National Current Affairs
National Current Affairs June 4th Week 2017
Category : National Current Affairs
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 1. First Indigenously built Floating Dock Launched by L&T.

After the trials, FDN-2 will be moved to Andaman & Nicobar Islands. There it would be used for repairing assets of the Indian Navy and also of other services.

 These floating docks are capable of being installed either along a jetty, moored in calm waters and also moved to high seas enabling round-the-year operation. FDN-2 will be capable of repairing up to 8,000-tonne ships with draught up to 7 metres, including submarine FDN-2 will be capable of simultaneous docking of multiple ships.

 In addition, off-center docking options were also feasible. It has hauling-in system to handle a ship’s docking and undocking operations. It can also cater to the ships berthed along its side. 

At any point of time, FDN-2 can cater to six ships for repairs or refit. The FDN-2 is a wholly Made in India product. The 468 crore FDN-2 was lowered into the Bay of Bengal by Anjali Deshpande, wife of the Vice-Admiral Controller Warship Production and Acquisition of Indian Navy, DM Deshpande. 

Background FDN-2 is the first Naval shipbuilding project for L&T. L&T has been undertaking repairs and refits of Naval and Coast Guard ships. It has delivered six ship refits including the largest Logistics Tanker ship INS Jyoti. L&T has so far invested around Rs 5,000 crore in the Kattupalli Shipyard.

2. Reliance Defence inks Pact with Serbia’s Yugoimport to Manufacture Ammunition in India.

The two companies will work jointly in the field of ammunition amongst others. Both the companies would undertake joint development of next generation ammunition to cater to the needs of the future requirements of the Indian armed forces. 

The proposal also involves the transfer of technology by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and indigenous manufacturing in India. Reliance Defence Ammunition will set up a greenfield facility for the production of ammunition. 

India at present imports around 50% of its ammunition with an annual spending of more than Rs 10,000 crore.

3. Railways to launch Operation Swarn to revamp Rajdhani, Shatabdi Trains.

With an aim to enhance travel experience and provide passengers with advanced amenities, Indian Railways premium trains – the Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express are all set to get a face-lift. 
After years of service, the two trains are believed to undergo a makeover under the project ‘Operation-Swarn’. 
An amount of Rs 50 lakh will be allotted to each Rajdhani and Shatabdi train on various routes for the revamp and two committees will be formed to monitor the work.
Operation Swarn:
  • An amount of Rs 50 lakh will be allotted to each Rajdhani and Shatabdi train on various routes for the revamp and two committees will be formed to monitor the work.
  • In the first phase, the Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express and Mumbai-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express have been selected for upgradation.
  • Work will start on September 26. More trains will be identified in a phased manner.

4. Uttarakhand and Haryana Declared Open Defecation Free States.

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have been declared as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India. 

Already, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, have been declared ODF. As per the government sources, nationally the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% since the launch of SBM. 

Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats. All these have been declared as ODF. 

With this, the total number of ODF states in the country have increased to 5 covering more than 2 lakh villages and 147 districts across the country.

5. 30 new Smart Cities announced by Venkaiah naidu.

Thirty new cities were added to the Centre`s Smart Cities Mission and total investment of Rs. 57,393 crore was announced by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday, taking the total number of smart cities to 90.

Marking the second anniversary of the launch of the Smart Cities Mission, Mr. Naidu announced the new cities added to the scheme.

Announced Cities Are :

  • Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala
  • Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh
  • Rajkot in Gujarat
  • Amravati in Andhra Pradesh 
  • Patna in Bihar
  • Karimnagar in Telangana
  • Muzaffarpur in Bihar
  • Puducherry
  • Gandhinagar in Gujarat
  • Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Sagar in Madhya Pradesh
  • Karnal in Haryana
  • Satna in Madhya Pradesh
  • Bengaluru in Karnataka
  • Shimla in Himachal Pradesh
  • Dehradun in Uttarakhand
  • Tirupur in Tamil Nadu
  • Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra
  • Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh
  • Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Jammu in J&K
  • Dahod in Gujarat
  • Tirunelveli 
  • Thootukkudi
  •  Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu
  • Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh
  • Aizawl in Mizoram
  • Allahabad
  • Aligarh in U.P.
  • Gangtok in Sikkim.

6. Ayurveda specialist Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha appointed special secretary in Ayush ministry.

Ayurveda physician ‘Vaidya’ Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush Ministry. Usually a senior bureaucrat is appointed to such a post.

 The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha’s appointment for three years on a contract basis, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. Vaidya (meaning physician) Kotecha is chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur. 

The appointment is in line with the Centre’s efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government. Last year too, former IAS officer and well known sanitation specialist Parameswaran Iyer was appointed Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation. 

Iyer, who had taken voluntary retirement from Indian Administrative Service, was appointed on contract basis for a period two years.

 7. POSOCO-IMD Weather Portal & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ launched.

Union Minister of State for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal has launched Weather Portal for Power Sector & Web Portal ‘MERIT’ (Merit Order Despatch of Electricity for Rejuvenation of Income and Transparency).

The weather portal has been developed in association with POSOCO and IMD. The portal will have information regarding weather forecast to the state Discoms.

The weather variations have an impact on load demand, energy production, transport and distribution management, as well as on energy prices. 

Extreme events associated with weather like heat waves or cold waves, windstorms or floods can have adverse impacts on the production and can inflict physical damage to the infrastructure.

8.NITI Aayog Selects CCMB as Incubation Centre for Biotech Start-ups.

NITI-Aayog has chosen the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad for hosting the ?10-crore Atal Incubation Centre for biotechnology start-ups.

The centre will identify promising start-ups and create facilities for them to succeed in the field of biotechnology. The CCMB is one of the 10 organisations that have been identified to host the ‘Atal Incubation Centre’. 

The government will release a Grant-in-aid of Rs 10 crore for a maximum of 5 years. After that, it is expected that the Centre would become self-sustainable. The CCMB is a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). 

It is the only one in the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to be chosen as an incubation centre under Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).

9. Government launches VAJRA Scheme.

Department of Science and Technology has launched  VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme that enables NRIs and overseas scientific community to participate and contribute to research and development in India.

on 8th January 2017, during the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention, Prime Minister had announced that a new scheme called VAJRA (Visiting Advanced Joint Research) Faculty scheme would be launched by the Department of Science and Technology.

10. Power Minister Piyaush Goyal launches portal on weather information.

Shri Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal , New & Renewable Energy and Mines launched Weather Portal for Power Sector in association with POSOCO and IMD at the meeting of the Forum of Regulators here today .

Day to day weather variations have an impact on load demand and energy production, transport and distribution management, as well as energy prices. Extreme events such as heat waves or cold waves, wind storms or floods can of course have dramatic consequences on the production means or the electrical grid of a country including physical damage to the infrastructure. 

The information available in the Portal regarding weather forecast shall help State Discoms to take pro-active steps regarding short term and medium term management processes and supply planning requirements and also for better planning for infrastructure availability to ensure cost effective and reliable supply.

11. Maharastra Government to launch My Plant app to create database on tree plantation.

Maharashtra forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar onFriday announced that a mobile app named ‘My Plant’, which would help in recording data about tree plantations in the state, would be launched on July 1.

Using this app, people and organisations can feed the data about the saplings they have planted with the forest department, which would help it in creating a database of trees.

The forest department has set a target of planting four crore saplings through public participation between July 1 and 7.

Mungantiwar said, “This app makes it possible to upload information of all the tasks given to the government departments in the tree plantation programme, the name of the tree species being planted and the status.”

12. ONGC and UNESCO join hands to get chilaka lake heritage site tag.

Bhubaneswar, June 21 (IANS) A joint team of the ONGC and Unesco has carried out a preliminary survey for the conservation of Chilika Lake to help the country’s largest coastal lagoon secure the world heritage site tag, said an official on Wednesday.

“With the objective to declare Chilika Lake as a Unesco World Heritage Site, both Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) will work together,” said Shigeru Aoyagi, Unesco Chief Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

“In order to get world heritage site recognition, it should have outstanding global value in terms of biodiversity and eco-system. The state government has assured us to provide full support to conserve the lake,” he added.

During their visit to the periphery areas of the lake, they interacted with various stakeholders in the village and local officials, where certain focal areas were identified to begin with, so that the efforts could finally lead to the declaration of Chilika Lake as a heritage site.

13. Palbinder Kaur Shergill becomes first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed as Judge in Canada Supreme Court.

Palbinder Kaur Shergill has become the first turbaned Sikh woman to be appointed as Canad’s Supreme Court judge. 

The announcement was made by the minister of justice and attorney general of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould. The appointment of Shergill as Supreme Court Judge of Canada is considered as a milestone for the Sikh community in Canada. 

Justice Palbinder Kaur Shergill was born in Rurka Kalan in Jalandhar district. At the age of four, justice Shergill had migrated to Canada. 

Justice Shergill has fought various cases and has actively represented the interests of Canadian Sikh community including the right of Sikh students to wear a ‘kirpan’ in schools.

14. Quality of Life: Government launches Index to Rank 116 Cities.

The index named ‘City Liveability Index’ will cover cities with a population above one million, including the capital cities. The index will help cities to analyse where they stand in terms of the quality of life.

It will help them to come up with interventions required to improve it. The index will assess cities based on a comprehensive set of 79 parameters such as availability of roads, education, healthcare, mobility, employment opportunities, emergency response, grievance redressal, pollution, availability of open and green spaces, cultural and entertainment opportunities etc. 

The rankings based on the index would be released in 2018. Soon, the government will select the agency for undertaking the assessment and data collection for the rankings would be completed in the next 6 months.

15. India-Russia Signs Roadmap for Defence Cooperation.

India and Russia have finalized a roadmap to further boost bilateral defence cooperation during the 17th India-Russia intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation held at Moscow. 

The meeting was co-chaired by defence minister Arun Jaitley and his Russian counterpart General Shoygu. The agenda for the discussion ranged from joint development of futuristic weapon systems to a major upgrade of military-to-military ties. 

India and Russia had signed a protocol that aims to enhance cooperation between both the countries in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training.

16. Union Minister inaugurated commemorative postage stamp released on completion of 50 years of Passport Act.

The Minister for Communications Shri Manoj Sinha launched Passport Seva Project (PSP) in India with its successful implementation in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode.

To extend passport services to our citizens on a larger scale and to ensure wider area coverage, the Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts (DOP) have agreed to utilize the Head Post Offices in the country as Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) for delivering passport related services to the citizens of our country.


The Passports Act provides issue of passports and travel documents and regulation of the departure from India of Indian citizens.