After a sabbatical factored by unforeseen circumstances, the daily current affairs capsule for covering the current happenings is back from today. Incidentally, the International Yoga Day is being celebrated today. We thank our readers for giving us the impetus to continue where we left. Here go today’s current affairs:
National Important Current Affairs – 21 June 2018
■ The fourth International Yoga Day is being celebrated across the globe today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led thousands of people in performing yoga asanas, in the main event organised at Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. He also called upon people to make Yoga a movement and a part of their lives.
- The theme is ‘Yoga for peace’.
Note that: In 2015, United Nations General Assembly unanimously announced 21st June as the International day for yoga to raise awareness about the benefits of practising yoga. PM Modi in his UN address in 2014 had proposed the idea of International Yoga day. June 21 was chosen because it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.
- Vishwas Mandalik from Nasik and the Yoga Institute in Mumbai have been selected as recipients of the Prime Minister’s award for outstanding contribution for promotion and development of yoga for the year 2018.
- President Ram Nath Kovind is observing the Yoga Day in Suriname along with his Suriname counterpart Desire Delano Bouterse. President Kovind had arrived in the Suriname capital Paramaribo yesterday on the second leg of his three-nation tour to Greece, Suriname and Cuba.
■ Gujarat State Government has announced its new Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy-2018 in the pursuance of crossing new milestones in producing pollution-free, non-conventional clean energy. The objective of the new policy is optimum utilization of land and grid land for clean energy – a new initiative worth emulating by other states.
- The policy entails that the developers can set up wind power unit on the land meant for existing solar power unit, or vice versa. The electricity produced from such hybrid wind and solar units will be exempted from electricity duty, allowing land use for dual purposes.
- Under this policy, 50 per cent concession will be given in cross-subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge while selling electricity to any third party. For captive power plants under hybrid projects, a total exemption from cross subsidy surcharge and additional surcharge, and 50 per cent relief in wheeling charges and distribution loss.
Note that: Presently, Gujarat produces approximately 5,500 MW of wind power and 1,600 MW solar power, totalling 7,100 MW of non-traditional energy.
■ The Haryana government will introduce an environment-centric scheme, under which school children will be given Rs 50 for planting trees every six months for a period of three years from July 10th. The scheme will cover students from Classes 6 to 12 of both government and private schools as part of incorporating green habits in the budding generation.
■ A 19 year old Tamil Nadu college student, Anukreethy Vas, has been crowned Miss India 2018 at the 55th Femina Miss India 2018, who will now go on to represent India at Miss World. Haryana’s Meenakshi Chaudhary stood second while Andhra Pradesh’s Shreya Rao Kamavarapu ranked third.
■ President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the imposition of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect. This comes after the PDP President Mehbooba Mufti resigned as the Chief Minister after its coalition partner BJP pulled out support from the alliance with PDP citing growing security concerns in the state.
Note that: Governor’s Rule is implemented under Section 92 of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. (The Jammu and Kashmir Constitution provides for Governor’s Rule unlike other states which see a President’s Rule under the Article 356 of Constitution of India.)
■ The world’s first International Centre for Humanitarian Forensics was launched at Gandhinagar in Gujarat as a joint venture of the Regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India, Bhutan, Nepal and the Maldives and also Gujarat Forensic Science University. The purpose of this Centre is to provide service to the nation and to the entire world when the need arises.
This is a centre of excellence which will use forensics for humanitarian services.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 21 June 2018
■ The United States has withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council and condemned the alleged hypocrisy of its members and bias against Israel. This announcement came after the UN human rights official criticised Washington for separating migrant children from their parents who are seeking asylum after crossing into the country from Mexico.
It’s worth recalling that, the UNHRC has been among the targets of President Donald Trump’s politics against global organisations and treaties. Under his presidency, the U.S. has already withdrawn from the U.N. (Paris) climate treaty and the UNESCO.
Note that: UNHRC was founded in 2006 while the then-President George W. Bush was dismissive of the body. Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. joined it in 2009.
About United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC):
The UN body was established in 2006 with the aim of promoting and protecting human rights around the globe, as well as investigating alleged human rights violations.
It is made up of 47 member states, which are selected by the UN General Assembly on a staggered basis each year for three-year-long terms.
Members meet around three times a year to debate human rights issues and pass non-binding resolutions and recommendations by majority vote.
The council also carries out the Universal Periodic Review of all UN member states, which allows civil society groups to bring accusations of human rights violations in member states to the attention of the UN.
■ US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep together immigrant families who have been detained at the border with Mexico. Trump reversed his own policy due to heavy pressure from his fellow Republicans, Democrats and the international community, over the separation of undocumented parents and children.
■ Canada’s upper house of parliament has voted in favour of a bill meant to legalise recreational marijuana. With this, Canada will become the second nation after Uruguay and first G7 nation to legalise cannabis.
■ 20th June was observed as the World Refugee Day 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 theme of World Refugee Day 2018 : “Embracing Refugees to Celebrate our Common Humanity”.
■ Moody’s Investors International has downgraded Pakistan’s outlook to negative from stable citing factors like “heightened external vulnerability risk” and “low reserves adequacy”.
This decision to change the ratings of Pakistan’s economy was taken because of the heightened external vulnerability risk as ongoing balance of payment pressures made foreign exchange buffers.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 21 June 2018
■ The Reserve Bank of India has tightened norms for Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) by making quoting of the Permanent Account Number or PAN mandatory even for transactions below 25,000 US dollar.
Note that: Under the LRS, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to 2,50,000 US dollar per financial year for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 21 June 2018 “
Q1. Which renowned personality has been appointed as the Brand Ambassador of the Sikkim government?
- A) Akshay Kumar
- B) Sachin Tendulkar
- C) Virat Kohli
- D) A R Rahman
Q2. The Union Government has constituted a Chief Ministers Subgroup to coordinate policy approaches for Agriculture and MGNREGS. Which state Chief Minister will be convenor of the supgroup?
- A) Uttar Pradesh
- B) Madhya Pradesh
- C) Andhra Pradesh
- D) Arunachal Pradesh
Q3. The new digital initiative of HRD Ministry ‘National Digital Library of India (NDLI)’ has developed by which IIT institute?
- A) IIT Kharagpur
- B) IIT Kanpur
- C) IIT Delhi
- D) IIT Bombay
Q4. The conference “National Consultation on Making Agriculture Sustainable and Profitable’ will be held in which city?
- A) Pune
- B) New Delhi
- C) Hyderabad
- D) Mysore
Q5. Which state government has launched 7-Star Gram Panchayat Rainbow scheme to rank panchayats on the basis of social parameters?
- A) Uttar Pradesh
- B) Madhya Pradesh
- C) Haryana
- D) Rajasthan
Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!