21 June 2017 Current Affairs

Hike partners with Yes bank to launch UPI-based wallet

Hike Messenger has launched the new version of the app with a completely new interface and the addition of a mobile wallet, in partnership with YES Bank. With Unified Payments Interface support enabled in Hike 5.0, users can now do free and instant bank-to-bank transfers with their friends. The feature works even if your friends aren’t on Hike. For those who don’t actively use a bank account, Hike still allows them to send and receive money with your friends through the Wallet. The app now also allows users to recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill right from inside Hike.

Member of the British Empire Award for Annabel Mehta

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. The award will be presented to her at Buckingham Palace in London later this year. Annabel has been recognized and honored for over 40 years of service to underprivileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within the NGO, Apnalaya, of which she has been President since 2013. Mehta was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics where she met her Indian husband, Anand Mehta. Annabel moved to India in 1966.

Ayurveda specialist appointed special secretary in Ayush

Ayurveda physician ‘Vaidya’ Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush Ministry. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha’s appointment for three years on a contract basis, according to an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Vaidya (physician) Kotecha is the chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur. The appointment is in line with the Centre’s efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government.

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. 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. The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy.

Free Education for girls in Punjab from Nursery to PhD

The Punjab Government has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D, free textbooks, as well as Nursery and LKG classes in government schools from the next academic session. This is the major step towards women empowerment by Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. The CM also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

Meghalaya signs two MoU with SBI for online payments

Meghalaya government has signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India as a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode. With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax(GST), these MoUs are expected to give dealers and other citizens the desired platform for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform. The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury, which dedicatedly handles all online transactions of government receipts across the state centrally for a few selected departments. The state government will now escalate its transactions for the collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system – Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) covering all departments in a phased manner.

UNICEF appoints teenage refugee as its latest Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced 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. Muzoon, who received support from UNICEF while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child. She lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom.

India and Portugal inks Agreement to Promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

India and Portugal have signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal. As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighbouring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags first PM’s Yoga award

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga 2017. The Institute has worked to spread Yoga, internationally, over a period of four decades. The institute has published several books on yoga and these have been translated into multiple languages. There are thousands of Iyengar Yoga teachers popularizing and propagating yoga across the world. The selection was done from among 85 nominations received and 15 more recommended by the Screening Committee. The institution of the award was announced by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Second International Day of Yoga at Chandigarh in 2016.

Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s Head Coach

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. Under Kumble, India enjoyed a great record in all formats of the game. In Tests, the Men in Blue attained the No 1 ranking with series victories over West Indies, New Zealand, England and Australia. In ODIs, India edged New Zealand and England on home soil before finishing runners-up in the Champions Trophy, while in the shortest format of the game, Kumble endured his only loss in a bilateral series, when India went down to world champions West Indies in a two-match series, before beating England 2-1 in India.

India Re-Nominates Dalveer Bhandari to the ICJ

India has re-nominated Justice Dalveer Bhandari as its candidate for another term as judge at the International Court of Justice or ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Bhandari, 69, was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court. His current term runs through February 2018. The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years. During his term at the ICJ, Mr Bhandari has been engaged actively in the work of the Court and has delivered individual opinions in eleven cases covering a broad spectrum of subjects such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, crime of genocide, delimitation of continental shelf, nuclear disarmament, financing of terrorism and violation of sovereign rights.

21 June: International Day of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated across the world on 21 June. It aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for the 2017 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is ‘Yoga for Health.’ The theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.

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