1. The 2018 International Conference on TRIPS- CBD Linkage will be held in Geneva, Switzerland on 7-8 June 2018. The conference will bring together indigenous people/local communities in developing and developed countries, internationally acclaimed academicians working on the subject, Geneva-based negotiators and capital based experts. Resource persons, stakeholders and experts from a large number of countries, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Peru, Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and the US, would participate in the international conference. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is a multilateral agreement on sustainable development and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resource. It has membership of 196 countries.
2. The World Milk Day (WMD) is observed every year by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on June 1 to recognize the importance of milk as a global food. The day is intended to provide an opportunity to bring attention to activities that are connected with the dairy sector. Interestingly, this is an event which does not follow a specific theme worldwide. Instead, different countries, governments and non-governmental organizations get to pick a theme of their own. The WMD 2018 theme in India is “Drink Move Be Strong”. Milk is enriched with nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamin B2, potassium, iodine, etc.
3. Social networking giant Facebook has partnered with National Commission for Women (NCW) to launch a digital literacy programme in collaboration with the Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF).
4. Indian star cricketer Yuvraj Singh has been honoured with the ‘Most inspiring icon of the year for Social Welfare’ award by the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival (DPIFF) for his exemplary contribution in the field of social welfare.
5. Assamese Singer Zubeen Garg will be honoured with the ‘Hero to Animals Award’ from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India for his recent appeal to end animal sacrifice at the Kamakhya Temple in Assam.
6. The Odisha government has launched the health insurance scheme “Gopabandhu Sambadika Swasthya Bima Yojana” for working journalists in the state.
7. Kendrick Lamar, an American rapper and songwriter, has won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his acclaimed album ‘Damn’ at Columbia University in New York. With this, Damn has created history by becoming the first non-classical and non-jazz work to earn the accolade.
8. Tata Motors Ltd. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government of Maharashtra for deployment of 1000 Electric Vehicles (EV) across its range of passenger and commercial vehicles in the State. The company also partnered Tata group company, Tata Power Ltd to set up of EV Charging Stations in the State. The MoU will boost the Maharashtra Electric Vehicle Policy 2018 in accelerating the adoption of Evs in Maharashtra.
9. Giuseppe Conte, an academic and political novice, has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Italy on June 1, 2018. He succeeded the Democrat Paolo Gentiloni. Conte will head a government of ministers from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League Party. According to many journalists and political commentators, Conte’s cabinet is the first populist government in Western Europe.
10. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has launched a new Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS) to provide probabilistic weather forecasts up to the next 10 days. According to IMD, these new systems shall improve upon deterministic forecasts that are prone to high margins of error. These systems also use a higher resolution 12 km grid scale, instead of the 23 km resolution that has been in use till now. The forecast related to the intensity of the weather will also be more accurate and colour coded. The new model has been developed jointly by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting. With this new model, India joins the US with a model that predicts with a 12 km resolution. Only the ‘European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast’ has a better 9-kilometer resolution. Better forecasts lead to better management agriculture and water resources. It also helps promote tourism, solar and wind energy.
11. President Ram Nath Kovind has recently presented the ‘Santokbaa Humanitarian Award’ to two noted personalities viz. Child rights activist and Noble Laureate Kailash Satyarthi and space scientist A S Kiran Kumar, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Surat, Gujarat. The award, instituted by Shree Ramkrishna Knowledge Foundaton (SRKKF) and led by diamond baron Govind Dholakia, includes a trophy and a prize money of Rs 1 crore each to the awardees. SRKKF confers the award every year for humanitarian contributions by individuals whose life and work are characterised by their selfless and inspiring service.
12. In Egypt, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been sworn-in for a second four-year term in office as the country faces major economic and security challenges. Sisi won 97% of valid votes in the March presidential election.
13. Maneka Gandhi, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD), has laid the foundation stone of India’s first advanced DNA forensic laboratory “Sakhi Suraksha” in the campus of Central Forensic Science Lab of Chandigarh as part efforts to reduce the backlog of cases needing advanced forensic analysis. It will be built at a cost of Rs 99.76 crore from the Nirbhaya Fund. The state-of-the-art lab will assist in investigation and prosecution of crimes including those committed against women and children. It will contribute to address the gap in forensic DNA analysis of pending sexual assault cases in the country. Forensic science plays a vital role in the criminal justice delivery system by providing investigators with scientifically based information through the analysis of physical evidence.
14. On June 1, the Union Ministry of Culture has launched a new scheme called ‘Seva Bhoj Yojna’ with a total outlay of Rs. 325 Crores for Financial Years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The scheme seeks to reimburse the Central Government share of CGST and IGST so as to lessen the financial burden of such Charitable Religious Institutions who provide Food/Prasad/Langar (Community Kitchen)/Bhandara free of cost without any discrimination to Public/Devotees.
15. On June 3, the Indian Navy evacuated 38 stranded Indians from Socotra Island in Yemen where they were stranded for nearly 10 days after a severe Cyclonic storm Mekunu hit the area. The Navy evacuated the Indians as part of operation code name ‘NISTAR’, carried out off the coast of Socotra and embarked them at Indian Naval ship INS Sunayna to bring them back to India. The Island of Socotra is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea and is recognised as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO in 2008. It is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth that a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. Notable are the dragon’s blood trees that look like flying saucers perched on trunks.
16. The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers welfare in line with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 has launched the Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan from 1st June to 31st July, 2018. The purpose of the scheme is to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.
17. India is the global host nation for the 43rd edition of World Environment Day (WED -2018) event, which has started on June 5, 2018. Environment Ministers, representatives from United Nations and members from various industry bodies will be among the various dignitaries who will attend the event. The day is a platform for encouraging awareness and propagating the need for protecting the environment. The 2018 theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Plastic, which is rampantly polluting our water bodies, harming marine life and posing a threat to human health, has been one of the major concerns of environmental bodies this year. This day is a call for awakening of individuals to take charge of protecting their environment and to realize the severity of plastic usage in daily life.
18. NTPC Ltd has adopted the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad under the Swachh Iconic Places Projects of India. This is part of a special drive under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission. NTPC Ltd and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have signed an MoU for implementation of development and beautification works under the Charminar Pedestrianization Project in Hyderabad. Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, who was the fifth sultan of the Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golkonda, founded the city of Hyderabad and built Charminar in 1591.
19. The Chandrabhaga beach on the Konark coast of Odisha has become the Asia’s first beach to get the Blue Flag certification — the tag given to environment-friendly and clean beaches, equipped with amenities of international standards for tourists. The beach awarded the honour on World Environment Day (WED) on June 5, 2018. Apart from this, 12 more Indian beaches are being developed by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM), an Environment Ministry’s body working for the management of coastal areas, in accordance with the Blue Flag certification standards. Among them are the Chiwla and Bhogave beaches in Maharashtra and one beach each from Puducherry, Goa, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Blue Flag beach standards were established by Copenhagen-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) in 1985. In order to get the Blue Flag tag, a beach has to be plastic-free and be equipped with a waste management system.
20. On June 6, the screening of the biopic ‘Making of the Mahatma’ in Pietermaritzburg marked the opening of a three-day series of events to commemorate the historic incident 125 years ago when Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from a train because the compartment he was in was reserved for whites only.
21. The World Bank has approved Rs.6000 crore for Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank assistance. The ABHY has been formulated by the Ministry to address the criticality of ground water resources in a major part of the country. The scheme proposal has already been recommended by the Expenditure Finance Committee and the Ministry will be seeking Cabinet approval for the project shortly. The purpose of the scheme is to improve ground water management in priority areas in the country through community participation. The priority areas identified under the scheme fall in Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of ground water in India.
22. On June 5, the Supreme Court has allowed the Union government to implement the reservation in promotion policy for SC/ST employees in accordance with the law but did not stay a Delhi High Court judgment that had quashed an August 1997 office memorandum issued by the Centre providing for reservation in promotions for Dalit and tribal employees. The vacation bench comprising Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Ashok Bhushan allowed such reservation but added without elaboration that it should be “in accordance with law”. As per Article 16 (4A) of the Constitution, the state would have to make out a case for providing reservation in promotion to SC/ST based on quantifiable data. The provision also says that the data should be based on factors like backwardness, inadequacy of representation and overall efficiency.
23. The Union Government has constituted a group of eminent persons to study the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Policy of India. The group will be headed by Industrialist Baba Kalyani. The group will evaluate the SEZ policy, suggest measures to cater to the needs of exporters in the present economic scenario and make the SEZ policy WTO compatible. The Group has to submit its recommendation in 3 months. The SEZ Policy was implemented from 1st April, 2000. Subsequently, the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 was passed by Parliament in May, 2005 which received Presidential assent on the 23rd June, 2005 and the Special Economic Zone Act was enacted. The SEZ Act, 2005, supported by SEZ Rules, came into effect on 10th February, 2006.
24. In a bid to check loan defaults, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has considered the recommendations of YM Deosthalee-headed High Level Task Force and will set up a Public Credit Registry (PCR) in a modular and phased manner. The PCR is an information repository that collates all loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers. A credit repository will help banks distinguish between a bad and a good borrower and accordingly offer attractive interest rates to good borrowers and higher interest rates to bad borrowers. The PCR will be the single point of mandatory reporting for all material events for each loan, notwithstanding any threshold in the loan amount or type of borrower. Thereby, the PCR will serve as a registry of all credit contracts, duly verified by reporting institutions, for all lending in India and any lending by an Indian institution to a company incorporated in India.
25. The Fuego volcano is an active stratovolcano in Guatemala that has recently erupted violently and buried several villages on its southern flank. The death toll has risen to 99 in the Fuego volcano eruption. The National Forensic Sciences Agency stated that, of the 99 people, only 28 have been identified.
26. On June 6, the 6-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) hiked the key policy repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25% in its second bi-monthly monetary policy review of FY19. Concurrently, the reverse repo rate adjusted to 6.0%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.50%. This is the first time since January 2014 that RBI has announced a rate hike. Since then, RBI has either reduced the rate or maintained status quo. Repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends to banks generally against government securities while the reverse repo is the rate at which RBI borrows money from the banks. In its monetary policy statement, RBI revised CPI inflation projections for the first half (H1)of FY19 to 4.8-4.9%, and 4.7% in the second half (H2). RBI retained its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth projection for the financial year at 7.4%.
27. On June 6, the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) in Telangana has received the approval of Technical Advisory Committee of the Union government in a meeting held in the Central Water Commission (CWC) in Delhi. The Kaleshwaram project, which is the biggest lift irrigation project in the country. The Kaleswaram project across the Godavari river is often described as a boon to the state.
28. The Mitti Dam is a concrete and earthen dam built on the Mitti River in Abdasa Taluka of Kutch District, Gujarat.
29. Andhra Pradesh will become the first Indian state to use auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes to prevent infection. The move will be enforced from the World Hepatitis Day (WHD-2018) when the state government will declare itself as “Safety Injection Use State”. The initiative will ensure one injection will be given from one syringe by mandating universal usage of auto-disable syringes in all clinical/therapeutic cases as part of infection prevention. The move would strengthen the healthcare system by lowering the burden of infections and breaking the cycle of cross infection.
30. President Ram Nath Kovind has recently declared the ‘Queen’ variety of pineapple as the state fruit of Tripura. The famous ‘Queen’ variety is spiny, golden yellow in color and emits pleasant aroma and flavor at the ripen stage.
31. Anthony Bourdain (61), the United States celebrity chef and television personality, has passed away in Strasbourg, France on June 8, 2018. He was a best-selling food, fiction and nonfiction author. He shot to fame in 2000 with a best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”.
32. Indian captain Virat Kohli will receive the Polly Umrigar Award for the best international cricketer (2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons) at the BCCI awards, to be held in Bengaluru on June 15, 2018. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are set to be maiden recipients of the award for best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons respectively. The BCCI Awards recognizes and honours the top domestic and international cricketers across all age groups.
33. Mithali Raj has become the first Indian cricketer to score 2,000 runs in T20 International Cricket.
34. India has been ranked 136th among 163 countries in Global Peace Index 2018 due to a reduction in the level of violent crime driven by increased law enforcement. The Index is prepared by Sydney-based international think-tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). The report provides a comprehensive analysis on the state of world peace. It covers 99.7% of the world’s population and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators grouped into three key domains — ongoing conflict, safety and security, and militarization. The index is topped by Iceland, followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark. As per the report that ranks 163 independent states and territories, Syria is the least peaceful country followed by Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia.
35. The 18th edition of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit was held in Qingdao, China on June 9-10, 2018. The summit concluded with the adoption of the Qingdao declaration. The declaration calls for implementing the three-year plan to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism.
36. New Zealand women’s cricket team posted the highest-ever total in One-Day International (ODI) cricket by scoring an incredible 490-4 against Ireland in the first match in Dublin. New Zealand skipper Suzie Bates top-scored with 151 off 94 balls.
37. The World Oceans Day (WOD) is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. It is observed every year on June 8 to provide an opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean and its resources. The 2018 conservation action theme is “Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean”.
38. S Ramesh has been appointed as the new chairman of Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC). He will succeed Vanaja N. Sarna on July 1.
39. Arvind Saxena, a 1978-batch Indian Postal Service officer, has been appointed as the acting Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He will succeed Vinay Mittal, who completes his term.
40. India will have its first-ever national police museum as the Central government has decided to establish the unique facility in Lutyens’ Delhi.
41. Former NIA chief Sharad Kumar, who is a1979-batch IPS officer of the Haryana cadre, has been appointed new vigilance commissioner in probity watchdog Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) for a term of 4 years or till he attains the age of 65. The CVC is headed by a Central Vigilance Commissioner who is assisted by two Vigilance Commissioners. The current CVC is K. V. Chowdary and Vigilance Commissioner is Dr. Tejendra Mohan Bhasin. The commission was set up by the Government of India (GoI) in February 1964 on the recommendations of K. Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
42. The 44th edition of G7 summit 2018 was hosted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Quebec on June 8–9. This was the 6th time since 1981 that Canada has hosted the meetings. It was the first summit for Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The summit was dubbed the “G6+1” by the French government and political commentators. This resulted from the United States withdrawing from the Iran Deal along with the Paris Agreement, rampant American protectionism, and fights with French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 45th G7 summit will be held in 2019 in Biarritz, France. The G7 Summit is an event conducted annually where world leaders from seven powerful economies of the world viz. US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Japan and Italy come together to discuss burning issues happening around the globe.They, by mutual understanding, also form policies or figure out remedies for the concerned issue.
43. Rafael Nadal, a Spanish professional tennis player, claimed his 11th French Open title on June 10, 2018. In the Men’s singles final in Paris, he defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-2 to win the title. By winning the French Open, Nadal tied Margaret Court‘s record for singles titles at a Grand Slam event. Court won 11 Australian Opens, but seven came when it was the Australian Championships, an amateur event. It was Nadal’s 17th Grand Slam title, just three behind great rival Roger Federer.
44. The 22nd edition of the trilateral naval exercise “Malabar 2018” has started between India, Japan and United States from June 6-15. The exercise will feature both ashore and at-sea training off the coast of Guam in the Philippine Sea. The training will focus on high-end war fighting skill sets, subject matter expert and professional exchanges, combined carrier strike group operations, maritime patrol and reconnaissance operations, surface and anti-submarine warfare, medical operations, damage control, helicopter operations and visit, board, search and seizure operations. India is being represented by the stealth frigate INS Sahyadri, stealth corvettes INS Kamorta, and the Deepak-class fleet tanker INS Shakti, IANS reported. Along with these, P-8I Neptune advanced maritime patrol/anti-submarine warfare aircraft will also participate in the wargame.
45. India will host the first military exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) group focusing on counter-terrorism in Pune on September 2018.
46. The World Day against Child Labour is observed every year on June 12 to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.. The 2018 theme ‘Generation Safe & Healthy’ points a finger at the hazardous and exploitative working conditions in which millions of children are working tooth, nail and bone for a living. The day shines a spotlight on the global need to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour.
47. The Union government has added 10 new Iconic sites in 3rd phase of its flagship project of Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) under Swachh Bharat Mission. The 3rd phase of SIP was launched at Mana village which is situated close to the Badrinath temple in Uttarakhand. The sites are Raghavendra Swamy Temple (Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh); Hazardwari Palace (Murshidabad, West Bengal); Brahma Sarovar Temple (Kurukshetra, Haryana); Vidur Kuti (Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh); Mana village (Chamoli, Uttarakhand); Nagvasuki Temple (Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh); and Kanvashram (Uttarakhand). Besides Pangong Lake (Leh-Ladakh, J&K), ImaKeithal/market (Imphal, Manipur) and Sabarimala Temple (Kerala). The project envisioned by the Prime Minister is being coordinated by Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation with the support of State governments and local administration.
48. The 23rd FIFA World Cup 2026 will be hosted by USA, Canada and Mexico. To host the tournament, the two official bids were submitted to FIFA: a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the United States, and a bid by Morocco. On 13th June 2018, the 68th FIFA Congress in Moscow, Canada, Mexico and the United States won the final vote. The United Bid received 134 votes, Morocco received 65 votes while one country voted for neither. The tournament will be the first to feature 48 teams, after FIFA approved expansion from 32 teams.
49. The Ethipothala Falls is a famous waterfall formed by the mountain streams which falls from a height of approximately 70 feet into a lagoon. It is located on the Chandravanka River, a tributary of River Krishna, in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. There is a crocodile breeding center in the pond formed by the water fall and is managed by the Forest Department of Andhra Pradesh where one can see the crocodiles from close distance. There are two temples at the foot of the waterfall, dedicated to Ranganadha Swami and Dattatreya Swami. Adjacent to the waterfall, there is a group of caves which are believed to extend till Srisailam. Ethipothala Waterfall is also a great place for mild trekking and camping along with refreshing nature sightseeing.
50. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently approved the final extension of tenure of the Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Central List. Earlier, it was mandated to present the report to the President upto 20th June 2018. Now, it is extended till 31st July, 2018. As per Article 340 of the Constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed a Commission on 2nd October 2017. Justice (Retd.) G. Rohini is the head of the commission. The commission will work out the mechanism, criteria, norms and parameters in a scientific approach for sub-categorisation within such OBCs. It will also take up the exercise of identifying the respective castes or communities or sub-castes or synonyms in the Central List of Other Backward Classes and classifying them into their respective sub-categories.
51. Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, the noted social reformer and founder of Sulabh International, has been honoured with Japan’s prestigious Nikkei Asia Prize for his significant work in tackling poor hygiene and discrimination. The award was given under ‘Culture and Community’ category at the 23rd Nikkei Asia Prize in Tokyo on June 13, 2018.
52. India has been ranked 177th among 180 nations at the 2018 Global Environment Performance Index (EPI) rankings. As per State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2018 in Figures, India scored 5.75 out of 100 in air quality. The SoE in Figures is an annual compendium of environmental statistics put together by Down To Earth magazine, which Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish. The SoE in Figures 2018 covers diverse subjects ranging from air pollution to environmental crimes & sanitation to energy security. The 2018 EPI provides a quantitative basis for comparing, analyzing, and understanding environmental performance for 180 countries. Low scores on the EPI are indicative of the need for national sustainability efforts on a number of fronts, especially cleaning up air quality, protecting biodiversity, and reducing GHG emissions. The top five countries in terms of green rankings are Switzerland, France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden.
53. On 14th June 2018, Shikhar Dhawan has become the first-ever Indian batsman to score a century in the first session of a Test match joining the illustrious ranks of Sir Don Bradman, Victor Trumper, Majid Khan, David Warner.
54. On June 12, the United States government has approved a deal to sell the Indian military six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for $930 million. The agreement has been passed to the US Congress for approval and if no US lawmaker raises an objection, the contract will go ahead. Boeing and Indian partner.
55. The World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) is observed every year on June 14 across the globe to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.
56. The 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC-2019) will be held at Lovely Professional University (LPU) in Jalandhar, Punjab from 3rd to 7th January 2019. The theme of the 5-day science congress is ‘Future India: Science & Technology’.
57. Shujaat Bukhari (50), the veteran journalist and editor of Srinagar based Rising Kashmir newspaper, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside his office in the Press Enclave area of Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) on June 14, 2018. Apart from Bukhari, his two personal security officers (PSOs) Hamid Chaudhary and Mumtaz Awan were also killed outside the newspaper’s office. Bukhari was instrumental in organising several conferences for peace in the Kashmir Valley. He was also part of the Track II process with Pakistan.
58. As per latest report “Global Economic Outlook”, Fitch Ratings has raised India’s growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4% from 7.3%, but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth. It also said that the rupee has been among the worst performers vis-a-vis Asian currencies this year. For FY20, it estimated the country to grow at 7.5%. However, higher financing costs (stemming from monetary tightening and higher market premiums) and rising oil prices should limit the upside to growth.
59. Smriti Mandhana, an Indian Women’s Cricket team opener, will become the first Indian player to appear in the Kia Super League, the women’s cricket super league in England. The League will begin from July 22, 2018. Smriti was signed by Western Storm and will represent the side in the upcoming edition of the tournament that features six teams. She has appeared in 40 T20Is so far and has a highest score of 76. In May 2018, she captained IPL Trailblazers in the Women’s T20 Challenge, which took place ahead of IPL Qualifier one. Smriti has also featured in the Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat.
60. Russia has successfully launched a Glonass- M positioning satellite by using a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center on June 17, 2018. The Glonass network provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe, at an accuracy reportedly at par with the U.S. Global Positioning System.
61. The conference on implementation of National Pension System (NPS) by the Central Autonomous Bodies (CABs) was held in New Delhi. It was organized by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
62. Flying Officer Meghana Shanbough MR, an engineering graduate, has become the sixth female fighter pilot to join the ranks of Indian Air Force (IAF). She is the first from Karnataka and South India. She graduates from the Air Force Academy (AFA) in Dundigal. The other fighter pilots: Avani Chaturvedi from Madhya Pradesh, Bhawana Kanth from Bihar and Mohana Singh from Rajasthan have already scripted history by becoming the first-ever women to undergo fighter pilot training in IAF at Hakimpet Air Force station in Hyderabad.
63. The Jawai dam is built across the Jawai river, a tributary of Luni river, and is situated near Sumerpur town in Pali District of Rajasthan. The dam was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur. This is the biggest dam in the western Rajasthan. The dam has capacity of 7887.5 million cubic feet and covers an area of 102,315 acres of cultivable command area. Its height is about 61.25 feet. Sei dam and Kalibor dam are the feeder dams of the Jawai dam.
64. The Assumption Island is a small island in the Outer Islands of Seychelles north of Madagascar, with a distance of 1,135 km southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island. It is in news recently because the deal for an Indian military base in the Island was declared as ‘dead’ by Seychelles President Danny Faure. He said that Seychelles would develop military facilities at the island on its own. Mr. Faure made it clear that he would have no further discussions on the subject with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he visited India on June 25 and 26, 2018. The plans for an Indian military base in Seychelles stirred up public protests by activists who believe that the islands must stay away from the brewing India-China regional conflict. The decision by the Seychelles President to drop the deal in the face of protests over a perceived loss of sovereignty is a blow to the Indian government’s “SAGAR” (Security and Growth for All in the Region) programme, announced by Mr. Modi during a visit to Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) countries in March 2015.
65. Ivan Duque Marquez , the Conservative political newcomer, has been elected as the new President of Colombia and will assume office on August 7, 2018. He won the 2018 presidential election by 54% of the vote on June 17, 2018. His running mate, Marta Lucía Ramirez, will become first female Vice-President of the country.
66. With the monsoon under way, the Union Water Resources Ministry has teamed up with Google to generate flood warnings.
67. Anukreethy Vas from Tamil Nadu has been crowned fbb Colors Femina Miss India World 2018 at a function held in Mumbai on June 19, 2018. Anukreethy, who beat 30 contestants to bag the honour, will now represent India at this year’s Miss World. While Haryana’s Meenakshi Chaudhary was announced the first runner-up, Shreya Rao Kamavarapu of Andhra Pradesh was adjudged the second runner-up in the beauty competition. The ceremony was hosted by filmmaker Karan Johar and Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana. The judges panel included 2017 Miss World Manushi Chhillar, cricketers Irfan Pathan and Lokesh Rahul and actors Malaika Arora, Bobby Deol and Kunal Kapoor.
68. On June 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has tightened norms for Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) by making quoting of the Permanent Account Number (PAN) mandatory even for transactions below $25,000. Under the LRS, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to 2,50,000 US dollar per financial year for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. Earlier, a system for daily reporting of individual transactions under the LRS by banks was been put in place. This system enables the banks to view the remittances already sent by an individual during the financial year, thus improving monitoring and ensuring compliance with the LRS limits.
69. The Parliament of Canada has passed a landmark law that legalizes the recreational use of marijuana nationwide. The Cannabis Act (or Bill C-45) passed its final hurdle on June 20 in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed and sold. Canadians will be able to buy and consume the drug legally as early as September 2018. The new law allows adults to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public, but the minimum legal age to buy and consume the drug has been set federally at 18. It makes Canada the first G7 country to legalise the drug’s recreational use and the second to have a nationwide, legal marijuana market, after Uruguay. The Group of Seven (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant intended for medical or recreational use.
70. A R Rahman, the renowned music composer, has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of the Sikkim government. He will promote and project the state’s achievements nationally and globally. Sikkim.
71. On June 19, the United States has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and condemned alleged hypocrisy of its members and bias against Israel. The announcement came after the top UN human rights official criticised Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after crossing into the country from Mexico. It must be noted that Washington’s withdrawal is the latest US rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. It’s not first time that the US has opted to stay out of the UNHRC. When the Council was established in 2006, the administration of George W. Bush withheld its membership over similar concerns. The U.S. joined the body only in 2009 under President Barack Obama. The UNHRC is composed of 47 members — and this is the first time a sitting member country has voluntarily decided to leave. Though, Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on unarmed protesters.
72. Under ‘India Smart Cities Award’ 2018, Surat Smart City has been selected for ‘City Award’ for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development. Beside this, Bhopal and Ahmedabad were selected in the ‘Innovative Idea’ category for their transformative approach towards sustainable integrated development. While 9 smart cities, including NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council), bagged ‘Project’ awards for innovative and successful projects in 7 categories. Under ‘Social Aspects’ category, NDMC and Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) bagged the award for implementation of ‘Smart Classrooms’ project, while Visakhapatnam was selected for its smart campus project and Pune for ‘lighthouse project’ under which underprivileged youths of the city get a chance to explore possibilities for enhancing their skills and pursuing a meaningful career.
73. Peter Thomson (88), one of Australia’s greatest golfers and a five-time Open Championship winner, has passed away in Melbourne on June 20, 2018. In 1954.
74. The Punjab Government has launched a smartphone application ‘i-Hariyali’, which aims to inspire people to plant more saplings to save the environment from pollution. It will ensure clean, green, healthy and robust Punjab with the active participation of people.
75. The International Yoga Day (IYD) is celebrated every year on June 21 to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice which is very useful for curing many diseases and health disorders. The theme for the 2018 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the U.N. is “Yoga for Peace”.
76. India will host the 3rd annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Mumbai on June 25-26, 2018. It will be jointly hosted by the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) and AIIB. The theme for 2018 meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration” that will see leaders from varied organizations and levels of government to share ideas and experiences for creating a sustainable future through sound infrastructure investment.
77. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has banned the Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Afghanistan-based Islamic State in Khorasan Province (or ISIS Wilayat Khorasan) under the anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 (UAPA). The outfit, which has now been banned, considers India and Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in activities of radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terror activities. The main purpose of anti-terror law is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. It has strict penal provisions to deal with banned organisations and their members. There are 39 banned outfits under UAPA, including the Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and others.
78. On 22nd June 2018, the annual Ambubachi Mela has started at Nilachall hillock where the Kamakhya temple is situated in Assam.
79. Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) in the US have developed the world’s smallest computer “Michigan Micro Mote”. It measures just 0.3 mm and could help find new ways to monitor and treat cancer. In addition to the RAM and photovoltaics, the new micro computing device has processors and wireless transmitters and receivers. Since they are too small to have conventional radio antennae, they receive and transmit data with visible light. A base station provides light for power and programming, and it receives the data. Designed as a precision temperature sensor, the computer can report temperatures in minuscule regions – such as a cluster of cells – with an error of about 0.1 degrees Celsius. The system is very flexible and could be re-imagined for a variety of purposes. The device can help in oncology research. The study was presented at the 2018 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits on June 21.
80. Kim Jong-pil (92), the founder of South Korea’s spy agency, has passed away in Seoul, South Korea on June 23, 2018. The spy agency is widely-known as the “perennial No. 2 man” in modern Korean politics.
81. The 22nd edition of Sindhu Darshan Festival (SDF) has started on the bank of Indus River in Leh district of Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on June 24, 2018. The 3-day annual fest is organised by Sindhu Darshan Yatra Samiti and Ladakh Phandey Tsogspa (Leh). It will be inaugurated by RSS General Secretary Bhaiya Ji Joshi. The programme is focused at national integration, communal harmony and national pride. It will be marked by holy dip in the Indus River, hosting of national flag and cultural programme of different areas of the country. The festival was started by the former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani in 1997.
82. The International Widows’ Day (IWD) is observed every year on June 23 to give special recognition to the situation of widows of all ages and across regions and cultures.
83. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has been conferred with the ‘Chief Minister of the Year’ award for her remarkable work in e-governance. The award was given at the 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 held in New Delhi.
84. “Tumhari Sulu”, a movie about a housewife who lands a job as a radio jockey, won the Best Picture Award at the International Indian Film Academy Awards 2018 in Bangkok.
85. In Archery, Deepika Kumari clinched a gold medal in the women’s recurve event at stage three of World Cup in Salt Lake City of US on June 25, 2018. She defeated Michelle Kroppen of Germany 7-3. With the win, the four-time World Cup final silver medalist has automatically qualified for the Archery World Cup Final to be held in Samsun of Turkey later this year.
86. Dharampal, the Sarpanch of Godikan village panchayat in Haryana, has passed a ‘No Toilet No Bride’ resolution to ensure the safety and well-being of its womenfolk.
87. The naval forces of India and Bangladesh will conduct the joint patrol exercise “Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT)” in the Bay of Bengal from June 27.
88. The Getalsud Dam is an artificial reservoir situated at Ormanjhi in Ranchi, Jharkhand. It was constructed across the Subarnarekha River and was opened in 1971. It is a popular picnic spot for the residents of Ranchi and Ramgarh District. The dam provides a small-scale fishing opportunity to the local people of Rukka. The main purpose of the dam is to fulfill the drinking water requirements of the residents of Ranchi. Apart from that, it is also used for industrial purposes and generating electricity.
89. The 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 championship will be held in the West Indies from November 9 to 24.
90. Pallavi Durua, who belongs to Odisha’s Koraput district, has been crowned as the India’s first “Tribal Queen” at the Adi Rani Kalinga Tribal Queen competition held at Utkal Mandap on June 26, 2018.
91. Bollywood Actress Kalki Koechlin has been conferred with the French distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for her contribution in enhancing Indo-French ties in cinema on June 22, 2018.
92. The UN Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day is observed every year on June 27 to recognize the importance of MSME in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.
93. India has extended a $100 million line of credit to Seychelles to allow it to build its defense capabilities and purchase weapons from India. The two nations also signed six Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), including in the area of infrastructure development in Seychelles, cyber security and white-shipping arrangement that would enable the two countries to exchange data regarding identity and movement of non-military commercial vessels. As promised by PM Modi during his visit there in 2015, India also gifted the 2nd Dornier aircraft to Seychelles ahead of its National Day on June 29, 2018. Both the nations agreed to work together on the Assumption Island project based on each other’s interests. It comes with a good note for India because the deal for an Indian military base in the Island was recently declared as ‘dead’ by Seychelles President Danny Faure.
94. The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed every year on June 26 to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs represent to society. The theme for 2018 is: “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”.
95. The Tipaimukh Dam is a proposed embankment dam on the river Barak in Manipur, which was first commissioned in 1983.
96. The 26th edition of the world’s largest multilateral naval exercise ‘Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC-2018)’ has started on June 27 off Hawaii in the Western Pacific Ocean. The 2-month long biennial exercise is likely to be attended by navies of 26 countries including India. Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri has already reached the Pearl Harbour in Hawaii to participate in the RIMPAC exercise. The Indian Navy in statement said INS Sahyadri, commanded by Captain Shantanu Jha, is a state-of-the-art indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate which is a part of the Eastern Fleet under the Eastern Naval Command. India’s participation in the exercise provides a platform for increased interoperability and development of common understanding of procedures for maritime security operations.
97. The 2018 World Food Prize will be awarded to two men who have dedicated their careers to improving the availability of nutritious food for pregnant women and children in an effort to reduce the effects of malnutrition in developing countries. These are Dr. Lawrence Haddad and Dr. David Nabarro. Both will split the $250,000 award that goes with the prize. The laureates will be recognized at a ceremony in the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines on Oct 18, 2018. Dr. Haddad is a British economist and food policy researcher, whereas Dr. Nabarro has worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) on health and hunger issues.
98. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has restricted the manufacture of Oxytocin formulations for domestic use to public sector only from 1st July 2018. It has also banned the import of Oxytocin and its formulations. Only Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (KAPL), a public sector company, would be manufacturing this drug for domestic use from 1st July 2018. The Oxytocin formulations meant for domestic consumption will be supplied by the manufacturer, i.e. KAPL, to the registered hospitals and clinics in public and private sector directly. Oxytocin in any form or name will not be allowed to be sold through retail Chemist. Oxytocin is a naturally-occurring hormone that causes uterine contractions during labour and helps new mothers lactate. But, its misuse is widespread in the dairy industry, where livestock are injected with oxytocin to make them release milk at a time convenient to farmers. The hormone is also used to increase the size of vegetables and fruits such as pumpkins, watermelons, brinjals, gourds and cucumbers.
99. The Gangrel Dam is built across the Mahanadi River in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. It is also known as the R.S. Sagar Dam and is the longest dam in Chhattisgarh. This dam supplies year round irrigation, allowing farmers to harvest two crops per year. The dam also supplies 10 MW of hydro-electric power capacity.
100. According to data on language released by the Union government as part of Census 2011, Hindi is the most spoken language in India. As per data, the percentage of Indian population with Hindi as their mother tongue has risen to 43.63% from 41.03% in 2001. Bengali has taken the second spot, followed by Marathi, Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati. Urdu is the 7th most spoken language in India, while Sanskrit was the least spoken of the country’s 22 scheduled languages. Out of unscheduled languages, the most spoken language was Bhili or Bhilodi, native to Rajasthan with 1.04 crore speakers and is followed by Gondi with 29 lakh speakers. According to Census authorities, mother tongue is defined as the language spoken in childhood by the person’s mother to the person or, where the mother has died in the person’s infancy, the language mainly spoken in the person’s household during childhood.
101. For screening cervical cancer, a new Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) technique — Direct to Slide — has launched in Tamil Nadu. The LBC technique would help in detecting cervical cancer during the pre-cancerous stages. In LBC, a soft brush is used to touch the cervix and take cells from the neck of the uterus. This is transferred into a bottle containing a preservative and sent for laboratory analysis. The cell contents are processed on a slide. In the conventional method, the total number of cells collected may not get transferred onto the slide, while in LBC, whatever sample is taken gets transferred onto the slide.
102. In a bid to boost environmental protection around the world, India will increase its grant from $12 million to $15 million to the Global Environment Facility (GEF)’s new four-year investment cycle, known as GEF-7. It was announced by India’s representative to GEF Council Aparna Subramani, during a meeting of the GEF Council in Da Nang, Vietnam. The meeting was part of a 4-day-long conference scheduled to conclude on June 28. Apart from her home country, Subramani also represents Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka in the GEF Council. India, which is both a donor and a recipient of GEF, is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. The GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, which is a multilateral financial mechanism to provide grants for environmental projects.
103. The Maharashtra government has announced a new scheme called ‘Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana’, wherein farmers families where girl children are born, will be given saplings for plantation. The purpose of the scheme is to empower women and promoting tree plantation. The farmer family blessed with a girl child between April 1 and March 31 can make an application with the Gram Panchayat after which they will get 10 saplings free of cost from the forest department. The saplings will be of different varieties, including teakwood, mango, jackfruit, black plum and tamarind. The scheme will be applicable for maximum two girls. The beneficiaries will also be helped under the horticulture scheme. It is expected that at least two lakh farmers families will benefit from the scheme every year.
104. To mark the 500th death anniversary of mystic poet and saint Kabir Das, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the two-day ‘Kabir Mahotsav’ at Maghar in Sant Kabir Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh on June 28, 2018. The festival, organised by the Union Culture Ministry, will feature folk music, dance performances and musical theatre in which artistes from all over the country will participate. Mr Modi also visited the Sant Kabir cave and unveils a plaque to mark the laying of foundation stone of the Kabir Academy, which will highlight the great saint’s teachings and philosophy.
105. The Madhya Pradesh government has been awarded for reducing maternal mortality under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign. The award ceremony was held in New Delhi on June 29, 2018. As per the report of the Registrar General of India, Madhya Pradesh has been registered an unprecedented 48-digit decline in maternal deaths from 2014 to 2016. The maternal mortality rate was 221 in the year 2011-13, which has now dropped down further to just 173. There has been a significant decline of 22% in the last 3 years in the state. The results of the various awareness programmes like institutional delivery, ANM, Anganwadi workers, knock-out campaigns etc. have now started showing fruitful result. The State government official claimed that this decline will be more noticeable in the coming years.
106. According to Mercer’s 24th annual Cost of Living Survey 2018, Mumbai (55) is India’s most expensive city, followed by New Delhi (103) and Chennai (144). Kolkata (182) and Bengaluru (170) are the least expensive Indian cities ranked. As per survey, the factors like instability of housing markets, low inflation, and fluctuating prices for goods and services are impacting the cost of doing business in various cities around the world. This year, Hong Kong is emerged as the most expensive city for expatriates both in Asia and globally as a consequence of Luanda’s drop in the ranking due in part to the downward trend in the city’s housing market. Hong Kong is followed by Tokyo (2), Singapore (4), Seoul (5), Shanghai (7), and Beijing (9).
107. The Raneh Falls is a natural water fall located in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh on Ken River. It is situated about 20 km away from world famous heritage site Khajuraho. The waterfall is also close to Panna Tiger Reserve and Ken crocodile sanctuary. It was awarded the Best Holiday Award for 2017.Tourists from all over the country and abroad come here every year to enjoy the natural beauty. The Ken River here runs through a narrow gorge of igneous rocks rich in Granite and Dolomite. The Pandav Falls in Panna National Park is also located nearby.
108. Kanya Van Samruddhi Yojana is a new scheme of Maharashtra government in which farmers families where girl children are born, will be given saplings for plantation. The saplings will be of different varieties, including teakwood, mango, jackfruit, black plum and tamarind. The scheme will be applicable for maximum two girls. Income from these trees will safeguard future of gril child.
109. Currently, Maharashtra has total five Unesco World Heritage Sites and this number is highest among all states and UTs in India. The sites include Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus and the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings of South Mumbai. The last one was included on 30 June, 2018.
110. In June 2018, Odisha government entered into a collaboration with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), an intergovernmental body under United Nations. RIMES has 48 member nations among Asia Pacific and Africa Region and is aimed at automating risk management, advisory generation and dissemination. This body had evolved in the aftermath of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami due to efforts of African and Asian Countries.