Current Affair of June 2021
1. FICCI has published its quarterly "Business Confidence Survey". According to it, Business confidence of Indian companies has come down to its lowest in three quarters in May. In last survey, confidence was at decadal high. Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined due to decline in optimism levels of participating companies with respect to current conditions.
2. Recently a study was conducted to calculate human cost of climate change. According to it, more than one-third of world’s heat deaths are related to global warming each year. According to scientists, more people die from other extreme weather which increases due to global warming like storms, flooding and drought.
3. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued advisories on bonded labourers & migrant workers amid covid-19 cases. Advisories were issued to ministries and states to look after adverse impact of covid-19 on labourers and migrant informal sector workers.
4. UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Food & Agriculture Organisation of UN (FAO) launched ‘UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’ report for 2021-2030 and called on nations to meet commitments of restoring 1 billion hectares of land. As per the report, world is facing triple threat of climate change, loss of nature and pollution.
5. Gujarat government is all set to grant Centre of Excellence (CoE) status to seven private universities in state. In-principal approval was given by Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani, to make their mark globally. University Grants Commission (UGC) encourages higher education institutions to attain excellence in specific areas of academic as well as research work.
6. Union government has extended validity period of Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) qualifying certificate from 7 years to lifetime with retrospective effect from 2011. According to Education Minister, this is a positive step which will increase employment opportunities for candidates who seeks to make a career in teaching field.
7. Kerala government has launched ‘Knowledge Economy Mission’ to boost job prospects in the state by supporting knowledge workers. Initiative was announced in State Budget on June 4. It was being spearheaded by Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) and they will submit a comprehensive project report before July 15.
8. Labour and Employment Ministry set up expert group that will provide technical inputs and recommendations on fixation of minimum wages and national floor for minimum wages. This is the second expert committee on minimum wages formed by government in last two years.
9. Supreme Courts’ e-committee released Draft Model Rules for Live-Streaming and Recording of Court Proceedings. Draft Model rules were released with the aim of bringing greater transparency, inclusivity and access to justice.
10. Education ministry has developed an online module to compile data on out-of-school children. Ministry has also asked states and union territories to upload a quarterly progress report. Under this online module, data on out-of-school children should be mapped with special training centres (STCs) of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan
11. According to TATA Power, Blue-finned Mahseer has moved to "least concern" status which was listed in red list of endangered species of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) earlier. TATA group is involved in conservation of blue-finned and golden mahseer for 50 years in Lonavala.
12. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, launched E-100 pilot project on the occasion of World Environment Day in Pune. This ambitious project was launched with the aim of setting up a network for production and distribution of ethanol in India. Prime Minister also launched ‘Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for ethanol blending in India 2020-2025’.
13. According to Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma, Raimona reserve forest in Kokrajhar district has been upgraded to sixth national park of Assam. This forest comes under Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) across the border with Bhutan. This national park of Assam is located in Gossaigaon subdivision of Kokrajhar district under BTR.
14. Two species of monals were sighted together by local wildlife enthusiasts in upper Siang district of central Arunachal Pradesh. Monals is a colour pheasant. One discovered species is While Himalayan monal also called as Lophophorus impejanus. It is widely distributed from Afghanistan to northeast India.
15. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have developed an early cyclone detection technique which will help in early detection of development or strengthening of tropical cyclones in North Indian Ocean region. IIT developed this technique using Eddy detection technique. It will investigate formative stages and advance detection time of tropical cyclogenesis.
16. According to State of India’s Environment Report 2021, India’s rank has dropped by two places to 117 as compared to 2020 ranking on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG goals were adopted as a part of 2030 agenda by 193 United Nations member states in 2015.
17. Education Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, approved release of the Performance Grading Index (PGI) 2019-20. PGI provides grading to States and Union Territories on the basis of 70 parameters to assess and catalyse transformational change in education.
18. According to World Employment and Social Outlook 2021, global unemployment is expected to be increased to 205 million in 2022 as compared to 187 million in 2019. As per the report, jobs shortfall amid COVID-19 pandemic was 75 million in 2021 and it will increase to 23 million in 2022.
19. India has been ranked at 10th position in the cybersecurity index. India was ranked ahead of China (No. 33) and Pakistan (No. 79) in global cybersecurity ranking of countries. United States has been ranked first and is followed by United Kingdom.
20. Central government has extended tenure of NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Amitabh Kant, by one year. His tenure will now end in June 2022. Extension order was issued by Department of Personnel and Training after it was approved by Appointments Committee of Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
21. Odisha government and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have partnered to improve household food and nutritional security. Household food & nutritional security would be improved by strengthening livelihood initiatives & reaching out to state-supported Women’s Self-Help Groups (WSHGs).
22. International Labour Organisation (ILO) and UNICEF jointly published report on child labour. As per report, world has marked rise in child labour in two decades. Report highlights, coronavirus crisis might push millions more youngsters toward child labour.
23. Goa has become the first Rabies-free state of India. According to Chief Minister, Pramod Sawant, state has not reported a single rabies case in last three years. Chief Minister highlighted; Goa has achieved 5,40,593 vaccinations against rabies in dogs.
24. India wind energy market outlook was released by Global Wind Energy Council. As per the report, India has a pipeline of 10.3 GW in Central and State markets. These pipelines will drive installations until 2023. Report highlights India will install 20 GW of wind energy capacity by 2021-25.
25. Ministry of Education has released latest edition of "All India Survey on Higher Education" (AISHE) 2019-2020. As per the survey, number of institutions of national importance have increased to 135 which accounts for 80 percent in last five years. According to survey, number of institutions of national importance have increased to 135 in 2020 from 75 in 2015.
26. According to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index for Q1 2021, India has moved down by 12 spots in global home price index because property price in India has declined amid covid-19 pandemic. This year, India has been ranked at 55th position while during Q1 2020, India was ranked at 43rd position in terms of property prices.
27. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India has released an independent report and lauded Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) as ‘a successful model of local area development’. As per the report, ADP should serve as a best practice for other countries where regional disparities are persisting with respect to development.
28. Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, announced to create 80 acres of ‘Oxi-van’ (a forest) in Karnal district. It was announced on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2021. Oxi-van will consist of 10 types of forests.
29. According to World Giving Index 2021 report, India is 14th most charitable country across the world. As per the report, COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the ‘giving’ trends worldwide. This report is released by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). As per the report, India is among Top 20 most generous countries across the globe.
30. National AEFI (Adverse Events Following Immunisation) panel has confirmed first death linked to covid-19 vaccine. A 68-year-old person got severe allergic reaction after he was vaccinated in March who died later. The panel was set up to study side effects of covid-19 vaccine.
31. Odisha has become the only state in India to have all the three species of crocodiles. Original Gharials which were introduced in Odisha are dead now. After waiting for 40 years for their numbers to grow naturally, Odisha introduced 13 more Gharials in past three years in the Mahanadi. But only eight survived.
32. Kerala’s Fisheries Department has constituted a seven-member committee to study and submit report on methods to resolve issues related to safety at sea. Committee is headed by P. Sahadevan who was former additional director of fisheries. Committee will study and submit report on methods to resolve issues related to safety at sea, coastal security and vessel monitoring systems (VMS).
33. Central government, state government of Mizoram and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of worth $32 million. Loan agreement was signed for Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project. It will improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram.
34. World Competitiveness Index was compiled by Institute for Management Development (IMD) which examine the impact of COVID-19 on economies worldwide. India was ranked at 43rd position among 64 countries. Switzerland has topped the list and is followed by Sweden (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Netherlands (4th) and Singapore (5th).
35. Sports Minister of Mizoram, Robert Romawia Royte, has announced a cash incentive of Rs 1 lakh for having more children. Rs 1 lakh would be given to living parent with highest number of children in minister’s constituency to encourage population growth among the demographically small Mizo communities.
36. As per UN report, India received USD 64 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2020. It has emerged the fifth largest recipient of FDI inflows across the world. "World Investment Report 2021" was released by UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
37. Indian Coast Guard is on vigilance after oil spill was reported from Haldia-bound Portuguese flag container ship. Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Colombo notified about mid-sea oil spill about 450 kms South East of Chennai. Portuguese flag Container ship MV Devon developed an underwater crack in fuel tank on passage from Colombo to Haldia, West Bengal.
38. Goa government has released a short film on Chhatrapati Shivaji on the occasion of anniversary of Maratha king’s coronation day highlighting history of Goa and Shivaji’s role in fighting Portuguese. Film titled "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shivrajyabhishek Divas" was released on social media in Konkani and Hindi version.
39. Delhi government launched a vaccination campaign ‘Jahan Vote, Wahan Vaccination’ to vaccinate people of Delhi against Covid-19. Under the campaign, people aged 45 and above will be given vaccine at the polling booths. While launching the campaign, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal highlighted, jabs will be provided to people above 45 years at places where they had exercised vote during election. According to him, door-to-door vaccination will also be done soon.
40. Union Health Ministry has capped the price for administration of Covid-19 vaccines in private hospitals. Centre government announced about purchase of 25 crores doses of Covishield and 19 crore doses of Covaxin. These 44 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be delivered between August and December 2021.
41. State-owned Convergence Energy Services Ltd (CESL) has inked a pact with Ladakh administration to make Union Territory of Ladakh carbon-neutral. CESL which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Administration of Ladakh to make it clean and green.
42. Assam Government has notified Dihing Patkai as a National Park which was the last remaining stretches of the Assam Valley tropical wet evergreen forests. This notification comes four days after creating 422-sq. km Raimona National Park in Kokrajhar district of Assam. Assam now has the third most National Parks (7) in India.
43. Maharashtra Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray cleared an action plan to protect ancient and old trees aged 50 years and above in urban areas. Cabinet approved the action plan to implement ‘Heritage Tree’ concept in Maharashtra. This action plan was proposed by Environment Department headed by Aaditya Thackeray.
44. Recently, Coast Guard have enforced laws and started operation Olivia to protect Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha. Operation Olivia was started by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), first in early 1980s. This operation helps in protecting live Ridley turtles every year when they start nesting along Odisha coast for breeding in months of November to December. Under it, round-the-clock surveillance is conducted from November till May through Coast Guard assets like Fast patrol vessels, Interceptor craft, Air cushion vessels and Dornier aircraft.
45. Raja Parba festival has started being celebrated in Odisha on June 14, 2021. It is a 3-day festival that celebrates womanhood. It is believed that, during this period Mother Earth menstruates and prepares herself for future agricultural activities as the monsoon arrives.
46. India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have partnered with "Malaria No More" which is a non-governmental organisation. IMD & ICMR launched an expert committee to explore and advance climate-based solutions to eliminate malaria in India, in collaboration with "Malaria NO More".
47. Citizens and Environmentalists are fighting against the proposal to clear over 6,000 trees in Singanayakanahalli to construct a lake under Hebbal-Nagawara Valley Project by Minor Irrigation Department in Karnataka. Forest Department, in a recent notification, proposed to felled 6,316 trees to develop Singanayakanahalli lake, Yelahanka hobli, because they are coming in way of this project.
48. According to Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, central government has set target to reduce road accident deaths by 50% by year 2024. This target was highlighted while addressing virtual session on ‘Role of Corporates in Arresting Road Fatalities’ which was organised by FICCI.
49. Union ministry of Environment, forest & Climate Change has notified about constituting a Karnataka Coastal Zone Management Authority. Notification was issued under Environment Protection Act, 1986. Karnataka Coastal Zone Management Authority is a 15-member body which will be constituted to protect & improve the quality of coastal environment.
50. Drug regulator of India, DCGI, has allowed Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Cipla to import Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for restricted emergency use in India. Moderna’s vaccine is going to be fourth COVID-19 vaccine available in India after Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik.
51. As per Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), May 2021 received second highest rainfall in 121 years. Highest rainfall attributes to two back-to-back cyclones and western disturbances. IMD also highlights, average maximum temperature of 34.18° Celsius over India this May was fourth lowest since 1901. In 1917, India had recorded lowest ever temperature May as 32.68° Celsius.
52. The Great Indian Bustards are making it slow to manoeuvre while flying. They have poor frontal vision and a habit of scanning earth while flying over flat grasslands across western borders of India. As a result, they often collide with power lines.
53. Union Cabinet has approved ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ proposed by Ministry of Earth Sciences to conduct study on biodiversity, impact of climate change and to establish an offshore marine station in order to explore source of thermal energy. Mission will explore Deep Ocean for resources and help in development of deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
54. A new species named "Stygarctus Keralensis" has been identified in Kerala. This tiny & tough species of Tardigrades has been named after Kerala. Tardigrades are small specie which are commonly called as ‘water bears’ and ‘moss piglets’. They are so tiny that require high-end microscopes to study them. They are also the hardiest animals on Earth despite their size.
55. World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was observed on June 17, 2021 to raise awareness on land degradation, desertification and drought. Theme of the day for year 2021 was "Restoration, Land, Recovery". This day is a unique moment to remind everyone about land degradation neutrality which can be achieved through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation across all the levels.
56. West Bengal Cabinet approved the "Student Credit Card scheme" on June 24, 2021. Trinamool Congress had promised to launch this scheme in its election manifesto. This scheme will be implemented and launched on June 30, 2021. Under the scheme, student can get a soft loan of up to Rs. 10 lakh with the help of credit card to enroll into higher studies. Loans will be given at 4% interest rates. State government would act as guarantor.
57. NITI Aayog released a comprehensive study on not-for-profit hospital model in India on June 29, 2020. According to NITI Aayog, it is a step of closing information gap on such institutions. NITI Aayog highlights the growing disparity between hospitalisation cases in for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals.
58. Department of Justice has launched an "Enforcing Contracts Portal" on June 29, 2021. Justice department launched this portal with the aim of promoting ease of doing business and improving ‘Contract Enforcement Regime’ across India. Portal will also provide easy access to latest information regarding the commercial cases in Dedicated Commercial Courts of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
59. Education Testing Service (ETS) has allowed use of Aadhar card for GRE and TOFEL Exams. Indian students who are writing GRE or TOEFL examinations will be allowed to use their Aadhaar cards as identification proof from July 1, 2021. This decision was taken by Educational Testing Service as many students have faced difficulties in getting passports amid the COVID-19 induced lockdowns.
1. World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended several names, to label emerging coronavirus variants of global concern, after four letters of Greek alphabet. It named B.1.617.2 variant, identified first in India, as Delta. ‘UK variant’ was named as ‘Alpha’.
2. First Human case of H10N3 bird flu was reported in eastern province of Jiangsu in China. H10N3 is a low pathogenic or less severe strain of virus in poultry. The risk of it transmitting on a large scale is also very low. In about 40 years, only 160 isolates of this virus were reported, in wild birds or waterfowl across Asia and North America. It has not been detected in chickens.
3. New Zealand has become the latest country to sign "space agreement with NASA" with the objective of boosting nascent space industry of New Zealand. New Zealand is the eleventh signatory to Artemis Accords.
4. Microsoft has launched first ever "Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council". It was launched with the aim of building strong communications channel to address cyber threats and to share best practices among participating countries.
5. In the move of strengthening its position along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), People Liberation Army (PLA) of China has created an integrated or combined air defence system comprising air force and army for its western theatre command. This wing is involved in operations along LAC.
6. World Health Organisation (WHO) has given approval for global use of covid-19 Vaccine by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. of China. WHO recommended its use for people above 18 years. Two-dose will be scheduled for it, with a gap of two to four weeks between shots.
7. United States has ended Migrant Protection Protocols which is also dubbed as "Remain in Mexico" policy. This policy forced several Central American asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for US court cases. Now, Joe Biden administration has paused this programme called known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in January 2021.
8. Canada has recommended "mixing and matching" of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) had issued guidelines for provinces and territories on mixing and matching second doses of Covid-19 vaccines. It has advised Canadians to combine either "AstraZeneca-Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots" interchangeably for specific situations.
9. BRICS foreign ministers meeting was hold virtually on June 1, 2021. During the minister’s meet, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted significant principles which were guiding BRICS. He also referred to international law and UN Charter which recognises sovereign equality of all states and respects territorial integrity.
10. Union Cabinet approved Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on Sustainable Urban Development between India and Japan by suspending the existing MoU of 2007 on Urban Development. To implement and strategize programmes on cooperation under MoC, a Joint Working Group (JWG) will be constituted. JWG will meet once in a year in Japan as well as in India, alternately.
11. Largest warship of Iranian navy caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman, circumstances are still unclear. Kharg used to resupply other shops in fleet and conduct training exercises. It sank near Iranian port of Jask.
12. On the occasion of 100th anniversary of Chinese Communist Party in 2021, China is promoting ‘red tourism’, which means it is encouraging people to visit places that have historical and cultural importance for communist party.
13. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has signed an agreement with vaccine manufacturer Moderna to supply their international vaccination efforts boosting fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus. Under the supply agreement, UNICEF and its procurement partners like Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), will get access to up to 34 million doses of covid-19 vaccine which can be used to cover around 92 countries and territories in 2021.
14. American space agency, NASA, has announced its two new robotic missions namely Davinci+ and Veritas, to Venus to examine atmosphere and geological features on the planet. Each of the missions have been awarded $500 million funding. They will be launched in between 2028 and 2030. Missions would provide a chance to investigate the planet Venus that haven’t been provided in about 30 years.
15. Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, pledged an additional 800 million US Dollars to COVAX facility. Additional grant of 800 million dollar to COVAX facility aims for "fair distribution of Coronavirus vaccines across the world". Announcement was made during an "online vaccine summit" which was co-hosted by Japan with GAVI vaccine alliance.
16. India and United Kingdom have launched a new workstream to promote industrial energy efficiency. The workstream was launched under Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (IDDI) of Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). 12th CEM is being organised by Chile in virtual mode. It was started on May 31 and will conclude on June 6.
17. China successfully launched its first satellite of a new generation meteorological satellite into planned orbit. This satellite, named as Fengyun-4B (FY-48), will be used for fields of weather analysis, environmental and disaster monitoring.
18. US House of Representatives has reintroduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate per country cap on employment-based green card. This legislation is called as EAGLE Act and was introduced to benefit Indian IT professionals who are waiting over decades for green card.
19. SpaceX has again launched its 22nd resupply services mission called SpaceX CRS 22, using cargo Dragon 2 capsule, to International Space station (ISS). This is the second mission under new CRS contract of SpaceX with NASA and fifth capsule in last 12 months which SpaceX sent to ISS.
20. As per Geological Disaster Technology Research and Development Centre, Indonesia’s Merapi volcano erupted four times with lava spreading to 1,500 metres from crater. Merapi is considered as Indonesia’s most active volcano.
21. Parliament of Denmark has approved plans for an artificial island which will house 35,000 people and help in protecting port of Copenhagen from rising sea levels. This giant island would have an area of 1 sq mile and would be connected to mainland through ring road, tunnels and metro line. This dam will help in protecting the harbour from rising sea levels and storms.
22. SpaceX rocket lift-off rocket to International Space Station carrying supplies for scientific experiments along with surprising passengers like squids and microorganisms called tardigrades. Dragon capsule was launched with Falcon 9 rocket.
23. Extending greetings on 24th BIMSTEC Day on June 6, PM Narendra Modi said, BIMSTEC has emerged as a promising regional grouping and made progress on several factors including finalisation of master plan for connectivity. BIMSTEC is acronym for "Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation".
24. Recently, Group of seven (G7) advanced economies signed a landmark deal on taxing multinational companies. As per the deal, minimum global tax rate would be at least 15 percent. Agreement was signed by finance ministers of United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Japan.
25. As per owner of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, his payments venture Square will partner with blockchain technology firm Block-stream Mining in a bid to build an open-source, solar-powered bitcoin mining facility in United Nations.
26. World Bank has approved a USD 500 million program to boost MSME sector in India. World Bank programme called "USD 500 million Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Performance (RAMP) Program" aims to improve performance of five lakh 50 thousand MSMEs.
27. India was elected to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2022-2024 term. India has been selected in Asia-Pacific States category. Other elected countries include Oman, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.
28. World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the countries against overpriced covid-19 vaccines substandard covid products. WHO warned after concern over danger of buying overpriced vaccines from intermediaries. WHO reminded countries that, countries should buy vaccines certified by WHO and make sure to identify origin of vaccines and covid product.
29. Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid, was elected as new President of UN General Assembly (UNGA). Abdulla Shahid won against Afghanistan’s former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul with three-fourth majority. He fetched 143 votes while Rassoul got 48 votes out of 191 votes polled. Maldives will occupy office of President of UNGA for the first time.
30. Russia is building its first naval ship which will be fully equipped with stealth technology. Stealth technology will to make it hard to detect. Hull of the Mercury naval corvette dubbed project 20386 is ready and vessel is expected to be delivered to navy in 2022.
31. El Salvador has become the first country to formally adopt bitcoin as legal tender. Proposal to legalise cryptocurrency was put forward by President Nayib Bukele which was later approved by Congress. Even though there were concern regarding potential impact of legalising cryptocurrency on El Salvador’s program of $1 billion with International Monetary Fund, proposal was passed with majority of 62 out of 84 possible votes.
32. India and Thailand started 31st edition of Coordinated Patrols or CORPAT, with the aim of reinforcing maritime links between two countries and to keep Indian Ocean safe and secure for international trade.
33. The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to approve a "sweeping package of legislation" in a bid to boost USA’s ability to compete with Chinese technology. China, while responding to vote, objected to being cast as an imaginary U.S. enemy. This measure approved about $190 billion for provisions of strengthening technology and research in United States.
34. World Trade Organization (WTO) is set to start formal Covid-19 Vaccine Supply negotiations in a bid to boost COVID-19 vaccine supply in developing countries. However, the proposal face rival as one is with waiver of intellectual property rights while the other is without a waiver of intellectual property rights.
35. China has passed a new legislation against foreign sanctions. With this law China seeks to build its defences against rising US and EU pressure on trade and human rights. China passed this law after accusing US of suppressing Chinese firms and issued veiled threats of retaliation.
36. United States President Joe Biden has announced to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to poorest countries across world to end the pandemic as soon as possible. This donation is a bold move which showed, US recognises its responsibility towards world as well as its citizens.
37. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will participate in outreach sessions of UK led G7 virtual summit in Cornwall in June 2021. PM Modi is expected to join G7 summit on 12 and 13 June. This is the second time that Indian Prime Minister will participate in G7 meet.
38. Group of Seven (G-7) leaders are set to vow to deliver 1 billion extra doses of vaccines by 2022 to cover 80 percent of world’s adult population. Ahead of G-7 summit in UK, officials put together document outlining a plan to end pandemic by December 2022.
39. Countries including Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been elected unopposed to powerful UN Security Council (UNSC) as non-permanent members for 2022-23 term. Five countries won elections unopposed because they were the only candidates from their respective regional groups.
40. US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson held meeting recently in Cornwall and inspected documents related to Atlantic Charter and signed a document titled "New Atlantic Charter".
41. India and Kuwait signed an MoU on cooperation on domestic worker recruitment on June 10, 2021. This MoU will bring Indian domestic workers in Gulf nation within the legal framework which will provide them protection under law. Agreement will also streamline recruitment of domestic workers.
42. UN General Assembly (UNGA) has approved nomination of Rebecca Grynspan to head United Nations Conference on Trade and development (UNCTAD). She is an economist from Costa Rica. She will be the first woman and Central American to lead Geneva-based organisation, UNCTAD.
43. 49-year-old, Naftali Bennett has become new Prime Minister of Israel. He is a religious-nationalist and a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur who has also served as defence minister. With this win, he has ended 12 unbroken years of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm.
44. UN Children’s agency, UNICEF has warned about 33,000 severely malnourished children in Tigray region of Ethiopia who are at high risk of death. Tigray region has been devastated because of fighting between government forces and rebels in which about 1.7 million people displaced since conflict started in last year.
45. Chinese spacecraft, Shenzhou-19, will blast off from Gobi Desert on a Long March rocket soon. Spacecraft will ferry three men to an orbiting space module where they will stay for three-month. This will be the first time China will send humans into space since 2016.
46. European Space Agency (ESA) will launch world’s first wooden satellite called WISA Woodsat in Earth’s orbit by the end of 2021. It will be launched to test the applicability of wooden materials such as plywood in spacecraft structures. It will be launched from Mahia Peninsula launch complex in New Zealand. Satellite has been designed and built in Finland.
47. United Kingdom and Australia has signed a free trade deal on June 15, 2021. This trade deal eliminates tariffs on wide range of goods. This deal was signed following UK’s exit from European Union. With this deal, U.K. seeks to expand links across the world.
48. NATO leaders have declared China a constant security challenge stating that, Chinese are working to undermine global order. As per NATO leaders, China’s goals and assertive behaviour put challenges to rules-based international order and across the areas relevant to alliance security.
49. Twitter has appointed interim Chief Compliance Officer in India to comply with the Indian government’s new IT rules. Twitter appointed Chief Compliance Officer after a prolonged battle with Indian government over its new IT rules.
50. US President Joe Biden reached Geneva before his first summit with Vladimir Putin amid the escalation of tension between Russia and USA in recent years. Joe Biden flew to Geneva after mending relations with Washington’s closest allies during NATO and G7 summits in Brussels and Britain.
51. US President Joe Biden is to sign a law to make June 19 or "Juneteenth" a national holiday. This holiday will be recognized by federal government to commemorating end of slavery after American Civil War.
52. Japan is going to make a vaccine passport available from next month for Japanese travellers in a bid to relaunch tourism and business trips abroad. This certificate will be paper-based rather than digital. It will be issued by local governments from next month.
53. India has extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka to finance projects in solar energy sector. Agreement was signed between Sri Lankan government and Export-Import Bank of India. This LOC will also ensure that Sri Lanka’s 70 percent power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.
54. India and Bhutan have signed an MoU to develop cooperation between two countries in the area of environment. MoU was signed virtually by Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar. It will open new vistas of bilateral cooperation in the area of climate change, waste management etc.
55. Debswana Diamond Company have unearthed world’s third-largest diamond in Jwaneng mine of Botswana in South Africa. Botswana is called as largest producer of diamonds in Africa. Diamond weighing 1,098 carats was presented to President Mokgweetsi Masisi after it was unearthed.
56. Indian Navy and European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) are conducting their first ever exercise in Gulf of Aden. This two-day exercise will end on June 19, 2021. Indian Naval Ship Trikand participated in the exercise, which is currently deployed for anti-piracy operations.
57. According to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, Chilean assembly is set to draft a new constitution for the country which will replace the one inherited from dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Its first session will be held on July 4.
58. According to US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), India and United States has launched a hydrogen task force under "Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP)" which will boost India’s energy security efforts. This task force was launched by United States Department of Energy, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and USISPF.
59. Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, has become country’s first prime minister to lose a no-confidence vote. Losing a no-confidence vote means, he can now either resign or trigger a snap election. Lofven is the first head of government to lose a no-confidence vote and it means collapse of Social Democrat and Green Party coalition minority government.
60. Olympics organisers has capped the number of spectators at 10,000 for each venue in the 2020 Tokyo Games following the warnings of experts that event without fans will be a least risky option during the Covid-19 pandemic. Limit for Games will be set at 50% of venue capacity.
61. UN committee recommended to add Great Barrier Reef to the list of "in danger" World Heritage Sites. However, this recommendation is opposed by Australia which is blaming political interference. Recommendation was made by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) committee. This committee sits under UNESCO. According to the committee, world’s biggest coral reef system should be added to ‘in danger’ list because of impact of climate change.
62. Israeli military has successfully tested an airborne high-power laser which have the capability to shoot down drones. Laser is a prototype developed with Elbit Systems. It was mounted on a civilian plane and successfully shot down drones in recent test conducted over Mediterranean Sea.
63. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in agriculture & allied sectors was signed between Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Fiji’s Minister of Agriculture, Waterways & Environment, Dr. Mahendra Reddy.
64. As per recent study, Colombia is home to world’s largest variety of butterflies. It accounts for 20% of all known species. Colombia is a country having great diversity of natural habitats. It is having a complex and heterogeneous geography.
65. G20 Labour & Employment Ministers’ Meeting was hosted in blended mode by Italy. During the virtual meeting, G-20 Ministers exchanged their views on transitions from school to work. Ministry of labour & employment, India was represented by MoS (I/C) Shri Santosh Gangwar along with minister of state for education, Sanjay Dhotre.
66. Recently, UN body has endorsed a multinational project called "Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Coastal Observations, Applications, Services, and Tools (CEOS COAST)". CEOS COAST programme is called by ISRO and NOAA from US.
67. India and Bhutan have jointly launched the "Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB)" on June 23, 2021. TIWB programme aims to strengthen tax administrations among developing countries by transferring technical know-how and skills to their tax auditors and by sharing general audit practices & dissemination of knowledge products with them.
68. Social media platform, Twitter, has partnered with first payments operator, Razorpay for its Tip Jar feature. Tip Jar Feature allows Twitter users to pay creators for content. Twitter announced the tie-up with Razorpay on June 24, 2021. This Tip Jar feature is currently available to "select users".
69. China will operationalise first electric train in remote Himalayan region of Tibet. The electric train will connect provincial capital Lhasa with Nyingchi. The 435.5-km Lhasa-Nyingchi section of Sichuan-Tibet Railway will be inaugurated ahead of centenary celebrations of ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
70. China has planned to send its first crewed mission to MARS in the year 2033. China has planned manned launches to Mars for 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041 and so on. Before the manned missions, China will send robots to Mars that will study possible sites to set up base and to build systems to extract resources there.
71. Denmark has signed the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement (ISA FA) and Instrument of Ratification with India. ISA is an alliance of 121 countries. It was initiated by India. Most of member countries are sunshine countries located completely or partly between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. It is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization. ISA is the largest grouping of states, after United Nations.
72. Japan is all set to provide India a $10 million assistance for building cold chain facilities to safely store covid-19 vaccines. Japan will provide this assistance to India to build cold chain equipment including medical equipment like cold-storage facilities.
73. Serbia market has opened its market for Indian potatoes, onions, pomegranate, and pomegranate arils. As per Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), phytosanitary certificate is not required to export pomegranate fruits arils and onion bulbs growing in India.
74. Britain’s financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has banned world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance. Binance cannot conduct any regulated activity as it will come under growing scrutiny globally.
75. As per U.N. Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s report, traditional food gathering techniques of indigenous communities are under threat because of accelerated climate change and economic pressures right from Arctic to the Amazon. As per FAO, food systems used by different indigenous peoples were among world’s most sustainable in terms of efficiency. It was avoiding waste and adapting to the seasons.
76. China operationalised the two units of giant Baihetan hydropower plant, which is the largest hydro project under construction worldwide on June 28, 2021. Yangtze river in southwest China generated electricity for the first time. First two 1-gigawatt (GW) turbines of the hydro project will go into formal operation after a three-day trial that started on June 28.
77. Ukraine and United States is conducting a military exercise, joined by 30 countries, in Black Sea and southern Ukraine. Exercise was started despite Russia called to cancel it. According to US Navy Capt. Kyle Gantt, large number of participants in exercise reflects shared commitment to ensure free access to international waters.
78. NASA Scientists and scientists form other universities from Boston to California are aiming to create computer models which can be used with satellite data to learn which parts of their dwindling deltas can be shored up and which deltas are past hope.
79. According to annual survey of World’s most liveable cities 2021, Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up rankings of liveable cities. Auckland is the most liveable city in 2021 because of its successful approach in containing pandemic. Which is followed by Osaka & Tokyo in Japan, Adelaide in Australia and Wellington in New Zealand. All these countries had swift response to pandemic.
80. According to the Global Economic Prospects Update released by World Bank, global economy is expected to expand 5.6 per cent in 2021. This would be the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years because of strong rebounds from a few major economies. As per latest edition, many emerging markets & developing economies are struggling with COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
81. In QS World University Rankings 2020, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati was ranked at 41st in ‘Research Citations per Faculty’ category. IIT Guwahati has also obtained global 395th rank in World University Ranking. Its ranking has improved from 470 in QS World University Ranking 2021 to 395th to this edition as a result of strong improvement in ‘Citations per Faculty’ category.
82. World Health Organization (WHO) released a handbook to assess the burden of foodborne diseases and locate data gaps which will help in strengthening health infrastructure. As per the WHO’s estimate of 2015, about 600 million people are affected by foodborne diseases every year. It accounts for infection among 1 in 10 people worldwide.
83. UN Children’s agency, UNICEF has warned about 33,000 severely malnourished children in Tigray region of Ethiopia who are at high risk of death. Tigray region has been devastated because of fighting between government forces and rebels in which about 1.7 million people displaced since conflict started in November 2020.
84. Sustainable Development Report was prepared and released by experts from UN Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The index compares how countries implement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As per Government, Finland has topped the index based on its achievements with respect to the goals related to poverty reduction, health, education, energy, water, peace, reduction of inequality and rule of law.
85. Latest edition of UNESCO Science Report (USR) was published on June 11, 2021 which is entitled as "race against time for smarter development". USR is a flagship publication of UNESCO which is published once every five years. It is a report on science, technology and innovation (STI).
86. The report titled "Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Special Report on Drought 2021" was published on June 18, 2021 by UNDRR (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction). It will be a part of discussions at vital UN climate talks called Cop26, scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
87. Russia started construction of fifth nuclear power unit at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu on June 29, 2021. This development is a significant step in bilateral relation between both the countries. Rosatom (a Russian company) is providing technology to construct the Kudankulam plant.
88. European Medicines Agency (EMA) has excluded Serum Institute of India (SII) manufactured Covishield from the list of approved vaccines for ‘Green Pass’. As per EMA, vaccine was excluded from list because it does not have marketing authorisation in European Union (EU).
89. Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman announced plans of launching second national airline as part of broader strategy to turn kingdom into global logistics hub in a bid to diversify from oil. Creation of another flag carrier will put Saudi Arabia into 5th rank worldwide in terms of air transit traffic.
1. Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared a mega project to build six conventional submarines for Indian Navy. Decision was taken at DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh. This project will cost around Rs 43,000 crore. It was cleared under strategic partnership mode.
2. Russia is building its first naval ship which will be fully equipped with stealth technology. Stealth technology will to make it hard to detect. Hull of the Mercury naval corvette dubbed project 20386 is ready and vessel is expected to be delivered to navy in 2022.
3. Indian Navy is set to receive three of 24 MH-60 Romeo multirole helicopters from United States (US). First batch of Indian pilots has reached US for training on helicopters. Pilots would undergo training first in Pensacola in Florida and then in San Diego in California.
4. Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh inaugurated two Centres of Excellence (CoE) established by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at Seema Sadak Bhawan in New Delhi. CoEs have been established to achieve excellence in road safety and to foster growth in construction of roads, air fields, tunnels and bridges.
5. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a policy on declassification of War histories. Under this policy, Ministry of Defence (MoD) will archive, declassify, compile and publish war and operations histories. However, declassification of older wars like of 1962 war is not automatic.
6. Government of India has approved its decision to dissolve Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and replaced it by seven new Defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). which will oversee 41 ordnance factories in India. These seven entities will be 100 per cent owned by government.
7. Indian Navy and European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) are conducting their first ever exercise in Gulf of Aden. This two-day exercise will end on June 19, 2021. Indian Naval Ship Trikand participated in the exercise, which is currently deployed for anti-piracy operations.
8. Israeli military has successfully tested an airborne high-power laser which have the capability to shoot down drones. Israel already have large and sophisticated air defense system. This system had 90 per cent interception rate against thousands of rockets which were fired from Gaza during 11-day war of May 2021.
9. India and USA are all set to conduct Passage Naval Exercise in last week of June 2021. Indian naval ships will carry maritime patrol & other aircraft to participate the exercise with US Navy’s Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group during its transit through Indian Ocean Region.
10. According to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC) named ‘INS Vikrant’ (meaning courageous) will be commissioned in 2022. Defence Minister described this achievement as India’s pride and a shining example of Atmanirbhar Bharat. Commissioning of IAC will be befitting tribute to India’s 75th year of India’s independence.
11. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired an extended range version of "Pinaka" rocket. Test fire was carried at Integrated Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Odisha on June 25. DRDO test-fired 25 Enhanced Pinaka Rockets in quick succession against targets at different ranges.
Business, Economy & Banking
1. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has cut India’s growth projection to 9.9% for Financial Year 2022. In March, it estimated growth to 12.6%. Rate was cut witnessing covid cases lockdowns which have threatened to stall nascent economic recovery of India.
2. FICCI has published its quarterly "Business Confidence Survey". According to it, Business confidence of Indian companies has come down to its lowest in three quarters in May. In last survey, confidence was at decadal high.
3. Central Statistics Office (CSO) released India’s gross domestic product (GDP) data for January-March quarter of financial year 2020-21. According to it, Indian economy is likely to expand in positive territory from December quarter. Before second wave of Covid-19, India’s GDP grew 1.6 per cent in fourth quarter (January-March) of 2020-21.
4. Goa government established "Goa Institution for Future Transformation (GIFT)" on the line of NITI Ayog. GIFT will function on the lines of NITI Aayog. It will assist, advise and guide government on policy making, its formulation and implementation. It will also help in monitoring sustainable development goals and evaluation of several development plans, programmes and schemes.
5. Economic research department of State Bank of India has published "Ecowrap 2021" report and revised real GDP projection for Financial Year 2022 to 7.9 percent from 10.4 percent earlier. Report highlights disproportionately larger impact of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic on economy.
6. Dr. K.P. Krishnan committee on "Variable Capital Company" has submitted its report to International Financial Services centres Authority (IFSCA) regarding feasibility of Variable Capital Companies in International Financial Services Centres in India.
7. Research Design & Standards Organization (RDSO) wing of Indian railways has become India’s first institution to be declared as Standard Developing Organization (SDO). Standard Development Organisation tag was given under "One Nation One Standard" mission of Bureau of Indian Standards.
8. Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, launched a seed Minikit programme by distributing high-yielding varieties seeds of oilseeds and pulses to farmers. This programme was launched as a major tool to introduce new varieties of seeds in fields. It will also help in increasing the seed replacement rate.
9. NITI Aayog released third edition of Sustainable Development Index for 2020-2021, evaluating progress of states and Union Territories with respect to social, economic and environmental parameters. In the index, Kerala has retained the top rank with score of 75.
10. NITI Aayog has submitted names of Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) that will be privatised to Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment. All these PSBs will be privatised by Financial Year 2022. Privatisation is being done as part of government’s Disinvestment process to raising funds.
11. Labour and Employment Ministry set up expert group that will provide technical inputs and recommendations on fixation of minimum wages and national floor for minimum wages. This is the second expert committee on minimum wages formed by government in last two years.
12. HDFC Bank has planned to become carbon neutral by 2031-32. Bank is now looking for reducing its emissions, energy, and water consumption. HDFC will continue to incorporate and scale up use of renewable energy in its operations. Under its environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) strategy, bank will also offer loans for green products such as electric vehicles at lower interest rates. It will incorporate ESG scores in its credit decisions. Apart from that, bank is also working on framework of issuing green bonds.
13. India launched a global Initiative ‘Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange’ with the aim of creating a network of incubators in member countries to boost clean energy innovation. Mission was launched virtually at "Innovating to Net Zero Summit, 2021″ organised by Chile.
14. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Unveiled its bi-monthly monetary policy and has kept the interest rates unchanged. Monetary policy opened a Rs 15,000-crore liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors such as hotels and tourism. On the liquidity front, it announced securities purchases of Rs 40,000 crore in June quarter while Rs 1.2 lakh crore in September under G-SAP 1.0 to revive the growth.
15. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has increased overseas investment limit for local mutual funds. With this, mutual funds can make overseas investments to a maximum of US $ 1 billion per Mutual Fund out of overall industry limit of US $ 7 billion.
16. India’s largest power utility, NTPC Ltd, has become a signatory of UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate. CEO Water Mandate is a coveted league of companies focusing on efficient water management. Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC, Shri Gurdeep Singh, has joined a select group of business leaders who recognize importance of water stewardship and is working to conserve water.
17. Maharashtra launched ‘state annual priority sector credit plan’ worth Rs 4,60,881 crore along with an ‘overall annual credit plan’ worth 18,10,779 crore. It was launched during quarterly State Level Bankers Committee (SBLC) meeting of Maharashtra.
18. Income Tax Department is set to launch its new ITR e-filing portal, which can be accessed through website called "www.incometax.gov.in". ITR e-filing portal will be launched with aim of providing a modern, seamless and more convenient experience to taxpayers. Portal has been integrated with immediate processing of Income Tax Returns and quick refunds to taxpayers.
19. Union Cabinet approved an increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Kharif crops for 2021-22, to increase farmers’ income. Centre has increased MSP for paddy by Rs It now stands at to Rs 1,940 per quintal for 2021-22 crop. Highest absolute increase in MSP over previous year has been recommended for sesamum, followed by tur and urad.
20. Union Cabinet allocated 5 MHz spectrum in 700 MHz band for Indian Railways. It will help in boosting hi-speed radio communication. Rs. 25,000 crore will be spent in next 5 years to modernize signals and implement 5G spectrum in Railways.
21. Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have established a new industry association called "Confederation of Hospitality, Technology & Tourism Industry (CHATT)". CHATT will help small companies and travel & hospitality technology players. It will promote domestic tourism and help in digital transformation of domestic tourism.
22. According to Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will assist development projects in Northeast through Space Technology. ISRO will offering optimum utilization of Satellite Imaging and other Space Technology applications.
23. India wind energy market outlook was released by Global Wind Energy Council. As per the report, India has a pipeline of 10.3 GW in Central and State markets. These pipelines will drive installations until 2023. Report highlights India will install 20 GW of wind energy capacity by 2021-25.
24. Draft Master Plan of Delhi 2041 was made open for public scrutiny for next 45 days. It will serve as blueprint for development of Delhi for next two decades. Master Plan document focuses on environment and tackling pollution. The plan also allows private developers to offer in land-pooling scheme for the first time.
25. India’s export of agricultural and allied products in 2020-21 have increased by 17.34 percent. It now equals to USD 41.25 billion. As per commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan, this growth momentum in Agri export is expected to be sustained during current fiscal as well.
26. According to commerce secretary, Anup Wadhawan, exports of India’s organic farm products has increased to 51 percent in 2020-21 challenging the hiccups in supply chain amid covid-19. Outbound shipments of organic products have hit 1,040 million dollars in last fiscal as compared to 689 million dollars in 2020.
27. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has changed some rules regarding cash withdrawal from automated teller machine (ATM). New rules include high charges on transactions beyond free permissible limit, new free ATM transaction limit and increase in interchange fee.
28. E-commerce giant, Flipkart, has partnered with Telangana government to lead "Medicines from the Sky" project. Consortium has been tasked with development and execution of drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas under the project. Under the consortium, Walmart-owned Flipkart will deploy drones and will enable deliveries of vaccines & medical supplies.
29. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released new framework for broadcasting and cable services by amending interconnection regulations of 2017. Regulation of 2017 provides a framework for technical compliance of conditional access system (CAS) and subscriber management system (SMS) in broadcasting and cable sector.
30. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended Risk-Based Internal Audit (RBIA) rules to all deposit-taking and non-deposit taking HFCs (Housing Finance Companies) who are having assets above Rs 5,000 crore. These rules will be effective from June 30, 2022.
31. India’s forex reserves crossed $600 mark for the first time and as on June 4, it stood at $605 billion. With this, India equals Russia as the fourth largest reserve holder worldwide. India’s forex reserve was $605.008 billion while for Russia it was $605.2 billion.
32. Ministry of Heavy Industry has announced major amendments in ongoing FAME-II scheme. Ministry has fixed incentives for India-made electric two-wheelers. With the recent amendments on price side and subsidies government aims to promote electric two-wheeler usage across India.
33. 44th meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on June 12, 2021. Several changes in GST rate have been made which would be applicable till September 30, 2021. As per the Finance Minister, GST Council has accepted recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM) which was set up to look on tax relief on Covid-19 medical supplies.
34. Government will implement mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from June 15, 2021. Earlier this deadline was June 1, which was extended by a fortnight because of Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure proper coordination and resolve issues while implementation, a committee headed by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Director-General Pramod Tewari has been established.
35. Bihar exported the first commercial consignment of GI certified Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur to the United Kingdom. Jardalu mangoes from Bhagalpur district were given GI certification Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, (APEDA) in collaboration with Bihar government, Indian High Commission & Invest India, exported Jardalu mangoes. Mangoes were packed and treated at APEDA packhouse in Lucknow..
36. Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Nitin Gadkari has simplified the of process for registration of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises. MSMEs are considered as engine of economic growth which are involved in promoting equitable development.
37. Consignment of fibre & mineral rich "Jalgaon Banana" was exported to Dubai on June 16, 2021, marking a major boost to exports. Jalgaon Banana is Geographical Indications (GI) certified agricultural produce from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Twenty-two metric tonnes of Jalgaon banana were sourced from progressive farmers of Tandalwadi village.
38. Google has extended card tokenization by bringing in more banks for card on the Google Pay app. Card tokenization is a feature which lets users make debit or credit card payments through a secure digital token which is attached to their phone. It does not require to physically share credit or debit card details.
39. According to Power and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh, a committee will be set up comprising of members from all relevant Ministries to implement Roadmap on Energy Efficiency and low carbon technologies. This was highlighted during a high-level meeting of reviewing progress of several energy efficiency programmes and preparedness for Climate Change Actions in India.
40. India has extended a USD 100 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka to finance projects in solar energy sector. Agreement was signed between Sri Lankan government and Export-Import Bank of India. This LOC will also ensure that Sri Lanka’s 70 percent power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.
41. Union government has reduced tariff value for import of edible oil including palm oil by USD 112 per tonne. This move will lead to reduction in domestic prices. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) reduced the tariff import value of crude palm oil by USD 86 per tonne.
42. Union Cabinet has approved the Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, which will replace Inland Vessels Act, 1917. As of now, total 4,000 km inland waterways have been operationalized. Bill will regulate safety, security and registration of inland vessels. Bill provides for a unified law for entire India instead of separate rules framed by each States.
43. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) cleared proposal to takeover of Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperatives Bank (PMC Bank) by a consortium of non-bank lender Centrum Financial Services & fintech startup BharatPe. It is a step-down subsidiary of listed entity Centrum Capital which provides credit to small and mid-sized companies having asset of Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2 crore. Resilient Innovations Pvt. Ltd, operating BharatPe, will also be an equal partner in small finance bank.
44. Ministry of tourism has released three draft strategies in order to boost tourism sector in aftermath of covid-19 pandemic. Draft strategies were put forward with roadmaps to promote India as a rural and medical tourism destination. It seeks to position India as a place for conferences, meetings and exhibitions.
45. According to Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, central government has set target to reduce road accident deaths by 50% by year 2024. This target was highlighted while addressing virtual session on ‘Role of Corporates in Arresting Road Fatalities’ which was organised by FICCI.
46. Government is working towards linking innovative agricultural technologies with farms to benefit small and marginal farmers in northeast India. It will primarily focus on women under Biotech-KISAN programme. Department of Biotechnology issued special call for Northeast region under the programme which will help in understanding local issues of farmers provide scientific solutions to them.
47. Newly-elected Tamil Nadu government has decided to constitute an "Economic advisory council to the chief minister". Advisory council will comprise of leading economic experts from across the world as its members. On the basis of recommendations of this council, government will revitalise economy in the state and ensure that benefits of economic growth reach all segments of society.
48. Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has reconstituted its Takeover Panel. The takeover panel looks into application that seeks exemption from mandatory open offer which as acquirer needs to make to minority shareholders. N Venkatram MD and CEO of Deloitte India has been appointed as the new member of Takeover Panel.
49. Central government is planning to make production of vehicle with flex-fuel engines mandatory for carmakers in India. This decision was taken days after advancing cut-off date for mixing 20 per cent ethanol in petrol from 2030 to 2025.
50. ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) have found CASSAVA as a raw material for bioethanol production to meet Ethanol Blending Petrol (EBP) programme target of 2025 by India. As a biofuel crop, cassava has several advantages over sugarcane.
51. German agrochemicals major Bayer has commercially launched first-ever yellow watermelon variety called "Yellow Gold 48" in India under Seminis brand. Yellow watermelon has been developed from superior germplasm under Bayer’s global research and development efforts.
52. India has planned to tighten rules for e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart and has proposed several amendments to Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020. Amended rules propose to limit ‘flash sales’ of goods and services by e-commerce companies.
53. As per recent study in Punjab, adoption of BT cotton in Punjab has resulted in net economic and environmental benefits. BT cotton is a genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically modified pest resistant plant cotton variety. It produces an insecticide to combat bollworm. BT toxins are insecticidal to larvae of moths, butterflies, cotton bollworms, beetles and flies.
54. Rubber Board has started field trial of world’s first GM (genetically modified) rubber in the state of Assam. GM Rubber was developed in biotechnology laboratory at Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII) in Puthuppally, Kottayam. It was planted at Rubber board’s Sarutari research farm in Guwahati.
55. Union Government is working on a ‘Green Tariff Policy’ with the objective of reinforcing India’s green energy credentials. Green Tariff Policy will help electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) supply electricity generated from clean energy projects at a cheaper rate as compared to power from conventional fuel sources such as coal.
56. Moody’s Investors Service has reduced India’s growth forecast to 9.6 per cent for 2021 from the earlier forecast of 13.9 per cent. According to it, growth will restrict to 7 % in 2022. Growth forecast was published in its report called ‘Macroeconomics India: Economic shocks from second COVID wave will not be as severe as last year’s’.
57. Cochin International Airport (CIAL) won Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honour in Airport Service Quality. Airport Council International (ACI) is a global body of airport operators which established Roll of Excellence recognition to airports.
58. Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in association with the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) has launched world’s first exclusive Green rating system for High-Speed Rail. NHSRCL is a tool to enable new High-Speed Rail (HSR) stations which will apply energy-efficient concepts during design and construction.
59. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched a ‘Centre for Research on Start-Ups and Risk Financing’ (CREST) which will provide academic & thought leadership in innovation, entrepreneurship and risk capital. CREST will help in creating a data repository on Indian start-ups and ventures.
60. Global rating agency, S&P, has cut India’s growth forecast for fiscal year 2021-2022 to 9.5 per cent. Earlier, it was kept at 11 per cent. Rating agency has warned of risk to the growth rate from upcoming waves of COVID-19 pandemic.
61. Reliance Industry has announced to launch a new clean energy factory to make solar photovoltaic cells for next three years. Mukesh Ambani will launch a Rs 75,000 crore investment project. It will be launched to set up four ‘Giga’ factories in order to make solar photovoltaic cells, green hydrogen, batteries and fuel cells for next three years.
62. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, interacted with participants of Toycathon-2021 through video conferencing. Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Sanjay Dhotre were also present in conference. Participants also discussed their games with PM Modi where, PM suggested more ideas to developers to include it in their games.
63. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and WhatsApp has launched its Digital Skill Champions Programme on June 24, 2021. This programme was launched with the aim of training Indian youth on digital skills in order to make them employment ready.
64. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to prescribe guidelines on distribution of dividend by NBFCs in order to induce a greater transparency and uniformity in practice. Guidelines will be effective for the declaration of dividend from profit for financial year 2021-2022 and onwards.
65. As per the latest data from Bank for International Settlements (BIS), incremental credit growth has decreased to 59-year low at 5.56% in Financial Year 2021. As per data, bank credit-to-GDP ratio has increased to a five-year high at about 56% in 2020. However, this increase is way behind its peers and is half of the G20 average.
66. Serbia market has opened its market for Indian potatoes, onions, pomegranate, and pomegranate arils. As per Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), phytosanitary certificate is not required to export pomegranate fruits arils and onion bulbs growing in India.
67. Ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has expanded the definition of small and medium sized companies (SMCs). As per expanded definition, Small & Medium Companies is an unlisted company, a bank, an insurance or a financial institution with sales up to Rs 250 crore and borrowings up to Rs 50 crore.
68. Government has decided to extend adoption of electric vehicles ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME Phase II)’ by 2 years. Date was extended after the Department of Heavy Industries increased demand incentive for electric two-wheelers (e2W) from Rs 10,000/KWh to Rs 15,000/KWh.
69. As per Karnataka government, work on ‘Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project’ will start in month of September 2021. Project is expected to be completed by 2026. Project will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 15,767 crore. It is being considered as India’s most integrated rail project.
70. A consignment of Dragon Fruit, was exported to after sourcing it from farmers of Tadasar village in Sangli District, Maharashtra. Dragon fruit is also referred to as "Kamalam". They are grown mostly in states including, Odisha, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
71. Franklin Templeton (FT) has been given interim relief from Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) on June 28, 2021. SAT put stay on Securities Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) order on FT that prevented it from launching new debt scheme.
72. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announce Rs 6.28 lakh crore stimulus package on June 28, 2021 with the aim of boosting Covid-affected sectors following the eight measures proposed by Ministry of Finance.
73. Mastercard announced a strategic equity investment in Instamojo on June 28, 2021. Investments in India’s largest full-stack digital solutions provider, Instamojo, is aimed at empowering MSMEs and gig workers. Empowerment will be done by providing easy to use solutions which will help them to rapidly digitize.
74. To harness the export potential of agricultural & processed food products from north-eastern states, fresh Burmese grapes shipment was exported to Dubai from Guwahati. Burmese grapes are referred as ‘Leteku’ in Assamese language. Leteku is rich in vitamin C and Iron.
75. 15th edition of Global Peace Index (GPI) was announced by Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) Sydney. GPI is world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. Index ranks 163 independent states and territories as per level of their peacefulness. Report provides a comprehensive data-driven analysis on trends in peace, its economic value and recommends on how to develop peaceful societies.
76. India has cut import tax on crude palm oil from 15 % to 10% for three months. This new duty would be effective from June 30, 2021. India is world’s biggest importer of vegetable oils. But it has been struggling to bring down edible oils prices. Thus, decision to reduce the import tax was taken. After the tax reduction, palm oil imports will account for 30.25% tax in total.
Science & Technology
1. According to Dr N K Arora, chairman of Covid-19 working group under National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), India may soon start testing feasibility of mixing two different doses of Covid vaccines to check whether it helps in boosting immune response against virus or not.
2. Mumbai-based start-up, Indra water has developed "Vajra Kavach Disinfection System" which removes scourge of viral particles from equipment used by Corona warriors front line workers. Disinfection System removes any possible traces of SARS-Cov-2 virus from Personal Protective Equipment, coats, gloves, N95 masks and gowns.
3. Global cybersecurity firm, Sophos, published it "the State of Ransomware 2021 report’. It finds, 68% of Indian organisations were by ransomware in last 12 months. India is one among most affected countries with respect to ransomware attacks. India tops list of top 30 countries for ransomware attacks.
4. New Zealand has become the latest country to sign "space agreement with NASA" with the objective of boosting nascent space industry of New Zealand. New Zealand is the eleventh signatory to Artemis Accords. Artemis Accords is a blueprint for space cooperation and supporting NASA’s plan to return humans to moon by 2024. It also supports NASA’s plan of launching historic human mission to Mars.
5. Microsoft has launched first ever "Asia Pacific Public Sector Cyber Security Executive Council". It was launched with the aim of building strong communications channel to address cyber threats and to share best practices among participating countries.
6. CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL), Pune has launched a new technique called SWASTIIK to disinfect water by using natural oils. It was launched because, water-borne diseases have increased India’s disease burden.
7. Two Russian cosmonauts, Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, did spacewalk for more than 7 hours at International Space Station. They walked outside to prepare for arrival of new Russian Nauka Lab module, which has been delayed several times due to technical issues.
8. First of its kind, real-time online map was launched, by a team of 15 Doctors and 12 Professionals from the diaspora in US and India, which shows available hospital beds in India with real-time updates. This online map was launched with the aim of providing critical and time-sensitive information to anxious Covid-19 patients, as battle against second wave of pandemic continues.
9. Trial of COVAXIN, a COVID-19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech, on children below 18 years was started at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Patna. Trail was started following a nod given on May 11 by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct clinical trials of Covaxin. COVAXIN was approved by DCGI, for Phase II/III clinical trials in age group of 2 to 18 years.
10. Forensic scientists at Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) have developed an indigenous chip-off technique which will help the investigative agencies in producing credible evidences against criminals in trial courts. This technique will also help in retrieving encrypted data from locked and severely damaged smart cell phones.
11. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad has developed nano-fibre based oral tablets of Amphotericin B, called as AmB. IIT Hyderabad researchers decided to keep this technology free of intellectual property rights and is ready for technology transfer so that tablet can be produced on mass level.
12. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed three types of cost-effective ventilators and an oxygen concentrator. 3 ventilators have been named as Prana, VaU and Svasta while oxygen cylinder has been named as Shwaas.
13. MIT engineers have discovered a new way of generating electricity using carbon nanotubes. A new material made up of carbon nanotubes have potential to generate electricity by collecting energy from its environment. These micro carbon particles can create current by interacting with liquid around them.
14. Clinical trials of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy was conducted globally. Therapy has emerged as a breakthrough in cancer treatment. It has shown promising results on end stage patients, especially in patients of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
15. Recently, in Yogyakarta city of Indonesia, dengue fever cases have been cut by 77% through a trial that manipulates the mosquitoes spreading dengue. Scientists used mosquitoes infected with "miraculous bacteria" and released across the cities. These bacteria reduce insect’s ability to spread dengue.
16. Alphabet’s Google is all set to build world’s longest undersea cable connecting United States, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. This undersea cable will boost internet connection capacity in these regions. Undersea cable, called Firmina, will run from East Coast of United States to Las Toninas, Argentina along with additional landings in Praia Grande, Brazil, and Punta del Este, Uruguay.
17. Researchers from University of Ottawa proposed a new optical element that could turn a telescope into thin sheet of paper, or a much smaller & lighter high-performance camera. This idea can turn into reality by dramatically miniaturizing optical devices.
18. E-commerce giant, Flipkart, has partnered with Telangana government to lead "Medicines from the Sky" project. Consortium has been tasked with development and execution of drone deliveries of medical supplies to remote areas under the project. Under the consortium, Walmart-owned Flipkart will deploy drones and will enable deliveries of vaccines & medical supplies.
19. According to member of NITI Aayog, Dr VK Paul, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) will start 4th national Covid-19 serosurvey. He also urged states to roll out their own sero surveillances in order to assess spread of covid-19 pandemic. This will be the fourth serosurvey conducted by ICMR.
20. European Space Agency (ESA) has announced about its probe called ‘EnVision’ to study Venus, after American Space agency NASA decided to send two missions to the planet. EnVision will be the next orbiter to circle over Venus. It will provide a holistic view of planet from its inner core to upper atmosphere.
21. During the curtain raiser event for 7th International Day of Yoga (IDY) on June 11, 2021, a mobile application called "Namaste Yoga" was launched. This app in devoted to Yoga. Event was organised by Ministry of Ayush in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY).
22. A Pune-based start-up firm, Thincr Technologies India Private Limited, has developed an 3D-printed Masks coated with anti-viral agents called virucides. Firm has integrated 3D printing and pharmaceuticals to produce a novel type of mask which attacks virus when viral particles come in contact with it.
23. Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar has developed a device ‘Jivan Vayu’ as a substitute for CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine. This device functions even without electricity. It is adapted to both kinds of oxygen generation units namely, O2 cylinders and oxygen pipelines in hospitals.
24. Scientists have created first-ever 3D map of boundary between our solar system and interstellar space called Heliosphere. 3D map was created using data from NASA’s IBEX satellite. Boundary of heliosphere has been mapped for the first time. It will provide for scientists to understand how solar and interstellar winds interact.
25. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launch mYoga app on the occasion of international day of Yoga and gave the mantra of "Yog se Sahyog Tak". This app is a great example of fusion of modern technology & ancient science. mYoga App was launched to provide yoga training videos which will be available across the world in different languages.
26. Recently, scientists conducted experiments on monoclonal antibody cocktail named REGEN-COV2. Antibody has been found to be life-saving treatment for severely affected Covid-19 patients. Monoclonal antibodies are artificial antibodies that perform the activity of our immune systems. They are produced by extracting specific antibodies from human blood and then cloning them.
27. As per the recommendations of a 13-member expert committee headed by cardiologist Devi Prasad Shetty, detection of COVID-19 can be done through throat gargle for children. Committee, set up by state government to assist in controlling the potential third wave, submitted its interim report which highlights that, throat gargle samples can be used to detect COVID-19 infection among children aged 6-14.
28. NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter called Ingenuity undertook its 8th flight on Red Planet. Most recent flight was made by Ingenuity to Mars was on June 21, 2021. During the flight, Ingenuity remained aloft for 77.4 seconds.
29. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched a ‘Centre for Research on Start-Ups and Risk Financing’ (CREST) which will provide academic & thought leadership in innovation, entrepreneurship and risk capital. CREST will help in creating a data repository on Indian start-ups and ventures.
30. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has launched a centralized web-based workflow-based IT platform called "e-PGS". LIC launched this platform for its group business operations. Project e-PGS was inaugurated by M R Kumar, Chairman of LIC, at Central Office, Mumbai.
31. India has decided to make CoWIN platform an open source for other countries in order to enable them to use this technology to run their own vaccination drives. Countries including Vietnam, Iraq, Peru, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Panama, Nigeria, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Uganda have expressed their interest in learning about CoWIN technology to run their vaccination programmes.
32. A recent study finds that, Nano-decoys can bind to and neutralize SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Nano-decoys are made from human lung spheroid cells (LSCs). It promotes viral clearance and reduce lung injury in macaque model of COVID-19. Nano-decoy therapy could be effective against emerging variants of coronavirus by mimicking the receptor that coronavirus binds to rather than targeting it.
33. Minister of State for Education, Shri Sanjay Dhotre, launched a Rapid Antigen Test kit for COVID-19. It was developed by IIT Delhi. RAT kit has been developed by IIT Delhi researchers led by Dr. Harpal Singh. He is a professor at Centre for Biomedical Engineering of IIT Delhi.
34. Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & IT, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, launched a e-filing portal of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) called ‘itat e-dwar’ on June 25, 2021. While launching the portal, Minister highlighted the power of Digital India.
35. European Space Agency is set to hire and launch world’s first physically disabled astronaut. It is going to be 22-member space programme for which decennial recruitment call for astronauts. It received 22,000 applicants. Space mission will ESA’s 7-billion-euro budget mission and is a third of NASA’s. Seven or eight launches in a year are dwarfed by 40 launches by United States.
36. Government has allowed private companies to establish & operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country. However, it is subject to prior authorisation from government. Draft National Space Transportation Policy-2020 which was put forward by the Department of Space and IN-SPACe is the nodal agency responsible for overall approval.
1. According to Union Government, about 7.63 million salaried workers have used their retirement savings to deal with covid-19 crisis since 2020. Back then, centre had allowed EPF subscribers to withdraw more money from their Employees’ Provident Fund corpus so that they can deal with hardships and income loss.
2. Union Cabinet has approved "Model Tenancy Act" for circulation to all States and Union Territories for adaptation by enacting fresh legislation or amending existing rental laws as required. Approved act will help in rebuilding legal framework on rental housing in India which in turn boost overall growth.
3. Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, launched revamped health schemes and has digitized the versions of Flagship Health Schemes. Schemes were launched on IT platform of National Health Authority (NHA).
4. India launched a global Initiative ‘Mission Innovation CleanTech Exchange’ with the aim of creating a network of incubators in member countries to boost clean energy innovation. Mission was launched virtually at "Innovating to Net Zero Summit, 2021″ organised by Chile.
5. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister, Thaawar chand Gehlot, will launch Senior care Ageing Growth Engine or SAGE project on June 4, 2021. SAGE project will be launched to select, support and create "one-stop access" of elderly care products and services provided by credible start-ups.
6. Kerala government has launched ‘Knowledge Economy Mission’ to boost job prospects in the state by supporting knowledge workers. Initiative was announced in State Budget on June 4. It was being spearheaded by Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) and they will submit a comprehensive project report before July 15.
7. Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, launched the YounTab scheme for students. Under the scheme, about 12,300 tablets were distributed among them in Leh. It is an initiative of Department of School Education. It was launched with the technical support of Information Technology Department.
8. Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, announced to create 80 acres of ‘Oxi-van’ (a forest) in Karnal district. It was announced on the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, 2021. Oxi-van will consist of 10 types of forests.
9. Union education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, approved guidelines to develop e-content for children with disabilities with the objectives of promoting inclusive education. PM e-Vidya programme was launched by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17, 2020 as a COVID-19 relief measures. Under the programme, expert committee has made detailed recommendations on creating accessible special e-content for Divyang, or children with disabilities.
10. NITI Aayog and Piramal Foundation launched ‘Surakshit Hum Surakshit Tum Abhiyaan’ to provide home-care support to asymptomatic covid-19 patients or patients with mild symptoms. This campaign was launched in 112 Aspirational Districts to assist district administrations in providing home-care support to COVID-19 patients.
11. During 54th meeting of Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMS), central government has approval 708 proposals for construction of 3.61 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana- Urban (PMAY-U). Meeting was attended by 13 States and UTs. So far, 96067 crores of funds have been released.
12. Central government has asked states and union territories to include UDID (Unique Disability Identification) card as identity proof while registering on Co-WIN 2.0 platform. It will ensure a smooth and effective Covid-19 vaccination drive. UDID was allowed with the aim of helping disabled persons to access Covid-19 vaccination.
13. Education ministry has developed an online module to compile data on out-of-school children. Ministry has also asked states and union territories to upload a quarterly progress report. Under this online module, data on out-of-school children should be mapped with special training centres (STCs) of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan.
14. Office of Principal Scientific Adviser to Government has initiated "Project O2 for India" with the aim of ensuring supply of critical raw materials like zeolites, Manufacturing of compressors and setting up of small oxygen plants. This project was initiated in aftermath of second wave of COVID-19 which witnessed an increase in demand for medical oxygen across the country.
15. India has started "Extension of Hospitals" project in several states to bridge the gap in major health infrastructure to fight against Covid-19 in India. Project will run especially in rural areas and smaller towns. Modular hospitals are an extension of hospital infrastructure.
16. Union Cabinet has approved ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ proposed by Ministry of Earth Sciences to conduct study on biodiversity, impact of climate change and to establish an offshore marine station in order to explore source of thermal energy. Mission will explore Deep Ocean for resources and help in development of deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.
17. Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot inaugurated 14 Cross-Disability Early Intervention Centers at 7 National Institutes and 7 Composite Regional Centers (CRCs).
18. Quality Council of India (QCI) and Association of Indian Manufacturers of Medical Devices (AiMeD) have launched "Indian Certification of Medical Devices Plus (ICMED) Scheme". ICMED scheme added further features to the ICMED Scheme that was launched in 2016 for Certification of Medical Devices.
19. Government is working towards linking innovative agricultural technologies with farms to benefit small and marginal farmers in northeast India. It will primarily focus on women under Biotech-KISAN programme. Department of Biotechnology issued special call for Northeast region under the programme which will help in understanding local issues of farmers & provide scientific solutions to them.
20. Union minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, announced to set up "Divyangta Khel Kendras" across the country to work towards interest of Divyangjans in sports and their good performance in Paralympics. First such kendra would be open in Ahmedabad City. This announcement was made while virtually addressing ‘Samajik Adhikarita Shivir’ in Gujarat.
21. Tribal Affairs Ministry and NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) have joined hands with the objective of fulfilling vision of ministry to achieve academic excellence in Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRSs). Partnership also aims to achieve excellence among 120 EMRS teachers and principals of 3 states which completed 40 days NISHTHA programme.
22. Assam government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Survey of India to implement Svamitva scheme in the state. Svamitva scheme aims to provide an integrated property validation solution in rural areas. Scheme will be implemented by Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj, and Assam Government’s Department of Revenue and Disaster Management with the support of Panchayat and Rural Development.
23. Delhi government has launched "Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana" to provide financial assistance to the families who lost a member due to Covid-19 pandemic. According to notification by Social Welfare Department, Rs 50,000 ex-gratia will be provided to every family that has lost a member amid pandemic.
24. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, e-launched Agricultural Diversification Scheme-2021 which will benefit vanbandhu- farmers in tribal areas. It seeks to make agriculture sustainable and profitable in tribal areas. Scheme will benefit some 1.26 lakh farmers from 14 tribal districts of the state.
25. Department of Women & Child Development in Kerala has decided to expand Kaval Plus programme to five districts, after the success of this pilot project in two districts of Kerala. It is an ambitious programme to lend holistic support to children in need of care & protection and to the survivors of sexual abuse.
26. According to Education Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Adimulapu Suresh, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has sanctioned funds of Rs 1,860 crore to implementation of SALT programme. SALT programme stands for "Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation" programme.
27. Central government, state government of Mizoram and the World Bank signed a loan agreement of worth $32 million. Loan agreement was signed for Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project. It will improve management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram.
28. West Bengal Cabinet approved the "Student Credit Card scheme" on June 24, 2021. Trinamool Congress had promised to launch this scheme in its election manifesto. This scheme will be implemented and launched on June 30, 2021. Under the scheme, student can get a soft loan of up to Rs. 10 lakh with the help of credit card to enroll into higher studies.
29. Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) organised an online event on June 25, 2021 to commemorate 6 years of launch of three Urban Missions namely Smart Cities Mission, AMRUT and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban. These schemes were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25 in 2015.
Awards & Honours
1. On the line of Bharat Ratna and Padma Awards, Assam cabinet has decided to institute Asom Ratna Award. Asom Ratna Award award will be presented every year to one person for his significant contribution to society. Cabinet also decided to constitute Asom Bibhushan, Assam Bhushan Award and Asom Shree award which will be conferred every year to three people, five people and ten people, respectively.
2. Union government has appointed Anup Chandra Pandey, as Election Commissioner. He is a retired IAS officer if 1984 batch from Uttar Pradesh cadre. He will serve the office for around three years and will retire in February 2024. He has been appointed to position after retirement of former Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora.
3. Pulitzer Prize 2021 was recently conferred recently. Megha Rajagopalan, an Indian-origin journalist, has won this top journalism award of USA on June 11, 2021. Megha won the prize along with two contributors. She has won Prize for innovative investigative reports exposing infrastructure of prisons and mass internment camps which were built secretly by China and detained Muslims in Xinjiang region.
4. On June 12, 2021 Google Doodle celebrated Italian astrophysicist and scientific disseminator Margherita Hack using an animated graphic on her 99th birth anniversary. The doodle shows "Hack sitting on her chair and looking into her telescope".
5. Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata who was the founder of Tata Group, has emerged as the topper of the list of EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of Century. An estimated donation of $102.4 billion was in health and education sector. Total philanthropic value of Tata is made up of 66 percent of Tata Sons which is estimated at $100 billion.
6. Cochin International Airport (CIAL) won Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honour in Airport Service Quality. Airport Council International (ACI) is a global body of airport operators which established Roll of Excellence recognition to airports.
7. Smart City Awards 2020 was announced under the ‘Smart Cities Mission’ on June 25. Uttar Pradesh was ranked as top performing state under India Smart Cities Award Contest 2020. Madhya Pradesh came second while Tamil Nadu at third position. Surat and Indore won best award for their overall performance in 2020.
8. Noted journalist, P. Sainath, was selected as one of the three recipients of Fukuoka Prize 2021. Sainath will receive ‘Grand Prize’ of Fukuoka Prize. Academic Prize will go to Prof. Kishimoto Mio of Japan. Prize for Arts & Culture will be given to filmmaker Prabda Yoon of Thailand.
1. Naomi Osaka, announced her withdrawal from Roland Garros 2021, after she was fined by French Open. French open fined her $15,000 and warned that she could face expulsion from tournament because she decided not to speak with press during tournament.
2. 36 years old Indian football, Sunil Chhetri, has surpassed Argentina’s Lionel Messi and has become second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes. Chhetri now leads Barcelona star Messi by two goals and is placed above Ali Mabkhout of UAE, who is at third place with 73 strikes. He achieved this feat against Bangladesh in joint preliminary qualifying round match for 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup.
3. Novak Djokovic has won his 19th Grand Slam title in French open 2021 in Men’s single category at Roland Garros in Paris. He won this title after coming back from 2 sets down against 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. Djokovic won the title winning Grand Slam final debutant by 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
4. Indian Athlete Milkha Singh passed away at the age of 91 due to Covid-19 related complications on June 18, 2021. Captain Milkha Singh, known as The Flying Sikh, was an Indian track and field sprinter. He was introduced to sport while serving the Indian Army. He is the only athlete who won gold in 400 metres race at Asian Games & Commonwealth Games.He was conferred India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, Padma Shri for his sporting achievements.
5. New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) has selected weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to contest women’s +87 kg category. Weightlifter will be the first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics. 43-year-old weightlifter had competed in men’s weightlifting competitions before gender transition in 2013.