Current Affairs 15th June 2020

1. India gets its first infectious disease diagnostics lab

The first disease diagnostics lab in India is now ready. The mobile laboratory is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. The laboratory promotes and supports the idea of being self-efficient in difficult times.
The laboratory has been reported to be built in the recorded time of just 8 days from the date of receipt of Automotive Chassis, from Bharat Benz. The lab has been built with the support of the Department of Bio-Technology.
The first infectious disease diagnostics lab is a BSL-2 facility that has Biochemistry analysers, real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and on-site Elisa.

2. Former NASA Astronaut & Geologist Kathy Sullivan becomes 1st Woman to Reach Deepest Point of Ocean

The 68-year-old Kathy Sullivan, Former NASA astronaut and Geologist became the first woman to reach the Challenger Deep, the deepest point in the ocean. It is located in the Mariana Trench, 7 miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean which is 200 miles southwest of Guam.
This is the deepest point known in the Ocean.

3. Actor Pankaj Tripathi becomes brand ambassador of Bihar’s Khadi

Pankaj Tripathi, Bollywood Actor, was appointed as the brand ambassador of Bihar’s Khadi by the Government of Bihar. He will promote the usage of Khadi product as well as the Patna’s Khadi Mall.
The Khadi Mall in Patna is India’s first ever Kadhi mall & it was inaugurated by Nitish Kumra, Chief Minister of Bihar in November 2019.
Tripathi mentioned that he would not take any salary for this role.

4. Attorney General K. K. Venugopal to get 1-year extension

Noted constitutional expert K.K. Venugopal will continue as the Attorney General of India for one more year.
He has accepted the government’s request to serve as the top law officer of the country beyond June 30 when his current three-year tenure expires.
Venugopal, a leading lawyer of the country, was appointed as Attorney General and succeeded Mukul Rohatgi on June 30, 2017.
Known as a doyen of Indian Bar, Venugopal has appeared for the Centre in Aadhaar and Rafale cases, among others, in the Supreme Court.
He is defending the Union government in other important cases including those related to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution.

5. Imtaiyazur Rahman appointed as the CEO of UTI mutual funds

Board of Unit Trust of India(UTI )Mutual Fund had appointed Imtaiyazur Rahman as Chief Executive Officer (CEO ) of the UTI Asset Management Company (AMC). He had been already serving as the interim CEO for the past two years. He will succeed Leo Puri whose 5-year tenure was over in August 2018.
The appointment will help the funding company to accelerate the process of launching its long-pending initial public offer (IPO).
This would also address concerns of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on the position of CEO that has been lying vacant for quite some time.

6. Anmol Narang becomes first observant sikh to graduate from US Military Academy

Second Lieutenant Anmol Narang is all set to create history. She will become the first observant Sikh to graduate from the United States (US) Military Academy.
The graduation ceremony will take place at the US Military Academy at West Point.
In 1987, the US Congress passed a law that prohibited Sikhs and several other religious communities from maintaining their articles of faith while in the military, despite a history of diverse service and simple accommodations.

7. Odisha’s unique festival Raja Parba begins

On Raja Praba, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted the people Of Odisha.
Raja Parba, Odisha’s three-day unique festival celebrating the onset of monsoon and the earth’s womanhood has begun.
As a mark of respect towards the earth during her menstruation days, all agricultural works, like ploughing, sowing are suspended for the three days.
Raja Sankranti is the first day of the Ashara month.
It is celebrated on the day prior to the Sankranti, (Pahili Raja), the day of Sankranti, and the day after, known as Bhu Daha or ‘Basi Raja.
The festival is essentially the celebration of the earth’s womanhood. It is believed that during this time the Mother Earth or Bhudevi undergoes menstruation.

8. External Affairs Minister of India is to hold a joint virtual conference with Russian and Chinese Counterparts

The External Affairs Minister of India Shri S Jai Shankar is to hold a joint virtual conference with his Russian and Chinese Counterparts on June 22, 2020.
The Minister is expected to discuss the recent standoff between Indian and Chinese militaries at the border. The meeting is being convened with the initiative of Russia. The countries will also discuss regional issues and synchronize their views on regional stability.
India and China have been engaged in a bitter stand off along the Line of Actual Control at the eastern Ladakh for more than 5 weeks. The countries are holding diplomatic and military level talks to resolve the dispute.
Russia is expected to expand the discussion on SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), Russia-India-China trilateral forum and BRICS. The leaders are also expected to discuss withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

9. MB Lal Committee recommendations not implemented for a decade in oil fields

The recent massive fire at the Baghjan Oil field, Assam had caused serious environmental damages and led to migration of 1000s of people in the region.
It is because the 118 recommendations made by MB Lal committee was not implemented in regards to the safety guidelines by the oil companies while installing oil wells.
The Government of India has taken several measures to address the issues of such oil field fires.
In 2009 GoI constituted the M B Lal Committee following the fire accident at the IOCL terminal in Jaipur.

10. 500-year old Temple “Mastaka” submerged in Mahanadi found

The Archaeological Survey team has recently claimed that a 500 year old temple that submerged in the waters of Mahanadi resurfaced.
The Mahanadi river that changed its course due to flooding 150 years ago, had submerged the Padmabati village where the temple is located.
There are more than 22 villages in the region that are submerged in the waters of Mahanadi. However, Gopinath Deba Temple was visible as it is the tallest of all.
The temple is called “Mastaka”.

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