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Evening News Digest: 22 June 2018 (Including PDF)

Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian resigns

  • Arvind Subramanian was appointed Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to the Government of India on October 16, 2014 for a period of three years. His term was extended for one year in September 2017.
  • He is known for introducing JAM trinity in the Economic Survey 2014-15, conceptualizing SWAYAM platform and enhancing the quality of Economic Survey.
  • JAM trinity refers to the government of India initiative to link Jan Dhan accounts, Mobile numbers and Aadhar cards of Indians to plug the leakages and deliver direct benefits to India’s poor in form of Direct Subsidy Transfer.
  • SWAYAM: Under SWAYAM or Study Webs of Active –Learning for Young Aspiring Minds programme of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, professors and faculties of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs, central universities will offer online courses to citizens of India. SWAYAM is an instrument for self-actualisation providing opportunities for a life-long learning.

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Unfinished: Memoir of Priyanka Chopra to be published in 2019

  • Bollywood Actor Priyanka Chopra will come out with her memoir in 2019 in which she will write about things which she has never spoken before.
  • The memoir named 'Unfinished' is a collection of personal essays, stories and observations of the actor, producer, activist and UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
  • The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House India and simultaneously in the US by Ballantine Books and in the UK by Michael Joseph.

Veteran journalist Prabhakar Choubey passes away

  • Veteran journalist and littérateur Prabhakar Choubey passed away after a prolonged illness at a city hospital in Raipur on June 22, 2018. He was 83.
  • In his career spanning 54 years, he made invaluable and memorable contribution in the fields of journalism and literature.

First India-US 2+2 dialogue to be held in July 2018

  • The first India-US '2+2 dialogue' will be held on July 6 and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will participate with focus on strengthening strategic and defence ties.
  • Swaraj and Sitharaman will take part in the first meeting of the '2+2 Dialogue' with US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James N Mattis.
  • This new dialogue format was agreed upon between the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June 2017.
  • India’s first 2+2 dialogue was held with Japan since 2010 because institutionalized annual summit between two heads of state is held since 2007. In 2017 India held 2+2 dialogue with Australia.
  • What is 2+2 dialogue?
    • The 2+2 format draws on a framework Japan used for its strategic interactions with the US, France, Russia and Australia.
    • This mechanism sets the agenda for a summit level interaction between the leaders of the two states.
    • The two-plus-two dialogue mechanism is between countries which have institutionalised annual dialogue or at least a regular dialogue between the political heads of the two states.

'Love Sonia' to open London Indian Film Festival

  • The 9th London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) began on June 21, 2018 with the red-carpet world premiere of Hollywood-cum-Bollywood starrer "Love Sonia", a film by the Oscar-nominated producer of "Life Of Pi", David Womark.
  • The film is tale of two sisters forced into Mumbai's sex trade, which stars Demi Moore, Freida Pinto, Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao, will open this year's line-up for the festival.
  • Bagri Foundation is the title sponsor of the festival. Alka Bagri is the Trustee of the Bagri Foundation.
  • This year, there is also a special cinematic tribute to Bollywood star Sridevi, who died suddenly in February, with a screening of her 1987 box-office hit "Mr India".
  • Another tribute screening is UK-based filmmaker Sangeeta Dutta's docu-feature "Bird of Dusk", in memory of the late Rituparno Ghosh.
  • The festival, dubbed as Europe's largest South Asian film event, will close on June 29, 2018 with a screening of 'Venus' a feel-good comedy about the life of a Canadian Punjabi transgender person.

Kidambi Srikanth named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year

  • Sports Illustrated 'India's Sportsperson of the Year': World No 4 men's shuttler Kidambi Srikanth.
  • 'Team of the Year' award: Women's cricket team
  • 'Coach of the year': National football team coach Stephen Constantine
  • 'Outstanding contribution to Sport': Tennis veteran Leander Paes
  • Editor's Choice for Excellence (Team): I-League side Aizawl FC
  • Editor's Choice for Excellence (Male): Commonwealth gold medallist Jitu Rai
  • 'Young Sportsperson of the Year': Young paddler Manav Thakkar
  • 'Gamechanger of the Year': Golfer Shubhankar Sharma
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Legendary hockey player Dhanraj Pillay

K Vijay Kumar appointed advisor to J&K Governor

  • Retired IPS officer K Vijay Kumar has been appointed as an Advisor to the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir governor. Until recently, he was Security Advisor to the Union Home Minister.
  • Besides, IAS officer BB Vyas has been appointed the Chief Secretary of the state.
  • He was the chief of the Special Task Force that launched ‘Operation Cocoon’ that led to killing of forest brigand Veerapan, DG of CRPF and Headed Sardar Vallabhai Patel Academy of Police, Hyderabad.
  • A 1975-batch IPS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, he has served earlier in the Kashmir Valley, as Inspector General of the Border Security Force (BSF) between 1998 and 2001.
  • Background: His appointment was approved following imposition of Governor Rule in Jammu & Kashmir after BJP withdrew support from Mehbooba Mufti government.
  • This is the fourth time in the last decade and eighth time since 1977 that the Governor Rule has been imposed in the State.
  • Under the provision of Section 92 of the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution, Governor’s rule is imposed for six months, but only after the consent of the President of India.

Stonehenge builders based on Pythagoras theorem: experts

  • The Pythagoras’ theorem was used to build ancient stone structures like the 2,000 years before the Greek philosopher was born, a researcher has claimed.
  • A new book, Megalith, has re-examined the ancient geometry of Neolithic monuments and concluded that they were constructed by people who understood lengthy lunar, solar and eclipse cycles and built huge stone calendars using complex geometry.
  • Megalithic expert Robin Heath proposed that a great Pythagorean triangle in the British landscape links Stonehenge, the site from which the Preseli bluestones were cut in Wales, and Lundy Island, an important prehistoric site.
  • The book shows how within one of Stonehenge’s earliest incarnations, dating from 2750 BC, there lies a rectangle of four Sarsen stones which when split in half diagonally forms a perfect Pythagorean 5:12:13 triangle.
  • The eight lines which radiate from the rectangle and triangles also perfectly align to important dates in the Neolithic calendar, such as the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes.
  • Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles (3 km) west of Amesbury. It consists of a ring of standing stones, with each standing stone around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, 7 feet (2.1 m) wide and weighing around 25 tons.

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India notifies higher tariffs on U.S. imports

  • India on June 21, 2018 notified higher tariffs on around 30 items imported from the U.S., including agricultural products such as apples, almonds, chickpeas, lentils, and walnuts, and industrial inputs such as some grades of iron and steel products.
  • India notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it was imposing tariffs amounting to $240 million in retaliation to the U.S. action on steel and aluminium.
  • The notification, however, says that these higher tariffs would come into effect from August 4, 2018, thus giving a room for discussion with the US to ease out the trade-war that has ensued between major trading nations.
  • The issue began in March, when U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order imposing a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium imports.
  • An import tariff is an indirect tax imposed on goods imported from foreign countries with a view to discourage imports and protect domestic industries. An import tariff raises the price of good being imported thus lowering the demand of the good in country imposing tariff.

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