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(40 General Studies + 20 General English)
1. June 8 -The World Oceans Day is being observed every year to raise global awareness of current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. The focus of World Oceans Day 2018 is on ‘Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean’. It also coincided with theme of World Environment Day 2018-‘Beat Plastic Pollution’.
1. A 73 km long National Highway from Matabari (Udaipur) to Sabroom along the Gomati and South Tripura districts was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on June 7, 2018.
2. The Health Ministry has barred 82 medical colleges (which include 70 private and 12 governments) in the country to admit students for the academic session 2018-19, based on the recommendation of the Medical Council of India. The MCI has pointed out various deficiencies such as inadequate infrastructure, faculty and resources during its inspections of these colleges. More than ten thousand MBBS seats out of the total 64 thousand available will be blocked.
3. The registrar general of India has released new data showing significant decline in maternal mortality ratio of the country. As per the recently released data, the MMR during 2014-16 period stands at 130.The three best states are Kerala 46(61), Maharashtra 61(68), Tamil Nadu 66 (79) and three worst states are Assam 237 (300), UP/Uttarkhand 201(285) and Rajasthan 199 (244).
4. Tripura’s queen variety pineapple has declared as state fruit by President Ram Nath Kovind. Its sweetness and unique aroma differentiates it from pineapples of other states of Northeast region. It had received Geographical Indication (GI) tag in 2015 and was helped by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation, a central public sector unit in getting it.
5. Under swift Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operation (HADR) code named Operation NISTAR- Indian Naval Ship (INS) Sunayana successfully evacuated 38 Indian Nationals after it entered Porbandar harbour in Gujarat. They were stranded for nearly 10 days after severe cyclonic storm Mekunu devastated area around Socotra Island in Yemen.
6. The 11th edition of Geo-Intelligence Asia 2018 was held at Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi, India from 4-5 June 2018.This year’s theme was ‘GeoSpatial: A Force Multiplier for Defense and Internal Security’. The aim of the event was to provide platform to showcase innovative applications of Geospatial technologies.
7. The rural sanitation coverage of India has risen to 85% under Swachh Bharat Mission according to Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation. This sanitation coverage is significant as it has increased more than double since launch of mission. It has successfully built 7.4 crore toilets across rural India through mobilization of rural communities. As result of it, over 3.8 lakh villages and 391 districts across the country have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). Recent survey conducted by Independent Verification Agency across 90,000 households in over 6000 villages across the country has found usage of toilets in rural India to be 93.4%.
8. With an aim to provide jobs to local youths, the Central Government has decided to raise five Indian Reserve Police (IRP) battalions in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The five IRP battalions in J&K will have over 5,000 personnel in which 60% reservation will be given to people living in zero to 10 km range from the border. Besides, two female battalions comprising 1,000 women personnel will also be created. The women battalion will primarily deal with incidents like stone pelting in Kashmir valley and other law and order duties.
9. The 12th edition of Global Peace Index 2018 was released by Sydney-based think tank Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). India was ranked 136th among 163 countries. Iceland was ranked most peaceful country in the world and it managed to retain its position since 2008. In Last year’s index, India was ranked 137th. Top 10 Peaceful Countries in 2018 GPI: Iceland (1), New Zealand (2), Austria (3), Potugal (4), Denmark (5), Canada (6), Czech Republic (7), Singapore (8), Japan (9) and Ireland (10). Top 10 Least Peaceful Countries: Syria (163), Afghanistan (162), South Sudan (161), Iraq (160), Somalia (159), Yemen (158), Libya (157), Democratic Republic of Congo (156), Central African Republic (155) and Russia (154).
10. ‘Business First Portal’ to give a big push towards the ease of doing business in the state was unveiled by the state’s Industry Minister Sunder Sham Arora in Jalandhar, Punjab. The portal aims to be a one-step solution for industrialists. Regulatory clearances of all departments would be integrated in the portal.Further, it would provide self access facility to the traders for the first time.
1. United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected South Africa, Indonesia, Dominican Republic, Germany and Belgium as non-permanent members of UN Security Council (UNSC). They will have two-year term beginning January 1, 2019.
2. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has notified declaration submitted by Indian relating to Article II and III of Appendix to Paris Act (1971) related to Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. The declaration will enter into force, with respect to India from March 28, 2018. It will enable India to avail itself faculties provided for Article II and III of the Appendix to Berne Convention during 10 years period that will expire, on October 10, 2024. India has been member of Berne Convention since April 1928.
3. The 17th round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Myanmar were held in New Delhi. The two sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. They held talks on high-level visits, security and defence related issues, boundary matters and border management, trade and commerce, development cooperation, connectivity, cultural and consular matters. The Indian side was led by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and the Myanmar side by Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U Myint Thu.
Science & Technology:
1. Spanish scientists have identified absorbent materials that can help soak up pollutants found in urban waste water in less than 24 hours. The results show that the material C18-Mica-4 is capable of eliminating the majority of pollutants that were evaluated in urban waste water, as well as surface water and potable water.
2. NASA approved an extension of Juno’s science operations until July 2021. This provides the space probe with an additional 41 months in orbit around Jupiter. The spacecraft was supposed to end its mission by crashing into Jupiter's atmosphere in July this year. The end of prime operations is now expected to be in July 2021, with data analysis and mission close-out activities continuing into 2022.
1. The interceptor ship ICGS C 439 was recently commissioned by Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is 27.4 metres long and has 136 tonnes displacement capacity. It is powered by twin water-jet propulsion systems to enable quick response. It can achieve maximum speed of 45 knots. It is designed to perform coastal surveillance, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and anti-poaching operations in close coast low intensity maritime operations. It will be under operational and administrative control of commander, Coast Guard District Headquarters No.2 (Maharashtra), Mumbai. ICGS C 439 is designed by L&T Marine & Ship Design Division, an in-house facility of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Limited.
2. India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun Dhanush has successfully passed its final test at Pokhran, Rajasthan. This paves its way for induction into Indian Army. It is upgraded version of Swedish 155-mm Bofors howitzers, which India procured in the mid-1980s, based on its original designs. So, it is also called desi Bofors. Dhanush is a 155mm x 45mm calibre artillery gun. It has strike range of 40 kilometres (11 km more than the imported Bofors guns) with accuracy and precision.Its 81% components are indigenously sourced and it will be scaled up to 90% by 2019. Each of this gun costs about Rs 14.50 crore while each shell costs Rs. 1 lakh. It provides greater fire power, depending on the type of ammunition used. It also has night firing capability in direct fire mode. Indian Army has so far not inducted any new artillery guns since Bofors guns. It has placed an initial order for 114 Dhanush guns and is expected to order another 400 more.
3. Exercise Malabar 2018 has begun between India, Japan and the US. They will practice surface and anti-submarine warfare operations and combined carrier strike group operations off the Coast of Guam Island in the western Pacific during the exercise. The June 7-16, 2018 war game is being held amid increased Chinese activities of building artificial islands in the South China Sea and sending submarines into the Indian Ocean.
1. As per the recommendations of Y.M. Deosthalee committee set up by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it will set up a Public Credit Registry (PCR) as a repository of information regarding loan information of individuals and corporate borrowers. On 6 June, 2018, RBI has disclosed the plans to establish the PCR in modular and phased manner. This registry will distinguish between bad borrowers and good borrowers and will offer interest rates accordingly.
2. President Ram Nath Kovind has assented to the promulgation of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 on June 6, 2018. This ordinance makes some fine-tuning mechanisms in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. This ordinance brings some specific changes affecting mainly real estate and financial sectors. The amendment ordinance gives some special benefits to the Micro, Small and Medium Sector Enterprises.
3. The meeting of Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) held under Chairpersonship of Secretary, Department of Expenditure to consider proposal of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has revised cost and deadline of World Bank funded Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP) to Rs.3466 Crore till June 2020. It was attended by officials of Ministries of Power, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Environment and Forest, NITI Aayog and officers of Central Water Commission (CWC). DRIP is a state sector scheme with central component to improve safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach. The project was launched in 2012 by Central Water Commission (CWC) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation with assistance from World Bank. Originally the scheme was scheduled for six years with closure in June 2018 with total original cost of Rs. 2100 crore with state component of Rs. 1968 crore and central component of Rs. 132 Crore.
4. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in India increased to US $61.96 billion in 2017-18 according to Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). In last four years perod, FDI inflows have jumped to US 4222.75 billion from US $152 billion. In last four years period, FDI inflows have jumped to US 4222.75 billion from US $152 billion. The main sectors that received maximum FDI were services, computer software and hardware, telecommunications, construction, trading and automobile. Major sources of FDI to Indian included Mauritius, Singapore, Japan, Netherlands, US, Germany, France and UAE.
5. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to allow voluntary transition of the Urban Co-Operative Banks (UCB) into Small Finance Banks (SFB), a move that is aimed at bringing UCBs into mainstream banking on June 6, 2018. The move is an outcome of the recommendations made by the High Powered Committee chaired by R Gandhi, the then Deputy Governor of the RBI.on Urban Cooperative Banks in August 2015.
6. On June 7, 2018 the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) amended the Gold Monetisation Scheme, 2015 (GMS) with an aim to enable people to open a gold deposit account hassle-free. The short-term deposits will be treated as bank's on-balance sheet liability. These deposits will be made with the designated banks for a short period of 1 to 3 years. Deposits can also be allowed for broken periods such as for 1 year 3 months or for 2 years 4 months 5 days.
7. Government Task Force on shell companies have identified and removed the names of over 2 lakh 26 thousand firms from the register of companies in the Financial Year 2017-18. These companies have not filed their annual returns for a continuous period of two or more financial years. Over three lakh directors were also disqualified for non-filing of Financial Statements or Annual Returns.
8. The RBI announced that interest subsidy scheme on short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh will be implemented through the Direct Benefit Transfer Mode from the current financial year. As per the scheme, farmers can avail of short-term crop loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at subsidised interest rate of 7 percent that could go down to 4 percent on prompt repayment.
1. The Water Resources and River Development Ministry’s ‘Atal Bhujal Yojana’- central sector scheme Rs 6000 crore worth has approved by the World Bank. The scheme will be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23 with assistance from the World Bank.
First in State/ National/ International:
1. Andhra Pradesh is set to become first state in India to use auto-disable syringes for all clinical purposes to prevent infection. The state will enforce this decision from July 28,2018 ( World Hepatitis Day).
2. China awarded its first highest state honour Friendship Medal to Russian President Vladimir Putin since it was established in 2015. Friendship Medal is conferred by China only on foreigner who has made outstanding contributions in promoting exchange and cooperation between China and in maintaining world peace. The award was personally bestowed on Vladimir Putin by Chinese President Xi Jinping in grand ceremony held at Great Hall of the People in capital city of Beijing.
1. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was given the additional charge of Tripura, according to a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 7, 2018.
1. Veteran film actor Anupam Kher will be given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement honour at the upcoming International Indian Film Academy awards ceremony in Bangkok. The 63-year-old actor has worked in over 500 films spanning across languages along with projects both in India and abroad for over three decades.
1. The revised guidelines for Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy were approved by the Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore. Under the revised guidelines, the applications from the universities, which were hitherto used to be invited and scrutinised by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU), will now be invited by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports or Sports Authority of India. The criteria for calculation of marks for selection of universities for MAKA Trophy have been revised. Tournaments which are held more than once a year will not be considered for computation of marks.