Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for the Month of June 2019 – Set 2

  • Fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held in New Delhi. It was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog comprises the Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories with Legislatures and Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and four Union Ministers as ex-officio members and three Union Ministers as Special Invitees.
  • Om Birla is elected As 17th Lok Sabha Speaker. He is a two-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) from Rajasthan and was elected to the 17th Lok Sabha from the Kota-Bundi constituency.
  • According to the President of India, construction or upgradation of about 35,000 kilometres of national highways are to be undertaken by 2022 under the ‘Bharatmala Project’. Also, under the ‘Sagarmala Project’, a network of good quality roads are to be constructed in coastal areas and areas adjoining ports.
  • Amitabh Kant gets two year extension as NITI Aayog CEO. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the extension beyond June 30, 2019 to June 30, 2021.
  • The government has developed a National Strategic Plan with the goal of ending Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025. Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated that India accounts for 27.4 lakh estimated new TB cases annually, which is the highest in terms of absolute numbers.
  • Kerala has topped in NITI Aayog’s Health Index followed by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Also, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand showed the maximum improvement of health outcomes from base to reference year. The health index has been developed by NITI Aayog, with technical assistance from the World Bank, in consultation with the ministry of health and family welfare.
  • In its latest Global Economic Outlook, the global rating agency Fitch lowers India’s growth forecast from 6.8% to 6.6% for the current fiscal, as manufacturing and agriculture sectors showed signs of slowing down over the past year.
  • The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yury Trutnev visited India and addressed a gathering of business persons and industrialist in Mumbai and invited Indian Investments in the Russian Far East.
  • Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the merger of the Indiabulls Housing Finance and Lakshmi Vilas Bank. Lakshmi Vilas Bank is going to merge with Indiabulls Housing Finance in a share swap deal with intent to create a combined entity with a larger capital base and wider geographical reach.
  • Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Deputy Governor Viral Acharya has quit six months before the scheduled end of his term. He had joined RBI on January 23, 2017.
  • The Lok Sabha has approved the resolution seeking an extension of President Rule in Jammu and Kashmir for a further period of six months with effect from 3rd July 2019. The lower house also gave its approval to the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Bill 2019. On seeking Lok Sabha’s nod to extend President’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir, the government has spent Rs.2,307 crore to security apparatus.
  • The Department of Higher Education of HRD Ministry has finalized and released a five year vision plan named Education Quality Upgradation and Inclusion Programme. The Expert Groups have set the following goals for higher education sector:
    • Double the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education and resolve the geographically and socially skewed access on higher education institutions in India.
    • Upgrade the quality of education to global standards. Position at least 50 Indian institutions among the top 1000 global universities.
  • NITI Aayog, the government’s think tank, has proposed that only electric vehicles should be sold after 2030. The move is to expand the scope of the clean fuel technology beyond two- and three-wheelers.  It also seeks to fix responsibility for different ministries. It had asked the Ministry of road transport and highways to prepare a framework to phase out the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030.
  • The Government of India has reduced interest rates for small savings schemes by 10 basis points for the July-September quarter of the 2019-20 financial year. Some schemes that will fetch lower interest rates are Kisan Vikas Patra(7.6%), Public Provident Fund (7.9%), Sukanya Samriddhi Account(8.4%).
  • In the recently released QS World University rankings for 2020, IIT-Bombay which is ranked 152 is India’s best university for the second year in a row.The next two Indian Universities in the top 200 are IIT Delhi (182) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru (184).There are a total of 23 Indian institutions in the top 1,000.
  • Krishnaswamy Natarajan has been appointed as the next director general of Indian Coast Guard. He will replace the incumbent Rajendra Singh who is retiring after three and a half years of illustrious service.
  • Suman Rao from Rajasthan Crowned Miss India 2019. She is from Rajasthan and has won the Femina Miss India World 2019 beauty pageant during a star-studded ceremony at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.
  • Indian engineer Nitesh Kumar Jangir wins Innovation for Sustainable Development Award for his low-cost neonatal breathing device – Saans. He created Saans as a breathing support device to avoid deaths of premature babies from respiratory distress syndrome due to a lack of immediate access to complex medical equipment. He won the 2019 Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation for Sustainable Development Award in London.
  • Sameer Gulati bags world’s best coder award at TechGig Code Gladiators 2019. The event was held at Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai. The event featured 10 hackathon theme rounds on technologies which include Chatbots, Robotic Process Automation, Fintech, Software Testing, and New Commerce. Around 2.6 lakh coders fought for 87 days to claim the title this year.
  • The 2019 G20 Osaka summit will be the fourteenth meeting of Group of Twenty (G20). It will be held on 28–29 June 2019 at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka. It will be the first G20 summit to be hosted in Japan. The theme of the summit is Human centered future society. 19 countries, the European Union and several special invitees are participating at the Osaka Summit.
  • Facebook launches crypto currency “Libra”. This will allow its billions of users to make financial transactions across the globe. Libra is being touted as a means to connect people who do not have access to traditional banking platforms. 
  • Saudi Arabia has become the 1st Arab country to be granted full membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It becomes the 39th member of FATF during the group’s Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Florida. FATF is responsible for issuing international standards, policies and best practices to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation.
  • Qu Dongyu becomes the first Chinese national to head the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Qu Dongyu will replace Brazil’s Jose Graziano da Silva. He is a biologist by training and has 30 years of experience in developing digital technologies in agriculture and introducing micro credit in rural areas.
  • The International Day of Yoga is being observed on 21st June every year. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. This is the 5th Edition of International Day of Yoga. Theme for 2019 is Yoga for Climate Action.
  • World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world on 20th June to raise awareness about the precarious condition of refugees around the world who have been forced to leave their homes due to war, persecution and conflict The theme for 2019 is Step With Refugees — Take A Step on World Refugee Day.
  • Anupam Kher pens his autobiography: “Lessons Life Taught Me Unknowingly”. He is one of the most prolific actors in the Indian film industry who has acted in over 530 films in several languages, both in India and the West.
  • NASA recently announced its plan to launch Dragonfly drone helicopter to Saturn’s largest moon Titan in search of building blocks of life. Dragonfly will launch be launched in 2026 and will arrive at its destination in 2034.
  • Narinder Batra, President of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was elected as a member of International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He secured 58 votes out of 62 polled. He was elected to prestigious seat during the 134th IOC Session being held in Lausanne. He now has a rare distinction of becoming a IOC member, while heading a National Olympic Committee as well as an international federation. He is also the first Indian to have this distinction.
  • Joshna Chinappa wins record 17th National Title in Squash. He has made a record for the most number of national titles after beating her Tamil Nadu state-mate Sunayna Kuruvilla.
  • Cricketer MS Dhoni is the brand ambassador for Coca-Cola’s Powerade. The 3 -year endorsement deal for sports drink pegged at about Rs 15 crore.
  • India’s ace cueist Pankaj Advani has clinched the 35th men’s Asian Snooker Championship held in Doha.
  • Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton wins France Grand Prix 2019. This is his sixth triumph in eight races in this season.
  • Virat Kohli becomes the fastest cricketer to score 20,000 international runs. He took just 417 innings to reach the milestone and bettered the time taken by legends such as Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.
  • Bangladesh has recorded the second highest successful chase in World Cup history. The Bangladesh cricket team chased down the target of 322 against West Indies. Bangladesh (322/3) beat West Indies (321/8) by 7 wickets in Taunton. The previous second highest successful chase in World Cup was also recorded by Bangladesh when they chased down the target of 319 against Scotland in 2015. Notably, it is also Bangladesh’s highest ever chase in ODI cricket.
  • India’s Pranati Nayak won a bronze medal at the Senior Asian Artistic Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  She secured sixth place and came up with a score of 13.384 to win the bronze medal. She scored 13.400 and 13.367 in the first and second vault score recently.
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