People of Britain in a historic referendum has voted in favour of leaving European Union (EU) on 24 June 2016. The referendum ‘to leave’ or ‘to be a member’ of EU saw 51.9% votes in favour compared to 48.1% in against.
Referendum turnout was higher than at 2015 general election.
Northern Ireland, London and Scotland voted strongly to stay back with the EU while the Wales and the English shires backed Britain exit (Brexit) from the EU.
Why the people voted for Brexit : According to Brexit campaigners, concerns about the costs of continued EU membership far outweigh any worries about leaving.
Impact of Brexit : Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation from his position. The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results. It fell by 3% within moments of the first result showing a strong result for Leave in Sunderland and fell as much as 6.5% against the euro.
The departure of the bloc's second biggest economy would weaken Europe's unity and stability which is already grappling with the Greek financial crisis and a massive influx of refugees.
It triggered fall in major markets like Japan’s Nikkei fell by 7.5% whereas Singapore’s Strait Times fell by 2.5%. Even the stock markets of China, Taiwan and South Korea registered a fall between 2-4%.Internationally, prices of oil tumbled but the prices of gold rose sharply.
Impact on India : The benchmark 30-share BSE Sensex index fell as much as 4.04 percent or 1090.9 points in early trade to a day’s low of 25,911.33 points.The Indian rupee fell to 68.14 against the dollar, its lowest level since February 2016, later it crawled to 67.79.
Would be Impacts include : Productivity and GDP per person of the UK would be lower as the costs would substantially outweigh any potential benefit of leaving the EU.It may lead to disintegration of United Kingdom as an entity becauseScotland may again ask for a referendum to be a part of EU as it had a referendum on 19 September 2014.
Other nations of the 28 nation bloc, now 27 with exit of Britain, may call for a referendum giving rise to protectionism and ultra-nationalism which is getting hardened across the world.
IMF said in an April report that "a U.K. exit from Europe's single market would also likely disrupt and reduce mutual trade and financial flows, curtailing key benefits from economic cooperation and integration, such as those resulting from economies of scale and efficient specialization.
It would likely result in a massive rebalancing of currencies. Investors would likely dive out of the British pound and into cash that's perceived as safe — the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen, the U.S. dollar. The euro could also see some weakening if investors are worried about the fate of the EU.
Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved the setting up of District Level Advisory and Monitoring Committees to promote people centric planning and execution of new urban development schemes on 22 June 2016.
These committees will comprise of elected representatives of the country, thus giving Members of Parliament (MP) and Members of Legislative Assembly (MLA) a say in the implementation of the urban development schemes.
In a first of its kind, these Committees will oversee, review and monitor implementation of urban development, affordable housing and urban poverty alleviation programmes.
Programmes to be monitored
Swachh Bharat Mission
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban) and
Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission
Terms of Reference of Committees :
To promote effective citizen involvement
To review improvements in service level indicators like water supply,
Review progress of implementation of reforms with focus on e-governance and ease of sanctioning of construction permits,
Advise state and central governments regarding bottlenecks in implementation,
Suggest mid-course correction in implementation
Facilitate coordination among various agencies
Chairperson and Members of Committee : Senior most Member of Parliament will be appointed by the State/UT as the Chairperson of the Committee and two more MPs, one each from Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha will be the Co-chairpersons. The members of the committee are:
All MLAs from respective districts representing the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and Mayors
Chairpersons of ULBs
Chairpersons and Chief Executives of Urban Development Authorities in districts
Commissioners and Chief Executive Officers of ULBs
Senior most representatives of the Department of Public Health Engineering and
Senior most officials of para-statal bodies like water board and sewerage board
District Collector or Municipal Commissioner of metropolitan cities will be the Member Secretary.
The Prime Minister of United Kingdom David Cameron has announced his resignation hours after the Brexit vote that favoured leaving the European Union (EU) on 24 June 2016.
During the campaign, Cameron-led Conserve Party advocated for remaining with the EU. In the referendum that was held on 23 June 2016, 51.89 percent of the voters preferred to leave the EU.
Among the 46.5 million people who registered to vote, only 48.11 percent voted to remain in the grouping. However, the result must still be approved by the UK Parliament to become effective.
Cameron will step down in October 2016 at the Conservative Party Conference to make way for a new Prime Minister to guide the UK in the new direction for the country.
David Cameron : This British politician was first elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2001. At present, he represents the Oxfordshire constituency of Witney.Following the election of a hung parliament in the 2010 general election, he became Prime Minister as the leader of a coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
He was re-elected as the Prime Minister in the 2015 election, when his party won a parliamentary majority for the first time since 1992.
Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) Chairman S K Roy (pictured) has written to the government to relieve him of his duties from June 29 this year.
Roy, who took charge as chairman of the country’s largest insurer on the same date in 2013, had a five-year term. The reasons for his resignation are not known. The approval of his request for being relieved of his duties will be subject to consent of the Cabinet Committee on Appointments.
A source close to the development said he had sent the request, and the government would take a call on this.
Roy joined LIC in 1981 as a direct recruit officer. Under his chairmanship, LIC saw rejig in products and had a revamp, with the traditional product guidelines by the regulator leading to almost all of its products in the market. This led to a big drop in new business premium collections for LIC, post which the insurer managed to see a growth in first-year premia by launching new products.
According to provisional data from the Life Insurance Council, the collection of new premia was Rs 1.38 lakh crore for FY16, compared to Rs 1.13 lakh crore in FY15. Here, LIC posted a 25 per cent growth in first-year premia and collected Rs 97,674 crore in FY16, compared to FY15. Private insurers saw an 18 per cent growth and collected premia of Rs 40,983 crore.
In 2014, LIC launched its e-term plan which was its first online term plan. While several other private life insurers had launched online term products, LIC entered the online term market only two years ago and has seen favourable customer response, with respect to sales.
Last year, in August 2015, with Roy as chairman, LIC launched a new unit-linked insurance plan (Ulip), 19 months after its earlier product was withdrawn from the market. Called the ‘New Endowment Plus (Ulip) Plan’, this product was an insurance-cum-investment plan.
Similarly, in February, LIC launched its e-services aimed at enabling policyholders to have easy access to their policies, policy status and claim information, among others. The e-services will include policy image, status of policy, claim status and renewal information. One can also choose to pay premia online with the help of these services, making the process quicker and easier. E-mail and SMS alerts will also be a part of these services. This portal would also act as an insurance repository for its policyholders.
The Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling will soon receive a snow leopard from Dudley Zoological Gardens in London.
The leopard, named Makalu, is expected to make arrival at the Kolkata airport in an Emeritus Flight on the morning of 24 June 2016. Makalu will then be transported to the zoo.
Makalu, who gets his name from the world’s fifth highest peak on the south-east side of the Everest, was born at the Black Country zoo.
Snow leopards : The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.
It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.It is believed that there are between 4000 and 6500 snow leopards left in the world.
Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3000 to 4500 m.Taxonomically, the snow leopard was classified as Uncia uncia since the early 1930s.
Based on genotyping studies, the cat has been considered a member of the genus Panthera since 2008.The snow leopard is the National Heritage Animal of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park : Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a 67.56-acre zoo in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal.The zoo was opened in 1958.At an average elevation of 7000 feet, it is the largest high altitude zoo in India.
It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda.The park is named after Padmaja Naidu, daughter of Sarojini Naidu.The zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
The Colombian government and the leftist FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels on 23 June 2016 signed a historic ceasefire deal. This ceasefire deal helped in ending more than five decades of conflict, which is regarded as one of the oldest wars of history.
The signing ceremony held at Havana was witnessed by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, FARC chief Timoleón Timochenko Jiménez, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, Cuban president, Raúl Castro and Venezuela’s head of state, Nicolás Maduro.
The announcement is seen as one of the last steps before a full peace deal is signed, which is expected within weeks via a referendum. The formal peace talks for the deal were started three years ago, in October 2012, in the Cuban capital.
Core area of Peace Talks
The peace talks between the government and the rebels were hosted by the Cuban president, Raúl Castro; while Venezuela that had the observer status played an important role in encouraging FARC to the negotiating table.
The core area of discussion focused on five main areas that is land reform, the rebels' future role in political life, a definitive end of hostilities, fighting the illegal drug trade and the situation of the victims.
FARC : The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People's Army (FARC-EP) is a left wing militant organization established in 1964. It is Colombia's largest rebel group and Latin America's oldest left-wing insurgency. It is active in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador.
Like any left-wing militant organisation, its aim is to overthrow the government in power. It was established as a communist-inspired peasant army fighting for land reform and to reduce the gulf dividing rich and poor in the Andean country. It resulted in killing of an estimated 2.2 lakh people and displaced almost seven million.
Timeline of Columbian Conflict :
2000 : Around 24 revel leaders were assassinated in a covert programme by the CIA and NSA. The programme was started after US president George W Bush expanded Bill Clinton’s military aid to Colombia in a 9 billion dollar package to bolster the army in its drug war.
Between February 2002 to July 2008: Presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt was kidnapped by FARC, and this kidnapping ended the peace talks. This action forced president, Alvaro Uribe to began a new campaign against the group. This action that included modernized army and the US aid resulted in decrease of the number of rebels to 8000 from 16000 in 2001.
Later, the FARC leader Marulanda due to heart attack after which Betancourt was freed along with other hostages.
February 2012-2014 : Programme of kidnappings was closed by the FARC and enters into the peace talks again with Juan Manuel Santos’s new administration. But it continued ceasefire never came into effect.
June-September 2015 : Unilateral ceasefire was declared by FARC and the talks continued in Cuba under President Castro regime.
June 2016 : The peace talks hosted by Castro resulted in signing of a bilateral ceasefire between Colombian government and FARC leaders in Havana.
Odisha government has approved a proposal of the Panchayati Raj department to add 500 new gram panchayats before the 2017 three-tier panchayat polls.
The decision has been taken based on the recommendation received from the district level, said secretary to Panchayati Raj department Deo Ranjan Singh.
Singh said the state election commission will be soon informed about the proposal.
The state presently has 6,211 panchayats.
Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council has rejected a private member's bill seeking 20 per cent reservation for women in appointment by direct recruitment in the state on 23 June 2016.
Shehnaz Ganai of opposition National Conference moved the private member's bill in the Upper House to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act 2004.
The statistics available in the state show that women are not adequately represented in state services.
In order to provide equal opportunities and better living conditions to women it is necessary to provide reservation to them in appointment through direct recruitment.
The total percentage of reservation would not be disturbed by the bill as the women would be provided reservation against available vacancies in each category.
However, the government while opposing the bill said many steps have been taken for the empowerment of the women in J-K and there is no need to pass the Bill.
There is no such rule in the constitution to employ people on sex reservation.
The bill was defeated in the House after the ruling PDP and BJP members opposed it.
The NC legislator said it was unfortunate that on one hand the ruling parties talk of women empowerment but on the other they opposed the bill.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly has passed through a headcount the Bill to conduct indirect election of Mayors on 23 June 2016.
The Tamil Nadu Municipal Corporation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to ensure election of Mayors by councillors and not by the people directly.
At present, election to the municipal corporation are conducted on party basis. It has been brought to the notice of the government that councils of certain municipal corporations are not functioning properly since the mayor does not enjoy the support of the councillors. It is considered that if the mayor of a corporation enjoys the support of a majority of councillors, the councillors can function in a better manner.
Therefore, the government has decided to elect a mayor of the corporation indirectly by councillors from among themselves. To give effect to the above decision, the government has decided to amend the law relating to the municipal corporations suitably .
The bill says that accordingly amendments are proposed to various municipal corporation acts governing Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore.
Russian hockey winger Artemi Panarin, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, on 22 June 2016 won the 2015-2016 Calder Memorial Trophy. The announcement was made by the US National Hockey League (NHL).
In the selection process, Panarin received votes on all 150 ballots and was the top choice on 88 for 1258 voting points. He was followed by Shayne Gostisbehere of the Philadelphia Flyers (955) and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers (858).
Panarin, 24, surpassed all rookies in goals 30, assists 47, points 77, power-play goals 8, power-play points 24 and game-winning goals 7 in 80 games in 2015-16.
With this, he also became the fourth rookie in franchise history to reach the 30-goal milestone and the first to do so since 1995-96 (Eric Daze). This score also included his first career hjat-trick in February, which was the first by any Blackhawks rookie since 2002-03, when the fete was achieved by Tyler Arnason.
Calder Memorial Trophy : The Calder Memorial Trophy is an annual award given to the player selected as the most proficient in his first year of competition in the National Hockey League.
The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season and each individual voter ranks their top five candidates on a 10 -7-5-3-1 points system. Three finalists are named and the trophy is awarded at the NHL Awards ceremony after the playoffs.
IIT-Kanpur professor Sanjay Mittal has been awarded the twenty-fifth GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for the year 2015.
He has been bestowed with this award for his significant contributions have been in the area of Mechanics.
Sanjay Mittal : He is Professor at the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He was instrumental in establishing the High Performance Computing (HPC) facility at IIT Kanpur.
He also heads the National Wind Tunnel Facility. His most significant contribution has been in the area of Bluff Body Flows (flows past blunt bodies associated with large unsteady separation and leading to large fluid forces).
He is among a very few researchers in India who have worked on and used Finite Element Analysis (FEA) for fluid flows. He also has worked in the area of sports aerodynamics. His team was able to bring out the aerodynamic difference between a synthetic shuttle cock and duck-feather.
GD Birla Award : It is an annual scientific award bestowed upon Indian scientist below the age of 50, living and working in India for their outstanding scientific research, mostly during past 5 years. The award is given Indian scientist in any branch of science and technology including medical science, basic as well as applied.
It was established 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation in the honour of philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla. The award carries cash prize of 2.5 lakh rupees and a citation. The selection of the award is made by a board comprising eminent scientists.
Indian boxers Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishan have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics scheduled to be held in August 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
Manoj Kumar booked Olympic berth after advancing in the quarterfinal bout against Tajikistan’s Rakhimov Shakvakatdzhon in the AIBA World Olympic qualification event in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Later, Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan also qualified for the Olympics after defeating South Korea’s Lee Dongyun 3-0 in the 75kg category in the quarter finals. With this total three Indian boxers have assured of Olympic berths.
Shiva Thapa was the first Indian boxer to qualify for Rio Olympics. He had made the cut in the 56 kilogram category for Rio during the Asian Qualifiers in March 2016.
The 2016 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit started in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The 2-day meeting of heads of state of SCO is being conducted under the presidency of Uzbekistan.
During the summit, the issues related to strengthen stability and security in Central Asia will be undertaken. It will also take into consideration the expansion of SCO’s contacts with other international organization and states.
It will also seek wide involvement of the SCO observer states and dialogue partners in practical cooperation within the organization will be discussed. In it, India and Pakistan will sign a memorandum of obligation for obtaining SCO member states status.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) : SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and military organisation. Its aim is jointly preserving and safeguarding regional peace, security and stability and also establishing a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.
Headquarters : Beijing, China. Established: 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders 6 countries viz. China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
It is an outcome of The Shanghai Five grouping established in 1996 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. SCO’s first enlargement was in 2001 with addition of Uzbekistan and second enlargement was in July 2015 with addition of 2 new members India and Pakistan.
Presently, it has four observers Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. Since 2005, India was having an Observer status of SCO and had applied for full membership in 2014.
India and Switzerland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish formal cooperation in the fields of skills development and vocational and professional education and training.
The MoU was signed between Switzerland’s State Secretary Mauro Dell’ Ambrogio and Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy in Winterthur.
The MoU is consistent with the strategy of the Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) on international cooperation in vocational and professional education and training.
Under it, both countries will complement the existing commitment to professional skills development and vocational and professional education and training. The MoU seeks to institutionalise cooperation between the two countries in the field of skill development and aims to promote Swiss vocational and professional education and training internationally.
Grand Master Harika Dronavalli added another feather to her cap by winning the best women's player award in the Eurasian Blitz chess tournament in Kazakhstan.
The India number two player picked up a cash prize of $2500 and 60 ELO points to regain her position in the top 10. Harika had won the best woman's prize at the Zalakaros International Chess Festival in Hungary last week to jump to world number 9 in the classical rankings list.
The 25-year-old's win is particularly impressive as the Blitz tournament saw an elite field, including world number one Hou Yifan of China.she was tied with Yifan with 12.5 points at the end of the tournament and ended up victorious in the tie-breaker.
US Golfer Dustin Johnson claimed his maiden Major golf title registering a three-stroke victory in the 116th US Open ,although not without a farcical drama early in the fourth and final round.
The World No.6 carded a final-round 69 one of seven sub-70 scores posted on Sunday -- for a 72-hole total of four-under 276 to end an 0-for-28 drought in Majors. The last edition's runner-up won by three strokes over Shane Lowry (76), Jim Furyk (66) and Scott Piercy (69).
Seven of the nine US Open champions at Oakmont Country Club have been first-time Major winners, the exceptions being Ben Hogan (1953) and Larry Nelson (1983).
Dustin also joined Bob Jones (1923, '26, '29), Jack Nicklaus (1972), Payne Stewart (1999) and Tiger Woods (2008) as US Open champions who were runners-up the previous year.
He could relate to what happened to Lowry, who had returned to Oakmont early Sunday to complete the suspended third round. A 65 gave the three-time PGA European Tour winner a four-stroke cushion over unheralded PGA Tour rookie Andrew Landry and Johnson.
Lowry, who only had one three-putt green through 54 holes, had three on Sunday in a round in which he couldn't sustain any momentum. The 29-year-old went out in three-over 38 and registered his only birdie on the par-five 12th, finishing with a six-over 76.
Landry, a local and sectional qualifier whose best finish in 11 PGA Tour events was last week's tie for 41st in the FedEx St. Jude Classic, was two strokes worse.
India's campaign at the year's second Major had ended on Friday with both Anirban Lahiri and Jeev Milkha Singh missing out on the halfway cut.
Exide Life Insurance has announced that they have signed India's ODI and T20 cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a brand ambassador.
Dhoni represents a unique blend of skill, commitment and stability which are all personality traits that are relevant to the life insurance category. As a life insurance company, we believe that long term relationships build trust, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a perfect embodiment of that belief. Dhoni has appeal that cuts across geography, gender and age groups.
Private life insurer Exide Life Insurance commenced operations in 2001-02 and is head quartered in Bengaluru. The company is 100% owned by Exide Industries Limited. During the financial year 2015-16, the company achieved total Premium Income of over Rs 2,000 crore.
Exide Life Insurance Company : Exide Life Insurance Company Limited formerly ING life insurance, is an insurance company operating in the life insurance sector. They have a broad category of plans such as Savings and Investment plan, Protection plan and retirement and pension plans.Exide industries (owned by Raheja group) have 100% stake in Exide life Insurance,making it a 100% Indian owned Life Insurance company besides LIC.
The company as ING Life Insurance came into existence in the year 2001 and transited as Exide Life Insurance in 2014 under the leadership of its MD and CEO Kshitij Jain.They are currently headquartered in Bangalore, serving over 10 lakh customers pan India and are managing over 8800 crore assets.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed former spinner Anil Kumble (45) as the head coach of Indian Cricket Team on 23 June 2016. He will have tenure of one year. The decision of his selection was taken in the BCCI working committee meeting in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. Earlier the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and VVS Laxman had proposed his name after interviewing 57 candidates. As a head coach of Indian Cricket Team, Kumble’s first assignment will be India’s four-Test tour of West Indies.
Anil Kumble : In his 18 years (from 1990 to 2008) of cricket career, he had played 132 Tests and 271 One Day Internationals (ODIs) matches. Till date, he is India’s highest wicket-taker (1136 wickets). In his career, he had taken 619 test wickets and 337 ODI wickets At international level, he is the 3rd highest wicket-taker in Test cricket after Muttiah Muralidaran (800 wickets) and Shane Warne (708 wickets).
He is only the second bowler after England’s Jim Laker in Test cricket to take 10 wickets in an innings. He had achieved this feat in a test match against Pakistan in 1999 in Delhi. He was appointed Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee in 2012 and still holds the position. He also had served as the chairman of the National Cricket Academy and BCCI’s Technical Committee. In IPL, he had mentored Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians.
Awards and Honours : Padma Shri (2005), Arjuna Award (1995), Wisden Cricketer of the Year (1996). He was inducted into ICC’s Cricket Hall of Fame in 2015.