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Daily Current Affairs for June 29-30 , 2018 ( English)

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Important Days:
1.       June 27 - The International Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day is observed every year across the world . The day highlights strong contribution of MSME businesses worldwide to livelihoods, communities and economies, and need to support MSMEs towards their success. This year is second edition after the day was instituted in April 2017. The campaign slogan of MSME Day 2018 is ‘The Youth Dimension’.
2.       June 29 - The National Statistics Day is celebrated every year in India to create public awareness about the importance of statistics in socio-economic planning and policy formulation. The 2018 theme is “Quality Assurance in Official Statistics”. The day also acknowledges notable contribution of Late Professor Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis in fields of statistics, statistical system and economic planning.

3.       June 29 - The International Day of Tropics is observed every year  across the world with an aim to raise awareness to specific challenges faced by tropical areas and the far-reaching implications of issues affecting world’s tropical zone.

1.       A five separate Statement of Intent (SoIs) has signed by  NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) with Financial Institutions & Social Organisations namely Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Limited, Indiabulls Housing Finance Limited, SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited, Sreemanta Sankar Mission and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to create opportunities and support women entrepreneurs. WEP was launched by NITI Aayog on the occasion of International Women’s day (March 8, 2018).
2.       The State Government of Haryana  has inked agreement  with World Union of Wholesale Markets(WUWM) to host 2018 World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) Conference at Gurugram in 10-13 October 2018 organized by Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board. The main aim of the conference is to provide common unified structure of mandis all across the world and take advantages of the improvements in the mandis in the world for India’s domestic requirements.
3.       To launch Cotton Mission to empower cotton farmers in the state, Maharashtra Government has signed MoU with India’s largest commodities exchange platform, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX). Under this mission,  MCX will partner with state agriculture department and other agencies to work closely with Farmer Producer Organisations and help them connect to its organised market network for building their capabilities.
4.       The Indian Railways has eliminated all unmanned level crossings (UMLC) from its four zones viz. West Central Railway, Central Railway, Eastern Railway nd South East Central Railway. These four zones aggregating 11,545 route kilometers have now become UMLC free on broad gauge route. So far, all UMLCs on routes having speed more than 100 kmph and on suburban routes have been eliminated, except 13 such crossings in South Central Railway which will be completed by July 2018.
5.       The foundation stone for National Centre for Ageing at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Centre will provide state of art clinical care to elderly population and shall play key role in guiding research in field of geriatric medicine and related specialties. The Centre will be developed at cost of Rs. 330 crores and shall be completed by February 2020. It will provide multi-specialty health care and will have 200 general ward beds, which will include 20 medical ICU beds.
6.       For the first time, the three phase energy efficient eight car Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) train set built with stainless steel bodies has rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF)  in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. MEMU is suburban train system that caters to needs of medium distance inter-city passengers. It runs on self-propelled 25 kv AC Overhead Traction, supported by Regenerative braking system. It saves energy consumption up to 35% as compared to conventional EMU and MEMU trains. Its maximum speed is 110kmph.
7.       A MoU was signed with Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES) by Odisha Government  to enhance effective management of all kinds of disasters like flood, drought, heat wave, lightning and road accidents in the state. Initially, the MoU will be in force for 5 years with cost involvement of about Rs. 8 crore. Under it, efforts will be made to create open-source software platforms and public domain data sets using weather and climate information, sourced from the India Meteorological Department (IMD.
8.       A Statement of Intent (SOI) with Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) has signed by NITI Aayog to work together for implementing Proof-of-Concept (PoC) application for fertilizer subsidy management using Blockchain Technology. PoC’s learnings, insights and outcomes will enable NITI Aayog to suggest policy recommendations and actions in strengthening subsidy mechanism, making it more transparent and immune to leakages.
9.       Ayush Ministry is in the process of introducing Ayurvedic medicine as a subject for Sanskrit students. This subject will help in identifying the medicines and ayurvedic practices from the Sanskrit scriptures that are un explored.Students who have completed Plus Two in Sanskrit will be introduced to Ayurveda as a subject. 
10.    The National Generic Document Registration System (NGDRS) inaugurated in all sub-registrar offices in Andaman & Nicobar Islands from New Delhi through a Video-Conferencing by the Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar. This generic customisable software will enable ‘anywhere access’ to data and information to both the common man and the enforcement and regulatory agencies.
1.       The world’s foremost chemical weapons watchdog, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as granted itself new powers to help identify those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. 82 members (exceeding required two-thirds majority) of the OPCW voted in favour of this proposal and 24 countries including Russia, Iran and Syria voted against it. With enhanced powers, OPCW now can put in place arrangements to identify the perpetrators of use of chemical weapons in Syria. It is considered as important step forward for arms control. It strengthens unravelling consensus against use of chemical weapons.
2.       The US State Department categorised North Korea as the "worst human trafficking country" for the 16th straight year in its annual '2018 Trafficking in Persons Report'. North Korea has been named in the lowest ranked Tier 3 category along with China, Russia and Iran. However, South Korea has been ranked at the highest category in the list of Tier 1 countries for the 16th consecutive year along with the US, UK, France and Canada.
3.       The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Singapore on cooperation in the field of urban planning and development. The objective of the MOU is to facilitate government agencies in the Centre and States, including Municipal Bodies, to readily tap into the expertise of Singapore agencies in the areas of urban development and management and other areas. 
Science & Technology:
1.        “ReUnite”- a mobile application was launched by the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation in New Delhi  to track and trace missing and abandoned children in India. It has been developed by Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi‘s NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan and IT company Capgemini. The app is available for both Android and iOS. It uses Amazon Rekognition, a web based facial recognition service to identify missing kids. The app is multiuser based where parents and citizens can upload pictures of children and provide detailed description like name, address, birth mark, search and identify missing kids and report to the police station. The photographs uploaded on the app will not be saved in the mobile phone’s physical memory.
1.       Solar Charkha Mission under which Government will disburse subsidy of Rs 550 crore to thousands of artisans, generating employment in rural areas was launched during the event of Udyam Sangam (National MSME Conclave) on the occasion of World MSME Day (observed on 27 June) by President Ram Nath Kovind. Under this mission, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) will cover 50 clusters across the country including in the Northeast and each cluster will employ 400 to 2,000 artisans. Its ultimate aim is to generate employment in rural areas and contribute to the green economy.
1.       Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) released by realty consultant JLL  ranked India 35th among 100 countries. Its real estate market is currently placed in the ‘semi-transparent’ zone. In this edition of index, India has moved up one place due to improvement in market fundamentals, policy reforms, and liberalisation of FDI. Top 10 countries are: United Kingdom (1st), Australia (2nd), United States (3rd), France (4th), Canada (5th), Netherlands (6th), New Zealand (7th), Germany (8th), Ireland (9th) and Sweden (10th). Top 5 worst performers: Venezuela (100), Libya (99), Senegal (98), Mozambique (97) and Ivory Coast (96).
2.       The first Delta ranking for 108 aspirational districts has released  NITI Aayog to measure their incremental progress across five developmental areas during two month period of April and May 2018. In the first edition of Delta rankings, 108 districts out of total 112 had participated. The districts started entering data from April 1, 2018 in the Champions of Change” dashboard. For these rankings, total 49 key performance indicators were mapped across five developmental areas: health and nutrition, education, financial inclusion and skill development, agriculture and water resources and basic Infrastructure.. Most improved aspirational districts: Dahod (Gujarat, rank: 1st), West Sikkim district (Sikkim, 2nd). Ramanathapuram district (Tamil Nadu, 3rd) and Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh, 4th) and YSR Kadapa district (Andhra Pradesh, 5th).Least improved aspirational districts: Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir), Begusarai (Bihar), Ranchi (Jharkhand), Simdega (Jharkhand) and Khagaria( Bihar) were listed as first to fifth aspirational districts, respectively, in least improved states.
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1.       The institution of Home Minister’s Special Operation Medal has approved by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It also has instituted three more Medals- Antarik Suraksha Medal, Asadharan Aashuchan Padak, and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal. These medals will be awarded annually. HM’s Special Operation Medal and Asadharan Aashuchan Padak will be awarded on Independence Day (15th August),  Antarik Suraksha Medal and Utkrisht & Ati-Utkrisht Seva Medal will be announced on Republic Day (26th January).
2.       Under Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign (Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan-PMSMA) Madhya Pradesh was awarded by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for reducing maternal mortality. The maternal mortality rate in Madhya Pradesh was 221 in 2011-13, which has now dropped down further to just 173. This accounts to significant 22% decline in the last three years in the state. PMSMA or Prime Minister’s Safe Motherhood Campaign was launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centres and hospitals in both rural and urban areas. It is national programme that aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month.
Appointments/ Resignations:
1.Portugal’s Antonio Manuel de Carvalho Ferreira Vitorino (61) was elected as next Director General (DG) of International Organization for Migration (IO M), an UN Migration Agency.

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