Current Affairs : 11 Jul 2016 to 27 Jun 2016 - Summary

Current Affairs 11 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  • Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix 2016

    SC ends impunity for armed forcesBritish Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton  has won the 2016 British Grand Prix title of Formula One.

    It was his third successive victory at Silverstone and the fourth overall after winning it in 2008, 2014 and 2015.

    Prior to this he has won Monaco Grand Prix (May 2016), Canadian Grand Prix (June 2016) and Austrian Grand Prix (July 2016).

    Latest ranking after 2016 Austrian Grand Prix :

    Lewis Hamilton (Britain) of Mercedes : 1st position
    Max Verstappen (Netherlands) of Red Bull : 2nd position
    Nico Rosberg (Germany) of Mercedes : 3rd position
    Daniel Ricardo (Australia) of Red Bull : 4th position
    Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) of Ferrari : 5th position
    Sergio Perez (Mexico) of Force India : 6th position
    Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) of Force India : 7th position

    Top Teams: Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Force India.

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  • Tathagata Roy sworn-in as acting Governor of Arunachal Pradesh  

    Tathagata Roy sworn-in as acting Governor of Arunachal PradeshTripura Governor Tathagata Roy has been sworn in as acting Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.

    He has been given the additional charge of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh during the leave of absence of incumbent Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.

    Roy was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Justice Ajit Singh as per the provisions of Article 159 of Constitution of India. He is the 18th Governor to be sworn in as Governor of this Himalayan State.

    About Tathagata Roy :

    Tathagata Roy born on 14 September 1945 in Kolkata, West Bengal is politician, engineer and author. He studied Civil Engineering in Bengal Engineering College Sibpur and joined Indian Railways Service of Engineers.

    He took voluntary retirement in 1990 and  Jadavpur University as professor and founder head of the Department of Construction Engineering. He was attracted towards Hindutva and became a Swayamsevak in 1986. After leaving government service he joined the BJP in 1990. 

    He has authored two books :

    • The Life and Times of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee. 
    • My People, Uprooted: A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal.

    Constitutional provisions of Governor

    • Article 153:  There shall be a Governor for each State. The 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 provides that nothing in this article shall prevent the appointment of the same person as Governor for two or more States. 
    • Article 156: The Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President. The Governor may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President, resign his office. Governor is appointed by President and hold office during the pleasure of President. 
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  • DRDO inks pact with IITs for Centre for Propulsion Technology

    DRDO inks pact with IITs for Centre for Propulsion TechnologyThe Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with IIT-Bombay and Madras to establish a bi-nodal ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology’ (CoPT) at the two institutions.

    The initiative is aimed at achieving synergy between DRDO and Indian Institutes of Technology for channelising the research efforts towards developing products and related critical aerospace technologies.

    CoPT will evolve mechanisms to facilitate execution of programs related to propulsion technology and will engage the primary Research Nodes (IIT Bombay and IIT Madras) and other research institutions.

    It will facilitate and undertake multidisciplinary directed research in the focused areas of futuristic aero engines, hypersonic propulsion for long duration flight.

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  • Captain Radhika Menon: First woman to receive Exceptional Bravery award at Sea

    Captain Radhika Menon: First woman to receive Exceptional Bravery award at SeaCaptain Radhika Menon, first woman captain of the Indian Merchant Navy recently became the first woman in the world to receive the Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea for the year 2016 from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

    The award was bestowed upon her for her role in the dramatic rescue of seven fishermen from a sinking fishing boat in tumultuous seas in the Bay of Bengal in June last year. 

    She rescued all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma, which was adrift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather. For this bravery she was nominated for the award by the Government of India.

    Facts about Radhika Menon :

    • She is the first Indian women captain of a merchant navy ship. She joined the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) as a trainee radio officer in 1991. Her job in navy was to look after the communication system of the ship.
    • She continued appearing for exams and kept excelling in her career. She cleared her master's certificate exam in 2010 and sailed in MT Suvarna Swarajya twice before she took charge of the ship as captain.
    • It is very difficult to find successful women in merchant navy as despite being good in their jobs women usually have to quit their jobs as they need to take of their families but Radhika Menon is an exception.
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  • Bornean orangutan now 'critically endangered': IUCN

    Bornean orangutan now 'critically endangered': IUCNThe Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is now critically endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    The declaration was based on IUCN assessment which considers past, current and future rates of species loss.

    The combined impacts of habitat loss, habitat degradation and illegal hunting equate to an 86 per cent population reduction between 1973 and 2025.

    Observing the the current human behaviour toward wildlife it has been predicted that population will further decline to 47,000 animals by 2025.

    Facts about Bornean orangutan :

    • The Bornean orangutan is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran orangutan, it belongs to the only genus of great apes native to Asia.
    • Like the other great apes, orangutans are highly intelligent, displaying advanced tool use and distinct cultural patterns in the wild. Orangutans share approximately 97 per cent of their DNA with humans. 

    Cause of decline in Population :

    Deforestation: About 40 per cent of Borneo’s forests has been lost due to palm oil plantations and cutting down of trees for furniture. Threats to wild orangutan populations include poaching, habitat destruction, and the illegal pet trade.

    Slow Breeding: They are slow breeders as females only reproduce once every six to eight years (the longest birth interval of any land mammal).

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  • Nimi Sunil kumar wins Gourmand World Cookbook Award

    Nimi Sunil kumar wins Gourmand World Cookbook AwardNimi Sunilkumar, cookbook author and food blogger, has won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for 2015-16. Her book 4 o’clock Temptations of Kerala has been chosen for the award in the ‘Best Indian Cuisine Cookbook’ section. 

    The cookbook is enriched with photos and details of 54 recipes from Kerala and each of these recipes are said to be specific to each district. She has won the award for the second time, earlier she had won the award in 2013.

    Her Lip-smacking Dishes of Kerala was selected third ‘Best Local Cuisine Book in the World’ in 2013. She is a culinary teacher and dietician at Tata High Range School, Munnar.

    Gourmand World Cookbook Award:

    The award was founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. It is free competition and open to publishers in all languages and countries. The Gourmand Awards celebrate global cookbook and wine book publishing and feature many world-renowned chefs each year.

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  • India, South Africa sign MoU’s in four areas

    India, South Africa sign MoU’s in four areasIndia and South Africa have inked four Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in four areas of co-operation including Information and Communication technology, Tourism, Grass root innovation and 'art, culture' sport.

    These MoUs were signed in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South African President Jacob Juma in Pretoria, South Africa.

    Agreements signed are

    MoU on Tourism. 

    MoU on Grass root innovation (Science and Technology).

    MoU on Information and Communication technology (ICT). 

    Programme of Cooperation in Arts and Culture.

    The visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi marks  another glorious chapter in India-South Africa relations, which have travelled from the fight against racial prejudice to a resolve to join hands and realize potential in trade and commerce ties.  India also thanked the South African President for support to India’s NSG membership. 

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  • SC ends impunity for armed forces

    SC ends impunity for armed forcesA Bench of Supreme Court led by Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit  said in an 85-page judgment that "every death caused by the armed forces in a disturbed area, whether the victim is a dreaded criminal or a militant or a terrorist or an insurgent, should be thoroughly enquired into." This is to address any allegation of use of excessive or retaliatory force beyond the call of duty.

    The judgment came on a plea by hundreds of families in the north-eastern State of Manipur for a probe by a Special Investigation Team into 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters involving the Army and the police.

    This judgment of Supreme Court is a blow to the immunity enjoyed by security personnel under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 (AFSPA) against criminal action for acts committed in disturbed areas.

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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 08 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  •  South African writer Lidudumalingani wins Caine Prize

    Lidudumalingani Mqombothi a South African writer, filmmaker and photographer has won the 17th edition of prestigious Caine Prize 2016 for his short story entitled 'Memories We Lost' published in "Incredible Journey: Stories That Move You (Burnet Media, South Africa, 2015)".

    South African writer Lidudumalingani wins Caine PrizeAbout the story :

    Memories We Lost is told by a girl who acts as protector of her sister, whose serious mental illness is badly misunderstood in a South African village. 

    He memories fades one after the other until her past becomes blur.  As the sister’s situation deteriorates the protector sister trusts a local man who employs traditional techniques to rid people of their demons.

    About Caine Prize

    The Caine Prize for African Writing is an annual literary award for the best original short story by an African writer, whether in Africa or elsewhere, published in the English language. It is famously referred as the African Booker Prize.

    The award carrying British Pound 10,000 prize, was founded in the United Kingdom in 2000,  in memory of Sir Michael Harris Caine,  former Chairman of Booker Group plc. Because of the Caine Prize's connection to the Booker Prize, the award is sometimes called the "African Booker".

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  • BRICS drug control meeting begins in New Delhi  

    Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the second anti-drug Working Group meeting of Heads of Drug Control Agencies of BRICS  in New Delhi to discuss issues related to narco-terrorism and money laundering. The meeting is being organized by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

    BRICS drug control meeting 2016

    BRICS drug control meeting begins in New DelhiThe delegates from the member countries of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) and  the Ambassadors of the respective countries will participate in the meeting.

    The Directors General of Border Guarding Forces and the Paramilitary will also attend the inaugural session along with the heads of the Intelligence and Investigative Agencies like the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

    The Indian delegation shall be headed by Shri Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau and shall comprise of officers from the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Ministry of Health and Family welfare and Narcotics Control Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs. 

    Background :

    The anti-drug working group meeting of heads of anti-narcotics agencies has been organised by India in accordance with the ‘eThekwani Declaration’ adopted during the BRICS summit in March 2013 at Durban, South Africa where it was decided that the heads of anti-drug agencies of the five member countries may meet regularly under the aegis of the BRICS anti-drug working group meeting. In keeping with the spirit of the eThekwani Declaration, the first anti-drug working group meeting of BRICS countries was organized at Moscow, Russia in November, 2015. 

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  • India-Mozambique ink three agreements

     India-Mozambique ink three agreementsIndia and Mozambique have signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on reduction of drug trafficking and psychotropic substances and related materials, cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports, and long term agreement for purchase of pulses .

    These MoUs were signed between Secretary of Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Amar Sinha and Mozambique's Finance Minister in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique.

    Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Mozambique in 34 years. He will also visit South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.

    Long term agreement for purchase of pulses : India's commitment to buy pulses from Mozambique would help meet India's requirement. It will also facilitate long-term investments in commercial farming, generation of farm employment and raise farmers' incomes in Mozambique. India will encourage greater production of pulses in Mozambique with an assurance that it will be purchased by India at a mutually-agreed price.

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  • World famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath begins

    The annual celebrations of Puri’s world famous Rath Yatra commences today in the coastal city of Puri at 12th century Jagannath temple.This annual festival is celebrated on Ashadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashadha month). It will see congregation of more than 10 lakh devotees.

    Significance :

    World famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath beginsRath Yatra marks the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balbhadra and sister Subhadra to the Gundicha temple. They are taken in their respective chariots to the Gundicha temple, place of their aunt’s house. 

    During this traditional procession, the chariots carrying these deities are pulled by thousands of devotees. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or return journey to their temple which will take place on the 14th of this month.

    Note : The second oldest Rath Yatra in the country is held at Mahesh in Serampore, West Bengal. A large number of people have assembled to have a share in pulling the long ropes attached to the chariots of three deities from the Mahesh temple to Gundicha Bari.

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  • Veteran Music Director Om Prakash Sonik Passes Away

    Veteran Music Director Om Prakash Sonik Passes AwayNoted music director Om Prakash Sonik, also known as Omi, part of the Sonik-Omi duo, passed away in Mumbai following a brief illness.  He was 77. 

    Sonik–Omi was an Indian composer working in duo consisting of Master Sonik (a blind music director) and his nephew Omi.

    The duo was known for their work on Hindi film soundtracks. Some of their best-known works are Bhakti Mein Shakti, Dharma, Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (1966), Sawan Bhadon, Aabroo, and Raftaar.

    Born in Sialkot (now in Pakistan), he along with his family had moved to India after Partition in 1947. The Sonik-Omi team gave music to over 100 Hindi films in the 1950-1980s period.

    Some films where the duo acted as a composer includes : Mahua, Truck Driver, Mahua, Beti, Dharti Ki God Mein, Chowki No. 1 etc. His last musical track was for film Biwi No.2 in 2000, after which he eased into retirement.

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  • Union Government constitute Shankar Acharya Committee to examine desirability and feasibility of new financial year

     desirability and feasibility of new financial yearThe government has constituted a committee, headed by former Chief Economic Adviser Shankar Acharya, to examine "desirability and feasibility" of having a new financial year.

    Committee composition: Besides Acharya, the members of the committee are former Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, former Finance Secretary Tamil Nadu P V Rajaraman and Centre for Policy Research Senior Fellow Rajiv Kumar.

    Objectives of  Shankar Acharya Committee:

    • The Committee will examine the merits and demerits of various dates for the commencement of the financial year including the existing date (April to March), taking into account the various relevant factors.
    • The committee will also have to analyse its impact on businesses, taxation systems and procedures, statistics and data collection and the convenience of the legislatures for transacting budget work.
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  • India’s widening gender gap a concern : ILO 

    India’s widening gender gap a concernThere is a difference of 25 per cent in workforce participation rate of men and women worldwide but in India it is up to 40 per cent.

    International Labour Organisation (ILO) Director General Guy Ryder has expressed concerns over the widening gender gap in workforce in India.

    ILO will work with the government in its labour reform process by bringing in international experience and setting international labour standards. The reforms would probably bridge the gap of  gender gap in workforce in India.

    India does poorly in comparison to its neighbours despite a more robust economic growth. In 2015, women comprised of 43% of the labour force in Bangladesh,

    The rate has also increased in Pakistan, while participation has remained relatively stable in Sri Lanka. Myanmar with 79% and Malaysia with 49% are also way ahead of India.

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Current Affairs 07 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  • India ranks 91st in Networked Readiness Index 2016

    India was placed at 91st position in the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) 2016, released recently by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF). The index was released as the part of the WEF’s Global Information Technology Report 2016. The index measures countries’ success in creating the conditions necessary for a transition to a digitised economy and society.

    India ranks 91st in Networked Readiness Index 2016

    Facts about Networked Readiness Index 2016 :

    Top-ten countries : Singapore (1st) while Finland (2nd), Sweden (3rd), Norway (4th), United States (5th), Netherlands (6th), Switzerland (7th), UK (8th), Luxembourg (9th) and Japan (10th). 

    BRICS Countries : Russia (41st), China (59th), South Africa (65th) and Brazil (72nd).

    India’s position :  India’s position on the list has come down for the fourth year in a row, from 89th in 2015, 83rd in 2014 and 68th in 2013.

    India's position based on different parameters :

    • India has scored better in terms of political and regulatory environment 78th position.
    • In terms of business and innovation environment it ranks at 110th position.
    • In terms of infrastructure it is positioned at 114th place.
    • India also fares poorly on sub-indices for levels of skills (101st) and individual usage (120th).
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  • China inducts largest homegrown Y-20 military transport plane

    China inducted its largest indigenously-built transport aircraft Y-20, marking a crucial step in military aviation technology for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) that allows the world's largest force to transport cargo and troops over long distances in diverse weather conditions. 

    Key facts about Y-20 aircraft  :

    China inducts largest homegrown Y-20 military transport planeY-20 has a maximum take off weight of 200 tonnes. It is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions.

    Its induction will enable PLA Air Force to better fulfil its military responsibilities, including safeguarding national security as well as domestic and international rescue and relief work.

    The indigenously designed and developed Y-20 officially joined the PLA Air Force in Chengdu. It is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions. 

    The plane is comparable to the Russian-made IL-76 and US made C-17. It is more advance than the IL-476.  The plane made  its maiden flight in January 2013 and underwent trials runs including in the rugged Tibetan terrain.

    Its induction will make easier for Chinese PLA to deploy troops, enable military to act more promptly and respond to emergencies in a better manner.

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  • Rajasthan becomes first state to introduce minimum wages for part time workers

    Rajasthan becomes first state to introduce minimum wages for part time workersRajasthan has became the first state in the country to introduce minimum wages for part time workers. The Labour Department of Rajasthan has issued a notification in this regard.

    As per the notification, it becomes mandatory to pay 50% of the prescribed a day minimum wage to a person who works for less than four hours in a day.With the notification, part time workers now come under the Minimum Wages Act 1948.

    Besides, in another decision state government also has decided to increase the minimum wages in all categories of scheduled employments by 104 Rupees per month.

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  • TRAI launches Myspeed App to measure real time mobile internet speed

    TRAI launches Myspeed App to measure real time mobile internet speedThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has launched a mobile application ‘MySpeed’ which will help a consumer to measure internet speed on his smartphone and send results to the authority. 

    The application will also send coverage, data speed and network information along with device and location of the customer.

    This is the first application to be launched under the Digital India initiative, which is directly trying to tackle the issue of poor data speeds.

    The MySpeed App can be downloaded from the mobile sewa app store. The app is a kind of crowd-sourcing initiative to check network performance of all the mobile operators.

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  • State Bank of India launches 3 new digital offerings 

    The country’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), has launched 3 new digital offerings on the occasion of 61st State Bank Day  (observed on 1st July).

    State Bank of India launches 3 new digital offerings SBI-Flipkart Partnership: 

    SBI has partnered with Flipkart to offer its consumers the facility of pre-approved EMI Facility on purchases. Under this partnership SBI will provide overdraft facility to pre-qualified set of customers for transacting on Flipkart for a minimum purchase of Rs. 5000. The EMI facility will be available in 3 tenures - 6, 9 and 12 months. The bank will not charge any fees to process the facility.

    SBI Mingle :

    It is social media banking platform for Facebook and Twitter users. Using SBI Mingle, its customers can do a host of banking services like checking balance and requesting mini statements on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. 

    SBI Digital Villages :  

    This initiative aims to transform villages into cash less eco-system by adopting them. In its first stage of the initiative, SBI has adopted 21 villages to be moved on the digital platform. It plans to bring 100 villages under this initiative across the country by 2017.

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  • Cabinet approves the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme. The Scheme has an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore with a target of 50 lakh apprentices to be trained by 2019-20.

    Key Feature of Scheme :

    Cabinet approves the National Apprenticeship Promotion SchemeThe Scheme would be implemented by Director General of Training (DGT) under Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). It provides for incentivizing employers to engage apprentices. 

    25% of the total stipend payable to an apprentice would be shared with employers directly by Government of India. It is for the first time a scheme has been designed to offer financial incentives to employers to engage apprentices.

    It also supports basic training, which is an essential component of apprenticeship training. 50% of the total expenditure incurred on providing basic training would be supported by Government of India.

    Comment :The Scheme will catalyze the entire apprenticeship ecosystem in the country and it will offer a win-win situation for all stakeholders. It is expected to become one of the most powerful skill-delivery vehicle in the country.

    Background : 

    • Apprenticeship Training is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to develop skilled manpower for the country. It provides for an industry led, practice oriented, effective and efficient mode of formal training.
    • The NAPS focuses on apprenticeship as one of the key components for creating skilled manpower in India. The present scheme also aims to achieve the objective as stated in the National Policy, 2015.
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  • Cabinet approves import of pulses through long-term contract with Mozambique

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a long-term contract by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mozambique for import of pulses either through the private channels or Government-to-Government (G2G) sales through State Agencies nominated by the two countries.

    Key Facts about the MoU

    Cabinet approves import of pulses through long-term contract with MozambiqueThe MoU aims at promoting the production of Pigeon Peas/Tur and other pulses in Mozambique by encouraging progressive increase in the trading of these pulses.

    The MoU includes targets for exports of Tur and other pulses from Mozambique to India for five financial years and aims at doubling the trade from 100,000 tonnes in 2016-17 to 200,000 tonnes is 2020-21.

    Background : The total availability of pulses including domestic production and imports were was less than domestic requirements putting pressure on the prices of pulses during the year 2015-16 and current year. To mitigate the shortfall in availability of pulses and supplement the existing efforts at meeting the requirements, the government has decided to enter into long term G2G arrangement with Mozambique.

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  • Cabinet approves setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu 

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its 'in-principle' approval for setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu. 

    Background : At present, there are only a few ports in India that have sufficient draft and can match global cargo handling efficiencies. Currently, all of India's trans-shipment traffic gets handled in Colombo, Singapore and other international ports. Indian port industry loses out upto Rs 1,500 Crores of revenues each year. 

    Significance of Enayam port :

    Cabinet approves setting up a Major port at Enayam near Colachel in Tamil Nadu Establishing this Major port at Enayam will not only act as a major gateway container port for Indian cargo that is presently trans-shipped outside the country, but also become a trans-shipment hub for the global East-West trade route. 

    Enayam will also reduce the logistics cost for exporters and importers in South India who currently depend on trans-shipment in Colombo or other ports thus incurring additional port handling charges. 

    Note : Currently India has 12 major ports. They are Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Managlore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V.O. Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

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  • Cabinet approves Interest Subvention Scheme for farmers for the year 2016-17

    The Union Cabinet has approved the Interest Subvention Scheme for farmers for the year 2016-17. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 18,276 Crore for this purpose. This will help farmers getting short term crop loan payable within one year up to Rs. 3 lakhs at only 4 per cent per annum.

    The salient features of the scheme are as follows:

    Cabinet approves Interest Subvention Scheme for farmers for the year 2016-17The Central Government will provide interest subvention of 5 per cent per annum to all farmers for short term crop loan upto one year for loan upto Rs. 3 lakhs rupees for year 2016-17. 

    Thus farmers will have to effectively pay only 4% as interest. In case farmers do not repay the short term crop loan in time they would be eligible for interest subvention of 2% as against 5% available above.

    To give relief to small and marginal farmers who would have to borrow at 9% for the post harvest storage of their produce, the Central Government has approved an interest subvention of 2% i.e an effective interest rate of 7% for loans upto 6 months.

    To provide relief to the farmers affected by Natural Calamities, the interest subvention of 2% will be provided to Banks for the first year on the restructured amount.

    What is Interest Subvention

    Interest subvention is the subsidy offered on interest rates  to promote some particular industry and general public interest.This implies that with the subsidy in hand, the loan borrower has not to pay total interest on loan amount and the balance interest amount is borne by the government.

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  • Cabinet approves High Courts Alteration of Names Bill, 2016

    The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016. 

    The Bill would pave the way in changing of the names of Bombay High Court as Mumbai High Court, Madras High Court as Chennai High Court and Calcutta High Court as Kolkata High Court respectively.

    Since the names of these cities have been changed, it is appropriate and logical that the names of these High Courts also get changed.

    At present, there is no Union Law under which the proposal for change of names of these High Courts can be addressed. This Bill has addressed this requirement.

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  • Para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan wins eight medals in IWAS World Games

    Para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan has won eight medals, including three golds, at the recently-concluded IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) U-23 World Games in Prague, Czech Republic.

    Para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan wins eight medals in IWAS World GamesHe has bagged gold medals in 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, silver medal in 100m fly and 50m freestyle and bronze in 100m freestyle, 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke events.

    In last year's edition of IWAS World Games, he had created a record for highest number of individual medals, raking in 10 medals in all the events that he participated in.

    Facts about Niranjan Mukundan

    Niranjan  was born on 4 September 1994 in Bangalore, Karnataka with a medical condition called Spina Bifida a birth defect in which there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord) and clubbed feet.Currently he competes in the S-8 category. GoSports Foundation supports his sporting endeavour through its Para Champions Programme. 

    Awards and Honours: National Award for Best Sports-person of the Year (2015), Junior World Champion (2015) and Ekalavya Award (2016).

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  • Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Mauritius in the field of Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given it's approval for signing of a Memorandum of  Understanding (MoU) between India and Mauritius.The MoU will encourage cooperation in the field of rural development and capacity building on the basis of equality and mutual benefit between both countries. 

    Key Facts about the MoU :

    Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Mauritius in the field of Rural Development and Poverty AlleviationUnder the MoU, a Joint Committee on Cooperation on Rural Development will be established which will meet alternatively in both countries on mutually agreed dates.

    The MoU will help to establish a framework for cooperation between the National Development Unit of Mauritius and Union Ministry of Rural Development in the sphere of rural development. 

    Both countries have agreed to coordinate and facilitate appropriate technical cooperation, exchange of relevant information and documents  in the sphere of rural development, including scientific and technical information to foster rural development.

    Both countries will strengthen their human resource capacity through sector-specific in-country training in Mauritius and training at reputed institutions in India through customized schemes  and facilitating the transfer of latest technology, state of the art equipment and materials, and share best practices. 

    Background :

    Both countries have a large segment of their population living in rural areas and are pre-dominantly dependent on agriculture and its allied activities for their livelihoods.

    The MoU was signed taking into consideration the institutional arrangement for bilateral cooperation between India and Mauritius in the field of rural development and poverty alleviation.

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  • Govt nod to MoUs between India and Mozambique in the field of Drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs

    Govt nod to MoUs between India and Mozambique in the field of Drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugsThe Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Mozambique on Drug demand reduction and prevention of illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals and related matters.

    The MoU is aimed to enhance mutual cooperation between the two countries in combating illicit trafficking in Narcotic drugs, Psychotropic substances and their precursors through exchange of information, expertise and capacity building.

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Current Affairs 05 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  • MV Dhekane takes over as Director of IISU

    MV Dhekane takes over as Director of IISUNoted scientist M V Dhekane has assumed the office of Director of ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He is the seventh director of IISU that functions under the aegis of the Department of Space. 

    About M V Dhekane 

    M V Dhekane who is a  B-Tech graduate in electrical engineering and M-tech (Systems and Control) from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in 1983. 

    He has wide experience and expertise in the launch vehicle control and guidance design, onboard software development and mission design and analysis. 

    He had also held various significant positions in ISRO such as Deputy Director, Control, Guidance & Simulation Entity, VSSC, Chief Controller, VSSC and Associate Director (R&D), VSSC.

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  • JNPT becomes first Indian port to implement logistics data tagging of containers

    JNPT becomes first Indian port to implement logistics data tagging of containersJawaharlal Nehru Port has become the first port in the country to implement logistics data tagging of containers.

    The implementation of the logistics data bank tagging of containers will help importers/exporters track their goods in transit through logistics data bank service.

    Key highlights :

    An RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Tag) tag would be attached to each container which would be tracked through RIFD readers installed at different locations. 

    This service will integrate the information available with various agencies across the supply chain to provide detailed real time information within a single window. 

    This will help in reducing the overall lead time of the container movement across the western corridor and lower the transaction costs incurred by shippers and consignees.

    Radio-frequency identification (RFID) : It uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information.It should be noted that unlike a barcode, the tag need not be within the line of sight (LoS) of the reader, so it can be easily embedded in the tracked object.

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  • India to host meet of BRICS anti-narcotics heads  

    On July 8, 2016 India will host a meeting of the heads of anti-narcotics agencies this week to discuss issues related to narco-terrorism and money laundering among the member-nations. This meet will be held ahead of the eighth annual Summit of BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa nations scheduled in October 2016.

    India to host meet of BRICS anti-narcotics headsThe one-day meeting will be hosted by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the agenda of the high-level meeting is expected to revolve around illicit drug trafficking including diversion of precursors and chemicals, usage of new psychoactive substances, maritime drug trafficking, narco terrorism and drug money laundering.

    All the BRICS nations (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) will discuss ways to enhance cooperation to effectively deal with these issues and keep an effective monitoring on illegal narcotics transport happening between these nations.     

    India has taken over the BRICS Chairmanship this year, for the second time after 2012, and it will host the eighth annual Summit of the forum in Goa in October in its 

    capacity as chair of the bloc comprising the five countries which account for 42 per cent of the world's population and a combined GDP of over USD 16 trillion.

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  • B Sai Praneeth wins 2016 Canada Open Grand Prix Badminton Men’s Singles title

    ================================================ B Sai Praneeth wins 2016 Canada Open Grand Prix Badminton Men’s Singles titleIndian shuttler B Sai Praneeth on 3 July 2016 clinched Canada Open Grand Prix Badminton Men’s Singles title by defeating Lee Hyun II of South Korea witha score of (21-12, 21-10) in the final match. 

    On the other hand, men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also grabbed Men’s doubles title at the tournament by defeating canadian pair of Adrian Liu and Toby Ng with a score of (21-8 21-14). Reddy and Attri pair is the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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  • Researchers build super-sensitive e-nose

    Researchers from the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium have built a sensitive electronic nose with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that can detect pesticides and nerve gas in very low concentrations.

    Researchers build super-sensitive e-noseMOFs are like microscopic sponges. They can absorb quite a lot of gas into their minuscule pores. The chemical sensor can easily be integrated into existing electronic devices. Therefore, it’s fairly easy to equip a smartphone with a gas sensor for pesticides and nerve gas.

    The best-known electronic nose is the breathalyser. As drivers breathe into the device, a chemical sensor measures the amount of alcohol in their breath. This chemical reaction is then converted into an electronic signal, allowing a police officer to read the result.

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  • Sudarshan Sen appointed Executive Director of RBI

    Sudarshan Sen appointed Executive Director of RBISudarshan Sen has been as Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)  in place of N S Vishwanathan, who has been elevated as Deputy Governor at the central bank.

    Sen has a long association with bank supervision and regulation. Earlier, he was in charge of the Department of Banking Regulation.

    He also served as the Regional Director of Ahmedabad office of the Reserve Bank of India.

    Sen holds an MBA in International Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham, UK.

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  • Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes first Indian footballer to play in Europa League

    Indian footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu became the first Indian football player to play in UEFA Europa League. Sandhu was named in Norwegian club Stabaek FC's squad for their Europa League qualifying match against Welsh Premier League side Connah's Quay Nomads FC.

    Gurpreet Singh Sandhu 

    Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes first Indian footballer to play in Europa LeagueGurpreet Singh Sandhu born on 3 February 1992 in Mohali, Punjab  plays as a goalkeeper for Norwegian Tippeligaen club Stabaek and the India national team.

    He is the first ever Indian to play a competitive match for the first team of a top-division European club and the fifth Indian to play professionally in Europe after Mohammed Salim, Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Pal. He is also the first Indian to play in the UEFA Europa League.

    In Indian national team he made his debut for the U19s in the 2010 against the Iraq U19s in the AFC U-19 Championship. In 2011 AFC Asian Cup, he had played for senior Indian team squad of 23 against Turkmenistan.

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Current Affairs 04 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  • 2nd BRICS Youth Summit kicks off in Guwahati

    The second BRICS Youth Summit, 2016 was held in Guwahati, Assam from 1st July 2016 to 3rd July 2016. The summit was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in presence of Union Sports Minister Jitendra Singh.

    The three day summit had witnessed 70-member foreign delegation including ministers and head of executive authorities on youth affairs from BRICS nations.

    Theme : The theme for the prestigious event was "Youth as bridge for intra-BRICS exchanges"

    Facts about BRICS Youth Summit, 2016 :

    • The convention of youths will focused on enhanced people-to-people contacts of BRICS members - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
    • Over 50 foreign delegates, including ministers and head of executive authorities on youth affairs from BRICS nations, participated in the summit.
    • The BRICS Youth Summit focused on skill development and entrepreneurship, social inclusions, youth volunteerism and youth participation in governance.
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  • SBI secures USD 625 million from World Bank for solar programme

    SBI secures USD 625 million from World Bank for solar programmeIndia’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) and the World Bank have signed an agreement worth 4,200 crore rupees (USD 625 million) to support grid-connected rooftop solar programme (GRPV) in the country.

    Under GRPV programme, at least 400 MW solar capacity will be created across the country.

    The programme will help the government to faster achieve its target to generate 40 gigawatt (Gw) of electricity from the widespread installation of rooftop solar photo-voltaic panels.

    The eligible beneficiaries under the facility would be developers, aggregators and end-users, who wish to set up solar PV projects, mainly on commercial, industrial and institutional rooftops. Through this initiative, at least 400 megawatt (Mw)  solar capacity will be created across the country.

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  • Punjab Government launches Rapid Rural Police Response System

    Punjab Government has launched nation’s first Rapid Rural Police Response System across the state to ensure prompt and effective police response in villages to counter any crime or law and order situation in 20 minutes. 

    Punjab Government launches Rapid Rural Police Response SystemThe system was launched Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, he also flagged off  400 new motor-cycles and 220 new Bolero four-wheelers.

    The focus of the scheme is the rural population of the state and this is a unique one-of-its-kind Scheme in the country being specially focused on the rural population.

    Under this response system any residents from rural area would only have to make a call on police helpline 100 for any kind of assistance from the police force.

    The new system would be available for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to all kinds of emergencies or ‘call-for-help’ from the citizens of the State.

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  • Kerala Government bans e-cigarettes

    Kerala Government bans e-cigarettesKerala Government has banned e-cigarettes following study reports that the use of e-cigarettes could lead to cancer and heart diseases.

    In this regard, an order was issued that banned the production, sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes in the state. 

    With this, Kerala became the fourth Indian state to ban e-cigarettes. The other three states are Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

    Earlier in 2014, an expert committee appointed by the union government to study the ill effects of e-cigarette had recommended banning the device in the country. 

    E-cigarette :

    • They are handy electronic devices that emit doses of flavored liquid, which the user inhales.
    • The fluid in the e-cigarette, called e-liquid, is usually made of nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavorings.
    • Non-smokers who use e-cigarettes risk addiction to nicotine.
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  • Sports Ministry grants recognition to Paralympic Committee of India

    Sports Ministry grants recognition to Paralympic Committee of IndiaThe Sports Ministry has granted recognition to Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) after the International Paralympic Committee announced temporary lifting of suspension imposed on the national body last year so that Indians can take part under the tri-colour in the showpiece event in September. 

    The IPC, on May 31, decided to lift the ban on the Paralympic Committee of India with the sole purpose of allowing para-athletes of the country to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games under the tri-colour.This recognition gives a huge confidence boost to the several para-athletes who have qualified for 2016 Rio Paralympics.

    Background :

    The IPC had suspended PCI in April 2015 due to internal conflicts between different groups and persons, which were undermining the development of Paralympic Movement in India.

    Following suspension, Indian para-athletes were not allowed to participate in any IPC-sanctioned competition, including 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

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  • India’s first integrated Defence Communication Network launched

    India’s first integrated Defence Communication Network launchedIndia's first integrated defence communication network (DCN) was launched by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

    The  network will be used by Army, Navy, Air Force and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process. It is the first tri-service communication and IT network of the Armed Forces.

    Key Facts :

    • HCL Infosystems has enabled the design, development and deployment of Defence Communication Network (DCN) the first tri-service communication and IT network of the Armed Forces.
    • The hi-tech, fully secure DCN is the largest single satellite network in the Indian Defence Forces, spread across the country.
    • This integrated communication architecture between the Army, Navy and Air Force bolsters the prowess of the Defence forces during both critical operations and rescue missions.
    • HCL Infosystems has had a long association with the Indian Defence sector. The company has closely worked with the Indian Air Force to deploy The Air Force Network (AFNet) and AFCEL (Air Force Cellular Network).

    AFNet: It is the first network of its kind for Indian Defence Institutions, which interlinks major installations throughout the country on a high bandwidth network. It incorporates latest traffic transportation technology in the form of Internet Protocol.

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  • Amul to officially sponsor Indian contingent at Rio Olympics 2016

    India's largest food products marketing organization Amul has announced its sponsorship of the Indian contingent at the biggest multi-sport event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

    It should be noted that Amul had earlier sponsored the Indian contingent at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    The contract in this regard was signed by Secretary General Indian Olympic Association IOA, Rajeev Mehta and Managing Director Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (Amul), R S Sodhi.

    2016 Rio Olympics will play host to the largest Indian contingent ever in which more than 100 sports persons are taking part in different sporting events. 

    Amul aims to engage with youth and leverage the connection between the energy of milk and sports.

    Amul : 

    Amul based at Anand in the state of Gujarat was formed in 1946. It is a brand managed by a cooperative body, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (GCMMF), which today is jointly owned by 3.6 million milk producers  across 18,600 villages of Gujarat. Dr. Verghese Kurien, founder-chairman of the GCMMF for more than 30 years (1973–2006), is credited with the success of Amul.

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  • Eminent Marathi literary scholar RC Dhere passes away

    Eminent Marathi literary scholar RC Dhere passes awayEminent Marathi litterateur and folk scholar Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere, known for his ground-breaking work on Maharashtra’s religious traditions  passed away after prolonged illness in Pune, Maharashtra. He was 86.

    His other works that won acclaim included ‘Muslim Marathi Saint Poets’, ‘Dakshinecha Lokdev Khandoba’, ‘History of Nath Sampraday’ and ‘Sri Venkateshwara'.

    He  was a recipient of the Sahitya Academy Award in 1987 for his book ‘Sri Vitthal- A Mahasamanvayak (Lord Vitthal- A great coordinator)’.

    Dhere wrote over 100 scholarly books, including some edited or translated works of others, on Marathi folk literature and culture, Marathi literature, religious sects in Maharashtra, and lives of sant poets. He also composed a few poems and musical plays.

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  • High-speed OPV INS Tarasa launched by Indian Navy

    High-speed OPV INS Tarasa launched by Indian NavyIndian Navy has launched INS Tarasa, the last ship in the series of four Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts (WJFAC) being built by Kolkata  based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) for the Indian Navy .

    The WJFACs are ideally suited for interception of fast-moving surface craft and will perform anti-smuggling, fishery protection and search and rescue operations.

    Facts about INS Tarasa :

    • Powered by the latest 4,000-series MTU engines with advanced machinery control system, the ship will be fitted with CRN-91 indigenous 30mm gun with optronic pedestal and will have the latest communication equipment and radars to enable effective surveillance.
    • With a 315 tonne displacement, the ship is designed for a maximum speed of 35 knots, with an endurance of nearly 2,000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots. It will perform anti-smuggling, fishery protection and search and rescue operations.
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  • National Doctors’ Day observed on 1st July

    National Doctors’ Day observed on 1st JulyJuly 1 is observed as National Doctors’ Day  all across the country to honour the legendary physician and the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. The Doctor's Day is observed to lay emphasis on the value of doctors in our lives.

    He was an alumnus of the Medical College Calcutta of the University of Calcutta. He is one of the few people who completed both F.R.C.S. and M.R.C.P. simultaneously within only two years and three months. 

    He is often considered the great architect of West Bengal, who founded five eminent cities, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar, and Habra.  

    He was awarded Bharat Ratna on 4 February 1961, India's highest civilian honour. He was also a member of the Brahmo Samaj.

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Current Affairs 01 Jul 2016 Jul 2016

  • Antarctic ozone hole beginning to heal : Scientists

    Researchers for the first time have found clear evidence that the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal.

    The scientists said that in September 2015 the hole was around 4 million sq km smaller than it was in the year 2000 - an area roughly the size of India.

    The first hole in Antarctic ozone were identified in the mid-1980s.

    Antarctic ozone hole beginning to heal : ScientistsOzone layer in the atmosphere’s stratospheric layer comprises of Ozone (O3), an allotrope of oxygen.

    Ozone is important because it blocks out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.

    Its absence increases the chances of skin cancer, cataract damage, and harm to animals and plants.

    In 1986, US researcher Susan Solomon showed that ozone was being destroyed by the presence of molecules containing chlorine and bromine that came from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), found in hairsprays to refrigerators to air conditioning units.

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  • Argentina women win record seventh Champions Trophy title

    Argentina women win record seventh Champions Trophy titleThe Argentina women's team  has claimed a record seventh Champions Trophy title  by defeating Netherlands .

    In the final match played at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, UK,  Argentina women’s team defeated Netherlands by a score of 2-1.

    Earlier they had won it in 2001, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014.

     

     

    Final standings:

    1: Argentina
    2: The Netherlands
    3: USA
    4: Australia
    5: Great Britain
    6: New Zealand

    Individual Awards :

    Best player: Carla Rebecchi (Argentina)
    Best junior player: Maria Granatto (Argentina)
    Best goalkeeper: Joyce Sombroek (Netherlands)

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  • Union HRD Ministry launches Prashikshak, an online teacher education portal

    Union Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani launched "Prashikshak"- an online teacher education portal for District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) with a vision to bring quality teachers into the school education system.

    Union HRD Ministry launches Prashikshak, an online teacher education portal

    Key facts about "Prashikshak" :

    The portal has been developed by the HRD ministry in collaboration with the Central Square Foundation, a policy think tank focused on improving quality of school education.

    It is an open online platform for collecting and reporting data from all DIETs which will help in the establishment of a strong monitoring mechanism.

    It has been launched to help DIETs make informed decisions about their institutes and compare the performance of their institute against other DIETs by facilitating online reporting of data.

    It will contain a comprehensive database of all DIETs in the country with all relevant performance indicators. It will also help teachers to make decision about which institute to join.

    District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) :

    DIETs were formed under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Teacher Education (CSSTE) and are aimed at offering pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes for Government elementary school teachers. At present, there are 588 DIETs with an intake of 98,052 students and sanctioned faculty strength of 12,647.

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  • Union Cabinet approves approves MoU between UPSC and Royal Civil Service Commission, Bhutan

    The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan. 

    The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment. In the past, UPSC had signed MOU with Public Service Commission of Canada and Bhutan. 

    It will develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals. The areas of cooperation include the following: 

    Union Cabinet approves approves MoU between UPSC and Royal Civil Service Commission, Bhutan Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs.

    Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc. 

    Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on audit of processes and procedures followed by various Government agencies in recruitment for posts under the delegated powers. Digitization of records, storage and display of historical records. 

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  • Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as president of Philippines  

    Rodrigo Duterte,71, has been sworn in as the 16th president of the Philippines.  was administered oath to the office by the Supreme Court justice at the Malacanang presidential palace. He will have tenure of six years. He is the first Mindanaoan president of the country.

    Facts about Rodrigo Duterte :

    Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as president of PhilippinesDuterte is the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and was mayor of  Davao City for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years span. 

    Over a period of 20 years, he turned Davao City from the "murder capital of the Philippines" to what tourism organisations now describe as "the most peaceful city in southeast Asia". 

    Duterte nicknamed "The Punisher", has been accused of links to vigilante death squads in Davao and thought to be responsible for the executions of drug traffickers, criminals, gang members and other lawless elements.

    During the Presidential elections, he was nicknamed as Dirty Harry and often was compared to the US presidential candidate Donald Trump. He has zero tolerance policies against criminals and drug traffickers.

    He was urged to run for the Philippine presidency numerous times, but he refused these offers until well into 2015 on the grounds of a "flawed government system", old age and opposition from his family.

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  • China Launches 2nd Shijian-16 Satellite

    China Launches 2nd Shijian-16 SatelliteChina launched its second Shijian-16 series satellitefor space research and experiments. The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013.

    The satellite was carried by a Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province.

    It was the 231st flight  by a Long March rocket.The 2nd Shijian-16 Satellite will be used for space environment measurements, radiation and its effect as well as technology testing.

    Long March-4B rocket : Long March-4B rocket is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket used mostly to place satellites into low Earth and sun synchronous orbits. It was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST) and first introduced in May 1999. 

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  • Renowned artist K.G. Subramanyan dies at 92

    Renowned artist K.G. Subramanyan, credited with being one of the pioneers of Indian modern art, passed away in Vadodara, Gujarat following a brief illness. He was 92. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2012.

    Facts about K G Subramanyan :

    Renowned artist K.G. Subramanyan dies at 92Born as Kalpathi Ganpathi Subramanyan in 1924 in a village in Kerala. He studied economics at Presidency College, Madras and was  actively involved in the Indian freedom struggle.

    The turning point of his life, as an artist, came when he visited Santiniketan to study in Kala Bhavan, the art faculty of Visva Bharati University. Here he got mentors as Nandalal Bose, Benode Behari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij. 

    In 1951 he became a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts in M.S. University in Baroda. He was famous for his terracotta murals, glass paintings, illustrated children’s books, works on canvas that drew upon myth, memory and tradition, sculptures and drawings.

    Awards and Honours: Padma Vibhushan (2012), Padma Bhushan (2006) and Padma Shri (1975).

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  • Four Indian-Americans honoured with 2016 Great Immigrants Award in US

    Four Indian-Americans honoured with 2016 Great Immigrants Award in USFour Indian-Americans, including Google CEO Sunder Pichai, are among 42 US nationals to be honoured with this year's prestigious "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America" award for their inspiring professional accomplishments.

    The other three Indian-Americans are :

    (i) Hari Sreenivasan, anchor and senior correspondent, PBS NewsHour. 
    (ii) Vikram Malhotra Chairman of the Americas McKinsey & Company. 
    (iii) Bharati Mukherjee National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author.

    " Great Immigrants: The Pride of America " Award :

    The award is given by New York-based Carnegie Corporation on the occasion of Independence Day of United States (4th July). It should be noted that Andrew Carnegie the founder of  Carnegie Corporation was one of pioneer American capitalist who had shaped the modern American industry and philanthropy. Andrew Carnegie was also the son of impoverished immigrants who had settled in US. 

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Current Affairs 30 Jun 2016 Jun 2016

  • Veteran Naga leader Isak Chisi Swu passes away

    Isak Chisi Swu, co-founder of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)  passed away in Delhi. He was 86. Swu, along with Thuingaleng Muivah and S S Khaplang, raised the banner of sovereignty for Greater Nagalim outside of India and as Naga leader he had led one of the worst insurgencies in the North-East India for almost three decades.

    Veteran Naga leader Isak Chisi Swu passes away

    Isak Chisi Swu (1929-2016) :

    He was a political science graduate from St. Anthony's College, Shillong. He joined the underground outfit, Naga National Council (NNC) in 1950 and served as its foreign secretary. 

    This organisation formed by of Angami Zapu Phizo fought for the secession of Nagaland from India. Swu later went on to become the vice president of NNC. 

    In 1980 a  faction led by Isak, Muviah and SS Khaplang broke away from NNC to form the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), which continued the secessionist activities.

    Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) :

    Isak Chishi Swu along with Thuingaleng Muivah had formed the NSCN in 1980 opposing the Shillong Accord signed by the then Naga National Council (NNC) with the Government of India. 

    The main goal of the NSCN is to establish a sovereign Christian state, "Nagalim", which would consist of all the areas inhabited by the Naga people in Northeast India and Northwest Myanmar.

    NSCN (IM) has been accused of indulging in killings, extortion and other subversive activities in the North East region It has been declared as a terrorist organisation in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

    NSCN-IM had signed a framework agreement with the government of India in 2015  to find a permanent solution to the vexed Naga issue. Swu is considered as the main person behind the pact. 

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  • Anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra inducted in Navy

    Anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra inducted in NavyIndigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra has been successfully inducted in the navy, making India one of the eight countries to have the capability to design and build such a system.

    Facts about Varunastra :

    It has been developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a premier laboratory of DRDO. Weighing around 1.25 tonnes, it can carry about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.

    • The Varunastra torpedo has been developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a premier laboratory of DRDO. It weighs around 1.25 tonnes and carries about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour. 
    • It has almost 95 per cent indigenous content. It is capable of targeting stealthy and quiet submarines, both in deep and littoral waters in intense counter-measure environment. 
    • Varunastra has been designed with latest technologies such as high-speed and long endurance propulsion, software driven intelligence, conformal array acoustic homing with wide look angle and advanced digital signal processing.
    • It has a GPS-based locating aid, a unique feature in contemporary torpedoes in the world. It is also equipped with advanced autonomous guidance algorithms with low drift navigational aids, insensitive warhead which can operate in various combat scenarios.

    Torpedo: It is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead. It is launched above or below the water surface and propelled underwater towards a target. It is designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

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  • Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania 

    Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania for bilateral cooperation in water resources management and development.

    The areas of enhanced cooperation include techniques in water harvesting, surface and groundwater management and development and aquifer recharge. 

    Provisions in the MoU

    Collaboration and sharing of expertise on the areas mutually agreed will benefit the country in techniques in water harvesting, water conservation, surface and groundwater management and development, and aquifer recharge.

    Exchange of experts, organization of training programs, study tours and other such activities including demonstrative pilot studies to build capacities. A Joint Working Group between both countries will be formed to monitor the activities under the MoU.

    Background

    • The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management.  
    • These are mainly through sharing of technical and policy expertise, conducting of workshops, scientific, technical symposia and training courses, study tours and exchange of experts.
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  • 29 June: National Statistics Day celebrated

    The National Statistics Day is celebrated every year on June 29 to mark the birth anniversary of renowned statistician Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis and create public awareness among people about the importance of statistics in daily life and in the process of planning and development. Year 2016 marks the tenth edition of National Statistics Day.

    National Statistics Day, 2016 theme : “Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare”.

    About Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis :

    National Statistics Day celebratedBorn on 29 June 1893. He is best remembered for the Mahalanobis distance, a statistical measure. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute, and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys.

    He had made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He was also a member of the Planning Commission (PC) from 1955 to 1967.

    His variant of Wassily Leontief's Input-output model, the Mahalanobis model, was employed in the Second Five Year Plan.

    This plan had encouraged the development of heavy industry in India and later became known as the Mahalanobis model or Basic Industry strategy of economic growth.

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  • Cabinet panel approves three highway projects

    Cabinet panel approves three highway projectsThe Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved three highway projects worth Rs 5,963 crore. The projects include four laning of Aurangabad-Telwadi section of NH-211 (87 km) in Maharashtra, four laning of Angul-Sambalpur Section of NH-42 (151 km) in Odisha and four laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar Section of NH-344A (80 km) in Punjab.

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  • Supreme Court Cannot Exercise Power Of Pardon Vested With President, Governor

    Supreme Court Cannot Exercise Power Of Pardon Vested With President, GovernorA bench of justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said that the constitutional power of the executive to grant pardon to convicts cannot be exercised by the apex court unless there is a violation of fundamental rights.

    There was an argument that when a pardon or remission can be given under Article 72 (by President) or 161 (by Governor)  by the constitutional authority, that why  similar power of Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution can not be invoked.

    Article 32 of the Indian constitution which grants Supreme Court the authority to pardon or remission, can be only invoked when there is violation of any fundamental right or where the Court takes up certain grievance which falls in the realm of public interest litigation.

    The observation came on the pleas of some persons convicted under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act who were seeking grant of remission of their 10-year sentence as the relief was not available to them under the New Punjab Jail Manual of 1996.

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  • Up to 4.8 million South Sudanese face severe food shortages: UN

    Up to 4.8 million South Sudanese face severe food shortages: UNAccording to report published by UN agencies, up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan face severe food shortages in coming months, the highest level since a conflict erupted between government troops and a newly formed rebel group.

    Nearly 70,000 people have fled to nearby towns while about 10,000 of them have taken shelter at a United Nations base in the area, where streams of displaced continue to arrive. 

    The U.N. World Food Programme, expected to assist 3.3 million people this year with emergency food assistance, life-saving nutrition support and other aid but the continued clashes and rains at this time of year adds to the challenge of supplying those in need.

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Current Affairs 29 Jun 2016 Jun 2016

  • Gudni Johannesson wins 2016 Presidential election of Iceland

    Gudni Johannesson, an Icelandic historian and lecturer at the University of Iceland has won the 2016 Presidential election in Iceland.He will succeed Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who served 20 years as head of state.

    The history professor who ran as an independent in the election was able to secure 39.1% of the vote. He defeated Halla Tomasdottir, a businesswoman without party affiliation, who was able to secure 27.9% votes. While David the former conservative party Prime Minister and Central Bank Governor David Oddsson was placed third and he won just 13% votes.

    Facts about Gudni Johannesson

    Gudni Johannesson wins 2016 Presidential election of IcelandGudni Johannesson born 26 June 1968 is historian and lecturer at the University of Iceland, Bifrost University and University of London.

    His field of research is modern Icelandic history in which he has published a number of works, including on the Cod Wars, (2008–11) Icelandic financial crisis and the Icelandic presidency.

    He has written a biography of Gunnar Thoroddsen (former PM of Iceland) and a book about the presidency of Kristjan Eldjarn. He has expertise in political history, diplomacy and the constitution. 

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  • PM Narendra Modi releases book titled The Birds of Banni Grassland

    PM Narendra Modi releases book titled The Birds of Banni GrasslandPrime Minister Narendra Modi   released a book titled "The Birds of Banni Grassland" in New Delhi. The book was presented to the Prime Minister by the Scientists of Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE). 

    The Book is a compilation of the research work, relating to more than 250 species of birds found in the Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat.

    The Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, located at Bhuj, has been studying the plant, bird and marine life in the Rann of Kutch for over 15 years. 

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  • Nagaland launches Sakhi-One Stop Centre to help women in distress

    Nagaland launches Sakhi-One Stop Centre to help women in distressNagaland Government has launched women helpline “181” and “Sakhi-One Stop Centre”, an institute that supports women affected by violence. It was launched by the state Governor P B Acharya at the District Hospital Dimapur in Nagaland.

    It is an initiative of Union Government under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for women safety pertaining to strategic areas of prevention, protection and rehabilitation.

    The helpline and centre aim to provide integrated assistance including medical, legal and psychological counselling to women affected by violence.

    Objectives Sakhi-One Stop Centre : It will provide 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.

    181 (Women Helpline): It will provide 24 hour emergency response to all women affected by violence, through referral by linking them with appropriate authorities such as Police, hospital or OSC. It will also provide information about women related government schemes and programmes across the country through a single uniform number -181.

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  • CAG Shashi Kant Sharma gets honorary professorship in China

    Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Shashi Kant Sharma has been conferred honorary professorship by the Nanjing Audit University (NAU) in China.  It is the only university which is recognised by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

    Shashi Kant Sharma

    CAG Shashi Kant Sharma gets honorary professorship in ChinaShashi Kant Sharma is a 1976 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre.  He succeeded Vinod Rai as the supreme auditor of the Constitutional body on 23 May 2013. In July 2014 he assumed office as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditor General for a term of six years.

    Education : He has B.Sc.from university of allahabad, and an M.Sc. in Administrative Science and Development Problems from University of  New York, and an M.A. in Political Science from Agra University.

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  • Sweden inaugurates world’s first electric road

    Sweden on 22 June 2016 inaugurated a test stretch of an electric road in Sandviken, making it one of the first countries in the world to conduct tests with electric power for heavy transports on public roads.

    About the test :

    Sweden inaugurates world’s first electric roadThe test was conducted on parts of road E16. It involved a current collector on the roof of the truck that feeds 750 volts DC to the truck's hybrid electric system. The current conductor can connect automatically at speeds up to 90 km/h.

    The tests will continue up through 2018. They will provide knowledge of how electric roads work in practice, and whether the technology can be used in the future.

    The experiment is based on the Government's goal of energy efficiency and a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030, and will contribute to strengthening Sweden's competitiveness.

    Funding : The project is being partially funded by Sweden’s three government agencies viz. Swedish Transport Administration, Swedish Energy Agency, and the country’s innovation agency Vinnova. The rest funding is provided by the private participants. 

    Comment : Electric roads could have great significance for creating more sustainable transports in the future. It will bring sweden one step closer to fossil fuel-free transports, and has the potential to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions.

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  • NS Vishwanathan appointed RBI deputy governor

    NS Vishwanathan appointed RBI deputy governor Appointments Committee of the Cabinet,  headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the appointment of  N S Vishwanathan  as the new Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),  replacing H R Khan, who will retire next week. His term will be for three years.

    Mr. Vishwanathan has so far held the post of executive director in the RBI since April 2014 and currently oversees banking and non-banking regulation departments. 

    Prior to being appointed as executive director in April 2014, Vishwanathan was principal chief general manager in the department of non-banking supervision.

    He has also served as chief general manager of vigilance at IFCI Ltd, a Delhi-based government-owned finance company.

    The central bank has four deputy governors two from within the ranks (the other being R Gandhi), a former commercial banker (S S Mundra) and an economist to head the monetary policy department (Urjit Patel).

    A search panel headed by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, and including RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, was in charge of selecting the Deputy Governor. 

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  • Median marriage age up: Census data

    Median marriage age upNew Census data released by the Registrar-General and Census Commissioner shows that the median age at the time of marriage has increased across categories of people and genders. 

    The median age for men increased to 23.5 at the time of the 2011 Census, from 22.6 as per the 2001 figures. These numbers were 19.2 years and 18.2 years for women in the respective years.

    The median age for marginal workers increased from 21.8 to 22.5 for men and from 17.6 to 18.7 for women. For non-workers, the age at the time of marriage increased from 22.8 to 23.5 for men and from 18.5 to 19.4 for women.

    Reason behind the change :

    • The reason for the upswing is the increasingly mobile and migratory nature of work in the country. The  other reason for the change could be higher levels of school enrolment.
    • In recent years school enrolments have been going up. School enrolment is about 90 per cent everywhere, across most castes. It is 80 per cent-plus for Dalits. People are sending their children to school, which also has an effect on the age of marriage.
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  • Italian film actor Bud Spencer is dead

    Italian film actor Bud Spencer is deadItalian film actor Bud Spencer  known among his fans as the ‘big friendly giant’ of the screen because of his height and weight has died at age 86 on June 27 in Rome.

    He appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together.  He was a regular in Spaghetti Westerns (a western film made cheaply in Europe by an Italian director).

    Pedersoli's first film role was in Quel fantasma di mio marito, an Italian comedy shot in 1949 and released in 1950. In 1951 he played a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, a fampus epic film shot in Italy made by MGM and directed Mervyn LeRoy

    Spencer was born in the southern Italian city of Naples in 1929, but later moved to Rome, where he became a promising swimmer. In 1950, he was the first Italian to swim 100m in under one minute. He abandoned his swimming career after the 1960 Olympics in Rome. 

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  • Tata Communications to sell subsidiary Neotel

    Tata Communications to sell subsidiary NeotelLiquid Telecom, a privately-owned, pan-Africa telecom group, majority owned by Econet Wireless Global, has entered into an agreement to acquire, Neotel a subsidiary of Tata Communications for South African Rand 6.55 billion (Rs 2,904 crore).

    Through this acquistion Liquid Telecom  will be able to access Liquid Africa’s 24,000 km of cross border, metro and access fibre networks. These currently span 12 countries from South Africa to Kenya.

    Earlier in March 2016 Tata Communications’ transaction to sell a majority stake in subsidiary Neotel to Vodacom, South Africa, had lapsed due to regulatory complexities and non-fulfilment of certain conditions.

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  • MoU signed between CSIR and CIMFR for coal quality analysis

    MoU signed between CSIR and CIMFR for coal quality analysisCouncil of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Centre Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Coal Supplying companies and Power Utilities for quality analysis of coal being supplied to power utilities by coal companies.

    As a part of this MoU, CSIR-CIMFR would make use of its knowledge based support in maintaining the quality of coal at national level for the entire power sector. 

    It is estimated that about 300 million metric tons of coal samples would be analyzed for quality per year. The contract value of the project is around Rs 250 crore per annum at minimum. 

    It is also expected that this project will result in improvement in performance of power plants besides levaraging benefits to the consumer in particular and society as a whole. The endevour would help the nation in sustainable energy supply and security planning for future as it may reduce import of thermal coal.

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  • Restaurants, shops, malls, banks can now remain open 24/7 for 365 days

    Restaurants, shops, malls, banks can now remainThe Union government has approved a new model law that allows shops, malls, cinema halls, restaurants, and other establishments to be open round the clock.

    The law would also enable women to work during the night in shops and establishments with mandatory cab services and other workplace facilities for them.

    All such units which employee 10 or more workers will come under this Act except manufacturing units or shops with work related to printing, banking, insurance; stocks and shares brokerage to operate 365 days with flexibility on timing to open and close.

    The model law is aimed at generating additional employment as shops and establishments will have freedom to operate for longer hours requiring more manpower.

    The model law  also provides exemption to highly-skilled workers like those in IT and bio-technology from daily working hours (9 hours) and weekly working hours (48 hours).

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Current Affairs 28 Jun 2016 Jun 2016

  • MoU singed between RD Ministry and ISRO for geo-tagging assets

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Rural Development Ministry and ISRO, Department of Space for geo-tagging the assets created under MGNREGA in each gram panchayat.Around 30 lakh assets are created annually across the country under the rural job scheme. The geo-tagging of such assets will be done on a mission mode. 

    Key Facts :MoU singed between RD Ministry and ISRO for geo-tagging assets

    The asset created under MGNREGA and other schemes will be completely geo-tagged with photograph through Bhuvan Mobile Platform by Gram Rozgar Sahayak or Junior engineer. 

    The move will check leakages and promote effective mapping of terrain for future developmental works. It will also promote planning and execution of projects in a transparent manner.

    Background :

    The move comes after the Prime Minister during a review meeting recently had underlined for online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages and for effective mapping of terrain for future developmental works.

    Huge amount of funds are now flowing through the 14th Finance Commission to Gram Panchayats, more and more quality assets will be added through MGNREGA in rural areas which will lead to poverty reduction. 

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  • Noted Malayalam theatre artist Kavalam Narayana Panicker passes away

    Veteran Malayalam theatre doyen Kavalam Narayana Panicker passed away on 26 June 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 88. He was dramatist, theatre director and poet. 

    He has written over 26 Malayalam plays, many adapted from classical Sanskrit drama and Shakespeare. He played a pioneering role in bringing idiom into Malayalam theatre.

    Kavalam Narayana Panicker 

    Noted Malayalam theatre artist Kavalam Narayana Panicker passes away

    He was born on 28 April 1928 in Kavalam, Kerala. He obtained a degree in Economics from S D College, Alappuzha and later a Bachelor of Law degree from Madras Law College.He had started his career as a lawyer in 1955 for six years but later devoted himself to art and literature.

    He has written over 26 Malayalam plays. His notable works include Madhyamavyayogam (1979), Kalidasa’s Vikramorvasiyam (1981), Shakuntalam (1982), Karnabharam (1984), Bhasa’s Uru Bhangam (1988), Swapnavasavadattam and Dootavakyam (1996). 

    He has worked in many countries, including the former Soviet Union. In Greece he worked with Greek artists on a production of the Ilyayana, a fusion of the Indian Ramayana and the Greek epic Iliad.

    Awards and Honours: Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Direction (1983), Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2002), Padma Bhushan (2007). 

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  • AIIB approves first loans for projects in four countries

    China sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved first set of loans totalling US 509 million dollars to finance projects in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Tajikistan. The four projects were approved in Board of Directors meeting held in Beijing.

    Projects that have been approved :

    AIIB approves first loans for projects in four countriesBangladesh: USD 165 million loan for a Power Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion Project in Bangladesh.

    Indonesia: USD 216.5 million loan for a National Slum Upgrading Project, expected to be co-financed with the World Bank.

    Pakistan: USD 100 million loan to finance the Shorkot-Khanewal Section of National Motorway M-4 in Pakistan will be co-financed by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID).

    Tajikistan: USD 27.5 million loan for the Dushanbe-Uzbekistan Border Road Improvement Project in Tajikistan, will be co-financed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) . 

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) 

    It  is an international financial institution that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region. The bank has 37 member states. It was proposed as an initiative by the government of China.

    The capital of the bank is USD 100 billion, equivalent to two-third of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

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  • Chile wins 2016 Copa America Football tournament

    Chile has retained the Copa America Football title beating Argentina in the penalty shootout. In the Final played at New Jersey this morning, Chile defeated Argentina by 4-2 goals in the penalty shootout as in the regulation period both teams failed to score goal.

    With this Chile became the fourth nation to win at least two consecutive Copa America titles, after Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil while Argentina lost it's  third consecutive final following a loss to Germany at the 2014 World Cup and Chile at the 2015 Copa America.

    Chile wins 2016 Copa America Football tournament

    Awards :

    Golden Boot (top scorer) : Eduardo Vargas (Chile, 6 goals) . 
    Golden Ball (best player) : Alexis Sanchez (Chile). 
    Golden Glove (best goalkeeper) : Claudio Bravo (Chile). 

    Copa America Football title :

    Copa America which was formerly known as the South American Football Championship (Campeonato Sudamericano de Fútbol in Spanish) is an international football competition. 

    It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.

    The present tournament format was restructured in 1993 which involves 12 teams. These teams compete at venues in a host nation over a period of one month.

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  • Lionel Messi retires from international football

    Lionel Messi retires from international footballFollowing Argentina's loss to Chile in the Copa America final, ace footballer Lionel Messi announced that he would no longer play for the national team.

    Messi’s retirement came as a surprise to many as he is just 29 years of age. Argentina lost to Chile on penalties after both sides failed to break the deadlock. 

    His nation had counted on him to bring home its first major title since 1993 but Messi, a five-time FIFA player of the year, winner of four Champions League titles and eight Spanish La Liga crowns with Barcelona, was crushed.

    Comment : Messi is the only football player in history to win five FIFA Ballons d'Or, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes. He is often considered the best player in the world and rated by many in the sport as the greatest of all time.

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  • TCS to be levied above Rs 2 lakh only if payment in cash

    TCS to be levied above Rs 2 lakh only if payment in cashCentral board of direct taxes (CBDT) has issued a new circular which says Tax collected at Source (TCS) levy will not be applicable when cash part of the payment for certain goods or services is less than Rs 2 lakh, even when the total payment is more than this amount.

    For example in a case where a good worth Rs 5 lakh is sold for which the consideration amounting to Rs 4 lakh has been received in cheque and Rs 1 lakh has been received in cash, no tax is required to be collected at source as per Section 206C (1D) as the cash receipt does not exceed Rs 2 lakh.

    Background

    The Income Tax Department has been levying 1 per cent TCS on cash purchase of bullion in excess of Rs 2 lakh and jewellery in excess of Rs 5 lakh since July 1, 2012 and there has been no change in that position. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget 2016-17, had imposed TCS of one per cent on goods and services purchased in cash in excess of Rs 2 lakh.

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Current Affairs 27 Jun 2016 Jun 2016

  • Indian-origin lawyer to chair panel on human rights in S Sudan

    Indian-origin lawyer to chair panel on human rights in S SudanSouth African Indian-origin lawyer and long-time human rights activist Yasmin Sooka has been appointed to chair a UN commission to monitor the human rights situation in South Sudan and make recommendations for their improvement.

    Other two members of the committee are Kenneth R. Scott (US) and Godfrey M. Musila (Kenya).

    The Commissioners will provide guidance to the government of South Sudan on transitional justice, accountability and reconciliation issues and will engage with international and regional mechanisms to promote accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

    The UN resolved to establish the Commission following calls for investigation into alleged atrocities by both government and rebel forces before an independent South Sudan was carved out of the larger Sudan in 2011.

    South Sudan :

    South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city.

    South Sudan has suffered internal conflict since its independence. It has the highest score on the Failed States Index.

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  • Scientists develop new bio-ink for 3D bio-printing with stem cells

    The Scientists from the University of Bristol, England have developed a new stem cell-containing bio-ink that allows 3D printing of complex living tissues that may be used for surgical implants. The study in this regard was published in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

    How 3D bio-printing with stem cells was done ?

    Scientists develop new bio-ink for 3D bio-printing with stem cellsThe new bio ink containing stem cells allows scientists to 3D print of living tissue which is also known as bio-printing.

    The new bio-ink contains two different polymer components: a natural polymer extracted from seaweed and a sacrificial synthetic polymer used in the medical industry.

    The special bio-ink formulation was extruded from a retrofitted benchtop 3D printer, as a liquid that transformed to a gel at 37 degrees Celsius, which allowed construction of complex living 3D architecture.

    The synthetic polymer causes the bio-ink to change from liquid to solid when the temperature is raised and the seaweed polymer provides structural support when the cell nutrients are introduced.

    Comment : The new technique is expected to pave the way for the production of complex tissues to replace diseased or damaged areas of the body such as knees and hips and eventually the creation of vital organs. 

    What is stem cell ?

    • Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divideto produce more stem cells. They are found in multicellular organisms. 
    • In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues.The stem cells have potential to change the face of curing human diseases and alleviate suffering.
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  • Indian bags UN honour for corporate sustainability initiative

    Indian bags UN honour for corporate sustainability initiativeZubaida Bai, an Indian social entrepreneur, has been named among 10 "champions and pioneers" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon under the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative that calls on companies to align with universal principles of human rights, environment and anti-corruption.

    She is the founder of 'ayzh', a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide.

    She was named among the 10 '2016 Global Compact SDG Pioneers', an initiative launched by UN to search for "entrepreneurs" who can play a pivotal role.

    UN Global Compact (UNGC) 

    • The United Nations Global Compact is a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.  
    • It supports  companies to do business responsibly by aligning their operations and strategies with the ten principles of  labour, environment, human rights and anti-corruption.
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  • Sprinter Dutee Chand qualifies for 2016 Rio Olympics  

    Sprinter Dutee Chand qualifies for 2016 Rio OlympicsDutee Chand became the first Indian sprinter to qualify for 2016 Rio Olympics by setting a national record in the 100 metres (11.30 seconds)  at XXVI International Meeting in Kazakhstan. 

    She became the 99th Indian to qualify for the Rio Games, starting on August 5 to 21. In the 26th International Meeting G.Kosanov Memorial, Kazakhstan’s Viktoriya Zyabkinawon won the race with personal best performance of 11.15s.

    Dutee Chand is the first Indian woman to qualify for the coveted 100m event since the International Olympics Committee introduced a qualifying mark in the segment. 

    Legendary athlete PT Usha had qualified for the same event in 1980 Moscow Olympics.

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  • Su-30 flies with BrahMos missile for first time

    On June 25, 2016 the frontline fighter aircraft Su-30 MKI flew with an 2,500 kg integrated BrahMos supersonic cruise missile that has a range of over 290 kms, making IAF the only air force in the world in possession of such a system.

    Su-30 flies with BrahMos missile for first timeIt is the first time in the world that such a heavyweight (2,500 kg) supersonic cruise missile has been integrated on a fighter aircraft.

    The aircraft was in the air for 45 minutes and was flown by Wing Commander Prashant Nair and Wg Cdr MS Raju, both flight test crew of the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment.

    The maiden flight will be followed by a series of test flights and complete evaluation and certification of BrahMos missile on Su30 MKI aircraft. Around 40 Su-30 MKI aircraft are expected to be modified.

    With successful integration of BrahMos on Su-30 MKI aircraft has become a lethal weapon delivery platform for IAF. With this IAF also moved few steps closer towards actual test firing when a 2.5 tonnes supersonic BrahMos air-to-ground missile from the Su-30 MKI.

    About BrahMos missile 

    BrahMos is  supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Missile’s name has been derived from the names of two rivers, India’s Brahmaputra River and Russia’s Moskva River.

    What makes it a lethal weapon ?

    • It has top supersonic speed of Mach 2.8 and is capable of carrying a warhead of 300 kilogram. 
    • It is two-stage missile, the first one being solid and the second one ramjet liquid propellant. 
    • It can strike a target at maximum range of 290 km.
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  • Paytm to help SMEs get products from China

    Paytm to help SMEs get products from ChinaMany Indian sellers don’t have capability to fly to China to check quality, variety and buy good but now Ecommerce platform Paytm  is working with sellers in India to help them source products from China and other countries at cheaper rates as well as help them with logistics and payments. 

    The company has already started sourcing products under the fashion accessory category and further plans to expand in mobile accessories and home decor products. 

    Paytm will also offer these sellers support of bonded warehouses in India and consolidation centres at the source country.

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