Current Affairs – 21 June 2023

ITI Ltd signs MoU with TCIL and C-DOT to Develop Products for Smart Cities
On June 19, 2023, ITI Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT ) and Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) to develop and provide new communication products and services for smart cities.

  • Each project will be administered under a separate project agreement, in which TCIL will be the lead partner, C-DOT will be the technology partner and ITI will be the manufacturing partner.

To establish a framework for cooperation between the three in creating and delivering of innovative telecommunication products and related services for Smart Cities,
The MOU was exchanged between Rajesh Rai, Chairman and Managing Director of ITI Limited, Rajeev Kumar, Registrar, C-DOT, and Alka Asthana, Executive Director, TCIL.
What is in the MoU?
i.Under the MoU, project agreements will specify the responsibilities of the parties involved, payment terms, and mutual objectives of the parties.
ii.This collaboration will create an ecosystem capable of delivering end-to-end indigenous telecom networks/solutions.
iii.The companies will ensure conceptualisation, installation, commissioning and maintenance of C-DOT and third-party-designed products.
iv.The signatory companies will cooperate to each other in the areas of extending repair support, making and delivering identified products and ensuring technical compliance of the products, among others.
v.This MoU is a part of efforts made by the Central Government to bring together research and development (R&D) in telecommunications.
About ITI Limited:
Chairman and Managing Director– Rajesh Rai
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka

MeitY joins hands with IITs to promote R&D of NanoelectronicsThe Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has joined hands with IITs (Indian Institute of Technologies) to promote research, development of nanoelectronics.
Initiatives to be taken under Collaboration
Several initiatives have been undertaken by MeitY in the last five years to promote Research and Development (R&D) of nanoelectronics in India. The most important of these initiatives is the establishment of Nanoelectronics Centres of international standards at premier institutes. Now following programs will be held:
i.Nanoscale Research Facility at IIT Delhi is organizing its “8th User Awareness Workshop on Fabrication & Characterization Facility for Nanotechnology” on June 22-23, 203.

  • This programme is being organised under a MeitY funded project called ‘Indian Nanoelectronics Users’ Programme Idea to Innovation (INUP-i2i).

ii.INUP-i2i is being implemented at Centre of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at IISc, IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Guwahati and has provided a great opportunity to access state of the art nanofabrication facilities for undertaking research and skill development in Nanoelectronics.
iii. IIT Delhi and IIT Kharagpur are also organising Nano Hackathon for developing solutions for issues associated with healthcare. This programme is also being organised under the MeitY funded INUP-i2i project.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha Odisha)
Ministers of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rajya Sabha Karnataka)

19th Ex Khaan Quest 2023: India participates in Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise in Mongolia
On June 19, 2023, a 14-day long 19th edition of Multinational Peacekeeping Joint Exercise, Ex Khaan Quest 2023, was inaugurated by the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Mongolian Armed Forces (MAF) Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuk at the Five Hills Training Area in Mongolia.

  • Co-sponsored by MAF and United States Army Pacific Command (USARPAC), it features participation from military contingents and observers from 26 countries, including Indian Army (IA).
  • The Lao People’s Democratic Republic participated for the first time and the Republic of Türkiye with a full team.
  • IA is represented by a contingent from the Garhwal Rifles.

i.Enhance interoperability of the participating nations
ii.Promote experience sharing
iii.Train uniformed personnel for the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO)
Key Points:
i.The exercise includes Command Post Exercise (CPX), Field Training Exercises (FTX), combat discussions, lectures and demonstration.
ii.It will enhance the level of defence co-operation between IA and participating countries especially with the MAF which will boost bilateral relations between the two countries.
iii.The exercise showcases commitment and joint efforts of nations to global security cooperation
About Ex Khaan Quest:
It an annual military exercise held in Mongolia. Establishment in 2003 as a joint exercise between MAF and the United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), it became an international exercise in 2006.

India, Philippines Sign MoU on FinTech CooperationOn June 19, 2023, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance (MoF), Government of India and the Department of Finance (DOF), Government of Philippines, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Financial Technology (fintech) cooperation. The MoU also aims to promoting financial inclusion to address the digital divide. 
Signatories: The MOU was signed by Shambhu S. Kumaran, Ambassador of India to the Philippines and Benjamin E Diokno, Secretary, DOF, Government of Philippines in Manila, Philippines.
Key Points:
i.Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group (JWG) would be constituted comprising senior representatives from Foreign and IT Ministries, Central Banks, financial sector regulatory institutions and other related agencies as members.

  • The JWG would be co-chaired at the undersecretary level from the Ministries of Finance.

ii.The JWG would promote cooperation between fintech industry in India and Philippines, including development of innovative technologies, digital governance, payment linkages, creation of interoperable APIs (Application Programme Interface), financial inclusion, promoting use of digital signatures across borders and mainstreaming digital fund transfer platforms among others.
iii.The MoU was expected to provide an institutional framework for cooperation on three key areas of digitalization of payments, direct benefit transfer using national ID, and financial inclusion.
About Philippines:
President – Bongbong Marcos
Capital – Manila
Currency – Philippine peso (PHP)

Members of the United Nations have adopted the first-ever treaty to protect marine life in high seas
On 19th June 2023, The United Nations adopted the first-ever legally binding international treaty to protect marine life in high seas.
i.Known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty (BBNJ), or the High Seas Treaty, approved by 193 U.N. member states, imposes rules aimed at protecting the environment and establishes the first-ever framework for governing practices like fishing, mining and oil extraction in international waters.
ii.The treaty is adopted after nearly two decades of negotiations to govern the high seas.
iii.It will be opened for signatures on September 20, during the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly, and it will take effect once it is ratified by 60 countries.
iv.The treaty will create a new body to manage conservation of ocean life and establish marine protected areas in the high seas. It also establishes ground rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for commercial activities in the oceans.
Key points from the Treaty:
i.The treaty establishes a framework for “Marine Protected Areas”.
ii.It establishes standards and guidelines to determine the environmental impacts of high seas.
iii.The treaty creates a Conference of Parties (COP) to enforce the treaty’s terms, which includes a scientific advisory board.
iv.It creates a mechanism for transferring marine technology to developing countries.
About United Nations:
Secretary General– António Guterres
Headquarters- New York City, United States
Established in- 1945

Kathmandu-based ICIMOD Study Report:  Himalayan glaciers might lose 75% of their ice by 2100
According to the study report issued by Kathmandu (Nepal) based intergovernmental scientific authority International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Glaciers in the Hindu Kush Himalayas are melting at unprecedented rates and are expected to lose up to 75% of their volume by 2100 due to global warming.

  • The Hindu Kush Himalaya stretches about 3,500 km (2,175 miles) across India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China,  Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan encompassing the peaks like Everest and K2.

Key Findings of the Report:
i.As per the report, the melting of glaciers could cause dangerous flooding and water shortages for the 240 million people who live in the mountainous Himalayan region.
ii.The report warns that if greenhouse gases (GHGs) are not drastically reduced, flash floods and avalanches will become more common in the coming years.
iii.The report also mentioned that due to glacier melting, the availability of freshwater would be impacted which in turn affect the 240 million people who live in the Himalayan region as well as another 1.65 billion who live downstream of the 12 rivers that originate in the Himalayan mountains.
iv.According to recent research, Mount Everest’s glaciers have lost 2,000 years of ice in the last 30 years.
v.The report stated that at 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) or 2°C of warming above preindustrial temperatures, glaciers across the entire region will lose 30% to 50% of their volume by 2100.

  • In the Eastern Himalayas (which includes Nepal and Bhutan), a 3°C warming could result in a loss of up to 75% of the ice, at 4 °C warming, the loss could increase to 80%.

vi.The report also warns that water flows in the region’s 12 river basins, including the Ganges, Indus, and Mekong, are expected to peak around mid-century, affecting over 1.6 billion people who rely on those water sources.

Note – The name the Hindu Kush comes from the Persian words Hindu and kush, meaning ‘killer of Hindus.’

NSE International Exchange unveils a New Identity for Gift NiftyOn June 19, 2023, the NSE International Exchange (NSE IX) unveiled a new brand identity/logo of GIFT Nifty at International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) in Gandhinagar, Gujarat under NSE IFSC-SGX Connect Project.

  • This project will replace the existing SGX Nifty Futures & Options contracts, which was traded on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) to GIFT Nifty from July 3, 2023 under NSE IFSC-SGX Connect project.
  • Injeti Srinivas, Chairman of the International Financial Services Centre Authority (IFSCA) was the chief guest of the event. The event also saw the presence of Ashish kumar Chaunah, MD & CEO, NSE, and V Balasubramaniam, MD & CEO, NSE IX.

i.The full form of Nifty is National stock exchange FIFTY.
ii.NSE IFSC is a fully owned subsidiary company of National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE India).
Key Points:
i.Following the replacement, all US (United States) dollar-denominated Nifty derivatives contracts will be exclusively traded on NSE IFSC.

  • All open positions in SGX NIFTY will migrate to GIFT NIFTY; hence no open interest remains in SGX NIFTY.

ii.The SGX NIFTY will be suspended from trading after the end of the T session on June 30 2023. SGX intends to delist the SGX NIFTY.
iii.NSE IFSC-SGX Connect project was approved in 2019 for trading of the SGX’s Nifty futures contract, based on the NSE’s Nifty 50 index, on IFSC which will boost activity at the GIFT City.
iii.The new identity enables Market participants to access Gift Nifty 50, Gift Nifty Bank, Gift Nifty Financial Services, and Gift Nifty IT derivative contracts on NSE IX for almost 21 hours from July 3, 2023 which overlaps Asia, Europe, and US trading hours.
About National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE India):
Managing Director & CEO– Ashishkumar Chauhan
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Union Bank of India Launched four Bank Account Schemes to Benefit Women, Pensioners & CHS
On June 19, 2023, the Union Bank of India launched four bank account schemes named Union Unnati, Union Samriddhi, Union Samman, and Union SBCHS (SB Account For Co-Operative Housing Society), targeting women, women entrepreneurs and professionals, pensioners and cooperative housing societies (CHS).
The 4 account schemes and their benefits:
i.Union Unnati: CD Account For Women

  • It is a current account (CA) designed for Women Individuals & Sole Proprietorship (Women proprietors) with an Average Monthly Balance (AMB) of Rs 50,000.
  • The account offers free Cancer Care Insurance Coverage Sum assured of Rs 10 lakhs, personal accident cover, concession in loan interest rates, retail loan processing charges, and minimal service charges.

ii.Union Samriddhi

  • It is a savings bank account targeted at Women Individuals (18 years and above) to empower them by providing a safe and convenient savings and financial management avenue.
  • This account also offers benefits similar to Union Unnati such as Free Cancer Care Insurance Coverage, personal accident cover, and concession in loan interest rates, among others.

iii.Union Samman:

  • It is a savings account aimed at pensioners thus Individuals drawing regular pensions through Union Bank are eligible for this account
  • It extends door-step banking, personal accident cover, concession in loan interest rates and processing charges, and free health check-ups.

iv.Union SBCHS:
Union SBCHS is a savings bank account that acknowledges the cooperative housing societies (such as Resident Welfare Association/apartment owners Association) by offering concessions in loan processing charges for purchasing solar lights, elevators, and other machinery, as well as concessional rates for home, vehicle, and education loans for society and flat owners.
About Union Bank of India:
Establishment -11 November 1919
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD& CEO – A. Manimekhalai
Tagline – Good People to Bank with

Airbnb and the Ministry of Tourism signed an agreement to promote cultural tourism and heritage stays

Online lodging hosting service, Airbnb has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Ministry of Tourism to showcase the country’s heritage stays and promote cultural tourism.

  • The MoU signed in the presence of Shri G. Kishan Reddy, Union Tourism Minister, Government of India, Ms. V. Vidyavathi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, and Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Key elements of the MoU:
i.Airbnb will partner with the Ministry of Tourism in its vision to promote inbound tourism as a part of its ‘Visit India 2023’ initiative.
ii.Under the MoU, Airbnb will launch a dedicated ‘Soul of India’ microsite for the global audience showcasing India’s rich culture and built heritage
iii.Airbnb will also offer support to hosts in untapped tourist areas, assist them in promoting their homestays, build host capacity, and foster a culture of responsible hosting.
Note: In December 2022, Airbnb signed a memorandum of understanding with the Goa tourism department to promote inclusive tourism.

British author Salman Rushdie awarded the 2023 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade
Salman Rushdie, an Indian born British-American writer was awarded the 2023 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for his literary work and for his resolve and positive attitude in the face of constant threat to his life.

  • The award ceremony will take place on 22nd October 2023 in the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Note: The 2022 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade was awarded to Serhiy Zhadan, an Ukrainian author and musician.
About the Peace Prize:
iSince 1950, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, the professional organisation of publishers and booksellers in the Federal Republic of Germany, has been awarding the Peace Prize of the German Book Trader.
ii. The Peace Prize is linked with a prize money of 25,000 euros, which is raised by the publishers and booksellers.
iii. The Foundation Board of the Peace Prize has annually selected a personality who has made an important contribution to peace, humanity and understanding between peoples since 1950.
About Salman Rushdie:
iSalman Ahmed Rushdie, born on 19th June 1947 in Bombay (now Mumbai, Maharashtra), is the author of novels, short stories, travel literature, essays and journalistic pieces. His works have been translated into over 40 languages.
ii. At the age of 14, he moved to England, the United Kingdom (UK) and began his professional career as a freelance journalist and theatre actor.
iii. In 1973, he actively became a writer and eventually published his debut novel, Grimus, in 1975.
iv. From 2004 to 2006, he was president of the PEN (Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists) American Centre and also acted as chairman of the PEN World Voices International Literary Festival for ten years.
Notable works:
Some of his notable works includes: The Satanic Verses (1988), East, West (1994), The Moor’s Last Sigh« (1995), The Ground Beneath Her Feet« (1998), Fury (2002), Luka and the Fire of Life (2010), Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights (2015), Golden House (2017) and Quichotte (2019).
Awards and Honours:
iIn 2019, Salman Rushdie was honoured with WELT Literary Award
ii. In 2019, he was awarded the Swiss Freethinkers Awardin recognition of his artistic work.
iii. He won the 1981 booker prize for his 2nd novel “Midnight’s children, which brought him international fame, becoming a bestseller in the UK and the United States of America (USA).

Swaminathan Janakiraman, MD of SBI appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI

On 20th June 2023, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Swaminathan Janakiraman, Managing Director (MD) (Corporate Banking and Subsidiaries) of the State Bank of India (SBI) to the post of Deputy Governor (DG) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

  • The appointment of Swaminathan Janakiraman is for a period of three years from the date of joining the post or until further orders.
  • He will succeed Mahesh Kumar Jain, whose 5 years tenure ends on June 22nd 2023.

Mahesh Kumar Jain was first appointed as a DG in June 2018 for 3 years, then he was re-appointed in June 2021 for a further 2 year period.
About Swaminathan Janakiraman:
iIn a career spanning over 33 years with SBI, SwaminathanJanakiraman held various assignments across Corporate and International Banking, Retail and Digital Banking and so on.
ii. He served SBI in various capacities including Deputy Managing Director (Finance) and Chief Digital Officer.
iii. Prior to this, he served as the Chief General Manager (CGM) of Hyderabad, Telangana Circle and also served in SBI’s New York (the United States of America-USA) Branch as Head of Trade.
iv. As SBI’s nominee, he served on the Board of Bank of Bhutan, an SBI Joint Ventures (JV) in Bhutan.
v. As SBI’s nominee, he was a Director on the boards of Yes Bank, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), NPCI International and Jio Payments Bank.
vi. He also was the SBI’s nominee director and Chairman of the Board of SBI Payments Services Pvt Ltd, an SBI Hitachi JV.
vii. He is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) as well as Certified Documentary Credit Specialist (CDCS).
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI) :
The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About State Bank of India (SBI):
Founded in– July 1955
Chairman– Dinesh Kumar Khara
MD– Swaminathan Janakiraman
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

TPG Investments exits Shriram Finance by selling 2.65% stake

On 19th June 2023, Private equity(PE) firm and a Leading Global Alternative Asset Manager Texas Pacific Group(TPG) sold its entire 2.65 % stake or 99.2 lakh shares in Non-Banking Financial Company(NBFC) Shriram Finance Ltd for Rs 1,390 crore through open market transactions.

  • The shares were offloaded through TGP’s affiliate – TPG India Investments II Inc in 18 tranches.

Shriram Finance provides consumer finance services, offering automobile, commercial vehicle, business, and gold loan services.
It was formed by the merging of Shriram City Union Finance and Shriram Capital into Shriram Transport Finance.

Mahindra Defence delivered India’s 1st Armado ALSV to Indian ArmyMahindra Defence Systems (MDS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has started delivering the first units of the Armado to the Indian armed forces. The Armado is India’s 1st Armoured Light Specialist Vehicle (ALSV), designed and developed by Mahindra.

  • The Armado ALSV can be used in counter-terrorist and Special Forces operations, and can also be used by quick reaction teams, as a surveillance vehicle and for patrolling the borders.
  • It is designed to be a modular type, that can be upgraded to suit a wide variety of operational roles, offers ballistic protection up to B7, Stanag (Standardization Agreement) Level II.

B7 ballistic protection is the strongest level of protection used to stop armour-piercing bullets from high-velocity rifles including sniper rifles.
Stanag Level II protection ensures grenade and mine blast threats and high-powered artillery of up to 115mm at 80m.
Features of Armado ALSV:
iIt is powered with a 3.2-litre turbocharged, direct-injection diesel engine that can also run on NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)-grade diesel.
ii. The engine produces 215 Horsepower (hp) and 500 newton-metre(Nm) of torque and power is delivered to all four wheels via a 4-speed automatic gearbox.
iii. The Armado has a claimed top speed of over 120 kilometres per hour (kph) and a 0-60kph time of 12 seconds, and has a payload capacity of 1,000 Kilogram (kg).
iv. It also features Bilstein independent suspension for all four corners and gets 318/80 R17 tyres that can also run without air or a puncture for up to 50km and the Armado also gets a centralised tyre inflation system.
v. It gets a power steering system and can be configured to be either left-hand (LHD) drive or right-hand drive (RHD).
vi. It has a seating capacity of 6 passengers, including the driver, and can be configured to seat up to 8.
vii. It also gets a public address (PA) system, GPS (Global Positioning System), automatic grenade launcher, electric winch, High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) radio as well as a self-cleaning-type exhaust scavenging and air filtration system for extremely dusty climates.
About Mahindra Defence System (MDS):
Incorporated in– 2012
Chairman– SP Shukla
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Egypt won SDAT WSF Squash World Cup 2023 in Chennai
On 17th June 2023, The defending champion Egypt won the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) World Squash Federation (WSFSquash World Cup 2023 by defeating Malaysia in the finals.

  • SDAT WSF Squash World Cup 2023, the 4th edition of Squash World Cup, was held at the Express Avenue Mall, chennai, Tamil Nadu from 13-17th June 2023.
  • Tamil Nadu(TN) Chief Minister(CM) M.K. Stalin presented the golden cup to Egypt.
  • Egypt won the 3rd edition Squash world cup 2011 in chennai,Tamil Nadu.

About SDAT WSF Squash World Cup 2023:
SDAT WSF Squash World Cup 2023 was sponsored by the Tamil Nadu(TN) Government and supported by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sport (MoYAS), Government of India.
i.After a gap of 12 years, the Squash World Cup has come to Chennai, TN. The 3rd edition was held in Chennai in 2011.
ii.From now onwards, it will be held every 2 years. The next World Cup will be in 2025.
Players from 8 countries Egypt, India, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, Colombia participated in the WSF Squash World Cup 2023.

  • Two men and two women from each country were allowed to participate in the squash world cup.

Results of the finals:

  • Kenzy Ayman(Egypt) lost to Xin Ying Yee(Malaysia) 0-3 in the women’s second string match.
  • Aly Abou Eleinen(Egypt) defeated Darren Pragasam(Malaysia) 3-0 men’s first string match.
  • Fayrouz Aboelkheir (Egypt) defeated Aira Azman (Malaysia) 3-1 in women’s first string match.
  • Karim El Hammamy (Egypt) v Sai Hung Ong (Malaysia)– match withdrawn in men’s second string match.

India wins Bronze at 2023 Squash World Cup: 
i.India ranked third place jointly with Japan by winning the bronze medal at the Squash World Cup 2023.This is India’s best performance in Squash world cup so far.

  • The Indian team lost to Malaysia in the semi-finals, represented by Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal, Tanvi Khanna and Abhay Singh.

About squash world cup:
The first edition of the Squash World Cup was played in 1996 in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia and featured 16 teams.

  • Australia won the inaugural world cup.

iii. England won the 2nd edition of the squash world cup 1999 in the Netherlands.

India’s Finance Ministers — From Independence to Emergency (1947-1977)

India’s Finance Ministers — From Independence to Emergency (1947-1977) is the story of India’s unforgettable finance ministers who shaped India’s economy in the first 30 years after Independence authored by Ashok Bhattacharya(AK Bhattacharya).

  • The 30-year period (1947 to 1977) that the book covers has been divided into three main parts — Nehru and his finance ministers, those under Shastri and Indira Gandhi, and Indira Gandhi as her own finance minister.

The book is published by‎ Penguin Business on 22nd May 2023.
About AK Bhattacharya:
An experienced economic  journalist for more than four decades went on to become the editor of the Pioneer and Business Standard. He is now Business Standard’s editorial director and a writer of a long-running column – Raisina Hill.

World Refugee Day 2023 – June 20The United Nations (UN)’s World Refugee Day is observed annually on 20th June across the world to honour the strength and courage of refugees around the globe and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their homelands because of conflict or natural disaster.

  • World Refugee Day is also an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

The 2023 theme of World Refugee Day is “Hope away from home“.
iIn December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution (A/55/597) and proclaimed the 20th June of every year as World Refugee Day.
ii. The first-ever World Refugee Day was observed on 20th June 2001.
iii. The 2001 event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which sets out the fundamental concepts for international refugee protection.
Note: It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the UNGA officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.
About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR):
Established on– December 14th 1950
High Commissioner– Filippo Grandi
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
UNHCR works in- 135 countries (At present)

World Sickle Cell Day 2023 – 19th June

World Sickle Cell Day, also known as “World Sickle Cell Awareness Day” is annually observed across the globe on 19th June to raise awareness about Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and its impact on individuals, families, and communities worldwide.
The theme of World Sickle Disease Day 2023 (observed on 19th June 2023) is ‘Building and strengthening global sickle cell communities, formalizing newborn screening and knowing your sickle cell disease status’.
i.In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/63/237 and recognised the sickle cell disease(SCD) as public health problem.
ii.The resolution also urged the members of the UN to create awareness about SCD on 19th June every year at national and international levels;
GoI set to Launch Mission to Eliminate Sickle Cell Anaemia
On June 27, 2023, The government of India (GoI) is set to launch the implementation of National Sickle Cell Anaemia Elimination Mission by Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi from Madhya Pradesh

International Day for Countering Hate Speech 2023 – June 18The United Nations (UN)’s International Day for Countering Hate Speech is annually observed across the globe on 18th June as a vital reminder of the urgent need to address the global issue of hate speech.

  • The day aims to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech.
  • 18th June 2023 marked the observance of the 2nd International Day for Countering Hate Speech.

iIn July 2021, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/309 and proclaimed 18th June of every year as the International Day for Countering Hate Speech.
ii. The first-ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech was observed on 18th June 2022.
About United Nations (UN):
Founded in– 1945
Secretary-General– António Guterres
Headquarters– New York, the United States of America (USA)

International Picnic Day 2023 – June 18 International Picnic Day is annually observed across the globe on 18th June to celebrate the tradition of meals taken outdoors in a park, lakeside, or any spot with a beautiful view.

  • The day is observed to spend time with friends and family taking a break from the everyday routine.
  • This observance also celebrates the beauty of nature, strengthens family bonds, promotes an active lifestyle, and fosters a sense of togetherness.

i.The origin of Picnic Day is associated with the French revolution (1789 to 1799).
ii.In 1789, the France opened its royal parks to the public after the French revolution, marking the observance of the first ever Picnic day celebration.
i.The term “picnic” finds its roots in the French word “pique-nique,”
ii.During the 19th-century, picnic, a leisurely gathering, was transformed into a social events.
iii.Picnics also represents the unity of common people during political protests such as the 1989 Pan-European Picnic which played a major role in the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren launches Panchayat level Medicine shop scheme
On 19th June 2023, Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren launched a ‘panchayat-level medicine shop’ scheme in Chatra district, Jharkhand, by handing over the licences to 21 educated youth of rural areas to operate medicine shops in panchayats.
About Panchayat-level medicine shop scheme:
i.The scheme aims to ensure the availability of essential medicines in remote villages and to promote employment.
ii.Under this scheme, medical shops will be established in every village of Jharkhand and provide essential and compulsory medicines to the people.
 Jharkhand Government is set to launch monthly social security pension for Transgender people
The Jharkhand government is set to launch a Rs 1,000 monthly social security pension for transgender people. This scheme will be implemented with an aim to support the unemployed transgender people.
Eligibility for the scheme:
i.Those who have attained the age of 18 and have voter identification cards will be eligible for the pension.
ii.Transgenders getting family pensions, paying income tax or availing any other benefits under the social security scheme, will not be eligible for the scheme.
iii.Eligible people should submit an application to the Block Development Officer (BDO) in rural areas and to the Circle Officer (CO) in municipal areas along with copies of their Aadhaar Card, voter ID card, Bank Passbook and the transgender certificate issued by the Deputy Commissioner.
Additional info: 
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren also distributed appointment letters among 11 job aspirants, laid foundation stone for 177 projects costing around Rs 364 crore, inaugurated 42 schemes worth around Rs 14 crore, distributed assets and welfare schemes worth over Rs 2 crore among the beneficiaries during his visit to the district.
About Jharkhand:
Chief Minister – Hemant Soren
Governor- C. P. Radhakrishnan 
Wildlife sanctuaries- Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, Gautam Buddha Wildlife Sanctuary, Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary

IIM and Jammu signs MoU with SIDBI

On 16th June 2023, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Jammu and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the 6th annual convocation of IIM at Jammu.

  • As part of the IIM Jammu-SIDBI partnership, projects would be launched to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.

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