Current Affairs : 13 May 2016 to 29 Apr 2016 - Summary

Current Affairs 13 May 2016 May 2016

  • IAF launches e-maintenance system in Pune

    IAF launches e-maintenance system in PuneAir Chief Marshal Arup Raha inaugurated the Electronic Maintenance Management System (e-MMS) at the air force station, Pune, Maharashtra.

    The e-MMS project is one of the largest Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) IT implementation in the world.

    Electronic Maintenance Management System (e-MMS) :

    The contract for the project e-MMS was signed with Wipro as a System Integrator (SI) on February 4, 2013.

    The system has a central console that will help IAF to get rid of paper works and heavy logbooks. 

    The system would seamlessly connect squadrons, wings, commands, and Air Headquarters after its implementation.

    The work environment of IAF will become more efficient and operational availability of all fleets and systems can be monitored in real time at various hierarchical levels.

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  • The President Confers Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 Nurses 

    The President Confers Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 Nurses President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Florence Nightingale Awards to 35 nurses from across the country on the occasion of International Nurses Day celebrated every year on 12th May.

    The Florence Nightingale Award has been named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing.

    She was born on May 12, 1820 and the day is celebrated as International Nurses Day all over the world. 

    National Florence Nightingale Award

    The Florence Nightingale awards are given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, 

    Mission institutions and the private institutions can apply with the due recommendation of concerned State Government. The Florence Nightingale Awards carries Rs.50, 000/- cash, a certificate, a citation certificate and a Medal.

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  • Government fixes ceiling price of 54 drug formulations

    Government fixes ceiling price of 54 drug formulationsPharma prices regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority ( NPPA ) has fixed ceiling price of 54 drug formulations used for treatment of cancer, diabetes rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial infections and hypertension. 

    The price control has been done under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016.

    Besides, it also has fixed the retail price of 11 drug formulations under DPCO, 2013, which covers 680 formulations with effect from May 15, 2014.

    Drug Pricing and Regulation

    The government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 per cent. 

    The price control is done mainly to make medicines affordable in the country. Besides, it regulates the prices of all other medicines, while companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by up to 10 per cent in a year.

    National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)

    Set up in 1997, NPPA functions under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers. It has been entrusted with the task of fixation/revision of prices of pharma products, enforcement of provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) and order and monitoring of prices of controlled and decontrolled drugs.

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  • Reliance Jio Launches JioMoney Digital Wallet to The Public

    Reliance Jio Launches JioMoney Digital Wallet to The PublicReliance Jio Infocomm has launched  its new digital wallet service, named JioMoney Wallet, on the Apple and Android app stores.

    JioMoney is a semi-closed prepaid wallet  that aims to enable mobile-based transactions, where customers can store money and use it for purchasing goods and services.

    JioMoney Wallet

    With JioMoney, users can do mobile and DTH recharges, send/receive money, make bill payments, pay insurance and other premiums.

    JioMoney Wallet app will also support payments on online stores like Clarks, Bookmyshow and Groupon along with payments support for the Reliance ecosystem.

    Reliance Jio have partnered with nearly 50,000 online merchants to accept JioMoney and the wallet will be available for use on Flipkart and Snapdeal.

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  • Telecom firms cannot be fined for call drops: SC

    Telecom firms cannot be fined for call drops: SCThe Supreme Court has ruled that Telecom companies will not compensate mobile phone users for inconvenience caused by call drops as service provider alone can not be balmed for call drops.

    A bench headed by Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman termed Trai's rule "arbitrary, illegal and unreasonable".

    It said that telecom companies cannot be punished by Trai in the name of protecting consumer interests.

    It dismissed the conclusion of TRAI that the firms alone were to blame for call drops and were thus deficient in service.

    Background

    In October 2015, Trai ordered operators to pay Re 1 for every call drop to the user, with a maximum of three per day.

    The regulation was to come into effect from January but service providers had refused to pay compensations to the consumers, and had taken the case to SC. 

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  • President Pranab Mukherjee approves names of four new judges of Supreme Court

    President Pranab Mukherjee approves names of four new judges of Supreme CourtPresident Pranab Mukherjee has approved the appointment of four judges to the Supreme Court by signing their warrants of appointment as per Article 124 of Constitution. These include three chief justices of high court and one senior advocate.

    The four judges to be sworn in are : (i) Justice A M Khanwilkar of Madhya Pradesh High Court (ii)  Justice D Y Chandrachud of Allahabad High Court (iii) Justice Ashok Bhushanof Kerala High Court (iv) Senior lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao to the Supreme Court. 

    Background: These names were recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium  headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur for the first time since the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act was struck down by a Supreme Court bench in October, 2015.

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  • Air Pollution could cause over 5 lakh premature deaths in India

    Air Pollution could cause over 5 lakh premature deaths in IndiaAccording to a new study conducted by researchers at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research, air pollution could lead to 570,000 premature deaths in India.

    Researchers says that the problem would likely cost the Indian economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

    A report released by Greenpeace said that the quality of air in India surpassed China in the quantity of fine particulate matter in the air. It found there were 128 micrograms of fine particulate matter in New Delhi’s air.

    Meanwhile, newly released report by WHO suggests that increasing pollution is claiming 7 million lives every year around the world. Based on survey of some three thousand cities around the globe, the most polluted cities are still found in China and India.

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  • Govt approves Rs 1,984-cr Delhi-Meerut Expressway stretch

    Govt approves Rs 1,984-cr Delhi-Meerut Expressway stretchThe Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for the widening of the crucial Delhi-Meerut Expressway, to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,983 crore. 

    The widening of the stretch will ease traffic congestion in Delhi - NCR and reduce the distance between the national capital and Meerut to 40-45 minutes from 3 hours at present.

    The expressway will give a big boost  to development in western Uttar Pradesh and will make travel to cities like Dehradun, Moradabad and Bareilly much faster.

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  • India and five other nations sign pact on tax info sharing 

    India and five other nations sign pact on tax info sharing India and five other nations, including China, Israel, Canada, New Zealand and Iceland signed  Multilateral Competent Authority agreement for automatic exchange of information on tax issues and develop new tools and standards for tackling tax base erosion and evasion bringing the total number of signatories to 39 countries.

    Other countries which have already signed the pact include Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Italy and the UK.

    The pact allows all signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange Country-by-Country Reports with each other.

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  • Foreign Banks can invest up to 10% in private lenders

    Foreign Banks can invest up to 10% in private lendersThe Reserve Bank of India has allowed foreign banks to invest up to 10% in local private lenders and supranational institutions but in exceptional circumstances such as restructuring or weak banks RBI may permit a higher level of shareholding. 

    RBI has also doubled the stake that individuals and institutions can acquire in private banks to 10%. Non-regulated, non-diversified and unlisted financial entities can acquire stakes of up to 15% .

    However, any acquisition of shares above 5% in a bank will continue to require RBI approval. 

    The guidelines on shareholding in private sector banks had been reviewed in light of the new bank licences issued in 2013 and to facilitate the need for additional capital for lenders because of the implementation of more stringent Basel III norms. 

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  • RBI issues norms for approval of branch offices by foreign entities in India  

    RBI issues norms for approval of branch offices by foreign entities in IndiaThe Reserve Bank of India has released new guidelines for foreign entities to open a branch office or a liaison office or a project office in India.

    As per  new guidelines entities from Pakistan, China, Bangladesh and four other regions will require prior approval of RBI to establish branch office or project office in India.

    However, in the case of proposal for opening a PO relating to defence sector, no separate reference or approval of Government of India shall be required if the said non-resident applicant has been awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence or Service Headquarters or Defence Public Sector Undertakings.

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2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Sports

Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min


Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min


Current Affairs 12 May 2016 May 2016

  • Renowned West Indies cricket commentator Tony Cozier passes away

    Renowned West Indies cricket commentator Tony Cozier passes awayRenowned West Indies cricket writer and commentator Tony Cozier (75) passed away following a long illness. He was described as having an "encyclopaedic" knowledge of cricket. 

    Cozier had covered almost every West Indies series since 1962, and is one of the most respected cricket writer, broadcaster and historian to have come out of the Caribbean. 

    Tony Cozier  : Cozier was born on 10 July 1940 in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was inspired by his father who was also a cricket writer. Cozier began his commentary career with the Australia tour of the West Indies in 1965. 

    He also authored " The West Indies: 50 Years of Test Cricket ". He was editor of The West Indies Cricket Annual for all its 22 editions.

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  • Corruption costs world economy $2 trillion a year: IMF

    Corruption costs world economyA new report by the International Monetary Fund says  bribery and corruption cost the world economy as much as $2 trillion every year, money that instead could be used to fight poverty, create jobs, and protect the environment. The money lost to corruption every year is 2 percent of the global gross domestic product.

    The direct economic costs of corruption are clear, but the indirect costs may be even worse leading to low growth and greater income inequality. Moreover corruption undermines trust in government and erodes the ethical standards of private citizens.

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  • Indian Navy decommissions fighter planes Sea Harriers

    Indian Navy decommissions fighter planes Sea HarriersIndian Navy decommissioned its fleet of iconic Sea Harriers. This event of decommissioning marked the end of an era in India’s naval history, as the country holds an official ceremony phasing out the last of its iconic Sea Harrier jets.

    The Harriers have been replaced by a squadron of Russian MiG 29k jets during an official  ceremony held at INS Hansa base in Vasco at Goa.

    Fighter planes Sea Harriers  

    The aircraft, developed by the British in the 1960s, are best known for the ability to take off and land vertically, and for being the only class of jet that can hover like a helicopter.

    The sea Harrier was used by the British during the Falklands War, both Gulf Wars, and during the NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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  • Kenya to close Dadaab, world's biggest refugee camp

    Kenya to close Dadaab, world's biggest refugee campThe Kenyan government has vowed to close Dadaab refugee camp that has an estimated 328,000 refugees of Somali refugees.

    The camp is referred to as the world's largest refugee camp. The govt will also close Kakuma refugee camp that has 190,000 people, mostly South Sudanese fleeing civil war. 

    The UN has urged Kenya to reconsider its decision to close Dadaab camp as this move will displace more than 600,000 people. The closures of camp means Somali asylum seekers would be forced to return to the situation they fled.

    Why Dadaab is being closed ?

    Kenya says it needs to close the sprawling Dadaab camp because it harbors some of Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic extremists and is a conduit for smuggling weapons. The Somalia-based militant group was behind the massacre  of nearly 150 students at a university in 2015.

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  • NBA star Stephen Curry named MVP for second straight year 

    NBA star Stephen Curry named MVP for second straight year Golden State superstar Stephen Curry was named the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the second straight year, becoming the first unanimous winner in the award's 61-year history after a record-breaking contribution (shooting above 50–40–90) to the record breaking victory of Golden State Warriors.

    It is for the first time in the history of National Basketball Association that a player has been unanimously chosen. No player, not even Michael Jordan has been a unanimous choice for MVP.

    Most Valuable Player Award  :

    The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual award given since 1955–56 NBA season to the best performing player of the regular season.

    The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first NBA commissioner who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.The MVP award is chosen by a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada with one vote going to fan.

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  • UP govt approves 'bicycle highway' between Taj and lion safari

    UP govt approves 'bicycle highway' between Taj and lion safariThe Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has given its approval to develop nearly 200-km long bicycle highway from Agra to the lion safari in Etawah to encourage eco-tourism in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal. 

    The proposed highway will not run along the Agra-Etawah main road but will cover various historical and tourism centres such as Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, Bateshwarnath Temple, Mela Kothi Jarar, Naugava ka Quila and other rural areas to reach lion safari in Etawah.

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  • Barack Obama honours Indian-American elementary teacher

    Barack Obama honours Indian-American elementary teacherRevathi Balakrishnan, an Indian-American teacher from Texas has been honored by US President Barack Obama at the White House for her excellent work in the field of education. She was also named 2016 'Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year'.

    Currently she teaches maths in third through fifth grade at Patsy Sommer Elementary School. She will represent Texas in the upcoming 'National Teacher of the Year' competition.

    Ms Balakrishnan who is originally from Chennai,  was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutual, managing databases and programming for about 12 years before becoming a teacher. She holds economics degree from University of Madras.

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  • Rajya sabha passes Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015

    The Rajya Sabha has  passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 which was cleared by the Lok Sabha last week.

    The new bill has been termed as biggest economic reform after GST. The bill will be critical in resolving India’s bad debt problem, which has crippled bank lending.

    Once the President signs the legislation, India will have a new bankruptcy law that will ensure speedy winding up of companies, lower non-performing assets and redeployment of capital for productive uses.

    The Code creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals and all conflicts would be resolved within 180 days.  If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the borrowers may be sold to repay creditors.

    Click here to know more about : Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015

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  • Ravinder Khatri, Babita Kumari Among Eight Indians to Bag Rio Berths

    Ravinder Khatri, Babita Kumari Among Eight Indians to Bag Rio BerthsWrestlers Ravinder Khatri and Babita Kumari have secured spots at the upcoming Rio Olympics after their rivals failed a dope test. The qualification of the two grapplers took India's quota places to Rio from Wrestling to eight.

    Khatri was awarded the berth in the Greco-Roman 85 kg category after Kenzheev Zhanarbek of Kyrgystan failed the dope test at the Asian Olympic qualifier. Babita booked a ticket to Rio after Sumiya Erdenechimeg failed the test in 53kg freestyle division.

    Comment : This is the first time when two women wrestlers from India have qualified for the Olympics and in fact, this is the first time that India will be represented in all three formats - men's freestyle, female wrestling and Greco-Roman - at the Olympics.

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Current Affairs 11 May 2016 May 2016

  • Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for war crimes

    Bangladesh hangs Jamaat-e-Islami chief Nizami for war crimesBangladesh authorities has executed head of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami party Motiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence to break away from Pakistan. 

    The 73-year old Nizami was hanged at Dhaka Central Jail midnight last night. He did seek a review of his death sentence through the judicial system, but the country’s Supreme Court upheld his punishment.

    Nizami is the fifth senior official from opposition parties to be executed since 2013 for war crimes carried out during the 1971 war.

    Three other senior members of Nizami’s Jamaat-e-Islami party and a top leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia have also been hanged.

    Motiur Rahman Nizami: Nizami was held responsible for the killings of dozens of intellectuals, including teachers, journalists and doctors, just two days before Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971. He was also convicted of three other major charges including the killings of 480 people. 

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  • Atmaram Nadkarni appointed Additional Solicitor General

    Atmaram Nadkarni appointed Additional Solicitor GeneralThe appointments committee of the central cabinet has been appointed Goa’s Advocate General and senior advocate Atmaram Nadkarni as the Additional Solicitor General in the Supreme Court of India for a period of three years.

    Function of Additional Solicitor General :

    Additional Solicitor General acts as a law officer to advise the central government on various legal matters, and the Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals assist the government’s top legal advisor Attorney General (highest law officer of the country). He is third ranking lawyer of the Union Government.

    The office and duties of Attorney General is created by the Constitution under the Article 76. While, Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor Generals’ office and duties are governed by Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987 and not by the Constitution.

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  • Obama to Be First Sitting President to Visit Hiroshima

    Obama to Be First Sitting President to Visit HiroshimaBarack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima, the first target of an atomic bomb in 1945, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the final days of the second world war. Jimmy Carter (39th President of the United States) visited Hiroshima in 1984, after after the end of his presidency.

    However White House has said that "Obama visit to Hiroshima should not be viewed as an apology". He he had expressed in 2009  to travel to either of the two Japanese cities on which the U.S. dropped atomic bombs in 1945 which he will fulfil on May 27. Mr Obama will also take part in the G7 summit in Japan's Ise-Shima peninsula and hold bilateral talks with Mr Abe.

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  • Shashank Manohar steps down as BCCI President

    Shashank Manohar steps down as BCCI PresidentShashank Manohar has resigned as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) at a time when BCCI is resisting the sweeping reforms recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha panel.

    He took over as BCCI president for a second term last October 2015, after the sudden demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya.

    Manohar was designated as the ICC chairman but the new rules mentions that Chairman should be of independent nature and can’t hold a post in his/her home board.

    Mr.Manohar’s resignation leaves the BCCI a headless body for the second time in less than a year. The new president, will have to be nominated by at least one of the six full members from the east zone, will be in charge till the 2017 Annual general meeting (AGM ). An aspiring candidate should have attended at least two AGMs and have held the post of an office-bearer or vice-president in the past.

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  • Rodrigo Duterte wins 2016 Philippines Presidential Election

    Rodrigo Duterte wins 2016 Philippines Presidential ElectionThe Philippine politician Rodrigo Duterte, has won the 2016 presidential election of the Philippines by a landslide victory. He will become the 16th President-elect of Philippines.

    In the Presidential election that was held on 9 May 2016, Duterte secured Duterte secured more than 14.8m votes - about 39%. He was followed by Mar Roxas 23% (9.27 million) votes and his closest rival Grace Poe with 22% (8.6 million) votes.

    Rodrigo Duterte : 'Trump' of Philippines

    Rodrigo Duterte popularly known as " The Punisher"  belives that murdering criminals can only bring permanent peace. He has been mayor of Davao City, a highly urbanized city on Mindanao island, for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years during which  he turned Davao City from the "murder capital of The Philippines" to “the most peaceful city in southeast Asia.” During the Presidential elections, he was nicknamed as Dirty Harry and often was compared to the US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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  • RBI to issue Rs 1,000 banknotes with inset letter 'R' 

    RBI to issue Rs 1,000 banknotes with inset letter 'R' Reserve Bank of India will shortly issue banknotes of Rs 1,000 denominations with inset letter 'R' in both the number panels.

    The banknotes will also have on the obverse, all the other security features, including ascending size of numerals, bleed lines and enlarged identification mark.

    The design of these banknotes notes to be issued now is similar in all respects to the Rs 1000 banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi Series - 2005 issued earlier.

    The banknotes bearing signature of RBI Governor Raghuram G Rajan, will also have the year of printing '2016' printed on the reverse.All the banknotes in the denomination of 1000 rupees issued by RBI in the past, would continue to be legal tender.

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  • National Technology Day, 2016

    National Technology Day, 2016The National Technology Day is being celebrated every year on May 11 by the Ministry of Science & Technology to commemorate achievements of Innovation and Technology in the country.

    The event is marked with great pride as the country achieved a huge technological progression on this particular day.

    This year’s theme for celebrations of the Technology Day is ‘Technology enablers of Startup India’. 

    It was on May 11, 1998, when India successfully tested 5 nuclear powered bombs in Pokhran, Rajasthan, to demonstrate its defence capability.

    Apart from Pokhran nuclear test, on this day that the first, indigenous aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown at Bangalore. India also conducted successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day.

    Award ceremony : To celebrate this day Technology Development Board (TDB) has has instituted a National Award which is conferred on to various individuals and industries by the President for their successful achievement in commercialization of Indigenous Technology.

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  • Indian Navy launches underwater Harbour Defence Systems 

    Indian Navy launches underwater Harbour Defence Systems The Indian Navy has launched the state-of-the-art harbour defence systems, viz. Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence and surveillance system (IUHDSS)  and mine warfare data centre(MWDC), in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

    The installations  would enhance the Navy's surveillance capability and response to security threats at the naval dockyard in Visakhapatnam.

    Key facts 

    IUHDSS: The IUHDSS is a multi-sensor system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warnings for all types of surface and underwater threats to Visakhapatnam harbour.

    MWDC: The MWDC will collate, analyse and classify data collected by the Navy's Mine Hunting Ships from various ports along the East coast. This state-of-the-art facility will be the nodal centre for maintaining an underwater information database of harbours along the East coast.

    Background :

    Post 26/11, the Indian Navy was made responsible for the security of the country's vast coastline of 7516 km in coordination with other agencies like Indian Coast Guard, Marine Police, fisheries, etc.

    The creation of the Sagar Prahari Bal, induction of Fast Interceptor Crafts (FICs) and commissioning of the IUHDSS are some of the Navy's measures to strengthen security.

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  • 4th SAIEVAC Ministerial Meeting begins in New Delhi 

    4th SAIEVAC Ministerial Meeting begins in New Delhi The fourth edition South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) Ministerial Meeting has begun in New Delhi.

    The 3 day landmark meeting (from 9 to 11 May 2016) is being hosted by the Union Ministry of Child and Women Development.

    Delegates from the governments and civil society organizations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have assembled to assess progress and developments through past decade of regional effort.

    During the meeting India showcased some of its major initiatives like Childline-1098, Trackchild and Khoya Paya, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act) 2012 among others. 

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Current Affairs 10 May 2016 May 2016

  • India ranks ninth in crony-capitalism index 

    India ranks ninth in crony-capitalism index India is ranked at ninth position in crony-capitalism with crony sector wealth accounting for 3.4 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

    The global ranking was  based on new study by The Economist which had used data from a list of the world’s billionaires and their worth published by Forbes. 

    In this study each individual is labelled as crony or not based on the source of their wealth. In India, the non-crony sector wealth amounts to 8.3 per cent of the GDP. In 2014 ranking also, India stood at the ninth place. 

    Crony capitalism  :  It is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It is believed to arise friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government that influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

    Top countries in the list: Russia (1st), Malaysia (2nd), Philippines (3rd) and Singapore (4th). 

    It should be noted that top ranking  in the list indicates countries are engaged more in crony capitalism. Russia fares worst in the index, wealth from the country's crony sectors amounts to 18 per cent of its GDP while Germany is cleanest, where just few of the country's billionaires derives their wealth from crony sectors. 

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  • Indian-origin Murali Pillai elected to Singapore Parliament

    Indian-origin Murali Pillai elected to Singapore ParliamentMurali Pillai- an Indian-origin lawyer from Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) has been elected member of the parliament following his victory in the by-election held at suburban Bukit Batok constituency.

    Murali Pillai garnered 61.21% of the votes, while his opponent from Singapore Democratic Party’s Chee Soon Juan got 38.79% of votes.

    With this victory, Mr Murali became the first PAP candidate to win a by-election in a single member constituency in more than three decades.

    Murali Pillai :

    Murali Pillai  is a Singaporean lawyer and politician, as well as a former police officer. He worked in the Singapore Police Force before his admission to practice law in 1996. In his legal career, Pillai is currently the head for commercial litigation in Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP.

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  • Novak Djokovic wins 2016 Mutua Madrid Open  

    Novak Djokovic wins 2016 Mutua Madrid OpenProfessional tennis player from Serbia- Novac Djokovic (World no. 1) won the Mutua Madrid Open title for the year 2016 in men’s single category by defeating Andy Murray from Great Britain with a score of (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) in the final match palyed in Madrid, Spain.

    After this victory Djokovic moves ahead of Spain’s Rafael Nadal with a record 29 ATP Masters 1000 titles. It was also Djokovic’s fifth win in the last 6 ATP 1000 competitions.

    Women’s Single Category  : 

    Simona Halep (World No. 6) - Professional tennis player from Romania has won the women singles title of the Madrid Open by defeating Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia with a score of ( 6-2, 6-4 ) in the final match palyed at Madrid (Spain). This was her third Madrid title and first title of 2016 season. Overall this was her 12th career title.

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  •  US actor William Schallert passes away

     US actor William Schallert passes awayVeteran American character actor - William Schallert-  who parlayed an everyman face into hundreds of television and film roles, most notably as the father in the 1960s TV situation comedy The Patty Duke Show has died. 

    Schallert born on July 6, 1922  began his career with film roles in the 1940s and worked fairly consistently through 2014, most recent shows including "2 Broke Girls," "Desperate Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," and "My Name is Earl." 

    Schallert is best remembered for his role as Martin Lane, the father in The Patty Duke Show, which aired from 1963 to 1966.

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  • There are 390,900 plants known to science: Kew report

    There are 390,900 plants known to scienceScientists have estimated that there are 390,900 plants known to science of which approximately 369,400 are flowering . The new tally is part of a report carried out by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    It should be noted that it is its first global assessment of the world's flora. The study also found that 2,034 new plant species were discovered in 2015.

    The report warns that 21% of plants are at risk of extinction, with threats including climate change, habitat loss, disease and invasive species.

    The report also found that more than 10% of the parts of the Earth that are covered with vegetation are highly sensitive to climate change. Kew's global assessment will now be carried out annually, allowing scientists to monitor how plants are changing over time.

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  • Kim Jong-Un becomes North Korea ruling party chairman 

    Kim Jong-Un becomes North Korea ruling party chairman North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been named chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) at a rare party of congress held in Pyongyang.

    This was after 36 years that congress was held as last congress was held, in 1980, before Kim was born.

    Kim the third generation of the dynasty that has ruled the country since its founding in 1948 had already been head of the party, but with the title of first secretary.

    His grandfather and the country’s founding leader, Kim Il-Sung, remains eternal president of the nation despite having died in 1994. 

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  • Gilead gets patent for Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi

    Gilead gets patent for Hepatitis C drug SovaldiThe Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademark has granted American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences the patent rights for the remarkable Hepatitis C drug Sofosbuvir (brand name Sovaldi) in India. 

    The company charges USD 1,000 Per pill in the US and has charged similarly high prices across developed countries and now the patent rights will give the company legal monoploy in the market which will impact the patients who can not afford expensive medicines.

    Background : Various patient groups and generic companies had opposed the Gilead's application to obtain a patent in the country, arguing that sofosbuvir was "old science", not novel and did not meet the standard needed for patenting in India so Gilead's patent application was first rejected but this time the patent office dismissed all pre-grant oppositions and stated that it found, “claimed compounds are novel, inventive and patentable under Patents Act.”

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  • Five Pacific reef islands swallowed by rising sea levels

    Five Pacific reef islands swallowed by rising sea levelsAccording to new research five reef islands in the remote Solomon Islands have disappeared due to rising sea levels and coastal erosion and a further six islands have been severely damaged. 

    The study marks the first time that provides concrete scientific evidence that proves the loss of Solomon Island shoreline in the context of global warming.

    The islands that have been lost were from one to five hectares in size and supported dense tropical vegetation that was at least 300 years old. 

    Nuatambu Island, home to 25 families, has lost more than half of its habitable area, between 2011 and 2014.  The families that have left have moved to the nearby large island of Choiseul.

    The study emphasized that it was of critical importance to understand the relationship between rising sea levels, other global climate changes such as waves, and local tectonics if we have to minimize the social impacts.

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  • Fossils of first plant-eating marine reptile found  

    Fossils of first plant-eating marine reptile foundScientists have discovered the Fossil remains of  bizarre crocodile-sized "hammerhead" creature, that lived 242 million years ago in today's southern China. The creature is the earliest known example of a plant-eating marine reptile.

    The reptile which has been named as "Atopodentatus unicus". It's fossil was discovered in 2014. It seems to have a flamingo-like beak.

    Scientists said that the "beak" is actually part of a hammerhead-shaped jaw apparatus, which it used to feed on plants on the ocean floor.

    It is for the first time that scientists have seen  reptile like this as it has hammerhead which makes it very different from othe marine reptiles. It has bunches of needle-like teeth in it's mouth.

    It used the peg-like front teeth to scrape plants off of rocks on the sea floor, and then it opened its mouth and sucked in the bits of plant material. Then, it used its needle-like teeth as a sieve, trapping the plants and letting the water back out.

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  • IIT-M incubated firm gets USD 18 million funding

    IIT-M incubated firm gets USD 18 million fundingInnoNano Research (INR), a clean water technology company  incubated at IIT Madras, has received funding of USD 18 million from Nano Holdings, a US-based energy and water investment specialist firm.

    With this funding INR plans to set up a manufacturing unit, a laboratory and technology delivery offices across North America, Asia and Africa.

    The funding would come over a five-year window. Of the entire funding USD 6 million would be spent over the next three years.

    INR, with the help of technology, provides drinking water, free of arsenic, fluoride and micro organisms to rural India.

    This technology has been implemented across 700 villages in India including Punjab, West Bengal and Karnataka. By 2017, more than 1,500 villages will be covered.

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Current Affairs 09 May 2016 May 2016

  • Atomic oxygen detected in Mar’s atmosphere by Scientists

    Atomic oxygen detected in Mar’s atmosphere by ScientistsScientists have detected atomic oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars for the first time since the last observation 40 years ago.

    The Viking and Mariner missions of the 1970s made the last measurements of atomic oxygen in the Martian atmosphere.

    Significance : Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars and therefore has a significant impact on the planet’s atmosphere.

    It was detected using an instrument onboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre. 

    These observations were possible due to SOFIA’s airborne location, flying between 37,000-45,000 feet, above most of the infrared-blocking moisture in Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists will continue to use SOFIA to study these variations to help better understand the atmosphere of the Red Planet.

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  • India women wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics

    India women wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik qualify for 2016 Rio OlympicsIndian women wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik have qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics as the duo entered the final of 2nd Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey. 

    Vinesh earned the spot in 48kg, Sakshi earned quota in the 58kg. This is the first time two female Indian wrestlers will compete at the Olympics. At 2012 London Games, Geeta Phogat was the lone Indian female grappler.

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  • Gangavati to get Asia’s first Rice Technology Park

    Gangavati to get Asia’s first Rice Technology ParkThe State government of Karnataka has decided to establish Asia’s first Rice Technology Park at Gangavati in Koppal district and a Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur in Haveri district on the public-private participation model as a one-stop solution to all problems of rice and maize growers.

    Significance: These parks would pave the way for opening new avenues for rice and maize growers to add value to their produce and get better returns and also enhance quality of the produce.

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  • Switzerland honours veteran Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra with special statue

    Switzerland honours veteran Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra with special statue

    The Swiss government has honoured late veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra by unveiling special statue to express gratitude and salutations.

    The statue weighing about 350kg, the sculpture is made of pure bronze and showcases Yash Chopra in an iconic pose.

    Chopra used to love spending time in Switzerland and his films had encouraged South Asian tourists to visit the country through his films. The ace director's statue is installed at the heart of Interlaken, that falls under Kursaal.

    This is not the first time the filmmaker has been honoured in this way by the Switzerland Government.

    Earlier in 2011, government of Interlaken awarded him the honorary title of Ambassador of Interlaken and Jungfrau Railways had named a train after him – an honour shared only with the railway’s founder, Adolf Guyer.

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  • Sadiq Khan sworn in as first Muslim Mayor of London

    Sadiq Khan sworn in as first Muslim Mayor of LondonSadiq Khan - a member of the Labour Party and human rights lawyer of Pakistani descent has been sworn in as London's new mayor by comfortably outrunning of his nearest rival.

    Khan also set a record by winning 1.1 million votes. With a 45 per cent election turnout, he finished with a margin of 13.6 percentage points over Zac Goldsmith of the Conservative Party.

    His victory also marks the return of Labour Party rule in the British capital after eight years of Conservatives in power.

    About Sadiq Khan

    Khan was born as the fifth of eight children in a family of Pakistani immigrants. His father worked as a bus driver for over 25 years.

    He entered the University of North London to study law and later worked as a solicitor specialising in human rights. He entered the House of Commons in 2005.

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  • Indian Railways launches Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims

    Indian Railways launches Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrimsThe Railways has launched the Bharat Darshan Tourist train for pilgrims to visit Shirdi, Tirupati, Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham and Jyotirlingams among others.

    The train comprises 10 coaches and the bookings are being done by IRCTC that has firmed up a budget-friendly package for pilgrims.

    According to the package a person has to pay Rs 830 per day to selected destinations in the east or the south of the country to visit major religious sites.

    Bharat Darshan will mainly cover  pilgrimages destinations like Jagannath Puri, Gangasagar, Baidyanath Dham, Gaya, Banaras and Ayodhya.

    It will also cover the “7 Jyotirlinga” and “Dakshin Darshan with Shirdi” tour package that will cover Shirdi, Tirupati, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Mysore and Bangalore.

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  • Pakistan wins 2016 Asia Kabaddi Championship Cup

    Pakistan wins 2016 Asia Kabaddi Championship CupDefending Champion Pakistan has won the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2016 held at Wah Cantonment in Pakistan by defeating India by 50-31 points. This is Pakistan’s second successive win in the Asian Kabaddi title as they had won it in 2012. 

    The championship was organised by Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) in collaboration with POF Sports Control Board under the banner of the Asian Kabaddi Federation.

    In this edition of  championship seven teams including India, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan had participated.

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  • Government begins UBIN drive for budding entrepreneurs   

    Government begins UBIN drive for budding entrepreneurs The government has started the process for issuance of Unique Business Identification Number (UBIN) to enable budding entrepreneurs set up their business without any delays.

    The drive has been launched by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under the aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

    The UBIN would automatically be moved on to MCA portal after it is issued to the intended beneficiary and subsequently sent to the CBDT which would nomenclature it as PAN for Unique Business Identification Number.

    The move is seen as a major step towards boosting ease of doing business and the start-up India initiative of the government.

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  • Gujarat govt accords minority status to Jains

    Gujarat govt accords minority status to JainsThe Gujarat government has recently issued a government resolution (GR) giving minority status to the Jain community in the state.

    However the previous UPA government had conferred minority status on the community at the national level in January 2014. Jains were the 6th community to have minority status after Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis.

    Siginificance : Under the Constitution, religious and linguistic minorities enjoy special rights. The minority status helps to give constitutional safeguards to minority communities and make them eligible for welfare programmes of the Union Minority Affairs Ministry. Now in Gujarat ain institutions will also get special status like the one given to Christian and Muslim institutions as per Article 30 of Indian Constitution.

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  • Mickey Arthur appointed as Pakistan cricket team’s head coach

    Mickey Arthur appointed as Pakistan cricket team’s head coachThe Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed former South African cricketer Mickey Arthur as the head coach of Pakistan's cricket team.

    His appointment would  fill the post that was left vacant after Waqar Younis resigned following Pakistan’s disastrous World Twenty20 performance in India.

    This is Arthur’s third assignment with an assignment of international coaching. Earlier he coached South Africa from 2005 to 2010 and Australia from 2011 to 2013.

    In his cricket career lasting a decade and a half, he had  played 110 first-class matches in a South Africa domestic cricket.

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  • ICICI Bank signs MoU with BRICS’s New Development Bank

    ICICI Bank signs MoU with BRICS’s New Development BankICICI Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the New Development Bank (NDB), to establish a strategic partnership in the areas of bond issuances, co-financing, treasury management and human resources. ICICI Bank became the first financial institution in India to sign the pact with NDB.

    NDB is a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS states which are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

    The MoU was signed  by first President of NDB KV Kamath and ICICI Bank head Chanda Kochhar in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

    Significance : This MoU would help NDB in exploring bond issuance opportunities in the Indian and international bond markets, particularly in rupee-denominated bonds. It will also give both parties an opportunity to work together and leverage their respective strengths in the areas of resource raising, development finance and treasury risk management in a mutually beneficial manner

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Current Affairs 06 May 2016 May 2016

  • Govt retires 33 tax officials for non-performance

    Govt retires 33 tax officials for non-performanceThere is a general perception that no action is taken against the defaulting tax officials for their non-performance as well as in case of harassing the tax assesses among others but now those days are history as Govt is assesing the performance of tax officials on regular basis.

    Cracking the whip on non-performing and defaulting officials, the government has decided to prematurely retire 33 officers including seven Group 'A' officers from the Revenue Service.

    Further, 72 officers, including six Group ‘A’ officers have been dismissed in other departmental and disciplinary actions in the last two years.

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  • Kumar Rajesh Chandra appointed as Chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

    Kumar Rajesh Chandra appointed as Chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation SecuritySenior IPS officer Kumar Rajesh Chandra has been appointed as chief of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the aviation security wing of the government.

    His appointment was cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

    He has been appointed in place of IPS officer G S Malhi, who had completed his tenure as BCAS chief in November 2012. The crucial post was lying vacant since then.

    Chandra is a 1985 batch IPS officer of Bihar cadre. Prior to this appointment, Chandra was working as Additional Director General (Modernisation) of Bihar Police.

    Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) 

    It is an agency of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India that acts as regulatory authority for civil aviation security. It was initially set up as a cell in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in January 1978 and than reorganised into an independent department on April 1, 1987 as a result of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 (Kanishka) in 1985 by the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa in which 329 people died.

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  • Drought Forces Zimbabwe to Sell Off Wildlife

    Drought Forces Zimbabwe to Sell Off WildlifeDrought-hit and cash-strapped Zimbabwe has invited local farmers and private game rangers to buy wild animals as it destocks national game reserves to save fauna from starvation. 

    Zimbabwe has been battling since past few years to reduce its animals especially elephants whose population is more than twice what the parks can accommodate.

    In recent years it has also been exporting elephants to countries like China in a bid to raise funds and cut the ballooning population.

    Zimbawe which is spread over the landscapes of miombo woodlands and thorny acacia or kopje inhabits not  only the "big five" – buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino – but also antelopes, zebras and giraffes lezerd.

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  • Sudhir Yadav appointed as new Tihar DG

    Sudhir Yadav appointed as new Tihar DGSudhir Yadav, a 1985 batch IPS officer of AGMUT cadre, has been appointed the director general of the Tihar Central Jail.

    His appointment comes after the  resignation of J.K. Sharma, who quit hours after taking charge on April 20 saying his appointment was not approved by the "competent authority" or the lieutenant governorof Delhi. 

    Prior to this appointment, he was serving as the special commissioner of police (provision and logistics) in Delhi.  

    He had earlier served in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was transferred to Delhi in September 2015.

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  • Ban on diesel cabs may cause USD 1.2 bn loss to India

    Ban on diesel cabs may cause USD 1.2 bn loss to IndiaThe Centre  told the Supreme Court that the ban on plying of diesel cabs in Delhi and the National Capital Region may cause a loss to the tune of 1.2 billion US dollars as BPOs also known as 'call centers' may choose to go out of India, if their work is adversely impacted due to the ban. 

    The women employees have to be dropped at their door step during night hours and the buses cannot be plied in narrow lanes so the ban would cause inconvenience to  the BPO employees, so they may choose to move out of the country.

    The counsel for Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) informed the court that it is discussing the issue arising out of the ban on diesel taxis with the Delhi government.

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  • Andhra Pradesh Harita-Priya Agriculture Project wins 2016 WSIS Prize

    Andhra Pradesh Harita-Priya Agriculture Project wins 2016 WSIS PrizeHarita-Priya an agriculture project of Andhra Pradesh govt to collect very specific climate data from farms and give farmers personalised information through SMS has won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) 2016 prize in the e-Agriculture category.

    Harita-Priya (Harmonized Information of Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation for a Transformation Agenda – Precision Technology for Agriculture) Agriculture Project developed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in Hyderabad uses wireless sensor networks (WSN) to collect micro-climate information from farms.

    Harita-Priya Agriculture Project

    Harita-Priya (Harmonized Information of Agriculture, Revenue and Irrigation for a Transformation Agenda – Precision Technology for Agriculture) Project is meant to collect very specific climate data from farms and give farmers personalised information through SMS.

    This data is used to create advisories and alerts on irrigation schedules and pests and plant disease. Based on them state agriculture officers send out personalised crop advisories in Telugu to farmers by SMS.

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Current Affairs 05 May 2016 May 2016

  • Trump emerges as lone Republican Presidential candidate

    Trump emerges as lone Republican Presidential candidateDonald Trump became the last man standing in the race for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination as Ohio Governor John Kasich the last challenger to stand in Donald Trump's path to the Republican nomination, has dropped out of the U.S. presidential race. 

    Kasich’s departure comes a day after Trump’s victory in the Indiana primary. He was viewed as a 2016 dark horse running for the presidential race with other candidates such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

    Trump holds a commanding lead and is very near to get nominated and is now certain that he will have the 1,237 delegates needed to become the nominee before the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • Air India no longer making losses : Government

    Air India no longer making losses : GovernmentEfficient functioning and reduction in operational costs has turned National flag carrier Air India from a loss-making airline into an "operational profit unit" for the first time in last 10 years, said  Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

    By cutting its operational expenses by almost 11 per cent, Air India has turned from a Rs.2,636 crore loss making unit in 2014-15 to a Rs.8 crore operational profit unit in 2015-16.

    Air India  has also made significant contribution during the "hour of crisis" as it evacuated about  6,000 nationals from Yemen, 1,300 from Iraq and Libya and 17,500 passengers from quake-affected Nepal.

    Passenger safety : During the last two years and the current year, a total of 120 incidents of emergency landing due to medical emergency and technical reasons have been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in which 102 were due to medical emergency and 18 due to technical reasons. Of the 120 incidents of emergency landing only  23 are attributed to Air India and the rest to other airlines.

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  • Scientists built the world's smallest light powered  nano-engine

    Scientists built the world's smallest light powered  nano-engineResearchers  from University of Cambridge have developed the world’s smallest engine - just a few billionths of a metre in size and uses light to power itself.

    The engine may help develop nano-machines that can navigate in water, sense the environment around them and even enter living cells to fight disease. 

    The prototype of the engine  is made of tiny charged particles of gold, bound together with temperature-responsive polymers in the form of a gel -like polymer called pNIPAM.

    How the engine works ?

    When the ‘nano-engine’ is heated to a certain temperature with a laser, it stores large amounts of elastic energy in a fraction of a second as the polymer coatings expel water from the gel and collapse. This stored energy generates a propulsive force on a microscopic scale that is a hundred times greater per unit weight than any known motor or muscle.

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  • Collegium recommends four judges for SC

    Collegium recommends four judges for SCThe Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur, has recommended elevation of three High Court Chief Justices and a senior lawyer to the apex court. 

    The collegium has recommended the elevation of Justice A M Khanwilkar of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court and Justice Ashok Bhushan of the Kerala High Court to the Supreme court.

    A senior lawyer and former Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwar Rao has also been recommended for appointment as a Supreme Court judge.

    It should be noted that this is the first set of recommendations made by the SC Collegium for appointment as judges of the apex court after the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was struck down by a Supreme Court bench on October 16 last.

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  • Radha Binod Barman to head National Statistical Commission

    Radha Binod Barman to head National Statistical Commission

    Eminent statistician Radha Binod Barman took over as part-time Chairperson of the National Statistical Commission (NSC). S Mahendra Dev, Rahul Mukherjee, Rajiv Mehta and Manoj Panda are the other part-time Members in the Commission.

    The post of chairperson was lying vacant as Pronab Sen's term as NSC chairman had ended on 2 nd February 2016.  Barman joins NSC  at a time when many analysts have expressed doubts over the methodology of new gross domestic product (GDP) numbers.

    National Statistical Commission (NSC)

    The commission is an advisory body on all statistical matters, set up to enhance public trust in official statistics. It was formed in July 2006  on the recommendation of C. Rangarajan Commission.The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog is the ex-officio Member in the Commission.

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  • Rare sighting of Amur Falcon at the Umred Karhandla wildlife sanctuary

    Rare sighting of Amur Falcon at the Umred Karhandla wildlife sanctuaryBirdwatchers were thrilled by the recent sighting of the migratory Amur falcon at the Umred Karhandla wildlife sanctuary near Nagpur. The raptor (bird of prey) was threatened due to indiscriminate hunting in the north-east.

    The bird  makes its home in the North-eastern State of Nagaland, before traversing a staggering 22,000 km from there to South Africa then onto Mongolia and back to Nagaland. The bird has one of the longest and most fascinating migratory paths in the avian kingdom.

    The bird wa hunted for food in Nagaland, which sparked off concerns  leading to poaching being banned in 2013. Three Amur falcons – Naga, Pangti and Wokha – were tagged with satellite chips in 2013 to track their migration routes.

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  • China to invest $11.9 bn in aviation infrastructure in 2016

    China to invest $11.9 bn in aviation infrastructure in 2016This year China will invest 77 billion yuan (USD11.9 billion) in building aviation infrastructure and particularly airports.

    China will begin with 11 key construction projects and 52 aviation-related upgrades. The aviation sector will get preferential treatment as it will improve transportation, foster new growth engines, and boost employment and the service sector.

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  • 63rd National Film Awards 2015

    63rd National Film Awards 2015President Pranab Mukherjee conferred 63rd National Film Awards for the year 2015 in various categories at the function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The Directorate of Film Festivals announced the winners of the National Film Awards on 28 March 2016.

    Legendry actor Manoj Kumar was conferred 2015 Dada Saheb Phalke Award, highest official recognition (award) in Indian cinema.

    Baahubali: The Beginning (Tamil, Telugu) directed by S. S. Rajamouli was selected as the Best feature film.

    Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Hindi) directed by Kabir Khan was selected as the Best Popular film providing wholesome entertainment. 

    Click here for the complete list of winners

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  • Rich tributes paid to V K Krishna Menon in UK

    Rich tributes paid to V K Krishna Menon in UKRich tributes were paid to former defence minister and India's first high commissioner to the UK V K Krishna Menon (1896-1974), at a function held in London on his 120th Birth Anniversary' organised by the V K Krishna Menon Institute at the Nehru Centre, London.

    In early days he served as co-founding editor of Penguin Books and led the overseas wing of the Indian independence movement.

    He also launched India League in London and campaigned for India's independence in UK and the Soviet Union.

    In 1957, Menon set the record for the longest speech before the U.N. Security Council while defending India's rights to the disputed territory of Kashmir and became famous as "Hero of Kashmir" in India.

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  • Cabinet approves currency swap deal with UAE

    Cabinet approves currency swap deal with UAEThe Union Cabinet has given it's approval to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Reserve Bank and the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on co-operation on currency swap agreement. The MoU was signed in Feb 2016 between RBI and the Central Bank of UAE.

    According to MoU the RBI and the Central Bank of UAE will consider signing a bilateral Currency Swap Agreement on mutually agreed terms and conditions after undertaking technical deliberations, subject to concurrence of respective governments. 

    The Mou will strengthen the close economic relationship and cooperation between India and the UAE and further  facilitate invoicing of bilateral trade in local currencies.

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Current Affairs 04 May 2016 May 2016

  • 75 million children in desperate need of education support : UNICEF

    75 million children in desperate need of education support : UNICEFAccording to a report released by Unicef, some 75 million school-age children in crisis areas around the world are in desperate need of educational support.

    The report comes ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul on 23 and 24 May.

    One in four children aged 3-18 (462 million ) are living in countries that are affected by humanitarian crises, the report says. Refugees are five times more likely to be out of school.

    Five years of civil war in Syria,  have left 6,000 schools out of use, while in Eastern Ukraine the conflict damaged or destroyed one in five schools.

    During times of conflict, girls are two-and-a-half times more likely to be out of school than their male peers.

    A new emergency education fund, called Education Cannot Wait, will be launched at the summit. The fund aims to raise nearly $4 billion over five years to reach 13.6 million children in need of education in emergencies.

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  • Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa selected as the next executive secretary of UNFCCC

    Mexican diplomat Patricia Espinosa selected as the next executive secretary of UNFCCCUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has selected Mexico's ambassador to Germany, Patricia Espinosa, as the executive secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).She will replace the incumbent Christiana Figueres when her term ends in July.

    She will play an important role in implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change that was approved by 195 countries in Paris, France.

    Earlier she had served as Mexico’s representative at the UN in New York for drug traffic, human rights, women promotion, social development and children’s rights.

    UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) 

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It has 196 countries and European Union (EU) as its members.

    It is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has been ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.

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  • Seven Indian shuttlers qualify for Rio Olympics

    Seven Indian shuttlers qualify for Rio Olympics

    Seven Indian shuttlers have made the cut for the Rio Olympics. Of the seven, the list includes two female singles players in Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, a male singles' player in Kidambi Srikanth, women's doubles pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa while Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy make up the male doubles team. The only event where India won’t have an entry is in the mixed doubles.

    It is the biggest badminton contingent that India would be fielding at the Olympic Games. Earlier the biggest contingent from India was of 5 player who played in 2012 London Olympics.

    Badminton was introduced in the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. The shuttlers qualified on the basis of their rankings after the Badminton Asia Championships ended on 1st May 2016 in China.

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  • Bhupendra Kainthola appointed as the Director of FTII

    Bhupendra Kainthola appointed as the Director of FTIIIndian Information Service (IIS) officer Bhupendra Kainthola has been appointed as the Director of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) or a term of three years.

    He replaces Prashant Pathrabe, who had served as interim Director during the 139-day long strike by students opposing appointment of Gajendra Chauhan and four other members on the FTII Society on ground of ‘merit’.

    Bhupendra Kainthola

    Kainthola is a 1989 batch IIS officer. He holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Mumbai.

    Earlier he was serving as Director (News Room) with DD News since January 2015 where he was responsible for ‘management of news operations and output’.

    He has also worked with PIB, Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP), Directorate of Film Festival (as Director, National Film Awards and Indian Panorama) and also with the Lok Sabha Television. 

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  • Mark Selby wins World Snooker Champion for the second time

    Mark Selby wins World Snooker Champion for the second timeCurrent World No. 1 snooker player -Mark Selby- from England has won the 2016 World Championship title of Snooker by defeating China’s Ding Junhui In the final match played in Sheffield, England with a score of (18-14).

    Earlier this year he had won minor Gdynia Open event held in Poland. In his snooker career Selby has won Welsh Open title (2008), Shanghai Masters final (2011), UK Championship (2012), World Championship (2014), German Masters (2015), China Open (2015).

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  • Wilful defaulters owe Rs 66,000 cr to govt banks

    As of December 2015, there were 7,686 wilful defaulters owing Rs.66,190 crore to state-owned banks said Minister of state for Finance Jayant Sinha in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

    The number of wilful defaulters of Public sector banks, (PSBs) rose from 5,554 to 7,686 in three years to December 2015 while the amount involved more than doubled to Rs 66,190 crore from Rs 27,749 crore.

    The total outstanding amount in top 100 non-performing accounts (NPAs) with PSBs was 1.73 lakh crore rupees as of December 2015. The total exposure of top 50 defaulters of PSBs as of December 2015 was Rs 1,21,832 crore.

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  • Google acquires startup Synergyse

    Google acquires startup SynergyseSearch engine giant Google has acquired a business technology startup Synergyse founded by an Indian-origin entrepreneur Varun Malhotra. However the inancial detail of the acquisition deal was not disclosed by the Google.

    Synergyse based in Toronto, was launched in 2013. Its core product is a training software, or “virtual coach,” for companies using Google’s apps for work like Gmail, Drive and Docs.

    Synergyse  will be joining the Google as the company intends to make the product available as an integral part of the Google Apps offering later this year.

    Entrepreneur Varun Malhotra specialises in training and strategy and has over 10 years of experience in the enterprise space.

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  • Sachin accepts IOA's invitation to become goodwill ambassador

    Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has accepted IOA's invitation to become the country's goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics alongside ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan, who have already accepted IOA’s request to become goodwill ambassadors.

    These iconic sportspersons and celebrities will help in building up a sporting culture in this country and will also spread the idea of Olympic movement in every corner of the country.

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  • Virat Kohli Nominated for Khel Ratna, Ajinkya Rahane for Arjuna Award

    Virat Kohli Nominated for Khel Ratna, Ajinkya Rahane for Arjuna AwardBoard of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated Indian Test captain Virat Kohli for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award while his teammate Ajinkya Rahane has been recommended for the Arjuna Award. It is after a gap of four years that a cricketer has been recommended for the Khel Ratna.

    Other sports bodies and associations are also in the process of sending their nominations. Sports persons nominated for the Khel Ratna Award so far are Incheon Asian Games gold medallist shooter Jitu Rai, squash star Dipika Pallikal, athlete Tintu Luka and ace golfer Anirban Lahiri. 

    The prestigious Khel Ratna award carries a cash price of Rs. 7.5 lakh in addition to a citation, while the Arjuna awardee receives a cash prize of Rs. five lakh and a citation. 

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  • Guinness record for Maharashtra Man With 'Gold Shirt'

    Guinness record for Maharashtra Man With 'Gold Shirt'Maharashtra's well-known businessman-politician Pankaj Parakh called 'The Man With The Golden Shirt'  by his friends has earned a place in the Guinness World Records (GWR) for the most expensive gold shirt in the world costing Rs. 98,35,099.

    The shirt, weighing exactly 4.10 kg, is currently valued at over Rs.1.30 crore, is supplemented by other golden paraphernalia including a gold watch, several gold chains, large gold rings, a gold mobile cover and golden-framed spectacles - the total weight being 10kgs.

    Pankaj Parakh is a school dropout, who made his fortunes from a garment fabrication business. He is also the Nationalist Congress Party's Deputy Mayor of Yeola town in Nashik district, around 260 km from Mumbai.

    The shirt was designed by Bafna Jewellers, Nashik, 85 km away, and then created by jewelers in Mumbai, where a team of around 20 select artisans spent 3,200 hours over the past two months to 'stitch' it.

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  • Railways launches E-enabled application to monitor project  

    Railways launches E-enabled application to monitor projectsRailways Ministry has launched  E-enabled project, namely, Project Management & Information System (PMIS) for proper monitoring of all the Railway projects throughout the country. The application was launched by Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi.

    Indian Railways have over 600 major projects of network expansion and modernization costing around Rs 4.5 lakh crores.

    PMIS is a web-enabled IT- Application to create a technology and knowledge platform to manage the entire lifecycle of complex railway projects. 

    It will contain all the information about the ongoing projects which will help in reducing the completion time of the project. It will empower railways & stakeholders in transforming the way projects are designed, built and commissioned. 

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  • Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting dwarf star

    Three Earth-like planets discovered orbiting dwarf starFor the first time, researchers have discovered three earth-like planets orbiting  an ultra-cool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth.

    The planets have potential life and water. The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are similar to those of Earth and Venus.

    This path breaking discovery was made by a group of international astronomers from MIT, NASA, the University California at San Diego, the University of Liege and other institutions.

    The ultra-cool dwarf star has been named as 2MASS J23062928-0502285 (also known as TRAPPIST-1).  It is located in the constellation of Aquarius (The Water Carrier). TRAPPIST-1 is about one eighth the size of the Sun and cooler than Sun.

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  • World Press Freedom Day : May 3

    World Press Freedom Day : May 3Every year May 3 is globally observed as World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments their duty to respect and uphold right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Theme for the year 2016  : “Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms – This Is Your Right!”

    UNESCO marks World Press Freedom Day by conferring the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize on a deserving individual, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger. 

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  • JSW Energy to acquire JSPL's 1,000 mw plant for Rs 6,500 cr

    JSW Energy to acquire JSPL's 1,000 mw plant for Rs 6,500 crSajjan Jindal led JSW Energy Limited (JSWEL) has agreed to buy out his brother Naveen Jindal’s debt laden Jindal Steel and Power’s 1000 MW power plant in Chhattisgarh for Rs 6,500 crore. The move will help the Naveen Jindal-led steel-to-power group to pay off the debts.  

    The consolidated debt of JSPL is around Rs 46,000 crore.The deal, which has been inked between both the firms is expected to be completed by June 30, 2018.

    As per the deal,  JSPL Board has approved to divest the 1,000 mw power unit of its subsidiary Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) into a special purpose vehicle (SPV), for the purposes of transferring the same to JSW Energy Ltd, through sale of the entire share capital and other securities.

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  • Uber ties up with Alipay globally

    Uber ties up with Alipay globallyOnline cab aggregator Uber has entered in to  global partnership with third-party payment platform, Alipay, to enable Chinese travellers avail of rides through this solution in more than 400 cities. Uber riders in India can avail of the facility through Paytm platform.

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Current Affairs 03 May 2016 May 2016

  • Railway, Forest departments to plant five lakh trees

    Railway, Forest departments to plant five lakh treesThe Northern Railway and Forest departments of Punjab and Haryana  have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to plant five lakh trees during this season along with railway tracks passing through the two States.

    After Punjab and Haryana, railways will sign similar agreements will other states to carry out the green mission as railways have a target of planting total 5 crore trees across along the track and rail land across the country.

    Forest department of respective states will provide expertise in afforestation as well as in maintenance and disposal of trees.

    However such land will not be declared as protected forest so that it can be utilised at any time for railway projects. 

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  • Madhya Pradesh High Court terms reservation in promotions in the State as unconstitutional

    Madhya Pradesh High Court terms reservation in promotions in the State as unconstitutionalThe Madhya Pradesh High Court has termed reservation in promotions in the state as unconstitutional.

    The division bench chaired by Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar stated in its order that the reservation to underprivileged during appointments is logical but reservation in promotions frustrate talented people.

    The verdict was passed by the court while hearing petitions filed  against reservation in promotions in the court by several employee associations and social organisations.

    Petitioners had challenged the rules of the state government which provided reservation in promotion for Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes.

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  • Andhra Pradesh Government launches Chandranna Bima Yojana

    Andhra Pradesh Government launches Chandranna Bima YojanaAndhra Pradesh  has launched Chandranna Bima Yojana, an insurance scheme for the working class people on the occasion of May Day. The scheme was launched by  Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada.

    Under the scheme any  insured worker who meets an accidental death and permanent disability will be paid 5 lakh rupees.

    That worker who suffers partial disability will be paid a sum of 3 lakh rupees. Under it, about 1.5 crore workers of the state will be covered.

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  • Indian American Sikh woman elected to key Republican position

    Indian American Sikh woman elected to key Republican positionAn Indian American Sikh woman Harmeet Kaur Dhillon (47) from California has been elected to an important position in the Republican party at the US national level. 

    Prior to this, she was vice chairman of the California GOP. She was the first woman elected to this position of vice chair of the California Republican Party.

    Harmeet Kaur Dhillon

    Chandigarh-born Harmeet Kaur Dhillon is a lawyer by profession and is nationally recognised trial lawyer, boardroom advisor and advocate for corporate, individual, and institutional clients.

    As a lawyer she has practiced in New York, London, and San Francisco Bay Area and mainly has focused on federal and state commercial litigation and arbitration.

    Her particular emphasis on unfair competition/trade secret misappropriation, intellectual property (including trademark litigation and Internet torts), complex contractual disputes, and First Amendment litigation.

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  • Parliament passes Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, 2016  

    Parliament passes Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, 2016The Parliament has passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016. The bill will allow transfer of captive mines from one allottee to another without auction. 

    This will enable banks and financial institutions to sell stressed assets to recover debts. The Bill replaces the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Ordinance, 2015 promulgated on January 12, 2015.  

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  • PM Narendra Modi launches Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

    PM Narendra Modi launches Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala YojanaPrime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme aims to provide cooking gas connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries over the next three years. The tagline for the scheme is Swachh Indhan, Behtar Jeevan.

    Key Facts

    The ambitious Rs 8,000 crore scheme will partly be funded using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies under PM’s ‘Give It Up’ initiative.

    Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1,600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households.  The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the state governments and the Union Territories.

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  • Indian-American journalist receives Edgar A Poe award

    Indian-American journalist receives Edgar A Poe awardAn Indian-American journalist Neela Banerjee and three of her colleagues from Inside Climate News - John Cushman Jr, David Hasemyer and Lisa Song - were presented with the prestigious Edgar A Poe award.

    They were felicitated by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle during the annual White House Correspondents Dinner held in Washington DC. 

    Neela Banerjee :

    She is Washington based journalist Inside Climate News. Before joining Inside Climate News, was energy and environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau. She covered global energy, the Iraq War and other issues with The New York Times.

    Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award :

    The Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award is a prize for journalistic excellence that is awarded by the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA).

    It was established by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honour of their distinguished correspondent, Edgar A. Poe. It carries a cash award prize of 2500 dollars.

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  • Vijender Singh records 5th consecutive victory in Professional Boxing

    Vijender Singh records 5th consecutive victory in Professional BoxingProfessional Indian boxer Vijender Singh recorded his 5th consecutive victory in Professional Boxing. He defeated Frenchman Matiouze Royer at London's Copper Box Arena via knock-out. 

    Royer was Vijender's most experienced rival till date, with 44 bouts, including 14 wins, under his belt but Vijendera's power-packed punches went unchallenged and he brought Royer to his knees with an onslaught of body blows.

    Vijender, whose last four wins were all knock-outs or technical knock-outs, was declared the winner in the fifth round of the six-round super middleweight contest.

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  • South India’s first underground metro services flagged off in Bengaluru

    South India’s first underground metro services flagged off in BengaluruUnion Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah flagged-off East-West corridor of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) the first underground metro of south India.

    The newly inaugurated 28-km metro line has 5.12-km underground stretch and connects Cubbon Park to the City Railway station. With the opening of the east-west corridor of Namma Metro, a total of 28 km of the first phase of Bengaluru Metro (spanning total 42 km) has become operational. 

    Phase II of Namma Metro would cost Rs.26,405 crore and the work has already commenced. If all goes well, it will become operational by 2020. 

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  • Leicester City crowned English Premier League champions

    Leicester City crowned English Premier League championsLeicester City have won the English Premier League title for the first time in the club's 132 year history after nearest challengers Tottenham Hotspur could only manage a 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

    Leicester City completed their contest for the Premier League title yesterday after Eden Hazard's stunning late goal enabled Chelsea a the draw with second-place Tottenham Hotspur.

    Yesterday's result meant second placed Tottenham will not be able to surpass Leicester City who have a seven point lead at the top of the table.

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  • Indian shooters bag 3 gold, 1 bronze at ISSF Junior World Cup

    Indian shooters bag 3 gold, 1 bronze at ISSF Junior World CupIndian shooters have made the country proud by winning three gold medals and a bronze on the opening day of the ISSF Junior World Cup.

    The Indians won a gold each in the team events of men's 25m standard pistol and women's 50m rifle prone competitions. 

    India also earned an individual gold medal in the men's 25m standard pistol competition through Rituraj Singh. Gaayathri Nithyanadam bagged a bronze in the women's 50m rifle prone competition.

    The Indian team of Rituraj Singh (569), Shivam Shukla (550) and Arjun Das (542) made a tally of total 1661 points while France won the silver medal with 1659 points and Australia had to settle with the bronze with 1648 points.

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Current Affairs 29 Apr 2016 Apr 2016

  • Indian Academician Radha Kumar appointed to UN University Council

    Indian Academician Radha Kumar appointed to UN University CouncilRadha Kumar - an Indian academician  is among 12 people appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the United Nation’s University Council.

    She along with other members will formulate its principles and policies, consider and approve biennial budget and work programme. They will serve for terms of either three or six years.

    Radha Kumar : Ms Kumar is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peacemaking and peace-building. She is former Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University. She has also been a Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in the city.

    United Nations University

    The United Nations University (UNU), established in 1973, is the academic and research arm of the United Nations. It is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with diplomatic status as a UN institution. Since 2010, UNU has been authorized by the UN General Assembly to grant degrees.

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  • Russia’s brand new cosmodrome launches first-ever rocket

    Russia’s brand new cosmodrome launches first-ever rocketRussia has successfully launched the first rocket from Vostochny Cosmodrome (Russian spaceport under construction) in the Amur Oblast, in Russian Far East region bordering China.

    The unmanned Soyuz-2.1a rocket is carrying three satellites namely Mikhailo Lomonosov (scientific satellite), SamSat-218 (an experimental nanosatellite) and Aist-2D (a civilian distance viewing satellite) . These satellites will monitor the Earth and measure cosmic rays.

    What is Vostochny Cosmodrome ?

    The Vostochny Cosmodrome is a Russian spaceport under construction. When completed in 2018, it is intended to reduce Russia's dependency on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as the standing lease contract with Kazakhstan ends in 2050. The total cost of the project is estimated at around $2.7 billion. During its peak the process involved up to 8,000 workers and 1,000 heavy duty vehicles.

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  • EC launches mobile app e-voter for Kerala assembly polls

    EC launches mobile app e-voter for Kerala assembly pollsThe Election Commission has launched an innovative mobile application titled e-voter with comprehensive details about the forthcoming Assembly polls in Kerala.

    The app is envisaged for voters' facilitation for search in electoral roll, location of polling station, information regarding candidates, affidavit filed by them, filing of complaint and so on.

    About e-voter app :

    The e-voter app was developed by the state IT Mission. It is aimed at ensuring great transparency and conduct of free and fair elections.

    The 'know your candidate' option in the app would provide constituency wise details of candidates, while 'constituency list' option would give segment wise details of voters (number of male voters, female voters and total number of voters) and total polling stations.

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  • Narendra Modi to address joint session of US Congress on June 8

    Narendra Modi to address joint session of US Congress on June 8Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited to address a joint meeting of the US Congress on June 8 during his visit to the US. He was invited by President Barack Obama for a bilateral visit during the fourth nuclear summit.

    PM Narendra Modi will be the fifth Indian Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of Congress, and the first since 2005.

    Prior to this Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi (July 13, 1985), P V Narasimha Rao (May 18, 1994), Atal Bihari Vajpayee (September 14, 2000) and Manmohan Singh (July 19, 2005) had addressed the joint meeting of the US Congress. 

    The tradition of foreign leaders and dignitaries addressing Congress began with the Marquis de Lafayette of France, who spoke in the House chamber on December 10, 1824. Modi's visit is likely to be the last official meeting between the two leaders during President Obama's final year in office.

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  • Parliament passes Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015

    Parliament passes Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015The Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 that was troduced in Lok Sabha on December 7, 2015 was passed unanimously in the currentsession of the Parliament. 

    The 1951 Act provides for development and regulation of certain industries including metallurgical, telecommunications, transportation, fermentation (which includes production of alcohol) among others.

    The Bill amends the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951. As per the rules laid down in Article 111 of the Indian Constitution the bill will now  go for Presidential assent.

    The bill seeks to bring industries engaged in the manufacture of potable alcohol under the exclusive control of States in all respects. It amends 1st schedule of the parent Act to bring required changes for regulating industries manufacturing potable alcohol.

    Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951:  However, the Centre will continue to be responsible for formulating policy and regulating foreign collaboration for all products of fermentation industries, including industrial and potable alcohol. 

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  • India, Papua New Guinea ink four MoUs in myriad sectors to boost ties  

    India, Papua New Guinea ink four MoUs in myriad sectors to boost tiesIndia and Papua New Guinea have signed four MoUs  to give a boost to their growing relationship in myriad sectors. The MoUs covers sectors related to Agriculture, Health, Information Technology and Infrastructure.

    The MoUs were signed in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

    • Transport and infrastructure : India will provide a Line of Credit of 100 million dollars for specific projects in Transport and infrastructure sectors.
    • Health and Medical Services : The MoU on Health covers areas such as Public Health, Health Research, Human Resources and Training and Medical Services.
    • Information Technology : It envisages establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology. 
    • Agriculture : The Fourth MoU delineates all round cooperation in agricultural research and training.
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  • RPF dealt with 20 lakh crime cases in 2015

    RPF dealt with 20 lakh crime cases in 2015The Railway is increasingly adopting all-out measures to contain and mitigate crimes on its premises, as per recent report released by the Railway Ministry, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) dealt with nearly 20 lakh cases relating to anti-social elements in the year 2015.

    Operation Smile to rescue missing children, a security app on mobile phones and a whistle alert scheme in ladies’ coach have boosted the security measures in train. RPF has rescued more than 7,000 lost or abandoned children from trains and stations premises across the country in 2015.

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  • Constitution (Schedule Caste) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in Parliament

    Constitution (Schedule Caste) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in ParliamentThe Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that was introduced in Lok Sabha on March 1, 2016 by the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot has been passed in the current seesion of the Parliament.

    The bill seeks to give effect to proposals of Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and West Bengal to modify the list of Scheduled Castes.

    • Communities added to the list of SCs in Haryana:  i) Aheria, ii) Aheri, iii) Hari, iv) Heri, v) Thori, vi) Turi and vii) Rai Sikh communities have been included in the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
    • Communities added to the list of SCs in Kerala: Inclusion of Peruvannan community in the list and Modification in the area of specification of Malayan community. 
    • Communities added to the list of SCs in Chattisgarh: i) Sais, ii) Sahis, iii) Sarathi, iv) Soot-Sarathi, and v) Thanwar communities have been added.
    • Modification to the list of SCs in West Bengal:  The Bill area restriction for Chain community. 
    • Communities removed from the list of SCs in Odisha: i) Bariki and (ii) Kummari communities have been removed from the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950.
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