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June 26, 2016

26th June 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (26th June) is International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
    • This day  is a United Nations International Day against drug abuse and the illegal drug trade.
    • The date 26th June chosen to commemorate Lin Zexu's dismantling of the opium trade in Humen, Guangdong, just before the First Opium War in China.
    • Theme of the year 2016 : Listen First
  • Today is International Day in Support of Victims and Nature.
    • This day had been launched by the United Nations (UN) in 1997 and is a result of the UN-convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This convention is binding according to international law, and aims to avoid, ban and prohibit torture.
    • Theme of the year 2016 : Fighting Impunity
  • India became the only country outside US’ formal treaty allies to gain access to almost 99% of America’s defence technologies
    • This comes after the US recognised India as a ‘major defence partner’ earlier this month. 
    • Under this, India will receive licence-free access to a wide range of dual-use defence technologies.
People in News
  • Guðni Jóhannesson, a history professor, has won Iceland’s presidential election in a vote held in the aftermath of the Panama Papers leak in April, which implicated several top Icelandic officials.
    • Jóhannesson will now replace Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who served 20 years as head of state.

National Affairs
  • The four-day long 'India Couture Week' 2016 (ICW), hosted by FDCI, the country's apex fashion body, will begin on July 20.
    • FDCI Fashion Design Council of India
    • FDCI President : Sunil Sethi
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Smart City Mission’ involving 83 projects from 20 different cities in the country. 
    • The ambitious mission of Union Government was launched at function held at Pune’s Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex one year after it was announced.

Business & Economy
  • The West Bengal government, in its full-fledged Budget for 2016-17, has proposed a 9.1% increase in tax collection against the 2015-16 figure. 
    • State Finance Minister Amit Mitra’s budget statement revealed that the state had failed to achieve its target of tax collection in 2015-16 and will need to rely on central funds for its developmental projects in 2016-17.
  • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has given its approval to for the purchase of 145 Ultra-Light Howitzers (ULH) guns from the US
    • The procurement of ULH will be through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route from the US and it will cost around 750 million dollars. 
    • As part of this deal, 25 ULH guns will come to India directly from US in a fly away condition. 
      • Rest will be assembled in India at the proposed Assembly Integration and Test facility (AITF) for the weapon system in partnership with Mahindra and Mahindra Company. 
  • The Panama Canal, expanded to allow bigger vessels to pass at a cost of $5.2 billion, was inaugurated today. 
    • The enlarged canal will reduce sailing time between Atlantic Ocean ports and Asia up to​ 16 days for big ships that could not previously fit. 
    • The canal authority now hopes that average volumes will rise by 3% per year.
Awards & Honors
  • Zubaida Bai, an Indian social entrepreneur, has been named among the ten ‘2016 Global Compact SDG Pioneers’, an initiative launched by UN. 
    • She is the founder of ‘ayzh’, a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions and technology solutions to impoverished women worldwide.
New Appointments
  • European Union has appointed Belgian Didier Seeuws, a longtime aide to former EU President Herman Van Rompuy, to head the union's special task force to negotiate Britain's exit.

Science & Technology
  • India is all set to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) tomorrow as a full member. 
    • MTCR membership will enable India to buy high-end missile technology and also enhance its joint ventures with Russia. 
    • The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, complete rocket systems, unmanned air vehicles and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kilometers, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction.

  • Eminent Odia writer Mohapatra Nilamani Sahoo (90) passed away.
    • A recipient of many awards and recognition for his literary works, Sahoo was bestowed with the Orissa Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979 for his story book 'Akasha Patata'.
    • For 'Abhisapta Gandharba' (a compilation of short stories), he received the Sarala Award in 1983 and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award for the same book in 1984.

  • The Indian contingent for the Rio Olympics went up to 103 members today, the highest ever, with five sportspersons qualifying in the last 24 hours. 
    • Sprinter Muhammad Anas became the 100th member of the contingent when he qualified for the 400-metre event. 
    • Note : India's highest contingent before 2016 was at London 2012, consisting of 83 members.
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