DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : June 24 & 25, 2019

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NABCB gets APAC certificate for personnel certification bodies in Singapore

  • National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), India’s national accreditation body secured international equivalence for accreditation programme in the annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation in Singapore.
  • They signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) of the Asia Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (APAC) for its accreditation programme based on international standard, ISO/IEC 17024. 
  • ISO/IEC 17024: Conformity assessment – The general requirements for bodies operating certification of persons specifies criteria for the operation of a Personnel Certification Bodies.
  • National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB)

NABCB an autonomous body attached to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, responsible for the accreditation of certification/inspection bodies like international standards under an international system of equivalence. 

Hardeep Puri inaugurated the central ATFM complex

  • Shri Hardeep Singh Puri,Minister of State (I/c) for Civil Aviation inaugurated the Air Traffic Flow Management – Central Command Centre. It is at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.
  • The C-ATFM system to address the balancing of capacity against the demand to achieve optimum utilization of the major resources namely airport, airspace and aircraft.
  • The C-ATFM integrates flight data from various subsystems like ATC Automation System and flight update messages. The system displays weather information along with static information about airports, airspaces and air routes.  
  • The C-ATFM system supported by 36 Flow Management Positions (FMP) at various airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad among others. Eight defense airports ATFM network are provided with FMPs.


Bangladesh’s first iron ore mine discovered in Dinajpur

  • Iron ore mine discovered at Isabpur village in Dinajpur. This announcement was made by the Geological Survey of Bangladesh.
  • After the effect of extensive drilling over two months in the area. A 400-foot thick iron layer was found in Bangladesh after the result of the Geological  Survey. Around 1,750 feet beneath the surface stretched over an area of 6-10 square kilometer.
  • The percentage of iron in the mine around 65. It indicates the high quality of the ore. The other countries like Canada, China, Brazil, Sweden, and Australia have the percentage of iron ore is below the level of 50. 
  • Other minerals such as gold, copper, nickel, and chromium also found at various levels of the mining. The discovery of the iron mine opened up economic prospects for the country. The iron concentration in the magnetite ore is 65 percent.

    About Bangladesh
  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • Currency: Bangladeshi Taka 

UAE launches UN-developed anti money laundering platform goAML

  • The United Arab Emirates’ Central Bank in Abu Dhabi at their Financial Intelligence Unit (FILI) introduced a new reporting platform ‘goAML’ (global operations Anti-Money Laundering). 
  • It is developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) 
    Their main aim is to curb organised crimes. It is the first country in the Gulf to launch this platform. 
  • All financial institutions in the IJAE must register on the new platform by June 27, 2019 to avoid penalties. Around 900 entities including, banks, insurance companies and money exchange centres to register on the platform. 
  • It will help FIU to prevent money laundering, financing against terrorism. It was developed by UNODC.

    About UAE:
  • Capital: Abu Dhabi 
  • Currency: UAE Dirham
  • President of UAE: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Former General Mohamed Ould Ghazouani won presidential election of Mauritania

  • Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa conducted election a former general and defense minister, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Union for the Republic (UPR) party won the presidential election.
  • He won with 52% votes. He succeeds Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid won second with 18.58% votes. Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar biggest Islamist party won third with 17.87% votes.
  • First time in 60 years Mauritania faced elections. They gained independence (28 November 1960) from France.

    About Mauritania: 
  • Capital: Nouakchott 
  • Currency: Mauritanian ouguiya


Event to commemorate 20 yrs of high altitude operations during Kargil conflict held on June 24

  • Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa AN-32 aircraft continue to fly in mountainous areas till the Air Force finds a replacement. An AN-32 aircraft crashed recently in Arunachal Pradesh13 people onboard died.
  • Indian Air Force is the process of getting more modern aircraft. The seminar conducted to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of Indian Air Force strike on Tiger Hill during Kargil operations 


L&T bags power project order worth Rs. 7,000 crore

  • Larsen and Toubro (L&T) bagged a mega engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from SJVN Thermal Private Limited. Their main aim to set up a 2×660 MW ultra-supercritical power plant in Buxar district, Bihar.
  • The award costs around ₹7,000 crore as per the company’s classification of mega project. The L&T includes design, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, supply, testing & commissioning of the Buxar project.
  • It covers steam generator, steam turbine generator, electrostatic precipitator, NOx control system, flue gas desulphurization (FGD) system and complete balance of plant (BoP) systems.
  • It includes raw water intake system, make-up water system, coal & ash handling system, ash dyke, complete E&I system.


IRSDC signed 2 MoAs to renovate 22 railway stations

  • Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) signed 2 two agreements with ‘Railway Station Redevelopment for the renovation of 22 railway stations. 
  • IRSDC signed an agreement with MECON Limited (Formerly known as Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants Limited). Eight railway stations including Andheri, Bandra Terminus, Ranchi, Chennai Egmore are redeveloped. 
  • IRSDC signed a MOA with two other Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) – EPIL (Engineering Projects India Limited) and Bridge & Roof 
    14 railway stations including Kolkata Terminal, Kanpur Central, Kalyan Junction, Ludhiana, Hyderabad and Udaipur City are renovated.
  • CPSEs prepare detailed project reports on the development of 22 stations and develop Project Management Consultant to IRSDC to implement the redevelopment program.

NSIC signs MoU with CSC e-governance services India

  • National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) signed an MoU with Common Service Centres (CSC) e-Governance Services India to enhance new offerings for the MSME sector.
  • This MoU enables CSCs to utilize a plethora of NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal. It facilitates VLEs and MSMEs through digital empowerment in accessing NSIC integrated support services encompassing Marketing, Finance, Technology.
  • The MoU special focus on providing services to village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) to exponential growth of Village Entrepreneurs in the country. The MoU enable CSCs  to utilize plethora of  NSIC offerings through the NSIC portal www.msmemart.com .

    About NSIC (National Small Industries Corporation Limited)
  • Founded: 1955
  • Headquarters: New Delhi


Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan appointed as the second Chief Justice of Telangana High Court

  • Raghvendra Singh Chauhan appointed as the second Chief Justice of Telangana High Court in Hyderabad. He succeeded Chief Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan in April, 2019
  • He belongs to Rajasthan He took oath before Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan. 
  • Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi initiated swearing-in ceremony. The Registrar General of Telangana High Court A. Venkateswar Reddy read out the warrant 

    About Telangana: 
  • Capital – Hyderabad 
  • Chief Minister – K. Chandrashekar Rao

Justice V Ramasubramanian appointed as the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court

  • Justice V Ramasubramanian appointed as Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh High Court. He succeeded Chief Justice Surya Kant. The ceremony was administered by Governor Acharya Devvrat. 
  • He served as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court. He joined as permanent Judge from November 9, 2009 

    About Himachal Pradesh
  • Capital – Shimla 
  • Chief Minister – Jai Ram Thakur 

RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resigned

  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resigned six months before the scheduled end of his term. He returned to New York University Stern School of Business (NYU stern) as CV Starr Professor of Economics.
  • He submitted a letter to RBI he is unable to continue his term as a Deputy Governor of the RBI beyond July 23, 2019. He joined RBI on January 23, 2017. 
  • He leaves the central bank on December 10, 2018. He is in charge of the Financial Stability Unit, Monetary Policy Department, Department of Economic and Policy Research, Financial Markets Operation Department.

    About Reserve Bank of India
  • Established: 1 April 1935
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
  • Governor: Shaktikanta Das


Dr Gaurav Nigam, an educationist, pediatrician and author, honoured with ‘Innovative Research Excellence Award 2019’

  • Dr Gaurav Nigam conferred with ‘Innovative Research Excellence Award 2019’. The award was given by Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji, Minister for Labour and Human Resources of Bhutan at the Asian Leadership Summit.
  • The function is held at Thimphu, Bhutan. The event organized by the Global Leaders Foundation. He won this award for his excellence in school education of outstanding contribution towards the innovative development research activities in the field of school education in South Asian Region. 
  • He is the founder of iCare. He is the author of the book titled ‘Devil Inside My Mind’.


NASA’s First Astrobee Robot “Bumble” Starts Flying in Space

  • A robot named Bumble became the first Astrobee robot to fly under its own power in space. 
  • Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will help researchers test new technologies in zero gravity and perform routine work alongside astronauts aboard the International Space Station
  • Robots that can operate on their own in space, such as Astrobee, can be caretakers for NASA’s lunar gateway and will play a significant part in NASA’s future missions to explore the Moon and Mars.
  • Before Bumble’s first solo flight, the Astrobee team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley verified that Bumble can find its position and was ready to navigate within the space station. 


Cricket Australia signs a multi-year partnership with HCL

  • Indian multinational information technology service HCL Technologies (Hindustan Computers Limited, HCL) signed a multi-year deal with Cricket Australia (CA), the administrative body of Australian Cricket.
  • India’s third largest sports deal, Accenture was working with Cricket Australia 
    A five-year deal from November 2013. HCL becomes the digital technology partner of Australia (CA).
  • The company will help CA more fans, cricketers, fans, employees, and volunteers through digital experience around the world. HCL build CA’s digital products such as Cricket Australia Live App, cricket.com. Cricket Australia’s fan following gradually increased upto 20 million per year. 

    About HCL: 
  • CEO: C Vijayakumar 
  • Founded: 11 August 1976 


Govt. set to roll out IMEI database to help people track stolen mobile phones

  • The Telecom Ministry is set to roll out a Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR), a database of International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) to help people track their stolen mobile phones.
  • People can inform the Department of Telecom (DoT) on losing their phones, which will, in turn, blacklist their IMEI numbers. DoT had declared its plan to implement this project in July 2017 and a pilot was conducted in Maharashtra.
  • According to TRAI data, there are 1.16 billion wireless subscribers in India as of March 2019. In the interim budget for 2019-20, the government allocated Rs 15 crore to the DoT for the CEIR project.
  • IMEI is a 15-digit number that uniquely identifies each mobile device.
    In line with global practices, DoT’s identity register will be a database of IMEI numbers that will consist of three lists – white, grey and black
  • Mobile phones with IMEI numbers in the white list will be permitted for use, while those in the blacklist will be the ones that are reported stolen or lost and will not be allowed to access the network. 

India’s first solar cruise vessel will debut in Kerala

  • India’s first solar-powered ferry in 2016, Kerala is gearing up for the launch of the country’s premier solar-powered cruise boat. The initiative comes from the State Water Transport Department (SWTD), whose solar ferry Aditya in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route proved to be a success.
  • The ₹3-crore cruise boat can carry 100 passengers is under construction at a boatyard in Aroor and comes from the stable of the builders of Aditya. It will be rolled out in Alappuzha in December.
  • The hybrid vessel will be powered by a motor that can source energy from solar panels, battery, and generator. Its battery will have 80 KWh (kilowatt hour) power backup, as compared to 50 KWh backup in Aditya.

PM Modi to attend G-20 summit in Japan from June 27-29

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan from June 27-29, the Ministry of External Affairs. He would be participating in the summit. He would hold bilateral (discussions) and participate in plurilateral meetings which would be announced closer to the date.
  • The G-20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.
  • Collectively, the G-20 economies account for nearly 90 per cent of the gross world product. Around 80 per cent of world trade, two-thirds of the world population, and approximately half of the world land area.


India has the highest data usage per smartphone in the World: Report

  • According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, monthly data usage per smartphone in India rose to 9.8 gigabytes (GB) at the end of 2018, the highest in the world.
  • It is expected that, Monthly data usage per smartphone would grow at 11 percent to reach 18 GB by 2024 from 9.8 GB in 2018.
  • The report also projects that total mobile data usage per month in the country will go up 23 per cent in the coming five years, rising from 4.6 exabytes (EB) presently to 16 EB. One EB equals one billion GB.
  • At the end of 2018, there were 5.1 billion smartphone subscribers globally, 99 percent of which were for 3G and 4G. North East Asia comes second with 7.1GB per month.

UN Report Unveils Involvement of Saudi Officials in the Killing of Khashoggi

  • Saudi official carried out an extensive cover-up of Mr. Khashoggi’s killing in a Saudi consulate in October blocking investigators and possibly burning evidence. The destruction of evidence and the active role of the Saudi consul general in organizing the operation in coordination with officials in Riyadh.
  • The killing and cover-up were authorized at the highest levels of the Saudi royal court. The report presents a new challenge to President Donald Trump embraced the Saudi crown prince.
  • Mohammed Bin Salman, as a pivotal ally and sought to avoid blaming him for directing the killing.

Sri Lanka in talks for $1 billion loan from China-led lender

  • Sri Lanka with Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank for a $1 billion dollar loan to help an economy that has been badly hit by a deadly terrorist attack and political turmoil.
  • They are discussing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to obtain nearly an additional $1 billion. The ministry the bank also approved $280 million for a renovations in the capital Colombo.
  • There are projects worth around $271 million being carried out across the country to boost growth. Sri Lanka has been beset by political infighting since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in October last year.

Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to get FATF membership

  • Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to get membership of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The number of permanent members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is 39.
  • The membership admitted into the global money laundering after the Annual General Meeting in Orlando, Florida. FATF celebrated their 30th anniversary of its first meeting. 
  • Saudi Arabia received an invitation from FATF in 2015 and they joined as an “observer member’. 

    About FATF
  • Headquarters: Paris, France 
  • Founded: 1989 
  • President: Marshall Billingslea

Mexico became the first country to ratify the trade deal to replace NAFTA

  • Mexico became the first country to ratify the trade deal to replace 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The trade deal is known as the United States- Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  • The USMCA (NAFTA 2.0) modified for automakers, stricter labor, and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and digital trade provisions. 
  • US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s and President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the deal in November 2018 need to ratified by all three governments. 


Indian Navy launches Operation Sankalp in Gulf of Oman

  • Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Their main aim is to reassure safe passage of Indian flagged vessels transiting through the area.
  • This deployment depends on the following recent maritime incidents in the region. INS Chennai and INS Sunayna deployed in the region to undertake maritime security operations.
  • An aerial surveillance in the area done by IN aircraft. Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) of Indian Navy watch over the movement of ships in Gulf region.

About the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman 

  • World’s major oil exporters and importers in the security of the Gulf of Oman offer the only entrance from the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean into the Persian Gulf. 
  • The Persian Gulf lies between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. It extends from Shatt al Arab delta to Strait of Hormuz.


RBI panel on MSMEs suggested Rs 20 lakh collateral-free loan under Mudra Scheme

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) expert committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) headed by the former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman U K Sinha, has recommended doubling the capital on collateral-free loans from the current Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, for borrowers falling under the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA), self-help groups, and MSMEs.
  • According to the 2006 definition, manufacturing units with investment below Rs 25 lakh were termed micro, those between Rs 25 lakh and Rs 5 crore termed small, and from Rs 5 crore to Rs 10 croremedium
  • For service units, the corresponding amounts were up to Rs 10 lakh for micro, Rs 10 lakh-2 crore for small, and Rs 2 crore-5 crore for medium enterprises.

About Mudra Scheme:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) was launched on April 8, 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The loans are given to non-corporate, non-farm small and micro enterprises.
  • In 2018-19, about 60 million loans worth Rs 3 trillion were sanctioned under Mudra.
  • Under the scheme, collateral-free loan of up to ₹10 lakh falls under three categories – Shishu, Kishore and Tarun. Shishu accounts for loans of up to ₹50,000, while ₹50,001 to ₹5 lakh are disbursed under Kishore. The third category is for loans of ₹5-10 lakh.


Centre holds pre-Budget consultations with state Finance Ministers

  • Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman chaired her first GST Council meeting . Sitharaman replaced Arun Jaitley as new FM under the Modi 2.0 government
  • The Speculations were rife that the Council in its 35th meeting under the new FM would consider slashing Goods and Service Tax (GST) on electric vehicles to 5 per cent from 12 per cent.
  • The Council did not reduce the tax rate matter would be forwarded to the fitment committee for further consideration.
  • The topics that were discussed during the GST Council meeting were tax evasion issue, extension of the tenure of the National Anti-profiteering Authority, electronic invoices system.
  • The revenue position of states, the new return filing system, setting up an appellate tribunal for north-eastern states and another one for all Union Territories.


NTPC, PGCIL sign MoU to enter Power Distribution Business

  • Indian Public Sector Undertaking’s (PSUs) National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC Ltd) and Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) signed an agreement to set up National Electricity Distribution Company Limited (NEDCL).
  • National Electricity Distribution Company by NTPC, a leading power generator, and Power Grid, which owns India’s largest power transmission network to get into consumer electricity supply business. 

Main Objective: 

  • To undertake business for distribution of electricity in distribution circles in various states and Union Territories (UTs) and other related activities. NEDCL will be a joint venture of NTPC and PGCIL on 50:50 equity basis.
  • Separation of content and carriage businesses in power distribution which means that the infrastructure builder for power supply and supplier.


Shefali Juneja appointed as India’s representative in the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

  • Government of India appointed Shefali Juneja appointed as India’s representative in the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 
    The period of three years. 
  • She is currently serving as the Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA). She will replace Alok Shekhar (IAS officer ) who is named for the post in October 2015.
  • The council is composed of 36 states. The council member states are chosen under three headings namely states of chief importance in air transport, states make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for air navigation.

    About the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) 
  • Founder: Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation
  • Founded: 1944
  • Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
  • Head: Fang Liu


Namma Kolhapuri chappal got GI tag

  • The controller general of patents, designs and trademarks has granted the GI (Geographical Indications) tag to Kolhapuri chappal from Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Solapur districts of Maharashtra and Dharwad, Belgaum, Bagalkot and Bijapur of Karnataka.
  • Getting GI tag for Kolhapuri means that footwear produced only in these 8 districts will qualify to carry tag of being Kolhapuris.

About Geographical Indications (GI) tag:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products which corresponds to a specific geographical location or origin.
  • Darjeeling tea became the first GI tagged product in India, in 2004-05, since then by october 2018, 321 had been added to the list. The GI tag is valid for a period of 10 years. Further it can be renewed.


Indian Gymnast, Pranati Nayak won bronze at 2019 Asian Artistic Gymnastic Championship held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

India’s Pranati Nayak won a bronze medal at the Senior Asian Artistic Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The 23-year-old Indian gymnast is from West Bengal, who had qualified for vault finals with a 6th place, in finals scored 13.384 to claim bronze medal. She had scored 13.400 and 13.367 in the 1st and 2nd vault respectively.

China’s Yu Linmin (14.350) clinched the gold and Japan’s Ayaka Sakaguchi (13.584) won silver medal at event. She now currently stands tall as India’s 3rd major vaulting medallist after Dipa Karmakar and Aruna Reddy. She now eyes her biggest challenge of World Championships 2019 which is scheduled to be held later this year.

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