1.SBI launches online forex platform
i)State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest bank, has launched SBI eforex, an Internet-based platform that enables customers to book their foreign exchange transactions online.
ii) This smart platform facilitates the customers of the bank to obtain forex rates without having to physically visit the branch.
iii) SBI eforex is an innovative platform incorporating robust security features and is designed to be user-friendly, fast and convenient. It is a highly flexible product offering the facility to the customers to customise and set their own limits for deal size, daily transaction limits etc. Details of all deals done are made available to the users on a real-time basis.
iv) Under the forex segment, SBI had recently launched 'Fx Out' which enables sending of foreign currency remittances from any its branches in India.
2.Gandhi medals to mark his 33 years of freedom struggle
i) Now among the various Gandhi souvenirs and memorabilia that has been sold and collected for over the past half a century, will be added a set of limited-edition medallions highlighting milestones in his 33 years (1914-1947) of freedom struggle.
ii) Alok Goyal, a Kolkata-based numismatic dealer, has created a series of medals on Father of the Nation. So far, he has marketed five such medals beginning with Gandhi’s return to India from South Africa in 1914.
iii) The sixth in the series to will hit the market on June 20 to commemorate 75 years of Netaji's last meeting with Gandhiji before leaving India in early 1941. Each of the series will have just 500 medals and are being sold at Rs. 1,000 a piece.The next two in the series would be on Gandhi-led civil disobedience movement and the movement against untouchablility.
iv)Goyal-designed Gandhi medals were being manufactured a private German mint. He earlier had marketed commemorative coins with divine icon of Lord Venkateswara, in association with a Lichenstein company Coin Invest Trust and under a license from the Republic of Palau.
3.China and Australia formally sign free trade agreement
i)China and Australia have signed a trade agreement that is set to increase market access for Australian beef and wine exporters while boosting Chinese carmakers and electronics producers who wish to sell their goods to Australians.
ii) One flashpoint is the inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clause, which grants foreign companies the right to sue governments for breaching commitments in such agreements.
The Australian union movement has also raised concerns about the access to be granted to Chinese citizens under labour market provisions.
iii) The Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, said the agreement would give each nation “unprecedented access to each other’s markets” and pointed to the reduction in tariffs imposed on trade.
“It removes barriers to Australian agricultural exports across a range of products, including beef, dairy, lamb, wine, horticulture and seafood,”
4.India offers Tanzania expertise in natural gas sector
i) India on Friday offered its expertise to Tanzania in development of its potentially rich natural gas sector and decided to extend e-tourist visa to people of the African nation even as the two countries signed eight MoUs to expand engagements in diverse areas.During extensive talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, both the countries also decided to establish a Joint Working Group to strengthen cooperation in counter terrorism.
ii)The MoUs signed included a loan agreement between Exim Bank and Tanzanian government on a line of credit for $ 268.35 million for extension of a pipeline project and cooperation in the field of hydrology, tourism and agriculture.India is the largest trading partner of Tanzania in Africa with bilateral trade in 2013-14 being more than $4 billion.
5.Union Government launched weather alert service NOWCAST
i) Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched a weather alert service named NOWCAST.NOWCAST will be used to send SMS alerts on extreme weather data like hailstorm, thunderstorm and squall originated by India Meteorological Department (IMD) to over one crore farmers whose mobile numbers are registered on government’s mKisan portal.Further, the mKisan portal will send warning SMSs to farmers located in affected district/blocks. These warnings will help the farmers to take precautionary measures as needed and feasible.
ii)The SMS will be sent in English, Hindi and regional languages as per farmers’ request.This technological break-through is a collaborative effort between mKisan Portal developed by DAC, weather technologies adopted by IMD and GIS Portal of NIC.
iii)Radha Mohan Singh also launched Insurance Web-Portals for Farmers
(www.farmer.gov.in/insurance) that will enable farmers to insure their crops under three schemes.
iv)Prevailing provisions under which farmers can insure their crops are
• National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS)
• Modified National Insurance Scheme (MNAIS)
• Weather based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS)
Besides, Coconut Palm Insurance Scheme (CPIS) also is applicable in some parts of the country.
6.Aakar Patel appointed as Executive Director of Amnesty International India
i) Journalist and writer Aakar Patel appointed as Executive Director of Amnesty International (AI) India. He will head AI India’s operations and its efforts to end human rights abuses in India and worldwide.Patel as the organization’s chief political advisor, strategist and spokesperson will give direction to its goal of being an independent, effective, and deep-rooted organization in India.
ii) Patel’s previous work includes
• India: Low Trust Society (2015)
• Rights and Wrongs, a report on the 2002 Gujarat riots which he co-authored
• Worked as a columnist with publications in India and Pakistan
• Television and radio work as an independent expert
7.India set for World Yoga Day on 21 June 2015.
i) International day of yoga is also called as the world yoga day. United Nations General Assembly has declared 21st of June as an International Yoga Day on 11th of December in 2014.Launching a particular date of practicing yoga all across the world and celebrating as yoga day was initiated by the Indian Prime Minister to the United Nations General Assembly.
ii) Official name of this day is UN International Yoga Day and also called as Yoga Day. It is a worldwide event celebrated by the people of all countries through practicing yoga, meditation, debates, meetings, discussions, variety of cultural performances, etc.World Yoga Day or International Day of Yoga would be celebrated by the people throughout the world first time on 21st of June in 2015, at Sunday.
iii) In a country-wide campaign, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is organising yoga sessions for India Inc on Sunday (June 21), the International Day of Yoga. Thousands of representatives of industry, including CEOs, employees and family members, are rolling out their yoga mats to participate in the event.