Current Affairs 19th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Pakistan's largest bank has received a license to open a branch in China, becoming the first South Asian bank to operate in the second biggest economy in the world. Habib Bank Limited (HBL) will open its branch in Urumqi, the largest city in the province of Xinjiang, a spokesman for the bank .Without giving a time frame for when the bank planned to start operating its branch the official explained the decision to get a license was taken given the growing economic trade between the two countries. Pakistan and China are presently surging ahead on their USD 46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor project which will connect Gwadar port in Pakistan's Baluchistan province to Xinjiang. A leading financial analyst said the HBL move was a calculated as in future Urumqi could become a major hub of trade between the two countries. Basically the bank wants to capitalise on the growing investment and trade activities between the two countries as it has already developed its reputation with the Chinese business and trade sector. HBL is a private limited entity first founded in 1947 by the prestigious Habib group and presently holds over 40 per cent of Pakistan's banking market share  China's interest in Pakistan has grown in recent years in economy and trade as investment from Chinese companies in the first eight months of the current fiscal year to USD 523 million from USD 204 million in the same period last year. Commodities imports from China to Pakistan have also grown to around USD 5 billion every year.   

HDFC Bank  has roped in K Balasubramanian, a senior executive at Citibank, to head its corporate banking business from next month .Balasubramanian, currently managing director for corporate banking at Citibank, joins at a time when HDFC Bank, known for its retail banking focus, makes a push to attract more companies and institutions to bank with it even as some of its key domestic rivals are plagued by bad debt He will report to Kaizad Bharucha, executive director in charge of wholesale banking at the private sector lender In April 2011, HDFC Bank had appointed Rakesh Singh to head its investment banking business from European bank Rothschild. Since then, HDFC has built a reputation in the debt capital markets even as it tries to build a foothold in the equity capital markets.  Wholesale banking in HDFC Bank includes lending to medium and large companies, small enterprises, investment banking and banking linked to the government.Within this segment, corporate loan book has grown quickly, rising from around Rs 47,000 crore about three years ago to Rs 1 lakh crore currently.  Corporate loan growth is growing quickly and this segment is a clear focus for the bank as its large rivals like ICICI Bank -1.76 % and SBI are plagued by bad loans from the segment  Balasubramanian will replace Jimmy Tata, who was in charge of corporate banking till last year. Tata is now the chief risk officer of the bank. 

India has signed an MoU with Mauritius on cooperation in the field of traditional system of medicine and homoeopathy.The MoU was signed during the recent visit of Minster of State for AYUSH (Independent Charge) and Health and Family Welfare Shripad Yesso Naik to Mauritius. Features : This MoU will promote cooperation in the field of traditional system of health and medicine between the two countries which already share these traditions due to our unique historical and cultural ties.It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries. It also aims at promotion and popularization of the diverse Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.The agreement will be of immense importance to both countries, considering their shared cultural heritage. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) as a part of its mandate to propagate Indian systems of medicine globally has entered into MoUs with China, Malaysia, Trinidad and Tobago, Hungary, Bangladesh and Nepal.The financial resources necessary to conduct research, training courses, meetings and deputations of experts will be met from the existing allocated budget and existing plan schemes of AYUSH.Both India and Mauritius share several cultural, historical, linguistic and literary similarities, traditional medicine including medicinal plants are promising areas which need to be further explored and can prove to be mutually beneficial to the people of the two countries.The Government of Mauritius also has a long history of traditional medicine in common with India and both countries shares a common culture with respect to the ayurvedic system of medicine  

Russia's Central Military District last week test-fired a cruise missile of the Iskander tactical missile system from the Kapustin Yar practice range in the southern Astrakhan Region as part of drill Iskander tactical ballistic missile : A missile brigade of the Central Military District has live-fired a cruise missile from the Iskander tactical missile system at the Kapustin Yar practice range in the Astrakhan Region today against a simulated enemy’s command post at a distance of about 200 km," TASS reported .The missile basically flew at an altitude of about 40-50 km.The missile that incorporates reduced signature technology was not detected by a simulated enemy’s electronic warfare means and successfully hit the target.Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems are capable of hitting both small-size and large-area targets at a distance of up to 500 km to destroy missile and multiple launch rocket systems, long-range artillery guns, aircraft and helicopters at aerodromes, command posts and communications centers.The Iskander tactical ballistic missile complex includes a launcher, a loader-transporter, a routine maintenance vehicle, a command post vehicle, an information post, an ammunition equipment set and training aids.

Laureus World Sports Awards 2016 were given in Berlin, Germany on 18 April 2016. The award ceremony was held in Germany for the first time.World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic of Serbia won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award, whereas US tennis player Serene Williams won the Sportswoman of the Year Award.For Djokovic it was back-to-back second Laureus Awards, whereas for Serena it was her fourth Laureus Awards. List of Awardees Sportsman of the Year: Novak Djokovic, Serbia (Tennis) Team of the Year: New Zealand national rugby union team Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams, the US (Tennis) Comeback of the Year: Dan Carter, New Zealand (Rugby) Breakthrough of the Year: Jordan Spieth, the US (Golf) Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Daniel Dias, Brazil (Paralympic swimmer) Action Sportsperson of the Year: Jan Frodeno, Germany (Triathelete) Sport for Good Award: Moving the Goalposts Laureus World Sports Lifetime Achievement Award: Niki Lauda, Australia (former Formula 1 racer) Spirit of Sport Award: Johan Cruyff, the Netherlands (Football) Laureus World Sports Award :   It is annual award given by Laureus World Sports Academy since 2000 It celebrates the most remarkable men and women from the world of sport along with the greatest achievements fans have admired throughout the year. It is given in 7 categories with the potential for additional discretionary Awards given.Each winner receives the Laureus Statuette, crafted by Cartier, with its representation of the striving human form against an engraved representation of the continents. Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on 13 April 2016 announced that the World Bank Group will invest 2.5 billion US dollars over 5 years in education projects that directly benefit adolescent girls.The announcement was followed by a call to action from the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, urging key policymakers and influencers from around the world to commit to urgent action in support of adolescent girls.The announcement was made at the Let Girls Learn event during the World Bank Group-IMF Spring Meetings.  Investment :  By 2020, the World Bank Group expects to invest at least 2.5 billion US dollars in education projects targeting adolescent girl. About 75 percent of these investments are expected to be from International Development Association (IDA), the Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries.The investments are largely estimated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which have the highest number of out-of-school girls.Programs to be supported will include a range of efforts to provide adolescent girls with access to quality education at the secondary level, provision of scholarships, conditional cash transfers, and schools with basic facilities like clean drinking water and toilets that promote enrolment. Today, 62 million girls around the world are not in school, and half of them are adolescents. As per the World Bank study, every year of secondary school education is correlated with an 18 percent increase in a girl’s future earning power. Educating adolescent girls and promoting gender equality is part of a broader effort by the Bank Group. This includes financing and analytical work in support of removing financial barriers that keep girls out of school, delaying child marriage, strengthening skills and job opportunities for adolescent girls. This multidimensional approach is outlined in the Bank Group’s new global strategy for gender equality.

Infosys co-founder on 17 April 2016 launched a new app named ‘Itihaasa’ that chronicles Indian IT journey since the 1950s.The app 'itihaasa' is one of the largest chronicles of its kind with 600 videos featuring 44 technology stalwarts. Itihaasa App :  It contains over 37 hours of footage, 350 archived photographs and articles and easy browsing with 12000 tags.It follows the installation of the country's first modern computer in 1955 to crystal gazing on Indian IT in 2040.Through the app users can also hear veterans like F C Kohli, Prof Rajaraman, Prof Mahabala, Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, S Ramadorai, Nandan Nilekani, N Vittal and others.Users can personalise stories on six dimensions - Time, People, Organisation, Policy, Technical Terms and Place.The app, took about eight months to develop and will be maintained by a team sitting at IIIT-Bengaluru. It has been conceptualised by Kris, as Gopalakrishnan is popularly known, and will be available for free on Apple and Android phones or tablets.

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal on 18 April 2016 released report of the Technical committee on Large Scale Integration of Renewable Energy, Need for Balancing, Deviation Settlement Mechanism (DSM) and associated issues.The committee in its report has recommended 15 point action plan for facilitating large scale integration of renewable energy in the country.The committee was constituted to integrate high penetration of renewable energy and address the concerns of the stakeholders in renewable energy so that India can meet its ambitious target of achieving 175 GW of renewable generation capacity by 2022. The committee had extensive deliberations and has recommended several actions, such as Bringing flexibility in the conventional generation,Frequency and voltage control,Generation reserves, Ancillary services,Forecasting, Scheduling,Deviation settlement mechanism,Balancing requirement,Data telemetry and communication,Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMCs),Transmission system augmentation,Strengthening as well as certain compliance actions at renewable generation front Report also talks about the Newer Technologies say Micro-Grids, Demand Response, Prosumers, Electricity Storage, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles etc.Thus, all the recommendations aim at making the grid secure and reliable even with large scale integration of renewables. It would reduce the carbon foot print and help in meeting our commitment towards reduction in carbon emission.

Silicon Valley coach and mentor William Bill Campbell died on 18 April 2016 after battle with cancer. He was 75.He was widely admired Silicon Valley coach and mentor as his advices on leadership and management nurtured a range of Silicon Valley luminaries include Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Google co-founder Larry Page.The list of executives who worked with Campbell includes former EBay CEO John Donahoe, ex-Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Google parent Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and many of the tech world's leading venture capitalists. William Bill Campbell :  He was a vice president at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in New York and also worked as general manager of consumer products for Eastman Kodak in Europe.He was chief executive officer of financial-software firm Intuit for five years in the 1990s and served as its chairman until January 2016. He was renowned for leadership coaching, power broking and behind-the-scenes mentoring in Silicon Valley. He joined Apple in 1983 as a marketing executive and was appointed to the Apple board in 1997.Campbell born on 31 August 1940 in Homestead, Pennsylvania initially worked as head football coach for Columbia University from 1974 to 1979.The National Football Foundation annually awards the William V. Campbell Trophy to the best scholar-athlete in the nation.  

World Bank and UNICEF on 14 April 2016 announced establishment of new alliance that aims to make Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme a global policy.To give all young children access to quality services that improve their health, nutrition, learning ability and emotional well-being, the alliance calls for programming and public spending priority.On the occasion, the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake jointly urged global and national leaders to step up and accelerate action and investments in nutrition and ECD programmes as a critical foundation for equitable development and economic growth. World Bank and UNICEF, through this alliance invited governments, development partners, civil society, foundations and the private sector to make early childhood development a global and national development priority.The alliance will support country-led efforts to invest in nutrition, early stimulation and learning, and protection, and to engage with communities to drive demand for these high-quality ECD services for every child.The alliance between the two institutions and a call for making ECD as global policy is based on the advances in neuroscience and recent economic studies. The advancement and studies show that early childhood experiences have a profound impact on brain development and on subsequent learning, health, and adult earnings.Children who are poorly nourished and nurtured, or those who do not receive early stimulation, are likely to learn less in school and earn less as adults. Emerging scientific evidence also shows that prolonged exposure to adversity – such as countries affected by conflict or households affected by domestic violence – can cause toxic stress on children, a condition that can also inhibit peak brain development in early childhood..  

Leading researchers and economists in the fields of nutrition and development on 18 April 2016 unveiled a groundbreaking analysis outlining what donors, governments and businesses need to invest to accelerate progress for nutrition.The Investing in Nutrition: The Foundation for Development event hosted by the World Bank, the Results for Development Institute, and 1000 Days is part of a global effort to increase investment in nutrition, particularly during the 1000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. Investment Framework for Nutrition :  Investments in line with the new framework will drive progress toward achieving four of the six World Health Assembly (WHA) Global Nutrition Targets, specifically those focused on alleviating stunted growth, wasting, and anaemia, and increasing exclusive breastfeeding.These targets, endorsed by 194 country governments at the WHA in 2012, were last year enshrined within the second Sustainable Development Goal to end malnutrition in all its forms by the year 2030.With just 3.9 billion US dollars currently invested each year to reach the WHA targets, urgent expanded action and investment are needed.A package of proven, cost-effective actions can be implemented immediately to jump start progress.Investing an additional 2.2 billion US dollars per year in nutrition over the next 10 years will help to save an estimated 2.2 million lives and result in 50 million fewer stunted children by 2025, empowering them to grow to their full physical and cognitive potential.To finance these priority actions, together country governments will need to invest on average an additional 1.4 billion US dollars per year while donors will need to finance on average an additional 650 million US dollars per year on top of current investments.The remaining annual funding needs can be met by innovative financing mechanisms and contributions from households.A broader investment of 7 billion US dollars per year on top of current funding is needed to right decades of underinvestment in nutrition and achieve the global targets for stunting, anaemia, and exclusive breastfeeding, and to mitigate wasting.This investment of 70 billion US dollars over the next ten years could yield tremendous returns, i.e., 3.7 million child lives saved, at least 65 million fewer stunted children, and 265 million fewer women suffering from anaemia by 2025 as compared to 2015.

The 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China was held on 18 April 2016 in Moscow, Russian Federation. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Union Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi took part in the meeting.The Ministers discussed various aspects of trilateral cooperation on global and regional issues, the progress in strengthening the international legal framework underlying the modern world order, and the neutralisation of common challenges. The exchange of views confirmed the three countries’ identical or similar approaches to the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, including Syria, the prospects for promoting the Middle Eastern settlement, and the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine.They focused on stepping up efforts to combat international terrorism and the global drug threat. They also discussed on creating a new security and cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.There was a mutual understanding to deepen the trilateral coordination within key multilateral organisations, particularly the UN, the SCO, BRICS, the East Asia summits, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.The Ministers decided to hold the next trilateral meeting in India.

According to agency Carat, India's 2016 advertising growth rate will be the fastest at 12%, which is ahead of global average of 4.5%. The agency Carat is the part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. It urge the marketers of India to promote their goods and services, that is expected to propel the country’s advertising growth rate by a significant margin in 2016.It has also better India’s performance last year, when the advertising growth rate was 11%. The report release by the agency says that India's ad growth rate will also be ahead of most other markets including the US (4.7 per cent), the UK (6.2 per cent), Russia (0.2 per cent), China (5.8 per cent), Japan (1.8 per cent), and Brazil (6.8 per cent). The report also mentioned that the the size of advertising market in India is very small. It is around 50,000 crore only, which is very lower in terms of global. So, while a higher rate of growth is in part due to a small base, the agency stated that advisers in India are spending more on brand promotions as they seek to induce top recall in a competitive market. And apart from that India is also growing in terms of advertisers because of start up ecosystem. Report also stated that Indian companies across key categories such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) have benefited from lower commodity prices, the gains of which have been ploughed into brand-building and advertising. Other key categories such as auto, handsets, retail and real estate continue to see a flurry of launches, prompting high brand spends, while telecom would also see higher ad spends led by 4G. This is also pushing up growth rates. The agency also expects that India’s ad growth rate to gain steam next year with touching 13.9 %. If this is achieved, it will effectively make it the third straight year of double-digit growth rate for India from an advertising point of view. This will imply that advertisers will remain optimistic of business growth and will likely spend more on ads.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Narayana Superspeciality Hospital to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in Katra belt of Reasi district.The 230-bed hospital has been set up by the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board with an investment of about Rs. 300 crore at Kakryal near Katra. Features : The hospital has more than 20 different streams of medicine and surgery, including cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, neurology, neuro surgery, and nephrology.The hospital is fully equipped with the latest computerised diagnostic and treatment equipment, including Linear Accelerator, Brachy Therapy, Gamma Camera, MRI and other latest equipment.The hospital has two well-equipped critical care ambulances. It also has a latest dialysis unit.Among the many novel features of the hospital project is the provision for rain water harvesting, solar energy utilisation, incineration of waste material, generators for power backup, and two sewage treatment plants, shopping complex, parking facility and various other required ancillary services.The Shrine Board has an agreement with Narayana Hrudayalaya Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, which operates 32 hospitals all over the country, for operationalisation of the superspeciality hospital.  

Tata Steel Europe has announced the appointment of Bimlendra Jha, its executive committee member, as the CEO of Tata Steel UK to expedite the sale of its loss-making business in that country. He is a executive chairman of Tata Steel Europe’s Long Products Europe business had led the divestment process that resulted in the signing of a sale and purchase agreement with Greybull Capital on April 11, 2016, for a transaction value of 1 pound.He will be supported by a team of executives drawn across functions including operations, procurement, finance, human resources and commercial. Tata Steel Limited  : Tata Steel Limited (formerly Tata Iron and Steel Company Limited (TISCO)) is an Indian multinational steel-making company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, and a subsidiary of the Tata Group.Tata Steel has manufacturing operations in 26 countries.It was ranked 486th in the 2014 Fortune Global 500 ranking of the world's biggest corporations.It was the seventh most valuable Indian brand of 2013 as per Brand Finance.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has reached Dhaka on a three-day visit to push for Indian state-owned firm setting up a LPG terminal in Bangladesh and a pipeline to export liquid fuel. The visit from April 17-19 "is aimed at following up on the ambitious agenda set between India and Bangladesh during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in June last year  He referred to the supply of 2,200 tonnes of diesel from Siliguri Marketing Terminal of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) to Parbatipur Depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Bangladesh and said that India was planning to continue supply of High Speed Diesel (HSD) in a sustainable manner. He noted the ongoing collaboration between companies from both countries in the hydrocarbon sector ranging from trade in petroleum products, exploration work and consultancy services He shared details of Indian hydrocarbon infrastructure project proposals in Bangladesh, including setting up of LPG import terminal at Chittagong by IOCL and sought favourable consideration for creating win-win situation for both sides. Pradhan also discussed the 'Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline' and called it an important project for both countries.  During his stay in Bangladesh, Pradhan will meet Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Adviser on Energy, Power and Mineral Resources to the Prime Minister and Nasrul Hamid, Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources of Bangladesh. The Minister had last week visited Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia to further bilateral energy ties. 

FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) plans to set up two 'Mahila Huts' in the state for the upliftment of women belonging to all sections of the society through education and training. FLO is the women wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) which encourages and facilitate women to showcase their talents, skills, experiences and energies across sectors. We plan to set up the 'Mahila Hut' at Vadodara and Ahmedabad," Gujarat unit FLO Chairperson Roopa Patel.The centre (Mahila Hut) is a place where women belonging to all sections of the society, particularly the weaker one, can display products made by them to earn a livelihood.The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has already agreed to give a plot to FLO for setting up a hut and the work will begin soon.The Organisation mainly focus focus will is on empowering the girl-child and women at the grass-root level through education and training. The Gujarat unit of FLO will also construct women's toilets in primary schools in rural areas of state. We support efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in making Gujarat an 'open defecation free' state. FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) : FLO was established in 1983, as a division of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and industry (FICCI) which is the apex body of industry and commerce in India.FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) is the women wing of the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).An all India forum for women, FLO has its headquarters in New Delhi, with 13 chapters covering different geographical regions of India.FLO represents over 4000 women entrepreneurs and professionals.With over 33 years of experience, FLO has been promoting entrepreneurship and professional excellence among women through workshops, seminars, conferences, training and capacity building programmes etc.The objective of the organization is to encourage and facilitate women to showcase their talents, skills, experiences and energies across sectors and verticals of the economy, for a truly inclusive economic growth trajectory.  

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a project loan of $300 million (about Rs 2,000 crore) for upgradation of over 400 km of major district roads in Uttar Pradesh. The project supports the state government's core road network improvement master plan, under which the government plans to improve the roads through a combination of state, private and multilateral resources The loan, which is ADB's first road sector assistance in Uttar Pradesh, will be used to improve around 430 km of major district roads, upgrading them to standard design widths, suitable for use in all types of weather and with safety features, including widened and strengthened culverts and bridges.  Uttar Pradesh is the country's most populous state and has the largest rural population, along with widely dispersed industrial centres, making its total road network of around 3,00,000 km crucial for its economy and development. However, significant stretches have inadequate widths and poor surfacing, leading to higher economic costs and making them hazard-prone. Along with ADB's loan, the government of Uttar Pradesh will provide support of $128 million for the project.  Asian Development Bank : The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966 which is headquartered in Ortigas Center located in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines, and maintains 31 field offices around the world.From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside. The bank admits the members of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP, formerly the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East or ECAFE) and non-regional developed countries. From 31 members at its establishment, ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside. The ADB was modeled closely on the World Bank.

Indian Railway on 17 April 2016 for the first time used an unmanned air vehicles or drones to inspect the ongoing work on the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project. The drone was used for three days on a trial basis to monitor a total of 98 kilometers on the DFC. Out of this, it was used to monitor 42-km long track between Baghega to Srimadhopur in Rajasthan in the Western DFC and the 56-km long line between Durgawati and Sasaram in Bihar.The use of drone enabled Indian Railway officials to prepare the status report of the surveyed section of the DFC project quickly and easily.The drone was hired from a private operator and it cost 3000 rupees per km for undertaking the aerial survey. Currently about 170 projects, including doubling and laying of new lines, are being executed by railways.The trial was part of Indian Railway plans to use drones to monitor all the ongoing projects under DFC and to assess the ground situation in the aftermath of train accidents.A drone is a flying robot which can be remotely handled through software-controlled flight plans embedded in its systems working in conjunction with GPS.

The 13th session of the Islamic Summit Conference was concluded on 15 April 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. Islamic Summit Conference : The Islamic Summit, which commenced on 10 April 2016, was held under the theme Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace. It also discussed the current situation in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mali, Jammu and Kashmir, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Armenia’s aggressions on Azerbaijan, as well as other Member States afflicted by conflicts and unstable security situations.The agenda of the summit included the question of Palestine and Arab-Israeli conflict, conflict situation in the Muslim world, combating terrorism and violent extremism, Islamophopia, humanitarian situation in the Muslim world, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) 2025 Programme of Action.Besides, the summit condemned Hezbollah for conducting terrorist activities in Syria, Bahrain, Kuwait and Yemen and for supporting terrorist movements and groups undermining the security and stability of OIC Member States.The preceding Islamic Summit Conference was held on 6–7 February 2013 in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt. The summit adopted Cairo Final Communique together with a set of Resolutions on various political, socio-economic and cultural issues. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation : The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation is an international organization founded in 1969 consisting of 57 member states.The organisation states that it is the collective voice of the Muslim world and works to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union.The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English and French.

Senior IPS officer Deepak Mishra has been appointed as Additional Director General in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). His appointment was cleared by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).  He will have tenure till November 2018 with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post. Deepak Mishra is IPS officer of the 1984 batch of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. Central Reserve Police Force (CRFP) : CRPF is the largest statutory Central Armed Police Forces in India. It functions and operates under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). It was established in 1939, under Crown Representative’s Police but after independence it was made statutory Central Reserve Police Force after the enactment of the CRPF Act, 1949. At present CRPF is the world’s largest paramilitary force with 228 battalions and over three lakh personnel. Its primary role is to assist States/Union Territories (UTs) in police operations to maintain law and order and contain insurgency.

Maharashtra Government has banned digging of borewells beyond 200 feet in order to check the steep decline in ground water level across the state. It was announced by Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar. State Government has taken this decision in the wake for severe drought and decreasing ground water level across various regions in the state. This ban will be implemented under the Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act in order to control the excess water pumping through borewell. Henceforth, digging of borewell that violates prescribed rules will punishable offence. The violators of the rule would now face fine or even imprisonment.If a person violates the ban for the first time, he will face a fine of Rs 10,000 in addition to the suspension of the vehicle's licence. If the violation is repeated, he will face imprisonment of six months or a fine of Rs 25,000 or both.

The Union Government has leased a commemorative coin of 200 rupees and a circulation coin of 10 rupees on freedom fighter Tatya Tope. It was released by the Union Culture Minister Dr. Mahesh on the occasion of the Martyrdom Day of Tatya Tope in New Delhi. The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope during 2015-16 in association with State Government of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Tatya Tope :  Tatya Tope was one of the notable generals in India’s First War of Independence (1857-58) i.e. Revolt of 1857. He was born as Ramachandra Pandurang Tope in Yeola in Nashik District of Maharashtra. He was most intimate friend of Nana Dhundu Pant (also known as Nana Saheb) of Bithur who was adopted son of Peshwa Baji Rao-II. Tatya Tope had revolted against British after Nana Saheb was deprived of his father’s pension by then Governor General Lord Dalhousie under the Doctrine of Lapse in 1851. In May 1857, after the rebellion political storm had gained momentum he had won over the Indian troops of the East India Company stationed at Kanpur. During the revolt, he was able to establish Nana Saheb’s authority in Kanpur and became the Commander-in-Chief of his revolutionary forces. However after Kanpur was re-occupied by British, he had shifted his headquarters to Kalpi and joined hands with Rani Lakshmi Bai and led a revolt in Bundelkhand. But he was not able to consolidate his position and was defeated by General Rose in a memorable battle in Gwalior in which Rani Lakshmi Bai suffered martyrdom. Later, he had launched a successful guerrilla campaign for over a year in the Sagar and Narmada Khandesh regions and in Rajasthan after losing Gwalior to the British. He was captured by the British Forces on 7th April, 1859 and after a hurried trial for waging war against the East India Company. He was hanged to death on 18th April 1859 at Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh.

A major earthquake hit Ecuador’s central coast, killing at least 77 people as it buckled homes and knocked out power in a city hundreds of miles away. Northwestern coastal areas nearest the quake were worst affected, including Pedernales, a tourist spot with beaches and palm trees, and nearby Cojimies. Information was scant from there due to poor communications and transport chaos.A state of emergency is in effect for six provinces. The provinces under a state of emergency are Guayas, Manabi, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Esmeraldas and Galapagos. The government said that, About 13,500 security force personnel were mobilized to keep order around Ecuador, and $600 million in credit from multilateral lenders was immediately activated for the emergency.The country sits on the so-called “Ring of Fire” – the arc of high seismic activity that extends right around the Pacific basin. At its location, Ecuador fronts the boundary between the Nazca and South American tectonic plates.

The Minister of Women & Child Development, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi inaugurated a One Day Regional Conference with North Eastern States in Shillong on the issues relating to Child Adoption. The conference is being held at State Convention Centre, Shillong.The Ministers In-charge of Social Welfare and Women & Child Development in the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura participated in the conference.Such a conference is important as the number of children being adopted is coming down in India year after year. In 2010 5693 children were adopted in India and 628 children were adopted inter country. The figures for adoption from April 2015 to December 2015 are: 2210 and 455 respectively. The conference : About 400 delegates attended the Conference, including the stakeholders from the State Adoption Resource Agencies (SARAs), District Child Protection Units (DCPUs), Child Welfare Committees (CWCs), Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAAs) and Child Care Institutions (CCIs) in the North Eastern States, besides the senior officers from the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) and the concerned Department of the State Governments in the region. The conference has been organised with an aim to: Familiarise the stakeholders with the adoption programme in North Eastern States about the provisions relating to adoption under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015; and Orient them about the provisions of Adoption Guidelines - 2015 as well as the online adoption process through Child Adoption Resource Information and Guidance System (CARINGS). Act amended for streamlining adoption : The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 came into force from 15th January, 2016 and repeals the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000. The Act contains a separate new chapter on Adoption to streamline adoption of orphan, abandoned and surrendered children. It gives the existing Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) the status of a statutory body to enable it to perform its function more effectively. Separate chapter (VIII) on Adoption provides for detailed provisions relating to adoption and punishments for not complying with the laid down procedure. Processes have been streamlined with timelines for both in-country and inter-country adoption including declaring a child legally free for adoption.

Union Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Minister of State(IC) Piyush Goyal on 18 April 2016 released Report of the Technical Committee on Large Scale Integration of Renewable Energy, Need for Balancing, Deviation Settlement Mechanism (DSM) and associated issues in New Delhi.He also launched Ancillary Services Operations in India. Report :  India has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GW of renewable generation capacity.In order to integrate such high penetration of renewable energy and address the concerns of the stakeholders in renewable energy, a high level Technical Committee was constituted with members from Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), renewable rich states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Power Utilities like PGCIL, Power System operation Corporation Ltd. (POSOCO), NTPC, State Generating companies and Private generating companies and Institutions like India Meteorological department (IMD), National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), GIZ, Ernst & Young (E&Y), etc.The committee had extensive deliberations and has recommended several actions, such as bringing flexibility in the conventional generation, frequency control, generation reserves, ancillary services, forecasting, scheduling, deviation settlement mechanism, balancing requirement, data telemetry and communication, Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMCs), Transmission system augmentation and strengthening as well as certain compliance actions at renewable generation front.The Committee recommended a 15 point Action Plan for facilitating large scale integration of renewables in the country, in a secure and reliable manner.Some of the actions have been completed with active support of CERC, State Energy Regulatory Commission (SERC), NIWE and other stake holders.Regulatory Framework for Intra-State Settlement and Imbalance Handling has already been implemented in 5 states. For Model Regulations for Regulatory Framework for Forecasting, Scheduling and Imbalance Settlement for Renewable Energy (RE) generators have been published in November 2015 and Draft regulations have already been floated by 6 States.Other States are in the process of formulation. Regulatory Framework for Reserves at inter-state level have been issued in October 2015.Ministry of Power (MOP), MNRE, GIZ, POSOCO and States are working together to prepare the DPR for implementation of Renewable Energy Management Centres (REMCs). DPR for Southern States and Southern Regional Load Despatch Centre (SRLDC) is under finalisation and combined NIT would be floated soon.CEA as Planners would specify Technical Standards and Protection Requirements for Renewables. Focus has also been given on Capacity Building of State Load Despatch Centres (SLDCs) particularly in RE Rich States .Report also talks about the Newer Technologies say Micro-Grids, Demand Response, Prosumers, Electricity Storage, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles etc.Thus all the recommendations aim at making the grid secure and reliable even with large scale integration of renewables. Ancillary Services : In an electricity grid, the basic services are power generation, energy supply and power delivery from the producer to the consumer. Some system support services such as frequency and voltage control are required for secure and reliable grid operation.These support services are known as Ancillary Services and are basically procured and pressed into service by the System Operator.Amendment to the Tariff policy has also been notified, which mandates implementation of Ancillary Services.The Regulatory framework for implementation of Ancillary Services Operations has been notified by CERC. National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) operated by POSOCO has been designated as Nodal agency for implementation of Ancillary Services.It is being implemented for the first time in the country and would help in better grid management even with large scale renewable generation addition in the grid.The initiative undertaken by the committee would not only lead to smooth and secure grid operation with large scale integration of renewable but is also environment friendly and would help in fulfilling our commitment to green and clean environment.It would reduce the carbon foot print and help in meeting our commitment towards reduction in carbon emission.

The Maharashtra Government on 18 April 2016 decided to make it mandatory to have a hologram on every alcohol bottle manufactured and sold in the state. The step was taken to check sale of spurious liquor.The Government decided to paste polyester base track and trace hologram, to be supported by a mobile app, which will help consumers find out whether the liquor is fake or genuine.The technique will also help prevent loss of revenue due to cheap liquor being imported into Maharashtra from neighbouring states.The Government is currently developing a free of cost mobile app, which when brought in contact with the hologram, will immediately generate a green or red mark indicating to the buyer whether the liquor, wine, country made liquor, Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) is fake or genuine.If one holds the liquor bottle against the mobile app one will get a green tick mark indicating it is a genuine product. A red tick mark will indicate the product is fake.The decision will be implemented either from 1 July 2016 or 1 August 2016. The decision was taken keeping in mind the last year’s tragedy at Malwani where about 100 people died after consuming spurious liquor.

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