The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved four-laning of three national highways in Punjab, Odisha and Maharashtra, at an investment of nearly Rs 6,000 crore, mainly to ease traffic on busy routes.
CCEA approved development of four-laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar section of the national highway in Punjab. The cost is estimated to be Rs 1,444.42 crore. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 80.820 km.
Four-laning of Angul-Sambalpur section of the national highway in Odisha was also approved on Wednesday. The cost is estimated to be Rs 2,491.53 crore. The total length of the road is approximately 151 km.
Another four-laning project of Aurangabad-Telwadi section of the national highway in Maharashtra was also approved by the CCEA at an estimated cost of Rs 2,028.91 crore, totalling a length of 87 km.
The medium range surface-to-air missile missile (MR-SAM) developed jointly by India and Israel was successfully test-fired. During the test, the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.
After getting signal from the radars, the missile successfully intercepted a moving aerial target supported by unmanned air vehicle (UAV) ‘Banshee’.
The MR-SAM has been developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a laboratory of the DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The missile consists of Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR) system for detection, tracking and guidance. The MR-SAM has strike ranges from 50 to 70 km. Once inducted into Indian Armed forces, it will provide the users capability to neutralise any aerial threats.
Earlier in December 2015, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM), also developed with Israel’s assistance. The test was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata.
India's first integrated defence communication network was launched on 30 June 2016, enabling the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process.
The Defence Communication Network (DCN), a strategic, highly secure and scalable system, has a pan-India reach from Ladakh to the North East to island territories.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who inaugurated the network at South Block, emphasised on the need to keep the network completely secure all the time.
While all the three forces have their own command, communication and intelligence networks, this is the first time when there will be a dedicated network for greater synergy.
Technology decides how the wars are fought these days. The network has a pan-India reach and is a testimony to the fact that Indian Army and the Corps of Signals are well placed to meet any challenges and responsibilities which come their way.
Built by HCL under a nearly Rs 600 crore project, DCN offers high quality voice, video and data services covering 111 entities spread across the country.
It is capable of working on terrestrial as well as satellite mode of communication and has also been fixed onboard different military vehicles.
India’s leading food products company Amul has signed up as the official sponsor for the Indian contingent to the Rio Olympics 2016. The company will launch a series of advertising campaigns for milk and other dairy products to promote this association. In addition, the company’s products will also sport special branding to promote this association.
Amul will launch a series of advertising campaigns for milk and various dairy products to promote this association in the coming months. Amul has embarked upon an ‘Eat Milk with Every Meal’ campaign.
Amul is committed to strengthening the Olympic movement in India and encourage the young generation from all over the country to take up Olympic sports.
Milk is nature’s original energy drink and plays a pivotal role in building the physical and mental strength of the athletes. “This association will help in engaging the kids and youth so that they can enjoy a healthy life.
The Union Government has revised the financial limits of departments and ministries for appraisal and approval of Non-Plan Schemes or Projects by competent authorities on 28 June 2016.
With this, appraisal and approval process in the Central Government Ministries and Departments will be expedited.
Highlights : As per the revised delegation, the Committee on Non-Plan Expenditure (CNE) will now appraise proposals involving expenditure of 300 crore rupees and above. The earlier limit for this was 75 crore rupees.
Non-plan Schemes/projects of less than 300 crore rupees can now be appraised by Ministry or the Standing Finance Committee of the Ministry concerned.
The financial power of the Minister-in-charge of the administrative Ministry can now approve Non-Plan schemes costing less than 500 crore rupees. The earlier limit for this was 150 crore rupees. Finance Minister shall be competent financial authority for approving scheme/projects having financial implications of 500 crore rupees and above and upto 1000 crore rupees.
Proposal having financial limits of 1000 crore rupees and above shall require approval of the Union Cabinet/Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Increase in upto 20 percent cost of the firmed up cost estimates can now be appraised by the Financial Adviser and approved by Secretary of the administrative Department, if the absolute cost escalation is upto 75 crore rupees.
And if the absolute cost escalation is above 75 crore rupees, then it will be approved by the Administrative Minister-in-charge.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) H R Khan has announced that it will soon set up a committee to study the use of Blockchain technology on 24 June 2016.
The technology will be used to reduce the use of paper currency.
Blockchain technology : The Blockchain database consists of blocks that hold time-stamped batches of valid transactions. Then, digital records are put together into blocks and then leaped together cryptographically and chronologically into a chain using complex mathematical algorithms. The encryption process is termed as ‘hashing’.
The linked blocks form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing those before it, thus giving the technology its name.Hashing is carried out by different computers. If they all agree on the answer, each block receives a unique digital signature.
Once updated, the ledger cannot be altered or tampered with.The Blockchain is seen as the main technical innovation of bitcoin.
blockchain database can help in reducing the use of paper currency : The distributed nature of a blockchain database makes it harder for hackers to attack it. The linked blocks make hacking tricky as the hackers would have to get access to every copy of the database simultaneously.
As the hash cannot be converted back into the original data, the blockchain database keeps data secure and private.
Therefore, if the original document or transaction were subsequently altered, it will produce a different digital signature. The network is highly vigilant towards a mismatch. Thus, the blockchain method makes fraudulent activities less likely and easier to spot.
Matthew Gdovin, an associate professor in the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Department of Biology, developed a newly patented method to kill cancer cells.
Gdovin’s research was published on 27 June 2016 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The discovery may help people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumours.
Discovered the method : The research involved injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumour and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue.
A beam of light was aimed at the tissue, which caused the cells to become very acidic inside. It forced the cells to commit suicide.
Thereafter, it was estimated that up to 95 percent of the targeted cancer cells were dead within two hours.
Effectiveness of the method : Gdovin tested the method against triple negative breast cancer, which is one of the most aggressive types of cancer and one of the hardest to treat.
The prognosis for triple negative breast cancer is usually very poor.After one treatment in the laboratory, he was able to stop the tumour from growing and double chances of survival in mice.
India Post has opened up the ongoing scheme of customized printing of ‘My Stamp’ for individuals and corporate also in June 2016 . Under the scheme an individual or a corporate entity can get their photo or logo printed inside the postage stamp at a price of 12 lakh rupees.
As per reports, this time there will be 5000 sheets comprising 60000 postage stamps. These stamps can be used for general postal mail.
The plan to go ahead with the scheme of ‘My Stamp’ was reached on specific demands of several like Western Union, SNDT Women's University, Allahabad High Court and others.
Earlier, India Post only allowed printing of photo or design next to postage stamp on a 300 rupees ‘My Stamp’ sheet.
So far the department has issued customised My Stamp for e-commerce platform Amazon India, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
My Stamp has helped India Post to receive two crore rupees in fiscal 2016-17. Total revenue from My Stamp fiscal in 2015-16 was of 2.83 crore rupees.
My Stamp scheme : It is the brand name for personalized sheets of Postage Stamps of India Post. The personalization is achieved by printing a thumb nail photograph of the customer images and logos alongside the selected Commemorative Postage Stamp.It was first introduced in India during the World Philatelic Exhibition, ‘INDIPEX-2011’.
The scheme is available in selected Philatelic Bureaux and counters /Important Post offices/Post Offices situated at tourist places.
Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the 16th President of Philippines. He will have tenure of six years. He was administered oath to the office by the Supreme Court justice at the Malacanang presidential palace.
Rodrigo Duterte : Born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Leyte into a political family with a modest background. By profession he is lawyer but later had entered into the politics. In his political career, for the first time he became vice-mayor of Davao in 1986 and mayor in 1988. He is the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and was mayor of Davao City for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years span. During his stint as a mayor of Davao, he had played important role in reducing crime rates in the Davao City.
It had earned him the nickname The Punisher, among the locals due to his successful zero tolerance policies against criminals. He also had held a seat in Philippines congress representing Davao City. During the Presidential elections, he was nicknamed as Dirty Harry and often was compared to the US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Background.
In the 2016 presidential election of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte had emerged victorious by a landslide victory. He had secured 39% (15.36 million) of the votes and was followed by Mar Roxas 23% (9.27 million) votes and Grace Poe with 22% (8.6 million) votes.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) signed MoU with each other to put check on the issues of misleading as well as uncorroborated advertisements in the food and beverage sector.
Under this MoU, FSSAI asked ASCI to make it compulsory to keep check upon the process of complaints against misleading ads by food companies. Active monitoring will be done by ASCI of various advertisements from across all the media segments.
ASCI will also report to FSSAI if the companies do not abide by the instructions through the complaints if received on GAMA Portal set up by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
A new web portal has been launched for online submission and monitoring of environmental approvals for mining of sand and minor minerals. Launching the web portal at a workshop on mining of sand and minor minerals.
According to the Prakash Javadekar Minister of State (I/C) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the web portal will lead to the empowerment of the project proponent, as it not only enhances transparency of the entire application process, but also enables the proponents to track their applications online.
Some of the features of the application include– submission of all projects in a single window interface; facilitate management in effective monitoring; delays in the clearance process can be ascertained; a unique ID for each proposal for future reference; On-the-fly generation of all required reports; automatic mailer notification to take instance action; accessible from any PC having internet facility and different types of privileges roles for users as per their responsibilities.
Four Indian-Americans have been honoured with prestigious Great Immigrants : The Pride of America Award 2016. They are among 42 distinguished US personalities representing more than 30 countries of origin around the world honoured with this year’s award.
All of these personalities represent a wide range of personal immigration stories, and inspiring professional accomplishments.
Four Indian-Americans are
Sunder Pichai : He is CEO of internet search engine giant Google.
Hari Sreenivasan : He is broadcast journalist associated with the PBS NewsHour.
Vikram Malhotra : He is associated with McKinsey.
Bharati Mukherjee : He is award-winning author. She is professor emerita in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley.
Great Immigrants : The Pride of America Award : The award is given by New York-based Carnegie Corporation on the occasion of Independence Day of United States i.e. 4th July. Carnegie Corporation’s founder Andrew Carnegie was one of pioneer American capitalist who had shaped the modern American industry and philanthropy. He was the son of impoverished immigrants who had settled in US.
Renowned sculptor and painter KG Subramanyan passed away in Vadodara, Gujarat following a brief illness. He was 92. He was multifaceted artist credited with being one of the pioneers of Indian modern art and was also a freedom fighter.
K G Subramanyan : K G Subramanyan Born in 1924 in Kerala. He was a socialist and Gandhian throughout his life. In his career as an artist spanning over six decades he had been a painter, sculptor, muralist and print maker besides an author of children’s books. He was renowned for his terracottas, outdoor murals and toys and also experimented with weaving.
In the 1970s, he began experimenting with reverse painting. It was an 18th century craft tradition where a rtist paints on a sheet of glass and reverses glass to view the final image. He was also an art historian and his works forms a significant document of Indian art history. He was a professor at various times at Faculty of Fine Arts at MS University, Baroda and also in Kala Bhavan (Santiniketan) from where he retired in 1989.
During freedom struggle he was actively involved and underwent imprisonment for a short period during the Quit India movement.
Awards and Honours : Padma Vibhushan (2012), Padma Bhushan (2006) and Padma Shri (1975).
China has successfully launched its second Shijian-16 series satellite for space research and experiments. The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013. The satellite was launched on board of Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Jiuquan, northwest China’s Gansu Province. It was the 231st by a Long March rocket.
The second Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements and technology testing. It will mainly probe the space environment, radiation and its effects and also record space physical environment parameters and conduct other related space experiments.
Long March-4B rocket : Long March-4B rocket is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket used to launch sun-synchronous orbiting meteorological satellites. The carries was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST) and was first introduced in May 1999. It is three stages rocket weighing 248470 kg and s 45.58 meters long and has diameter of 3.35 meters. It is capable to launch a 2800 kg satellite into low Earth orbit.
Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has started five long-term monitoring plots in the Himalayas to document the impact of climate change on animal world on 29 June 2016. The project is funded by the Union Ministry for environment, forest and climate change.
Under the project, ZSI will monitor indicators in species like fish, butterflies, bees and other insects to find how their distribution has been affected by climate change.
Project : The collected data on the distribution of species will be compared with the old records that are available with ZSI. This comparison will allow the team of ZSI to depict the impact of climate change in their survival.
The project will run for three years in West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. More than two crore rupees have been earmarked for the project. In 2015, 262 new animal species were discovered from India out of which 70 have been credited to ZSI scientists.As on 31December 2015, India is home to 94515 species from the animal Kingdom.
Suzuki Motor Corp has announced the appointment of Toshihiro Suzuki as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on 29 June 2016.
The appointment came after Osamu Suzuki announced that he will decline the CEO position to take responsibility for the automaker's use of incorrect testing methods when calculating vehicle mileage.
Toshihiro Suzuki : Toshihiro Suzuki is the son of Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki. Toshihiro served as a Senior Managing Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director of Suzuki Motor Corp.
He joined Suzuki Motor Corp. in January 1994.He is a graduate from Tokyo University of Science, Japan.
Suzuki Motor Corporation : Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation. It specializes in manufacturing automobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard marine engines, among others. It is headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan.The company was founded as Suzuki Loom Works by Michio Suzuki in 1909.
In 1937, Suzuki began a project to diversify into manufacturing small cars. In 1954, the company name was changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.
The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania for bilateral cooperation in water resources management and development. Under this MoU, the areas of enhanced cooperation include techniques in water harvesting, groundwater and surface management and development and aquifer recharge.
Provisions in the MoU Collaboration and sharing of expertise in the field of water resources will benefit both counties in techniques in water conservation and management. Union Government shall encourage the exchange of experts, study tours, training programs and other such activities including demonstrative pilot studies to build capacities. A Joint Working Group between both countries will be formed to monitor the activities under the MoU.
The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management. These are mainly through sharing of technical and policy expertise, conducting of workshops, scientific, technical symposia and training courses, study tours and exchange of experts.
Indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra has been successfully inducted in the Indian Navy. With this India becomes one of the eight countries in the world to have the capability to design and build such anti-submarine torpedo system.
The Varunastra torpedo has been developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a premier laboratory of DRDO. It weighs around 1.25 tonnes and carries about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.
It has almost 95% indigenous content. It is capable of targeting stealthy and quiet submarines, both in deep and littoral waters in intense counter-measure environment. It has advanced autonomous guidance algorithms with low drift navigational aids, insensitive warhead which can operate in various combat scenarios.
It has integrated instrumentation system for recording its all the dynamic parameters in case of emergency shut down or malfunction. It has a GPS-based locating aid which is a unique feature in contemporary torpedoes in the world. The torpedo can be launched from Delhi, Kolkata, Teg, Talwar and Kamorta classes of warships.
Torpedo : It is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead. It is launched above or below the water surface and propelled underwater towards a target. It is designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.
The Union Cabinet has considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill on 29 June 2016 , 2016.
The Bill will now be sent to States/Union Territories (UTs) to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire. The States/UTs were given choice to adopt the Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements.
Provisions of the Bill : It will cover only establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units.The Bill provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening or closing time of establishment.Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation, etc exists.No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure
Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers. Provision of clean and safe drinking water.Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment.
Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, Biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter.
This Bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers’ associations/federations and State Governments through tripartite consultative process.
The Model Bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the States to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.
The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has released the State of the World’s Children 2016 report on 28 June 2016.
The data in the report show that, unless the pace of progress to reach them is accelerated, the futures of millions of disadvantaged and vulnerable children will be jeopardized.
Highlights of the State of the World's Children 2016 report : The report mentions that unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, by 2030:Almost 70 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthdays.
Children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than children in high-income countries.
Nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school.
Some 750 million women will have been married as children.The report also indicates that significant progress has been made in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty.Global under-five mortality rates have been more than halved since 1990.
Boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries.The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was in the 1990s.
The number of children who do not attend school has increased since 2011. A significant proportion of those who do go to school are not learning.About 124 million children today do not go to primary and lower-secondary school. Almost 2 in 5, who do finish primary school, have not learned how to read, write or do simple arithmetic.
The report also points that investing in the most vulnerable children can yield immediate and long-term benefits. For example, cash transfers have been shown to help children stay in school longer and advance to higher levels of education.For each additional year of schooling completed, on average, by young adults in a country, country’s poverty rates fall by 9 per cent.
India in the report : The report states that five countries will account for more than half of the global burden of under-five deaths. These countries are India (17 per cent), Nigeria (15 per cent), Pakistan (8 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 per cent) and Angola (5 per cent).
The average annual rate of reduction in neonatal mortality required for India to reach the target is almost double the current level.In India, being born into the poorest households carries a learning ‘penalty’ relative to children from the richest households. The penalty widens between ages 7 and 11, reaching a 19 per cent gap in students’ ability to subtract.
By age 11 in India, girls and boys who come from the richest homes and have educated parents enjoy a huge academic advantage over other children.
The National Statistics Day is being observed every year on 29 June to create public awareness among people about the importance of statistics in daily life and in the process of planning and development. 2016 is the tenth edition of National Statistics Day.
Significance of the Day : It is celebrated annually on the occasion of Birth anniversary of India’s eminent statistician Late Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. It also commemorates the contributions made by PC Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics and economic planning.
2016 Theme : “Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare”. The Union Ministry of Statistics Programme Implementation had organised main function for the celebration day at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
C Mahalanobis : Born on 29 June 1893 in Kolkata. Died on 28 June 1972 in Kolkata. He was the first Indian statistician to receive world recognition. In 1933, he had founded the first Indian statistical journal Sankhya. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys. He had made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He is also best remembered for the statistical measure Mahalanobis distance. He was also a member of the Planning Commission (PC) from 1955 to 1967. The Second Five-Year Plan had relied on Mahalanobis’s mathematical description of Indian economy. This plan had encouraged the development of heavy industry in India and later became known as the Mahalanobis model or Basic Industry strategy of economic growth.
The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan.
The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.
The draft MoU between UPSC and RCSC, Bhutan will be signed to develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals.
The MoU covers the areas of cooperation that include : Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs
Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc.
Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on audit of processes and procedures followed by various Government agencies in recruitment for posts under the delegated powers.Digitization of records, storage and display of historical records