Current Affairs- 17th June

Science and Technology

Chinese Astronauts reach new Space Station

Chinese Astronauts reach new Space Station
  • China has successfully sent its first astronauts to the country’s Tiangong space station onboard the Shenzhou-12 – its first manned spacecraft since 2016. China’s space agency said Shenzhou-12 spacecraft carrying three male astronauts onboard a Long March-2F rocket docked with Tianhe, the main section of the Tiangong station, hours after blasting off from the Gobi Desert in northwest China on Thursday.
  • The mission is the latest stage in China’s ambitious plans to be the only country to own and run its own space station, expected to be completed less than two years from now.

Amazon launched Machine Learning (ML) Summer School

  • Amazon India on Sunday announced the launch of an integrated learning programme for students to learn applied Machine Learning (ML) skills, making them industry ready for careers in the new technology. The programme – ML Summer School – has been introduced to help train students in ML and address the growing demand for talent with this skill set across various industries, Amazon India said in a statement.
  • The curriculum will cover the fundamental concepts in ML, while linking them to practical industry applications through an immersive three-day course.

National

Journey of Women Scientists

  • Inspiring journeys of 100 women scientists who returned to science after a break in career has been documented into a book form. Department of Science and Technology, through various components of Women Scientists Scheme (WOS), is addressing challenges confronted by women who desire to return to mainstream science.
  • This booklet presents select stories of women who completed their training under WOS-C component of this scheme and are now achieving greater heights in their careers.
  • Ministry of Science and Technology has said that this booklet can be a beacon of light for more Indian women. The booklet is available in both digital and print versions. It can be accessed on department of science and technology’s website.

Science and Technology

MHA operationalizes national helpline, reporting platform for preventing cyber fraud

MHA operationalizes national helpline, reporting platform for preventing cyber fraud
  • The Home Ministry under leadership of Home Minister Amit Shah has operationalized the national Helpline 155260 and Reporting Platform for preventing financial loss due to cyber fraud. The National Helpline and Reporting Platform provides a mechanism for persons cheated in cyber frauds to report such cases to prevent loss of their hard earned money.
  • The Helpline was soft launched on first of April this year. The Helpline and its Reporting Platform has been made operational by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, I4C under the Ministry of Home Affairs, with active support and cooperation from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), all major banks, Payment Banks, Wallets and Online Merchants.

International

US, Russia to resume arms control talks

US, Russia to resume arms control talks
  • US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed at their first summit to resume arms control talks and to return ambassadors to each other’s capitals after they were withdrawn earlier this year.
  • The two leaders sat down together for their first face-to-face bilateral talks last night in Geneva where the two leaders were seeking to mend US-Russia relations. The two leaders have praised their talks in Geneva that lasted four hours, less time than was scheduled. 

Microsoft Names CEO Satya Nadella as Chairman

  • Microsoft Corp named Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella as its new chairman, in place of John Thompson.
  • Nadella, who took over as CEO in 2014 from Steve Ballmer, has been instrumental in scaling up its business including billion-dollar acquisitions like LinkedIn, Nuance Communications and ZeniMax.
  • The company said Thompson, who took over as chairman from the software giant’s co-founder Bill Gates in 2014, will serve as lead independent director.

India extends $100 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka for solar energy projects

India extends $100 million Line of Credit to Sri Lanka for solar energy projects
  • Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on Thursday said it has extended USD 100 million worth of line of credit (LOC) to the Sri Lankan government for financing projects in the solar energy sector.
  • With the signing of this agreement, Exim Bank, so far, has extended nine LOCs to Sri Lanka, on behalf of the Indian government, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 1.68 billion, a release said.
  • Projects covered under the finance extended to Sri Lanka include the supply of petroleum products, railway projects, defence and infrastructure projects, it added. 

IIT Bombay Hosts BRICS Network University Conference

IIT Bombay Hosts BRICS Network University Conference
  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay hosted a three-day virtual conference of BRICS Network Universities on electric mobility. The conference is part of the engagements that India is hosting under the education stream during its 13th BRICS Summit this year.
  • As many as 18 experts from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa will talk about various aspects of electric mobility such as traffic management, hydrogen technology, hybrid vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, and linkage between e-mobility and livelihoods over the next three days.

Sports

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Olympics

Rafael Nadal pulls out of Wimbledon and Olympics
  • Rafael Nadal has announced that he will not play in this month’s Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics later this summer. The Spaniard, who lost in the French Open semi-final to Novak Djokovic last week, made the announcement through social media.
  • The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who won the Wimbledon titles in 2008 and 2010, said, he needs to recuperate after a long clay-court season.
  • The 35-year-old added that the shorter turnaround of two weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon was a key factor in his decision. Usually, there are three weeks between the two majors.

Egypt’s first female boxing coach Saba Sakr

Egypt’s first female boxing coach Saba Sakr
  • In the Egyptian city of Beni Suef, a small one-room gym appears to be open only twice a week. Here 36-year-old Saba Sakr teaches boxing to more than 20 youths in the age group of 18 to 30 years.
  • Women are prohibited from doing such work in the country’s capital Cairo, but in this agrarian area located 100 km from the capital, Saba is running this center and training youth in Egypt’s traditional and socially restricted society.
  • Saba is also Egypt’s first female boxing coach.

Days and Dates

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: 17th June

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: 17th June
  • Today is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. United Nations has said that this day is a unique moment to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has said that India is on track to achieve the target of land degradation neutrality set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Javadekar said India will restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.

Other Important Affairs

  • The ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’ initiative, also known as ‘Mission Van Dhan’, was introduced by the central government, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim to establish a sustainable livelihood for India’s tribal population.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), mandated the use of drones for monthly video recording of all national highway projects during their different stages of development, construction, operation and maintenance.