20 June 2017 - Current Affairs

World Refugee Day being observed globally

  • The ‘World Refugee Day’ is observed across the world on 20th June to raise awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.
  • This year, the World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

Note: In Dec 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had passed a resolution to observe 20th June as World Refugee Day.

UNICEF appoints ‘Muzoon Almellehan’ as Goodwill Ambassador

  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appointed education activist & Syrian refugee ‘Muzoon Almellehan’ (19-year) as its newest and youngest Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Almellehan lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom (UK).
  • She will be the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF.
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations (UN) program headquartered in New York City that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

India re-nominates Justice Dalveer Bhandari to ICJ

  • India has re-nominated Justice ‘Dalveer Bhandari’ as its candidate for another term as Judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
  • He was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the ICJ.
  • His current term runs through February 2018.
  • The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of 9 years.
  • The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN) based in The Hague, Netherlands.
  • The Court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

Tata Group, Lockheed Martin sign deal to manufacture F-16 fighter jets in India

  • The American aerospace giant ‘Lockheed Martin’ and ‘Tata Group’ have signed a pact to produce, operate, and export the combat-proven F-16 fighters in India.
  • The deal announced during the Paris Airshow between Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and Lockheed Martin is ideally suited to meet Indian Air Force's single-engine fighter needs.
  • The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF).
  • Lockheed Martin is one of the largest aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technologies companies having worldwide interests, headquartered in Maryland.

Afghan President inaugurates first Afghanistan-India air corridor

  • The Afghan President ‘Ashraf Ghani’ has inaugurated the first ‘Afghanistan-India air corridor’ at the Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.
  • The aim of the corridor is to create the direct route (bypass Pakistan) to improve commerce in Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighboring countries.

India becomes 71st country to ratify UN Intl. Convention on Road Transports

  • India has become the 71st country to join the United Nations TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) Convention to boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories.
  • It is part of its multi-modal transport strategy that aims at integrating Indian economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity.
  • The TIR system is the international customs transit system with the widest geographical coverage.

Note: Earlier, in March 2017, The Union Cabinet had approved India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under TIR Convention.

Rural Development Ministry gives away 144 awards

  • The Union Rural Development Minister ‘Narendra Singh Tomar’ has given away 144 awards under various categories to states and other organizations at a function in New Delhi.
  • ‘Bihar’ got the awarded for constructing the highest number of rural roads, under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
  • ‘Madhya Pradesh’ got the award for use of non-conventional construction material in constructing roads.
  • Haryana, Gujarat, and Karnataka received a special prize for completing more than 95% of their targets. 

Punjab govt. announces crop loan waiver of up to Rs. 2 lakhs for small, marginal farmers

  • The Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh has announced to wave off entire crop loans up to Rs. 2 lakhs for small and marginal farmers.
  • The state govt. will take over the outstanding crop loan from institutional sources of all the families of farmers who committed suicides in the state.
  • The Punjab has also decided to raise the ex-gratia for suicide affected families to Rs. 5 lakhs (existing Rs.3.00 lakh).
  • The state will also establish ‘Paddy Straw Challenge Fund’ to stop the practice of crop residue burning by farmers.
  • Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh govt. and Maharashtra govt. waived off farmer loans.

Nirmala Sitharaman to chair BoT meet in New Delhi

  • Today, the UnionCommerce and Industry Minister ‘Nirmala Sitharaman’ has chaired the meeting of 70-member Board of Trade (BoT) to discuss ways to boost exports in New Delhi.
  • The objective of the BoT (a top advisory body on trade) is to have continuous discussion and consultation with trade and industry. 
  • The BoT would advise the government on policy measures related to FTP in order to achieve the objective of boosting India's trade.
  • The Board's last meeting was held in April 2016.

Union Minister ‘Harsh Vardhan’ launches app on Yoga Day celebrations

  • The union Science and Technology Minister ‘Dr. Harsh Vardhan’ has launched a Mobile App – ‘Celebrating Yoga’ to connect people through Yoga for a scientific healthy living at a function in New Delhi. 
  • The mobile application will help to provide a platform to share information and insights about people's participation during Yoga activities on International Yoga Day (21st June). 
  • The Ministry will also share research works done under the program called Science and Technology of Yoga and Meditation about the positive impact of yoga.
  • The app will help connect people who are practicing yoga.

Piyush Goyal launches new rules to promote green homes

  • The Power Minister Piyush Goyal has launched Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) 2017 developed by Bureau of Energy Efficiency in New Delhi.
  • The code aims at optimizing energy savings with the comfort level for occupants and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in the commercial building.
  • This code prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across the country.

  • ECBC 2017 is a leap forward towards strengthening India's capabilities to combat climate changes in a sustainable manner.
  • Energy conservation is the need of the hour and it is equivalent to almost 1.33 kW/h electricity generation.

ICC Women's World Cup winner to get USD 660,000 prize money

  • International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that the Women’s World Cup winning team will bag a handy prize money of USD 660,000.
  • Earlier, the ICC had declared that the total prize money for the tournament would be 2 million US Dollars.
  • The prize money filters down the ladder with the runner-up winning USD 330,000 and the losing semi-finalists getting USD 165,000 each.
  • Teams exiting at the group stage will get USD 30,000 each, while each win in the group stage will earn a side USD 20,000.

  • The ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 will be held in England and Wales in which the top eight teams, Australia (defending champion), England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies will participate.
  • The tournament will be played from 24th June to 23rd July 2017.

Indian Wushu Team bags six medals in BRICS Games

  • India has won six medals (two each Gold, Silver, and Bronze) in the ‘Wushu competition’ of the first ever BRICS Games in Guangzhou, China.
  • Gold medals: M. Gyandas and Anjul Namdev.
  • Silver medals: Bidheswari Devi and Toshibala.
  • Bronze medals: L. Sanatgombhi Chanu and Sajan Lama.

Note: Around 300 athletes from five countries Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa) with 10 events in 3 sports (men's basketball, women's volleyball and Wushu). 

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