Current Affairs | National | International | SSC | UPSC 25th June 2024

National News 

1. Indian Army opened Khalubar War Memorial to tourists in Ladakh 

  • In Ladakh, as a tribute to the heroes of the Kargil War, the Indian Army has opened the Khalubar War Memorial to tourists. 
  • This opening ceremony was part of the ‘Forever in Operations’ Division’s Pre-Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations as this year, the country will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26 July. 
  • Located in the renowned Aryan Valley this memorial commemorates the bravery and sacrifices of soldiers who fought to reclaim the valley during the war. 
  • Khalubar, a serene valley near the border, became a focal point during the Kargil War when enemy forces captured it. The area was recaptured by the valiant efforts of Indian soldiers, including Captain Manoj Pandey, whose heroic actions are now immortalized at the memorial. 
  • Alongside the military, the local men and women played a pivotal role in the battle, cementing the valley’s historical and cultural significance. 

2. India, Pak. delegations reach J&K to inspect power projects under Indus Water Treaty 

  • Delegations from India and Pakistan on Monday flew to Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir with neutral experts and began inspection of two power projects under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), officials said. 
  • Nearly 40 people reached Jammu on Sunday evening and flew to Kishtwar this morning for inspection of various under construction power projects in the Chenab valley region, the officials said. 
  • This is the first visit by a Pakistani delegation to Jammu and Kashmir in more than five years under the dispute settlement mechanism of the 1960 treaty. 
  • India and Pakistan signed the IWT after nine years of negotiations, with the World Bank being a signatory of the pact which sets out a mechanism for cooperation and information exchange between the two sides on the use of waters of a number of crossborder rivers. 
  • A three-member Pakistan delegation inspected the Pakal Dul and Lower Kalnai hydroelectric power projects under the provisions of the IWT for the last time in January 2019. 
  • Immediately after landing at an Army camp, the delegation visited the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) headquarters, the officials said, adding that they left for the 85-MW Ratle hydroelectric power project site at Drabshalla for dam inspection. They will also visit the 1,000-MW Pakal Dul hydroelectric project on the Marusudar, a tributary of the Chenab, and other power projects in Kishtwar, the officials said. 

3. Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to be Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 

  • Outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark 'Teflon' Rutte will replace Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in October 2024. Romania's president withdrew from the race for the alliance's top post, leaving Rutte as the only remaining candidate. 
  • Rutte's diplomatic skills have seen him persuade sceptics, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to support his NATO candidacy. 
  • Most observers believe the US has already cleared the way for Rutte to be successfully elected. It was pressure from Washington that prompted Central and Eastern European and Baltic countries to change their stance. 
  • Rutte has been elected Prime Minister of the Netherlands several times since 2010, and each time he has been the leader of a coalition government. He is adept at working with politicians of different styles and positions. Mr Rutte will be the fourth Dutch official to become the organisation's top diplomat. 
  • Rutte is one of the most active politicians in Western Europe who supports aid for Ukraine. Mark Rutte, who provided more than $3 billion of Dutch military aid to Ukraine since 2022. 

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) 

  • It is a military alliance established by the North Atlantic Treaty of April, 1949 (also known as the Washington Treaty) by the United States, Canada, and several Western European countries to provide collective security against the Soviet Union. 
  • It currently consists of 32 member states. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Finland and Sweden are the newest member countries of NATO. Its headquarters: Brussels, Belgium. Headquarters of Allied Command Operations: Mons, Belgium. 

4. India won 29 medals including 3 gold in BRICS Games 2024 held in Kazan, Russia 

  • The 2024 BRICS Games is an international multi-sport event held in Kazan, Russia from 12 to 23 June 2024, Russia holds the presidency of BRICS in 2024. The mascot of the games is the leopard 'BRICS'. 
  • Russia, Belarus and China secured first, second and third positions respectively in the medal table. Russia won a total of 502 medals with 262 gold medals. 
  • The first medal for India in Kazan, Russia was won by the women's table tennis team of Poymanti Baisya, Moumita Dutta and Yashini Shivshankar, who won the bronze medal. India is ranked 8th in the medal table with 29 medals, including a total of three gold, six silver and 20 bronze medals. 
  • Indian boxers have performed brilliantly, winning two gold, three silver and five bronze medals. In the women's 48kg category, Meenakshi won the gold medal with an RSC decision against Jawaher Gharib Morad Abdullah of UAE. 
  • Anamika won the gold medal in the women's 50kg category by defeating Thandolwethu Mathiba of South Africa 5-0. 
  • The four-member Indian fencing team, comprising Bibish from Kanyakumari, Dev (Haryana), Akash Kumar (Bihar) and Tushar Aher (Maharashtra), created history by winning the bronze medal in the team foil event during the final stage of the BRICS 2024 Games in Kazan, Russia. 
  • This is a significant achievement, as it is the first time an Indian men's foil fencing team has achieved a podium finish in a BRICS tournament. 
  • The first football tournament among BRICS member countries was held in 2016 under India's chairmanship. Inspired by this, the first BRICS Games were held in 2017-2018. 

5. India wins 32 medals at World Medical and Health Games in France 

  • Four officers of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) have brought laurels to India by winning a record 32 medals at the 43rd World Medical and Health Games held from 16 to 23 June 2024 in Saint-Tropez, France. 
  • These officers are Lieutenant Colonel Sanjeev Malik, Major Anish George, Captain Stephen Sebastian and Captain Dania James. All the officers created history by winning 19 gold medals, 9 silver medals and 4 bronze medals in the world's largest sporting event for health professionals. 
  • Lieutenant Colonel Malik won five gold medals in 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, cross country and 4x100m relay in the above 35 years (male) category, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Major George won four gold, six silver and two bronze medals in various events in the under 35 years (male) category, while Captain Sebastian won six gold medals. 
  • Captain James won four gold, three silver and two bronze medals in 100m, 200m, 4x100 relay, javelin throw, discus throw, shotput, badminton singles, badminton doubles and powerlifting in the under 35 years (female) category, the ministry said. 
  • The World Medical and Health Games, often referred to as the 'Olympic Games for health professionals'. With a legacy dating back to 1978, the games attract over 2,500 participants from over 50 different countries every year. 

6. India’s first pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification in Jharkhand 

  • The Ministry of Coal via Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has initiated India’s first pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara District, Jharkhand. 
  • This first ever groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionize the coal industry by using in-situ coal gasification to convert it into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. 
  • These gases can be utilized to produce synthetic natural gas, chemical feedstocks for fuels, fertilizers, explosives, and other industrial applications. 

About Jharkhand 

  • Capital – Ranchi 
  • Chief Minister – Champai Soren (replace Hemant Soren) 
  • Governor – P. Radhakrishnan 

International News 

7. India, Philippines rediscovering each other, BrahMos a game changer: envoy 

  • Terming the BrahMoscruise missiles inducted by the Philippines a "game changer" which provides credible capabilities, Philippines envoy Josel F. Ignacio said India was a major source for the modernisation of the Philippines armed forces which was under way. 
  • "There is a renaissance in the relationship between India and the Philippines and they are rediscovering each other," Mr. Ignacio said on Monday. 
  • "It [the deal] is a great milestone for both countries. BrahMos is a game changer for the Philippines in that it confers credible defense and deterrent capabilities. For India, the significance is it is the first overseas export of the BrahMos and it is an affirmation of India's rising capabilities and of its own indigenous defense industry. In a way, it expands India's footprint overseas," Mr. Ignacio said, speaking at the Observer Research Foundation. In January 2022, the Philippines concluded a $375 million deal with India for three batteries of shore-based anti-ship variants of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, becoming the first export customer for the joint venture missile between India and Russia. The first batch of missiles was delivered this April. 
  • Defense is one the most visible areas seeing a renaissance and catching widespread interest on both sides, the envoy noted. Elaborating, he said, the cooperation was underpinned by a MoU on defense cooperation signed in 2006 and this was reinforced in 2017 by a MoU between the Defence Ministries on industry and logistics corporation. 

New dimension 

  • "This opened a new dimension in the cooperation because this opened up equipment transfers and purchases that we are seeing now," the envoy said. This MoU is further backed by an implementing arrangement concerning defense material and equipment that facilitates government-to-government procurement. 
  • "The Philippines over the past few years has seen India as one of the major sources of modernisation. of the armed forces," Mr. Ignacio said. The Philip- pines armed forces are currently in Phase 3 modernisation termed Horizon-3, he said.

8. Somalia’s female media team ‘Bilan’ wins ‘One World Media Press Freedom Award’ 

  • Somalia’s only female news team, Bilan, has won the London-based 2024 One World Media Press Freedom Award, becoming the first Somali media team to receive the honour. 
  • The award honours their courageous reporting over the past two years, which has broken taboos and paved a path for female journalists in one of the most dangerous countries to report news. 
  • “We are delighted to have our work recognised in this way,” said Hinda Abdi Mohamed, Bilan’s editor-inchief. “We hope that an all-female news team winning such an award will change attitudes in Somalia and open up more opportunities for women in the media and professional jobs.” 
  • Established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2021 and funded by the European Union through UNDP from 2024, Bilan offers Somali female journalists the opportunity to exercise editorial freedom. 
  • He has used this freedom to break some of the major stories from Somalia on a range of issues, including discrimination and violence against albino communities, the lives of HIVpositive Somalis living on the streets, the abuse of female orphans, schools for autistic children and teachers, and the growing opium use among women in Mogadishu. 

9. Australia's Pat Cummins becomes first bowler in the world to take two consecutive hat-tricks in T20 World Cup 

  • Australia's fast bowler Pat Cummins has become the first bowler to register two consecutive hat-tricks in the T20 World Cup during his team's Super Eight game against Afghanistan in St Vincent. 
  • The 31-year-old Pat Cummins dismissed Rashid Khan off the last ball of the 18th over and then achieved the historic feat by taking the wickets of Karim Janat and Gulbadin Naib in the 20th over. 
  • Cummins took his first hat-trick in the match against Bangladesh, dismissing Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan and Tauheed Hridaya in the 18th and 20th overs. 
  • However, Cummins' efforts went in vain as Afghanistan registered their first win over Australia and defeated the giants by 21 runs. Batting first, Afghanistan scored 148 for 5 in 20 overs. 
  • Chasing a target of 149 runs, Australia were bundled out for 127 in 19.2 overs. Afghan all-rounder Gulbadin Naib took 4 crucial wickets and was awarded the Player of the Match award. 

10. Rahil Gangjee wins PKNS Selangor Masters in golf in Malaysia 

  • In golf, India's Rahil Gangjee emerged victorious at the PKNS Selangor Masters in Malaysia despite a challenging final round. Starting the day with a comfortable five-shot lead, the 45-year-old shot 8-under for the tournament, just one shot behind Dayne Lawson who shot a 69. 
  • Gangjee managed to regain his composure with crucial birdies on the 12th, 13th and 16th holes. Despite bogeying the final two holes, he ensured victory and finished with a total score of 272, beating Lawson by a narrow margin, who finished on 273. 
  • Lim and Runchanapong finished tied for third with rounds of 69. Saptak Talwar was the only other Indian to make the cut, tied for 33rd after a final round that included three closing bogeys. 
  • This was Gangjee's second win on the ADT after his 2018 success in the Louis Philippe Cup in India. He has two Asian Tour wins - first in 2004 at the Volkswagen Masters in Beijing and then 14 years later at the Panasonic Open in Japan. 

11. Kozhikode becomes India's first 'City of Literature' in UNESCO list 

  • On June 23, 2024, Kozhikode in Kerala created history by officially becoming the first UNESCO City of Literature in India. Local Self Government Minister M.B. Rajesh announced the achievement at the Kandamkulam Muhammad Abdu Rahman Memorial Jubilee Hall in Tali, Kozhikode. 
  • UNESCO conferred this prestigious title on Kozhikode on October 31, 2023. With this, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh made it to the prestigious list in the 'Music' category. 
  • These cities have joined the list of places that have received tags from UNESCO which includes Bukhara - crafts and folk arts, Casablanca - media arts, Chongqing - design, Kathmandu - film, Rio de Janeiro - literature, and Ulaanbaatar - crafts and folk arts. 
  • The state government also announced that from the coming year, June 23 will be celebrated as Kozhikode's 'City of Literature' day. Kozhikode has surpassed Kolkata to become the first city of literature in the country, which has a rich tradition of literature. 
  • Tourism Minister P.A. Mohammed Riyas, who launched the logo and website of 'Kozhikode - City of Literature', said Beypore and the home of writer Vaikom Mohammed Basheer are integral parts of the Malabar Literary Circuit planned by the tourism department. 
  • Kozhikode, once known as the city of Zamorin, is also known as Calicut. Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first visited India in 1498. 
  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004. Sustainable cities and communities are the target of Sustainable Development Goal 11. The network covers seven creative sectors: crafts and folk arts, media arts, film, design, gastronomy, literature and music. 

State News 

12. India's first Olympic Studies and Research Centre inaugurated in Gujarat 

  • On the occasion of International Olympic Day on 23 June 2024, Indian Olympic Association President and veteran sprinter PT Usha inaugurated the country's first Olympic Studies and Research Centres (OSRCs) in Gujarat. 
  • This pioneering facility called the Bharat Centre for Olympic Research and Education (B-CORE) will be hosted by the Rashtriya Raksha University (RRU) in Gujarat. The Olympic Studies and Research Centres (OSRCs) will attract scholars and researchers from across the world. 
  • The centre, which will be the 71st centre in the world and the flagship centre of its kind in India and South Asia, has received official recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the official support of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). 
  • The B-CORE will serve as a platform for scholars, professionals, athletes and coaches who will strive to deepen their understanding of Olympism and its impact on society. 
  • The establishment of B-CORE is in line with India's aspirations to potentially host future editions of the Olympic Games. India is keen to host the Olympics in 2036 and plans to bid for it. 
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Founded in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas. 
  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was officially formed in 1927. This eventually led to the creation of the Indian Olympic Association in 1927 under the leadership of Sir Dorab Tata. The origin of the IOA is traced back to India’s participation in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. 

India’s first pilot project of underground coal gasification launched in Jharkhand 

  • Under the strategic direction of the Ministry of Coal, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has launched an innovative pilot project for underground coal gasification (UCG) in Kasta coal block of Jamtara district, Jharkhand. 
  • The aim is to use in-situ coal gasification to convert it into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. 
  • These gases can be used to produce synthetic natural gas, fuels, chemical feedstock for fertilizers, explosives and other industrial applications. 
  • This pilot project is an important milestone for Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries. 
  • In December, 2015, the Ministry of Coal approved a comprehensive policy framework for UCG in coal and lignite bearing areas. Managed by ECL in collaboration with CMPDI Ranchi and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI) from Canada, the project lasts for two years and consists of two phases. 

13. Famous Ambubachi Mela begins at Kamakhya temple in Assam 

  • In Assam, the famous Ambubachi Mela at Kamakhya temple has begun on 23 June 2024. It will end on the 26th of this month. The event celebrates the annual menstruation of Goddess Kamakhya, who symbolizes fertility and womanhood. 
  • The doors of the sanctum sanctorum of Kamakhya temple, one of the 51 Shaktipeeths, will remain closed during the festival. The gates will reopen on 26 June 2024. The Kamrup Metro district administration has made extensive arrangements for the devotees. 
  • Ambubachi means speaking with water and it also means that the rains in this month make the earth fertile and ready for reproduction. Daily worship is suspended during this period. All agricultural work such as digging, ploughing, sowing and transplanting of crops are forbidden. Widows, brahmacharis and Brahmins abstain from cooked food on these days. 
  • This Peetha of Kamakhya is the centre of creation of this world. He said it is the centre of energy that keeps this living world alive. Historical evidence proves that the temple came into existence in the 5th century and underwent changes over the centuries, but Maa Kamakhya has been on Nilachal Hill since time immemorial. 

Devasnana Purnima rituals begin at Lord Jagannath in Odisha 

  • In Odisha, the Devsnana Purnima or Snan Yatra rituals of Lord Jagannath and his siblings began at the Puri Srimandir. Sevaks took out Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, Sudarshan and Madanmohan from the 'Ratna Singhasan' in the sanctum sanctorum of the main temple with a 'pahandi' procession amid chants of Jai Jagannath. They were taken to the Snan Vedi (bathing altar) located in the outer temple complex. 
  • Priests sanctified water brought from the holy well located inside the temple complex, also known as the Golden Well, before the rituals. A total of 108 pots of scented and herbal water were used for the Lord's bath. 
  • Servants offered 35 pots of water to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra bathed with 33 pots of water, Goddess Subhadra bathed with 22 pots of water and Lord Sudarshan bathed with 18 pots of water. 

Appointment News

14. HDFC ERGO General Insurance elevates Anuj Tyagi as MD and CEO 

  • Anuj Tyagi has been appointed as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HDFC ERGO General Insurance. 
  • Tyagi will succeed Ritesh Kumar effective July 1. 
  • Tyagi has been with the company since 2008, holding various functions during his tenure. He was elevated as joint managing director in April 2023. 

Recent Appointment in Banking & Insurance Sector 

  • CMD of New India Assurance Company – Girija Subramanian 
  • Non-executive Independent Director of Paytm – Neeraj Arora 
  • MD and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank – Ajith Kumar KK 
  • DG of ESIC – Kamal Kishore Soan 
  • MD & CEO of PNB MetLife India Insurance – Sameer Bansal (replace Ashish Srivastava) 

15. Mrinal Kr Das appointed as Director in Department of Consumer Affairs 

  • Mrinal Kumar Das (IRS) has been appointed as the Director in the Department of Consumer Affairs under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. 
  • Das has been selected for the appointment to the said post under the Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) for a period of five years from the date of taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever event takes place earlier. 
  • Das is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer of 2007 batch. He was recommended for the Central deputation by the Department of Revenue. 

Recent Appointment 

  • Secretary of TRAI – Atul Kumar Chaudhary (replace V Raghunandan) 
  • Director (Enterprise) in BSNL -Sudhakararao Papa 
  • Chairman of Global Wind Energy Council India (GWEC India) – Girish Tanti 
  • President of the Asian Association of Hair Restoration Surgeons – Dr Kapil Dua 
  • Principal Secretary to PM – Dr PK Mishra (reappointment)
  • National Security Advisor – Ajit Doval (reappointment) 

Awards News

16. ‘Golden Thread’ bags the prestigious Golden Conch award at 18th MIFF 2024 

  • The Indian film ‘The Golden Thread’, directed by Nistha Jain bagged the coveted Golden Conch award for the Best Documentary at MIFF 2024. 
  • The film is both an homage to and an observation of the how last vestiges of the Industrial Revolution were impacted by the forces of economic change. 
  • The film, adjudged as the best documentary of the South Asia’s oldest and largest film festival for non-fiction, not only illustrates the relationship of man to machine but also questions how capitalism values man as equal only to his labor. 
  • Earlier noted wildlife filmmaker Subbiah Nallamuthu was conferred with the 18th V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the inauguration of the 18th MIFF 2024. 
  • The 18th biennial MIFF 2024 was organised by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and executed by the National Film Development Corporation at Mumbai. 

Award Winner at the 18th MIFF 2024 

International Competition Award Section Golden Conch Award for the Best Documentary 

  • Golden Thread documentary film directed by Nistha Jain. 
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs, a citation and a Golden Conch as a trophy. 

Best International Short Fiction Film 

  • Sour Milk, directed by Vera Pirogova of Estonia. 
  • The award carries a Silver Conch as a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs. 

Best International Animation Film 

  • Zima’, directed by Tomek Popakul, Kasumi Ozeki of Poland. 
  • The award carries a Silver Conch as a trophy and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs. 

Pramod Pati Award For Most Innovative / Experimental Film (Director) 

  • ‘The Old Young Crow’, directed by Liam Lopinto of Japan. 
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and a trophy. 

Special Jury Mention 

  • ‘Lovely Jackson’, directed by Matt Waldeck of the United States of America. 
  • The winner gets a trophy and a cash prize of Rs one Lakh. 

National Competition Awards Section 

Best Indian Documentary Film (above 60 minutes) 

  • ‘6-A Akash Ganga’ directed by Nirmal Chander Dandriyal. 
  • The award carries a silver conch as a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs. 

Best Indian Short Fiction Film (up to 30 minutes duration) 

  • ‘Salt’ directed by Barkha Prashant Naik. 
  • The award a silver conch as a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs. 

Best Indian Animation Film 

  • ‘Nirjara’, directed by Gaurav Pati. 
  • The award consists of a silver conch trophy and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs. 

Special Jury Mention 

  • ‘A Coconut Tree’ directed by Joshy Benedict. 

Sponsored Awards Section 

Dadasaheb Phalke Chitranagari Award for Best Debut Director 

  • Sreemoyee Singh
  • The winner is given a trophy and prize money of Rs 1 lakh. 

FIPRESCI International Critic Jury Award 

  • Sreemoyee Singh for her film ‘And, Towards Happy Alleys’. 

IDPA Award for Best Student Film 

  • ‘Chanchisoa (Expectation)’ directed by Elvachisa Ch Sangma and Dipankar Das. 
  • The award winner gets a trophy and Rs one lakh as a cash prize. 

Special Award Section 

Best short film made on “India in Amrit Kaal” (up to 15 min.) 

  • Life in Loom, directed by Edmond Ranson. 
  • The award winner gets prize money of Rs one lakh, a trophy and a certificate. 

Technical Award Section 

Best Cinematographer 

  • ‘Babin Dulal’ (Nepal) for the film ‘Dhorpatan: No Winter Holidays’ and Suraj Thakur (India) for the film ‘Entangled.’ 
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs three lakhs, a trophy and a certificate.

Best Editor 

  • Vignesh Kumulai for the film ‘Karparaa’ and Irene Dhar Mallik for the film ‘From the Shadows. 
  • The award winner gets a prize money of Rs three lakhs, a trophy and a certificate. 

Best Sound Designer 

  • Niraj Gera for the film ‘The Golden Thread’ and Abhijit Sarkar for the film ‘Dhara Ka Tem.’ 
  • The award winner gets a prize money of Rs three lakhs, a trophy 

Sports News

17. Sreeja Akula creates history by winning WTT Contender singles title 

  • Sreeja Akula of Hyderabad became the first Indian table tennis player to win a WTT (World Table Tennis) Contender Women’s single title. 
  • Sreeja Akula won both the women’s singles and doubles titles at the WTT Contender Lagos 2024 event. 
  • The USD 80,000 prize money WTT Contender Lagos 2024 was held at the Sir Molade Okoya Thomas Indoor Sports Hall in Lagos, Nigeria. 
  • Sreeja Akula, defeated the 16-year-old Yijie Ding of China 4-1 (10-12,11-9,11-6,11-8,11-6) in the final of the WTT Contender Lagos 2024 to win her first WTT Contender title. 

Women’s Singles 

  • Winner – Sreeja Akula (India) 
  • Runner Up – Yijie Ding (China) 

Men’s Singles 

  • Winner – Dimitrij Ovtcharov (Germany) 
  • Runner up – Ricardo Walther (Germany) 

Women Doubles 

  • Winner – Sreejas Akula and Archana Kamath (India) 
  • Runner up – Yashaswini Ghorpade and Diya Chitale (India) 

Men’s Doubles 

  • Winner – Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar (India) 
  • Runner up – Olajide Omotayo and Azeez Solanke (Nigeria) 

Books and Authors News

18. Maharashtra Governor releases book titled ‘Gateways to the Sea’ 

  • The Governor of Maharashtra Ramesh Bais released a book titled ‘Gateways to the Sea: Historic Ports and Docks of Mumbai Region’ at Raj Bhavan Mumbai. 
  • The book has been published by the Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GoI. It comprises of 18 articles by renowned authors, compiled by the Maritime Mumbai Museum Society (MMMS) 
  • The publication of this book is an important milestone in creating awareness about the ancient ports stated above and it also covers the development of modern ports and docks of Mumbai including Mazagon Dock, Mumbai Port, Bombay Dock, Sassoon Dock and Ferry Wharf also known as Bhaucha Dhakka. 

Recent Book 

  • The Adventures of Ed-a-Mamma: Ed Finds A Home – launched by Alia Bhatt 
  • India’s Trade Policy; The 1990’s and beyond – Arvind Panagariya 
  • An Anchored Vision – Karumuttu T Kanan 
  • India and The Indian Ocean World Trade and Politics – Ashin Das Gupta 
  • A Fly on the RBI Wall – Alpana Killawala 
  • The Scam That Shook a Nation: The Nagarwala Scandal – Prakash Patra and Rasheed Kidwai 

Important day 

19. 24 June – International Day of Women in Diplomacy 

  • International Day of Women in Diplomacy is celebrated on June 24 every year to highlight the contribution of women to diplomacy – those who are breaking barriers and doing commendable jobs in this field. 
  • Theme 2024 – Women’s Leadership in Multilateral Diplomacy 
  • This year, the event to mark the International Day of Women in Diplomacy at the United Nations Headquarters in New York brings together high-level government officials, diplomats, senior representatives of the UN system and other stakeholders. 
  • The event aims to facilitate interactive discussions and exchanges on the contributions, challenges and opportunities for women in diplomacy to catalyse change and transformation in multilateral affairs, the UN website stated. 

20. 25 June – International Day of the Seafarer 

  • International Day of the Seafarer is celebrated every year on 25 June. 
  • This special day was created by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to recognize the important role seafarers play in our daily lives and the global economy. 
  • The Day of the Seafarer was established during an important meeting in Manila in 2010. At this meeting, countries agreed on new standards for training seafarers (called the STCW Convention). 
  • The resolution that created this day encourages everyone involved in shipping – from governments to companies – to promote the Day of the Seafarer and find meaningful ways to celebrate it. 

Science and Technology News 

21. ISRO successfully tests reusable launch vehicle 'Pushpak' for the third and final time in Karnataka 

  • Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO has said that the third and final landing experiment of its reusable launch vehicle 'Pushpak' was successful. The landing experiment was carried out at the Aeronautical Test Range in Chitradurga, Karnataka. 
  • RLV LEX-03, which means Reusable Launch Vehicle Landing Experiment 3, again demonstrated autonomous landing capability in more severe wind conditions. A Chinook helicopter released the reusable launch vehicle Pushpak at an altitude of 4.5 km from the runway. 
  • After aerial release, Pushpak automatically performed crossrange correction manoeuvres and approached the runway and made a precise horizontal landing on the runway centre line.
  • Due to the aerodynamic configuration with low lift-to-drag ratio, Pushpak reached the runway at a speed of 320 kmph, while a normal fighter aircraft has a speed of 280 kmph. After landing, the speed of Pushpak was reduced to about 100 kmph using brake parachutes followed by landing gear brakes for deceleration and stopping on the runway. 
  • Pushpak used its rudder and nose wheel steering systems to autonomously maintain a stable and precise ground roll on the runway. This will reduce the launch cost and help advance space exploration in the coming years. 
  • Pushpak used multi-sensor fusion including an inertial sensor, radar altimeter, flush air data system, pseudolight system and navigational navigation system. 
  • ISRO demonstrated its winged vehicle RLV-TD in the HEX mission of May 2016. The HEX mission was a virtual test of landing of this vehicle on a runway in the Bay of Bengal, precise/actual landing on the runway was not a part of the HEX mission. 
  • The LEX Mission achieved the final approach phase demonstrating an autonomous, high-speed (350 kmph) landing. 
  • SpaceX has been demonstrating partially reusable launch systems with its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets since 2017. SpaceX is also working on a fully reusable launch vehicle system called Starship. 

22. Union Education Ministry constitutes high-level committee headed by Dr K Radhakrishnan for transparent conduct of examinations 

  • The Union Education Ministry has constituted a high-level committee of experts to ensure transparent, smooth and fair conduct of examinations. Dr K Radhakrishnan, former ISRO chairman and chairman of the board of governors of IIT Kanpur, will head this 7- member panel. 
  • The other members are: Dr Randeep Guleria, former director, AIIMS Delhi; Prof B J Rao, vicechancellor, Central University of Hyderabad; Prof Ramamurthy K, emeritus professor, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras; Pankaj Bansal, co-founder, People Strong and board member, Karmayogi Bharat; Prof Aditya Mittal, dean student affairs, IIT Delhi; Govind Jaiswal, joint secretary, ministry of education. 
  • The NEET exam was held on May 5 at 4,750 centres and around 24 lakh candidates appeared for it. The results were expected to be declared on June 14 but were postponed on June 4 as the evaluation of answer sheets was completed earlier. For the first time in the history of NTA, 67 students scored a perfect 720 marks, including six from a centre in Faridabad, Haryana, raising suspicions of irregularities. It is alleged that grace marks contributed to the 67 students getting the same top ranks. 

National Testing Agency (NTA) 

  • The National Testing Agency (NTA) is an autonomous agency under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, India. It was established in November 2017 to conduct entrance exams admissions and recruitment. The NTA is responsible for conducting several nationallevel examinations for admissions and fellowships in higher educational institutions related to engineering, medicine, management and pharmacy. 

NTA Director General IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola 

  • National Testing Agency (NTA) Director General Subhash Kumar Singh was removed from the post on June 22 amid controversy over irregularities in the examinations. 
  • India Trade Promotion Organisation Chairman and MD Pradeep Singh Kharola has been given the additional charge of NTA Director General until regular appointment or further orders.

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