Current Affairs: 28 June 2017

National Events

Small Business – Big Impact: ITC celebrated first ever International MSME Day on June 27

  • The International Trade Centre (ITC) celebrated the first International MSME Day on June 27, 2017.
  • ITC is the joint agency of the UN and the WTO supporting SMEs in developing countries and transition economies for sustainable and inclusive trade
  • June 27, after being marked as the MSME Day, is being celebrated globally to recognise the importance of the role that the sector plays in generating employment and in a country’s economy.
  • ITC said more than 90% of world’s businesses are micro, small and medium enterprises. There are 500 million MSMEs in the world and they represent 90 percent of all goods exporters.

Social Progress Index: India's quality of life improves

  • The 2017 Social Progress Index report was launched on 21 June by SPI with support from Deloitte and its strategic partners
  • It finds that 113 countries, out of the 128 countries ranked, have improved their level of social progress since 2014, with some countries demonstrating that it’s possible to significantly improve social progress, in spite of economic and geopolitical challenges.
  • Denmark is the world’s top performer this year (scoring 90.57/100), closely followed by a combination of the remaining Nordic countries, as well as countries much larger in size and more diverse in population, including Canada, Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
  • India which is ranked at 93rd position performs within the expected range on a relative basis.

Kalraj Mishra launches Digital MSME scheme

  • Union Minister of MSME Kalraj Mishra launched a new scheme, 'Digital MSME' Scheme for the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector
  • On the occasion of MSME day, the MSME minister launched Digital MSME Scheme and exchanged Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with SAP India, Intel and HMT.
  • Mishra said that the MoU with SAP was signed to encourage ERP in MSMEs. 
  • The event also felicitated successful MSME entrepreneurs through National MSME Awards.
  • Organised by the Ministry of MSME, the programme was inaugurated by Mishra, along with Ministers of State for MSME, Giriraj Singh and Haribhai Parthibhai.

International Events

Mihai Tudose designated Romania's new prime minister

  • Mihai Tudose, the outgoing economy minister of Romania, has been appointed as prime minister, days after the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) removed its own government following an internal power row.
  • The 50-year-old Tudose now has 10 days to gain the vote of confidence in his government and his programme.

US Lists China Among Worst Human Trafficking Offenders

  • President Donald Trump's administration hit China Tuesday over its rights record, listing the country alongside Sudan and North Korea on a list of the world's worst human trafficking offenders.
  • The State Department downgraded China in its annual "Trafficking in Persons Report," saying Beijing is doing little to combat the phenomenon or protect its victims.
  • The agency's 2017 report on human trafficking upgraded the statuses of Myanmar, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Qatar, while leaving those of Russia, Cuba and Thailand unchanged.
  • The department dropped Iraq and Myanmar from a list of countries that recruit and use child soldiers, a change from 2016.

USA designates Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin as global terrorist

  • Dispelling Pakistan's longstanding contention that the Hizbul Mujahideen was a homegrown Kashmiri resistance force, the US on Monday designated Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. 
  • The designation happened hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Donald Trump, signalling the new administration’s commitment to stamping out Pak-sponsored terror. The Summit meeting had not started at the time of going to press. 

EU slaps Google with record-breaking 2.42 billion euros fine for rigging search results

  • The European Union’s antitrust regulator fined Alphabet Inc.’s Google a record €2.42 billion ($2.71 billion), saying its search engine stacks the deck in favor of its own comparison-shopping service.
  • The move, which follows more than seven years of investigations, threatens far-reaching ramifications not just for Google, but for the design of products and services from other increasingly dominant tech giants.

Indians become second largest group of migrants in Australia

  • Indians have become the second largest group of migrants living in Australia since 2011 at 1,63,000, following people of Chinese origin, according to the latest census data.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the latest figures of the country's fast changing population and demographics that has recorded 1.3 million new migrants settled in Australia since 2011 from around 180 countries, including India and China.
  • According to official data, Census 2016 recorded new migrants from India at 1,63,000, emerging as the most common country of birth of new arrivals after China at 1,91,000 new migrants.
  • The census updated the Australian population to 24.4 million people in 2016 from over 21.5 million in 2011.

ATM celebrates 50th birthday, first-ever cash machine goes golden to mark occasion

  • The automated teller machine (ATM) marked its 50th anniversary on Tuesday, with a British bank decorating the site of the world's first cashpoint in gold to mark the occasion.
  • The first ATM was unveiled by Barclays at their Enfield branch in north London on 27 June, 1967. The invention of the ATM was a historical moment that completely changed the way the world thought about and used cash,"
  • The original cash machine was the brainchild of John Shepherd-Barron, who was commissioned by the bank to create six cash dispensers. 
  • They were based on vending machines. Customers could access their money outside of banking hours — a mini-revolution on the high street. The first person to use the inaugural ATM was actor Reg Varney

Sports

Indian men's and women's throwball teams create history

  • The Indian men's and women's throwball teams scripted history by bagging a gold medal each in the World Games, held at Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • The women's team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 15-13, 15-12 in a nail-biting final to clinch the title, while the men posted a 15-13, 15-12 win over Bangladesh in their final match to finish at the top of the podium.
  • The World Games, organised by the International Sports Council (Canada), saw participation from 11 countries, competing in 42 different categories.

Appointments

Kaushik Basu takes over as IEA president

  • Former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). 
  • Basu's three-year term started from June 23.  
  • Basu has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016 and as the chief economic adviser to the Government of India from 2009 to 2012. 
  • He is currently the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell. 
  • The IEA is a leading organisation for professional economists and it seeks to shape global economic policy and research. Among IEA's past presidents are Nobel laureates Kenneth Arrow, Robert Solow, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz. 

Rajeev Shukla to head BCCI Special Committee

  • Rajeev Shukla, a former vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), will head a newly-formed seven-member Special Committee, as decided at Special General Meeting (SGM), to suggest a way forward for implementing the administrative overhaul prescribed in the Supreme Court order on July 18 last year.
  • Besides Shukla and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, who will be the convener of the meeting, the committee will include former India captain Sourav Ganguly (Bengal), T.C. Mathew (Kerala), Naba Bhattacharjee (Meghalaya), Jay Shah (Gujarat) and BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.
  • The formation of the committee is, in a way, a first step by the BCCI for almost a year since the Supreme Court pronounced the judgement. However, the composition was far from being unanimous. 
  • A section within the Board pressed hard for committee to be chaired by BCCI acting president C.K. Khanna.

Awards & Honours

Dhanraj Pillay to be awarded Bharat Gaurav – East Bengal’s highest honour

  • Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay will be awarded East Bengal football club’s highest honour – Bharat Gaurav on their foundation day. 
  • The ceremony will be held on August 1.
  • Pillay has played a huge role in reviving the Indian team and performed brilliantly during his 15-year career, representing the country in four Olympics, World Cups, Champions Trophy and Asian Games. He played total 339 matches for India, scoring 170 goals.
  • He made his international hockey debut in 1989 in Allwyn Asia Cup. He led India to Asian Games glory in 1998 and also won the Asia Cup in 2003. 
  • Pillay also received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for his remarkable performance in 1999-2000 and was later awarded the Padma Shri and civilian award in 2000.
  • India’s hockey team won the Asian Games in 2002 under Pillay’s captaincy.

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