21 June 2016

June 21- International Yoga Day

·        The International Day of Yoga was on 21 June 2016 observed across the world with the theme Connect the Youth.

·        This year’s observance of the Day highlights the important role healthy living plays in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in 2015 by all 193 UN Member States.

·        In India, the Union Government organised the event titled The National Event of Mass Yoga Demonstration at the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh where Prime Minister NarendraModi himself performed yoga.

PM Modi releases stamps on Surya Namaskara

·        Prime Minister NarendraModi released postage stamps on Surya Namaskara to mark the second International Yoga Day to be celebrated on June 21.

·        The stamps, of Rs.5 and Rs.25, depict the 12 ‘asanas’ constituting the Surya Namaskara.

·        Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has directed India Post to make the stamps available in all major post offices across India.

First-ever National Yoga Olympiad held in Delhi

·        The first-ever National Yoga Olympiad was held in Delhi from June 18-20. Organised by the NCERT, the olympiad saw participation from 321 children from 21 states and union territories.

·        HRD Minister SmritiIrani distributed 48 medals at the olympiad, where the participants were tested on the yogic practices of asana, pranayam, kriya, dhyana, bandha, and mudra.

ISRO to test indigenously developed scramjet engine

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is going to test indigenously developed
scramjet engine technology based on air-breathing propulsion in July 2016. The test will be conducted on test platform named Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota. 

Key Facts

  •  The test platform ATV will comprise a scramjet engine hitched to a two-stage sounding rocket (RH- 560). 
  • The vehicle has been characterised and being fabricated at the VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Center) and the ISRO Propulsion Complex, Mahendragiri. 
  • The air-breathing engine of ATV will be released at a height of 70 km and ignited at hypersonic speed during the coasting phase. 
  • Apart from the hypersonic ignition at Mach 6, ATV’s capability to sustain the combustion for 5 seconds will be also tested.
  •  The test is expected to help ISRO to achieve good thrust value with the scramjet engine as maintaining combustion in hypersonic conditions poses technical challenges.

Peter Thiel gets re-elected to Facebook's 


·        PayPal Co-founder and early Facebook backer Peter Thiel was today re-elected to the Facebook's board of directors despite the backlash against him for funding the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker Media.

·        Facebook’s entire board was re-elected, including Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Marc Andreessen and others.

SBI named in Hall Of Shame list of Banks funding Cluster Bomb Makers

·        The State Bank of India (SBI) was named in the Hall of Shame list of 158 banking institutions that have invested billions of dollars in companies making cluster bombs.

·        The list was prepared by Dutch campaign groupPAX Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions report.

·        State Bank of India (SBI) is the only Indian entity on the list that includes global giants like JP Morgan, Barclays, Bank of America and Credit Suisse.

Government allows complete PPF withdrawal after 5 yrs

·        The government changed the norms for Public Provident Fund (PPF) deposits, allowing the subscribers of the scheme to prematurely close their accounts and withdraw the complete amount after five years

·        However, the withdrawal will be allowed for expenditure towards higher education or medical treatment.

·        Currently, the lock-in period for complete withdrawal from PPF accounts is 15 years.