Current Affairs 12th July 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Lafarge-Holcim has entered into an agreement with Nirma Ltd to sell its entire 100% holding in cement maker Lafarge India for an enterprise value of $1.4 billion. The deal is subjected to approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) also the proceeds from the divestment will be used to reduce debt. Lafarge India operates three cement plants and two grinding stations with a total capacity of around 11 million tonnes per annum.  The company also markets aggregates and is one of India's leading ready-mix concrete manufacturers. The proceeds from the divestment will be used to reduce debt further.

The Chinese navy conducted combat drills near its southern island province of Hainan and the Paracel islands in the South China Sea. The drills come ahead of a July 12 ruling by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration on a case brought by the Philippines disputing several of China‘s territory claims in the South China Sea.  China claims nearly all the South China Sea, but its claims overlap in part with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Six Indians has qualified for the Rio Olympics on 11 July 2016. These are Renjith Maheswary, Anirban Lahiri, Dharambir Singh, Jinson Johnson, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok. Rio Olympics will be held from 5 August to 21 August 2016. Renjith Maheswary : The triple jumper leaped with a national record of 17.30 meters bettering the Rio qualification mark of 16.85 metres at the Indian Grand Prix in Bengaluru. Dharambir Singh : He in 200 meter race shattered national records by clocking 20.45 seconds to make the cut for Rio and become the first Indian to run in an Olympics 200m race after 36 years. Jinson Johnson : He ran the second fastest ever 800 metres race to qualify. Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia and Aditi Ashok : They qualified for Rio after the crossing the mark of rank 60 in world rankings. Golf as game returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 St. Louis Games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has concluded his four-nation visit to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique on 12 July 2016. During the five-day tour between 7 July and 11 July 2016, Modi met with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Tanzania John Magufuli and President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi. He also held high level meetings on a wide range of bilateral issues and matters of regional and global concern. Modi’s visit to Africa had five key elements and they were  Maritime Security and Defence cooperation Food Security and agriculture Diaspora engagement Climate Change and Solar energy Cooperation to check drug trade and terrorism Highlights of the visit to Kenya : India-Kenya signed seven agreements.The two nations held delegation level talks at State House in Nairobi.Modi received Guard of Honour during Ceremonial Reception at State House in Nairobi Modi laid wreath at the Mausoleum of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, First President of Kenya in Nairobi.He addressed the Indian Diaspora at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi.He addressed students at the University of Nairobi during his visit to Kenya Highlights of the visit to Tanzania :  Modi met members of Indian diaspora in Dar es Salaam He also meets Solar Mamas in Dar es Salaam during his visit to Tanzania.Modi and John Magufuli lead delegation level talks in Dar es Salaam.Modi inspected the Guard of Honour at the Ceremonial Reception in Dar es Salaam Highlights of the visit to South Africa : Modi and Jacob Zuma helds delegation level talks in Pretoria He met with Gounder and Moonsamy, two surviving members of 1946 Passive Resistance.He planted a pepper and a bark tree at the Phoenix settlement.He visited Sarvodaya, Mahatma Gandhi's residence in Phoenix, the farm where Mahatma Gandhi spent formative years of his political carrier.He inaugurated exhibition at the waiting hall where Mahatma Gandhi spent the night in Pietermaritzburg He also visits the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was offloaded at Pietermaritzburg.He visited Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.He met with the anti-apartheid revolutionaries and their families in Johannesburg.He visited Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg during his visit to South Africa.Prime Minister inspected Guard of Honour at Union Buildings in Pretoria during his 3 day visit to South Africa Highlights of the visit to Mozambique : Three agreements were inked and three announcements were made including gifting 100 ton medicines and medical equipment At Maputo, the capital of Mozamvuque, Modi received a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace.Modi and Filipe Nyusi held delegation level talks.India has handed over 30 SUVs to Mozambique.He attended the Indian community reception in Maputo. India, Mozambique agreed to cooperate to meet strategic, security challenges.Under long-term agreement India will buy pulses from this African nation to meet its recurring shortfall and contain prices of this commodity.

A new study of Pre-historic megaliths and tools indicate that Meghalaya’s Khasi tribe has been residing in the state since around 1200 BCE. The study was conducted on the megaliths and tools discovered in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district. A megalith is a large stone that forms part of a prehistoric monument. The study was performed by archaeologist Marco Mitri and a team of academicians from the North Eastern Hills University. They excavated site near Lummawbuh village in the northern slopes of Sohpetbneng (Heaven’s Naval) peak near the NH-40. The excavation at Lummawbuh is the first one of a Neolithic site in Meghalaya. The megalithic structures and iron implements dating back to the prehistoric period were found the ridge spreading over 1.5 km. The age (that dates back to 12th century BCE) was confirmed by using more than 20 tools and implements including grains to Beta Analytic, a Miami-based lab for radiocarbon dating to confirm their age. Khasi people : The Khasi people are an indigenous tribe, the majority of who live in Meghalaya, a north-eastern state of IndiaThey share a significant population in the border areas of the neighbouring state of Assam, and in certain parts of Bangladesh. They call themselves Ki Khun U Hynñiewtrep, which means "The Children of The Seven Huts" in their language.Their language, also called Khasi, is categorized as the northernmost language under the Austroasiatic family stock.The Khasi language was essentially oral until the arrival of Christian missionaries.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries announced rollout of Gemcitabine InfuSMART, on Monday, used in treatment of cancer, in Europe. Sun Pharma has announced rollout of Gemcitabine InfuSMART in Europe. InfuSMART is a technology in which oncology products are developed in a ready-to-administer (RTA) bag. Sun Pharma's Gemcitabine InfuSMART ready-to-administer infusion products provide the combined advantage of long stable compounded medicine along with safety... Traditionally, such medicines are compounded at hospitals (in-house) or outsourced to compounding pharmacies, making it a time-consuming and potentially hazardous process. Launch of InfuSMART will help us remain a meaningful player in the global oncology therapy market by offering differentiating cancer treatment solutions. We believe there are opportunities for us to expand our portfolio of ready-to-administer products across multiple therapies where time and safety are an important element of treatment. Sun Pharma has received regulatory approval to produce Gemcitabine InfuSMART in eight key SKUs (stock keeping units). More InfuSMART oncology products are currently in Sun Pharma's pipeline to be rolled out in future.

Technocrats D Rajkumar and Utpal Bora has appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Oil India Ltd, respectively.  Rajkumar is, at present, working as Managing Director of Bharat Petro Resources Ltd, a unit of BPCL focused on exploration and production. Bora is Executive Director in Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited.  They have been appointed to the posts for five-year term, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) . Rajkumar will take over the charge on or after October 1, 2016 after retirement of BPCL's current chief S Varadarajan in September. BPCL is a state refiner and retailer.  Senior IAS officers Anil Kumar Jain and Ravi Kapoor were among the 10 contenders for the top job at Oil India Ltd, the country's second biggest state-owned oil and gas explorer.  Bora was selected on the recommendation of a three-member search-cum-selection Committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha 

Aditya Puri, the chief executive and managing director of the second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank , has been ranked as the best banking CEO in Asia by the investor community.  The bank's chief financial officer Sashi Jagdishan has been ranked as the best CFO, apart from getting ranked as the best IR company as well, thereby making it the most honoured one in the Institutional Investor magazine.  Called the All-Asia Executive Team rankings 2016, the survey had 1,394 investment professionals from 582 financial institutions participating in it.  They picked HDFC Bank in the Best CEO, Best CFO, and the Best IR company categories. The survey encompassed 1,541 companies from 18 sectors across Asia, excluding Japan . The research reflects feedback from both buy and sell-side analysts, with an unparallelled level of detail on the IR efforts of companies across the region. Respondents from the buy-side work at firms that collectively manage an estimated USD 963 billion in Asia ex-Japan equities.  Citing HDFC Bank as an example, the publication highlighted its use of technology as a key trend this year, particularly in semi-urban areas. 

 Maharashtra police has launched four mobile apps for timely intervention into emergency situations. Four Application : Pratisaad-Ask, Police Mitra, Vahanchoritakrar and Railway helpline app With the launch of these apps, dependency on police emergency number 100 would reduce substantially and citizens can reach out to police to report any emergency situation or crime like robbery or assault on women 24X7. These apps would also help establishing better coordination among police force in the state as well as improve its own administration. The apps are currently supported on Android platform but will be soon available on iOS platformUsers can download the apps for free from Google Play Store. Another official of State police said that through the four apps citizens can send complaints, photos of stolen vehicles, acting on which nearby beat police station will respond immediately. Through app Vahanchoritakrar, one can lodge complaint about stolen vehicles, while railway helpline app has been devised to offer help to railway passengers during emergency. Police Mitra app, the official said, aims at improving police administration by assisting police force in crime prevention and detection as well as ensuring safety of women, children and senior citizens.

India’s first Centre of Excellence on Internet of Things (CoE– IoT) was launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). The centre was launched at NASSCOM’s Startup Warehouse in Bengaluru to encourage start-ups to come up with tech solutions centred on Internet of Things (IoT). The CoE– IoT has been jointly set up NASSCOM, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) and Education and Research Network (ERNET).  It is also supported by Cisco, Accenture, HCL Technologies, Intel, TCS, Qualcomm and L&T Technology Services, among others. It has been created as a catalyst for developing the IoT SME/Startup ecosystem of the country to scale for industrial and societal needs.  The centre has capacity to incubate 40 startups and allows them to build a prototype and test them. The will also function as an enabler of Accelerating, Funding, Mentoring & Enterprise for the key emerging IoT startups who have been selected for incubation. The centre will focus on building solutions for applications such as agriculture, automobile, telecom, healthcare and consumer goods.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a nationwide Intensified Diarrhoea Control Fortnight (IDCF) to check child diarrhoeal deaths. The IDCF drive was launched by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda in New Delhi. It will be observed from 11th to 23rd July, 2016 across the country. The IDCF drive is a very cost -effective intervention to curb the risk of spread of diarrhoea which scales up during monsoon season Intensified community awareness campaigns on hygiene and promotion of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) and Zinc therapy will be conducted at state, district and village levels.  Under this initiative, government aims at covering over 80 per cent of children (of the 10 crore children below five years of age) affected by diarrhoea across the country. The importance of this drive is that to make ORS available in the household when needed at the time of diarrhoea. ASHAs will visit all households with children below 5 years of age for pre-positioning the ORS.  They will also explain the benefits of these. All health facilities will have ORS corners which will continuously demonstrate the way to prepare the ORS mixture. These corners will also administer ORS and Zinc to children who are in need of these during diarrhoea. Diarrhoea  : Diarrhoea is caused by various virus, bacteria and protozoa like rotavirus, E.coli etc. The main reasons for diarrhoeal attacks amongst children are contaminated water, inadequate sanitation, poor hygiene, malnutrition and lack of immunisation. The combination of ORS and Zinc is the most cost-effective intervention to prevent deaths due to diarrhoea.

Sushila Karki has become the first woman Chief Justice of Nepal after taking oath of office and secrecy at a special programme organised at the Presidential Residence, Sheetal Niwas.  She will head the judiciary till June 6, 2017.  The oath was administered by President Bidya Devi Bhandari. Beside Karki, President Bhandari has also administered oath of office and secrecy to newly appointed Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhi Prasad Yadav. Sushila Karki : Sushila Karki Has done Masters in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi. Worked as an assistant teacher in Mahendra Multiple Campus, Dharan in 1985. Began legal practice in March 1979. Appointed the Ad-Hoc Justice at the Supreme Court in January, 2009.  Known for her zero tolerance against corruption in the judiciary. Promoted to the Permanent Justice in November 2010. Served as an Acting-Cheif-Justice and Justice at the Supreme Court of Nepal.

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the 51st Jnanpith Award on renowned Gujarati writer and litterateur Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari at a function in New Delhi.  He was awarded with the India’s highest literary honour carrying a cash prize, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati for the year 2015. Raghuveer Chaudhary :  He was born on 5 December 1938 in Bapupura near Gandhinagar, Gujarat. He is novelist, poet, critic and a Gandhian. He was a teacher at the Gujarat University until his retirement in 1998 His literary work has been influenced by works of Gowardhan Ram Tripathi , Kaka Kalelkar and Suresh Joshi.  His work: He has authored more than 80 books and some of his notable novels include Amrita, Venu Vatsala, Uparvas, Purvarang and Laagni Samjyaa Vinaa Chuuta Padvanu. He also had worked as a columnist for numerous newspapers such as Sandesh, Janmabhumi, Nirikshaka and Divya Bhaskar. Awards and Honours: He has received numerous accolades including Sahitya Acadmi Award for his novel Trilogy Uparvaas in 1977. Mr. Chaudhary is the fourth Gujarati litterateur to bag this prestigious award after Uma Shankar Joshi (1967), Pannalal Patel (1985) and Rajendra Shah (2001). Jnanpith Award  : Jnanpith Award is India’s highest literary honour. Its name has been taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 and is presented annually by Bharatiya Jnanpith trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family that owns the Times of India newspaper group. The award is bestowed upon any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But after 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award carries cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.

India and Kenya have signed seven agreements to deepen and expand cooperation in a wide range of areas. These agreements were signed in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. PM Narendra Modi visited Kenya on the fourth and last leg of his four-nation tour of Africa viz. Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. Signed Agreements are  : MoU on Defence Cooperation. MoU in the field of space Technology partnership. Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). Bilateral agreement on exemption of Visa for holders of Diplomatic passports. MoU on Cooperation in the field of National Housing Policy Development and Management. MoU on Cooperation in the field of expertise sharing, standardisation and mutual trade between Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and Bureau of Kenya Standards (BKS). Line of Credit (LoC) Agreement for US $29.95 million to Kenyan Government for upgradation of Rift Valley Textiles Factory (RIVATEX East Africa Limited) in Kenya. LoC Agreement for US $15 million (first tranche of $30 million) to Kenya’s IDB Capital Limited for development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya. Besides, PM Narendra Modi also announced that India will fully finance a cancer hospital in Kenya.  India will also donate medicines for AIDS patients in Kenya. India would provide concessional credit of 60 million dollars for power transmission project to Kenya. India is ready to join hands with Kenya for developing efficient and affordable health care system to make it an important regional hub for health services in East African region.  

World Population Day was observed on 11 July 2016 with theme Investing in teenage girls. The theme focuses on the empowerment of teenage girls. Challenges faced by teenage girls : Many teenage girls around the globe are considered by their communities or parents to be ready for marriage and motherhood.Among girls who stay in school, they lack access to basic information about their health, human rights and reproductive rights. It leaves them vulnerable to illness, injury and exploitation. These challenges are exacerbated among marginalized girls, such as members of ethnic minorities or those living in poverty or remote areas. World Population Day : World Population Day is an annual event observed on 11 July every year.The day seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.The day aims at increasing people's awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.The world population as of 1 January 2014 is estimated to be 7137661030. The theme of the 2015 World Population Day was Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies.

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