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Centre reconstitutes eight Cabinet commitees
- PM Modi-led Central government has reconstituted eight key cabinet committees including appointments committee,the cabinet committee on economic affairs and security among others.
- Modi is part of 6 committees,Amit Shah is part of all cabinet committees. Nirmala is part of all the committees except the Appointments Committee.
Gajendra gives away Ganga Quest’19 Awards
- Gajendra Singh Shekhawat,Union Minister for Jal Shakti participated in event organized by National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG) to celebrate World Environment Day 2019.
- During the event, awards were given to the winners of Ganga Quest 2019,a month-long online quiz organized for awareness and knowledge dissemination about river Ganga.
Search operations intensified to locate missing AN-32 aircraft
- Indian Air Force has further intensified and expanded search for the AN-32 aircraft which went missing.
- The Fighter aircraft, C130, Helicopters, aircraft carrying specialised sensors, satellites and all possible civil, police and local administrative agencies have further expanded search based on human and sensor inputs.
- Indian Navy aircraft P8i will again fly a sortie as the weather is likely to improve slightly.
- Search parties have set out on foot in likely directions to locate the aircraft and its occupants.
- These parties have been encountering thick forests as they tirelessly search every part of a very difficult terrain. The search by parties on foot and night capable aircraft continued through the night and satellites data is being analysed regularly.
- The aircraft, with 13 people on board, lost contact with ground agencies after taking off from Jorhat airbase in Assam on Monday.
PM Modi approves reconstitution of NITI Aayog
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the reconstitution of National Institution for Transforming India, NITI Aayog.
- Mr Modi will be the chairperson of the Aayog and Rajiv Kumar will be the Vice Chairman.
- V K Saraswat, Ramesh Chand and Dr V K Paul will be the full-time members of the NITI Aayog.
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will be the Ex-Officio Members.
- Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal and Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister Rao Inderjit Singh will be the special invitees of NITI Aayog.
Govt. set up a 10 member Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development
- The government set up a 10-member Cabinet Committee on Employment and Skill Development on 5 June. The committee is one of two Cabinet committees that are set up to rise the economic growth and tackle unemployment.
- The committee was set up because the Employment data for 2017-18 which was released on May 31 after the Lok Sabha elections reported that the country’s unemployment rate has risen to 6.1% in the period. This is the highest in 45 years.
- It is expected that the committee on economic growth will prepare a road map to bring the economy back on the growth trajectory as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell to 5.8% in the last quarter of 2018-19. It is the lowest since 2014.
- The GDP growth for 2018-19 was 6.8%, against the target of 7.2%.
- The fall in growth is the result of the dip in the performance of the core sectors of the economy, as the eight core sectors recorded a growth of just 2.6 % in April, compared with 4.6% in the same month in 2018. According to the government’s data, the country’s economic growth saw the third straight fall in January-March quarter in 2019.
Indian Railways ordered for 25 electric locomotives from BHEL
- Indian Railways received an order for 25 more energy efficient retrofit electrical locomotives from the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).
- The achievement is significant before Environment Day is being celebrated all over the world.
- A major technological leap achieved by the BHEL whereby the kinetic energy of the train while in braking mode, is re-converted into electrical energy.
- It is a set back into the electric grid of the railways.
- This energy was being wasted in locomotives in the form of heat.
- BHEL worked with Indian Railways and supplied 20 electric locomotives last year and 10 more locomotives are being supplied this year.
Pramila Jayapal to preside over US House
- Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal held the Speaker’s gavel becoming the first South Asian American woman to preside over the US House of Representatives.
- The 116th Congress broke records with women and lawmakers crossing racial and religious barriers, including an all time high for Asian American lawmakers.
Gehlot to Participate in 2nd GD Summit
- Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Gehlot will participate in the “2nd Global Disability Summit” to be held at Buenos Aires Argentina during 6-8 June’19.
- Objective of the summit is to deliberate on issues across the world concerning empowerment and inclusion of Persons with Disabilities and to work out a mechanism for enabling them to live an independent and dignified life.
House, Senate elect Prayut Thailand’s new PM
- MPs and senators overwhelmingly voted for Prayut Chan-o-cha to be prime minister of Thailand.
- Gen Prayut will be the head of a coalition government led by the Palang Pracharath Party.
- The combined members of the House of Representatives and Senate cast 500 votes for Gen Prayut,enough to elect the former junta leader as the 29th PM.
House passes bill to protect ‘Dreamers’
- The House voted to protect so-called Dreamers and establish a path to citizenship for more than 2 million immigrants without legal status.
- The bill would grant permanent residency in three categories-Immigrants who came to the country illegally as children,Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs
UAE probe of tanker attacks points to state actor
- The United Arab Emirates has said that initial findings of an investigation of May 12 attacks on oil tankers point to the likelihood that a state was behind the bombings, but there is no evidence yet that Iran was involved.
- The UAE along with Saudi Arabia and Norway presented the preliminary findings during a briefing to the UN Security Council.
- The council that the attacks were sophisticated and of the type most likely carried out by state services.
- The four vessels, two Saudi-flagged, a Norwegian-flagged and an Emirati-flagged, were damaged by explosions that took place within UAE territorial waters, off the port of Fujairah.
- The US has accused Iran of being behind the attacks, which came at a time of escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington. Iran has rejected accusations.
Russia prepared to drop nuclear weapons agreement treaty with US: Putin
- Russia was prepared to drop a nuclear weapons agreement treaty with the US.
- Putin warned global catastrophe if Washington keeps dismantling a global arms control regime.
- Washington showed no genuine interest in conducting talks on extending the New START treaty which caps the number of nuclear warheads well below Cold War limits.
- The treaty was signed by US President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in 2010. It expires in 2021.
Forbes magazine named Rihanna as the worlds richest female musician
- Forbes magazine has named Rihanna as the world’s richest female musician. Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand business endeavors have officially made her the richest female musician in the world. Her worth is estimated at $600m (£472m) which includes revenues made from her fashion and beauty lines in addition to those from her music career.
- Forbes reported that the French luxury brand LVMH backs Rihanna’s lucrative cosmetics company, Fenty Beauty. Fenty beauty was launched in 2017. It is worth more than £3bn, from which Rihanna has earned $570m.
- In 2012, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation. The trust supports health and education efforts in impoverished communities around the world. Harvard University, in February 2017, she was named humanitarian of the year.
sharp 10 percent decline in the approval rate of H 1B visa by the US
- There was a sharp 10% decline in the approval of H-1B visas by the U.S. in 2018, which is popular among highly skilled Indian IT professionals. The experts attributed to the aggressive policies of the Trump administration to clamp down on the use of the work visa programme.
- The H-1B visa programme is the main vehicle through which US employers can sponsor skilled foreign workers for admission. It is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
- In 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved 3,35,000 H-1B visas, both new and renewable. This was 10% less than the 3,73,400 visas approved in the previous fiscal year of 2017, according to the USCIS’ annual statistical report. The approval rate of H-1B declined from 93% in 2017 to 85% in 2018.
- For the first six months of the fiscal year 2019, the overall approval rate of the H-1B visa for new and continuing visas continued to stay to 79% by the end of March, down from 85% last year.
- “Buy American and Hire American” executive order which was signed by Trump in April 2017, seeks to create higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers. It also seeks to protect their economic interests by rigorously enforcing and administering our immigration laws. It also directed to advance policies to help ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiarie
India and France to carry out Garuda, a two week long mega air exercise
- Indian Air Force and French Air Force have planned to carry out Garuda, a two-week-long mega air exercise, beginning on July 1 in France.
- The aim is to boost the military-to-military ties between the two countries. A fleet of Sukhoi 30 fighter jets of the Indian Air Force will engage in dogfights with France’s Rafale multirole aircraft in simulated scenarios as part of the ‘Garuda’ exercise.
- Other assets include mid-air refueller will also be sent to France by the IAF. It will be one of the largest air exercises between the two strategic partners. The exercise will also provide an opportunity to a sizeable number of IAF pilots to have a close look at the Rafale jets being operated by the French Air Force.
- India had signed a government-to-government deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of about Rs.58,000-crore. The first Rafale jet is scheduled to be delivered in September.
India-China Trade to Cross $100 Bn
- India’s Ambassador in Beijing has inaugurated an Indian oleoresin extraction firm’s 3rd manufacturing facility in the country to expand its business in the Chinese food market.
- Economic and commercial engagement between India and China constitutes a major component of the bilateral relations with bilateral trade, which crossed $95 billion last year, is set to cross USD 100 billion this year.
RBI cuts repo rate by 25 bps to 5.75%
- RBI Monetary Police Committee unanimously cut repo rate,the rate at which it lends to banks by 25 basis points from 6% to 5.75%.
- The bank also changed the monetary policy stance from neutral to accommodative.
- This is the third straight interest-rate cut under RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, who also heads the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
Forest Dept signs MoU for Byculla extension
- The state forest dept and the civic body signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the handing over of around 100 acres of land at Aarey Colony in Goregaon to extend the Veermata Jijabai Bhosle Udyan (Byculla zoo).
- After the extension, the civic body plans to introduce state-of-the-art facilities at par to the zoos located abroad the expenditure for which, would be around Rs 500 crore.
SCIENCE AND TECH
NASA’s first SpaceX astronauts ready for space
- The first U.S. astronauts chosen to fly aboard a SpaceX capsule built for NASA.
- Space shuttle veterans Bob Behnken, 48, and Doug Hurley, 52 are slated for blastoff later this year from Cape Canaveral,Florida.In the debut manned flight of the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.
- California-based SpaceX,the privately owned venture owned by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
China launches rocket from ship at sea
- China successfully launched a rocket from a ship at sea for the first time.
- The Long March 11 rocket blasted off from a platform on a large semi-submersible barge in the Yellow Sea.
- The small rocket designed to be deployed quickly and from mobile launch sites such as a ship,carried seven satellites including one that measures sea-surface winds to forecast typhoons
Tayari Jones wins literary award for her novel
- Tayari Jones won the Women’s Prize for fiction on 5 June with An American Marriage, her story of a family torn apart by the US judicial system.
- Jones, a professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, beat five other finalists including Anna Burns, winner of 2018’s Booker Prize.
- An American Marriage is Jones’ fourth novel, but the first to be published in Britain.