Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 June 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 17:22 PM IST

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Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings/

1. CCRYN in association with Svyasa organised a conference on "Yoga for Space" in Bengaluru.

  • The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN), in association with Svyasa organized a conference on "Yoga for Space".
  • The conference is focused on the convergence of experts from various fields to enhance society, including astronauts.
  • These initiatives aim to raise awareness in society and to promote vigorous yoga practice.
  • "Yoga with Family" global video contest, YogaTech Challenges for innovative yoga ideas by Indian Startups, Yoga Quiz, Yoga Jingles, etc. have been part of this conference.
  • The inaugural session began with the welcome of all the keynote speakers by Dr. Manjunath NK, Vice Chancellor, Svyasa University.
  • The International Day of Yoga 2024 theme is "Yoga for Self & Society".

Topic: Sports

2. Neeraj Chopra won a gold medal in the Paavo Nurmi Games.

  • Neeraj Chopra won his first gold medal at the Paavo Nurmi Games ahead of the Olympics 2024.
  • He throws 85.97 meters in his third attempt to lead the field for a major part of the competition.
  • Toni Keranen claimed the silver medal with a personal best throw of 84.19 m.
  • Oliver Helander took the third spot with a throw of 83.96 m. Anderson Peters of Grenada finished in fourth place with 82.58m
  • In 2022, Neeraj Chopra won the silver medal in the Paavo Nurmi Games.

Topic: Important Days

3. World Refugee Day 2024: 20 June

  • Every year on 20 June, World Refugee Day is observed to honor refugees around the world.
  • The day is an attempt to understand the plight of refugees and to recognize their resilience in building their lives.
  • The theme of World Refugee Day 2024 is “Solidarity with Refugees.”
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) joined with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and partners to celebrate World Refugee Day 2024.
  • The day was first observed on 20 June 2001 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention that helped protect refugees.
  • It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day. But after the UN General Assembly recognized the day in December 2000, it came to be known as World Refugee Day.
  • India is not a signatory of the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol and does not have a national refugee protection framework.
  • UNHCR estimates that more than 110 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide by mid-2023, 40% of whom were children.
  • 75% of these displaced individuals are in low- and middle-income countries.

Topic: New Development

4. Scientists have developed a catalyst for producing cheap biodiesel.

  • A water-repellent catalyst has been developed by a team of scientists from Assam, Odisha, China, and the United Kingdom that could significantly reduce the cost of producing "eco-friendly" biodiesel from current levels.
  • Researchers have developed a "spherical superhydrophobic activated carbon catalyst" to handle water byproducts during biodiesel production.
  • Their findings are published in the latest issue of Advanced Functional Materials, a leading journal in materials science.
  • Superhydrophobic catalysts, imitating the anti-wetting or water-repulsing properties of natural surfaces such as lotus leaves, are deemed crucial for their ability to prevent the poisoning of active sites by water, whether produced in situ or as a by-product.
  • This catalyst, obtained from biomass (cellulose), is ecologically beneficial, abundantly available, and extremely cheap.
  • Biodiesel currently costs around ₹100, or UD$1.2 per liter, in India. Using a superhydrophobic activated carbon catalyst can reduce the cost to about 37 cents per litre.

Topic: National Appointments

5. IAS Ashwani Kumar appointed Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner.

  • With immediate effect, IAS officer Ashwani Kumar appointed as the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Ashwini Kumar will replace Gyanesh Bharti as MCD Commissioner.
  • Ashwini Kumar is currently working as Additional Chief Secretary and Divisional Commissioner, Revenue Department, Government of Delhi.
  • In addition, former Delhi Municipal Corporation Commissioner Gyanesh Bharti has also been transferred.
  • The change is part of a series of transfers of senior bureaucrats in Delhi.
  • The previous chairperson of the New Delhi Municipal Council, IAS officer Amit Yadav, has been transferred as per the instructions of the Home Ministry.

Topic: State News/ Jammu and Kashmir

6. On June 20, PM Modi laid the foundation stone of development projects in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • He inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 84 major development projects worth over Rs 1,500 crore.
  • The projects included those related to road infrastructure, water supply schemes and infrastructure in higher education etc.
  • Apart from this, the foundation stone for improvement of Chenani-Patnitop-Nashri section, development of industrial estate and construction of six government degree colleges were also laid by the Prime Minister.
  • At a cost of Rs 1,800 crore, the PM also launched the Improving Competitiveness in Agriculture and Allied Sectors (JKCIP) Project.
  • The project will be implemented in 90 blocks of 20 districts of Jammu and Kashmir and will cover 300,000 families of 1.5 million beneficiaries.
  • PM Modi also attended the "Empowering Youth, Transforming J&K" event at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar during his visit.
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Topic: Agriculture

7. Union Cabinet approved the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for 14 Kharif crops.

  • These crops include paddy, ragi, bajra, jowar, maize, and cotton.
  • The decision to increase MSP will have a financial cost of Rs 2 lakh crore for the government.
  • Farmers will receive around Rs 2 lakh crore as MSP. Farmers will get Rs 35,000 crore more than the previous season.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addressed the media after the Cabinet meeting.
  • He said government is committed to provide farmers with a price that is 50% higher than input cost.
  • For oilseeds and pulses, the largest absolute increase in MSP over the previous year has been recommended.
  • In Varanasi on 18 June 2024, 17th installment amounting to over Rs 20,000 crore to around 9.26 crore beneficiary farmers was released by PM Modi under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) through Direct Benefit Transfer.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

8. Nvidia has become the world’s most valuable company on 18 June 2024.

  • Nvidia has taken the place of Microsoft as the world’s most valuable company.
  • Its market capitalization increased to $3.335 trillion. Microsoft’s stock market value was $3.317 trillion.
  • Earlier, it overtook iPhone maker Apple and became the second most valuable company. Apple’s stock market value was $3.286 trillion.
  • Furthermore, Nvidia has emerged as Wall Street's most traded company.
  • According to LSEG data, the average daily turnover was $50 billion recently.
  • The average daily turnover for Apple, Microsoft, and Tesla was roughly $10 billion each.
  • Currently, 16% of all trades in S&P 500 companies are made by Nvidia.
  • In just nine months, the company's market worth increased from $1 trillion to $2 trillion in February, and it took slightly more than three months to reach $3 trillion in June.
  • Nvidia is an American multinational corporation and technology company.

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. “National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme” has been approved by the Cabinet.

  • The proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs for the Central Sector Scheme “National Forensic Infrastructure Enhancement Scheme (NFIES) has been approved by the Cabinet.
  • It has been approved with a total financial outlay of Rs. 2254.43 crore for the period from 2024-25 to 2028-29.
  • Under this scheme, campuses of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) and Central Forensic Science Laboratories will be established.
  • This scheme will also help in upgrading the existing infrastructure of the Delhi Campus of the NFSU.
  • The government will promote the establishment of Central Forensic Science Laboratories in the country.
  • The establishment of additional off-campuses of the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) and new Central Forensic Science Laboratories (CFSLs) would address the shortage of trained forensic manpower.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

10. Union Cabinet has approved the development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi.

  • Union Cabinet approved the Airports Authority of India (AAI) proposal for the development of Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Varanasi.
  • The development includes the Construction of the New Terminal Building, Apron Extension, Runway Extension, Parallel Taxi Track & Allied works.
  • It will increase the airport's passenger handling capacity to 9.9 million passengers per annum (MPPA).
  • The New Terminal Building is designed to handle 6 MPPA and for handling 5000 Peak Hour Passengers (PHP).
  • Varanasi Airport will be developed as a green airport with the primary objective of ensuring environmental sustainability through energy optimization.
  • Cabinet approved the ‘Development of an all-Weather Greenfield deep-draft Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra'.

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

11. A self-service system launched by Delhi Airport for quick baggage check-in for passengers.

  • Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has introduced a self-service system that will enable passengers to store their baggage, get tags and print boarding passes, thereby reducing the check-in process.
  • DIAL said the new one-step quick baggage drop solution reduces the check-in process from one minute to just 30 seconds.
  • With this, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has become the first airport in the country and the second in the world after Toronto Airport in Canada to provide such facility.
  • Under the new arrangement, the airport has set up around 50 self-service bag drop (SSBD) units at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 for passengers.
  • Currently, these units are available with three airlines – Air India, IndiGo and Air India Express.
  • DIAL has introduced the Quick Drop Solution feature, which is a one-step process that eliminates the need for a boarding pass or biometric verification as these details are already available on the baggage tag.

Topic: Defence

12. HAL received an RFP for 156 light combat helicopters from the Ministry of Defense.

  • On June 17, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) said the Defense Ministry has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for 156 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH).
  • After that the shares of Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) hit a new high of Rs 5,484.20, gaining 5% in intraday trade on the BSE.
  • HAL has to provide 156 LCH Prachand or Light Combat Helicopters (90 for the Indian Army and 66 for the Indian Air Force).
  • As of March 31, 2024, HAL's order book stood at over Rs 94,000 crore and additional major orders are expected during FY 2024–25.
  • The estimated cost of 156 LCH is Rs 45,000-50,000 crore.
  • The company has already delivered the initial 15 LCH contracts bagged in FY22.
  • HAL is primarily engaged in the design, development, manufacture, repair and overhaul of aircraft, helicopters, engines and related systems such as avionics, instruments and accessories for Indian defence programmes.
  • As of 31 March 2024, the Government of India held a majority stake of 71.64% in the company, while the Life Insurance Corporation of India held 1.89%.

Topic: National News

13. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi certificates to 30,000 Krishi Sakhis at Varanasi.

  • On June 18, 2024, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi granted certificates to more than 30,000 self-help groups as Krishi Sakhis at Varanasi
  • Krishi Sakhi Convergence Program (KSCP) aim is to transform rural India through the empowerment of rural women as Krishi Sakhi.
  • This certification course is in line with the objectives of the “Lakhpati Didi” Program.
  • Krishi Sakhis have been selected as agriculture para-extension workers. They have been trained on various extension services for 56 days.
  • In the first phase, the Krishi Sakhi Training Program has been implemented in 12 states.
  • The government is aiming to create 3 crore Lakhpati Didis, one dimension of which is Krishi Sakhi, under the 'Lakhpati Didi' program.

Topic: National Appointments

14. Ajith Kumar KK has been appointed as MD & CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.

  • Private sector Dhanlaxmi Bank has appointed Ajith Kumar KK as Managing Director (MD). He has taken the place of JK Shivan.
  • He will assume the charge on 20 June. His appointment has been approved for three years.
  • He has experience working in different fields of banking including Credit, Human Resources, Business, and Branch Banking etc.
  • He is currently the Chief Human Resources Officer at Federal Bank in the cadre of the president.
  • Dhanlaxmi Bank is an Indian private-sector bank based in Thrissur, Kerala.
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