Current Affairs 14th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Eminent space scientist Prof U R Rao will be honoured by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) with the 2016 'IAF Hall of Fame Award" for his outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics.  The IAF award is intended to reward personalities for their contributions to the progress of astronautics and the Federation.  A former chairman of ISRO, under Rao's leadership, starting with the first Indian satellite 'Aryabhata' in 1975, more than 18 satellites including Bhaskara, APPLE, Rohini, INSAT-1 and INSAT-2, among others were designed and launched. In 2013, he became the first Indian inductee to the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington. In 2005, he also received the Theodore Von Karman Award, which is the highest Award of the International Academy of Astronautics. The IAF Hall of Fame consists of a permanent gallery of these personalities, including a citation, biographical information and a picture, in a special part of the IAF web presence.  his year's 67th International Astronautical Congress will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico during September 26-30, 2016. Prof Rao will receive the 'IAF Hall of Fame' Award and a certificate, during the closing ceremony on September 30, according to an ISRO release.  International Astronautical Federation : The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) is an international space advocacy organisation based in Paris, and founded in 1951 as a non-governmental organization to establish a dialogue between scientists around the world and to lay the information for international space cooperation. It has over 300 members from 66 countries across the world. They are drawn from space agencies, companies, universities, professional associations, government organizations and learned societies. It is linked with the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) and the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) with whom the IAF organises the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC).

Rwandan national captain Eric Dusingizimana, has set a new Guinness world record by batting out a straight 51 hours, the longest individual net session, beating the record set last year by India's Virag Mane, who had batted a straight 50 hours. Pakistan's Hanif Mohammad, who batted over a period of three days during his epic match saving knock of 337 against West Indies in 1958, is currently the record holder for batting the longest period of time in a cricket match. He had spent a total of 16 hours and 10 minutes at the crease. Rwandan Cricket Stadium Founation (RCSF) and the proceeds will be utilized to raise money to build an international stadium in Rwanda. He faced throw downs from celebrity guests which included Tony Blair, former Britain Prime Minister, Miss Rwanda and many more. The batsman's stint began on May 11th and ended on May 13th. In total, he batted five and a half hours longer than the entire Australian team managed during the Ashes series against England in 2015.  The charity, whose patrons include Tony Blair, legendary West Indian batsman, Brian Lara and Test match Special (TMS) commentator, Jonathan Agnew, is no stranger in creating records. RCSF Project Director, Alby Shale, had himself once batted for a straight 26 hours. In 2014, the charity organization created history by playing cricket at Mount Kilimanjaro, at an altitude of 5730m up, the highest ever place where cricket was being played.

The Italian parliament on 11 May 2016 passed legislation legalizing same-sex civil unions, with 372 voting in favour, 51 against and 99 abstaining. With this, it has become the last country in Western Europe to do so. The bill to this effect was approved by the Senate on 25 February 2016 and the Chamber of Deputies on 11 May 2016. However, the bill has yet to be signed into law by the Italian President. Highlights of the bill : The new law grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as married heterosexual couples.Partners in a civil union can apply for public housing as couples. The law also makes this right available to unmarried heterosexual couples.The same-sex couples can also inherit their partners’ pensions. Property inheritance rules will be the same as for married couples. Timeline :  During a protest on 13 January 2007, 50000 gay rights activists protested in Milan in favour of the creation of a new law regulating same-sex unions. According to a poll conducted in February 2007, 67% of Italian Catholics backed the draft bill proposed by the Prodi coalition, and 80% of Italians said they supported the law. On the other hand, the Autumn 2006 Eurobarometer survey showed that only 31% of Italians thought that same-sex marriages should be allowed throughout Europe. A Eurispes poll conducted in early 2009 showed that 40.4% of Italians supported same-sex civil marriage, while 18.5% supported civil unions but not marriage. On 15 December 2013, the newly elected secretary of the Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi announced that the party will work on the recognition of same-sex relationships. Renzi subsequently became Italian Prime Minister in February 2014. Later, the Supreme Court of Cassation upheld the Judgment 138/2010 of the Constitutional Court, by stating that opening marriage to same-sex couples was not unconstitutional nor was a constitutional right, but a Parliament decision only, as well as introducing Civil Unions or Civil Partnerships. On 10 June 2015, the Chamber of Deputies, which is the lower house of the Italian Parliament, passed a motion that obliged the government to approve a bill regarding civil unions between persons of the same-sex. On 21 July 2015, the European Court of Human Rights, in the caseOliari and Others v. Italy, ruled that Italy violates the European Convention on Human Rights by not recognizing same-sex couples' right to family life.  On 7 October 2015, a bill which would establish same-sex civil unions and gender-neutral cohabitation agreements was submitted to parliament. It had its first reading in the Senate on 14 October 2015.  In January 2016, a poll showed that 46% were in favour and 40% against civil unions for same sex couples. With regards to same-sex marriage, 38% were in favour and the majority of 55% were against. Finally, 85% of those polled were against adoption by same-sex couples. On 25 February 2016, the bill was approved by the Italian Senate in a 173-71 vote.  

Piramal Enterprises ,that it would acquire four brands - Neko Soap, Sloans, Ferradol and Waterbury's Compound  from Pfizer for its consumer products division, for Rs 110 crore. The closure of this transaction is subject to obtaining requisite regulatory approvals and fulfilment of certain conditions by the parties. Piramal would also purchase the trademark rights for Ferradol and Waterbury’s Compound in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.. These brands hold a rich legacy and have high consumer pull and are available in India for the past 30-plus years,” said Piramal Enterprises. Ferradol, launched in 1982, is a leading nutritional supplement for children and adults. Neko, launched in 1967, is a medicated soap indicated for body odour and minor skin infections. Sloans is a muscular pain reliever, whereas Waterbury's Compound is used for building immunity from cough and cold. These products currently operate in a market estimated to be worth Rs 7,000 crore. Acquisition is one of the important routes to help us achieve our goal, and in the past six months we have done two acquisitions in the consumer products business. The first one was the Little's baby care range of brands and the second was the gastro-intestinal portfolio of brands from MSD. We believe these brands from Pfizer will fit our portfolio and also strategically help us move closer towards our stated objective.  

Senior audit service officer Hindupur Pradeep Rao was appointed as Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).  Rao, a 1981 batch officer of Indian Audit and Account Service, is presently working as Additional CAG.  The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Rao as Deputy CAG with effect from July 1, 2016, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training.  The Comptroller and Auditor General is country's top auditing body.  In another order, the ACC has appointed A K Mittal as Member (Engineering) in Railway Board. Mittal, who belong to Indian Railway Service of Engineers, is presently General Manager of East Central Railway.  He has been appointed to the new post with effect from June 1, 2016.  

A 22-year-old Indian artist is among the three winners of a UN poster competition aimed at raising awareness about nuclear disarmament, with her poster of a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon garnering appreciation from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.  Anjali Chandrashekar, a New York-based designer and "artivist", won the third prize in UN Poster for Peace contest presented by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) to raise awareness of the need for nuclear disarmament.  Titled 'Cutting Barriers through Peace', the poster features a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon.  Another poster 'Break Free' by the Chennai girl, that shows doves flying out of a bird cage at the top of a nuclear weapon, received an honorable mention.  She received her third-prize certificate from Ban at an award ceremony held here on May 3. Apart from the three winners, nine honorable mentions were chosen from among more than 4,100 entries representing 123 countries. The young artist was only 10 when she founded 'Picture It', a non-governmental organisation that uses imagery to raise awareness and funds for various health, humanitarian and environmental causes.  Other Winners : The first prize went to 38-year-old Ivan Ciro Palomino Huamani from Peru for his 'Spinning Peace', which features a nuclear weapon being unraveled into string which is then used to fly kites and balloons, and to jump rope.  Second place winner, 15-year-old Michelle Li, named her poster 'Peace in our Hands', which features a shadow puppet of a peace dove above a broken nuclear weapon.  The competition was organised to commemorate the anniversary of the very first UN General Assembly resolution adopted in 1946 establishing a Commission to deal with problems related to the discovery of atomic energy.  

The Prakash Singh probe panel constituted to probe lapses on part of civil and police administration officials during Jat agitation in February has castigated over 90 officers including IAS/IPS officers besides various state cadre officers for lapses on their part.The panel has submitted its report to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The Committee produced a comprehensive report within a period of 71 days.  The Report, which is in two volumes, runs into about 450 pages out of which the Main Report is in about 200 pages and there are another 200 pages of Annexures. The second volume, which has only about 40 pages, deals with the role of Intelligence in the context of the riots.  Prakash Singh probe panel  : On 25 February, 2016, Haryana government had constituted a Committee to inquire into the acts of omission and commission on part of all officers and officials of both police and civil administration during the period 7th  to 22nd February, 2016 when the Jat reservation agitation resulted in blockades of roads including National Highways, in violence and extensive damage to public and private properties in many districts.  The Committee headed by Prakash Singh, former Director General of Police (DGP) UP and Assam and Director General Border Security Force, commenced its work on March 2, 2016. Prakash Singh was assisted by IPS officer KP Singh, presently posted as DGP (Haryana) and IAS officer Vijai Vardhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Higher Education, Archives and Cultural Affairs Department.  The Committee visited all the eight affected districts of the State, inspected the scenes of crime, heard all those aggrieved, and also listened to all those members of the public who appeared before the Committee.  The Report has examined the role of officers in the affected districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Panipat. The Committee has also made some recommendation to improve the functioning of the civil and police administration.

President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena will arrive in capital . He is on a two day visit to the nation. The visit is expected to contribute to further strengthening the close and cooperative relations between India and Sri Lanka. Sirisena will address the valedictory session at the Vaicharick Mahakumbh which is being held as part of the Simhastha Mahakumbh in Ujjain on the 14th of this month. He will also visit Sanchi where he will tour the World famous Sanchi Stupa and will also attend a function organised by the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka during which he will unveil a statute of Angarika Dharmapala.   

Former India captain Anil Kumble has been re-appointed ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket Committee chairman for a second term of three years. Earlier he was appointed as the chairman for his first term in 2012 and now he will continue to head the panel until 2018. Anil Kumble is all-time highest wicket-taker for India. Anil Kumble : Anil Kumble is a former international cricketer and former captain of the Indian cricket team. A right-arm leg spin (leg break googly) bowler, he took 619 wickets in Test cricket and remains the third-highest wicket taker only behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne as of 2015. Kumble was awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour in 2005. After having played for 18 years, he announced his retirement from international cricket in November 2008. In October 2012, Kumble was appointed the chairman of International Cricket Council (ICC)'s cricket committee. Between 2012 and 2015, Kumble held positions as a chief mentor for the teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. In February 2015, he became the fourth Indian cricketer to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame. ICC Cricket Committee : The ICC Cricket Committee is representative of all stakeholders in the game of cricket, including players, umpires and the media. It is empowered to make recommendations on cricket playing issues to the ICC’s Chief Executives’ Committee (CEC) and, if the matter is a policy matter, the ICC Board for approval.  

United States has activated a land-based missile defence station (Aegis Ashore Missile Defence System) in Deveselu, Romania. The missile defence station is part of NATO’s larger European shield to protect member countries from short and medium-range missiles, particularly from the Middle East. The Deveselu missile defence station has a battery of SM-2 missile interceptors. It uses powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets. It also allows on-shore sites and warships to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles while they are still in space. The interceptor missiles are fired to hit ballistic missiles before they re-enter the atmosphere, stopping them well before there is any danger of causing any damage. US has spent 800 million dollars on the site in Romania, where work had began in 2013. The missile defence station was activated as part of the Article Five commitment by all 28 NATO members. Under this commitment NATO members have decided in 2010 to create a missile shield based on US technology. The next phase of the project will be launched in Poland at Redzikowo, near the Baltic Sea and is due to be completed in 2020.

The Union Cabinet on 12 May 2016 approved the National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy that will lay the future roadmap for intellectual property in India. The Policy recognises the abundance of creative and innovative energies that flow in India, and the need to tap into and channelise these energies towards a better and brighter future for all. The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy will endeavor for a “Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मक भारत; अभिनव भारत”. National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy The National IPR Policy is a vision document that aims to create and exploit synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. It sets in place an institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring and review. It aims to incorporate and adapt global best practices to the Indian scenario. This policy shall weave in the strengths of the Government, research and development organizations, educational institutions, corporate entities including MSMEs, start-ups and other stakeholders in the creation of an innovation-conducive environment. This will help in stimulating creativity and innovation across sectors. It also facilitates a stable, transparent and service-oriented IPR administration in the country. The Policy recognizes that India has a well-established TRIPS-compliant legislative, administrative and judicial framework to safeguard IPRs. These meets international obligations while utilizing the flexibilities provided in the international regime to address its developmental concerns. It also reiterates India’s commitment to the Doha Development Agenda and the TRIPS agreement. The mission aims at stimulating a dynamic, vibrant and balanced intellectual property rights system in India to:Foster creativity and innovation and thereby, promote entrepreneurship and enhance socio-economic and cultural developmentFocus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection, among other sectors of vital social, economic and technological importance. The Policy lays down the following seven objectives : IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion - To create public awareness about the economic, social and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society. Generation of IPRs - To stimulate the generation of IPRs. Legal and Legislative Framework - To have strong and effective IPR laws, which balance the interests of rights owners with larger public interest. Administration and Management - To modernize and strengthen service-oriented IPR administration. Commercialization of IPRs - Get value for IPRs through commercialization. Enforcement and Adjudication - To strengthen the enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for combating IPR infringements. Human Capital Development - To strengthen and expand human resources, institutions and capacities for teaching, training, research and skill building in IPRs. These objectives are sought to be achieved through detailed action points. The action by different Ministries/Departments shall be monitored by DIPP which shall be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India.  

Haryana Government has notified the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act 2016 on 13 May 2016 .The act was enacted to provide reservation to Jats and four other castes in services and admission in educational institutions in the state. Highlights of Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016  The Act provides 10 percent reservation in service for Class III and IV posts and six percent reservation in Class I and II posts to the Jat, Jat Sikhs, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi, Mulla Jat or Muslim Jat in Schedule III.It provides 10 percent reservation for admissions to educational institutions to people belonging to these castes. It provides 16 percent reservation for Class III and IV posts and 11 percent in Class I and II posts in schedule I to the people belonging to Backward Classes of A category.These people would also get 16 percent reservation in admissions in educational institutions.The Act would also provide 11 percent reservation for Class III and IV posts and six percent in Class I and II posts in Schedule II to the people belonging to Backward Classes of B category. Those belonging to BC-B category would also be entitled for 11 percent reservation for admission in educational institutions.A total of 71 castes fall in the list of BC-A category of Schedule, whereas six castes have been included in the list of BC-B category in Schedule II. Apart from this, the notification states that notwithstanding anything in this Act, the state government may provide for horizontal reservation for such category or categories of persons within Backward Classes, as it may deem necessary from time to time. For appointments and admission to educational institutions, reservation shall be made for members of Backward Classes as specified in the schedule.No person belonging to creamy layer of Backward Classes shall be considered for admission in educational institutions or for appointment in services against the seats reserved therein for Backward Classes. The government shall, by notifications, after taking into consideration social, economic and such other factors as deemed appropriate specify the criteria for exclusion and identification of persons belonging to Backward Classes as creamy layer. The criteria fixed under sub-section two shall be reviewed every three years.  The notification also states that where seats reserved for Backward Classes for admission in educational institutions are not filled up in an academic year due to non availability of candidates with requisite qualifications, the same shall, after the display of final list of admissions for that year, be made available to general category candidates.

Ashok Chawla, the former chief of fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI), has become the chairman of the National Stock Exchange (NSE).Capital market watchdog SEBI has approved the appointment and Mr. Chawla’s tenure as chairman would be till March 27, 2019. Ashok Chawla : An experienced civil servant, Mr. Chawla retired as CCI chairman in January after being at the helm for nearly five years. He has also served as Finance Secretary and Civil Aviation Secretary, among other posts. In February, Mr. Chawla was appointed as chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and as Additional Director by Yes Bank in March. The private sector lender had also said that it has applied to RBI for approval to appoint Mr. Chawla as next non-executive chairman. National Stock Exchange of India Limited : The National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) is the leading stock exchange of India, located in Mumbai. NSE was established in 1992 as the first demutualized electronic exchange in the country.  NSE was the first exchange in the country to provide a modern, fully automated screen-based electronic trading system which offered easy trading facility to the investors spread across the length and breadth of the country.NSE has a market capitalization of more than US$1.65 trillion, making it the world’s 12th-largest stock exchange as of 23 January 2015. The exchange was incorporated in 1992 as a tax-paying company and was recognized as a stock exchange in 1993 under the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956, when P. V. Narasimha Rao was the Prime Minister of India and Manmohan Singh was the Finance Minister. NSE commenced operations in the Wholesale Debt Market (WDM) segment in June 1994. The capital market (equities) segment of the NSE commenced operations in November 1994, while operations in the derivatives segment commenced in June 2000.  

International Vichar Mahakumbh at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh will conclude today. Today it will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to address the closing ceremony of 3-day Vichar Kumbh Convention. About 2000 scholars from home and abroad are taking part in this Vichar Mahakumbh. PM Narendra Modi will address the valedictory session of the event and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will be guest of honour. Apart from these two, representatives of 5 countries and Chief Ministers of 4 states will also attend todays valedictory session. The session will be presided over by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.  The International Vichar Mahakumbh, going on for the past two days near Ujjain is seeing brainstorming and sharing of ideas on different issues facing the world, which have emerged as serious problems like conservation of environment, agriculture, cottage industries, sustainable development and women’s empowerment.

The 26th World Economic Forum on Africa will be held in Kigali, Rwanda from May 11 to13. The summit gathers policy makers, economists, scholars, leaders and private sector investors from across the globe to discuss solutions to some of the most pressing needs and challenges facing African economies. Rwanda has become an incredible place to do business and the government has been implementing a strategy to improve the business environment for all entrepreneurs and has brought tangible results. Under the theme Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation, the World Economic Forum on Africa will convene regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to discuss catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation, strengthen public-private collaboration on key global challenges and explore big ideas that can deliver shared prosperity in the region. This year’s WEF edition will attract an estimated participation of more than 1,500 delegates, including heads of state. Beyond planned sessions, the forum will bring together business leaders with some informal sessions turning into regional enterprises. For Africans who will attend the WEF, Rwanda has made it easier through RwandAir which currently flies to 18 destinations in Africa making it easy to connect from almost any part of the continent to come to Kigali, this in addition to other airlines that land in the country. Also Rwanda has made it possible for all Passport-holding Africans to receive visas on arrival in Kigali while others can apply for an entry permit online which they can receive within three days. For Business people who will attend the WEF summit, don’t forget to visit Rwanda development Board(RDB). Rwanda Development Board is a government institution charged with promoting investment and facilitating market entry for investors in Rwanda. RDB offers a range of services to potential investors including assistance in acquiring the licenses, certificates, approvals, authorizations and permits required by law to set up and operate a business enterprise in Rwanda. By any measure, the WEF 2016 is not the conclusion of Rwanda’s story of being an economic and industrial hub, but an affirmation that Rwanda has been identified by the World Bank as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Fifa broke new ground by appointing a Senegalese United Nations official as its first female and first non-European secretary general on 13 may 2016. Fatma Samoura has no experience working in sports but Fifa President Gianni Infantino hopes that will help it try to regain the trust and credibility of the world. The 54-year-old Samoura, who will replace the fired Jérôme Valcke if she passes an eligibility check, is currently working in development for the UN in Nigeria. FIFA pointed to Samoura's experience coordinating the activities of around 2,000 U.N. staff with oversight over security in Nigeria. She is used to managing big organisations, big budgets, human resources, finance,” Infantino told Fifa’s membership. Samoura, who speaks French, English, Spanish, and Italian, appears to have no experience dealing with commercial deals and broadcasters a key part of the job as Fifa’s top administrator. FIFA lifted Indonesia's suspension from world football. Indonesian national and club teams, referees, and officials were banned over government interference in the running of the national federation.Indonesia was readmitted after the government agreed to end its suspension of the football federation, but the national team has missed out on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup while banned.Benin joined Kuwait in being suspended due to government interference in their federations' independence.  

Several Singaporean and Hong Kong English terms, including wah, shiok and yum cha, are now officially recognised as acceptable English. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) added 19 Singaporean terms and 13 Hong Kong terms in its March quarterly update. The dictionary included formations of English that are mostly used in Singapore or Hong Kong. The OED records the meaning and development of the English language. Some of the words added are Wah : It is an expression of delight or surprise.  Shiok: It means cool, great, delicious, superb.  Yum cha: It is a type of Chinese brunch.  Wet market: It is a market selling fresh meat and produce. Blur: It means confused or ignorant.  Sabo: It means to harm or play a prank on.  Sandwich class: It is an informal term used to refer to the middle class  Milk tea: It is a drink made from black tea and milk, usually evaporated or condensed.  Shroff: It is a cashier, especially at a car park. Oxford adds words into the English dictionary after it qualified certain criteria’s like several independent examples of use of the word, evidence the word has been in use for a reasonable amount of time and more.

The world's biggest cargo aircraft Antonov An-225 Mriya made its first landing in India  at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here en route to Perth, Australia. Antonov is a world leader in transport aircraft design and manufacture, exemplified by An-225.India has a requirement of over 200 medium lift turbofan aircraft, valued at Rs 35,000 crore, which is the backbone of all tactical Logistic Transport Support Role as well as Route Transport Roles (RTR) of the Air Force, Army and Para military forces, Matheswaran claimed.Antonov with Reliance Group had submitted a joint proposal to make 'passenger regional aircraft' that would be used to connect tier-three and tier-two cities in India. Antonov An-225 has twice the wing area of a Boeing 747. Normally, only the nose gear of an aircraft is steerable. On the An-225 there are 20 steerable wheels, four in the nose gear and 16 at the rear of the 28-wheel main gear. This makes it extremely manoeuvrable. The aircraft has a spacious cargo compartment with length of 43.32 m, width of 6.4 m and height of 4.4 m.

In a bid to harness solar energy, the Indian Railways is all set to conduct trial of its first solar panel-powered train in Rajasthan's Jodhpur city. A railway official said though the train would be pulled by conventional diesel-run engines, the solar energy will be used for internal electricity gadgets. Features : Solar panels have been installed on top of the coaches in the train and the energy, which we will get from the sun, will be used for the functioning of lights and fans inside the coaches in the train. The Indian Railways has been focusing on alternate source of fuels with trials already on to use CNG, biodiesel and natural gas among others. According to studies, a train using solar power can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90,000 litres per year and also bring down carbon dioxide emissions by over 200 tonnes. The CNG is being used in local trains on Rohtak-Rewari section of Delhi division. The dual fuel concept of using CNG and diesel has also helped in saving fuel and money.The Indian Railways is the world's fourth-largest rail network.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched a special drive to make sure that no one has been left out of Aadhaar enrolment in Haryana, Goa, Chandigarh and Puducherry. This exercise has been initiated to ensure that no one is left without an Aadhaar number in these four States and UTs which has more than 100 per cent Aadhaar saturation, statistically speaking. It is part of our overall effort to ensure complete Aadhaar coverage across the country. Over 101.26 crore Aadhaar numbers have been generated across the country as on May 12, 2016. The pilot exercise in the four States/UTs will be conducted between May 13 - June 15, 2016.Based on the experience of this pilot, the special drive will be extended to other states too.

The Supreme Court has directed budget airline Spicejet  to pay Rs 10 Lakh as damages to a flyer, suffering from cerebral palsy, who was forcibly offloaded in 2012, saying the manner in which she was deboarded depicts "total lack of sensitivity".  The apex court said the decision to offload Ghosh was taken by the airlines without any medical advise or consideration and her condition was not such which required any assistive devices or aids. The bench, in its 54-page judgement, further said that differently-abled persons are unable to lead a full life due to societal barriers and discrimination faced by them in employment, access to public spaces and transportation. There are hardly meaningful attempts to assimilate them in the mainstream of the nation's life. The apathy towards their problems is so pervasive that even the number of disabled persons existing in the country is not well documented Ghosh is a living example who has, notwithstanding her disability, achieved so much in life by her sheer determination to overcome her disability and become a responsible and valuable citizen of this country.  A little care, a little sensitivity and a little positive attitude on the part of the officials of the airlines would not have resulted in the trauma, pain and suffering that Jeeja Ghosh had to undergo. This has resulted in violation of her human dignity and, thus, her fundamental right.  

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