea in registry which will be taken up in July.
ii. Ramachandra Guha has appointed by the Supreme Court as one of the four administrators of BCCI.

Jet Airways appoints Vinay Dube as CEO
Vinay Dube as a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jet Airways on May 31st 2017. He succeeds Cramer Ball who is a former CEO of Jet Airways. Director Gaurang Shetty has been the acting CEO of the airline.
i. Vinay Dube is currently Senior Vice President-Asia Pacific with Delta Air Lines, will also head the airline’s executive management team.
ii. Dube’s selection might be an indication of Jet’s growing relations with Delta. Jet Airways has extensive codeshare partnership with Air France-KLM and Delta.
iii. In 2009, Vinay played a key role in establishing Delta’s industry-leading joint venture with Air France, KLM and Alitalia – a $10 billion enterprise and the first of its kind across the Atlantic.
About Vinay Dube
♦ Dube began his career with American Airlines as an operations research analyst and progressed to Manager of Network Forecasting Systems.
♦ He moved to Sabre Inc., a global leader in technology solutions and marketing services for the travel industry where he held various leadership positions in Strategy, Sales, Marketing, and Consulting.
♦ Dube has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Mathematics from Knox College and a Master’s degree in Operations Research from the University of North Carolina.

Nirupama Rao appointed Public Policy Fellow to US Think-Tank
Nirupama Rao has been appointed as the public policy fellow to a top American think-tank based in Washington.
Key Notes:
i. Nirupama was the former Indian Ambassador to the United States.
ii. She will be associated with the Wilson Centre’s Asia programme.
iii. Under this programme, she would be spending three months in residence at the Wilson Centre, which is a key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues, beginning in June 2017.
iv. Rao will also be working on a book project on Sino-Indian ties and will be contributing to the Wilson Centre’s activities on India, including its India in Asia Initiative.
About Nirupama Rao
Rao is a 1973 batch Indian Foreign Service officer.She was the India’s first woman ambassador to China.
♦ Besides China, she served as India’s Ambassador to several other countries including the United States, Sri Lanka and Peru.
♦ She has even taught at an undergraduate seminar at the Brown University called ‘India in the World’.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

‘SPARROW-ITS’ launched to fill ‘Annual Performance Appraisal Report’ in online
The government launched ‘SPARROW-ITS’ (Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window) on May 31st 2017. The purpose of above service is to enable the Indian Trade Service (ITS) officers to fill their Annual Performance Appraisal Report (APAR) online for the year 2016-17 onwards.
i. The SPARROW-ITS launched by Rita Teotia, Commerce Secretary in accordance with the Government of India’s policy to introduce online APAR for Group ‘A’ services.
ii. The APARs would be produced and transmitted online to the concerned officers for filling up of the self-examination.
iii. Then officer present self examination in online through Digitally Signed Signature (DSC) or through E-sign. The detailed procedures would be done online by the Reporting and Reviewing Officer by utilizing DSC or E-sign.
iv. The whole procedure of filling up of APAR would need to be finished by 31st December

Japan launches new satellite to improve GPS
Japan has launched a new satellite on 1st June 2017 to help build a high-precision geo-location system.
Key Notes:
i. It will be complement the US operated Global Positioning System (GPS).
ii. Japan aims to build its version with four satellites focusing on the country and wider region.
iii. The rocket carrying the Michibiki No. 2 satellite, H-IIA, was launched from the Tanegashima space center in Kagoshima Prefecture, Southern Japan.
iv. It plans to launch two more satellites by March 2018, after which at least one satellite will be flying over Japan for eight hours per day.
v. The satellite geolocation system that was initially designed for the US military power countless applications including car navigation and internet browsing on mobile phones.
vi. The Japanese government plans to launch a total of seven satellites into orbit and secure Japan’s own GPS system without depending on the US system by 2023.
About Japan
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Yen
♦ PM: Shinzo Abe

Maharashtra govt launches Mahaswayam portal for job seekers
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis  launched a web portal ‘Mahaswayam’ on May 31st 2017. This service will provide to job seekers, employers, entrepreneurs, and training institutes who can fetch details regarding skill development and employment.
i. In previous , the state government ran three different portals-
1.Maharashtra State Skill Development Society (MSSDS) portal for Skill Development,
2.’Maharojgar’ for employment and ‘Mahaswayamrojgar’ for entrepreneurship.
ii. These three have now been merged into ‘Mahaswayam’, for all beneficiaries as well as the state to keep a track of the demand and supply of workforce.
iii. At ‘Mahaswayam’, job seekers will be able to register themselves, search as well as apply for jobs, inquire for training, get information on self-employment and get details of job fairs.
iv. The state government also benefited to keep a count of total registered candidates, entrepreneurs, training institutes, number of skilled candidates, total of job getters and self-employed users.

Solar Probe Mission renamed to Honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will launch Solar Probe mission in year 2018, which will be humanity’s first mission to Sun. This mission has been renamed as Parker Solar Probe in honor of astrophysicist Eugene Parker.
About Eugene Parker:
i. In 1958, Parker published an article in the Astrophysical Journal called “Dynamics of the interplanetary gas and magnetic fields” in which he stated that there was high speed matter and magnetism constantly escaping the sun, and that it affected the planets and space throughout our solar system.
ii. This phenomenon, now known as the solar wind, has been proven to exist repeatedly through direct observation.
iii. Parker’s work broadened the understanding about how stars interact with the worlds that orbit them.
iv.  This is the first time NASA has named a spacecraft for a living individual.





BOOKS & AUTHORS

JRR Tolkien book Beren and Lúthien published after 100 years
‘Beren And Lúthien’ new book by ‘Lord of the Rings’ author J.R.R. Tolkien has been published, 100 years after it was first conceived.
About ‘Beren and Luthien’:
i. ‘Beren and Luthien’ has been described as a “very personal story” that J.R.R. Tolkien thought up after returning from the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
ii. It is a story about the fate of lovers Beren and Luthien, a mortal man and an immortal elf who together try to steal from the greatest of all evil beings, Melkor.
iii. The book has been edited byR.R. Tolkien’s son Christopher Tolkien.
iv. It features illustrations by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for his work on Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.
v. The book was published on June 1, 2017 by Harper Collins.


IMPORTANT DAYS

Global Day of Parents -June 1, 2017
The Global Day of Parents has been observed on the 1st of June every year. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 with resolution A/RES/66/292 and honours parents throughout the world.
Key Notes:
i. The Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
ii. The Global Day of Parents recognizes also that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children.
iii. It was first celebrated in 2013.

World Milk Day – June 1, 2017
World Milk Day has been observed on 1st of June every year.It is an initiative of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Key Points:
i. It has been observed to celebrate the contribution of the dairy industry around the globe on 1st June every year.
ii. The first World Milk Day was held in 2001.
iii. The theme of World Milk Day 2017 is Raise a glass for milk.
iv. The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry.
v. This date was chosen because a number of countries were already celebrating a national milk day on or around this time.