29Th June 2018 : Daily Current Affairs - UPSC CSE/IAS and State PSC

This page contains "29th June 2018" current affairs analysis from different newspapers and magazines like The hindu, Indian express, PIB and Yojna.

Quality and relevance are two key features considered while writing the content, all the topics are based on the pattern of previously asked questions in exams like UPSC CSE, IAS, State PCS, SSC, Banks PO and likewise competitive exams.

1) Rupee has weakened past 69, all time low

Recently Rupee has weakened past 69 mark against US Dollar, that is all time low. Rupee has lost around 7% in value since Jan 1, 2018, to make it worst performing currency in Asia this year.

Rupee is not alone in decline, almost all emerging economies are facing same situation. The MSCI Emerging Markets currency index indicates a decline of 6%, since April in emerging market currencies.

An increase in International Crude Oil price is one of the reason behind Rupee's weakness, the importers has to sell out more dollars to fund their purchases.

The current account deficit of India is expected to increase from 1.9% of GDP in 2017-19 to 2.5% in FY 2019, this would increase rupee's stress even more because the demand for dollars could turn out to be overwhelming.

The rise in global trade tensions and the tightening of U.S. monetary policy are also responsible for decline in rupee and other emerging market currencies.

Foreign investors are finding US markets more attractive and hence pulling out their capital out of India at an increasing pace, the major portion of this outflow comes from bond market, which explains the steep fall in Indian bond prices.

2) Blockchain technology

Why in news ?
A Centre of Excellence for block chain technology is under consideration to be opened soon in Hyderabad, this will be the first centre by the government for block chain technology.

More in news
Initial plan is to digitise and secure land records for Telangana using block-chain applications. Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology. Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) will start working on use cases and application development for banking sector.

IT firms such as Infosys, TCS, Wipro and Cognizant had made significant investments in block-chain technology, while banks had already started using the technology.

What is Blockchain Technology?

Block-chain Technology invented in 2008 was originally developed for digital currency, bitcoin etc. It makes digital information distributed without coping it. IT experts and organisations are now looking for other potential use cases to use it.

Information held on a block-chain exists as a shared and continually reconciled database. Information stored in block-chain database is't stored in any single location that makes it truly public, easily verifiable and impossible to hack.

Because of its distributed nature, block-chain technology can not be controlled by a single entity and there is no single point of failure.

Block-chain kind of self auditing ecosystem of a digital value, where the network reconciles every transaction that happens in 10 minute intervals. Each group of these transactions is referred to as a block It can not be corrupted because to corrupt a bit of information on entire network will require a huge amount of computing power.

3) Women Entrepreneurship Platform, by NITI Aayog

Why in news ?
In a bid to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the country, Women Entrepreneurs Platform (WEP) has signed a statement of intent (SoI) with financial institutions and social organisations.

What is Women Entrepreneurship Platform ?

Women Entrepreneurship Platform, was launched by NITI Aayog on International Women's Day 2018, with an aim to increase entrepreneurial aspirations among women. A theme song "Naari Shakti", sung by Kailash Khair was also launched on the occasion.

The Platform not only encourages entrepreneurship among women but also helps in scaling up innovative initiatives and long term strategies for their businesses.

Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) is based on three pillers:
1) Ichha Shakti (motivating aspiring entrepreneurs to start their enterprise).
2) Gyaan Shakti (providing knowledge and ecosystem support to women entrepreneurs to help them foster entrepreneurship).
3) Karma Shakti (providing hands-on support to entrepreneurs in setting-up and scaling up businesses).

4) Capital infusion in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd

In a bid to strengthen "Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd (ECGC)", a capital of Rs 2000 Crore is infused by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister. Infusion will take place in three years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 in a proportion of Rs.50 crore, Rs.1450 and Rs.500 respectively.

The plan is to tap new and unexplored markets for Indian exports, the capital will be used to enhance insurance coverage to MSME exports and strengthen India's exports to emerging and challenging markets like Africa, CIS and Latin American countries.

Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India

Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India(ECGC) is a Mumbai based company of Ministry of Commerce, Government of India(GoI). The company is functioned with provides a range of credit risk insurance covers to exporters against loss in export of goods and services and payment risks.

The company also provides guarantees to banks and financial institutions to enable exporters to obtain better services. Overseas Investment Insurance is also provided by the company to Indian companies investing in joint ventures abroad.

It also provides information about different countries to exporters based on its own credit ratings, and provides guidance in export-related activities.

5) Cassini Huygens mission

Why in news ?
Information collected by Cassini spacecraft has discovered complex organic molecules on Saturn's moon "Enceladus", indicating possible support of life.

Cassini Huygens mission
Cassini Huygens mission was a collaboration between NASA, Europian Space Agency and Italy Space Agency to study Saturn, it's ecosystem, rings and natural moons. Cassini was the fourth space mission to visit Saturn and the first to enter its orbit.

Cassini has previously detected lightweight organic molecules at Enceladus but the newly found fragments are much larger. Such large molecules can only be created by complex chemical processes including those related to life.

Other Tit Bits

1) India US Relations : U.S. envoy to the U.N., Nikki Haley said in an interview that "She has raised concern with Mr Modi, about India's relationship with Iran". India is Iran's second largest oil importer after china, and USA wants to make India cut it's oil trade with Iran.

2) Ryugu asteroid : Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), has said that their mission "Hayabusa2", has successfully settled into an observation position 20 km above the Ryugu asteroid.

The mission will collect information about the birth of the solar system and the origin of life. UN?s International Asteroid Day is celebrated on June 30, to make awareness about hazards arising from possible Asteroid impact and progress to counter such a threat.

3) Strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) : In order to deal with oil crisis in unforeseen situations, the government has approved two more locations for "Strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) Facility", Chandikhol in Odisha, and Padur in Karnataka will hold a total capacity of 6.5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT), which works out to another 12 days of reserves.

Already established underground rock caverns are located at at Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MMT), Mangaluru (1.5 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT) to provide a total of 10 days security.

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