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June 24, 2016

24th June 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The two day  annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) 2016  is being held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
    • This is a Eurasian economic, political and military organisation. 
    • Aim : Jointly preserving and safeguarding regional peace, security and stability and also establishing a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
    • SCO was established in Shanghai by the leaders 6 countries viz. China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in the year 2001.
    • Important Points Note :
      • India will sign a memorandum of obligation in Tashkent today to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
      • India will also sign about 30 other documents during the period of one year to become a permanent member of the SCO.
  • Nepali citizens were banned by their country from working in Afghanistan, after 13 Nepali people were killed in a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul. 
  • According to data from the European Environment Agency released today, the European Union achieved its 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets in 2014, six years ahead of the deadline. 
    • In 2014, greenhouse gas emissions were lower by 24.4% when compared to the 1990 baseline. 
    • Note : The target was to achieve a 20% reduction on the 1990 baseline.
  • Europe's Sweden opened its first ever electric road today to provide power for heavy hybrid electric transports on public roads on a pilot basis. 
    • The two-kilometre long electric road's technology is similar to the light rail, with contact lines 5.4 meters over the roadway. 
    • The lines can provide up to 750 volts DC of electricity to a truck.

National Affairs
  • Nagaland Governor PB Acharya today launched the women helpline number '181' in Dimapur and inaugurated 'Sakhi - One Stop Centre', an institute that supports women affected by violence. 
    • The helpline and centre are aimed to provide integrated assistance, medical, legal and psychological counselling to women affected by violence. 
    • Note : The '181' helpline was first started in Delhi in 2012.
  • Mizoram will become the first hill state to launch a two-wheeler taxi service, which will start operating from July. 
    • Around 200 to 250 motorcycles will operate on the roads in the state capital Aizawl with fares starting at ₹10. 
    • The taxi service is aimed at controlling traffic in the city’s narrow roads while boosting employment amongst the youth.
  • The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to go paperless from August 15, in its endeavour to implement e-governance in the state.
    •  e-Office suites will be made functional in the state’s civil secretariat to stop manual movement of files. 
    • Further, all government files will be processed electronically to ensure speedy decision-making and bring about transparency in the government processes.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government today ruled out a ban on the sale and trade of liquor
  • Kerala Governor P Sathasivam today announced a new development policy that ensures the generation of 2.5 million jobs in the IT, biotechnology, tourism, and agriculture sectors in the next five years
    • The model will also promote gender sensitivity and organic farming.
    • Further, a department for the welfare of women and children will be set up in Kerala.
  • In a bid to curb air pollution, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to ban trucks and buses older than 10 and 12 years, respectively. 
    • Their owners will be given one year to buy new commercial vehicles, the state's Environment Conservation Board said. 
    • Further, permits will not be sanctioned to vehicles coming from other states that are older than eight years.
  • Tamil Nadu today passed a bill seeking the indirect election of Municipal Corporation mayors by councillors and not by the people, as is the current practice. 
    • The bill's objective was to ensure better delivery of services to the public. 
  • The Odisha government today approved a proposal of the Panchayati Raj Department to add 500 new gram panchayats in the state
    • This will be implemented before the three-tier panchayat polls to be held in 2017. 
    • Note : Presently, Odisha has 6,211 gram panchayats.

Places in News
  • Mahasthangarh, the 3rd century BC archaeological site in Bogra, Bangladesh, has been declared as the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SARRC) cultural capital for the year 2016-17
    • As a SARRC cultural capital, the historic place will host festivals on literature, films, foods and dances from October 2016 to September 2017. 
    • Note : Tthe year 2016-17 has also be declared the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage.
  • The world's longest and tallest tunnel slide, Arcelor Mittal Orbit, which has 12 loops was opened to the public today in London, UK. 
    • The 584-feet long and 250-feet tall slide has been designed by British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor and created by Belgian artist Carsten Holler. 
    • It has been transformed from UK's tallest artwork built for the London Olympics in 2012.

Awards & Honors
  • IIT-Kanpur professor Sanjay Mittal bagged the prestigious G D Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2015.

People in News
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union in a referendum. 
    • The Prime Minister had led the 'Remain' campaign which advocated staying in the EU.
  • Deepanshu Jindal from Delhi has topped the IIT JEE Main 2016 exam, the rankings of which were released by the CBSE yesterday. 
    • Pratyush Maini secured the second position and Rajesh Bansal stood at third. 
    • Around 11.28 lakh students had appeared for the exam to secure admissions to engineering institutions like NITs and IIITs.

Science & Technology
  • The scientists have developed d a microchip, named KiloCore that has 1000 independent programmable processors. 
    • The microchip is the world’s first 1,000-processor chip and has the highest clock-rate processor ever designed at the university level.
  • The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is collaborating with the Jadavpur University to start a ₹100-crore research centre aimed at developing technologies related to cyber security and robotics for the defence forces. 
    • The foundation stone for the 'Jagadish Chandra Bose Centre for Advanced Technology' was laid yesterday and the centre is expected to be ready within two years.

Business & Economy
  • Britain voted to end its 43-year old association with the European Union in a landmark referendum today. 
    • The country voted 52%-48% in favour of 'Leave' to become the first member state to exit the 28-nation European Union
  • The British Pound has dropped to a 31-year-low of 1.35 against the US Dollar with voting on the Brexit referendum leaning towards Britain ‘leaving’ the European Union. 
    • Note : The drop in the British currency marks its biggest intra-day fall in history.
  • Britain's central bank, The Bank of England, today announced it will provide £250 billion to ease the country's financial markets. 
    • This comes amid the UK's stock markets suffering huge losses following the nation's exit from the European Union. 
    • Further, the bank has also planned several measures to deal with a "period of uncertainty and adjustment", it added.
  • The Haryana government today decided to provide 100% rebate in property tax for residential, commercial, and institutional properties. 
    • The rebate would be given for a year– from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. 
    • The government had earlier waived electricity dues for consumers whose properties were damaged or looted during the Jat quota agitation. ​

New Appointments
  • Nokia toay announced the appointment of Sanjay Malik, the current Head of Network Implementation at Nokia Global Services, as the new head of Indian market, effective August 1st. 
    • He will be replacing Sandeep Girotra, who was promoted to the head of Asia-Pacific and Japan market after serving as the head of Indian market for about five years.

  • Pioneer of Indian quizzing, Neil O'Brien (82) passed away.
    • An educationist, Neil has been credited with conducting the first formal quiz in India in 1967.
    •  He was a three-time nominated MLA in West Bengal, leader of the Anglo-Indian community and Managing Director of Oxford University Press, India.
  • Indian women’s team all-rounder and vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first Indian female cricketer to sign for an overseas T20 league, after the BCCI allowed their participation in international leagues earlier this month. 
    • Kaur has signed up for the current Women’s Big Bash League champions, Sydney Thunder, for the second season of the league in December-January.
  • Following their silver medal win in the Champions Trophy in London this month, the Indian men’s hockey team has risen two places to number five in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) rankings
    • Note : This is only the second time India has managed to break through in the top five since the ranking system was started in 2003.
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