The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today gave its approval for signing the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties held in Paris in December 2015. The Paris Agreement on climate change is a milestone in global climate cooperation. It is meant to enhance the implementation of the Convention and recognizes the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances.
Features of Paris Agreement :
The Paris Agreement acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries. The Agreement recognizes the developing countries' right to development and their efforts to harmonize development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption with developed countries taking the lead, and notes the importance of 'climate justice in its preamble.
The Agreement seeks to enhance the 'implementation of the Convention' whilst reflecting the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
The objective of the Agreement further ensures that it is not mitigation-centric and includes other important elements such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency of action and support.
Pre-2020 actions are also part of the decisions. The developed country parties are urged to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing US $ 100 billion by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation by significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels and to further provide appropriate technology and capacity building support.
India had advocated a strong and durable climate agreement based on the principles and provisions of the Convention. The Paris Agreement addresses all the important concerns and expectations of India.
India has made "significant improvement" in broadening female representation on the board of top 100 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange.According to the joint study entitled "Building Diversity in Asia Pacific Boardrooms", female board representation increased from 7.3 per cent in 2013 to 8.6 per cent in 2014. It was 5.8 per cent in 2012 and is estimated at 12 per cent for 2015. Three countries in the Asia Pacific region, namely Australia, India and Malaysia, showed significant improvement in broadening women representation on boards across the companies. A combination of government initiatives has contributed to the increase in these countries,the study.
Indian companies, for instance, have been swift to respond to the Company Act by drawing on their existing networks.The Company Act, which required all listed companies to have at least one woman on the board, has helped enable this broadening female representation.India's corporate boards without women has decreased from 44 per cent in 2013 to 29 per cent in 2014.The highest number of female board members, at 17.5 per cent, were in the Telecommunication Services, followed by 11.6 per cent in Information Technology and 9.6 per cent in Financials, the study.The lowest, at 4.9 per cent, was in Industrials.Women make up 10.2 per cent of the directors in companies across 10 Asia Pacific economies covered by the study, up from 9.4 per cent in 2013 and 8 per cent in 2012, the study Female board members in Australia increased from 18.6 per cent in 2013 to 21.9 per cent in 2014.
In Malaysia, women in boardrooms increased from 8.3 per cent in 2013 to 12.5 per cent in 2014, driven by the government set target of having 30 per cent by this year.
Indian Super League ( ISL) team Mumbai City FC, which is owned by Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor, has signed up Costa Rican midfielder Alexandre Henrique Borges Guimaraes as its head coach for season 3 of the football league.
Alexandre Henrique : Guimaraes is best known for achievements as the head coach of the Costa Rica National Squad, leading them past the qualifying stages for the 2002 and the 2006 FIFA World Cups. He started coaching Belen, then moved to Herediano in the summer of 1996, where he achieved positive results with both teams. Alexandre was on board with Saprissa, where he worked for several years, winning three national tournaments with them. He has also coached several teams internationally, such as Comunicaciones of Guatemala, Irapuato and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico and tasted success with teams like Al Wasl in UAE & Tiajin Teda in China.
German luxury carmaker BMW has appointed Frank Schloeder as acting President of its Indian operations with effect from May 1.
Frank Schloeder : Schloeder, 41, currently Director Marketing at BMW India, would be replacing Philipp von Sahr, who will now head BMW Niederlassung in Berlin, Germany. During the tenure of von Sahr as President, BMW Group India successfully stood ground in a fiercely competitive environment and maintained its momentum in the Indian luxury car market, BMW India said in a statement. Schloeder completed International Studies in Business Administration from University of Munster, Germany and Montpellier Business School, France. He began his career with BMW in France in 1997.
BMW India : BMW India Pvt Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BMW Group founded in 2006, with headquarters in Gurgaon, Haryana. BMW India has its own manufacturing facility at Chennai.The wide range of BMW activities in India include the establishment of a manufacturing plant in Chennai, auto parts warehouse in Mumbai and development of a dealer organization across major metropolitan centers of the country.
Iran on 17 April 2016 unveiled S-300 missile system parts at army parade in Tehran. It was a long-awaited air defence system ordered from Russia.The S-300 system was on order since 2007 but Russia postponed the sale three years later after the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution relating to Iran's nuclear programme.A deal between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear activities which led to lifting of sanctions in January 2016 removed the barriers to delivery but the fully operational system is still awaited.Iran insists the system is necessary to defend itself from threats of attack, including possible bombing of its nuclear facilities, and the S-300 would allow early detection of approaching aircraft.Iran and Russia are also in talks on a sale of the Sukhoi SU-30 fighter, another proposal criticised by the US.
S-300 Missile System : The S-300 is a series of initially Soviet and later Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, based on the initial S-300P version. It was first deployed by Russia in 1979.The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.The system is one of the more advanced types of weaponry of its kind that can engage multiple aircrafts and ballistic missiles around 90 miles away.
The making of India: The untold story of British Enterprises authored by Kartar Lalvani was in news in the third week of April 2016. The book discusses the British rule and its role in creating a unified India.The book supposedly brings out the many positive aspects of the colonial rule that remained hitherto untold.The story of the book open in the 17th century when a small seafaring island despatched sailing ships over 11000 miles on a five-month trading journey in search of new opportunities.The book is the first to assess in a single volume almost all aspects of Britain's contribution in providing India with its lasting institutional and physical infrastructure. It also outlines the British enterprise’s contributions in the 19th and 20th centuries that helped to create a unified India, out of multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and divided regions of the vast Indian-subcontinent.
Kartar Lalvani : Kartar Lalvani was born in Karachi in 1931. He moved to Mumbai in 1947 after partition.He travelled to London in 1956 to study pharmacy at Chelsea.He earned his doctorate with distinction at the University of Bonn.He is the founder-chairman of Vitabiotics, which a global nutraceutical company that specializes in vitamin and mineral based formulations.
The World Bank Group on 11 April 2016 released the 2016 edition of the World Development Indicators (WDI). WDI is the most widely used dataset and provides high-quality cross-country comparable statistics about development and people’s lives around the globe.WDI now includes 1400 indicators for over 200 economies.
Features of WDI 2016 : The 2016 edition includes indicators to help measure the 169 targets of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs build on the 8 goals and 18 targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were focused in the previous editions.For each of the 17 SDGs the World View section of the publication includes recent trends and baselines against key targets. Some of the key trends against their target are:While undernourishment has been halved globally since 1990, over a quarter of the population in low-income countries still can’t meet their dietary energy requirements.Good records of births and deaths are key to delivering government programs and services, but in Sub-Saharan Africa, fewer than half of children’s births were recorded in 2011.While some regions have increased forest coverage, Latin America and the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa lost 97 and 83 million hectares respectively since 1990.Since the 1980s there has been a dramatic rise in aquaculture - fish, shellfish, and seaweed farming. In WDI 2016, there is no longer a distinction between developing countries (defined in previous editions as low- and middle-income countries) and developed countries (previously high-income countries). Regional groupings are now based on geographical coverage rather than a sub-set of countries that were previously referred to as developing. Two inferences of this change are that a new aggregate for North America has been included in tables, and aggregates for Europe and Central Asia include countries of the European Union.WDI 2016 now includes the estimates of global and national extreme poverty rates at the international poverty line of 1.90 US dollars/day per person. These show that 13 percent of the global population lived in extreme poverty in 2012, down from 37 percent in 1990. WDI also includes the estimates of indicators of shared prosperity for 94 countries published in the Bank’s Shared Prosperity database. In addition to poverty measurement, the updated 2011 benchmark PPP data have been used to estimate PPP conversion factors for 2014, and 2014 estimates of GDP in PPP terms.Producing WDI is only possible with the help of over 50 international organizations, more than 200 national statistical offices and the experts in the country offices of the World Bank. But only a few of the 169 targets in the Sustainable Development Goals can currently be tracked and measured completely. For this, both the governments and the development partners will need to continue investing in national statistical systems where much of the data will continue to originate.
JK Tyre and Industries Ltd on 18 April 2016 announced that it had completed the acquisition of tyre, tube and flap maker Cavendish Industries, a unit of Kesoram Industries Ltd, for 2195 crore rupees. Kesoram Industries is a B.K. Birla Group company.JK Tyre will fund the deal through a mix of internal accruals and debt raised by JK Group associates, such as Bengal & Assam Co. Ltd (the holding company) and Valiant Pacific LLC, a trading firm.JK Tyre will hold a 64 per cent stake in Cavendish, while the rest will be held by Bengal & Assam and Valiant.The deal will add a capacity to produce 10 million tyres a year. The agreement will also enable JK’s entry into the fast-growing two-wheeler and three-wheeler tyre market, and will also boost its capacity to produce truck and bus radials.After the acquisition, JK’s total manufacturing capacity in India will increase to 26 million units a year. It will reach annual revenue of 10000 crore rupees in the domestic market.
JK Tyre : JK Tyre & Industries Ltd is an automotive tyre, tubes and flaps manufacturing company based in Delhi, India.The name JK is derived from the initials of Kamlapatji and his father Seth Juggilal .The company is the market leader in truck/bus radial tire in India and is the only tyre manufacturer offering the entire range of 4 wheeler radials for trucks, buses and cars.JK Tyre acquired Mexican tyre major Tornel in 2008.
President Pranab Mukherjee on 19 April 2016 honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with the George Grierson prize for his remarkable works done for the propagation of Hindi abroad.Ge has made commendable efforts for the promotion of Hindi language abroad. Besides him, Alka Dunputh (from Mauritius) and Shichiro Soma (from Japan) were also given the George Grierson award by the President.These awards were instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989. 14 scholars receive this award in seven different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi language and literature.Ge Fuping was among over 30 international and Indian scholars that were honoured by President Pranab Mukherjee for their effort in promoting Hindi language. The President presented them with the Hindi Sevi Samman awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Emirates Airline on 19 April 2016 renewed their deal for an additional seven years. With this, Emirates Airlines became the Global Partner for all ICC events from 2016-2023.The ICC and the Emirates relationship date back to 2002, when the award-winning airline came on board as a sponsor of the ICC. The partnership was strengthened with Emirates becoming the ICC’s official partner for the 2007-2015 events cycle.
New Deal : This new deal is an extension and expansion of previous partnership as Emirates will continue its sponsorship of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees.The Fly Emirates logo will be displayed prominently on the umpires’ clothing when they are officiating at all international cricket matches.In the current cycle, the partnership promises to reach greater heights, as the ICC will stage an ICC World Twenty20 tournament in 2020, two ICC Champions Trophy and two ICC Cricket World Cups.
Partnership : The renewal of the partnership of Emirates with the ICC confirms the former's commitment to cricket, which dates all the way back to 1999 when the Airlines sponsored the Australian team, which went on to win the World Cup. Since then, cricket has offered the company a powerful platform to connect with fans and communities of cricket playing nations across Asia, Australasia and the UK. With a fleet of over 250 aircraft, Emirates is also the largest operator of the state-of-the-art Airbus A380 and Boeing 777. The airline flies to 152 destinations on six continents from its home base in Dubai, making sure cricket fans, players and officials can get where they want to go.
The Haryana Government on 1 April 2016 notified its Affordable Plotted Housing Policy 2016 for low and medium potential towns also known as Deen Dayal Jan Awas Yojna.The policy is intended to encourage the development of high density plotted colonies in Low and Medium Potential towns of the State wherein small plots are made available through a liberal policy framework.
Features : This policy will enable the creation of additional affordable housing stock in the low and medium potential towns of the state.All projects are being required to be completed within seven years from the date of granting the license. Not more than 30 per cent of the net planned area under residential zone, inclusive of 20 per cent area limit for group housing projects, can be allowed for projects under this policy.The minimum and maximum net planned area for such projects would be five acres and 15 acres respectively. Not more than 10 per cent of the licensed area should fall under sector roads.The maximum permissible area of a plot shall be 150 square metres.The coloniser would transfer 10 per cent area of the licenced colony free of cost to the government for community facilities.Registration of independent floors in plots and stilt parking will be allowed.Allotment of 50 per cent residential plots covering saleable area (excluding 50 per cent area frozen by the department) would be undertaken in the first phase by the licensee or colonizer.The coloniser would also carry out development works simultaneously on the frozen area also.Internal Development Works (IDW) would get 15 per cent area mortgaged and that would be part of 50 per cent area frozen by the department up to completion of IDW in the colony.
Panasonic India and AES India Private Limited on 18 April 2016 announced an agreement to construct a 10 MW energy storage array at Panasonic's Technopark manufacturing facility in Jhajjar, Haryana.This joint project is the first large-scale battery-based energy storage project in India.
Project : The storage will provide daily reliability and back-up to the manufacturing facility, while demonstrating grid stability and renewable integration services in the region.The project combines Panasonic’s capabilities as India’s leading lithium-ion battery supplier with AES Energy Storage’s Advancion® platform.While AES operates 116 MW of energy storage projects around the globe, this project signifies AES’ entry into the commercial and industrial energy storage market.
AES : The AES Corporation is a Fortune 200 company that generates and distributes electrical power.The company was founded on 28 January 1981 as Applied Energy Services by Roger Sant and Dennis Bakke.AES is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and is one of the world's leading power companies.The company generates and distributes electric power in 27 countries and employs 27000 people worldwide.
Panasonic : Panasonic Corporation is a Japanese multinational electronics corporation headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan.It was formerly known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. The company was founded in 1918 and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers. Panasonic is the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share.
England’s snooker great Steve Davis announced his retirement from the game on 17 April 2016 after 38-year career. He is 58.His last match came on 10 April 2016 where he lost against Fergal O'Brien and failed to qualify for 2016 World Championship.
Steve Davis : Fergal O'Brien and failed to qualify for 2016 World Championship.Starting his snooker career in 1978, he went on to win six world titles in 1980s and was world number one from 1983 to 1990. In fact, he was World number one for seven consecutive seasons.He also won 28 ranking titles, putting him joint second on the all-time list with Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins.Put together, he stands second behind Stephen Hendry, who won seven world titles and 36 ranking titles.In his 1453 professional matches, he won 53 non-ranking titles which include three Masters wins.
Union Minister for Science & Technology and earth science Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched Union Minister for Science and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan launched the Twinning Network Program under Department of Biotechnology in Kohima .The Union Minister also inaugurated the Nagaland State Referral Laboratory for Water Quality Testing and Monitoring in the Directorate of Science and Technology.
Twinning Network Program : Twinning Network Program on Chemical Ecology is a new collaborative and interdisciplinary programme in Chemical Ecology between institutions in the NER and partners in Bangalore. This platform aims to provide a strong stimulus to ongoing research in the NER, while building enduring research and training links with partner institutions in Bangalore.
The Competition Appellate Tribunal (Compat) on stayed penalties totalling Rs 256 crore imposed by Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet for fuel surcharge collusion. The competition watchdog had in November last year imposed penalties to the tune of Rs 151 crore on Jet Airways, Rs 63 crore on IndiGo and Rs 42 crore on Spice Jet, finding the airlines guilty of colluding in fixing of fuel surcharge for cargo transportation.
In its order, the CCI had conduct of these companies undermined economic development of the country and was detrimental to consumers' interest. The CCI had acted in a matter which was filed by Express Industry Council of India under the Competition Act against Jet Airways, InterGlobe Aviation, Spice Jet, Air India and Go Airlines alleging anti-competitive agreements.
Country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank has announced that it is open to investing in startups in the financial technology space even though it has not earmarked a dedicated corpus for the investments. But the bank has not earmarked a dedicated corpus for the investments. The banks is already working with startups either individually or through incubators. The bank officials stated that ICICI Bank is interested in technologies like big data and artificial intelligence, which will help it serve customers better.The smaller rival of the ICICI bank, the south based Federal Bank has already announced in September last year that it has dedicated Rs. 25 crore fund to invest in startups. Apart from Federal Bank since January, when the GOI has launched the 'Startup India' initiative, a slew of lenders have announced plans for startups, even as the most successful startups have seen an erosion in valuations. The lenders’ initiatives for startup revolve around having dedicated branches and products with a focus on financial advisory for new entrepreneurs. The SBI has also launched a dedicated branch for startups in Bengaluru, which was followed by a similar move by private sector lender RBL Bank.The bank has also declared the winners of a mobile application developing contest and said over 2,000 entries were received. The top honour went to Bengaluru-based startup employee Mohit Talwadiya for his 'Conversational Banking' app which will help do banking with ease of conversations based on natural language processing and artificial intelligence on multiple channels like chat and speech. The bank will try to incorporate the winning innovations into its digital strategy.
The 2016 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on 18th April in the US. It is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.The prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award. The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
List of some winners:
Breaking News Reporting – Los Angeles Times Staff
Investigative Reporting – Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Explanatory Reporting – T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project
Local Reporting – Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner of the Tampa Bay Times
National Reporting – The Washington Post Staff
A.P. - Public Service Award
International Reporting – Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times
Feature Writing – Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker
Commentary – Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe
Criticism – Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker
Editorial Writing – John Hackworth of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, FL
Editorial Cartooning – Jack Ohman The Sacramento Bee
Breaking News Photography – Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of The New York Times and Photography Staff of Thomson Reuters.
Feature Photography – Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe
Fiction – The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
Drama – Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda
History – Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T.J. Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf)
Biography – Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Penguin Press)
Poetry – Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian (University of Chicago Press)
Nonfiction – Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick (Doubleday)
Music – In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill (Pi Recordings)
The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on 19 April 2016 presented the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. The awards were presented at a function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.The Hindi Sevi Samman Awards were instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989. Fourteen scholars receive this award in seven different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi language and literature.
Ganga Sharan Singh Award :For work in the field of promotion and training of Hindi
2012 : B Satyanarayan, Radhakant Mishra ,R. Surendran
2013 : Shirda Kumar Saikia,T.S.K Kannan,Rabindranath Mishra,D.M. Savitri
2014 : M. Venkateshwar,V.D. Hegde,Deven Chand Das ‘Sudama’,Beena Budki,Beena Budki
Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Award : For work in the field of journalism and creative literature
2012 : Mahesh Darpan,Vishwanath Sachdev
2013 : Rajeev Katara,B V Lalitamba
2014 : Devendra Kumar,Shatrughan Prasad
Atmaram Award : For work in the field of Science and Technology literature and Machinery growth
2012 : Om Prakash Sharma,Ganesh Shankar Paliwal
2013 : Balendu Sharma Dadhich,Dinesh Mani
2014 : Suresh Kumar Jindal,Suresh Tiwari
Subramanyam Bharti Award : For work for promotion of Hindi in constructive or criticism way
2012 : S. Vijaya
2013 : I.N. Chandrashekhar Reddy,Mukta
2014 : Narendra Kohli,Sheoraj Singh ‘Bechain’
Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan Award : For work in the field exploration and research as well as for description on its journey
2012 : S Rahmatulla,G. Gopinath
2013 : Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari,Puran Singh Dabas
2014 : Suresh Gautam,Baldev Vanshi
Dr. George Grierson Award : Awarded to people of foreign origin for promotion and training of Hindi outside India
2012 : Alka Dunputh
2013 : Ge Fuping
2014 : Shichiro Soma
The RBL Bank (formerly Ratnakar Bank) became the first private sector bank in India to open dedicated branch for startups. The dedicated branch was inaugurated at Koramangala, Bengaluru by Nandan Nilekani, noted entrepreneur and former chairman of UIDAI.The first exclusive bank branch for start-ups will offer a bouquet of banking products to service the end-to-end needs of the emerging entrepreneurial eco-system. The branch will assist entrepreneurs in setting up new enterprises or companies. It will offer them host of banking products including, foreign exchange services, remittances and cash management. The Branch will also provide a range of value added services including legal and tax formalities, registration etc. through its affiliates and partners.
RBL Bank : The RBL Bank is a scheduled commercial bank headquartered in the Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Founded in August 1943, RBL is one of the oldest private sector banks in India. The Bank currently services approximately 1 million customers and has a total business size of over 20,000 Crore rupees.
India’s Durga Thakur has been promoted to international outdoor umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH). She was promoted following her good performance at the recently-held Hawke’s Bay Cup in Hastings, New Zealand.
Durga Thakur : Thakur had started her career as an umpire from the third Hockey India (HI) Sub-Junior Men & Women National Championship (Finals) held in Bhopal in 2013. She is a graduate of NSNIS in 2011 and her first international assignment was in 2015 at the double six-Nation Cup in Breda, Netherlands. She has represented her state Himachal Pradesh in the National Championships in three sporting disciplines basketball, handball and hockey. She was also one of the umpires in the finals of the last National Games. With her promotion, Ms. Thakur is an addition other young Indian umpires currently officiating at the international level. There are 14 Indians in the elite league of international umpires (10 men, 5 women).
Over 1,000 defence industries players, including big names like Airbus and BAE Systems, are participating in the Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition in Malaysia.Bell Helicopter, SAAB and Thales are also among the 1,200 companies from 60 countries to showcase static equipment of weapons and defence technology, weaponry systems and generic security solutions in the four-day exhibition.A total of 29 countries participate in the exhibition in the form of group pavilion, including Australian, China, Britain and the US.In China's pavilion, Poly Technologies, China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation and CETC International bring their latest products to the expo.This year's DSA is expected to be the biggest one since its inauguration 28 years ago, according to Malaysia's Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
A series of security dialogues and forums on topics including
Disaster relief will be held alongside the expo.
The Ceasefire between the Centre and the NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak Muivah) has been extended by another year i.e. till April 2017. In this regard, the ceasefire agreement was signed between the Union Government and GPRN/NSCN, one of the strongest factions of Nagaland. The sole purpose of the extension is to boost to the Naga peace process and bring long lasting peace in Nagaland. The signatories also agreed that the Ceasefire Ground Rules will subject to mutual review and amendment with involvement of both the parties.
The Union Government and the insurgent group NSCN had entered into a ceasefire accord in 1997. Since then, they have continued with the peace process. The Union Government has also reached a ceasefire agreement with of NSCN Khaplang faction which has been banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. In August 2015, NSCN-IM had entered into an historic Peace Accord (Framework Agreement) with Union government to bring lasting peace in Nagaland.
The 14th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russia, India and China (RIC) Forum have vowed to deepen cooperation in combating terrorism. The meeting was held in Moscow, Russia and was attended Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Union Minister of Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi took.
Highlights of RIC Forum : The Ministers discussed various aspects of trilateral cooperation on global and regional issues. They pitched for progress in strengthening the international legal framework underlying the modern world order and neutralisation of common challenges. They also have pitched for setting up of a broad counter-terrorist front with the UN playing a central role and stepping up efforts to combat global drug threat. They also discussed on creating a new security and cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific region. They also exchanged views to the situation in the North Africa, Middle East including Syria, and the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
RIC Forum: It is a trilateral grouping of Russia, India and China that has met annually since 2002. In recent years, the RIC has functioned as a complement to other frameworks involving three countries and including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The Union Government has extended the Beti Bachao Beti Padho Scheme in additional 61 districts across 11 States and Union Territories with low Child Sex Ratio. It was announced by the Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi while addressing the function in New Delhi.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme : The scheme is designed to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio and related issues of disempowerment of women through a life cycle continuum. The main objective is to prevent gender biased sex selective elimination by strict enforcement of laws with stringent punishment to violators. It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 from Haryana in 100 districts of the country to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), is the nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on 18 April 2016 announced a new annual global home and away league, involving world's leading hockey nations, to be launched in 2019. It will replace Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals and Finals and the Champions Trophy.The new league was designed to provide a regular calendar of must-see events played in packed stadia across the world throughout the year.In the home and away league, the participating teams will be chosen on the basis of a clearly defined set of qualification criteria, which was designed to maintain the quality of the league and high standard events.
Aim : The changes were made with an aim of making hockey a global game. It was developed around the three main objectives of the new event portfolio and they are
To generate a massive change in TV and media coverage for hockey
Create big, bold, packed and loud events
Make a step change to increase future revenues
Besides, FIH also decided that Champions Trophy -- held once in two years since 1978 -- will be scrapped and the 2018 edition in Amsterdam will be the last tournament.For those nations not in the home and away league, the next tier of competition will remain similar to the current Hockey World League Round 1 and 2 events, played over two year cycles.These proposals were approved by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier in April 2016. The decision was made after more than 18 months of consultation, research and development between numbers of stakeholder. It was overseen by a specially formed working group for this project.
US President Barack Obama on 19 April 2016 nominated Indian-American Geeta Pasi as the country's next envoy to Chad, a landlocked country in northern Central Africa.At present, Pasi is the Director of the Office of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources at the Department of State.Pasi, who served as the United States Ambassador to Djibouti from 2011 to 2014, is a career member of the Foreign Service. Earlier, she has been the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Dhaka, from 2006 to 2009, and Deputy Principal Officer at the US Consulate in Frankfurt, Germany from 2003 to 2006.Since joining the Foreign Service in 1988, Pasi also served at a number of diplomatic positions in Cameroon, Ghana, India and Romania.Pasi, an American diplomat, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1984 and completed a Master of Arts at New York University in 1986.
Hollywood actress Doris Roberts died on 17 April 2016 in Los Angeles in her sleep. She was 90.She was renowned for playing meddling mother Marie Barone in US sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.She won five Emmy Awards over the course of her career, four of which are for her role in Raymond, which ran from 1996 - 2005. The other was her first Emmy in 1983, for her supporting role on the series St. Elsewhere’ .She acted in several Hollywood films which include The Rose, Madea's Witness Protection and the original version of The Taking of Pelham 123.She was born on 4 November 1925 in St. Louis, and grew up in New York.