Current Affairs 2nd July 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' translated into the native tongue and incorporating answers to questions invited from the people of Bangladesh.  Although Mann Ki Baat is aired in English and several regional languages, this is the first time the address, broadcast about once a month, will be tailored to a foreign audience .This will also mark the first time the citizens of a neighbouring country get to speak their mind and ask questions to the Indian prime minister . Mann Ki Baat will be broadcast in Bangladesh on All India Radio's upcoming Bangla language service channel Akashvani Maitree, for which AIR has made arrangements to receive comments and voice messages from Bangladeshi citizens.  The PM's speech is likely to be about Indo-Bangladesh "relationship and friendship".  The purpose behind this soft diplomacy is to strengthen bilateral ties and break the stranglehold of Pakistani and Chinese radio channels in the neighbouring country, said one of the officials, who did not wish to be identified. Akashvani Maitree has initiated the process to tie up with local Bangladeshi FM channels as well . This is the first major outreach that Akashvani made to Bangladesh by upgrading its own special Bangla service to access talent and knowledge from Bangladesh . Bangladesh has been targeted by such forces through radio. There had been attacks on the freethinkers in Bangladesh too . AIR has installed a 1,000 mw digital transmitter to ensure accurate reception quality, Mazumdar said. "We have come up with a multimedia website and developed a mobile app. The programmes can be live streamed. The NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation) data reveal that 85% of Bangladeshi people get access to radio through mobile. And that is why the app has been developed . The channel will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee in July at an event where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will also be present, people familiar with the matter . The programmes conceived for the channel include 'Sakal er Adda' (morning rendezvous), which will be in the form of a freewheeling chat with guests from both India and Bangladesh.  Another programme, called 'Solo Ana Bangalee' (quintessential Bengali) will have celebrities, authors, artists and intellectuals from both the countries narrating their stories of success.  AIR has come up with an idea to hold a panel discussion called 'Campus E Adda', where university students from the two sides will get to participate. Also in the works is a reality show in which people from both countries will be able to participate. 

Kerala Government has banned ‘electronic cigarette’ alias ‘e-cigarette’ as its use can cause various health issues, including cancer and heart ailments. In this regard, an order was issued that banned the production, sale and advertisement of e-cigarettes in the state.  With this, Kerala becomes second state in India to ban e-cigarette. Punjab was the first state to ban e-cigarettes in November 2014 under the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. e-cigarettes are handy battery-powered devices that emit doses of vaporised nicotine. It produces the feel of tobacco smoking. Unlike regular cigarette, e-cigarettes do not produce smoke but produces an aerosol (mist), which is inaccurately referred to as vapor. e-cigarettes have a heating element that atomizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid which usually is a mixture of propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. Effects : A series of studies conducted in Japan and United States (US) had proved that the usage of e-cigarette can cause cancer and heart ailments.

A Youth Summit for the BRICS countries will be held in Guwahati from July 1-3 with the theme 'Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS Exchanges'. The subjects to be covered are skill development and entrepreneurship, social inclusion, youth volunteerism and youth participation in governance. The programme for the summit also includes thematic debates, cultural events, site-visits and interactive sessions with local youth. The Youth Summit would also be an occasion to introduce India's North-East to BRICS youth, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said in a release. Role of youth in fostering intra-BRICS bonds has been recognized during the past Summits. Youthful democratic profile of most BRICS countries combined with their economic-vibrancy can be an asset in consolidating exchanges between BRICS countries. Investment in youth will make them stakeholders in future activities of the group. This is also aligned with Prime Minister s desire that our events be participative and people-centric.  The Theme for the Summit is Youth as bridge for Intra-BRICS Exchanges". The subjects to be covered by thematic debates are  (i) Skill Development and Entreneurship (ii) Social Inclusion (iii) Youth Volunteerism  (iv) Youth Participation in Governance. The programme for the Summit also includes thematic debates, cultural events, site-visits and interactive sessions with local youth. The Youth Summit would also be an occasion to introduce India’s North-East to BRICS youth.  The Youth delegates will also have an occasion to call upon the External Affairs Minister in New Delhi and to meet Assam Leadership and Senior Officials at Guwahati, Assam during the course of the Summit. 

The 2016 National Doctors’ Day was observed on 1 July 2016 across India. The day is observed to honour legendary physician, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy whose birth and death anniversary falls on the same day. Dr Roy was honoured with the Bharat Ratna on 4 February 1961. The National Doctors’ Day gives an opportunity to raise the awareness about the doctor’s role in daily life. Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy : Bidhan Chandra Roy was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal.He remained in his post for 14 years as an Indian National Congress candidate, from 1948 until his death in 1962. He was a highly respected physician and a renowned freedom fighter. Dr Roy is often considered the great architect of West Bengal.He founded five eminent cities, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar and Habra.He was an alumnus of the Medical College Calcutta of the University of Calcutta. The Dr B.C. Roy National Award was instituted in his memory.He was born on 1 July 1882 in Patna and died on 1 July 1962.

A Rapid Rural Police Response System was launched across Punjab on 1 July 2016. The system was launched to ensure prompt and effective police response in over 12000 villages in Punjab. Highlights of Rapid Rural Police Response System : The Rapid Rural Police Response System was launched by Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.400 new motorcycles and 220 new Bolero jeeps were also flagged off under the new system. Under the system, the police will respond to any crime or law and order situation within 20 minutes of it being reported.Two lines were set up under the system to avoid call rush or delays. The Police Department had divided 446 villages spread over four blocks of the district into 25 beats.A special control room equipped with computer-aided dispatch software had also been set up for the purpose.  

The country's largest lender State Bank of India launched 3 new digital offerings on the occasion of 61st State Bank Day  on 2 June 2016. SBI has partnered with Flipkart to offer its consumers the facility of pre-approved EMI Facility on purchases. Under this partnership SBI will provide overdraft facility to pre-qualified set of customers for transacting on Flipkart for a minimum purchase of Rs. 5000.  The EMI facility will be available in 3 tenures - 6, 9 and 12 months. The bank will not charge any fees to process the facility.  The bank also launched 'SBI Mingle' - its social media banking platform for Facebook and Twitter users. Using SBI Mingle, its customers can do a host of banking services like checking balance and requesting mini statements on their Facebook or Twitter accounts.  The Bank is also planning to introduce more services like request for chequebook, stop cheque, register for mobile banking, internet banking, SMS alerts and block ATM/Debit Cards on this platform soon.  SBI also launched its new initiative SBI Digital Villages aimed at transforming villages into cash less eco-system by adopting them. In its first leg the bank has adopted 21 villages to be moved on the digital platform and plans to bring 100 villages under this initiative across the country by the end of FY 17.  Several activities are undertaken for ensuring 100% financial inclusion with focus on migration to AnyTime Channels through State Bank Buddy, PoS, ATMs, Micro ATMs, Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, etc.   

Former India captain and Team Director Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri has resigned from his post as media representative in ICC’s prestigious Cricket Committee.  Incidentally, the chairman of ICC Cricket Committee is current Team India coach Anil Kumble, who pipped Shastri to the job after getting nod from high profile Cricket Advisory Committee. He represented the Indian national team in both Test and One-Day matches between 1981 and 1992. Although he started his career as a left-arm spin bowler, he later transformed into a batting all–rounder.  As a batsman, he was essentially defensive with his trademark "chapati shot", but he could raise his strike rate when required. Shastri played either as an opening batsman or in the middle order.

The Union Sports Ministry has granted recognition to Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) after the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced temporary lifting of suspension on it. This recognition gives a huge confidence boost to the several para-athletes who have qualified for 2016 Rio Paralympics.  The IPC had suspended PCI in April 2015 due to internal conflicts between different groups and persons, which were undermining the development of Paralympic Movement in India.  Due to suspension, Indian para-athletes were not allowed to participate in any IPC-sanctioned competition, including 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) :  PCI was founded in 1992 as the Physically Handicapped Sports Federation of India. It was recognized in November 2011, as National Sports Federation (NSF) for promotion of sports amongst the physically challenged sportspersons in the country. The first president of the Paralympic Committee of India was Rathan Singh.It is responsible for selecting athletes to represent India at the Paralympic Games and other international athletic meets.

Telecom-to-energy conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) and India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) have signed Subscription and Shareholders’ Agreement to set up payments bank. As per the agreement, RIL will be the promoter with a 70 per cent equity contribution in the payments bank and SBI as joint venture will have 30 per cent equity contribution. RIL-SBI combine was among the 11 entities that were in August 2015 were given licence by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start a payments bank. So far two of these – Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co and Sun Pharma, IDFC Bank and telecom operator Telenor have decided to shelve plans of launching payments bank.’ Payments banks  : Payments banks are small deposit-taking institutions that can accept deposits (initially up to 1 lakh rupees per individual). Besides, they will offer Internet banking, facilitate money transfers and sell insurance and mutual funds by piggy-backing on existing retail or other networks.  They can also issue ATM/debit cards, but not credit cards. However, they are also not allowed to lend. Instead, they can invest 75% of their deposits in short-term government bonds.

President Pranab Mukherjee has  presented the Dr BC Roy national awards for 2008, 2009 and 2010 at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 1 June 2016. These awards were presented on the occasion of National Doctors’ Day observed on July 1 to pay honour and tribute to India’s most famous physician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. List of awardees for the year 2008 • Dr. Mammen Chandy • Prof. Rajeshwar Dayal • Dr. Rohit V. Bhatt • Dr. Neelam Mohan • Prof. Mohan Kameswaran • Dr. Harsha Jauhari • Dr. Gopal H. Badlani • Dr. Yash Gulati List of awardees for the year 2009 • Dr. KH Sancheti • Dr. Atul Kumar • Dr. Renu Saxena • Dr. Kanan A. Yelikar • Dr. A.K. Kriplani • Dr. G.V. Rao • Dr. H.S. Bhanushali • Dr. Moti Lal Singh • Dr. C.N. Purandare • Dr. C.V. Hari Narayan List of awardees for the year 2010 • Dr. Nikhil C. Munshi • Dr. Tejinder Singh • Prof. O.P. Kalra • Dr. Amrinder Jit Kanwar • Dr. Subash Gupta • Dr. Rajendra Prasad • Dr. Glory Alexander  Dr. B. C. Roy Award : The B.C. Roy Awards were instituted by the Medical Council of India in 1976.The award was instituted in memory of renowned physician and former West Bengal Chief Minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.  Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy :  Bidhan Chandra Roy was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal.He remained in his post for 14 years as an Indian National Congress candidate, from 1948 until his death in 1962. He was a highly respected physician and a renowned freedom fighter.Dr. Roy is often considered the great architect of West Bengal. He founded five eminent cities, Durgapur, Kalyani, Bidhannagar, Ashokenagar and Habra.He was an alumnus of the Medical College Calcutta of the University of Calcutta.

Exercise RIMPAC 2016, the Pacific military exercise, began on 30 June 2016 at Hawaii with 26 nations participating in the war games that will cover the Hawaiian Island and southern California. The theme of RIMPAC 2016 is Capable, Adaptive, Partners. RIMPAC 2016 is the 25th exercise in the series that began in 1971. Highlights of the RIPMAC 2016 : Twenty-six nations, 45 ships, five submarines, more than 200 aircraft, and 25000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise that is scheduled from 30 June to 4 August 2016. This year's exercise includes forces from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, China, Peru, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States. Hosted by US Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2016 will be led by US Vice Adm Nora Tyson, commander of the US 3rd Fleet (C3F), who will serve as the Combined Task Force (CTF) commander.  Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm Scott Bishop will serve as deputy commander of the CTF, and Japan Maritime Self Defence Force Rear Adm Koji Manabe as the vice commander.  Other key leaders of the multinational force will include Commodore Malcolm Wise of the Royal Australian Navy, who will command the maritime component.Brig Gen Blaise Frawley of the Royal Canadian Air Force will command the air component The amphibious task force will be led by Royal New Zealand Navy Commodore James Gilmour. Three nations Denmark, Germany, and Italy will participate in RIMPAC for the first time in 2016. The participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities ranging from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. The relevant training program includes amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine, and air defence exercises as well as counter-piracy, mine clearance operations and salvage operations. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen scheduling commitments, Brazil will not participate in RIMPAC '16.   Indian Naval ship Satpura, an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate, will participate in the exercise. India's Participation in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise : The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster cooperative relationships that are critical to ensure the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.  Exercise RIMPAC is held biennially in the Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Navy’s association commenced with participation as an Observer in 2006, 2010 and 2012.  In 2014, Indian naval participation was enhanced with deployment of Sahyadri in the 24th edition of the exercise.  

The Union agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh has  launched Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems (CMRS). It is a web based App for better crop and Nutrient management released for Bihar farmers in a program organised at ICAR-RCER in Patna. The App will be a part of Digital India program, already launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will be linked with Soil Health scheme for bringing access to new technologies to rural India. Features : Crop Manager for Rice-based Systems (CMRS) is a web-based App which can be used with computer, mobile and tablet and aims to increase farmer's net income and sustain the productivity for rice-based cropping systems in Bihar, India.  CMRS provides irrigated and rainfed farmers with rice-based cropping systems in Bihar with a crop and nutrient management guideline customized to the needs of an individual farmer. CMRS uses a farmer's answers to questions on farming practices to automatically generate a rice, wheat, or rabi maize management guideline. CMRS is designed for use by extension workers, crop advisers, input providers, and providers of services who interview a farmer using a personal computer, smartphone, or tablet.

State-run RITES Ltd has supplied 60 modern passenger coaches to Bangladesh Railway, Railway Ministry. An intercity train with these coaches was flagged off at Dhaka by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in presence of Railway Minister Mazbul Haque and High Commissioner of India Harsh Vardhan Shringla. RITES Ltd, a PSU under the Ministry of Railways, has supplied 60 Broad Gauge passenger coaches (LHB type) to Bangladesh Railway (BR) against a contract agreement of 120 coaches. Two train sets, comprising 12 coaches each  2 AC chair car, 2 first AC sleeper car, 6 non-AC chair car and 2 power car  will currently be deployed to operate 3 pairs of inter-city trains between Dhaka and Rajshahi. These modern stainless steel coaches, manufactured by Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala, are equipped with Fiat bogies capable of running at maximum speed of 160 kmph. RITES had earlier supplied 26 Broad Gauge diesel electric locomotives (3100 HP) manufactured by Diesel Locomotive Works, Varanasi which are successfully running broad gauge trains of Bangladesh Railway. 

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