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DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS – 22 June 2020 : GK UPDATES
1. International Day of Yoga: 21 June
– The International Day of Yoga is celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.
– Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice which originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derived from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness.
– The theme of International Day of Yoga 2020 is “Yoga for Health – Yoga at Home”.
– PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation on this occasion and urged the citizens of India to make yoga a part of their daily life.
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It was the first time that Yoga day celebration was held virtually, ever since it was instituted in 2015.
2. India Ideas Summit 2020 on July 21-22
– The two-day India Ideas Summit 2020 is being held virtually on July 21-22, marking its 45th annual meeting, with the focus on geopolitics in the post-COVID-19 world.
– The summit will also focus on shifting supply chains, digitization and technology trends, the future of healthcare, and equitable growth.
– Every year the Summit is being organized by the USIBC. The summit is conducted to showcase the importance of the positive outcome of the India-United States economic partnership and the overall bilateral relationship between the two nations.
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The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) was formed in 1975 as a business advocacy organization to enlighten and encourage the private sectors of both India and United States to enhance investment flows.
Headquarters: Washington D.C., United States; Chairman: Nisha Desai Biswal
3. Former RBI Governor Urjit Patel named NIPFP chairman
– Former Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel will take charge as chairman of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) from June 22.
– Patel will replace Vijay Kelkar, who assumed office on November 1, 2014.
– Urjit Patel has earlier served as the Governor as well as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). He resigned as the Governor of RBI in December 2018.
4. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to attend Russian Victory Day Parade
– Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh leaves for a three-day visit to Russia to attend the Russian Victory Day Parade.
– The Russian Victory Parade will be held on June 24, 2020. It is being organised to honour the heroism and sacrifices made by the Russian people and its allies.
– The Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu had invited the Indian Defence Minister to attend the Victory Parade.
– The parade was originally scheduled to be held on May 9 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
– India has also sent a 75-member tri-service military contingent to participate in the Russian Victory Day Parade along with the other contingents and Russia’s own contingent.
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This year’s victory parade will mark the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to Soviet Union during the Second World War.
5. India becomes 12th largest holder of US govt securities at April end
– India has become the 12th largest holder of US government securities at the end of April, with holding worth 157.4 billion dollars.
– The data from the US Treasury Department showed that after significantly reducing the exposure in March to 156.5 billion dollars, India marginally hiked the holding by 0.9 billion dollars to 157.4 billion dollars the next month.
– While the holding touched a record high of 177.5 billion dollars in February, the same was drastically reduced in March. The exposure stood at 164.3 billion dollars in January.
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At the end of April, Japan remained the country with the maximum exposure at 1.27 trillion dollars, followed by China at 1.1 trillion dollars and the UK at 368.5 billion dollars.
6. Veteran economist & Finance Commission member B.P.R. Vithal passes away
– Veteran economist and the member of 10th Finance Commission, B.P.R. Vithal passes away.
– He also served as the Secretary, Finance and Planning, government of Andhra Pradesh, from 1972 to 1982.
– B.P.R. Vithal also worked at the International Monetary Fund as the fiscal adviser to the governments of Malawi and Sudan.
– He also played an instrumental role in the establishment of Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad.
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B.P.R. Vithal was a former IAS officer of the 1950 batch.