Current Affairs 21st June 2017

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Qatar Airways announced as the World's Best Airline at SKYTRAX 2017 World Airline Awards. Skytrax (originally known as Inflight Research Services) is a United Kingdom–based consultancy which runs an airline and airport review and ranking site. The Doha-based carrier won the Best Airline of the year title for the fourth time. The other major awards are. World's Best First Class: Etihad Airways; World's Best Economy Class: Thai Airways; World's Best Low-Cost Airline: AirAsia; World's Best Airline Alliance: Star Alliance; Most Improved Airline: Saudi Arabian.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman appointed his son, Mohammed bin Salman shuffle, and as the predecessor. The newly-announced crown prince was also named Deputy Prime Minister and maintained his post as defense minister. 

The Punjab Government announced free education for girls in Government Schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D. Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. The free Wi-Fi for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 Government Colleges.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) appoints Muzoon Almellehan as Goodwill Ambassador for Refugees. She is the first person with an official refugee status to become an Ambassador for the United Nations agency. According to UNICEF data, an estimated 25 million children of primary and secondary school are out of school in conflict zones around the world.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) testing the effectiveness of a flexible solar array, the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA) on the space station for the very first time. It is an advanced, flexible solar array that rolls out like a tape measure. ROSA is smaller and lighter than the traditional panels and has a center wing build of a flexible material containing photovoltaic cells to convert light into electricity.

The Madhya Pradesh Government announced a subsidy of Rs 8,700 crore to electricity consumers on tariff implemented by the state electricity regulatory commission for 2017-18. SC/ST farmers holding one-hectare land and consuming up to 5 horsepower will get free electricity. Agriculture consumers having permanent connections will get Rs 1.70 subsidy per unit.

Messaging app Hike added payments feature with YES Bank allows its over 100 million users to transfer money, recharge and pay mobile bills through the messaging platform. The Hike is the first in India to launch payments facility on a messaging platform. Hike improved the user interface as well as added new features to the camera on the app. It will allow free and instant bank-to-bank transfer via unified payments interface (UPI).

China announced publicly about world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails. The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered. The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kilometers per hour and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes. They are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. The new train is expected to have a lifespan of around 25 years.

The Government of India (GOI) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed USD 275 million loans for a piped water supply project for rapidly urbanizing small towns. It will cover 3 lakh households in 64 small towns in Madhya Pradesh. The Government of Madhya Pradesh will provide counterpart support of $124 million. The project will run for almost five years with an expected completion date of June 2022.

IDBI Federal Life Insurance partnered with SunTec company. Under the agreement, for the debt tax mandate, SunTec will help in analyzing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes. SunTec will help in analyzing data from various sources for computation and invoicing purposes.

Justice Dalveer Bhandari nominated by India as its candidate for another nine-year term as judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges elected to nine-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an Earth-Observation Satellite, named Cartosat-2E.  Cartosat-2 series weighing 712 kg and 30 nano-satellites using Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Out of the 30 nano-satellites, 29 will be of foreign origin and one will be of India. The 29 nano-satellites will be from 14 countries such as Austria, Belgium, Britain, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the US. This will be the seventeenth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune become the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga. PM’s Yoga Award was instituted at the 2nd International Day of Yoga celebrations at Chandigarh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute worked to spread Yoga both domestically and internationally over a period of four decades.

India and Portugal signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighboring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

Larsen and Toubro ( L&T) announced the launch of a floating dock, designed and built for the Indian Navy, at the company's Greenfield shipyard at Kattupalli near Chennai. Floating Dock (FDN-2) is India's first originating built floating dock. It is 185 meters long and 40 meters wide and is designed for docking Indian Navy ships and submarines of up to 8,000 tons of displacement.

The International Day of Yoga is celebrated on June 21 across the world. The theme for 2017 organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations is 'Yoga for Health.' The theme highlights that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.