Current Affairs June 2022 (Daily Updated)

Current Affairs June

Last Updated: 12 September 2022

Gkgigs publishes Current Affairs of June 2022 events that will help you to boost your General Knowledge and help you crack exams like Banking, SSC, Railways, UPSC, CLAT, State Government Exams, General Aptitudes of various exams, etc.

Read the Latest Current Affairs of June 2022 and boost your General Knowledge. Stay updated on all the Important News and Current Affairs of June 2022.

30th June


India


  • GST Hikes: From July 18, tax hikes will kick in for over two dozen goods and services, ranging from unbranded food items, curd, and buttermilk to low-cost hotels, cheques, and maps, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council decided after a marathon two-day meet that concluded on Wednesday.
    • At the same time, tax rates will be lowered for about half a dozen goods and services, including ropeways and truck rentals where fuel costs are included, and scrapped for products imported by private vendors for use by defense forces.
    • The upward changes in GST levies include tweaks for 17 goods and services, including LED lights, solar water heaters, and writing inks, to correct anomalies that had crept in from inverted duty structures where tax rates on inputs were higher than the final product.
    • Separately, the tax rate on Tetra Pak has been raised from 12% to 18%, while cut and polished diamonds will now attract GST at 1.5% instead of the prevailing 0.25%.

Goods and Service Tax


No.Goods And ServicesFromTo
1Knives, Spoons, Forks, & Ladles12%18%
2LED Lamps & Lights12%18%
3Water Pumps, Deep Tube-Well Turbine Pumps, Submersible Pumps12%18%
4Solar Water Heater System5%12%
5Dairy Machinery12%18%
6Work Contract for Roads, Railways, Metros, Monuments, Canals, Dams, Educational Institutions, and Hospitals12%18%
7Ostomy Appliances12%5%
8Orthopedic Appliances for Splints and Fractures, and Intraocular Lens12%5%
  • Ease of Doing Business: Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Telangana are among the seven states categorized as top achievers in the ranking of states and Union Territories based on the implementation of the business reform action plan 2020, according to a report released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday.
    • Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh are the other states categorized as achievers in the ranking.
    • The Aspires category includes seven states, including Assam, Kerala, and Goa.
    • In the category of emerging business ecosystems, there are 11 states and UTs, including Delhi, Puducherry, and Tripura.
  • Mutual Funds: From July 1, mutual fund investments cannot be initiated from a pool account.
    • The money has to go from the investor’s bank account to the bank account of the mutual fund house, as mandated by the regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
    • All transaction platforms backed by stock exchanges will implement this, which may see some teething troubles for investors as well as other stakeholders.
    • All non-exchange transaction platforms including MF Utility have already implemented it since June 1, of course with some glitches. But the situation is improving gradually and may become error-free as all stakeholders catch up with the new operations rigmarole.
  • Assam Floods: The flood situation in Assam worsened further on June 29 with 12 more people losing their lives and the number of affected people increasing to 31.5 lakh, while Silchar town in Cachar district remained underwater for the last 10 days.
    • Eleven people died due to floods and one in a landslide, a bulletin issued by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.
    • The fresh fatalities have pushed the toll due to floods and landslides in the state this year to 151.
    • The number of affected people increased to 31.54 lakh in 26 districts, up from 24.92 lakh on the previous day.
    • Brahmaputra, Beki, Kopili, Barak, and Kushiyara rivers were flowing above the danger level.
    • Most localities of Silchar town were underwater with residents facing a shortage of food, drinking water, and medicines.
  • IOC: State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will invest over Rs 740 crore to raise the capacity of the nation’s oldest oil refinery at Digboi in Assam.
    • In a stock exchange filing, IOC said its board has approved raising of Digboi refinery capacity from 0.65 million tonnes per annum to 1 million tonnes along with associated facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 740.20 crore.
    • “The project is expected to be commissioned by October 2025,” it said.
    • The capacity expansion would improve the profitability of the Digboi refinery.
    • Digboi refinery was commissioned on December 11, 1901, and is India’s oldest operating refinery and one of the oldest operating refineries in the world.
    • According to the IOC website, the refinery processes waxy crude extracted from oil fields operating in areas nearby Digboi. It also started processing crude condensate in 2018.
  • Changes in GST: Several goods and services will cost more from July 18 with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council approving an increase in rates to address inverted duty structures and withdrawing some exemptions.
    • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said any increase in GST rates is intended to make up for “inefficiencies” in the value chain.
    • She said all states are aware of the potential impact of rate rationalization on inflation and any increase in GST rates will also make up for the tax burden borne by some other activities in that value chain.
    • The wider reform of the GST slabs has been put off as the council gave the group of ministers (GoM) on rate rationalization another three months to give its recommendations.
    • There was no decision on the taxation of online gaming, casinos, and horse racing, as the GoM that reviewed the issue has been asked to make a final recommendation by July 15, following a representation from Goa on casinos.
    • The council will meet next in Madurai in the first week of August to consider these recommendations.
  • New Wage Code: A company must pay the full and final settlement of wages and dues within two days of an employee’s last working day following their resignation, dismissal, or removal from employment and services, according to the new wage code.
    • Currently, the common practice followed by businesses is to pay the complete settlement of salary and dues after 45 days to 60 days from an employee’s last working day, and in some cases, it goes up to 90 days.
    • India’s new reform, already passed by the parliament, are the four labor codes: pay, social security, labor relations, occupational safety, health, and working conditions.
    • The four new labor codes were formed by reviewing and combining the previous 29 Central labor laws.
    • According to Minister of State for Labour and Employment Rameshwar Teli’s written response to the Lok Sabha, only 23 states and union territories (UTs) have released the draft guidelines under the Code on Wages.
    • The new wage code under the labor law says, “Where an employee has been:
      • removed or dismissed from service; or
      • retrenched or has resigned from service, or became unemployed due to closure of the establishment, the wages payable to him shall be paid within two working days of his removal, dismissal, retrenchment, or, as the case may be, his resignation.
  • Ambani’s: Mukesh Ambani, one of the country’s richest individuals, has initiated a long-anticipated leadership transition at the energy-to-retail conglomerate Reliance by handing over the chairmanship of its telecoms unit to his elder son.
    • The move is the first sign of change in Ambani’s empire after the billionaire last year said his children would have significant roles in the business, adding Reliance was “in the process of effecting a momentous leadership transition.”
    • Here are details about Ambani’s three children who are expected to have greater say in India’s biggest conglomerate valued at around $200 billion:
    • Akash Ambani (30 Years): Akash, Ambani’s elder son, joined the leadership team at the group’s telecom unit, Reliance Jio, in 2014, soon after completing his graduation in economics from Brown University.
      • Akash was also part of a team that brokered a $5.7 billion investment in 2020 by Meta Platforms in a Reliance unit, Jio Platforms.
      • In 2019, he married Shloka Mehta, the daughter of a wealthy diamond merchant.
    • Isha Ambani (30 Years): Isha is Akash’s twin sister and is already tasked with driving the company’s retail, e-commerce, and luxury plans.
      • She is also involved in expanding Reliance’s presence in fashion through the company’s Ajio e-commerce app as well as Reliance’s partnerships with top international brands.
      • In 2018, Isha married Anand Piramal, the son of a billionaire industrialist with interests in real estate and pharma.
    • Anant Ambani (27 Years): Anant is Ambani’s youngest son who is focussing on the conglomerate’s new energy business, a key area of investment for Ambanis.
      • Anant has in the past addressed audiences, along with Akash and Isha, at company events.
      • Anant graduated from Brown University in 2017.

World


  • NATO: Russia has “no problem” if Finland and Sweden join NATO, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
    • However, “if military contingents and military infrastructure were deployed there, we would be obliged to respond symmetrically and raise the same threats for those territories where threats have arisen for us,” Putin said.
    • Sweden and Finland have both decided to apply to join NATO after Russia launched its military operation in pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.
    • The formal process for membership was launched at the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday.
  • NASA: Ahead of NASA’s release of the James Webb Space Telescope’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data, we may finally have hints of what the first few operational images will look like.
    • The first pictures from the $10 billion-dollar deep-space observatory will include “the deepest image of our universe that has ever been taken,” according to NASA administrator Bill Nelson.
    • Space.com reports that while NASA didn’t specify which early-universe objects Webb will focus on, the space agency’s administrator suggested that the image will show some of the earliest objects yet seen.
    • This should mean that we would see objects older than the ones seen in the Hubble Space Telescope’s series of deep image fields that show galaxies that formed as little as a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
  • Israel: Israel’s parliament voted Thursday to dissolve itself and send the country to the polls in November for the fifth time in less than four years.
    • Yair Lapid, Israel’s foreign minister and architect of the outgoing coalition government, will become the country’s caretaker prime minister just after midnight on Friday.
    • He will be the 14th person to hold that office, taking over from Naftali Bennett, Israel’s shortest-serving prime minister.
    • The government collapsed just over a year after it was formed in a historic move that saw longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu ousted after 12 years in power by a coalition of ideologically diverse parties, the first to include an Arab faction.
    • The motion to dissolve passed with 92 lawmakers in favor, and none opposing, after days of bickering by coalition and opposition lawmakers over the date of new elections and other last-minute legislation.

29th June


India


  • USD-INR: The rupee breached the psychologically significant level of ₹79 per dollar level for the first time ever on Wednesday, marking the sixth straight session of all-time weak closes as worries about elevated oil prices and inflation returned to the forefront and weighed on emerging market assets.
    • The report showed the currency depreciated 18 paise to a record low close of 79.03 per dollar, provisionally, weighed down by persistent foreign capital outflows driven by flight-to-safety bets.
    • Earlier in the session, the rupee opened weak at 78.86 against the greenback, then lost ground to end provisionally at 79.03, its all-time low level.
  • SEBI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on June 28 found 18 entities, including former National Stock Exchange chief executive officer Chitra Ramakrishna, NSE COO Anand Subramanian, and the NSE, guilty of collusion in the 2015 dark-fiber case.
    • The capital market regulator imposed a cumulative penalty of Rs 43.8 crore on the 18 entities, with the NSE alone slapping a Rs 7-crore fine.
    • NSE’s Chief Business Development Officer Ravi Varanasi has been fined Rs 5 crore, while Ramakrishna has been handed a penalty of Rs 5 crore.
    • Subramanian, who along with Ramakrishna is the subject of a government probe over alleged wrongdoings during their time at the country’s largest stock exchange, has been fined Rs 5 crore.
  • GST Council Meet: The GST Council’s meeting has started on the second and the last day at Chandigarh.
    • On the first day, the Council is said to have approved the tax rates on some goods and services with a view to correcting inverted duty levies even as non-BJP ruled states set the stage for a possible confrontation with the Centre over the issue of GST compensation beyond the June 30 deadline.
    • GST Council recommends that hotel accommodation priced up to Rs 1000 per day shall be taxed at 12 percent.
    • It has also recommended that hospital room rent exceeding Rs 5000 per day per patient should be taxed to extent of the amount charged for a room at 5 percent without ITC.
    • GST Council clarifies electric vehicles, whether or not fitted with a battery pack, are eligible for the concessional GST rate of 5 percent.
    • The following tax rate cuts have been recommended by the GST Council:
      • Slashing rate on ostomy, certain orthopedic appliances to 5 percent from 12 percent.
      • Lowering rate on transport of goods and passengers by ropeways to 5 percent from 18 percent.
      • Cutting rate on renting of truck/goods carriage where the cost of fuel is included to 12 percent from 18 percent.
      • Slashing rate on ostomy, certain orthopedic appliances to 5 percent from 12 percent.
    • The following increase in tax rates has been recommended by the GST Council:
      • Hike in rate on printing, writing, or drawing ink to 18 percent from 12 percent.
      • Hike in rate on LED Lamps, lights, and fixtures, their metal printed circuits board to 18 percent from 12 percent.
      • Hike in rate on Solar Water Heater and system to 12 percent from 5 percent.
      • Hike in rate on job work in relation to manufacture of leather goods and footwear to 12 percent from 5 percent.
      • Hike in rate on works contract for roads, bridges, railways, metro, effluent treatment plant, crematorium to 18 percent from 12 percent.
      • Raising the rate on Tetra Pak to 18 percent from 12 percent.
      • Raising rate on cut and polished diamonds to 1.5 percent from 0.25 percent

World


  • Asian Stocks: Stocks fell across Asia on Wednesday morning, extending overnight losses on Wall Street amid concerns over the recession, inflation, and high oil prices, which also boosted the safe-haven dollar.
    • Japan’s Nikkei index fell 1.01% in early trading, while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1%, dragged lower by Australian shares, off 1.29%, and Korea’s KOSPI, down 1.57%.
    • Asian shares had ended the previous session on a positive trajectory after China announced an easing of its quarantine requirements for inbound passengers, in what some observes saw as the biggest relaxation so far of its “zero COVID” strategy.
  • Delaware: Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have devised a way to grow plants in complete darkness and create food plants in the dark using “artificial photosynthesis.”
    • The researchers grew plants in complete darkness in an “acetate” medium that replaces biological photosynthesis.
    • They used a two-step electrocatalytic process to convert carbon dioxide, electricity, and water into acetate.
    • The food-producing plants then consumed this acetate to grow.
    • Interestingly, if combined with solar power panels, this system could increase the conversion efficiency of sunlight, up to 18 times more than biological photosynthesis in some foods.
  • Russia: US President Joe Biden’s wife and daughter have been banned from Russia, along with 23 other Americans, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
    • “As a reaction to the constantly expanding US sanctions against Russian political and public figures, 25 American citizens are added to a ‘stop list,'” the ministry said in a note accompanying the list.
    • The list featured several US senators, including Susan Collins of Maine, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Charles Grassley of Iowa, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
    • It also included several university professors and researchers and former US government officials.
  • United States: Washington announced steps Tuesday to implement the new sanctions on Russia as agreed by G7 leaders, targeting Moscow’s defense industry, raising tariffs, and banning gold imports from the country.
    • The latest moves “strike at the heart of Russia’s ability to develop and deploy weapons and technology used for Vladimir Putin’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine,” the US Treasury Department said in a statement.
    • The sanctions target Rostec, Russia’s largest defense conglomerate, and other firms critical to the defense industry, as well as military units and officers implicated in human rights abuses in Ukraine, Treasury said.
  • NASA: NASA blasted a nanosatellite barely bigger than a microwave oven into outer space Tuesday, part of a landmark mission to return humans to the moon.
    • A rocket carrying the tiny CAPSTONE module successfully launched from New Zealand’s eastern Mahia Peninsula to a deafening blast and a wash of fiery propulsion.
    • This incredible team has just sent CAPSTONE on a ballistic trajectory to the lunar orbit.
    • Weighing about as much as a suitcase, the satellite is trial-running an orbit for NASA’s Gateway space station which will travel around the moon and serve as a jumping-off point for lunar exploration.
    • The orbit passes within 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of the moon at its closest point, before catapulting to 43,500 miles away at the furthest.
  • European Union: Germany can support a European Union proposal to effectively ban new fossil fuel car sales from 2035 if an option is added to allow sales of cars running on “CO2 neutral” fuels, German environment minister Steffi Lemke said on Tuesday.
    • “This addition is important to Germany in terms of our position, we believe it can also be a bridge for the overall discussion,” Lemke, of Germany’s Greens, told a meeting of EU environment ministers, who are trying to come to an agreement over the law on Tuesday.
    • Germany’s proposed addition to the law would ask Brussels to make a separate proposal allowing vehicles “running exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels” to be sold after 2035.
    • In its bid to cut planet-warming emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, the European Commission has proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035.

28th June


India


  • USD-INR: Indian rupee on Tuesday hit a fresh record low against the dollar as foreign investors continued selling local equities and crude oil rose.
    • The rupee opened at 78.50 per dollar and touched a fresh record low of 78.68. At 10:40 am, the home currency was trading at 78.65, down 0.4% from its previous close of 78.35.
    • Foreign investors so far this year have sold around $28 billion in equities and since October $32 billion has flown out.
    • At 4:20 am rupee touched 78.86 a dollar.
  • PSU Banks: The government is likely to introduce amendments to the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) Act, 1970, during the Monsoon Session of Parliament to enable full divestment of its stake in public sector banks (PSBs).
    • One amendment being considered will allow the Centre to completely exit from banks that are privatized, an official told the paper.
    • Inputs from the industry, merchant bankers, and potential investors have been taken on record, and more changes could be incorporated to make the stake sale process “faster and with less regulatory hurdles”, the official said.
  • Presidential Election: Yashwant Sinha, the joint opposition Presidential candidate, filed his nomination today in the presence of several opposition leaders.
    • He was flanked by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and former Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
    • Addressing the media later, former Rahul Gandhi said all opposition parties were united in supporting Mr. Sinha’s candidature for the top constitutional post.
    • Echoing the sentiment, Mr. Sinha called the Presidential poll “a battle between the ideology of absolute power and that of freedom”.
  • DoT Guidelines: Amidst a tussle between telecom and tech companies, the department of telecom has allowed telcos to lease spectrum to companies to set up captive non-public networks (CNPNs).
    • Issuing fresh guidelines to facilitate spectrum leasing for the first time in India, in a bid to facilitate industry 4.0 use cases like machine-to-machine communications, mobile edge computing, etc.
    • The guidelines issued by DoT allow private companies to obtain IMT spectrum from one or more telecom service providers (TSPs) with access service license on mutually agreed terms and conditions.
    • Both telcos and private companies leasing spectrum have to ensure that there is no interference caused to any public network or any other licensed user of the spectrum.
  • GST Council Meet: The two-day 47th GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council meeting, chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, which started in Chandigarh today, is underway.
    • GST Compensation Payout to States: Some opposition-ruled states want the 14 percent Protected Revenue Increment Protocol, which terminates on 30th June, to be extended by at least five years.
    • GST Council is likely to discuss a proposal by a panel of State Finance Ministers to impose a uniform rate of 28% on all activities related to Online Games, Casinos, and Horse Racing, including contest entry fees paid by the player.
    • The GoM (Group of Ministers) set up on Tax Rationalisation, headed by the Karnataka Chief Minister, will submit its interim report to the GST Council.
    • States like Chattisgarh do not favor any increase in GST rates. They are in favor of better rationalization of tax rates.
  • Chandigarh: Presenting the AAP government’s first budget, Punjab Finance Minister Harpal Singh Cheema on Monday announced providing 300 units of free electricity to households from July 1, setting up 117 Mohalla Clinics, and upgrading 100 schools as ‘schools of eminence’ in the state among other proposals.
    • The Bhagwant Mann-led government also announced setting up cyber-crime control units in all districts of the state while keeping its focus on health, education, agriculture, and police modernization.
    • The budget of the government led by AAP, which came to power while making poll promises in the form of “guarantees”, remained silent on giving Rs 1,000 to each woman in the state.
    • Providing 300 units of free power will put an additional burden of Rs 1,800 crore on the state exchequer, said Cheema.
    • The AAP government had announced giving 300 units of free power to every household from July 1. 

World


  • BRICS: Iran has submitted an application to become a member of the group of emerging economies known as the BRICS, an Iranian official said on Monday.
    • Iran’s membership in the BRICS group, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, “would result in added values for both sides,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.
    • Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said separately that Argentina had also applied to join the group.
    • Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez, currently in Europe, has in recent days reiterated his desire for Argentina to join BRICS.
  • Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin will travel to Tajikistan on Tuesday and later visit Turkmenistan for a summit of Caspian Sea nations, his spokesman said, in the first foreign trip by the Russian leader since the invasion of Ukraine in February.
    • Putin will hold talks with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on a conference call with reporters Monday.
    • He’s also due to attend the Caspian summit in Turkmenistan Wednesday, according to Peskov.
    • The Russian president’s last time outside the country was in early February when he visited Beijing for talks with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during the Winter Olympics.
  • NASA: NASA’s CAPSTONE mission has successfully launched on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket at 5.55 AM EDT (3.25 PM IST) on June 28.
    • The space agency had live-streamed the event and you can watch a recorded version at the link below.
    • The spacecraft successfully went past max q (when it faces maximum structural load), staging, fairing separation, battery jettison, and kick stage separation to reach its first orbital phase on its journey to the Moon.
    • The CAPSTONE mission will carry a dedicated payload flight computer and radio that will perform calculations to determine where the CubeSat is in its orbital path.
    • The CubeSat satellite will use NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) as a reference point to understand its position in space.
    • CAPSTONE will communicate directly with LRO and utilize the data from this crosslink to measure how far it is from LRO and how fast the distance between the two changes.
    • This will tell the CubeSat its position in space relative to LRO.

27th June


India


  • COVID: India reported 17,073 fresh Covid cases in the last 24 hours, raising its tally to 4,34,07,046, a jump of 45 percent from yesterday.
    • As many as 11,739 new Covid-19 cases and 25 deaths were recorded in the country on Sunday.
    • The death count has climbed to 5,25,020 with 21 fresh fatalities, data updated at 8 am by the Union Health Ministry stated.
    • The daily positivity rate was recorded at 5.62 percent while the weekly positivity rate was recorded at 3.39 percent, it said.
  • UGC NET: The dates for the conduct of the University Grants Commission (UGC)-National Eligibility Test (NET) have been rolled out for July and August this year.
    • UGC-NET December 2021 and June 2022 merged cycles are 8, 9, 11, 12 July 2022, and 12, 13, and 14 August 2022.
    • Earlier in April, UGC-NET was scheduled to conduct in the first or second week of June by this year.
    • Meanwhile, the dates for the submission of forms for UGC-NET have been extended to May 30, 2022
  • Finance Minister: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will on Thursday release a ranking of states and Union Territories (UTs) on ease of doing business under the Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP).
    • The exercise is aimed at triggering competition among states to improve the business climate to attract domestic and global investors. “It has been decided to release the assessment of states/UTs under BRAP (Business Reforms Action Plan), 2020, on June 30 by Sitharaman,” a government official said.
    • The parameters include various areas such as construction permits, labor regulations, environmental registration, access to information, land availability, and a single-window system.
  • Student Visa: The United States embassy in India has said that visa appointments are available on its website for students who need to be on campus by mid-August.
    • Interviews for F, M, and J visas would take place after August 14, the embassy tweeted.
    • The move comes after the government, in a rare move, urged senior diplomats of the US, the UK, Australia, and some other countries to expedite student visas after it got several letters and complaints about the visa process taking too long.
    • The US embassy in May had sought to assure students that if they were unable to book an appointment in the first tranche, it would open slots for the rest of July and early August.
  • Jet Airways: Airbus SE has emerged as the front-runner to win an aircraft order worth as much as $5.5 billion from Jet Airways India Ltd.
    • The talks are for A320neo jets and A220 planes.
    • Boeing Co. and Embraer SA are also in discussions and no final decision has been taken.
    • Although at sticker prices any transaction would be close to $5 billion, discounts are common in such large purchases.
    • Jet Airways, once India’s top private airline, got its flying license last month, marking the first time a carrier has been revived under the nation’s new bankruptcy laws.
    • The flying permit validated the airline’s operational readiness, signaling its transforming into a “new avatar with fresh funding, changed ownership, and new management,” according to a statement.
  • Agnipath: Amid nationwide protests by the Opposition, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that as of Monday they have received 56,960 applications since the official launch of the Agnipath recruitment scheme for the armed forces.
    • They also shared information regarding the recruitment process, training and service information, financial package, and other benefits the scheme provides.
    • IAF’s recruitment through the Agnipath Yojana 2022 began on June 24 and it received a resounding response within just three days, contrary to the violent protest by youths across the country.
    • The armed forces have categorically said that whoever has indulged in violent protests and arson will not be inducted under the military scheme.
    • The registrations will close on July 5.
  • GST: The all-powerful GST Council at its meeting in Chandigarh this week is expected to vet a proposal of the panel of state finance ministers on levying 28% goods and services tax (GST) on online gaming, casinos, and horse racing.
    • The 47th meeting of the GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and comprising representatives of all states and UTs, is scheduled for 28-29 June.
    • The GST Council will also be presented two reports of the Group of state finance ministers.
    • The Group of Ministers, headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, has recommended that online gaming should be taxed at the full value of the consideration, including the contest entry fee paid by the player on participating in the game.
    • In the case of racecourses, the GoM has suggested that GST be levied on the full value of bets pooled in the totalisators and placed with the bookmakers.
    • The Council is meeting after a gap of six months.

World


  • Russia: Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that shut down payment routes to overseas creditors.
    • For months, the country found paths around the penalties imposed after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • But at the end of the day on Sunday, the grace period on about $100 million of snared interest payments due May 27 expired, a deadline considered an event of default if missed.
  • NASA: NASA’s first-ever launch from a commercial site outside of the United States blasted off from Australia’s Outback late Sunday, in a “historic” moment for the country’s space industry.
    • In the first of three planned launches from the Arnhem Space Centre, the rocket, carrying technology likened to a “mini Hubble” telescope, lifted off and blasted about 350 kilometers (218 miles) into the night sky.
    • Jones, whose company owns and operates the launch site in the far north of Australia, described it as a “coming out” party for the country’s space industry and said the chance to work with NASA was a milestone for commercial space firms in the country.
  • United States: The United States aims to raise $200 billion in private and public funds over five years to fund needed infrastructure in developing countries under a G7 initiative aimed at countering China’s multi trillion-dollar Belt and Road project.
    • U.S. President Joe Biden will unveil the plans, flanked by other G7 leaders, some of whom have already unveiled their own separate initiatives, at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.
    • Increasingly worried about China, G7 leaders first floated plans for the project last year, and are formally launching it now under a fresh title, “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment” while dropping the moniker “Build Back Better World” first coined by President Biden during his presidential campaign.
  • Ukraine: Russian missiles struck the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Sunday, a day after a key eastern city fell to pro-Russian forces in a major setback for Ukraine and as world leaders gathered in Europe to discuss further sanctions against Moscow.
    • Up to four explosions rang out in central Kyiv in the early hours, in the first such attack on the city in weeks.
    • Two more blasts were heard on the southern outskirts of the city later in the day, a Reuters reporter said.
    • “The Russians hit Kyiv again. Missiles damaged an apartment building and a kindergarten,” said Andriy Yermak, head of the president’s administration.
    • Ukraine’s police chief, Ihor Klymenko, said on national television that five people had been wounded.
  • Japan: Japan is sweltering under extremely hot weather conditions, the government has reportedly made an appeal to the residents of Tokyo to “conserve power”.
    • The Japanese government and utility providers have warned of the electricity supply being “tight”.
    • They have also reportedly offered rewards to people in order to cut back on their power usage.
    • According to Japan’s meteorological agency data, the temperatures will be as high as 35 degrees Celsius.
    • The country’s trade ministry on Sunday announced that the “electricity supply in the capital is set to be “very tight” for 30 minutes from 4:30 pm local time on Monday, and people should conserve power to the best of their ability from 3 pm to 6 pm,”.
    • The period around 4:30 pm is crucial because solar power generation begins to decline as the sun goes down.

26th June


India


  • Punjab: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) faced a huge defeat in the Punjab by-elections on Sunday.
    • The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann defeated the ruling party’s candidate on a Lok Sabha seat held last by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
    • Simranjit Singh Mann beat his AAP rival Gurmail Singh by a margin of over 5,800 votes from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, after a close fight between the two.
    • With this, the AAP will have no MP in the lower house of parliament.
  • PCI: The Payments Council of India (PCI), the apex body of payments and settlement players in the country, has written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) requesting the regulator to treat Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) with full Know Your Customer (KYC) done as equal to bank accounts.
    • The second ask in the letter was to allow non-revolving credit lines in full-KYC PPIs like wallets and prepaid cards.
    • Non-revolving credit line means that the credit line is non-replenishable unless the customer is underwritten again for a new loan.
  • PLI Scheme: The government is preparing a scheme for the apparel segment of the textile sector as a production-linked incentive scheme (PLI) for manmade fabrics and technical garments continues, said commerce and industry and textile minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday.
    • The government last year started the PLI scheme to expand manmade fabrics and the technical textile segment’s value chain to help India regain its dominant status in the global textiles trade.
    • The country’s share in global exports has declined over the years.
    • The scheme’s outlay was Rs 10,683 crore, and the textiles ministry approved as many as 61 applications from various companies.
  • Odisha: Following reports of people still remaining in the dark with no electricity came to the fore, the National Democratic Alliance Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu’s ancestral village in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district finally get electricity.
    • The Odisha government on Saturday announced that it has launched electrification work in a portion of Uparbeda, the ancestral village of the NDA Presidential candidate in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, on a war footing.
    • While she no longer lives in that village, Murmu shifted to Rairangpur, a municipal town around 20 kilometers away from Uparbeda under Kusum block, decades ago.
  • DRDO: After a Tata Nexon EV caught fire in Maharashtra, the government has asked Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to probe the incident.
    • The organization was earlier assigned with the task to probe the electric two-wheeler fire incidents by the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry.
    • Tata Motors is also investigating the cause behind the isolated thermal incident.
    • The manufacturer said that a detailed investigation is being conducted to find the cause of the fire in Nexon EV.
    • Tata Nexon EV caught fire in Vasai West, Mumbai, a few days ago.
    • The vehicle was parked outside a restaurant in Mumbai.
  • FPI: Foreign investors continue to desert Indian equity markets and pulled out close to ₹46,000 crores so far this month following monetary policy tightening by the Reserve Bank and US Federal Reserve, high oil prices, and volatile rupee.
    • The net outflow by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from equities reached ₹2.13 lakh crore until now in 2022, data with depositories showed.
    • Given the policy normalization narrative by the US Fed and other major central banks, coupled with high oil prices and volatile Rupee, FPIs are likely to stay away from emerging-market assets.
    • FPIs inflow will only resume once there is visibility on the peak of bond yields in the US and an end to Fed rate hikes.
    • According to the data, foreign investors withdrew a net amount of ₹45,841 crores from equities in June (till 24th).

World


  • NASA: In the coming years, NASA will be busy on the moon.
    • A giant rocket will loft a capsule with no astronauts aboard around the moon and back, perhaps before the end of summer.
    • A parade of robotic landers will drop off experiments on the moon to collect reams of scientific data, especially about water ice locked up in the polar regions.
    • A few years from now, astronauts could return there, more than a half-century since the last Apollo moon landing.
    • Those are all part of NASA’s 21st-century moon program named for Artemis, who in Greek mythology was the twin sister of Apollo.
    • Early Monday, a spacecraft named CAPSTONE is scheduled to launch as the first piece of Artemis to head to the moon.
  • Ukraine: Ukraine said it came under “massive bombardment” Saturday from neighboring Belarus, a Russian ally not officially involved in the conflict, the day after announcing a retreat from the strategic city of Severodonetsk.
    • Twenty rockets targeted the village of Desna in the northern Chernigiv region, Ukraine’s northern military command said in a statement, adding that infrastructure was hit, but no casualties had yet been reported.
    • Belarus has provided logistic support to Moscow since the February 24 invasion, particularly in the first few weeks, and like Russia has been targeted by Western sanctions but is officially not involved in the conflict.
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has virtually run out of petrol and diesel after several expected shipments were delayed indefinitely, the energy minister said on June 25 while apologizing to motorists for the worsening fuel crisis.
    • Kanchana Wijesekera said oil cargoes that were due last week did not turn up while those scheduled to arrive next week will also not reach Sri Lanka due to “banking” reasons.
    • Sri Lanka is facing a serious shortage of foreign exchange to finance even the most essential imports, including food, fuel, and medicines, and is appealing for international hand-outs.
    • Wijesekera said the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) was unable to say when fresh oil supplies will be on the island.
    • The CPC had also shut its only refinery over a shortage of crude oil, he added.
    • The refinery started operation earlier this month using 90,000 tonnes of Russian crude oil bought through Dubai-based Coral Energy on two-month credit terms.

25th June


India


  • Ola: Ola has decided to close down its used car business Ola Cars, less than a year after it was launched.
    • The shared mobility major has also decided to shut down Ola Dash, its quick commerce segment.
    • Arun Sirdeshmukh, the head of Ola’s used car business, and Varun Dubey, Head of Marketing at Ola Electric recently quit the company.
    • In an official statement, Ola said that it has shut down Ola Dash, its quick commerce business, and will be recasting its cars business to focus more on strengthening its electric division.
  • Zomato: The board of food delivery company Zomato on June 24 approved the acquisition of quick commerce company Blinkit for Rs 4,447 crore in an all-stock deal.
    • Also, Zomato’s restaurant supplies subsidiary Hyperpure will acquire the warehousing and ancillary services business of Hands-on Trade Private Limited for Rs 60.7 crore.
    • While the Blinkit deal value was earlier estimated to be upwards of $700 million, the drop in Zomato’s stock price has reduced it to $568 million at current exchange rates.
    • The filing also revealed Blinkit’s annual turnover in the last three fiscal: Rs 263 crore in FY22, Rs 200 crore in FY21, and Rs 165 crore in FY20.
  • RBI: Net profits of manufacturing companies surged by 50.2 percent during 2021-22, the input cost pressures notwithstanding, the Reserve Bank of India said on Friday.
    • Net profit also increased for the information technology (IT) companies, whereas the non-IT services sector continued to record losses at the aggregate level, it said.
    • The data on the performance of the private corporate sector during 2021-22 was drawn from abridged financial results of 3,166 listed non-government non-financial (NGNF) companies.
    • Operating profit margins remained healthy for all the three sectors.
    • Net profit margins remained stable for manufacturing and IT companies, whereas it remained in the negative terrain for non-IT services companies.
  • GST: The government has notified the goods and services tax (GST) compensation cess extension to March 2026.
    • Through a gazette notification on June 25, the finance ministry confirmed the period of extension.
    • The imposition of the GST compensation cess on certain goods and services had already been extended until March 2026 to make up for the borrowings and arrears of compensation paid to states in the last two financial years.
    • To get the states on board prior to the nationwide roll-out of the consumption-based tax that subsumed most state-level levies, the Centre had assured an annual GST revenue growth of 14 percent for a period of five years to June 30, 2022, with any shortfall being met from the compensation cess fund.
  • Student Visa: Many Indian students are complaining of delays in the visa process, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday called the ambassadors/ deputy chiefs of missions of eight countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany, and asked them to “streamline” and “fast-track” the process.
    • “Senior MEA officials dealing with Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, UK & USA had constructive discussions with corresponding heads of missions/ senior diplomats of these countries about streamlining student visas to Indian nationals,” the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, tweeted.
    • “They agreed to remain engaged on further easing & fast-tracking the process since the flow of students has been mutually beneficial,” he said.
  • India’s forex reserves: India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $5.87 billion in the week ending June 17 as foreign portfolio investors continued withdrawing their investments from local equities amid global risk-off sentiment following growing concerns over global slowdown.
    • This is the third straight week of fall in forex reserves after a temporary reversal.
    • In the last three weeks, reserves dwindled by $10.785 billion to $590.588 billion, Reserve Bank of India’s latest data showed.
    • Economists anticipate that India’s forex reserves, which provide a cushion against any external risks, may fall further to about $565 billion by the end of FY23 as the Asian economy would use its capital account to finance current account deficits which are projected to widen to over 3% of GDP in FY23.
  • Bharat NCAP: The Central government on Friday issued a notification to introduce a new rule under the Motor Vehicles Rules,1989, which will be applicable to eight-seater passenger carriers in India from the next fiscal.
    • The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in the notification dated 24 June 2022, proposed to insert a new rule 126E in CMVR (Central Motor Vehicles Rules), 1989 regarding the Bharat New Car Assessment Program (BNCAP).
    • The new rules are applicable on type approved motor vehicles of category M1 (motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising eight seats, in addition to the driver’s seat) with gross vehicle weight less than 3.5 tonnes, manufactured or imported in the country, in accordance with the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS)-197, as amended from time to time.
    • The standard is aligned with global benchmarks and is beyond minimum regulatory requirements.
    • Bharat NCAP rating will provide consumers an indication of the level of protection offered to occupants by evaluating the vehicle in the areas of Adult Occupant Protection (AOP); Child Occupant Protection (COP) and Safety Assist Technologies (SAT)
    • The vehicle shall be assigned a star rating from one to five stars, based on scoring against various tests undertaken as per AIS 197.
    • The testing of vehicles for this program will be carried out at testing agencies, with the necessary infrastructure, referred to in Rule 126 of CMVR 1989.
    • The date of Applicability of Bharat NCAP crash testing is 1st day of April 2023.

World


  • NASA: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration never fails to amaze with the photographs it shares on social media platforms.
    • The pictures captured by different telescopes are often shared by the American space agency on Twitter and Instagram.
    • A recent post shared by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, on Instagram, shows a picture of a sparkling galaxy, light-years away, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Monkey Pox: The monkeypox virus may be mutating more than expected, researchers in Portugal said seeing the rise in cases across the UK and the US.
    • Bloomberg citing the scientists said the latest strain of monkeypox has about 50 genetic variations compared to related viruses that circulated in 2018-2019.
    • They found the virus is continuing to evolve during the current outbreak, including a number of small changes in the genetic code, minor gene variants, and a deleted gene, according to a study published in Nature Medicine on Friday.
  • China: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday praised developing countries for the resolve to seek “strength through unity” but criticized in strong words “some countries” for building “a small yard with high fences”, the third day in a row he appeared to disapprove of US-led western alliances.
    • Besides the leaders of the Brics countries, China had invited leaders of 13 countries for the event, seen to be Beijing’s push to expand the five-member bloc.
    • It was a mix of countries: Algeria, Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • WWII Ship: A US navy destroyer sunk during World War II has been found nearly 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) below sea level off the Philippines, making it the world’s deepest shipwreck ever located, an American exploration team said.
    • The USS Samuel B Roberts went down during a battle off the central island of Samar on October 25, 1944, as the US forces fought to liberate the Philippines, then a US colony from Japanese occupation.
    • A crewed submersible filmed, photographed, and surveyed the battered hull of the “Sammy B” during a series of dives over eight days this month, Texas-based undersea technology company Caladan Oceanic said.
  • Bangladesh: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the long-awaited Padma bridge, the country’s longest and entirely built with domestic funding.
    • The 6.15-km-long road-rail four-lane bridge is built over the Padma river connecting southwestern Bangladesh with the capital and other parts.
    • The multipurpose road-rail bridge, which is fully funded by the Bangladesh government, has been constructed at a cost of $3.6 billion.
    • The inauguration of the Padma bridge carries a lot of significance as the structure was built entirely with domestic financing, defying speculations by some financial analysts if Bangladesh could mobilize the fund depending on domestic resources.
  • United States: The US Supreme Court’s historic end to nationwide abortion rights on Friday drew unusual criticism from some of America’s closest allies and bucks a global trend toward more liberal reproductive rights.
    • The decision came one day after the Supreme Court also struck down some of the modest restrictions on guns an issue that, along with the US embrace of the death penalty, has long shocked other Western nations.
    • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a Conservative who worked closely with former President Donald Trump, whose judicial nominations paved the way for Friday’s decision said the Supreme Court decision will have “massive impacts” worldwide.
    • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced the decision across the border as “horrific.”
  • World Vitiligo Day: Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes white patches on the skin and leads to loss of skin color.
    • The condition can affect people of all racial backgrounds.
    • However, it is more visible in people with darker skin.
    • The discolored patches appear when the melanin pigment which adds color to a person’s skin and hair, starts decreasing.
    • It is an autoimmune disorder where a person’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs.
    • Although the trigger is unknown, a combination of stress, genetic factors, skin damage, and exposure to harsh chemicals are considered to be the contributing factors to vitiligo.
    • While some people may have a few small spots, the disease could remain static or progress slowly and yet spread quickly and cover the entire body in a matter of months in some patients.
    • A rare variant, universal or complete vitiligo, is said to affect the entire body.

24th June


India


  • NITI Aayog: Government on June 24 appointed retired IAS officer Parameswaran Iyer as the new CEO of NITI Aayog.
    • Iyer, 1981-batch IAS officer of UP cadre, will replace Amitabh Kant to become the third chief executive officer of the Government of India’s public policy think tank.
    • Sixty-three-year-old Iyer’s term will begin upon the completion of current CEO Amitabh Kant’s tenure on June 30, 2022, the government notification said.
  • New Labour Codes: The government has released a set of four new labor codes which are all set to cause a significant impact on how an employee’s salary and work week look like.
    • There has been no official announcement yet on when the new codes will be implemented however reports say July 1 is the set date in all probability.
    • 23 states and Union Territories (UTs) have already published the draft rules under the Code on Wages.
    • When the codes come into effect, employees may see an increase in work hours, changes in PF contributions, a four-day work week, and a decrease in the take-home salary.
  • New Delhi: The Delhi government has banned trucks and other heavy vehicles from entering the city between October this year and February 2023 to reduce air pollution in the winter months.
    • The government said no trucks would be allowed to enter the city from October 1 to February 28 next year.
    • Air quality in the national capital had fallen to dangerously low levels in the winter months in recent years.
    • The levels of the pollutant Particulate Matter 2.5 or PM2.5 had risen sharply in the winter months, owing to industrial discharges, automotive emissions, and crop-residue burning in neighboring Haryana and as far as Punjab.
  • Supreme Court: An appeal against the exoneration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a 2002 Gujarat riots case by the wife of a Congress MP killed in the violence is “devoid of merits” and filed “to keep the pot boiling”, the Supreme Court said on Friday.
    • Upholding the clearance issued to the then Chief Minister of the state by a Special Investigation Team or SIT, the top court dismissed the petition filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of Ehsan Jafri, who was among the 68 people killed in what came to be known as the Gulbarg Society massacre.
    • The plea was filed “to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design”, the court said, in strong comments that, it added, were borrowed from arguments made by the SIT.
  • Adani Family: The Adani family has pledged ₹60,000 crores towards charity to mark the 60th birthday of Gautam Adani, marking one of the biggest philanthropic commitments in India so far.
    • The Adani Group founder and chairman turn 60 on Friday.
    • “In addition to being the 100th birth anniversary of my inspiring father, this year also happens to be the year of my 60th birthday and therefore the family decided to contribute ₹60,000 crores towards charitable activities related to healthcare, education, and skill development, especially in the rural region,” Adani said in a statement.
    • The Adani Foundation helmed by Adani and his immediate family will administer the corpus.
  • Maharashtra Political Crisis: Shiv Sena president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday reached out to the functionaries of his party, which is currently battling a rebellion, and sought to allay fears surrounding the survival of his political outfit and the MVA government.
    • “Despite the rebellions that the party has faced earlier, it came to power twice. I may have left ‘Varsha’, the chief minister’s official residence, but not my determination,” he said.
    • As the threat of a vertical split looms over the Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray has called a meeting of all district heads.
    • On Friday afternoon, his son and party leader, Aaditya Thackeray, arrived at the Sena Bhawan in Mumbai to attend the party meeting.
  • Free Food Ration Scheme: The finance ministry’s Department of Expenditure has argued against extending the free food ration scheme beyond September or making any major tax cuts, warning of consequences for the government’s fiscal position.
    • The government in March extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for six months to September.
    • The government has budgeted ₹2.07 lakh crore for food subsidies in FY23, lower than the revised ₹2.86 lakh crore for FY22.
    • The PMGKAY extension till September is expected to swell the subsidy bill to about ₹2.87 lakh crore.
    • Extending the scheme by a further six months could cost another ₹80,000 crores in FY23, lifting the food subsidy to nearly ₹3.7 lakh crore.
  • Coronavirus: India has recorded 17,336 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of coronavirus infections to 4,33,62,294.
    • According to Union Health Ministry data, the number of active cases increased to 88,284 in the country.
    • India also reported 13 new Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,24,954.
    • The active cases comprise 0.19 percent of the total infections.
    • The national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.60 percent, the Health Ministry said.
    • Active cases have increased by 4,294 in a span of 24 hours.
    • The daily positivity rate was recorded at 3.94 percent and the weekly positivity rate at 2.90 percent, the ministry said.
  • Jammu Kashmir: In a major development, Jammu and Kashmir will be hosting the 2023 meetings of G-20, an influential grouping that brings together the world’s major economies, with the Union Territory government Thursday setting up a five-member high-level committee for overall coordination.
    • This will be the first major international summit to be held in Jammu and Kashmir after the erstwhile state’s special status guaranteed under Article 370 of the Constitution was withdrawn and it was divided into two union territories in August 2019.
    • In September last year, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal were appointed as India’s Sherpa for the G20.
    • The Ministry of External Affairs had said that India will hold the G20 presidency from December 1, 2022, and will convene the G20 leaders’ summit in 2023 for the first time.
  • NIA Chief: Former Punjab DGP and 1987-batch IPS officer Dinkar Gupta has been appointed as the new chief of the National Investigative Agency.
    • Gupta will hold the post till March 31, 2024, that is the date of his retirement, or till further orders by the government, whichever takes place earlier.
    • “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the appointment of Shri Dinkar Gupta, IPS (PB: 87) as Director-General, National Investigative Agency in Level-17 of the post and up to 31.03.2024 i.e. date of his superannuation or till further orders whichever takes place earlier,” the order read.
    • He was removed as the state police chief by the Congress government under Charanjit Singh Channi in October last year and was posted as chairman of Punjab Police Housing Corporation (PPHC).
  • Agnipath Scheme: The Air Force recently released a detailed notification that lists out the eligibility criteria, examination fee, terms and conditions, age limit, medical standards, financial benefits including salary, insurance, and the procedure for Phase 1 and Phase 2 selection process.
    • The registration for the first batch of Agniveers the recruits of the new military Agnipath scheme for the Indian Air Force (IAF) begins Friday and the online examination will be held exactly a month later (July 24).
    • “Registration process for the first batch of Agniveers will start from June 24.
    • The Phase 1 online examination process would start on July 24.
    • The first batch would be enrolled by December and training would commence by December 30,” Air Marshal SK Jha said during the joint press conference of the tri-services held on June 19.
    • Once enrolled into the IAF, Agniveers will be governed under the Air Force Act 1950, for four years.

World


  • Mercury: The BepiColombo mission, a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) captured this beautiful image of Mercury’s crater-marked surface as the spacecraft flew close to the planet for a gravity assist manoeuvre.
    • The picture of Mercury’s rich geological landscapes was taken on June 23 by the Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2 when the spacecraft was within 920 kilometers from the surface of the planet that is closest to the sun.
    • The closest approach took place about five minutes before the image was taken when the spacecraft was about 200 kilometers from the surface.
  • United States: The US Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Americans have a fundamental right to carry a handgun in public, a landmark decision with far-reaching implications for states and cities across the country struggling with a surge in gun violence.
    • The 6-3 decision strikes down a more than century-old New York law that required a person to prove they had a legitimate self-defense need, or “proper cause,” to receive a permit to carry a handgun outside the home.
    • Several other states, including California, have similar laws and the court’s ruling will curb their ability to restrict people from carrying guns in public.
    • Democratic President Joe Biden denounced the decision, saying it “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
  • BRICS Summit: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the need for the BRICS nations to work jointly to build a multipolar world has become crucial as never before, as he slammed the “thoughtless and selfish actions” of certain states that have hurt the global economy, in an apparent reference to the US and its Western allies.
    • In his address to the 14th BRICS summit via video link, Putin also pointed out that the five countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa can effectively work together to ensure international stability and security, sustainable growth and prosperity, and the well-being of their people.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa took part in the annual summit hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
    • The Russian president said that the West’s selfish attempts to blame the entire world for its own mistakes in macroeconomics led to a crisis that can be surmounted only with honest and mutually beneficial cooperation.
  • World Bank: World Bank has approved three loans totaling USD 562 million (about Rs 4,393.70 crore)
    • This is to fund an education project in Gujarat, a social protection program in Tamil Nadu, and a project to help recovery in the fisheries sector post the pandemic, the multilateral funding agency said on Thursday.
    • The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing of USD 250 million for Outcomes for Accelerated Learning (GOAL), a program that aims to improve education results for children across the state of Gujarat, it said in a release.
    • The financing towards GOAL will benefit an additional 3,000 schools that have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Besides, the board of executive directors of the World Bank approved a USD 150 million in funding to support the recovery of India’s fisheries sector and a USD 162 million for the RIGHTS project to strengthen the social protection systems and capability of the State of Tamil Nadu to promote inclusion, accessibility, and opportunities for persons with disabilities.

23rd June


India


  • Tata Nexon EV: In the first such case involving an electric car in India, a Tata Nexon EV caught fire in Mumbai and the company was investigating the incident.
    • The electric car fire incident was reported from Vasai West (near Panchvati hotel) in Mumbai late on Wednesday, and the video of the Tata Nexon engulfed in fire went viral on social media.
    • The company said in a statement that “a detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of this isolated incident”.
  • USD-INR: The rupee on Thursday closed at its all-time low of 78.32 (provisional) against the US dollar as strong American currency and persistent foreign fund outflows weighed on investor sentiments.
    • At the interbank foreign exchange market, the local currency opened at 78.26 and finally settled at its all-time low of 78.32, unchanged from its previous close.
    • On Wednesday, the rupee declined by 19 paise to settle at an all-time low level of 78.32 against the US dollar.
    • The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.41 percent to 104.62.
  • PM Modi: PM Narendra Modi will visit Germany on June 26 and 27 to attend the annual summit of G7, which is likely to be attended by US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among others.
    • From Germany, Modi will travel to the UAE on June 28 to pay his condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former President of the Gulf nation.
    • “During the summit, the Prime Minister is expected to speak in two sessions that include environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality, and democracy,” the MEA said.
  • CUET UG: The Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET UG 2022) exam dates have been announced.
    • The CUET UG 2022 exam will be held on July 15, July 16, July 19, July 20, August 4, August 5, August 6, August 7, August 8, and August 10.
    • The CUET UG 2022 will be conducted in 554 cities across India and 13 cities outside India.
    • The National Testing Agency (NTA) will also reopen the CUET 2022 UG application window.
    • Candidates can apply online for CUET UG and make corrections to the application form between June 23 and June 24.
  • GSAT-24 Satellite: Built by the Indian Space Research Organisation for NSIL, the satellite was successfully placed into geostationary orbit by the Ariane 5 rocket, operated by French company Arianespace, from Kourou in French Guiana (South America) on Thursday.
    • As part of “space reforms” announced by the Government in June 2020, NSIL was mandated to undertake operational satellite missions on a “demand-driven” model, wherein it has the responsibility to build, launch, own & operate satellites and provide services to its committed customer.
    • The entire satellite capacity on board GSAT-24 will be leased to its committed customer – Tata Play, the DTH business of Tata Group, for meeting their DTH application needs.
  • Made-in-India Tejas: India has emerged as the top contender for a Malaysian requirement of Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) with a package deal that would include maintenance and spares for the nation’s Russian-origin Su 30 fighter jets.
    • The Malaysian air force is looking to buy 18 new light fighter jets.
    • India is offering an appealing package for LCA Tejas for this deal.
    • It has committed that it can keep Malaysia’s fleet of 18 Su 30 MKM jets flightworthy, given the vast spares reserve and technical expertise available with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), the report noted.
    • The Tejas is an indigenously developed, single-engine, fourth-generation, high-agility, multirole, supersonic light combat aircraft.
  • UPSC: Over 13,000 candidates have qualified for the civil services (preliminary) examination 2022, the results of which were declared on Wednesday by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
    • The civil services examination is conducted annually by the commission in three stages: preliminary, main, and interview, to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS), and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.
    • The preliminary examination was held on June 5, 2022.
    • Nearly 11.52 lakh people have applied for the examination and as many as 13,090 candidates have qualified for it.
    • The UPSC has put up on its website www.upsc.gov.in a detailed list mentioning roll numbers of candidates who have been declared successful in the test.
  • CBDT: The income tax department has come out with detailed disclosure requirements for TDS deductions for virtual digital assets, under which the date of transfer and mode of payment will have to be specified.
    • From July 1, tax deducted at source (TDS) of 1 percent will be levied on payments towards virtual digital assets or cryptocurrencies beyond Rs 10,000 in a year, as the Finance Act, 2022 has introduced Section 194S in the I-T Act.
    • In the run-up to the implementation of the new provision, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on June 21 notified certain amendments in I-T Rules with respect to furnishing TDS returns in Form 26QE and Form 16E.
    • CBDT has notified that the TDS collected under Section 194S shall be deposited within 30 days from the end of the month in which the deduction has been made. Deposit of tax so deducted shall be made in the challan-cum-statement Form 26QE.
  • Digital Economy: India’s digital economy and the infrastructure sector has a total potential of $2.5 trillion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday.
    • Addressing the meeting of the BRICS Business Forum, Mr. Modi said the digital transformation unfolding in India has never before been seen on the world stage.
    • There are more than 100 unicorns in over 70,000 start-ups in India, and their number continues to grow.
    • There are investment opportunities of $1.5 trillion under our National Infrastructure Pipeline.
    • The value of the Indian digital economy will reach $1 trillion by 2025.
    • It was said by PM Modi who will address the BRICS summit virtually along with other heads of governments of member countries on Thursday.
    • The BRICS summit of this year is being held in the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis which found reflected in the remarks by China’s President Xi Jinping, who hosted the forum as China is the BRICS Chair this year.
    • Mr. Xi appeared to implicitly criticize NATO and the West over the Ukraine crisis.

World


  • Crude Oil: Oil prices tumbled around 3% on Wednesday as investors worried that rate hikes by the Federal Reserve could push the U.S. economy into recession, dampening demand for fuel.
    • Brent crude futures fell $2.91, or 2.5%, to settle at $111.74 a barrel.
    • The global benchmark hit a session low of $107.03, its lowest since May 19. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell $3.33, or 3%, to settle at $106.19 a barrel.
    • The session low was $101.53, its lowest since May 11.
  • BRICS: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against “expanding” military ties on Wednesday in a speech ahead of a virtual summit with top leaders from Russia, India, Brazil, and South Africa.
    • Beijing is hosting the meeting of the influential club of BRICS emerging economies, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product.
    • Three of its members; China, India, and South Africa have abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Liveable City: The Austrian capital Vienna has made a comeback as the world’s most liveable city, according to an annual report from the Economist published Thursday.
    • The Ukrainian capital Kyiv was not included this year after Russia invaded the country in late February, while Russian cities Moscow and St Petersburg fell in the rankings over “censorship” and the impact of Western sanctions.
    • Vienna snatched the top spot from Auckland, which tumbled down to 34th place due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, according to the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • NASA: The power available to NASA’s InSight Mars lander diminishes day by day but the space agency has revised the mission’s timeline to maximize the science they can conduct.
    • InSight’s last operational science instrument, its seismometer, was projected to shut down by the end of June so that it can conserve energy and survive on what power its dust-laden solar panels can generate until around December.
    • Last month, it had sent its last selfie back to Earth, before it had to turn off most instruments.
    • But now, the team plans to make the seismometer operate longer, maybe until the end of August or into early September.
    • This would mean that InSight’s batteries will discharge sooner and make it run out of power at that time as well but it would also mean that the lender can detect more marsquakes.

22nd June


India


  • Haryana: The counting of votes for Haryana’s 18 municipal councils and 28 municipal committees began at 8 am Wednesday.
    • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have taken a lead in the polls, although counting is still on at several places.
    • The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has opened its account by winning the Ismailabad (Kaithal) municipal committee chairperson post
  • Bengaluru: Residents of Bengaluru continue to complain about the condition of the city’s roads
    • The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has revealed that ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, ₹23 crores were spent to redevelop and repair about 14 km of road.
    • The PM visited Bengaluru on Monday, June 20, during which he inaugurated a slew of developmental as well as railway projects.
  • ICICI Bank: ICICI Bank has hiked fixed deposit (FD) interest rates for amounts below Rs 2 crore on select tenors by 5 basis points.
    • The highest rates are effective from June 22, 2022.
    • ICICI Bank will now offer interest rates between 2.75 percent and 5.75 percent for tenors from 7 days to 10 days.
    • ICICI Bank will now offer a 5.50 percent interest rate on two-year and one-day to three-year fixed deposits, and a 5.70 percent interest rate on three-year, one-day to five-year fixed deposits.
    • For tenor five years one day to ten years, the interest rate offered is 5.75 percent.
  • USD-INR: Rupee tumbled to a record low of 78.29 a dollar in Wednesday’s trade amid a slide in Asian currencies on a firm dollar.
    • The domestic currency had closed at 78.13 per dollar level in the previous session.
    • The fresh fall was seen amid selling in emerging market equities and currencies ahead of the US Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony to US Congress later in the day.
    • There are expectations that Powell will reinitiate Fed’s commitment to curb inflation.
    • This has helped the dollar stay firm against a host of emerging market currencies. The rupee was no exception.
  • RBI Card Rules: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday extended, by three months, the deadline to implement three provisions as part of new regulatory guidelines for issuing credit and debit cards to 1st October 2022. 
    • The first provision is regarding card issuers being mandated to seek one-time password-based consent from the cardholder for activating a credit card, if not activated by the customer for more than 30 days from the date of issuance.
    • The RBI had said that if no consent is received for activating the card, card issuers will have to close the credit card account without any cost to the customer within seven working days from the date of seeking confirmation from the customer.
  • CBI: The CBI has registered a fresh case against Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan of DHFL for allegedly cheating a consortium of 17 banks led by the Union Bank of India to the tune of Rs 34,615 crore.
    • It is the biggest banking fraud probed by the agency.
    • The CBI is carrying out searches at 12 locations in Mumbai at the premises of the accused in the case.
    • The agency booked the Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), Kapil Wadhawan, the then CMD, Dheeraj Wadhawan, the director, and six realtor companies for allegedly being part of a criminal conspiracy to cheat the consortium led by the Union Bank of India to the tune of Rs 34,615 crore, the officials said.
  • IIT Madras: The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has proposed to launch three master’s programs from the 2023-24 academic years.
    • The two-year programs to be offered by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences include Development Studies, English Studies, and Economics.
    • The M.A. programs will be offered instead of the current five-year integrated M.A.
    • A total of 25 seats have been allocated for Indian students in each stream.
    • The programs will be open to international students on a supernumerary basis.
    • Applications will be issued in March-April 2023 and classes will commence from July. Admission will be through an entrance test.
  • IRCTC: IRCTC tourist train under the Bharat Gaurav Scheme of Indian Railways will depart on the Shri Ramayana Yatra Circuit from New Delhi today.
    • The train will originate from Safdarjung railway station and will cover the distance of approximately 8,000 kilometers between India and Nepal on the Shri Ramayana Yatra Circuit.
    • IRCTC will be India’s first agency to connect two countries through tourist trains.
    • The duration will be 18 days.
    • The journey will cost around ₹65,000 per person.
    • It will cover the states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
  • Delhi Airport: In 2015, the Cochin International Airport in Kerala became the first airport in the world to run solely using solar energy.
    • DIAL says while they are using a combination of hydro and solar power, a major chunk of this is now hydro-dependent.
    • This is part of the airport’s goal to achieve the ‘Net Zero Carbon Emissions Airport’ target by the year 2030, DIAL said.
    • Since June 1, around 6 percent of the airport’s electricity requirement is being met from on-site solar power plants, while the remaining 94 percent of energy is coming from a hydropower plant.
    • The Delhi airport has a 7.84 MW solar power plant on the airside, while it added another 5.3 MW rooftop solar power plant at the cargo terminal recently as part of stakeholder collaboration.
    • This transition to renewable energy is expected to help the airport in reducing energy emissions by 2 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the operator said.
    • The airport had announced last year in November of its aim to become a Net Zero Carbon Emission airport by the year 2030. 

World


  • Afghanistan: An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 killed at least 1000 people in Afghanistan early on Wednesday.
    • Officials said 1500 people are likely to be injured according to the state-run Bakhtar News Agency.
    • The quake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) said.
  • Oil Price: Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday amid a push by U.S. President Joe Biden to cut taxes on fuel to cut costs for drivers amid aggravated relations between the White House and the U.S. oil industry.
    • Brent crude futures were down $4.65, or 4.1%, at $110.00 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell $5.08, or 4.6%, to $104.44 by 0918 GMT.
    • Earlier in the session, both contracts had shed over $6 each to hit their lowest levels since May 19 and 12, respectively.
  • NASA: A photograph of an astronaut floating away from a space shuttle untethered has been doing rounds on social media.
    • The photo, taken in February 1984, shows the astronaut in a white space suit floating in the void as the blue Earth’s sphere looms under him.
    • It was clicked when Bruce McCandless II had stepped out of the Challenger space shuttle to rehearse for a satellite-repair mission.
    • He was the first astronaut to have walked in space while being untethered from the spacecraft.
  • United States: US President Joe Biden on Tuesday nominated Indian American Dr. Aarti Prabhakar as the next White House science adviser as his administration aims to leverage science, technology, and innovation.
    • If confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Prabhakar will be the Biden’s Chief Advisor for Science and Technology, a co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and a member of the President’s Cabinet.
    • Biden described Dr. Prabhakar as a brilliant and highly-respected engineer and applied physicist.

21st June


India


  • Agnipath: At least 595 trains were canceled during the day across the country in the wake of the continued protest against the Centre’s new recruitment scheme, ‘Agnipath’, and the day-long Bharat Bandh over the issue.
    • These include 208 mail express and a total of 379 passenger trains.
    • Furthermore, four mail express and six-passenger trains were partially canceled due to the ongoing stir.
    • Train services have been one of the worst-hit in several parts of the country over the past few days in the wake of the protest, launched by youth, mostly defense aspirants.
  • New TDS Rule: From July 1, Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on benefits received from business for sales promotion will be applicable to social media influencers and doctors.
    • The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has released guidelines on the applicability of the new provision.
    • The Union Budget had brought in the provision of TDS on such income to check tax revenue leakage by inserting a new section, 194R, in the Income Tax Act, 1961.
    • It requires TDS at 10 percent for any person providing benefits exceeding ₹ 20,000 in a year to a resident.
  • International Yoga Day: Yoga brings peace to our universe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, as he led the main event of the International Day of Yoga in the backdrop of the iconic Mysuru Palace on June 21.
    • Thousands of people joined the Prime Minister in the mass Yoga demonstration.
    • “This whole universe starts from our own body and soul. The universe starts from us”, Mr. Modi said. “And, Yoga makes us conscious of everything within us and builds a sense of awareness.”
    • Since 2015, the International Day of Yoga is celebrated worldwide on 21st June every year.
    • The theme for this year’s Yoga Day is “Yoga for Humanity”.
  • Reliance Industries: India’s market regulator on Monday fined Reliance Industries and two of its compliance officers for violating fair disclosure norms during Facebook’s $5.7 billion investment in its digital unit in 2020.
    • In April 2020, Meta’s Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance’s Jio Platforms, aiming to allow WhatsApp to offer payment services to millions of small businesses.
    • The deal helped billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance slash its heavy debt load.
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said Reliance did not disclose the deal even after newspaper reports in March 2020 published price-sensitive details about the imminent investment that led to a spike in its shares.
  • IKEA: After a long wait, IKEA has finally opened its store in Bengaluru, which is so far the retailer’s biggest store in India at 4,60,000 sq ft. Not just that, the retailer plans to invest Rs 3,000 crore in Karnataka and employ around 10,000 people by 2030.
    • The store located in Nagasandra, right next to the metro station in the north of Bengaluru, will be formally opened on June 22.
    • Further, IKEA plans to launch its first city-center store in Bengaluru next year.
    • This is IKEA’s fourth store in India after launching stores in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai.
    • The Swedish retailer also plans to launch a store in Delhi-NCR but has not disclosed a timeline.
  • Presidential Polls: Seventeen major Opposition parties on June 21 reached a consensus on pitching former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate for the presidential polls.
    • “We have unanimously decided that Yashwant Sinha will be the common candidate of the Opposition for the presidential elections,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, who attended the meeting of Opposition parties in New Delhi, told the media.
    • “We are going to file the nomination for the presidential elections on 27th June at 11.30 am,” added Sharad Pawar, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief, who also attended the meet.
    • In a joint statement, the Opposition bloc also appealed to the Centre-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies to extend support to Sinha, in order to get him elected unopposed.
  • DoT: The department of telecommunications has amended the performance-linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector, adding design-led manufacturing and announcing additional incentives of ₹4,000 crores for five years beginning 1 April.
    • In a notification on Monday, DoT extended the PLI scheme for telecom by a year offering existing beneficiaries the option to choose FY22 or FY23 as the base year.
    • The government has also added 11 telecom and networking products to the list under the scheme.
    • The facilities announced on Monday will be in addition to the PLI benefits announced in February 2021, with a financial outlay of ₹12,195 crores.
    • As part of it 31 companies, including seven global and eight domestic firms, were approved.
  • New Debit Card Rules: There is going to be good news soon for all credit and debit card holders, as from July 1, 2022, onwards, online merchants will not be able to store customers’ card data.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year issued debit and credit card tokenization rules, keeping in mind customer safety.
    • Under the rules, merchants were barred from storing customer card data in their servers.
    • These card tokenization rules will now come into effect from July 1, 2022.
    • RBI had made the adoption of card-on-file tokens for domestic online purchases mandatory.
    • The deadline for the adoption of card tokens across the country was extended by six months from 1st January 2022 to 1st July 2022.

World


  • NASA: NASA fueled its huge moon rocket for the first time Monday and went ahead with a critical countdown test despite a fuel line leak.
    • This was NASA’s fourth crack at the all-important dress rehearsal, the last major milestone before the moon rocket’s long-awaited launch debut.
    • The previous attempts in April were thwarted by a fuel leak, as well as stuck valves and other technical issues.
  • Europe’s Refineries: Europe’s refineries took in an increasing amount of crude oil last week, tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg has shown.
    • Europe’s refineries took in 1.84 million barrels per day of Russian crude oil last week—the third increase in the amount of Russian crude for the refineries in as many weeks.
    • The oil flows from Russia to Europe, including to Turkey, are now the highest they’ve been in nearly two months.
  • Israeli Coalition: The leaders of Israel’s governing coalition said Monday that they will submit a bill next week to dissolve parliament, legislation that would force new elections if approved.
    • The ideologically divided eight-party alliance was forged one year ago and includes religious nationalists, like Bennett, Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, left-wingers, and, for the first time in Israeli history, lawmakers from an Arab Islamist party.
    • The coalition cobbled together to end the tenure of divisive leader Benjamin Netanyahu, which was under threat from its inception.
    • It lost its majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament in April when a member of Bennett’s Yamina party announced her departure.
  • Nobel Prize Medal: The Nobel Peace Prize auctioned off by Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees sold Monday night for $103.5 million, shattering the old record for a Nobel.
    • A spokesperson for Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale, could not confirm the identity of the buyer but said the winning bid was made by proxy.
    • The $103.5 million sale translates to $100 million Swiss francs, hinting that the buyer is from overseas.
    • Previously, the most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was $4.76 million in 2014, when James Watson, whose co-discovery of the structure of DNA earned him a Nobel Prize in 1962, sold his.
    • Three years later, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, received $2.27 million in bidding also run by Heritage Auctions.

20th June


India


  • Agnipath: The Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande, on Monday, June 20, said that the Agnipath scheme was a win-win for both the youngsters and the Army.
    • He urged aspiring applicants to not be misled by wrong information.
    • The Army chief said that the Agnipath scheme would not be rolled back.
    • He added that the schedule for recruitment will be issued today.
    • General further urged youngsters not to be misled by wrong information.
    • He advised them to “focus on preparation for the physical and written exam.”
  • GST Council: After announcing the next Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting to be held in Srinagar, the venue was abruptly changed on Saturday to Chandigarh.
    • Security concerns in the wake of recent targetted killings in Kashmir are learned to have been one of the main concerns for rescheduling the meeting’s venue, which would have seen the participation of officials and ministers from 31 states/union territories and the Centre.
    • Though the official revised meeting notice does not specify any reason for the shift in venue, an official said there were some apprehensions about security for ministers and officials converging in Srinagar for the meeting given the recent spate of targetted killings.
  • Finance Ministry: The Indian economy faces a low risk of stagflation, thanks to prudent stabilization policies, the finance ministry said in its monthly economic report on June 20.
    • The Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy is now fully dedicated to reining in the inflationary pressures in the economy and it has also shared the heavy lifting for inflation control through duty cuts and targeting subsidies, the finance ministry said.
    • India’s retail inflation stayed above the central bank’s medium-term target of 4 percent for 32 months in a row and shot past the 6 percent tolerance ceiling, five months on.
    • Given the central bank’s latest forecast, the Monetary Policy Committee is on course to fall short of its mandate in October, when inflation data for September will be released.
  • Air India: Air India Ltd. is considering ordering as many as 300 narrowbody jets
    • This could be one of the largest orders in commercial aviation history as the formerly state-run airline looks to overhaul its fleet under new ownership.
    • The carrier may order Airbus SE’s A320neo family jets or Boeing Co.’s 737 Max models, or a mix of both.
    • A deal for 300 737 Max-10 jets could be worth $40.5 billion at sticker prices, although discounts are common in such large purchases.
    • Winning a narrowbody order in India would be a coup for Boeing, as rival Airbus dominates the skies in the country, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market before the Covid pandemic.
    • IndiGo, operated by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., is the world’s largest customer for the European manufacturer’s best-selling narrowbodies, ordering more than 700, and others including Vistara, Go Airlines India Ltd., and AirAsia India Ltd. fly planes from the same family.
  • Ola Electric: Ola Electric provided the first glimpse of its upcoming electric car during a customer event at its Futurefactory.
    • While the carmaker had first teased its electric car ambitions with a sleek and futuristic-looking hatchback, the teaser along with a previous image shared on social media by company CEO Bhavish Aggarwal suggests that the company’s upcoming electric four-wheeler is likely to be a sedan.
    • Interestingly the teaser seems to preview multiple models when inspected with a closer look.
    • The teasers all showed a low-set bonnet up front with various LED DRL patterns connected by a light bar.
    • The first showcased the lightbar extending the entire front of the edges curving upwards and inwards. An illuminated Ola logo sat on the bonnet.
    • The rear meanwhile showed a short boot lid with a sharply raked D pillar and a full-length lightbar spanning the rear and curving downwards along the sides.
  • Sovereign Gold Bonds: Investment in Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) went up sharply during COVID-impacted years as investors looked for safer options amid volatility in equity markets with 2020-21 and 2021-22 accounting for nearly 75 percent of total sales of the bonds since the inception of the scheme in November 2015.
    • The next tranche of SGBs is open for subscription for five days beginning today.
    • The issue price has been fixed at Rs 5,091 per gram of gold.
    • It will be the first issuance of the current fiscal.
    • The government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has offered a discount of Rs 50 per gram less than the nominal value to those investors applying online and the payment against the application is made through digital mode.
    • A total of Rs 38,693 crore (90 tonnes of gold) has been raised through the scheme since its inception in November 2015, as per RBI data.
    • During 2021-22 and 2020-21, the two COVID-impacted financial years, investors bought the bonds for an aggregate amount of Rs 29,040 crore or about 75 percent of the total sales of the SGBs since its launch.
  • Sterlite Copper: Sterlite Copper, part of the Vedanta Group has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for its Thoothukudi-based plant, which has been under lock and key since 2018.
    • The company has put out an advertisement which said: “Vedanta, in conjunction with Axis Capital, invites Expression of Interest for the sale of its Copper plant along with its other units which includes Smelter Complex (primary and secondary), sulphuric acid plant, copper refinery, continuous copper rod plant, phosphoric acid plant, effluent treatment plant, captive power plants, RO units, oxygen generation unit and residential complex.”
    • The Thoothukudi plant has an installed capacity of 4,00,000 MTPA of the integrated copper smelter and refinery another 4,00,000 MTPA under expansion.
    • When the plant was operational it provided employment to over 5,000 people and to another 25,000 indirectly through the value chain.
    • It also then produced approximately 40% of India’s demand for Copper and contributes around Rs.2,500 crore to the exchequer, 12% of Thoothukudi port’s revenue, and 95% market share for sulphuric acid in Tamil Nadu.
    • The company claimed Vedanta is committed to the state and its people to contribute toward development, revenue, and employment generation.

World


  • French Election: French President Emmanuel Macron lost control of the National Assembly in legislative elections on Sunday, a major setback that could throw the country into political paralysis unless he is able to negotiate alliances with other parties.
    • Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition, which wants to raise the retirement age and further deepen EU integration, was on course to end up with the most seats in Sunday’s election.
    • A broad left-wing alliance was set to be the biggest opposition group, while the far-right scored record-high wins, and the conservatives were likely to become kingmakers.
  • United States: A superyacht seized in Fiji last month at the request of U.S. authorities, who say the $300 million Amadea is owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, has arrived in Hawaii, Refinitiv Eikon vessel tracking data showed.
    • The US Justice Department’s KleptoCapture task force has focused on seizing yachts and other luxury assets of Russian oligarchs in a bid to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.
    • The 106-meter (350-foot) yacht left Fiji’s Lautoka port last week after the Pacific island nation’s Supreme Court ruled the yacht should leave the country because it was costly for the government to maintain it.
  • China: Hazmat-suited workers poke plastic swabs down millions of throats in China each day, leaving bins bursting with medical waste that has become the environmental and economic levy of a zero-Covid strategy.
    • China is the last major economy wedded to stamping out infections no matter the cost.
    • Near-daily testing is the most commonly used weapon in an anti-virus arsenal that includes snap lockdowns and forced quarantines when just a few cases are detected.
    • From Beijing to Shanghai, Shenzhen to Tianjin, cities are now home to an archipelago of temporary testing kiosks, while authorities order hundreds of millions of people to get swabbed every two or three days.
  • NASA: After the successful completion of OFT-2, which saw an uncrewed Boeing Starliner spacecraft delivering supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA will be sending two of its astronauts aboard the Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission to the ISS where they will live and work for about two weeks.
    • NASA astronaut Sunita “Suni” L. Williams will serve as a pilot and will be joined by CFT commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore.
    • Williams was previously the backup test pilot for CFT while assigned as commander of NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, Starliner’s post-certification mission.
    • Williams takes the place of NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, who was originally assigned the mission in 2018.
    • NASA had reassigned Mann to the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission in 2021.

19th June


India


  • Yes Bank: Yes Bank, a private sector lender, raised interest rates on fixed deposits below ₹2 crores.
    • The bank made the announcement today, June 18th, 2022, and as a result of the revision, interest rates on deposits maturing in one to ten years have been raised.
    • The bank is now offering a regular rate of 3.25% to 6.50% and 3.75% to 7.25% to senior citizens on fixed deposits of 7 days to 10 years.
  • ISIS Claims: ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a Gurdwara in Afghanistan, saying it was retaliation for ‘insults’ to Prophet Muhammed.
    • Protests in several countries were sparked by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks earlier this month about the Prophet.
    • In a message posted on its Amaq propaganda site, ISIS said Saturday’s attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and the “apostates” who protected them in “an act of support for the Messenger of Allah”.
  • FPI: Aggressive rate hike by the US Federal Reserve, coupled with elevated inflation and high valuation of equities continued to keep foreign investors at bay from the Indian stock market as they pulled out Rs 31,430 crore in this month so far.
    • With this, net outflow by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) from equities reached Rs 1.98 lakh crore so far in 2022, data with depositories showed.
    • According to the data, foreign investors withdrew a net amount of Rs 31,430 crore from equities in the month of June (till 17th).
  • FMCG: Adani Wilmar, one of India’s largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) food firms, reduced the price of its edible oils by ₹10 on Saturday, after the government’s decision to lower import duties on the commodity.
    • According to a statement from Adani Wilmar, the maximum retail price (MRP) of Fortune refined Sunflower oil’s 1-liter pack has been lowered to ₹210 from ₹220.
    • Fortune Soyabean and Fortune Kachi Ghani (mustard oil) 1-liter packets are now available for ₹195 instead of ₹205.
    • According to Adani Wilmar’s official announcement, new prices for the stocks would be available soon in the market.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked YES Bank to review its plans to sell bad loans to an asset reconstruction company (ARC) till it comes out with a new set of comprehensive guidelines.
    • YES Bank is planning to sell its bad loans worth Rs 12,000 crore to the ARC to be set up by American financial powerhouse JC Flowers and also hold a stake in the new ARC.
    • The regulator wants the bank to avoid any conflict of interest with the ARCs as YES Bank plans to hold a minority stake in the same ARC.
    • The Swiss challenge to the offer made by JC Flowers is currently pending.
    • JC Flowers was selected by the bank after it invited the ARCs for a joint venture.
  • Air India: Air India is “reorganizing itself” under the Tata group and will look at refurbishing its fleet with new aircraft, said a senior executive at Airbus on Sunday.
    • The erstwhile govt-owned carrier is said to be considering an order for the European plane maker’s A350 wide-bodied planes.
    • This would be its first aircraft order since 2006.
    • It would also make it the first Indian airline to order the A350, which is fast gaining popularity among global airlines for its fuel efficiency despite its size and range.
    • Earlier this week, Air India sent a memo to its pilots enlisting interest in training for the A350. Tata group executives haven’t commented on its plans.
  • Kerala: Asserting that Kerala is not in a “debt trap”, Finance Minister K N Balagopal on Sunday said an RBI article that expressed concerns over the state’s financial health was done without studying the ground realities.
    • Critical of the Reserve of India (RBI) article as well as the overall approach of the central government, Balagopal, also a senior leader of the state’s ruling Left Front, said Kerala is facing financial difficulties like any other Indian state and those can be managed only with collective efforts of the Centre and states.
    • As the RBI write-up evoked mixed response after it called for corrective steps in five states including Kerala, Balagopal said those who prepared the report did not take into account the difficulties faced by his state due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and Nipah and natural calamities like floods in 2018 and 2019.
  • New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ₹920 crores Pragati Maidan integrated transit corridor project, which includes a 1.4 km tunnel and five underpasses, on Sunday.
    • He called it the Centre’s gift of modern infrastructure to the national capital and listed other projects planned by the central government to make Delhi one of the better-connected capitals globally.
    • He said that the people of Delhi and NCR had to suffer a lot due to traffic congestion in ITO and nearby areas.
    • “The 1.5 km long tunnel will provide relief to thousands of people coming from east Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad.
    • This integrated corridor will help people save time and it will also save fuel.
    • In the presentation it was said that 55 lakh liters of fuel will be saved,” said Modi.
  • Agnipath: A defense tri-service briefing today looked to clear doubts about the new military recruitment scheme ‘Agnipath’ and explained why the country needs this policy for mass entry to the armed forces.
    • A large number of soldiers were in their 30s and this age factor had become worrisome, Lieutenant General Anil Puri told reporters today, citing a report by a committee on the 1999 Kargil War.
    • Lt. General Puri also said the center did not give concessions in the ‘Agnipath’ scheme because of protests and arson, but that those were already in the works.
    • He said the ‘Agnipath’ planners did not anticipate the protests because the armed forces stand for discipline and only disciplined applicants join the former.
    • The top military officer said the COVID-19 pandemic and the long lockdown allowed the planners to finally make the move to the ‘Agnipath’ scheme.
  • OLA FutureFactory: All customers who purchased the S1 electric scooter will be invited to visit Ola Electric’s facility – Ola Futurefactory.
    • According to Ola Electric CEO Bhavish Aggarwal, the guest list might reach 50,000 people.
    • Prior to the event, Aggarwal shared a number of videos from inside the facility and said, “Can’t wait for ALL our customers to see the Futurefactory today!”
    • Ola Futurefactory, with a 100-acre forest cover, claims to have a 10 million production capacity working with more than 3,000 robots.
    • As per the company, it is the world’s largest and “most advanced” two-wheeler factory and is an “Integrated facility with manufacturing, battery as well as supplier parks ensuring over 90% of parts are localized and in close proximity”.
  • Telcos-DoT: The fight for the 5G spectrum between telcos and tech companies is getting bitter by the day.
    • Just days after the Cabinet allowed direct spectrum allocation to enterprises for captive private networks, considered a win for tech companies.
    • India’s top telcos have shot off a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) asking it not to allow direct 5G spectrum allotments to systems integrators and intermediaries
    • In a clear bid to thwart big tech companies from easy access to the airwaves.
    • In the letter, also marked to the Prime Minister’s Office, Niti Aayog, and the Department of Economic Affairs, operators have also called on the department to ensure that captive private networks are set up strictly by “end users” and not “third parties,” failing which the latter would gain a backdoor entry into telecom services.
    • Tech companies typically function as systems integrators.

World


  • Russia: Russia’s war in Ukraine could take years, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a German weekly newspaper, adding that the supply of state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would increase the chance of liberating the Donbas region from Russian control.
    • A NATO summit in Madrid later this month is expected to agree on an assistance package for Ukraine that will help the country with the move from old Soviet-era weaponry to NATO standard gear, Stoltenberg said earlier this week.
    • Ukraine vowed on Saturday to prevail against Moscow as it fought Russian assaults near a key eastern city and multiple locations came under shell and missile attacks.
  • SpaceX: A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday (June 19) at 12:27 a.m. EDT, carrying a communications satellite for the Louisiana-based company Globalstar to orbit, Space.com reported.
    • The satellite was deployed into orbit about 1 hour and 50 minutes after launch.
    • On June 17, the company launched 53 of its Starlink internet satellites from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and lofted a radar satellite for the German military from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on June 18.
    • The Friday mission set a new rocket-reuse record for SpaceX; the Falcon 9 that flew it featured a first stage that already had 12 launches under its belt.
    • The launch on Sunday was the ninth for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description.
  • NASA: It is not unusual to spot clouds hovering over at least part of the largest inland body of water on the planet, the Caspian Sea.
    • On May 28, NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) spotted a peculiarly-shaped cloud drifting across the water body.
    • The cloud had well-defined edges resembling something from a cartoon, or something painted onto the scenery, in sharp contrast with the typical diffused and dispersed cloud cover.
    • According to Bastiaan van Diedenhoven, who is an atmospheric scientist at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, the cloud is a small stratocumulus cloud.
    • Cumulus clouds are detached “heaps” of “cauliflower-shaped” clouds that are usually found during good weather conditions.
    • In stratocumulus clouds, these heaps are clumped together, forming a widespread horizontal layer of clouds.

18th June


India


  • 5G Deployment: Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said 5G deployment will commence in 20-25 cities and towns by the year-end.
    • He indicated that India, with its current data prices significantly lower than the global average, will continue to set rate benchmarks as new services are rolled out.
    • The 5G deployment will start in August-September, Vaishnaw said.
    • The minister said India is developing 4G and 5G stacks and is set to bolster its position as a trusted source for the world, in digital networks.
  • Direct Tax Collections: Reflecting an uptick in the economy, net direct tax collections between April and mid-June jumped 45 percent to over Rs 3.39 lakh crore, the Income Tax department said on Friday.
    • The improved collections are mainly due to a 47 percent growth in TDS mop-up and a 33 percent rise in advance tax realization for the April-June quarter.
    • The net direct tax collection of over Rs 3.39 lakh crore included Corporation Tax (CIT) of over Rs 1.70 lakh crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT), including Security Transaction Tax (STT), of more than Rs 1.67 lakh crore.
  • TRAI: Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea lost active subscribers in a month, for the second such time in a decade, after losing subscribers in April 2020 during the Covid pandemic lockdown.
    • Telcos lost 7 million active subscribers in April, the sharpest decline in the past 10 months, due to SIM consolidation or users switching off second SIMs, sector watchers noted.
    • While all operators witnessed an active subscriber decline in April, Jio’s decline was the lowest at 0.1m while Bharti and VIL lost 3.1 and 3.8m active subscribers, respectively, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data for April issued on Thursday.
  • Bank Cards: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has mandated that all online, point-of-sale, and in-app transactions made by credit and debit cards be replaced by unique tokens by June 30, 2022.
    • According to the RBI, “Tokenisation refers to the replacement of actual card details with an alternate code called the “token”, which shall be unique for a combination of card, token requestor.
    • i.e. the entity which accepts a request from the customer for tokenization of a card and passes it on to the card network to issue a corresponding token) and device (referred to hereafter as “identified device”).
  • Border Operation: India and other member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) have supported an initiative of China to organize a joint border operation, “Solidarity-2023”, for the border agencies of these countries next year, according to an official statement issued on Friday.
    • A statement to this effect was made by Border Security Force (BSF) Director General Pankaj Kumar Singh at the conclusion of the eighth meeting of the heads of border authorities of the competent bodies of the SCO member states, which was held in Delhi.
    • The daylong meeting was held under the chairmanship of India, which assumed the chair of SCO-RATS on October 28 last year for a one-year period.
  • GST: The Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to review the current rate slab structure under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, will prepare an interim report and will seek an extension of its tenure in the upcoming GST Council meeting on June 28-29.
    • Discussions held so far on GST rates, inverted duty structure for sectors, except textiles, and some exemptions will be part of the interim report but a consensus on a final report could not be reached in the absence of a complete agreement among the GoM members on tweaking the tax slabs, officials said.
    • In a meeting held on Friday, the GoM agreed upon putting together an interim report detailing the discussions held so far.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has not fallen behind the curve in terms of raising interest rates and is in sync with the realities of growth and inflation, the central bank governor said on June 17.
    • “I would not agree with any perception or any sort of description that the RBI has fallen behind the curve. Just imagine if we had started increasing the rates early, what would have happened to growth? This is all hindsight knowledge,” Shaktikanta Das said at an event in Mumbai.
    • “Could it (early rate hike) have prevented the spike in inflation caused by the war? No. Inflation would still have been at 7 percent.”
    • The RBI is in sync with the requirements of the economy, the trend of economic development, and the process of economic recovery, he added.
  • Agnipath: With the protests against the new military recruitment scheme spreading to eight states, the government today announced a 10 percent reservation for ‘Agniveers’ in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Assam Rifles.
    • The Ministry of Home Affairs also announced three years age relaxation beyond the prescribed upper age limit for Agniveers for recruitment in the two paramilitary forces.
    • The first batch of Agniveer will get age relaxation of five years beyond the prescribed upper age limit, it said.
    • The announcement comes days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced that preference would be given to ‘Agniveers’ in the CAPFs.
    • The Centre has already announced a “one-time” change in the age limit for the new military recruitment scheme to 23 from 21.
    • The decision was taken as no recruitment has taken place in the last two years.
    • Currently, over 73,000 posts are vacant in five wings of the paramilitary forces – Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Shastra Seema Bal (SSB), and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

World


  • Falcon 9: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 completed its latest mission wherein it launched a new fleet of Starlink satellites on June 17.
    • The two-stage rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:39 p.m. IST in what was the company’s 100th successful mission with a flight-proven orbital class rocket.
    • Starlink is the satellite internet-providing company which is operated by SpaceX, which has launched over 2,300 such satellites so far.
  • SpaceX: SpaceX, the rocket ship company run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, has fired several employees involved in an open letter that blasted the colorful billionaire for his behavior, according to media reports.
    • The reports published Friday cited an email from Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president, saying the company had terminated employees who put together and circulated the letter.
    • The letter writers denounced Musk for actions that they said are a “frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks.”
  • United States: The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization Friday for the use of Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines in the youngest children, the final age group awaiting immunization in most countries.
    • The agency authorized Moderna’s two-dose vaccine for children aged six months to five years, and three doses of Pfizer’s shots for those between six months and four years old.
    • “Many parents, caregivers, and clinicians have been waiting for a vaccine for younger children and this action will help protect those down to six months of age,” Food and Drug Administration chief Robert Califf said in a statement.
  • US President: US President Joe Biden on Friday said that he shared a “very good” relationship with India and has visited the country twice, as he left on a weekend trip to his home in Delaware.
    • The president told reporters at the White House that he had been briefed on the three Americans who have been missing in Ukraine.
    • “I don’t know where they are. But I want to reiterate. Americans should not be going to Ukraine. I say it again. Americans should not be going to Ukraine,” he said.
    • In response to a question on India, Biden said, “I have been to India twice and will be back. My relationship with (India is) very good”.

17th June


India


  • Indian Imports: India will import nearly 47,000 tonnes of urea from the US as tech giant Samsung will load the consignment at the New Orleans port for shipment to New Mangalore.
    • The cargo, expected to be loaded later this week, is being supplied at a rate of $716.5 per tonne, cost plus freight (CFR).
    • While the freight costs from the US are estimated at about $65, with an additional $10-15 for loading from barges, the overall free-on-board or FOB origin price will be somewhere between $635-640 per tonne.
  • Master Card: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Thursday that it had lifted business restrictions imposed on Mastercard Inc with immediate effect.
    • The central bank had imposed restrictions on Mastercard in July 2021 for failing to comply with norms related to the storage of payment data.
    • Restrictions were imposed on Mastercard by RBI in July last year, from onboarding new domestic customers (debit, credit, or prepaid) onto its card network for non-compliance with the RBI circular on storage of payment system data.
  • Transport Minister: Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday declared seemingly in jest that he plans to “bring in a new law” by which ₹500 will be given as a reward to anyone who clicks and shares pictures of wrongly parked vehicles.
    • “If ₹1,000 is the fine for a person guilty of the wrong parking, then ₹500 from that amount will go to the person who clicks the picture,” he said, laughing along with the gathering at an event called Industrial Decarbonization Summit 2022 at a hotel in Delhi.
    • It was not immediately clear whether the minister’s comment is indeed backed by a legislative framework or not.
  • NCERT: The NCERT has dropped content on Gujarat riots from the Class 12 Political Science curriculum as part of a “textbook rationalization” exercise in view of the Covid19 pandemic.
    • According to a note on the rationalized content released by the NCERT on Thursday, pages 187-189 on the Gujarat riots are among the removed from the book.
    • “Gujarat riots show that the government machinery also becomes susceptible to sectarian passions. Instances, like in Gujarat, alert us to the dangers involved in using religious sentiments for political purposes. This poses a threat to democratic politics,” states one of the paragraphs which has been removed.
  • VPN: The government has barred its employees from using third-party virtual private networks (VPN) and anonymization services offered by companies such as Nord VPN, ExpressVPN, and Tor.
    • The mandate comes just days after ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and NordVPN said they would stop offering their services in the country following a directive by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (Cert-In) on how VPN companies should operate in India.
    • The directive also urges government employees not to save “any internal, restricted or confidential government data files on any non-government cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  • Finance Ministry: The finance ministry on Thursday held a meeting with heads of public sector banks and financial institutions to explore employment opportunities for ‘Agniveers’ in their respective organizations.
    • The Union Cabinet on June 14 approved a short-term recruitment scheme for the armed forces called Agnipath.
    • The youths selected under this scheme will be known as ‘Agniveers’.
    • It was also decided that banks would explore possibilities of supporting ‘Agniveers’ through suitable credit facilities for skill up-gradation, education for setting up businesses, and taking up self-employment, a finance ministry statement said.
  • India-ASEAN: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar flagged the “geopolitical headwinds” triggered by the Ukraine crisis and its knock-on effects on food, energy security, prices of fertilizers and commodities as well as logistics and supply chains.
    • Foreign ministers of India and ASEAN countries on Thursday agreed to uphold multilateralism in jointly responding to the regional and global challenges.
    • With Myanmar not participating in the India-ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting, the joint statement issued after the meeting did not mention the situation in the country.
    • Jaishankar said that India fully supports a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN with a central role in the Indo-Pacific and both sides should identify a new set of priorities while navigating the “arduous path” arising from developments in Ukraine.
  • Agnipath: At least one person has died and several others were injured as an angry mob set trains on fire and clashed with police in several states over the new military recruitment policy, Agnipath.
    • The government has defended the scheme, calling it “transformative”.
    • A person died and over 15 were injured in Telangana’s Secunderabad as violent protests spread to the southern state.
    • Several states like Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh have witnessed violent agitation over the new scheme.
    • At least 12 trains have been set on fire and over 150 others have been affected, 110 canceled while 47 did not make it to their destinations since the protests erupted on Wednesday, according to the Railways.
  • HDFC: Ahead of the merger with its subsidiary bank, mortgage financier HDFC Ltd is in the final stages of selling four large distressed accounts to Assets Care and Reconstruction Enterprise (ACRE).
    • The four distressed accounts include Subhash Chandra-promoted Siti Networks.
    • ACRE has given Rs 270 crore upfront to acquire HDFC’s Rs 577-crore portfolio of the four corporate accounts. Its offer equates to a recovery of 47 percent for India’s biggest home financier.
    • BSE-listed Siti Networks is the biggest of the four accounts in this portfolio, at Rs 198.5 crore.
    • The report reports that the other three accounts are MEP Infrastructure Developers, with a principal loan of Rs 125 crore, Hotel Horizon at Rs 163 crore, and Sterling Urban Development at Rs 90 crore.
  • NPS: For the convivence of subscribers, National Pension Scheme or NPS has increased the number of times scheme preference or investment pattern of the Tier 1 accounts can be changed in a financial year.
    • Schemes can now be changed four times in a financial year, as compared to the two earlier.
    • However, PFM or Pension Fund Manager can be changed once in a financial year.
    • Financial experts say that NPS is a long-term investment product and frequent changes to scheme preference could be detrimental to wealth creation.
    • NPS allows subscribers to invest in a mix of government securities, corporate debt, and equities, according to their preferences.
    • NPS investors can change scheme preference either through online or offline modes.
  • WTO: The 164 member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) finally sealed a package of trade agreements in the wee hours on Friday in Geneva, with India leading the course.
    • The deals approved at the 12th ministerial conference of the WTO were ground out over days of round-the-clock talks and are the first major agreement in nine years.
    • The series of trade deals include pledges on food security, the balanced outcomes on fisheries subsidies, and response to pandemics, all issues important to developing countries.
    • A key decision related to patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines is also expected soon, with the US yet to officially seal it.
    • The deal that India’s trade minister Piyush Goyal’s negotiation skills saw several trade-offs between developed and developing countries during the two nights of marathon talks, spilling past the Thursday afternoon deadline.

World


  • Russia-Ukraine War: The European Commission recommended Friday that Ukraine should be granted EU candidate status, a first step on the long road toward membership for the war-torn country.
    • Now, this recommendation will be discussed by leaders of the 27-nation bloc during a summit next week in Brussels.
    • President Volodymyr Zelenskyy welcomed the move and said that this was the first step in the EU membership.
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s economic activity is coming to a near standstill as the island nation, facing its worst financial crisis, runs out of fuel for transport and there are few signs of fresh supplies coming in.
    • The government declared Friday a holiday for public offices and schools to curtail vehicular movement, leaving many roads in and around the capital Colombo deserted.
    • Meanwhile, thousands of vehicles are lined up in queues stretching for kilometers as drivers wait for filling stations to be replenished.
  • United States: U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American Radha Iyengar Plumb to a top Pentagon position.
    • Currently serving as the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Ms. Plumb was on Wednesday nominated to the post of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment.
    • Prior to her appointment as Chief of Staff, Ms. Plumb was the Director of Research and Insights for Trust and Safety at Google, leading their cross-functional teams on business analytics, data science, and technical research.
  • China: China on Friday launched its third aircraft carrier, the first such ship to be designed and built entirely within the country.
    • The 003 new-generation aircraft carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard in Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier, state media reports said.
    • State broadcaster CCTV showed assembled navy personnel standing beneath the massive ship as water jets sprayed over its deck and multi-colored streamers flew and colorful smoke was released.
    • The launch comes as China seeks to extend the range and power of its navy.
  • Revlon: US cosmetics giant Revlon has filed for bankruptcy after years of stiff competition from rivals focused on online sales and supply chain problems.
    • In a court filing late Wednesday, the company initiated Chapter 11 proceedings to manage its debt, which it said stood between $1 billion and $10 billion.
    • Revlon, known for its signature nail polish and lipstick, reported long-term liabilities of $3.3 billion in the first quarter.
    • The company said it expects to receive $575 million in financing from its lenders if its bankruptcy is approved in court.
  • United Nations: China today put a last-minute block on a joint proposal by India and the United States in the UN to list Pakistan-based terrorist Abdul Rehman Makki as a ‘Global Terrorist’ under the ISIS and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.
    • Makki is a US-designated terrorist and the brother-in-law of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief and 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed.
    • It is learned that New Delhi and Washington had put a joint proposal to designate Makki as a global terrorist under the 1267 ISIS and Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council but Beijing placed a hold on this proposal at the last minute.
    • Earlier too, China has placed holds and blocks on bids by India and its allies to list Pakistan-based terrorists.
    • In May 2019, India had won a huge diplomatic win at the UN when the global body designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a “global terrorist”, a decade after New Delhi had first approached the world body on the issue.

16th June


India


  • SpiceJet: SpiceJet Ltd. said on Thursday fares need to be raised as much as 15% to counter high fuel costs and a weak rupee which have lifted operating costs to unsustainable levels.
    • Both factors have left domestic airlines with “little choice but to immediately raise fares”, Managing Director Ajay Singh said in a statement.
    • He noted aviation turbine fuel prices have increased by more than 120% since June 2021 and called on the federal and state governments to cut taxes.
  • Air India: Air India Ltd. is polling pilots on whether they want to be trained to fly Airbus SE A350 jets, indicating that it intends to operate the model as it looks to renew its widebody fleet under new owner Tata Group.
    • The airline may introduce the A350 by the first quarter of 2023, according to a letter sent to senior cockpit crew and seen by Bloomberg News.
    • Pilots must respond to the offer by June 20, and those who accept will be ineligible for training on another aircraft type for two years, the letter said.
  • 5G Services: India will get 5G services, 10 times faster than 4G by March 2023, union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has said, a day after the cabinet cleared the auction for the 5G spectrum.
    • With a validity of 20 years, a total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of the spectrum is set to be put to auction by July end.
    • “Telecom is the primary source of digital consumption and is very important to bring trusted solution in telecom. India has its own stack of 4G like radio, equipment, and the handset and similar goals are being eyed for the 5G technology,” the minister said.
  • COVID: In the highest daily surge since late February this year, India on Thursday reported 12,213 new cases, taking the overall cases to 43,257,730.
    • Around 38.4 percent surge is witnessed as compared to the day before when 8,822 cases were logged.
    • According to the health ministry data, the country’s active caseload currently stands at 58,215 accounting for 0.13 percent of the total cases.
    • Maharashtra and Kerala are the two states witnessing the highest surge in the country.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on June 15 granted its no-objection certificate to the merger scheme of Shriram Group companies, as per an exchange filing on June 16.
    • “We wish to inform you that Reserve Bank of India vides its letter dated June 15, 2022, has issued No Objection to the Scheme with usual and normal conditions as generally stipulated in such similar approvals,” Shriram Transport Finance Corp (STFC) said.
    • STFC chief Umesh Revankar said the NBFC has shareholders’ meetings on July 4 and July 6 following which the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has to announce the merger.
  • Bihar: Protests against Agnipath, a radical recruitment plan for the armed forces, turned violent today as Army aspirants disrupted rail and road traffic in several parts of Bihar for the second consecutive day.
    • Trains were set afire, rail and road traffic disputed, window panes of buses smashed, and passersby, including a ruling BJP MLA, pelted with stones by angry youth demanding the withdrawal of the new short-term recruitment scheme.
    • Violent protests have now spread to multiple states across the country.
    • 22 trains had to be canceled and five had to stop after completing partial journeys, East Central Railway said.
  • UAE: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered a four-month suspension in exports and re-exports of wheat and wheat flour originating from India, the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain.
    • The Gulf nation’s economy ministry cited interruptions to global trade flows as the reason for its move but added that India had approved exports of wheat to the UAE for domestic consumption.
    • India banned wheat exports on May 14, except for those backed by already issued letters of credit (LCs) and to countries seeking to ensure food security.
    • Since then, it has allowed shipments of 469,202 tonnes of wheat.
    • The UAE and India signed a broad trade and investment pact in February that seeks to cut all tariffs on each other’s goods and aims to increase their annual trade to $100 billion within five years.
  • GST: Several states are pressuring the ruling government to extend a program to continue compensation for losses from Goods and Services Tax (GST) or risk a stalemate in attempts to further simplify the structure.
    • It poses the biggest challenge yet to the country’s most significant tax reform in decades.
    • Finance ministers from the opposition-led Kerala, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh have said they will raise the issue at a meeting of the GST Council this month.
    • States are emboldened to take on the federal administration after the Supreme Court ruled last month that the GST Council’s decisions are non-binding.
    • If the Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman doesn’t agree, the states could unilaterally raise revenue with other taxes that go against a push to standardize such duties across the countries.

World


  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi officials are seizing rainbow-colored toys and articles of clothing from shops in the capital as part of a crackdown on homosexuality, state media reported.
    • Targeted items include rainbow-colored bows, skirts, hats, and pencil cases, most of them apparently manufactured for young children, according to a report.
    • Gesturing towards a rainbow flag, a journalist says: “The homosexuality flag is present in one of the Riyadh markets.”
  • France: The leaders of France, Germany, and Italy were on a train Thursday bound for Kyiv, a day after the United States announced $1 billion worth of new arms for embattled Ukrainian forces.
    • Kyiv’s troops are resisting a fierce onslaught in the Donbas region by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces, which are pushing to seize a swathe of eastern and southern Ukraine.
    • In a show of support, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi are visiting Kyiv.
  • Paris: The European Space Agency and NASA on Wednesday talked up the prospect of putting the first European on the Moon, as they signed a deal strengthening collaboration for future lunar exploration.
    • The space agencies had already agreed that three European astronauts would fly on the Orion spacecraft to NASA’s Gateway, a space station that will orbit the Moon as part of the Artemis program.
    • Now it seems one of those astronauts will go a step further.
    • “We look forward to having an ESA astronaut join us on the surface of the Moon and continuing to build on our longstanding, critical partnership,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said after attending an ESA council meeting in the Netherlands.
  • Akasa Air: Akasa Air, backed by billionaire investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, on Thursday took delivery of the first 737 Max aircraft from Boeing.
    • The airline had last month released the photographs of its first Boeing 737 Max plane from the production facility in Portland, US, as it got ready for delivery.
    • A statement from the airline last month said the Max aircraft will be powered by the fuel-efficient CFM LEAP B engine.
    • “Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 Max is one of the strategic factors that will give Akasa Air a competitive edge in its dynamic home market,” it said.
  • US Federal Reserve: The US Federal Reserve on June 15 announced a three-quarter of a percentage point or a 75 bps hike in its target interest rate, in what is being seen as a move to curb the spiraling inflation.
    • The central bank, while announcing the rate hike, said it is “strongly committed” to returning inflation to two percent.
    • It projected a slowing down of the country’s economy in the months to come and a likely increase in the rate of unemployment.
    • The 75 bps hike in the key lending rate is the biggest since 1994 and was delivered after recent data showed little progress in its inflation battle.
    • The Fed officials flagged a faster path of increases in borrowing costs to come as well, more closely aligning monetary policy with a rapid shift this week in financial market views of what it will take to bring price pressures under control.

15th June


India


  • UIDAI: Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which has enrolled nearly all of India’s adult population since 2010, is now looking to expand Aadhaar to cover a person’s entire lifecycle with two ambitious pilot programs.
    • Newborn infants will receive a temporary Aadhaar number to be renewed with biometric data on attainment of majority, as the UIDAI prepares to launch the programs to deepen its reach countrywide.
    • It will also combine its data with death registration records in order to prevent the misuse of government benefits through the use of deceased persons’ Aadhaar numbers.
  • UAE: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ordered a four-month suspension in exports and re-exports of wheat and wheat flour originating from India, the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain.
    • The Gulf nation’s economy ministry cited interruptions to global trade flows as the reason for its move but added that India had approved exports of wheat to the UAE for domestic consumption.
    • India banned wheat exports on May 14, except for those backed by already issued letters of credit (LCs) and to countries seeking to ensure food security.
    • Since then, it has allowed shipments of 469,202 tonnes of wheat.
  • New Delhi: After 13 days of a brutal heatwave, Delhi’s maximum temperature on Tuesday dipped to 39.6 degrees Celsius.
    • The mercury at the Safdarjung observatory, which represents the official weather of the national capital, was one of the five weather stations that recorded a drop in maximum temperature below the 40-degree-mark, according to data shared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
    • The minimum temperature at Safdarjung settled at 31.2 degrees Celsius, the same as Monday, which is three notches above normal. On Monday, the maximum temperature at Safdarjung was recorded at 43.7 degrees Celsius.
  • 5G Airwaves: In a blow to the telcos, the Cabinet has left the reserve price of 5G airwaves unchanged, according to the Notice Inviting Application (NIA) issued on Wednesday. The auctions are now scheduled to kickstart at July end.
    • Telcos had asked for a 90% cut in the reserve price of airwaves from the 2018 levels. Trai in its recommendations in April had cut the prices on an overall basis by 39% more than the August 2018 suggested prices.
    • The cabinet, meanwhile, approved the sale of 72,097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years on Tuesday. The auction will be held for spectrum in various bands including 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequency bands.
  • Bharat Gaurav: The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the ‘Bharat Gaurav’ scheme of the Indian Railways, was flagged off on Tuesday.
    • The Bharat Gaurav Train from Coimbatore North to Sainagar Shirdi will commence at 18:00 hours on 14th June 2022 (Tuesday) and reach Sainagar Shirdi at 07:25 hours on 16th June 2022 (Thursday) with stoppages at Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Yelahanka, Dharmavaram, Mantralayam Road and Wadi.
    • During the onward journey from Coimbatore, this Bharat Gaurav Train has a stoppage at Mantralayam Road station for 5 hours to facilitate darshan at Mantralayam temple.
    • The train consists of First AC Coach -1, 2-tier AC coaches – 3, 3-tier AC coaches-8, Sleeper Class coaches-5, Pantry car-1, and Luggage-cum-brake Vans-2. (Total – 20 coaches).
  • India-Russia: The central banks of India and Russia are working on a plan to ensure seamless trade functions between the two countries without violating global sanctions.
    • The officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Bank of Russia are set to meet this week to give the finishing touches to a bilateral payment system.
    • The two-day meeting is likely to be held on Wednesday and Thursday in New Delhi.
    • The officials are reported to discuss payment solutions such as Loro or Nostro accounts.
    • A Loro account is a current account that is maintained by one domestic bank for another domestic bank in the form of a third-party account.
    • A Nostro account refers to an account that a bank holds in a foreign currency in another bank.
  • SBI Hikes Deposit: The country’s largest lender SBI has raised its deposit and lending rates following the Reserve Bank’s repo rate hike last week.
    • SBI said interest rates have been raised by 0.20 percent on domestic term deposits of below Rs 2 crore for select tenors.
    • The revised interest rates on retail domestic term deposits (below Rs 2 crore) come into effect from June 14, 2022, State Bank of India (SBI) said on its website.
    • For deposits of 211 days to less than 1 year, the lender will offer an interest rate of 4.60 percent, as against 4.40 percent earlier. Senior citizens will be offered an interest of 5.10 percent as against 4.90 percent earlier.
    • Likewise, for domestic term deposits of 1 year to less than 2 years, customers can earn interest of 5.30 percent, up by 0.20 percent.
    • For senior citizens, the interest rate will be higher by a similar margin at 5.80 percent.
  • 5G Spectrum: In a big move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led union cabinet has cleared the auction of the 5G spectrum, which will be held at the end of July.
    • A total of 72 GHz (gigahertz) of the spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction.
    • About 10 times faster than 4G, India is set to roll out the 5G services soon, the government said.
    • “Digital connectivity has been an important part of policy initiatives of the government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India, and others,” an official statement read.
    • The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz), and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.
    • It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilized by telecom service providers to roll out 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.

World


  • Chang’E-5: Samples collected by China’s lunar lander Chang’E-5 have delivered the first definitive confirmation of the evidence of native water on the Moon.
    • The lander collected samples from the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum, an ancient mare basalt whose name means “Ocean of Storms”.
    • An on-board spectral analysis gave the first confirmation of water signal in 2020 and this was later validated through the laboratory analysis of the samples when the lander returned in 2021.
    • Now, the team has determined that the water originated from the moon itself.
  • China: China said its giant Sky Eye telescope may have picked up signs of life beyond Earth, according to a report by the state-backed Science and Technology Daily, which then appeared to have deleted the report and posts about the discovery.
    • The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye, the world’s largest radio telescope differ from previous ones captured and the team is further investigating them
    • People like Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the University of California, Berkeley were cited.
  • I2U2 Grouping: The new I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE, and the US will hold its first virtual summit next month as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to re-energize and revitalize American alliances across the world, according to the White House.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett, and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan would attend the first-of-its-kind virtual summit of the I2U2 grouping next month for discussions on the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation, it said on Tuesday.
    • The virtual summit of the four countries would take place during Biden’s trip to the Middle East region from July 13 to 16, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.
  • Bill Gates: Billionaire Bill Gates dismissed cryptocurrency projects such as nonfungible tokens as shams “based on the greater fool theory” at a climate conference Tuesday, reviving past criticisms of digital assets.
    • “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely,” Gates said sarcastically while speaking at an event in Berkeley, California hosted by TechCrunch.
    • He said he’s neither long nor short the asset class.
    • Gates has criticized crypto before, sparring with Elon Musk last year over whether Bitcoin is too risky for retail investors and the environmental harm of mining coins.
    • Speaking Tuesday as the founder of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the climate-focused fund he began in 2015, Gates noted the difficulty of recruiting Silicon Valley engineers to work in industries like chemicals and steel production in need of lower greenhouse gas emissions.

14th June


India


  • Agnipath: The center today unveiled the Agnipath scheme, a radical recruitment plan for armed forces aimed at cutting down salary and pension bills and freeing up funds for urgent procurement of weapons.
    • Under the scheme, about 45,000 people between the age of 17.5 years and 21 years will be inducted into the services for a four-year tenure.
    • The recruitments will begin within the next 90 days and the first batch will be ready by July 2023.
    • Those selected for the scheme will be known as Agniveers.
  • New Delhi: Five popular markets in Delhi, including fast-fashion market Sarojini Nagar, has been selected for the first phase of a “redevelopment and rebranding” plan, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said.
    • The redevelopment and rebranding plan will not only benefit tourists that visit the city from around the world but will also “greatly increase business and employment” in the markets, Mr. Kejriwal said while addressing a virtual press conference today.
    • He added that after putting out an advertisement in the newspaper, they received 49 applications from 33 markets.
  • WPI: India’s inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) hit a fresh high in May, rising to 15.88 percent, according to data released by the commerce ministry on June 14.
    • WPI inflation was 15.08 percent in April 2022 and 13.11 percent in May 2021.
    • Another 10 percent-plus print in May means WPI inflation has extended its stay in the double-digit territory to 14 months in a row.
    • The sharp rise in wholesale inflation in May comes a day after the statistics ministry said Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation dropped to 7.04 percent last month from a 95-month high of 7.79 percent in April.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked various government departments and ministries to undertake the recruitment of 10 lakh people on a “mission mode” in the next year and a half, his office said today.
    • The direction from Prime Minister Modi came following a review of the status of human resources in all government departments and ministries, the Prime Minister’s Office or PMO said.
    • The government’s decision comes amid the opposition’s frequent criticism of it on the issue of unemployment.
    • A large number of vacant posts in different government sectors has often been flagged.
  • Cooking Oil: The Indian government is planning to export wheat to Indonesia and in return, asking the southeast Asian to supply palm oil smoothly in order to address the problem of edible oil shortage and food inflation in the country.
    • Although India has banned wheat export to meet the domestic demand, the country has kept the option open only through government-to-government deals.
    • On May 13, India imposed a ban on wheat export.
    • In India, palm oil is an essential commodity used in several items.
    • The palm is inexpensive when compared to other edible oils and is a preferred cooking medium.
  • Air India: Aviation regulator DGCA has imposed a fine of ₹ 10 lakh on Air India for denying boarding to passengers holding valid tickets and thereafter not providing mandatory compensation to them.
    • After that, a series of checks were carried out by DGCA, and during our surveillance at Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Delhi, there were specific instances.
    • In the case of Air India – where the regulation (regarding compensation to passengers) is not being followed and therefore, a show-cause notice was issued to the airline and also a personal hearing was afforded,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement.
    • According to the regulator, Air India may not have a policy in this regard and does not pay compensation to the passengers.
  • Adani Group: Adani, India’s fastest growing diversified business portfolio, and energy supermajor TotalEnergies of France, have entered into a new partnership to jointly create the world’s largest and least expensive green hydrogen ecosystem.
    • TotalEnergies said on Tuesday it will acquire a 25 percent stake in Adani New Industries Limited (ANIL), as part of a deal to develop a green hydrogen ecosystem with the Indian conglomerate in the Asian country.
    • Both Adani and TotalEnergies are pioneers in energy transition and clean energy adoption, and this joint energy platform further strengthens the public ESG commitments made by both companies.
  • DGCA: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on June 14 said that if a passenger holding a valid ticket is denied boarding, the airline will have to pay a compensation of up to Rs 10,000 to the traveler, if the airline is not able to arrange an alternate flight for the said passenger within an hour.
    • As part of its new guidelines, India’s aviation regulator said that in the case of denied boarding to a passenger holding a valid ticket and having presented on time, airlines will have to pay a compensation of Rs 10,000, if the alternate arrangement is made by the airline within next 24 hours.
    • However, for anything beyond 24 hours, compensation up to Rs. 20,000 is laid down, the DGCA said.

World


  • Pakistan: China has assured Pakistan of a rollover of over USD 2 billion at a much-reduced rate amid Islamabad’s ongoing economic hardship due to high inflation and a sharp rise in the import bill.
    • Beijing is doing so at a reduced interest rate, which is lower than even the loan that China has given to other countries, The News International newspaper reported citing a diplomatic communication received by the Pakistan Foreign Office last Friday.
    • The Pakistani government is also told that the Chinese government plans to enhance their economic and strategic ties with Pakistan, the report added.
  • Milky Way: Gaia is ESA’s mission to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way.
    • Recently, it released a new treasure trove of data on the Milky Way- that describes strange ‘starquakes,’ stellar DNA, asymmetric motions, and other fascinating insights.
    • Gaia’s data release 3 includes new and updated details for about two billion stars in our galaxy.
    • Chemical compositions, stellar temperatures, colors, masses, ages, and the speed at which stars travel towards or away from us are all included in the catalog (radial velocity).
    • The freshly released spectroscopic data provided a lot of this information.
    • It also has particular subsets of stars, like those that change brightness over time.
  • Russia: At 25 million barrels of shipment in May, Russia has become India’s second-largest oil supplier, sending Saudi Arabia to the third spot on the list led by Iraq at the top.
    • According to industry data, Russian crude accounted for around 16 percent of India’s oil imports in May.
    • The European Commission has been the latest to slap sanctions on Russian crude after the country declared war on Ukraine in February.
    • The measure was aimed to build pressure on the Russian economy, which depends heavily on oil exports. Moscow resorted to record discounts to counter the crisis.
    • The fall in demand for Russian Ural oil also led to a fall in its spot prices.
    • India took advantage of this situation and bought oil at a discount as high as $30 a barrel.
    • It must be noted that earlier Russian oil was imported in far less quantity due to high freight costs.
    • In April, India imported only 2,77,000 barrels from Russia but it increased to 8,19,000 barrels a month later.

13th June


India


  • Maharashtra: The active Covid cases in Maharashtra have seen a whopping rise of 241 percent from 5,127 cases on June 3 to 17,480 cases on June 13, in a span of 10 days, showed the state health bulletin data on Monday.
    • According to the health department data, Maharashtra recorded 9,354 COVID-19 cases in May, of which 5,980 were reported from Mumbai.
    • The state also recorded 17 deaths last month.
  • S-400: Marking the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Russian-Indian diplomatic relations, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said that the S-400 Triumf air defense missile system is proceeding well and in accordance with the schedule.
    • “The best-of-a-kind S-400 systems delivery is proceeding well according to the schedule”, Alipov said. Notably, India had inked the USD 5.43 billion deal with Russia for five squadrons of S-400s in October 2018.
    • He made these remarks in a foreword in the special edition of the Russia Digest magazine.
  • WTO: India hit out at the World Trade Organization (WTO) members for not responding to the pandemic in time while urging the multilateral trade body to give priority to a permanent solution for public stockholding before moving to new areas.
    • India also stuck to its tough stand on fisheries subsidies, demanding that rich nations presently providing not-specific fuel subsidies must be subjected to some kind of discipline.
    • Speaking at the Plenary Session of the 12th Ministerial Conference of WTO in Geneva on Sunday, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said the WTO should not negotiate rules on non-trade-related subjects like climate change and gender, which legitimately fall within the domain of other inter-governmental organizations.
  • USD-INR: The Indian rupee fell to a new record low beyond 78 against the US dollar today after red-hot US inflation data raised the prospects of aggressive Fed tightening later this week.
    • The dollar was stronger on haven demand amid rising costs and slower growth.
    • The Indian rupee touched a lifetime low of 78.28 to the dollar while the benchmark 10-year bond yield hit 7.60%, its highest since Feb. 28, 2019.
    • The Sensex was down about 1,500 points amid a selloff in global markets.
    • Asian stocks dropped over fears that the Fed would tighten policy on Wednesday after data last week showed the U.S. consumer price index hit its highest in over 40 years last month.
  • CPI: India’s headline retail inflation rate eased to 7.04 percent in May from April’s near-eight-year high of 7.79 percent thanks to a favorable base effect, according to data released on June 13 by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation.
    • The fall in inflation in May is unlikely to do much to slow down the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) rate hike cycle.
    • CPI inflation has now been above the RBI’s medium-term target of 4 percent for 32 consecutive months.
    • More worryingly, it has now spent five months above the 6 percent upper bound of the 2-6 percent tolerance range.
    • Given the central bank’s latest forecast, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is on track to fail to meet its mandate in October, when CPI data for September will be released.
  • I&B Ministry: The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry on June 13 issued an advisory to media platforms, asking them to refrain from accepting advertisements that promote online betting.
    • “Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose a significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children,” stated the advisory, which was issued to print, electronic and digital media.
    • The advisory comes in light of instances of a number of advertisements of online betting websites appearing in print, electronic, social, and online media.
    • The I&B ministry has further advised the online and social media platforms, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, “to not display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience”, a government release noted.
  • West Bengal: The West Bengal assembly today passed a bill that makes the Chief Minister – and not the Governor – Chancellor of all state universities in Bengal.
    • BJP legislators protested but just 40 votes were polled against the bill and 183 were in favor.
    • The move had earlier been cleared by the state Cabinet in the backdrop of Governor Jadgeep Dhankhar’s clash with the state government over appointments of vice-chancellors across universities.
    • The Bill will now need the Governor’s clearance, but he is constitutionally bound to act on the advice of the Cabinet.
    • However, there have been instances where Governors in opposition-ruled states have sat on Bills for a long time and sent them to the President.
    • The Governor, by virtue of his position, is the Chancellor of all state-run universities.
  • Anarock: As many as 4,79,940 homes worth Rs 4.48 crore are currently stuck across the seven micro markets across the country but despite the pandemic and the rising construction costs further inflated by the Russia-Ukraine war, as many as 36,830 languishing homes were completed in these cities between January 2022 and May 2022.
    • By May 2022-end, approximately 4.80 lakh units (launched in 2014 or before) worth over Rs 4.48 lakh crore remains stuck in various construction stages across these cities.
    • By December 31, 2021, the market was saddled with approximately 5.17 lakh languishing homes worth approximately Rs 4.84 lakh crore, data shared by Anarock revealed.
    • NCR and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) together hold a 77% ‘majority share’, while the southern metros Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad have just 9%.
    • Pune has an approximately 9% share, while Kolkata accounts for a minuscule 5% overall share.

World


  • United States: A bipartisan group of US senators on Sunday proposed steps to curb gun violence following devastating mass shootings in Texas and New York, but the limited measures fall far short of the president’s calls for change.
    • The shootings in May one at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 young children and two teachers, and another at a New York supermarket that left 10 Black people dead have piled pressure on politicians to take action.
    • But Republican lawmakers, who have repeatedly blocked tougher measures, are still resisting major changes to gun regulations, instead of pointing to mental health issues as the root of the problem.
  •  NASA: Rocket firm Astra Space’s mission to send tiny storm-monitoring NASA satellites to orbit on Sunday failed after a second-stage booster engine shut down early in space.
    • The failure occurred roughly 10 minutes after a successful liftoff of Astra’s Rocket 3.3 at 1:43 p.m. ET (1743 GMT) from a launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
    • The rocket was carrying two small satellites designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory to measure moisture and precipitation in tropical storm systems.
    • They were to be the first batch of a six-satellite constellation managed by NASA, the rest of which Astra also plans to launch in the future.
  • Beijing: Authorities in China’s capital Beijing on Monday raced to contain a COVID-19 outbreak traced to a 24-hour bar known for cheap liquor and big crowds, with millions facing mandatory testing and thousands under targeted lockdowns.
    • The outbreak of 228 cases linked to the Heaven Supermarket Bar, which had just reopened as curbs in Beijing eased last week, highlights how hard it will be for China to make a success of its “zero-covid” policy as much of the rest of the world opts to learn how to live with the virus.
    • The re-emergence of infections is also raising new concerns about the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.
    • China is only just shaking off a heavy blow from a two-month lockdown of Shanghai, its most populous city and commercial nerve center, that also roiled global supply chains.
  • Amazon-Future: In a blow to Amazon, the NCLAT has upheld the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order suspending the deal between the global e-commerce giant and Future Coupons.
    • A two-member bench comprising Justice M Venugopal and Ashok Kumar Mishra ordered Amazon to pay the penalty of Rs 200 crore within 45 days.
    • The appellate tribunal backed the CCI’s findings that Amazon didn’t make full disclosures.
    • The fair trade regulator CCI had suspended the over two-year-old approval for its deal with Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL).
    • In December, the CCI had suspended the Amazon-FCPL deal saying that the US e-commerce major had suppressed information while seeking clearances for the transaction back then.
    • Amazon had opposed FRL’s deal to sell assets to Reliance Retail as part of a Rs 24,713-crore deal, which has now been called off.

12th June


India


  • RBL: RBL Bank on June 11 announced the appointment of veteran banker R Subramaniakumar as its new managing director and chief executive officer.
    • The appointment has been made for a period of three years, the private lender informed the stock exchanges.
    • The board of directors has approved the appointment of R Subramaniakumar as Managing Director & CEO of the bank for a period of three years with effect from the date of his taking charge, under Section 35B of the Banking Regulation Act 1949.
  • FPIs: Wary of the scenario on the global and domestic fronts, foreign investors continued to withdraw from Indian equity markets and pulled out close to Rs 14,000 crore this month so far.
    • With this, net outflow by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) from equities reached Rs 1.81 lakh crore so far in 2022, data with depositories showed.
    • Going forward, the FPIs’ selling may continue in the near-term, however, a moderation in sell-off is expected during the short to medium-term, Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said.
  • RIL-SHEL: The government has lost its appeal in the English High Court against a $111 million arbitration award in favor of Reliance Industries Ltd and Shell in a cost recovery dispute in the western offshore Panna-Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields.
    • High Court judge Ross Cranston on June 9, 2022, ruled that the government should have brought its objections over the arbitration tribunal not meeting the required thresholds when issuing the 2021 award earlier.
    • Rejecting the government’s arguments, the court said the objections are barred by an English law principle whereby a party cannot raise matters in new proceedings that could have been raised in earlier proceedings.
  • WTO: In a setback to India, the draft agreement on fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organization (WTO) has done away with New Delhi’s proposals to put an end to non-specific fuel subsidies or those that are not targeted at a particular industry such as those given by the US and EU to their transport and water sports and lead to illegal, unregulated and uncontrolled fishing globally.
    • The draft also allows only seven years transition period for developing countries as against India’s proposal that developing countries not engaged in distant water fishing should be exempt from overfishing subsidy prohibitions for 25 years.
    • Fishing beyond 200 nautical miles from the seashores of a country is called distant water fishing.
  • IAEA: As Iran’s government went on a collision course with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), India’s abstention vote during an IAEA board of governors meeting this week is being seen as a significant show of support for Tehran, and a reassertion of its “non-aligned” stance as seen on its policy on Russia and the war in Ukraine.
    • On Wednesday, India was one of only three countries, other than Pakistan and Libya who abstained from the resolution criticizing Iran for flouting IAEA requests for inspections of its nuclear program and other processes.
    • Of the 35-nation Board of Governors of the IAEA, 30 countries voted for the resolution brought by the US and “E-3” nations U.K., Germany, and France, while Russia and China voted against it.
  • Biotech Sector: The union minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh on Saturday said that He said, today, the Indian biotech sector is expected to grow from the current size of $70 billion to $150 billion in the next four years.
    • Speaking at the Biotech Start-up Expo here, Singh said that India is moving from women-specific to women-led projects in the biotech startups sector and its growth cannot be accomplished without the active participation of women.
    • The minister said that women scientists have carved a niche for themselves in space, nuclear science, drone, and nano-technology and added that many of the big scientific projects including that of the most ambitious manned-mission ‘Gaganyaan’ to be launched in 2023 are being led by women scientists.

World


  • Taiwan: China will “fight to the very end” to stop Taiwan from declaring independence, the country’s defense minister vowed Sunday, as tensions soar with the United States over the island.
    • “We will fight at all cost and we will fight to the very end. This is the only choice for China,” Defence Minister Wei Fenghe told the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit in Singapore.
    • His speech came a day after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin accused China of “provocative, destabilizing” military activity close to the island.
  • Japan: A bipedal dinosaur with knives for fingers roamed around the shores of Asia between 66 million and 145 million years ago, a new study has revealed.
    • According to Live Science, the new genus and species of the dinosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period were identified from the fossilized remains unearthed on Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan.
    • The fossil is the first to be found in Asia in marine sediments, researchers from the United States and Japan informed.
  • Russia: A more contagious subvariant of the COVID-19 Omicron strain has slipped into Russia, a senior official at the national consumer health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said.
    • Kamil Khafizov, the head of genome research at Rospotrebnadzor’s Central Research Institute for Epidemiology, told reporters that two national labs had submitted the viral genome of the BA.4 sublineage to the VGARus database.
    • The scientist added that the BA.2 subtype still accounted for 95% of all new cases in Russia.
  • United States: President Joe Biden cautioned that U.S. inflation could last “for a while” after data on Friday showed that politically sensitive price pressures unexpectedly accelerated in recent weeks.
    • “We’re gonna live with this inflation for a while,” Biden said at a Democratic fundraising event in Beverly Hills. “It’s gonna come down gradually, but we’re going to live with it for a while.”
    • The wary comments at an event hosted by billionaire media magnate Haim Saban came as the administration faces increasing pressure ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, where Biden’s fellow Democrats’ control of Congress is on the line.
  • Shanghai: China’s capital Beijing is facing an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak connected to a bar, a government spokesman warned on Saturday, as the commercial hub of Shanghai began mass testing to contain a jump in cases tied to a popular beauty salon.
    • The warning followed a renewed tightening of COVID curbs in Beijing since Thursday, with at least two districts – including its most populous, Chaoyang – closing certain entertainment venues after a flare-up in a busy neighborhood known for its nightlife, shopping, and streets of embassies.
    • While China’s infection rate is low by global standards, President Xi Jinping has doubled down on a zero-COVID policy that authorities say is needed to protect the elderly and the medical system, even as other countries try to live with the virus.
  • Tencent: Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent has bought a stake worth USD 264 million (about Rs 2,060 crore) in Flipkart from its co-founder, Binny Bansal, through its European subsidiary, according to official documents.
    • Singapore-headquartered e-commerce firm Flipkart has operations in India only.
    • Bansal holds around a 1.84 percent stake in Flipkart after selling part of his stake to Tencent Cloud Europe BV.
    • The transaction was completed on October 26, 2021, and was shared with the government authorities at the beginning of the current financial year.
    • Post the transaction, Tencent’s arm holds 0.72 per stake in Flipkart which is valued at around USD 264 million, as per the last valuation of USD 37.6 billion disclosed by the e-commerce firm in July 2021.
  • Web5: Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced a new platform on Twitter called ‘Web5’, a combination of Web3 and Web 2.0, built on the Bitcoin blockchain.
    • The platform promises to fix the issue of securing personal data. “We struggle to secure personal data with hundreds of accounts and passwords we can’t remember. On the web today, identity and personal data have become the property of third parties,” the company said on its website.
    • Web5 is developed by The Block Head (TBH), one of the Bitcoin business units at Dorsey’s Block (formerly Square).
    • The platform brings decentralized identity and data storage to applications.
    • It lets developers focus on creating delightful user experiences while returning ownership of data and identity to individuals, according to the company.

11th June


India


  • GVK: Six Indian banks are reportedly suing the GVK Group for $1.5 billion or Rs 12,114 crore, according to the Times of India.
    • The six banks include Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Icici Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, And Axis Bank.
    • According to the report, GVK defaulted on a $1-billion loan and a $35-million letter of credit facility given by banks in 2011, and a $160-million loan lent in 2014.
    • GVK Coal Developers (Singapore) and nine other GVK Group companies are being sued in the case which opens Monday.
  • HDFC: HDFC has raised its home loan interest rates for the fourth time in a little more than a month.
    • On June 9, it announced that it has increased its Retail Prime Lending Rate (RPLR) on home loans by 50 basis points (bps).
    • The new rates are effective from June 10, 2022, stated a statement by HDFC.
    • One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
    • Now HDFC home loan interest rates will start from 7.55%.
    • According to an HDFC press statement, “HDFC increases its Retail Prime Lending Rate (RPLR) on Housing loans, on which its Adjustable Rate Home Loans (ARHL) are benchmarked, by 50 basis points, with effect from June 10, 2022.”
  • Advertising Rules: The government has announced new guidelines to curb misleading advertisements and endorsers by banning surrogate ads while imposing strict norms for those advertisements that seek to lure consumers by offering discounts and free claims.
    • The new guidelines on “Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022” also seek to regulate advertisements targeting children.
    • The guidelines, notified by the consumer affairs ministry and that have come into force with immediate effect, also specify due diligence to be carried out while endorsing advertisements.
    • Action against violation of the new guidelines will be taken as per the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), which provides for a penalty of ₹10 lakh for the first offense and ₹ 50 lakh for subsequent contravention.
  • IAEA: India was among the three countries that withstood Western pressure and abstained from voting against Iran on the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
    • The voting took place just before Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian embarked on his India visit.
    • The IAEA’s 35-nation board passed a resolution on Wednesday, condemning Iran for its failure to provide an explanation of technically credible evidence about the detection of nuclear traces at three undisclosed locations.
    • India abstained from voting along with Pakistan and Libya, while Russia and China voted against them.
    • India had earlier voted against Iran during the UPA era in 2005, 2006, and 2009.
    • In 2009, when India had voted against Iran, it was also joined by Russia and China.
    • In 2006, Russia and China did not formally endorse the IAEA resolution which referred Iran to the Security Council.

World


  • United States: The Biden administration will drop pre-departure Covid-19 international air testing requirements effective Sunday at 12:01 a.m. after heavy lobbying from airlines and the travel industry.
    • The Biden administration will announce on Friday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will no longer require pre-departure Covid-19 testing for travelers coming to the United States after it is determined based on the science and data that this requirement is no longer necessary.
    • The CDC will do a reassessment of this decision in 90 days, the official said.
  • Federal Reserve: Bad news on inflation hardened expectations the Federal Reserve will keep raising interest rates in half-point steps through September, with talk of an even larger move mounting in the conversation.
    • Investors increased bets on a 75 basis point hike after data Friday showed consumer-price growth accelerating to a fresh 40-year high and a separate report in which expectations deteriorated, though Fed watchers generally doubt Chair Jerome Powell would take that step next week.
    • The consumer price index increased 8.6% from a year earlier in a broad-based advance.
    • Core CPI, which strips out the more volatile food and energy components rose 0.6% from the prior month and 6% from a year ago.
  • Revlon: Cosmetics giant Revlon Inc. is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as soon as next week as it battles supply chain problems and a heavy debt load, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
    • Distressed debt news provider Reorg first reported on the potential bankruptcy.
    • Revlon’s shares plunged 53%, the biggest one-day drop on record, on Friday to close at $2.05.
    • New York-based Revlon, owned by billionaire Ron Perelman’s MacAndrews & Forbes, struggled amid competition from Estee Lauder Cos. and a host of smaller companies using social media to lure customers.
    • Sales had been declining years before the pandemic, which also hit the company hard.

10th June


India


  • USD-INR: The rupee depreciated 8 paise to a record low of 77.82 against the US dollar in opening trade on Friday, tracking the strength of the greenback in the overseas market.
    • At the interbank foreign exchange, the rupee opened on a weak note at 77.81 against the American dollar, then lost ground to quote at 77.82 its all-time low level, registering a fall of 8 paise from the last close.
    • On Thursday, the rupee fell by 6 paise to close at 77.74 against the US dollar.
  • Jammu: Mobile internet services remained snapped in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bhaderwah and Kishtwar on Friday while a curfew was imposed there.
    • Authorities said attempts were made to stoke communal tensions over suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments against the Prophet Muhammad during a TV debate.
    • District commissioner AK Sharma said a curfew was imposed and mobile internet services shut down in the adjoining Kishtwar district as a precautionary measure.
  • Return of 66A: Seven years after the Supreme Court struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act as unconstitutional, the Narendra Modi government is trying to bring the provision’s restrictions on online speech through the backdoor.
    • During ongoing negotiations to draft a new, legally-binding UN treaty on tackling cybercrime, India has submitted a proposal for the “criminalization of offensive messages”.
    • It is an exact duplication of the language of Section 66A – language that had been used to file cases across India against cartoonists, students, activists, and others before the court ruled it ultra vires of the constitution.
  • Fitch Ratings: Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on India’s long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to “Stable” from “Negative,” citing diminished downside risks to medium-term growth.
    • “The outlook revision reflects our view that downside risks to medium-term growth have diminished due to India’s rapid economic recovery and easing financial sector weaknesses, despite near-term headwinds from the global commodity price shock,” it wrote in a note on Friday.
    • Fitch has revised India’s GDP growth at 7.8% in the ongoing fiscal, down from the 8.5% forecast earlier. It sees India’s growth at around 7% between FY24 to FY27.
  • Wipro: Wipro CEO Thierry Delaporte’s annual salary compensation was Rs 79.80 crore or $10.51 million for the fiscal ended March 31, 2022, according to the company’s annual report filed with US capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
    • This includes Rs 13.2 crore or $1.74 million in salary and allowances; Rs 19.3 crore or $2.55 million in commissions and variable pay; and Rs 31.8 crore or $4.2 million in other benefits.
    • The compensation includes a one-time cash award approved by the shareholders of the company in the annual general meeting held in July 2020.
    • Deladporte’s salary for the 9 months in 2020-21 stood at Rs 64.3 crore or $8.7 million; he joined the company in July 2020.
  • India’s FDI Rank: India jumped one position to 7th among the top recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last calendar year (2021) despite FDI inflows into the country declining, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
    • In its latest World Investment Report released on Thursday, UNCTAD said FDI inflows into India declined to $45 billion in 2021 from $64 billion in the preceding year.
    • While the United States ($367 billion) remained the top recipient of FDI, China ($181 billion) and Hong Kong ($141 billion) also retained second and third positions respectively.
    • Among the top 10 host economies, only India saw a decline in its inflows.
    • However, outward FDI from India rose 43 percent to $15.5 billion in 2021.
  • EASE 5.0: Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Wednesday, launched the fifth edition of Enhanced Access and Service Excellence-EASE 5.0, which spells out the common reforms agenda for public sector banks (PSBs) under the EASENext program.
    • The launch event was attended virtually by Managing Directors and CEOs and other senior executives of PSBs.
    • Under EASE 5.0, PSBs will continue to invest in new-age capabilities and deepen the ongoing reforms to respond to evolving customer needs, changing competition, and the technology environment.
    • EASE 5.0 will focus on digital customer experience, and integrated and inclusive banking, with emphasis on supporting small businesses and agriculture.
    • Simultaneously,  all PSBs will also create a bank-specific three-year strategic roadmap.
    • It will entail strategic initiatives beyond EASE 5.0.
    • The initiatives will be across diverse themes — business growth, profitability, risk, customer service, operations, and capability building.

World


  • Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s government said Friday it has agreed to abolish the mandatory death penalty, with campaigners welcoming the move but cautioning the country had failed to deliver on previous vows to improve rights.
    • The death penalty remains mandatory for several offenses in the Southeast Asian nation, including murder and drug trafficking.
    • A reformist alliance that took power in 2018 announced it would abolish capital punishment entirely but the plan stalled due to opposition from political rivals and murder victims’ families.
  • European Council: Members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday to ban the sale of new combustion engine cars by 2035, in what would be one of the world’s strongest laws to phase out gasoline vehicles, if approved by the European Council.
    • While the measure must still be debated by the Council and passed into law, the parliamentary vote is seen as the most crucial step in the process.
    • Full approval will likely mean a dip in sales for hybrid cars and a rapid transition to fully electric models.
  • Russia-China: Russia and China have unveiled the first-ever road bridge between the two countries, signifying the strengthening ties between the two countries amid Moscow’s war in Ukraine, AFP reported.
    • The kilometer-long bridge over the Amur river links the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with Heihe in northern China.
    • This comes a month after the construction of the Russian section of the first railway bridge across the Amur river was completed.
    • The China-Russia rail bridge connects Tongjiang City in the country’s northeast province of Heilongjiang and the Russian town of Nizhneleninskoye.
  • NASA: NASA is launching a study of UFOs as part of a new push toward high-risk, high-impact science.
    • The space agency announced Thursday that it was setting up an independent team to see how much information is publicly available on the matter and how much more is needed to understand the unexplained sightings.
    • The experts will also consider how best to use all this information in the future.
    • NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen acknowledged the traditional scientific community may see NASA as a “kind of selling out” by venturing into the controversial topic, but he strongly disagrees.
  • Asteroids: Asteroid dust collected by a Japanese space probe contains organic material that shows some of the building blocks of life on Earth may have been formed in space, scientists said Friday.
    • Pristine material from the asteroid Ryugu was brought back to Earth in 2020 after a six-year mission to the celestial body around 300 million kilometers away.
    • But scientists are only just beginning to discover its secrets in the first studies on small portions of the 5.4 grams (0.2 ounces) of dust and dark, tiny rocks.
    • In one paper published Friday, a group of researchers led by Okayama University in western Japan said they had discovered “amino acids and other organic matter that could give clues to the origin of life on Earth”.

9th June


India


  • Presidential Elections: Elections to choose the next President of India will be held on July 18, the Election Commission announced today.
    • The counting, if there is a need, will be held on July 21. The new President will take oath on July 25, the Commission said.
    • There has been speculation that President Ram Nath Kovind will not get a second term in office and the new candidate is likely to be announced soon.
    • So far, only the first president Rajendra Prasad was elected twice.
    • President Kovind’s term ends on July 24.
  • QS World University Rankings: Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru has emerged as the highest-ranked Indian institute in the 2023 edition of the QS World University rankings, pushing IIT-Bombay to the second position, followed by IIT-Delhi.
    • Apart from IISc at 155, IIT-Bombay (IIT-B) and IIT-Delhi (IIT-D), which have risen five and 11 places to rank 172 and 174 respectively, are the only other Indian institutes in the global league of top 200, in continuation of a trend since 2017.
    • The total number of Indian institutes among the top 1,000 globally has risen to 27 from 22.
  • UN Meet: India has suggested to a UN ad hoc committee adoption of measures similar to those prescribed in Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, to counter the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes.
    • The same rules had been struck down by the Supreme Court of India in 2015, calling those illegal.
    • An Indian delegation, which comprises officials from the ministries of external affairs, home affairs, and electronics and information technology, is currently attending the second session of the international convention on countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes in Vienna.
  • Corona Virus: The single-day rise in new coronavirus infections in the country was recorded at over 7,000 after 99 days, registering around 39 percent jump in daily cases, while the daily positivity rate crossed 2 percent after 111 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday.
    • A total of 7,240 infections were recorded in a span of 24 hours taking India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,31,97,522, while the death toll has climbed to 5,24,723 with eight fresh fatalities, data updated at 8 am by the ministry stated.
    • The active cases have increased to 32,498, comprising 0.08 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.71 percent, the health ministry said. A total of 7,554 new Covid cases were reported on March 1.
  • Digital Rupee: India’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) colloquially known as ‘digital rupee’ will be introduced in the ongoing financial year 2022-23 (FY23) said Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor T Rabi Shankar in a press conference on Wednesday.
    • The process of introduction of the digital rupee will be gradual so that there is no impact on the financial and banking system, he said.
    • Last week RBI said CBDC will be introduced in line with the central bank’s monetary policy objectives, with the objective of financial stability and efficient operations of currency and payments systems.
    • A CBDC is a legal tender issued by a central bank in a digital form.
    • It is the same as a fiat currency and is exchangeable one-to-one with the fiat currency.
    • Only its form is different. CBDC is a digital or virtual currency but it is not comparable to the private virtual currencies that have mushroomed over the last decade.

World


  • Antarctica: Scientists from New Zealand have recently discovered the existence of a world of marine life under an ice shelf in Antarctica.
    • The revelation happened when the team was observing an estuary, located hundreds of kilometers away from the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest in Antarctica, and what role it could have in the melting of ice due to climate change.
    • For their study, the researchers bored into the ice. Their camera captured something unusual a large and dense group of tiny creatures.
  • Pakistan: Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a former member of the National Assembly (MNA) and popular television host, passed away in Karachi on Thursday.
    • The former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker was found unconscious at his home in Khudad Colony and shifted to a private hospital in a critical condition, the report added.
    • Liaquat reportedly felt discomfort on Wednesday night but refused to go to the hospital.
    • He was 49 years.
  • Thales Alenia: The NILESAT 301 communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) for the Egyptian operator NILESAT was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral launch pad, Florida (USA), on board of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
    • Powerful Ku-band mission NILESAT 301 will reinforce NILESAT commercial leadership in broadcast services at 7°W over MENA and open new services over Southern Africa and Nile Basin.
    • In addition, a state-of-the-art multibeam Ka-band mission will support NILESAT’s entry into the broadband connectivity market over Egypt.
  • Colombo: Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Wednesday (June 8, 2022) that no country except India is providing money to crisis-hit Sri Lanka for fuel and underlined that he has urged IMF to “expedite” its assistance program to the island nation.
    • The conversation between Wickremesinghe, who is also the finance minister, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund comes as Sri Lanka has decided to seek the assistance of the Washington-based global lender to combat the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948.
    • Sri Lanka has already initiated measures to restructure its foreign debts a prerequisite for an IMF program after the government suspended all the external debt repayments on April 12.
  • Fast Radio Burst: Astronomers have detected a radio signal coming from space, the second of its kind, which raises more questions about their origins.
    • The signal is coming from a galaxy believed to be nearly 3 billion light-years away.
    • The detection of the new Fast Radio Burst (FRB) termed FRB 20190520B raises some important questions about the origin and source of these signals.
    • The researchers have published their findings in a new paper in the scientific journal Nature.
    • The paper notes that the source of FRB 20190520B is “co-located with a compact, persistent radio source and associated with a dwarf host galaxy of high specific-star-formation”.
    • The signal is supposed to be close to another unknown object, which is emitting a weaker radio signal.
    • This sort of combination has only been observed in another FRB.

8th June


India


  • Lending Rate: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday raised the key policy (repo) rate by 50 basis points (bps) to 4.90 percent in its June bi-monthly meeting.
    • The central bank is likely to concentrate interest rate hikes over the coming months in a relatively short tightening cycle.
    • In a recent interview, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that the expectation of rate hikes in June is a “no-brainer”.
  • Al Qaeda: Terrorist organization Al Qaeda in the Subcontinent (AQIS) has issued a threat relating to India saying that they are ready to blow themselves up in Gujarat, UP, Bombay, and Delhi to “fight for the dignity of our Prophet”.
    • The threat statement said, “saffron terrorists should now await their end in Delhi and Bombay and in UP and Gujarat”.
    • “They shall find refuge neither in their homes nor in their fortified army cantonments. May our mothers be bereaved of us if we do not avenge our beloved Prophet.”
  • Real Estate: Shares of real estate companies jumped sharply on June 8 after the Reserve Bank of India announced several measures to improve credit flow to the sector and boost demand.
    • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das during the monetary policy statement announced measures such as enhancing individual housing loan limits for cooperative banks and allowing rural cooperative banks to lend to commercial real estate projects.
    • The measures sparked a rally in shares of DLF, Macrotech Developers, Oberoi Realty, Sobha, Brigade Enterprises, and Godrej Properties, which rose 2-3 percent.
  • NEET-PG: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern over the 1,450 post-graduate medical seats going vacant this year despite the country facing a dearth of medical professionals, telling the Centre that “You are playing with the future of doctors.”
    • The court has sought an affidavit to be filed by the Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) during the course of the day explaining why these seats were not filled by conducting an additional mop-up counseling round.
    • The court has also warned that it may consider asking the Centre to pay compensation to the doctors for playing with their lives and future.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on June 8 hiked the limit for e-mandates for recurring payments such as subscriptions, fees, EMIs, etc to Rs 15,000 from Rs 5,000.
    • “To further facilitate recurring payments like subscriptions, insurance premium, education fees of larger value under the framework, the limit is being enhanced from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 15,000 per transaction,” RBI governor Shaktikanta Das said as he shared the outcome of the MPC meeting.
    • The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said auto-transactions up to Rs 15,000 no longer require customers to authenticate such payments manually with a One Time Password (OTP).
    • “This will further leverage the benefits available under the framework and augment customer convenience,” the governor added.
  • Monetary Policy: In a major shift in how the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) functions, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today said that credit cards too will be allowed to be linked to the UPI accounts.
    • The implementation will begin with the indigenous RuPay credit cards being allowed to be linked, followed by other card networks such as Visa and Mastercard.
    • Until now, customers could only link their debit cards to UPI.
    • The announcement was made by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das in his monetary policy speech.
    • “UPI facilitates transactions by linking savings or current accounts through users’ debit cards. It is now proposed to allow linking of credit cards on the UPI platform, to begin with, the RuPay credit cards will be linked to UPI,” he said.
  • EPI: The Union environment ministry on Wednesday rebutted the Environmental Performance Index 2022, which ranked India at the bottom of a list of 180 countries, saying some of the indicators it used are “extrapolated and based on surmises and unscientific methods”.
    • The index published recently by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, Columbia University, used 40 performance indicators across 11 categories to judge countries on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality.
    • Forests and wetlands of the country are crucial carbon sinks but have not been factored in while computing the projected GHG emissions trajectory up to 2050 given by EPI 2022.
    • Historical data on the lowest emission trajectory has been ignored in the computation, it said while rejecting the analysis.
  • Finance Minister: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on June 7 launched the Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard of Public Financial Management System (PFMS) in New Delhi as a part of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ (AKAM) celebrations by the Ministry of Finance.
    • The SNA dashboard will provide a platform for ministries and departments to monitor the transfer of funds to states and their utilization.
    • The training modules of the Department of Expenditure were also launched as part of Mission Karmayogi.
    • In her address during the launch of the SNA Dashboard, the finance minister said that the implementation of SNA has been a milestone in public finance by effectively leveraging technology in the last 75 years.
    • Sitharaman congratulated the team of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) for bringing transparency to the federal system of accounting.

World


  • University Of Oxford: Oxford Scientists Win Seven Royal Society Of Chemistry Prizes.
    • The Research and Innovation Prizes celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia.
    • The Horizon Prizes celebrate the most exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation.
    • They are for teams or collaborations who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through groundbreaking scientific developments.
  • India-US: Chinese activity near Ladakh is “eye-opening” and some of the infrastructure being created is alarming, a top US General has said.
    • General Charles A Flynn, Commanding General, US Army Pacific described it as “destabilizing and corrosive behavior” by China as he talked about the Chinese infrastructure build-up across the Himalayan frontier.
    • General Flynn said China’s ”incremental and insidious path and destabilizing and corrosive behavior” projected onto the region was “simply not helpful”.

7th June


India


  • Gold Prices: Gold rates slipped in Indian markets today amid subdued global cues while silver rates saw a sharp fall.
    • On MCX, gold futures were down at ₹50,862 per 10 gram while silver fell 0.75% to ₹61,830 per kg.
    • In global markets, gold rates remained subdued near one-week lows of around $1,842 per ounce amid a spike in US bond yields.
    • Traders were also cautious ahead of US inflation data due later this week.
  • Agni-4: India on Monday successfully tested the Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) Agni-4, which met all parameters. 
    • “A successful training launch of an Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile, Agni-4, was carried out at approximately 1930 hours on June 06, 2022, from APJ Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha,” a Defence Ministry statement said.
    • The successful test was part of routine user training launches carried out under the aegis of the Strategic Forces Command, it stated.
    • The missile, one of many in the Agni series of strategic missiles, has a range of over 3,500 km.
  • Assam HSLC Result 2022: The Board of Secondary Education Assam (SEBA) has declared the Class 10 High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) exam results for the 2022 board exams today, June 7.
    • The HSLC Matric 10th result 2022 Assam board scheduled to be announced today at 10 am for over four lakh students has been declared ahead of time before 9 am.
    • The overall pass percentage for HSLC 2022 exam is 56.49 percent, with 58.80 percent boys qualifying and 54.49 percent girls.
    • The HSLC Assam 10th result 2022 has been made available at 14 official and unofficial websites, including results.sebaonline.org and the SEBA, results in the 2022 mobile app.
  • New Delhi: The mercury is expected to shoot up to 45 degrees Celsius in Delhi on Tuesday and prompting the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to issue a yellow alert asking residents to stay indoors as far as possible.
    • IMD warned of heatwave conditions at isolated places in the national capital, which recorded a maximum temperature of 44.9 degrees Celsius a day earlier.
    • The maximum temperature in Delhi on Monday was five notches above the normal, while the minimum of 29.7 degrees Celsius was two degrees above normal.
    • On Tuesday, the minimum temperature is likely to be 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Defence Ministry: The Defence Ministry today issued new guidelines broadening the scope of eligible officers for the post of the Chief Of Defence Staff (CDS) of the Indian armed forces.
    • The new guidelines mean that even a serving Lieutenant General or their equivalent in the navy and air force could become the CDS.
    • This essentially opens the doors for the second-highest active rank officers of the tri-services to possibly supersede their seniors, the chief of the army, air force, or navy to take on the role.
    • Another change in eligibility criteria is that recently retired service chiefs and vice chiefs will also be eligible for the post, though there’s an age ceiling of 62 years.
  • G-Sec: The yield on the 10-year government securities (G-Sec) touched 7.5 percent on Monday, hitting a three-year high ahead of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) monetary policy review scheduled for Wednesday.
    • The yield jumped 4 basis points (bps) on Monday after Saudi Arabia the world’s biggest oil exporter raised prices for Asian buyers.
    • The yield on the 10-year G-Sec, which closed at 7.50 percent on Monday, was at its highest since January 11, 2019, when it touched 7.59 percent.
    • This came even as Brent crude oil prices touched $120 a barrel, leading to fresh concerns over rising inflation as the country imports more than 80 percent of its crude oil requirements.
  • Finance Ministry: The finance ministry said the Rs 6,000-crore National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL) or bad bank is expected to take over the first set of non-performing accounts of banks next month.
    • NARCL is a special purpose asset reconstruction company for taking over the large value NPA accounts (above Rs 500 crore) from banks.
    • In a series of tweets, the ministry said finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday reviewed the progress in setting up the NARCL.
    • The minister was apprised of the progress achieved and took note of the approvals/permissions received for both NARCL and IDRCL from the government and regulators.
  • Finance Minister: Amid continuing volatility in the stock market, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said retail investors seem to act as shock absorbers even when foreign portfolio investors went away.
    • Speaking at an event of the corporate affairs ministry as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Sitharaman said that during the pandemic, there has been a very significant increase in retail investor numbers.
    • “Retail investors have come in a big way that they seem to act as shock absorbers if FPIs went away, our markets did not really have to show their ups and downs in a very distinct way because small investors in the country have come in a big way,” she said. Sitharaman is also in charge of the corporate affairs ministry.
  • HDFC: HDFC Bank has hiked its marginal cost of funds-based lending rates (MCLRs) by 35 basis points across tenures, even as the market awaits another imminent RBI policy rate hike later this week.
    • The new rates will be effective from today (Tuesday, 7 June 2022).
    • MCLRs on loans from India’s largest private lender will now range between 7.5% and 8.05%.
    • The one-year MCLR at HDFC Bank stands at 7.85%, as against SBI’s 7.2% and PNB’s 7.4%.
    • Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, and Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) went for a fresh round of hikes in lending rates last week.
    • Most lenders had raised rates after the monetary policy committee (MPC) hiked the repo rate by 40 bps on May 4.
  • EPI: India scored the lowest in the 2022 Environment Performance Index (EPI), an analysis by Yale and Columbia University researchers that provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world.
    • The EPI which ranks 180 countries on 40 performance indicators including climate change, environmental public health, biodiversity, etc ranked India at 180th because of its poor policies and implementation on various environmental fronts.
    • The EPI 2022 which was released on May 31 has Denmark holding the top rank and emerging as the most sustainable country in the 2022 rankings, because of its strong performance across many sectors particularly climate and sustainable agriculture.
    • Other high-scoring nations include the United Kingdom and Finland, both of which earn top rankings from their strong climate change performance driven by policies that have substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, the EPI said.

World


  • Japan: Japanese researchers have found amino acids considered to be building blocks of life in asteroid samples brought back to Earth by the Hayabusa 2 probe.
    • More than 20 types of amino acids have been detected in the samples, which were brought back in December 2020 from the asteroid Ryugu, Japan Times reported.
    • The acids discovered are very important substances for living things and could hold clues to understanding the origins of life, the publication quoted an education ministry official as saying.
  • United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a confidence vote on Monday but a large rebellion in his Conservative Party over the so-called “partygate” scandal dealt a blow to his authority and leaves him with a struggle to win back support.
    • PM Johnson, who scored a sweeping election victory in 2019, has been under increasing pressure after he and staff held alcohol-fuelled parties in his Downing Street office and residence when Britain was under lockdowns to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The vote was a blow to the PM, with 41% of his lawmakers casting ballots against his leadership after months of scandals and gaffes that have raised questions over his authority to govern Britain and knocked his standing among the public.

6th June


India


  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to raise the repo rate by 40 basis points for the second time in five weeks at the conclusion of the monetary policy committee’s three-day meeting on June 8.
    • The committee held an unscheduled meeting in early May and voted unanimously for a 40 basis point repo rate hike in anticipation of a huge increase in April inflation.
    • The repo is the rate at which the RBI lends short-term funds to banks.
  • 10-year Bond Yields: The 10-year bond yields on Monday soared to the 7.5-percent mark for the first time in nearly three-and-a-half years as rising crude prices fuelled concern over inflation.
    • Traders are also waiting for the Reserve Bank of India’s bi-monthly policy decision later this week and its commentary on inflation and growth.
    • The bond yield hit 7.5 percent – a level last seen on January 11, 2019, up 5 basis points from its previous close of 7.457 – and prices moved in opposite directions.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 6 launched a unified portal for the government’s credit-linked schemes, aimed at improving the ease of living for citizens.
    • The so-called Jan Samarth portal will act as a single platform for loan application and processing.
    • As many as 13 schemes and over 125 lending institutions have joined the portal, according to the ministry of finance.
    • The portal can be used to avail loans for education, agricultural infrastructure, business activity, and livelihood opportunities.
  • LIC: The share price of Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) slumped to a record low of ₹ 782.45 on Monday, which is 17.55 percent down from its IPO issue price of ₹ 949.
    • At 1.27 pm on the BSE, Life Insurance Corporation of India’s share was trading 2.01 percent down at ₹ 784.15.
    • Earlier, the scrip opened flat at ₹ 800.25 but witnessed selling pressure later in the day. It slipped to a low of ₹ 782.45 in the intra-day.
    • This is the lowest level since its listing on the stock exchanges last month.
  • Kerala: The Kerala government has confirmed two cases of Norovirus in the state.
    • The highly contagious infection was detected in two children in the Vizhinjam area of the capital Thiruvananthapuram.
    • State Health Minister Veena George allayed concerns and said the condition of both patients is stable.
    • Samples were collected from students of LMSLP School in Vizhinjam after they complained of food poisoning and diarrhea.
    • The samples were sent to the state public health lab for testing, where the presence of Norovirus was confirmed in two.
    • The Kerala health department has examined the samples collected from the area where the outbreak was reported, and taken precautionary measures.

World


  • South Korea: South Korea and the United States fired eight ballistic missiles on Monday in response to North Korean weapons tests the previous day, Seoul’s military said.
    • The Joint Chiefs of Staff said the allies launched the ground-to-ground Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile at targets in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, in the early morning.
    • The 10-minute volley comes a day after North Korea launched eight short-range ballistic missiles following a South Korea-US joint military exercise involving a US aircraft carrier.
  • NASA: NASA, on June 6, rolled out its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket out of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).
    • The mega launch vehicle emerged from the VAB at 9:31 am IST (12:01 a.m. EDT) and NASA is live streaming the rocket’s six-kilometer journey to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center.
    • The SLS rocket is being hauled to the launch pad atop the massive Transporter which would take somewhere between 8-12 hours to reach its destination.
    • Yet to make a debut launch, the SLS will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to the Moon under the Artemis I mission which is likely to take off in August this year. 
  • United Kingdom: Prime Minister Boris Johnson will face a confidence vote later on Monday after a growing number of lawmakers in the governing Conservative Party questioned the British leader’s flagging authority over the “party game” scandal.
    • PM Johnson, appointed prime minister in 2019, has been under growing pressure, unable to move on from a report that documented alcohol-fuelled parties at the heart of power when Britain was under strict lockdowns to tackle COVID-19.
    • “The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative Party has been exceeded,” Graham Brady, chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee that represents rank-and-file Conservative lawmakers, wrote in a note.

5th June


India


  • IRCTC: The railways have been lenient on people traveling with extra baggage for decades, but it has now announced a new policy, which states that, just like air travel, rail passengers will also have to pay for carrying excess luggage.
    • Recently, the Ministry of Railways from its official Twitter handle advised people not to travel with excess baggage on trains.
    • In its tweet in Hindi, the ministry said when you travel with extra luggage, the enjoyment of the journey is half! Do not travel by train carrying more luggage.
    • In case of excess baggage, go to the parcel office and book the luggage.
  • Religious Personalities: The BJP on Sunday suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled her colleague Naveen Kumar Jindal over their comments on Prophet Muhammad that have provoked a massive backlash and violence, after saying it “strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities”.
    • “During the thousands of years of the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insult of any religious personalities of any religion,” it said in a statement earlier in the day.
    • “The Bharatiya Janata Party is also strongly against any ideology which insults or demeans any sect or religion. The BJP does not promote such people or philosophy,” it said.
  • RBI: Given the high level of inflation prevailing in the country, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to go for another rate hike of 0.40% at the scheduled review of the monetary policy next week.
    • The RBI’s rate-setting panel will follow it up with a 0.35% hike in rates at the next review in August, or make it into a 0.50% hike next week and a 0.25% increase in August, to make the total quantum of rate hikes at 0.75%, the report by Bofa Securities said.
    • The report from the brokerage said it sees the headline inflation for May to come at 7.1% due to a sharp increase in tomato prices.
    • While mentioning measures like the excise duty cuts on fuel products, duty-free imports of crude soybean and sunflower oil, and cut in ATF prices, the report said such moves will help avoid a runaway increase in inflation.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India’s efforts to protect the environment are multi-dimensional even though its role in climate change negligible.
    • Modi was addressing a program on ‘Save Soil Movement’ on the occasion of World Environment Day at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan.
    • Modi also said India’s forest cover grew by over 20,000 sq km in the last eight years – record growth in wildlife numbers too.
    • Modi said the country has worked relentlessly to keep the soil alive. He said the government has focused on five main things to save the soil.
      • How to make the soil chemical-free?
      • How to save the creatures that live in the soil, which in the technical language are called soil organic matter?
      • How to maintain soil moisture, and how to increase the availability of water till it?
      • How to remove the damage that is happening to the soil due to less groundwater?
      • How to stop the continuous erosion of soil due to the reduction of forest cover?

World


  • Dhaka: At least 49 people have died after a huge fire broke out at a shipping container depot in Bangladesh’s Chittagong last night, officials said today.
    • The fire at the depot in the Sitakunda area has left about 300 people injured and authorities fear the death count may climb.
    • According to police officer Nurul Alam, posted at Chittagong Medical College Hospital’s police outpost, the preliminary probe has indicated that the fire broke out due to a chemical reaction.
  • Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Sunday that Moscow will strike new targets if the West supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine and said new arms deliveries to Kyiv were aimed at “prolonging the conflict”.
    • If Kyiv is supplied with long-range missiles, “we will draw the appropriate conclusions and use our arms to strike targets we haven’t hit before,” Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying.
    • In extracts of an interview to be broadcast late Sunday on Rossiya-1 television, Putin did not specify exactly which targets could be hit nor the exact range of the missiles to which Moscow would react.
  • NASA: NASA announced that it will release the first full-color images and spectroscopic data from the James Webb space telescope on July 12, 2022.
    • The James Webb Space Telescope was built and deployed in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and is the largest and most complex observatory ever launched into space.
    • Webb has been going through a six-month period of preparation before it can begin science work where its instruments were calibrated to its environment and its mirrors were aligned.
    • Once each of Webb’s instruments is calibrated, tested, and given the green light by scientists working on the mission, the first images, and spectroscopic observations will be made.
  • Beijing: China launched a spacecraft on Sunday carrying three astronauts to the Chinese space station, due to be completed by the end of the year, as construction entered a pivotal stage.
    • A Long March-2F rocket transporting the Shenzhou-14, or “Divine Vessel” in Chinese, blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 10:44 a.m. (0244 GMT), a live broadcast by state television showed.
    • Construction of the space station began last year with the launch of the first and largest of its three modules – Tianhe – the living quarters of visiting astronauts.
    • The modules Wentian and Mengtian are to be launched in July and October, respectively, docking with Tianhe to form a T-shaped structure.
    • Shenzhou-14 mission commander Chen Dong, 43, and teammates Liu Yang, 43, and Cai Xuzhe, 46, all from China’s second cohort of astronauts, will live and work on the space station for six months before returning to Earth in December with the arrival of the Shenzhou-15 crew.

4th June


India


  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra has reintroduced compulsory masking in public, except in open spaces, due to a surge in the covid cases in the last few days.
    • Over 1,000-plus cases were recorded in Maharashtra for the third day on June 3.
    • The state government’s announcement is part of a strategic plan to contain the surge and keep hospitalization to a minimum.
    • The Maharashtra health department on June 3 asked district and civic authorities to ramp up coronavirus testing as the number of samples being examined had fallen while cases were rising.
  • Forex Reserves: India’s foreign exchange reserves topped the $600 billion mark again, just a month after the reserves slipped below the central bank’s comfort level.
    • A $3.6 billion increase in foreign currency assets aided the expansion of the total stock of reserves, billed as a cushion against global economic headwinds.
    • Forex reserves were $601.4 billion for the week ended May 27 versus $597.5 billion in the preceding week, show data from the Reserve Bank of India, released Friday evening.
    • The portion of reserves parked in gold and other International Monetary Fund-backed assets rose by about $244 million.
  • Karnataka: In the latest in the ongoing controversy of the Karnataka textbook revisions, the state’s Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has announced disbanding of the committee.
    • On Friday, CM Bommai stated that the committee set up to review the content has been disbanded.
    • The reason given was that the committee’s work was complete.
    • He further stated that the government is open to further revision if any other objectionable content is there.
    • As for the controversy, the government has asked for an appropriate revision to the chapter on 12th-century social reformer Basavanna. Objections were raised by several prominent personalities and seers over the content.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday imposed a monetary penalty of ₹27.50 lakh on a public sector bank, Punjab & Sind Bank for non-compliance with certain directions of the central bank.
    • The penalty was for non-compliance with RBI directions on ‘External Benchmark Based Lending’.
    • In a statement, RBI said, “This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.”
    • The penalty comes after when RBI had carried out a statutory inspection for Supervisory Evaluation of the bank concerning its financial position as of March 31, 2020, and the examination of the Risk Assessment Report, Inspection Report, and all related correspondence about the same.
  • NTPC: India’s largest power generating company (genco) NTPC Limited has awarded multiple coal import contracts for 6.25 million tonnes (MT) to Adani Enterprises at a cumulative value of Rs 6,585 crore.
    • The state-owned genco is importing coal to meet the recent directive of the Ministry of Power to blend 10 percent imported coal in order to tackle the domestic coal shortage.
    • The company placed six different tenders and received technical bids from four players – Ahmedabad-based Adi Tradelink, Chennai-based Chettinad Logistics, and Delhi-based Mohit Minerals Ltd along with Adani Enterprises.
    • In March, when the coal crisis erupted, NTPC had issued five tenders for importing 5.75 MT of coal, and all the contracts went to Adani Enterprises.
    • The cumulative amount of these tenders was Rs 8,422 crore. The technical level bidders were the same ones as in the latest round.
  • EPF Deposits: The government has approved an 8.1 percent rate of interest on employees’ provident fund (EPF) deposits for 2021-22 and over a four-decade low for about five crore subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO.
    • Earlier in March this year, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had decided to lower the interest on provident fund deposits for 2021-22 to 8.1 percent from 8.5 percent provided in 2020-21.
    • According to an EPFO office order issued on Friday and reviewed by PTI, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has conveyed the approval of the central government to credit an 8.1 percent rate of interest for 2021-22 to each member of the EPF scheme.
    • The labor ministry had sent the proposal to the Ministry of Finance for its concurrence.
    • Now, after the ratification of the interest rate by the government, the EPFO would start crediting the fixed rate of interest for the fiscal into the EPF accounts.
    • The 8.1 percent EPF rate of interest is the lowest since 1977-78 when it stood at 8 percent.
    • The 8.5 percent interest rate on EPF deposits for 2020-21 was decided by the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) in March 2021.
    • It was ratified by the finance ministry in October 2021.
    • Thereafter, the EPFO issued directions to field offices to credit the interest income at 8.5 percent for 2020-21 into the subscribers’ account.

World


  • World Bank: The World Bank plans to step up assistance to the Solomon Islands with $130 million in new funding for projects and assistance expected to be allocated to the country this month.
    • The funding includes $89 million to upgrade airport infrastructure, including in the capital Honiara, and make improvements to four bridges, the bank said in a statement released on Thursday.
    • A further three projects worth roughly $41 million are still to be finalized but are expected to be announced later in the month.
  • US-China: The efforts of the victims of China’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square 33 years ago will not be forgotten, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
    • Saturday marks the 33rd anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire to end the student-led unrest in and around the square. Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland.
    • In a statement on Saturday Asia time, Blinken termed the crackdown “a brutal assault”.
  • Tesla: Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s “super bad feeling” about the economy could be the auto industry’s “canary in the coal mine” moment, signaling a recession for an industry whose bosses have shown no signs of concern.
    • Musk said the electric carmaker needed to cut about 10% of its workforce in an email to executives seen by Reuters. He later told staff that white-collar ranks were bloated and he would keep hiring workers to make cars and batteries.
    • Musk’s warning is the first loud and public dissent in a united stance by the auto industry that the underlying demand for cars and trucks remains strong despite two years of a global pandemic. One executive this week called the demand “sky high.”
  • Bejing: China will launch a spacecraft on Sunday carrying three astronauts to the core module of the unfinished Chinese space station, where they will work and live for six months as construction enters advanced stages.
    • A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft is set to blast off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the northwestern province of Gansu at 10:44 a.m. local time (0244 GMT) on Sunday, a China Manned Space Agency official told a news conference on Saturday.
    • Mission commander Chen Dong will be accompanied by Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe aboard Shenzhou, meaning “Divine Vessel” in Chinese.
    • Shenzhou-14 will be the third of four crewed missions – and the seventh of a total of 11 missions – needed to complete the space station by the end of the year.

3rd June


India


  • WBBSE: The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on Friday announced the results of the Madhyamik (class 10) examinations which were held between March 7 to March 16.
    • The pass percentage this year stood at 86.60 percent which is an all-time high in the history of Madhyamik examinations.
    • This was the first class 10 board exam that was held after the covid-19 pandemic.
    • In 2020, when the class 10 state board exam was held last time, the pass percentage was 86.34.
    • Last year the exam could not be due to the covid-19 pandemic and all students who had appeared in the exam were declared successful.
  • External Affairs: Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said India’s foreign policy is not sitting on the fence, just because its policy may not be agreeable to some other countries.
    • “I am not sitting on the fence just because I don’t agree with you. It means I am sitting on my ground,” the foreign minister said taking part at GLOBESEC, talking on ‘Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific’.
    • The statement came as the foreign minister was asked about New Delhi’s stance on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and whether India can afford to be sitting on the fence as an emerging world leader. Also Read: ‘When rules-based order was challenged in Asia: Jaishankar replies to Europe.
  • HDFC: Housing mortgage financier HDFC Ltd, has collaborated with Accenture to digitally transform its lending business.
    • The collaboration, which is powered by cloud-native applications, machine learning, automation, and advanced analytics, is expected to revamp HDFC’s customer experience and business processes to provide greater operational agility and efficiency, and drive business growth.
    • The transformation exercise is aimed at making HDFC Ltd.’s lending lifecycle paperless and nimble.
    • A key element of the program is a cloud-native lending platform with digital workflows for every step of the customer journey including application, loan processing, credit underwriting, disbursement, and loan servicing.
    • It leverages a machine learning-based decision engine aimed at improving risk mitigation and driving agility by standardizing the credit underwriting process.
  • Indian Telescope: India has established the first liquid mirror telescope in the country which will identify transient and variable objects such as supernovae, gravitational lenses, space debris, and asteroids.
    • The telescope, which is the largest in Asia, has been set up at Devasthal, a hill in Uttarakhand.
    • The observatory has been built at an altitude of 2450 meters at the Devasthal Observatory campus of Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES).
    • “ILMT is the first liquid-mirror telescope designed exclusively for astronomical observations installed at the Devasthal Observatory of ARIES,” said Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, Director, ARIES.
    • The telescope will aid in the survey of the sky, making it possible to observe several galaxies and other astronomical sources just by staring at the strip of sky that passes overhead.
    • The observatory has been developed by scientists from India, Belgium, and Canada and employs a 4-meter-diameter rotating mirror made up of a thin film of liquid mercury to collect and focus light.

World


  • Russia-Ukraine: Ukraine marked 100 days since Russia’s invasion on Friday with fighting to rage across the east of the country, where Moscow’s forces are tightening their grip on the Donbas.
    • The somber milestone came as Kyiv announced Moscow was now in control of a fifth of Ukrainian territory, including Crimea and parts of the Donbas seized in 2014.
    • After being repelled from around the capital, President Vladimir Putin’s troops have set their sights on capturing eastern Ukraine, prompting warnings the war could drag on.
  • Washington: Actress Amber Heard is unable to pay her ex-husband Johnny Depp more than $10 million in damages, her lawyer said Thursday, after a US jury took the side of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star in a bitter defamation trial.
    • The high-profile televised court battle ended Wednesday when a seven-person jury found that Depp and Heard had defamed each other, but weighed in far more strongly with Depp.
    • The jury, after a six-week trial featuring claims and counterclaims of domestic abuse, awarded him $10.35 million in damages, in contrast with the $2 million awarded to Heard.
  • United Nations: Turkey has told the United Nations that, at the behest of its president, it wishes from now on to be called “Turkiye” in all languages, the UN announced Thursday.
    • He noted that Ankara’s official letter requesting the change had been received at the UN’s New York headquarters on Wednesday.
    • The day before, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavasoglu had tweeted a photo of himself signing the letter, addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
    • “With the letter I sent to the UN Secretary-General today, we are registering our country’s name in foreign languages at the UN as ‘Turkiye,'” he wrote, including an umlaut over the “u”.
  • London: Queen Elizabeth II has notched up a number of landmarks in her record-breaking 70 years on the throne.
    • Elizabeth has reigned for 70 years and nearly four months longer than any other monarch in British history.
    • The previous record was held by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years, seven months, and two days until 1901.
    • At 96, Elizabeth is the oldest current monarch and head of state in the world.
    • Only two kings have ruled for longer: France’s Louis XIV, for more than 72 years between 1643 and 1715, and Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej 70 years and four months, until his death in October 2016.
  • NASA: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected two companies for making the next-generation spacesuits for its Artemis moon program.
    • The mission aims at sending humans back to the lunar surface. These spacesuits will also be used for future International Space Station (ISS) missions.
    • The next-generation spacesuits will be made by Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace. Apart from the astronauts, these spacesuits will be worn by crew members on the ISS.
    • Notably, Axiom Space had also organized commercial flights to the ISS.
    • “History will be made with the suits when we get to the Moon. We will have our first person of color and our first woman that will be wearers and users of these suits in space,” Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston said in a statement.

2nd June


India


  • Gold Rates: Gold prices in India decreased sharply on June 1, 2022. Today, the gold price in India for 24-carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 50,610 while 22-carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 46,360.
    • Yesterday, the gold price in India for 24-carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 51,120 while 22-carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 46,380.
    • Fluctuation in gold prices was observed in different metro cities of India in the last 24 hours. Gold price today in Chennai for 24 carats (10 grams) is Rs 52,285 while the 22 carat (10 grams) is Rs 47,927.
  •  NEET PG: The National Board of Examinations (NBE) has announced the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2022, informed Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday.
    • The National Board of Examinations (NBE) has announced the results of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Postgraduate (NEET-PG) 2022, informed Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday.
    • The NEET PG 2022 examination was conducted on 21 May at 849 centers. A total of 1,82,318 candidates had appeared.
  • Vistara: India’s aviation regulator has fined Air Vistara ₹10 lakh for violating safety regulations.
    • The airline has been fined by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for letting an improperly trained pilot land a flight at Madhya Pradesh’s Indore airport with passengers on board.
    • The pilot, who was the first officer on the flight, landed the aircraft at the Indore airport recently without first getting the requisite training in a simulator, they said.
    • “This was a serious violation endangering lives of the passengers on board,” an official said.
  • RBSE: The Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) conducted the class 12 board exams from March 24 to April 26 in the morning shift from 8:30 am to 11:45 am.
    • The practicals were held from February 15 to 28, 2022 which were scheduled to be conducted in January but were postponed due to the third wave of Covid-19.
    • In 2021, the board examination was not conducted due to the pandemic situation.
    • The overall passing percentage recorded by the board was 99.97 percent of which commerce stream students recorded the highest passing percentage of  99.73 percent, science at 99.48, and arts at 99,19 percent.
  • ExpressVPN: While slamming the April 29 directions of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), virtual private network (VPN) service provider ExpressVPN announced that it has removed its Indian-based VPN servers.
    • Under the new directions, service providers will have to store users’ names, IP addresses assigned to them, usage patterns, and other data.
    • ExpressVPN said that the directions are “incompatible with the purpose of VPNs, which are designed to keep users’ online activity private”.
    • However, the reason behind the removal of the India-based servers is not just a policy-based decision for ExpressVPN.
    • The VPN service said that its servers are specifically designed to not store logs.
  • Kabul: India has sent a team of senior diplomats to Afghanistan for the first time since the embassy of India was evacuated last August following the arrival of the Taliban in the Afghan capital Kabul.
    • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in an announcement on Wednesday said the team of officials led by J.P. Singh, Joint Secretary of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran division in the Ministry, will hold talks with the Taliban representatives regarding the humanitarian requirements on the ground.
    • “During the visit, the team will meet representatives of the international organizations involved in the distribution of the humanitarian assistance. In addition, the team is expected to visit various places where Indian programs/projects are being implemented,” the official announcement said.
    • India shut down its embassy in Kabul as well as consulates in cities such as Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif last year as the Taliban took overpower.
  • NBFCs: Bank credit to NBFCs grew double-digit in FY22 with outstanding bank credit to them rising by 10.4 percent to Rs 10.5 lakh crore on the back of improvement in overall economic activities and banks’ renewed focus on the NBFC sector following improvement in their balance sheets, says a report.
    • In absolute terms, according to an analysis by Care Ratings, bank credit to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) expanded by Rs 99,000 crore in FY22, from FY21.
    • The number does not include liquidity given by banks to them through the securitization route (direct assignment and pass-through certificates) and also banks’ investments in NBFCs’ debt instruments.
    • Meanwhile, mutual funds’ debt exposure through commercial papers (CPs) and corporate bonds, to NBFCs rose 14.3 percent to Rs 1.7 lakh crore in FY22 as NBFCs issued more CPs to fund IPOs and as they shifted from long-term to short-term investments on the expectation of a hike in interest rates.

World


  • United States: BTS met US President Joe Biden at the White House on Tuesday.
    • A picture featuring all BTS members and Biden from their meeting has now surfaced online.
    • In the photo, dressed in black suits, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook are seen striking the popular finger heart pose with the US president.
    • BTS discussed anti-Asian hate crimes, Asian inclusion, and diversity during their appearance at the James S Brady Briefing Room on Tuesday.
  • Russia: The planned delivery of new US weapons to Ukraine, including advanced missile systems, increases the risk of drawing the United States into direct conflict with Russia, Moscow said Wednesday.
    • On Tuesday, Washington said it will be supplying Ukraine with advanced missile systems, including the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system that can simultaneously launch multiple precision-guided missiles.
    • Both Ukraine and Russia already operate multiple-launch rockets systems, but the HIMARS has superior range and precision.
    • The HIMARS system that Washington is providing to Ukraine will have a range of about 80 kilometers (50 miles).
  • NASA: In the latest development, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has chosen two companies to develop ‘spacesuits’ for its Artemis lunar program as well as upcoming International Space Station (ISS) operations.
    • According to a press release, NASA has picked “Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace” for providing advanced spacewalking skills in low-Earth orbit and on the Moon by purchasing services that will equip astronauts with next-generation spacesuits and spacewalk systems to operate outside the ISS, to explore the lunar surface on Artemis missions, and to prepare for human missions to Mars.
    • Under Artemis, NASA’s expertise, combined with private innovation, will enable ongoing study at the orbiting laboratory as well as long-term human exploration of the Moon, which would include the landing of the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the moon. 

1st June


India


  • Turkey: Turkish authorities have denied permission to Indian wheat consignment over phytosanitary concerns, prompting a ship to initiate its return journey on May 29, traders were quoted as saying by S&P Global Commodity Insights on Tuesday.
    • According to the S&P Global Commodity Insights report, the MV Ince Akdeniz loaded with 56,877 tonnes of durum wheat is now headed back to Kandla port in Gujarat from Turkey.
    • Turkey’s decision comes at a time when international buyers have been looking to secure supplies of wheat.
    • The global supply of wheat has been severely affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the two countries account for one-fourth of the global wheat trade.
  • Maharashtra: The performance of students in Class 12 and the Common Entrance Test (CET) in Maharashtra will be considered equally while declaring the merit list for undergraduate professional and technical courses from the next academic year, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant has said.
    • Talking to reporters on Tuesday in Pune, where he held meetings with officials of various educational institutes, the minister said the new system would be introduced from the next academic year, 2023-24, and not this year.
    • Currently, admissions to courses like engineering, law, and others are based on the CET marks. Samant said under the new system, only CET marks will not be considered for admissions to professional courses.
  • Mumbai: Testing for Covid will be ramped up in Mumbai as the test positivity rate in the city has jumped to six percent, the civic body Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, or BMC, said today.
    • It has asked officials to immediately increase testing “on war footing”. Testing labs have also been asked to be proactive and fully staffed.
    • “Daily new cases have tremendously increased in Mumbai, with monsoon around the corner, we will now see a rapid rise in symptomatic cases,” it warned.
    • The BMC has further asked for the vaccination drive in the 12-18 years category, and booster doses, to be pushed aggressively.
    • Fearing another sharp rise in symptomatic cases, the civic body has asked for jumbo field hospitals to be kept adequately staffed and on alert now.
  • Textiles Exports: India recorded its highest-ever textiles and apparel exports in the financial year 2021-22 at USD 44.4 billion, the government said on Tuesday.
    • The exports tally, which also includes handicrafts, indicates a substantial increase of 41 percent and 26 percent over corresponding figures in FY21 and FY20, respectively.
    • The USA was the top export destination for the country’s textiles and apparel shipments accounting for 27 percent share, followed by the European Union (18 percent), Bangladesh (12 percent), and UAE (6 percent), the textiles ministry said.
    • “In terms of product categories, the export of cotton textiles was USD 17.2 billion with 39 percent share registering a growth of 54 percent and 67 percent during 2021-22 over FY21 and FY20, respectively,” an official statement said.
  • GST: Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections fell to Rs 1.41 lakh crore in May, down 16 percent from April’s all-time high of Rs 1.68 lakh crore, data released on June 1 by the finance ministry showed.
    • On a year-on-year basis, GST collections in May were up 44 percent.
    • “The collection in the month of May, which pertains to the returns for April, the first month of the financial year, has always been lesser than that in April, which pertains to the returns for March, the closing of the financial year,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
    • Of the total GST collections in May, Central GST was Rs 25,036 crore, State GST was Rs 32,001 crore, Integrated GST was Rs 73,345 crore, and compensation cess was Rs 10,502 crore.
    • In May, the government settled Rs 27,924 crore to Central GST and Rs 23,123 crore to State GST from Integrated GST.
    • As a result, the total revenue for the month after the settlement was Rs 52,960 crore for the Centre and Rs 55,124 crore for State GST.
  • Indian GDP: India’s economy grew 4.1 percent year-on-year in the January-March period of 2021-22 (Q4 FY22), even as the rate of growth slowed sequentially for a third straight quarter with the Omicron wave-induced restrictions and high commodity prices weighing on economic activities.
    • The National Statistics Office on Tuesday pared down the overall growth estimate for FY22 to 8.7 percent from the 8.8 percent projected in February.
    • In FY22, all sectors except trade, hotels, and communication services were above the pre-pandemic levels of FY20.
    • Growth in private final consumption expenditure, or private spending, decelerated sequentially in Q4 to 1.8 percent, proving to be the weakest link.
    • Government spending, however, picked up to grow at 4.8 percent, supporting overall growth.
    • Gross fixed capital formation, which represents investment demand in the economy, slowed to 5.1 percent.
    • On the supply side, the manufacturing sector contracted 0.2 percent in the March quarter due to supply chain disruptions, while agriculture growth (4.1 percent) remained robust despite the third advance estimates projecting a decline in wheat output due to the ongoing heatwave.

World


  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is planning the world’s largest buildings in a mostly unpopulated part of the country as part of an entirely new $500 billion development called NEOM.
    • NEOM, the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, aims to build twin skyscrapers about 500 meters (1,640 feet) tall that stretch horizontally for dozens of miles.
    • The skyscrapers would house a mix of residential, retail, and office space running from the Red Sea coast into the desert.
  • China: China has made the second-largest incursion into Taiwan’s air defense zone this year with Taipei reporting 30 jets entering the area, including more than 20 fighters.
    • Taiwan’s defense ministry said late Monday it had scrambled its own aircraft and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the latest Chinese activity.
    • In recent years, Beijing has begun sending large sorties into Taiwan’s defense zone to signal dissatisfaction and to keep Taipei’s aging fighter fleet regularly stressed.
  • Fiji: Ten Pacific island nations rebuffed China’s push for a wide-ranging regional security pact Monday, amid worries the proposal was designed to pull them into Beijing’s orbit.
    • Talks in Fiji between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and leaders from the small island nations failed to reach an agreement, in a high-profile diplomatic setback for Beijing.
    • China is offering to radically ramp up its activities in the South Pacific, directly challenging the influence of the United States and its allies in the strategically vital region.
  • Ukraine War: As Russia continues its war on Ukraine, US president Joe Biden is set to provide Kyiv with advanced rocket systems that can strike with ‘precision’ at long-range Russian targets.
    • The $700 million weapons package is likely to be unveiled on Wednesday.
    • According to officials, the weapons have Himars, high mobility artillery rocket systems that can hit targets that are as far away as 80 km (50 miles).
    • The weapons package also includes ammunition, counterfire radars, a number of air surveillance radars, additional Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as anti-armor weapons.
  • Russia-Ukraine: European Union leaders have agreed to ban more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports, tightening economic screws on the country even as Moscow’s forces press their offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
    • Leaders of the 27-nation bloc had met to negotiate the long-sought deal earlier on May 30 in Brussels, amid concerns raised by Hungary and other neighboring countries reliant on Russian fuel.
    • Participants in the EU summit on May 30 hatched a compromise deal that exempts deliveries by pipeline from the oil import ban after Hungarian President Victor Orban warned halting supplies would wreck the country’s economy.
  • Sydney: Australia’s new federal ministry was sworn into office on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appointing a record number of women to a diverse cabinet team that includes religious minorities and Indigenous Aboriginals.
    • A total of 10 women were included in Albanese’s 23-member cabinet, surpassing the seven in the previous Liberal-National coalition government led by Scott Morrison.
    • Industry Minister Ed Husic and Youth Minister Anne Aly became Australia’s first Muslim federal minister at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra, while Linda Burney, wearing a kangaroo-skin cloak, became the first Aboriginal woman to hold the Indigenous Australians ministry.
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s headline inflation quickened more than expected in May amid continuing food and fuel shortages, even as the country struggles to lift itself out of its worst economic crisis.
    • Consumer prices in the capital Colombo rose 39.1 percent from a year ago, the Department of Census and Statistics said in a statement on Tuesday.
    • That’s faster than the median 35 percent climb forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey and is the highest level on record.
    • Food inflation surged 57.4 percent, while prices of non-food items jumped 30.6 percent, the data showed.
  • Hubble Space Telescope: Researchers have used data gathered from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Gemini North Telescope, and NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility to explain the differences between the colors of Uranus and Neptune.
    • Researchers have developed a single atmospheric model, that is consistent with the observations of both the ice giants in the Solar System.
    • The model shows that Uranus has an excess of haze that builds up in its stagnant, sluggish atmosphere, which causes a lighter tone than Neptune.
    • Uranus and Neptune have similar masses, sizes, and atmospheric compositions, yet Uranus is a pale cyan while Neptune is a deep azure.
    • For the first time, scientists may have an explanation for why these similar planets appear so different.
  • UK Work Visa: A new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa path has been established in the United Kingdom, allowing graduates from the top 50 non-UK universities to stay and work in the nation for a minimum of two years.
    • The work visa for a Ph.D. or other doctoral qualification will be for at least three years.
    • Those who have difficulty extending their HPI visa will be able to move to another visa, such as a Skilled Worker visa, according to UK government rules.
    • The new HPI visa route will cost roughly 715 pounds ($900) and would allow students to bring dependents or close family members into the country.
    • International students studying at any of the top universities in the UK are already entitled to stay for up to three years under the Graduate visa, also known as a post-study work visa, which was introduced in July 2021.
Read More
Advertisement

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.