Current Affairs 22nd June 2020

1. NITI Aayog joins ITF to launch “Decarbonising Transport in India” project on June 24

NITI Aayog will be launching ‘Decarbonising Transport in India’ project on June 24, 2020 in collaboration with the International Transport Forum. The main aim of the project will be to develop a pathway towards a low-carbon transport system for India.
The Decarbonising Transport in India project will be launched by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and ITF Secretary-General Young Tae Kim during an online public launch event. The event will see participation from several senior officials of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways and ITF.
India has been a member of the International Transport Forum (ITF) since 2008. The ITF is an intergovernmental organisation for transport policy.

2. ISRO receives patent for protective garment for human spaceflight

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has received a patent for its Liquid Cooling and Heating Garment (LCHG).
It is made of biocompatible fabrics and components to provide a comfortable temperature and removal of sweat for astronauts, for use in space for protection from hot and cold environments.
LCHGs are used in space, military applications, fire fighting and also for personal cooling and heating purposes for protection from hot and cold environments of industrial areas or in extreme temperature and humidity conditions that may exist in work environments.
These garments have a system for circulating temperature controlling fluid into and out of the garments, for instance, through tubes inside the garment.

3. India becomes 12th Largest Holder of US Government Securities at April 2020 end

Despite low returns, the Treasury Securities (are of four types- Bills, Notes, Bonds, Inflation-Protected Securities) backed by the United States Treasury Department is one of the safest assets for any Central Bank around the world. With USD 157.4 billion at the end of April 2020, India has become the 12th largest holder of United States Government Securities.
India’s holding touched an all-time record high of USD 177.5 billion at the end of February 2020 but was reduced to USD 156.5 billion at the end of March 2020. This significant drop was due to the financial impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As economic uncertainties increased following lockdowns in most countries across the world, securities were sold by India in the month of March.
On behalf of the Government of India, India’s Central bank- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) invests in foreign assets. These foreign investments are part of prudential liquidity management.

4. China to Establish National Security Bureau in Hong Kong

On 28th May 2020, Beijing passed legislation that empowered the Chinese Parliament to draft security laws for Hong Kong. Now China continues to tighten its grip on Honk Kong by planning to establish a ‘Special Bureau- National Security Office’ in Hong Kong that will have the rights to deal with criminal cases and analyze intelligence that is related to the national security
Establishing a National Security Bureau in Hong Kong was confirmed after a three day (from 18th June to 20th June) meeting of the Legislative Affairs Commission (Top lawmaking committee in China). On 19th June 2020, it was also reported in Chinese media that all departments under the Hong Kong government will be directly answerable to Beijing once the legislation is implemented.

5. Tripura to start ‘Ektu Khelo, Ektu Padho’ scheme for school students from June 25

With uncertainty prevailing over reopening of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Tripura government has decided to start a scheme called ‘Ektu Khelo, Ektu Padho’ which means ‘Play little, Study little’, from June 25.
As per the scheme, the students would be getting audio and video contents on learning activities , projects along with fun and gaming activities via SMS or WhatsApp services.
The Education state headquarters would share the learning contents to different district academic coordinators and they would share the same to headmasters of the schools in their concerned areas.
The headmasters would give the responsibility to the teachers to share the contents among the students.
The students would get their daily lessons and activities on their phones every morning and their feedback would be received every afternoon.

6. RBI Doubles Withdrawal Limit To Rs 1 Lakh For PMC Bank Depositors; Restrictions extended for six months

In a relief to the depositors of fraud-hit PMC Bank, the Reserve Bank of India enhanced the withdrawal limit to Rs 1 lakh while extending the regulatory restriction on the cooperative bank by another six months till Dec. 22.
The earlier withdrawal limit was Rs 50,000 per depositor.
The RBI had placed regulatory curbs on the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Limited, Mumbai, on Sept. 23, 2019, after finding out certain financial irregularities, hiding and misreporting of loans given to real estate developer HDIL.
With the latest relaxation on withdrawal, more than 84% of the depositors of the bank will be able to withdraw their entire account balance.
The withdrawal limit was last enhanced to Rs 50,000 per depositor on Nov. 5, 2019, and the restrictions extended up to June 22, 2020.

7. National champion Niki Poonacha elected to ITF Men’s player panel

National champion Niki Poonacha has been elected to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) men’s player panel and will represent the Asia-Oceania zone along with Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Aldin Setkic and Francesco Vilardo were elected from Europe, while Juan Pablo Paz and Jose Bendeck were elected to represent South America.
The ITF also has a women’s player panel with Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan from Asia.
The men’s and women’s panels will be headed by Mark Woodforde and Mary Pierce, respectively, who are already athlete representatives on the ITF board of directors.
A coach will also be included into the player panels.

8. Ranji Trophy’s Highest Wicket Taker Rajinder Goel Passes Away at 77

Former left-arm spin legend Rajinder Goel, whose record Ranji Trophy wicket haul of 637 scalps still stands, passed away.
Goel, who played for Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, was a towering presence in domestic cricket during a 25-year first-class career that began in the 1958-59 Ranji season and extended until 1984-85, when he was 42.
Goel finished with 750 first-class wickets.
Goel and contemporary left-arm spinner, Padmakar Shivalkar of Mumbai, dominated batsmen in the domestic circuit for three decades.
Goel and Shivalkar were two of the finest spinners produced by India never to play for the country.

9. EXIM Bank Extends Line of Credit of USD 20.10 Million to Nicaragua Govt

Export-Import(EXIM) Bank on behalf of the Indian Government, extended a Line of Credit(LOC) of USD 20.10 million to the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua for the reconstruction of Aldo Chavarria Hospital.
The agreement was signed by Tarun Sharma, General Manager, EXIM bank & José Adrián Chavarria, General Vice minister, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Government of Nicaragua.

10. Indonesia’s most active volcano Mount Merapi erupts

Indonesia’s most volatile volcano spewed ash and hot gas in a massive column as high as 6km (3.7 miles) into the sky.
Mount Merapi’s clouds of ash, accompanied by a rumbling sound heard kilometres (miles) away.
The 2,968-metre (9,737-foot) mountain is the most active of 500 Indonesian volcanoes. It has rumbled and generated dark hot clouds since last year.
Its last major eruption in 2010 killed 353 people.
Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, is prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity because it sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped series of fault lines around the ocean.

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