19 June


  • Nepal will measure Mount Everest over a period of two years, amid fears the April 2015 earthquake could have affected its stature.
    • The government of Nepal is set to measure the mountain, even though both Indian and Chinese institutions have offered their help.
    • Note:Everest’s height is 8,848 metres but satellite images after the earthquake show the mountain may have shrunk.
  • The Australian government today announced that Indian nationals can apply for visitor visas online, starting July 1.
    • This will offer benefits like 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of visa application charges and the ability to check application status.

Key Notes:

  • In the first four months of 2017 alone, the department of immigration and border protection granted more than 65,000 visitor visas to Indian nationals.
  • It will offer benefits like the ability to check the status of applications lodged online, all through the department’s Immi Account portal.
  • It will also offer benefits like 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application.


♦ Capital: Canberra

♦ Currency: Australian dollar


  • French President Emmanuel Macron‘s party has won a clear parliamentary majority.
    • Weeks after his own presidential victory, with nearly all votes counted his La République en Marche, alongside its MoDem allies, won more than 300 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly.


NATIONAL news affairs

  • As many as 65 countries will be celebrating ‘Azadi ke 70 Saal‘, a festival marking 70 years of Indian independence this year. 
    • The celebrations will start with a Rasleela, storytelling about Lord Krishna and Gopis (his female friends), in Hungary this month. The celebrations featuring folk artists, traditional cuisine and literary exhibitions, will be held in USA, Brazil, Vietnam, etc.
  • Union Minister Hansraj Ahir today announced that the Centre is planning to set up ‘cow sanctuaries‘ and initiate ‘Project cow‘ on the lines of Project Tiger.



  • BJP chief Amit Shah today announced that Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind will be BJP-led NDA’s candidate for the upcoming Presidential poll. 
    • Kovind had been BJP’s Dalit Morcha chief from 1998-2002 and also served as the party’s spokesperson.
    • Narendra Modi has already talked to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh to apprise them of the decision, so there are maximum chances for Kovind to be elected as the next President of India.
    • Note: The election to India’s top post is scheduled to take place on July 17.



  • Nearly three months after Article 50 was triggered, Britain and the European Union today in Brussels started negotiations on the terms on which UK will leave the bloc after 44 years of membership.
    • The negotiations come amid continued uncertainty in UK after PM Theresa May failed to secure a Parliamentary majority which could have strengthened her position in the negotiations.



  • India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) completes 1000 earth days in orbittoday, which is more than 5 times the number of days it was designated to last.
  • Two Chinese supercomputers Sunway TaihuLight and Tianhe-2  have been declared the fastest machines in the world, according to a list released today by researchers in the US and Germany.
    • Note:Switzerland’s Piz Daint and the US’ Titan took the third and fourth positions respectively.
  • China is going to send mini-ecosystems comprising of potato seeds and silkworm eggs to the Moon by next year.
    • The move is aimed at studying how the organisms develop in Moon.



  • India’s hockey team registered its biggest win over Pakistan with the final tally of 7-1 in the Hockey World League 2017 Semi-Final.
    • This was India’s 56th win over Pakistan in the 168th match between the two nations.
  • Pakistan won their first ever Champions Trophy title after beating defending champions India by 180 runs in the tournament final on Sunday.
    • Important Points to Note :
      • Pakistan last won an ICC ODI tournament 25 years ago when they had lifted the 1992 World Cup.
      • The match was only the third instance of India being beaten by the arch-rivals in an ICC tournament.
    • Indian wrestler Jinder Mahal defeated 14-time WWE champion Randy Orton to retain his WWE Championship at Smackdown’s Money in the Bank event today.
    • India won six medals in the Wushu competition of the 1st ever BRICS Games, which concluded in Guangzhou, China today.

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