Current Affairs 16th June 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder chairman of Bharti Enterprises, has been elected as the head of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), based in Paris, France. Mittal is the third Indian business leader to head ICC in its near-hundred year history of being the world's oldest and most respected global business organisation.He takes over from Terry McGraw, Chairman Emeritus of S&P Global, who will now become ICC's honorary chairman.The ICC World Council elected the new leaders after a voting held in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Mittal serves on many international bodies and think-tanks. He is currently the Chair of the World Economic Forums (WEF) Telecommunications Steering Committee. He is also a member of the India-US, India-UK and India-Japan CEO Forums. Sunil Bharti Mittal : Sunil Bharti Mittal is an Indian telecom tycoon, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, which has interests in telecom, retail, financial services, and agri business. The Group flagship Bharti Airtel, with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa and a customer base of over 275 million, is India's largest telecom company and world's third largest mobile operator.Bharti Airtel clocked revenues of over USD 14.5 billion in FY2013. He is listed as the 8th Richest person in India by Forbes with a Net worth of $7 Billion.In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honor. On 1 July 2013 he was elected Vice-Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.

DCB Bank has  launched Bengaluru's first ATM that accepts Aadhaar number and Aadhaar fingerprint (biometric) instead of ATM/Debit Card and PIN to dispense cash on 13 June 2016. The "cardless and PIN less" ATM was launched by former Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, Nandan Nilekani.These ATMs are testimony to our commitment to invest in customer facing technology and promote a new way of banking. In April 2016, the Bank pilot launched India's first aadhaar based ATM in Mumbai. This was followed by launch of Aadhaar based ATM in Odisha and Punjab. The Bank plans to upgrade all its 400 plus ATMs to provide Aadhaar-based functionality in the next six months or so, the release said, adding, presently, only DCB Bank customers will be able to use this facility. DCB Bank's branches in Bengaluru offer a range of banking products for micro business, small business, NRIs and individuals, including loans for individuals and business owners.DCB Bank is new generation private sector bank with 201 branches across 18 states and two union territories. DCB Bank : DCB Bank Ltd. is a private sector scheduled commercial bank in India. It has a network of 176 branches and over 400 ATMs in the country. It offers products to individuals, small and medium businesses, rural banking and mid corporates across its branch network.The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is the promoter of the Bank with around 16.3% stake. Public shareholding under the Resident Individual category is approximately 39.4%. The Bank received the Scheduled Commercial Bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India on 31 May 1995. DCB Bank's products and services range from loans for Small and medium enterprises and Mid Corporate customers, to Loans for individual needs such as home loan, loan against gold, commercial vehicle loan and small business loan. Agri & Inclusive Banking from DCB Bank includes tractor loan, loan against gold, warehouse finance, loan against warehouse receipt, dairy and farm loan, loans for microfinance organisations amongst other products.DCB Bank Savings Accounts provide attractive value such as cash back option and personalised account number. Additionally, DCB PayLess secured credit card is a credit builder card. The Bank is active in the online and digital banking space with DCB on the Go - instant mobile banking, SMS banking, telephone banking, Visa money transfer, foreign exchange remittance service amongst others. Banking for NRIs or Non Resident Indians is also provided at DCB Bank.  

Ministry of Railways has launched two polices related to Parcel Leasing and Parcel Cargo Train Express on 15 June 2016. These policies were launched by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in a programme held in New Delhi. These policies were launched as part of Rail Budget announcement of the fiscal year 2016-17. It seeks to make the policy related to Parcel more liberalized and customer friendly. Liberalised Comprehensive Parcel Leasing Policy (CPLP) : Duration of parcel leasing scheme has been increased from 3 years to 5 years with a view to bring stability and adequate time for business development. To insulate parcel from budgetary hike it provides for (a) assured leased rates with fixed escalation @10% from 4th year; and (b) realistic assessment of bids.Security deposit has been rationalized. Firstly, it fixes the security deposit @10% of contract value for 1st year; and secondly, it incentivizes the running of contract for the full period .For the first time, powers have been delegated to zonal railways to fix the reserve price downwardly. It is a paradigm shift and will bring dynamic pricing in parcel business.Powers has also been delegated to zonal railways to enhance EMDs amount.  This will curb fake and fictitious bidders. Liberalised policy on Parcel Cargo Express Trains (PCET) : Duration of contract is being increased from 3 years to 6 years to give stability and adequate time for development of business.To insulate parcel from budgetary hike it provides for (a) assured leased rates with fixed escalation @10% from 4th year; and (b) realistic assessment of bids.Security deposit has been rationalized. Firstly, it fixes the security deposit @10% of contract value for 1st year; and secondly, it incentivizes the running of contract for the full period. For the first time, powers have been delegated to zonal railways to fix the reserve price downwardly. It is a paradigm shift and will bring dynamic pricing in parcel business.Minimum composition of PCET reduced to 15 vans for first 6 months of the contract period to give  time to the leaseholder in the initial stage to develop business. Empowers Tender Committee and delegates the power of finalizing PCET tenders.It empowers Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) to finalize tenders up to 25 crore rupees.Loading/unloading facility at more intermediate stations - 4 intermediate stations is being allowed for a distance of 2000 km. Besides, these two polices Railway Minister also launched and dedicated following services to the nation:Flagging off of inaugural run of first time-tabled container train service from   Domestic Container Terminal, Okhla (Delhi) and Whitefield (Bengaluru).Integrated (Facebook & Twitter) Social Media Platforms for grievance redressal.Announcement of implementation of policy allowing differently-abled persons who are orthopaedically/paraplegic, mentally retarded, completely blind and deaf & dumb to avail concession while travelling without escort.  

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women has appointed Anne Hathaway as global Goodwill Ambassador on 15 June 2016 . The Academy Award-winning actor will advocate for the adoption and implementation of policies worldwide to bring change at both government and corporate levels. Hathaway has previously served as an advocate for Nike Foundation. She travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage. Anne Hathaway : Anne Hathaway is an American actress and singer.She made her professional screen debut in the Fox television seriesGet Real.She appeared in the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the Disney comedy film The Princess Diaries.  In 2005, she starred alongside Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Ang Lee's drama Brokeback Mountain. In 2006, she was seen as an assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.In 2006, she appeared on People magazine's list of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People.In 2012, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Les Misérables. UN Women : The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women. UN Women became operational in January 2011.Former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director of the entity.  

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has  launched the Vidyanjali Mobile App  that can be used by anyone to register for volunteer work at government schools on 16 June 2016. Highlights of Vidyanjali Scheme : Vidyanjali is being launched in pilot phase across 2200 schools in 21 states by HRD Minister.  Volunteers can easily register for Vidyanjali by logging on to the MyGov website or app @mygovindia. Volunteers, however, cannot supplement the work of teachers by aiding them in the classroom as the Right to Education Act does not permit this sort of teaching. They will only be allowed to help with non-scholastic activities such as reading and theatre.This will also afford an opportunity to NRIs to do something to help the cause of government school education while visiting India. The exercise is not aimed at assessing how these schools benefit from these lateral initiatives, it is hoped reading sessions helmed by volunteers would make a small difference. Government schools, where large numbers of poor and disadvantaged children study, often lag behind in terms of quality. Several studies have pointed to problems in learning levels among children in India.As per NGO Pratham’s Annual Status of Education Report 2015, under half of students in Class 5 were able to fluently read a text meant for Class 2 students.  

The 45-day annual ban on deep sea fishing along Tamil Nadu's East coast will come into force from  17 June 2016.About 10,000 mechanised boats would not go for fishing during the ban, aimed at facilitating breeding of fish and conservation of fish stock in marine ecology . The ban would remain in force from April 15 till May 29.  Tamil Nadu has more than 1,076 km long coastline and is one of the leading states in marine fish production. Mechanised boats fishermen have been instructed not to venture into the sea to avoid disturbance caused by trawlers to marine life during the breeding season. The ban would not be binding on country boats, which would continue fishing as usual .  

Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Anjan Dutta passed away this morning at the AIIMS hospital here following cardiac failure. He was 64. Dutta was born on 13th April 1952 in the Sibsagar district of Assam and was a three times MLA from the Amguri Constituency. He served as the Minister and the Member of the State Legislative Assembly. He had also served as the president of the Assam Pradesh Youth Congress Committee and the chairman of the North East Youth Congress Co-ordination Committee.  He served as the chairman of the Employment Review Committee of Assam Legislative Agency. Dutta also served as a member of the Assam Agricultural University.

Limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first Indian wicketkeeper and fourth in the world to complete 350 dismissals in One-Day International (ODI) cricket on 15 June 2016. The Ranchi stumper achieved the feat during the ongoing third and final ODI against Zimbabwe, when he caught Elton Chigumbura off medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah in the 33rd over. Playing in his 278th match, Dhoni has taken 261 catches and effected 89 stumpings. Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara leads the list with 482 dismissals followed by Australian Adam Gilchrist and South African Mark Boucher with 472 and 424 dismissals respectively.

The “HelpAge SOS App’’ was launched by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi at Raj Nivas. The app provides for an SOS-Save our Seniors button to immediately reach to the counsellor desk of Help Age for rendering emergency help and assistance, apart from health related information. It has 24x7 functionality and aims at helping elders in distress at any given time. The Lt. Governor called upon the NGO to work in tandem with the Social Welfare Department and stated that the NGOs would be integrated to share their expertise and strengthen each other's functioning for rendering enhanced services to the people.The primary and first use of the App is to provide one-click emergency services to senior citizens. The app can be downloaded from www.helpageindia.org or from the Google Play Store. The app has been launched in English and Hindi and other languages will follow. The app is GPS enabled and picks up the location of the caller and will dial into the particular State Office. The app is meant not just for elders but also for society in general, especially the younger generation. Last year, the organisation had surveyed youngsters to understand their perception about elder abuse and whether they would step in to help.Nationally, nearly 60 per cent of youth responded that they were willing to take direct action if they came across a case of elder abuse.HelpAge will of course protect the identity of the caller in case they wish to remain anonymous.

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for enhancement of retirement age of government doctors’ to 65 years to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country. In this regard, Union Cabinet has approved proposal forwarded by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Cabinet has approved the superannuation age of Public Health and Non-Teaching Specialists of Central Health Service from 62 years to 65 years Doctors of General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOs) sub-cadre of Central Health Service (CHS) from 62 years to 65 years.  This decision of the Union Government would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges. It will also help in effective implementation of National Health Programmes for delivery of health care services.

The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space. The MoU was signed between two parties in Ottawa, Canada in April 2015. It will lead to establishment of joint team, drawing members from CSA and ISRO. The joint team will work out the plan of action including defining and examining cooperative projects and the time-frame. It will provide opportunities for diverse research and development in the field of peaceful uses of space technologies. The successful space cooperation between ISRO and CSA is being pursued through Implementing Arrangements in the field of Satellite Tracking Network Operations. These agreements are in the field of the ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) Detector Subsystem of the ASTROSAT astronomy mission in December 2003 and June 2004.  They aimed at future cooperation in and use of outer space technology for peaceful purposes in order to reinforce technological and scientific development and the ties between India and Canada at government, industrial and academic levels.

1st Meeting of National Committee on Ramayana Circuit & Krishna Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme was held on 14 June 2016. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Tourism & Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma. During the meeting proposal to set up 11 Ramayana Circuits and 12 Krishna Circuits were approved. The destinations for these two circuits were earlier approved by the expert committee. Destinations under Ramayana Circuitnder Ramayana Circuit, 11 destinations spread across 6 states are proposed. These are: Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringhverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh) Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar) Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh) Bhadrachalam (Telangana) Hampi (Karnataka) Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu) Expert committee also suggested including Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Mahendragiri (Odisha) in the proposed circuit. Destinations under Krishna Circuit : Under Krishna circuit, 12 destinations spread across 5 states are proposed. These are :  Dwarka (Gujarat) Nathdwara, Jaipur & Sikar (Rajasthan) Kurukshetra (Haryana) Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon & Govardhan (Uttar Pradesh) Puri (Odisha) Besides, projects worth more than 300 crores rupees were approved in-principle in Uttar Pradesh under both the circuits. Swadesh Darshan Scheme : Swadesh Darshan Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 with an aim to develop theme based tourist circuits in the country. It will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synergizing efforts. The scheme focuses on needs and concerns of all stakeholders to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities. Under the Scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified, for development. These are: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.  

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on 14 June 2016 upheld government net-neutrality rules that prohibit broadband carriers from playing favourites or blocking competing online services. This decision by the three-judge panel handed a defeat to cable, wireless and telephone companies who were trying to avert tighter oversight of the consumer broadband business. The challenge of telecommunication-industry to the net-neutrality regulations was defeated by 2-1 vote. Benefits of the Decision : It will prevent unfair competition from internet-service providers.All phone and cable companies will have to treat all of the traffic on their networks equally without blocking or slowing their competitors. This will ban these service provides from providing fast lanes to companies that pays more to them for their services. The three judges of the panel were David Tatel, Sri Srinivasan and Stephen Williams and they were appointed by a Clinton, Obama and Reagan, respectively. Judge Srinivasan is an Obama appointee who was on the president’s short list for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. The Principle of Net Neutrality or Internet Neutrality refers to equal treatment of all data over the Internet by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The term was coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 as an extension of the longstanding concept of a common carrier.As per the principle, the Governments and ISPs should treat every bit transmitted over the Internet equally, without any option for priority delivery or differential charges on the basis of user (Business or Domestic), content (voice or video or data), platform, application, type of attached equipment or mode of communication.  

The Union Cabinet has  approved the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016 on 15 June 2016. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11 May 2016. The bill seeks to improve ease of doing business and thereby, attract investments into the economy by fast tracking recovery of bad loans.Primarily, the bill seeks to amend four existing legislations, namely, - a.Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act, 2002 b.Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDDBFI) Act, 1993 c.Indian Stamp Act, 1899 d.Depositories Act, 1996 Highlights of the Bill :  Amendments to the SARFAESI Act, 2002:  The SARFAESI Act allows secured creditors to take possession over a collateral, against which a loan had been provided, upon a default in repayment.This process is undertaken with the assistance of the District Magistrate, and does not require the intervention of courts or tribunals. The Bill provides that this process will have to be completed within 30 days by the District Magistrate.In addition, the Bill empowers the District Magistrate to assist banks in taking over the management of a company, in case the company is unable to repay loans. This will be done in case the banks convert their outstanding debt into equity shares, and consequently hold a stake of 51 percent or more in the company.It empowers the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to examine the statements and any information of Asset Reconstruction Companies related to their business.The Bill further empowers the RBI to carry out audit and inspection of these companies.  The RBI may penalise a company if the company fails to comply with any directions issued by it.Amendments to the RDDBFI Act, 1993:  The RDDBFI Act established Debt Recovery Tribunals and Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunals. The Bill increases the retirement age of Presiding Officers of Debt Recovery Tribunals from 62 years to 65 years.It increases the retirement age of Chairpersons of Appellate Tribunals from 65 years to 67 years.  It also makes Presiding Officers and Chairpersons eligible for reappointment to their positions. The Act provides that banks and financial institutions will be required to file cases in tribunals having jurisdiction over the defendant’s area of residence or business.The Bill allows banks to file cases in tribunals having jurisdiction over the area of bank branch where the debt is pending.The Bill provides that certain procedures under the Act will be undertaken in electronic form.  These include presentation of claims by parties and summons issued by tribunals under the Act.

To predict the Indian monsoon, scientists have decided to release underwater robots into the Bay of Bengal who will help them in providing more accurate data on Indian monsoon. It is estimated to cost eight million pounds. The decision was announced on 14 June 2016 by a team of scientists from Britain and India. The initiative will be undertaken as Indian monsoon is critical to millions of farmers. As part of the initiative : Seven underwater robots will be released from an Indian ship in the third week of June 2016 by Scientists from the University of East Anglia (UEA).These Robots that have computers onboard and look like miniature yellow submarines will be released to study how ocean processes influence monsoon rainfall.  Robots will spend a month moving through a southern section of the bay, to measure temperature, salinity and currents.Scientists from the University of Reading and climate experts in India will fly plane carrying scientific equipment over the Bay of Bengal to measure heat and moisture in the air. Impact of the Study : Better forecast on monsoon will help in improving the livelihoods of more than 200 million farmers and agricultural labourers who have suffered huge losses financially as well as live wise due to the continuous droughts.The precise predictions will also help hundreds of millions to prepare better for situations like droughts and floods.

Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood on 16 June 2016 was awarded the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize. Atwood will receive her award at a public event at the British Library on 13 October 2016. Atwood was chosen by judges Vicky Featherstone, Zia Haider Rahman, Peter Stothard, Antonia Fraser and President of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely. Margaret Atwood : Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist.She is also the inventor and developer of the LongPen and associated technologies that facilitate the remote robotic writing of documents.She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. She has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once for her novel The Blind Assassin. In 2001, she was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.A few of her best novels are The Handmaid's Tale, The Robber Bride,The Year of the Flood among others.  

India on 16 June 2016 won the three-match One Day International (ODI) series against Zimbabwe 3-0. In the third and final match played at Harare, India defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Zimbabwe was bundled out for 124 runs in 42.2 over. In the second innings of the match, India chased the paltry target of 125 in 21.5 at the loss of no wicket. Series Report : 1st Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 11 June 2016. India defeated Zimbabwe by nine wickets. Lokesh Rahul was adjudged as the Man of the Match.  2nd Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 13 June 2016. India defeated Zimbabwe by eight wickets. Yazvendra Chahl was adjudged as the Man of the Match. 3rd Match : It was played at Hazare sports club, Hazare, Zimbabwe on 15 June 2016. India defeated Zimbabwe by ten wickets. Lokesh Rahul was adjudged as the Man of the Match. Man of the series : Lokesh Rahul With this win, India got it’s a third successive series clean-sweep in Zimbabwe after the triumphs in 2013 and 2015. The ODI series will be followed by 3 Twenty-20 matches that will begin on 18 June 2016.

The Union Cabinet on 15 June 2016 gave its approval for signing of a 15 years contract by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the International Seabed Authority (ISA).The contract seeks to undertake exploration and other developmental activities related to Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted area of 10000 sq km. Features of the contract :  Under the contract, exploration will be done in parts of Central and South - West Indian Ridges (SWIR), located in the Indian Ocean. India's exclusive rights for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides in the allotted area will be formalized. It will enhance India's presence in the Indian Ocean where other players like China, Korea and Germany are active.The exploration program will be implemented by the Ministry of Earth Sciences with the participation from various national institutes and research laboratories and scientific establishments. Significance of Polymetallic Sulphides : Deep seabed Poly-Metallic Sulphides (PMS) contain iron, copper, zinc, silver, gold, platinum in variable constitutions.They are precipitates of hot fluids from upwelling hot magma from deep interior of the oceanic crust discharged through mineralized chimneys.PMS in the Ocean Ridges have attracted worldwide attention for their long term commercial as well as strategic values. International Seabed Authority :  It is an autonomous international organization that governs non-¬living resources of seabed lying in international waters.It was set up under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). It primarily regulates deep seabed mining and gives special emphasis to ensuring that the marine environment is protected from any harmful effects which may arise during mining activities, including exploration. It formulates regulations for prospecting and exploration for Polymetallic Nodules in order to ensure environmentally sustainable development of the precious resources.  Its headquarters is located in Kingston, Jamaica. Nii Allotey Odunton of Ghana is the Secretary-General of the authority. It encourages marine scientific research in the international seabed area through its Endowment Fund. The fund supports the participation of qualified scientists and technical personnel from developing countries.

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for Indian membership of the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) consortium on 15 June 2016. The approval clears the path for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GFZ - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam (German Research Centre for geosciences). The GFZ is a government-funded, Public Law Foundation of the State of Brandenburg, Germany. Benefit from the ICDP membership : The MoU, which will be in force for 5 years, will enable India in engaging internationally renowned experts with profound expertise in different aspects of scientific drilling.The deep drilling and associated investigations will be conducted in Koyna region in Maharashtra. As a part of the membership agreement, India will get a seat on two ICDP panels - Executive Committee (EC) and Assembly of Governors (AOG). ICDP will provide technical / operational support, facilitate capacity building in terms of manpower training in key scientific areas, sample and data management.The ICDP will also support workshops for the Koyna scientific deep drilling project undertaken by Ministry of Earth Sciences. As a member of ICDP, scientists/engineers from India would have right to submit proposals, to participate in all ICDP co-funded workshops and drilling projects.They will get access to all data results from ICDP projects. This will shed new light on the genesis of seismicity and better understanding of earthquake processes. International Continental Scientific Drilling Program :  It was founded in February 1996 in the German Embassy in Tokyo as a result of the German Continental Deep Drilling Program.It is a multinational program to further and fund geosciences in the field of Continental Scientific Drilling.The research findings will provide direct insight into Earth processes by testing geological models. The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences serves as the headquarters for the ICDP. Members of ICDP : Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and UNESCO.  

The Union Cabinet on 15 June 2016 gave its ex-post facto approval to the MoU for the cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sector. Besides, the cabinet also gave its nod to the signing of Air Services Agreement between both the countries. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India and India Taipei Association in Taipei, Taiwan. Features of the MoU : It provides for cooperation in the fields of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Food Processing, Genetic Resources as well as Environmental Sustainability.Both the signatories will encourage the private sector in both countries to enter into cooperation in these areas. The cooperation between the two sides involves exchange of visits, information, technology and training and also expansion of agricultural trade while reducing trade barriers.A Joint Working Committee will be constituted to identify priority areas of mutual interest and follow up on the progress of implementation of the activities identified by both sides. The MoU will be initially signed for a period of five years and shall be automatically renewed for a subsequent periods of five years unless either party expresses its desire/intention to terminate it. Features of the Agreement on Air Services : It will signed by India-Taipei Association in Taipei (India’s representative office in Taiwan) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (Taiwan’s representative office in India).The agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan. It has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties.At present, there is no formal air services agreement between both the countries.The air services are governed by an MoU exchanged between Air India Charters Limited (AIRL) and Taipei Airlines Associations (TAA).  

Pune-based diabetes specialist Shashank S Shah was conferred with the Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award 2016 on 12 June 2016. He was awarded at the ADA’s 76th Scientific Sessions from 10 June to 14 June 2016 in New Orleans. The award was given by American Diabetes Association (ADA) for his pioneering research on diabetes in South Asia. He was selected for his research  titled Gastric Bypass vs. Medical/Lifestyle Care for Type 2 Diabetes in South Asia with BMI 25-40 kg/m2 - The COSMID Randomised. It is one of the pioneering bariatric surgeons in India and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in Asia. The first Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award was awarded to Dr Vijay Viswanathan who was Diabetologist and Director of MV Hospital for Diabetes, Chennai in June 2014 Shashank S Shah :  He was born in Solapur, Maharashtra and is the current director of Laparo-Obeso Centre in Pune. He is the first and only Indian to head three major international societies on diabetes, namely AIAARO (All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity), Obesity Surgery Society of India (OSSI) and IEF (International Excellence Federation, India Chapter).He also holds a world record for conducting 45 hernia surgeries in 10 hours. ADA’s meetings : This is the world’s largest medical conference in which more than 2500 original research presentations by the participants around the world and also gives them an opportunity to interact with leading diabetes experts and other join academic sessions.ADA is leading the fight to combat the diabetes since 1940 through research, managing and curing the lifestyle disease, community services, awareness programmes and prevention.

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