Daily Current Affairs and GK | 18 June 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 18 Jun 2021 19:14 PM IST

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Topic: Important Days

1. Autistic Pride Day: 18 June

  • Every year 18 June is celebrated as Autistic Pride Day. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness among people about Autism.
  • The first Autistic Pride Day was celebrated in the year 2005 in Brazil by the Aspies For Freedom (AFF).
  • Autistic Pride Day is observed to protect the rights of persons with autism. It is represented by the rainbow infinity symbol.
  • According to data from the World Health Organization, one in 160 children is suffering from autistic disorder.
  • 2nd April is celebrated as World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a broad term used to describe a group of neurodevelopmental disorders. It affects a person's emotional and physical health.

Topic: Appointments

2. Satya Nadella named as chairman of Microsoft.

  • Microsoft Corp named Satya Nadella as its new chairman. He was unanimously elected as chairman of the Microsoft Board.
  • He will take place of John Thompson and serve as Microsoft CEO and chairman.
  • For the first time in two decades, the Microsoft CEO and chairman will be the same person.
  • He will be the third chairman in Microsoft’s history. He was appointed as CEO of Microsoft in 2014.
  • During his tenure, he focused on cloud computing, mobile applications, and artificial intelligence.
  • John Thompson will serve as the lead independent director.
  • Microsoft is an American multinational technology company. It is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, United States.

Satya Nadella named as chairman of Microsoft


Topic: International News

3. Bangladesh to establish an international vaccine institute.

  • Bangladesh will establish an international institute for vaccine production. It will produce vaccines for many diseases including Covid-19.
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced this in Parliament and said that the government will sign an agreement with South Korea to establish a vaccine institute in Bangladesh.
  • She further said that Bangladesh has till now received 1.08 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from foreign sources out of which 1.02 crore doses came from India.
  • Bangladesh:
    • It is located in the east of India on the Bay of Bengal.
    • Its capital is Dhaka, and the currency is Bangladeshi Taka.
    • Its Prime Minister is Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh to establish an international vaccine institute

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

4. PM Modi delivered a keynote address at Europe's largest digital and start-up event, VivaTech.

  • PM Modi delivered a keynote address at Europe's largest digital and start-up event, VivaTech via video conferencing.
  • While delivering a keynote address at the 5th edition of VivaTech, he said India is home to one of the world's largest start-up ecosystems.
  • PM Modi said that India implemented huge reforms across sectors even during the time of the pandemic.
  • PM Modi said that two public digital education programs- Swayam and Diksha - were operationalised in quick time to help students.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook, Chairman and CEO, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and President at Microsoft Brad Smith also participated in the event.
  • VivaTech is held every year in Paris since 2016. It is jointly organised by Publicis Groupe and Les Echos.
  • Publicis Groupe is an advertising and marketing conglomerate. Les Echos is a leading French media group.

5th edition of VivaTech

Topic: Environment and Ecology

5. Government releases Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India.

  • On the occasion of Desertification and Drought day, the Government released the latest edition of Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India.
  • It has been launched for generating awareness towards preventing and restoring land degradation.
  • Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India has been published by Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad.
  • It will provide state-wise data related to degraded lands for the year 2018-19. Apart from this, it also provides change analysis for a period of 15 years i.e. from 2003-04 to 2018-19.
  • It will also help in achieving the goal of the National Action Plan for achieving land restoration.  
  • On this occasion, Coffee Table Book “India Hosting UNCCD-COP 14” and a short film on UNCCD-COP 14 have been also released.
  • India has set up a target for restoring 26 Million ha of degraded land by 2030.
  • Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations.

Topic: National News

6. Government aims to reduce 50% road accident deaths by 2024.

  • The Government has set a target to reduce road accident deaths by 50% by the year 2024.
  • During a virtual session on 'Role of Corporates in Arresting Road Fatalities' organized by FICCI, Nitin Gadkari said that the government is proactively identifying the ‘black spot' in every state, district, and city.
  • With the support of the World Bank and ADB, Government has allocated Rs 14,000 crores for removing the black spots.
  • The government is committed to restructuring and strengthening four ‘E’ of road safety i.e Engineering, Economy, Enforcement, and Education.
  • The government has found that 50% of road accidents are due to road engineering problems.
  • The government will also set up an independent road safety council within 15 days.

Topic: Reports and Indices

7. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country according to the Global Peace Index 2021.

  • The 15th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) has been released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
  • It provides ranking to 163 countries according to their level of peacefulness. It uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators for ranking the countries.
  • According to this year’s Global Peace Index, the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 0.07 percent. 87 countries scores have improved while 73 countries score has deteriorated.
  • Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world. New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia are in the top 10 of the Index.
  • Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year. Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq are the least peaceful countries in the world.
  • The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the least peaceful region of the world.
  • India got 135th position in the peaceful Global Peace Index for 2021. Bangladesh and Pakistan have been placed on 91st and 150th positions respectively.






New Zealand





Topic: Space and IT

8. China sent first three astronauts to build Tiangong Space Station

  • China sent three astronauts as its first crew to its new Tiangong Space Station.
  • The astronauts will be traveling in the Shenzhou-12 spaceship launched by a Long March-2F Y12 rocket from Gansu province.
  • The mission is led by Nie Haisheng and the crew will stay for three months at the core module of the new Tiangong space station.
  • Shenzhou-12 is the third of 11 planned missions needed to build China’s space station.
  • The space station, Tiangong, will be in a T shape with the core module at the centre and a lab capsule on each side. It will be used for 15 years.
  • The space station, Tiangong, would be China’s first self-developed space station. International Space Station (ISS) is the only other station in service.
  • Tiangong would be placed in a low earth orbit between 340–450 km above the surface.

Topic: National News

9. Cabinet approves corporatization of Ordnance factory Board.

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). It will be replaced by seven new Defence Public Sector Undertakings.
  • The Defence Public Sector Undertakings will be 100 percent owned by the government. The corporatization of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will boost the defense manufacturing sector.
  • Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) controls 41 ordinance factories. Now, these ordinance factories will be split into seven government-owned Defence Public Sector Undertakings.
  • The restructuring of the Ordnance factory Board will improve the productivity and efficiency of the ordinance factories.
  • The new structure will help in removing the bottleneck in the defense manufacturing sector. It will improve the supply chain system and provide an incentive to become competitive.
  • Ordnance factories manufacture tanks, armoured personnel carriers, bombs, rockets, artillery guns, parachutes, small arms, clothing, and leather equipment for armed forces.
  • All OFB employees will be transferred to the corporate entities on deputation for an initial period of two years.

Topic: Indian Polity

10. Union Cabinet gives approval to Inland Vessels Bill, 2021.

  • Union Cabinet has given approval to Inland Vessels Bill, 2021, which will replace Inland Vessels Act, 1917.
  • The Bill will regulate the safety and registration of inland vessels.
  • Certificate of registration granted under the new bill will be valid in all states and UTs and separate permissions from the states will not be needed.
  • Under the bill, a central database is proposed for recording the details of vessel, vessel registration, and crew on an electronic portal. 
  • The bill proposes mandatory registration for all mechanically propelled vessels.
  • All non-mechanically propelled vessels will also have to be enrolled at district, taluk or panchayat or village level.

Topic: Appointments

11. Government appoints Aashish Chandorkar as ‘Counsellor’ in India's Permanent Mission in WTO for three years.

  • Government has appointed Aashish Chandorkar as ‘Counsellor’ in India's Permanent Mission in WTO for three years.
  • Government has for the first time appointed a private person at the Mission.
  • Aashish Chandorkar is the director of Smahi Foundation of Policy and Research.
  • Smahi Foundation of Policy and Research is a Bengaluru-based policy think tank.
  • India is a member of WTO since 1995.
  • World Trade Organization (WTO):
    • The WTO is an intergovernmental organization that regulates international trade between nations.
    • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is its current Director-General.
    • It was established on 1 January 1995. It has 164 members.

Topic: Reports and indices

12. India remains at 43rd rank on IMD's World Competitiveness Index.

  • India remained at 43rd rank on World Competitiveness Index compiled by Institute for Management Development (IMD).
  • World Competitiveness Index examined the impact of Covid-19 on economies all over the world this year.
  • Switzerland has achieved the first rank on the 64-nation list. This year Sweden has got second position.
  • Denmark is ranked third. The Netherlands retained its fourth rank. Singapore’s rank declined from first in 2020 to fifth place this year.
  • Taiwan moved up from 11th rank last year and reached in top-10 for the first time since the ranking began.
  • Among BRICS nations, India’s rank is second after China followed by Russia, Brazil and South Africa.
  • IMD World Competitiveness Center produces ranking annually. The ranking measures competitiveness of 64 nations with the help of four factors given below.
    • Economic performance
    • Government efficiency
    • Business efficiency
    • Infrastructure
  • 64 economies are ranked in IMD World Competitiveness Ranking. The ranking assesses the extent to which a country promotes the prosperity of its people.





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