Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 16th June 2024

National News 

1.Madhya Pradesh launched PM Shri Tourism Air Service 

  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav has inaugurated the intra-state air service facility ‘PM Shri Tourism Air Service’. 
  • He inaugurated the first flight under the service from the Bhopal airport. 
  • The service operated by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB) with two aircraft will connect eight cities across the State — Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Ujjain, Rewa, and Singrauli. 
  • According to an official statement, the new venture has been started on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis with a private firm named Jet Serv Aviation Private Limited (Flyola). 
  • A 50% discount has been offered for 30 days from launch to promote the service. The trip from Bhopal to Indore will take 55 minutes. 

About PM Shri Tourism Air Service 

  • The PM Shri Tourism Air Service is an intra-state air service that connects the state’s religious and tourist spots by air. 
  • It aims to improve connectivity for domestic and international tourists visiting Madhya Pradesh. 
  • Madhya Pradesh Tourism has launched the PM Shri Tourism Air Service in partnership with JETSERVE Aviation Private Limited. 
  • The PM Shri Tourism Air Service will connect eight cities in the state: Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Rewa, Ujjain, Gwalior, Singrauli, and Khajuraho. 
  • Under the PM Shri Tourism Air Service, there will be two aircraft with a six-passenger capacity each. 

2. UP govt to turn Ranipur Tiger Reserve into eco-tourism hub 

  • The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh will transform the Ranipur Tiger Reserve in Chitrakoot into a premier eco-tourism destination. 
  • The plan includes allocating an estimated Rs 38 lakh for upgrading tourist facilities within the reserve and enhancing infrastructure in the surrounding buffer zone. 
  • To facilitate these efforts, directives have been issued by the office of the Deputy Director of the Ranipur Tiger Reserve/Divisional Officer in Chitrakoot. 
  • Spanning over a 230 sq km area, Ranipur Tiger Reserve is the fourth tiger reserve in Uttar Pradesh and the 53rd nationwide. 
  • The primary focus of tourist amenities, currently under development in the Ranipur Tiger Reserve, is the luxury tent area. This space aims to allow visitors to immerse themselves in the unparalleled beauty of nature while enjoying top-notch amenities. 
  • In addition to upgrading civic amenities within the forest, the plan entails developing lawn areas and designated parking spaces. 

About Uttar Pradesh 

  • Capital – Lucknow 
  • Chief Minister – Yogi Adityanath 
  • Governor – Anandiben Patel 

3. Oracle to support the training of two lakh students in India 

  • Cloud major Oracle will support the training of two lakh students in India in cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies. 
  • Teachers and academicians will deliver the training as part of the curriculum on campus. Specific modules will be offered as a digital learning experience through Oracle MyLearn. 
  • The company and Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation have launched a specialised programme under the state’s massive skill enhancement initiative, Naan Mudhalvan, to provide employment-linked training to students in the state. 
  • Since the introduction, over 60,000 students representing engineering, arts, and science streams from more than 900 colleges have registered. 
  • The programme will provide students and professionals with a foundation in cloud computing and a better understanding of other core concepts such as AI, machine learning (ML), data science, or blockchain. 

4. Pocket version of Constitution flies off the shelves 

  • Gopal Sankaranarayanan, senior advocate at the Supreme Court, is glad that his idea of bringing out a coat-pocket edition of the Constitution to create awareness of, and generate interest in, constitutional laws is finally flourishing in circles beyond legal. 
  • Talking to The Hindu, he said it was not quite his concern how the message of protecting the Constitution reached the masses. He was happy that this election brought into focus "the empowering and essential document every citizen needs to keep at home and have easy access to". 
  • The recent rise in sales of the coat-pocket edition started to some extent after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi flaunted the book with the red black cover at his election campaigns last month and was falsely accused by leaders of the BJP of promoting the Chinese Constitution. It helped to raise a general curiosity among people, and also gave a shot in the arm to the Luck now-based publishers, the Eastern Book Company (EBC), to boost sales in the last quarter. 
  • According to one of the EBC directors, Sumeet Malik, the 16th edition of the sleek book in print this year has already sold more than 5,000 copies between February and May. In the past, the print run was low with the book selling 3,000 to 4,000 copies a year mostly among lawyers and in law schools. "In 2024, a bulk order was also placed by the Congress office," he said. In the law book trade, any order above 100 is bulk and there has been a demand for multiple batches of 80 to 100 copies from the Congress this year. 
  • Confirming this, the Congress national coordinator (SC, ST, OBC, Minorities Cell), K. Raju, said the idea of Mr. Gandhi carrying a pocket-size Constitution to election rallies and also the post-result press conference had not been merely symbolic. "It was a gesture that will continue and keep reminding the people of their rights and recognising the power to be aware," Mr. Raju said. The copies of the coatpocket edition have been distributed among the party workers and other people as well, he added. 
  • The idea of a small-sized edition that would "fit easily in the coat pocket of lawyers" was pitched by Mr. Sankaranarayanan when he found an increasing number of young lawyers not clued in what the constitutional laws were. It prompted him to publish the first edition in 2009. The design team at EBC worked with him on printing the 624-page book in the lightweight expensive Bible paper with gilt edges and an imported flexibound soft touch cover in red with black border and gold lettering. The price of the book in the past decade has doubled from ₹450 to 2875. "The Preamble of the Constitution starts with the three most powerful words, We The People… and the Constitution is returning to where it belongs, the people; the common citizenry is willing to spend and buy a copy," Mr. Malik said. 
  • Mr. Sankaranarayanan, over the years, has been gifting copies of his book to judges and lawyers, students of various academic institutions, and even players of the Indian cricket team. "People have to fight against excesses of the government when Constitutional values are subverted by political parties," he said, and recalled that when the nine-judge Bench of the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Article 31C in April, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud lauded the coat-pocket edition for its easy availability, quick reference, and making a presence in political circles. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted a copy to President Ram Nath Kovind after he assumed office in 2017. The publishers presented the book to Home Minister Amit Shah earlier this year. 

5. World Bank partners with Chennai for Zero Waste Goal 

  • The World Bank will lend support to the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to achieve sustainable waste management in the city. 
  • The World Bank held discussions on solid waste management with officials of the State government and the GCC to stop waste dumping in Kodungaiyur by 2026-2027. 
  • In a bid to achieve sustainable waste management, the GCC intends to take initiatives to minimise the amount of solid waste that is disposed of on landfills or through incineration. 

About World Bank 

  • Founded – 1944 
  • Headquarters – Washington Dc 
  • President – Ajay Banga 
  • MD & CFO – Anshula Kant 
  • Chief Economist – Indermit Gill 
  • Executive Director – Rajesh Khullar 
  • Member Countries -189 

World Bank Group – 5 (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA and ICSID) 

  1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) 
  2. International Development Association (IDA) 
  3. International Finance Corporation (IFC) 
  4. Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) 
  5. International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) 

6. Centre launches portal to ecologically monitor Ganga 

  • The Union Jal Shakti Ministry launched an e-flow ecological monitoring system that allows real-time monitoring of river quality. This will aid the planning and monitoring of projects, river water quality, and other key parameters, according to officials. 
  • The Environmental flows (E-flows) monitoring system has been developed by the National Mission for Clean Ganga, an arm of the Jal Shakti Ministry, and was launched in the presence of Jal Shakti Minister C.R. Patil on Friday. Along with real-time analysis of the water quality of the Ganga, Yamuna, and their tributaries, it also allows monitoring of the Namami Gange programme activities at the central level. 
  • This includes monitoring the performance of sewage treatment plants (STPs), and ensuring that they operate at their rated capacity. River water quality is also monitored at various locations. The Namami Gange programme is a flagship programme of the Ministry that involved cleaning the Ganga, and now includes its tributaries. 
  • "The launch of the E-flow Monitoring System marks a significant step towards ensuring the continuous and sustainable flow of the Ganga. Utilizing data from quarterly reports by the Central Water Commission, the system will track key parameters such as in- flow, outflow, and mandated E-flow across 11 projects along the Ganga MainStream," the Ministry said.
  • Mr. Patil, who took charge of the Ministry this week, said that he would focus on completing the ongoing projects under the Namami Gange Mission, including those involving the Ganga and its tributaries, within the stipulated time frame. 
  • He highlighted the need for innovative solutions to address emerging challenges, and outlined a commitment to developing new strategies and visions for areas currently without river rejuvenation programmes. During the event, the Minister also reviewed the progress of the cleaning projects under the Namami Gange programme aiming to ensure the uninterrupted flow and cleanliness of the Ganga. In 2018, the Centre mandated minimum e-flow for various stretches of the Ganga to be maintained year-round. 
  • This was after concerns were raised by several environmentalist groups that dams of the river were impeding its flow and destroying its ecology. 

7. WHO Recognises 3rd Indian Institute for Traditional Medicine Research 

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated National Institute of Indian Medical Heritage (NIIMH) in Hyderabad, under the Ministry of Ayush, as a WHO Collaborating Centre (CC) for traditional medicine research. 
  • NIIMH, Hyderabad is a unit under the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) which will now work as a WHO centre for ‘Fundamental and Literary Research in Traditional Medicine’. 
  • This recognition has been granted for a period of four years. 
  • CCRAS-NIIMH, Hyderabad, joins the ranks as the third WHO Collaborating Centre in the domain of traditional medicine, followed by the Institute for Teaching & Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar, and the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga (MDNIY), New Delhi. 

About NIIMH, Hyderabad 

  • Established in 1956, the institute has been a pioneer in various digital initiatives of Ayush, including the AMAR Portal, which catalogues 16,000 Ayush manuscripts, featuring 4,249 digitised manuscripts, 1,224 rare books, 14,126 catalogues, and 4,114 periodicals. 
  • The Showcase of Ayurvedic Historical Imprints (SAHI) Portal showcases 793 medico-historical artefacts, while the e-books of Ayush project provide digital versions of classical textbooks. 
  • The NAMASTE Portal collects cumulative morbidity statistics from 168 hospitals, and the Ayush Research Portal indexes 42,818 published Ayush research articles. 

International News 

8. Pakistani delegates to visit J&K to review power projects 

  • A five-member delegation from Pakistan, along with neutral delegates of the World Bank, is scheduled to visit Jammu and Kashmir from June 17 to 28, in the wake of Pakistan's objection under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) of 1960 to at least 10 hydroelectric power projects under way in the Union Territory. 
  • A government official on Saturday appointed 25 liaison officers for the visit by neutral experts, along with "delegations from India and Pakistan". The officers were directed to report to the office of the Managing Director, Jammu & Kashmir Power Development Corporation, Jammu and Srinagar, respectively, "for briefing about the duties and responsibilities during the visit". 
  • Sources said that a joint inspection of several power projects in the Union Territory by the delegates is likely during the tour. 
  • This is the first time since the Centre ended J&K's special status in 2019 that the Union government is facilitating the visit of a Pakistani delegation to the territory to "work towards resolving outstanding issues through coordination and dialogue". 
  • The Pakistani delegation's visit is also a departure from the previous stand, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hinted at revoking the IWT on several occasions. 

9. G7 agrees on $50 billion loan to support Ukraine against Russia 

  • Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy democracies have agreed to provide a $50 billion loan to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia. 
  • The deal, struck at a summit in Italy’s Apulia region, uses profits from frozen Russian central bank assets as collateral. 
  • This funding, known as the “Extraordinary Revenue Acceleration (ERA) Loans for Ukraine,” aims to support Ukraine’s military, budget, and reconstruction needs. The funds are expected to be available by the end of the year. 

New rules let Beijing detain foreigners in South China Sea 

  • New Chinese coast guard rules took effect on Saturday, under which it can detain foreigners for trespassing in the disputed South China Sea, where neighbors and the G-7 have accused Beijing of intimidation and coercion. 
  • Beijing claims almost the entirety of the South China Sea, brushing aside competing claims from several Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines and an international ruling that its stance has no legal basis. 
  • Detention upto 60 days From Saturday, China's coast guard can detain foreigners "suspected of violating management of border entry and exit", according to the new regulations published online. 
  • Detention is allowed up to 60 days in "complicated cases", they say. "Foreign ships that have illegally entered China's territorial waters and the adjacent waters may be detained," the coast guard added. 

Sports News 

10. Gudakesh Motie and Chamari Athapaththu named ICC Players of the Month for May 

  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for May 2024. 
  • Gudakesh Motie of the West Indies as the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for May 2024. 
  • The left-arm spinner played a pivotal role in the West Indies’ impressive series win over touring South Africa, providing a promising build-up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. 
  • In the women’s category, Chamari Athapaththu of Sri Lanka has been named the ICC Women’s Player of the Month for May 2024. 
  • The Sri Lankan captain’s outstanding performances propelled her team to qualify for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 in Bangladesh later this year. 
  • This marks Athapaththu’s second ICC Women’s Player of the Month accolade, having previously won the award in September 2023. Her remarkable form continues as she recently claimed the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2023. 

ICC Men’s Player of the Month 

  • January 2024 – Shamar Joseph (West Indies) 
  • February 2024 — Yashasvi Jaiswal (India) 
  • March 2024 – Kamindu Mendis (Sri Lanka) 
  • April 2024 – Muhammad Waseem (UAE) 

ICC Women’s Player of the Month 

  • January 2024 – Amy Hunter (Ireland) 
  • February 2024 – Annabel Sutherland (Australia) 
  • March 2024 – Maia Bouchier (England) 
  • April 2024 – Hayley Matthews (West Indies) 

Important day 

11. 15 June – World Wind Day 

  • Global Wind Day is observed on 15 June every year. 
  • Objective – To raise awareness about the importance of wind energy and its power to alter the globe. It is an effort to promote the use of wind energy as a sustainable and renewable source of energy. 
  • The first Wind Day was celebrated in 2007 by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). The event reached 18 European nations and was observed by approximately 35,000 individuals. Wind Day attracted 100,000 participants from 20 European countries in 2008. 

Obituary News

12. Distinguished football coach TK Chathunni dies 

  • Former Kerala footballer TK Chathunni, who made a name for himself as a renowned coach, died at the age of 75 in Kochi. 
  • He was a top-rated defender during the 1960s and 1970s and also played for India during the Merdeka Tournament 1973 in Kuala Lumpur. 
  • Having featured in six international matches for India, he also played for clubs like EME Centre (Secundrabad), Vasco Club (Goa) and Orkay Mills (Mumbai), besides also featuring for Services in the National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy.

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