Current Affairs June 13, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of June 13, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has recently announced that harmful single-use plastics will be banned in the country from 2021 to reduce ocean waste. He declared it a global challenge to phase out the plastic bags, straws and cutlery clogging the world's oceans. Currently less than 10% of plastic used in Canada gets recycled. The Canadian government said that one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals worldwide are injured or die each year when they mistake plastic for food or become entangled. Single-use items represent some 70% of the plastic waste littering the marine environment. Canada's move follows one by the European Union (EU), which late last year announced a similar ban. Canada, France, Germany, Britain and Italy, along with the European Union, subscribed at 2018 G7 summit in Quebec to a new charter against pollution in the world's oceans. The non-binding Ocean Plastics Charter called on participating countries and the EU to commit to making all plastics reusable, recyclable or recovered by 2030.

2. After linking its short-term loans and large savings deposits rates to the repo rate, the State Bank of India (SBI) has decided to introduce a repo rate-linked home loan product from July 1. The home loans under this product will be priced at 2.65% over the repo rate of 5.75%. So, the home loan interest rate will work out to 8.40%. Currently, SBI offers home loans, which are linked to its marginal cost of funds, at 8.55%. The lender has also reduced the interest rate on cash credit /overdraft customers (limits above Rs1 lakh) after RBI cut its repo rate from 6% to 5.75%. Now the effective Repo-Linked Lending Rate (RLLR) for CC/OD customers is 8%. Repo rate is the key interest rate at which commercial banks borrow short-term funds from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

3. Mount Sinabung, on the island of Sumatra, erupted for around 9 minutes on June 9 & send clouds of volcanic ash 7 km into the sky. The volcano has seen a spike in activity since its last major eruption in 2010. Mount Sinabung, which is 2,460m (8,071 ft) high, is among Indonesia's most active volcanoes, but had been inactive for four centuries before its 2010 eruption. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. It follows the eruption of Mount Agung on the Indonesia island of Bali last month, which caused several flights to be cancelled.

4. India’s first dinosaur museum and fossil park has recently inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani at Raiyoli village near Balasinor town of Mahisagar district. The new museum will create a prehistoric-like era environment when dinosaurs might have roamed around freely in Raiyoli. As many as 50 sculptures of dinosaurs, including a life-size one of Rajasaurus Narmadensis that was found in Gujarat, have been erected at the museum. The museum would have 3D projection, 360 degrees virtual reality presentations, interactive kiosks, gaming consoles and other facilities. According to government officials, Raiyoli is globally known to be the third largest fossil site and the second largest dinosaur hatchery from where about 10,000 dinosaur eggs have been found.

5. India is planning to conduct its first-ever simulated space warfare exercise titled ‘IndSpaceEx’ in the last week of July under the aegis of the Integrated Defence Staff of the defence ministry. All military stakeholders, including those from the scientific community, will participate in it. The purpose of the exercise is to understand the possible challenges in space warfare and to counter China's growing influence in this domain, which poses a major threat to India's national security interest.

6. India has been designated as the Guest of Honour at the 33rd Guadalajara International Book Fair (GIBF) 2019 in Mexico, which is scheduled to be organized from Nov 30 to Dec 8. The book fair will be the largest book fair in the Spanish speaking world. The dedicated India pavilion at the fair will showcase over 35 Indian authors and artists, along with 15 publishing houses. Ancient and rare manuscripts including "Mahabharata" and "Ramayana" will be put on exhibition, along with photo books, handicrafts and paintings. India's participation at the fair will also include a film festival showing movies like "Dangal", "Chennai Express" and "Omkara".

7. On 9 June, Interim President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has won the 2019 Presidential election of Kazakhstan with 70.96% of the vote. He was recognised as the elected president by the Central Election Commission (CEC) and will take an oath of office June 12. Earlier, on 20th March 2019, Tokayev took office as the Interim President of Kazakhstan & succeeded Nursultan Nazarbayev who served as the President from the country's independence in 1992 until his resignation. The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the head of state, commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office within the Republic of Kazakhstan.

8. The researchers from Ohio State University in United States have created high-resolution maps of points around the globe where groundwater meets the oceans — the first such analysis of its kind that may help protect both drinking water and the seas. The study showed that nearly one-half of fresh submarine groundwater discharge flows into the ocean near the tropics. They also found that regions near active fault lines send greater volumes of groundwater into the ocean than regions that are tectonically stable. The findings may help coastal communities better protect and manage their drinking water. The research work is the first near-global and spatially distributed high-resolution map of fresh groundwater flow to the coast. It could give scientists better clues about where to monitor groundwater discharge.

9. V.S. Kaumudi, a 1986 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IPS officer, has been appointed as the new Director General (DG) of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) by temporarily downgrading the post to the level of Additional Director General (ADG). He has been appointed BPR&D chief for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. He succeeded 1984 batch IPS officer Sudeep Lakhtakia. Kaumudi Prior to this post, Kaumudi was ADG in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

10. Virendra Kumar, the BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, will be the pro-tem speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha. Kumar is a 7-term member of Parliament and won the Lok Sabha polls from Tikamgarh. As pro-tem speaker, he will preside over the first sitting of the Lok Sabha and administer the oath of office to the newly elected MPs. The first session of the newly-constituted 17th Lok Sabha will be held from June 17 to July 26. As pro-tem speaker, Kumar will also oversee the election of the Lok Sabha speaker.

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