DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS : June 27, 2019
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Centre plans to add 500 GW of renewable energy to its electricity grid by 2030
- The Centre plans to add 500 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy to its electricity grid by 2030. The plan aims to clean up air in its cities and lessen the rapidly growing economy’s dependence on coal.
- The Ministry of new and renewable energy has planned to install 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 without taking into account large hydro and 225 GW including large hydro.
- India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The country has pledged to cut emissions and have clean energy account for at least 40 percent of its installed capacity by 2030, up from 21.4% now, while looking to manage its energy appetite as its population becomes more prosperous.
- Minister of New and Renewable Energy: Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge).
World Bank commits $31.58 mn loan for Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project
- Government of India, the State Government of Uttarakhand and the World Bank signed a loan Agreement of $31.58 million (about Rs 221 crore) for Uttarakhand Public Financial Management Strengthening Project.
- It improves the State’s ability to manage its Financial Systems and there is better Utilization of Development Resources. The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khahe and Savin Bhasale on behalf of the Govt of Uttarakhand.
- The main aim of the project is to benefit the citizens of Uttarakhand in public finances. This loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
- Capital: Dehradun
- Governor: Baby Rani Maurya
- Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat
Home Ministry reported that 64 people died and over 1.4 lakh hectare crop area affected due to cyclone Fani in Odisha
- The Home Ministry reported that 64 people died and over 1.4 lakh hectare crop area affected due to cyclone Fani in Odisha. There was no loss of human lives in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
- Cyclone Fani affected three states namely Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
- The records of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the Cyclone Fani is the first severe cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976.
- The cyclone is a consequence of global warming and it is formed due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin atleast 28°C to support the formation of a cyclone. Tropical cyclones in the Indian neighbourhood begin as depressions or a gradual build-up of warm air and pockets of low pressure.
Russia extended its ban on food products from the European Union up to 31 December 2020
- Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed for extending Moscow’s Embargo on food products from European Union (EU) upto 31 December 2020. This is due to Russia’s retaliation against sanctions over Ukraine.
- The decree prohibits a number of imports from various countries for one year which includes agricultural products, raw materials and other food items.
- Russia primarily targeted their restrictions on finance, energy and defence sectors of Russian economy. Russian economy is affected by pushing up the food products.
- President: Vladimir Putin
- Prime Minister: Dmitry Medvedev
- Capital: Moscow
- Currency: Russian ruble
Malayalam film ‘Veyilmarangal’ won an award at Shanghai International film festival
- At the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival, Director Bijukumar Damodaran received the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award for the film, Veyil Marangal (Trees under the Sun).
- This is for the first Indian film to win a major award at the festival. The film is one among the 3,964 entries submitted from 112 countries in the prestigious Golden Goblet Award competition. The jury chairperson at the Fest was the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
About Shanghai International Film Festival
- Location: Shanghai, China
- Founded: 1993
- Awards: Golden Goblet
IAF turned the Gwalior air base virtually into a conflict theatre to commemorate 20 years of the Kargil War
- To commemorate 20 years of the Kargil War, the IAF turned the Gwalior air base virtually into a conflict theatre, with dramatic re-enactment of some of the milestones of the operation in 1999.
- It recreated the crucial events of the war. Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa was the chief guest for the event. In a symbolic ‘recreation’ of the Tiger Hill attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Drass-Kargil area, the air force used the Mirage 2000 aircraft and explosives were blown up on a ‘model hill’.
- The Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations for the year 2019 will be spread over three days from 25-27 July 2019 and will be organized at Dras and New Delhi. However, as part of the build up to the main event, numerous activities are planned to be organized all over the country with effect from first week of July 2019.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI committee suggested Rs.5,000 crore asset fund for MSMEs
- A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee, chaired by U.K. Sinha, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has suggested a Rs.5,000 crore stressed asset fund for domestic Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
- It aims to provide a relief to small businesses hurt by demonetization, the goods and services tax (GST) and an ongoing liquidity crunch. It also assured that the fund could operate on the lines of the Textile Upgradation Fund Scheme.
Other Seggestion by the committee:
- The committee also suggested to form a government-sponsored Fund of Funds of ₹10,000 crore. This aims to support venture capital and private equity firms investing in MSMEs as India’s 63.38 million MSMEs contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth.
- It also recommended expanding the role of the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). The committee suggested that the PSBLoansIn59Minutes.com portal to cater the new entrepreneurs, who may not necessarily have information like GSTIN, income-tax returns and bank statement.
- The committee plans to introduce adjusted priority sector lending guidelines for banks to specialize in lending to a specific sector. The committee asked RBI to double the collateral-free loan limit to ₹20 lakh.
- It suggested RBI to provide insurance coverage to MSME employees by the government.
Lok Sabha passed the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019
- The Lok Sabha passed the Special Economic Zones (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on 26 June. The amendment of sub-section (v) of Section 2 of the SEZ Act, 2005 will make a trust or any entity notified by the Central government eligible for consideration of grant of permission to set up a unit in special economic zones.
- The Bill aims at improving and encouraging more investments and introducing features including single-window clearance and to ease imports and exports.
- The Bill will replace the ordinance promulgated in February 2019. The ordinance seeks to amend the definition of a person under the SEZ Act 2005, which will enable a trust to be considered for grant of permission to set up a unit.
- Exports from SEZs rose 21% on year to Rs 7 lakh crore in FY19. As of March 31, there were 232 SEZs, of which 25 are multiproduct and the rest are sector specific, with 5,109 approved units.
MoRTH plans to introduce Universal smart card driving licences to curb fake or bogus licenses
- The government plans to introduce Universal smart card driving licences. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has decided to modify the current format of driving licenses to laminated card without chip or smart card type driving licences and which will include nationwide standardised format of placement of Information, standardization of fonts etc.
- For this purpose, RTOs (Regional Transport Offices) should issue a uniform format of driving licenses across nation. It aims to curb fake or bogus licenses.
- This Ministry will accomplish the mission through its flagship application called SARATHI, for driving license, developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). NIC has a common countrywide database of all driving license holders.
- Almost 15 crore driving license records are available in its central repository. The SARATHI application has the feature to identify duplicate records online in real time and access information about the challans if any.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Senior Chief K Natarajan to be the new director general of Indian Coast Guard
- Krishnaswamy Natarajan appointed as the next director general of Indian Coast Guard. He replaces Rajendra Singh who is retiring after three and a half years of service.
- Natarajan joined the Coast Guard on January 18, 1984. He holds a Master’s Degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University. He held various important command and staff appointments, both afloat and ashore.
- The flag officer commanded all classes of ICG ships namely Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) Sangram, Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Veera, Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) Kanaklata Barua and Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) Chandbibi.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Rachna Khaira of The Tribune News Service won the 2019 Journalist of the Year
- Rachna Khaira of The Tribune News Service won the Redlnk Award for Excellence in Indian Journalism Journalist of the Year 2019. She is currently working for The Huffington Post.
- The award is for her expose during 2018 on functioning of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and its Aadhaar data cache. The investigation that was conducted by Rachna Khaira confirmed that personal data of millions of citizens were at risk of being hacked/traded for a price.
- The journalists ran a series of sting operations regarding the isssue and it helped to raise serious doubts over government claims that Aadhaar data stored on UIDAI servers was safe and secure.
- The Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019 was jointly awarded to two retired senior journalists, Dinu Ranadive, who retired from the Maharashtra Times, and Photojournalist Sebastian D’Souza, who served as Photo Editor of Mumbai Mirror. Ranjeet Jadhav was awarded the Redlnk ‘Star Mumbai Reporter’ award for 2019.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Curiosity rover confirmed the presence of Methane in Mars
- NASA has confirmed that the Curiosity rover, the NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, recently detected the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission. Curiosity’s methane reading came to 21 parts per billion units by volume. It is thrice the amount it sniffed out during a surge in 2013.
- During a follow-up test later, though, scientists found that the methane levels around the rover already dropped sharply. Curiosity detected normal methane levels, which are 1 part per billion by volume, following the sudden elevation. It suggested that the abnormally high values came from transient methane plumes.
- Methane is a gas formed by both geological and biological processes. It is the main constituent of natural gas. It is a group-14 hydride and the simplest alkane with the chemical formula CH4.
- The methane concentration in earth’s atmospheric has increased by about 150% since 1750. Methane accounts for 20% of the total radiative forcing from all of the long-lived and globally mixed greenhouse gases.
Three astronauts landed after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS)
- Oleg Kononenko with the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Anne McClain of NASA and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques landed aboard Russia’s Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft on June 24.
- The landed after spending more than six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts Anne McClain of the United States and David Saint-Jacques of Canada had completed their maiden flights.
- The expedition commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia has ended his fourth space mission. All three spent 204 days in space. Soyuz MS-11 was the 57th Russian Soyuz spacecraft to fly to the International Space Station.
- It traveled a total of 86.4 million miles (139 million kilometers) over the course of 3,264 orbits of Earth. The crew members participated in space walks, performed a lot of experiments and performed a good amount of repair work.
Italy won the bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics
- The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the 2026 Winter Olympics will be staged at the Italian venue of Milan/Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Winter Games will happen from 6 February to 22 February in 2026.
- Italy beat off a bid from Stockholm/Are in Sweden. Italy won the bid by the approval of the IOC members by 47 votes to 34. Italy has twice previously hosted the Winter Olympics twice. It first hosted Olympics in 1956 in Cortina d’Ampezzo and then in 2006 in Turin.
- It has been estimated that the Games will generate five billion euros ($5.69 billion) and create 20,000 jobs. The 2022 Winter Olympics will be staged in Beijing.
June 27 – Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day
- The General Assembly, recognizing the need to improve small business access to microfinance and credit, decided to designate 27 June as Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.
- The goal is to encourage member states to facilitate observance of the day by increasing awareness and actions to support small business.
- The resolution was introduced by the delegation of Argentina, co-sponsored by 54 member states and adopted without a vote by the 193-member General Assembly on 6 April 2017.
Goa freedom fighter & Social Activist Mohan Ranade passes away
- Veteran freedom fighter & famous social activist from Goa and Padmashri winner Mohan Ranade passes away after a prolonged illness.
- Mohan Ranade was a member of the Azad Gomantak Dal, a group of revolutionaries who believed in the doctrine of armed attacks against the Portuguese colonial rule and participated in ambushes on several Portuguese installations in Goa. He served 14 years in prison on account of his struggle for Goa’s independence.
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