Current Affairs 7th April 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Future Group is set to buy online furniture store,, Mint reported on April 6,2016. The Group may pay anywhere between Rs 15 and Rs 20 crore in cash and will be largely doing so for the brand FabFurnish, the report adds, citing two people aware of the development.FabFurnish's business is not profit-making, but we are buying it for the front-end.Future Group will retain FabFurnish’s brand name and will be using this platform to sell products from its home and furnishing business brand HomeTown. FabFurnish’s management team and about 100 employees are likely to join the Future Group. We will leverage FabFurnish’s online platform and delivery model to grow our presence in markets where we do not have offline stores or have minimal reach. the move will also help the Group to build a wall ahead of retail giant IKEA foray into India in 2017, a report in The Economic Times said. “We are creating the largest home furnishings company in the country. IKEA is coming in, and it will take them at least two to three years to become an Rs 1,000 crore company, and we are already there.Gurgaon-based firm FabFurnish was founded in 2012 by Mehul Agrawal, Vikram Chopra and Vaibhav Aggrawal. The company has, so far, raised over $30 million from Rocket Internet and Kinnevik. The deal will see Berlin-based Rocket Internet’s making its first exit in India. The company has a portfolio of online companies which include FabFurnish, Foodpanda and Jabong.

From April 5, the public service broadcaster- All India Radio (AIR), has stopped sending news alerts. The decision to discontinue the service was taken on April 1 by the Prasar Bharati Corporation, the parent body of AIR. The objective of the behind the free SMS services which was being provided since September 2013 was to mainly reach out to those who do not have smart phones, or did not use social media platforms for news updates. AIR sends three million SMSes to its subscribers on a daily basis. Each SMS has 160 characters.The main reason for discontinuing the service was the cost as the free SMS services was not cost-effective. It was meant for an advertising-based model which Akashvani couldn’t work out. The service launched on September 9, 2013 provided national, international news, headlines in 16 languages and live news updates for special events like Mann Ki Baat, Budget, Independence Day speech of PM and the President’s address on the eve of Republic Day. AIR was using NIC SMS gateway for delivering free SMSes to start with but  after TRAI’s order, AIR had to pay for sending out the alerts which incurred an expenditure of Rs. 5.5 cr. in the financial year 2015-16 so AIR had to discontinue it for financial reasons.

American country music legend Merle Haggard has died of pneumonia on his 79th birthday.He is credited with helping to define the "Bakersfield sound", country music with a distinctive twang and lack of sophisticated production.Haggard wrote songs, sang and played fiddle and guitar, usually singing about American pride and outlaws.He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame with dozens of albums and top hits.The singer, who battled lung cancer in 2008, had recently cancelled April tour dates due to illness and said he hoped to be back on the road in May.Rolling Stone magazine has described him as "the backbone of one of the greatest repertoires an all of American music, plain-spoken songs populated by the kinds of working people Haggard grew up with: farmers, hobos, convicts, widows, musicians and drunks.His top hits include Mama Tried, The Fugitive, If We Make It Through December and Okie from Muskogee.He was born in California in 1937, living in a converted boxcar with his family and quitting school at a young age to hop freight trains across the south western part of the US.He spent three years in prison for breaking into a cafe while drunk, Rolling Stone notes. Then-governor of California, Ronald Reagan, expunged his criminal record in 1972.Haggard's former publicist Jim Della Croce told the BBC that the singer was as influential as the Beatles in country music.He was the bottom line in country music and the gold standard to which every country artist measured himself.His top hits include Mama Tried, The Fugitive, If We Make It Through December and Okie from Muskogee.

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Sweden on Technical Cooperation in the Railway Sector. It was signed between both countries on 15th February, 2016 and it will enable technical cooperation in the following areas Benchmark railways Policy of development, organization, regulations and specific characteristics for each country. Exchange of knowledge, innovation, technology, technical expertise, sustainable solutions and research. Other cooperation projects such as, tilting coaches/trains, freight operations in cold regions, capacity allocation (time tabling) and optimisation of maintenance and improved freight/combination traffic. Continuing education program in maintenance and reliability of rail transport system for railway engineers and managers.The Union Ministry of Railways has signed MoUs for technical cooperation in the Railway sector with various National Railways of different countries in different identified areas of cooperation. These MoUs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. It also facilitates exchange of technical experts, technical documents and reports, training and workshops/ seminars focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing.

Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani unveiled a bronze bust of the ancient Indian mathematician-astronomer Aryabhata, which is a gift from India, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on April 7,2016.Smriti Irani was attending the high-level segment of the 'International Conference on the Zero'. The event was held at UNESCO headquarters to celebrate the rich and remarkable history of mathematics in collaboration with India.International Conference on Zero : The international conference was held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France from 4 April – 5 April 2016. It was hosted by the permanent delegation of India to UNESCO along with Pierre and Marie Curie University. The Conference was held on the following topics: (i) Gems of Ramanujan and their Lasting Impact on Mathematics. (ii) Indian Mathematics: Negative Numbers, Zero, Infinity and Beyond. (iii) Zero: Infinity and Set Theory (iv) Panel discussion on the Arabic traditions in Mathematics and (v) Mathematics in Indian Music. It shared the rich and remarkable history of mathematics, through the participation of some brilliant minds.

The third phase of Union Health Ministry’s universal vaccination programme Mission Indradhanush began on 7 April, 2016. It will cover 216 Districts across several States including Bihar, Gujarat, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Under it, children against seven vaccine preventable diseases will be vaccinated against seven preventable diseases. Under the last two phases nearly 39 lakh children have been fully immunised across the country. Mission Indradhanush: It depicts 7 colours of the rainbow which aims to cover all those children by 2020 who are either unvaccinated, or are partially vaccinated against 7 vaccine preventable diseases. The diseases include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, measles and hepatitis B. Under this universal vaccination programme, all vaccines will be made available free of cost.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to implementation of the National Hydrology Project. It will be a central sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore. This includes Rs.3,640 crore for National Hydrology Project (NHP) and Rs. 39.7674 crore for National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) to be taken up in two stages. It also provides for establishment of NWIC as an independent organization under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).The NHP will help in gathering Hydro-meteorological data which will be stored and analysed on a real time basis and can be seamlessly accessed by any user at the State/District/village level. The project envisages to cover the entire country as the earlier hydrology projects covered only 13 StatesThe components of the proposal are:a) In Situ Hydromet Monitoring System and Hydromet Data Acquisition System.b) Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).b) Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).c) Water Resources Operation and Management Systemd) Water Resources Institutions and Capacity BuildingThe NHP will result in the improvement of: 1. Data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination through National Water Informatics Centre.2. Lead time in flood forecast from 1 day to at least 3 days3. Mapping of flood inundation areas for use by the disaster management authorities4. Assessment of surface and ground water resources in a river basin for better planning & allocation for PMKSY and other schemes of Govt. of India5. Reservoir operations through seasonal yield forecast, drought management, SCADA systems, etc.6. Design of SW & GW structures, hydropower units, interlinking of rivers, Smart Cities.7. Fulfilling the objectives of Digital India.8. People Centric approach: The programme envisages ultimate aim for water management through scientific data collection, dissemination of information on water availability in all blocks of the country and establishing of National Water Information Centre. The automated systems for Flood Forecasting is aimed to reduce water disaster ultimately helping vulnerable population. It is people and farmer centric programme as information on water can help in predicting water availability and help farmers to plan their crops and other farm related activities. Through this programme India would make a place among nations known for scientific endeavours.Elucidation on the impact of the Project: a) Development of real time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of gates which inundates the area down below;b) It will facilitate integrated water resource management by adopting river basin approach through collation and management of hydro-meteorological data. This will also help in water resource assessment - as surface as well as ground water, for water resource planning, prioritize its allocations and its consumptive use for irrigation;c) It will help in providing real time information on a dynamic basis to the farmers about the ground water position for them to accordingly plan their cropping pattern;d) This will also help in promoting efficient and equitable use of water particularly of ground water at the village level;e) This will also provide information on quality of waterBackground : The National Hydrology Project (NHP) is intended for setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management. It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc. NHP also seeks to build capacity of the State and Central sector organisations in water resources management through the use of Information Systems and adoption of State-of-the-art technologies like Remote Sensing.The MoWR, RD&GR has adopted a paradigm shift in the management of water resources of the country by adopting a river basin approach, In order to efficiently use and manage water resources of the country; adequacy of data, resource assessment, decision support systems, etc. are a prerequisite for allocation and prioritization of this fast depleting resource.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 April 2016 released its first Global Report on Diabetes. The report was released to mark the World Health Day 2016 that was celebrated on 7 April with the theme - Beat Diabetes.The report underscored the enormous scale of the diabetes problem across the world and suggested various measures to reverse current trends.Global Burden: Globally, an estimated 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, compared to 108 million in 1980.Over the past decade, diabetes prevalence has risen faster in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths, by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.The majority of people with diabetes are affected by type 2 diabetes. This used to occur nearly entirely among adults, but now occurs in children too.Economic impact: Diabetes and its complications bring about substantial economic loss to people with diabetes and their families and to health systems and national economies through direct medical costs and loss of work and wages.Preventing diabetes: Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented with current knowledge.Effective approaches are available to prevent type 2 diabetes and to prevent the complications and premature death that can result from all types of diabetes.To tackle this enormous problem, there is a need for a whole-of-government and whole of-society approach, in which all sectors systematically consider the health impact of policies in trade, agriculture, finance, transport, education, etc.National capacity for prevention and control of diabetes: National capacity to prevent and control diabetes as assessed in the 2015 NCD Country Capacity Survey varies widely by region and country income level. Only one in three low- and middle-income countries report that the most basic technologies for diabetes diagnosis and management are generally available in primary health-care facilities.Access to insulin and other essential medicines: The lack of access to affordable insulin remains a key impediment to successful treatment and results in needless complications and premature deaths.Essential medicines critical to gaining control of diabetes, such as agents to lower blood pressure and lipid levels, are frequently unavailable in low- and middle-income countries. If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global target of halting the rise in the prevalence of diabetes by 2025 at the 2010 level worldwide is lower than 1 percent for men and is 1 percent for women.Only nine countries for men and 29 countries for women, mostly in Western Europe, have a 50 percent or higher probability of meeting the global target.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2016 gave approval for increasing the framework agreement between Exim Bank of India and a consortium of Iranian banks lead by Central Bank of Iran.It would help in financing the purchase of goods and services from India to 3000 crore rupees from 900 crore rupees.This will be done by utilising the Export Development Fund (EDF). The proposal provides for domiciling two contracts of export of steel rails by STC and for the Chabahar Port Development project previously approved by the Cabinet under EDF.The proposal will promote the country's exports with Iran. It will also deepen India's relationship with Iran as a strategic partner.The Exim Bank of India and seven Iranian Banks led by Central Bank of Iran had negotiated a framework agreement in November 2014 for financing the purchase of goods and services from India by Iranian entities to the tune of  900 crore rupees under EDF. The increase to 3000 crore rupees will enable the Exim bank to provide Buyer's credit facility to Iran, secured via sovereign guarantee from Iran, for the export of goods and services.This will provide opportunity to Indian Companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in Iran along with facilitating the growing trade and investment with Iran.This will also help in employment generation and development of ancillary activities in India.

Corporate carpool app, Orahi, announced that it had completed the acquisition of Neither company divulged the details of the, started by a 13-year-old Delhi boy, Akshat Mittal, helps customers find a travel partner. Post-acquisition, Orahi's combined user base will be 70,000. The teenager has been inducted on the advisory board, the announcement stated. Orahi will, in return, provide mentorship to the schoolboy on running a car pool business.This move will benefit and Orahi users. Every new user addition adds to more car pool options for the community and eventually helps in curbing traffic and pollution for the city.The carpool app had a few months ago raised Rs 3.5 crore from the Indian Angel Network.

The National Summit on Family Planning concluded on 5 April 2016 in New Delhi. The summit was held for two days with the theme New Choices, New Horizons.During the summit, the following initiatives were launched by the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda.The new revamped logo for Family Planning media awareness campaign.A 360 degree information, education and communication (IEC) plan for enhanced awareness regarding various issues surrounding family planning in the country.The new packaging of contraceptive Nirodh Techno-Managerial guidelines for injectable contraceptives.Mobile app for Mission Indradhanush.It was also announced that Amitabh Bachchan will be the brand ambassador and anchor for the new IEC campaign. The campaign will include several TV and radio spots which focus on the role of various stakeholders such immediate family members and health workers.The campaign also emphasizes continuum of care and integrated action as part of the Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH+A) strategy that focuses on delaying the first birth and spacing between births.Following States were awarded for their contribution toward the Family Planning efforts  Tamil Nadu-Post-partum sterilization,Madhya Pradesh- PPIUCD services,Bihar-Female sterilization,Himachal Pradesh-Male Sterilization

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) on 6 April 2016 announced the appointment of CP Gurnani as its Chairman for 2016-2017. He succeeds BVR Mohan Reddy, who served as Chairman of NASSCOM for 2015-16.Gurnani is part of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Mahindra.The Executive Council also announced the appointment of Raman Roy, Chairman and Managing Director of Quatrro Global Services, as the Vice Chairman of NASSCOM for 2016-17.The National Association of Software and Services Companies is a trade association of Indian Information Technology (IT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.It is a non-profit organisation, which was established in 1988. It is a global trade body with over 2000 members, of which over 250 are companies from the China, EU, Japan, US and UK. It is registered under the Indian Societies Act, 1860.

Iceland ruling coalition on 6 April 2016 named Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson as the Prime Minister of the country. The coalition also decided to hold elections in the autumn.Earlier, the polls were scheduled to take place in the spring of 2017.He will succeed Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson who resigned on 5 April 2016 after his name was the leaked in the Panama Papers. The leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, showed Gunnlaugsson owned an offshore firm with his wife that held millions of dollars in debt from failed celandic banks.Johannsson, 53, is Agriculture and Fisheries Minister and deputy leader of the Progressive Party (PP).

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) in the first week of April 2016 commissioned a seasonwise tiltable canal top solar PV plant at Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh.It is the first canal top project in Andhra Pradesh. Also, it is the first such project executed by BHEL.The project is developed by New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of AP Ltd (NREDCAP).Plant’s power generation is about 10 per cent more than a fixed Module Mounting Arrangement (MMA).The elevated control room with bottom cable entry prevents ingress of water during floods.The Module Mounting Structure (MMS) is a unique design incorporating additional functionalities like lighting, cable support and fencing into the MMS.It also features a movable walkway, which facilitates efficient maintenance of the plant by providing easy access.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 6 April 2016 cleared conversion of Working Capital Term Loan (WCTL) of Bank of Baroda's (BoB) 29.91 crore rupees loan to Andrew Yule & Co. Ltd. (AYCL) into equity shares.The approval was granted during the CCEA meet chaired y Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The price of equity shares will be based on market price determined as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Guidelines on the date of acquiring of shares by BoB with face value of 2 rupees per share.This conversion of WCTL will pave the way for disinvestment of the Kolkata-based PSU in the next three months. The conversion of loan to equity would help bring down the cost of servicing of debt by 2.86 crore rupees per annum, resulting in improved profitability and liquidity of Andrew Yule in coming years.This will provide an opportunity to finance working capital needs of existing and new businesses. It will also result in improved Debt Equity ratio for AYCL and will enhance the strength of its balance sheet.AYCL was established in 1863 and it became a Public Sector Enterprise in 1979. It is presently engaged in manufacturing of Industrial Fans, Ventilation Equipment, Power & Distribution Transformers and allied equipment and production of Bulk Tea among others.Paid up capital of the Company is 66.73 crore rupees in which Union Government holding is 87.98%. AYCL shares (Face value of 2 rupees each) are listed in Mumbai Stock Exchange.As a part of implementation of Financial Restructuring Scheme recommended by the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSE) in 2007, Bank of Baroda extended a loan of 52.49 crore rupees to AYCL in 2009, out of which 29.91 crore rupees was Working Capital Term Loan.With the approval of its Board of Company, AYCL has proposed for conversion of WCTL of 29.91 crore rupees it has taken from BoB into Equity.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2016 gave its ex-post facto approval for implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP).Implementation of OROP will enhance the pension for the pensioners/family pensioners of Defence Forces.The benefit will be given with effect from 1 July 2014.Pension will be re-fixed for pre 1 July 2014 pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension drawn by the retirees in the year 2013. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected.The benefit would also be extended to family pensioners including war widows and disabled pensioners.Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 16B of the Army Rule, 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively. Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly installments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one installment.In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 year.Constitution of Judicial Committee headed by Justice L Narasimha Reddy, Retd. Chief Justice of Patna High Court on 14 December 2015 which will give its report in six months on the references made by the Government of India.Judicial Committee headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy will help in the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of OROP order dated 7 November 2015.As per Government declaration, the financial implications on account of grant of OROP including Pre-Matured Retirees (PMR) cases would be 10925.11 crorerupees for payment of arrears and annual financial implication would be 7488.7 crore rupees.

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 7 April 2016 launched two schemes in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.These are National Energy Efficient Agriculture Pumps Programme and National Energy Efficient Fan Programme.National Energy Efficient Agriculture Pumps Programme will help farmers in replacing energy guzzlers age-old agricultural pumps across the country with the new-age energy efficient agricultural pumps, with a 5-Star Rating.The farmers will have flexibility to switch-on and switch-off the pumps from their mobile phones and from the comfort of their homes as the pumps will come enabled with smart control panel and a SIM card.Through these new-age energy efficient SIM-enabled agricultural pumps, Union Power Ministry is looking at a 30 percent savings in energy by 2019.This will then boil down to an annual savings of approx 20000 crore rupees on agricultural subsidies or a saving of 50 billion units of energy every year.National Energy Efficient Fan Programme was launched through state owned entity –Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Joint Venture of PSUs under Union Ministry of Power, for Indian households and businesses. It seeks to provide Energy Efficient Ceiling Fans of  5-star rating 50 Watts at 60 rupees per month on EMI basis and  1250 rupees on upfront basis.The Fans will be from leading companies such as Usha and Bajaj.The usage of these energy efficient fans will help the consumers to save 700 rupees a year on their electricity bills.A total of two ceiling fans can be bought on one electricity bill from domestic category consumers only.

Union Agriculture and farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh, on 6 April 2016 laid the foundation stone of Haryana State University of Horticultural Sciences at Karnal, Haryana.The establishment of a fully fledged horticultural university will cater the needs to support the gap between teaching, research and extension activities in the state.Haryana State University of Horticultural Sciences : The university will be built on 118 acres. It will meet the demand of skilled human resources.The varsity will establish the convergence and synergy to disseminate latest technology and horticulture education to the young generation.The university is expected to help in improving productivity levels and to adopt appropriate crop diversification to suit the agro climatic conditions of the region.It will also act as a skill development centre to cater the larger demand for trained manpower in the production, post harvest and processing industries.

In a bid to improve operational efficiency, Union Cabinet on 6 April 2016 allowed public sector oil companies to have their own independent crude import policy based on their commercial requirements.The approval was given during a cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The decision will replace the existing policy on crude oil import by Oil PSUs and vest the oil PSUs with the power to evolve their own policies. This will lead to a more efficient, flexible and dynamic policy for crude procurement, eventually benefiting consumers.State-owned firms like Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) have traditionally been allowed to source crude only from national companies of oil producing countries. The existing policy was approved by the Cabinet in the year 1979.However, it was long felt that the list of companies from where the PSUs can buy crude oil on term contracts needs to be expanded to include global oil giants.With this in view, in 2001, the Union Cabinet delegated substantial powers to Navaratna and Maharatna companies among PSUs. Such companies are given high degree of autonomy in various operational, financial and investment matters.

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6 April 2016 gave its approval to the Recommendations on Fiscal Deficit Targets and Additional Fiscal Deficit to States during Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) award period 2015-20 under the two flexibility options.Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) commission adopted the fiscal deficit threshold limit of 3 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the States.Further, It was also provided a year-to-year flexibility for additional fiscal deficit to States.It took the development needs and the current macro- economic requirement into account and provided additional headroom to a maximum of 0.5 per cent over and above the normal limit of 3 per cent in any given year to the States that have a favourable debt-GSDP ratio and interest payments-revenue receipts ratio in the previous two years. However, the flexibility in availing the additional fiscal deficit will be available to State if there is no revenue deficit in the year in which borrowing limits are to be fixed and immediately preceding year.The States will not get any benefit of additional borrowings for 2015-16 as the year is already completed. However, the implications for the remaining period of FFC award that is 2016-17 to 2019-20, would depend upon respective States eligibility based on the criteria prescribed by FFC. For the year 2016-17, the following fiscal parameters need to be taken into account before determining states eligibility for additional borrowings of 0.5 percent of GSDP recommended by FFC.a) The revenue position of the State as per Finance Account for t-2 and as available from Revised Estimates for t-1. To illustrate, for the year 2016-17, the revenue position of the State for 2014-15 (actual as per Finance Accounts) and 2015-16 (RE) would be relevant.b) The IP/TRR ratio and Debt/GSDP ratio based on the data as contained in Finance Account for t-2. To illustrate, for determining States’ eligibility for 2016-17, the IP/TRR ratio and Debt/GSDP ratio as disclosed in Finance Account of States for 2014-15 would be relevant.If a State is not able to fully utilise its sanctioned fiscal deficit of 3 per cent of GSDP in any particular year during the 2016-17 to 2018-19 of FFC award period, it will have the option of availing this un-utilised fiscal deficit amount (calculated in rupees) only in the following year but within FFC award period.For the purpose of calculating the unutilised borrowing space, the unutilised fiscal space as compared to FD limit of 3% of GSDP is to be reckoned. Similarly, any additional borrowings availed beyond the State’s entitlements shall be adjusted from Net Borrowing Ceiling of the following year.

Union Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar has inaugurated three mega textile projects in Nagaland.These three projects included Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Dimapur, Muga P3 Basic Seed Station Kobulong in Mokokchung district and newly approved Integrated Eri Silk Development Project under North East Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS).The Union Minister of State for Textiles formally launched the three mega projects at District Industries Centre Complex in Dimapur district in the presence of Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang.The Apparel and Garment Making Centre for Nagaland was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 1, 2014 during his maiden visit to the state for inauguration of Hornbill Festival.Informing that the Apparel Centre will be functional in a record one-year time, Gangwar dedicated the centre to the people of Nagaland.Describing handloom as a deep rooted tradition in Nagaland, he said the unique designs and motifs are expressions of the rich cultural heritage of the Naga people.The Minister asserted that the Centre would support sericulture projects in Nagaland covering eri, muga and mulberry seri projects. The newly approved Integrated Eri Silk Development Project under NERTPS will aid in women empowerment and sustainable livelihood for Kohima district. The project will benefit more than 5,000 cultivators engaged in plantation of these three varieties of silk.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel launched the state-wide implementation of Centre’s National Food Security Act, which has been renamed as Maa Annapurna Yojna by the state government.The Food Security Act was passed during UPA regime at the Centre when Congress was ruling this state, only 88 crore people were given food-grains at subsidised rates prior to 1995.Under the scheme, a beneficiary holding the Annapurna card will receive wheat at Rs 2 per kilo and rice at Rs 3 per kilo. Currently, Above Poverty Line (APL) card holding families are entitled to a monthly stock of 2.5 kg wheat per member of the family at Rs 7.70 per kg.Though the implementation of the Act started in Gujarat from April 1, it was officially launched by the CM on the foundation on 6th April.The National Food Security Bill is the brainchild of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.The proposed bill aims to provide legal right over subsidised food grain to 67 per cent of the population.The Bill seeks to offer rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse cereals at Rs 1 per kg to the intended beneficiaries.Up to 75 per cent of the rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population will get 5 kg of food grain monthly.

India’s duo Chitra Magimairaj and Varshaa Sanjeevwon the seniors and under-21 gold medals respectively at the WLBS World snooker championship in Leeds.Veteran Chitra defeated Sandra Bryan, Dannie Findlay and Michelle Brown before advancing over Sharon Kaur 3-0 in the final.While Varshaa on the other hand overcame Claire Edgington and Yan Shut before putting it across Jeong Min Park 3-0 in the final.The duo, however, earned only a bronze in the team event, falling in the semi-finals.Chitra’s partner Varshaa has bagged the Eden WC Plate event too.The Duo earlier in the Ireland team event (2013) had won bronze. ChitraMagimairaj: Bangalore hailed Chitra is a professional player of snooker, English billiards and She is a two-timeWorld Ladies Billiards and Snooker Association World Champion (2006, 2007), a two-time national pool champion, and won World Women’s Senior Snooker Championship (2014).Beides Snooker she has also been a national-class amateurcricket and field hockey player.Chitra has been bestowed by Sports Writers Association Award (SWAA) for Best Sportsperson, in 2008.

World Health Day (WHD) 2016 was observed globally on 7 April 2016. The theme for the year is Halt the rise: beat diabetes.The goals of the World Health Day 2016 are:Scale up prevention,Strengthen care Enhance surveillance,The day is celebrated every year since it was first celebrated in 1950 to mark the anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO) formation in 1948.The theme of the WHD 2015 was Food safety.diabetes :Diabetes is a chronic, progressive noncommunicable disease (NCD) characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (blood sugar). It occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough of the insulin hormone, which regulates blood sugar, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.WHO’s Global report on diabetes.The number of people living with diabetes and its prevalence are growing in all regions of the world. In 2014, 422 million adults had diabetes, compared with 108 million in 1980.The epidemic of diabetes has major health and socioeconomic impacts, especially in developing countries.In 2014, more than 1 in 3 adults aged over 18 years were overweight and more than one in 10 were obese.The complications of diabetes can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation. For example, rates of lower limb amputation are 10 to 20 times higher for people with diabetes.Diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012. Higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused an additional 2.2 million deaths by increasing the risks of cardiovascular and other diseases.Many of these deaths (43%) occur prematurely, before the age of 70 years, and are largely preventable through adoption of policies to create supportive environments for healthy lifestyles and better detection and treatment of the disease.Good management includes use of a small set of generic medicines, interventions to promote healthy lifestyles, patient education to facilitate self-care; and regular screening for early detection and treatment of complications.

Union Government on 5 April 2016 launched the low cost micro solar device, Surya Jyoti. The solar dome would help rural and urban population to have a reliable access to electricity.This low cost and environment-friendly solar lighting device was launched by Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan. The device would light up homes without electricity and save millions of units of power.The device has been developed under the aegis of the Department of Science & Technology.According to preliminary estimates, if this technology is adopted in 10 million households only, it has the potential of saving 1750 million units of energy.It would also lead to an emission reduction of about 12.5 million ton of CO2 equivalent, hence giving a fillip to the mission of ‘Clean India, Green India’.The manufacturing process, being labour-intensive, would also generate huge job opportunities in the economy.The Micro Solar Dome captures sunlight through a transparent semi-spherical upper dome and concentrates it inside a dark room.The light passes through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage. It also contains a lower dome having a shutter at the bottom that can be closed if light is not required in the daytime.It is leak proof and works for almost 16 hours daily, that is, throughout the day and 4 hours after sunset.The Photo-Voltaic Integrated Micro Solar Dome costs about 1200 rupees and the Non Photo-Voltaic version around 500 rupees. These cost figures are expected to get further reduced to 900 rupees and 400 rupees respectively post the scaling-up of the manufacturing process and future linkages with the subsidies under various schemes of the Ministries of Urban Development, Rural Development and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.According to a TERI University test report, the illumination level of the light during mid-day goes as high as a 15W LED bulb. Extensive Testing of the device for select parameters has been completed at IIT Bombay, TERI University and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Kolkata. Field trials have been conducted and 300 Micro Solar Domes are being installed in the slums of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.

Indian men won the 2016 Asian Nations Cup Chess tournament with a 3-1 victory over Vietnam in the final round played in Abu Dhabi on 6 April 2016.In the final round match against Vietnam, Grandmasters S P Sethuraman and K Sasikiran won on the second and fourth boards while B Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi drew their respective matches on top and third boards.To clinch the title, India collected 17 points, two more than World and Olympiad champions China. India drew Mongolia and beat the rest of the teams in a 22-team tournament. Top seed China who stood at second position in the ranking chart defeated UAE 4-0 in their final round match. Kazakhstan and Iran took the third and fourth places respectively.This was the third time that Indian men won the event. They won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009 when China did not participate on both occasions.In the women's section, top seed China won the title with 15 points. Uzbekistan was second with 14 and Kazakhstan third with 13 points. Indian women finished fourth with 12 points.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 5 April 2016 released Trends in world military expenditure, 2015 report.As per the report, while the USA remained as world’s biggest spender in 2015, India moved up one spot in the global rankings to reach the sixth position in terms of military expenditure.World military expenditure totalled almost 1.7 trillion US dollars in 2015, an increase of 1 per cent in real terms from 2014. This was the first increase in military spending since 2011.The increase reflects continuing growth in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and some Middle Eastern states.At the same time, spending decreased in Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Thus, the global military expenditure picture is mixed.The United States remained by far the world’s biggest spender in 2015, despite its expenditure falling by 2.4 per cent to 596 billion US dollars.Among the other top spenders, China’s expenditure rose by 7.4 per cent to 215 billion US dollars, Saudi Arabia’s grew by 5.7 per cent to 87.2 billion US dollars—making it the world’s third-largest spender.A combination of high oil prices and new oil discoveries and exploitation has contributed to a surge in military spending in many countries around the world in the past decade.However, the crash in oil prices that started in 2014 has begun to reverse this trend in many oil revenue-dependent countries. Further cuts in spending are expected in 2016.The most dramatic oil revenue-related reductions in spending in 2015 were in Venezuela (–64 per cent) and Angola (–42 per cent).Decreases were also recorded in, among others, Bahrain, Brunei, Chad, Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Oman and South Sudan.Russia’s expenditure was lower than projected in its budget, and Saudi Arabia’s spending would have fallen but for the additional 5.3 billion US dollars cost of its military intervention in Yemen.Military spending in North America and Western and Central Europe has been decreasing since 2009, largely as a result of the global economic crisis, as well as the withdrawal of most US and allied troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.There were signs in 2015, however, that this decline was coming to an end. For example, US military spending was down by 2.4 per cent in 2015, a much slower rate of decline than in recent years. Military spending in Asia and Oceania rose by 5.4 per cent in 2015 and was heavily influenced by China.Heightening tensions between China and various countries in the region contributed to substantial increases in expenditure by Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, and triggered the start of a reversal of the long-term downward trend in Japan’s military spending.India moved up one spot in the global rankings to reach the sixth position in 2015 for military spending. India had 3.1 percent share of world military expenditure of the 15 states with the highest spending in 2015. India’s military spending in 2015 was 51.3 billion US dollars or 2.5 percent of national GDP. It was an increase of 0.4 percent compared to 2014. India plans to increase military expenditure by about 8 percent (in real terms) in 2016, partly to fund many large ongoing and planned procurement programmes.The Stockholm-based organisation monitors the developments in military expenditure worldwide. It also maintains the most comprehensive, consistent and extensive data source available in military expenditure. It discourages use of terms like arms spending when it refers to military expenditure as spending on armaments. It uses the term Military expenditure in a broad sense and refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities. It includes salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

The Government of Telangana on 4 April 2016 launched the ICT Policy Framework 2016. The policy was unveiled by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in Hyderabad in the presence of Governor E S L Narasimhan.Besides the ICT policy, a clutch of subsidiary policies were launched on this occasion. They include –Telangana Electronics Policy 2016,Telangana Gaming and Animation Policy 2016,Telangana Rural Technology Centers Policy 2016, Telangana Innovation Policy 2016Objectives of ICT Policy Framework 2016 : To emerge as a role model for smart governance in the delivery of citizen services.To position Telangana as a leading global hub for the entrepreneurship and innovation.To transform Telangana into the most preferred destination for IT companies.To empower citizens in utilizing emerging opportunities in the digital world.To establish the State as the leader in key emerging technologies.To achieve this vision following targets were set forth by the policy.Expansion of IT/ITeS : To double the value of current 68232 crore rupees IT exports in Telangana in 5 years. To double the current employment of 4 Lakhs in 5 yearsTo establish 3 tier-II cities as IT Hubs in 5 years.Electronics.Attract investments to the tune of 3 billion US dollars in electronics sector. Create an employment of 1.5 lakh through electronics sector in the next 5 years.Enhance the production from approximately 1 billion to 7.5 billion US dollarsEntrepreneurship.Work with private sector to develop 10 lakh square feet of infrastructure space dedicated to start-ups and entrepreneurship related activities in 5 years.Work with international financial institutions to raise and deploy 2000 crore rupees funds to aid entrepreneurship and accelerate innovation.Provide incubation and mentorship support to 5000 startups in the next 5 years.To achieve the above objectives, the following new initiatives were proposed in the policy.Theme based clusters like GAME park, Data Analytics park, Data Center campus, etc will be created to give boost to startups.Specialized wings, like Photonics Valley Corporation, will be created within the ITE&C Department to focus exclusively on specific areas.Thematic training and innovation centers and Centers of Excellence will be developed.Additional incentives will be provided for companies that take up R&D and product in emerging areas of information and communication technology. Electronics Policy: T-Hub Phase II will be set up in 3 lakh square feet housing 300 startups. Overall, the policy is aimed at facilitating growth of 5000 startups.Rural Tech Policy: One Rural Tech Centre will be developed in each of the 10 districts of the State.These 10 centers together will employ 2500 people.10000 people will be imparted with IT/ITes skills through Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK).Electronics Policy: The policy is aimed at attracting 3 billion US dollars of investments in electronic system designing and manufacturing (ESDM) sector. The production value will be enhanced from 1 billion US dollars to 7.5 billion US dollars.This sector will provide employment for 1.6 lakh professionals.Gaming and Animation Policy: A Game City will be built in an area of 6 lakh square feet for stakeholders of animation, gaming, multimedia and entertainment sector.

UNESCO’s General Conference President Stanley Mutumba Simataa and UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova on 4 April 2016 signed two new recommendations on Education and Training that reflect new global trends and support the Education 2030 Framework for Action at UNESCO Headquarters inParis.The two recommendations are Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (ALE) and the Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).The revision of these key international instruments responds to the request of Member States to adapt them to reflect new educational, social, economic, cultural and political trends.The Recommendations were enthusiastically adopted by Member States at the 38th session of the General Conference held in Paris, in November 2015.They are the most up-to-date and comprehensive tools for decision-makers, practitioners, social partners, civil society and other stakeholders in these two complementary areas.They will be used around the world to guide the transformation and expansion of equitable learning opportunities for youth and adults. Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (ALE) gives momentum to strengthening ALE as it lays out guiding principles and a comprehensive, inter-sectoral approach to its promotion and development worldwide.The Recommendation concerning TVET reflects new trends in TVET as it provides an integrated and holistic approach to education and training that ensures the promotion of a broad spectrum of knowledge, skills and competencies for work and life.The simultaneous adoption of both instruments is a reflection of the high priority placed by the international community on the development of lifelong learning.The instruments stress the importance of opportunities for lifelong learning, adult learning and education, and skills development for inclusive economic growth, employment and decent work, the alleviation of poverty, social well-being, gender equality and sustainable learning societies.The adoption of the instruments is timely as they are valuable resources to support Member States’ policy reforms as implementation of the Education 2030 Framework for Action and the wider 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development get underway.

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