Current Affairs 12th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has inaugurated Comrade Umraomal Purohit Memorial Research Centre situated in All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) Office, New Delhi.  AIRF has taken initiative for the establishment of this center which will prove to be a mile stone in the history of Labour movement as all kind of Research work related to Trade Union Movement in India as also in foreign countries will be undertaken. The center will also maintain digital database both from national and international sources which will cover labour related issues as well as issues pertaining to railway safety and railway infrastructure. The center will be open to all railwaymen and other interested persons.  

Private sector lender ICICI Bank has launched the country's first contactless business credit card in association with Jet Airways for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees.  ICICI Bank is the first bank globally to offer a dual advantage reward programme on the expenses and repayments of the credit card.  Highlights : This card is powered by the 'VISA payWave' contactless technology that enables the cardholder to make payments by simply tapping the card at contactless enabled terminals in more than 48 countries including India, the bank said in a statement.The card can also be used by dipping or swiping at non-contactless merchants. ICICI Bank said, "We are delighted to partner with Jet Airways and Visa to introduce the country's first contactless business credit card. This collaboration further underscores our commitment to provide SMBs with solutions that will help them to scale up swiftly. Additionally, the card also gives a complimentary access to Visa's expense management tool allowing entrepreneurs to keep track of all business related spends.  The new Jet Airways ICICI Bank Business Advantage Card is yet another step by Jet Airways towards creating a world class guest experience by offering a product that appeals to the needs of the SME segment. 

Oscar winning music composer A.R. Rahman on Thursday agreed to be the Goodwill Ambassador of the Indian Olympic contingent, joining cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan. Tendulkar, Salman and Olympic gold medallist Bindra had earlier accepted the role offered by the Indian Olympic Association. Now, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has received an official written confirmation from AR Rahman. Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was the first to be appointed Goodwill Ambassador. It generated a lot of controversy as several sportspersons, including Milkha Singh, felt it did nothing to improve the performance of athletes preparing for the Olympics.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between The Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. for popularizing India Handloom textiles as a fashionable product for youth. The three-year MoU was signed at Udyog Bhawan. The joint endeavor will endorse and launch a project, Indianroots Fashion Accelerator (IFA), a project by NDTV to support fresh talent and to support new and innovative ventures in fashion industry. Government will support the project with incubation and production support.  India Handloom Brand will also provide an interface where fashion professionals will be able to accesses facilities such as Weavers Service Centres and handloom clusters. The initiative will connect fashion designers with Handloom sector in an organized manner.

The Kenyan government will close Dadaab refugee camp, which has hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and is often referred to as the world's largest camp. The decision has been condemned by domestic and international rights groups and organisations dealing with refugees. Dadaab camp, with an estimated 328,000 refugees mostly from Somalia, compromises Kenya's security because it harbors some of Somalia's al-Shabab Islamic extremists and is a conduit for smuggling weapons, Joseph Nkaissery. The UN has urged Kenya to reconsider its decision to close Dadaab camp. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that the UN is calling on Kenya's government to avoid any action that is at odds with its international obligations. Those signing the statement include the International Rescue Committee, World Vision, the Danish Refugee Council, Jesuit Refugee Service, Action Africa, Help International, the Lutheran World Federation, OXFAM, the Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Save the Children, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Heshima Kenya. The group urged other countries to expand their resettlement quotas for refugees coming from the Horn of Africa in order to help Kenya and share the burden of hosting refugees.

Australian archaeologists has announced that they have discovered a piece of the world's oldest axe. The axe was discovered in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia on 11 May 2016. The analysis of the fragment was published in the journal Australian Archaeology on 9 May 2016. Highlights : The axe fragment is about the size of a thumbnail and dates back to a Stone Age period of 45000 to 49000 years ago.It is an axe with a handle attached. Its antiquity coincides with or immediately follows the arrival of humans on the Australian landmass. It is the earliest evidence of a ground-edge axe yet reported in the world. In Japan, such axes appear about 35000 years ago. However, in most countries in the world they arrive with agriculture after 10000 years ago.New studies of the fragment revealed that it comes from an axe that had been shaped from basalt then polished by grinding it on another rock until it was very smooth.The axe fragment was initially excavated in the early 1990s by Professor O’Connor at Carpenter’s Gap 1. The Carpenter’s Gap 1 is a large rock shelter in Windjana Gorge National Park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.This type of axe would have been very useful for a variety of tasks including making spears and chopping down or taking the bark off trees.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year on 10 May 2016. With this, he became the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-year history after a record-breaking contribution to the Warriors’ historic season. Stephen Curry, the 11th person to win back-to-back MVP awards, swept all 131 first-place votes including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the Kia MVP fan vote. He secured 1310 points to top in the list.Becoming the 11th person to win back-to-back MVP awards, he joined an illustrious club that includes the likes of James, Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. 28-year-old, Curry was followed by San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (second with 634 points) and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (third with 631 points).The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (stood at fourth place with 486 points) and Kevin Durant (stood at fifth place with 147 points). The league said that it is the first time in the National Basketball Association’s history that a player has been the blanket first pick for the award. No player, not even Michael Jordan in his pomp, has been a unanimous choice for MVP. Why MVP is chosen : The MVP award is chosen by a panel of 130 sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada with one vote going to fans.Under a preferential voting system, players receive 10 points for a first choice vote, seven points for each second place vote, five points for third, and three points for fourth and one point for fifth.  

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced that it has lifted the provisional suspension imposed on Sri Lanka wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera on 11 May 2016. The decision was taken after withdrawal of the disciplinary charges against Perera that were made in December 2015. The pronouncement came after the WADA-accredited laboratory in Qatar withdrew its original Adverse Analytical Finding following further investigations. As a result, Perera can now return to domestic and international cricket with immediate effect. What were the charges on Perera : Perera has tested positive for a banned substance and was recalled from the New Zealand tour in December 2015.His urine sample was provided for a random test by the International Cricket Council during the home series against Pakistan in May 2015. However, the cricketer stated that he took some medicines for a leech bite. After the A sample became positive, he himself with the help of Sri Lanka Cricket Board asked for the testing of B sample, which was tested at Qatar.On 25 December 2015, the results of the B sample came and it revealed that he is positive for the banned substance. About Kusal Perera :  Mathurage Don Kusal Janith Perera plays Test cricket, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) for the Sri Lanka national cricket team.At present, he is the permanent wicket keeper in all formats.He was a key member of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 winning team.He owned the joint second fastest fifty of all time in ODI history.

The Supreme Court has asked the Delhi Government to not register the new diesel cars in the state on 10 May 2016. It further said that registration of taxis shall only be permitted if the vehicles operate on dual-fuel (CNG/petrol) or purely CNG or petrol. The ruling was given by the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur and comprising of Justice AK Sikri and Justice R Banumathi. Key points of Judgment :  It relaxed its April 30 order of imposing ban on diesel taxis in Delhi-NCR from 1 May 2016 It allowed the existing All India Tourist Permit (AITP) diesel taxis to operate in the national capital till the expiry of their permit.The permits which are issued for a period of five years, however, will not be renewed after expiry.It further underlined that diesel taxis will eventually have to go off the roadsThe Delhi government should work out adequate norms on safety, security and fares for taxis.The court further added that existing AITP taxis will also be allowed in Delhi-NCR for point-to-point services so that BPO firms could use their services. This reprieve was given after IT industry body NASSCOM assured the bench that all its future contracts would ensure services of only non-diesel cabs. Effect of the Judgment : It is likely to free up more than 60000 taxis, which had to go off roads since they had not switched to CNG.The court-mandated stipulation regarding fare compliance with government norms may affect ‘surge pricing’ used by taxi aggregators, which the Delhi government had sought to stop during odd-even phase 2.  

Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Praveen Rashtrapal has passed away after suffering a heart attack. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect towards sitting Congress member. He is 76 year old. An AICC Secretary, who was also in charge of Uttar Pradesh affairs, Rashtrapal was associated with the trade union movement of Income Tax employees in particular and the Central Government employees. He was an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax before he took a plunge into politics. He was a elected to the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004). He was a member from the Upper House from April 2006 to April 2012 and was re-elected in April 2012. He was also a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam in the previous Lok Sabha.

President Pranab Mukherjee has presented the National Florence Nightingale Awards to thirty-five nursing personnel from across the country. They were presented with the award at a function held in Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of International Nurses Day (12 May). National Florence Nightingale Award : The Florence Nightingale Award was established by the Union Health Ministry to honour the selfless services rendered by Nurses with devotion, sincerity, dedication and compassion. The award is named after Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing. She was born on May 12, 1820 and the day is celebrated as International Nurses Day all over the world. The Award is given to the outstanding nursing personnel employed in Central, State/UTs. Nurses working in Government, Voluntary Organizations, Mission institutions and private institutions can also apply with due recommendation of concerned State Government. The Award carries 50,000 rupees cash award, a certificate, a citation certificate and a medal.

The drugs price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) on 11 May 2016 fixed the ceiling price of 54 drug formulations used for treatment of cancer, diabetes rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial infections and hypertension. The ceiling prices were revised/fixed by NPPA as per the Schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order (DPCO), 2016. Apart from this, it also fixed the retail price of 11 formulations under DPCO, 2013, which covers 680 formulations. DPCO, 2013 was notified on 15 May 2013 replacing the 1995 order that regulated prices of only 74 bulk drugs. How the prices are fixed and regulated : The prices of essential drugs are fixed on the basis of the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1 percent.It regulates the prices of all other medicines, while companies are allowed to hike prices of such drugs by up to 10 per cent in a year. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) :  Set up in 1997, the NPPA is a government organisation that controls the prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995.The organization is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers. It also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.

President Pranab Mukherjee signed the warrant for the appointment of four judges to the Supreme Court on 11 May 2016. These include three chief justices of high court and one senior advocate. These names were recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur on 4 May 2016.  The recommended ones were Justices include Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice DY Chandrachud of the Allahabad High Court Justice Ashok Bhushan of the Kerala High Court to the Supreme Court Senior lawyer L Nageshwar Rao: Fourth appointment These four will be sworn in as Supreme Court judges on 13 May 2016, the last working day before the summer vacation. With this sworn-in event, the judicial strength of the Supreme Court will move up to 28. They are the first appointments to the Supreme Court since the collegium system of judicial appointments was restored after the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act was struck down by a Supreme Court bench on 16 October 2015.

Charlotte Edwards, England’s women cricket team captain, announced her international retirement on 11 May 2016.  In her 20-year cricket career, she captained England for ten years and became one of the most influential women in British Sport.Edwards took the decision following England's 2016 World T20 campaign, where they lost in the semi-finals against Australia.The 36-year-old, Edwards will continue to play at domestic level including the first edition of the forthcoming Women’s Super League. Charlotte Edwards : She was a top-order batswomen who debuted in 1995 at the age of 16 against New Zealand at Guildford.When she debuted she was the youngest women to play for England, which now rests with Holly Colvin who debuted at the age of 15, in the first Ashes Test in 2005.She is the first female cricketer to score 2000 runs in T20 Internationals and the first player either male or female, to score 2500 runs in T20 internationals.She won the World T20, the World Cup and the Ashes five times for England. Details of her cricket career Test : Batted in 43 innings of 23 test matches and scored 1676 runs of which 117 was her highest score. He also bowled in 20 innings and took 12 wickets. ODI : Batted in 180 innings of 191 matches and scored 5992 runs of which 173 not out was her highest score. He also bowled in 51 innings and took 54 wickets. T20Is : Batted in 93 innings of 95 test matches and scored 2605 runs of which 92 not out was her highest score. He also bowled in 21 innings and took 9 wickets.  

The book titled Chaos and Caliphate: Jihadis and the West in the Struggle for the Middle East authored by Patrick Cockburn was in news in the first week of May 2016. The book was in news because it exposes how millions of people were killed by a series of disastrous Western interventions in West Asia. In the book, the author provides analysis of a period, in which the U.S. and its allies have persistently repeated disastrous policies that left millions dead. It draws together a careful selection of Cockburn’s writings from the frontlines of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, interspersed with thoughtful analyses and contemporary, original reflection.The book starts with Afghanistan in 2001, after the September 11 attacks on the US.It also presents the author’s fear that dividing the region will repeat the horrors of Partition.However, the author does not go into the reasons why the U.S and its allies have kept repeating disastrous and destructive policies. Patrick Cockburn : Patrick Oliver Cockburn is an Irish journalist.He has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. He has written four books on Iraq's recent history.He won the Martha Gellhorn Prize in 2005, the James Cameron Prize in 2006 and the Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2009.

Veteran cricket administrator Shashank Manohar (58) was elected unopposed as ICC’s (International Cricket Council) first independent Chairman. He was the sole nominee for the position and the ICC Board has now unanimously supported his appointment. He will have tenure of two years. He was elected to the post after the ICC Full Council’s approval of constitutional amendments proposed by the Board following its April 2016 meeting. The amendments had abolished the post of the ICC President and created the post of independent Chairman. The provision of ICC chief can’t be associated with a cricket board was also added in these amendments. In order to comply with provisions of ICC rules, Shashank Manohar had resigned from the post of BCCI president. Shashank Manohar  : Shashank Manohar by profession is a prominent lawyer. Born on 29 September 1957 in Nagpur, Maharashtra. He had twice served as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), from 2008 to 2011 and from November 2015 to May 2016. As a cricket administrator he is known for his impeccable clean image and track record & integrity in cricketing circles. International Cricket Council (ICC)  : ICC the international governing body of cricket. Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Established: 1909 as Imperial Cricket Conference by representatives from England, Australia and South Africa.  It took up its current name in 1989. ICC has 106 members: 10 Full Members that play Test matches, 57 Affiliate Members and 38 Associate Members. Functions: Responsible for the organisation and governance of cricket’s major international tournaments including Cricket World Cup. Appoints umpires and referees that officiate at all sanctioned Test matches, One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals. Promulgates the ICC Code of Conduct, which sets professional standards of discipline for international cricket. Co-ordinates action against corruption and match-fixing through its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).  

West Indies cricket writer, commentator and journalist, Tony Cozier has passed away. He was suffering from neck and legs related infections. He was 75 year old. He was awarded with Cozier life membership for his services to the game in 2011 by the London-based Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). He was a most familiar voice to cricket audiences the world over as well as at home in the West Indies. He served the industry as cricket broadcaster for 50 years and became especially well-known in Britain after first joining the BBC's Test Match Special team in 1966.  Winston Anthony Lloyd : Winston Anthony Lloyd "Tony" Cozier was a cricket writer and commentator on West Indian cricket from 1958 until his death.Cozier was described as having an "encyclopaedic" knowledge of cricket.Cozier's first Test Match commentary on radio was on West Indies v Australia in 1965. He was a member of the BBC's Test Match Special commentary team and also commentated for Channel Nine in Australia,and Sky Sports.] During his commentating career, Cozier covered every Wisden Trophy series except one.He once commented: "The Queen's Park Oval, exactly as its name suggests absolutely round.Cozier was known for his knowledge of statistics; during a Marylebone Cricket Club tour in 1967, Brian Johnston jokingly asked him to recite the exact bowling figures and birthdays of the entire West Indies team. In 1994, Cozier wrote of Brian Lara's record-breaking innings that "there was no real surprise among his countrymen, simply the feeling that his inevitable date with destiny had arrived rather more suddenly than expected  

Chennai-based FPL has partnered with Nokero, to launch off-grid solar products and soon plans to manufacture these products in India. FPL makes engineering platsics that goes into different kinds of industrial applications and Nokero makes solar lights, phone chargers and is a specialist in solar energy-related products. Nokero is keen to look at street lighting in the country as a business opportunity, due to abundant availability of sunlight in the country.Our solar street lights with built in batteries, are maintenance free and it pays for itself which can leave a surplus for municipalities, panchayats and other local bodies. The company believes that solar is the way to go in rural parts of India, where infrastructure such as power lines are often not working or have not been laid.

Gujarat state government is now all set to launch its much awaited project of grid-connected rooftop solar power units, wherein residential property owners will be encouraged to install this new system. The Solar Rooftop project was initiated by Gujarat Energy Development Agency (GEDA), which is the state nodal agency to promote renewable energy.  In the current fiscal of 2016-17, GEDA has set a target of generating 50 megawatt (MW) of electricity by installing such rooftop solar photovoltic (SPV) units across Gujarat.  According to GEDA Director J T Akhani, the rooftop solar project is for residential consumers only.  The rooftop project has been given a go ahead in the solar policy of 2015, the project did not gain momentum, mainly due to the cost involved in setting up such units. Thus, we have chalked out a subsidy plan to encourage people as well as channel partners to come forward .Normally, the cost of setting up a unit having ONE kilowatt load capacity comes around Rs 70,000. Thus, we have decided to give Rs 10,000 subsidy for commissioning a unit of 1 Kw. The subsidy is limited to the installation of 2KW, that is Rs 20,000. Additional units will not be eligible for subsidy . To expedite the work, starting from receiving application to certifying the work done by channel partners, GEDA has also planned to set up a special cell to give various clearances.  Our target of 50mw this year, we will engage in publicity drive to invite applications from citizens as well as channel partners. We are also planning to set up a special cell to co-ordinate between applicant, channel partner and distribution companies(DISCOMS) . Normally, the sanctioned load provided by electricity companies to a private consumer is around 6Kw. Thus, if he installs units having 3Kw capacity, his electricity bill would be reduced by 50 per cent. Since its grid-connected, the difference will be adjusted by the DISCOMS through the net metering system   

Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei of the Guwahati High Court will be the new acting Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court. He will replace Chief Justice Deepak Kumar Gupta, who has been transferred as the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court An official release of Union Law Ministry said that Justice Navin Sinha, Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court has been moved as the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court. An official of the Tripura law department said that Justice Vaiphei, 60, would assume office on May 16. Separate High Courts were set up in Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya in 2013. Earlier the states were under the jurisdiction of the Guwahati High Court which was the common high court for all the northeastern states. Separate high courts are likely to be set up in Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh after the constructions of the necessary infrastructure. The statement said that Justice Ved Prakash Vaish of the Delhi High Court has been transferred to Meghalaya, while Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri of the Madras High Court has been shifted to Sikkim. The president has directed all the chief justices and judges to assume charge on or before May 23.  

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm has launched digital wallet service, named JioMoney Wallet, for Indian consumers. JioMoney is a semi-closed prepaid wallet that aims to enable mobile-based transactions. Using it customers can store money and use it for purchasing goods and services. Features of JioMoney Wallet :  The service will enable customers to make bill payments, mobile and DTH recharges, send/receive money and insurance premium payments, as well as for online shopping. It also allows users to send and receive money to and from family and friends. It will also enable easy transfer of JioMoney balance into the customer’s bank account. The wallet service allows consumers to use barcode scan to pay at physical stores. It also offers coupons, deals and cashback directly to customers on their mobile phone from local merchants. Customers with the help of Jio Money will be able to make payments from and for the entire Reliance ecosystem which includes Reliance Retail, Digital Express, Reliance Fresh etc.  The service was launched after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had given licence to Reliance Payment Solutions for its JioMoney service in November 2015.

National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, for Research and Development (R&D) in fields of mutual interest. The MoU was signed on 10 May 2016.  Highlights : The R&D projects like, extraction of Gallium from Bayer liquor, extraction of rare earth elements from Red Mud and development of reference standards would be taken up within the framework of the MoU. Extraction of Gallium from Bayer Liquor will be NALCO's first R&D project with BARC with an objective to develop indigenous technology for this strategic metal, in national interest . The MoU was signed by B K Satpathy, executive director (Business Development), Nalco and Dr. Jagtap, Director (Chemistry Group), BARC in presence of Nalco chairman Dr. Chand, Director (P&T) N R Mohanty and Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Dr. Rajagopala Chidambaram.   

Indian-American elementary teacher, Revathi Balakrishnan was honoured by US President Barack Obama at the White House in the first week of May 2016. She was named as 2016 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. She received the honour for her excellent work in the field of education at Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Texas.With this honour, she will represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition. Revathi Balakrishnan : She originally is from Chennai, Tamil Nadu who attributes her success in the field of education to her love of teaching.She was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutual, managing databases and programming for about 12 years before becoming a teacher.She taught math classes in third through fifth grade at Sommer at Sommer Elementary for six years before teaching at Forest North Elementary for three years.She earned her economics degree from University of Madras. National Teacher of the Year Programme :  It identifies exceptional teachers in the United States of America.The honour recognises their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels.

The Supreme Court on 11 May 2016 struck down the regulation ofTelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which made it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops from January 2016. The court struck the regulation calling it as arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent. The apex bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman passed the judgement on the appeals filed by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). COAI is a body of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance, challenging the Delhi High After TRAI imposed mandatory compensations to the subscribers for call drops, COAI appealed to the apex court that the entire telecom sector is under huge debt and they have to pay big price for spectrum, therefore zero tolerance on call drops should not be imposed on them. As the service providers refused to pay compensations to the consumers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) informed the Supreme Court that it is going to take necessary action against the Telcos for call drops to protect the interest of consumers. TRAI claimed to court that it has to safeguard 100 crore telecom subscribers and if companies agree to compensate call drops with equal number of free calls to consumers without pre-conditions then it is open to re- consider its direction imposing penalty on them. Earlier on 16 October 2015, the Delhi High Court upheld the TRAI’s decision of mandatory payment of compensation of one rupee per call drop experienced by the Telecom Network subject to a cap of 3 rupees a day.

The Uttar Pradesh government on 11 May 2016 gave its nod to develop nearly 200-km long bicycle highway from Agra to the lion safari in Etawah. The plan aims at encouraging eco-tourism in the vicinity of the Taj Mahal.The highway was approved in a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Highlights of the proposed highway : The highway will not run along the Agra-Etawah main road but will cover various historical and tourism centres.Starting from eastern gate of the Taj Mahal, it will cover areas such as Raja Bhoj ki Haveli, Bateshwarnath Temple, Mela Kothi Jarar, Naugava ka Quila and other rural areas to reach lion safari in Etawah. Other Cabinet decisions include : It approved the implementation of Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme (Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana) from the Kharif season 2016. Under the scheme, a farmer will have to pay a uniform premium of only 2 percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5% for all Rabi crops.It approved transfer policy for 2016-17 for employees. According to the new transfer policy, Group A and B will be transferred from a district on completion of six years and 10 years in a division on 31 March 2016. The group C employees will be transferred by departmental heads.The Cabinet approved the construction cost for an international cricket stadium in Saifai.It decided to construct a new ultra modern state-of-art model bus station at Kaiserbagh bus station in the state capital.  

The Rajya Sabha on 11 May 2016 passed the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill 2016. The bill is being seen as a transformational legislation that will help in improving India’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index. The Bill is based on the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2015 chaired by Bhupender Yadav. The committee submitted the report to government on 28 April 2016. Highlights of the Bill Insolvency resolution : The Code creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals.  These processes will be completed within 180 days. If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the borrowers may be sold to repay creditors. Insolvency Professionals : The resolution processes will be conducted by licensed Insolvency Professionals (IPs).  This IPs will be members of Insolvency Professional Agencies (IPAs). IPAs will also furnish performance bonds equal to the assets of a company under insolvency resolution. Information Utilities : Information utilities (IUs) will be established to collect, collate and disseminate financial information to facilitate insolvency resolution. NCLT : The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for companies. DRT : The Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) will adjudicate insolvency resolution for individuals. Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board : The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India will be set up to regulate functioning of IPs, IPAs and IUs. Suggestions recommended by Joint Parliamentary Committee and accepted by government in toto include: Insolvency Bill Cross-border insolvency : Cross border insolvency relates to an insolvent debtor who has assets abroad.  The Code does not contain provisions to deal with such situations.  The Committee recommended that new provisions should be made to provide for the central government to enter into agreements with other countries to enforce provisions of the Code. Information storage with IUs : A person should not have the right to remove information, and should only be allowed to modify or correct information provided by him. Purpose of establishing the Bankruptcy Fund : A contributor should be allowed to withdraw his contribution from the fund in cases including where he has to make payments to workmen.  Insolvency Professionals : The Code does not specify the professional streams from where IPs will be drawn. The Committee recommended that these streams should be specified in the Code. Employee benefits during liquidation : Any dues payable to workmen from these funds should be excluded from the debtor’s assets during liquidation.  Insolvency Professional Agencies : The Board should make model bye-laws to ensure consistency among rules followed by all IPAs. Information Utilities : Operational creditors should also be a part of the creditors committee’s deliberations. The IUs should be made interoperable, to ensure that a seamless network of information is created.

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