22 June, 2016

GK Update 21 June 2016

1. International Yoga Day : 21st June

i. India and the whole world are celebrating the International Day of Yoga, or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day annually on 21st June since its inception. This resolution was adopted under the agenda of ‘Global Health and Foreign Policy’. 21st June was selected because it represents summer solstice (one of the two solstices) and it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere which has special significance in many parts of the world. 
ii. The theme for 2016 International Day of Yoga is “Connect the Youth”. This is the second edition of the International Day of Yoga.
iii. In India, the Union Government organized the event titled 'The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration' at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he also performed yoga.

2. Union Government approves 100% FDI in Aviation, Defence and e-commerce sectors

i. The Union Government has radically liberalized the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms by permitting 100 % FDI under government approval route for almost every sector including defence to give impetus to job creation and ease of doing business in the country. 
ii. The decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi. With these changes in FDI norms, India has become the most open economy in the world for foreign direct investment.
iii. Some of these sectors are Food products, Defence Sector, Pharmaceutical Sector, Aviation Sector, Animal Husbandry, Single Brand Retail Trading. The Union Government has also mentioned few sectors in the small negative list in which FDI continues to be prohibited in atomic energy, lottery, gambling, real estate and Real Estate Investments Trusts (REIT) and railways operations.

3. India, Thailand sign 2 agreements to boost ties

i. India and Thailand have signed two agreements in culture and educational sectors to boost bilateral ties. 
ii. The agreements were signed in New Delhi during the three-day official state visit of Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha to Indian. 
iii. Signed agreements are (1st) MoU between India’s Nagaland University and Thailand’s Chiang Mai University and (2nd) an agreement for the extension of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between both countries for 2016-19. Besides, both countries also issued a joint statement to ramp up cooperation in the fields of economy, cyber security, counter-terrorism and human trafficking besides forging closer ties in maritime security and defence.

4. Centre approves a proposal for Greenfield Electronic Park in Odisha

i. The department of electronics and information technology (DeitY), government of India has given its final approval for setting up of a greenfield electronic park within the Infovally complex, a dedicated IT hub, on the outskirt of Bhubaneswar.
ii. The park, to be set up under Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) scheme of the Centre, will come up on 203 acres of land at a cost of Rs 205 crore. Out of this, the government of India will give a grant of Rs 95 crore with the rest being contributed by the state government.
iii. The money will be spent on creating a common infrastructure for about 100 units to be housed within the park. Apart from developed land, road, power, water and recreation facilities, the park intends to provide common facilities for training, incubation and R & D activities to the interested entrepreneurs.

5. Punjab Government launches Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund

i. The Punjab government has launched a special fund “Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund” to provide free treatment for patients affected by Hepatitis C. 
ii. With this initiative, Punjab became the first Indian state to provide free treatment to confirmed cases of Hepatitis C.
iii. The fund will have an initial corpus of 20 crore rupees. This fund will provide all the residents of Punjab affected by Hepatitis C free treatment. It will also help patients to get free treatment as injectable peginterferon for the disease is very expensive and unaffordable.

6. Assam Government launches Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra initiative to link primary schools to colleges

i. The Assam Government has launched a unique initiative ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ to link primary schools to high schools to colleges. Initially, it will be launched at in Sivsagar district of the state and later will be implemented across the state.
ii. The purpose of the programme is to change the mindset of the teachers, as in some places in states teachers of a school considered it below their dignity to teach the lower level students.
iii. Under the initiative, college teachers will take classes in high schools and high schools teachers will teach in primary schools voluntarily. The basic idea of implementing the initiative is to improve the quality of school students and create better synergy in the education sector. 

7. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to be launched in Odisha

i. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan have launched  the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide free of cost LPG cooking gas connections to women from BPL households in Sambalpur, Odisha.
ii. According to reports, it is planned to increase the number of LPG customers in Odisha from 39 lakh at present to 80 lakh by December 2018. Under the scheme, the central government is providing a financial assistance of Rs 1,600 to each eligible BPL candidate to buy an LPG connection.
iii. The scheme has already been launched regionally by the Centre in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

8. Union Government bans the use of cancer-causing chemical potassium bromate as food additive

i. The Union Government has  banned the use of potassium bromate (KbrO3)as a food additive on the recommendation of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
ii. Early in May 2016, FSSAI in its recommendation asked health ministry to remove potassium bromate, a cancer-causing chemical, from the list of permissible food additives.
iii. The recommendation was made following a study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) that claimed that potassium bromate, which is classified as a category 2B carcinogen, can be a cause of cancer to humans. 

9. Martian crater named after Nepal quake-hit village Langtang

i. The International Astronomical Union in June 2016 named a 9.8 kilometers wide crater on Mars as Langtang, a popular trekking site in Nepal.
ii. Langtang is one of the villages of Nepal that was worst hit by the 25 April 2015 earthquake. As per reports, at least 215 people were killed in the village after the quake triggered an avalanche.
iii. The researcher behind the move, Dr. Tjalling de Haas, said that he chose this name because his colleague had worked there while studying Himalayan glaciers. It was his base camp for a long period, so we said maybe it is a nice tribute. Dr de Haas, who studies Mars's physical geography at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, has named another crater as Bunnik, his hometown in Utrecht. Both names were approved by the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature.

10. China’s Sunway TaihuLight declared world’s fastest supercomputer

i. Chinese supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight with 93 petaflop/second speed was declared as the world’s fastest supercomputer. 
ii. It was revealed in the TOP500 list of supercomputers released at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt, Germany.
iii. The list further revealed that the USA is not home to the largest number of systems. With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads with 167 systems and the USA is second with 165. The Asian share of 218 systems, up from 173 in November 2015, includes 8 supercomputers owned by Indian-based organizations.

11. Scientists make world's first 1,000-processor microchip

i. US scientists team has created the world's first microchip that has 1,000 processors and is thought to be the fastest chip designed in a university lab.
ii. This energy-efficient microchip, designed by a team at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 
iii. It is named as the "KiloCore" chip and has a maximum computation rate of 1.78 trillion instructions per second and contains 621 million transistors.

12. Tata-Boeing joint venture establishes an aerospace facility in Hyderabad

i. Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Boeing have celebrated the foundation laying of a new facility in Hyderabad for its joint venture named Tata Boeing Aerospace (TBAL).
ii. The joint venture has been established to co-produce Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter fuselages and other aerostructures, as well as to pursue integrated systems in aerospace.
iii. The facility has been under development in pursuance of a framework agreement signed between the two companies in July 2015.

13. HAL unveils indigenous basic trainer aircraft HTT-40

i. Public sector aerospace Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has unveiled indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) HTT-40 in Bengaluru.
ii. The aircraft made its maiden flight at HAL Airport in Bengaluru and was flown by Group Captain C Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for about 10 to 15 minutes.
iii. Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) is two-seater aircraft designed and developed indigenously by the HAL. HTT-40 will be used for the first-stage training for all flying cadets of the three services. The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018.

14. Virginia Raggi became first female mayor of Rome

i. Virginia Raggi, a leading member of the populist anti-corruption Five Star Movement (M5S) was elected as Rome’s first female mayor.
ii. She is also the first candidate from that party, M5S to be elected to Rome's mayoralty. Raggi, who will turn 38 in July 2016, is also the youngest mayor in Rome's history.
iii. A lawyer and local councilor, Raggi was elected to the post in the Italian capital after winning 67% of the vote in a runoff ballot against the Democratic Party’s (PD) Roberto Giachetti. Apart from her, Chiara Appendino another M5S candidate won the mayoral elections in Turin.

15. BCCI suspends Goa Cricket Association officials for misappropriation of organization funds

i. The BCCI has  suspended and issued show-cause notices to the top Goa Cricket Association officials, who were arrested for alleged misappropriation of organization funds. 
ii. GCA president Chetan Desai and secretary Vinod Phadke, who are also part of important committees of BCCI, along with treasurer Akbar Mulla were arrested earlier this week by police for alleged misappropriation of Rs 3.13 crore belonging to the organization.

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