Current Affairs, News & Facts of 06 Apr 2016

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  • RBI cuts repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%

     

    RBI cuts repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5%The Reserve Bank of India has cut down  key interest rates by 25 basis points in its first bi-monthly monetary policy review for the 2016-17 fiscal. With this, Home, auto and other loans are set to become cheaper. However, RBI has kept Cash Reserve Ratio unchanged at 4 per cent.

    First bi-monthly monetary policy review 2016-17 

    1. Repo rate: The rate, at which RBI lends to the financial system, has come down from 6.75 per cent to 6.5 per cent.

    2. Cash reserve ratio (CRR): RBI has unchanged CRR and kept it at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL). 

    3. Reverse repo rate: The rate at which banks can keep excess funds with the RBI, was hiked to 6 per cent. 

    The policy said the average overnight borrowings by banks have increased to Rs 1,935 billion in March from Rs 1,345 billion in January. RBI also retained its GDP growth forecast at 7.6 per cent, on the assumption of a normal monsoon and a boost to consumption through the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations. However the implementation of  Seventh Pay Commission will hurt inflation by 1 to 1.5 per cent over a two year period.

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  • Bihar imposes complete ban on liquor

     

    Bihar imposes complete ban on liquorThe Bihar government has imposed a complete ban on all types of liquor in the state including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). The state Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at its meeting in Patna approved a proposal by the excise and prohibition department to impose a complete ban on the sale and consumption of  all types of liquor across the state, including on IMFL brands. According to the estimates, Bihar will lose around Rs 4,000 crores in revenue due to this total ban.

    Earlier, on 1st April 2016, a ban was imposed on the manufacture, sale and consumption of country liquor in rural areas but state government was compelled to ban  Indian Made Foreign Liquor brands after women started protesting against the move to allow consumption in urban areas. With this, Bihar becomes the fourth state in the country to go completely dry, after Gujarat, Nagaland and Mizoram.

    What is the meaning of liquor  ban ?

    The production, sale and consumption of all types of liquor have been banned in the state which means that henceforth person found indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of liquor across the state will be punished under the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016. The Act has various stringent provisions including awarding ‘capital punishment’ for those who manufacture and sell illicit liquor that causes death.

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  • Former Italy coach, AC Milan player Cesare Maldini passes away

     

    Former Italy coach, AC Milan player Cesare Maldini passes awayFormer AC Milan defender and Italy coach Cesare Maldini died on 3rd April at the age of 84. He was known for being a commanding and respected defender with good technique and passing range.

    His leadership, consistency, and tactical versatility, as well as his discipline and class, both on and off the pitch is regarded with honour among the entire football community.

    Facts about Cesare Maldini

    1. During his career he has made 412 appearances with the Rossoneri between 1954 and 1966, winning four league titles including a first 'scudetto' in his first season with the club.

    2. He had the honour of lifting the trophy at Wembley in 1963 when Milan became the first Italian club to win the European Cup, with victory over Eusebio-inspired Benfica.

    3. He played 14 times for Italy, including their 1962 World Cup campaign in Chile before retiring in 1966. He moved into coaching from 1972-74. 

    4. He was assistant coach to Enzo Bearzot for Italy’s 1982 World Cup triumph in Spain. He took charge of Paraguay for the 2002 World Cup but they did not progress beyond the Round of 16.

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  • Waqar Younis resigns as Pakistan chief coach

     

    Waqar Younis resigns as Pakistan chief coachPakistan's head coach Waqar Younis (44)  has resigned from his post following the humiliating exit of his team from the World Twenty20 in India. It won just one match against Bangladesh and lost to Australia, India and New Zealand.The 44-year old took on the job for the second time in 2014, having previously held the post in 2010-11.

    Shahid Afridi, who had already retired from Test and 50-over cricket, has also left Pakistan captaincy due to the poor performance of his team. Afridi captained Pakistan in 43 T20Is, scoring 597 runs at 15.71 and taking 40 wickets at 27.12. He replaced Mohammad Hafeez as T20 captain in 2014.

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  • DCB Bank launches Aadhaar-based ATM

     

    DCB Bank launches Aadhaar-based ATMDomestic bank, small-sized lender DCB Bank has launched India’s first of its kind Aadhaar-based Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) usage facility wherein  a customer can now use his/her biometric details instead of using a PIN number to make cash transactions. The first of the Aadhaar-based ATMs has been installed at the Bank's corporate office in the megapolis' Lower Parel area, Mumbai.

    Features of Aadhaar-based ATM :

    1. Under this facility, user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at ATM, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN. 

    2. The solution has been developed in-house and involves connecting up with the Aadhaar server to authenticate the identity of the customer every time a transaction is initiated.

    3. Aadhaar-based authentication is comparatively inexpensive solution and the bank, which currently has 400 ATMs, is targeting to cover its entire network under the system within a year. 

    Comment

    1. If a person has mutiple bank accounts it is very difficult for him to remember all PIN codes but with Aadhaar based authentication the process becomes very easy as user needs to just put his fingers on the scanner.

    2. Enrolments under Aadhaar are set to cross the 100 crore mark soon. The data is being used for a slew of purposes like opening bank accounts and the government's direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme. 

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  • India, Saudi Arabia sign 5 agreements 

     

    India, Saudi Arabia sign 5 agreements India and Saudi Arabia on 3rd April 2016 signed five agreements, including a key pact on terror financing and money laundering during PM Narendra Modi's two-day visit to Saudi Arabia in Riyadh. The visit to Saudi Arabia was part of PM Modi’s three-nation visit to Belgium,United States and Saudi Arabia for Nuclear Security Summit. 

    Five agreements singed are

    1. Agreement on Labour Co-operation: It was singed for recruitment of general category workers between the Ministry of Labour, Saudi Arabia and Ministry of External Affairs, India. 

    2. Technical Cooperation Program: It was signed between Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). 

    3. Executive Program for Cooperation in the Field of Handicrafts : It was signed between the Export Promotion Council for Handicraft (EPCH) in the Republic of India and Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.

    4. MoU between Financial Intelligence Unit : India and the Financial Intelligence Unit-Saudi Arabia concerning Cooperation in the Exchange of Intelligence related to Money Laundering, Terrorism Financing and Related Crimes

    5. Framework for Investment Promotion Cooperation:  It was signed between Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and Invest India.

    During his visit Modi gifted King Salman a gold-plated replica of a mosque in Kerala, India, which was built by Arab traders in the early 7th Century.  The mosque is situated in Thrissur district of Kerala and is  believed to be the first mosque built in India by Arab traders around 629 AD.  King Salman awarded Modi Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian award, the King Abdulaziz Sash.

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  • ECoR becomes largest freight loading railway zone

     

    ECoR becomes largest freight loading railway zoneThe East Coast Railway (ECoR) has emerged as the largest freight loading railway zone of Indian Railways in 2015-16.

    ECoR loaded 173.49 million tonnes of freight compared to 161.91 during the last year, registering a 7.1 per cent growth. 

    On the earnings side, ECoR earned about Rs 15,978.28 crore which is 14.13 per cent more than the previous financial year. It registered an increase of Rs 1961.27 crore in earning.

    The East Coast Railway carried 131.2 rakes loading per day from its jurisdiction against 122.4 rakes per day in 2014-15. These include coal, iron ore, cement, food grains, POL and other commodities.

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  • Over 50% rise in Death penalty in 2015: Amnesty

     

    Over 50% rise in Death penalty in 2015: AmnestyA surge in the number of executions recorded worldwide saw more people put to death last year than at any point since 1989, as per Amnesty International.

    At least 1,634 people were executed in 2015, a rise of more than 50% on the previous year. At least 20,292 people were on death row at the end of 2015.

    Excluding China, almost 90% of all executions took place in just three countries – Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The total does not include China, where Amnesty said thousands more were likely killed but records were kept secrect.

    Methods of execution : People were mainly executed mainly through beheading, hanging, lethal injection and shooting. 

    In 2015, four countries namely Fiji, Madagascar, the Republic of Congo and Suriname abolished the death penalty for all crimes. In total, 102 countries have abolished death penalty.

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  • Virat Kohli, India maintain top spot in ICC rankings

     

    Virat Kohli, India maintain top spot in ICC rankingsIndia's star batsman Virat Kohli has maintained his number one position in the ICC T20 batsmen rankings after the conclusion of the World T20.

    Kohli who was adjudged player of the tournament, leads Australia’s second-ranked Aaron Finch by 86 points.Team India too has retained its number one position.

    West Indies are now one point behind India’s 126 points. World T20 runner up England are now fourth after swapping places with South Africa. New Zealand, who lost to England in the first semi-final, have retained their third place at 120 points.

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  • Scientists keeps pig heart alive in baboon for over two years

     

    Scientists keeps pig heart alive in baboon for over two yearsResearchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, Maryland, have managed to keep a pig heart beating for 945 days  inside the body of a live baboon. 

    This record-breaking outcome gives  researchers a ray of hope for the potential for xenotransplantation - the transplantation of animal organs or tissues into humans, to address worldwide organ shortages.

    Cross-species transplants provoke a powerful immune reaction, leading to rejection of the organ by the host. But a US-German team used a combination of gene modification and immune-suppressing drugs. Their work is described in the journal Nature Communications.

    If everything goes well and the eexperiment gets successful, animal organs can be used for transplantation in humans who are in  desperate need of transplants but not getting any donor. Currently in the US, 22 people die every day just waiting for organs, which are in constant short supply.

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