Pakistan will remain on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for failing to suits the worldwide terrorist financing watchdog’s deadline to prosecute and penalise terrorist financing in the country. The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiang Liu. FATF had expressed serious concerns over Pakistan’s failure to finish its 27-point action plan in line with the agreed timelines, which led to September 2019. In 2018, FATF had placed Pakistan on the grey list and therefore the watchdog has already granted Islamabad an extension till February 2020 during a gathering in October last year.
  • What is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF is, therefore, a “policy-making body” which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms in these areas. The FATF monitors the progress of its members in implementing necessary measures, reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures, and promotes the adoption and implementation of appropriate measures globally. In collaboration with other international stakeholders, the FATF works to identify national-level vulnerabilities with the aim of protecting the international financial system from misuse.

 Former England women’s captain Clare Connor is to become the 1st female president of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in its 233-year history. The 1st non-British MCC president, Kumar Sangakkara has nominated Connor. Connor is presently served as England and Wales Cricket Board’s head of women’s cricket. She made her England debut aged 19 in 1995 and went on to captain her country in 2000 before retiring six years later. Presidents of MCC usually remain in post for one year but Sangakkara’s term is about to be extended by an extra 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was not until 1998 that MCC, which owns Lord’s Cricket Ground, voted to permit women to become members.

 NewZealand wicketkeeper-batswoman Rachel Priest has announced her retirement from International Cricket. She has represented New Zealand in 87 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 75 T20Is. She had a long career which spanned for 13 years. After her retirement, she has now signed up a contract with Cricket Tasmania to play in Australia Women’s National Cricket League and will represent Tasmanian Tigers for the 2020/21 season.

 International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed globally on 26th June every year. The day is observed by the United Nations as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The theme of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 2020: “Better Knowledge for Better Care”. The main purpose of the theme is to improve the understanding of the world drug problem and at fostering greater international cooperation for countering its impact on health, governance and security.
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking: History
On 7 December 1987, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse by passing a resolution 42/112.

 Union Minister Jitendra Singh has inaugurated two bridges Devika and Puneja at Udhampur and Doda districts respectively in Jammu and Kashmir. The Bridge on River Devika in Udhampur has been completed by Border Roads Organisation within fifteen months time. The Puneja Bridge was also constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in 36 months. The 10-meter-long Devika Bridge construction resolve the traffic issues of the region and this will also help in smooth passage of army convoys and vehicles. While the 50-meter-long Puneja Bridge is strategically very important from defence point of view. It will also provide a vital alternate link to the Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts beside Kashmir valley from Pathankot (Punjab) without entering Jammu and Udhampur via Lakhanpur. Doda is the only district in the country where not one but three big tunnels are being built.

 Hollywood Director Joel Schumacher passed away. The costume designer-turned-director was renowned for directing hit movies such as St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys, Falling Down, including two Batman films. Joel Schumacher’s first movie was Batman Forever which starred Val Kilmer, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey and Nicole Kidman. He also directed the movie titled “The Phantom of the Opera” which received three Oscar nominations.

 Union Cabinet has given International Airport status to Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh. The International status to the Airport will end in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions. It will be a crucial strategic location with the international border accessible. A 3-km-long runway strip has already been made. Now, even an enormous aircraft of Airbus can land at the airport. Kushinagar is located within the north-eastern a part of Uttar Pradesh about 50 km east of Gorakhpur and is one among the important Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

 The International Maritime Organization is observed on 25th June as the Day of the Seafarer. On this day, people pay respect to Seafarers and sailors who help the entire world function by conducting sea transport. This year, the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS) will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on 25 June. The 2020 campaign for the day: Seafarers are Key Workers. The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the work seafarers have done during the pandemic and to thank them for their contribution. It also encourages people to treat them with respect and dignity so they can continue the good work they have been doing.
  • Day of the Seafarer: History
The Day of the Seafarer (DotS) was established in a resolution adopted by the 2010 Diplomatic Conference in Manila to adopt the revised Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Convention. The first edition of the Day of the Seafarers was observed by IMO in 2011.

 The world’s first Yoga University outside India was launched on 23rd June 2020 at United State’s Los Angeles city. The Yoga University has been named after Swami Vivekananda. The university will be known by the name- Vivekananda Yoga University.  The University was launched as a part of the commemorations for the 6th International Yoga Day. The virtual launch event was organized at New York City’s Consulate General of India. V. Muraleedharan (Union Minister of State for External Affairs) and PP Chaudhary (Chairperson of the Standing Committee on External Affairs) jointly launched the Vivekananda Yoga University during the virtual event. Programs based on the ancient traditional Indian practice of yoga will be offered at the university with a combination of scientific principles and modern research approaches. For offering yoga-based higher education programs, the approval and official recognition for the launch of the university was received in November 2019 from California’s Bureau of Private Post-secondary Education. Chancellor of SVYASA- Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (Deemed University at Bengaluru for the study of yoga), Dr. H R Nagendra will be the first Chairman of the Vivekananda Yoga University. SVYASA was founded in the year 2002, it is the first Yoga University of India and also of the World. Faculties for the Vivekananda Yoga University have been recruited from SVYASA. The first day of classes for the fall 2020 semester of the University will commence on 24th August 2020. Online Master’s Program in Yoga (M.S Yoga) will also be offered by the University.

  The move to leapfrog India’s space activities into the next stage by transforming the Indian Space Sector for the future challenges was made during a meeting of the Union Cabinet on 24th June 2020. Under the Chairmanship of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, to further advance India’s capabilities in the space sector, the Cabinet approved the participation of the private sector in various space activities. This long-awaited move from the Indian Government is highly significant in order to establish India’s position as one of the important players in the global space economy. The decision will bring new energy and dimension to the entire space sector, which in the long run will also help in building an AtmaNirbhar Bharat by making the space sector self-reliant and technologically advanced.
Role of IN-SPACe and NSIL
  • The Cabinet has approved setting up of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe). Through friendly regulatory and encouraging policies, IN-SPACe will have the responsibility to guide the private sector in various space activities.
  • State-owned enterprise New Space India Limited (NSIL) was founded in March 2019. The NSIL will have the responsibility to change the economic and social policies for encouraging the private sector in space activities by making Indian Space Sector demand-driven from the current supply-driven model.


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