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June 30, 2016

30th June 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The California Secretary of State's Office today announced that the state will vote to decide if the recreational use of marijuana should be made legal, in November. 
    • The proposed "Adult Use of Marijuana Act" secured the required 4,02,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. 
    • The November ballot can legalise private recreational use and personal cultivation of marijuana.
  • World Bank President Jim Yong Kim met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in Delhi. 
    • During the meeting, Modi emphasised the importance of adequate climate change financing for India
    • The two also discussed the progress of government initiatives like Smart Cities and Swachh Bharat
    • Note : Kim’s visit is reportedly aimed at understanding India’s efforts in the renewable energy and nutrition fields.
  • The 2nd BRICS Youth Summit will be held in Guwahati from 1st to 3rd July 2016.
    • Theme of the Summit 2016 :  ‘Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS Exchanges’.
National Affairs
  • The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday officially started functioning from the state's new capital Amaravati
    • Four departments of the state Secretariat have now shifted from Hyderabad to Velagapudi near Vijayawada and the rest will be shifted to the new Secretariat in phases. 
    • Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu is expected to start working from the new office from 21st July 2016
  • For the first time ever, he anniversary of the signing of the 1986 Mizo Peace Accord is being celebrated across the Mizoram state today. 
    • The state government has sanctioned ₹26 lakh for the celebrations, that are called 'Remna Ni', across Mizoram. 
    • Note : The resolution to celebrate the anniversary was taken at the 70th Young Mizo Association General Conference last year.
  • The Union Cabinet today approved the 4 laning of three highway projects with an estimated cost of about ₹5,965 crore
    • The projects include,
      • Aurangabad-Telwadi section of NH-211 in Maharashtra, 
      • Angul-Sambalpur section of NH-42 (New NH-55) in Odisha, 
      • Phagwara-Rupnagar section of NH-344A in Punjab. 
    • Note : A total of 318 km will be developed under the initiative.
  • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today launched an e-file tracking system to automate file, correspondence and document tracking within government offices. 
  • The Cabinet today approved the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), which aims at accelerating the exploration activity through enhanced private sector participation. 
    • Under this, private investment will be brought through revenue sharing models. 
    • Initially, an amount of about ₹2,116 crore over five years would be required, over and above planned allocations to implement the NMEP.

People in News
  • The North Korean Parliament appointed Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un as the 'Chairman of the State Affairs Commission' today, adding to his list of titles. 
    • His full title is now the 'Dear Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of DPRK and Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army'.
  • Former Indian team director Ravi Shastri has resigned from the post of Media Representative in the ICC cricket committee
    • Shastri has been a part of the committee for six years, of which newly-appointed India coach Anil Kumble is the chairman.

New Appointments
  • Rodrigo Duterte, who is known as 'The Enforcer' of the Philippines' murder capital Davao, was sworn in as the 16th President of the Philippines
  • Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today took oath as a Member of the State Assembly, days after she won the Anantnag seat by a margin of over 12,000 votes. 
    • Her oath was administered by Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta in the presence of members of the Council of Ministers. 
    • Note : Mehbooba is the first woman CM of the state.
  • Senior bureaucrat Nand Kishore was today appointed as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
    • Kishore, a 1981 batch officer of Indian Audit and Account Service, is presently Additional Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • Suzuki Motor Corp today announced that its board has appointed Toshihiro Suzuki, son of Chairman Osamu Suzuki, as its next Chief Executive.
  • CPI’s V Sasi was elected Deputy Speaker of the 14th Kerala Assembly.

Science & Technology'
  • India today test-fired a surface-to-air missile, jointly developed with Israel, from Chandipur defence base off the coast of Odisha. 
    • The missile includes multi-functional surveillance and threat alert radar systems for tracking, detection, and guidance. 
  • ALPHA, an AI developed by American graduate Nick Ernest, has defeated a retired US Air Force Colonel Gene Lee in an aerial combat simulator. 
    • Note : It could consider and coordinate the best tactical plan over 250 times faster than human opponents could blink. 
  • China has successfully launched its 2nd Shijian-16 series satellite for space research and experiments. 
    • The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013. 
    • The satellite was launched on board of Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Jiuquan, northwest China’s Gansu Province. 
    • It was the 231st by a Long March rocket.
  • Indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra has been successfully inducted in the Indian Navy. 
    • With this India becomes one of the eight countries in the world to have the capability to design and build such anti-submarine torpedo system.

Books & Authors
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is writing his first book titled 'Hit Refresh' that describes his life, the company, and how technology will shape the future. 
    • The book is scheduled to release in the fall of 2017 through publisher Harper Business. 
    • Nadella intends to give the proceeds of the book to Microsoft Philanthropies for funding non-profits working on public cloud projects.
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau will feature on the cover of Marvel's fifth issue of 'Civil War II: Choosing Sides', which will be out on August 31.

Places in News
  • Iceland has topped this year's annual list of world's safest vacation spots released by the Global Peace Index
    • Out of the 163 nations assessed for the report, Iceland's danger score was 1.192 on a scale of 5. Denmark (1.246), Austria (1.278), New Zealand (1.287) and Portugal (1.356) followed Iceland on the list, which measures countries on 23 individual parameters.
  • Universal's Islands of Adventure in Florida, USA has topped the list of world's top 25 amusement parks, released by American travel website TripAdvisor. 
    • It was followed by Discovery Cove and Magic Kingdom (both in Florida), Europa-Park (Germany), and Universal Studios (Florida). 
    • Most of the amusement parks on the list are from Florida (9), followed by California (3) and France (2).
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, which was established in 1847 as Thomason College of Civil Engineering, is the oldest engineering college in the country
    • The college was converted from Thomason College of Civil Engineering to University of Roorkee in 1948, and became an IIT in 2001.

  • Renowned sculptor and painter KG Subramanyan (92)passed away.
    • He was multifaceted artist credited with being one of the pioneers of Indian modern art and was also a freedom fighter.

Business & Economy
  • The World Bank has signed an agreement with the India-led International Solar Alliance​ and committed to lending over $1 billion for Indian solar energy projects. 
    • This comes after PM Narendra Modi sought climate change funds from the World Bank President. 
    • Note : According to reports, this is the global lender's biggest solar aid for any country till now.
  • Under its 'My Stamp' initiative, India Post has allowed individuals and corporate entities to get their photos or logos printed on a postage stamp for ₹12 lakh
    • India Post has already issued customised 'My Stamps' to Amazon India and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. 
    • Note : Earlier, India Post only allowed customised printing next to postage stamps on a ₹300 sheet.
  • Tamil Nadu has the highest fiscal deficit among all states in the country, according to Reserve Bank of India data. 
    • The state's fiscal deficit of ₹31,870 crore is higher than that of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, which occupy the second and the third place respectively. 
    • Note : Fscal deficit is the difference between the state's expenditure and income.

Awards & Honors
  • Jeff Bezos-led online retail giant Amazon has topped MIT's annual list of the world's smartest companies of 2016 for combining innovative technology with an effective business model. 
    • Chinese web services company Baidu and the world’s largest DNA-sequencing company Illumina have been ranked second and third respectively. 
    • The list also includes Tesla Motors, Alphabet, Facebook, SpaceX and Snapchat.

  • BCCI President Anurag Thakur has announced that the Board will build its own state-of-the-art cricket stadium, which will host marquee matches such as the IPL and World Cup finals. 
    • The decision was taken because of hassles involved in organising matches at State Board-owned venues. 
    • The stadium is likely to come up in Delhi and will be completed in five years.
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