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‘Malala Yousafzai’ becomes Sixth Honorary Canada Citizen

  • Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai (19-year) has become only the sixth person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship.
  • Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented her with a framed certificate of citizenship in the Library of Parliament on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • She is the youngest person to speak to Canadian members of parliament and senators in a joint session.
  • Previously granted to five others including Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar).

Note:
  • Yousafzai was born in Swat District, Pakistan.
  • She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school.

PM ‘Narendra Modi’ becomes the most followed world leader on Instagram

  • The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as the most followed ‘world leader’ on photo-sharing app ‘Instagram’ with a whopping 6.9 million followers.
  • He surpassed US President Donald Trump (6.3 million followers) and Pope Francis (3.7 million followers).
  • The study, undertaken by public relations firm ‘Burson-Marsteller’ and conclusion that was reached based on the comments and likes that his posts garner.
  • Mr. Modi has put out 101 posts till date, is also the most "effective world leader" on the platform

Note: Instagram is a mobile photo-sharing application and service that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately on the service created by ‘Kevin Systrom’ and ‘Mike Krieger’.

'Kristin Davis' appointed UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

  • The UN Refugee Agency ‘UNHCR’ has appointed internationally acclaimed American actress and philanthropist “Kristin Davis” as its Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Goodwill Ambassadors are some of the most recognizable public faces of UNHCR.
  • They help to bring our organization to every corner of the world through their influence, dedication, and hard work.
  • UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrity representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) who use their talent and fame to advocate for refugees.

Note:
  • UNHCR is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.
  • Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes (in 1954 & 1981).

UN chief Guterres names Achim Steiner as new administrator of UNDP

  • The United Nation chief ‘Antonio Guterres’ has named ‘Achim Steiner’ (Germany) as the new administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • Achim Steiner previously served at the UN Environment Programme and headed the UN office in Kenya.
  • He succeeds Helen Clark (former New Zealand Prime Minister) who has steered the UNDP since 2009.
  • The UNDP seeks to reduce poverty, improve social development, and encourage women's empowerment.

Note:
  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the United Nations' global development network, headquartered in New York City (USA).
  • It provides expert advice, training, and grants support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries.

Justice Gita Mittal Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court

  • The senior-most judge of Delhi High Court Justice Gita Mittal has been appointed as the acting Chief justice of Delhi High Court.
  • She succeeds Chief Justice Gorla Rohini.
  • Earlier, she was appointed as Additional Judge of the Delhi High Court in 2004 and was made permanent in 2006.

Note: Justice Mittal graduated from Campus Law Centre in 1981.

Union Cabinet hikes MSP of raw jute by 300 per quintal

  • The union cabinet has approved hike of 300 per quintal in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for ‘raw jute’ by Rs. 300 (9.4 %) per quintal to Rs. 3,500 to boost farmer’s income.
  • The decision will benefit the jute industry which supports the livelihood of 40 lakh farm families and provides direct employment to 3.7 lakh workers.
  • Jute is mainly used as raw material in the packaging industry.
  • Earlier, in last three-year union govt. has increased the MSP for Jute Rs. 2,700 to Rs 3,500 per quintal.

Note:
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is the price at which government purchases crops from the farmers, whatever may be the price for the crops.
  • The MSP helps to incentivize the framers and thus ensures adequate food grains production in the country.

Union Power ministry launches URJA MITRA app

  • The Union Power ministry has launched ‘URJA MITRA’ app for empowering citizens by real-time information sharing on the power supply.
  • The app is a first of its kind which provides a central platform, web-portal “urjamitra.com” as well as a mobile app for state power Distribution utilities to disseminate power outage information to rural/ urban power consumers through SMS/ push/email notifications across the country.
  • The entire data under the scheme will be hosted on National Power Portal (NPP) and may be accessed by various stakeholders through web services.


Cabinet approves listing of 11 CPSEs on stock exchanges

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for listing of 11 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) on stock exchanges.
  • They include Rail Vikas Nigam Limited, Indian Railway Finance Corporation Limited, Indian Railway Catering, and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and IRCON International Limited.
  • The listing of CPSEs will be done through a public offer of shares up to 25 % of Government shareholding.
  • Listing of CPSEs will promote people’s ownership by encouraging public participation in Central Public Sector Enterprises.


Union Govt. sets up a panel to examine framework for Virtual Currencies

  • The union government has set up time-bound Inter-Disciplinary Committee to examine the existing framework with regard to Virtual Currencies.
  • The Committee will take stock of the present status of Virtual Currencies both in India and globally.
  • The committee will suggest measures for dealing with such currencies including issues relating to consumer protection and money laundering.
  • The circulation of Virtual Currencies which are also known as Digital and Crypto Currencies has been a cause of concern.
  • The Committee will submit its report within three months.


EPFO members to get loyalty-cum-life benefit of up to 50K

  • According to EPFO board, EPFO's subscribers will get a loyalty-cum-life benefit of up to Rs. 50,000 at the time of retirement for contributing to the scheme for 20 years or more.
  • The benefit will also be provided in case of permanent disability even if the members have contributed for less than 20 years.
  • The Central Board of Trustees (EPFO, apex decision-making body) has recommended a minimum sum assured of 2.5 lakh rupees in the event of the death of a subscriber.
  • Initially, these will be provided for two years on a pilot basis and will be reviewed thereafter.
  • At present, the dependants of the deceased get a sum assured of up to 6 lakh rupees.
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