Current Affairs: 26 June 2017

Important Days

International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: 26 June

  • By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse.
  • Supported each year by individuals, communities and various organisations all over the world, this global observance aims to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society 
  • Building on the success of last year, the theme for 2017 is: "Listen First - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe." It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.
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Day of the Seafarer: 25 June 2017

  • This year, once again, 25 June will mark the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS). DotS was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised STCW Convention. 
  • Its stated purpose is to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers from all over the world to international seaborne trade, the world economy and civil society as a whole.
  • The resolution "encourages Governments, shipping organisations, companies, shipowners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully".
  • This year our theme is "Seafarers Matter".

Govt to observe anti-Emergency day on June 25-26

  • The government has decided to observe anti-Emergency day on June 25-26 and asked all its ministers to hold programmes across the country to remind people how Emergency was clamped by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975.
  • Terming the Emergency as a “black day” in the constitutional democracy of independent India, Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu has written to all ministers, asking them to make themselves available to the requests of the presidents of state units of the BJP to demonstrate how the party values democracy.

National Events

For the first time in the history of Manipur, 24/7 helpline '181' launched for women

  • To battle the ever increasing crimes against women in Manipur, the Biren Singh-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has launched a toll free 24/7 helpline number 181 for women in the state.
  • This is first time in the history of Manipur. A helpline just for women was launched at Kuranga Nayani Hall, D C office complex of Lamphel by Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) and department of social welfare.
  • The helpline will provide a 24-hour telecom service to women affected by violence, seeking support and information.
  • The helpline will also facilitate crisis and non-crisis intervention through referral to the appropriate agencies such as police, hospitals, ambulance services, District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), protection officer (PO)/OSC.
  • The helpline will also provide information about the appropriate support services, government schemes and programmes available to the women affected by violence, in her particular situation within the local area in which she resides or is employed.

Survey for world's highest rail track to commence in Leh

  • The Railways will kick off the final location survey of the 498 km long Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line at Leh in Jammu and Kashmir this week.
  • Coming up at a high of 3,300 metres, the strategically important rail project is touted to become the highest rail track in the world, overtaking China's Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
  • The all-weather Leh rail network is one of the four important railway connectivities identified by the defence ministry along the China border.
  • The proposed new rail line will connect all important locations between Bilaspur and Leh namely Sunder Nagar Mandi, Manali, Tandi, Keylong, Koksar, Darcha, Upshi and Karu.
  • The Bilaspur-Manali-Leh line is along Himachal-J&K border and the last three lines along Assam-Arunachal border.
  • Once the Bilaspur-Manali-Leh railway line is completed, Leh will be directly connected to Himachal Pradesh and the rest of India by railway.

International Events

India and Portugal sign 11 pacts on science, tech, education, research, commerce

  • India and Portugal announced a four million euros joint fund to bolster research in science and technology as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with his Portuguese counterpart on cooperation in areas like counter-terrorism, space and climate studies.
  • The agreements signed included cooperation in outer space, double taxation avoidance, nano technology, improving cultural ties, youth and sports, higher education and scientific research, and Portugal-India business hub and Indian Chamber of Commerce.

India, Russia Sign ‘Military Cooperation Roadmap’

  • Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu signed a military cooperation roadmap during the 17th meeting of the Russian-Indian inter-governmental commission for military-technical cooperation, which took place in Moscow, Russia
  • The roadmap is to become the basic document in planning bilateral contacts, but Shoigu did not provide details on the contents.
  • India and Russia are also set to upgrade joint military exercises. “Military cooperation is a major component and platform of Russian-Indian strategic interaction.

Aadhaar not valid for travel to Nepal, Bhutan

  • Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians travelling to Nepal and Bhutan 
  • Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan--both countries for which they don't need visas--if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission. 
  • Moreover, to ease travel, persons over 65 and below 15 years can show documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity. These include PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card and ration card but not Aadhaar. 
  • In another development, Indians flying abroad will not be required to fill departure cards from next month. 
  • However, those going out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration checkposts will have to fill the embarkation card. 

China develops world’s most powerful submarine detector

  • Chinese scientists have claimed a major breakthrough in magnetic detection technology which could find hidden metallic objects, including minerals and submarines.
  • The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China’s largest research institute, said in an article this week that a “superconductive magnetic anomaly detection array” has been developed in Shanghai and passed inspection by an expert panel
  • The device, which works from the air, could be used to pinpoint the location of minerals buried deep beneath the earth in Inner Mongolia, for example, with a level of precision as high as anything currently available around the world, the experts were quoted as saying by the report.
  • The device could also be used on civilian and military aircraft as a “high-performance equipment and technical solution to resources mapping, civil engineering, archaeology and national defence

Sports

Junior Shooting World Championship: Anish wins gold with world record score

  • Pistol shooter Anish shone bright as India bagged a gold and a silver on the opening day of the ISSF Junior World Championship Rifle/Pistol campaign in Suhl, Germany 
  • The 15-year old from Haryana won gold in the Junior Men's 25m Standard Pistol competition, with a world record score of 579, which helped India also bag the Team Silver in the event and prop it to second in the overall standings.
  • Anish's score was seven points clear of second-placed German Florian Peter who shot 572, while Ukraine's Pablo Korostylov won the bronze in the event shooting a score of 570.
  • Anhad Jawanda shot 561 while Sambhaji Zanzan Patil shot 547 -- a combined score of 1678 winning them the team silver.
  • India's Shirin Godara shot 615.9 to finish 21st in the Junior Women's 50m Rifle Prone competition.
  • Prasiddhi Mahant and Ayushi Podder in the same event ended 41st and 57th with scores of 609.8 and 605.4 respectively.
  • In the Junior Men's 50m Rifle Prone, Fateh Singh Dhillon finished 23rd on a score of 617.3, while Subhankar Pramanick shot 615.9 to end in 29th position.
  • India's third competitor in the event, Syed Araib Pervez was placed 66th with a score of 606.

World Taekwondo Federation changes name

  • The World Taekwondo Federation changed its name to World Taekwondo because of ‘negative connotations’ that came with its acronym WTF.
  • The federation’s original name was used since its establishment in 1973. However their president Choue Chung-won felt that it was important to rebrand the organisation
  • The change was made before the start of the 2017 World Taekwondo Championships.

K. Srikanth clinches Australian Open Superseries title

  • Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth notched up his second successive Super Series title with a stunning straight-game triumph over reigning Olympic champion Chen Long in the Australian Open summit clash in Sydney
  • The world No.11 Srikanth won 22-20 21-16 in a 45-minute clash against the world No.6 Chinese, who is also the current All England champion.
  • Srikanth, who had reached the summit clash in Singapore and Indonesia before this tournament, is only the fifth player in the world to contest three successive Super Series finals.


Ankush Dahiya Makes India Proud, Wins Gold Medal At Ulaanbaatar Cup In Mongolia

  • This is no ordinary day for Indian boxing. Two Indian boxers made India proud - one bagged gold, the other silver.
  • Ankush Dahiya (60 kg) clinched gold while the experienced L Devendro Singh (52kg) settled for a silver medal on the final day of the Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing tournament in Mongolia.
  • 19-year-old Ankush, who is a former Asian youth silver medallist, defeated Korean Man Choe Chol in a split verdict, while Devendro lost to Indonesia's Aldoms Suguro, again a split decision.

Leander Paes and Adil Shamasdin clinch Aegon Ilkey Challenger title

  • Veteran tennis star Leander Paes and his Canadian partner Adil Shamasdin clinched the men's doubles title at the Aegon IIkley Challenger Trophy
  • The top seeds defeated local wild card entrants Brydan Klein and Joe Salisbury 2-6, 6-2, 10-8 to clinch the trophy.
  • The match was evenly poised till the end with the UK pair outclassing the Indo-Canadian duo in the first set.
  • The second set though looked like a comeback for the 44-year Indian and his teammate -- which they won as easily as their opponents did in the first set.
  • The third and decisive set went to the wire, with both the pairs trying hard to take the lead. But the duo of Paes and Shamsdin took a slender lead to clinch the set and the trophy.

Awards & Honours

PV Sindhu, Indian junior hockey team win SJFI annual awards

  • The Sports Journalists Federation of India, at its annual general meeting decided to confer the best Sportsperson of the Year Award on the ace shuttler and Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu.
  • The Best Team of the Year award was bagged by the Indian junior hockey squad which won the World Cup in Lucknow last December.
  • Both the awards would be presented at the 40th convention of the SJFI to be held in Indore in September.

Haryana girl Manushi Chhillar is Femina Miss India World 2017

  • The 54th Femina Miss India World 2017 winner is Manushi Chhillar from Haryana, while the first runner-up is Sana Dua from Jammu and Kashmir and the second runner-up is Priyanka Kumari from Bihar.
  • The event was held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai
  • Manushi, whose parents are doctors, studied at St. Thomas School in Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Azim Premji honoured with Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy

  • Wipro Chairman Azim Premji is among the honorees of this year’s Carnegie Medal, considered the most prestigious prize in Philanthropy. The award has been given to him for his efforts to reform public school system in India.
  • Premji, 70, who founded the Azim Premji Foundation, is among the nine philanthropists named recipients of the 2017 Medal of Philanthropy. Carnegie Corporation in a statement said that an extraordinary undertaking is driven by the Azim Premji Foundation’s direct field work, currently serving seven states and over three lakh schools to reform public school system of the country.
  • The Carnegie institutions will award the medals during a formal ceremony in October.

Vijaya Bank bags nine Skoch Awards

  • Vijaya Bank has bagged nine Skoch Awards. 
  • The bank received awards in the following categories -- Best Bank in Public Sector; Best Bank for NPA Management – Organization Category; Retail Lending; Inclusive Wallet – VPAYQWIK; Digital Inclusion; IT Security; e-Surveillance of ATMs and branches; and 100 Digital Villages – Financial Inclusion.
  • The bank’s Executive Director B. S. Rama Rao received the NPA Management Award (individual category) from Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, Skoch Group at Mumbai.

Banking & Finance

Mobile banking complaints possible now under Ombudsman scheme

  • You can now complain against banks for fraudulent or wrong transactions on the internet and mobile banking or in the case of misselling of products from banks.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) widened the scope of its Banking Ombudsman Scheme 2006, to include, inter alia, deficiencies arising out of sale of insurance/ mutual fund/ other third party investment products by banks, the central bank said in a statement on its website.
  • The amended Banking Ombudsman Scheme shall come into force from July 1, 2017.
  • Under the amended Scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to Mobile Banking/ Electronic Banking services in India.
  • The monetary compensation has been increased from existing Rs 1 million to Rs 2 million (Rs 10-20 lakh).

Appointments

IDFC Bank elevates Sunil Kakar as CEO

  • Private sector lender IDFC Bank announced the elevation of its CFO Sunil Kakar as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from July 17 for three years.
  • Kakar has also been appointed as additional director. Both the appointments are subject to shareholders' approval at the annual general meeting (AGM).
  • Besides, the bank announced that the Board has approved the resignation of veteran banker Vikram Limaye from the post of MD and CEO who is set to join leading stock exchange NSE as its new Managing Director and CEO.
  • The Board of Directors has approved appointment of Sunil Kakar as the Managing Director and CEO of the company for 3 years with effect from July 17, 2017,

Sikh Woman Palbinder Kaur Shergill Becomes First Turbaned Supreme Court Judge In Canada

  • Indian-origin Sikh human rights advocate Palbinder Kaur Shergill has been appointed a judge at the Supreme Court of British Columbia in New Westminster. Ms Shergill is the first turbaned Sikh to be appointed to the judiciary in Canada.
  • Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the appointment under the new judicial application process announced on October 20 last year.
  • The appointment was made with immediate effect as Justice Shergill replaces Justice EA Arnold-Bailey, who retired on May 31
  • Prior to her appointment to the bench, Ms Shergill practised as a lawyer and mediator with her law firm, Shergill & Company, Trial Lawyers.
  • She has extensive trial and appellate experience and has appeared before courts and tribunals across the country, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Science & Technology

ISRO-made system to alert users at unmanned level crossings

  • Satellite-based chip systems will now alert road users at unmanned level crossings about approaching trains and also help in tracking train movement on a real-time basis.
  • On a pilot basis, the Mumbai and Guwahati Rajdhani trains will be equipped with this system.
  • Road users will be warned by hooters once a train approaches an unmanned level crossing as railways are installing ISRO-developed integrated circuit (IC) chips on locomotives of trains.
  • There will be hooters at 20 unmanned level crossings on Rajdhani routes for Guwahati and Mumbai

Paris agreement's 1.5C target 'only way' to save coral reefs

  • Greater emissions reductions and delivering on the Paris climate agreement are now “the only opportunity” to save coral reefs the world over from decline, with local responses no longer sufficient
  • The first global scientific assessment of the impacts of climate change on the 29 world heritage-listed coral reefs found that the frequency, intensity and duration of heat-stress events had worsened with increasing global warming, with massive consequences for the 29 world heritage sites.
  • The Unesco report found that local efforts to increase reefs’ resilience “remain necessary but are no longer sufficient” without complementary national and international efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels – the most ambitious target set by the Paris agreement, and understood to be the maximum possible to secure coral reefs’ long-term survival.

Books & Authors

Book on Darkest Days of Emergency Released

  • The Emergency — Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour, a book written by A Surya Prakash, chairman Prasar Bharati was released by Union Minister for Urban Development and Information & Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Ahmedabad
  • The book was launched at a conference to mark the anniversary of the Emergency and to honour those who fought for restoration of democracy in the country in the mid-1970s. 
  • The event was organised by MeghNirghosh Media Ltd.
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