Current Affairs 5th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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To ensure smooth procurement and distribution of foodgrains, the government today released Rs 25,834 crore as food subsidy to state-owned Food Corporation of India (FCI) for this fiscal. The government has earmarked Rs 1,34,834.61 crore as food subsidy for 2016-17 fiscal. The corporation is facing a subsidy arrear of Rs 58,650 crore till March 2016. The government has released today Rs 25,834 crore to FCI as food subsidy," the Food Ministry said in a statement. In addition to this, the government will shortly release a wage and means advance of Rs 10,000 crore. FCI is also raising short-term loans from banks up to a maximum limit of Rs 30,000 crore. Recourse to these loans will be made by FCI as and when required .In the last fiscal, the government had initially allocated Rs 97,000 crore to FCI, which was later increased to Rs 1,12,000 crore at the revised estimate stage. This helped bring down subsidy arrear to Rs 58,650 crore till March 2016. To further bring down the subsidy arrear in this fiscal, the government said it may consider additional food subsidy over and above the budgetary provision, if required, towards the end of the current financial year. The bulk of the food subsidy is paid to FCI for buying foodgrains at support price and running the public distribution system (PDS). 

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today cuts the Repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points to 6.5% in its first bi-monthly monetary policy review for the 2016-17 fiscal and kept the Cash Reserve Rate (CRR) unchanged. Repo Rate is the rate at which banks borrow from the central bank. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point. The repo rate now stands at 6.5%, the lowest it has been since March 2011. With this, Home, auto and other loans are set to become cheaper.The RBI, though projected GDP growth to at about 7.6% for FY 2017. citing both upsides from a good monsoon, higher consumer demand from the 7th Pay Commission and OROP for ex-servicemen and downsides from sluggish investment. R G Rajan welcomed the government move to amend the RBI Act to create a monetary policy committee, saying it will further strengthen the policy's credibility. He also welcomed the government's adherence to the path of fiscal consolidation, calling it as a commendable commitment this will support the disinflation process going forward. Following are the highlights of RBI’s first bi monthly monetary policy statement, 2016 17:Repo rate cut by 0.25% to 6.50%,Reverse repo hiked by 0.25% to 6%,Cash reserve ratio or CRR unchanged at 4%,Minimum daily cash maintenance by banks with RBI cut by 5%,MSF rate cut by 0.75% to lower banks’ borrowing cost,Policy to remain accommodative going forward,Pegs 2016—17 growth forecast at 7.6%,Expects inflation at around 5%,Cut in small savings rate, MCLR introduction to improve monetary policy transmission,Government adhering to fiscal consolidation path will help lower inflation,7th Pay Commission award to put upward pressure of up to 1.5% on inflation,Proposes custodian banks; banks focusing on wholesale and long term financing,Second bi—monthly monetary policy on June 7

Five-time world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand will be honoured with the Hridaynath Award, which felicitates and recognises successful individualsacross the country from various walks of life. The honour will be a cash award of Rs 2 lakh and a memento. State Governor C Vidyasagar Rao will present the award to the 46-year-old sportsman at an event here on April 12. The previous recipients of the award include eminent personalities like Lata Mangeshkar, Babasaheb Purandare, Asha Bhosle, Amitabh Bachchan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and A R Rahman.The guests of honour for the ceremony will be Maharashtra Culture Minister Vinod Tawde and Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, while Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan will be a special guest for the evening.Born on December 11, 1969, Anand is an Indian chess grandmaster and a former world champion. He became India's first grandmaster in 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002 and became the undisputed world champion in 2007. Other sports personalities like D Prasad, Praveen Thipsay along with hiswife Bhagyashree Thipsay, Padmashree Anupama Gokhale, Raghunandan Gokhale, Dhanraj Pullay, Devendra Joshi, Kamesh Mehta and Parnali Dharia will also be felicitated during the ceremony.

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 5 April 2016 presented the National Geoscience Awards - 2014 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.The annual awards are presented to honour individuals and team of scientists for their outstanding contributions in the field of fundamental or applied Geosciences, Mining and Allied areas.For the year 2014, Prof. Ashok Kumar Singhvi was conferred with the highest honour National Geoscience Award for Excellence for his outstanding contributions in the field of sedimentary technologies.Along with him, 32 other geoscientists were being given the awards in 13 disciplines including Mining Technology, Basic Geosciences, Geo-Information System, etc.National Geoscience Awards Scheme : These are the prestigious awards in the field of Geosciences in the country.These were instituted in 1966 by the Union Ministry of Mines as National Mineral Awards and rechristened as NGA in 2009. Any citizen of India who is a professionally qualified geo-scientist or engineer or technologist or academician with significant contribution in any field of earth sciences is eligible.Nominations are invited annually for NGA under three categories viz., NGA, National Geoscience Award for Excellence and Young Researcher Award which carry 200000, 500000 and 50000 rupees award money respectively. The selection of the awardees is a three tier process and the final round of selection is done by the Award Making Authority chaired by the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Mines.Recipients of National Geoscience Awards 20141Prof. Ashok Kumar SinghviAward For Excellence2Dr. Muduru Lachhana DoraMineral Discovery & Exploration3Shri Biswajeet LenkaMineral Discovery & Exploration4Shri Syed Ajaz AhmadMineral Discovery & Exploration5Shri Hemraj SuryavanshiMineral Discovery & Exploration6Shri Vijay V. MugalCoal, Lignite and Coal Bed MethaneDiscovery & Exploration7 Shri Lalit KhasdeoCoal, Lignite and Coal Bed MethaneDiscovery & Exploration8Shri Kaushik RajbanshiCoal, Lignite and Coal Bed MethaneDiscovery & Exploration9Dr. Abhijit MukherjeeGroundwater Exploration10 Dr. Satyendra Kumar SinghMining Technology11 Prof. Arvind Kumar MishraMining Technology12 Dr. Sreenivas TumulriMineral Beneficiation13 Dr. Swati MohantyMineral Beneficiation14 Dr. Khanindra PathakSustainable Mineral Development15 Dr. Dewashish UpadhyayBasic Geosciences16 Dr.  Prasanta SanyalBasic Geosciences17 Dr. Rajeev PatnaikBasic Geosciences18 Shri Milind V. DhakateApplied Geology19 Shri Gautam SahaApplied Geology20 Shri Rashtrapal H. ChavhanApplied Geology21 Shri Prashant Tukaram IlamkarApplied Geology22 Dr. Simanchal PadhyGeophysics / Applied Geophysics23 Dr. Sandeep Kumar GuptaGeophysics / Applied Geophysics24 Dr. Nathani BasavaiahGeo-Environmental studies25 Dr. Balakrishnan Nair T. MOceanography and Marine Geology26 Dr. Francis P.A.Oceanography and Marine Geology27 Dr. Harikumar ROceanography and Marine Geology28 Sandhya K. G.Oceanography and Marine Geology29 Dr. R. VenkatesanGlaciology and Arctic & Antarctic Research30 M Arul MuthiahGlaciology and Arctic & Antarctic Research31 Dr KP  KrishnanGlaciology and Arctic & Antarctic Research32 Shri B. KesavakumarGlaciology and Arctic & Antarctic Research33 Dr Indra Sekhar SenYoung Scientist Award

Delhi High Court on 4 April 2016 held that keeping a criminal case pending for indefinite period amounts to violation of constitutional rights of the accused recognized under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution of India.The ruling was passed by Justice Suresh Kait in Joginder Singh vs State (NCT of Delhi) case.The court also quashed the first information report (FIR) registered at Mangolpuri police station against Joginder Singh, with the allegations of forgery of documents of a stolen car and the consequential proceedings in the trial court.Criminal cases against accused were pending since 1998, although nothing material was brought to the notice delaying the process of framing charge against Singh. The FIR was registered for the offences punishable under Sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of Indian Penal Code.The court said that the case could not be registered against the accused only on the basis of disclosure statement without any supporting material.While quashing the FIR, the court referred Supreme Court’s judgment of 2009 case of the Vakil Prasad Singh vs. State of Bihar which was termed as violation of constitutional guarantee of a speedy investigation and trial under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The ICC on 4 April 2016 announced the teams of the tournament for the men’s and women’s ICC World Twenty20 2016 that finished at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 3 April 2016. The teams were announced under chairmanship of Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager – Cricket.Indian player Virat Kohli was chosen as captain of the men’s side while Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies was named to lead the women’s line-up.The men’s team contained four players from England, two players each from India and the West Indies, and one each from Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa which included the twelfth player.The women’s team comprised four players from New Zealand, two players each from Australia, England and the West Indies, and one player each from Pakistan and South Africa.The two teams are (in batting order):Men : 1. Jason Roy (England),2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa, wicketkeeper),3. Virat Kohli (India, captain),4. Joe Root (England),5. Jos Buttler (England),6. Shane Watson (Australia),7. Andre Russell (West Indies),8. Mitchell Santner (New Zealand),9. David Willey (England),10.Samuel Badree (West Indies),11. Ashish Nehra (India),12. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh).Women1. Suzie Bates (New Zealand),2. Charlotte Edwards (England),3. Meg Lanning (Australia),4. Stafanie Taylor (West Indies, captain),5. Sophie Devine (New Zealand),6. Rachel Priest (New Zealand, wicketkeeper),7. Deandra Dottin (West Indies),8. Megan Schutt (Australia),9. Sune Luus (South Africa),10. Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand),11. Anya Shrubsole (England),12. Anam Amin (Pakistan)

India has signed an agreement with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for a possible USD 100 million line of credit to facilitate exports to IDB's member countries. The MoU was inked between the IDB's private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank), a specialised financial institution, wholly owned by the government of India to finance and facilitate foreign trade. ICD's mandate is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Sharia'a. The MoU envisages cooperation to explore the feasibility of extending a commercial line of credit of USD 100 million to ICD with the aim of facilitating the export of goods and services from India to ICD's member countries. The recipients of EXIM Bank's commercial lines of credit act as intermediaries and on lend to overseas buyers for the import of Indian goods and services. Under the agreement, co-operation will also be achieved through the exchange of information on trade-related matters and the identification of business opportunities for Indian companies to pursue in ICD's member countries. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar are among the 56-members of the IDB. The agreement was signed by Tarun Sharma, regional head of EXIM Bank, and Khaled Al Aboodi, the CEO and General Manager of ICD. Sharma said that, since its inception, EXIM Bank has been both a catalyst and a key player in the promotion of cross border trade and investment. We remain committed to support Indian exporters to enter new markets in their bid to expand and we are convinced that our co-operation with ICD will serve that very purpose and will be mutually beneficial for both parties.

Go Airlines (India) Ltd. on 2 March 2016 elevated its present chief executive officer (CEO) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as the managing director.After this elevation, he will now become a member of the company's board. He will also hold twin charge of both CEO & managing director.Prock-Schauer, who joined the company in June 2015, will hold the managing director’s post along with the promoter of GoAir Jeh Wadia.Prior to GoAir, Prock-Schauer headed different airlines in different countries, including Jet Airways (2003-2009), British Midland Airways and Air Berlin.He was also chairman, management board at the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline group, in 2002 and 2003.Go Airlines (India) Ltd. is the aviation foray of the Wadia Group and it operates its services under the brand GoAir.In November 2005, GoAir launched its operations as a low-fare carrier with the objective of commoditizing air travel and offering airline seats at a marginal premium to train fares across India.The airline currently operates over 140 daily flights and approximately 975 weekly flights across 22 destinations.

Wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed has been named captain of Pakistan's Twenty20 team, replacing Shahid Afridi who resigned from the position after the side's dismal World Twenty20 campaign.PCB is pleased to announce appointment of Sarfraz Ahmed as captain of Pakistan T20 team. Sarfraz was appointed vice-captain of ODI and T20 teams last year. He takes over the captaincy of the shortest form of the game from Shahid Afridi, whose term as captain came to an end after the ICC World T20 2016,the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement.Ahmed, who was vice-captain of the T20 and the ODI side, takes over at a time of intense turmoil for the team, which was knocked out of the World T20 in India after losing three of its four group stage matches.The disappointing show led to Afridi's resignation. Coach Waqar Younis also put in his papers on Monday, claiming that none of his suggestions were accepted by the board.The 28-year-old Ahmed has played 21 Tests, in which he has scored 1,296 runs at an average of 46.28. His 58 ODI appearances have fetched him 1,077 runs at an average of 29.91. In 21 T20Is, Ahmed has notched up 291 runs at 29.10.

Indian Air Force (IAF) will participate in Red Flag air exercise along with US, NATO and allied forces that are scheduled to be conducted from 28 April to 13 May 2016 in Alaska.The exercise will see participation of 12 IAF aircraft including the Russian origin Su30 MKI, deep penetration Jaguars, two C17 transport plans and two mid air refuellers IL 78. Before reaching Alaska, the AIF aircrafts will travel through Bahrain, Egypt, France, Portugal and Canada.It will also see over 150 IAF personnel in action, who will undergo some training before being sent to Alaska. According to an estimate, it will cost India over 100 crore rupees.This is the second time that India is participating in such an exercise after 2008. Due to high cost of participation, IAF decided to take part in the exercise once in every five year. Earlier, the participation in the exercise was scheduled in 2013 but the plan was cancelled by the US following budget cuts.Red Flag Air ExercisesThe Red Flag exercises, held periodically at the Nellis Air Force Base since 1975, is advanced aerial combat training exercise. Red Flag – Alaska is a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series in the Western Pacific and Alaska.Since 1975, air crews from the United States Air Force (USAF), United States Navy (USN), United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Army (USA) and numerous NATO or other allied nations' air forces take part in one of several Red Flag exercises held during the year, each of which is two weeks in duration.The exercise provides an opportunity to practice and refine their skills for real combat situations to the pilots from the US, NATO and other allied. This includes the use of enemy hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the Nellis complex.

India’s first special purpose vehicle (SPV) on smart city - Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited - commenced operations on 1 April 2016.The SPV was set up as per the Smart City Mission Guidelines to enable faster execution of projects by delegating to them powers of various concerned departments and agencies.Incidentally, Bhubaneswar also topped the 1st batch of 20 smart cities list that was released by the Union Ministry of Urban Development on 28 January 2016.Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited consists of a 16-member Board of Directors with representatives of various departments and agencies of the Odisha Government, one representative of Government of India and 5 Independent Directors of which at least one will be woman. It will have an authorised capital of 500 crore rupees, divided in to 5 crore shares of 100 rupees each.Of this, the Government of Odisha and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation will have a share of 112.50 crore rupees each while Bhubaneswar Development Authority will contribute share capital of 250 crore rupees.It was registered under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.Project management will be undertaken through engagement of Project Management Consultancy.The chief executive officer (CEO) is authorized to finalize the terms and conditions and manner of recruitment and also engage agency for providing various services.R Balakrishnan and R Vineel Krishna are the Managing Director and the CEO of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited respectively.

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic on 4 April 2016 appointed senior executive Manish Sharma of India to its global executive council. It inducted an Indian onto the coveted decision-making body of the 80-billion dollar company for the first time ever.The global executive council of Panasonic is a key decision-making body that manages the firm’s business plans across the globe.Sharma is the first Indian and fourth non-Japanese member of the 50-member Council headed by a global president.Apart from him, the other international representatives in the executive council include three Americans and one European.The decision to include non-Japanese members in the council is in sync with company’s plan of enhanced representation of officials from key markets as it goes about localization of products and technologies.Earlier, Panasonic also appointed Daizo Ito, former president of Indian operations, as managing executive officer, Panasonic Corporation.

Pakistan's head coach Waqar Younis resigned on Monday weeks after his team's humiliating exit from the World Twenty20 tournament at the group stage.The 2009 champions had been widely blasted by fans following a lacklustre performance with just one victory against lowly ranked Bangladesh and big losses to India, New Zealand and Australia.The 44-year-old took on the job for the second time in 2014, having previously held the post in 2010-11.He made a formidable partnership with Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq to lift the team to number two in the Test rankings late last year, a spot they had previously attained in 2006.Waqar Younis Maitla is a former Pakistani right-arm fast bowler in cricket, regarded as one of the greatest and fastest bowlers of all time.[ Currently, he is the coach of Pakistan Cricket team.As of 2012, he holds the record for the youngest Pakistani Test captain and the third youngest Test captain in history (22 years 15 days).He played 87 Tests and 262 One Day International (ODI) matches for Pakistan during his international cricket career from 1989 to 2003. Younis' trademark was his ability to reverse swing a cricket ball at high speed. He took 373 Test wickets and 416 One Day International wickets during his career. Together with bowling partner Wasim Akram, he formed one of the world's most feared bowling attacks. Younis has the best strike rate, after Dale Steyn, for any bowler with over 350 Test wickets.He worked as a bowling coach with the national side from 2006 to 2007. Waqar was appointed as the coach of the Pakistan cricket team on 3 March 2010. He resigned as Pakistan's cricket coach on 19 August 2011 citing personal reasons.  He joined Sunrisers Hyderabad as their bowling coach for the Indian Premier League 2013 season.

The government has total Aadhaar enrolments have crossed the 100-crore mark, which will give a boost to various public welfare schemes and ensure that benefits are delivered directly to deserving masses.Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, Aadhaar crossing the 100-crore mark is indeed a momentous occasion will give boost to government's initiative of bringing a systematic change in the way services, subsidies and benefits will be directly delivered to the deserving masses.Prasad added the government is quite open to bring more public services under the Aadhaar platfrom for a flawless delivery.On the financial impact of Aadhaar on various social sector schemes, he said the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme led to savings worth Rs 14,672 crore for the government, while under the public distribution system, the estimated savings are to the tune of Rs 2,346 crore across 4 states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry and Delhi.The Minister said the government will persuade the Supreme Court to release more avenues for invocation of Aadhaar.The Supreme Court had permitted voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes that included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and the provident fund besides ambitious flagship programmes like 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna' of the NDA government.The social welfare schemes were in addition to LPG and PDS in which the apex court had allowed the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards.The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) generated the 100th crore Aadhaar in a span of five-and-a-half years since the first Aadhaar was issued in 2010. This comes just a few days after the legislation Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits, and Services) Act 2016 has been notified by the Government. Aadhaar coverage now is at 93 per cent among people above the age of 18 (as per projected population figures of 2015). As on date, in 13 states and union territories (UTs) Aadhaar saturation has crossed 90 per cent, while in thirteen other statues and UTs it is between 75-90 per cent.

India's fastest train Gatiman Express whizzed from Delhi to Agra in 100 minutes on its debut run this morning - only seven minutes faster than the Shatabdi Express.At a speed of 160 km per hour, the Gatiman Express, says the railway ministry, is the first semi-high speed train in the country and aims at attracting tourists who wish to visit the Taj Mahal city with "train hostesses" and an entertainment system on board.Passengers were this morning welcomed with roses by hostesses as they boarded the gleaming royal blue and grey train at the Nizamuddin Railway station.The train has two "executive class" coaches at Rs. 1,500 a seat and eight AC chair car coaches for half that price, a high-power emergency braking system, automatic fire alarm, a GPS-based passenger information system and sliding doors between coaches.On the menu - Spanish omelet, date walnut cake, wheat upma, Kanjeevaram idli, aloo kulcha, mini dosa, chicken rolls and Swiss rolls served on chinaware.The Gatiman will run six days a week, except Fridays, the day the Taj Mahal is shut.The new train also provides on-board entertainment facilities including free WiFi.Hotspot devices have been installed at coaches to enable passengers to access multimedia services free of cost directly on their smartphones, tablets or laptops.Nine more such trains will run across the country.

The Panama Papers are an unprecedented leak of 11.5m files from the database of the world’s 4th biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The records were obtained from an anonymous source by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) put out an in-depth, investigated and analysed report that blows the lid off tax evasion and secret offshore dealings of the powerful, rich and famous across the globe in 21 offshore jurisdictions such as Nevada, Niue, Samoa, British Anguilla, Hong Kong, Tortola, Seychelles and the British Virgin Islands. The 12 current and former heads of state from Iceland, Ukraine, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Argentina also figure on the list.  It also provides data on some 214,000 companies.RBI norms: As per RBI, no Indian citizen could float an overseas entity before 2003 — in 2004, for the first time individuals were allowed to remit funds of up to $25,000 a year under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, and this limit stands at $250,000 a year now.Globaly famous persons in the list: Mauricio Macri, President, Argentina, Sergei Roldugin,Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister Iceland, Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi– one of the wealthiest man in the world,Pavlo Lazarenko, former PM of Ukraine, one of the world's 10 most corrupt politicians by Transparency International, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and billionaire ‘chocolate king Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Kushal Pal Singh, DLF owner and 9 members of his family, Sameer Gehlaut, Chairman & Founder, Indiabulls Group, Vinod Adani, industrialist Gautam Adani’s elder brother, Shishir K Bajoria – promoter of SK Bajoria Group and politician from West Bengal, Anurag Kejriwal, former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party, Onkar Kanwar, chairman of Apollo Group,Anil Vasudeva Salgaocar , Goa-based mining baron and former MLA, Mohan Lal Lohia, chairman emeritus, Indo Rama Synthetics, Chairman – Indo Rama Holdings Ltd, (late) Indira Sivasailam, wife of Anantharamakrishnan Sivasailam, chairman of Amalgamations Group. Her daughter, Mallika Srinivasan – chairman and CEO of Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd,Harish Salve, former Solicitor General of India (1999-2002), Tabasum and Abdul Rashid Mir, Founder and CEO, Cottage Industries Exposition, Zavaray Poonawalla, head, managing committee, Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) and brother of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Rajendra Patil owns medical and engineering colleges in Davangere. He is the son-in-law of Congressman and Karnataka horticulture minister Shamanur Shivashankarapppa, Jehangir Soli Sorabjee, honorary consultant physician, at Bombay Hospital. He is the son of former attorney general Soli Sorabjee,Iqbal Mirchi, underworld don, now dead. Mossack Fonseca: Mossack Fonseca, founded in 1977 by German-born Jurgen Mossack and Ramon Fonseca, specializes incommercial law, trust services, investor advisory and international structures. The law firm’s website claims it is one of the largest firms in the corporate services industry and has over 40 offices globally. It also offers intellectual property protection and maritime law services. Mossack Fonesca is the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm.

The 53rd National Maritime Day celebration held between 1st April and 5th April at Mumbai. Every year April 05th is celebrated as India’s National Maritime Day. On this legendary day in 1919, navigation history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom.As a mark of remembering maiden maritime voyage, the National Maritime Day was first celebrated on 5th April, 1964. In addition to celebrating the sailing of Loyalty, the National Maritime Day is significant for developing consciousness in the society about the importance of the maritime sector and its contribution to the Indian economy. NMDC celebrations are initiated by a national level committee formed at the apex level and various sub-committees and state level committees conducting celebrations all over the country.The committees have representation from the Government and various segments of the maritime industry. Various functions are conducted over a week culminating into the final celebrations on the 5th of April. Pinning the National Flag on the Prime minister and State Governors, Blood donations, Wreath laying at seafarer memorials, Seminars on maritime subjects are some of the events conducted during the period.School children assembling to compete in Essay writing and Drawing competitions, bring the maritime world alive through their futuristic thoughts so distinct in their eyes, and they are some of the moments that remain embedded in one’s memories and drive the need in the maritime professionals to push forward with renewed might. The National Maritime Day Celebrations Central Committee is proud to celebrate the 53rd National Maritime Day this year.

Xiaomi has made its first investment in India, leading  Xiaomi is leading an investment round of $25 million in Hungama, with existing investors," said Xiaomi's head of international operations Hugo Barra. "At the same time we're partnering for video on demand service in India and integrating it into our platform.The investment marks Xiaomi's first investment into a start-up outside its home market of China, and underlines the importance of the fast growing Indian smartphone market, which is well on its way to become a leading base of internet consumers, from the present base of around 400 million users. Xiaomi will integrate Hungama's video on demand service with the Mi platform available on smartphones and televisions, the latter not yet available in India. The companies did not divulge the timeline of integration, but said that post the integration, the platform will have some free and some paid content that will be part of the monetisation strategy. China's largest smartphone maker is replicating its home model in India, where it has launched two of its leading smartphones in 2016, including the latest flagship Mi 5 last week. Though it trails top five players in the handset sales business, it is among the first amongst the deluge of Chinese players to have invested in a company in India.Xiaomi aims to have a similar ecosystem here and feels that video on demand is one of the fastest growing services which will become a key driver for users to get on to the internet.Barra estimates 4G customers in the South Asian nation to skyrocket to 180 million by 2018, from about 6 million at present.Neeraj Roy, Founder and CEO, Hungama said that the investment will further strengthen the company's movie and television services, besides adding to its 65 million monthly active consumers across platforms that access music, video and movie services in several vernacular languages.

Renowned Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro Gato Barbieri passed away in New York, US due to pneumonia. He was 83. He had won a Grammy Award for best instrumental composition for his music for Last Tango In Paris in 1973.Born as Leandro Barbieri on November 28, 1932 in Rosario, Argentina. In the 1950s he had earned the nickname Gato-the cat in Spanish in his native Argentina because of the way he scurried between clubs with his saxophone for gigs. He had recorded number of albums over a career spanning more than seven decades. Between 1967 and 1982, he had recorded some 35 albums. He had gained international prominence after playing alto saxophone in an orchestra led by Lalo Schifrin, the pianist and composer Awards and Honours: Barbieri had won a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award for his career in 2015.

The world’s first public dengue vaccination programme was launched in the Philippines with a French drug Dengvaxia (world’s 1st dengue fever vaccine) to combat mosquito-borne disease. Several hundred children aged between 9 and 10 were vaccinated with the injections in front of government health workers at a public school in eastern Manila. Mexico was first country in the world to approve first-ever Dengvaxia Dengue fever vaccine for the public use and Philippines was the first county in Asia to allow it. However with the launch of first public dengue vaccination programme, Philippines became first country to introduce, adopt and implement the first-ever dengue vaccine through the public health system and under public school settings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Dengue or haemorrhagic fever is the world’s most common mosquito-borne virus. It infects an estimated 390 million people in more than 120 countries each year, killing more than 25,000. Asia is home to some 70% of cases worldwide and in the Philippines 200,000 cases were reported in 2013.

Reliance Asset Management Company - India's third biggest mutual fund in terms of asset under management has been recognized among the best employer brands in a recent study released by Aon Hewitt to honour India's best employer brands of 2016. Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business announced its 2016 Best Employers Study bringing laurels to the best brands that have contributed to organizational excellence. Reliance AMC is the only mutual fund company to get this recognition in India in the top 25 AON list for 2016. The Aon Hewitt Best Employers study is conducted in the Asia Pacific Region conducted across 12 markets -- China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. The study's research methodology covered 113 companies across 12 industries, cumulatively employing approximately 950,000 employees to adjudge India's Best Employer of 2016. This recognition, from Aon, is a testimony for promoting entrepreneurship - with high degree of employee engagement and business performance - within the organisation, said Sundeep Sikka, CEO, Reliance Capital AMC. According to Aon Hewitt (India), Reliance Capital Asset Management's strong Employee Value Proposition helps it enhance the internal employee experience and develop an employer brand that strengthens company's credibility to attract high-quality talent, said Aon Hewitt (India). Reliance Capital Asset Management Limited stands out for its innovative talent sourcing strategy of hiring from diverse industries; promoting learning and innovation" said Tarandeep Singh, Partner, Talent & Performance Consulting, Aon Hewitt (India). 

A research team of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics published a paper in The Astronomical Journalon 4 February 2016 on their findings of a stable orbit planet with a triple-star system.The team described how they came to see that a binary system once thought to be a single star, was actually a pair of stars orbiting one another, and how that led to the revelation of the triple-star system.Planet KELT-4Ab is also brighter than the other stars that serve as suns for their planets which made it easier to study both the star and the planet.The objects under study in the new system are KELT-4Ab, a gas giant planet, similar in size to Jupiter—it takes approximately three days to make its way around the star KELT-A which serves as its sun.The other two stars are KELT-B and C which are much farther away and orbit one another over the course of approximately 30 years.It takes the pair approximately four thousand years to orbit KELT-A. The researchers suggest that the view from KELT-4Ab would likely be one where its sun, KELT-A, would appear roughly forty times as big as our sun does to us due to its close proximity. The two other orbiting stars would appear much dimmer due to their great distance, shining no brighter than our moon.Space scientists have known of the existence of the KELT system for several years, but it was thought that the binary stars were actually just one star.The researchers on this new effort were able to see that they were actually a binary system courtesy of two robotically controlled telescopes on two different continents. one is in Arizona and the other is  in South Africa.Together they are known as the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) which is of course how the KELT system got its name.The triple-star system offers a unique opportunity for scientists working to try to understand how it is that gas giants, such as KELT-4Ab, manage to orbit so close to their star.Theory suggests that they should be more distant, as is the case with Jupiter. One possibility, at least for this new discovery, is that it might have something to do with the nearby binary system.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on 31 March 2016 jointly released a report titled Global report on urban health: equitable, healthier cities for sustainable development, 2016.The report updates the 2010 joint WHO/UN-Habitat global report -Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Urban Health Inequities- with the latest evidence on urban health inequity patterns and their social, economic and environmental determinants.The report further documents opportunities for joint action to realize the goals enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 by achieving universal urban health coverage.UNGA adopted Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.Global Report on Urban Health 2016 National level wealth does not always determine conditions for health at the city level.Megacities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have worse conditions for health than smaller cities.Conditions for health vary widely even between cities within the same geographic region.The capital cities of countries most affected by the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak had some of the poorest conditions for health.Achieving meaningful progress in health in cities everywhere depends on reducing health inequity. Greater attention to the health needs of the urban poor is essential to move towards universal health coverage.Cities must play a leadership role in the fight to against communicable disease.Non communicable diseases present not only a threat to human health, but also have significant economic implications for cities.Cities increasingly face the unprecedented dual challenge of under nutrition and over nutrition.Despite significant global progress, lack of access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation continues to pose an urgent challenge for cities.Cities can be designed and managed in ways that enable healthier behaviour and achieve better health outcomes.Urban transport can be transformed to be healthier, safer and more sustainable.Targeted housing interventions, greater use of clean energy and improved affordability can help tackle the global challenge of healthy and sustainable urban housing.Poor safety and urban violence come at a significant cost to the health of urban residents and the societies where they live In order to bring out a renewed focus on urban governance, the report suggested steps for the empowerment of citizen through information sharing and promoting public private partnerships for delivery of health facilities.India’s urban population is projected to increase from 380 million (33 percent) in 2014 to 600 million (about 40 percent) by 2031.15–19-year-old migrant girls in both rural and urban areas are less likely to deliver in a medical institution than non-migrants of the same age.In a country the size of India, the role of civil society and NGOs will be equally important, along with the government agencies, in alleviating critical health issues in slums and disadvantaged areas of cities. In India, home to the highest absolute burden of TB in the world, the city of Mumbai has been experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of MDR-TB. In 2014, Mumbai registered 2951 MDR-TB cases, over 12 percent of the cases in the entire country. In India, urbanization and its associated lifestyle changes have triggered a health transition in favour of non communicable diseases (NCDs). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are now the top two leading causes of death in urban areas.Between 2014 and 2050, India is expected to add an additional 404 million to its cities. The cost of CVD,Diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health conditions was estimated at 6.2 trillion US dollars for between 2012 and 2030.CVD and mental health conditions present the greatest economic threats, followed by respiratory diseases and cancer.By 2050, there are expected to be 2.1 billion cars, light trucks and other motor vehicles in the world. Most of the increase will be in Asian countries, especially China and India.Pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for at least 44 percent of road traffic fatalities, but ranged as high as 60 percent in Mumbai.Chennai stood at the 2nd place in world in terms of reported traffic fatalities per 1 lakh inhabitants. While Fortaleza (Brazil) stood at the top with 27.2 fatalities, death toll in Chennai was pegged at 26.6.Other Indian cities with high traffic fatalities were – Jaipur (25.5), Indore (13.0), Kolkata (9.4), Delhi (9.4), Bengaluru (8.9), Pune (5.2), Surat (5.0), Ahmedabad (4.8) and Mumbai (3.2).Rates of physical and sexual violence against women in cities in India, both inside and outside their homes, are commonly twice as high in slums than in wealthier areas.Public service provision is inadequate to meet the demands of its populations. The key barrier in upgrading and maintaining cities in India is political.

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