➡NALSAR varsity in Hyderabad issues first 'gender-neutral' degree in India:
↘NALSAR Law University in Hyderabad has issued a gender-neutral graduation certificate to a student who did not wish to be identified with honorific Mr or Ms but with "Mx".Anindita Mukherjee, who graduated this year from the Law school, had requested the authorities to address her as "Mx" in her certificates and the university, which has probably become the first Indian educational institution to do so, accepted the "fact".Mukherjee also prefers to be addressed as "they" rather than "he" or "she".
➡The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is also considering adding the gender neutral honorific 'Mx', to be included alongside Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss, to represent transgender people and those who do not wish to identify their gender.
➡World Refugee Day: 20 June
↘History: The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.The General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.On this day, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) hosts various events and announces a theme for its campaign. With this UNRA seeks to draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have fled their homes forcefully due to war, conflict and persecution.
➡Study: 6th mass extinction already underway:
↘The Earth's sixth mass extinction is already underway — and humans are the driving force behind it, according to a new study.Researchers used "extremely conservative assumptions" to determine extinction rates that prevailed in the past five annihilation events. Still, they found the average rate of vertebrate species lost over the past century was up to 114 times higher than normal.For example, about 477 vertebrate species have gone extinct since 1900, according to the study. Based on previous extinctions, only nine species would have been expected to die off in the same time frame had it not been for mankind's involvement.Earlier this week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would push for the extinct eastern cougar to be removed from the endangered species list. The big cat likely vanished about 70 years ago, the agency said in a statement. Its disappearance is largely linked to over-hunting and loss of habitat from European immigrants dating to the 1800s.Among the World Wildlife Fund's critically endangered species — those at the most at risk of going extinct today — are the Amur leopard, black rhino, leatherback turtle, Sumatran tiger, and western lowland gorilla.The study calls for rapid and greatly intensified efforts to conserve already threatened species. It also calls to alleviate pressures on species populations due over-exploitation for economic gain, habitat loss and climate change.
➡International Yoga Day: 21th June
↘The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, on 21st June 2015, announced the arrival of a new Yoga era, with the first International Day of Yoga being observed across the world. Leading a mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath in New Delhi, the Prime Minister declared that today, as this day is observed in various parts of the world, the sun would not set on the community of Yoga practitioners.The Prime Minister said that today is not just the first-ever International Yoga Day, but the beginning of a new era that would inspire humanity in its quest for peace and harmony.The Prime Minister recalled the contribution of ancient sages, yoga gurus, and practitioners across the world through the ages, for making Yoga what it is, today. The Prime Minister acknowledged all countries across the world who are observing International Yoga Day today, and the 177 countries which co-sponsored the resolution in the United Nations, for adopting June 21st as International Yoga Day.The Prime Minister later participated in a mass yoga demonstration at Rajpath.
➡France bans earphones for drivers, cyclists:
↘France has announced a ban from July 1 on wearing earphones while driving a vehicle and riding a cycle. The ban was announced on 18th June 2015, and is aimed at reducing accident deaths, The Local news portal reported.Authorities said drivers need to improve their attention while on the wheel, and noted that one in 10 deaths was linked to mobile phone use while driving.Those caught with earphones will be slapped with a fine of 135 pounds ($214).The ban would mean an end to using hands-free kits and means that the only way to use a phone while driving in France is to have the caller on loud speaker, authorities added.
➡Rail minister Suresh Prabhu launches India's first air-conditioned DEMU train in Kochi:
↘Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 21st June 2015, flagged off India's first diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) train service with an air-conditioned coach here.The Angamaly-Ernakulam-Tripunithura-Piravom train service is expected to help in reducing traffic congestion in the state's fastest growing city.AC coach provides reclining type comfortable cushion seats for 73 passengers similar to air-conditioned chair car of inter-city express trains.