Current Affairs June 18, 2018, are as follows:-
1. Government launches Swajal Scheme in 115 Aspirational districts:-
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched Swajal Scheme in 115 Aspirational districts of India to provide clean drinking water.
- It will involve an outlay of Rs 700 crores through flexi-funds under existing National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) budget.
- Swajal is community owned drinking water scheme or programme for sustained drinking water supply.
- The 90 per cent of the project cost is borne by the Union Government and remaining 10 per cent is contributed by the beneficiary community.
- The operations and management of the project are taken care of by the local villagers.
- The Union Government had selected 115 backward (aspirational) districts for rapid transformation by 2022 in line with Government’s vision to create ‘New India’.
- These 115 backward districts include 35 districts affected by Left Wing Extremists (LWE) violence, 55 districts just affected by LWE and another 15 including districts in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast affected by terrorism.
2. India And Nepal To Have Four New Air Gateways:-
- India has agreed to open four new air entry points to Nepal in the eastern and western parts of the country.
- This aims at facilitating movement of international traffic.
- The four routes that India agreed to make two-way are -1) Kathmandu-Biratnagar-Dhaka, 2) Kathmandu-Janakpur-Kolkata, 3) Kathmandu-Janakpur-Patna in the eastern part of Nepal, and 4) Kathmandu-Mahendranagar-Delhi (L626) in the west.
3. Japan adopts the plan to allow more foreign workers to work:-
- Japan’s Cabinet adopted an economic plan to allow more foreign workers to work in the country.
- This proposal will help the country to make up for its declining workforce.
- In recent times, the number of foreign workers in Japan has nearly doubled to 1.28 million.
- Under the plan, Japan will relax visa requirements in sectors facing severe labour shortages such as agriculture, nursing care, construction and transport.
- It will create a new five-year visa category for non-professional foreign workers.
4. Google celebrated Fathers Day with a playful yet symbolic doodle:-
- Google celebrated Father's Day across India with a playful yet symbolic doodle.
- The doodle shows colourful handprints that closely resemble a dinosaurs family or two.
- Last year, Google celebrated the day with an animated cacti doodle showing the various roles a father plays in a family.
- This day was first observed in the United States in 1908 and is now celebrated on different days in many countries.
5. Russia successfully launches Glonass-M satellite:-
- Russia successfully launched Glonass-M positioning satellite on board of Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space centre in Mirny, Arkhangelsk Oblast.
- The satellite is part of GLONASS (Russian acronym for Global Navigation Satellite System) Network which provides real-time positioning data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe.
- It was built by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems (formerly NPO-PM).
- It has a design life of 7 years which is higher than that of the previous generation of Glonass satellites.
6. UK omits India from relaxed student visa rules:-
- The UK announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from 25 nations.
- However, India has been left out of this newly expanded list, which means Indian students applying for similar courses will continue to face rigorous checks and documentary requirements.
- The changes, which come into effect on July 6, aim to make it easier for international students to come to study in the UK.
7. Nuclear Suppliers Group plenary meeting held in Jurmala:-
- The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) plenary meeting took place in Jurmala, Latvia after Latvia assumed chairmanship of NSG for 2018-19. With this, Latvia became the first Baltic state to chair the NSG.
- NSG member states continued discussions on the issue of technical, legal and political aspects of the participation of non-NPT States.
- NSG continues to consider all aspects of the implementation of the 2008 Statement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation with India (or NSG waiver for India) and discussed NSG relationship with India.
- There was no development for considering India’s membership. India had applied for NSG membership at 2016 Seoul plenary session, but it was objected by few member countries of NSG including China.
8. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis visits Virgin Hyperloop One test site in US:-
- Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis visited one of "Virgin Hyperloop One" test sites in the US.
- This visit follows the MoU signed by the state government with the Virgin Group to build the Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop at an estimated cost of ₹20,000 crore.
- The Hyperloop is expected to reduce the travel time between the two cities to 25 minutes.
- In February 2018, Virgin Hyperloop One founder and chairman Richard Branson had signed an agreement in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Fadnavis to take up the Mumbai-Pune project.