Current Affairs, News & Facts of 03 Sep 2015

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  • Sakhi, One stop crisis centre (OSCC) for women in distress

     

    Sakhi, One stop crisis centre (OSCC) for women in distress

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    • To provide all kind of assistance including legal, police, medical help, counselling, temporary support services to women affected by violence, a one-stop centre Sakhi was inaugurated by Haryana Women and Child Development Minister Kavita Jain on 31 August 2015 at Karnal.
    • It is an initiative of Union Government under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for women safety pertaining to strategic areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation. It is second centre in the country after Raipur in Chattisgarh.
    • Victims of rape, dowry harassment, acid attack and domestic violence will get all necessary assistance and they need not to wander here and there for treatment, counselling and legal advice.
    • The centre will have all  kind of facilities under one roof including medical aid, police assistance, psycho-social counselling, legal aid/case management, shelter facility for short stay with food and clothing and video conferencing facility to women affected by violence.
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  • Durban confirmed as host city for 2022 Commonwealth Games

     

    Durban confirmed as host city for 2022 Commonwealth Games

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    • The South African city of Durban was selected as the host for the 2022 Commonwealth Games at the Federation's general assembly in New Zealand by this it became the first African city to be awarded the multi-sports event. It should be noted that the next Commonwealth Games will be held at Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.
    • The 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth Games Federation made the decision unanimously as Durban was the only candidate left after the Canadian city of Edmonton withdrew from contention in February, citing falling oil prices.
    • The general assembly also voted to increase the number of compulsory sports at the games from 10 to 16. Scotland’s Louise Martin was elected the first female president of the federation replacing incumbent Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia who held the role for four years.
    • The Commonwealth Games are held every four years and feature athletes from over 50 countries, mostly former British colonies. First Commonwealth Games were held in 1930. 2022 Commonwealth Games will mark the first time the Games will be held in Africa

    Key facts about Commonwealth Games :-

    • Although there are 53 members of the Commonwealth of Nations, 71 teams participate in the Commonwealth Games, as a number of dependent territories compete under their own flag
    • Only six countries have attended every Commonwealth Games: Australia, Canada, England, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wales
    • Australia has been the highest achieving team for twelve games, England for seven, and Canada for one.
    • The first edition of the event was the 1930 British Empire Games in which 11 nations participated
    • Nigeria was the first country to boycott the Commonwealth Games in 1978 in protest over New Zealand's sporting contacts with South Africa.
    • The three nations to have hosted the games the most times are Australia (5), Canada (4) and New Zealand (3).
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  • India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway Becomes Operational

     

    India-Myanmar-Thailand Highway Becomes Operational

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    • The Myawaddy-Thinggan Nyenaung-Kawkareik section of the Asian highway linking India, Myanmar and Thailand has been put into service.
    • With the 25.6-km-long section becoming operational, travel time between Thinggan Nyenaung and Kawkareik will be reduced from three hours to 45 minutes.
    • The construction of the Asian highway section started in 2012 with the assistance of Thailand. The Asian highway runs from Moreh in India to Thailand's Maesot via Myanmar's Tamu, Mandalay and Myawaddy.
    • The section which is also part of  the East-West economic corridor of the Greater Mekong Subregion, will not only enhance trade between Myanmar and Thailand, but also contribute to better links among people in the region.
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  • India's internet user base crosses 350 million: IAMAI

     

    India's internet user base crosses 350 million: IAMAI

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    • India has added 52 million internet users in first six months of the year, taking the total user base to 352 million as on June 30, 2015, as per Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI ). Interestingly, 213 million (over 60%) users accessed the worldwide web through mobile devices. 
    • The number of Internet users has grown over 26 percent from 278 million in October 2014. The number of mobile Internet users has also grown about 40 per cent from 159 million users in October last year.
    • It should be noted that the Internet in India took more than a decade to move from 10 million to 100 million and 3 years from 100 to 200 million. However, it took only a year to move from 200 to 300 million users.

    Image source : we are social.net

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  • Ericsson bags Airtel's 4G network contract

     

    Ericsson bags Airtel's 4G network contract

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    • Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has bagged a four-year 4G network rollout contract in New Delhi from Bharti Airtel.
    • The company has also signed another four-year agreement with Airtel to expand its 3G network across eight telecom circles in the country.
    • This is Ericsson’s first 4G network using LTE-FDD technology in Delhi. Apart from Delhi, Ericsson will deploy LTE network in 4 other circles.
    • Ericsson is the market leader on LTE technology with 40 per cent of the world’s LTE smartphone traffic currently served by its network.
    • LTE subscriptions in India are expected to reach more than 230 million by 2020, which will work out to around 17 per cent of the total subscription base

    Under the deal, Ericsson will supply, install and perform manage services for WCDMA radio access networks.The Swedish network gear maker will provide multi standard radio equipment from the Ericsson RBS 6000 base station family for macro and small cells.

    Image source :financialexpress

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  • Union Government notifies merger of FMC with SEBI

     

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    • The government has notified the merger of commodities regulator Forward Market Commission with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) with an effect from 28 September 2015.
    • As a result, of this notification  FCRA,1952  will get repealed and regulation of commodity derivatives market will shift to Sebi under Securities Contracts Regulation Act (SCRA) 1956 with effect from 28th September, 2015 
    • A unified regulator for commodities and capital markets will help streamline monitoring of commodity futures trading and curb wild speculations. 

    Note :- The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) had recommended that Sebi, IRDA, PFRDA and FMC should be merged into a single entity into a unified financial agency (UFA). 

    What is Forward Markets Commission (FMC) ?

    • The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) is the chief regulator of commodity futures markets in India. As of July 2014, it regulated Rs 17 trillion worth of commodity trades in India
    • It is headquartered in Mumbai and this financial regulatory agency is overseen by the Ministry of Finance. The Commission allows commodity trading in 22 exchanges in India, of which 6 are national
    • It should be noted that in the wake of a Rs 5,500-crore payment crisis at the National Spot Exchange Ltd, FMC was brought under Finance Ministry in 2013. 
    • In the beginning, FMC was only regulating regional commodity exchanges and its role was expanded after the emergence of national electronic trading platform in early 2000. 
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  • West Central Railway Zone Becomes the First Zone on Indian Railways to Eliminate all Unmanned Level Crossings from its System

     

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    • The West-Central Railway Zone has become the first zone in Indian Railways to eliminate all unmanned level crossings from its system by August 31, 2015
    • Railways has 30,348 level crossings, out of which 11,563, nearly 40 per cent, are unmanned. Unmanned railway crossings continue to remain a deathtrap as about126  people  killed in 2014-15
    • The target was achieved after all 118 unmanned level crossings of WCR zone were eliminated in phase manner by August 31, 2015. 80 crossings were eliminated in the financial year 2014-15 and the remaining 38 crossings were eliminated in August 2015.
    • This could only be achieved by constructing 33 Limited Height Sub Ways (LHs) and manning of 30 level crossings.Unmanned level crossings have been one of the reasons for increase in train accidents.
    • West-Central Railway has been taking all possible initiatives to improve its working by adopting all available modern technologies and has started special drive to improve its performance at all fronts including safety, cleanliness, punctuality etc. 

     

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  • Tallest mountain in North America, Mount McKinley renamed as Denali  

     

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    • North America's tallest mountain peak Mount McKinley  has been changed back to its original native name Denali. It was announced by US President Barack Obama ahead of his three-day visit to Alaska to highlight the issue of climate change.
    • The word "Denali" is derived from Koyukon, one of the 11 Athabascan languages traditionally spoken in Alaska. The name translates to "the tall one," and is derived from the Koyukon verb that means, "to be long or tall,"
    • The 20,237ft (6,168m) peak was named by a gold prospector in 1896 after he heard that William McKinley had been nominated to become the US president. McKinley was the 25th president of the United States. He was assassinated early in his second term in 1901
    • Denali National Park, where the mountain is located, was established in 1917 and annually sees more than 500,000 visitors. About 1,200 mountaineers attempt to summit the mountain each year; typically about half are successful.
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  • Govt to pay agencies Rs 113.40 cr for losses on pulses import  

     

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    The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared reimbursement of Rs 113 crore of losses on pulses imported between 2006-11 by four government agencies These four agencies are :-

    1.  National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India  (NAFED) 
    2.  Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC)
    3.  State Trading Corporation of India (STC)
    4.  Project and Equipment Corporation (PEC)

    In order to ensure retail distribution to the consumers, it was decided to import 5000 tonnes of Tur Dal and 5000 tonnes of Urad Dal by MMTC, a Central PSU. The first consignment of imported Dal would be reaching Mumbai by 5.9.2015. 

    The Union Government has taken several measures to increase availability and control the price of essential commodities, especially pulses and onions.

    States have been empowered to impose stock limits on pulses, export of all pulses is banned except Kabuli Chana, organic pulses and Lintels to the tune of 10,000 MTs. Besides there is zero duty on import of pulses

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  • Hit by cheap oil, Canada officially falls into recession

     

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    • Canada, the world's fifth-largest oil producer, has been hit hard by the plunge in world oil prices from above $100 last year to about $52 now. This is Canada's second recession in six years and it is the only G7 nation in economic retreat
    • Statistics Canada, nodal national statistical agency of Canada has reported that the economy of Canada has fallen into a recession for first time after global financial crisis of 2009
    • Canadian economy contracted 0.5% in the second quarter after retreating 0.8%in the previous three months. By comparison, the US economy grew by 3.7% in the first quarter. 
    • The Bank of Canada has cut interest rates twice this year in an effort to revive the economy, though most analysts expect it to hold rates at 0.5 percent when it meets next week
    • Canadian exports of goods and services rose modestly in the second quarter, though business investment slumped and inventory accumulation slowed.
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