Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 21st June 2024



National News 

CERT-In and Mastercard India signed MoU to Boost Cyber Security in Financial Sector

  • Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and Mastercard India have signed MoU for collaboration in cyber security to enhance India’s cyber-resilience in the financial sector. 
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said, two entities will leverage their shared expertise to strengthen the financial sector’s cybersecurity incident response. 
  • Mastercard and CERT-In will hold training programs and workshops for cyber capacity building, latest market trends and best practices to enhance cyber security of financial sector organizations. 
  • The two entities will also share relevant cyber threat trends, technical information, threat intelligence, and vulnerability reports to strengthen the financial sector information security of India. 

MSDE partners with Australian Government to energise Agriculture Sector of India with emerging skills 

  • The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), in collaboration with the Australian Government, hosted a comprehensive and productive roundtable to discuss the learnings from the Australia-India Critical Agriculture Skills Pilot Project. 
  • The findings were shared with MSDE and the Australian Government and subsequently 107 emerging job roles were mapped to identify the 5 critical emerging job roles in the agriculture sector for the pilot projects. 
  • The six pilot projects nearing completion have been implemented in 4 states, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

Cabinet approves Central Sector Scheme “National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme” (NFIES) 

  •  The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Home Affairs for Central Sector Scheme “National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme (NFIES)” with a total financial outlay of Rs. 2254.43 crore during the period from 2024-25 to 2028-29.
  •   Financial outlay of the Central Sector Scheme will be provisioned by the Ministry of Home Affairs from its own budget.
  • The Cabinet has approved the following components under this Scheme: 

1. Establishment of Campuses of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) in the country.

2. Establishment of Central Forensic Science Laboratories in the country. iii. Enhancement of existing infrastructure of the Delhi Campus of the NFSU.

 Union Cabinet approves development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi

  •  The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has approved the proposal of Airports Authority of India (AAI) for development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi including Construction of New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track & Allied works. 
  • The estimated financial outgo will be Rs. 2869.65 Crore for enhancing the passenger handling capacity of the airport to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA) from the existing 3.9 MPPA. 
  • The New Terminal Building, which encompasses an area of 75,000 sqm is designed for a capacity of 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP). 
  • The proposal includes extending the runway to dimensions 4075m x 45m and constructing a new Apron to park 20 aircraft. 
  • Varanasi airport will be developed as a green airport with the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability through energy optimization, waste recycling, carbon footprint reduction, solar energy utilization, and incorporation of natural daylighting, alongside other sustainable measures throughout the planning, development, and operational stages. 

HAL Receives Rs 45,000 Crore RFP from MoD for 156 Indigenous Light Combat Helicopters 

  •  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), based in Bengaluru, has received a Request For Proposal (RFP) from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the procurement of 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCHs) Prachand, estimated to cost Rs 45,000 crore. 
  • The MoD issued this RFP under Regulation 30 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015. 
  • Of the 156 LCHs, 90 are allocated for the Indian Army (IA) and 66 for the Indian Air Force (IAF). 

About Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) 

  •  The LCH Prachand is the first indigenous Multi-Role Combat Helicopter, designed and manufactured by HAL in collaboration with French engine-maker Safran. 
  • It is the world’s only attack helicopter capable of landing and taking off at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,400 ft), suitable for operations in high-altitude areas like the Siachen glacier and Eastern Ladakh. 
  • The LCH is a 5-8 tonne class dedicated combat helicopter, powered by twin Shakti engines. 
  •  It features a countermeasure dispensing system that protects it from enemy radar detection. 

About HAL 

  •  HAL is a Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
  •  Established- 1940 
  • Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka 
  •  Chairman and Managing Director (CMD)- C.B. Ananthakrishnan P

PM Modi unveils 1,500 crore Multiple Development Projects in J&K 

  •  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 84 major developmental projects worth more than Rs 1500 crore in Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • Additionally, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for projects like the improvement of the Chenani-Patnitop-Nashri Section, the development of Industrial Estates and the construction of six Government Degree Colleges. 
  • The Prime Minister also launched the Competitiveness Improvement in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (JKCIP) Project worth Rs 1,800 crore. The project will be implemented in 90 Blocks across 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir and will have the project outreach of 300,000 households covering 15 lakh beneficiaries. 

About Jammu and Kashmir 

  •  Capital- Srinagar (May–October), Jammu (November–April) 
  •  Lieutenant Governor – Manoj Sinha
  •  Legislative Council – 36 seats 
  • Legislative Assembly – 89 seats

 Avian Influenza Outbreak and Response Simulation Exercise held at Bhopal 

  • The Department of Animal Husbandry, in partnership with the World Bank has organised an Avian Influenza Outbreak and Response Simulation Exercise in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. 
  • This workshop comes at a crucial time as we face unusual outbreaks of Avian Influenza in Kerala and witness a global trend of spillovers to non-poultry species, including cattle. 
  • The two-day workshop aims to enhance preparedness and response capabilities for avian influenza outbreaks. 

About Madhya Pradesh 

  • Capital – Bhopal 
  • Chief Minister – Dr Mohan Yadav (replace Shivraj Singh Chauhan) 
  • Deputy CM – Jagdish Devda & Rajendra Shukla 
  • Speaker of Madhya Pradesh Assembly – Narendra Singh Tomar 
  • Governor – Mangubhai C. Patel 
  • Lok Shaba Seats – 29 
  • Rajya Sabha Seats – 11 
  • Legislative Assembly Seats – 230 


Mark Rutte appoint as new secretary-general of NATO 

  • Mark Rutte will appoint as the new secretary-general of NATO. Mark Rutte will succeed Jens Stoltenberg. 
  • Rutte has been the PM of Netherlands for 14 years.
  •  Rutte will take over NATO’s leadership at a critical time. His new job will begin by Oct. 2, just over a month before the U.S. election, which will shape the fate of the military alliance that has served as Eastern Europe’s most successful deterrence to an aggressive Russia. 

About North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO

  • Founded – 1949 
  • Headquarters – Brussels, Belgium 
  • Secretary General- Mark Rutte 
  • Member countries -32 (32nd Sweden, 31st Finland) 
  • Founding Members – United States, Canada, and ten European countries, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. 
  • NATO is a military alliance between North American and European countries

 Important day 

20 June – World Refugee Day 

  • World Refugee Day is observed every year on 20 June. 
  • The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide and promoting their inclusion and acceptance in host communities. 
  • World Refugee Day is commemorated with the hope of finding a lasting solution to the global refugee crisis and providing a safe place for all displaced people. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of international cooperation and solidarity in addressing this issue. 
  • Theme 2024 – For a World Where Refugees Are Welcomed 
  • The first-ever World Refugee Day was celebrated on 20 June 2001 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. 
  • The day was earlier recognized as Africa Refugee Day and later in December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly officially declared it as an International Day for Refugees. 

 June – International Day of Yoga 

  •  International Day of Yoga is observed every year on 21 June. This year marks the 10th International Day of Yoga. 
  • Theme 2024 – Yoga for Self and Society 
  • Yoga, a transformative practice, represents the harmony of mind and body,the balance between thought and action, and the unity of restraint and fulfillment. 
  • Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga
  •  The draft resolution establishing the International Day of Yoga was proposed by India and endorsed by a record 175 member states. 
  • The proposal was first introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address during the opening of the 69th session of the General Assembly.


1. Canada declares Iran's 'IRGC military force' a terrorist entity

  •  Canada has declared Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Iranian armed forces, a terrorist entity. Announcing this, Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc said that Canada will use all means available to it to counter the terrorist activity of the IRGC. 
  •  The move makes Canada the second country in North America to label the IRGC as a terrorist organisation after the US, which did so in 2019.
  •  Thousands of senior Iranian government officials, including top IRGC members, are now banned from entering Canada, and those already inside the country may be investigated and deported. 
  •  As an immediate result of the listing, Canadian financial institutions, such as banks and brokerages, are required to immediately freeze the assets of the listed entity, and it is a criminal offence for any person in Canada and Canadians abroad to knowingly deal with assets owned or controlled by a terrorist group. 
  • Charitable organizations can lose their status if they maintain their ties to terrorist groups, and people found to be associated with those groups can be denied entry to Canada.
  •  The IRGC is a major military, political and economic force in Iran, with close ties to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is estimated to have more than 190,000 active personnel, and has its own ground army, navy and air force, which oversees Iran's strategic weapons. 
  •  According to the government, the IRGC exerts influence elsewhere in the Middle East by providing funding, arms, technology, training and advice to allied governments and armed groups through its covert foreign operations arm, the Quds (Jerusalem) Force. The Quds Force was already listed as a terrorist group by Canada Flight PS752 was shot down by the IRGC in Tehran in January 2020, killing all 175 passengers on board, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 Canadian permanent residents. 

3. India got 63rd in WEF's global energy transition index 

  •  India has been ranked 63rd in the global energy transition index released by the World Economic Forum, stating that the country has shown significant improvement in terms of energy equality,
    security and stability. Last year, India was ranked 67th.
  •   Sweden topped the index, followed by Denmark, Finland, Switzerland and France in the top five. China finished 20th. Meanwhile, France has joined the top five performances due to its effective energy efficiency policies, resulting in a decrease of 12% in energy intensity. 
  •  According to the report, the top 10 countries collectively represent only 2% of the global population and contribute only 1% to the energy -related CO2 emissions. 
  • The report said that Estonia, Ethiopia and Lebanon have been the fastest improvement in the last five years. Developing countries that lead to speed in their energy infections are Lebanon, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 
  • The reform shown by India and some other developing countries like China and Brazil is important because 83 percent of the countries have gone back to the previous year in at least one of the three dimensions of the power system - security, equality and stability. 
  • On the role of China and India, WEF said that with about one third of the global population, these two countries will play an important role. 
  • Out of the 120 countries included in the report, 107 have displayed progress on their energy change journey in the last decade, but the overall pace of change has slowed down and balanced its various aspects remains a major challenge. 
  •  India's per capita emission is 1.7 tonnes of CO2, which is 60 percent less than the global average of 4.4 tons of CO2 per person. With an annual investment of US $ 10 billion, India is adopting electric vehicles (EVs) and furthering the production of green hydrogen. 
  • WEF is a Swiss non-profit organization founded in 1971 in Geneva, Switzerland. Recognized as an international body for publicprivate cooperation by Swiss authorities.

 4. India is the second country after China in deaths due to air pollution as per "State of Global Air (SoGA) 2024" 

  • According to the "State of Global Air (SoGA) 2024" published by the United States-based research organization Health Effects Institute (HEI), 464 children under the age of 5 die every day in India due to air pollution.
  •   According to the research, air pollution has overtaken tobacco and diabetes as the leading cause of death, trailing only high blood pressure. 55% of global air pollution deaths in the year 2021 occur in China (2.3 million deaths) and India (2.1 million deaths). PM2.5 is a major contributor.
  •  According to the report, air pollution-related diseases and illnesses killed 8.1 million people worldwide in 2021, of which one in four deaths occurred in India. 
  •  Air pollution has an impact on the burden of non-communicable diseases in India. Cardiovascular disease in 2021 caused 8.1 million deaths worldwide Air pollution was responsible for nearly 40% of all deaths from cancer, 33% of lung cancer deaths, 20% of type 2 diabetes deaths, 41% of stroke deaths and 70% of COPD deaths. 
  • Six out of ten deaths due to air pollution worldwide are caused by small PM2.5 particles; the remaining two pollutants, ozone and household air pollution, account for 38% and 6% of deaths, respectively. 
  • Nearly 50% (2,37,000 deaths) of all ozone-related COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) deaths in 2021 occurred in India, followed by China with 1,25,600 deaths and Bangladesh with 15,000 deaths. 
  • The report, produced for the first time in collaboration with UNICEF, also highlights the millions of people who suffer from serious chronic diseases that burden economies, societies and healthcare systems. 
  • According to the report, children under the age of five are particularly susceptible to diseases including low birth weight, asthma and lung diseases. 

5. NASA's Perseverance rover spots mysterious rock 'Atoko Point' on Mars for the first time 

  •  NASA's Perseverance rover made an unprecedented discovery while exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars that could potentially give scientists insight into life that existed there many eons ago. 
  • The peculiar boulder, called 'Atoko Point', measured about 18 inches wide and 14 inches high, was speckled and distinctly light in color. 
  • The rover discovered a striking light-colored rock among the darker rocks around it while passing through Neretva Vallis on Mars, an area that was once the channel of an ancient river that flowed into the Jezero Crater. 
  •  NASA described the boulder as "of a type never seen before on Mars." It was spotted among dark boulders on the 'Mount Washburn' hill. 
  • "The diversity of textures and compositions at Mount Washburn was an exciting discovery for the team, as these rocks represent a panoply of geological gifts brought to the crater rim and potentially beyond," Brad Garczynski of Western Washington University, who is co-leading the current Perseverance mission, said in a statement. 
  •  A thorough examination of the rock using the rover's instruments revealed it was likely anorthosite, a type of rock commonly found in some mountain ranges on the moon and Earth. However, it had not been seen on Mars before.
  •   NASA said the rock was composed of pyroxene and feldspar minerals, leading some scientists to speculate that its origin was possibly linked to magma that originated beneath the surface of Mars and may have been exposed at the rim of Jezero Crater over time due to erosion. 
  • Meanwhile, other scientists suggested that if the rock belonged to another part of the Red Planet, it would have moved to its current location on the rim along an ancient river channel and therefore appears out of place on Washburn Hill. Perseverance Rover 
  •  Perseverance is the most advanced, most expensive and most sophisticated mobile laboratory ever sent to Mars. It is the centerpiece of NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which also includes the small robotic and coaxial helicopter Ingenuity. Launch: 30 July 2020. Landing: 18 February 2021. 
  • Mangalyaan is India's Mars orbiter that has been observing the planet since September 2014. Tianwen-1 is China's first Mars mission (2021). 

6. Uttar Pradesh tops the list of states with most complaints to National Commission for Women 

  •  The National Commission for Women (NCW) has received the highest number of complaints from Uttar Pradesh till June 2024 this year, followed by Delhi and then Maharashtra. In 2023, a total of 28,811 complaints related to women were registered by the NCW. 
  •  Of the total 12,648 complaints received by the NCW so far in 2024, 6,492 were from Uttar Pradesh. According to the official data of the panel, Delhi stood second with 1,119 complaints, while Maharashtra had 764. 
  • Among other states, Tamil Nadu recorded 304 complaints, Karnataka 305, Bihar 586, Madhya Pradesh 516, Haryana 509, Rajasthan 409 and West Bengal 307. 
  •  As far as the categories of crimes against women are concerned, the highest number of complaints at 3,567 were received in the “right to dignity” category, which includes harassment other than domestic violence. This was followed by 3,213 complaints of domestic violence. 
  •  Complaints of dowry harassment stood at 1,963, molestation at 821, police apathy towards women at 524 and rape and attempted rape at 658, the data showed. 
  •  This included 495 complaints of sexual harassment, 339 of cybercrime, 345 of stalking and 206 of crime in the name of honour.
  •   Interestingly, Manipur, which has witnessed large-scale ethnic violence as well as crimes against women, registered only six complaints to the NCW in 2023.
  •   The NCW is the statutory body of the Government of India, which is generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women. It was established in January 1992 under the provisions of the Indian Constitution, as defined in the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. 

7. Gujarat honoured for highest wind power installed capacity 

  •  Gujarat won the “First Rank” award for highest wind power installed capacity at a function held in New Delhi under the aegis of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, when the state surpassed Tamil Nadu. 
  •  Gujarat won the award at an event “Wind – Energy: Powering India’s Future” organized to commemorate Global Wind Day, observed on 15 June 2024. Mamta Verma, Principal Secretary, Department of Energy & Petrochemicals, Government of Gujarat and Jai Prakash Shivhare, Managing Director, GUVNL received the award on behalf of Gujarat. 
  •  As of end of May 2024, Gujarat had 11,823 MW of installed wind power capacity, while Tamil Nadu had 10743 MW. Karnataka is at third position with 6312 MW. 
  •  Gujarat also has 14182 MW of installed solar power capacity and is ranked second after Rajasthan (22,180 MW) in terms of solar power. 
  • Gujarat had a total renewable energy capacity of 28200 MW by the end of May 2024, which is the highest among all states. Gujarat has set an ambitious target of achieving a total installed renewable energy capacity of 100 GW by 2030. 

8. High Court directs Bengal government to ensure 1% reservation for transgender persons in public employment 

  •  The Calcutta High Court has directed the West Bengal government to ensure 1 per cent reservation for transgender persons in all public employment in the state. 
  •  Justice Rajasekhar Mantha directed the Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government to ensure one per cent reservation for transgenders in all public employment. 
  •  The High Court order was passed on a plea by a transgender person who cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) 2014 and also the TET 2022 but was not called for counselling or interview. 
  •  In the order passed, Justice Mantha said the Supreme Court had declared in a 2014 case that 'hijras' and 'kinnars' should be treated as a "third gender" apart from binary genders for the purpose of protecting their rights under Part III of the Constitution. 
  •  The apex court had also upheld the right of transgender persons to decide their self-identified gender, and directed the Centre and state governments to accord legal recognition to their gender identity such as male, female or third gender. 
  •  The West Bengal chief secretary had informed the high court that the state's women and child development and social welfare department had issued a notification on November 30, 2022, that transgender persons are entitled to equal opportunity for employment without any discrimination. 
  •  Patna High Court quashes Bihar government's decision to increase reservation for backward classes from 50 to 65%
  •  The Patna High Court on June 20 struck down amendments passed by the Bihar legislature to increase reservation in educational institutions and government jobs for backward classes (BC), extremely backward classes (EBC), scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST) from 50% to 65% in 2023. 
  •  The percentage of reservation quota in the state was increased to 75 per cent along with the existing 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections (EWS). 
  •  On November 27, 2023, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Patna High Court, challenging the Bihar government's decision to increase reservation in the state from 50% to 65%. 
  •  A division bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Harish Kumar had reserved its verdict on March 11 this year after hearing several writ petitions challenging the constitutional validity of increasing the quota from 50 per cent to 65 per cent. 
  • As per the bill, titled Bihar Reservation Amendment Bill, the quota for extremely backward classes (EBCs) has been increased from the existing 18% to 25%; for backward classes (BCs) from 12% to 18%; for scheduled castes (SCs) from 16% to 20%; and for scheduled tribes (STs) doubled from 1% to 2%. The existing 3% reservation for women from backward castes has been abolished. 

9. UP government to inaugurate world's first Asian king vulture conservation and breeding centre in Maharajganj 

  •  Uttar Pradesh is set to inaugurate the world's first conservation and breeding centre for Asian king vultures or red-headed vultures in Maharajganj. The facility will improve the population of the critically endangered species listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List since 2007. The centre is named Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre. 
  •  The Asian king vulture is under threat due to loss of its habitats and excessive use of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac in domestic animals, which turns out to be toxic for vultures. 
  •  The centre aims to ensure the good health of the growing vultures and provide them with a pair. Once the female lays an egg, the pair will be left free in their natural environment. 
  •  The Asian king vulture is critically endangered and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. The conservation centre is spread over 1.5 hectares in the Gorakhpur forest division, and is a state-ofthe-art centre. 
  •  As per reports, an investment of around Rs 15 crore has been made in it, and it has multiple aviaries for the vultures, such as holding and breeding aviaries, recovery and hospital aviaries, nursery aviaries for juveniles, and more.
  •   Then, there is also a food processing centre, where the food will be checked and prepared before feeding it to the vultures, and there is also an incubation centre to artificially rear eggs to ensure 100% results.
  •   Reportedly, it is a 15-year project that aims to raise at least 40 vultures. The red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), also known as the Asian king vulture, is primarily found in northern India.
  •  In 2004, the species was listed as 'near threatened', while in 2007, it was listed as 'critically endangered' on the IUCN Red List. Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre 
  •  The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched a 'Vulture Action Plan 2020-25' for the conservation of vultures in the country. It will ensure minimum use of diclofenac and prevent poisoning of cattle carcasses, the main food for vultures. 
  •  A Vulture Care Centre was established in Pinjore, Haryana in 2001 to study the causes of mortality of vultures in India. At present there are nine Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres in India, out of which three are directly administered by the Bombay Natural History Society. 
  •  India is home to nine species of vultures namely Oriental Whitebacked, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Himalayan, Red-headed, Egyptian, Bearded, Cinereous and Eurasian Griffon. 

10. Lockie Ferguson sets incredible T20I record of 4 overs, 4 maidens, 3 wickets 

  •  New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson achieved the most economical return in T20 World Cup history by bowling his maximum allowed four overs without conceding a run against Papua New Guinea. 
  •  The 33-year-old pacer picked up three wickets in four overs without conceding a run during the Group C game against non-Test nation PNG in Tarouba, Trinidad. The spell read an incredible 4-4-0-3. 

  •  With the record-breaking figures, Lockie bettered Canada's Saad Bin Zafar's record - 4-4-0-2 - which he set against Panama in Coolidge in 2021. Ferguson's three wickets without conceding a run helped New Zealand bowl out Papua New Guinea for a paltry 78 in this minor match. 
  •  It has been a disappointing campaign for the Kiwis, as the team has already been knocked out of the competition. The Kane Williamson-led team had to face defeat against Afghanistan and West Indies in their group, which ensured their early exit from the tournament. Nepali spinner Sandeep Lamichhane is the second fastest wicket taker in the world 
  •  Nepali spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has created history against Bangladesh, he has become the second fastest spinner in the world to take 100 wickets in T20 format. He has achieved the feat of taking 100 wickets in T20 cricket by playing 54 matches. 
  • The first place still comes to the name of the current captain of the Afghanistan cricket team, Rashid Khan, who has achieved the feat of taking 100 wickets in 53 matches, one match less than Lamichhane. 
  • The third place comes to the name of Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga, Hasaranga had taken 100 wickets in 63 matches. 

Gokaldas Exports to invest in BRFL Textiles

  •   Gokaldas Exports will invest in BRFL Textiles by subscribing through Optionally Convertible Debentures (OCD), the company said in a press release. 
  •  In the first tranche, the company will subscribe for *50 crore, with the remaining OCDs worth up to ₹300 crore to be subscribed subsequently in multiple tranches, depending on the funding requirements. 
  •  These funds will be used mainly to meet the working capital needs, with a small portion towards the capex requirements, Gokaldas Exports added. 

PFC, JICA line up to fund 276,220-crore Wadhwan Port project 

  •  Indian and global financial institutions such as Power Finance Corporation, Rural Electrification Corporation and Japan International Cooperation Agency have shown interest to fund the ₹76,220-crore Vadhavan Port project which was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, Unmesh Wagh, Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) said on Thursday. 
  •  "But, we have not decided whether we should go 
  •  'It has not been decided whether to go for Indian or foreign institutions to raise funds’ for Indian institutions or foreign institutions to raise funds," he said. 
  •  The new port will be developed by Vadhavan Port Project Ltd. (VPPL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by JNPA (74% stake) and Maharashtra Maritime Board (26%), in two phases
    under the lan- dlord model. 

IIIT-Delhi's project wins joint 2nd prize in global competition 

  •  A project by the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT- Delhi), has won the joint second prize in Trinity Challenge's second competition, on tackling the escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a press release said. 
  •  The Trinity Challenge is a charity supporting the 5 creation of data-driven solutions to help protect me against global health threats. 
  •  The project, 'AMR sense: • empowering communities with a proactive one health ecosystem', was led by Tavpritesh Sethi of the IIIT- Delhi in collaboration with CHRI-PATH,, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
  •   In India, where over 9,00,000 ASHA workers face limited awareness, insufficient training, and low motivation, there is a significant gap in community. 
  •  The prize-winning project is on tackling the escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance level AMR data collection and evidence-based management. AMRSense tackles these issues through four major components: community engagement by empowering CHWs with AI-assisted data recording tools for accurate and simplified data collection; data integration by creating a unified AMR data ecosystem through the integration of antibiotic sales, consumption, WHONet-compliant and surveillance data using open source tools and APIs; predictive analytics by using federated analytics across the OneHealth ecosystem for integrative insights on AMR; and the AMRaura Scorecard for monitoring and evaluating AMR trends. 

Limbless amphibian found in Kaziranga for first time 

  • A limbless amphibian has been added to the fauna in the 1,307.49 sq. km Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve. 
  •  Assam's wildlife officials said a team of herpetologists recorded the striped caecilian (Ichthyophis spp) in the tiger reserve for the first time during a rapid herpetofauna survey conducted from June 14-17.
  •   The survey was conducted with support from Saibal Sengupta of Assam Don Bosco University; Abhijit Das of the Wildlife Institute of India; Rajeev Basumatary and Samrat Sengupta of D.R. College in eastern Assam's Golaghat; Jaydev Mandal of Madhab Choudhury College in western Assam's Barpeta; Jayaditya Purkayastha of Guwahati-based Help Earth; Jayanta Kumar Roy of Aaranyak; and Sushmita Kar of the Turtle Survival Alliance. 
  •  Reptiles and amphibians, collectively called herpetofauna, are the least studied but most vulnerable to climate change. "Caecilians are limbless amphibians that spend most of their lives burrowed under soil. They are, therefore, the least studied of the amphibian species. As they are an ancient species, their presence holds critical linkages to evolution and intercontinental speciation," a statement issued by the Kaziranga authorities said. 
  •  The diverse ecosystem of Kaziranga, comprising flood plains, wetlands, grasslands, and hill tracts on the periphery, provides an ideal habitat for herpetofauna. The tiger reserve houses 24 species of amphibians and 74 species of reptiles. It is also home to 21 of the 29 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles found in India. 
  •  Kaziranga's Director, Sonali Ghosh, said, "a training and sensitisation programme was held to enhance the skills of forest personnel in herpetofauna identification and conservation for ensuring better management and protec- tion of these vital species.” 

U.S. set to train Indian astronauts at NASA center 

  •  NASA administrator Bill Nelson has said that the U.S. space agency will expand collaboration with India and include a "joint effort" aboard the International Space Station with an Indian astronaut. Mr. Nelson's comments came after a fact sheet issued by the U.S. and India after the ICET Dialogue between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his U.S. counterpart, Jake Sullivan, on June 17. 
  •  "Building on my visit to India last year, NASA continues to further the United States and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology for the benefit of humanity," Mr. Nelson, wrote on X. 
  •  In New Delhi, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Doval concluded the Strategic Framework for Human Spaceflight Cooperation to deepen interoperability in space and are working toward commencing advanced training for Indian Space Research Organisation astronauts at the NASA Johnson Space Centre.

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