Friday, 24 June 2016

Daily Current Affairs Update (24th June 2016)

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1. Union Government launched India’s first pilot programme:
  • The Union Government launched India’s first pilot programme to run two wheelers on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in New Delhi.
  • The first of its kind programme was launched by Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change.
  • The programme is implemented by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) and GAIL (India) Limited.
  • The programme is implemented under Hawa Badlo movement, which is supported by GAIL. The movement is a people’s initiative to fight air pollution.
  • The programme involves 50 CNG retrofitted two wheelers.
2. Brexit wins as Britain votes to leave European Union in historic referendum:
  • The United Kingdom has voted by 52 % to 48 % to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum.
  • According to a newspaper London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the Union but the remaining vote has been done against it which mainly contains the north of England. Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Britain exit from the EU in large numbers.
  • The decision launches what will be years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with the European Union, which will shrink to a 27-nation bloc. Meanwhile because of the referendum, the pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results. Referendum turnout was higher than at last year's general election.
  • Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation from his position after the Brexit vote that favoured leaving the European Union (EU).
3. Union Government approved setting up of District Level Advisory and Monitoring Committees:
  • Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved the setting up of District Level Advisory and Monitoring Committees to promote people centric planning and execution of new urban development schemes.
  • These committees will comprise of elected representatives of the country, thus giving Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) a say in the implementation of the urban development schemes.
  • In a first of its kind, these Committees will oversee, review and monitor implementation of urban development, affordable housing and urban poverty alleviation programmes. Programmes to be monitored under this - Swachh Bharat Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) etc.
4. Odisha approves 500 new gram pancahyats:
  • Odisha government has approved a proposal of the Panchayati Raj department to add 500 new gram panchayats  before the 2017 three-tier panchayat polls.
  • The decision has been taken based on the recommendation received from the district level, said secretary to Panchayati Raj department Deo Ranjan Singh.
  • The state presently has 6,211 panchayats.
5. IIT-Kanpur professor Sanjay Mittal awarded with G D Birla Award:
  • IIT-Kanpur professor Sanjay Mittal in third week of June 2016 bagged the prestigious G D Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2015.
  • Mittal was instrumental in establishing the High Performance Computing (HPC) facility at IIT Kanpur and heads the National Wind Tunnel Facility.
  • G D Birla Award for Scientific Research was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.
  • The award is given every year and is available for all branches of science including medical science, basic and applied.
6. RBI releases framework on payments systems:
  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released its much awaited 'Vision-2018' document. The ‘Payment and Settlement Systems in India: Vision-2018’ aims at building best of class payment and settlement systems for a ‘less-cash’ India and ensuring access to mobile banking services to even basic phone users.
  • The current vision document is focussing on improving the infrastructure and regulations in the country to reduce cash transactions and increase use of technology. RBI said that its vision document focuses on responsive regulation, robust infrastructure, effective supervision and customer centricity.
  • Service providers will be encouraged to use technology to provide innovative easy to use mobile-based payment solutions in an interoperable environment without compromising on security. RBI expects the Vision to result in a continued decrease in the share of paper-based clearing instruments.
7. Darjeeling Zoo to receive snow leopard from London’s Dudley Zoological Gardens:
  • The Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling will soon receive a snow leopard from Dudley Zoological Gardens in London.
  • The leopard, named Makalu, is expected to make arrival at the Kolkata airport in an Emeritus Flight on the morning of 24 June 2016. Makalu will then be transported to the zoo.
  • The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
  •  It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The snow leopard is the National Heritage Animal of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
8. India, Switzerland ink MoU to enhance cooperation in skill development:
  • India and Switzerland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish formal cooperation in the fields of skills development and vocational and professional education and training.
  • The MoU was signed between Switzerland’s State Secretary Mauro Dell’ Ambrogio and Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Winterthur.
  • The MoU seeks to institutionalize cooperation between the two countries in the field of skill development and aims to promote Swiss vocational and professional education and training internationally.
9. Colombia government, FARC rebels sign ceasefire:
  • The Colombian government and the leftist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels signed a historic ceasefire deal. 
  • This ceasefire deal helped in ending more than five decades of conflict, which is regarded as one of the oldest wars of history.
  • The signing ceremony held at Havana was witnessed by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, FARC chief Timoleón Timochenko Jiménez, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, Cuban president, Raúl Castro and Venezuela’s head of state, Nicolás Maduro.
  • The core area of discussion focused on five main areas that is land reform, the rebels' future role in political life, a definitive end of hostilities, fighting the illegal drug trade and the situation of the victims.
10. Asian millionaires now the wealthiest in the world:
  • Millionaires in Asia are wealthier than their counterparts in other regions of the world, including North America and Europe.
  • According to a report by the Capgemini consulting firm, Asian millionaires’ wealth was worth 17.4 trillion dollars in 2015, more than double the 8.4 trillion dollars in 2006.
  • The report said there were 5.1 million Asian millionaires in 2015, the majority, 2.7 million coming from Japan and another one million from China. The US, by contrast, had 4.5 millionaires. Asian millionaires’ wealth is largely centered around financial services, technology, and healthcare.
11. BCCI appoints Anil Kumble as the new coach of Indian Cricket Team:
  • Former Spinner Anil Kumble will be the new coach of Indian Cricket Team. The decision of his selection was taken in the BCCI working committee meeting in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
  • His tenure would be for one year. Selection of the bowling, batting and assistant coaches will be done soon.
  • Kumble's first assignment will be India's four-Test tour of West Indies. Kumble's international cricket career spans 18 years. He is the highest wicket-taker for India till date and third in the international list, behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne.
12. M S Dhoni becomes brand ambassador of Exide Life Insurance:
  • Exide Life Insurance has announced that they have signed India's ODI and T20 cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its brand ambassador.
  • Mr. Dhoni will feature in the Exide Life Insurance marketing campaign “Lamba saath, bharose Ki baat.” This is his first endorsement deal in the insurance category.
13. Artemi Panarin wins 2015-2016 Calder Memorial Trophy:
  • Russian hockey winger Artemi Panarin, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, has won the 2015-2016 Calder Memorial Trophy.
  • The announcement was made by the US National Hockey League (NHL).
  • In the selection process, Panarin received votes on all 150 ballots and was the top choice on 88 for 1258 voting points. He was followed by Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers (955) and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (858). 
  • The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.
14. Harika wins best women's player in Kazakhstan Blitz:
  • Grand Master Harika Dronavalli added another feather to her cap by winning the best women's player award in the Eurasian Blitz chess tournament in Kazakhstan.
  • The India number two player picked up a cash prize of $2500 and 60 ELO points to regain her position in the top 10. Harika had won the best woman's prize at the Zalakaros International Chess Festival in Hungary last week to jump to world number 9 in the classical rankings list.
  • The 25-year-old's win is particularly impressive as the Blitz tournament saw an elite field, including world number one Hou Yifan of China. she was tied with Yifan with 12.5 points at the end of the tournament and ended up victorious in the tie-breaker.

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