Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for the Month of June 2019 – Set 1

  • The first session of the newly-elected Lok Sabha has been convened from 17th June to 26th July 2019. The new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present its first Budget on 05th July 2019. Budget will be presented by Nirmala Sitharaman, who is Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs. The 40-day session will have 30 sittings. Nirmala Sitharaman is the only woman to hold the portfolio (Minister of Finance) after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
  • The Armed Forces Tribunal cleared the way for Vice Admiral Karambir Singh to become the next Navy Chief, while it deferred for four weeks the matter of Vice Admiral Bimal Verma which seeks to quash Singh’s appointment.
  • On the occasion of the fifth Telangana State Formation Day on 02nd June 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have extended their wishes to the people of the state. Telangana Formation Day is celebrated on the formation of Telangana State on 2nd June every year since 2014. The State celebrates the occasion with formal events across the districts. K Chandrashekhar Rao is the first and present CM of Telangana. Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana. The current governor of Telangana is ESL Narasimhan.
  • Ajit Doval has been granted cabinet status and five more years as the National Security Adviser (NSA). He has been given cabinet rank in recognition of his contribution in the national security domain.
  • Financial Literacy Week 2019 to be observed from June 3-7 on the theme of “Farmers” and how they benefit by being a part of the formal banking system. Financial Literacy Week is an initiative of RBI to promote awareness of key topics every year through a focused campaign.
  • Maldives will confer ‘Nishan Izzuddin’ award on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is the highest award to honour foreign nationals.
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the two-day meeting of G-20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors in Japan. This will be the first overseas visit of Sitharaman as the Finance Minister.
  • In a first, Chandrani Murmu, a 25-year-old engineering graduate from Odisha has become the youngest Member of Parliament to the 17th Lok Sabha. Odisha has a total of seven women MPs, making it the first state ever to have 33 percent or the largest share of women MPs of its total of 21 seats.
  • India ranked 95th out of 129 countries in a new index that measures global gender equality looking at aspects such as poverty, health, education, literacy, political representation and equality at the workplace. The list was topped by Denmark. Chad was placed at bottom most position (129th). The Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index has been developed by UK-based Equal Measures 2030, a joint effort of regional and global organisations including African Women’s Development and Communication Network, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and International Women’s Health Coalition.
  • An analysis of traffic congestion in more than 400 cities across six continents has found that commuters in Mumbai spent the most time on the road in 2018. Mumbai ranked first in the study, ‘Traffic Index-2018’, compiled by location technology specialist TomTom, with a congestion level of 65%, while New Delhi ranked fourth with congestion of 58%.
  • To encourage digital payments, the Nandan Nilekani committee has suggested a host of measures, including elimination of charges, round-the-clock RTGS and NEFT facility, and duty-free import of point-of-sales machines. The committee, which was appointed by the RBI had submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das last month.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has launched a Fiscal Performance Index (FPI) to assess state and central budgets. The Index incorporates qualitative assessments of revenue expenditure, capital expenditure, revenues, fiscal prudence and the level of public debt arrive at a more holistic picture of fiscal performance than the fiscal deficit to GDP ratio according to the CII.
  • The Reserve Bank of India constituted a six-member committee to review the ATM interchange fee structure with a “view to increase the ATM deployment in the unbanked areas”. The committee will be led by V G Kannan, Chief Executive, Indian Banks Association.
  • Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), which retails brands such as Louis Philippe, Peter England and Van Heusen, has acquired ethnic apparel and lifestyle retailer ‘Jaypore E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd’ which sells ethnic fashion merchandise under its own brand ‘Jaypore’ for ₹110 crore.
  • India’s rank has slipped five places to 141 among 163 countries on the Global Peace Index 2019. Iceland remains the most peaceful country and Afghanistan the least peaceful nation, as per the report by Australian think tank Institute for Economics & Peace.
  • US terminated India’s preferential trade status under GSP programme. Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme. India was the largest beneficiary of the GSP programme in 2017 with $5.7 billion in imports to the US given duty-free status. The move was taken on determining that India has not committed to provide “equitable and reasonable access to its markets” for the US.
  • Farmers in the age group of 18-40 years will have to contribute 100 rupees per month under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Pension Yojana that seeks to provide a minimum fixed monthly pension of  Rs 3,000 on the attainment of 60 years. The central government will also contribute an equal amount to the pension fund to be managed by the LIC. The government aims to cover 5 crore beneficiaries in the first three years under the given scheme.
  • According to the United Nations, India received foreign direct investments worth $42 billion in 2018, helped by robust inflows in manufacturing, communication, and financial services.
  • Akshaya Patra, a non-profit organisation, has been awarded the BBC World Service Global Champion Award. It runs one of the world’s largest school meals project in India. The award recognises a project or person who is changing the way the world produces, processes, consumes or thinks about food for the better.
  • IT Industry icon Azim Premji will retire as Executive Chairman of Wipro with effect from 30th July 2019. He led the company for 53 years. He will continue to serve on the board as Non-Executive Director and founder Chairman. His son Rishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer and a board member will take over as the Executive Chairman of the company. 
  • Renowned author Amitav Ghosh was awarded the 54th Jnanpith Awardfor his contribution to the enrichment of Indian Literature in English. He was conferred the award by former governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
  • Sahitya Akademi, India’s national academy of letters has announced a list of 22 winners of the Bal Sahitya Puraskar and 23 recipients of the Yuva Puraskar for the year 2019. The selection of awardees in Agartala has been approved by the Executive Board of the Akademi, under the chairmanship of its President, Chandrashekhar Kambar. The Bal Puraskar awaard is to be conferred upon the winners on the Children’s Day. The day for the Yuva Puraskar is yet to be decided.
  • Veteran director, playwright and actor Girish Karnad passed away at the age of 81 on 10th June 2019. Karnad died due to a prolonged illness. He made his acting and screenwriting debut in a 1970 on a release called ‘Samskara’ which won the President’s Golden Lotus Award.  He served as the Director of the Film and Television Institute of India during 1974-1975.
  • Every year, on 31st May, the World Health Organization (WHO) and global partners celebrate World No Tobacco Day (WNTD).  The annual campaign is an opportunity to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure, and to discourage the use of tobacco in any form.
  • Since its inception in 1974, World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5th in more than 100 countries. The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is ‘Beat Air Pollution’.
  • World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. This day is celebrated to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe.  The theme of World Oceans Day 2019 is ‘Gender and the Ocean’.
  • World Day against Child Labour is celebrated on 12th June. The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
  • The World Bank retained its forecast of India’s growth rate at 7.5% for the current financial Year 2019/20. In its Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank also mentioned that growth rate is expected to remain the same for the next two fiscals.
  • Thailand’s new parliament has elected military government chief Prayuth Chan-o-cha as the country’s prime minister. He received 500 votes to 244 for Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit of the Future Forward Party. Prayuth’s appointment becomes official when it is endorsed by King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
  • British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser named PepsiCo executive Laxman Narasimhan to succeed Rakesh Kapoor as chief executive officer. He will join Reckitt as CEO-designate and be appointed to the board on July 16. He will become group CEO on September 1.
  • According to global market research agency Kantar in its 2019’s ‘100 Top BrandZ Report’, US retail giant Amazon has moved past hi-tech titans Apple and Google to become the world’s most valuable brand as the brand value of Amazon surged by 52 percent to $315 billion, hence jumping from third to first place to replace Google which slid from first to third place with Apple holding on to the second spot.
  • Social networking giant Facebook has picked up a minority stake in social-commerce company Meesho in its first startup investment in the country. Bengaluru-based startup connects re-sellers to manufacturers to sell goods via social media platforms.
  • According to annual report on internet trends by venture capitalist Mary Meeker, India accounts for 12% world’s internet users. China has the largest base, accounting for 21% of all internet users globally, and the US comes third at 8%.
  • Forbes magazine has named Rihanna as the world’s richest female musician. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand business endeavours have officially made her the richest female musician in the world. Her worth is estimated at $600m (£472m) which includes revenues made from her fashion and beauty lines in addition to those from her music career. Forbes reported that the French luxury brand LVMH backs Rihanna’s lucrative cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty.
  • Virat Kohli, ranked 100th, remains the sole Indian in the Forbes list of world’s highest-paid athletes with estimated annual earnings of $25 million. The list is headed by Barcelona and Argentina football superstar Lionel Messi.
  • Priyanka Chopra, a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child Rights is going to be honoured with Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award by UNICEF at the UNICEF Snowflake Ball.
  • The Indian football team remained static at 101st place in the FIFA rankings. Belgium continued to top overall world rankings, followed by France, Brazil, England, and Portugal.
  • Liverpool breezed past Tottenham to win the Champions League for the sixth time. They won by 2-0 at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
  • Sunil Chhetri became the most capped India player by surpassing Bhaichung Bhutia’s 107 international matches. In his milestone match of the King’s Cup football tournament in Buriram, Thailand, he scored the lone goal for his side for his 69th goal.
  • The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is being held between 7 June and 7 July 2019 in France. This is the 8th edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, international football championship contested by the women’s national team.
  • In French Open Tennis:
    • Australian Ashleigh Barty won her first Grand Slam singles title after easing past Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets in the women’s final.
    • World number two Rafael Nadal has lifted the French Open Men’s Singles title for the 12th time. In the summit clash played at Paris, the Spaniard defeated Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 to win at the Roland Garros for the third straight year. The 33-year-old became the first player to win 12 Singles titles at the same Grand Slam and has now won 18 majors overall.
  • Indian junior women’s hockey team won Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations title after beating Ireland 1-0 in the final India ended the tournament three goals in four games, Mumtaz Khan finished as the highest goal scorer of the tournament.
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