Today Current Affairs 14th June 2016

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Olympic champion Usain Bolt graced local fans with a blistering season’s best run of 9.88 seconds to win the men’s 100 metres at the inaugural Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix now on at the National Stadium. His is the second fastest time this year in the event. Bolt, the world’s fastest man, won ahead of Nickel Ashmeade (9.94s) and his Racers Track Club team-mate Yohan Blake (9.94s) in a positive 1.0 metres per second.  Former World record holder Asafa Powell finished fourth in a time of 9.98s. The highly anticipated event, which was the highlight of the meet, did not disappoint the spectators in the almost-packed stadium. 

 Haryana government has approved a Rs 25 crore project that will benefit 75,000 farmers on 14 June 2016.  The state level steering committee, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary D S Dhesi, here approved the detailed project report of this ambitious project. Climate resilient agriculture practices include all possible methods that are required to make agriculture production system more flexible to climate change, an official release said here.  The project will be implemented in northern part of the state and benefit 75,000 farmers.This project proposes to sustainably intensify crops and cropping systems in Haryana for enhancing and sustaining production at less cost by adopting climate resilient technologies, without deteriorating soil health while maintaining the flow of environmental services.  Farmers are also relying on ground water for fulfilling their water demand, leading to the reduction in ground water levels. These areas have also been selected based on availability of water for agriculture purpose, farms having nutrient imbalance, farmers implementing residue burning.  It was observed in the meeting that in order to adapt agriculture to increasing effects of climate variability and change, there is a need to transform traditional agricultural practices to more climate resilient agricultural practices.  There are two agro climatic zones in the state. The north western part is suitable for rice, wheat, vegetable and temperate fruits and the south western part is suitable for high quality agricultural produce including tropical fruits, exotic vegetables, herbal and medicinal plants.  The farming community of Haryana will be the target beneficiary, amongst which 35 per cent of the overall beneficiary under the project would be women. This objective would be achieved through a number of activities like targeting and identifying different climate smart interventions in targeted climate vulnerable villages in Haryana as per farmer's socio-economic and bio-physical conditions. The capacities of stakeholders would be enhanced for implementing and sustaining the climate change adaptation strategies.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender has announced that Gunit Chadha, the chief executive officer for Asia Pacific will be leaving the company next month. As per an internal note reviewed by Business Standard,Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan has said that Chadha will leave effective July 17 and that the lender will announce a successor in due course. The note doesn’t mention any reasons for Chadha’s departure from the company. Gunit was appointed as Co-CEO for Asia Pacific and sole CEO in 2015. During this period our businesses in Asia Pacific delivered substantial growth coupled with increased profitability Chadha was responsible for business across 16 countries that included India, ASEAN, Greater China, Australia & Japan. The APAC region was considered to be one of a significant contributor to the business with 5 of the top 10 countries globally for Deutsche Bank (by Profits before Tax) coming from Asia Pacific. During 2012-2015, under Chadha’s leadership the profits from the APAC region more than doubled with the revenues in Asia Pacific touching a record of EUR 4.4 bn (Rs 33,290 crores).

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has inaugurated 'Child Labour Tracking System (CLTS)' in order to keep a track of rescued child labour for their proper rehabilitation besides announcing financial help of Rs 25,000 for every rescued child labour to be given from Chief Minister's Relief Fund. According to CM, the money will directly go to their bank account. It (money) will instil a sense of confidence in them and money will be given to all those registered under the tracking system.  The prominent demands of rescued children are  more schools with all facilities, residential schools for such children, training facilities to get job, a year (from Aug 15, 2016 to Aug 14, 2017) be declared and celebrated as child year etc.

World Blood Donors Day (WBDD) 2016 was observed on 14 June 2016. The theme of the 2016 World Blood Donor Day campaign is Blood connects us all. The theme highlights the common bond that all people share in their blood. The slogan for 2016 WBDD is Share life, give blood. The slogan focuses on voluntary donation systems. The voluntary donation systems play a pivotal role in encouraging people to care for one another and promoting community cohesion. The World Blood Donors Day was established in 2004.The day was established to raise awareness of the need for safe bold and blood products. The day also expresses gratitude towards donors for their voluntary gifts of blood.  It is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). The day also collides with birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, who is noted for having distinguished the main blood groups in 1900.The theme for the 2015 WBDD was Thank you for saving my life.  

The Union Ministry of Shipping in June 2016 prepared a draft bill 'The Central Port Authorities Act, 2016'. The bill seeks to replace the Major Port Trust Act, 1963. The draft was prepared with an aim to provide more autonomy and flexibility to the Major Ports and to bring in a professional approach in their governance. Salient Feature of the ‘The Central Port Authorities Act’ 2016 : Composition of board has been simplified. The board will comprise of a) 9 members including 3 to 4 independent members instead of 17-19 under the Port Trust Model b) Provisions have been made for inclusion of 3 functional heads of Major Port as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee Member and a Labour Nominee Member. • The disqualification of the appointment of the Members of the Board, duties of the Members and provision of the meetings of the Board through video conferencing and other visual means have been introduced on the lines of Companies Act, 2013. • Port related and non-port related use of land has been defined. a) A distinction has been made between these two usages in terms of approval of leases. b) The Port Authorities are empowered to lease land for Port related use for up to 40 years and for non-port related use up to 20 years beyond which the approval of the Central Government is required. The need for Government approvals for raising loans, appointment of consultants , execution of contracts and creation of service posts have been dispensed with. The Board of Port Authority has been delegated power to raise loans and issue security for the purpose of capital expenditure and working capital requirement.The provision for maintenance of books of account and financial statements in accordance with the accounting standards notified under the Companies Act, 2013 or as prescribed by Central Government has been provided.Concept of internal audit of the functions and activities of the Central Ports has been introduced on the lines of Companies Act, 2015.The Board of the Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for service and assets. The regulation to tariff by TAMP has been removed. a) An independent Review Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into b) Disputes between ports and PPP concessionaries c) To review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to revive such projects d) To look into complaints regarding services rendered by the ports/private operators operating within the ports would be constituted. e) At present, there is no independent body to look into the above aspects and the Review Board will reduce the extent of litigation between PPP Operators and Ports.  Power of Central Govt. to take over the control of the Port Authority is limited to the event of grave emergency or in case of persistent default by Port Authority in performance of their duties. Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced. The status of Port Authority will be deemed as ‘local authority’ under the provisions of the General Clauses Act, 1887 & other applicable Statutes so that it could prepare appropriate regulations in respect of the area within the port limits to the exclusion of any Central, State of local laws.  

Distinguished Hindi writer, activist, thinker and cultural personality Mudrarakshasa passed away on 13 June 2016 following a prolonged illness in Lucknow. He was 82. Mudrarakshasa : Born in Behta near Lucknow in 1931, He graduated from Lucknow University and was then employed as Assistant Editor of Gyanodaya that was published from Calcutta from 1955 to 1958. He was the editor of Anuvrata, a Calcutta based magazine. He worked as Editor at All India Radio from 1962 to 1976.His works of theatrical criticism includes Rang Bhumikayen and a book on Nemichandra Jain.He has about thirty stage productions to his credit.  

Mercedes racing driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain on 12 June 2016 won the Formula 1 Canada Grand Prix title. To win the title, he overcame Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel in the final race held in Montreal, Canada. For Hamilton, the present win in Montreal was the fifth in his career and the second in a row. His previous titles were secured in 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2015. In the 2016 season, it was the second title for him as he already secured the Monaco Grand Prix on 29 May 2016. Overall, he has more race victories than any other British driver in the history of Formula One and is currently third on the all-time wins list, with 45 wins. Lewis Hamilton : He is a British Formula One racing driver from England.He currently races for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team.He is the 2008, 2014 and 2015 Formula One World Champion. In his first season in Formula One, he set numerous records while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship.He won the World Championship the following season, becoming the then-youngest Formula One world champion in history before Sebastian Vettel broke the record two years later.  Following his second world title in 2014, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year.In 2015, he became the first British driver in history to win consecutive F1 titles.He is the only driver in the history of the sport to have won at least one race in each season he has competed to date.

Ranu Langthasa was unanimously appointed as the chairperson of the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) in Assam on 13 June 2016. With this, she also became the first women chairperson to be appointed to the post since the formation of Autonomous Council in 1950s. North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council (NCHAC) : The NC Hills Autonomous Council can be described as a state in miniature having all the paraphernalia of a Government like Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. On the 29 April 1952, the Dima Hasao District Council came into being as an autonomous body under the provision of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It has full autonomy to legislate and administer the subjects like land, revenue, primary education, customary laws etc. assigned to it under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The Deputy Commissioner runs the Civil Administration including the law and order is the head of the District.Initially the District Council got on the saddle of autonomy with 12 elected members, 4 nominated members and a Secretary; with the provision of Chief Executive Member and its 2 Executive Members.  Before turning up to be North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, the Doima Hasao district was a part of Dimasa Kingdom. The kingdom extended at the time (before the British occupation) up to the whole area of Cachar District, the present Karbi Anglong District, a major portion of Nagaon District and parts of Nagaland including Dimapur right upto Nichu Guard on Dimapur-Kohima Road. The Dimasa Kingdom was annexed to the British Empire under the Doctrine of Lapse on the 15 August 1832 after the assassination of last Dimasa king Maharaja Govinda Chandra Narayan in 1830.  

The country’s industrial production shrank 0.8 %  in April this year, dragged down by a poor performance of the manufacturing and capital goods sectors. Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, IIP, had expanded 3 % in April last year. Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed that the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 % of the index, contracted 3.1% in April this year. Capital goods output shrank a hefty 24.9% during the month. Overall consumer goods output dipped 1.2 % in April, while consumer non-durable production fell 9.7 %. But production of consumer durable jumped 11.8 %, and electricity generation surged 14.6 % during the month.

Amazon followed by Flipkart and Snapdeal were the most preferred e-commerce websites among sellers, with highest top of the mind recall, a recent study has revealed. The findings came as a result of a study by Nielsen for the January-March quarter, which surveyed 1,184 online sellers.  It revealed that 39 per cent of online sellers "explore two or more e-commerce websites as an option to sell products on and grow their business. A high level of familiarity along with in-depth knowledge of an e-commerce website is the most important factor that drives brand equity .While Amazon had the highest top of the mind recall (25 per cent), Flipkart stood second (21 per cent) and Snapdeal (20 per cent) . The first wave of the newly launched study was conducted in 16 markets with a population of over 10 lakh, and a sample size of 1,184 respondents. It aims to understand the inclination and experience of selling products on e-retailing platforms.  The study also gauges the brand equity of e-commerce websites amongst connected online sellers, and of those who intend to sell their products online in the next few months. Other key factors that impact brand equity are certain perception of the e-retailers like they help the sellers stay relevant and ahead of competition, provide new market opportunity, and help minimise costs to reach out to more customers, it said.  In terms of overall awareness, 86 per cent respondents in the study voted Amazon, 82 per cent voted Flipkart and 75 per cent respondents voted Snapdeal, followed by others.  As per the study, intent to sell on the e-commerce website, which was also a key parameter, saw Flipkart (58 per cent), and Amazon (55 per cent) as the leading brands.   

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai, facing charges of corruption, has resigned on 14 June 2016. Rai, who is surrounded by controversies over the app-based premium bus service scheme, which has been mired in allegations of corruption, had said that he was "ready to go to jail" if corruption was proven against him.The Transport Minister has resigned citing health grounds.PWD and Health minister Satyendra Jain will take charge of Transport ministry.  The premium bus service scheme : The AAP government had announced the launch of premium bus service scheme during the second phase of odd-even scheme. The service was scheduled to be launched on June 1 with registration of buses under the scheme through which people can book their seats on the lines of app-based cab aggregators in the national capital. However, the premium bus service scheme was put on hold after Lt Governor Najeeb Jung refused to give his nod to the project. The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of Delhi Government had launched a probe into the premium bus service scheme notified by the Arvind Kejriwal government on the complaint of Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, who alleged that the government is trying to benefit a Gurgaon-based private bus aggregator.

Microsoft announced has acquired LinkedIn in an all-cash deal of $26.2 billion, giving its “social” business a major boost.Microsoft will pay $196 per LinkedIn share, a 50 per cent premium over Friday’s closing price of $131.08. This is the tech giant’s first major acquisition under the leadership of Satya Nadella, the India-born CEO of the company, which has its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, US. Nadella took over from Steve Ballmer in 2014. Founded in 2002, LinkedIn, whose headquarters are at Mountain View, California, is professional social networking platform with a user base of 433 million. In 2015, the company reported revenues close to $3 billion and operating income of $780 million. The acquisition of LinkedIn will help Microsoft expand in India too, where the company has a user base of 35 million — second only to the US. Last year, LinkedIn had piloted a localised product in India targeting college students so that recruiters who came for campus placements could see their profiles in advance.The registration by candidates also helped LinkedIn map their skills, so that it could market e-learning programmes from Lynda, the online learning firm it had acquired early that year.LinkedIn is now taking the product built by its team in India to other places. It has an 800-member team in Bengaluru and is headed by Akshay Kothari, who came to LinkedIn with its acquisition of Pulse, the newsreader application it bought in 2013. For Microsoft, which long has used India as a talent base for its products and solutions, the LinkedIn platform would help cement relationships with business users and provide a huge customer base from which it already earns huge annuity revenue.

India and Ghana have signed three bilateral agreements to strengthen co-operation in varied fields. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between President Pranab Mukherjee and his Ghanaian counterpart John Dramani Mahama in Accra. The signed agreements include one for visa waivers for holders of diplomatic and official passports and one for setting up a Joint Commission. Civil Nuclear Cooperation :  During the delegation level talks between Indian President and his Ghanaian counterpart, the African country has sought India’s civil nuclear cooperation to reduce its dependence on traditional energy sources. President’s 3 African countries tour  : Ghana is the first country visited by the President during the six-day three countries tour as part of India’s agenda of deepening ties with the African countries. The other two African countries include Ivory Coast and Namibia. It should be noted that this is the first visit of any Indian President to Ghana and Ivory Coast whereas to Namibia, such official visit comes after two decades. India-Ghana Relations  : India is the largest foreign investor in Ghana with more than 700 projects. Most of these projects are in the manufacturing sector. In recent times, bilateral trade between India and Ghana has increased to 1.2 billion dollars from 538 million dollars in 2010. Ghana’s main trade with India mainly consists of gold exports which accounts for nearly 80% of total trade. Ghanaian gold is in great demand in India. Ghana also has a very prosperous Indian-origin community, roughly around 10,000. Of this population 7,000 have Indian passports with some families arriving here as early as 1920’s.

The Indian men's 4x400m relay team on 12 June 2016 created a new national record, clocking 3:02.17 at the International Sprint and Relay Teams Cup at Erzurum, Turkey. The team improved the previous record of 3:02.62 set at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. On the other hand, the Indian women's 4x400m relay team clocked 3:30.16 and jumped to world No 12 in the rankings. In the 2016 South Asian Games, the women's relay team finished the race with a timing of 3:35.44 to win the gold. They also recorded their fastest time of 3:29.08 in the 2016 IAAF World Championships which took place in Beijing. 4x400 metres relay : The 4×400 metres relay or long relay is an athletics track event in which teams consist of four runners who each complete 400 metres or one lap. It is traditionally the final event of a track meet. Relay race runners typically carry a relay baton which they must transfer between teammates.Runners have a 20 m box in which to transfer the baton. Unlike the 4 × 100 m relay, runners in the 4 × 400 typically look back and grasp the baton from the incoming runner. Internationally, the U.S. men's team has dominated the event, but have been challenged by Jamaica in the 1950s and Britain in the 1990s.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 13 June 2016 issued the guidelines on  the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets. The guidelines were issued with an aim to further strengthen the lenders’ ability to deal with stressed assets and to put real assets back on track. Highlights of the Scheme : RBI formulated the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) as an optional framework for the resolution of large stressed accounts.  The S4A envisages determination of the sustainable debt level for a stressed borrower. It also envisages bifurcation of the outstanding debt into sustainable debt and equity/quasi-equity instruments which are expected to provide upside to the lenders when the borrower turns around. In order to make sure that that the entire exercise is carried out in a transparent and prudent manner, S4A envisages that the resolution plan will be prepared by credible professional agencies. An Overseeing Committee, set up by the Indian Banks Association, comprising of eminent experts will independently review the processes involved in preparation of the resolution plan for reasonableness and adherence to the provisions of these guidelines. The scheme is applicable to those projects that have started commercial operations and have outstanding loan of over 500 crore rupees. Reasons behind the formulation of S4A : Resolution of large borrowal accounts which are facing severe financial difficulties may require co-ordinated deep financial restructuring which often involves a substantial write-down of debt and/or making large provisions.  Often such high write-downs act as a disincentive to lenders to effect a sustainable change in the liability structure of borrows facing stress. Accordingly, RBI, after due consultation with lenders, has formulated the scheme.

Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad, the senior-most Judge of the Manipur High Court on 13 June 2016 assumed charge of the Chief Justice of the High Court. He succeeded Justice Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra who relinquished the office on 9 June 2016. Earlier on 9 February 2016, Justice Prasad was transferred from Jharkhand High Court to Manipur High Court. He was transferred by President of India in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 222 of the Constitution of India. Clause (1) of Article 222 of the Constitution empowers the President to transfer a judge from one high court to other high court, which can be done after consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Justice Rakesh Ranjan Prasad : Born on 1 July 1955, Prasaddid his schooling and graduation from Bihar. He is a Science graduate and obtained his LL.B. Degree from Patna Law College, Patna.He was enrolled as an Advocate in Bihar State Bar Council, Patna on 17 September 1980 and practiced in the area of Civil, Criminal and Writ matter at Patna High Court, Patna.He joined into Superior Judicial Service as Additional District Judge on 6 May 1991 and was promoted to the post of District Judge on 8 June 2001. He was joined as Registrar General, High Court of Jharkhand on 8 June 2001.

The Union Ministry of Railways launched three passenger service initiatives viz. a Janani Sewa for mothers, optional catering in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains on a pilot basis and a children’s menu on trains. These services were launched by Union Railways minister Suresh Prabhu on 8th June 2016 in New Delhi. Janani Sewa : Under this scheme hot milk, hot water and baby food will be available at railway stations. Initially on pilot basis this scheme will be available at 25 railway stations including New Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Surat and Lucknow. Optional catering services project : It will be available only on the Secunderabad-Pune Shatabdi Express and Mumbai Central-Hazrat Nizammudin Rajdhani Express on a pilot basis for 45 days initially. The catering charges would be deducted from the cost of the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express ticket if a passenger opts out of the catering service.  Children’s menu on trains’ scheme :  It seeks to make travel a happier experience for children. Under it, IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) will provide food items like french fries, noodles, burgers and meal combos through through its e-catering services.

The research by analysing the fossil record of microscopic aquatic creatures called planktonic foraminifera, whose fossil remains resemble miniaturised popcorn  and date back millions of years, provided the first statistical evidence that environmental variations can alter species richness. According to new research led by the University of Southampton, the number of species that can exist on Earth depends on the changes in the Environment.Dr Thomas Ezard, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Southampton was the lead author of the study. The study was published in the June edition of the journal Ecology Letters. Highlights of the study : The idea of infinite species on a finite Earth is clearly fanciful; the relevance of upper limits to diversity is a fractious debate amongst evolutionary biologists, ecologists and palaeontologists.The study showed statistically for the first time that the upper limit is environmentally dependent. It is easy to use and understand that the variations in the environment can alter the spatial gradient of more species in the tropics than at the poles. It is pervasive evidence for its large-scale influence.However, on the analysis of species numbers that have changed over time that have assumed that any limit was always been the same, even through periods of massive climate upheaval. The data rejected the idea of fixed rules for competition among species and instead show that the limit to the number of species that can co-exist on Earth is much more dynamic. Climate and geology are always changing, and the limit changes with them. While previous research typically focused individually on either biological, climate change or geological explanations, this new research examined the co-dependence of these factors on how species interact. The study found that the number of species was almost certainly controlled by competition among themselves and probably kept within a finite upper limit. It was found by observing the fossil history of 210 evolutionary species of macroperforate planktonic foraminifera in the Cenozoic Era from 65 million years ago to the present. Mathematical models were used to reveal the environmental changes that influence both the rate of diversification among species and the number of species that can co-exist at once.The result of the models suggested that the world is full of species, but that the precise fullness varies through time as environmental changes alter the outcome of competition among species.  

Hubble telescope of NASA captured the drizzle of stars scattered across this image forming a galaxy known as UGC 4879. It is an irregular dwarf galaxy which is smaller and messier than its cosmic cousins. It also lacks the majestic swirl of a spiral or the coherence of an elliptical.This galaxy is isolated and at a distance of 2.3 million light years from its closest neighbor, Leo A which is in between the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way at the same distance. This galaxy has not interacted with any surrounding galaxies, making it an ideal laboratory for studying star formation uncomplicated by interactions with other galaxies. The study on UGC 4879 galaxy revealed a significant amount of star formation in the first 4 billion years after the Big Bang which was followed by a strange 9-billion-year lull in star formation that ended 1 billion years ago by a more recent re-ignition.However, the reason for this behavior remains mysterious. The solitary galaxy continues to provide ample study material for astronomers looking to understand the complex mysteries of star birth throughout the universe. Hubble Space Telescope :  It is a space project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. It was launched in 1990 that orbits Earth. Its gaze has helped determine the age of the universe and the existence of dark energy. It is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, while the Hubble science operations are conducted by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore.