Current Affairs, News & Facts of 29 Jun 2016

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  • Gudni Johannesson wins 2016 Presidential election of Iceland

    Gudni Johannesson, an Icelandic historian and lecturer at the University of Iceland has won the 2016 Presidential election in Iceland.He will succeed Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who served 20 years as head of state.

    The history professor who ran as an independent in the election was able to secure 39.1% of the vote. He defeated Halla Tomasdottir, a businesswoman without party affiliation, who was able to secure 27.9% votes. While David the former conservative party Prime Minister and Central Bank Governor David Oddsson was placed third and he won just 13% votes.

    Facts about Gudni Johannesson

    Gudni Johannesson wins 2016 Presidential election of IcelandGudni Johannesson born 26 June 1968 is historian and lecturer at the University of Iceland, Bifrost University and University of London.

    His field of research is modern Icelandic history in which he has published a number of works, including on the Cod Wars, (2008–11) Icelandic financial crisis and the Icelandic presidency.

    He has written a biography of Gunnar Thoroddsen (former PM of Iceland) and a book about the presidency of Kristjan Eldjarn. He has expertise in political history, diplomacy and the constitution. 

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  • PM Narendra Modi releases book titled The Birds of Banni Grassland

    PM Narendra Modi releases book titled The Birds of Banni GrasslandPrime Minister Narendra Modi   released a book titled "The Birds of Banni Grassland" in New Delhi. The book was presented to the Prime Minister by the Scientists of Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE). 

    The Book is a compilation of the research work, relating to more than 250 species of birds found in the Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat.

    The Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, located at Bhuj, has been studying the plant, bird and marine life in the Rann of Kutch for over 15 years. 

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  • Nagaland launches Sakhi-One Stop Centre to help women in distress

    Nagaland launches Sakhi-One Stop Centre to help women in distressNagaland Government has launched women helpline “181” and “Sakhi-One Stop Centre”, an institute that supports women affected by violence. It was launched by the state Governor P B Acharya at the District Hospital Dimapur in Nagaland.

    It is an initiative of Union Government under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for women safety pertaining to strategic areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation.

    The helpline and centre aim to provide integrated assistance including medical, legal and psychological counselling to women affected by violence.

    Objectives Sakhi-One Stop Centre : It will provide all kind of facilities under one roof including medical aid, police assistance, psycho-social counselling, legal aid/case management, shelter facility for short stay with food and clothing and video conferencing facility to women affected by violence.

    181 (Women Helpline): It will provide 24 hour emergency response to all women affected by violence, through referral by linking them with appropriate authorities such as Police, hospital or OSC. It will also provide information about women related government schemes and programmes across the country through a single uniform number -181.

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  • CAG Shashi Kant Sharma gets honorary professorship in China

    Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma has been conferred honorary professorship by the Nanjing Audit University (NAU) in China.  It is the only university which is recognised by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

    Shashi Kant Sharma

    CAG Shashi Kant Sharma gets honorary professorship in ChinaShashi Kant Sharma is a 1976 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre.  He succeeded Vinod Rai as the supreme auditor of the Constitutional body on 23 May 2013. In July 2014 he assumed office as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditor General for a term of six years.

    Education : He has B.Sc.from university of allahabad, and an M.Sc. in Administrative Science and Development Problems from University of  New York, and an M.A. in Political Science from Agra University.

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  • Sweden inaugurates world’s first electric road

    Sweden on 22 June 2016 inaugurated a test stretch of an electric road in Sandviken, making it one of the first countries in the world to conduct tests with electric power for heavy transports on public roads.

    About the test :

    Sweden inaugurates world’s first electric roadThe test was conducted on parts of road E16. It involved a current collector on the roof of the truck that feeds 750 volts DC to the truck's hybrid electric system. The current conductor can connect automatically at speeds up to 90 km/h.

    The tests will continue up through 2018. They will provide knowledge of how electric roads work in practice, and whether the technology can be used in the future.

    The experiment is based on the Government's goal of energy efficiency and a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030, and will contribute to strengthening Sweden's competitiveness.

    Funding : The project is being partially funded by Sweden’s three government agencies viz. Swedish Transport Administration, Swedish Energy Agency, and the country’s innovation agency Vinnova. The rest funding is provided by the private participants. 

    Comment : Electric roads could have great significance for creating more sustainable transports in the future. It will bring sweden one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions.

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  • NS Vishwanathan appointed RBI deputy governor

    NS Vishwanathan appointed RBI deputy governor Appointments Committee of the Cabinet,  headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of  N S Vishwanathan  as the new Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),  replacing H R Khan, who will retire next week. His term will be for three years.

    Mr. Vishwanathan has so far held the post of executive director in the RBI since April 2014 and currently oversees banking and non-banking regulation departments. 

    Prior to being appointed as executive director in April 2014, Vishwanathan was principal chief general manager in the department of non-banking supervision.

    He has also served as chief general manager of vigilance at IFCI Ltd, a Delhi-based government-owned finance company.

    The central bank has four deputy governors two from within the ranks (the other being R Gandhi), a former commercial banker (S S Mundra) and an economist to head the monetary policy department (Urjit Patel).

    A search panel headed by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, and including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, was in charge of selecting the Deputy Governor. 

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  • Median marriage age up: Census data

    Median marriage age upNew Census data released by the Registrar-General and Census Commissioner shows that the median age at the time of marriage has increased across categories of people and genders. 

    The median age for men increased to 23.5 at the time of the 2011 Census, from 22.6 as per the 2001 figures. These numbers were 19.2 years and 18.2 years for women in the respective years.

    The median age for marginal workers increased from 21.8 to 22.5 for men and from 17.6 to 18.7 for women. For non-workers, the age at the time of marriage increased from 22.8 to 23.5 for men and from 18.5 to 19.4 for women.

    Reason behind the change :

    • The reason for the upswing is the increasingly mobile and migratory nature of work in the country. The  other reason for the change could be higher levels of school enrolment.
    • In recent years school enrolments have been going up. School enrolment is about 90 per cent everywhere, across most castes. It is 80 per cent-plus for Dalits. People are sending their children to school, which also has an effect on the age of marriage.
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  • Italian film actor Bud Spencer is dead

    Italian film actor Bud Spencer is deadItalian film actor Bud Spencer  known among his fans as the ‘big friendly giant’ of the screen because of his height and weight has died at age 86 on June 27 in Rome.

    He appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together.  He was a regular in Spaghetti Westerns (a western film made cheaply in Europe by an Italian director).

    Pedersoli's first film role was in Quel fantasma di mio marito, an Italian comedy shot in 1949 and released in 1950. In 1951 he played a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, a fampus epic film shot in Italy made by MGM and directed Mervyn LeRoy

    Spencer was born in the southern Italian city of Naples in 1929, but later moved to Rome, where he became a promising swimmer. In 1950, he was the first Italian to swim 100m in under one minute. He abandoned his swimming career after the 1960 Olympics in Rome. 

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  • Tata Communications to sell subsidiary Neotel

    Tata Communications to sell subsidiary NeotelLiquid Telecom, a privately-owned, pan-Africa telecom group, majority owned by Econet Wireless Global, has entered into an agreement to acquire, Neotel a subsidiary of Tata Communications for South African Rand 6.55 billion (Rs 2,904 crore).

    Through this acquistion Liquid Telecom  will be able to access Liquid Africa’s 24,000 km of cross border, metro and access fibre networks. These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya.

    Earlier in March 2016 Tata Communications’ transaction to sell a majority stake in subsidiary Neotel to Vodacom, South Africa, had lapsed due to regulatory complexities and non-fulfilment of certain conditions.

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  • MoU signed between CSIR and CIMFR for coal quality analysis

    MoU signed between CSIR and CIMFR for coal quality analysisCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Centre Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Coal Supplying companies and Power Utilities for quality analysis of coal being supplied to power utilities by coal companies.

    As a part of this MoU, CSIR-CIMFR would make use of its knowledge based support in maintaining the quality of coal at national level for the entire power sector. 

    It is estimated that about 300 million metric tons of coal samples would be analyzed for quality per year. The contract value of the project is around Rs 250 crore per annum at minimum. 

    It is also expected that this project will result in improvement in performance of power plants besides levaraging benefits to the consumer in particular and society as a whole. The endevour would help the nation in sustainable energy supply and security planning for future as it may reduce import of thermal coal.

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  • Restaurants, shops, malls, banks can now remain open 24/7 for 365 days

    Restaurants, shops, malls, banks can now remainThe Union government has approved a new model law that allows shops, malls, cinema halls, restaurants, and other establishments to be open round the clock.

    The law would also enable women to work during the night in shops and establishments with mandatory cab services and other workplace facilities for them.

    All such units which employee 10 or more workers will come under this Act except manufacturing units or shops with work related to printing, banking, insurance; stocks and shares brokerage to operate 365 days with flexibility on timing to open and close.

    The model law is aimed at generating additional employment as shops and establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours requiring more manpower.

    The model law  also provides exemption to highly-skilled workers like those in IT and bio-technology from daily working hours (9 hours) and weekly working hours (48 hours).

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