Current Affairs, News & Facts of 29 Apr 2016

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  • Indian Academician Radha Kumar appointed to UN University Council

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

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

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

    United Nations University

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

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

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

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

    What is Vostochny Cosmodrome ?

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

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

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

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

    About e-voter app :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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