1. World Bicycle Day is observed on 3 June
World Bicycle Day is observed on 3 June. The day aims to motivate and inspire people towards having more tolerance, understanding, and respect for one another. Bicycle signifies a sustainable means of transport which is good for the environment and economy.
World Bicycle Day aims to devote special attention to the bicycle in cross-cutting development strategies. It also aims to include the bicycle in international, regional, national, and subnational development policies and programs. The day aims to adopt best practices and means to promote the bicycle across the world.
2. Odisha, Sikkim, and Mizoram included in “One Nation-One Ration Card” scheme
The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan informed that Odisha, Sikkim, and Mizoram have joined the ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ scheme on ‘Integrated Management of Public Distribution System’(IM-PDS) a total of 20 states/Union Territories(UTs) in the scheme.
Under this plan National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 ration cards that have recorded at least one Aadhaar authenticated transaction in the last 6-months shall be eligible for the national portability transactions.
The scheme enables the NFSA ration cardholders to avail their subsidised foodgrains from any ePoS software-enabled Fair Price shop(FPS) anywhere in the country, by using the existing/same ration card after Aadhaar authentication on ePoS devices.
3. India ranked 23rd for world’s best startup ecosystems 2020; US topped
In accordance with the “Countries Global Ranking of Startup Ecosystem 2020” by global innovation mapping and research company StartupBlink, India ranked at 23rd position, a drop of 6 places from 17th position in 2019. The ranking has been topped by the United States (US), followed by the United Kingdom (UK), and Israel at 2nd and 3rd position.
It should be noted that India is home to the third-largest startup ecosystem.
Among the top 100 startup cities, only four India cities were named in “2020 Cities Global Ranking of Startup Ecosystem” while total of 38 cities made it to the world’s top 1000 cities with startup ecosystems.
Bengaluru (down by three ranks to 14th position),
New Delhi (up by three spots to 15th position)
Mumbai (improved by seven spots to 22nd position)
Hyderabad (falling 21 ranks to disappointing 96th position). Last year, seven cities were ranked in the top 100 list versus four this year.
4. Ministry of I&B released “One Year of Modi 2.0 – Towards A Self-Reliant India” e-book
A 92-page e-booklet called ‘One Year of Modi 2.0 – Towards A Self-Reliant India’ on the key achievements of the Modi government during its second term was released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B).
This marks the first anniversary of the second term of the government.
5. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to Head Committee for Implementation of MSME Loan Scheme
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appointed a committee headed by Rajnath Singh to resolve any problem in the implementation of the Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free loan scheme for MSMEs, said MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari.
In an online interaction with the members of the Pune-based Mahratta Chambers of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), Gadkari asked small businesses to email him directly in case of problems faced by them in securing credit under the scheme.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier this month had announced the collateral-free loans scheme for MSMEs as part of the overall Rs 20 lakh crore Covid-19 relief package to uplift the economy.
6. India to be re-elected as a non-permanent member of UNSC
India is set to be re-elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during the elections in June 2020. India is assured to win from the Asia Pacific seat, as it will be the sole contender.
India’s candidature for the Asia Pacific seat in the non-permanent category was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia Pacific grouping including Pakistan and China in 2019. India’s name for non-permanent UNSC seat was proposed by the Asia Pacific countries for a two-year period, from 2021-2022.
The UNSC elections to elect the five non-permanent members of the 15-member Security Council for the 2021-22 term will be held on June 17. The dates were announced on June 1, 2020 as France took over the Presidency of the 15-nation Council for the month of June. India is the sole candidate for the non-permanent seat from the Asia-Pacific seat for the 2021-22 term. Canada, Ireland and Norway will contest elections for the two seats in the Western Europe and Other countries category.
7. France assures timely delivery of Rafale aircraft to India
France reaffirmed its commitment to ensure timely delivery of Rafale Aircraft to India despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IAF is likely to get the delivery of the first batch of four Rafale jets from France by July-end.
The four fighters were supposed to fly to their home base in India in May 2020, but the plan was delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Dassault Aviation had handed over the first of 36 Rafale aircraft, which India had ordered in 2016, during a visit by Rajnath Singh to France last year.
India had signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around ₹58,000 crore.
8. Gaitri Kumar appointed India’s next High Commissioner to the UK
Seasoned diplomat Gaitri Kumar has been appointed as India’s next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Kumar, a 1986-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, succeeds Ruchi Ghanashyam.
At present, Kumar is serving as Indian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Union.
Her appointment to the high-profile post comes at a time India is looking at further expanding ties with the UK after it came out of the powerful European Union.
9. Kiren Rijiju, Arjun Munda inaugurate Khelo India e-Pathshala programme
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda inaugurated Khelo India e-Pathshala programme with a webinar, attended by young archers, archery coaches and experts of the discipline from across the country.
The e-pathshala aims to provide online coaching and education to athletes living in far-off areas.
The programme was launched by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), in association with National Sporting Federations (NSFs).
The unique programme will connect athletes from secluded areas of India, who may not always have access to established players and coaches.
The e-learning programme will cover 21 sporting disciplines, including, athletics, archery, boxing, cycling, fencing, football, gymnastics, hockey, judo, kayaking & canoeing, kabaddi, para games, rowing, shooting, taekwondo, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and wushu.
10. Report on restructuring of the film sector submitted to I&B minister
An Expert Committees on Rationalisation of Film Media Units and Review of Autonomous Bodies submitted its report to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Committee was chaired by Bimal Julka.
It has suggested an umbrella configuration with 4 broad verticals under which institutes should work. They are – Production, Festival, Heritage and Knowledge. It has recommended that these verticals be headed by professionals.
It has also recommended creation of a Film Promotion Fund for independent filmmakers for making commercial films. Bimal Julka is the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of India.