Current Affairs 10th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Indian Army had conducted major military training exercise ‘2016 Chakravyuh-II’ in Suratgarh, Rajasthan. Purpose of the exercise : Validate battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the Pivot Formation and Rapid Division of Indian Army along with all its affiliated components. Highlights : The Chakravyuh-II exercise involved rapid mobilisation and execution of battle plans in conjunction with the Indian Air Force (IAF). It envisaged mechanised manoeuvres in the entire spectra of new generation weapons, systems and platforms in the rapid urbanisation and development areas along the border. It has provided an opportunity to all commanders in planning and conducting large scale operations in an integrated theatre environment along with IAF. It mainly included fighter ground attack aircrafts, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), attack helicopters, remotely piloted vehicles and communication helicopters. During the exercise surveillance, intelligence, reconnaissance and communication systems were put to test in a network-centric battlefield environment and were supported by required operational logistics. Improved mobility, extensive use of information technology and inventory management techniques were also validated to ensure logistics are deployed in the fast paced operational environment.

United Kingdom’s first baby named Biagio Russo was born in Oxford using Next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) method. This method uses a revolutionary In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technique resulting in better selection of embryos to transfer during the treatment. Highlights : NGS also known as high-throughput sequencing is bio medical process that allows doctors to easily choose the embryos which have the strongest chance of growing into healthy babies. This method helps doctors to move away from traditional manually count and identify problems caused by embryos produced in IVF having the wrong number of chromosomes.Unlike traditional screening methods, NGS can spot embryos that have more subtle DNA faults, and embryos that have only some cells with chromosomal defects. Significance : The NGS technique was first used successfully in the USA in 2013 and has huge potential for improving fertility treatments cheaply. It will help to overcome complications pregnancy due to IVF techniques and has revolutionised the study of genomics and molecular biology. NGS is widely expected to replace other techniques used in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) of embryos to produce healthy babies. It can also be used for wide variety of research applications including variant (mutation) discovery, transcription factor analysis, gene expression, metagenomics, and epigenetics.

Khurram Zaki, a leading Pakistani rights activist was shot dead by gunmen in Karachi. Khurram was better known for his strong stance against hatred and violence targeted at Shia Muslims. The 40 year old, Khurram was shot dead by motorbike-borne Taliban militants when he was at a restaurant with his two friends. Mr. Khurram was a former journalist and currently he was working as a campaigner for human rights and the editor of the website and Facebook page Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) with the stated aim to "spread liberal religious views and condemn extremism in all forms". He was also a member of the campaign against Maulana Abdul Aziz, a prominent leader of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad who is known for his anti-Shia rhetoric and refused to condemn the Taliban attack on the  Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 146 people.  

Scientists from the Queen’s University (Canada) have developed the world’s first holographic flexible smartphone named HoloFlex. The HoloFlex smartphone lets users to interact with 3D (Three dimensional) videos and images without using any headgear or glasses. Holoflex : Holography is a photographic recording of a light field and not an image formed by a lens. It is used to display a fully 3D image of the holographed subject, which is seen without the aid of intermediate optics or special glasses. It should be noted that the hologram itself is not an image and usually is unintelligible when viewed under diffuse ambient light. Features of Holoflex : HoloFlex features a high-definition Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touch-screen display. It renders images into 12-pixel wide circular blocks that allow the full view of the 3D object from a particular viewpoint. These pixel blocks are projected through a 3D printed flexible micro lens array consists of over 16,000 fish-eye lenses. These arrays result in 160×104 resolution image display allowing users to inspect a 3D object from any angle without any headgear or glasses, simply by rotating the phone. The smartphone is also equipped with a bend sensor which allows the user to bend the phone. It helps in moving objects along the z-axis of the display.

Shashank Manohar has resigned as the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC). The move has come in anticipation of Mr. Manohar set to be re-nominated as ICC chief during the governing body’s annual board meeting scheduled for next month. When Mr. Manohar took over as the BCCI president for a second term last October, days after the demise of the then president, Jagmohan Dalmiya, he was designated as the ICC chairman. However, with the ICC set to revert to its old rule of not allowing its chief to hold a post in his/her home board, Mr. Manohar has stepped down. The deadline for filing the nomination for the ICC chief’s post is May 23. The BCCI will have to propose Mr. Manohar as its ICC presidential candidate. The new president, who will have to be nominated by at least one of the six full members from the east zone, will be in charge till the 2017 AGM. An aspiring candidate should have attended at least two AGMs and have held the post of an office-bearer or vice-president in the past. IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla and BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur are the frontrunners to occupy the vacant chair. Ajay Shirke, former treasurer, and current vice-president G Gangaraju are also in contention for the post.

As per the Reserve Bank Of India it will shortly issue rupees 1,000 denomination bank notes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series of 2005 with the insert letter of 'R' in both the number panels. The banknotes will also obverse all the other security features, including ascending size of numerals, bleed lines and enlarged identification mark as well as the signature of Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. These banknotes will also have the year of printing '2016' printed on the reverse. All the banknotes in the denomination of rs. 1000 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past, including rs. 1000 denomination banknotes with ascending size of numerals in the number panels but without bleed lines and enlarged identification mark, will continue to be legal tender.

The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Chhattisgarh will get respite from the regular inspections conducted by the competent authorities in the facility. The state government has relaxed the labour law that will help MSMEs to avoid regular inspection from labour department officials. Under the new norms, routine inspection in the facility will not be conducted by the labour department inspector. Instead, the industry will file a third-party certificate to underline that industrial and labour norms are implemented in the unit. Earlier, inspectors would conduct surprise inspections in units even without the knowledge of their superiors. This resulted in serious irregularities and corruption in the system. The commerce and industry ministry has come out with the suggestion that a third-party certification should be made effective in the units instead of regular inspection by the officials. The state government has, however, failed to convince industrialists on the issue. “The department has neither issued any notification nor has it given directives to the departments concerned,” Chhattisgarh Laghu evam Sahayak Udyog Sangh president Harish Kedia said. There are different departments involved in the inspection and hence the government should issue directives to each department. There is neither proper notification issued by the state government on the issue nor does it have a clear policy for its implementation.  

Telugu films actor Mahesh Babu adopted a village in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district and launched several development works worth about Rs 2.14 crore on 8 May 2016. Mahesh adopted Burripalem, his ancestral village near Tenali, under the 'Smart Village - Smart Ward' programme launched by the Andhra Pradesh government. He also adopted a village in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana. Mahesh will spend over Rs 2.14 crore for the construction of an Anganwadi building, a community hall, additional classrooms in the local school, laying of water pipelines, development of roads and drains in the village, according to the MP. Burripalem would be developed into a model village, as envisioned in the SAGY, and a smart village under the Smart Andhra Pradesh programme of the state government

Bundi in Rajasthan will be the first in the country to have minute digital mapping with comprehensive database of its demographical and geographical information, including small lanes, streets, trees, drains, electric poles and houses, besides monuments with detailed information The digital mapping will check the unplanned and illegal constructions,” the official said, adding it will also bring accountability and transparency in working.Once the digital mapping project is over, one can easily access the database to the exact location and dimension of a house or any other construction, its owner and occupants.Before issuance of any document or license, an official will be able to check and verify the details with the help of the minute digital mapping.After the complete digitisation, everyone in the city would be able to keep an eye over his property or assets, the commissioner claimed.  

Mrugank Paranjape took charge as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), country’s largest commodity exchange. He will have tenure of 3 years. His appointment fills the vacancy of the post which was vacant for past two years. Prior to this, Mrugank Paranjape was working with Deutsche Bank for 14 years as Asia Pacific Head of Trust & Securities Services/Cash Management for Financial Institutions. Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX)  : The MCX is country’s first listed commodity futures exchange that facilitates online trading, and clearing and settlement of commodity futures transactions. It started functioning in November 2003 and operates within the regulatory framework of the Forward Contracts Regulation Act (FCRA), 1952. MCX offers futures trading in bullion, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, energy, and a number of agricultural commodities (mentha oil, cardamom, potatoes, palm oil etc). Globally, MCX ranks no. 1 in silver, no. 2 in natural gas, no. 3 in crude oil and gold in futures trading and is India’s largest commodity exchange.

Parliament has passed the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016 to widen ambit of law dealing with this anti-hijacking crime. The Bill was first passed in the Rajya Sabha and later in the Lok Sabha in May 2016. Now the Bill will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Indian Constitution. Highlights of the Bill : The Bill defines hijacking as seizing control of an aircraft in service, unlawfully and intentionally, by coercion, technological means or by exercising force or any other form of intimidation. It covers several acts within the definition of hijacking. It includes (i) attempt and abetment of hijacking (ii) organizing or directing others to commit hijacking and (iii) making a credible threat to commit hijacking. The Bill provides for the death penalty for hijackers even if ground airport personnel and handling staff are killed during such acts. Under it, hijacking and the related offences shall be extraditable. It means that for such offences, one country many transfer the accused to another country’s legal jurisdiction. The Bill will not allow refusing the request for extradition on the ground that hijacking is a political offence or is connected to a political offence. The current law, The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 which was last amended in 1994, will be repealed after passage of this new Bill. The Bill has been framed in line with the International convention including Beijing Protocol, 2010. It was introduced for more vigilant for the safety and security of passengers in case of hijacking. It will help to overcome drawbacks of the existing crisis management system in dealing with cases of hijacking.   

Senior advocate of Bombay High Court Atma Ram Nadkarni on 9 May 2016 was appointed as Additional Solicitor General (ASG). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved the appointment of Nadkarni as Additional Solicitor General in Supreme Court for a period of three years. Additional Solicitor General : Additional Solicitor General of India abbreviated is a law officer of India and is the third ranking lawyer of the Government of India.The headquarters of Additional Solicitor-General may be at New Delhi or Mumbai or Chennai or Allahabad as the Government of India may specify from time to time.ASG is governed by Law Officers (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1987. Duties of Additional Solicitor General : To give advice to the Government of India upon such legal matters, and to perform such other duties of a legal character, as may from time to time, be referred or assigned to him by the Government of India.To appear, whenever required, in the Supreme Court or in any High Court on behalf of the Government of India in cases (including suits, writ petitions, appeal and other proceedings) in which the Government of India is concerned as a party or is otherwise interested.To represent the Government of India in any reference made by the President to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution.To discharge such other functions as are conferred on a Law Officer by or under the Constitution or any other Law for the time being in force.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was observed across the world on 10 May 2016. The theme for 2016 WMBD 2014 was Stop the Illegal Killing, Taking and Trade of Migratory Birds. The day is observed with an aim to raise awareness and highlight the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. Each year, on the second weekend in May, people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD.World Migratory Bird Day is an annual global celebration initiated in 2006 by United Nation.The event was founded as an effort of the UN's Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). Agreement on African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds : The Agreement is an independent international treaty developed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species.It was founded to coordinate efforts to conserve bird species migrating between European and African nations. Its current scope stretches from the Arctic to South Africa, encompassing the Canadian archipelago and the Middle East as well as Europe and Africa.The agreement focuses on bird species that depend on wetlands for at least part of their lifecycle and cross international borders in their migration patterns. It currently covers 254 species.

Railwire was in news in the first week of May 2016 as Google launches Free Public Wi-Fi Service at 5 Railway Stations as part of it. RailWire : RailWire is an initiative of the RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RailTel) which is a Union Government’s enterpriseThe main motto of the RailTel is to make available information and communications technology (ICT) to Common Man and Internet, Education and Health Services to Masses which include masses in remote areas.It leverages RailTel’s considerable infrastructure and presence pan-India. It aims to provide value-added services in Retail sector, Education sector, Health & Spiritual Lifestyle.It focuses on pure-play broadband and VPN services. It offers content & applications-driven network, flexibility & affordable pricing, all in one.It aims to become a hub of local information, and a platform for rendering communication, infotainment, education, health and community services to the masses. It is all about managing the end-broadband-customers through fibre to the building (FTTB), fibre to the Home (FTTH) or similar technology.  

Knowlarity Communications, Asia’s leading cloud telephony company, announced the acquisition of Delhi-based Smartwards, a customer engagement platform that simplifies loyalty for local businesses and their customers. As part of the move, Shantanu Mathur and Dhanraj Singh Bisht - the co-founders of Smartwards, will lead the India operations for Knowlarity. The deal will see Knowlarity integrating the Smartwards product and technology into its own product ecosystem to provide enterprise software solutions to small & medium businesses. Smartwards started operations in 2013 with a team of 6. The company‘s proprietary technology enables SMBs to identify, reward, engage customers, in-store and out-of-store. With presence in over 150 locations across 8 cities, Smartwards provided engagement solutions to local businesses, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas, salons and retail outlets. Knowlarity : Knowlarity was founded by Ambarish Gupta in 2009 to solve the pain points of managing calls and SMSes for companies, without getting into the hassles of a full-fledged call center or having to be bound to one phone. In the past 7 years, Knowlarity has grown into a 450 member powerhouse with more than 15,000 customers across 65 countries. Knowlarity is backed by Sequoia Capital and Mayfield.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was given a new title chairman of the Workers' Party at a rare top-level meeting of the ruling party. The country's de facto head of state Kim Yong-Nam announced the post as foreign journalists briefly watched proceedings at the party congress  the first for 36 years. Kim  the third generation of the dynasty that has ruled the country since its founding in 1948 -- was previously first secretary of the party. The appointment will further bolster his authority at a congress seen as a coronation of sorts for the young leader, who came to power in December 2011 after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il. Kim Jong-Il has been designated eternal party general secretary. The current leader's grandfather and the country's founding leader, Kim Il-Sung, remains eternal president of the nation despite having died in 1994.

The new tally is part of a report carried out by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is its first global assessment of the world's flora.The study also found that 2,034 new plant species were discovered in 2015. However, the report warns that 21% of plants are at risk of extinction, with threats including climate change, habitat loss, disease and invasive species. The researchers came up with their new plant total by searching through existing databases.However, they found a lot of overlap within these records, with some plants being given different names by different botanists at different times. In total, they now estimate that, excluding algae, mosses, liverworts and hornworts, there are 390,900 plants, of which approximately 369,400 are flowering. Last year's discoveries include a tree called Gilbertiodendron maximum, which grows up to 45m-high, found in the forests of Gabon in West Africa.Ninety new species of Begonia were also uncovered, as were five new species of onion and a sprawling, insect-eating plant called Drosera magnifica in Brazil, which was first spotted on Facebook.Botanists from China, Australia and Brazil were the most likely to find and name new plants. With the damage they cause to the environment and the difficulty and expense of removing them, the report says the global cost of invasive species is estimated at nearly 5% of the world's economy.The conservationists have now logged 4,979 invasive species around the world. The report also found that more than 10% of the parts of the Earth that are covered with vegetation are highly sensitive to climate change. However the longer-term effects were not yet clear. Kew's global assessment will now be carried out annually, allowing scientists to monitor how plants are changing over time.

The British Academy Television Awards have presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). They have been awarded annually since 1955. This year's British Academy Television Awards, hosted by Graham Norton.  Winner Name List :  Drama series - WINNER – Wolf Hall (BBC2) Entertainment programme  - WINNER – Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1) International - WINNER – Transparent (Amazon Prime) Single drama - WINNER – Don’t Take My Baby (BBC3) Comedy and comedy entertainment programme - WINNER – Have I Got News for You (BBC1) Features - WINNER – The Great British Bake Off (BBC1) Entertainment performance - WINNER – Leigh Francis – Celebrity Juice (ITV2) Leading actress - WINNER – Suranne Jones – Doctor Foster (BBC1) Leading actor - WINNER – Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall (BBC2) Single documentary - WINNER – My Son the Jihadi (Channel 4) Current affairs - WINNER – Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola (BBC2) Mini-series - WINNER – This is England ‘90 (Channel 4) Factual series - WINNER – The Murder Detectives (Channel 4) News coverage - WINNER – Channel 4 News: Paris Massacre (Channel 4) Live Event - WINNER – Big Blue Live (BBC1) Sport - WINNER – The Ashes (Sky Sports) The Special Award in Honour of Alan Clarke - Presented to Lenny Henry, Britain’s best-loved comedians and writers, in recognition of his outstanding creative contribution to television during a career for 40 years.   

Google has announced the launch of its free high-speed public Wi-Fi service at Ujjain, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati and Allahabad railway stations.  This is in continuation with its project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi service at 100 Railway stations across India by end of the year, Google said in a release.  Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu will formally inaugurate the service at these stations soon  It has been deploying the service over the extensive fibre network of Indian Railway's arm Railtel which provides Internet services as RailWire.With these launches, the service is now live and available to users at 15 stations across the country  Backed by the "phenomenal" response to the service in Mumbai Central, Google will also extend the project to cover key suburban Mumbai stations working with RailTel. Google will deploy the service in Dadar, Bandra Terminus, Churchgate, Thane, Kalyan, Panvel, Vashi, Kurla, Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus, Borivali and a few others  Stating that Google is committed to working with Indian Railways and Railtel to deliver high-speed Wi-Fi network that will be available to 10 million Indians by the end of the year, covering 100 of the busiest train stations in India, it said the project will be eventually rolled out to cover 400 train stations across India. Currently available Wi-Fi service : The Railtel-Google free high-speed public Wi-Fi service is currently available at Mumbai Central, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda, Ernakulum Junction, Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati, Ujjain and Allahabad.  RailTel : RailTel Corporation of India Ltd. is a Miniratna enterprise of Government of India. It is one of the largest neutral telecom services providers in the country owning a Pan-India optic fiber network. It covers all important towns and cities of the country and several rural areas covering 70% of India’s population.It is in the forefront in providing nationwide Broadband Telecom and Multimedia Network in all parts of the country.  

The Election Commission will be sending out 'Meghdoot' postcards to three lakh voters requesting them to cast their votes in the May 16 Assembly polls in the Union Territory. Joint Chief Electoral Officer of Puducherry R T Rudra Goud has launched the posting of Meghdoot postcards covering three lakh voters in Puducherry district with the request. He handed the cards to 30 postmen here at the Head Post office which carry the message by the EC to the voters.  Speaking to reporters, Goud said the drive was to ensure that voters in constituencies which registered low polling percentage in the last election turn up in overwhelming numbers. The cards carry a message that visually challenged voters will also have the Braille voting system and besides them assistance would also be provided to orthopedically and physically challenged persons who cast their ballot. The electorate can exercise their franchise on production of the slips at the polling station on election day and those who had not received them could approach the concerned Booth Level officersto get the slips. With a view to enabling government staff deployed for election duty to exercise their franchise,election authorities have set up voting facilitation centres with postal ballot boxes at the eight training centres.A total of 8,248 officers have been drafted for poll duty and they can exercise their franchise through postal ballots. They can alternatively also send the ballots through post. These postal votes would be opened on counting day (May 19) and the Election commission has sent the postal ballots for the service voters. Election Commission of India  : The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes to Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures, and the offices of the President and Vice President in India.The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. The Supreme Court of India has held that where the enacted laws are silent or make insufficient provision to deal with a given situation in the conduct of elections, the Election Commission has the residuary powers under the Constitution to act in an appropriate manner.  

An Airport Show has opened here with participation of more than 300 companies from 55 countries including India, that will showcase a diverse portfolio of technologies and solutions in the aviation sector.  The 16th edition of the Airport Show : The 16th edition of the Airport Show, is the premier airport event for the Middle East, North Africa and Indian subcontinent region. It will see participation of more than 300 companies from 55 countries showcasing a diverse portfolio of technologies and solutions amid rapidly growing aviation industry and massive regional aviation infrastructure investments.  The Airport Show continues to grow year after year as leading industry players from across the world seek to tap into the tremendous opportunities offered by the Middle East's thriving aviation sector .The show has recorded a 30 per cent growth in participants for the Business Connect programme with an all-time high participation of 154 buyers.  This year's show will see buyers from - Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the host country, UAE.  Germany will have the largest participation with more than 40 exhibitors showcasing in the exclusive Germany Pavilion, in addition to five pavilions dedicated to aviation players from France, Switzerland, UK, China and North America. The Germany Pavilion will be the biggest in terms of exhibitors - a total of 40 companies including 7 new ones.   

Famous American actor William Schallert passed away on 8 May 2016 in California, U.S. He was 93.The actor was best known for his work as Martin Lane on the hit series The Patty Duke Show, which aired on ABC from 1963 until 1966. William Schallert : Born on 6 July 1922, William Joseph Schallert began acting while a student at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.In 1946, he helped found the Circle Theatre with Sydney Chaplin and several fellow students. In 1948, he was directed by Sydney's father, Charlie Chaplin, in a staging of Somerset Maugham's Rain.He starred in Philbert, an innovative 1964 TV pilot for ABC, which combined live action camera work and animation.He appeared in many films and television series as Perry Mason, The Smurfs, Jefferson Drum among others. In 2004, TV Guide recognized his portrayal of Martin Lane on The Patty Duke Show as No. 39 on its list of 50 Greatest TV Dads.  

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti on 9 May 2016 launched nine projects for rural sanitation initiatives for conservation of River Ganga in Sahibganj, Jharkhand.The initiatives were launched under Namami Gange Programme of the Ministry. Aim : The main aim of these projects is to improve the health and quality of life of around 45000 households located in 78 villages of the Ganga River basin in Jharkhand through improved sanitation practices.It also seeks to improve the quality of waste water and storm water runoff flowing from the villages into the river Ganga. Highlights of the projects : The projects will cover the entire 83 kilometer stretch of Ganga in Jharkhand.It will focus on three significant interventions and they are Promotion of safe, individual hygiene practices to ensure open defecation free status of all 78 villages along the river Ganga. Promotion of cost-effective, appropriate local, low cost, easy to manage technologies to ensure improved access, sustained use and maintenance of infrastructure created for effective management of solid and liquid waste. Strengthening of local institutions including panchayats, village level sanitation committees and self-help groups to effectively manage, enhance and maintain facilities established for improved sanitation in the villages and an integrated and a holistic livelihood approach. 78 units will be established in project villages for collection, storage and composting of degradable solid waste and for setting up small enterprises for non-biodegradable material.5460 households will be supported for adoption of composting facilities using vermin composting for productive use of animal and agro-waste.1860 households will be supported for adoption of biogas plants to facilitate safe disposal of animal waste.Eight village level crematoriums and 32 bathing Ghats will be constructed along with 40 community toilets. More than 10000 soak pits will be constructed through community participation to safely contain and dispose surplus and waste water emerging from households and community managed hand pumps.Community-led construction of 152000 meters of open channel drains in project villages to ensure speedy and safe disposal of domestic waste and storm water runoffConstruction and refurbishment of 92 community ponds to enable bio-treatment and safe disposal of domestic waste and storm water runoff will also be taken up. Projects will be carried byThe entire project will be carried out under the overall guidance of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation with the support from UNDP, community organizations and NGOs.Project initiatives will contribute to improved, sustainable solid and liquid waste management in the identified villages and will reduce contamination in the Ganga from rural sources including agriculture.UNDP will provide technical and implementation support.

Dr Manvendra K Singh, a scientist from Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur city, was awarded a grant of SGD 3 million (about 14.7 crore rupees) by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF). Dr. Singh in the first week of May 2016 announced that he is among the seven young scientists from across the world to be endowed with the Singapore NRF fellowship.The scientist has been awarded the fellowship to pursue research in the field of congenital and adult cardiovascular diseases. Dr Manvendra K Singh :  He works as an assistant professor in the cardiovascular and metabolic disorders programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at National Heart Research Institute Singapore and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Pennsylvania, USA.He obtained his masters degree in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University. After completing his masters, he joined MD/Ph.D program in Molecular Medicine at Hannover Medical School, Germany.  National Research Foundation, Singapore : The National Research Foundation was set up on 1 January 2006. It is a department within the Prime Minister's Office.The NRF sets the national direction for research and development (R&D) by developing policies, plans and strategies for research, innovation and enterprise.It aims at transforming Singapore into a vibrant R&D hub.  

Indian boxers on 9 May 2016 won four medals at the 7th Asian Youth Championships held in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan. India finished at third in the overall standings with three silver and a bronze medal in the tournament. The Indian boxers who won silver medals are National champion Ankush Dahiya (60kg), Ashish Kulhirya (64kg) and Reyal Puri (81kg). Manjeet Singh (+91kg) won the solitary bronze. Kazakhstan topped the medal tally with 6 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals followed by Uzbekistan at second position with 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. The best boxer of the National Youth Championships, Ankush Dahiya lost to Uzbekistan's Bilolbek Mirzarakhimov with the score of 0-3 while Ashish Kulhirya lost to Kazakhstan's Ayatulla Takizhanov by the same margin. Reyal Puri was beaten 0-3 by Uzbekistan's Sanjar Tursunov.Earlier in the semifinals, Manjeet lost to Nurdaulet Ulanuly of Kazakhstan by 0-3, thus settling for bronze.The tournament featured more than 150 boxers from 23 countries.

US President Barack Obama has signed National Bison Legacy Act into law officially making the American bison the country’s first national mammal on 9 May 2016.With this, Bison, the animal that once roamed North America, joins the ranks of the Bald Eagle as the official symbol of the country. Its designation as national mammal do not hampers bald eagle’s position as the national animal because eagle that is birthed through eggs in not a mammal. American bison : Once million’s of bison’s roamed North America in its territory that stretched from forests of Alaska and the grasslands of Mexico to Nevada’s Great Basin and the eastern Appalachian Mountains.The animal remains the largest mammal in North America, with mature male bulls weighing up to 2000 pounds, while females (called cows) weigh up to 1000 pounds.Despite their size, the animals are surprisingly quick, reaching speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.In late 1800s, the animal was hunted by the European settlers to few hundred and also reduced its habitat. National Park is the only place in the US where bison have continuously lived since prehistoric times.As of July 2015, Yellowstone’s bison population was estimated at 4900, making it the largest bison population on public lands.Bison claves are nicknamed as Red Dogs because the orange-red colour that it carries at the time of birth.Characterized by their long, shaggy brown coats, they have poor eyesight but acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell.Bison mainly eat grasses and sedges.Historically, the American bison played an essential role in shaping the ecology of the Great Plains. They graze heavily on native grasses and disturb the soil with their hooves, allowing many plant and animal species to flourish.

Veteran freedom fighter and former Sircilla MLA Chennamaneni Rajeshwara Rao passed away on 9 May 2016. Rao hailed from Marpaka village of Vemulawada mandal in Karimnagar district and participated in Telangana's armed struggle against the Nizam. He started his political career as a communist and was elected as a CPI legislator from Sircilla assembly constituency in Karimnagar in 1967, 1978, 1985 and 1994 assembly elections. Subsequently, he quit the party and represented TDP from Sircilla seat till 2004 before he took retirement from active politics. Rao, a great freedom fighter, dedicated his life for the welfare of the farmers.  

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a 'Direct Benefit Transfer' scheme for the state's farmers  and pledged digging of at least one lakh bore wells to improve irrigation facilities on May 9,2016. The farmers can now get themselves registered online to purchase seeds and get the subsidy amount in their bank account directly under the scheme. he first beneficiary of the DBT scheme was Ramesh Rout of Laxminarayanpur area. The seeds subsidy amount was deposited in Rout’s bank account. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh also ploughed a field at Kandarpur in Cuttack district to observe Akshaya Tritiya in the presence of Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and state BJP president Basant Panda.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests on 9 May 2016 launched a web-based application on Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS). The system’s web address is www.iwms.nic.in.The government launched the system for better management of waste. The user-friendly application is capable of tracking the movement of hazardous waste. Objectives of the Integrated Waste Management System :  To enhance transparency in the working of the Ministry and other Centre/State level regulatory bodies.To reduce the time taken for processing applications, seeking various types of permissions under the recently notified waste management regulations.   Application : People to apply and get online permissions for import and export of certain categories of waste, which is for reuse or recycling or recovery or co-processing.Authorities in web-based processing, generation and grant of various types of certification/permissions to the entrepreneurs and industries.In implementing concept of paperless/green office.The system has inbuilt arrangements for uploading the supporting documents/annexure, along with the online applications.In providing an insight to the number of authorization/certificates granted under consent to establish, or consent to operate, from time to time across the country. In enabling user agencies to check the fate of their application any time through this web-based portal.In generating database on waste generating/processing industrial units under construction, or operation by consolidating the information regarding Consent to Establish, Consent to Operate and Authorization, import/export permission .In generating data base on different categories of wastes generated viz hazardous, biomedical, municipal, electronic, and more. Benefits of the web-based application : Availability of State-wise and national database on generation of various types of waste and number of waste generating/ processing industrial units in the country at one place.   It will bring more transparency in the functioning of the Ministry and other State Authorities.Conversion of the current legacy paper house to a green office.Single Window Access , which will bridge the gap between industries and other waste generators, recyclers, operators of disposal facilities, SPCBs/ PCCSs, CPCB, municipalities and the concerned ministries for environmentally sound waste management of such wastes.Quick decision on applications by the authorities.Better coordination and availability of information with the User Agencies (entrepreneurs/industries), Central and State authorities that will further help in achieving the objectives of Ease of Doing Businesses and Make in India, significantly.  Encapsulation of all the information from state bodies and provide consolidated information at one place.  

The Union Government has released a commemorative coin of Rs 100 and a circulation coin of Rs 10 as a part of 475th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Maharana Pratap.  The coin was released by Union Tourism Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi. Maharana Pratap, the ruler of Mewar is regarded as one of the greatest warriors in Indian history.  The Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 475th Birth Anniversary of Maharana Pratap during 2015-16 in association with the State Government of Rajasthan. Maharana Pratap  : Born on 9 May 1540 at Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan. He was the eldest son of Maharani Jaiwanta Bai and Udai Singh II, founder of Udaipur. He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs. His reign spanned for24 years from March 1572 to January 1597. He was known as a brave warrior, successful organizer and ingenious strategist. He had fearlessly fought the Mughals and protected his people until his death for the honour of their motherland. He died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident at Chavand, which served as his capital, on 29 January 1597, aged fifty-seven.  

United Nations released a new report named On the Fast-Track to end the AIDS epidemic on 6 May 2016.The report warns that the AIDS epidemic could be prolonged indefinitely if urgent action is not taken within the five years to come. Highlights of the report : It reveals that the extraordinary acceleration of progress made over the past 15 years could be lost.UN through report urges all partners to ensure that the global AIDS epidemic is ended as a public health threat by 2030.The report outlines that the rapid treatment scale-up has been a major contributing factor to the 42 per cent decline in AIDS-related deaths since the peak in 2004. It also notes that this has caused life expectancy in the countries most affected by HIV to rise sharply in recent years. It also underlines the critical role civil society has played in securing many of the gains made and the leadership provided by people living with HIV. The report also calls the shortfalls in the implementation of the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS distressing. The report draws attention to regions where new HIV infections are continuing to rise, such as in eastern Europe and central Asia.The new HIV infections in these regions have increased by 30 per cent between 2000 and 2014. It was mostly among people who inject drugs in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in the Asia–Pacific region.The report also emphasizes the necessity of repealing punitive laws and repressive policies that criminalize same-sex sexual relations, drug usage as they impede access to services.The report gives strong emphasis to the links between the response to HIV and the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Finally, it urges countries to embrace the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach to ending the AIDS epidemic, which will require reaching an ambitious set of goals by 2020. Targets : To reach these goals include reaching the 90–90–90 treatment target for 2020. It calls for 90 per cent of people living with HIV to know their status, 90 per cent of people who know their HIV-positive status to access treatment, and 90 per cent of people on treatment to have suppressed viral loads.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released Draft Guidelines for on tap Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector on 5 May 2016. It also sought views and comments on the draft guidelines from banks, non-banking financial institutions, industrial houses, other institutions and the public at large latest by 30 June 2016. RBI will issue the final guidelines will after receiving feedback, comments and suggestions on draft guidelines. Features : Eligible Promoters: Existing non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) that are controlled by residents and have a successful track record for at least 10 years.The residents, individuals or professionals who have 10 years of banking and finance experience.Residents owned entities or groups in the private sector which have a successful track record for at least 10 years. Fit and Proper criteria :  Promoter or promoting entity or promoter group should have a past record of sound financials, credentials, integrity and have a minimum 10 years of successful track record. Corporate structure : The requirement of Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) is not mandatory for individual promoters or standalone promoting or converting entities that do not have other group entities.Individual promoters or promoting entities or converting entities that have other group entities, shall set up the bank only through an NOFHC.The NOFHC shall be owned by the promoter/promoter group to the extent of not less than 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity capital of the NOFHC. Minimum capital requirement: The initial minimum paid-up voting equity capital for a bank shall be 5 billion rupees. Thereafter, the bank shall have a minimum net worth of 5 billion rupees at all times. Foreign shareholding in the bank :  The foreign shareholding in the bank would be as per the existing foreign direct investment (FDI) policy. The aggregate foreign investment limit is 74 per cent. Corporate governance prudential and exposure norms: The bank shall comply with the provisions of Banking Regulations Act, 1949 and the existing guidelines on prudential norms as applicable to scheduled commercial banks.The bank is precluded from having any exposure to its promoters, major shareholders who have shareholding to the extent of 10 per cent or more of paid-up equity shares in the bank. Business plan for the bank :  A realistic and viable business plan should be submitted that can propose the bank’s ability to achieve financial inclusion. Other conditions :  The bank shall get its shares listed on the stock exchanges within six years of the commencement of business by the bank. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued guidelines for licensing of new banks in the private sector earlier on 22 February 2013.Consequently, the Reserve Bank issued in-principle approval to two applicants and they have since established the banks.On recommendations of the Narasimham Committee, Raghuram G. Rajan Committee and other viewpoints to have an explicit policy on banking structure in India, the RBI came out with a policy discussion paper on Banking Structure in India The Way Forward on 27 August 2013.After a thorough examination of the pros and cons, the discussion paper made out a case for reviewing the current Stop and Go licensing policy and for considering a continuous authorisation policy on the grounds that such a policy would increase the level of competition and bring new ideas into the system.The feedback on the discussion paper broadly endorsed the proposal of continuous authorisation with adequate safeguards.The first Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2014-15 announced on 1 April 2014.

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