Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 9th June 2024


National News 

1. Air India- Vistara merger gets NCLT nod

  • The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has granted its approval for the merger of Vistara with Air India allowing a period of nine months for the dissolution of the former. 
  • Tata Sons Private Limited will hold 73.38% stake in the merged entity, and Singapore Airlines 25.1%. The remaining 1.52% will be held by SBICAP Trustee Limited on behalf of Air India Employee Settlement Trust. 
  • The anti-competition trusts of India and Singapore have already granted their nod for the integration. Next, the DGCA will have to approve the transfer of Vistara’s crew, operations and aircraft to Air India. 
  • Vistara’s CEO Vinod Kannan has said that the airline aims to complete the merger by December 2024. 
  • The Tata Sons also fully own Air India Express which was merged with erstwhile AirAsia India, rechristened as Air India Connect after Malaysian airline group AirAsia sold its entire stake of 16.33% in 2022. 

2. ISRO set for landing experiment of reusable vehicle 

  • Taking its Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) programme one more step closer to reality, the Indian Space Research Organisation (IS- RO) is all set to carry out the third and final RLV landing experiment (RLV LEX). 
  • Speaking to The Hindu about the upcoming test mission, S. Unnikrishnan Nair, Director, Vikram Sa- rabhai Space Centre (VSSC), said a Mission Readiness Review (MRR) held on Friday cleared the mis- sion for the first half of June, subject to weather conditions, at the Aero- nautical Test Range at Chitradurga, Karnataka. 
  • "We are scaling up the difficulty level with the third and final mission," LEX-02 making a successful landing in March. FILE PHOTO Dr. Unnikrishnan Nair said. 

3 Mission details 

  • RLV-LEX missions involve taking an unmanned winged prototype, christened Pushpak, to a desig- nated height and releasing it to land safely under vary- ing conditions. In LEX-03, Pushpak will be carried to a height of 4.5 km and 500 metres to one side of the runway using an IAF Chi- nook helicopter and re- leased. In LEX-02, the se- cond mission, the altitude was the same but the later- al distance from the run- way was 150 metres. 
  • "It has to autonomously approach the runway, ma- noeuvre by making crossrange, downrange and altitude corrections to touch down on the runway," he said. The LEX-03 mission will look at how the sink rate, or the rate of descent, can be cut down to reduce the impact load. It will also have on board a real-time kinematics (RTK) package. Yet another challenge be- fore the upcoming mission is handling tailwind conditions. 
  • A Mission Readiness Review held on Friday cleared the mission for the first half of June. 

Pushpak development 

  • The VSSC at Thumba was responsible for the design and development of Pushpak. 
  • In the next stage of tests under the RLV-TD, the IS- RO will use an unmanned Orbital Re-entry Vehicle (ORV). The vehicle used will be 1.6 times the size of 'Pushpak' used for LEX. It will be placed in a 400 km orbit around earth using a modified Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV). 
  • This mission is expected in two years time. "Various experiments will be carried out in orbit. It will have, among other things, a thermal protection sys- tem for safe re-entry into the earth's atmosphere and a retractable landing gear. The ISRO has started work on the ORV," Dr. Nair said. 
  • The ISRO had success- fully carried out the LEX-01 mission on April 2, 2023 and the LEX-02 on March 22, 2024. 

4. 18th Mumbai International Film Festival to be held from June 15-21 

  • The 18th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) will be held in Mumbai from June 15 to 21. 
  • The film gala, which showcases non-feature films (documentary, short Fiction and animation) will be at the FD-NFDC Complex in Mumbai. 
  • Besides, MIFF screenings will also be held in Delhi at Sirifort Auditorium, Chennai at Tagore Film Centre, Pune at NFAI auditorium and Kolkata at SRFTI Auditorium. 
  • The 2024 edition will open with the screening of National Geographic’s documentary “Billy & Molly: An Otter Love Story”. 
  • The organisers received a record number of 1018 films from 38 countries and across 65 languages for the latest edition. 

International News 

5. Pakistan, China agree + to upgrade Corridor 

  • Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Chinese President Xi Jinping in their meeting have af- firmed consensus on the upgradation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corri- dor (CPEC) and advancing high-quality development of the multi-billion dollar project in the second phase. 
  • The leaders held an in-depth discussion at the historic Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday during the five-day official visit of Mr. Sharif which began on June 4. 
  • The leaders were accompanied by the Ministers and officials. This was the first meeting of Mr. Sharif with Mr. Xi since assuming office in 2024. 
  • The CPEC, which connects Gwadar Port in Pakistan's Balochistan with China's Xinjiang province, is the flagship project of China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

6. Pakistan, Panama, Somalia, Greece elected as UNSC non-permanent members 

  • Pakistan, Somalia, Denmark, Greece and Panama were elected as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council for a two-year term beginning 2025. 
  • The five members were elected by a secret ballot in the UN General Assembly for a 2-year term starting on January 1, 2025, until December 31, 2026.
  • In the two seats for African and Asia-Pacific States, Somalia got 179 votes and Pakistan 182. 
  • In the Latin American and Caribbean States, Panama got 183 votes while in the Western European and other States, Denmark got 184 votes and Greece 182. 

About United Nations (UN) 

  • Founded – 24 October 1945 
  • Headquarters – New York, US 
  • Official languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian & Spanish 
  • Membership – 193 members (193rd – South Sudan) 
  • 1st Secretary General – Trygve Halvdan Lie (Norway)
  • 9th Secretary‑General – António Guterres (Portugal) 
  • Deputy Secretary-General – Amina J. Mohammed (Nigeria) 
  • United Nations Day is celebrated on October 24 every year 

State News 

7. 2,000 hikes in annual honorarium paid to farmers in Rajasthan 

  • After the Bharatiya Janata Party's dismal performance in the Lok Sabha election in Rajasthan, the State government on Saturday announced an increase in the annual honorarium paid to farmers under the Union government's Kisan Samman Nidhi. 
  • With the BJP-ruled State government now contri- buting 2,000, the amount given to each farmhouse- hold has been enhanced from ₹6,000 to 28,000 per year. Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma said the BJP government was moving for- ward with the resolve of farmers' uplift. 
  • "The State government is committed to ensuring all-round development of farmers," Mr. Sharma said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). 
  • Rajasthan Finance Minister Diya Kumari had stated the government's intentions to fulfil the pro- mise while presenting the vote-on-account in the Assembly on February 8. 
  • The BJP government's announcement was seen as an attempt to mollify farm- ers ahead of the upcoming local body and panchayat polls in the State. 

8. Kolkata-based filmmaker's Mehroon wins laurels at KASHISH film festival 

  • The short film Mehroon, di- rected by Abu Sohel Khon- dekar, has won laurels at the KASISH International Film Festival in Mumbai.
  • After the film's screen- ing at Liberty Cinema in Mumbai on May 19, Khondekar, 34, a Kolkata-based queer filmmaker, won the Special Jury Mention for the Riyad Wadia Award for best emerging Indian film- maker. She had won the KASHISH QDrishti Film Grant of ₹2.5 lakh in 2023 to make the film. 
  • Mehroon was highly appreciated by the audience at the screening. The film maker remained in anticipation that much of the movie would fall through the cracks as there was no narration, and the audience had to figure out the story on their own without verbal cues. 
  • However, the movie received a great response from the audience and the jury. With much praise pouring in, Khondekar said, "It was a dream to see my own film on 35 mm and have an audience appreciate it and clap for it." 
  • She said the thought to title the film, Mehroon, came from Mehroon Nissa. the wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, often de- scribed as the real force that ran his empire. 
  • The titular character in the mo- vie, Anirban Mandal ar birth, chooses the nameMehroon, as a symbolic break from the Brahmini- cal conservatism to give herself a completely new identity. Her journey is traced through the silent yet impactful frames of the movie. 
  • Khondekar said, "The film's story was born out of the necessity to create something with the bare minimum. I believe we as the trans community can't wait for the larger Indian mass to accept us and then come out." 
  • After the suc- cess at KASHISH, Mehroon has been nominated to the Chennai International Queer Film Festival, where it will be screened in a month or two. 

Appointment News

9. Kamal Kishore Soan takes over the charge of DG of ESIC 

  • Kamal Kishore Soan took over the additional charge of Director General of Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) under Ministry of Labour & Employment. 
  • Soan is a senior 1998 batch’s IAS officer from Jharkhand Cadre. 
  • He is currently serving as an Additional Secretary and Director General, Labour Welfare in the Ministry of Labour & Employment. 

10. Raj Priy Singh (IFoS) appointed as Director in Department of Rural Development 

  • Raj Priy Singh (IFoS) has been selected for the appointment as Director in the Department of Rural Development under the Ministry of Rural Development. 
  • According to an order issued from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT), Singh has been selected for the appointment under the Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) for a period with effect from the date of taking over charge of the post until further orders, whichever is earlier. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Vice-Chancellor of IIFT – Rakesh Mohan Joshi 
  • Chairperson of Deendayal Port Authority – Sushil Kumar Singh (replace SK Mehta) 
  • Chairman of Staff Selection Commission (SSC) – Rakesh Ranjan 
  • CEO of Sony India – Gaurav Banerjee (replace NP Singh) 
  • Chairperson of Committee A Of 77TH WHA Event – Apurva Chandra 

Awards News

11. Vellayan Subbiah named the EY World Entrepreneur of The Year 2024 

  • Vellayan Subbiah was named the EY World Entrepreneur of The Year 2024 at an award ceremony held in Monaco’s Salle des Etoiles. 
  • He is an Executive Vice-Chairman of Tube Investments of India (TII) and Chairman of Cholamandalam (Chola) Investment and Finance Co. Ltd. 
  • Vellayan was selected from among nearly 5,000 programme participants that included 51 winners across 47 countries and jurisdictions competing for the global title. 
  • He is the fourth winner from India in the award’s 24-year history and his win also makes India the only country among EY regions to win the global entrepreneurship award four times. 
  • Narayana Murthy, Uday Kotak and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are the other Indians to win this award. 

Recent Award 

  • Dilip Bose Lifetime Achievement Award – Nar Singh & Rohini Lokhande 
  • Gudleppa Hallikeri Award 2024 – Siddhalinga Pattanashetti 
  • Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion 2024 – National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru 
  • CSR Champion Award 2024 – Power Finance Corporation Limited 
  • UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award – Major Radhika Sen 

Important day 

12. 8 June – World Oceans Day 

  • The United Nations marks World Oceans Day each year on 8 June through a annual event coordinated by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (Office of Legal Affairs). 
  • Objective – To create awareness and urge people to take measures in ensuring to restore the health of the oceans of the world. 
  • Theme 2024 – Awaken New Depths 
  • In 1992, World Oceans Day was proposed at the Earth Summit that took place in Rio De Janeiro. On December 5, 2008, The UN General Assembly designated June 8 to be observed as World Oceans Day every year. 

13. 8 June – World Brain Tumour Day 

  • World Brain Tumour Day is observed globally on 8 June. 
  • Objective – To raises awareness about brain tumours and supports those affected by this serious condition. 
  • Theme 2024 – Brain Health and Prevention 
  • The history of World Brain Tumour Day goes back 24 years when it was first observed in the year 2000 by a Leipzig-based NPO Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe e.V or German Brain Tumour Association. Obituary 

14. Eminent wildlife conservation activist, A J T Johnsingh passed away 

  • Distinguished Indian wildlife conservationist and biologist Asir Jawahar Thomas Johnsingh, also known as A J T Johnsingh, passed away in Bengaluru. 
  • A J T Johnsingh was 78 years old. 
  • AJT Johnsingh has authored over 70 scientific papers and more than 80 popular articles on wildlife conservation. 
  • He was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri. 
  • He was conferred with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award for Government from the Society for Conservation Biology, the ABN AMRO Sanctuary Lifetime Wildlife Service Award in 2005 and the Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Award 2004 for lifetime service to Indian wildlife.

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