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CURRENT AFFAIRS 07 JUNE 2017

 

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

First rural LED street lighting project to take off in Andhra Pradesh
Central government will be retrofitting 10 lakh conventional street lights with energy efficient LED lights in Gram Panchayats of 7 districts in Andhra Pradesh. This will be India’s first rural LED Street Lighting Project.
i. The project will be carried out through the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) under the Ministry of Power.
ii. Gram panchayats of the districts of Guntur, Prakasham, Nellore, Kurnool, Kadapa, Ananthapur and Chittoor will be covered under the first phase of the project.
iii. French Development Agency Agence Française de Développement (AFD) will fund the entire upfront capital cost of this project.

MoU signed between Central Industrial Security Force & National Skill Development Corporation
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF)and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)has signed an MoU on 5th of June.
Key Notes:
i. The MoU aims at assisting retiring, retired, serving low medical category (LMC) CISF personnel to acquire additional skills and facilitate their resettlement through a second career.
ii. The MoU will remain in effect for a period of 5 years starting from 5th June, 2017 till 5th June, 2022, subject to a mid-term review after 3 years.
iii. It will also provide welfare to wards, family members of serving CISF personnel, retired personnel and personnel killed in action.
iv. The MoU provides that CISF, NSDC and NSDF will work together at CISF units all across the country.
v. Under this MoU the Family Welfare Centres are functional and other CISF locations with an objective to impart skill development programs under the Skill India Mission.
vi. Its main purpose is the implementation of CISF Multi Skill Development Institute Projects.
vii. The Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy and the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju were also present during the occasion.





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Montenegro becomes NATO’s 29th member
On June 5, 2017, Montenegro officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and thereby became the 29th member country of NATO.
i. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department.
ii. The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO’s steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged.
iii. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Balkans
Quick Facts about Montenegro:
♦ Capital: Podgorica
♦ Currency:  Euro
♦ Current President: Filip Vujanovic
♦ Current Prime Minister: Dusko Markovic

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt & Bahrain cut ties with Qatar
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar in the worst diplomatic crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decades.
Key Notes:
i. The three Gulf countries and Egypt charge with Qatar for supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.
ii. According to Saudi state mediaQatar ejected from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen over alleged support of ISIS and al-Qaeda.
iii. Qatar which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia has rejected the accusations.
iv. Qatar called them unjustified and baseless.
v. Yemen and the Maldives also cut ties with Qatar.
vi. Qatari citizens have been told that they have 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, and those countries also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar.
vii. Kuwait, Oman and only Gulf Cooperation Council members are remaining with ties to Qatar.
viii. Emirates airline says it’s suspending all flights to and from Doha starting Tuesday morning.
About Qatar
♦ Capital: Doha
♦ Currency: Rial
♦ Prime Minister: Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

World’s fastest elevator to be installed in skyscraper complex building in China
The world’s fastest elevator that can operate at a record breaking speed of 1,260 metres per minute is set to been installed in a skyscraper complex building in China.
Key Notes:
i. The speed was recorded during a test of the elevator in Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in China.
ii. The achievement was recorded by China’s National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre, a public accreditation body of elevators.
iii. The elevator has various safety features including brake equipment using materials with outstanding heat resistance.
iv. An air pressure adjustment technology eases ear blockage by reducing the changes in air pressure inside elevator car.
v. Active guide rollers installed in the elevator absorbs vibration during high speed operation, making the ride comfortable


BANKING & FINANCE

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for USD 39.2 Million for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery”
An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery” has been signed on 6th of June.
Key Points:
i. The programme cost is 49-million dollar out of which 39.2-million dollar will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget.
ii. The programme duration is five years.
iii. The main objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.
iv. The project seeks to enable citizens to access services under the RTPS Act in a timely, efficient, and accountable manner.
About World Bank:
♦  Formation: July 1945
♦  Headquarters: Washington, D.C.U.S.
♦  President:  Jim Yong Kim

Vijaya Bank set to develop 100 digital villages
Vijaya Bank is set up to develop 100 digital villages in various States of the country.Its aim is to promote digital banking among the rural population.
Key Points:
i. Vijaya Bank has inaugurated its 2031st ATM at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in the city of Vijayawada on 6th of June, 2017
ii. Director of Vijaya bank B.S.Rama Rao has said that Vijaya Bank is the only public sector financial institution to develop digital villages with focus on rural areas.
iii. Vijaya Bank has already developed five villages including the one in Guntur district.
iv. It will provide internet, free Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile payment facilities, ATM cards, online banking and others besides educating the villagers through door-to-door campaign.
v. Vijaya Bank also opens bank accounts to all the eligible villagers including children and encourages them to make transactions digitally.
vi. The bank has about 13 lakh mobile users and about eight lakh Internet banking users.
About Vijaya Bank
♦ Founded: 1931
♦ HQ: Bengaluru India
♦ Founder: Sri Attavara Balakrishna Shetty
♦ MD & CEO: Dr. Kishore Sansi


BUSINESS

Nepal signs agreement for Mega Hydroprojects with Chinese Firm
Nepal has signed an agreement with a Chinese company to develop a 1,200 MW hydroelectric project on 5th of June.
Key Points:
i. It is the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its everlasting power crisis.
iiNepal’s Ministry of Energy had signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of teh much-touted 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project.
iii. As per the agreement, the storage project would be built under engineering, procurement, construction and finance (EPCF) model.
iv. Under this model, CGGC will help arrange funds required to develop the project.
v. CGGC will also undertake the overall responsibility of executing the project.
vi. The agreement was signed in the presence of Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong.
vii. The government has allocated a budget of Rs 5.33 billion for the projects development in the current fiscal year.
Nepal :
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee





AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Authors Neelakantan, Satpathy to be honoured with Kalinga Awards
Popular writer Anand Neelakantan, Odia poet Haraprasad Das and author Paramita Satpathy have been announced as winners of this year’s Kalinga Literary Awards.
i. Anand Neelakantan will be conferred Kalinga International Literary Award.
ii. Haraprasad Das will be conferred Kalinga Literary Youth Award.
iii. Paramita Satpathy will be conferred Kalinga Karubaki Award.


APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Bollywood actress Dia Mirza appointed Wildlife Trust of India’s brand ambassador
Actress Dia Mirza on World Environment Day has appointed brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) on 5th of June, 2017
Key Points:
i. Dia has lent her support to WTI’s wildlife conservation endeavours for several years now and is a founder-member of the organisation’s Club Nature initiative.
ii. Using her celebrity status, the actress has been an avid advocate for nature conservation in India to bring conservation issues before a wider, more mainstream audience.
iii. She has been the face of several significant environmental and humanitarian campaigns and was last year made an ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission’s ‘Swachh Saathi’ programme.
iv. Dia said she is proud to be part of the team that’s securing India’s natural heritag


ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

NHB approves merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance
NHB approves merger between Dewan Housing group companies Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance.
Key Points:
i. Aadhar Housing Finance Ltd and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance Ltd will going to be merged into one to create a pan-India entity with Rs 3,300 crore of loan assets for financing affordable housing.
ii. The merger plan received backing from International Finance Company (IFC), which holds 20% in Aadhar Finance.
iii. It provides financial support to India’s scheme of promoting dwelling units for low income families.
iv. IFC would also raise its investment and hold 18% in the merged entity.
v. Aadhar Housing is present in northern and western India while DHFL Vysya operates in the southern market.
vi. The government’s ‘Housing for All by 2022’ aims to provide finances for two crore affordable houses in urban areas and four crore affordable dwelling units in rural locations.
vii. Aadhar Housing chief executive is Deo Shankar Tripathi





SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Wildlife Board okays Andamans’ Rutland Island for DRDO’s missile testing project
Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife has given clearance for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO’s) long-range missile test facility at South Andamans’ Rutland Island. This clearance was pending since year 2012.
i. The proposal involves diversion of 49.978 acres forest of which 0.84 ha falls in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park and 49.138 ha reserve forest within 10km of the Eco Sensitive Zone.
ii. The island is very rich in marine life and was once home to the indigenous Andamanese group ‘Jangil’ or Rutland Jarawa.

IMD to give malaria, chikungunya alerts
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced on 6th of June that it is working on a forecasting system that will give 15-day alerts on the likelihood of a malaria or chikungunya outbreak across different regions of the country.
Key Notes:
i. IMD will release five-day and 15-day forecasts of heat-waves, cold waves and disease outbreaks.
iiIMD will offer this service by collaborating with the Medical Council of India and the Red Cross Society.
iii. The services are aimed at providing custom, weather-related information to cope with challenges of a global warming and its associated impact of weather.
iv. The IMD’s National Climate Centre in Pune will be reorganized to offer such climate services.
v. At present, the pune Centre is tasked with forecasting the monsoon and documenting monsoon-related statistics.
About IMD
♦ IMD Director General: K.J. Ramesh
♦ Formed: 1875
♦ HQ: New Delhi

China successfully tests solid-fuel variable ramjet engine
China has successfully tested a solid-fuel variable flow ramjet engine that could enhance the real combat ability of the country’s stealth aircraft and boost firing range of missiles on 6th of June, 2017
Key Points:
iChina Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has successfully conducted two flight tests with the ramjet engine, state-run Global Times.
ii. The solid-fuel ramjet engine is a member of the ramjet engine family, which has the advantage of low cost, high power, and high controllability with compact size.
About China
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ PM : Li Kequiang


ENVIRONMENT

India’s biodiversity riches grow by 499 species
As per Animal Discoveries 2016, New Species and Records’, brought out by the Zoological Survey of India and Plant Discoveries 2016’, by the Botanical Survey of India, 499 new species of animals and plants (313 species of animal and 186 of plants) have been discovered from various areas of India last year.
i. Of the new animal species, 258 are invertebrates and 55 vertebrates.As many as 97 species of insects, 27 of fish, 12 species of amphibians, 10 of Platyhelminthes, nine of Crustacea and six of reptiles have been discovered.
ii. Along with 186 new species, scientists have discovered seven new genera, four subspecies and nine new varieties from India, taking the number to 206.

Astronomers find hottest giant planet Kelt-9b
According to a study published in the journal Nature the planet called KELT-9b is hotter than most stars.
Key Notes:
i. KELT-9b is 2.8 times more massive than Jupiter, but only half as dense.
ii. The KELT-9b planet was found using the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope.
iii. The planet is so close to the star that its surface reaches more than 4,300C (7800F), making it the hottest giant planet ever found.
iv. The twin telescopes focused on a star called Kelt-9 which at 10,000C (18000F) is nearly twice as hot as the sun.


SPORTS

Real Madrid make history, thrash Juve 4-1 to retain Champions League title
On June 4, 2017, Real Madrid retained the UEFA Champions League title (Football Competition) by defeating Juventus in the final match at Cardiff, UK.
i. Real Madrid has won the UEFA Champions League title for a record 12th
ii. For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo scored 2 goals, whereas Casemiro and Marco Asensio score done goal each.
iii. Ronaldo finished as the competition’s top scorer.
iv. This victory means, Real Madrid are the first team to successfully defend the trophy in the Champions League era. AC Milan were the last team to retain Europe’s top prize when they triumphed in 1989 and 1990.


NECROLOGY

Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo dies aged 86
Juan Goytisolo the winner of Spain’s Cervantes prize had died at the age of 86.
Key Notes:
i. Juan Goytisolo, a Spanish novelist known for his experimental novels and political essays.
ii. He died at his home in Marrakech Morocco on 4th of June.
iii. Goytisolo won Spain’s most prestigious literary award, the Cervantes Prize, in 2014.

Veteran Tamil politician Era Sezhiyan no more
Veteran politician and former Parliamentarian Era Sezhiyan has passed away on 6th of June. He was 95.
Key Notes:
i. EraSezhiyan was also a versatile writer.
ii. He was born on 28th April 1923 at Thirukkannapuram, Thanjavur District of Madras Province presently in Tamil Nadu.
iii. He developed as one of the hard-working MPs who won praise from both sides of the political divide.
iv. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 on DMK ticket.
v. He quit active party politics in 2001 but continued to write on political and national affairs.





BOOKS & AUTHORS

President of India receives first copies of book Lalan Shah Fakir KeGeet and DVD of selected songs of Lalan Shah Fakir
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has received the first copies of book ‘Lalan Shah Fakir KeGeet’ written by Prof. Muchkund Dubey and DVD of selected songs of Lalan Shah Fakir on 3rd of June 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Key Points:
i. The President had congratulated Prof. Muchkund Dubey who had served as High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh for his pioneering work.
ii. He also given an opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to Lalan Shah Fakir, a great saint, poet and social reformer.
iii. He also congratulated the Sahitya Academi for publishing the book and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for supporting the project of producing a DVD containing the Hindi rendering by Begum Farida Parveen.
iv. The President expressed his happiness at the presence of renowned guests from Bangladesh Mr. Hassanul HaqInu, Minister of Information of the Government of Bangladesh and Professor Anisuzzaman, Chairman of Bangla Academy, Government of Bangladesh.