Current Affairs 26th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Drug firm Vivimed has appointed Pavan Kumar as Chief Executive Officer of the company.The board of directors of the company at its meeting held on April 23 approved appointment of Pavan Kumar as Chief Executive Officer and Ramesh Challa as Chief Financial officer, Vivimed Ltd. Kumar has over three decades of managerial experience working for multinational and Indian organisations in diverse sectors such as consumer/industrial goods, agribusiness and chemicals, in functions such as marketing, operations, project and general management, leading and building competitive businesses, the statement added. The company had Rs.1,386 crore in revenue, with profit after tax of Rs.72 crore in the year ended 31 March 2015.Shares of Vivimed were up 5.91% to Rs.89.60 on BSE at 1.15pm, while the benchmark Sensex index was down 0.69% to 25,660.02 points.

A Joint Conference of Chief Justices of High Courts and Chief Ministers of States is being held in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the conference. Our correspondent reports that Supreme Court Chief Justice T.S.Thakur will preside over the function. The conference is held periodically to address pressing issues relating to the administration of justice in the country. The Joint Conference is an occasion for the executive and the judiciary to reaffirm their resolve to support a speedy, efficient and quality justice delivery in the country, and to discuss steps required to surmount the various challenges facing the justice system, such as inordinate delays in disposal of cases in courts, facilitating access to speedy resolution of commercial disputes by economic operators, making the justice system user friendly and affordable to all and improving the quality of legal aid services in the country. During the conference, Chief Ministers and Chief Justices will deliberate on the further steps required to ensure that the justice delivery system dispenses speedy, affordable and quality justice to all as well as contributes to the ease of doing business in order to achieve the desired economic growth.

India has initiated the third and final phase of the Indian Housing Project laying foundation stone to construct 4,000 houses in the Central and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka. High Commissioner of India and Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Palani Digambaram in the presence of Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganesan and State Minister of Education V.S. Radhakrishnan jointly laid the foundation stone for the third phase of the Indian Housing Project at Dunsinane Estate in Nuwara Eliya District on 24 April. As part of Government of India’s commitment to construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka, 4000 houses will be constructed in the Central and Uva Provinces as the third and final phase of the project.The houses in the estates will be constructed through the Estate Workers Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS), who in consultation with the beneficiaries will facilitate construction.Government of Sri Lanka has earmarked an area of 7 perches per family for 1134 houses and hence only 1134 houses will be taken up for construction initially. The Government of India will commence construction of the remaining 2866 houses as soon as land is made available.The project will be implemented in close consultation with the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development and Plantation Human Development Trust.

NASDAQ-listed Indian direct-to-home (DTH) player Videocon d2h has partnered with Vodafone, a move that will its subscribers recharge their d2h service using Vodafone m-pesa. The 120,000+ Vodafone m-pesa cash in points will also accept recharge for Videocon d2h. Our strategic tie up with Vodafone to enable recharge using m-pesa digital Wallet and at the Vodafone outlets will give our customers an easy and powerful way to recharge their d2h account at their convenience .Videocon d2h, which claims to be India's fastest growing DTH service provider, offers over 550 channels and services. It is soon going to launch HD Smart Connect Set top Box (connected STB), which converts existing normal TV into a Smart TV. The Connected set top box allows one to browse content from Facebook, Twitter, Daily Motion, video on demand sites, news sites, weather sites, etc through applications residing on STB. 

The minimum wage for contract workers has been increased to Rs 10,000 per month, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya .The Minister of State for Labour and Employment informed Lok Sabha that the wage hike has been done based on a Supreme Court verdict. Recently, increased minimum wage to Rs 10,000 at the national level taking into consideration the Consumer Price Index and Dearness Allowance. This was based on the verdict of the Supreme Court. We have linked this increase of minimum wage to pension and bonus .On April 17,The government would bring out an executive order to ensure that contract workers get a minimum wage of Rs 10,000 per month. Decision to make changes to rule 25 of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Central Rules. Every contract worker will be entitled to get Rs 10,000 per month 

Mondelez, best known for its Cadbury chocolates, inaugurated a Rs 1,265-crore plant in Tada, SriCity, Andhra Pradesh, making it the company’s seventh manufacturing unit in the country.This was the company’s largest plant in the Asia-Pacific region and would cater to domestic and regional needs.The plant's capacity is 250,000 tonnes a year, which the company hopes to touch by 2020. The total investment is expected to reach Rs 2,300 crore by then. Other Plant : Mondelez has invested Rs 670 crore in its six other plants in the country: two in Maharashtra, two in Himachal Pradesh and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. In the past few years, packaged food companies like Kellogg’s, Mars, Cargill, Coca-Cola  and PepsiCo have made significant investments in India.Data sourced from the department of industrial policy and  promotion shows yearly foreign direct investment in food processing has been consistently above Rs 2,000 crore, pointing to growing corporate interest in the sector.Domestic players like ITC and Britannia are also betting highly on packaged foods. Mondelez : Mondelez is a multinational confectionery, food, and beverage conglomerate based in the United States which employs about 107,000 people around the world. It consists of the global snack and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc after the October 2012 spin-off of its North American grocery operations. The Mondelez name, adopted in 2012, was suggested by Kraft Foods employees and is a combination of the words for "world" and "delicious" in Romance languages.

Government of Madhya Pradesh, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Sun Pharma on 25 April 2016 entered into an agreement for research and innovation in preventive health.This agreement for Malaria Free India and other innovation in preventive health was announced by Union Health Minister JP Nadda in New Delhi at a function on the occasion of World Malaria Day. Highlights of the collaboration : A malaria elimination demonstration project titled Malaria Free India will be established to support the national framework for elimination of malaria in India.The demonstration project will be launched in one of the most malaria endemic districts of Madhya Pradesh and implemented in a phased manner, beginning with Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh before December 2016.The partnership stakeholders will execute the malaria elimination programme over a span of 3 to 5 years covering over 1200 villages in Mandla district.Sun Pharma will establish a not-for-profit Foundation for implementing Malaria Free India demonstration project Malaria Free India Public-Private-Partnership initiative to dovetail into Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan goals.The partners will expand cooperation in the area of translational health sciences research with the objective of developing new and improved medicines for infectious and chronic diseases.They will jointly work to strengthen capacity and facilities required for conducting research and trials aimed at testing safety and efficacy of medical products.Under the agreement ICMR and Sun Pharma will jointly conduct scientific research for development and testing of medical products including drugs, biosimilars and vaccines as well as undertake disease control and elimination programs.They will setup a Joint Working Group to identify and collaborate in disease surveillance and elimination that are relevant to India. This unique initiative is a significant step in the health sector and reiterated the commitment of the government to strengthen health research in the country.The collaboration, which is India’s first public-private-partnership for research and innovation, will prove to be a milestone in the government’s strategy to address the issue of Malaria in the country.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) on 25 April 2016 got green nod for its 694-crore rupees project at Haldia Dock Complex in West Bengal. This is the project of developing LPG import terminal as well as storage, bottling and bulk distribution facilities. The proposed project aims to boost supply and help achieve the government’s target of making LPG available to each household by 2018.The domestic production of LPG is around 12.38 million metric tonne per annum (mmtpa) which is much lower than the estimated demand of 18.65 mmtpa in 2016.Union Environment Ministry has given environmental clearance and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the BPCL’s project in West Bengal based on the recommendations of the Expert Appraisal Committee (industry). General conditions : The proposed project will ensure LPG supplies to far-flung areas of eastern and north-eastern regions and will create an infrastructure to import the eco-friendly LPG fuel.As per the proposal, Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) will set up an import terminal at Haldia to import 1 mmtpa of refrigerated Propane and Butane and transfer it through 7.5-kilometer long twin transfer pipeline for LPG production, despatch of bulk LPG via road tankers and bottling of LPG in cylinders.The proposal also includes setting up of a bottling plant comprising two LPG-mounded bullet storage facility of 350 tonnes capacity each, besides loading facilities, allied machineries, loading gantries for bulk tanker and filled cylinder despatch through road within the land allotted.The estimated cost of the proposed project is 694 crore rupees, which is to be completed in a year from the date of award of the environment clearance. BPCL : It is one of India’s four major integrated petroleum refining and marketing companies, produces a diverse range of products from petrochemicals and solvents to aircraft fuel and specialty lubricants.The company markets its products through its wide network of petrol stations, kerosene dealers, LPG distributors, besides supplying fuel directly to hundreds of industries, and several international and domestic airlines.

Union Sports Ministry has announced to provide one lakh rupees per month as out of pocket allowance to the sports persons under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme on 25 April 2016.This allowance will help the sports persons in their preparation for the Olympics and Paralympics Games at Rio de Janeiro, which is set to start in August 2016.77 Indian athletes in eight disciplines have qualified for the Olympics till date and many more are likely to qualify in the next two months.Target Olympic Podium scheme is a sports ministry initiative under which Olympic medal prospects are funded by the government for top class training as part of their preparations for the Games. Target Olympic Podium scheme : The TOP Scheme under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) was formulated with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.The focused disciplines of the scheme were Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling and Shooting.For this purpose, a committee named Top Scheme Elite Athletes Identification Committee under the chairmanship of Anurag Thakur was constituted. Other members of the committee were Rahul Dravid, Pullela Gopichand, Abhinav Bindra and MC Mary Kom.At present, Anju Bobby George, the former long jump world champion, is the chairperson of the scheme.

Bangladesh is introducing a law with provision to impeach Supreme Court judges if allegation of misconduct or incapacity is proved. The Cabinet, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, approved in principle on MondayBangladesh Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 25 April 2016 approved a draft of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Judge (Investigation Act) 2016. It will empower the Parliament to impeach a judge in the Supreme Court, if allegation of misconduct or incapacity is proved.The approval was made under a constitutional obligation as Parliament on 17 September 2014 had unanimously passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill, empowering the Parliament to remove Supreme Court judges for misbehaviour and incapacity.The same law will be applicable for physical and mental incapability of a judge. Features of the draft law : The draft law enables citizens with evidence to submit allegations of misconduct or incapacity against a Supreme Court judge to the Speaker of Parliament.The speaker will constitute a three-member independent investigation committee with a former chief justice being its head along with an ex-attorney General and an eminent citizen of the country or a jurist as its members to probe into the allegation.The committee’s recommendations will be placed before Parliament which will forward its recommendations to the President for necessary action.About false and baseless allegation of misconduct against any judge of the Supreme Court, the person concerned will be jailed for two years and fine of maximum up to 5 lakh takas. The draft law was approved aimed at reverting to the main law of the original constitution of 1972 to ensure a legislative process regarding removal of the Supreme Court judges like all other democratic nations around the world.And a similar law was in the original constitution of 1972 and it was changed after 1975 incorporating a provision of forming Supreme Judicial Council. Such council does not exist at present in any country except Pakistan.The draft law has been prepared after detailed consultations with stakeholders concerned, including the judges of the Appellate and High Court Divisions. After further discussions with the relevant stakeholders, the draft law will again be placed before the cabinet for its final approval. a draft of the ‘Supreme Court Judge (Investigation Act) 2016’, that, once passed, will empower the Parliament to impeach a judge. The approval was made under a constitutional obligation as Parliament in September 2014 had unanimously passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill, empowering the Parliament to remove Supreme Court judges. Process of impeachment : The draft law says any citizen with evidence will be able to submit allegations against a Supreme Court judge to the speaker of Parliament. A 10- member parliamentary body will investigate the allegations. The speaker will then form a high-powered committee with a former Supreme Court Judge, a former Attorney-General and noted jurists to review the primary report. The committee's finding will be placed before parliament which will forward recommendations to the president for necessary action.

The Department of Telecommunications on 22 April 2016 notified the Panic Button and Global Positioning System in Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016.The Rules were issued under section 10 of the Indian Wireless Telegraph Act, 1933. Highlights of the Mobile Phone Handsets Rules 2016 : Under these rules, all feature phones will have the facility of panic button configured to the numeric key 5 or 9.All the smart phones will have the panic button configured to three times short pressing of the on-off button. Further, with effect from 1 January 2018, all mobile phones will be required to have the facility of identifying the location through satellite based GPS. Similar solutions will also be made available for existing mobile phone handsets in the form of software patches by which same buttons could be configured to send out emergency calls for concerned telephone numbers. Software patches will be made available for direct download in the smart phones and installation at the mobile phone shops by the concerned manufactures/service providers. Reason : The move came following the observation that in order to provide safety to women in distress situation, it is important to enable them to send out distress signal to a family member or the police authorities so that they can be rescued. A physical panic button is much superior to having an App on the mobile phone as a women in distress does not have more than a second or two to send out a distress message as a perpetrator will often reach out to her mobile phone in the event of a physical/sexual assault.

The heart of Asia conference has begun in April 26,2016. The conference held in New Delhi .The conference aims to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country. Objects : The conference is with the objective of bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan and speeding up its reconstruction with a focus on enhancing investment and connectivity to the country.The conference to be attended by the officials of a number of countries including Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry. This is the first high-level contact between the two sides since the January 2 terror attack on Pathankot airbase. Aim : The key elements of HoA process have been to devise a sustained, incremental approach to implementation of the confidence building measures (CBM) in Afghanistan and the officials are set to deliberate on them during the conference.Energy, infrastructure and investment deals to shore up economic growth of Afghanistan may figure in the talks. India hosted the senior officials meeting of the Istanbul process in January 2014 in New Delhi and is set to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the HoA Process in the last quarter of this year. The 14 participating countries in HoA process are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and UAE. The supporting countries include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Iraq, Japan, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, U.K., U.S. and the E.U. Heart of Asia conferences 1st Heart of Asia conference :  Istanbul, Turkey 2nd Heart of Asia conference : Kabul 3rd Heart of Asia conference :  Almaty 4th Heart of Asia conference :  Beijing, China 5th Heart of Asia conference : Islamabad, Pakistan

Indian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics scheduled to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He qualified Rio Olympics after winning a silver medal in the men’s single sculls event at the FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta held at Chung-ju in South Korea. He clocked 7 minutes, 7.63 seconds in the 2 km course to finish second. South Korea’s Dongyong Kim won the gold medal after finishing the race in 07 minutes, 5.13 seconds. Currently, Dattu Bhokanal trains at the Army Rowing Node (ARN) in Pune, Maharashtra. He will be the lone Indian rower taking part in Rio Games.  

The former prime minister of Thailand, Banharn Silpa-archa was died on 23 April 2016 in Bangkok. He was 83.His scandal-ridden tenure a Prime Minister preceded the Thailand’s economic collapse in the 1990s. Banharn Silpa-archa : He was born on 19 August 1932 in Suphanburi, Siam to a Chinese merchant family. His Chinese name was Ma Dexiang.He was elected 11 times to Parliament and gained the nickname Banharnburi for his home province with Thai Nation Party.He was regional power broker and a master of money politics in his home province, Suphanburi. His tenure as 21st Prime Minister of Thailand was lasted from 13 July 1995 to 24 November 1996 for about 16 months with Thai Nation Party.His government was marked by allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement which led to Economic Collapse in the country, touching off the Asian financial crisis.He was a familiar presence in national politics, serving as a minister in various governments over the years, and became known as Mr ATM for his methods of winning support and securing allies.He was also known as the eel for his ability to wriggle his party into coalitions, including the tenuous grouping of small parties that briefly kept him in power as prime minister.

Professional football club Mohun Bagan and India striker Jeje Lalpekhlua on 25 April 2016 won the Football Players’ Association of India (FPAI) Indian Player of the Year award at its annual awards function held in Mumbai.Lalpekhlua received the highest number of votes from fellow professional footballers to finish on top in the shortlist which included India captain Sunil Chhetri, Bikash Jairu, David Lalrinmuana and Dhanachandra Singh. Nigerian striker Ranti Martins, who played for East Bengal in the I-League, was named the Foreign Player of the Year. The Manipur-born Udanta Singh of I-League champion Bengaluru FC bagged the Young Player of the Year award. Bengaluru FC’s coachAshley Westwood won the Coach of the Year award. Debjit Majumder was named the Fans’ Player of the Year. Jeje Lalpekhlua : Born on 7 January 1991 in Mizoram, Jeje Lalpekhlua is an Indian footballer who plays for Chennaiyin in the Indian Super League.He scored the only goal in a win against Afghanistan in the SAFF Cup group stage match in Bangladesh.He led the Indian U19 team to the South Asian games in Sri Lanka. Mohun Bagan A.C :  Mohun Bagan Athletic Club is a professional football club based in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.The club was established in 1889 by Bhupendra Nath Bose and is the oldest existing football club in India.The club was awarded the distinction of being the National Club of India by former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi as well as by the All India Football Federation in 1989.  

The influential Congolese musician Papa Wemba has died aged 66 after collapsing during a concert . The musician, whose real name was Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, rose to fame in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa during the 1970s with the band Zaiko Langa Langa, whose guitar-based fusion of Latin and African dance styles inspired a generation of African musicians. With a new band, Viva La Musica, Wemba moved to Paris in the 1980s and helped popularize Congolese music beyond Africa. He toured in the 1990s with British rock star Peter Gabriel and appears on his “Secret World Live” album. Wemba also was a pioneer of the “sapeur” youth culture marked by its dedication to extravagant fashions. The young men are known for wearing stylish suits and fedora hats, standing out in stark contrast in countries where poverty is endemic. He helped modernise Congolese rumba music, making it one of the most popular sounds in Africa. Together with his bands Zaiko Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit, including L’Esclave and Le Voyageur, and worked with international stars like Peter Gabriel. He appeared in two feature films, Life Is Beautiful (1987) and Wild Games (1997).

India has banned import of milk and milk products, certain mobile phones and a few other items from China after finding them sub-standard or not following security codes.  Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in Lok Sabha that India banned import of milk and milk products from China as their quality was unacceptable. The mobile phones, which do not carry International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number (IMEI) or other security features, and some steel products have also been banned from importing from China. The Minister said India's trade deficit with China stood at $48.68 billion during 2015-16 (April-February) and the total bilateral trade was $65.16 billion during the period.  Increasing trade deficit with China can be attributed primarily to the fact that Chinese exports to India rely strongly on manufactured items to meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power, while India's exports to China are characterised by primarily and intermediate products   

The Judo Federation of India (JFI) on 25 April 2016 announced that India has been allotted the Commonwealth Judo Championships 2018.The Commonwealth Judo Championships was allotted to India, by the Commonwealth Judo Congress held on 23 April 2016 at Port Elizabeth, South Africa. This will be the first time that Commonwealth Judo Championships will be held in India. The Championships will be held in Jaipur. However, the dates are yet to be finalized.Besides, India will also play host to the 10th Asian Cadet Judo Championships & 17th Asian Juniors Judo Championships from 6 September to 12 September 2016 at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kadvanthaa, Kerala. Commonwealth Judo Championships : The Commonwealth Judo Championships are an international judo competition, open to countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is the official event of the Commonwealth Judo Associations and is organised every 2 years for Cadets, Junior, Seniors, Masters and visually impaired Judo Players.The Commonwealth Judo Championships 2016 will be held in South Africa. Judo in India : A widely played sport in India, the first written record about Judo in India was found in Kodokan. Kodokan is about demonstrations and coaching of Judo by Shinzo Tagaki arranged at Shantiniketan in 1929 by Rabindranath Tagore.To govern the sport, the Judo Federation of India was formed in 1965.  

The World Intellectual Property Day 2016 was on 26 April 2016 observed across the world with the theme Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined. On this day, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) works together with various government agencies, non-government organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote World Intellectual Property Day.The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.This year theme explores the future of culture in the digital age: how we create it, how we access it, how we finance it. A balanced and flexible intellectual property system helps ensure that those working in the creative sector and artists themselves are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating. World Intellectual Property Day  : In October 1999, the General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) approved the idea of declaring a particular day as a World Intellectual Property Day.In 2000, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated 26 April as an annual World Intellectual Property (IP) Day to address the perceived gap between Intellectual Property as a business/legal concept and its relevance to people’s lives. April 26 was specifically chosen as the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, first entered into force in 1970 on this date.

The Lok Sabha passed the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Bill, 2016 to provide statutory status to the existing Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, Haryana. The Bill seeks to provide legislative backing to the Regional Centre and also confers upon it the status of an institution of national importance. Objectives : (i) Disseminate knowledge by providing teaching and research facilities in biotechnology and related fields, (ii) create a hub of biotechnology expertise, (iii) facilitate transfer of technology and knowledge in the SAARC region and generally Asia and (iv) Promote cooperation at the international level. The Regional centre will provide masters and doctoral degrees, and post-graduate diplomas in biotechnology and related subjects. It will have Board of Governors, Programme Advisory Committee, Executive Committee and Finance Committee etc as authorities responsible for its administration and functioning. India had entered into an agreement in 2006 with the UNESCO regarding establishment of the Regional Centre to serve the member countries of UNESCO. In this regard, the Union government through an executive order had established the Regional Centre for Biotechnology Training and Education in Faridabad, Haryana in 2009.

The eleventh edition of India-Mongolia joint military training Exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant – 2016’ has commenced at Mongolia. It seeks to promote military associations between India and Mongolia. The first joint exercise was held in 2004 and since then it is annually held. Aim : Aim of exercise is to develop synergy and interoperability between the two armies to fight in Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism (CICT) environment under the United Nation mandate. In this edition, a platoon of the Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army along with a team of two observers is taking part in the event. The Indian contingent will share its practical experiences of CICT operations through a series of classroom lectures and outdoor demonstrations.

The Lok Sabha passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on 25 April 2016. The bill – already passed by the Rajya Sabha on 16 March 2016 – seeks to amend the Sikh Gurdwaras Act, 1925 with effect from 8 October 2003.It proposes removal of an exception made for Sahajdharis in 1944 that allowed them to vote in elections for the Board and committees instituted under the Act.Now, the bill will be sent to the President for his assent. Features of the Amendment Bill : It proposed to remove the exception given to Sehajdhari Sikhs in 1944 to vote in the elections for selecting members of the board and the committees constituted under the Act.This amendment will debar Sahjdhari Sikhs voting rights. As Sehajdhari Sikhs are continuously exercising their voting rights in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections since 1949. However, the notification was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 20 December 2011, leaving it to the appropriate and competent legislature to decide as to whether or not to amend the Act to that effect.Earlier, the Union Cabinet on 10 March 2016 approved the proposal of Home Ministry to amend the Sikh Gurudwaras  Act, 1925, with effect from 8 October 2003.As per the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, only Sikhs who follow all the fundamental tenets of being a Sikh can contest the election. But as per a 1944 rule, the electorate included Sahajdhari Sikhs as voters as well — a tradition decried by the Sikh community. Sehajdhari Sikhs : A Sehajdhari is a person who has chosen the path of Sikhism, but is not baptised. He believes in all tenets of Sikhism and teachings of the Sikh Gurus, but may or may not adorn the five symbols of the Sikh faith.

Operation Sulaimani : An initiative to eradicate poverty by feeding needy in Kozhikode hotels.The initiative Operation Sulaimani was in news in the third week of April 2016 as Kozhikode district is set to implement this project to ensure food for the needy in its jurisdiction.It was initiated by the Kozhikode district collector N Prasanth with an objective to avoid food wastage in the district.The project is named after Sulaimani as the Kozhikode is famous for food and ‘Sulaimani’ is one of such iconic items of the district. Features of Operation Sulaimani :  It is being implemented in association with the state Hotel and Restaurants Association.The needy will get food from selected restaurants in the district in each locality. Instead of payment, the customers have to give coupons distributed by the district administration. The coupons will be distributed through the counters to be opened in the collectorate, village office and Taluk offices.The district administration would maintain a register book to enter the details of people who approach them for the food coupons.They make note of the name and address of the people who buys the coupon.Necessary steps will be taken to avoid the people who regularly use this coupon despite having proper income.The boozers will also be kept away from this project.As per the initial plan, through the Operation Sulaimani, around 1000 people will get food per day. The price of the food will be covered through sponsorship.

Indian Missile Corvette, INS Karmuk along with a Dornier Maritime Patrol Aircraft participated in the 22nd Indo-Thai Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) in the Andaman Sea on 25 April 2016.India’s indigenously built Missile Corvette is based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command. 22nd edition of the CORPAT : India and Thailand have traditionally enjoyed a close and friendly relationship covering a wide spectrum of activities and interactions, which have strengthened over the years.The 22nd edition of CORPAT would bolster the already strong bilateral relationship between the two nations and contribute significantly to enhancing maritime security in the region.It would include participation of one warship and one Maritime Patrol Aircraft of India and Thailand with the closing ceremony being held at Port Blair, Headquarters Andaman and Nicobar Command (HQANC) from 25 April -27 April 2016. Maritime interaction between India and Thailand has been growing steadily with frequent port visits, participation in multilateral exercises and training exchanges.Under the broad ambit of this strong maritime relationship, the two navies have been carrying out CORPATs along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) twice a year since 2005. It was with an aim of keep the vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.The CORPAT has also strengthened understanding and interoperability between the navies and facilitated institution of measures to prevent unlawful activities at sea as well as conduct Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.

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