Daily Current Affairs 22nd June, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 22nd June, 2017


UN Appoints Russian Diplomat Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of newly established United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre

  • The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia.
  • The Vladimir Voronkov has been given the rank of Under-Secretary-General. The new Under-Secretary-General would Chair the Task Force and Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre.
  • The newly established UNCCT has been mandated to oversee the counterterrorism efforts of 36 UN-funded programmes under the ambit of a variety of UN agencies, 12 inter-agency working groups, Interpol, and the World Customs Organisation.

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman appointed Crown Prince

  • Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman, as heir, in a major reshuffle. A royal decree removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57-year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince.
  • The newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defense minister.


India’s population to surpass that of China’s around 2024: UN

  • The World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, was recently released. The 2017 Revision of World Population Prospects is the 25th round of official UN population estimates and projections.
  • According to the UN forecast, India’s population could surpass that of China’s around 2024, two years later than previously estimated, and is projected to touch 1.5 billion in 2030. Currently China with 1.41 billion inhabitants and India with 1.34 billion remain the two most populous countries, comprising 19 and 18{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} of the total global population.
  • The population of China is projected to remain stable until the 2030s, after which it may begin a slow decline. India s population may eventually see a decline in the half century after 2050 to 1.51 billion by 2100 but it will still be the most populous country in the world.
  • In India, life expectancy at birth will be 71 years in 2025-2030, growing to 74.2 years in 2045-2050. The under-five mortality rate will decline from 32.3 deaths under age five per 1,000 live births in 2025-2030 to 18.6 in 2045-2050.


Railways to launch Operation Swarn to revamp Rajdhani, Shatabdi Trains  

  • Concerned over the complaints received from the public over the premium trains of Indian Railways like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express, Railways have decided to launch “Operation Swarn (‘gold’)“.
  • The operation is aimed at improving the services in these premium trains. The Railways have decided to launch this operation after it received complaints from passengers regarding the sanitation, food quality and delay in train arrivals etc.
  • Under the operation, in the first phase, Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express will be upgraded. More trains will be identified for upgradation in a phased manner
  • Under the initiative, Indian Railways will work towards improving 10 aspects, namely, punctuality, cleanliness, linen, coach interiors, toilets, catering, staff behaviour, security, entertainment, housekeeping and regular feedback.
  • Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping.
  • Under the operation, a sum of Rs 50 lakh would be allotted to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on various routes for the purpose of revamping. Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.
  • Indian railways will constitute two committees to monitor the revamping work under ‘Operation Swarn’.
  • The upgraded trains will also have improved coach interiors, better furnishing and new comfortable seats. In future, these premium trains will also be upgraded with services like Wi-Fi, infotainment screens, coffee vending machines etc.

India’s Largest Municipal Bond Programme Launched

  • Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has launched India’s largest municipal bond programme.
  • The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) became the first municipal corporation in the country to tap money through municipal bonds in 14 years.
  • The AA+ rated PMC’s municipal bonds raised Rs 200 crore at 7.59 per cent rate at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
  • This is the first-ever mobilisation of debt capital by a municipal corporation on the BSE BOND platform.
  • This will also be the first issuance since the publication of ‘Issue and Listing of Debt Securities by Municipalities Regulations, 2015’ by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Uttarakhand and Haryana Declared Open Defecation Free States

  • Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have been declared as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India. Already, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, have been declared ODF.
  • As per the government sources, nationally the sanitation coverage has increased from 42{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} to over 64{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} since the launch of SBM. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats.
  • All these have been declared as ODF. With this, the total number of ODF states in the country have increased to 5 covering more than 2 lakh villages and 147 districts across the country.


NASA, Italian Space Agency to probe cosmic X-ray mysteries

  • NASA has signed an agreement with Italian Space Agency for the launch of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission that will provide important clues about the origins of cosmic X-rays, their interactions with matter and gravity as they travel through space.
  • Slated to launch in 2020, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission will help explore some of the most turbulent and extreme environments in our universe — from the hottest, messiest star factories to violent jets screaming away from monster black holes.
  • The IXPE mission will fly three telescope systems capable of measuring the polarisation of X-rays emitted by cosmic sources.


 Annabel Mehta awarded with the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

  • Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law and social activist Annabel Mehta, a British national, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work and service to the underprivileged.


Uber Co-Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O.

  • Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has resigned from his position as chief executive of the $68bn ride-hailing app following a tumultuous six months of scandal.
  • Kalanick reportedly took the hard decision after a group of major Uber investors demanded his immediate resignation.


In historic first, UNICEF appoints Syrian refugee Muzoon Almellehan as Goodwill Ambassador

  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced, on the World Refugee Day (20 June), the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan, a 19-year-old education activist, and Syrian refugee, as its newest – and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador.
  • The appointment makes Muzoon the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF.


Second edition of Slum Daud

  • The second edition of the Slum Daud was recently inaugurated.
  • The Slum Yuva Daud is part of the Adopt Slum Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan. The Slum Yuva Daud & Adopt Slum campaigns aim at highlighting the government’s pro-people schemes among masses.

 Anil Kumble resigns as Head Coach of Indian Cricket team

  • Anil Kumble, the former Indian Captain, resigned from the post of Head Coach of the Indian Cricket team. His resignation came before the limited-overs tour of the West Indies team.
  • During this trip to the Caribbean, the team management will be supervised by M V Sridhar, the general manager of cricket operations. The batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar will continue in their roles.






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