Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 22nd June 2024

 1. Finland tops Sustainable Development Report released by UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network 

  • The 9th edition of the Sustainable Development Report released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) highlights that the world is lagging far behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN in 2015. 
  • The Nordic countries are at the forefront in achieving the SDG targets, with Finland (score 86.4) ranked first, followed by Sweden (85.7), Denmark (85.0), Germany (83.4) and France. 
  • The BRICS and BRICS+ countries (Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE) have shown faster-thanaverage progress on SDG targets since 2015. 
  • Bottom 3 countries: South Sudan, Central African Republic and Chad. 
  • India ranked 109th with an overall score of 64.0. This is the case with only about 30% of SDG targets achieved. Limited progress has been made in another 40% of targets, while progress has been poor in about 30% of targets. 
  • India has the highest performance in achieving SDG 1, SDG 4, SDG 12 and SDG 13. 

Key findings 

  •  Only 16% of SDG targets are on track to be achieved by 2030, while 84% show limited or reversing progress. Since 2020, global SDG progress has stagnated, particularly in the case of SDG 2 (zero hunger), 11 (sustainable cities), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). 
  • The impact of COVID-19 and other factors has seen significant reversals in progress on obesity rates (SDG 2), press freedom (SDG 16), the Red List Index (SDG 15), sustainable nitrogen management (SDG 2), and life expectancy at birth (SDG 3). SDG 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure) is showing some positive progress. 

UN-MI Index 

  • The five most committed countries in the new UN-based Index on Multilateralism (UN-MI) launched for the first time are: Barbados (#1), Antigua and Barbuda (#2), Uruguay (#3), Mauritius (#4), and the Maldives (#5). 
  •  In contrast, the United States (#193), Somalia (#192), South Sudan (#191), Israel (#190), and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (#189) rank lowest on UN-MI. 


  •  The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has been operating under the auspices of the United Nations since 2012. The secretariats of SDSN are located in New York, USA; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Paris, France. 

2. Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services to be awarded the 'Blue Planet Prize' 

  • The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will be awarded the Blue Planet Prize for the year 2024. The other winner of this award is Robert Costanza of the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London, who will be honored for his contribution to the field of ecological economics. 
  •  The Blue Planet Prize, awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan, is awarded annually to individuals and organizations to recognize outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application, which has helped provide solutions to global environmental problems. 
  •  IPBES is recognized as "the leading global authority on the state of knowledge and science related to biodiversity, ecosystem services and nature's contribution to people". 
  •  It is an independent intergovernmental body focused on strengthening the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services. It was established in Panama City in 2012 by 94 countries (including India). It currently has over 145 member countries. Its secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany. 

Blue Planet Prize: 

  • It was established in 1992 during the Rio Earth Summit. This award is given annually by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Japan for outstanding achievements in scientific research and its application that have helped solve global environmental problems. Two winners are selected every year and the prize is US$500,000. 

4. According to the Reuters Institute's 'Digital News Report 2024', Akashvani News is India's most trusted news brand 

  • According to the 13th Digital News Report 2024 of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism of Oxford University, Akashvani News has received a much higher trust score than other major media houses in the country. 
  • It is followed by BBC News, CNN, DD News and Economic Times. Overall trust in news has increased by 41% in this election year and India has been ranked 18th among 47 countries. Landmark platforms like NDTV, Times of India, Republic TV and BBC News continue to enjoy high viewership among our young, urban, mostly English-speaking sample across their offline and online products. 
  • Prasar Bharati chairman Navneet Kumar Sehgal called it a validation of AIR News’ unwavering commitment to disseminating the truth under all circumstances. 
  • A third of respondents who took part in the Reuters survey preferred YouTube (31%), followed by WhatsApp (21%) and TikTok (13%). 
  • About 71% of Indians prefer online medium for news, with 49% relying on social media, the report said. Nearly half of Indian respondents use YouTube (54%) and WhatsApp (48%), while Facebook and X are becoming less popular. 
  •  Norway (40%) and Sweden (31%) top the list of countries paying for online news subscriptions, with Japan (9%) and the United Kingdom (8%) at the bottom. 
  •  News media globally are increasingly challenged by rising misinformation, low trust, attacks from politicians and an uncertain business environment. 

5. Union Jal Shakti Ministry launches 'E-Flow Monitoring System' 

  •  Recently, in the presence of Union Jal Shakti Minister CR Patil, the Environment Flow (E-Flow) Monitoring System has been launched, which is designed to facilitate real-time monitoring of river water quality and assist in monitoring projects related to river ecosystem. 
  • The E-Flow Monitoring System was developed by the National Clean Ganga Mission, a division of the Ministry of Jal Shakti. The system follows the 2018 mandate by the Center to maintain minimum eflow in different parts of the Ganga throughout the year. 
  • The system aims to improve the management of water resources and environment flow in major Indian rivers including Ganga and Yamuna. 
  • Environment Flow (E-Flow) refers to the availability of the quantity and quality of water flow required at a given time to maintain the health of aquatic ecosystems and support organisms dependent on these ecosystems. 
  • Ensuring adequate quantity of water required for ecological processes and species in the ecosystem. Preserve natural variations in water flow, including seasonal and inter-annual fluctuations in accordance with the natural hydrological cycle. 
  •  Maintain appropriate water quality parameters (including appropriate levels of dissolved oxygen, temperature and nutrient concentrations) for the health of aquatic ecosystems. 

Namami Gange Programme 

  • The Namami Gange Programme is an integrated conservation mission, approved as a ‘flagship programme’ by the Central Government in June 2014. 
  • The programme has received inprinciple approval for projects worth Rs 37,396 crore, but only Rs 14,745 crore has been released to the states for infrastructure works. 

6. President Draupadi Murmu appoints Bhartruhari Mahtab as Lok Sabha Pro-tem Speaker 

  • President Draupadi Murmu has appointed BJP MP and Lok Sabha member Bhartruhari Mahtab as the Pro-tem Speaker under Article 95(1), who will discharge the duties of the Speaker until the election of the Speaker. The President has appointed Lok Sabha members Suresh Kodikunnil, Thalikkottai Rajuthevar Baalu, Radha Mohan Singh, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sudip Bandopadhyay under Article 99 to assist the Pro Tem Speaker in administering oath to the newly elected members of the 18th Lok Sabha and to conduct oath-taking till the election of the Speaker. 
  • As per convention, the MP who has served the longest term is appointed the Pro Tem Speaker for the first two days. The most senior MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha are Kodikunnil Suresh (Congress) and Virendra Kumar (BJP), who are now completing their 8th term. Instead, 7-time MP from Cuttack, Odisha, Bhartruhari Mahtab has been appointed the Pro Tem Speaker. 
  • Pro-tem is a Latin phrase meaning “for the time being”. The Pro Tem Speaker presides over the first sitting of the Lok Sabha and administers the oath of office to the newly elected MPs. Conducting the voting for the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. 

Odisha Assembly Speaker - Surama Padhi 

  • Senior BJP leader Surama Padhi has been unanimously elected Speaker of the Odisha Assembly, becoming the second woman to hold the prestigious post. Padhi, a two-time MLA from Ranpur constituency in Nayagarh district, assumed office unopposed during a special session of the Assembly. 
  • Pro tem Speaker R P Swain conducted the proceedings. She is the second woman to preside over the Odisha Assembly, replacing BJD's Pramila Malik. 

Tesam Pongte elected new Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh 

  •  Tesam Pongte, MLA from Changlang North, has been unanimously elected Speaker of the 8th Arunachal Pradesh Assembly. Pro tem Speaker Ninong Ering announced that Tesam Pongte has been elected unopposed as the Speaker of the state Assembly. 

7. Rare bioluminescent mushroom species ‘Phylloboletus manipularis’ discovered in Kerala 

  • In the dense forests of Kasargod in Kerala, scientists discovered Phylloboletus manipularis, a rare bioluminescent mushroom that emits a bright green glow at night. The species is one of the 50 identified mushrooms found during a micro-fungal survey in the Ranipuram forest. 
  • The bioluminescence, caused by luciferin and luciferase, attracts insects for spore dispersal. Despite its attractiveness, it is consumed with caution due to potential toxicity. The discovery underlines the rich fungal biodiversity of Kasargod. 
  • These mushrooms, also colloquially called ‘electric mushrooms’, have sparked interest due to their glowing feature, which is not usually found in terrestrial fungi. Bioluminescence in mushrooms is a type of chemiluminescence, a chemical reaction that produces light. The process involves the pigment luciferin and the enzyme luciferase, in which oxygen plays a vital role. 
  • Discovery of new plant species Petrocosmia arunachalense from Arunachal Pradesh A team of researchers from the Arunachal Pradesh Regional Centre of Botanical Survey of India has discovered a new plant species from the Mandla region of West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. It has been named Petrocosmia arunachalense. 
  • Belonging to the Gesneriaceae family, Petrocosmia arunachalense is notable for being only the second known species of the Petrocosmia genus found in India. This significant discovery enhances the plant diversity and underlines the rich flora of Arunachal Pradesh. 
  • Petrocosmia is a small species of rosette plants sometimes referred to as a gentle alpine species. The species is called "shi hudi shu", which means "stone butterfly species". They are also found in northeastern India, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand and southern Vietnam. 

8. Pat Cummins took the first hattrick of T20 World Cup, 2024 

  • Australia's Pat Cummins took the first hat-trick of this T20 World Cup in the Super Eight stage match against Bangladesh. 31-year-old Cummins dismissed Mahmudullah and Mehdi Hasan on the last two balls of the 18th over. After this, Tauheed Dil was sent to the pavilion on the first ball of the last over. This was the seventh hat-trick in the 

T20 World Cup. List of players who took hat-tricks in T20 World Cup 

  • Brett Lee Australia 2007 
  • Curtis Campher Ireland 2021 
  • Wanindu Hasaranga Sri Lanka 2021 
  • Kagiso Rabada South Africa 2021 
  • Karthik Meiyappan UAE 2022 
  • Josh Little Ireland 2022 
  • Pat Cummins Australia 2024 

Smriti Mandhana first Indian woman to score consecutive ODI centuries 

  •  Indian women's cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana created history by becoming the first Indian woman cricketer to score consecutive centuries in the ODI format. 
  •  She also equaled former Indian captain Mithali Raj's record for scoring the most centuries in a 50-over game.
  •   In the second ODI match being played between India and South Africa at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Mandhana scored 136 runs off 120 balls. In the first match of the series, Mandhana scored 117 runs off 127 balls, which included 12 fours and a six. 
  • Mandhana's seventh ODI century brought her to the 10th spot on the list of most hundreds in a 50-over game. Former Australia captain Meg Lanning tops the list with 15 centuries. 
  •  Mandhana's 136 runs off 120 balls is her highest score till date, and her seventh ODI century came in just 84 innings. In 2018, she scored 135 against South Africa. 

10. Sumit Nagal finishes runnerup at Perugia Challenger, Italy 

  •  Indian tennis star Sumit Nagal, a 26-year-old player from Jhajjar, Haryana, suffered a defeat in the final of the ATP Challenger in Perugia. Nagal lost 6-1, 6-2 to top seed Luciano Darderi of Italy. 
  •  Nagal reached his career-best world ranking of 71. This was Nagal's second consecutive appearance in a Challenger final, having won the title at the event in Heilbronn, Germany last week - his second title of the season. 
  •  To reach the final, he defeated former world number 37 (currently 193) Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-2.
  •  Despite the tennis tour moving to a grass season, Nagal has chosen to play on the clay surface, on which he is more comfortable. He will make his Wimbledon main draw debut when the Grand Slam begins on July 1. 
  •  Earlier this year, Nagal won the title at the Chennai Challenger, which followed his historic secondround performance at the Australian Open. 
  •  However, his performance at the Perugia Challenger final fell short of expectations, as he failed to secure his third title of the season. 
  •  The 26-year-old Nagal, who is the only participant representing India in the men's singles event at the Paris Olympics, has earned a commendable 777 ATP points.
  •   Nagal added to his achievements by winning the men's singles title at the Heilbronn Neckarcup 2024 Challenger event in Germany earlier this month. The win came after his triumph at the Chennai Open in February. These victories are part of a wider pattern of success for Nagal, who has claimed four ATP Challenger titles since 2023, with Heilbronn recording his fourth title on clay. 
  • The Perugia Tennis Club Perugia, at the heart of the Italian surge, with its 120-year-old heritage, is held in Italy from 10-16 June 2024. 

Armenia becomes the latest nation to recognise Palestine 

  • Armenia announced on Friday it was recognising the State of Palestine, the latest country to do so during the war in Gaza, saying it was against "violence towards civilian populations."
  •  A series of nations have recognised the State of Palestine amid the war between Israel and Hamas, drawing strong rebukes from Israeli officials. 
  • Shortly after the former Soviet republic announced the recognition, Israel's Foreign Ministry said it summoned Yerevan's Ambassador for a "severe reprimand".
  •  Yerevan noted it is "genuinely interested in establishing long-term peace and stability in the Middle East [West Asia]." 
  • "Confirming its commitment to international law, equality of nations, sovereignty and peaceful coexistence, the Republic of Armenia recognises the State of Palestine," Armenia added. Yerevan, which has itself been ridden by conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan for decades, slammed Israel's military conduct in Gaza. 
  • Call for freedom
  •  It also criticized Hamas for "the captivity of civilian persons" and said Armenia "joins the demands of the international community on freeing them."
  • In late May, Spain, Ireland, and Norway officially recognised the State of Palestine, stating they saw the move as a step towards peace in the region. 
  • Israeli authorities accused the European trio of "rewarding terrorism" with their actions. 

'Peer support from TB survivors aids treatment of over four lakh patients’ 

  • Over four lakh people with tuberculosis across India received essential peer support and person-centered care from 2,000 TB survivors trained as 'champions', said the Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH), a non-profit organization working on TB, at the national dissemination meeting of the Unite to ACT Project in New Delhi on Friday. 
  • At the meeting, former NITI Aayog member Vinod Kumar Paul emphasized the vital role of community engagement in eliminating TB in India and appreciated REACH for developing a model worthy of emulation, with the 'TB Champions' at the forefront, said a press release from REACH. As part of the Unite to Act project, 'TB
  • As a result, we have been able to improve the overall treatment success rates for people with TB." 
  • Champions' or survivors work as community role models to raise awareness about the disease and provide valuable care and support to the affected people. REACH director Ramya Ananthakrishnan said, "Through the Unite to ACT project, we have witnessed first-hand the commitment of TB Champions in transforming lives and reducing stigma within communities, by drawing on their own personal experiences of TB and driven by the motivation that no one should suffer like they did. 
  • Arun Kumar Jha, former Economic Adviser, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Raghuram Rao, Assistant Director General, Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Nishant Kumar, Joint Director, Central Tв Division, Ministry of E Health and Family Welfare; and Sarabjit Chadha, Regional Technical Director (India & South-East Asia), FIND, participated. 

Bangladesh Prime Minister arrives on two-day visit to India 

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh arrived here on Friday for a two-day visit that is being watched keenly as it is the first state visit by a foreign head of government just 10 days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third term in office. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar was the first to call on Ms. Hasina soon after she reached Delhi. 
  • "Her state visit to India underlines our close and abiding ties. Appreciate her guidance on the further development of our special partnership," said Dr. Jaishankar. Ms. Hasina has maintained cordial relations with the Modi government and the two sides have often worked together on critical issues such as combating the pandemic or security matters, but in this visit, the presence of the Governor of the Bangladesh 
  • Central Bank Abdur Rouf Talukdar in the delegation of the Bangladesh side has heightened curiosity about the substance of the visit. Bangladesh is currently combating a financial crisis including high inflation and banking sector liquidity crunch. 
  • The delegation also includes Secretary of Economic Relations Department Mohammad Shahriar Quader Siddiqui. Res Notably, Kazi Zafrullah, one of the biggest bankers in Bangladesh and a leading light of Awami League, is also part of the visiting delegation

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