Current Affairs : 05 Mar 2016 to 24 Feb 2016 - Summary

Current Affairs 05 Mar 2016 Mar 2016

  • Indian-American Sunil Sabharwal took charge as Alternate Executive Director at IMF

     

    Indian-American Sunil Sabharwal took charge as Alternate Executive Director at IMFIndependent investor from India, Sunil Sabharwal has become the first Indian-American to occupy a key administration post at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He has been appointed as Alternate Executive Director at IMF.

    His appointment was confirmed by the US Senate.This is one of the most powerful position in the International Monetary Fund as US commends more than 16.81 per cent of the total IMF voting share.

    At a glance: Sunil Sabharwal

    Sabharwal was born to Indian father and a Hungarian mother in New Delhi, in 1964. His parents separated when he was 9 years old and he later moved to Budapest, Hungary. 

    From 1992-96, he has worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Later served as vice president, strategic investments, at First Data Corp/Western Union. Later he moved at GE Capital and held several positions including Managing Director (MD) from 1997 to 2003. 

    He has also served as board chairman of Ogone, a European e-commerce payment services firm, from 2011-13 and advised Warburg Pincus on its acquisition of easycash, a German network services company.

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  • World’s most expensive train station opened in New York at 9/11 site

     

    World’s most expensive train station opened in New York at 9/11 siteThe world’s most expensive train station " World Trade Center Transportation Hub" has been opened  at the 9/11 site in New York, United States. It is built next to the site of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. 

    It was initially budgeted at 2 billion US dollars but  the station ended up costing 3.85 billion US dollars making it most expensive station in the world. It has been designed by the Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava who termed it as "gift of love to the city"

    The station building is called Oculus it has an elliptical shape, reaching for the sky like the wings of a bird. The space measures 350 feet (107 meters) long by 115 feet (35 meters) at its widest point.

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  • Jitu Rai wins Gold medal in 50m pistol event at ISSF World Cup

     

    Jitu Rai wins Gold medal in 50m pistol event at ISSF World CupIndian shooter Jitu Rai has won the gold in the men's 50m pistol event at theInternational Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Bangkok, Thialand.

    It should be noted that Jitu Rai, is the winner of the 2014 Asian Games and currently ranked 5th in the world in the 50m Pistol Men’s event.

    He scored 191.3 points in the final round and Olympic champion Pang Wei of China took second place with 186.5. While Olympic medallist Wang Zhiwei finished third at 165.8 points.

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  • Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma passes away

     

    Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma passes awayFormer Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma, passed away in Delhi following brief illness. He was 68. He was elected to the Lower House nine times and served as the Speaker of 11th Lok Sabha from 1996 to 1998.

    At a glance: Purno Agitok Sangma

    Purno Agitok (P. A.) Sangma was born on September 1, 1947 in Chapahati village in the West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya. He earned MA in International Relations from Dibrugarh University in Assam and studied law.

    Political career :

    In 1973, he became Vice-President of the Pradesh Youth Congress in Meghalaya and he was elected to Lok Sabha for the first time in 1977 from Tura (Lok Sabha constituency) and remained a member of the Lok Sabha until 14th Lok Sabha, except for the 9th Lok Sabha.

    He became general secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee in 1975 and served as Minister of State for Coal (independent charge) in the Narasimha Rao government in the 1990s.

    He has served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990. He has also served as Minister of State of Home Affairs, Labour, Commerce and Coal. 

    He was one of the founders of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) along with Sharad Pawar and Tariq Anwar in 1999, after their expulsion. In 2013, Mr. Sangma founded the National People’s Party.

    He was expelled from the party in 2012 when he refused to accept its decision to back out of the election for President of India. He had unsuccessfully had contested 13th Presidential election in 2012 against incumbent President of India Pranab Mukherjee.

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  • PM Narendra Modi launches Setu Bharatam Project

     

    PM Narendra Modi launches Setu Bharatam ProjectPrime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project to ensure highways without railway crossings by 2019 and overhaul of 1,500 British-era bridges. This project will be implemented by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

    Setu Bharatam Project

    Under the Setu Bharatam project, a total of 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs) by 2019 at an estimated cost of Rs 20,800 crore while 1,500 bridges of the British era that are over 50 to 60 years old will be overhauled at an estimated expenditure of Rs 30,000 crore across the country. 

    The Indian Bridge Management System has been introduced to map all 1,50,000 bridges in the country. So far inventory of 50,000 bridges has been prepared under it and the first cycle of condition survey will be completed by June 2016.

    In Budget 2016-17, Rs. 19,000 crore has been sanctioned under the Pradham Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), to connect all villages with roads, compared with Rs. 14,291 crore in the revised estimates of 2015-16.

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  • FIH promotes Napoleon Singh as international Umpire

     

    FIH promotes Napoleon Singh as international UmpireHockey India national-level umpire Nepoleon Singh (30) has been promoted to the International Outdoor Umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

    Decision in this regard was taken after seeing his performance in the recently-concluded 12th South Asian Games 2016, held at Guwahati from February 5 to 16.

    Napoleon who is among young umpires from India has now been elite league of international umpires -level outdoor umpire. Including him there are total of 14 Indian umpires (10 men, 4 women) in the category of international-level umpires.

    Napoleon started his career as an umpire from Manipur in the third Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2013 held at Ranchi, Jharkhand. His first major breakthrough was his appointment as umpire in the eighth Junior Men Asia Cup, held at Kuantan, Malaysia in 2015.

    Napoleon was a national level hockey player and completed a diploma in Sports Coaching from the National Institute of Sports, Patiala in 2011. He is presently working as a coach at Kokrajhar, Assam.

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  • Traditional Chapchar Kut festival celebrated across Mizoram

     

    Traditional Chapchar Kut festival celebrated across MizoramChapchar Kut, the most important traditional festival of the Mizos was celebrated across the north-eastern state of Mizoram and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states. The festival was organised jointly by the state art and culture department and the Young Mizo Association.

    It is celebrated during March after completion of their most arduous task of Jhum operation (shifting cultivation in which jungle is cleared by burning). Chapchar Kut Festival is estimated to have started in 1450-1700 A.D. in a village called Suaipui. 

    Mizos celebrate this festival with great fervour and gaiety by dressing in their traditional attire and dancing to the tune of typical music and songs.Traditional Mizo dances includes Cheraw, Chheihlam, Sarlamkai and Khuallam.

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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 04 Mar 2016 Mar 2016

  • UNSC imposes tough sanctions against North Korea over nuclear test

     

    UNSC imposes tough sanctions against North Korea over nuclear testThe United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has unanimously adopted a resolution to impose a broad array of sanctions against North Korea in response to its fourth nuclear test and missile launch. 

    The resolution was drafted by the United States and backed by China. The sanction will go further than any U.N. sanctions in two decades, it will be tougher than the Iran sanctions regime.

    About the sanction :

    1. All cargo going to and from North Korea will be inspected on  all airports and sea ports destined for and coming from North Korea. 

    2. The sanction imposes severe restrictions on exports of iron and iron ore, coal, gold, titanium and rare earth minerals from North Korea and also prohibits their supply.

    3. The sancton further tightens arms embargo by banning sales of small arms and strict inspection of bars vessels suspected of carrying illegal goods for North Korea from sea ports. 

    4. The sanction asks U.N. member states to ban North Korea from opening banks, and to close any banks believed to be associated with North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

    5. The sancton directs member states to expel North Korean diplomats and foreign nationals engaged in illicit activities.

    6. The member nations will not stop North Korean nationals from taking training  in fields that could advance the nation's missile and nuclear programs.

    7. The sancton bans member states from allowing North Korea to charter foreign vessels or aircraft, and also bans all nations from operating any vessels that use North Korean flags. The sancton  prohibit the supply of aviation fuel including rocket fuel.

     

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  • Delhi becomes first state to launch HPV vaccine as public health programme in schools 

     

    Delhi becomes first state to launch HPV vaccine as public health programme in schoolsDelhi has become the first state in the country to launch the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health programme for school children.The HPV vaccine protects people against the group of 150-odd HPVs, some of which can cause cervical cancer. 

    Phases of vaccination : This vaccination programme will be completed in the current academic year over two phases. In the first year, girls studying in Class VI in government schools will be targeted and in the next year girls between the age of 9 and 13 will be targeted. In the first phase of the vaccination programme, about 1 to 1.5 lakh school girls will be targeted and later this initiative will be expanded to the private schools.

    Vaccine dose :  Children will be given two doses of the vaccine. The first and the second doses will be administered within 30 days of each other while the third booster dose will be given within 240 days of the first vaccine, which will be covered in the next phase.

    Human Papillomavirus (HPV) : Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus from the papillomavirus family that is capable of infecting humans. It is mainly a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that causes genital warts and cervical cancer. Routine screening and vaccines are the safest way to prevent the infection.

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  • Indian playwright and theatre director, guru Ratan Thiyam selected for 11th META Lifetime Achievement Award

     

     Indian playwright and theatre director, guru Ratan Thiyam selected for 11th META Lifetime Achievement AwardIndian playwright and theatre director Ratan Thiyam has been selected for prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 at the 11th edition of the Mahindra Excellence Theatre Awards (META). 

    He has been conferred with this award for creating a new language in theatre and enriching the art form in various roles as writer, director, designer, composer and choreographer.

    In the past, this award has been given to theatre greats such as Zohra Sehgal, Badal Sarkar, Khaled Chowdhury, Ebrahim Alkazi, Girish Karnad and Heisnam Kanhailal.

    Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 

    Instituted by the Mahindra Group, in the year 2006  is one of the Indian theatre industry’s premier awards. It  recognise and reward all aspects of theatre production and stage craft.

    The award carries : The award carries a trophy and a cheque of 100000 rupees for the best production, 75000 rupees for best original playwright and 45000 rupees for all other award categories.

    The award aims at increasing awareness and appreciation of Indian theatre by acting as a national platform for Theatre Groups from every corner of the nation. 

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  • Mumbai wins the U-23 CK Nayudu Trophy

     

    Mumbai wins the U-23 CK Nayudu TrophyMumbai U-23 cricket team has won the Col CK Nayudu Trophy for the season 2015-16 by defeating Madhya Pradesh under-23 cricket team in the final match played at Holkar Stadium, Indore.

    Mumbai scored 577 runs in the first inning of the final match while Madhya Pradesh scored 422 all out in second innings thus falling short of 155 runs.

    This was Mumbai's second big title of the season after they had won the Ranji Trophy for the 41st time earlier.

    About Col CK Nayudu

    Born as Cottari Kanakaiya Nayudu on 31 October 1895, in Bara Bada Nagpur. He was the first captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches.

    He played first-class cricket regularly till 1958, and played his last match in 1963 at the age of 68.

    In 1923, the ruler of Holkar invited him to Indore and made him a Captain (land and air) in his army, conferring on him the honour of a Colonel in Holkar's Army.

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  • Mrugank Paranjape appointed as MD & CEO of MCX

     

    Mrugank Paranjape appointed as MD & CEO of MCXMrugank Paranjape has been appointed as MD & CEO of Multi-Commodity Exchange (MCX),  an independent commodity exchange based in India.

    The appointment will be for a period of three years, subject to prior approval from Sebi and such other approvals as may be necessary.

    Prior to this appointment he was working with Deutsche Bank as Asia Pacific Head of Trust & Securities Services/Cash Management for Financial Institutions.

    Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)

    Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) is India's No.1 commodity exchange with 84% market share in 2014-15.

    MCX has several strategic alliances with leading exchanges across the globe with a normal daily  turnover of  Rs. 20,328.26 crore.

    It started functioning  in November 2003 under the regulatory framework of the Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA), 1952. 

    MCX offers futures trading in bullion, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, energy, and a number of agricultural commodities (mentha oil, cardamom, potatoes, palm oil etc). It ranks no. 1 in silver, no. 2 in natural gas, no. 3 in crude oil. The highest traded item is gold.

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  • Govt winds up National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council

     

    Govt winds up National Manufacturing Competitiveness CouncilThe Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved winding up of National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) as it has fulfilled the mandate for which it was constituted. Decision in this regard was taken by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

    National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC)

    The NMCC was established in 2004 as a part of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) . It's objective was to provide a continuing forum for policy dialogue to energize and sustain the growth of manufacturing industry.

    It was established as an autonomous organization with its Chairman in the rank of a Cabinet Minister and members from Government and Industry. 

    Since it's inception in 2004, NMCC conducted various studies independently in consultation with several Government Ministries/Departments and also industry association and shared these studies/reports with the Ministries/Departments concerned during the decade of its functioning.

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  • South Korea passes first Anti-terror Bill

     

    South Korea passes first Anti-terror BillSouth Korea's parliament has passed a controversial anti-terror law  that was first proposed 15 years ago in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in US. Among total 300 parliament members of South Korea, nearly 160 parliament members voted for the bill.

    Provisions anti-terror legislation

    The legislation  defines terror as an "act that can put national security and citizens' safety at risk which includes the disturbance of the nation, regional government, and foreign government exercising its authority".

    The legislation will allow NIS agents to collect personal information, location and conversation in mobile phones from suspected terrorists and will also enable the agency to track bank accounts and immigration records of the suspects.

    The NIS will be also allowed to halt card issuance, and request financial information and immigration records from related authorities.

    The intelligence agency will report to the Prime Minister before they exercise their new power. A committee headed by the prime minister will decide anti-terror policies to be formed, as well as an anti-terror centre under the committee to manage related policing authorities. 

    Under the Bill those found guilty can face capital punishment of life imprisonment or over 10 years’ incarceration and those who join a foreign terrorist group can face over 5 years imprisonment.

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  • 3rd March: World Wildlife Day

     

    3rd March: World Wildlife DayEvery year 3rd March is observed as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The day was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 20 December 2013, at its 68th session. 

    On this day in 1973, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was adopted. Since then CITES plays an important role of curbing poaching and trafficking of protected species.

    Theme for the year 2016 : "The future of wildlife is in our hands" is the theme for World Wildlife Day, 2016. African and Asian elephants are a main focus of the 2016. The theme encourages countries around the world to take action on national level to spread awareness for the survival of both wild animals and plants. 

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Current Affairs 03 Mar 2016 Mar 2016

  • Poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas selected for 2015 Bihari Puraskar

     

    Poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas selected for 2015 Bihari PuraskarEminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems 'Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad' published in 2010. His poetic work reflects the increasing tendencies of commercialization and degradation of human values.

    About Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas

    Dr Vyas was born on 10 July 1941 in village Gilund of Raj Samand district of Rajasthan. His works reflect the unpleasant changes in human relations, social disparity and loss of human values although positivity and his faith in human life is also reflected in vast collection of his poetry work.

    The best known works of Dr Vyas includes compendium of poems titled 'Shatabdi Niruttar' (1977), 'Footpath Par Chiriya Nachti Hai' (1984) and a collection of short stories 'Suraj Leelti Ghatiyan' stand out. 

    About Bihari Puraskar

    Bihari Puraskar is a literary award instituted by K. K. Birla Foundation in 1991. It is given annually for an outstanding literary work in Hindi or Rajasthani published during last 10 years by a Rajasthani writer. 

    It is also open to those living in the state for the last seven years or more. The award carries a cash prize of Rs one lakh, a citation and a plaque. The selection for the award was made by a six-member Committee. Its Chairman is appointed by the President of the Foundation, Shobhana Bhartia.

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  • New Zealand cricket player and commentator Martin Crowe passes away

     

    New Zealand cricket player and commentator Martin Crowe passes awayDescribed as New Zealand's greatest batsman Martin Crowe passed away in Auckland, New Zealand following long battle with cancer. He was 53. He lost his battle with lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

    Crowe was appointed New Zealand's captain in 1990, and led the team until 1993. He retired in 1996 due to knee injury. Later he went on to become a television commentator and author.

    At a Glance :  Martin Crowe 

    Crowe was born  on 22 September 1962 in Auckland, New Zealand. His mother, Audrey Crowe, was one of New Zealand's leading female cricketers and his father, Dave Crowe,  played first-class cricket for Canterbury and Wellington.

    Crowe made his first-class debut for Auckland at the age of 17, and his Test debut for New Zealand at the age of 19. He was named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1985, and was credited as one of the "best young batsmen in the world".

    In his entire career, crowe had played 77 Test matches, 143 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 247 First-class matches. He was right-handed batsman. 

    ODI Career: He had played 143 ODI matches and scored 4704 runs at an average of 38.55 including 4 centuries and 34 fifties. His highest score was 107 runs.

    Test Career : He had played 77 matches and had scored 5444 runs at an average of 5.36 including 17 centuries and 18 fifties. His highest score was of 299 runs. 

    Awards and honours : He was honoured with player of the tournament award in 1992 World Cup Cup after scoring 456 runs in 9 matches. 

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  • South African spinner Aaron Phangiso suspended over illegal bowling action


    South African spinner Aaron Phangiso suspended over illegal bowling actionSouth Africa left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso has been suspended  from bowling in Domestic cricket after an International Cricket Council (ICC) movement expert found his arm extended beyond the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under ICC regulations. 

    The tests for his bowling action were conducted after he was reported for suspect action in February 2015 by an ICC accredited laboratory at the University of Pretoria’s High-Performance Centre. So far, Phangiso has played 16 one-day internationals (ODIs) and 9 T20s for South Africa. 

    However will get the chance to win back his place in the squad for the final game of the series South Africa’s World Twenty20 campaign in India, when he passes a re-test to be conducted by ICC’s Panel of Human Movement Specialists on 7 March.

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  • CCS gives nod to acquire 2 AWACS from Israel

     

    CCS gives nod to acquire 2 AWACS from IsraelThe Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS)  has cleared a proposal to acquire two more Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) at the cost of Rs.7,500 crore under a tripartite contract with Israel and Russia.  

    The CCS chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also approved the proposal for induction of the 4th regiment of supersonic cruise missile Brahmos and 2 more of Pinaka rocket launchers in the India Army.

    The Indian Air Force (IAF) already had three such AWACS platforms that comprise of Israeli-made radars mounted on Russian heavy transport planes IL-76.

    Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) : They are basically Israeli early-warning radar suites mounted on Russian IL-76 transport aircraft. With a 400-km range and 360-degree coverage, they give an ability to see deep inside enemy territory and are capable of detecting incoming fighters, cruise missiles and drones much before ground-based radars.

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  • Parliament passes Carriage by Air amendment Bill, 2015

     

    Parliament passes Carriage by Air amendment Bill, 2015Parliament has passed the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015, that would enhance compensation for air travellers in case of death, injury, lost baggage or even inordinate delay in flights.

    The bill was first passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2015 and later it was passed by the Rajya in March 2016. Now the bill would go for Presidential assent as per the provisions laid down in Article 111 of Constitution.

    At a Glance : Air amendment Bill, 2015

    The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015 was introduced in Lok Sabha on August 7, 2015 by the Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju. 

    The Bill seeks to amend the Carriage by Air Act, 1972 to revise the limits of liability for airlines and empower the central government to revise the limits of liability for airlines and compensation as per the Montreal Convention. Empowers Union Government to make rules to carry out provisions of the Act. 

    Carriage by Air Act, 1972 : The Act regulates carriage by air and gives effect to the Warsaw Convention, 1929, the Warsaw Convention as amended by the Hague Protocol, 1955, and the Montreal Convention, 1999. The Act also provides for application of the international rules to domestic travel, subject to exceptions and adaptations. 

    The Montreal Convention, 1999 : It establishes airline liability in the case of death, injury or delay to passengers or in cases of delay, damage or loss of baggage and cargo.  The Convention also provides for reviewing the limits of liability of the air carriers every five years.  The Bill seeks to amend the Act to adhere to the revised limits of liability.

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Current Affairs 02 Mar 2016 Mar 2016

  • 'Airport' actor George Kennedy, passes away

     

    'Airport' actor George Kennedy, passes awayAcademy Award winning US actor George Kennedy who appeared in more than two hundred film and television productions, passed away recently in the city of Boise, Idaho. He was 91. Kennedy had won Oscar in 1968 for Best Supporting Actor in Cool Hand Luke.

    At a Glance : George Kennedy

    Kennedy was born on 18 February 1925 in New York City where his father worked as a musician and his mother was a dancer.

    He  made his stage debut at age 2 in a touring company of Bringing Up Father and at the age of 7, he became New York City radio DJ.

    He joined U.S. military during World War II, winning several decorations, and in the 1950s he worked for Armed Forces Radio and Television before moving to Hollywood.

    His first notable screen role was a military advisor on the TV sitcom The Phil Silvers Show. His memorable appearances are in  Naked Gun series, Earthquake and Airport 1975.

    His first notable screen role was as a military advisor on the TV sitcom The Phil Silvers Show. Since then he had appeared in more than two hundred film and television productions. 

    Memorable appearances : His memorable appearances are in Naked Gun series, Earthquake, Airport, The Dirty Dozen and The Eiger Sanction. 

    Books authored : He has authored many books including the murder mystery 'Murder on Location' and his 2011 autobiography 'Trust Me.'

    Awards and Honours : Academy Award, Laurel Award, Golden Globe Award

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  • Rozle Prezelj elected as new Chairman of IAAF Athletes’ Commission

     

    Rozle Prezelj elected as new Chairman of IAAF Athletes’ CommissionSlovenian high jumper, Rozle Prezelj, 36, who represented Slovenia at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics  has been elected the new chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes’ Commission. 

    He will replace former track and field athlete from Namibia, Namibian Frank Fredericks who reached the end of his term. Britain's marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated vice-chairwoman of the commission.

    At a Glance : Rozle Prezelj

    Rozle Prezelj was born on  26 September 1979, in Slovenia. His father Dusan was a famous decathlete with a high jump personal best of 2.15 m and  his mother Stanka was a two time Yugoslavian champion with a personal best of 1.86 m (1981)

    He had represented Slovenia in high jump at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. He was European Under-23 champion in 2001. He had set a national record of 2.32 metres in 2012 before retiring in 2014.

    International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)  is the international governing body for the sport of athletics.  It was founded on 17 July 1912 as the International Amateur Athletics Federation by representatives from 17 national athletics federations at the organization’s first congress in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Headquarters: Monaco

    Members: 214 member federations

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  • IGI Airport best airport for second time in row, wins three international awards

     

    IGI Airport best airport for second time in row, wins three international New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) has received 3 international awards, including for best airport by size in the Asia Pacific region.

    These awards have been given by the Airports Council International (ACI) for 2015. IGAI has scored 4.96 on a scale of 1 to 5, in the ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey.

    Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) is managed by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), a joint venture between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR Group-led consortium which include Fraport and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad.

    The awards are:

    • IGI Airport has retained the world's number 1 position for the second consecutive year in 25-40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category.
    • Best airport by size & region Asia Pacific (25-40 MPPA) 
    • Second best airport by region (Asia Pacific). 
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  • Rahul Sachdev wins India Open snooker title

     

    Rahul Sachdev wins India Open snooker titleFormer National 6Reds runner-up Rahul Sachdev has won the first All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 held at Aurangabad in Maharashtra. In the final match, Rahul defeated current national 6Reds no.4  Pushpender Singh of Railways by 5-3 score. All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 was organized by Billiards and Snooker Association of Aurangabad.

    Before reaching the final, Rahul had defeated Laxman Rawat of Indian Railways by 5-1 score while Pushpender Singh knocked out Kamal Chawla of Railways 5-1 score in the semifinals

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  • Mahesh Kumar Singla committee set up to consider ST status to 6 communities of Assam

     

    Mahesh Kumar Singla committee set up to consider ST status to 6 communities of AssamThe Government has set up a Committee headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam. These six Communities are Koch Rajbongshi, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom, Chutia and Adivasi (Tea Tribes). 

    About Mahesh Kumar Singla committee :

    The committee constituted by Union Home Ministry in consultation with the Government of Assam will suggest the modalities for the required reservations and shift the the existing reservation for these communities from OBC to ST.

    It will also ensure protecting the interests of existing tribes by excuting mechanism for ensuring fairness of reservations within these six communities and related security considerations. 

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  • Swaminathan Research Chair for Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences 

     

    Swaminathan Research Chair for Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) has signed a MOU with Bhubaneswar-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) regarding the establishment of a Research Chair.

    The MoU was signed between Prof M S Swaminathan, Founder of MSSRF and Achyuta Samanta, founder of KIIT & KISS. This is the first initiative of MSSRF towards the establishment of a Research Chair in any private institute in the country.

    The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences is the largest residential institute for the tribals in the world as it provides accommodation, study, career development, and healthcare to 25,000 tribal students each year in which 12,200 are girls.

    As per the MoU :

    • The two institutes will work jointly for promotion of knowledge and skill empowerment for less privileged children in India.
    • They will develop a resource centre for imparting knowledge on biodiversity and climate change to the children. 
    • MSSRF and KISS will engage in food and nutrition security-based on community-based intervention and research.
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  • Peru declares emergency after oil spill in two Rivers

     

    Peru declares emergency after oil spill in two RiversThe Peruvian government has declared an emergency for three weeks after a major oil pipeline in the country’s northeast region bursted affecting two rivers, namely Chiriaco and Morona, which are the main source of water and food for several indigenous communities. The government has told these communities not to eat fish from the polluted waters. 

    The pipeline has spilled 3,000 barrels of crude oil in to the rivers. The pipeline is owned by Petro Peru, a state-owned oil company and was built more than 30 years ago. It used to transport between 5,000 and 6,000 oil barrels per day.

    The oil company has been accused of very slow reaction towards the incident of oil spill. It started providing food, water and medical attention weeks after the crisis, which has affected the health of more than 200 people.

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  • Tamil Comedy Actor Kumarimuthu passes away

     

    Tamil Comedy Actor Kumarimuthu passes awayTamil comedian Kumarimuthu (77), who was known for his comic roles, passed away recently in Chennai, Tamil Nadu following age-related ailments.

    He was best known for his signature laugh and has starred in nearly 50 films in his career spanning over three-decades. He was associated with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in his brief stint in politics.

    Some of his best films : Idhu Namma Aalu, Sahadevan Mahadevan, Oru Oorla Oru Rajakumari and Marumagan.

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  • Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain appointed as Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command 

     

    Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain appointed as Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, AVSM, VSM took over as the Chief of Staff, of the Visakhapatnam headquartered Eastern Naval Command (ENC)  from Vice Admiral Bimal Verma, who took over as the Commander-in-Chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command at Port Blair. 

    At a Glance : Atul Kumar Jain 

    Vice Admiral Jain is an alumnus of the Sainik School (Rewa), National Defence Academy (Pune), the Defence Services Staff College (Wellington, Ooty), the College of Naval Warfare (Mumbai) and the National Defence College (Pretoria, South Africa).

    He was commissioned in the Indian Navy on 01 July 1982 and post specialisation in Gunnery and Missile Warfare and had worked on missile destroyers IN Ships Ranvijay and Ranvir. 

    His important appointments include command of missile corvettes Nirghat, Khukri, missile destroyer INS Rajput and indigenously built stealth destroyer INS Mysore.

    He has also served as the director Naval Intelligence (Protocol), Director Foreign Liaison and Principal Director Staff Requirement at Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy). 

    Awards and Honours : For his distinguished service, he was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal in 2009 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2015. 

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  • Hashim Thaci elected as President of Kosovo

     

    Hashim Thaci elected as President of KosovoHashim Thaci has been elected as  the President of Kosovo after 71 of the country’s 120 MPs voted in favour of his nomination, proving required simple majority.

    He will succeed Atifete Jahjaga. Prior to this he was serving as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in the new cabinet led by Isa Mustafa which assumed office on 12 December 2014.

    At a Glance: Hashim Thaci 

    Hashim Thaci was born on  24 April 1968  in the Drenica region of central Kosovo. He studied philosophy and history at the University of Pristina. Since his student days, he was involved in passive resistance to the Belgrade authorities. 

    He rose to prominence as the political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), a paramilitary organisation that was active during the Kosovo War. He was the first Prime Minister of Kosovo.

    About Kosovo :

    Kosovo is a disputed territory and partially recognised state in the Southeastern Europe that declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. It has been recognised by the US and many EU countries.

    It is under the administration of UN since 1999,  after the NATO intervention had ousted Serbian forces. Kosovo is landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula and is facing long-term severe ethnic tensions between Kosovo’s Albanian and Serb communities.

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  • Indo-Seychelles Joint Training 'Ex Lamitye' concludes

     

    Indo-Seychelles Joint Training 'Ex Lamitye' concludesExercise ‘Lamitye – 2016’, the 7th joint military training exercise between the Indian Army and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) concluded in Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles. 

    The 14 day joint exercise was conducted from 15 to 28 February 2016 at Victoria, Mahe Island, Seychelles with an aim to improve interoperability between both Armies in jointly fighting Counter Insurgency / Counter Terrorism.

    Indian contingent was represented by an infantry platoon and representatives from the Special Forces while Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) was represented by the Tazar (Special Forces Unit) and Seychelles Infantry.

    ‘Exercise Lamitye’ meaning ‘Friendship in Creole’ has been a bridge between the Armed Forces of India and SPDF since 2001. The exercise is conducted biennially with the aim of enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between the Armed Forces of two countries.

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  • IFC launches Uridashi Masala Bonds

     

     

    IFC launches Uridashi Masala BondsThe International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group launched its first Uridashi Masala Bonds (Japanese bonds) to mobilise Rs 30 crore from Japanese retail investors and promote private sector development in India. JP Morgan is the sole arranger of the bonds and Daisen Hinomaru Securities is its distributor.

    What are masala bonds? 

    Masala bonds are rupee-denominated instruments sold only to offshore investors,  by Indian corporates for raising money from overseas investors. Since masala bonds do not face face currency fluctuation risks, so corporates use it for for raising money from overseas investors. It is mainly used for the sake for  external commercial borrowings (ECBs) that are raised and repaid in dollar or other currency terms.

    Background : International Finance Corporation (IFC), last November, issued Rs.1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India.These bonds were listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). IFC then named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine. It has been done in the past as Chinese bonds, named Dim-sum bonds after a popular dish in Hong Kong. So have Japanese bonds named Samurai after the country’s warrior class.

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Current Affairs 01 Mar 2016 Mar 2016

  • East coast to get sixth doppler radar for weather forecasting  

     

    East coast to get sixth doppler radar for weather forecastingA new doppler radar to boost the weather forecasting system in the cycloneprone eastern coast will be commissioned in Gopalpur, Odisha which had faced the severe cyclonic storm Phailin in October 2013. The radar would be commissioned by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

    The move to set up additional radar will enhance better weather forecasting which would  help authorities in taking timely action against cyclones prone eastern coast.

    It will be the sixth such radar on the country's east coast. The others are located in Chennai, Kolkata, Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam and Paradip.

    What is Doppler radar ?

    Doppler radar is an observational tool for monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as thunder storms, hailstorms, cyclones and tornados within a radius of 300 km.  

    It uses the Doppler effect by bouncing a microwave signal off a desired target to produce velocity data. This data inturn helps in analyzing object’s motion by altered the frequency of the returned signal.  It not only gives information about precipitation but also about wind velocity.

    Other Applications : Doppler radars are used in aviation, sounding satellites, meteorology, radar guns, radiology, healthcare and and bistatic radar

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  • Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh chosen for 2016 Dinanath Mangeshkar Award

     

    Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Ranveer Singh chosen for 2016 Dinanath Mangeshkar AwardFilmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Ranveer Singh have been selected for the prestigious 2016 Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award. The award will be conferred upon them on 24 April at a function to be held in Pune.

    Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been consistently making films that do Indian cinema proud and what the best part about his cinema is that he composes his own music.

    Ranveer singh is one of the best actors of  bollywood who made his acting debut in 2010 with a leading role in Band Baaja Baaraat and recently Bajirao Mastani for which he garnered critical acclaim and won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor.

    Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award :

    Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award  was  instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, a well-known musician and the father of  well-known singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, and Usha Mangeshka.

    Since 1999 the award is awarded annually on April 24 every year to persons for their outstanding contributions to music and movies. The award carries monetary award of 101001 rupees, a citation and a In 2015, the award was conferred on Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor.

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  • Dinesh Sharma elected as Chairperson of IFAD

     

    Dinesh Sharma elected as Chairperson of IFADDinesh Sharma, Additional Finance Secretary and India’s Governor to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Rome  has been unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) for a period of two years in its 39th Session held in Rome, Italy.

    International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD)

    IFAD was set-up in 1977 as the 13th Specialised Agency of the United Nations for working towards removing poverty and hunger in rural areas all over the world.  India is a founder member of IFAD and a key contributor among the member countries. 

    Objective : Empower poor rural men and women in developing countries to achieve higher incomes and improved food security. 

    Management : It is managed by the two main governing bodies i.e. the Governing Council and the Executive Board. The Governing Council is the highest decision making body and consists of 176 member countries.

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  • Stan Wawrinka wins 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title

     

    Stan Wawrinka wins 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis titleSwiss professional tennis player, Stan Wawrinka won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in  men’s singles category by defeating Cypriot professional tennis player, Marcos Baghdatis by 6-4, 7-6 (15/13) score in the  final match played at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was his ninth straight final and his second title of the 2016 season after winning Chennai Open. It was overall 13th title of his career.

    Champions of 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title :

    Women’s Singles category : Italian professional tennis player, Sara Errani clinched 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the women’s singles category by defeating  Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic with a score of 6–0 , 6–2 in Women’s Singles final match.

    Men’s Doubles category : Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi has clinched 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the men’s doubles category by defetaing Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez from Spain with a score of 6–2, 3–6, (14–12)

    Women’s Doubles category : The Women’s pair of Chuang Chia-jung (Chinese Taipei)  and Darija Jurak (Croatia) has clinched the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the women’s doubles category. by defeating  French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic with a score of 6–4, 6–4.

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  • Twitter launches Campaign to Empower Women

     

    Twitter launches Campaign to Empower WomenTaking note from a study depicting  prevailing male dominance over both online and offline space, micro blogging site Twitter for first time has launched #Positionofstrength campaign  to empower women to raise voices against any form of discrimination.

    The campaign which has already been launched in Australia and Ireland, seeks to bridge the gender equality gap on various online social media platforms and inspire the next generation of women leaders to have an influential voice in society.

    Twitter has partnered with the FICCI Ladies’ Organisation and the Observer Research Foundation to engage more women  to find their voices online and help them to communicate safely with confidence and network with other like-minded women. 

    Twitter has introduced various other majors to empower it's users with tools to mute, block and report abusive behaviour. It has also launched its Safety Center in Hindi to ensure education and engagement of women locally to enable them to use this platform safely and with confidence.

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  • President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase of the Muziris Heritage Project 

     

    President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase of the Muziris Heritage Project President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase of the Muziris Heritage Project in Kerala that is expected to put Kerala on the international heritage map.

    The Muziris Heritage Project is the largest conservation project in the country and the first green project of the Kerala government. 

    It is supported by the Union Government and seeks to conserve ancient seaport of Muziris and showcase its culture past of 3000 years. President also launched the website of the MHP.  

    Significance : The Muziris project would open up to Indian and foreign tourists a new destination, bringing economic benefits to the people of the region as well as knowledge and enjoyment for the visitors.The project had received international attention for being India’s largest  historical reclamation project.

    Boost Trade : Muziris project will play important role in the Spice Route initiative launched by Kerala Tourism and  revive state’s historic trade ties with 41 countries of the world.

    What is Muziris ?

    Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban center in the Malabar Coast (modern day  Kerala) from at least the 1st century BC. It has  found mention in the bardic Sangam literature and a number of classical European historical sources. The port was a key to the trade between southern India and Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Roman Empire.

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  • Alok Kumar Verma takes charge as Delhi Police Commissioner

     

    Alok Kumar Verma takes charge as Delhi Police CommissionerSenior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma  has taken charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police, succeeding B S Bassi. Verma is the 20th police commissioner of Delhi Police which has strength of over 80,000 personnel. 

    Union Home Ministry approved his appointment and sent it's approval to Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for issuing the appointment order. It should be noted that he assumes charge of Delhi Police when it is battling mounting criticism over handling of the JNU row.

    IPS Alok Kumar Verma

    Verma (58)  is a 1979 batch IPS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre. Prior to this he was serving as the Director General (Prisons) of Tihar jail.

    He has served Delhi Police in number of positions as DCP (south and north east Delhi),  joint commissioner of the crime branch, joint commissioner of police, New Delhi Range, special CP (Intelligence) and special CP, vigilance.

    Why Delhi Police comes under Government of India and not under the Government of Delhi ?

    • Under article 239AA as inserted by Constitution 69th Amendment Act 1991, there are special provisions regarding the administration of Union territory of Delhi. 
    • As per this article, legislative assembly of Delhi can make laws for whole or part of the NCT of Delhi on all subjects in the State List or Concurrent List except Public Order, Police and Land.
    • The 'Public Order', and Police in Delhi, the National Capital Territory, comes under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India and not under the Government of Delhi.
    • This is the reason why Delhi Police comes under Union Home Ministry while Delhi Development Authority comes under Union Urban Development Ministry and not under the Government of Delhi.
    •  In 2015, sanctioned strength of DP was 84,536 making it one of the largest metropolitan police forces in the world. The head of the Delhi police (DP) is designated as Police Commissioner of New Delhi, who  reports to the lieutenant governor in Delhi.
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  • Resul Pookutty becomes first Asian to win Golden Reel Award 

     

    Resul Pookutty becomes first Asian to win Golden Reel Award Indian film sound designer, sound editor and mixer Resul Pookutty has made the country proud by becoming the first Asian to win the prestigious American Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) Golden Reel Award for best sound for documentary “India’s Daughter” directed by Leslee Udwin.

    India’s Daughter : It is documentary film directed by Leslee Udwin and is part of the BBC's ongoing Storyville series. It is based on the Delhi gangrape incident of December 2012. Indian Government has banned public screening airing of the documentary. 

    Facts about Resul Pookutty 

    Resul Pookutty born May 30, 1971 in Vilakkupara, Kerala is an Indian film sound designer, sound editor and mixer. He has worked in Hollywood, Hindi cinema, Tamil cinema and Malayalam Cinema.

    Awards and honours : In 2009, he along with Richard Pryke and Ian Tapp won the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing for Slumdog Millionaire. He also was awarded National Film Award for Best Audiography (2010),  Padma Shri (2010).

    Notable films : Musafir, Traffic Signal, Gandhi, My Father, Slumdog Millionaire, Highway, Unfreedom and many more.

    Golden Reel AwardThe Golden Reel Award instituted by the  Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) in 1953, recognises excellence in an array of sound editing achievement, sound effects and foley to dialogue and score integration and ADR to music.

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Current Affairs 29 Feb 2016 Feb 2016

  • President inaugurates India's first IT park by labour cooperative 

     

    President inaugurates India's first IT park by labour cooperative

    President Pranab Mukherjee inagurated "UL CyberPark" in Kozhikode, Kerala which is India’s first IT park set up by a labour cooperative society in the country.

    Unlike the state-backed IT parks in major IT hubs of the country, the IT Park in Kozhikode has been set up by a labour cooperative society, Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS).

    The UL Cyber Park is an ambitious project of ULCCS Ltd, built on 25 acre land in Nellikode in Kozhikode district at the cost of Rs. 270 crore.

    The master plan for the IT park has been prepared by world's leading architect Nikken Sikki from Japan. It is expected to provide direct employment to 4,500 persons in the first phase and indirect employment to around 20,000 people. It will export IT solutions and products to US and Europe and is eyeing a turnover of Rs 500 crore in the next five years.

    Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS)

    The ULCCS was founded by a renowned reformer Guru Vagbhatananda of north Malabar in 1925 in Vadakara, Kozhikode district by 14 members with an initial investment of 37 paise. It was established with an aim of creating job opportunities for its members. 

    In it's initial years started  taking up small works like building rural roads and minor bridgesand later it started working  in the domain areas of Global Information Systems, Health Care, Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence and Analytic etc. Kerala State Government has declared ULCCS as an “Accredited Agency” to undertake works directly without tender procedure.

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  • India, UK to collaborate on crop science for climate change

     

    India, UK to collaborate on crop science for climate change

    Department of Biotechnology under the aegis of  Ministry of Science and Technology has signed a MoU with a consortium of top UK research institutions to enhance research on crop sciences, particularly crop resilience toward climate change and capacity building.

    The consortium UK research institutions included representatives from Cambridge based National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), John Innes Centre, Norwich based University of East Anglia and Rothamsted Research Institute.

    The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security. It will also focus on the establishment of a joint India-UK Plant Science Centre.

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  • Govt gives nod to India-Maldives double taxation Agreement on airlines

     

    Govt gives nod to India-Maldives double taxation Agreement on airlinesThe Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given it's approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Maldives that will provide relief from double taxation for their airlines operating between the two countries.

    Under the agreement

    Profits from the operation of aircraft in international traffic will be taxed in one country alone, the taxing right is conferred upon the country to which the enterprise belongs.

    Under the agreement airlines operating from India will be exempted from income derived from the operation of aircraft in international traffic in Maldives  and vice-versa.

    The Agreement will provide tax certainty for airline enterprises of India and Maldives. The pact further provides for a mutual agreement procedure for resolving any difficulties or doubts arising as to the interpretation or application of the pact.

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  • Ex-DRDO DG Dr Avinash Chander awarded Aryabhata Award

     

    Ex-DRDO DG Dr Avinash Chander awarded Aryabhata Award

    Avinash Chander, former Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Director General of the DRDO,  has been awarded prestigious Aryabhata Award of Astronautical Society of India in recognition for his contribution to missile technology.

    He was presented with this award  from R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Govt. of India and A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman ISRO during the ASI-ISRO Awards function held at Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad.

    Avinash Chander

    Avinash Chander is the key architect of India's long range missile program ranging from 300 km (A1) to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile A5. His work on defence technologies & defence systems in general, and development of variety of missile capabilities in particular has made India self reliant in many vital areas of defence.

    Avinash Chander is an Electrical Engineering  graduate from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and subsequently did his MS in Spatial Information Technology and Doctorate from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad.

    He joined DRDO in 1972, immediately after passing out from IIT, Delhi and retired in 2015 after completion of 42 years of distinguished service. He had served as DG of DRDO from 2013 to 2015. He also had served as Scientific Adviser to the Union Defence Minister.

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  • Kerala declared as the first digital state of the country

     

    Kerala declared as the first digital state of the countryPresident Pranab Mukherjee hailed  the achievements of Kerala in e-governance and declared the state to be the first "digital state" of India. It was announced by President after launching a digital empowerment campaign of state at a function to be held in Kozhikkode.

    Digitalization in Kerala :

    There has been rapid digital strides in Kerala since past few years as:-

    (i) The state has achieved 100 percent mobile connectivity.

    (ii) 75 percent e-literacy. 

    (iii) Broadband connectivity in the Panchayat level. 

    (iv) Highest record of digital banking .

    (v) Bank accounts linked to Aadhar card and e-governance in all districts.

    Digitalization in Kerala is the result of combined efforts from government and various social organizations in the state. The state has successfully linked its villages with broadband connectivity under the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) programme.

    Apart from NOFN, the state government has launched  two digital projects Akshaya and IT@School  in 2002. Under these projects more than 2,500 Akshaya centres are functioning in rural and urban areas which have helped to generate awareness about e-governance and digital connectivity.

    Kerala has over 600 e-governance applications covering almost all departments of the state. It has a mobile reach of 95 percent and Internet access covering over 60 percent of its total population  - the highest among all the 29 states.

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  • BK Garudachar, India's Oldest Cricketer Passes Away

     

    BK Garudachar, India's Oldest Cricketer Passes AwayIndia’s oldest first class cricketer from the pre-independence era Bindiganavile Krishnaswamy Garudachar (99),  passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

    He had represented Mysore, United province and Bombay first class cricket matches. He was a right-arm leg-spin bowler who played right-handed and played for several teams in Indian domestic cricket.

    About BK Garudachar

    He was born as Bindiganavile Krishnaswamy Iyengar Garudachar  in Chikmagalur district, Karnataka on January 13, 1917. He made his first-class debut in November 1935, playing for Mysore against Madras  in the 1935–36 edition of the Ranji Trophy.

    During his entire first-class cricket career spanning between 1935 and 1946, Garudachar made a tally of 1,126 runs with an average of 29.53 holding 1 century and seven fifties and as a bowler he took 100 wickets at 26.20 average.

    He had captained Mysore team in Ranji Trophy. His best figures were 11 wickets for 62 runs when  Mysore won their first Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad during the 1941- 42 season.

    In the last match of his career he appeared for the Cricket Club of India against a touring Commonwealth XI in October 1950.  

    After retiring from playing, Garudachar remained involved with the Mysore State Cricket Association  (Now Karnataka State Cricket Association) in administrative roles.

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  • 28 February: National Science Day

     

    28 February: National Science DayNational Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February every year. This day marks the epoch-making discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928. For this discovery, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.

    National science day is celebrated as one of the main science festivals in India  every year by organising science exhibitions, seminars, workshops, symposiums and many other activities.

    Significance of National Science Day : It is celebrated every year to widely spread a message about the significance of scientific applications in the daily life of the people and impart scientific temper in the minds of people of all age groups. 

    Theme for year 2016 : The theme of the year 2016 is on "Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation" that aims at raising public appreciation. 

    What is Raman effect ?

    Raman effect depicts the change in  the wavelength of light that occurs when a light beam is deflected by molecules.  When a beam of light traverses a dust-free, transparent sample of a chemical compound, a small fraction of the light emerges in directions other than that of the incident (incoming) beam. Most of this scattered light is of unchanged wavelength. 

    A small part, however, has wavelengths different from that of the incident light, this phenomenon of scattering of light is termed as Raman Scattering and the cause of scattering is called the Raman Effect.

    Background : In 1986, National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) proposed the Union Government to assign February 28 as the ‘National Science Day’ for India which got it's approval after 4 years and the first National Science Day was celebrated on February 28, 2000. 

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Current Affairs 27 Feb 2016 Feb 2016

  • Union Cabinet approves incentivise cashless transactions

     

    Union Cabinet approves incentivise cashless transactionsThe Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved several steps to promote cashless transactions, which include mandatory card-based or electronic payments. 

    To promote cashless transactions, the govt has approved various short and medium term measures which would be implemented by the Government Departments, Ministries and Organisations. Some of the measures are :-

    1. Withdrawal of any additional charge currently imposed on card or digital payments by various government entities.
    2. Introduction of the required infrastructure for digital payments in all government offices.
    3. Rationalisation of the merchant discount rate (MDR) on card transactions and telecom service charges for digital financial transactions to promote mobile banking.

    Importance of  cashless transactions

    Promotion of payments through cards and digital means will minimize tax avoidance and migration of Government payments and collections to cashless mode.With this decision, the government has completed its promise for such measures made in the 2015 Budget as one way to curb the flow of black money is to discourage cash transactions.

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  • Mumbai wins Ranji Trophy for 41st time

     

    Mumbai wins Ranji Trophy for 41st timeMumbai clinched the Ranji Trophy for a season 2015-16 by defeating Saurashtra by an innings and 21 runs in the final match played a Gahunje Stadium of Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune, Mumbai. 

    With this victory Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy for a record 41st time. Chandrakant Pandit, is the coach of Mumbai, it was his third title as a coach, having previously guided Mumbai to successive victories in 2002-04.

    Shreyas Iyer of Mumbai was declared man of the match as he scored 117 runs in the match. He ended the season as the leading run-getter with 1321 runs at 73.38 including four centuries and seven fifties. Shardul Thakur carried out the demolition job by taking five wickets for 26 runs in 13.2 overs.

    About Ranji Trophy

    Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional cricket associations. The competition currently consists of 27 teams  which include 21 states (of 29 Indian states) and Delhi (UT). The competition is named after first Indian Cricketer who played for England and Sussex, Ranjitsinhji who was also known as "Ranji".

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  • Yes Bank wins inaugural Green Bond Award in UK

     

    Yes Bank wins inaugural Green Bond Award in UKIndia's leading private lender Yes Bank has been awarded inaugural Green Bond Pioneer Award at a ceremony held in London, United Kingdom. Yes Bank was recognised for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market including successful issuance of India’s first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds.

    Yes Bank Green Bond Initiatives 

     1. Yes Bank was the first Indian Bank to issue Green Infrastructure Bonds in India. In 2015, Yes Bank had issued India's first-ever Green Infrastructure Bonds for Rs 1,000 crore (USD 160 million).

    2. The proceeds of the bond in YES BANK's Green Bonds, will be used to fund Renewable Energy projects including solar power and wind power projects.

    3. Recently, Yes Bank along with International Finance Corporation (IFC) has opened trading of the world's first Green Masala Bond worth Rs 3.15 billion listed on the London Stock Exchange.

    What are green bonds?

    Defination of Bond : A bond is a debt instrument with which an entity raises money from investors. The issuer of the bond gets capital while the investors receive fixed income in the form of interest. When the bond matures, the money is repaid.

    In case of Green Bonds, the issuer gets capital from the investors only if the investment (capital) is being raised to fund green projects relating to renewable energy or emission reductions etc.

    Green Bond Pioneer Award

    The Green Bond Pioneer Awards for 'Pioneers in Emerging Markets-India' were organised under the aegis of  Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI). The award was launched to increase awareness on green bonds in the global investor and corporate community and also to acknowledge global leadership in the sector. CBI is an international non-profit investor focused on mobilising the US 100 trillion dollars green bond market for climate change solutions.

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  • Michael Pesch appointed as CEO of Infosys Consulting Holding

     

    Michael Pesch appointed as CEO of Infosys Consulting HoldingIndia's second-largest software exporter Infosys has appointed Michael Pesch as the new head of its consulting business Infosys Consulting Holding, formerly Infosys Lodestone). 

    In his new role Pesch will focus on expanding the reach of Infosys consultants and experts in digital transformation and design-led innovation, as well as increasing Infosys’ expertise in large-scale SAP programmes.

    Pesch will also be responsible for Infosys' consulting practice in Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific Region, and will also work as Regional Head DACH Countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). 

    Prior to his appointment, he was working as Chief Executive Officer of arvato Systems Group, where he successfully established new cloud oriented services and led fourfold growth of consulting and IT services business across Europe, U.S. and China.

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  • Yoichiro Ueno appointed as President and CEO of Honda cars India

     

    Yoichiro Ueno appointed as President and CEO of Honda cars IndiaJapanese auto major Honda Motor Co has appointed Yoichiro Ueno as new President and CEO of its Indian operations. He will replace Katsushi Inoue who has been elevated to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company for Regional Operations (Europe region). 

    Prior to this appointment he has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. since January 2011.

    Previously, he has also worked as the Assistant Vice President of Automobile Sales of American Honda Motor Co Inc where he was involved in the overall planning and coordination of sales and marketing in the US market.

    He has been associated with Honda Motor Co for over 30 years and worked with the company in markets outside Japan like New Zealand and Thailand. He also had worked with overseas division and countries such as Asia and Oceania, China and North America.

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  • Union Government appoints 3 Information commissioners of CIC

     

    Union Government appoints 3 Information commissioners of CICThe Union Government has appointed three retired civil servants as information commissioners at the Central Information Commission (CIC). It is for the first time that CIC has full strength of the chief and 10 information commissioners because right from 2005 when the commission was set up under the right to information law, the CIC has lived with vacancies. Their appointments have been made for a term of five years or till they turn 65.

    The appointees are :-

    1. Amitava Bhattacharyya : Retired IAS officer of Gujarat cadre, 1980 batch. He had served Chairman of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

    2. Bimal Julka : He is a retired IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh, 1979 batch. He had served as Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

    3. Divya Prakash Sinha: He is retired IPS officer of 1979 of Manipur-Tripura cadre. He has served as Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat.

    About Central Information Commission

    The Central Information Commission (CIC) is a statutory authorised body set up under the Right to Information Act, 2005. It is designated  to act upon complaints from those individuals who have not been able to submit information requests to a Central Public Information Officer  or State Public Information Officer  due to either the officer not having been appointed or the request was rejected.

    The Commission includes 1 Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and not more than 10 Information Commissioners (IC) who are appointed by the President of India.

    • Appointment:  Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and  Information Commissioners (IC)  are appointed  by  the  President  on  the  recommendation  of  a selection committee comprising of Prime Minister as Chairperson, the leader of single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha and a Union Cabinet Minister nominated by the Prime Minister. 
    • Service Tenure: Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and  Information Commissioners (IC) are appointed for a term of 5 years or till they attains the age of 65. The Chief Information Commissioner is not eligible for reappointment. 
  •  
  • Italian writer Umberto Eco passes away

     

    Italian writer Umberto Eco passes awayThe Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco, best known for his historical mystery novel "The Name of the Rose" passed away in Milan, Italy at the age of 84 years. His novel "The Name of the Rose" was made into a film in 1986 starring Scottish actor Sean Connery.

    About Umberto Eco

    Born on 5 January 1932 in Alessandria, north-west Italy. He began writing stories at the age of 10 or 12. His wanted him to study law and become a lawyer but he entered the University of Turin to take up medieval philosophy and literature.

    After he finished his doctoral thesis, he lectured at his alma mater and at the same time worked as a cultural editor for the state broadcasting station Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) .

    He was founder of the Dipartimento di Comunicazione (Department of Media Studies) at the University of the Republic of San Marino. He was also professor emeritus and chairman of the Higher School of Humanities of the University of Bologna. 

    Books authored : The Name of the Rose,  Foucault's Pendulum,The Island of the Day Before, The Prague Cemetery e.t.c

  •  
  • US writer Harper Lee passes away

     

    US writer Harper Lee passes awayAmerican novelist, Harper Lee, whose 1961 novel To Kill a Mockingbird won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic of modern American literature, passed away at the age of 89. Her book was bestseller during 1961 as more than 40 million copies of her novel were sold. The novel tells the story of justice and race in a small Southern town .

    About Harper Lee

    She was born as Nelle Harper Lee on  April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. Harper Lee was her pen name. She was widely known for her most acclaimed novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". In 2015, nearly 55 years after her first novel was published she had released its sequel, Go Set a Watchman. 

    Her novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" was  adopted as movie which bagged  Academy Award (Oscars) for best picture in 1963 while Gregory Peck, who played role of Atticus in the movie was named best actor. 

    Awards and Honours: Pulitzer Prize (1961) and Presidential Medal of Freedom (2007) for her contribution to literature.

  •  
  • ISRO to set up Satellite Centre in Vietnam

     

    ISRO to set up Satellite Centre in VietnamIndian Space Research Organization (ISRO)  is working towards the establishment of a Satellite Tracking & Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility in Vietnam for ASEAN Member countries. The facility is being established as part of Space Cooperation between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    Facts about the establishment :

    1. This facility is intended to acquire and process Indian Remote Sensing Satellite data pertaining to ASEAN region and disseminate to ASEAN Member countries. 

    2. Under this initiative, all ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam will be allowed to access processed remote sensing data pertaining to their country. 

    3. Ground facility is designed in such a way that it will not allow Indian data to be accessed and processed by the system. 

  •  
  • 13th World Spice Congress begins in Ahmedabad

     

    13th World Spice Congress begins in Ahmedabad13th World Spice Congress begins in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It aims to frame credible and actionable roadmap to further push the growth of spices industry and address its challenges across the globe. This edition of event will be attended by more than 1,000 participants including domestic and overseas delegate, sponsors and exhibitors.

    Theme for 13th World Spice Congress :  'Target 2020: Clean, Safe and Sustainable Supply Chain', 

    13th WSC has been jointly organized by the Spices Board, Cochin Hill Produce Merchants’ Association, and India Pepper and Spice Trade Association. It is supported by All India Spices Importers & Distributors Association and Indian Spices & Foodstuff Exporters’ Association.

    Spices constitute the only Indian exports where the country controls almost half of world trade. Out of the total production of spices in India, 15 per cent is exported, contributing 48 per cent in volume and 43 per cent in value in the world spice trade.

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Current Affairs 26 Feb 2016 Feb 2016

  • E-Tourist Visa Scheme extended to 37 more countries

     

    E-Tourist Visa Scheme extended to 37 more countries

    Ministry Of Home Affairs has extend e-tourist visa scheme to 37 more nations thus taking the total number of beneficiary countries under the scheme to 150.

    The countries added in the latest round of e-Tourist Visa scheme are :  Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    What is E-Tourist Visa Scheme ?

    e-Tourist Visa Scheme (tourist visa on arrival) enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), was launched on November 27, 2014. The e-Tourist Visa Scheme facilitates pre-authorization of Visa .

    Under the scheme,  an applicant registers for visa online and receives an email authorising him or her to travel to India after it is approved and he or she can travel with a print-out of this authorisation.  On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorization to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.

    Facts and figures : Over 7.5 lakh visas have been issued since the e-tourist visa scheme was launched. Currently on an average, 3,500 e-Tourist Visas are being granted daily to foreign nationals. Till now the scheme has been extended to 113 countries at 16 Indian airports designated for providing e-Tourist visa service.

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  • Lok Sabha passes Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016

     

    Lok Sabha passes Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016

    The Lok Sabha has passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 that seek to grant voting rights to people in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal who became citizens of the country following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

    Under the 2015 Act, enclaves were exchanged between India and Bangladesh.  Enclaves are territories belonging to one country that are entirely surrounded by another country.  India transferred 111 enclaves to Bangladesh, and received 51 enclaves from Bangladesh on July 31, 2015

    Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 :

     (A) The bill seeks to amend two electoral laws : (i) Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950  (ii) Delimitation Act, 2002, since these two acts regulates the allocation of seats to the Lok Sabha and state legislatures and decides the boundaries of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies.

    (B) The Bills aims to empower the Election Commission to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015. 

    (C) The RPA, 1950 and Delimitation Act, 2002  provide the Election Commission the responsibility to maintain up-to-date delimitation orders.  Delimitation orders specify the boundaries of territorial constituencies. 

    The Bill gives additional powers and responsibilities to ECI. It states that the Election Commission may amend the delimitation order to (i) Include in the relevant constituencies the Bangladeshi enclaves that were transferred to India. (ii) Exclude of relevant constituencies in the Indian enclaves that were transferred to Bangladesh.

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  • Rajendra Singh appointed as the DG of Coast Guard

     

    Rajendra Singh becomes first non-navy officer to be appointed as DG of Coast GuardThe government has appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General (DG) of Coast Guard, the country’s coastal protection force. This is the first time that an officer who is not from the Indian Navy has been promoted as the Chief of  Coast Guard since it was set up in 1978. 

    Traditionally top post was only held by three-star Naval officer. Decision in this regard was made by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet. He will replace Vice Admiral HCS Bisht who has been promoted as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command.

    About Rajendra Singh

     (A) Rajendra Singh is 1980 batch officer of the Indian Coast Guard. He is currently serving as the Additional Director General (ADG) of the Coast Guard. He was the first from the Coast Guard cadre to be elevated to three-star officer when the defence ministry approved his apppointment to his currnt post in in 2013. 

    (B) Before that officers of the Coast Guard could only rise to two-star rank.He has commanded each class of Coast Guard Ship in service, which includes the Interceptor Boat, Inshore Patrol Vessel, Fast Patrol Vessel, Offshore Patrol Vessel and Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel. 

    (C) During early 1980s, when smuggling in Indian waters was at its peak, he was actively involved in apprehending numerous maritime economic offenders. He has impeccable track record in the field of Operations, Administration, HR and Policy and Plans as well.

    Awards : He was awarded the Tatrakshak Medal (TM) by the President on Aug 15, 2002, in recognition of his distinguished service.

    About Indian Coast Guard

    The Indian Coast Guard is India’s statutory multi-mission paramilitary organization that  protects India's maritime interests and enforces maritime law, with jurisdiction over the territorial waters of India, including its contiguous zone and exclusive economic zone. It was established on 18 August, 1978 by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India as an independent Armed force of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.

    • Established- 18 August, 1978 
    • Headquarters- New Delhi
    • Motto- We Shall Protect
  •  
  • WTO rules against india in solar case

     

    WTO rules against india in solar caseIndia has lost solar case against United States at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) ruled that India's domestic content requirement for National Solar Mission (NSM) were inconsistent with the international norms and discriminated against imported solar technology. 

    It should be noted that this was the second case where India has lost against the US in WTO. In June this year, India lost a case when the WTO ruled that the Indian ban on import of poultry meat, eggs and live pigs from the US was inconsistent with the global norms.

    What is this case about ?

    On January 11, 2010, India launched its national solar policy "Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission" with an ambitious target of generating 20,000 Mega Watts of solar power by 2022. 

    The US companies saw this as a great business opportunity for them but there was a hurdle for them as beside generating huge solar power the National Solar Mission also aimed at boosting the domestic solar industry therefore it was having certian clauses to promote domestic solar Industries so United States dragged India to WTO’s DSB in 2013 alleging that India's programme appears to discriminate against the US solar equipment by requiring solar energy producers to use locally manufactured cells and by offering subsidies to those developers who use domestic equipment.

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  • Goverdhan Mehta awarded Germany’s Cross of the Order of Merit

     

    Goverdhan Mehta awarded Germany’s Cross of the Order of MeritDr. Goverdhan Mehta, chemical scientist  and a well known researcher in Chemical Sciences has been conferred with Germany’s prestigious Cross of the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) Award. The award was bestowed upon him by Achim Fabig, the German Consul General in Chennai.

    About Goverdhan Mehta

     (A) Dr. Goverdhan Mehta, was born on June 26, 1943, in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.  He has served as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH), from 1994 to 1998. He also had served as the Director of the IISc, Bengaluru (1998 to 2005) and was also President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). 

    (B) Goverdhan Mehta is former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) from 1994 to 1998. He has authored more than 400 research papers. He also had served as the Director of the IISc, Bengaluru (1998 to 2005) and was also President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). 

    (C) Currently he is National Research Professor and Lilly-Jubilant Chair Professor at the University of Hyderabad. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

    About Cross of the Order of Merit

    Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany which is also known as Bundesverdienstkreuz (in German) was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951.

    It is bestowed upon both Germans and foreigners for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work. It is the highest tribute paid to individuals for achievements in economic, social political or intellectual segment.

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  • Union Cabinet approves USD150 million Credit for Chabahar Port Development

     

     Union Cabinet approves USD150 million Credit for Chabahar Port DevelopmentThe Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the proposal of the Ministry of Shipping for provision and operationalisation of credit of USD 150 million from EXIM Bank for development of the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran.

    The cabinet has also authorised the Shipping Ministry to form a company in Iran for implementing the Chabahar Port Development Project.

    In 2003, India and Tehran had agreed to develop Chabahar Port located off Iran's south eastern coast bordering with Pakistan but the project was delayed due to sanctions imposed over Iran’s atomic programme but in May 2015, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had visited Tehran where India and Iran signed a pact to develop the Chabahar port. 

    Importance of Chabahar Port

     (A) The Chabahar Port will facilitate the growing trade and investment with Iran and other countries in the region, notably Afghanistan and  provide opportunities to Indian companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in the region.

     (B) The port will imporove  Afghanistan’s overall connectivity to the global world and boost its on-going reconstruction and humanitarian efforts. India will get unhindered sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan which open windows for new avenues.

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  • Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee sworn-in as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court

     

    Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee sworn-in as Chief Justice of Karnataka High CourtJustice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee has sworn-in as the 28th Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka High Court. Governor Vajubhai R. Vala administered the oath to Mr. Mukherjee in a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan as per the provisions laid down in Article 219 of the Indian Constitution. Prior to this appointment, he was officiating as Acting Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka since June 2015.

    About Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee

    Mukherjee, who is a sixth-generation lawyer in his family was born on October 10, 1955. He obtained MA, LLB, from the University of Calcutta and started his legal profession in 1982 as an advocate and practiced in civil and writ matters. 

    He was elevated as Permanent Judge of the High Court of Calcutta on September 15, 2000 and transferred as Judge to High Court of Karnataka in April 2015.

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  • Cabinet approves setting up of Atal Innovation Mission 

     

    Cabinet approves setting up of Atal Innovation Mission Central Government has given its approval for establishing  Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog, which will encourage innovations and entrepreneurship in the country. AIM and SETU would be established with an initial sum of Rs 500 crore and Rs 1,000 crore, respectively. 

    Establishment of AIM and AIM Directorate would result in implementation of Mission activities in a focussed manner. It's headquarter will be New Delhi. NITI Aayog will hire Mission Director and other appropriate manpower. 

    Government’s intention to establish the AIM and a mechanism to be known as SETU in NITI Aayog was announced during finance budget speech 2015-16, As a follow up of Budget announcement, NITI Aayog constituted an Expert Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship under the Chairmanship of Prof. Tarun Khanna. 

    Background : Union Finance Minister in his Budget Speech 2015-16 had announced the Government’s intention to establish the AIM and a mechanism to be known as SETU in NITI Aayog. The Committee in its report made wide ranging recommendations for the short-term, medium-term and long-term. The Committee also emphasized the need to establish clear systems to monitor implementation, execution, and impact. 

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  • RBI extends Currency Swap Arrangement with SAARC nations

     

    RBI extends Currency Swap Arrangement with SAARC nationsRBI has extended the USD 2 billion currency swap arrangement to SAARC nations till mid-November 2017 with an aim to enhance economic cooperation and strengthen financial stability. The SAARC Swap Arrangement was offered by the RBI to SAARC nations on November 15, 2012.

    Under the arrangement, RBI is to offer swap arrangement up to an overall amount of USD 2 billion dollars both in foreign currency and Indian rupee. The facility will be available to all SAARC member countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    What is a Currency Swap? 

    A currency swap  is a foreign exchange derivative between two institutions that involves exchange of principal and interest in one currency for the same in another currency. For example a company based in Japan need to Indian Rupees and an company based in India needs to acquire Japanese yen than these two companies can sign swap currencies arrangement by establishing an interest rate, agreed upon amount along with a common maturity date for the exchange.

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Current Affairs 25 Feb 2016 Feb 2016

  • Tamil film Kanavu Variyam Wins Remi Award at 49th WorldFest

     

    Tamil film Kanavu Variyam Wins Remi Award at 49th WorldFest

    Tamil film Kanavu Variyam directed by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram,  has won the prestigious 2016 Remi Award at the 49th WorldFest Houston International, held in US

    The film is about the most familiar problem faced by people in Tamil Nadu: incessant power cuts and shortage of electricity faced by the folks of rural India. The film stars Jiya as the lead character and the music is by Shyam Benjamin.

    The award will be handed over to Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival that will be held from 8 to 17 April, 2016. Chidambaram, was earlier working with a multi-national company in the  but abandoned his lucrative job to follow his passion – movies.

    The song Kalla Manna of the film has been accepted for screening at the “Bare Bones International and Music Festival in Oklahoma. It has a compilation of 51 traditional games of rural India.

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  • Khajuraho Dance Festival begins in Madhya Pradesh

     

    Khajuraho Dance Festival begins in Madhya PradeshThe 42nd Khajuraho Dance Festival has began in the temple town of Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. It is a one-week-long festival of classical dances, organised by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad against the spectacular backdrop of the magnificently lit Khajuraho temples. The Khajuraho Dance Festival is conducted every year from Feb 20th to Feb 26th.

    The festival will showcase various Indian classical dance styles, including Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kuchipudi, depicting the ancient tales like - 'Mahishasur Mardini' and 'Krishna Rasa,'.

    Modern Indian dance has also been added recently.The dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

    Khajuraho Temple : It is a group of Hindu and Jain Temples in Madhya Pradesh build between 950 and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty. They are one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.

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  • Rare Falcated Duck sighted in Goa

     

    Rare Falcated Duck sighted in GoaThe birders of Goa for first time have sighted Falcated Duck, a very rare vagrant migrant bird species to the south of India. The bird, Falcated Duck, was sighted by three local birders-Justino Rebello, Manjo Sankav and Mangrish Dharwardkar when they had gone to Ambulor Lake in Verna in south Goa. It was sighted for the first time in Tamil Nadu in 2012 and second time in Akola (Maharashtra) in January 2015.

    About Falcated Duck

    Falcated ducks is a migratory bird, they are regular winter migrant to the northern states of India. India."They breed in Russia and north China in summers and migrates towards north of India in winter.

    As per the recent estimates there are just about 89,000 individuals of this species. They have been classified as near threatened by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    The greatest threat faced by this species globally is the loss of habitat and hunting. Loss of habitat in their winter migratory region is also a cause for concern.

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  • India to host 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation

     

    India to host 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger ConservationIndia is all set to host the third edition of the Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation from 12 April 2016 to save tigers. The first edition of Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation was held in Hua Hin, Thailand in 2010 and second edition was held in Thimphu, Bhutan in 2013.

    The conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will see the participation of all 13 tiger range countries (TRCs) which are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation

    The meeting aims at promoting awareness about tiger conservation across Asia and the world. The participating countries will share their knowledge of tiger conservation and help each other through exchange of success stories in conserving tigers. 

    The conference will make way for bringing desired momentum and cooperative efforts for tiger conservation at the global level. It will bind the participating countries in a long term collaboration, in order to save and conserve tigers better.

    Tiger population in India 

    India is home to around 70 percent of the global tiger population. India's tiger count has risen up to 2,226 from 1,912 in the last few years. State-wise, Karnataka has the highest number of tigers (406) followed by Uttarakhand (340), Madhya Pradesh (308), Tamil Nadu (229), Maharashtra (190), Assam (167), Kerala (136) and Uttar Pradesh (117). 

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  • India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant ready for operations

     

    India’s first nuclear submarine INS Arihant ready for operationsIndia's first  indigenously-built nuclear armed submarine "INS Arihant nuclear missile submarine" is now ready for full fledged operations,  having passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests.  

    These successful tests undertaken off Vishakhapatnam coast where the submarine was build. A Russian diving support ship  "the RFS Epron" has been accompanying the Arihant on its deep sea dives and launch tests.

    About INS Arihant

    INS Arihant which means  "Slayer of Enemies" was launched on 26 July 2009, the anniversary of Vijay Diwas (Kargil War Victory Day) by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh.

    Design : INS Arihant’s design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine. It is a 6,000-tonne nuclear powered submarine and is 112 metre long. It is powered by 83 MW pressurised light water reactor built with Russia’s help. This reactor generates tremendous heat, driving a steam turbine. 

    Armament : It is capable of launching twelve short range nuclear-capable ballistic missile BO-5 (K 15) which has a range of 700 kms and four K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.

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  • Former CJI HL Dattu selected as new Chairman of NHRC

     

    Former CJI HL Dattu selected as new Chairman of NHRCFormer Chief Justice of India Justice H L Dattu has been selected as the next Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He will have a tenure of five years. 

    Approval in this regard was given by committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the post was lying vacant for the last eight months after the retirement of K G Balakrishnan. 

    Legal provision :  As per the provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, the Chairman  and members of the NHRC are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the high-powered committee headed by the Prime Minister.

    About H. L. Dattu :

    Born as Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu on 3 December 1950  in Chikmagalur in then Mysore State.  Dattu was enrolled as an advocate in 1975 in Bangalore where  dealt with all types of matters like criminal, civil, tax and Constitutional cases. 

    From 1983 onwards he appeared in various capacities before the Karnataka High Court including as government pleader for sales tax department, standing counsel for Income Tax department and later as government advocate.

    He was designated as a senior standing counsel for I-T department in 1995 and later elevated as a judge of the Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court in February 2007 and later was shifted in the same capacity to the Kerala High Court. He was 42nd Chief Justice of India and served for nearly 14 months, from 28 September 2014 to 2 December 2015.

    National Human Rights Commission of India

    The National Human Rights Commission  apex statutory watchdog of human rights in the country, i.e. the rights related to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the international convents.

    • Headquarters- New Delhi
    • Formed- 12th October 1993
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  • Prasar Bharati signs historical MoU with  Empressa de Brazil Communicacao

     

    Prasar Bharati signs historical MoU with  Empressa de Brazil Communicacao

    India's largest public broadcasting agency Prasar Bharati has signed a MoU with Empressa de Brazil Communicacao (EBC) regarding several broadcasting activities including exchange of news, programmes and co-production.

    The MoU was signed between PrasarBharati Chief Executive Officer JawharSircar and EBC Vice President Mr Mario in Brasilia, Brazil. The MoU is gains significance as it is the first agreement that Prasar Bharati has signed with any South American country. 

    MoU includes : The MoU includes long list of Indian programmes to be broadcast on EBC network including documentaries, science programs, serials and Portuguese programs from Goa.

    Prasar Bharati

    It is India's largest public broadcasting agency.  It is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan Television Network and All India Radio which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

    • Current chairperson of Prasar Bharati - Dr A Surya Prakash
    • Current  CEO of Prasar Bharati - Jawhar Sircar
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  • Kalikho Pul sworn in as new chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh

     

    Congress leader Kalikho Pul  has been sworn-in as the 9th Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh after Governor JP Rajkhowa used his discretionary powers to appoint him. was administered the oath by governor KP Rajkhowa at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan in Itanagar. Kalikho Pul has the support of 32 MLAs including the Congress rebels, BJP legislators and 2 independent legislators.

    Earlier Kalikho Pul was in Congress Party and had served as State Finance Minister in the ministry of Chief Minister Gegong Apang from 2003 until 2007. He belongs to the Kaman Mishmi community, which has about 2,500 members in Anjaw district, which shares the international boundary with China

    Background

    In December 2015, 21 out of 47 ruling Congress legislators in the 60-member house had rebelled along with 11 BJP and 2 independent legislators and extended support to Kalikho Pul to form new government.

    On January 25, President’s Rule was imposed following a report from governor Rajkhowa that the law and order situation in the state had deteriorated and that there was no government in existence there was lot of contoroversy regarding it's constitutional validity and congress approached the Supreme Court and the President’s Rule in the state was lifted after the Supreme Court vacated its interim order to maintain status quo in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly.

  •  

Current Affairs 24 Feb 2016 Feb 2016

  • Long jumper Prem Kumar wins silver in Asian Indoor Athletics

     

    Long jumper Prem Kumar wins silver in Asian Indoor Athletics

    India's Kumaravel Prem Kumar has clinched  silver medal in long jump on the final day of Asian Indoor Athletics Championship held in Doha. Prem Kumar cleared a creditable 7.92m in his final attempt to win the silver while Zhang Yaoguang of China won the gold with a best effort of 7.99m. 

    India’s Om Prakash Singh Karhana won  bronze in shot put by clearing a distance of 18.77m. With this, India has won 1 Gold medal, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals in this edition of Asian Indoor Athletics Championships. The 2017 Asian Athletics (Outdoor) Championship will be held Ranchi (Jharkhand), India.

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  • KN Vyas appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

     

    KN Vyas appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research CentreDistinguished scientist K N Vyas  has been appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the country's premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research centre for a term of three years.

    His appointment was approved by The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. He succeeds Shekar Basu, who was appointed as Atomic Energy Secretary and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in October 2015.

    Vyas, has made outstanding contributions in the area of design and development of a novel fuel. He is a recipient of the Science and Technical Excellence awards. He is currently working as the associate director at BARC.

    Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)

    The BARC is India's premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai. It is a multi-disciplinary research centre with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development covering the entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas. BARC’s core mandate is to sustain peaceful applications of nuclear energy, primarily for power generation.

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  • Justice Vineet Saran appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court

     

    Justice Vineet Saran appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High CourtPresident Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Justice Vineet Saran as the new Chief Justice of Orissa (Odisha) High Court as per the provisions laid down in the Article 217 of the Indian Constitution. Prior to this appointment, Justice Saran was officiating in Karnataka High Court as a senior judge.

    The post of Orissa (Odisha) Chief Justice was vacant since 15 February 2016 since transfer of Justice D H Waghela as CJ of Bombay High Court. Justice Pradeep K. Mohanty  was officiating as Acting CJ of Orissa High Court.

    About Justice Vineet Saran

    Saran  was born on 11 May 1957 and graduated from Allahabad University in 1976 and obtained LL.B in 1979.  In 1980, he had enrolled as an advocate with the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council and practiced in Allahabad High Court. 

    He was promoted as a permanent judge of the Allahabad High Court on 14 February 2002. In February 2015, he was transferred to Karnataka High Court in the same capacity.

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  • Udai Kumar appointed as full-time MD and CEO of MSEI

     

    Udai Kumar appointed as full-time MD and CEO of MSEIMetropolitan Stock Exchange of India Ltd, formerly known as MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) of India Ltd, has appointed Udai Kumar as managing director and chief executive on a permanent basis after approval from SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) after stringent shortlisting process and interviews by the Selection Committee.

    Earlier, he was given an interim charge at the helm of affairs at Metropolitan Stock Exchange after then MD and CEO Saurabh Sarkar had resigned. He has over two decades of rich experience in stock exchange administration, fund-raising, capital markets, restructuring and merger and acquisition functions.

    About Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) Ltd 

    Metropolitan Stock Exchange Of India Ltd. (MSEI)  formerly MCX Stock Exchange Ltd. (MCX-SX), is India’s youngest and one of the three stock exchanges recognized by country’s securities market regulator - SEBI. 

    It offers an electronic, transparent and hi-tech platform for trading in Capital Market, Futures & Options, Currency Derivatives, Interest Rate Futures (IRF) and Debt Market segments.

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  • FC Dnipro Reserves clinched 2016 Sait Nagjee Trophy 

     

    FC Dnipro Reserves clinched 2016 Sait Nagjee Trophy Ukraine’s FC Dnipro Reserves has won the 2016  Sait Nagjee International Club Football Tournament by defeating Brazilian FC Atletico Paranaense by 3-0 goals, in summit clash played at the EMS Corporation stadium at Kozhikode (Kerala). With this victory, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk became first European team to win this prestigious Football tournament held in India.

    Teams Participated
    Team      Country
    FC Dnipro Reserves   Ukraine
    1860 Munchen II    Germany
    Argentina U23 Argentina
    Atletico Paranaense Reserves Brazil
    Volyn Lutsk Ukraine
    Rapid Bucuresti  Romania
    Shamrock Rovers   Republic of Ireland
    Watford Reserves England

     

    2016 Sait Nagjee International Club Football Tournament

    The 2016 Sait Nagjee Trophy was the 36th edition of the Sait Nagjee Football Tournament and the first edition of the tournament since 1995 since it was stopped. In this edition, total 8 clubs from Latin America, Germany and Europe had participated. This tournament was organized by the Kozhikode District Football Association (KDFA), and was held in Kozhikode, Kerala, India, from 5 February to 21 February 2016. The tournament was established in 1952 and since then it was very popular and had attracted large crowd.

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  • Indian-origin Sikh appointed Kuala Lumpur police chief

     

    Indian-origin Sikh appointed Kuala Lumpur police chief

    An Indian-origin Sikh officer Amar Singh has been appointed the Police Commissioner of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur. With this he becomes first person of Indian origin (PIO) and first Malaysian Sikh to achieve the highest police rank in the Muslim-majority country. He is a third-generation policeman from his family.

    He will succeed Tajuddin Mohamed who has been transferred to federal headquarters as the Deputy Director of commercial CID. Prior to this appointment, he was serving as deputy director of CID. 

    Facts to know about Amar Singh :

    Amar's father Ishar Singh  joined the Federated Malay States Police in 1939, a year after coming to Malaya from Punjab. He was a pioneer member of the police jungle squad established during the Emergency. His maternal grandfather Bachan Singh was a constable who joined the force in the early 1900s. He had graduated in B.Sc from University of Malaya and also did his LLB from the University of Buckingham, UK. He also holds Diploma in Sharia Law. 

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  • Pak parliament becomes first in world to run entirely on solar power

     

    Pak parliament becomes first in world to run entirely on solar powerPakistan parliament building became the first in the world to completely run on solar power. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in capital Islamabad. Although there some parliaments in world like Israel’s Knesset that partly run on solar power.

    Facts to know :

    The venture to run parliament building on solar power has been funded by the Chinese government as an act of friendship, with the solar power plant costing around USD 55 million. The joint venture regarding this was launched in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited and addressed the Parliament. 

    The parliament solar panels will generate 80 MW power of which 62 MW is sufficient for it while remaining 18 MW will be connected to national grid.The solar-power plant will help the Parliament House to save around Rs12 million in electricity bills every year. It is for first time since Pakistan became independent in 1947, the parliament became self-sufficient in electricity through solar power.

     About Parliament of Pakistan 

    The Parliament of Pakistan, is officially termed as Majlis-e-Shoora in Urdu. It is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral legislature that consists of the Senate (upper house) and the National Assembly (lower houses).

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  • India remains world's largest arms importer, with 14% of total share

     

    India remains world's largest arms importer, with 14% of total shareIndia continues to remain the world's largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe. It was revealed by report on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

    The report indicates country's enduring failure to build a strong domestic defence-industrial base (DIB) and Indian arms industry has failed to produce competitive indigenously-designed weapons. 

    Highlights of the Report

    Top arms importers : India (14%), China (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).

    • India's arms imports remain three times greater than those of its rivals China and Pakistan. Its biggest suppliers are Russia, the US, Israel and France.
    • India has spent over 120 billion dollars on arms acquisitions over the last 15 years most of them from foreign suppliers.

    China’s scenario : China has emerged as the world’s third largest arms exporter after U.S. and Russia. akistan is the main recipient of Chinese arms exports accounting for 35% of the total imports followed by Bangladesh (20%) and Myanmar (16%). Russia is China’s largest arms supplier accounting for 59% followed by France (15%) and Ukraine (14%)

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  • Union Government launches Swachh Paryatan mobile app

     

    Union Government launches Swachh Paryatan mobile appUnion Ministry of Tourism, has launched ‘Swachh Parayatan’ mobile application to keep tourist places clean. The app was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi.

    ‘Swachh Parayatan’ mobile application 

    The project is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Tourism through Delhi eGovernance Society (DeGS) and National Informatics Centre (NIC). This mobile app shall be monitored by the project monitoring unit of Swachh Bharat Mission in Ministry of Tourism.

    Initially the ‘Swachh Paryatan Mobile App’, will be available for 25 heritage monuments, including Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri and Humayun’s Tomb, Qutab Minar, Red Fort, among others.

    This mobile app will enable citizens, tourists to take photograph of garbage seen at the monument and upload it on the app along with their suggestions in bringing improvement at the tourist places.

    On uploading images and remarks in the app, it will send an SMS to the ASI Nodal Officer concerned and the cleanliness of the place would be restored in 1-2 hour duration. If the nodal officer fails to perform, action will be taken against them.

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  • Haryana set to become first state to have aquifer mapping done

     

    Haryana  set to become first state to have aquifer mapping doneHaryana will soon become the first state in the country to have aquifer mapping done for its groundwater resources by May 2016. Aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock from which groundwater can be extracted. 

    Facts to know :

    Objective : The objective of the programme is to prepare management plans, in consultation with stakeholders and state governments, to take measures to replenish the declining groundwater

    Nodal Agency: This aquifer mapping is undertaken by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on the scale of 1:50,000 in 3D. 

    Technology used :CGWB has been using advanced technologies like heli-borne geophysical surveys for mapping and sophisticated software for preparing management plans.

    States to be mapped : Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka,Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telengana and Haryana are the eight states which have been selected for aquifer mapping n the first phase because these are the states where the groundwater situation has already reached a critical level. The mapping in the priority eight states will, be done by 2017.

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  • Indian-origin playwright Ismail Mahomed conferred Knighthood by French Government

     

    Indian-origin playwright Ismail Mahomed conferred Knighthood by French GovernmentAn  Indian-origin art lover and playwright in South Africa, Ismail Mahomed has been conferred Knighthood by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.

    He was bestowed with The Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg. Other South Africans who have received this distinction include artists William Kentridge and Gerard Sekoto, filmmaker Ramadan Suleman and musician Johnny Clegg.

    Facts to know about Ismail Mahomed

    He is currently working as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. In his 30-year career he has brokered several collaborations between French and South Africa artists. 

    Awards and Honours: Mahomed has received numerous in his career, including Premier's Award in 1999, for developing and promoting the arts and culture sector as an economic enterprise in the South African province of Mpumalanga. He has also been honoured with Merit Honour Award from the US State Department's Africa Bureau for consistent high cultural programming.

    Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature :

    • It is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963.
    • Established in 1957 by the Minister of Culture. The knighthood is bestowed on people for their significant contributions to French culture through arts and literature. It recognises significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.
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  • CGPDTM issues revised patent guidelines for Computer Related Inventions

     

    Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM)Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM), has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs). As per the new guidelines, mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India.

    The revised patent guidelines implicates that software developers and start-ups will continue to have the freedom to innovate without worrying infringement notices in Computer Related Inventions area.

    New guidelines have been aligned to the Patents Act, 1970 and brings out clarity in terms of exclusions expected under sub-section 3(k) of the Act. The sub-section 3(k) of Act mentions that mathematical methods or business methods or computer programme or algorithms are not patentable.

    New guidelines follow CGPDT’s stay on the revised guidelines issued in August 2015 that allows the patenting of software which demonstrated technical advancement and did not clarify it. 

    Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) : The Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trade Marks (CGPDTM) comes under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is nodal agency that supervises the working of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) laws in India.

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