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June 15, 2016

15th June 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (15th June) is ASEAN Dengue Day.
    • Theme : Community Empowerment: A Sustainable Success to Fight Dengue
  • Today is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
    • This day was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.
    • The purpose of this day is to provide an opportunity for communities around the world to promote a better understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by raising awareness of the cultural, social, economic and demographic processes affecting elder abuse and neglect.
  • French President Fran├žois Hollande today finalised ratification of the Paris climate agreement, saying, "Signing is good, ratifying is better." 
    • The move makes France the first industrialised and G7 nation to do so
    • Note : The Paris climate agreement will come into force once it is ratified by at least 55 countries responsible for 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The US Senate today rejected an amendment to recognise India as a "global strategic and defense partner". 
    • The amendment, if passed, would have helped India to acquire advanced military technology, participate in combined military planning, and be treated like US' "closest defense partners" for military sales. 
    • Note : Earlier​, US had recognised India as a "major defense partner" in a statement.

National Affairs
  • The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has launched a Scheme for setting up of 1000 Mega Watt (MW) Wind Power Project connected to transmission network of Central Transmission Utility (CTU)
    • The objective of the scheme is to facilitate supply of wind power to the non-windy states at a price discovered through transparent bidding process.
  • The Cabinet today approved raising the retirement age of Central Health Services staff from 62 to 65 years
    • Note : Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier announced that the retirement age of government doctors was raised to 65 years.
  • Maharashtra government has decided to use plastic waste along with tar in the building of roads
    • The Centre had recommended the use of plastic waste as it improves the quality of roads and reduces soil pollution caused by the plastics.
    • Note : CSIR (Central Road Research Institute) also assured the government that such roads would be cheaper and more durable.
  • According to a report on global nutrition, the percentage of Indian children (38.7%) suffering from stunted growth due to malnutrition is higher than that of the world average (23.8%)
    • The report further revealed that India has doubled the rate of stunting reduction in the past decade, which is significant as India is home to one-third of the world's stunted children.
  • Aiming to cultivate a spirit of innovation in youth, the NITI Aayog has decided to set up 500 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) in schools across the country. 
    • The labs will provide students a work-space to shape their ideas by using hands-on models and learn innovation skills. 
    • The vision of the ATLs is to 'Cultivate 1 Million children as Neoteric Innovators'.

Science & Technology
  • According to NASA data, May 2016 was the hottest May ever on record
    • Note : January, February, March and April 2016 were also recorded as the hottest respective months in over 130 years. 

Business & Economy
  • The Cabinet today approved the merger of State Bank of India with Five of its associate banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank, as part of the government's plan for consolidating public sector banks. 
    • The associate banks of SBI are,
      • State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, 
      • State Bank of Travancore, 
      • State Bank of Patiala, 
      • State Bank of Mysore 
      • State Bank of Hyderabad
  • The Union Cabinet today cleared the new Civil Aviation Policy, under which air flyers will now have to pay a maximum amount of ₹2,500 for an hour-long flight. 
    • Further, the passengers will be charged ₹100/kg for exceeding the 15 kg limit on luggage as against the previous charge of ₹300/kg. 
    • It also proposed a maximum ticket cancellation charge of ₹200.
  • Indian Railways today signed a pact with Odisha government to establish a joint venture for the development of the state's rail infrastructure
    • Note : The state government will own 51% of the company.

Awards & Honors
  • President Pranab Mukherjee has been presented National Order of the Republic of Ivory Coast, the highest civilian award of the West African country. 
    • The award was bestowed upon Pranab Mukherjee during his two days visit to Ivory Coast on the second leg of his three-nation African tour. 
    • Note : With this, Mr Mukherjee’s became the first Indian President to visit Ivory Coast
  • Five Indian institutes have been named amongst the top-50 in the latest QS University Rankings Asia 2016 list
    • ndian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore was the highest ranked Indian university at 33, followed by IIT-Bombay (35), IIT-Delhi (36), IIT-Madras (43), and IIT-Kanpur (48). 
    • The rankings were topped by the National University of Singapore, followed​ by the University of Hong Kong.

  • Famous hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt (98), who became a hairstyling celebrity after she created the famous beehive hairdo in 1960, has died today.
  • Renowned Hindi novelist and critique Mudrarakshas (82) passed away. 
    • He was distinguished Hindi writer, activist, thinker and cultural personality.

New Appointments
  • Fijian diplomat Peter Thomson has been elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)
    • With this, Peter Thomson becomes the first representative from the Pacific island states to get elected for the largely honorific post in the UN’s 71-year history. 
    • Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st session of UNGA and will replace incumbent President Mogens Lykketoft.
  • Xerox named former iGATE chief executive officer (CEO) Ashok Vemuri as the CEO of its planned Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company.

  • The organisers of the Rio Olympics unveiled the Medals that would be handed out to the winners. 
    • The design consists of laurel leaves that surround the Rio 2016 logo. 
    • According to the organisers, the design celebrates "the relationship between the strengths of Olympic heroes and the forces of nature."
    • The committee also revealed the official slogan for the first Olympic games in South America -- "A new world". 
    • The core values of the slogan and the manifesto are unity, respect for diversity and the will for change.
    • The Games commence from the 5th August and go on until the 21st of August 2016.
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