Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

25th and 26th June 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

Day of the Seafarer: 25 June

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates the annual Day of the Seafarer (DoS) on June 25 each year to pay respect to Seafarers and sailors who help the entire world function by conducting sea transport.

2021 marks the 11th anniversary of DoS. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers found themselves both on the front line of the global response and subject to difficult working conditions surrounding uncertainties and difficulties around port access, re-supply, crew changeovers, repatriation, etc.

The theme of the 2021 campaign is “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future”.

The day was proposed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2010 to celebrate the contribution of the seafarer to the world economy and civil society. This special day has been celebrated since 2011.

World Vitiligo Day: 25 June

World Vitiligo Day is observed on June 25 to build global awareness about vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disorder leading to loss of colour in the skin creating a variety of patterns on the skin from loss of pigment.

Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder and that can have a significant negative social or psychological impact on patients. The first World Vitiligo Day was observed on June 25, 2011.

National

India’s official Olympic theme song ‘Lakshya Tera Samne Hai’ released

Ahead of the Tokyo Games, the official Olympic theme song for the Indian contingent was launched. Mohit Chauhan has composed and sung the song titled “Lakshya Tera Samne Hai”. The Games will open on July 23 and over 100 Indian athletes have qualified for the event so far.

The event was organized by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and attended by its President, Secretary-General, Deputy Chef De Mission, Sports Secretary, and DG Sports Authority of India (SAI). Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was the chief guest at the event.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Olympic Association President: Narayana Ramachandran;
  • Indian Olympic Association Founded: 1927.

 India and World Bank signs USD 32 million loan for Mizoram

The Government of India, along with the Government of Mizoram has signed a $32 million loan agreement with World Bank for Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project.

The project aims to improve the management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram, with a focus on the benefit of under-served areas and vulnerable groups.

The project will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) and its subsidiaries, improve the quality and coverage of services delivered by the state government health systems, and invest in a comprehensive Quality Assurance program which would enable quality certification of health facilities.

The Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project will benefit the people across all eight districts of the state. It will also benefit health sector staff, specifically at the secondary and primary levels, by strengthening their planning and management capabilities along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.
  • Chief Minister of Mizoram: Pu Zoramthanga; Governor: P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.

Odisha CM launches ‘Ashirbad’ for education and health of Covid orphans

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a new scheme ‘Ashirbad’ for the education, health and maintenance of Covid orphans.

The Chief Minister announced that Rs 2500 per month will be deposited in the bank accounts of family members who have taken the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents.

Children who lost their parents or the main earning person of the family on April 1, 2020, or thereafter to Covid-19 will be eligible to be covered under the scheme. Such children under distress have been divided into three categories.

Those who have lost both their parents, those who have lost either father or mother, and those whose main earning member of the family, either father or mother have died.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Odisha: Naveen Patnaik and Governor is Ganeshi Lal.

Raghuram Rajan named in Tamil Nadu economic advisory panel

The Tamil Nadu government named Nobel laureate Esther Duflo and former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan as part of a five-member Economic Advisory Council for the state.

The other members in the council are former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, development economist Jean Drèze and former Union Finance Secretary S Narayan.

The five-member team was put together by finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, who was an investment banker in the US and Singapore before he entered politics. Based on the recommendations of this Council, the government will revitalize the state’s economy and ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach all segments of society.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit;
  • MK Stalin chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani e-launches Agricultural Diversification Scheme

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has virtually launched the ‘Agricultural Diversification Scheme-2021’, with the aim of making agriculture sustainable and profitable in the tribal areas of the state. The scheme will benefit more than 1.26 lakh vanbandhu- farmers from 14 tribal districts in Gujarat.

The state government would distribute fertilizer-seed assistance worth around Rs. 31 crores to tribal farmers, which will also include 45 kg of urea, 50 kg of NPK, and 50 kg of ammonium sulfate.

Gujarat government has already provided assistance of Rs. 250 crore to 10 lakh tribal farmers under this scheme in the last ten years.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Gujarat Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani;
  • Gujarat Governor: Acharya Devvrat.

World’s first-ever genetically modified rubber planted in Assam

In Assam, the world’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant has been planted by Rubber Board, at the board’s farm in Sarutari near Guwahati.

The GM rubber sapling was developed at the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII), in Puthuppally, Kottayam, Kerala.

This first of its kind plant has been developed exclusively for the northeast so that they can thrive in the climatic conditions of the region..

The need to develop the GM rubber plant was felt because Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and is not naturally suited for cold conditions in the northeast.

The crop is currently planted on an experimental basis and once the trials are over, the new crop will greatly benefit farmers as well as give a big boost to rubber production in the country.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi;
  • Assam Chief Minister: Himanta Biswa Sarma.

International

Nikol Pashinyan elected as Armenia Prime Minister

Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, kept power in a parliamentary election that boosted his authority despite being widely blamed for a military defeat last year in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Nikol’s Civil Contract party won 53.92% of the votes cast.

An alliance led by his rival, ex-leader Robert Kocharyan, came second with 21%, according to the results based on ballots from 100% of precincts counted. Kocharyan was Armenia’s president from 1998 to 2008.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Armenia: Yerevan.
  • Currency of Armenia: Armenian dram.

Appointments News

Jasprit Bumrah roped in as brand ambassador OnePlus

OnePlus, the global technology brand welcomed cricketer Jasprit Bumrah as Brand Ambassador for its Wearables category.

The partnership with Bumrah reiterates the brand philosophy of ‘Never Settle’ and the company’s pursuit towards perfection.

The OnePlus Wearable category includes the OnePlus Watch, the first global smart wearable from OnePlus that offers a premium design, seamless connection, smart fitness tracking, and incredible battery life.

Banking

SBI General Insurance and IDFC First Bank tie-up for bancassurance

SBI General Insurance, one of the leading general insurance companies in India, has signed a corporate agency agreement with IDFC FIRST Bank for the distribution of non-life insurance Solution.

Through this agreement, SBI general insurance will access the IDFC first bank’s larger customer base resulting in wider penetration of its insurance products through the latter’s digital-first approach.

Under this strategic agreement, SBI General Insurance will offer insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor, and travel along with the commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine, and engineering insurance to the bank’s customers.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • IDFC First Bank Establishment: 2018;
  • IDFC First Bank MD & CEO: V. Vaidyanathan;
  • IDFC First Bank Headquarters; Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • SBI general insurance MD & CEO: Prakash Chandra Kandpal;
  • SBI general insurance Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • SBI general insurance Tagline: Suraksha Aur Bharosa Dono.

SBI Card partners with Fabindia to launch Fabindia SBI Card

SBI Card, the country’s second-largest credit card issuer and Fabindia, a retail platform for a wide range of handcrafted products by the artisans of the country, have joined hands to launch an exclusive co-branded contactless credit card named “Fabindia SBI Card”.

The card is designed with curated benefits and privileges to offer a rewarding shopping experience to its premium customers and comes in two variants — Fabindia SBI Card SELECT and Fabindia SBI Card.

The introduction of the new Fabindia SBI Card further bolsters our premium portfolio, reinforces our commitment to enable our customers to embrace digital payments and contribute to the country’s digital economy.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Card MD and CEO: Rama Mohan Rao Amara;
  • SBI Card Founded: October 1998;
  • SBI Card Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana.

Kotak Mahindra Bank launches ‘Pay Your Contact’ service

Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced the launch of ‘Pay Your Contact’ the new feature that enables its customers to send money or make payments to any of their contacts across all payment apps simply by the beneficiary’s mobile number.

The ‘Pay Your Contact’ service is available on the lender’s mobile banking app and uses the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.

The ‘Pay Your Contact’ feature on Kotak mobile banking app has made payments as easy and simple as can be. Kotak customers can now make their payments to a friend, household help, neighborhood shop, etc. just by knowing the beneficiary’s mobile number.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Establishment: 2003;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank MD & CEO: Uday Kotak;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Tagline: Let’s Make Money Simple.

Economy

Moody’s Revises India’s GDP growth rate to 9.6%

Moody’s Investors Service has slashed India’s growth projection to 9.6 per cent for the 2021 calendar year, from its earlier estimate of 13.9 per cent. For the calendar year 2022, GDP growth is projected at 7 per cent.

In its report titled ‘Macroeconomics India: Economic shocks from second COVID wave will not be as severe as last year’s, Moody’s said high-frequency economic indicators show that the second wave of COVID-19 infections hit India’s economy in April and May.

S&P Projects India’s Growth Forecast for FY22 to 9.5%

S&P Global Ratings cut India’s FY22 growth forecast for the current fiscal to 9.5 per cent, from 11 per cent earlier, and warned of the risk to the outlook from further waves of COVID pandemic. It also projected India’s growth at 7.8 per cent in the next fiscal ending March 31, 2023. 

The agency lowered the growth outlook saying that a severe second COVID-19 outbreak in April and May led to lockdowns imposed by states and a sharp contraction in economic activity

Defence

India- USA Navy Passage Exercise in Indian Ocean Region

The Indian Navy and the Air Force began a two-day passage exercise with U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ronald Reagan during its transit through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations.

The Navy’s INS Kochi and Teg, along with P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and MiG 29K fighters, are participating in the exercise.

For the exercise, which is under the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command, the IAF forces are operating from bases under four operational commands and include Jaguar and Su-30 MKI fighters, Phalcon and Netra early warning aircraft and IL-78 air to air refueller aircraft.

The U.S.’ CSG comprises Nimitz class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey and Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh.

It has fielded F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft in the exercise being carried out south of Thiruvananthapuram on the western seaboard.

India successfully test fires subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay off Odisha coast

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ on June 24, 2021, from an Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore. This was the eighth test flight of the missile. The first test flight of Nirbhay was held on 12 March 2013.

Nirbhay is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile indigenously designed and developed by DRDO. The missile can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.

Nirbhay is a two-stage missile and can engage several targets in a single flight. The missile has a length of 6 metres, a width of 0.52 metres, a wingspan of 2.7 metres and weighs about 1500 kg. It has a strike range of about 1500 km.

Ranks and Reports

Jamsetji Tata tops inaugural list of Top Philanthropists of the Century

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, Indian pioneer industrialist and founder of the Tata Group, has topped the inaugural, EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list, which ranks the world’s 50 most generous individuals in the last century.

As per the report, the total donations made by Mumbai-based Jamsetji Tata is estimated at US$102.4 billion. He is the only Indian among the top 10 list, compiled by Hurun Research and EdelGive Foundation.

The only other Indian in the list of 50 global philanthropists is Azim Premji, former chairman of Wipro. He is ranked at 12th position.

Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates ranked second with donations worth $74.6 billion. They are followed by Henry Wellcome ($56.7 billion), Howard Hughes ($38.6 billion), and Warren Buffett ($37.4 billion) respectively.

Books and Authors

Actor Will Smith announced his autobiography ‘Will’

Actor Will Smith, who revealed the title and cover of his upcoming autobiography “Will”. The book, to be published Nov. 9 by Penguin Press.

Will Smith is co-writing the book with author Mark Manson, and the cover is designed by New Orleans artist Brandan “BMike” Odums. Smith will also narrate the audiobook of Will from Penguin Random House Audio.

The book will delve into him being raised in West Philadelphia to entering superstardom as an actor and rapper. He’s a two-time Academy Award nominee and won a four-time Grammy winner.

Smith starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Black and Pursuit of Happyness. He’s won Grammys for Summertime, Men In Black, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It and Parents Just Don’t Understand.

Harsh Vardhan unveils ‘My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child’ book

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has unveiled Krishna Saksena’s book “My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child”. It is the epitome of the bravery and endurance of a mother, in the best tradition of Indian motherhood.

The book is full of beautiful photographs, including some black and white ones which have historical significance, not only because some of them feature public personalities but also because it chronicles the domestic as well as the professional context of the times.

Awards

NTPC wins recognition of India’s best employers among Nation-Builders 2021

For the first time, NTPC won recognition as India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. It has been recognized as the ‘Great Place to Work’ for the 15th straight year by the Great Places to Work Institute. It has been ranked at 38th. It was ranked 47 last year.

It also won its first-ever recognition of India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. NTPC, a Maharatna Community and Public Sector Unit work under the Ministry of Power.

The PSU has also won the CII HR Excellence Role model award in March 2021. It is the highest award in the field of people management in the country.

The ‘Great Place to Work’ certification is recognized worldwide and is considered the gold standard in identifying and recognizing great workplaces with high trust and high-performance cultures. It is the most definitive ‘Employer of Choice’ recognition certification that the organization aims to achieve.

Cochin International Airport won honour in airport service quality

Cochin International Airport (CIAL) won Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honor in Airport Service Quality. This recognition is awarded to those airports which, in the opinion of passengers, consistently delivered excellent services.

Cochin International Airport has consistently delivered excellence in customer service by winning multiple awards for five years in the past 10 years. It is one among six airports across the world that will receive recognition in 2021.

Sports

New Zealand crowned first ICC World Test Championship

New Zealand defeated India to win the first ICC World Test Championship. New Zealand chased down the target of 139 to win the first-ever World Test Championship final with eight wickets in hand.

The last day of the match was played on June 23, 2021. The match saw 6 days play in place of the regular 5 days due to the rain factor. Kyle Jamieson (NZ) has been adjudged as the “Player of the match”, while Kane Williamson (NZ) is the “Player of the series”.

The first test championship began in 2019 with the finals being played in 2021. The top three teams, as a result, are: First: New Zealand; Second- India; Third- Australia. The final match was played at Ageas Bowl Stadium (Rose Bowl Stadium) in Southampton, England. The next Test Championship will be held between 2021-2023.

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks 100-meter backstroke world record

Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks the 100-meter backstroke world record at the South Australian Aquatic Centre with a time of 57.45 seconds from the previous mark of 57.57 seconds set by American Regan Smith in 2019. Emily Seebohm finished second in 58.59 to qualify for her fourth Olympics.

Obituary

John McAfee, founder of McAfee antivirus software, passes away

British-American Software pioneer, John David McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, has passed away.

John was found dead in his cell in a jail near Barcelona, where he had been since October 2020, for evading taxes.

The incident happened shortly after his extradition to the United States was authorized by Spain’s National Court, on criminal charges filed in Tennessee by the Justice Department’s tax division.

He was accused to have deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies, among other things.


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