Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 17th June 2024

National News 

1. Two-Day India-IORA Cruise Tourism Conference Concludes in New Delhi 

  • The two-day India-IORA Cruise Tourism Conference concluded in New Delhi. 
  • Officials and experts from the Indian Ocean Rim Association, IORA Member States including Bangladesh, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Seychelles and Tanzania participated in the Conference. 
  • The Conference provided a platform for stakeholders to share best practices and policy initiatives towards developing and strengthening the cruise tourism sector in IORA Member States. 
  • Discussions covered infrastructure development, regulatory issues, sustainable tourism, employment generation, inclusion of women and business opportunities among others. 

2. External Affairs Ministry signed MoU with SBI to enhance digital payment services for eMigrate portal users 

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the State Bank of India (SBI) signed MoU to enhance digital payment services for users of the eMigrate portal. 
  • This MoU will become operational following the successful integration of SBI’s payment gateway, SBIePay, with the eMigrate portal. 
  • The integration of SBIePay with the eMigrate portal will allow Indian migrant workers, Recruiting Agents (RAs), and other users to make various emigration-related payments with ease. 
  • This includes transactions via UPI, credit/debit cards, and NEFT through net banking of all Indian banks, all with no transaction charges. 
  • The eMigrate project, launched in 2014, was designed to support Indian workers heading to Emigration Check Required (ECR) countries for employment. 
  • By making the emigration process online and transparent, it aimed to simplify and secure the migration experience. 

3. 'NCERT changed Ayodhya lessons based on SC order’ 

  • Three months after the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) dropped references of the Babri Masjid demolition and gave added emphasis to the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple movement in its Class 12 political science textbook, its Director, Dinesh Saklani, said on Sunday that changes were made by experts as the books did not want to create "violent and depressed" citizens. 
  • Mr. Saklani said he was not directly involved in making the changes and the experts did what they deemed fit as per 'global practices', of screening for old text and revising it to new text. He said the Babri Masjid reference removal was in line with the Supreme Court verdict. 
  • The latest edition of the textbook that was introduced after the changes were announced three months ago, does not refer to the Babri Masjid by its name and calls it a "three- domed structure". 
  • "The experts took a call on what to call it or what 
  • Different view: Latest Class 12 роdemolished Babri Masjid only as a not to call it," Mr. Saklani said. 
  • He defended the change by saying that the NCERT book was a "small book", and if some student or anyone else was interested in researching the topic further they could "read about it from elsewhere". "We cannot stop people who are curious from reading and researching," he added. 
  • In Chapter 8, "Recent developments in Indian politics", of the Class 12 political science textbook, the existing version on Page 136 reads What is the legacy of the Ram Janambhoomi movement and the Ayodhya demolition for the nature of political mobilization? This sentence in the revised textbooks will read What is the legacy of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement? The NCERT said the change was being made "to bring the initial questions in synchronization with internal latest changes made in the chapter". 
  • On dropping reference to the Babri Masjid demolition in the same chapter, on Page 139, the existing version reads, "Fourth, a number of events culmi- nated in the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya (known as Babri Masjid) in December 1992. This event symbolized and triggered various changes in the politics of the country and intensified debates about the nature of Indian nationalism and secularism. These developments are associated with the rise of the BJP and the politics Hindutva'." of ' 
  • However, the changed version, the NCERT has stated, will read, "Fourth, the centuries-old legal and political dispute over the Ram Janmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya started influencing the politics of India, which gave birth to various political changes. The Ram Janmabhoomi Temple Movement, becoming the central issue, transformed the direction of the discourse on secularism and democracy. 
  • These changes culminated in the construction of the Ram Temple at Ayodhya following the decision of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court which was announced on (November 9, 2019)." "The text on Ayodhya issue has been thoroughly revised because of the latest changes brought by the Supreme Court's Constitutional Bench verdict and its widespread welcoming reception," the NCERT had said in its rationale for revising content in textbooks earlier. 
  • In another stark change, the Class 11 political science textbook has dropped the reference of Muslims killed in post-Godhra riots. 

International News 

4. Canada and India are committed to working together on some 'important issues': Trudeau 

  • India and Canada agreed to "work together" to deal with some "very important issues'', Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday. Mr. Trudeau's statement comes after he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-7 Outreach Summit in Italy. This is the first time the two have met since the Canadian Prime Minister went public with his allegations that Indian "government agents'' planned the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen and Khalistani separatist wanted on terror charges in India. 
  • U.S. NSA visit On Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is expected to arrive in Delhi to discuss India-U.S. cooperation in strategic, technological, and intelligence areas with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval. The NSAs will meet for the first time since the U.S. released details of a case allegedly involving Indian security officials in a plot to assassinate Gurparwant Singh Pannun, another Khalistani separatist wanted in India. 
  • The Modi-Trudeau meeting came just a few days before the one year mark since Mr. Nijjar was shot dead outside a gurdwara at Surrey in Canada on June 18, which sent bi lateral ties into a downward spiral. Neither Mr. Trudeau nor Mr. Modi referred directly to the investigation into the killing and the allegations by Canada, which the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has called "absurd" and "motivated".
  • "I'm not going to get into the details of this important, sensitive issue that we need to follow up, but this was a commitment to work together, in the coming times, to deal with some very important issues," Mr. Trudeau told mediaper sons in Fasano, Italy on Saturday. 
  • The MEA did not issue any statement on the change that took place just after the group photo for the G-7 Outreach leaders, and was captured in a single photo released on PM Modi's X account that simply said that he had "met" the Canadian Prime Minister. The U.S. trial on the alleged Pannun plot and the Canadian trial on Nij jar's death are expected to begin in the next few months. 
  • While the MEA announced a "high-level" inquiry into the U.S. allegations more than six months ago, it has consistently refused to Concept the Canadian charges. "To date, we have never received anything which is specific and worthy of being pursued by our investigative agencies, and I'm not aware anything has. changed in the last few days, in that regard," External Affairs Minister S. Jaish ankar said at an interaction in May this year, reacting to news that Canada had announced a fourth arrest of an Indian for Nijjar's kill. 
  • He also drew a negative comparison between the U.S. and "another country in the same continent, [a] little bit to the north" (referring to Canada), on the issue of dealing with Khal istani groups. According to officials, India was informed of the arrests, but said that all four Indians arrested have not so far requested consular access. 
  • In an email exchange, Canada's Foreign Ministry, called Global Affairs Canada, contested Mr. Jaishan kar's contentions. 
  • "Since Canada became aware of the credible allegations, and we have consistently provided all the information we can to India on the Nijjar case, through multiple channels," said spokesperson Charlotte MacLeod, in response to a number of questions from The Hindu that Global Affairs Canada did not answer. 
  • Unlike the U.S. justice system, the Canadian system does not reveal evidence in the case prior to the trial in "public indictments". Even so, several Canadian media reports indicate a consistent drip of information on leads that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Department of Justice (Dof) are following. 

5. Two steps back India needs to close the gender gap in education and politics 

  • Gender parity may be climbing upwards worldwide with the global gender gap standing at 68.5% closed in 2024, but the glacial pace of change it was 68.4% in 2023 is a grim statistic. At this rate, it will take 134 years to reach full parity, the Global Gender Gap report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) last week pointed out, "roughly five generations beyond the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target". 
  • Iceland maintains its number 1 rank (93.5%), and is also the only economy to have closed over 90% of its gender gap. India has slipped two places to 129 out of 146 countries. Last year, it was ranked 127, after having jumped eight places from 135 in 2022. 
  • India has closed 64.1% of its gender gap in 2024, the report noted, leaving policy-makers with a huge window of opportunity to do better. The "slight regression," according to the report, is mainly due to "small declines" in the spheres of education and political empowerment. With a population of over 140 crore, even two steps back mean staggering numbers. Though India, it pointed out, had shown a slight improvement in economic participation and opportunity for the last few years, it would need 6.2 percentage points more to match its 2012 score of 46%. 
  • One way of achieving the objective will be through bridging gender gaps in, say, the labor force participation rate (45.9%). To do that, a slew of measures must be in place, from ensuring that girls do not drop out of higher education, providing them job skills, ensuring safety at the workplace, and helping them keep a job after marriage by sharing responsibility for chores at home. In education, the gap between men and women's literacy rate is 17.2 percentage points wide, leaving India ranked 124th on this indicator. India has fared better in the political empowerment index, but women's representation in Parliament continues to be low.
  • For confirmation, look no further than the newly elected Lok Sabha. Close to 800 women contestants were in the fray, but the number of women Members of Parliament has dipped to 74 from 78 (2019) of 543 members, which is 13.6% of the total. These numbers are not a good sign in the backdrop of the Women's Reservation Bill, 2023, yet to come into effect, which aims to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and State legislative Assemblies for women. All under-performing countries, including India, must heed WEF Managing Director Saadia Zahi-di's words, calling for "Governments to strengthen the framework conditions needed for business and civil society to work together to make gender parity an economic imperative". 

6. India refuses to endorse Ukraine meet statement 

  • Only proposals acceptable to both Russia and Ukraine can lead to peace, said India as New Delhi decided to disassociate itself from the final document issued at the conclusion of a Peace Summit in Switzerland on Sunday. 
  • India was among at least seven countries that refused to endorse the "Joint Communique on a Peace Framework" released in Burgenstock, the venue of the two-day summit. 
  • The communique, which called for the protection of Ukraine's "territorial integrity" and was built on Ukraine's peace formula and the UN charter and resolutions, was thus far signed by more 
  • Swiss President Viola Amherd; Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West), External Affairs Ministry; and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the summit on peace in Ukraine, AFP than 80 countries. 
  • "Our participation in the summit and continued engagement with all stakeholders is with a view to understanding different perspectives, approaches and options to find a way forward for a sustainable resolution of the conflict; in our view, only those options acceptable to both parties can lead to abiding peace," Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, said. 
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Summit, but Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited, with Swiss officials saying Russia could join a future conference on the "road mapto peace. Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico and the UAE were among the countries that refused to sign the communique. 
  • Brazil maintained an observer status, and China declined the invitation to participate. Asked about India's abstention, Swiss Ambassador to India Ralf Heckner said that despite the decision, "it was good that India was present" at a conference where the number of countries represented "half of the world" and a "quarter of the world" was represented by heads of state or government. 

State News 

7. Gujarat’s ‘Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum’ listed by UNESCO for ‘Prix Versailles Award-2024’ 

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed happiness over the inclusion of Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum in Bhuj, Gujarat in the world selection for the UNESCO Prix Versailles Museum 2024. Smritivan in Kutch is a tribute to the lives lost in the tragic earthquake of 2001. 
  • Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel informed that UNESCO has selected seven most beautiful museums for the prestigious Prix Versailles award, which includes Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum in Bhuj. 
  • For the first time, a museum in India has received global recognition for the expression of local culture and nature conservation. The design of this museum, built among thousands of trees on Bhujia hill, is remarkable. 
  • UNESCO said in a release, "The Prix Versailles, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is unveiling the list of the world's most beautiful museums for 2024. 
  • All three will compete for the 2024 world titles - Prix Versailles, Interior and Exterior - whose winners will be announced at UNESCO Headquarters by the end of November. 
  • Announced each year by UNESCO since 2015, the Prix Versailles is a series of architecture competitions that highlight the finest contemporary projects around the world. 

Smritivan Earthquake Memorial Museum 

  • Spread over around 470 acres, Smritivan celebrates the resilience of those who survived the 2001 earthquake, which had its epicentre in Bhuj and claimed nearly 13,000 lives. 
  • The memorial, which includes the names of those who died in the disaster, is to be inaugurated by PM Modi in August 2022. 
  • The state-of-the-art Smritivan Earthquake Museum is arranged into seven thematic sections: Rebirth, Rediscovery, Restoration, Reconstruction, Rethinking, Reliving and Renewal. 

8. ‘Hemis Tsechu Festival, 2024’ begins in Ladakh 

  • In Ladakh, the annual Hemis monastic festival popularly known as Hemis Tsechu has begun with great religious fervour and gaiety. The Hemis Monastic Festival is celebrated with grand prayers, performance of sacred mask dances and exhibition of Thankas or mural paintings on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Padma Sambhava. 
  • It is a popular festival in the country as a large number of people from different parts of the country as well as abroad visit Ladakh to witness the powerful and sacred manifestation of Guru Padma Sambhava through mask dances by the monks. 
  • It has been celebrated since it was founded in the 17th century by Galras Rinpoche, son of Ladakh King Deskong Namgyal. The Hemis Festival is the biggest cultural festival of the Buddhist and Tibetan communities. 
  • This two-day grand cultural festival is celebrated on the birthday of Guru Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche. This annual event celebrated on the 10th day of the lunar Tibetan calendar is dedicated to the revered spiritual savior. 
  • The legend of Guru Padmasambhava dates back to the late 8th century. He introduced Tantric Buddhism in the Himalayan kingdom. As a powerful spiritual leader, he drove away demons and evil spirits, rescuing the local people from their negative captivity. 
  • Celebrated at Hemis Gompa, the largest monastery in Ladakh, this festival is celebrated in the huge courtyard of the Gompa where two days of dance, music and performances are celebrated. 
  • The Cham dance is a major part of this festival, in which lamas and monks perform. For this sacred dance, they are dressed as the eight different incarnations of Guru Padmasambhava. 

9. Punjab Police launches 'Mission Nischay' against drugs 

  • The Punjab Police in collaboration with the Border Security Force (BSF) and Village Defence Committees (VDCs) will launch a week-long campaign against drug abuse in Fazilka district during which they will approach residents of 42 villages along the IndiaPakistan border and gather actionable intelligence about the demand and supply of drugs. 
  • During the campaign called 'Mission Nischay', police officers will visit villages in Fazilka district from June 15 to 21 and interact with residents. "Our aim is to inculcate a sense of community participation among residents of border villages as we strive to curb the drug menace. 
  • We will focus on youth and women to gather actionable intelligence about the demand and supply of drugs," Fazilka Senior Superintendent of Police Dr Pragya Jain told The Indian Express. Of Punjab's 553-km-long border with Pakistan, 108 km is in Fazilka district. The Fazilka police last month arrested seven persons, including two brothers, and seized about 5.5 kg heroin, six mobile phones and drug money worth Rs 1.07 lakh being smuggled into India from across the border and confiscated a car and three motorcycles. 
  • All shops and commercial establishments allowed to remain open 24 hours in Madhya Pradesh The Mohan Yadav government in Madhya Pradesh state has decided to allow all shops and commercial establishments in the state to remain open 24 hours in an effort to generate more revenue and employment opportunities. 
  • This will make Madhya Pradesh the seventh state in the country to implement such a policy after Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Telangana, officials said. 
  • MP Labour Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said that under the new proposal, all shops and establishments, including hotels, shopping complexes, malls, resorts and movie theatres in notified municipal corporations, municipalities and industrial areas, will remain open 24 hours a day. 
  • Prahlad Patel said, "The move will create employment opportunities and boost economic activity in the state." According to government sources, the proposal, taken under Section 9 of the Shops and Establishments Act, 1958, has been sent to the state law department for approval. 
  • The project will be piloted in Bhopal and Indore, but will eventually be extended to other districts as well. The state reportedly has a debt burden of around Rs 3.32 lakh crore. 
  • "The government's revenue will increase as it will get 18 per cent GST from late-night shoppers at malls or restaurants," the official said. 

Defence News 

10. First indigenous suicide drone ‘Nagastra-1’ inducted into Indian Army 

  • Nagastra-1 is developed by Solar Industries, Nagpur and the first batch of 120 units has been inducted into the Indian Army. 
  • The Indian Army has placed an order to supply 480 loitering ammunition to Economics Explosives Limited (EEL), a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Solar Industries. 
  • The Nagastra-1 excels in “kamikaze mode” by neutralising hostile threats with GPS-enabled precision strikes, claiming an accuracy of up to two metres. Weighing 9 kg, this man-portable fixed-wing electric UAV has a loitering capability of up to 30 minutes. 
  • It offers a range of 15 km with man-in-the-loop control and extends up to 30 km in autonomous mode. Due to its electric propulsion system, the Nagastra-1 offers a low acoustic signature, making it virtually undetectable at altitudes of over 200 metres. 
  • The UAV is equipped with day and night surveillance cameras and carries a 1 kg high explosive fragmentation warhead to neutralise soft-skin targets. 
  • Designed with over 75 per cent indigenous content in collaboration with Bengaluru-based Z-Motion Autonomous Systems Pvt Ltd, the Nagastra-1 is a man-portable system. 

Women Entrepreneur Dr. Shivani Verma – AI Tool “Divya Drishti 

  • Ingenious Research Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a start-up founded by Dr. Shivani Verma, a woman entrepreneur, after winning the Dare to Dream Innovation Contest 2.0, an all India theme-based competition organized by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), has successfully developed an AI tool “Divya Drishti” which integrates facial recognition with immutable physical parameters such as gait and skeleton. This innovative solution provides enhanced accuracy and reliability in identifying individuals. 
  • This AI tool has been developed under the technical guidance and mentorship of the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), a DRDO laboratory based in Bangalore. 

Appointment News

11. Cyril Ramaphosa becomes President of South Africa 

  • Cyril Ramaphosa has been reelected as the President of South Africa after a historic coalition agreement between the African National Congress (ANC) and opposition parties. This is the country's first coalition government. 
  • This significant development comes after his African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) formed a historic coalition, setting aside years of rivalry. In last month's elections, the ANC suffered a setback by losing its parliamentary majority for the first time in thirty years, managing to secure only 40% of the vote. 
  • The Democratic Alliance (DA) came in second with 22% The new Government of National Unity comprises Mr Ramaphosa's ANC, the centre-right Democratic Alliance and other smaller parties. Earlier in the day, Parliament elected the ANC's Thoko Didiza as President and the DA's Annelie Lotriete as Deputy Speaker. 
  • Ramaphosa, 71, won a landslide victory in the parliamentary vote against a surprise candidate Julius Malema. Mr Ramaphosa received 283 votes against Malema's 44 in the 400-member House. In the elections held last month, the African National Congress' vote share fell to 40% while the Democratic Alliance emerged as the second-largest party with 22% of the votes. 
  • Nelson Mandela's famous party ANC had ruled South Africa with a comfortable majority since the end of the apartheid system of white minority rule in 1994. But it lost its 30-year majority in the national election held on May 29, which was a turning point for the country. 

12. Pawan Kalyan becomes Andhra Pradesh Deputy CM 

  • Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan was on June 14 named Deputy Chief Minister in a much-awaited move by the Andhra Pradesh government. Actor-turnedpolitician Pawan Kalyan has also been assigned the Panchayat Raj and Rural Development, Environment, Forests and Science and Technology portfolios in the Chandrababu Naidu-led government. 
  • Konidela Pawan Kalyan (2 September 1968) is an Indian politician, actor, martial artist, and founder of the Jana Sena Party. Pawan Kalyan, who works primarily in Telugu cinema, is known for his unique acting style and mannerisms. 
  • He has been featured in Forbes India's Celebrity 100 list several times since 2013. Kalyan is the recipient of other awards including a Filmfare Award South and a SIIMA Award. 

12. Dr Kapil Dua appointed as President of the Asian Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons 

  • Dr Kapil Dua has been announced as the President of the Asian Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons (AAHRS). 
  • The announcement was made at the 8th Annual Scientific Meeting and Surgical Workshop of AAHRS, held in China. 
  • Dr Dua, who previously served as President of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS) in 2022-2023 and the Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons (AHRS) India in 2016-2017, is the only Indian hair transplant surgeon to have led national, global, and now Asian organizations in hair restoration. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Principal Secretary to PM – Dr PK Mishra (reappointment) 
  • National Security Advisor – Ajit Doval (reappointment) 
  • Advisors to the Prime Minister – Amit Khare and Tarun Kapoor (reappointment) 
  • MD and CEO of SBICAP Ventures Limited – Prem Prabhakar 
  • DG of FICCI – Jyoti Vij 

13. Peter Pellegrini sworn in as Slovakia’s president 

  • Peter Pellegrini was sworn in as the president of Slovakia in a ceremony that took place amid heightened security following an assassination attempt on his close ally, populist Prime Minister Robert Fico, a month ago. 
  • Pellegrini called for national unity in his speech at a special session of Parliament that took place at the seat of the Slovak philharmonic, becoming Slovakia’s sixth president since it gained independence after the disintegration of Czechoslovakia in 1993. 
  • He succeeded Zuzana Caputova, the country’s first female head of state and a staunch backer of neighbouring Ukraine in its fight against Russia’s invasion. She didn’t seek a second term in the largely ceremonial post. 
  • Pellegrini, 48, who favours a strong role for the state, headed the left-wing Hlas (Voice) party to the third-place finish in the vote and joined a governing coalition with Fico and the ultranationalist Slovak National Party. 

About Slovak Republic (Slovakia) 

  • Capital- Bratislava 
  • Currency– Euro 
  • President – Peter Pellegrini 
  • Prime minister: Robert Fico 
  • Official language – Slovak 

Sports News 

14. R. Ashwin's autobiography 'I Have the Streets: A Kutty Cricket Story' released 

  • Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, one of the most successful cricketers in the history of the game, has released his autobiography 'I Have the Streets: A Kutty Cricket Story'. Co-authored with noted author Siddharth Monga, the book promises to take readers on a fascinating journey of Ashwin's life and times before he became a professional cricketer. 
  • At the age of 37, Ashwin has etched his name among the greats of the game with an impressive haul of 744 international wickets and over 4,000 runs. He made his debut for India in June 2010 against Sri Lanka in an ODI tri-series with Zimbabwe. 
  • In Test cricket, Ashwin's ability is unparalleled, as he is ninth on the all-time list and fifth among spinners with 516 wickets in 100 matches. Apart from his individual milestones, he has played a key role in the Indian teams that won the 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy. 
  • In the Indian Premier League (IPL), he is hailed as a legend, where he has taken 180 wickets in 212 matches, making him the jointfifth-highest wicket-taker in the tournament's history. His contributions played a key role in Chennai Super Kings (CSK) winning their first two titles in 2010 and 2011. 
  • In addition, Ashwin holds the record for the fastest 300 Test wickets (based on innings) and has won the Player of the Series award 10 times in the red-ball format, The publisher is Penguin Random House India (PRHI). 

Book titled “A Fly on the RBI Wall” by Alpana Kilwala 

  • In her career spanning over two decades, Alpana Kilwala not only witnessed the evolution of RBI’s communication strategies but also actively contributed to it. Her book, A Fly on the RBI Wall: An Insider View of the Central Bank, provides an insightful glimpse of her journey and the transformation of the institution over 25 years. 
  • Throughout her tenure, Alpana faced many challenges. Notably, she managed communications during major crises such as the Harshad Mehta scam and important reforms such as the liberalisation of the Indian economy in the 1990s. 
  • “A Fly on the RBI Wall” is not just a narration; it is a collection of novels that provide a straightforward account of her experiences at the central bank. 

Awards News

15. Sahitya Akademi announces Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Sahitya Puraskar 

  • The Sahitya Akademi announced the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2024 and Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2024 in New Delhi. A total of 24 writers have been selected for the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar 2024 and 23 writers for the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2024. 
  • The Sahitya Akademi informed in a statement that all the selected 7. Sahitya Akademi announces Bal Sahitya Puraskar and Yuva Sahitya Puraskar 17 June 2024 writers will be awarded a sum of Rs 50,000 and an engraved copper plaque. 

Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 

  • English writer Ms K. Vaishali will be honoured for her memoir "Homeless: Growing Up Lesbian and Dyslexic in India", while Hindi writer Gaurav Pandey received the prestigious award for his poetry collection "Smritiyon Ke Beech Ghiri Hai Prithvi". 
  • The winners include Nayanjyoti Sarma (Assamese), Sutapa Chakraborty (Bengali), Self-Made Rani Baro (Bodo) and Heena Choudhary (Dogri). 
  • Rinku Rathore (Gujarati), Shruti B.R. (Kannada), Mohammed Ashraf Zia (Kashmiri), Advait Salgaocar (Konkani), Rinki Jha Rishika (Maithili) and Shyamakrishnan R. (Malayalam) are also among the winners. 
  • Vaikhom Chingkhenganba (Manipuri), Devidas Saudagar (Marathi), Suraj Chapagain (Nepali), Sanjay Kumar Panda (Odia), Randhir (Punjabi), Sonali Sutar (Rajasthani) have also been selected for the Yuva Puraskar. 
  • Anjan Karmakar (Santhali), Geeta Pradeep Rupani (Sindhi), Lokesh Raghuraman (Tamil), Ramesh Karthik Nayak (Telugu) and Javed Ambar Misbahi (Urdu) are also among the winners. 

Bal Sahitya Puraskar 

  • English author Nandini Sengupta has been selected for her historical novel "The Blue Horse and Other Amazing Animal Stories from Indian History" and Devendra Kumar for his collection of children's stories "51 Bal Kahaniyaan". 
  • The winners of the Bal Sahitya Puraskar include Ranju Hazarika (Assamese), Dipanwita Roy (Bengali), Birgin Jekova Machahari (Bodo), Bishan Singh 'Dardi' (Dogri), Gira Pinakin Bhatt (Gujarati) and Krishnamurthy Biligere (Kannada). 
  • Muzaffar Hussain Dilbar (Kashmiri), Harsh Sadguru Shete (Konkani), Narayangi (Maithili), Unni Ammayambalam (Malayalam), Kshetrimayun Subadani (Manipuri), Bharat Sasane (Marathi), Basant Thapa (Nepali) and Manas Ranjan Samal (Odia) are also among the winners. 
  • These include Kuldeep Singh Deep (Punjabi), Prahlad Singh 'Jhorda' (Rajasthani), Harshdev Madhav (Sanskrit), Dugal Tudu (Santhali), Lal Hotchandani 'Laachar' (Sindhi), Yuva Vasuki (Tamil), P. Chandrasekhar Azad (Telugu) and Shamsul Islam Farooqui (Urdu). 

16. RBI wins ‘Risk Manager of the Year’ award 

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has won the “Risk Manager of the Year Award 2024” by Central Banking, a leading publication based in London, UK. 
  • This accolade recognizes RBI’s exemplary strides in enhancing its risk culture and awareness, affirming its pivotal role in safeguarding the stability of the Indian financial system. 
  • RBI was awarded the best risk manager for improving its risk culture and awareness. 
  • Executive Director Shri Manoranjan Mishra received the award on behalf of the RBI. 

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI) 

  • Founded – 1 April 1935 
  • RBI Nationalized – 1 January 1949 
  • Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra 
  • RBI set up – Hilton Young Commission 
  • 1st Governor – Sir Osborne Smith (Australia) 
  • 1st Indian Governor – CD Deshmukh 
  • 25th Governor – Shaktikanta Das 
  • RBI Deputy Governor (4) – 

  1. Tavarna Rabi Sankar 
  2. J Swaminathan 
  3. Michael D Patra 
  4. M Rajeshwar Rao 

17. Subbaiah Nallamuthu receives Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award, 2024 

  • Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan announced at the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF 2024) that this year’s most prestigious, V. Shantaram, Lifetime Achievement Award went to Chennai-based renowned, wildlife filmmaker Subbaiah Nallamuthu. 
  • He filmed the longest running wildlife series “Living on the Edge”. Nallamuthu, received a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a trophy and a citation. 
  • His prolific filmography includes Tiger Dynasty (2012-2013), Tiger Queen (2010) and The World’s Most Famous Tiger (2017). 
  • He has made countless documentaries on the environment and the interaction between humans and the ecosystem such as Earth File (2000) for BBC World and The World Gone Wild (2001) for Animal Planet. 
  • His achievements in wildlife cinematography include the distinction of being one of the first to use 4K resolution for wildlife filming in India. 
  • Shri Subbaiah Nallamuthu has won several national and international awards, including five National Film Awards. Other eminent recipients of the award in the past years include Shyam Benegal, Vijaya Mulay and other leading filmmakers. His expertise extends to his stint as a high-speed cameraman with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). 
  • The award has been instituted in memory of the legendary filmmaker V Shantaram, who was closely associated with the Films Division as Honorary Chief Producer during the 1950s. 

18. Kavli Prize in Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience, 2024 announced 

  • The winners of the 2024 Kavli Prize were announced on 12 June 2024. The eight winners were honored for their contributions to astrophysics, neuroscience and nanoscience. All eight scientists are professors at leading US universities. 
  • The winners in each field will share the $1 million prize. It is a collaborative effort between the Kavli Foundation, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Astrophysics: This year's astrophysics prize has been awarded to David Charbonneau and Sarah Seager for discovering exoplanets and characterizing their atmospheres. 
  • Nanoscience: The nanoscience prize was awarded to Robert Langer, Armand Paul Alivisatos and Chad Mirkin for breakthroughs in biomedical applications. Neuroscience: The prize in neuroscience has been awarded to Nancy Kanwisher, Winrich Freiwald and Doris Tsao for their collective effort over decades to map the connection between facial recognition and the brain. 

Kavli Prize 

  • Fred Kavli was born in Aresfjord, Norway. After obtaining an engineering degree, Kavli moved to California in 1956. In the US, he began working for a company that made high-tech sensors for missiles, rising to become its chief engineer within a year. In 2000, Kavlico sold his company for $340 million. The inaugural prize was announced in 2008, and was awarded to seven scientists. 
  • To date, 73 scientists from 19 countries have been awarded the biennial prize. Ten of them have gone on to win Nobel Prizes. 

19. Shantaram, Lifetime Achievement Award for 2024 will be given to Subbiah Nallamuth 

  • Shantaram, Lifetime Achievement Award for this year will be given to Subbiah Nallamuthu, a renowned, award-winning Wildlife filmmaker from Chennai. 
  • He filmed “Living on the Edge”, the longest running wildlife series. 
  • The award is announced by the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting L Murugan at Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF 2024). 
  • Murugan also attended the Opening Film at MIFF National Geographic’s documentary, ‘Billy and Molly: An Otter Love Story’. 

Recent Award 

  • Risk Manager of the Year Award by Central Banking, UK – RBI 
  • Databricks Retail and CPG Partner of the Year Award – Tredence (a global data science and AI solutions company) 
  • 2024 Oscar Academy Gold Rising Program – Nethra Gururaj, 
  • Best Conduct of Business Regulator award – SEBI 
  • Hindi Sahitya Bharati Award – Krishna Prakash, 
  • EY World Entrepreneur of The Year 2024 – Vellayan Subbiah 

Ranks & Reports News 

20. Mumbai ranked third globally in Knight Frank's Prime Global Cities Index 

  • According to a report by real estate advisory company Knight Frank, Mumbai is ranked third and Delhi fifth among the top 44 cities globally in terms of increase in house prices during January-March this year. 
  • In Knight Frank's report for the same period last year, Mumbai was ranked sixth and Delhi 17th. Manila ranks first with an annual growth of 26.2 percent in terms of house prices, while Tokyo is ranked second with an annual growth of 12.5 percent. Perth is in fourth place, with a growth rate of 11.1%. 
  • Knight Frank said in its report 'Prime Global Cities Index Q1, 2024' that the prices of major residential segments in Mumbai grew by 11.5 percent annually in the March quarter. However, Bengaluru's ranking declined in the first quarter of 2024 and it stood at 17th place. 
  • Bengaluru recorded a 4.8 per cent growth in home prices in JanuaryMarch, up from 16th in the same period last year. 
  • The Prime Global Cities Index (PGCI) is an evaluation-based index that tracks major residential price movements in 44 cities across the globe, Knight Frank said. 

Important day 

21. 16 June – International Day of Family Remittances 

  • The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) is celebrated on 16 June each year. 
  • The IDFR recognizes the crucial contribution of over 200 million migrant workers who send money to over 800 million family members in low- and middle-income countries. 
  • Theme 2024- Digital remittances towards financial inclusion and cost reduction. 
  • Over the past 20 years, remittance flows have increased five-fold. Even during economic downturns, remittances continue to flow as they bind migrants to their families back home, helping them stay afloat. 
  • In 2023, remittances to low- and middle-income countries increased by almost 4 per cent to reach US$ 669 billion. 

22. 15 June – World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 

  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is held on June 15th and is an annual international UN observance day on the same date each year. 
  • The day came about as a result of UN resolution 66/127. 
  • Theme 2024 – Spotlight on Older Persons in Emergencies 
  • Elder abuse is global and comes in many forms including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse and also neglect. 
  • Elderly people are human and deserve the same dignity and respect as people of all other age groups.

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