Weekly Current Affairs 22nd To 29th June 2019

Weekly Current Affairs 22nd To 29th June 2019

International News

Elections held in Mauritania for the First Time

  • Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa went to polls for the first time since the African nation gained independence from France nearly 60 years ago.
  • President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who seized power in a military coup in 2008, agreed to step down and abide by serving a period of maximum two five-year elected terms.
  • Bound by term limits, Abdel Aziz threw his support behind 62-year-old Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.
  • About Mauritania:
    • The country is officially named 'Islamic Republic of Mauritania' and lies on the Atlantic coast of Africa.
    • In 1981, Mauritania became the final country in the world to formally abolish slavery, but it continues to this day.

Saudi Arabia becomes 1st Arab country to get FATF Membership

  • Since November 2004, Saudi Arabia has been a Founding Member of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) arm of the FATF group.
  • Now, the Kingdom's accession came as the global money laundering watchdog celebrated the 30th anniversary of its first meeting held in Paris (France) in 1989.
  • What is the FATF?
    • It was established in 1989, with headquarters in Paris, France.
    • With the Kingdom becoming a FATF member, the number of permanent members in the group is now 39.

A Peace Museum built on WWII memories gifted to Manipur

  • The inauguration of Imphal Peace Museum marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal.
  • Among the highlights of the museum such as diaries and other memorabilia of those who returned to Japan safely, is a framed calligraphy by Shinzo Abe Japan's Prime Minister, which reads heiwa- meaning peace in Japanese.
  • About the Battle of Imphal 1944:
    • Battle of Imphal took place in the region around the city of Imphal (Manipur's capital) from March to July 1944.
    • Japanese armies with an attempt to destroy Allied forces at Imphal invaded India but were driven back into Burma (today's Myanmar) with heavy losses.

Russia extends ban on EU Food Import until end of 2020

  • This decision was in continuation of Russia's retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine.
  • A look into the background:
    • In 2014, following the international sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries over Russia for its annexation of Crimea and support of east Ukraine's separatists, Moscow in August 2014 imposed counter sanctions on most food imports from the European Union, the US and several other countries.
    • The international restrictions were primarily targeted at finance, energy and defence sectors of the Russian economy.
  • Result of the Sanctions:
    • The Western economic restrictions being faced by Russia as well as the country's own embargo have affected the Russian economy by pushing up food prices.

Anti-money laundering platform Launched by UAE

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the first country in the Gulf to launch a new anti-money laundering platform called 'goAML' (Anti-Money Laundering).
  • It is the new anti-money laundering platform launched by UAE's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and is developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to curb organized crimes.
  • It is being considered as one of the UNODC's strategic responses to financial crime, such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • One must know:
    • As per the officials of UAE's Central Bank (in Abu Dhabi) 'goAML' has been open for registration since May and all financial entities and Designated Non-Financial Businesses or Professions have to register on this new reporting platform system by 27th June 2019.

National News

Kolhapuri Chappals get GI Tag

  • The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM) has granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kolhapuris, the ethnic leather chappal (footwear) to four districts each in the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • These 8 districts are- Kolhapur, Sangli, Solapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra and Belgaum, Dharwad, Bagalkot and Bijapur districts of Karnataka.
  • About the Kolhapuri Chappal:
    • King’s Prime Minister Vishwaguru Basavanna, wanted to create a casteless society and remove the stigma attached to the cobbler community, thus, the community embraced the Lingayat faith and used its skills to start producing footwear that came to be known equally for its ruggedness and regal bearing.
    • Later, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur encouraged its production and 29 tanning centres were opened during his rule in Kolhapur.
  • Significance of this GI Tag:
    • Getting GI Tag will open large markets, both domestic and international to artisans who produce Kolhapuris.

Tree-Felling banned by Bihar Government

  • The Bihar Government recently announced a ban on the felling of trees on state-owned properties in different cities of Bihar, citing increasing pollution as well as a fatal heatwave in the state as the reason for the ban.
  • Bihar Government has taken this decision as most cities of Bihar are ranked in list of World's most polluted cities which includes- Patna (7th position), Muzaffarpur (13th position), Gaya (18th position) and Bhagalpur.
  • One must know:
    • This new scheme is valid only for State Government owned properties and not for people who privately own a tree.
  • More about this Initiative:
    • With this new initiative, the Bihar Government has put a hold on tree harvesting for at least government held projects.
    • Trees on private land, however, can be felled in the absence of a tree-protection Act in Bihar.

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik releases Flood Hazard Atlas

  • Odisha has come out with a unique 'Flood Hazard Atlas' aided by satellite imagery, which is expected to help the coastal state manage floods more efficiently.
  • About the Flood Hazard Atlas:
    • The Atlas is compiled on the basis of historic flood inundation captured via satellite imagery over 18 years period from the year 2001 to 2018.
    • Then all such combined flood layers for a period of 18 years were integrated into flood hazard layer representing observed flood-inundated areas with different frequencies.

Free DD set-top boxes distributed by Central Government

  • Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, along with Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor Satyapal Malik distributed Doordarshan (DD) Free Dish Set Top Boxes to people living in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir region in Srinagar.
  • The Set Top Box is provided free of cost and the audience will be able to view over 100 channels for free.
  • DD Kashmir launched a news bulletin titled 'Dogri News' for the Jammu region on the channel, which will be telecasted every day at 6.15 PM on the channel on digital mode.
  • Significance of this step:
    • In small areas and districts where there is no mobile connection, no internet and no television this new step will help in providing information and making them aware.
    • The DD Free Dish service will help those people who are living in remote and distant areas of J&K and further aims to cover even those areas in the country where TV has not reached so far.

Korean Ambassador to India launches "Jaipur Foot Korea"

  • Bong-Kil Shin, the South Korean Ambassador to India launched "Jaipur Foot Korea", a collaborative initiative between South Korea and Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), a Jaipur-based prosthetic limb non-profit organisation.
  • About Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti:
    • BMVSS is the world's largest organisation rehabilitating more than 1.78 million disabled.
    • It provides all its assistance, such as artificial limbs, callipers and many other aids/appliances with everything being totally free of charge.
  • About Jaipur Foot:
    • It is a lightweight and durable prosthetic limb/artificial limb.
    • Being inexpensive it is widely accepted as prosthesis and has been widely used in India.

Annual Health Assistance announced to 'Loktantra Senanis'

  • Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana has announced annual financial health assistance of Rs. 5 lakh to 'Loktantra Senanis' or their spouse for treatment at private or government hospitals.
  • Loktantra Senanis are the people who were jailed during 1975-1977 Emergency under preventive detention laws.
  • About the Indian Emergency of 1975-1977:
    • Indian Emergency that started from 25th June 1975 continued for a 21 month period up to 21st March 1977.
    • Once the emergency was proclaimed, it effectively bestowed on Prime Minister the power to rule by decree, suspending elections and civil liberties.

32nd ISTA Congress hosted by Telangana

  • The ISTA Congress is being held for the first time in Asia.
  • The eight-day conference is being jointly hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare and Telangana government.
  • About the International Seed Testing Association:
    • ISTA was formed in 1924 during the 4th International Seed Testing Congress held in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
  • One must know:
    • Telangana is India's major hub of seed production as it meets about 60% of the country's needs in major crops like rice, soybean, sorghum, maize, pearl millet and cotton.

Banking

Indiabulls Housing Finance-Lakshmi Vilas Bank merger gets CCI

  • It is a share swap deal with an intent to create a combined entity with a larger capital base and wider geographical reach.
  • After the merger, Indiabulls Housing Finance will get access to low cost deposits.
  • About the Competition Commission of India (CCI):
    • The objectives of CCI is to prevent activities that have an adverse effect on competition in India.
    • CCI was founded on 14th October 2003 and has its headquarters in New Delhi.

IndusInd Bank-Bharat Financial merger to be effective from July 4

  • The National Company Law Tribunal on June 10th, 2019 approved the Scheme of Arrangement among BFIL, IndusInd Bank and Induslnd Financial Inclusion and their respective shareholders and creditors.
  • About IndusInd Bank:
    • It has its headquarters in Mumbai.
    • The CEO of IndusInd bank is Romesh Sobti.
  • About Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited (BFIL):
    • Bharat Financial Inclusion Limited (BFIL) is a non-banking finance company, licensed by the Reserve Bank of India.
    • It was founded in 1998 and its founder is Vikram Akula.

RBI launches CMS on its website

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched a Complaint Management System (CMS) on its website for facilitating RBI's grievance redressal process.
  • About CMS:
    • It is a software application launched by RBI for lodging complaints against any regulated entity with public interfaces such as Commercial Banks, Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs) and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
  • More about CMS:
    • Keeping convenience of customers in mind, RBI has designed CMS in a way to enable online filing of complaints.
    • The application has the feature of keeping complainants fully informed via auto-generated acknowledgements and enabling them to track the status of their complaints as well as to file appeals online against the decisions of the Ombudsman, where applicable.

Appointments

Name of the Person Designation
Shefali Juneja Representative of India in the council of ICAO
Amish Tripathi Director of London's Nehru Centre
K. Natarajan New Director General of the ICG
Samant Kumar Goel  Director of the RAW
Arvind Kumar Director of the Intelligence Bureau
Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya Governor of Manipur
Narinder Batra Member of the International Olympic Committee 
Sharad Kumar Saraf New President of FIEO
Resigns
Viral Acharya  RBI Deputy Governor
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