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CURRENT AFFAIRS 20 JUNE 2017

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

114-year-old Taj Palace becomes first Indian building to get trademark
114-year old Taj Palace (also referred to as Taj Mahal Palace) in Mumbai has become first Indian building to get itself trademarked, thereby joining the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House.
i. Taj Palace getting a trademark is a unique instance as the registration of an architectural design has never been attempted since the Trademark Act came into force in 1999.
ii. Now nobody can now use Taj Palace’s images for commercial purposes without paying licensing fee to the company.

Shri Piyush Goyal launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017
On June 19, 2017, Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017) which prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.
i. Objective: ECBC 2017 aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.
ii. Developed by: ECBC 2017 has been developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with technical support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the U.S. – India bilateral Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program.

Ministry of Culture launches ‘National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India’
Minister of Culture & Tourism Mahesh Sharma (Independent Charge) has launched the implementation of the National Mission on Cultural Mapping of India at Goverdhan Block, Mathura District of Uttar Pradesh on 17 June 2017.
Key Points:
i. The national mission on cultural mapping was launched at a Block level mega talent hunt programme (Sanskritik Pratibha Khoj Samaroh).
ii. This Mission is part of the ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ umbrella.
iii. It has been launched on a commemoration of the birth centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay.
iv. This Mission includes data mapping, demography building formalising the processes and bringing all the cultural activities under one web-based umbrella for better results.
v. The mission aims at converting the vast and widespread cultural canvas of India into an objective cultural map.
vi. It helps in designing a mechanism to fulfill the aspirations of the whole artist community of the nation.
vii. The Artist and Organisations also may register online at www.culturalmapping.nic.in
viii .The Cultural Mapping of India portal will serve a consolidated database of information about cultural assets and resources.
ix. It also preserves the rich cultural heritage of this country in the form of a cultural repository of artists and art forms.
x. The exercise will help the government to start the process of scaling up the efforts to cover all the Blocks of the Country.
xi. The scheme is set to cover all the Blocks of the Country, involving a total of 6.40 Lakh villages over the span of next 3 years




INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Record 65.6 Million People Displaced Worldwide Says UNHCR
UNHCR has recorded 65.6 million people displaced worldwide. Out of this some of them are either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced across the globe.The announcement was made on 19 June 2017 in the UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study.
i. Developing regions host 84% of the world’s refugees.There were 2 million new asylum claims in 2016. Germany received the highest number, followed by the United States, Italy and Turkey.
ii. As per the report a record 65.6 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2016. It is more than the population of Britain – and an increase of 300,000 over the previous year.

India ratifies United Nations Transports Internationaux Routiers(TIR) Convention
In a bid to ensure a secured supply chain and boost trade, Indian Government has ratified the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention on June 19, 2017. This convention is also called Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets.
i. TIR will enable India to implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, which it entered into this year.
ii. The convention has been developed and is managed by International Road Transport Union (IRU).At present, there are 70 parties to the convention, including the European Union.

Australia announces online visa applications for Indians from July 1
The Australian government has announced that Indian nationals can apply for a visitor visa online starting from 1st of July, 2017
Key Notes:
i. In the first four months of 2017 alone, the department of immigration and border protection granted more than 65,000 visitor visas to Indian nationals.
ii. It will offer benefits like the ability to check the status of applications lodged online, all through the department’s Immi Account portal.
iii. It will also offer benefits like 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application. 
Australia :
♦ Capital: Canberra
♦ Currency: Australian dollar





BANKING & FINANCE

IDBI initiated insolvency proceeding against Lanco, first among 12 accounts identified by RBI
Lanco Infratech said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has directed its lead lender IDBI Bank to initiate insolvency proceedings for the company under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
Key Notes:
i. The company is among 12 firms identified by the central bank with a combined debt of over Rs 1,50,000 crore, a quarter of the total NPAs, for proceedings under the newly enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
ii. According to Lanco Infratec has on March 31, 2016 the amounts mentioned shall be read as Rs 8,146 crore for fund based outstanding exposure and Rs 3,221 crore for non-fund based outstanding exposure.
iii. Last week, the RBI’s internal advisory committee (IAC) had sent the list of 12 accounts to bankers for immediate reference under IBC.
iv. These 12 accounts referred by RBI have an exposure of more than Rs 5,000 crore each, with 60 per cent or more classified as bad loans by banks as of March 2016.
vTotal NPAs of the banking system stand at over Rs 8 lakh crore, of which Rs 6 lakh crore is with public sector banks.
vi. According to bankers these accounts are with SBI (six of them), PNB, ICICI Bank, Union Bank, IDBI Bank and Corporation Bank.
IDBI Bank : 
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Mahesh Kumar Jain
♦ Tagline: Aao Sochein Bada




BUSINESS

Vedanta to set up steel plant in Jharkhand in JV with JSMDC
According to Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, a steel plant has come up at Manoharpur in West Singhbhum district on 19th June 2017.
Key Points:
i.The Vedanta group and Jharkhand Mineral Development Corporation (JSMDC) would jointly set up the plant.
ii. The total MoU of Rs 700crore has been signed and project proposals worth Rs 15 to 16,000 crore will be effective in July.
iii. The steel plant of West Singhbhum district is one of such projects.
iv. Priority would be given to mid-term MoUs that could start production within three years of implementation and generate employment.
v. The government has also plans to set up a world class airport in Dhalbhumgarh under Ghatsila sub-division of East Singhbum district.
vi. A survey report on the proposed airport at Dhalbhumgarh has been received and was under consideration for further action.

BankBazaar.com opens office in Malaysia
Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar has begun its operations in Malaysia to strengthen its presence in South East Asia.
Key Points:
i. BankBazaar has appointed former Visa employee VipinKalra to lead the business growth internationally.
ii. BankBazaar’s vision is to enable, simplify and improve the financial services value chain for consumers.
iii. BankBazaar announced an investment of Rs 5 crore in the Malaysian market and an additional Rs 10 crore in its Singapore business.
iv. Co-founder and CEO of BankBazaar.com is Adhil Shetty.
v. It will deploy a team of 30 people to support its expansion in Malaysia in addition to the 40-member Singapore team.
vi. The company also plans to begin its operations across Australia, Hong Kong, UAE and the Philippines over the next couple of years.
Malaysia:
♦ Capital: Kuala Lumpur
♦ Currency: Malaysian ringgit

Lockheed signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India
Lockheed Martin has signed an agreement with India’s Tata Advanced Systems on 19thof June 2017.
Key Points:
i. The agreement has been signed at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed to produce F-16 fighter planes in India
iiiF-16 production in India supports thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the U.S.
iv. It will also create new manufacturing jobs in India, and positions Indian industry at the center of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world.
v. Tata is already building airframe components for the C-130 military transport aircraft.
vi. The F-16 production partnership between the world’s largest defense contractor and India’s premier industrial house provides India to produce, operate and export F-16 Block 70 aircraft.
vii. It is the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter.





APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Govt ropes in Amitabh Bachchan to promote GST
The government has roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is scheduled to rolled out from July 1, 2017
Key Notes:
i. The Central Board of Excise and Customs will be making the 74-year-old Bachchan brand ambassador for GST.
ii.GST will simplify a web of taxes, regulations and border levies by subsuming an array of central and state levies including excise duty, service tax and VAT.
iii. A 40-second video featuring him has already been shot and is being circulated.
iv. According to the finance ministry GST is an initiative to create a unified national market.
v. In the video, Bachchan explains GST as a unifying force just like the three colours in the national flag.
vi. GST is an initiative to create ‘one nation, one tax, one market’.
vii. Ace badminton star PV Sindhu was previously the GST ambassador.
viii. The GST Council, that brings together the central and state governments.
ix .A four-rate structure that exempts or imposes a low rate of tax 5 per cent on essential items and top rate of 28 per cent on cars and consumer durables has been finalised. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 per cent.





SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit
On June 19, 2017, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also referred to as Mangalyaan, completed 1000 Earth days in Martian orbit and is still in good health.
i. The designed mission life of Mangalyaan was six months. Thus it has outlived its original lifespan by 5 times.
ii. During these 1000 days MOM has orbited Mars 388 times and has relayed back enormous data including over 715 images.

Dr. Harshvardhan Launches Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga” to connect people through Yoga for scientific healthy living
Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan has launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”. It is developed by the Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science& Technology in New Delhi on 19th of June.
Key Notes:
i. The purpose of the APP is to popularize Yoga and encourage people to participate in it for a scientifically healthy living.
ii. Practicing Yoga means of maintaining a healthy society in harmony with nature and fulfill developmental aspirations.
iii. The International Yoga Day 2017 creates awareness and encourages a scientifically healthy living.
iv. The App will be connected with Google Map where shared information can been seen by the users. The App “Celebrating Yoga (DST) can be downloaded from Google Play Store:
(a) Install and open the app.
(b) Share your Yoga event and submit
(c) View your photos and locations on Google Map
v. The App will enable in capturing both mass events being organized in   public places, schools and office complexes across the country

China planning to send mini-ecosystems to Moon
China is planning to send mini-ecosystems which contain potato seeds and silkworm eggs – to the Moon in 2018.
Key points:
i. It has been done to study how the organisms develop on the lunar surface.
ii. It is a 3-kilogramme mini-ecosystem that is developed by research teams led by Chongqing University in China.
iii. According to the Global Space Exploration Conference it will be sent to the Moon by the Chang’e 4 that is scheduled to launch in 2018.
iv. It is an 18-centimetre-tall cylinder which will carry potato seeds and silkworm eggs to be incubated.
v. According to the Zhang Yuanxun, who designed the ecosystem said the silkworms will hatch and create carbon dioxide, while the potato plants will generate oxygen.
vi. As per XieGengxin the chief designer on the project, said their mission is to prepare for future moon landings and possible human inhabitants.





SPORTS

Pakistan beat India by 180 runs to win ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final
Pakistan beat India by 180 runs, wins ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on 18th of July 2017. It was held in Birminghan, London.
Key Notes:
i. The credit goes to Fakhar Zaman, he scored 114 runs in the ICC final.
ii. Sarfraz Ahmed, captain of Pakistan team has thanked the Almighty for winning the tournament.
iii. Pakistan has made a history as they have won the ICC Champions Trophy for the firsttime ever.
iv. Virat Kohli congratulates Pakistan cricket team and their fans.
v. Man of the Tournament and the Golden Ball Award winner (13 wickets) has gone to Hasan Ali.
vi. The Man of the Match is awarded to Fakhar Zaman.
vii. Golden Bat Award for scoring 338 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 goes to Shikhar Dhawan.

Iranian freestylers claim Junior Asian Championships title
The Iranian wrestlers won 7 medals (three gold, two silver and two bronze) and 69 points to win the Junior Asian Championships title.
♦ Wrestlers from Uzbekistan notched 67 points to rank second, and were followed by Kazakhstan who racked up 53 points.
♦ Junior Asian Wrestling Championship was held in Taichung, Taiwan, from 15th – 18th June 2017.
♦ Male and female freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers from various Asian countries, including China, Chinese Taipei, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea and Uzbekistan participated in this tournament.
Achievements of Indian wrestlers 
i. On June 16, 2017, India bagged five medals, including a gold in the 2017 Asian Junior Wrestling Championships in Taiwan.
ii. India’s female wrestlers pocketed three medals while two came in the male greco-roman division.
iii. India’s gold came in the women’s 51kg freestyle category through Puja. Besides Puja, Sonu clinched a silver medal in the 44kg category while Manu claimed a bronze in the 59kg division.
iv. Satish won a silver in the 120kg greco-roman style while Manish claimed a bronze in the 50kg category.
v. On the final day of the Junior Asian Championships, Indian wrestlers clinched three medals, including a gold by Sharvan in men’s 60kg freestyle category.
vi. Deepak Punia claimed the silver medal in the 84kg freestyle, while Karan settled for a bronze in 66kg freestyle.

Srikanth wins Indonesia Open Super Series Final
Indonesia Open 2017 Super Series Badminton tournament was held from 12th to 18thJune 2017, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
i. Indian badminton player Kidambi Srikanth won his third Super Series title, lifting the Indonesia Open men’s singles trophy. Kidambi Srikanth had a straight-game victory over Kazumasa Sakai of Japan in the final
ii. He had defeated world no. 1 Son Wan Ho of South Korea in the semi finals.Srikanth outplayed Sakai, in just 37 minutes to take home a cheque of $75,000.
Winners of Indonesia Open 2017:

CategoryWinners
Men’ SinglesKidambi Srikanth (India)
Men’s DoublesLi Junhui (China) / Liu Yuchen (China)
Women’s SinglesSayako Sato (Japan)
Women’s DoublesChen Quingchen (China) / Jia Yifan (China)
Mixed DoublesTontowi Ahmad (Indonesia) / Liliyana Natsir (Indonesia)




NECROLOGY

Swami Atmasthanandaji, president of Ramakrishna Mission passes away
Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission President Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj passed away on 18th of June 2017. He was 98.
Key Notes:
i. The cremation will take place at Belur Math on Monday at about 9.30 p.m and the gates of Belur Math will remain open tonight and through Monday till the last rites are completed.
ii. He was born on May 1919, at Sabajpur near Dhaka.
iii. He received “emantradiksha” from Swami Vijnananandaji Maharaj (a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna) in 1938 and joined the Ramakrishna Order at Belur Math in 1941 at the age of 22.
iv. In 1945, Swami Virajanandaji Maharaj, the sixth President of the Order, gave him Brahmacharya vows and in 1949, Sannyasa vows and the name Swami Atmasthananda.
v. He became the General Secretary of the Math and Mission in 1992 and became vice-president





IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
The International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is observed on 19th of June 2017.
Key Notes:
i. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 19 June of each year the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
ii. The theme of 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict is Preventing Sexual Violence Crimes through Justice and Deterrence”.
iii. It has been observed to raise awareness of the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence and to pay tribute to all those who have courageously devoted their lives to and lost their lives in standing up for the eradication of these crimes.
iv. The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008).
vi. Under which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peacebuilding.
vii. International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York.