Current Affairs 1st June 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United States (US) to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking. With this approval, India will benefit from the expertise of the US Institutions in the field of (i) Wildlife conservation (ii) Combating illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives (iii) Management of wildlife areas. Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics : it will be useful in the efforts of species conservation and better scientific evidence collection in wild life crimes that will lead to better enforcement. Natural World Heritage Conservation : Facilitate the existing institutional capacity of UNESCO Category-two centre at Wildlife Institute of India (WII). Nature Interpretation and Conservation Awareness : Use of information technology (IT) to strengthen interface of forest managers with the people for sensitising them especially the children and youth in understanding complex issues of conservation of biodiversity. India and US are endowed with rich biodiversity and natural heritage. Both countries also have established a network of Protected Areas in their respective territories. As both countries similarities in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking there is common scope for them to share professional expertise to address priority in this field and the MoU would provide a convenient platform for collaboration.

The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) of eight Core Industries for April 2016 was released on 31 May 2016. These eight industries comprise nearly 38 percent of the weight of items included in the Index. The total of Indices of Eight Core Industries stands at 176.4 in April 2016 which is 8.5 percent more than that of April 2015. Its cumulative growth during April to March 2015-16 was 2.7 percent. Production & Cumulative Index of Eight Core Industries Coal :  The production with a weight of 4.38 percent was decreased by 0.9 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index increased by 4.6 percent.     Crude Oil : The production with a weight of 5.22 percent was decreased by 2.3 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index decreased by 1.4 percent.   Natural Gas : The production with a weight of 1.71 percent was decreased by 6.8 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index was declined by 4.2 percent. Refinery Products (93 percent of Crude Throughput) : The production with a weight of 5.94 percent was increased by 17.9 percent in April 2016 over April, 2015. Its cumulative index increased by 3.8 percent. Fertilizers : The production with a weight of 1.25 percent was increased by 7.8 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index increased by 11.3 percent. Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy) : The production with a weight of 6.68 percent was increased by 6.1 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index was declined by 1.4 percent.  Cement : The production with a weight of 2.41 percent was increased by 4.4 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index was increased by 4.7 percent. Electricity : The generation of Electricity with a weight of 10.32 percent was increased by 14.7 percent in April 2016 over April 2015. Its cumulative index increased by 5.2 percent.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed an agreement with the Government of India to provide a loan of ₹1,548 crore to improve the quality of urban health care services in Tamil Nadu. The Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan will be provided at 0.3 per cent interest rate for a period of 40 years (including 10 years of grace period). The assistance will be utilised for increasing the capacity of key hospitals, upgrading facilities and equipment and human resources with the focus on non-communicable diseases. It will be implemented in 17 cities in Tamil Nadu with focus on upgrading tertiary hospitals, strengthening referral and secondary care hospitals, improving hospital management and primary health care. The cities include Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Trichy, Salem, Tirunelveli, Erode, Vellore, Tiruppur, Thoothukudi, Nagercoil, Thanjavur, Cuddalore, Dindigul, Pudukottai, Krishnagiri and Periyakulam. Under this project, hybrid operation theatre with advanced medical imaging equipment such as digital subtraction angiography system with CT scanner will be provided. Training to improve the skills of health personnel will also be covered under this project. JICA has given ₹19,870 crore through ODA loans since 1981 for comprehensive development in Tamil Nadu. Few of the initiatives facilitated through the ODA loans include Chennai Metro project, water supply enhancement and fluorosis mitigation in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, enhancement of Chennai port operations and biodiversity conservation and greening across the states.

Asia’s largest technology trade show COMPUTEX was started in Taipei on 31 May 2016. It is attracting more than 1600 companies from 30 countries to showcase their latest products. This became the biggest trade show with the highest number of nations participating in last five years. COMPUTEX will end on 4 June 2016 and organisers expect the event to attract more than 130000 visitors. Highlights of the COMPUTEX : Taiwan’s HTC drew the most media attention for its Virtual Reality (VR) headset Vive that debuted in February 2016.HTC showed its first in-house VR game called Front Defense, which allows players to fight enemies using a variety of weapons, from pistols and rifles to rocket launchers. It also featured the world’s first VR fitness experience called Holodia.MSI came up with its first backpack-sized PC for VR gaming. It allows players to carry the computer around without tripping over wires while playing with VR headsets. It is expected to hit the market in the second half of 2016.ASUS unveiled its first robot called Zenbo which was mainly designed as a personal assistant for senior citizens and children at home.

Sri Lanka seam bowler Nuwan Kulasekara announced his retirement from Tests with immediate effect on 1 June 2015. He continues his career in limited over cricket.The 33-year old seamer played 21 Test matches for Sri Lanka and picked up 48 wickets since his debut in April 2005. He played his last Test in June 2014 at Lord's against England. His best bowling performance was against Pakistan picking four wickets for 21 runs. He was predominantly new-ball bowler and was not so effective once the ball lost its shine due to lack of pace. He played 173 ODIs and was ranked as the No. 1 bowler in March 2009.

World Milk Day was observed across the world on 1 June 2016. It is observed to increase awareness on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry. It also seeks to inform people about usefulness of milk and milk products, its nutritional value and economic importance. The observance of the day was initiated in 2001 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO actively encourages milk and dairy consumption as part of a daily diet. India celebrates National Milk Day on 26 November in memory of Dr Verghese Kurien, Father of India's White Revolution. The first National Milk Day was observed on 14 November 2014. Why 1 June : This date was chosen because a number of countries were already celebrating a national milk day on or around this time. Late May was originally proposed, but some countries, for example China, felt they already had too many celebrations in that month. While most countries hold their celebrations on 1 June, some choose to hold them a week or so before or after this date.

'Dashar Maha Kumbh' is being organised on the confluence of sacred rivers Sindhu and Vitasta in Ganderbal district of Kashmir on June 14, after a period of 75 years, in which Kashmiri Pandits are expected to participate. The kumbh is being organised in Waskoora tehsil of Ganderbal district, Convenor of Maha Kumbh Celebration Committee (MKCC) A K Koul said . He said 'Dashar Maha Kumbh' mela is being held after 75 years. At the confluence of Vitasta (Jhelum), Krishen Ganga and Sindh (Indus) rivers, there is a Chinar tree that stands on a small island in the middle of the confluence spot where there is a Shiva Lingam and there are also religious places like Shadipora Ghats and Narayan Bagh. The Shiva Lingam kept under the shade of this tree's trunk is also worshipped. This tree is considered mystical and sacred by Kashmiri Pandits and it is believed that even if the river flooding, the tree never sinks.Over 20,000 displaced Kashmir Pandits are expected to throng the Maha Kumbh. The Maha Kumb is the configuration of 10 celestial bodies, including the Sun, and has great religious sanctity according to Hindu mythology, said Omkar Nath Shastri, Chairman of the Celebration Committee.

US Secretary of State John Kerry will host the third "Our Ocean" conference here in September to tackle key issues like marine pollution, and climate- related impacts on the ocean.  The two-day conference beginning September 16 is expected to be attended by world leaders, according to an official announcement.  The Secretary of State is understood to have sought the participation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.  The event titled "Our Ocean, One Future" will build on international commitments to protect the ocean made at the previous two conferences, and will partner with Georgetown University to engage the next generation of global ocean leaders. Kerry had launched the inaugural Our Ocean conference in Washington, DC, in 2014. Chile hosted the second meeting last year.  These two events produced partnerships and initiatives valued at over USD 4 billion as well as commitments to protect nearly 6 million square kilometres of the ocean, an area almost twice the size of India. As in years past, Our Ocean 2016 will bring together heads of state, scientists, business leaders, NGOs, and others to tackle key issues including marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean.  

Actor Razzak Khan, who is popularly known for his role of Manikchand in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Baadshah, passed away  on 1 June 2016. Razzak Khan : Razak (or Razzak Khan) was a film actor appearing in Bollywood films.Khan is noted for supporting and comic roles. He is known for his comic role of Manikchand in the 1999 Abbas-Mustan directed film Baadshah, as Ninja Chacha in the 1999 film Hello Brother and as Takkar Pehelwan in Akhiyon Se Goli Maare. Khan has acted in more than 90 films in india.

The Income Declaration Scheme, seeking to provide an opportunity to all persons who have not declared their income correctly in previous years to come forward and declare undisclosed incomes, will open today and will remain in force till 30th of September. According to reports, the four month disclosure window will provide an opportunity to domestic black money holders to come clean by paying tax and penalty of 45 per cent on undisclosed assets. People who have made money through corrupt means will not be allowed to take advantage of this scheme. Under the scheme, persons making disclosure of unaccounted assets will be given time up to 30th of November to pay taxes, penalty and surcharge totalling 45 per cent at the fair market value. The declarations can be filed online or with the jurisdictional Principal Commissioners of Income-tax across the country.Non declaration of undisclosed income will render such income liable to tax in the previous year in which it is detected by the Income tax Department along with other penal consequences.

Switzerland has  inaugurated Gotthard Base Tunnel, world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel on 1 June 2016. The tunnel is also the first flat low-level route through the Alps. It took 17 years and 12.2 billion Swiss francs to construct the tunnel. Gotthard Base Tunnel : The Gotthard Base Tunnel has route length of 57.09 km and a total of 151.84 km of tunnels, shafts and passages. It is a part of the AlpTransit project, also known as the New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA).It is situated 2.3km deep under the Alps.  It is the third tunnel connecting the cantons of Uri and Ticino after the Gotthard Tunnel and the Gotthard Road Tunnel.The main purpose of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is to increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight.The construction of the tunnel began in 1996 after 64 percent of Swiss voters accepted the AlpTransit project in a 1992 referendum.Drilling operations in the eastern tunnel were completed on 15 October 2010 in a ceremony broadcast live on Swiss TV.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has launched a mobile app through which city traders can register themselves with the VAT department of Delhi government, a move that is aimed at encouraging them to boost its tax collection.  This mobile application will ensure VAT registration within 24 hours of filing request. We have finished inspector raj by introducing several initiatives to benefit traders. The 'DVAT M SEWA' mobile app will ensure ease of doing business in the national capital.  Due to this app, VAT inspector's visit at traders' business premises will not be required, instead they will have to upload a picture of their business premises in the app only.

E-commerce major Flipkart on 1 June 2016  introduced "No Cost EMI " option to make online shopping affordable for high-end purchases through an attractive financing option of Equated Monthly Installments (EMI) where customers will not bear additional cost.  Flipkart's "No Cost EMI" entails zero processing fee, zero down payment and zero interest for customers. This is the first step towards making shopping truly affordable for masses online and brands have shown great enthusiasm to collaborate with us. This has the potential to disrupt online shopping just like we did with Cash on Delivery a few years ago . With the introduction of "No Cost EMI" option, Flipkart aims to enable more people to get access to products they aspire for.  The company has partnered with Bajaj Finserv and key brands to create this offering which is available for select products and sellers for now. The offering comes with loan tenures starting 3 months up to 12 months. 

China has successfully launched three (one domestic and two foreign) satellites namely Ziyuan III 02 satellite and two NewSat satellites. They were launched on the back of a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in northern Shanxi Province. It was the 228th flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket. Ziyuan III 02 satellite : It is new civilian high-resolution mapping satellite and second in the remote-sensing mapping system that China plans to build by 2030. It will join its predecessor Ziyuan III 01 to form a network and capture high-definition 3-D images and multispectral data. Ziyuan III 02 is capable to collect 3-D images of objects 2.5 metres or longer and is able to reduce deviation of vertical positioning to 1 metre using an onboard laser range finder.  It will be used for land resource surveys, agricultural development, natural disaster prevention, water resource management and urban planning, among others applications. Two NewSat satellites: They have been developed by URUGUS S A, the Uruguayan subsidiary of Argentine company Satellogic.

The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government has  approved the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Varanasi Metro rail project  on 31 May 2016. The DPR will now be sent to the Union government for approval. The responsibility of coordination for preparation of DPR for Metros in Kanpur, Varanasi, Meerut and Agra was assigned to Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) by state government. Highlights of the Detailed Project Report : According to the DPR, the 29.23 km Metro will have two corridors that include from BHEL to Banaras Hindu University (19.35 km) and Benia Bagh to Sarnath (9.885 km).There will be 26 stations, 20 underground and six elevated in the two corridors. Out of the total length, 23.467 km will be elevated, while 5.768 km will be underground. The estimated cost of the project is 13133 crore rupees. The DPR of Varanasi Metro was finalised in February 2016 by LMRC in coordination with RITES Limited.The state housing and urban planning department had nominated RITES Limited for the preparation of DPR for rail-based mass transit system in Varanasi. The Varanasi Development Authority (VDA) was nominated as nodal agency and LMRC was nominated as Coordinating Agency for preparation of DPR.An MoU in this regard was signed between VDA and RITES on 6 May 2015 for carrying out the assignment. The Draft Final Report was submitted on 6 January 2016.  

The Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme 2016 came into effect on 1 June 2016. The scheme was incorporated as Chapter X of the Finance Act, 2016. The declarations under this Scheme may be made on or before the 31 December 2016 in respect of tax arrears & specified tax. Procedure to file Declaration : Declarant to file declaration to the designated authority not below the rank of Commissioner in Form-1 to the designated authority and verified in the manner specified therein. The designated authority shall within 60 days from the date of receipt of declaration, determine the amount payable by the declarant.The declarant shall pay the sum within 30 days of passing such order and furnish a proof of the sum.Any amount paid in pursuance of declaration shall not be refundable.

The Global Day of Parents was observed globally on 1 June 2016. The Global Day provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship. The Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 and honours parents throughout the world. In its resolution, the General Assembly also noted that the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children. It calls for a harmonious development of their personality. It says that children should be grown in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.

The President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Bhim Sain Bassi, IPS (Retd) as a member of Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on 31 May 2016 . He will hold the constitutional post till February 2011, from the day when he enters the office. About BS Bassi :  He is an officer of Indian Police Service of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre of 1977 batch.During his career spanning over 38 years has held several important positions like Commissioner, Delhi Police, Special Commissioner (Traffic), Delhi Police, Special Commissioner (Vigilance), Delhi Police, Inspector General, Chandigarh police and DGP, Goa Police.He retired as Delhi Police chief on 29 February 2016. He began his police career as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in Pondicherry. Constitutional provision : Appointment and term of office of UPSC members in defined under Article 316 of the Constitution of India.  Under the Constitution, a member of the UPSC can have a maximum tenure of six years or till he attains the age of 65 years. Deepak Gupta is heading UPSC as its chairman. Other members include Alka Sirohi, David R Syiemlieh, Manbir Singh, former Navy Vice Chief DK Dewan, Vinay Mittal, Chhatar Singh, Prof Hem Chandra, Arvind Saxena and Prof Pradeep Kumar Joshi.

Pulgaon Ammunition Depot: Located 110 km from Nagpur, it is the largest ammunition centre in India A massive fire broke out at the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD), Pulgaon, Maharashtra on 31 May 2016. This has led to an extraordinary number of deaths and injuries to army personnel.The Pulgaon depot is located at 110 km from Nagpur and is the largest ammunition hub in India. Central Ammunition Depot (CAD), Pulgaon : Pulgaon depot holds immense strategic significance for the army given its size and quality of ammunitions. The depot is spread over an area of more than 7000 acres.The CAD comes directly under the Indian Army headquarters and is responsible for the all-India supply of ammunition and explosives, after receiving them from Ordnance factories.Stocks of bombs, grenades, shells, assorted rifles and other explosives from various factories come here first and then distributed to various forward areas.  It recently got an award for using solar energy for disposing expired ammunition. It was for the first time in the history of this depot that such fatalities has occurred. On two occasions in the past, major fires were recorded in 1980 and 2004. However, there was no loss of life.

India and Morocco has  launched the India-Morocco Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IMCCI) in Rabat, Morocco on 31 May 2016. The chamber was jointly launched by visiting Vice President Hamid Ansari and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane. The IMCCI was launched to accelerate the pace of economic development between the two nations. Morocco has recently emerged as a favoured destination for investments by Indian firms that Indian companies have cumulatively invested more than 320 million US dollars in Morocco, including in the flagship project, the Indo-Maroc Phosphore SA joint venture. Besides, India and Morocco have concluded five Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) covering fields as diverse as water resources, television broadcasting, institutional cooperation and cultural and educational exchanges, further providing venues for enhanced cooperation.

The Government of India and the World Bank has  signed a 9.2 million US dollar grant agreement under the World Bank-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Programme for the Efficient and Sustainable City Bus Service Project on 31 May 2016. The project aims at improving the efficiency and attractiveness of bus services in select Indian cities. The project will complement the Government of India’s Bus Funding Scheme launched to promote public transport by supporting cities to modernize their bus services. Demonstration cities where the various initiatives for improving city bus services will be undertaken are Mira Bhayandar in Maharashtra,Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Bhopal. Highlights of the project : The project will demonstrate low cost high impact initiatives in efficient bus operations. It will focus on modernizing city bus services through modern depots for improving the maintenance of buses. It will introduce modern Intelligent Transport Systems and Management Information Systems for better planning and management of operations.It will provide technical support to vehicles and drivers for better fuel efficiency, among others.The project is designed to specifically focus on identifying regulatory, institutional and fiscal constraints to operation of sustainable city bus services.  

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) on 31 May 2016 released the provisional estimates of national GDP for 2015-16. It pegged GDP growth at 7.9 percent in Quarter 4 of 2015-16 and 7.6 percent in the whole of 2015-16. India continued to remain a bright spot in world economy with robust macro-economic and fiscal parameters. Highlights of the Accounts : Fiscal Deficit : It stands at 3.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015-16 as estimated both in Budget Expenditure (BE) and Revenue Expenditure (RE) of 2015-16. This is a significant improvement over the Fiscal Deficit of 4.1 percent in 2014-15 and 4.7 percent in 2013-14. Revenue Deficit : It also showed a significant improvement due to increase in Capital Expenditure of the Central Government. Revenue Deficit which stood at 3.2 percent of GDP in 2013-14 has improved to 2.9 percent in 2014-15 and 2.5 percent in 2015-16. Plan Expenditure : It is 471081 crore rupees in 2015-16 which is 8437 crore rupees higher over 2014-15 despite substantial increase in share of tax devolution to the States. Gross tax collection : It showed 17 percent growth as compared to Fiscal 2014-15 and also showed an improvement up to 10.74 percent of GDP (tax-GDP ratio) in 2015-16 as compared to 10.06 percent in 2013-14. Non Tax Receipts : These also showed improvement with 250744 crore in 2015-16 when compared to 197766 crore in 2014-15 and 198865 crore in 2013-14.

National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) in the last week of May 2016 announced that it will soon launch a project aimed at cleaning River Ganga in Bihar. In December 2015, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation hired NBCC to carry out the feasibility study and conditional assessment of the river for entry-level activities in Bihar. Detailed project reports have been approved the Ministry of Water Resources for three towns. Highlights of the project : NBCC will undertake cleaning of debris.It will construct new ghats and modernise the existing ghats.It will repair and clean the river surface. It will construct crematorium and public facilities such as toilets. It will also set up a village drainage system in order to curb direct discharge into the river. National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited : NBCC Limited is a Navratna organisation under category I.It is a Central Public Sector Undertaking, which trades publicly in the market and is largely owned by Government of India.It engages in the Real Estate Development & Construction business, and also provides project Management Consultancy.

Union Government approved the proposal of extending age of superannuation of all doctors of Central Health Services to 65 years with effect from 31 May 2016. The proposal was made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country. Benefits of this increase : It will help in providing additional doctors in the health pool of the country.This will enable the government to retain experienced doctors for a longer period and to provide better services in its public health facilities.The decision is likely to benefit about 4000 doctors. As of now, the retirement age of doctors in government hospitals 62 yeas in some others and is 60 years in others.Earlier on 26 May 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made an announcement to increase the retirement age from 62 to 65 years at a rally in Saharanpur.Following the announcement, the Haryana government also decided to raise the retirement age of state government doctors to 65.

Rodrigo Digong Duterte was officially declared to be the president-elect by the parliament of Philippine on 30 May 2016 . He won a landslide victory in the presidential election in May 2016, taking about six million votes more than his competitor. The joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate also proclaimed Maria Leonor Leni Robredo as vice-president.They both will assume the charge on 30 June 2016 and serve a single six-year term. Rodrigo Digong Duterte :  He was born in 1945 into a political family but with a more modest background than many Philippine politicians.He is a lawyer by profession.He became vice-mayor of Davao in 1986 and mayor in 1988.He has also held a seat in congress.He had a reputation fighting crime, militancy and corruption.

CEAT Cricket Awards 2016 were conferred on the players in a function of 20th edition of CEAT awards at Mumbai on 30 May 2016. Former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award. England batsman Joe Root was named as the CEAT International Cricketer of the Year and also International batsman of the Year 2016 while India’s test captain Virat Kohli was named CEAT T20 Player of the Year. List of the award winners: Lifetime Achievement Award – Dilip Vengsarkar International Cricketer of the Year – Joe Root International Batsman of the Year – Joe Root International Bowler of the Year – Ravichandran Ashwin Test Cricketer of the Year – Kane Williamson ODI Cricketer of the Year – Martin Guptill T20 Player of the Year – Virat Kohli Indian Cricketer of the Year – Rohit Sharma Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Shreyas Iyer Young Player of the Year – Rishabh Pant Special Award –  Ajinkya Rahane About CEAT Awards : The CEAT awards honour the best of the cricketers based on their performances in international cricketing in all formats - Test, ODI and T20 - as rated by the CEAT Cricket ratings (CCR) over a period of 12 months from 1st May to 30th April. In its first year of Inception of Award in 1995-96 the CEAT International Cricketer award was bagged by Brian Lara.

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