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June 19, 2015

18th June 2015 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Holy month of Ramadan begins.
  • Japan’s parliament passed a bill to lower the voting age to 18 from 20.
    • This move will add 2.4 million new potential voters to the nation’s current voting population of 104 million.
    • The legislation will come into effect in time for next year’s upper house election. 
    • The last time Japan’s voting age was revised was in 1945, when the voting age was lowered to 20 from 25, and women were given the right to vote.
    • Note : The new law puts Japan in line with nearly 90% of the world’s countries in setting the minimum voting age at 18.
  • India ranked 143 out of 162 countries on 2015 Global Peace Index.
National Affairs
  • The government has decided to increase the number of workdays under MGNREGA from
    100 days to 150 days in drought-hit areas.
    • MGNREGA : Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act  
    • Launched in 2009
    • The scheme, in which half of the beneficiaries are women, roughly reaches every fifth household in the rural areas. 
    • The scheme is in operation in 632 districts in the country.
    • MGNREGA promises 100 days of work every year to rural households across the country.
    • The Centre will bear the cost of providing work to rural households for 50 more days and it will be applicable to only the households which complete 100 days of work.
  • Punjab is celebrating the 350th years of foundation of Sri Anandpur Sahib.
    • The holy city, which is also the birth place of Khalsa, was founded by the Ninth Guru Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji in 1665. 
    • To commemorate the occasion whole town has been painted white.
  • Finance Ministry forms a committee to facilitate the implementation of Goods and Services Tax from April next year.
    • A committee headed by the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) will recommend the possible rates of Goods & Services Tax (GST), slated to be introduced from April 1 next year.
      • Chief Economic Adviser : Arvind Subramanian  
  • The Union Home Ministry (MHA) has proposed an introduction of amendments in the Foreign Contribution Regulation Rules (FCRA) in order to to improve the current system with regards to the registration and renewal of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
    • This move has come in wake of complaints that NGOs have been violating the rules of the registration.
  • Under JNNSM, the government has raised the solar power generation capacity addition target by five times to 1,00,000 MW by 2022, which will entail an investment of around Rs 6 lakh crore. 
    • JNNSM : Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM)
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for:
    • Inclusion of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in the list of States to be covered under the National Dairy Plan- I (NDP-I).
    • Extended the implementation period upto 2018-19 in order to achieve key outputs of National Dairy Plan- I. 
    • Note : National Dairy Plan-1, a central scheme, was approved for implementation in 15 milk potential states by National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) with an outlay of Rs 2,242 crore for a period of six years from 2011-12 to 2016-17.
People in News
  • CBI registers preliminary enquiry against Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in alleged disproportionate assets case.
Business & Economy
  • Asia has overtaken Europe as the world’s second richest region
    • According to an annual report by the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm, the Asia Pacific, excluding Japan, held 47 trillion dollars in private wealth last year as the number of new millionaires rose in China and India.
    • Note : North America is the world’s richest region with 51 trillion dollars, but is expected to be surpassed by Asia in 2016.
  • US Federal Reserve keeps interest rate unchanged at near zero level.
    • Federal Reserve Bank Chair : Janet Yellen
  • Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, an eighth-grade dropout who became a multibillionaire Las Vegas casino tycoon, founder of  founded MGM Resorts International (MGM.N), Hollywood mogul, airline owner and auto industry investor passed away.
  • India has been ranked third behind Russia and Turkey in a World Anti-Doping Agency Report for 2013.
    • As many as 91 from the country tested positive for banned substances in that year.
    • According to the 2013 Anti-Doping Rule Violations Report released by the WADA on June 15, Russia has maximum number of dope offenders with 212 testing positive, while the figures for Turkey were 155.

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