Current Affairs 6th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has emerged as the largest freight loading railway zone of Indian Railways in 2015-16. ECoR loaded 173.49 million tonnes of freight compared to 161.91 million tonnes achieved in the corresponding period previous year and registered an increase of 7.1 per cent.ECoR earned about Rs 15,978.28 crore which is 14.13 per cent more than the corresponding period of previous financial year.In coal loading, ECoR carried 79.4 rakes per day from its jurisdiction against 72.7 rakes per day in last fiscal. The coal loading from Talcher was 40.8 rakes per day followed by Visakhapatnam Port 8.7 rakes, Gangavaram Port 7.7 rakes, Paradeep Port 11.7 rakes, Dhamara 9.5 rakes and at other places 1.1 rakes per day during 2015-16.In iron ore loading, it loaded 14 rakes per day in 2015-16 - 5.2 rakes per day from iron ore belts under Khurda Road Division and 8.8 rakes day from KK Line under Waltair Division.This performance is despite pro-longed blockade/bandh by Maoist activities in Kottavalasa-Kirandul (KK) Line and less demand from International Markets for Exports.Altogether East Coast Railways has carried 131.2 rakes loading per day from its jurisdiction against 122.4 rakes per day in 2014-15 financial year. These include coal, iron ore, cement, food grains, POL and other commodities.

Researchers at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, Maryland, have managed to keep a pig heart beating for 945 days  inside the body of a live baboon. This record-breaking outcome gives  researchers a ray of hope for the potential for xenotransplantation - the transplantation of animal organs or tissues into humans, to address worldwide organ shortages.Cross-species transplants provoke a powerful immune reaction, leading to rejection of the organ by the host. But a US-German team used a combination of gene modification and immune-suppressing drugs. Their work is described in the journal Nature Communications.If everything goes well and the experiment gets successful, animal organs can be used for transplantation in humans who are in  desperate need of transplants but not getting any donor. Currently in the US, 22 people die every day just waiting for organs, which are in constant short supply.

The Power Grid Corporation of India (PowerGrid) has commissioned a record Rs 30,300 crore projects in the just-concluded fiscal and also achieved a planned capex of Rs 22,500 crore.PowerGrid, a Navratna company under the Ministry of Power, commissioned transmission projects worth Rs 30,300 crore (unaudited) during 2015-16, which is the highest-ever commissioning achieved by the company in its history.The company achieved the planned capex of Rs 22,500 crore (provisional).adding that Power Minister Piyush Goyal congratulated PowerGrid on its performance.The inter-connection with Nepal -- Muzaffarpur (Bihar, India) - Dhalkebar (Nepal) transmission line -- was jointly dedicated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Nepal, KP Sharma Oli via tele-inauguration during the latter's visit to India in February 2016.The second inter-connection with Bangladesh -- Surjyamaninagar (Tripura, India) - Comilla (Bangladesh) transmission line -- was jointly dedicated by Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina through video-conferencing.During 2015-16, tenders for transmission projects worth more than Rs 50,000 crore were released, setting a new benchmark for highest-ever tenders in a single year by the company.During the year, the company also awarded contracts for 270 packages worth Rs 22,000 crore and investment approvals for projects worth Rs 13,200 crore were undertaken.For the nine months (April-December 2015), the company had reported a total income of Rs 15,320 crore and posted a profit after tax of Rs 4,428 crore.

Mother Dairy has partnered Zaheer Khan-led IPL cricket team Delhi Daredevils as its principal sponsor.With this association, the brand Mother Dairy will be seen on Delhi Daredevils team jersey, along with the visibility at key spots in the stadium on match days.Our association with Delhi Daredevils team was a natural fit as we share the same passion for Delhi and the very reason of our existence. This association presents us with a fantastic platform to connect with our consumers and cricket fans," Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Managing Director S Nagarajan said in a statement.Delhi Daredevils had recently appointed Zaheer Khan as the captain of the franchise for the 2016 season. Mother Dairy in partnership with Delhi Daredevils will soon launch a mass campaign at company's select booths across the national capital region. The company will also offer products during the matches.Delhi Daredevils, with the exciting new additions to our squad will be able to give our fans a lot to cheer about this season." GMR Sports, Delhi Daredevils franchise owners are backed by the GMR Group. The team is mentored by Rahul Dravid, the former Indian captain.Mother Dairy was commissioned in 1974 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). It was established under the initiative of Operation Flood, the world's biggest dairy development programme launched to make India a milk sufficient nation.

To improve air connectivity, the government plans to develop 25 regional airports. The government is looking to develop 15 airstrips owned by the state governments and 10 that are with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).There are around 160 airstrips that are lying unused .According to the minister, AAI would be able to fund itself from the money coming from Delhi and Mumbai airports.The international airports in the national capital and Mumbai are run through public private partnerships, where AAI is a stakeholder.He said the operation and management of some developed airports could be given to private players.The government has been working on ways to bolster aviation sector, especially increasing regional connectivity amid rising number of air passengers.In the draft civil aviation policy, which is in the advanced stages of finalisation, various measures have been mooted for boosting regional air connectivity.The conference on 'Fulfilling India's Potential: How Capital Markets Can Meet Financing Needs' is organised by IFC along with NSE, IIF and Exim Bank. 

Renowned screenwriter and Hollywood actress Barbara Turner was died on 5 April 2016. She was 79.She was a screenwriter of Petulia, Georgia, Pollock and may other features for film and television.Barbara Turner started her career as an actress in Hollywood. She starred in TV series such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Playhouse 90throughout the late 1950s.She shifted her career towards writing in 1966 with her first screenplay which was an adaption of author Jean Genet's play Deathwatch.She went on to pen acclaimed scripts for 1968 drama Petulia, Jackson Pollock biopic Pollack and Robert Altman's The Company.She wrote and produced music drama "Georgia In 1995. The film was honoured at the Montreal Film Festival's Grand Prix of the Americas.She also wrote a handful of screenplays for TV movies which includes.The War Between the Tates and Hemingway & Gellhorn, For both of them she was nominated for Emmy.

China on 6 April 2016 successfully launched a bullet-shaped retrievable scientific research satellite SJ-10 (Shijian-10). The satellite was launched aboard Long March 2-D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northwestern China's Gobi desert.The satellite was launched with an aim to help scientists in their study of microgravity and space life science.It is the second of four scientific satellites under a CAS space program. Unlike the other three, SJ-10 is returnable. SJ-10 is the 25th such retrievable satellite launched by China in the past decades.The bullet-shaped probe will house 19 experiments in the space involving microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material, space radiation effect, microgravity biological effect and space bio-technology, before coming back to Earth with results.Study of early-stage development of mouse embryos in microgravity and this will help in shedding light on human reproduction in space, and another studying space radiation effects on genetic stability of fruit flies and rat cells.The Soret Coefficient in Crude Oil experiment will investigate coal combustion and pollutant formation under microgravity. The experiment will be carried out in partnership with the National Space Science Center under CAS and the European Space Agency (ESA). This experiment will be carried out to improve scientists understanding of oil reservoirs buried kilometers underground and the latter will help in enhancing energy efficiency and cut emissions.Overall, eight of the experiments on fluid physics and microgravity combustion will be carried out in the orbital module.The other experiments will be conducted under the re-entry capsule which is expected to land at Siziwang Banner in Inner Mongolia, the designated landing spot for China's Shenzhou manned space missions and a 2014 test lunar orbiter.

The first ever air-conditioned suburban local for Mumbai, which was flagged off from Integral Coach Factory in Chennai on March 31, has finally arrived in the metropolis, and its trial run would take place within a week, said a senior Central Railway .The AC local arrived in Mumbai this morning and is parked at the Kurla car shed, where its first round of servicing and checking would be done by our technical staff .General Manager of Central Railway S K Sood said, the trial run would be conducted at trans-harbour line of CR. Another senior official of CR, said the AC local rake will be tested by a joint team of the Research Design Standards Organisation (RDSO), BHEL, Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) and railway's apex technical body, along with engineers from CR and Integral Coach Factory (ICF) where this coach has been built. He also informed that the speed of the silver-blue coloured AC local train will be limited to around 50-60 kmph during the first few trials. Built at a cost of Rs 54 crore, the first AC local train has no general or first class compartments, but two of the 12 coaches could be reserved for women apart from the fact that entire rake would be vestibule connected (in two parts of six coaches each). Operation of AC local on Mumbai suburban services was announced in 2012-13 Rail Budget but initial hiccups and impediments, delayed the project. 

The Delhi government will build a memorial for former president APJ Abdul Kalam at Dilli Haat, INA.The memorial, which will have the notes, books, clothes and other personal items of the former president, will be opened to the public on July 27 – Kalam’s death anniversary.The family supported us and was glad to hand over the things to us. The memorial will be set up at Dilli Haat. Till that is done, the articles will be displayed in the Delhi Vidhan Sabha,” culture minister Kapil Mishra said.In November, the Delhi Assembly passed a resolution to set up a knowledge centre in the city to honour Kalam.The AAP had severely criticised the central government for allotting Kalam’s official bungalow – 10 Rajaji Marg - to Union Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.Kalam’s grand nephew, APJ Sheikh Salim, had quit the Bharatiya Janata Party after the residence was not converted into a memorial.The Delhi government had constituted a team to safely bring Kalam’s belongings back from Rameswaram. They were sent to his family members in Rameshwaram when the bungalow was allotted to Sharma.

Odisha government today launched 100 Adarsha Vidyalayas and CBSE-affiliated English medium schools in 14 districts of the state. Students of these model schools would get free education and all facilities like mid-day meal, uniform and textbooks free of cost like other state government-run schools. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated these schools to the people at a function at Sasan Ambagaon under his constituency Hinjli, about 35 km from here in Ganjam district. "We hope the schools will fulfill the aspirations of rural talents. Students will not have to run to towns as they will get quality education from these schools in the villages," the Chief Minister said. The government, he said, has decided to set up one model school in each block in the state and in the first phase, the 100 schools have been set up in 14 backward districts, including Ganjam. In the next phase, such schools would be set up in other districts soon, he assured. Around 24,000 students have been enrolled in these schools. Girls constitute 50 per cent of them. Hostel facilities would be provided in each school from next year, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said. The model schools have been developed on the lines of Kendriya Vidyalayas and students will study NCERT syllabus. Though the new schools would have Class 6 to 12, this year classes would function from 6 to 8. Each class will have two sections with a student strength of 40 in every section, he said. Besides text book education, students in model schools would be taught other co-curricular activities like information, communication and technology (ICT), art and craft, song, dance and sports. Odia would be one of the language subjects in English medium schools, Mishra said. In future, skill-based education would be introduced in these schools, he said, adding that there would be student exchange programmes with other state-run high schools to improve the educational standards of students.

Former Mumbai Ranji Trophy cricketer Ranjan Baindoor passed away at his residence here today following a massive heart attack.Baindoor, an off spinner who could also bat lower down the order, died aged 61 and was a former secretary of Tata Sports Club, said his former teammate Ravi Thakkar."He was scheduled to go for an angiography today morning, had gone to the toilet after having a cup of coffee. His wife was waiting for him to come out, but as he did not do so after 15 minutes, felt something was wrong. He, apparently, had collapsed inside," Thakkar said."He was a dear friend and we have played together for so many years. We are all deeply saddened," said Thakkar, a former Mumbai left-arm spinner and currently member of its senior and under 23 selection panels.Baindoor was also the chairman of Mumbai's under 19 selection committee.In 16 Ranji Trophy matches between 1974-75 and 1984-85, Baindoor captured 20 wickets at 37.20 per victim, his best innings figures being 4 for 32.He also scored 316 runs with 96 as his highest knock averaging 19.75 per innings.

The Union Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change on 5 April 2016 notified Solid Management Rules, 2016.The new set of rules will replace the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.The Rules are now applicable beyond Municipal areas and extend to urban agglomerations, census towns, notified industrial townships, special economic zones, State and Central government organizations, places of pilgrims, religious and historical importance.The source segregation of waste has been mandated to channelize the waste to wealth by recovery, reuse and recycle Responsibilities of Generators have been introduced to segregate waste in to three streams – Wet (Biodegradable), Dry (Plastic, Paper, metal, wood, etc.) and Domestic hazardous wastes (diapers, containers of cleaning agents, mosquito repellents, etc.)Integration of waste pickers/ ragpickers and waste dealers/ Kabadiwalas in the formal system should be done by State Governments, and Self Help Group, or any other group to be formed.No person should throw, burn, or bury the solid waste generated by him, on streets, open public spaces outside his premises, or in the drain, or water bodies.Generator will have to pay ‘User Fee’ to waste collector and for ‘Spot Fine’ for Littering and Non-segregation.Used sanitary waste like diapers, sanitary pads should be wrapped securely in pouches provided by manufacturers or brand owners of these products or in a suitable wrapping material and shall place the same in the bin meant for dry waste / non- bio-degradable waste.The concept of partnership in Swachh Bharat has been introduced. Bulk and institutional generators, market associations, event organizers and hotels and restaurants have been made directly responsible for segregation and sorting the waste and manage in partnership with local bodies.All hotels and restaurants should segregate biodegradable waste and set up a system of collection or follow the system of collection set up by local body to ensure that such food waste is utilized for composting / biomethanation.All Resident Welfare and market Associations, Gated communities and institution with an area more than 5000 square meters should segregate waste at source and handover recyclable material to either the authorized waste pickers or the authorized recyclers, or to the urban local body.The bio-degradable waste should be processed, treated and disposed of through composting or bio-methanation within the premises as far as possible. The residual waste shall be given to the waste collectors or agency as directed by the local authority.New townships and Group Housing Societies have been made responsible to develop in-house waste handling, and processing arrangements for bio-degradable waste. Every street vendor should keep suitable containers for storage of waste generated during the course of his activity such as food waste, disposable plates, etc. and deposit such waste at waste storage depot or container or vehicle as notified by the local authority.The developers of SEZs, industrial estate, industrial park to  earmark at least 5 percent of the total area of the plot or minimum 5 plots/ sheds for recovery and recycling facility.All manufacturers of disposable products such as tin, glass, plastics packaging etc. or brand owners who introduce such products in the market shall provide necessary financial assistance to local authorities for the establishment of waste management system.All such brand owners who sale or market their products in such packaging material which are non-biodegradable should put in place a system to collect back the packaging waste generated due to their production.Manufacturers or Brand Owners or marketing companies of sanitary napkins and diapers should explore the possibility of using all recyclable materials in their products or they shall provide a pouch or wrapper for disposal of each napkin or diapers along with the packet of their sanitary products.All such manufacturers, brand owners or marketing companies should educate the masses for wrapping and disposal of their products.All industrial units using fuel and located within 100 km from a solid waste based RDF plant shall make arrangements within 6 months from the date of notification of these rules to replace at least 5 percent of their fuel requirement by RDF so produced.Non-recyclable waste having calorific value of 1500 K/cal/kg or more shall not be disposed of on landfills and shall only be utilized for generating energy  either or through refuse derived fuel or by giving away as feed stock for preparing refuse derived fuel.High calorific wastes shall be used for co-processing in cement or thermal power plants.Construction and demolition waste should be stored, separately disposed off, as per the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016Horticulture waste and garden waste generated from his premises should be disposed as per the directions of local authority.

Researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) developed the world's smallest diode, the size of a single molecule. The breakthrough could impact the development of molecular electronic devices.Their study was published in journal Nature Chemistry on 4 April 2016.The nanoscale diode or molecular rectifier operates like a valve to facilitate electronic current flow in one direction. A collection of these nanoscale diodes, or molecules, contains properties that resemble traditional electronic components, such as a wire, transistor or rectifier.Professor Bingqian Xu from the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia and his team of researchers took a single DNA molecule made from 11 base pairs and connected it to an electronic circuit just a few nanometers in size.When they measured the current through the molecule, it did not show anything special, but when layers of a molecule called coralyne were inserted between layers of DNA, the behavior of the circuit changed. At that time, the current jumped up to 15 times larger negative versus positive voltages, which is necessary for a nano diode.The researchers constructed a molecular rectifier by intercalating specific, small molecules into designed DNA strands.The researchers then developed a theoretical model of the DNA molecule inside the electric circuit that helped them identify the source of the diode-like feature.

Myanmar's (Burmese) Parliament in Naypyidaw on 5 April 2016 passed a bill that gives Aung San Suu Kyi a role similar to that of Prime Minister. The Lower House passed the bill to create the post of state counsellor, which now requires only presidential approval to become law.Earlier, the bill has gone through the Upper House and now will be sent to the President Htin Kyaw for the approval.Myanmar Parliament elected Htin Kyaw as first civilian President Unelected military representatives holding a quarter of Parliamentary seats boycotted the vote, calling the bill unconstitutional. Suu Kyi's party won elections but she is not allowed to be president.Clause 59 (F) of the Burmese Constitution bars candidates with foreign spouses or children but Suu Kyi's two sons hold British passports.The new democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government of Myanmar thinks that the clause was written specifically to prevent 70-year-old Nobel laureate Suu Kyi from taking office. At present, Aung San Suu Kyi is to head four cabinet posts including foreign affairs, president’s office, education, and energy ministries.

The US Senate on 4 April 2016 approved Defend Trade Secrets Bill. The legislation provides greater legal protection to companies for their commercial secrets. It was passed by 87-0, amid strong White House backing.Now the bill will be sent for approval to the House of Representatives.It empowers companies to sue in federal court if their commercial secrets are stolen. It would help them to recover damages, enforce injunctions and prevent the further dissemination of stolen trade secrets. Trade secrets are confidential information that can give a business a commercial edge. It would also create a uniform standard for what constitutes trade secret theft. Currently, if companies want to sue, they are relegated to state courts, where there is a patchwork of state laws.According to a 2013 report by the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets, costs US businesses more than 300 billion dollars every year.Though trade secret theft is a federal crime in the US but the legislation was required because sponsors of the bill think that the US Department of Justice lacks the resources to prosecute such crimes.

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) 2016 was observed across the world on 6 April 2016.On the occasion of the IDSDP 2016, the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP) launched a campaign Let’s play for Sustainable Development Goals. The campaign seeks to encourage organisations and individuals who carry out SDP initiatives to take a picture or a short video of their team or beneficiaries with a SDG card that best describes their activity.International Day of Sport for Development and Peace On 23 August 2013, the UN proclaimed that the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will be celebrated on April 6 each year. April 6 also marks the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.This day is commemorated globally each year by international, regional, national sport and development organizations to honour the role that sport plays in society.

Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigned on 5 April 2016. He resigned after the leaked Panama Papers exposed offshore finance and tax evasions by him. The leaks were from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm.The leaks showed Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife but had not declared it when he entered parliament. He is accused of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assets. He said that he sold his shares to his wife, and denies any wrongdoing.Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson resigned on 5 April 2016. He resigned after the leaked Panama Papers exposed offshore finance and tax evasions by him. The leaks were from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm.The leaks showed Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore company with his wife but had not declared it when he entered parliament. He is accused of concealing millions of dollars' worth of family assets. He said that he sold his shares to his wife, and denies any wrongdoing.

Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL), a subsidiary of Vedanta Limited has officially set the Guinness World Record for simultaneously planting 208,751 saplings at a single location in less than an hour.Guinness World Records acknowledged this special achievement by TSPL on December 17, 2015 by presenting a certificate. The mass plantation drive was organized in Mansa, Punjab on October 30, 2015. 5,928 supporters from different walks of life came together to make this feat possible.TSPL has demonstrated Vedanta's sustainable development and green practices are integral to the way we conduct business," said President- Group Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Communications at Vedanta Limited, Roma BalwaniISO 900, ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and OHSAS certified company TSPL is the largest Greenfield Power Project in Punjab. The company is an exemplary corporate citizen and one of the very few companies that have constructed supercritical plants, which employ energy efficient technologies and are environment friendly.TSPL is deeply committed to the sustainable economic development of the progressive state of Punjab. This massive plantation drive is not only a symbol of our deep connect with the state but also a personification of our motive to make it one of the most promising regions globally. With the victory of Guinness Book of World Records, the district of Mansa and the state of Punjab will become even more prominent across the world.TSPL has set the benchmark for environmental compliance by developing 222 acres of green cover (as of March 2015) around the periphery of the plant and installing Zero Discharge Unit, Sewage Treatment Plant and High Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) system.Sustainable development and community empowerment are the two core elements that guide the CSR strategy of Vedanta Limited. The company undertakes high impact initiatives to ensure the health and safety of the workers and makes valuable contributions to communities and regions across the country; with environmental footprint gaining a special position among its host of activities. (ANI).

Snapdeal has partnered with 9 non governmental organisations (NGOs) to launch Snapdeal Sunshine, a platform where users can make donations to causes under education, health, sports, women empowerment, disaster relief and old age care. These organisations include Magic Bus, Akshaya Patra, Care India, Teach For India and HelpAge India, which will list required products for ongoing projects.At face value, it doesn’t look like Snapdeal is charging a fee for this service, but the products needed by the NGOs are from Snapdeal’s inventory and currently include cooking, education, sports, study, clothing, stationery, housing and other miscellaneous supplies.The products will be sent to the partner after the donation is accepted, and donors will be able to track the progress on Snapdeal. The company says that it launched the platform based on ‘studies indicating that Indians would like to give more to society but faced constraints like lack of visibility of end utilisation of their donations’.Snapdeal said “Our partner NGOs will be able to crowd-source much needed resources to amplify and grow their good work.” Users can donate by selecting the cause or the NGO they wish to support and its products, decide an amount for donation, process payment and Snapdeal will deliver the products to the NGO’s location. Note that the process is online payment only as of now.Other platforms which branched into donations: In January, YouTube added donations cards to the platform, which would let YouTube users donate to US non profit organisations, which would get 100% of the donation. Donations were non refundable, and Google would cover the processing fees.In November 2015, Facebook was testing ‘fundraisers’, a new tool for nonprofit organizations to raise money for specific projects. It was also working on improving the Donate button, which it introduced for nonprofits in August last year, to allow people to donate to charities without leaving Facebook. In April 2015, Citrus Pay tied up with Bangalore based social fundraising platform Milaap to introduce a new feature called ‘Lend a Hand’. The feature allowed users to lend money to individuals in rural India.In November 2014, mobile VAS provider IMImobile partnered with UK’s Post Office to launch a new ‘Tweet to Donate’ payment solution that would allow Post Office to process donations via Twitter for BBC’s Children in Need charity campaign. In June 2015, non profit trust Pratham Books has launched DonateABook, a crowdsourcing platform which would let nonprofits and schools raise funding for books in order to provide them to Indian children. It would connect book seekers with people who had books to give away.

Bihar Government has taken a decision to completely ban on all types of liquor (alcohol) throughout the state including Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). Decision in this regard was taken by the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna. Earlier on 1st April 2016, state government had banned country made liquor in the state except IMFL in the first phase. Now in the second phase, foreign liquor (IMFL) will also be banned with immediate effect. The production, sale and business of all types of liquor have been banned in the state. Henceforth person found indulging in manufacturing trade, transportation, sale and consumption of liquor across the state will be punished under the stringent provisions of the Bihar Excise (Amendment) Act, 2016. The Act has various stringent provisions including awarding ‘capital punishment’ for those who manufacture and sell illicit liquor that causes death. Alcohol prohibition in India is in force: Gujarat, Nagaland, Lakshadweep (UT) and parts of Manipur. Since 2014, Kerala has been implementing prohibition in a phased manner.

The Space agencies of India and the US will collaborate to launch a satellite that will help study earthquake and its patterns.The Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar, or Nisar, satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the planet's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.The two countries are also collaborating in a major way in the Mars Mission project.NASA Administrator Charles Frank Bolden said they are looking to launch the satellite by 2020-21, but Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) AS Kiran Kumar said they are looking to prepone the launch.The US is providing L-Band. It will help us look at crustal deformation. We are looking for hints at earthquake detection. Heads and representatives of several space agencies have assembled in the national capital to discuss applications of remote sensing technologies for disaster mitigation and bettering global climate change monitoring.The activity involves building a payload with L- and S- bands synthetic aperture radar. It's a new technology instrument. While Nasa provides the L-Band component of the electronics plus the antenna, which is a huge one. Isro will provide the S-Band and the payload will be integrated at Nasa and then the payload comes back at Bangalore. It gets integrated on the satellite, which is being built and will be launched by Isro.The activity involves building a payload with L- and S- bands synthetic aperture radar. It's a new technology instrument. While Nasa provides the L-Band component of the electronics plus the antenna, which is a huge one. Isro will provide the S-Band and the payload will be integrated at Nasa and then the payload comes back at Bangalore. It gets integrated on the satellite, which is being built and will be launched by Isro.You can measure accurately the variations in surface topography, accuracy of millimeters. So, it's not earthquake prediction that is possible and making measurements of locations where large deformation are consistent, observation of changes in surface measures which will lead to stress levels being built up at certain locations which could help in understanding the behaviour of understanding earthquake and its phenomena. The objective is to make systematic study in timely mannerHe further said that it will give primary data of surface deformation and the frequency of the measurement is very significantly different from what is available now and that is what is being looked at globally as a new input for enabling a large number of applications to be brought about.In future, we are also looking at what we could so with Nasa in our future Mars missions. We are also looking at opportunities for some of our payloads which can be carried on their (Nasa's) programmes. This is a continuous dialouge on how we can take forward our current engagements on Mars programme.

The Union Government on 5 April 2016 constituted a high-level committee to suggest ways to strengthen the border protection along the border with Pakistan. It will also address the issue of gaps and vulnerability in border fencing along Indo-Pakistan border.The committee will be headed by former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and will submit its report in three months.The mandate of the committee is to study all types of gaps in fencing and all other vulnerabilities in the International Border on Indo-Pakistan Border. It will suggest comprehensive approach to fix the gaps in fencing and other vulnerabilities on interim and permanent basis.The government's move comes three months after terrorists belonging to Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed had breached the Indo-Pak border in Punjab and attacked the Pathankot airbase killing seven security personnel.

Myneni Hari Prasad Rao, considered the Father or Architect of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS), died on 5 April 2016 in Chennai due to old age ailments. He was 88.Born on 21 July 1927 in Edlalanka village near Avanigadda, Rao had worked as the Executive Director of the Nuclear Power Board (now known as NPCIL) of DAE, Mumbai, for three years. He had also served for many years as a member of Southern, Western and Northern Indian Regional electricity boards.In 1984, Rao was honoured with the Padma Shri. He was also awarded with the Sanjay Gandhi for contribution in Science and Technology in 1983.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 April 2016 launched Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs.On this occasion, the Prime Minister also inaugurated a Kaushal Kendra (Skilling Center) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Noida.The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers within 36 months.Stand Up India Scheme provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.It will create credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC). It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations.Its focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.The aim is to leverage institutional credit structure to reach out under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between 10 lakh rupees- 100 lakh rupees for greenfield enterprises in nonfarm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.The loan under the scheme would be appropriately secured and backed by a credit guarantee through a credit guarantee scheme for which Department of Financial Services would be the settler.The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) will be the operating agency for the loan.Margin money of the composite loan would be up to 25 percent.

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy on 5 April 2016 launched Transnational Skill Standards in New Delhi.On this occasion, 2 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and Association of Colleges (UK) and NSDC and UK Awarding Organization City & Guilds and Pearsons Education.These MoUs were signed to enable sharing of best practice, staff exchange and development of new models to increase employer engagement and investment in skills in India.Aim: It was launched with the aim to support Make in India and Skill India initiatives and to align domestic skill standards with that of best practices recognized globally.India-UK Partnership: These Transnational Skill Standards are benchmarked to United Kingdom across 82 identified job roles.India chose UK standards to benchmark Indian Skills standards since all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries recognize UK skill certification.The Transnational Standards will highlight the gaps in Indian Standards against the UK standards. To cover the gaps, those intending to migrate, will undergo bridge training.The Further Education Colleges (FE) of the United Kingdom will partner with Indian Training Providers to impart training on bridge courses.FE Colleges will set up Skill Academies of Excellences in the identified sectors in India.The training will be provided in several economic activities including agriculture, life science, healthcare, capital goods, textiles, hospitality, information technology, etc.Advantages: Transnational Skill Standards will support international mobility of Indian workforce and also prepare them to work in international companies having their operations in the country.These standards are expected to bring more quality in vocational education which will open more avenues for employment across countries for the youth.

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