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Current Affairs : June 19 2015

Indian Affairs
Mumbai continues to be India’s most expensive city
  • Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, held its position as the most expensive city in India and is ranked above Dallas, Frankfurt and Vancouver.
  • India’s most expensive city, Mumbai (at 74th place), climbed 66 places in the ranking due to its rapid economic growth, inflation and services basket and a stable currency against the U.S. dollar.
  • New Delhi (132) and Chennai (157), Bengaluru (183) and Kolkata (193).
  • Mumbai is ranked higher and more expensive than cities like Dallas (77), Munich (87), Luxembourg (94), Frankfurt (98) and Vancouver (119).
  • Luanda, the capital of Angola, has been rated the world’s costliest city to live in, for third consecutive year, as per Global HR firm Mercer’s “Cost of Living Survey 2015”.
  • Hong Kong (2), Zurich (3), Singapore (4) and Geneva (5) top the list of most expensive cities for expatriates, while Bishkek (207), Windhoek (206) and Karachi (205) are considered world’s least expensive cities for expatriates.
India offers Tanzania expertise in natural gas sector
  • 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.
  • he 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.
International Affairs 
Money held by Indians in Swiss banks dips by 10% to Rs 12,600cr
  • Money held by Indians in Swiss banks fell by over 10% last year to 1.8 billion Swiss franc (Rs 12,615 crore), amid an enhanced clampdown against the famed secrecy wall of Switzerland’s banking system by Indian and other governments.
  • This is the second lowest amount of funds held by Indians in Swiss banks. In 2012, Indian money in Swiss banks had fallen by over one-third to its lowest ever level of 1.42 billion Swiss franc (Rs 8,530 crore).
  • In contrast, the money held in Swiss banks by their foreign clients from across the world surprisingly rose during 2014 to 1.5 trillion Swiss franc ($1.6 trillion or Rs 103 lakh crore), from about Rs 90 lakh crore at the end of 2013 -the record low level so far.
Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz Keith Vaz re-elected as chairman of UK Parliament committee
  • Britain’s longest-serving Indian-origin MP Keith Vaz, has been re-elected as Chairman of Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) in House of Commons of UK Parliament.
  • He was re-elected as Chairman of HASC for third time by receiving 412 votes compared to 192 votes secured by his opponent Labour Party MP Fiona MacTaggart.
China and Australia signed Free Trade Agreement
  • China and Australia signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) at Canberra in Australia. The agreement was signed by China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng and Australia’s Trade Minister Andrew Robb.
  • The chAFTA will ensure 85 percent of all exports of Australia to China tariff-free that will rise to 93 percent by 2019.
Banking & Finance 
SBI Launches Online Forex Platform
  • Country’s largest lender State Bank of India today said it has launched SBI eforex, an Internet- based platform that enables customers to book their foreign exchange transactions online.
  • The customers will be able to obtain forex rates without having to visit the branch. “The SBI eforex is an innovative platform incorporating robust security features and is designed to be user-friendly, fast and convenient.
Science & Technology 
China launches world’s first electric plane
  • China has made the world’s first electric passenger aircraft that could be used in pilot training, tourism, meteorology and rescue operations
  • The BX1E has a 14.5-meter wingspan and a maximum payload of 230 kgs. It can fly at an altitude of 3,000 meters.
  • The charging is completed within two hours, allowing a flight time of 45 minutes to one hour, at a maximum speed of 160 km per hour.
Sports 
Prannoy grabs World No. 12 position in BWF ranking
  • Indian shuttler HS Prannoy grabbed his career-best world number 12 spot after improving a place in the latest men’s singles ranking, announced by BWF.
  • Indonesian Masters winner Prannoy is now the third best-placed Indian after K Srikanth (World No. 3) and Parupalli Kashyap (World No.10).
  • In women’s singles, Saina Nehwal retained her World No. 2 position, while P V Sindhu held on to her 14th place.
Indian paddlers won team titles at South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships
  • India’s junior boys and cadet girls won the team championship titles at the South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi.
  • To retain the title in junior boys section, the Indian paddlers won all the four matches without dropping a set. Similarly, cadet girls won all their matches without a hiccup.
Silver and Bronze medals in the two categories
In Junior Boys category
• Sri Lanka’s Junior Boys won Silver
• Pakistan, who finished third and Maldives behind them, got the bronze
In Cadet Girl’s category won silver
• Sri Lanka’s Cadet Girl’s won Silver
• Nepal, who finished third and Pakistan behind them, got the bronze
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