Current Affairs, News & Facts of 16 Apr 2016

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  • Govt appoints Susmita Pande as NMA chairperson

    Govt appoints Susmita Pande as NMA chairpersonUnion Government has appointed Susmita Pande as the new chairperson of the National Monument Authority (NMA).

    The position was lying vacant since last five months after the term of Himanshu Prabha Ray, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, ended.

    She is professor a professor at Ujjain’s Vikram University and currently heads the School of Studies in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology in Madhya Pradesh's Vikram University. 

    National Monuments Authority (NMA)

    NMA, under the Culture ministry, is responsible for the protection and preservation of centrally protected monuments and sites. It is headquatered in New Delhi.

    It also manages the regulated and prohibited area around the centrally protected monuments. It also makes recommendations to Union Government for grading and classifying centrally protected monuments and protected areas declared as of national importance. 

  • India, South Korea ink MoU for cooperation and mutual assistance in development of Ports

    India, South Korea ink MoU for cooperation and mutual assistance in development of PortsIndia and South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation and mutual assistance in development of ports.

    It was signed  by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport and Highways and Shipping and Mr. Kim Young Suk, Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Government of the Republic of Korea in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

    Facts about the MoU :

    • The signing of the MoU will  help both countries facilitate the development of ports, port related industry, maritime relationship and cooperate in the tasks of sharing of technology, experiences in the fields of port development and operation, exchange of information on construction, building, engineering and related aspects in the field of port development
    • The MoU will facilitate Joint participation in port-related construction, building and engineering projects that both parties are interested in, exchange of experts including officials from the relevant ministries of each country in the field of port, and related education and training, other types of cooperation that may be mutually agreed upon between the two countries.
  • Union Government imposes anti-dumping duty on N-Butyl Alcohol

    Union Government imposes anti-dumping duty on N-Butyl AlcoholThe government  has imposed an anti-dumping duty of up to USD 149 on imports of a chemical used in fermentation of sugar from five countries, including the European Union, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S.

    In this regard, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued a notification based on the recommendation of Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD).

    DGAD  in its investigation into the import of N-Butyl Alcohol from the five nations  stated that " N-Butyl Alcohol imported from five countries mentioned above was found to be below normal value compared to domestic value, thus causing material injury to domestic injury".

    The anti-dumping duty imposed under this notification shall be effective for five years. Imports of the chemical from the five countries have risen to 53.195 tonnes in 2013-14 from 19,297 tonnes in 2010-11.

    N-Butyl Alcohol: N-Butanol is a product of the fermentation of sugar and other carbohydrates and is present in many foods and beverages. It is also a permitted artificial flavorant in the United States, used in butter, cream, fruit, rum, whiskey, ice cream and ices, candy, baked goods and cordials. It is also used in a wide range of consumer products.

  • India, US to collaborate on tackling offshore tax evasion

    India, US to collaborate on tackling offshore tax evasionIndia and the US have agreed to enhance collaboration on tackling offshore tax evasion and increase cooperation in sharing of cross-border tax information.

    A joint statement in this regard was issued after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and U.S Treasury Secretary Mr Jacob J. Lew met for the Sixth Annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership (EFP) held in Washington D.C. on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.

    Key facts

    • Both countries acknowledged progress being made to deepen mutual understanding and to improve cooperation across a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues.
    • They looked into the progress in sharing of financial information between the two countries under the Inter-Governmental Agreement pursuant to Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
    • India and US have enhanced cooperation in tackling money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism through increased information sharing and cooperation.
  • MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga appointed as member of US cybersecurity body

    MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga appointed as member of US cybersecurity bodyPresident Barack Obama has nominated MasterCard’s Indian-American CEO Ajay Banga as a member of the newly announced commission on enhancing national cybersecurity. 

    Banga is among 10 people named in the White House announcement, along with former boss of the top US spying body National Security Agency (NSA), General Keith Alexander.

    This commission was set up in February 2016 to make detailed recommendations to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy, ensuring public safety and economic and national security.

    About Ajay Banga

    • Banga has been heading MasterCard since 2010, during which period he also took charge of the US-India Business Council, a body to promote business between the two countries.
    • Banga, an alumnus of Delhi’s St Stephen’s College, was with Citigroup in various capacities from 1996 to 2009m with his last assignment there being CEO of the group’s Asia Pacific unit.
    • Before Citi, Banga spend two years at Pepsi as director of marketing and business development at the multinational’s India operations. He started his career in Nestle.
    • Banga has been a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations since 2015, and serves on the boards of the Dow Chemical Company and American Red Cross. He is also co-chair of the American India Foundation.
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Maritime India Summit 2016

    PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Maritime India Summit 2016Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the three-day Maritime India Summit 2016 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.  It is maiden flagship initiative of Ministry of Shipping, Government of India that will provide a unique global platform for investors to explore potential business opportunities in the Indian Maritime Sector.

    Participants: The event will have participation of delegates, CEOs and speakers from 41 countries in addition to India. A large delegation led by its Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Mr. Kim Young-Suk and comprising of two Deputy Ministers, senior Government officials and representatives of 52 maritime sector companies is participating in the Summit. Ministers from Mauritius, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Sudan and Maldives will also participate in the Summit.

    Objective : The objective of the three-day Maritime India Summit is to attract potential investors to the vast opportunities that the various components of the Maritime Sector have on offer. It will give impetus to Make In India and blue economy under the government’s ambitious Sagarmala Project emphasising on port-led development. The Centre plans to mobilise an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the port sector to more than double port capacity to 3,000 million tonnes by 2025. 

    Sagarmala Project : On this  occasion the Union government released a national perspective plan for the Sagarmala Project at the summit . It seeks to boost India’s merchandise exports by enhancing port connectivity through heavy haul rail corridor, freight-friendly expressways, inland waterways, coastal Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and industrial clusters. The project will create 40 lakh direct jobs and indirect employment for 60 lakh people. 

  • Malian photographer Malick Sidibe dies aged 80


    Malian photographer Malick Sidibe dies aged 80Malick Sidibe, the Malian photographer noted for his black-and-white studies of popular culture in the 1960s in Bamako, has died at the age of 80. In 2007, he became the first African winner of the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Biennale.  His work has been the subject of a number of publications and been exhibited throughout Europe, and in the United States.

    He won a Hasselblad Award for photography, a Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale,  and an International Center of Photography Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement.

    Malick Sidibe

    Sidibe was born in Bamako, Mali in 1936.  He was a peasant child who raised animals. From the age of five or six he began herding animals and working the land.

    When the time came he was chosen to be sent to the white school for an education.He became known among his classmates and teachers as an accomplished artist, and in 1952 won a place at the Ecole des Artisans Soudanais in Bamako.

    He got his photographic break working in the studio of Bamako’s leading society ­photo­grapher, Gerard Guillat. Sidibe spent his nights cycling between nightclubs, photographing party-goers into the small hours with his Brownie camera. His portraits proved so popular that he set up his own studio in 1962 and became known as “the Eye of Bamako”.

    His archive from those years totals tens of thousands of negatives, and his photographs are now held in collections across the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Getty Museum in California.


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