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June 20, 2016

20th June 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (20th June 2016) is World Refugee Day.
    • This day is observed by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    • This day is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.
    • The decision to observe the day, coinciding with Africa Refugee Day, was made by the UN in December 2000.
    • The first World Refugee Day marked the 50th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention.
    • Theme of the year 2016 : We Stand Together With Refugee

National Affairs
  • The Assam Government has launched a unique initiative ‘Maitree Ek Gyan Yatra’ to link primary schools to high schools to colleges. 
    • The purpose of the programme is to change the mindset of the teachers, as in some places in states teachers of a school considered it below their dignity to teach the lower level students.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today released postage stamps on Surya Namaskara to mark the 2nd International Yoga Day to be celebrated on June 21. 
    • The stamps, of ₹5 and ₹25, depict the 12 ‘asanas’ constituting the Surya Namaskara. 
  • The Himachal Pradesh government has launched a ₹640 crore project for Skill Dvelopment under which multipurpose training centres will be set up in rural areas
    • The training, to be given by both government and private associations, will be accessible to all people aged between 16-49, including BPL families. 
    • Individuals will be trained in tourism, agriculture and banking sectors, among others.

Business & Economy
  • The government has announced that it will set up a new Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to sell its shares in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and other private companies, as part of its ₹56,500 crore disinvestment target for the 2016-17 fiscal. 
    • Note : ETFs are investment vehicles which hold assets like stocks or bonds and are traded on a stock exchange.
    Israel has approved additional funds of $18 million for construction of settlements in the West Bank
    • According to reports, $88 million have already been allotted for settlements earlier. 
    • Note : These settlements in the West Bank are considered illegal according to international law and the United States and the European Union have called for their construction to be halted.

Awards & Honors
  • The 'Panama Papers' investigation, which revealed details of offshore entities owned by people across the world, won the Investigation of the Year award for the year 2016.
    • This award was presented at the Global Editors Network summit in Vienna
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • 'Panama Papers' was the biggest ever data leak since 2015.
      • The investigation was a collaboration of over 100 media organisations, with Indian Express being the Indian partner.

People in News
  • The Anti Corruption Branch of Delhi has registered a case against former Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in connection with Rs 400 crore water tanker scam.

Science & Technology
  • Chinese supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight, built at a cost of around $270 million (approximately ₹1,820 crore), has topped the list of the world's fastest computers
    • It is almost 3 times faster than the previous record-holder Tianhe-2 and is almost five times faster than the quickest US computing system.
  • Public sector aerospace and defence major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has unveiled indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) HTT-40 in Bengaluru. 
    • The aircraft made its maiden flight recently the HAL Airport in Bengaluru in presence of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
  • French firm Cooltech Applications has launched what it claims as the world's first commercially available magnetic refrigeration system
    • It achieves refrigeration by passing a water coolant through magnetocaloric materials undergoing repeated magnetization-demagnetization cycles. 
    • The system works without any refrigerant gas, making it more environmentally efficient than conventional refrigerators.
  • The 48-hour long countdown for Wednesday's launch of record 20 Satellites by ISRO from Sriharikota began at 9:26 this morning.
    • Workhorse PSLV C34 will carry the satellites and inject them into the 505 km sun synchronous orbit one after the other.
    • Note : The 20 satellites include Cartosat-2 Series remote sensing payload of India for earth observation purposes, two Indian students satellites and 17 other micro and nano satellites of foreign customers from US, Canada, Germany and Indonesia.

  • Actor Anton Yelchin (27), who portrayed the character 'Pavel Chekov' in the 'Star Trek' reboot series, died following an accident.

New Appointments
  • Virginia Raggi has been elected as Rome's first female mayor.
  • Businessman Bipin R Patel was appointed as the President of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) for the term 2016-17.
    • He is going to replace Rohit J Patel.

  • Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (Germany) has won the 2016 European Grand Prix of Formula One.
  • The Indian mixed recurve team of Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das has won the Silver medal at the Archery World Cup held in Antalya, Turkey. 
  • Japanese footballer Kazuyoshi Miura has broken his own record to become the oldest goalscorer in Japan’s football league.
    • Miura, aged 49 years, is currently the world’s oldest active football player, and is playing in his 31st season as a professional. 
    • Before retiring internationally, Miura scored 55 goals in 89 appearances for Japan.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers today defeated defending champions Golden State Warriors 93-89 in the seventh game of the NBA finals to win the championship title for the first time in the franchise history. 
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