Current Affairs 11th July 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Sanjay Gupta has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd (KRCL). Prior to his elevation, he was working as Director (Operating and Commercial) of KRCL.  Mr. Gupta has worked on several prestigious and coveted posts as well as on various assignments over the Railways and has more than 30 years of experience as a Mechanical Officer of Indian Railways. Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways (IR). It operates the Konkan Railways, a subsidiary zone of the Indian Railways.  It is headquartered at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai. The company started its full operations of trains on 26 January 1998. The first passenger train which ran on Konkan railway tracks on 20 March 1993 between Udupi and Mangalore.

The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) has announced that Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman of R K Swamy Hansa, would be the recipient of this year’s AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is the highest honour to be given to an individual in India for outstanding contribution in the advertising industry.  Srinivasan K Swamy : Swamy has been active in various industry bodies working towards the growth and development of the advertising industry. He was President of AAAI for three consecutive terms (2004 - 2007) and continues to take active interest in the activities of AAAI. He is the vice chairman of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), and a Board Member of Audit Bureau of Circulations. He was also President of All India Management Association during 2008-09 and president of The Madras Chamber of Commerce & Industry (2008-10), Madras Management Association (2001-02) and the Advertising Club, Madras (1988-89).  AAAI Award : MG Parameswaran, President, AAAI, stated, "If there is one person who has tirelessly worked for the advertising industry, for over two decades, in various industry bodies, it is Sundar Swamy. So in a sense it was an easy choice this year. We are hopeful that AAAI and its member agencies will have his continued involvement and inputs as we navigate the ever changing terrain of advertising business."   

Cookbook author and food blogger Nimi Sunilkumar has won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for 2015-16. She was bestowed with this award for her cookbook “4 o’clock Temptations of Kerala”. It was chosen for the award in the ‘Best Indian Cuisine Cookbook’ section.  The cookbook is enriched with photos and details of 54 recipes from Kerala and each of these recipes are said to be specific to each district. Nimi Sunilkumar has won award for the second time and earlier in 2013, her Lip-smacking Dishes of Kerala was selected third ‘Best Local Cuisine Book in the World’ category. Nimi Sunilkumar  : She is a culinary teacher and dietician at Tata High Range School, Munnar. She had started her food blog ‘Nimi’s Culinary Ventures’ in 2009. She began offering ‘Lip-smacking cooking classes,’ on traditional Kerala cooking to tourists in 2012. She has taught traditional Kerala cooking to her students from US, Australia, and UK. Gourmand World Cookbook Award : It is famously known as the Oscar award in the field of cookery. This is the only international award in this particular field. The award is organized to honour the best food and wine books either printed or digital.

The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has conferred rare and singular species genetic recognition tag to the threatened breed of Kendrapara sheep found in Odisha. It has received registration number INDIA_SHEEP_1500_KENDRAPADA_14042. It became the 42nd sheep breed in India to receive such tag. The genetically rare status will help to boost conservation effort to protect these domesticated threatened sheep. Previously, two buffalo and four cattle breeds’ native to Odisha were registered at national level by NBAGR. Kendrapara sheep  : Kendrapara sheep is found only in coastal Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts of Odisha. Locally it is called kuji mendha. The average adult sheep weighs 18-20 kg and are dwarf in built with the body covered with coarse hair.  They are well adapted to high ambient temperature, high humidity and heavy rain. Kendrapara sheep carries FecB mutation gene, which is responsible for prolificacy (multiple babies in same delivery) or multiple birth syndrome.  This characteristic makes them distinctive from other species sheep species as they are not known for giving multiple births. Kendrapara sheep is second sheep breed in India (other one is Garole sheep found in West Bengal) and the sixth in the world that carries FecB mutation gene. Economic Significance : Multiple-birth characteristics make it a profitable livelihood source. They are primarily used for mutton production. Besides, their skin also has economic importance. National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) : It premier institute is dedicated to work with its mandate of identification, characterization, evaluation, conservation and utilization of livestock and poultry genetic resources of the country.

India and Tanzania has inked five agreements to enhance the bilateral cooperation between the two nations  on 10 July 2016 . These agreements were signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tanzania from 9 July to 10 July 2016.  MOUs/Agreements : MoU on Cooperation in the field of water resource management and development between the two countries. MoU on Visa waiver agreement for Diplomatic/Official passport holders between the two countries. Agreement on Joint Action Plan (JAP) between National Small Industries Corporation of India (NSIC) and Small Industries Development Organization Tanzania (SIDO). MoU for Establishment of Vocational Training Centre at Zanzibar. LOC of 92 million US dollar for rehabilitation and improvement of water supply system in Zanzibar. During the visit to Tanzania, Modi met Tanzania’s President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli. During the meet, the two leaders agreed to work closely, bilaterally, regionally and globally to combat the twin threats of terrorism and climate change.  

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its allies on 11 July 2016 claimed victory in an election for the upper house of parliament National Diet. He said the result is a vote of confidence in his economic policies known as Abenomics. Voting took place on 10 July 2016 for 121 seats of upper house. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition already enjoys a two-thirds majority in the lower house and they needed a super majority in the House of Councilors to start a parliamentary motion for changing the constitution.  This win in the upper house will allow Abe to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution that bars its military from participating in joint military endeavors abroad. Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan outlaws war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state.

The KKNPP had submitted its reports to the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and received the nod for criticality after the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change experts inspected the second unit. They submitted their report to the Supreme Court. At present, India operates 21 reactors that can generate 5780 MW of electricity besides giving the country its atomic weapons. Highlights related to the criticality of the reactor : Once the reactor starts generating 400 MWe of power, it is likely to be connected to the grid possibly within 45 days from the date of criticality. Generation of power will be raised to 500 MWe, 750 MWe, 900 MWe and 1000 MWe in stages. At every stage, various tests will be conducted and the technical parameters verified as mandated by the AERB.The atomic reactor will provide electricity to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Karnataka. Tamil Nadu is expected to get a minimum of 462.50 MWe from the second unit. What is criticality : Criticality is a nuclear term that refers to the balance of neutrons in the system.When the neutron population remains constant, this means there is a perfect balance between production rate and loss rate. Therefore, the nuclear system is said to be critical.The criticality of a system can be calculated by comparing the rate at which neutrons are produced to the rate at which they are lost through absorption and leakage out of the reactor core. A nuclear reactor is a system that controls this criticality or balance of neutrons. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant : Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power station in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu.The first unit of the plant had attained criticality on 13 July 2013.Unit 1 of the plant was synchronised with the southern power grid on 22 October 2013.  

Portugal has  lifted the Euro 2016 football championship. In the final clash palyed at Saint-Denis in Paris on 10 July 2016, Portugal defeated France 1-0. Substitute Eder scored in extra-time to give Portugal a win at their first major international title despite losing captain and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to injury. Eder scored the goal with 11 minutes of extra time left to stun France after the host team had dominated the match. Ronaldo, Portugal's all-time leading scorer went down after a heavy tackle from Dimitri Payet in the eighth minute but played on before being replaced in the 25th minute. This was France's first tournament defeat on home soil in 19 games, since 1960 third-place play-off. Man of the Match: Pepe (Portugal)  

Amal Dutta, former India player and first professional full-time football coach of the country, died on 10 July 2016 following old age complications. He was 86. As a coach, Dutta had introduced new formations including the diamond system the 1990s. Amal Dutta : Amal Dutta played in midfield for East Bengal in the 1950s. He also represented India in the 1954 Asian Games at Manila. After retirement as a player, his first major assignment was to coach Railways in 1960 for the Santosh trophy.In the early 1960s, he retired from the Indian Railways to become a full-time coach, the first-ever in India.In his long coaching career, he was associated with premier football clubs of India, and also became coach of India.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with IIT-Bombay and Madras to establish a bi-nodal ‘Centre of Propulsion Technology’ (CoPT) at the two institutions.  The initiative is aims to achieve synergy between DRDO and IITs for channelising the research efforts for developing products and related critical aerospace technologies. The Centre will evolve mechanisms to facilitate execution of programmes related to propulsion technology. It will engage both IITs as primary research nodes.  It will also undertake advanced collaborative research in the areas of critical defence technologies.  It will facilitate and undertake multidisciplinary directed research in the focused areas of futuristic aero engines, hypersonic propulsion for long duration flight.

The Supreme Court of India has ruled that army and paramilitary forces cannot use excessive and retaliatory force during counter-insurgency operations in disturbed areas declared disturbed under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958.  The verdict was given by SC bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on the plea filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM). In the plea EEVFAM had sought a SIT probe into the killing of 1,528 persons by the Manipur Police and security forces since 1978. Supreme Court Ruling  : The use of excessive force or retaliatory force by the armed forces of the Union or Manipur Police is not permissible. Criminal courts have the jurisdiction over cases of alleged excesses by security forces which earlier were under blanket of immunity provided by AFSPA.  Armed forces should refrain from resorting to excessive fire power in counter-insurgency operations. When state uses such retaliatory force leading to death of people, it is referred to as an extra-judicial killing or an extra-judicial execution or as it is called administrative liquidation.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain has won the 2016 British Grand Prix title of Formula One. It his overall fourth British Grand Prix title after winning it in 2008, 2014 and 2015.  It was also his fourth title of the 2016 season after Monaco Grand Prix (May 2016), Canadian Grand Prix (June 2016) and Austrian Grand Prix (July 2016).  British Grand Prix was the tenth race of the 2016 season and was held at the Silverstone Circuit near the village of Silverstone in Northamptonshire in England. Rankings after 2016 Austrian Grand Prix 1st position : Lewis Hamilton (Britain) of Mercedes.  2nd position : Max Verstappen (Netherlands) of Red Bull.  3rd position : Nico Rosberg (Germany) of Mercedes.  4th position : Daniel Ricardo (Australia) of Red Bull.  5th position : Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) of Ferrari.  6th position : Sergio Perez (Mexico) of Force India.  7th position : Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) of Force India.  Top Teams : Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Force India.

The 2016 Wimbledon Championships was a tennis tournament held from 27 June to 10 July 2016. It was the 130th edition of the championships and the 49th edition in the Open Era. The tournament had taken place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom. Men’s Singles  : Title Britain’s Andy Murray won the 2016 Wimbledon title in men’s singles category. It was his second Wimbledon title after he had won it for first time in 2013. In final match he defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic by 6–4, 7–6(7–3), 7–6(7–2) score. Women’s Singles Title :  Serena Williams of United States has won 2016 Wimbledon title in women’s singles category. In the final match played she defeated Germany’s Angelique Kerber by 7–5, 6–3 score. It is Williams’ seventh Women’s Singles Wimbledon title (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2015) and overall 22th Grand Slam title. Men’s Doubles Title :  French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the 2016 Wimbledon title in the men’s doubles category. In the final match they defeated French pair Julien Benneteau and Édouard Roger-Vasselin by 6–4, 7–6(7–1), 6–3 score.  Women’s Doubles US pair of Serena Williams and Venus Williams won the 2016 Wimbledon title in the women’s doubles category. They defeated Tímea Babos (Hungary) and Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) pair by 6–3, 6–4 score.  Mixed Doubles   Title  : Henri Kontinen (Finland) and Heather Watson (United Kingdom) pair won the 2016 Wimbledon title in the mixed doubles category. They defeated Robert Farah (Colombia) and Anna-Lena Grönefeld (Germany) pair by 7–6(7–5), 6–4 score.

Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has sworn in as the acting Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. With this he becomes 18th Governor to be sworn in as Governor of Tripura. He has been given the additional charge of Governor of Arunachal Pradesh during the leave of absence of incumbent Governor Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.  Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Ajit Singh had administered the oath of office to Tathagata Roy as per the provisions of Article 159 of Constitution of India. Tathagata Roy  : Tathagata Roy was born on 14 September 1945 in Kolkata, West Bengal. He is veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader from West Bengal and was president of the state unit of the party from 2002 till 2006.  He is also a writer and has written both in English and in his native Bengali language. He has authored two books. They are The Life and Times of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee and My People, Uprooted : A Saga of the Hindus of Eastern Bengal. Constitutional provisions of Governor Article 153 : It says that there shall be Governor for each state. The 7th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1956 has facilitated the appointment of the same person as a governor for two or more states.  Article 156 : Governor is appointed by President and hold office during the pleasure of President. It should be also noted that this article also mentions tenure of Governor. In this regard it says that Governor shall hold office for the term of 5 years from date he enters upon his office.

The 2-day long NATO Summit concluded in Warsaw on 9 July 2016, Poland. It was the 27th summit biannual summit of NATO since its inception in 1949. The summit was attended by Heads of State and Heads of Government of NATO members including the USA President Barack Obama, Polish president Andrzej Duda and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Besides, the summit also saw the presence of Heads of Government of non-member States and organizations of NATO including Afghanistan. The agenda of the biannual summit included  : The situation in Eastern Europe.The risks emanating from the Middle East. Reform of NATO’s partnership policy.Question of enlargement Debate about the future nuclear strategy of the Alliance At the end of the summit, the leaders agreed to deploy more troops along its eastern borders in Poland and Estonia. Besides, the leaders also supported Georgia’s membership aspirations. NATO : The NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It is also called the North Atlantic Alliance. It is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.The previous summit was held in Wales, the United Kingdom in 2014.The grouping has 28 member countries including major countries of North America and Europe.

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