Daily Current Affairs – 19th and 20th June, 2016, Sunday and Monday

1. Renowned educationist Jeppiaar passes away

a) Renowned educationist Jeppiaar, who founded the Jeppiaar Educational Trust, has passed away in Chennai at the age of 85.

b) Originally named Jesadimai Pangiraj, he contributed majorly in the setting up of private engineering institutions in Tamil Nadu and was the founder chancellor of Sathyabama University.

c) He began his career as a policeman. He also served as AIADMK secretary of Chennai district from 1972 to 1987 and was a Special Envoy to late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran.

d) He produced seven Tamil movies, directed one in Tamil and played the protagonist in one.

2. India, South Korea launch Korea Plus to strengthen relations

a) To boost Korean investments in India, South Korea and India have launched a special initiative named ‘Korean Plus’. 

b) MoU for establishing the initiative was signed in January 2016 which came after Narendra Modi’s visit to South Korea in 2015.

c) Key Highlights of the initiative:

(i) It covers the entire investment spectrum including supporting Korean enterprises dealing with India for the first time.

(ii) It will help in arranging meetings, assisting in public relations and research/evaluation.

(iii) It will counsel investors and provide necessary information while investing in India.

(iv) It will handle issues faced by Korean companies doing business in India and policy advocacy to the Union Government on their behalf.

3. Bipin R Patel appointed President of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry

a) Businessman Bipin R Patel took over as the new president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) for the term 2016-17.

b) He succeeded Rohit J Patel. In another development, Shailesh Patwari took over as the senior vice-president of the chamber.

4. SpaceX successfully launches two commercial satellites

a) US based private space transport service company SpaceX  has successfully launched two commercial satellites namely EUTELSAT 117 West B and ABS-2A. This mission was SpaceX’s second dual-satellite launch.

b) The launch was using SpaceX’s reusable Falcon 9 rocket which had lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US.

c) These geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) satellites will provide global communications services to their users. However, in this mission, the reusable rocket was lost before it could land on a drone ship platform in the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Endangered species of bird spotted after 178 years

a) A team of ornithologists from the Bird Education Society and the Nepalese Ornithologists Union (NOS) recently spotted a rare and endangered species of bird, red-faced Liocichla of Liocichla Phoenicea spices at Chisapani in Dahakhani in the district.

b) This bird species was first spotted in Chitwan by a foreigner ornithologist around 178 years ago and was not seen thereafter.

c) With this, Chitwan now boasts being a home to 631 species of birds. Simrikane Lito Shila’ is the nepali name for this bird.

6. World Refugee Day observed on June 20th

a) United Nations World Refugee Day is observed globally on 20th June each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

b) The UN Refugee Agency’s (UNCHR) logo is often associated with the day. The colors used are either white on a blue background or blue on white background.

c) The logo features olive branches that symbolise peace surrounding or protecting two hands facing each other, and in the middle a figure of a person protected by these hands.

d) The UN General Assembly decided to observe World Refugee day on 20th June. It noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June. 

e) The theme for 2016 is “We Stand Together With Refugee”

7. International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict observed

a) June 19 2016 was observed as the first International day for Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict to raise awareness about the need to put an end to conflict-related sexual violence.

b) The date was chosen to commemorate the adoption on 19 June 2008 of Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), in which the Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an impediment to peace building.

c) Launched in 2007, it represents a concerted effort by the United Nations to ‘deliver as one’ – improving coordination and accountability, amplifying advocacy and supporting country-level efforts to prevent conflict-related sexual violence and respond more effectively to the needs of survivors.

8. NASA unveils X-57 Hybrid Electric Research Plane

a) Experimental electric plane designated as X 57 has been launched by NASA. The hybrid electric research plane will have 14 electric motors to turn the propellers located on the long narrow wings.

b) The X series first product, also known as Maxwell, is named after James Clerk Maxwell, the 19th century Scottish physicist who did pioneering work in electromagnetism.

c) It incorporates new propulsion technology which not only makes planes quieter but also more efficient and environmentally-friendly. The planes will function only using batteries thus completely eliminating carbon emissions.

9. Rio declares ‘public calamity’ few weeks ahead of Olympics

a) Rio de Janeiro has declared a “state of public calamity” due to severe financial difficulties less than 50 days before the commencement of the Olympics.

b) The crisis has meant that public sector workers and pensioners in Rio state are owed wages in arrears, and hospitals and police stations have been unable to get basic supplies.

c) The state’s declaration will have no negative impact on the games said an official statement from Rio 2016 organising committee.