Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

18th June 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: 17 June

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought is observed on 17th June every year. The day is celebrated to raise awareness of the presence of desertification and drought, and highlight methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought.

“Restoration. Land. Recovery. We build back better with healthy land” is the theme for 2021 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.

In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 17 the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to market public awareness of the difficulty.

The World Day to Combat Desertification may be a unique occasion to remind everybody that desertification is often effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, which key tools to the present aim lay in strengthened community participation and co-operation in the least levels.

National News

Cabinet approves Deep Ocean Mission of Ministry of Earth Sciences

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the implementation of  “Deep Ocean Mission”.

This mission is proposed by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), to explore the deep ocean for resources and develop deep-sea technologies for sustainable use of ocean resources.

The 5 year Mission will be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs. 4077 crore in a phase-wise manner.

The first phase will be carried during 2021-2024, at an estimated cost of Rs. 2823.4 crore.

The main objective of the Deep Ocean Mission is to support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India.

Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) will be the nodal Ministry for implementing this multi-institutional ambitious mission.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Earth Sciences: Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Central Govt launched “Project O2 for India” initiative

The government of India has launched ‘Project O2 for India’ to step up production of medical oxygen to meet the potential increase in demand due to further waves of the pandemic.

‘Project O2 for India’, an initiative of the Office of Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India (GoI), aims to help stakeholders working to augment the country’s ability to meet the rise in demand for medical oxygen.

Under the project, a ‘National Consortium of Oxygen’ is enabling the supply of critical raw materials such as zeolites, setting up of small oxygen plants, manufacturing compressors, final products such as oxygen plants, concentrators, and ventilators.

Besides, the consortium is also working to strengthen the manufacturing ecosystem for long-term preparedness.

Telangana AI Mission launched ‘Revv Up”

Telangana government has launched the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM) powered by Nasscom and as part of the T-AIM, an accelerator program called “Revv Up” has been launched to enable and empower AI startups.

The programme that will begin its first cohort in July is another step towards making Telangana and Hyderabad a global destination for AI and other emerging technologies.

The accelerator programme, exclusively designed for growth-stage AI startups, will cover various sectors.

Telangana Industries and IT principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan stated, “Telangana is committed to its vision of positioning the State as the leader in AI.

After becoming the first state in India to launch an actionable policy framework for Artificial Intelligence in June 2020, now set in motion the first edition of the Revv Up accelerator program to hone innovative AI ideas under T-AIM.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Telangana Capital: Hyderabad;
  • Telangana Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan;
  • Telangana Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao.


Microsoft names CEO Satya Nadella as chairman

Microsoft Corp, named Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He took over as the software giant’s CEO in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.

He is credited with bringing new energy to the company, founded in 1975. The company also appointed former chairman John Thompson as a lead independent director.

The top-level executive change comes just over a year after Gates stepped down from the board, saying he would focus on philanthropic works of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s biggest charities.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Microsoft CEO: Satya Nadella;
  • Microsoft Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States.


ADB inks USD 484 million loans with GoI to upgrade road network in Tamil Nadu

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India have signed a $484 million loan, to improve transport connectivity and facilitate industrial development in the Chennai–Kanyakumari Industrial Corridor (CKIC) in Tamil Nadu.

“The project is key to providing seamless road connectivity across industrial clusters, transport gateways and consumption centres, and help reduce logistics and production costs for CKIC’s targeted industries to boost their competitiveness.

About 590 km of state highways in the CKIC influence areas will be upgraded that cover 23 of the 32 districts between Chennai and Kanyakumari.

CKIC is part of the East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC) of India, which stretches from West Bengal to Tamil Nadu.

ECEC connects India to the production networks of South, Southeast, and East Asia.

It must be noted that ADB is the lead partner of the Government of India in developing ECEC.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ADB is a regional development bank established in 1966;
  • ADB Members: 68 countries (49 members are from Asia pacific region);
  • ADB is headquartered in Mandaluyong, Philippines;
  • Masatsugu Asakawa is the current president of ADB.

Summits and Conferences

IIT Bombay Hosts Conference of BRICS Network Universities 2021

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) is hosting a three day virtual “Conference of BRICS Network Universities”. This conference is being held as a part of India’s Chairmanship of the 13th BRICS Summit in 2021.

The basic objective of BRICS Network University is enhancing educational cooperation in general, and especially in the realm of research and innovation. The theme of the Conference of BRICS Network Universities is “Electric Mobility”.

The event will see 18 experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and S. Africa deliver keynotes on various aspects of electric mobility like traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and linkage between e-mobility and livelihoods.

PM Modi Virtually Addresses 5th edition of VivaTech in Paris

Prime Minister,  Narendra Modi virtually addressed the 5th edition of VivaTech. VivaTech is one of the largest digital and startup events of Europe, held in Paris every year since 2016.

PM Modi was invited as a Guest of Honour to deliver the keynote address at VivaTech 2021, which has been organised from 16-19 June 2021 in Paris. During his address, PM Modi invited the world to invest in India based on the five pillars: Talent, Market, Capital, Eco-system and, Culture of openness.

Other prominent speakers of the event include the President of France Mr. Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez, and Ministers/MPs from various European countries.

VivaTech is jointly organized by Publicis Groupe, a prominent advertising and marketing conglomerate, and Les Echos, a leading French media group.

The event brings together stakeholders in technology innovation and the startup ecosystem. It includes exhibitions, awards, panel discussions, and startup contests.


Policybazaar gets insurance broking licence

Policybazaar has got approval from regulator IRDAI to undertake insurance broking, a development that will help the company augment business and expand its bouquet of services.

With this development, the company will surrender its web aggregator licence to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and undertake business including insurance aggregation under the broking umbrella.

The broking license will allow the company to venture into segments which it could not do in the past like claims assistance, offline services, and establish Points of Presence network. Policybazaar has a market share of 25 percent in the life insurance segment while 10 percent in health insurance.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Policybazaar CEO: Yashish Dahiya;
  • Policybazaar Founded: June 2008;
  • Policybazaar HQ: Gurugram, Haryana.


ICICI Bank launches ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’

ICICI Bank has announced the launch of ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’, a comprehensive set of digital banking solutions for corporates and their entire ecosystem including promoters, group companies, employees, dealers, vendors and all other stakeholders.

The wide range of 360-degree solutions enables corporates to seamlessly meet all banking requirements of their ecosystem in an expeditious and frictionless manner.

The four main pillars of the ‘ICICI STACK for Corporates’ are:

  • Digital banking solutions for companies;
  • Digital banking services for channel partners, dealers and vendors;
  • Digital banking services for employees;
  • Curated services for promoters, directors and signatories.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • ICICI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • ICICI Bank MD & CEO: Sandeep Bakhshi.
  • ICICI Bank Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khayal Apka.

Defence News

Defence Minister Approves Budgetary Support of Rs 499 cr for innovations

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved the budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX-DIO (Innovations for Defence Excellence – Defence Innovation Organisation) for the next five years.

The funds will be used to provide financial support to nearly 300 start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and individual innovators with a larger goal of ensuring self-reliance in the defence sector.

The scheme is in sync with the government’s push to cut imports of military hardware and weapons and make India a hub for defence manufacturing.

Facilitate rapid development of new, indigenized, and innovative technologies for the Indian defence and aerospace sector in shorter timelines.

Create a culture of engagement with innovative startups, to encourage co-creation for defence and aerospace sectors.

Empower a culture of technology co-creation and co-innovation within the defence and aerospace sectors.

Rajnath Singh approves new policy for declassification of war history

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has approved a policy on archiving, declassification, compilation and publication of war and operations histories by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

However, declassification of older wars like the 1962 war is not automatic and will be taken upon a case by case basis by a committee to be constituted under the new policy.

According to the policy, records should ordinarily be declassified in 25 years.

Records older than 25 years should be transferred to the National Archives of India once the war/operations histories have been compiled. However, first, it should be evaluated by archival experts.

However, declassification of older wars like the Henderson Brooks report on the 1962 war with China and the Operation Bluestar of 1984 is not automatic. It is taken up on a case-by-case basis by a committee to be constituted under the policy.

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