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Current Affairs – June 2019

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India

BSP–SP alliance called off

BSP–SP alliance called off

After analysing the Lok Sabha 2019 election results, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati called off its alliance with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party (SP). Blaming SP for their defeat in the elections, she made this announcement in a press conference on 4 June 2019. The BSP supremo further declared that the party will go solo in the upcoming by-poll elections of UP assembly. However, she added that this ‘break-up’ is not permanent, indicating that, if required, the parties might come together again in future.

Of the total 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, BSP and SP bagged 10 and 5 seats, respectively, in the general elections this year.
26 years ago, in 1993, the then SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and the BSP founder Kanshi Ram had formed an alliance to arrest BJP’s winning spree. They tasted success back then by grabbing 167 Assembly seats.

For more details, visit https://indianexpress.com

IAF An-32 aircraft crashes

IAF An-32 aircraft crashes

An Antonov An-32 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) en route from Jorhat Airport, Assam to Mechuka, Arunachal Pradesh crashed near Pali hills on 3 June 2019. The aircraft had lost contact with the ground control around 1 p.m., nearly 30 minutes after take-off.

After battling bad weather, 8 of the 15 members of the rescue team reached the crash site, 8 days after the plane went missing. Unfortunately, they found no survivors aboard amidst 13 members, comprising 8 aircrew and 5 passengers. The rescuers also recovered the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) from the Russian-origin aircraft, found at a height of 12,000 ft.

For more details, visit https://economictimes.indiatimes.com

Lok Sabha passes J&K reservation (amendment) bill 2019

Lok Sabha passes J&K reservation (amendment) bill 2019

Lok Sabha passed the J&K reservation (amendment) bill on 28 June 2019, thereby replacing the ordinance in effect since March 2019.
The bill intends to provide 3% reservations in educational institutions and government jobs to those staying within 10 kilometres of the international border of the Jammu area.
Speaking in favour of the bill, the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, said that the government wanted a reservation for people living along the international border, who used to stay in bunkers for days at a stretch during firing and shelling in the area.
For more details, visit https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Om Birla becomes the 17th Lok Sabha speaker

Om Birla named the 17th Lok Sabha speaker

A two-time BJP MP, Om Birla, was unanimously chosen as the speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha on 19 June 2019. In his maiden address from the chair, Birla promised to run the House in a fair and just manner and safeguard the interests of all members of the House, irrespective of the party they are a member of. He succeeded the 8-term MP Sumitra Mahajan to head the chair.
Before being elected as the Lok Sabha speaker, the 56-year-old Birla served as the district president of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha for four years, the Rajasthan state president of the organisation for six years, the national vice president of All India Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha for six years, the director of Coal India, chairman of Rajasthan State Cooperative Consumer Association and vice president of National Cooperative Consumer Association, besides many other significant roles.

For more details, visit https://www.thehindu.com

Encephalitis kills 100 kids in Bihar

Encephalitis kills 100 kids in Bihar

Several children in the Muzaffarpur city of Bihar have been affected by Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES). According to official reports, 83 children died at Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), while 17 lost their lives in Kejriwal Hospital in the city. The syndrome has been potentially linked to a deadly combination of eating infected lychees on an empty stomach, heat wave and malnutrition.
Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, instructed the health department and district administration to take necessary measures to fight the disease and announced an ex-gratia package of ₹4 lakh each to the families of the deceased.
Also known as Chamki Bukhar, Encephalitis is characterised by acute-onset fever, a change in mental status (mental confusion, disorientation, delirium or coma), and/or new-onset seizures in a person of any age at any time of the year. However, it most commonly affects children and young adults.
For more details, visit https://www.thehindu.com

Sports

Yuvraj Singh announces retirement from international cricket

Yuvraj Singh announces retirement from international cricket

After achieving several accolades over the years, India’s hero in the 2011 World Cup called it quits from international cricket with immediate effect on 10 June 2019. However, Singh will continue playing franchise-based leagues.
Addressing the media, Yuvraj said, ‘After 25 years in and around the 22 yards and almost 17 years of international cricket on and off, I have decided to move on. This game taught me how to fight, how to fall, to dust off, to get up again and move forward.’
He further added, ‘I was extremely lucky to play 400 games for India. I could have never imagined it when I first started playing cricket.’
Yuvraj played 40 test matches, 304 ODI matches and 58 T20 matches in his career span.

A few records held by Yuvraj Singh are listed below:
1. He is one of the six batsmen to smash six sixes in an over.
2. He is the only player to score over 300 runs and claim 15 wickets in a World Cup.
3. He holds the record for scoring fastest fifty in international cricket.
4. He is the only player to win the World Cup, the T20 World Cup and the U19 World Cup.

For more details, visit https://sports.ndtv.com

Australia Vs India: Records broken by Rohit Sharma–Shikhar Dhawan

Australia Vs India: Records broken by Rohit Sharma–Shikhar Dhawan

Indian openers Rohit Sharma–Shikhar Dhawan set several records in a World Cup match played against Australia at the Kennington Oval in London on 9 June 2019. Take a look at the records below:
They equalled the record held by legendary Aussie pair Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden of scoring the second most number of 100-plus opening partnerships in ODI cricket.
They equalled the record of Rohit Sharma–Virat Kohli, who hold a total of 16 100-plus stands for Team India in ODIs.
They became the highest run-scoring opening pair in ODIs in the world since 2013.

For more details, visit https://www.indiatoday.in

Virat Kohli breaks world records again

Virat Kohli breaks world records again

Indian skipper and men’s cricket team captain, Virat Kohli has proved that the sky is the limit. He became the fastest batsman to score 11,000 ODI runs in 222 innings on 26 June 2019 by scoring a half century against Pakistan in a World Cup match. Tendulkar, who held the record previously, took 276 matches to reach the milestone. He was followed by Ricky Ponting and Saurav Ganguly who took 286 and 288 innings, respectively, to cross the 11,000-run mark.
Furthermore, Virat also became the fastest batsman to score 20,000 international runs across all formats, breaking the record held jointly by Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Kohli added this feather to his hat while playing his 417th innings in a World Cup match against West Indies on 27 June 2019. He had a score of 19,963 runs before the match. Tendulkar and Lara, on the other hand, achieved this feat in 453 innings.

For more details, visit https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Virat Kohli found guilty, fined 25% match fee

Virat Kohli found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct, fined 25% match fee

Virat Kohli, the captain of Indian men’s national cricket team, was found guilty of breaching Level I of ICC code of conduct during a match against Afghanistan in the ongoing World Cup series.
During the 29th over of the match held on 22 June in Southampton, Kohli moved towards umpire Aleem Dar in an aggressive manner while appealing for an LBW. He was fined 25% of his match fee and even received one demerit point for excessive appealing under Article 2.1.
The two on-field umpires, Aleem Dar and Richard Illingworth, third umpire Richard Kettleborough and fourth official Michael Gough leveled the charges on him.

For more details, visit https://www.hindustantimes.com

Indian women’s hockey team beats Japan in finals

Indian women's hockey team beats Japan in finals

The Indian women’s hockey team won the FIH Series Finals by defeating Japan by 3-1 at the Hiroshima Hockey Stadium on 23 June 2019. Captain Rani Rampal scored the early goal for India in the third minute, while Gurjit Kaur struck twice at 45th and 60th minutes. On the other hand, Kanon Mori scored the lone goal for Japan in the 11th minute.
On winning the game, the Indian head coach Sjoerd Marijne was quoted saying, ‘It was a tough match, we are happy with the 500 points, we came here with a mission for the 500 points… I think we have defended very well and we can play fast combination hockey and we have a really good drag flick.’
Rani was named as the best player of the tournament, while Gurjit emerged the top scorer.

For more details, visit https://www.thehindu.com

Literature

Amish Tripathi appointed as the director of the Nehru Centre, London

Amish Tripathi appointed as the director of the Nehru Centre, London

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations appointed Indian author Amish Tripathi as the new director of the Nehru Centre in London. The Centre was established in 1992 with the objective of promoting cultural exchange between India and the UK. Tripathi succeeded diplomat Srinivas Gotru, who served at the post for four years.
Welcoming Tripathi on board, the ICCR President, Vinay Sahasrabudhe said, ‘We want every centre under the ICCR to be more vibrant and proactive to generate a proper understanding of the Indian culture abroad’.
The selection process for this post involves an application followed by an interview round with the selection panel.
For more details, visit https://www.hindustantimes.com

Environment

Kaleshwaram irrigation project inaugurated

Kaleshwaram irrigation project inaugurated

The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP), worth ₹80,190 crore, was inaugurated by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao in Telangana, India on 21 June 2019. The project aims to resolve 70% of drinking water problems, as well as provide irrigation facilities to 45 lakh acres of dried up lands of the state.
As per the plan, the project will lift two TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Godavari river water per day from the Medigadda barrage at about 100 metres below sea level.
The water will further be lifted in six stages and finally supplied to the Kondapochamma Sagar reservoir, built at a height of 618 metres above sea level. The project comprises 20 lifts, 19 pump houses and 19 reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 141 TMC.

For more details, visit https://www.thenewsminute.com

Swachh Survekshan League 2020 launched in India

Swachh Survekshan League 2020 launched in India

The Union Housing and Urban Affair Ministry launched the Swachh Survekshan League 2020 on 6 June 2019. The programme is launched with an objective of sustaining the on-ground performance of cities, along with the continuous monitoring of service-level performance in terms of cleanliness. It is intended to ensure a quarterly cleanliness assessment of cities and towns in India and will be conducted in three quarters, April–June, July–September and October–December 2019. The cities will be ranked in two categories, namely cities with population of one lakh and above and cities with population of less than 1 lakh.
It is crucial for cities to perform well in the drive as this programme is integrated with the Swachh Survekshan 2020. Nearly 25% weightage of the quarterly assessments will be included in the annual survey, which will be conducted between January and February next year.

For more details, visit http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=190258

Scientists discover a new frog in Assam

Scientists discover a new frog in Assam

A team of scientists from Delhi University and Wildlife Institute of India, along with researchers from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and the University of Texas, USA, discovered a new species of paddy frogs in a northeastern state of India, Assam. The frog has been named ‘aishani’ or ‘aisani’, meaning ‘northeast’ in Sanskrit.
This narrow-mouthed frog belongs to the microhylid genus, Micryletta. However, unlike other frogs of this genus, it has a reddish-brown colouration on its back, dark streaks and ash-grey mottling on its lateral side.
One of the most interesting features of this species of frogs is that it is not found far from human habitations.

For more details, visit https://indianexpress.com

World

World Day Against Child Labour 2019

World Day Against Child Labour 2019

The International Labour Organization (ILO) celebrated the World Day Against Child Labour on 12 June 2019. The theme for 2019 was ‘Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!’ Every year, since its inception in 2002, this day is used to draw people’s attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.
ILO defines child labour as ‘work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.’ However, the activities that contribute to the positive development of children, such as doing their share of household chores or earning pocket money in the summer are not to be targeted for elimination.
Unfortunately, even today, 152 million children are engaged in child labour. Moreover, every 7 out of 10 child labourers are found in the agricultural sector.
For more details, visit https://www.hindustantimes.com

End of Childhood Rankings published

End of Childhood Rankings published

The 2019 End of Childhood Rankings have been published in the Global Childhood Report released by Save the Children. The data has been compiled after assessing eight factors, namely child mortality, malnutrition, lack of education, child labour, early marriage, adolescent birth, displacement by conflict and child homicide.
Here are a few key findings from the report:
1. Singapore, Sweden and Finland are the top three countries in the chart, implying that only a few children in these countries are missing out on childhood.
2. Sierra Leone has shown an incredible improvement by achieving a 246-point increase in its index score since 2000, rising from 345 to 591. Here, child marriage is down nearly 60 per cent, under-5 mortality has been cut by more than half (53 per cent), and child labour is down by at least 40 per cent.
3. In South Asia, countries like Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India have shown remarkable progress. India ranks 113th out of the total 176 countries, rising from 632 index score to 769, mainly due to improvements in child health and survival.
4. In East Asia and the Pacific, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, China and Vietnam have shown significant rise in their scores.
5. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the most progress was made by Haiti and Nicaragua, with 98- and 97-point increase, respectively. Both countries improved child survival and school enrollment.

For more details, visit https://campaigns.savethechildren.net

Science & Technology

India successfully launched Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

India successfully launched Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully launched a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV) off the coast of Odisha on 12 June 2019. However, the test failed to demonstrate technology as the missile used, Agni 1, could not reach the desired altitude.
As per the statement issued by DRDO officials, “The missile was successfully launched at 1127 Hours. Various radars, telemetry stations and electro optical tracking sensors tracked the vehicle through its course. The data has been collected and will be analysed to validate the critical technologies.”
This unmanned demonstration aircraft uses scramjet technology and has multiple military and civilian applications. It can be used for launching cruise missiles as well as for launching satellites at a low cost.
With this, India has become the fourth nation to join the league of countries, namely the US, the Soviet Union of Russia and China, having the technology to develop hypersonic missiles.

For more details, visit https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy rocket with 24 satellites

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy rocket with 24 satellites

SpaceX achieved a milestone by launching two dozen satellites into space with Falcon Heavy from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on 25 June. It was the third flight of Falcon Heavy but the first ordered by the military.
The mission, titled Space Test Program-2 (STP-2), was aimed at demonstrating the capabilities of the launch vehicle and provide critical data supporting certification for future National Security Space Launch (NSSL) missions. The mission was managed by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and also looked into the possibilities of reusing launch vehicle boosters.
With more than 5 million pounds of thrust at lift-off, Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world. It has the ability to lift nearly 64 metric tonnes into orbit.

For more details, visit https://in.reuters.com

NASA finds high levels of Methane gas on Mars

NASA finds high levels of Methane gas on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found evidence on Mars that suggests that the planet might support life. The findings that were published in the journal Science on 8 June 2019 mention the presence of tough organic molecules in the 3-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks near the surface, as well as seasonal variations in the levels of methane in the atmosphere. Infact, Curiosity rover measured the highest level of Methane gas ever found on the surface of Mars, i.e. 21 parts per billion.
On Earth, methane is produced by living things; however, it might also be produced through chemical reactions involving rocks on Mars, thereby deepening the mystery.
Furthermore, the findings also reveal that billions of years ago, a water lake inside Gale Crater had all the ingredients necessary for life, including chemical building blocks and energy sources.

For more details, visit https://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Miscellaneous

Femina Miss India 2019: List of winners

Femina Miss India 2019: List of winners

Suman Rao from Rajasthan was crowned Femina Miss India 2019, and Shivani Jadhav from Chhattisgarh and Shreya Shanker from Bihar bagged the Femina Miss Grand India 2019 and Miss India United Continents 2019 titles, respectively, during the finale on 15 June which was held at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Indoor Stadium, Mumbai.
The event was judged by Vanessa Ponce, Shane Peacock, Falguni Peacock, Dutee Chand, Aayush Sharma, Sunil Chhetri, Chitrangada Singh, Huma Qureshi and Remo D’Souza.

For more details, visit https://www.indiatoday.in

Nirmala Sitharaman among 100 most influential UK power list

Nirmala Sitharaman among 100 most influential UK power list

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s name was included in the ‘100 Most Influential in UK–India Relations: Celebrating Women’ list.
The citation in the list said, ‘Having studied at the London School of Economics (LSE) and worked in the UK in her previous career, Nirmala is familiar with the UK more so than probably all her other colleagues’. It also credited her as one of India’s ‘most powerful women’ who plays a ‘pivotal’ role in the bilateral relationship between India and the UK.
Some other prominent names on the list are Penny Mordaunt, Priti Patel, Baroness Sandy Verma, Gurinder Chadha, Zia Mody, Pallavi S Shroff, Suneeta Reddy and Debjani Ghosh.
The launch of the list also marked the start of the UK-India Week in Britain, which included a series of sessions on trade and investment between the two countries.

For more details, visit https://indianexpress.com

Virat Kohli sole Indian in Forbes 2019 list of world’s highest paid athletes

Virat Kohli sole Indian in Forbes 2019 list of world's highest paid athletes

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli once again became the only Indian on the Forbes 2019 list of world’s highest paid athletes released on 11 June 2019. He has climbed down to the 100th rank with an estimated earnings of USD 25 million in the past 12 months. Last year, Kohli ranked 83rd on the list.
Notably, the only woman in the Forbes list of world’s highest paid athletes is Serena Williams, ranked at the 63rd spot. Her total estimated earnings are USD 29.2 million. The list published in 2018 did not include any woman athlete.
The 2019 list is topped by football maestro Lionel Messi for the first time with an estimated earning of USD 127 million. Some other names on the list include Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Canelo Alvarez, Roger Federer, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durrant.

For more details, visit https://www.indiatoday.in

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