Current Affairs 18th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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World’s largest Single Rooftop Solar Power Plant with capacity of 11.5 MegaWatt (MW) was inaugurated at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh at Beas, in Amritsar, Punjab. It was inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal on 18 May 2016. Rooftop Solar Power Plant : This is the largest Solar Power Plant spread over 82 acres of rooftop in single campus on multiple roofs with installed capacity of 19.5 MW.The plant has been set up with the cost of 139 crore rupees.This state-of-the-art project was installed by the Radha Soami Satsang Beas Educational and Environmental Society with technical collaboration of Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).The project will generate clean and green energy sufficient to power approximately 8000 homes. This solar power project at Dera Beas will help in abating about 4 lakh tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in next 25 years. This is equivalent to plant nearly 2 lakh trees. Solar Power Plan in India  : Union Government in December 2015 revised the target of 20000 MW of solar power to be achieved by 2022 to one lakh MW of solar power in the same time.The government in its submission to the United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has stated that India will achieve 40% cumulative Electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost International Finance including from Green Climate Fund.

China plans to build more than 500 airports by 2020 to create a market worth over USD 153 billion for its general aviation industry. According to a guideline issued by China's central cabinet, the country will have more than 500 general aviation airports in a number of places, including major agricultural and forest regions and over 50 per cent of five scenic tourist spots by 2020. It also plans to increase the number of general aircraft, including helicopters and private jets, to more than 5,000 by 2020. According to the latest data released at the end of 2015, China had more than 300 airports, 281 enterprises and 1,874 aircraft. Total annual flying time reached 732,000 hours last year. On May 12, China had announced plans to invest USD 723.8 billion in the next three years to improve the country's well laid out infrastructure which includes development of airports to boost investment-led growth to halt the economic slowdown. The action plan includes 303 projects covering railways, highways, waterways, airports and urban rail transit with 131 projects to be taken this year, 92 projects in 2017 and 80 projects in 2018.Chinese economy slowed down to 6.9 per cent last year and the government hopes to achieve a GDP growth rate between 6.5 per cent to seven per cent this year.China will encourage private investment in the general aviation sector, boost pilot training and expand the use of general aircraft in disaster relief, emergency medical services and environmental monitoring, as well as national land and resources exploration

The J&K Wildlife Department in 2016 spotted a group of eight Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector. These brown bears were last seen in the zone, which is their natural habitat, before the 1999 Kargil War. The eight beers comprised of three adult females and five grown-up cubs and were seen in Drass area of Ladakh with mountain ranges of 16000 to 21000 feet. Himalayan Brown Bears :  Generally found in Ladakh region, these Himalayan brown bears are found in the four major wildlife zones namely Suru, Zanskar, Drass and Kargil. To survive they need about 100 square kilometer area as its territoryHuman intervention disturbs their ecology.They are listed among the vulnerable animals list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources'. In India, brown bears exist in 23 protected areas in the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttaranchal, but they are regarded as fairly common in only two of these.It is a subspecies of the brown bear and is known from northern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal and Tibet. Its scientific name is Ursus arctos.They are also known as the Himalayan red bear, Isabelline bear or Dzu-The It is the largest mammal in the region, males reaching up to 2.2 m (7 ft) long while females are a little smaller.These bears are omnivorous and hibernate in a den during the winter. Why they escaped : Their natural habitat was damaged during the 1999 war.The heavy artillery shelling for almost three months, forced them to go into a hide or leave the zone, destroyed their habitat.The movement of troops during the war had an impact on the behavior and ecology of these beers. The first ever sighting of a group of Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector was reported in a News Paper.

Barcelona FC on 15 May 2016 retained the Spanish league title La Liga with 3-0 score against Granada in the final match. Luis Suárez finished as top scorer, being the first player apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to do so since the 2008–09 season. The football club finished the tournament with 91 points in total. It is Barcelona FC's fifth straight win and eighth league title in 12 seasons.Football Club Real Madrid finished second with a 2-0 win over Deportivo. FC Barcelona :  FC Barcelona is a football club founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper. It is the second most valuable sports team in the world, worth 3.56 billion US dollar.It is also the world's second richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of 560.8 million euro.Barcelona's players have won a record number of Ballon d'Or awards (11), as well as a record number of FIFA World Player of the Year awards (7). In 2009, Barcelona became the first Spanish club to win the continental treble consisting of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League. La Liga : La Liga is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system. It is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams relegated to the Segunda Division and replaced by the top two teams in that division plus the winner of a play-off.Real Madrid had won the title for a record 32 times and Barcelona has won it 24 times.  

The State Bank of India (SBI) on 17 May 2016 informed the BSE that it is seeking in-principle sanction of the Union Government to enter into negotiation with its 5 subsidiaries and Bharatiya Mahila Bank for acquisition. Beside, the boards of SBI and the subsidiary banks met individually in Mumbai and decided to begin merger talks with the parent. As per the developments, India’s largest lender is planning to acquire the businesses including assets and liabilities of the following 5 subsidiary banks and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur State Bank of Hyderabad State Bank of Mysore State Bank of Patiala State Bank of Travancore All the above six banks are Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and among these, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed. SBI first merged associate State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, State Bank of Indore was merged. Outcomes of the merger : Though there are apprehensions that the proposed consolidation will result in job losses, the following positive outcomes are expected from the merger.It will resolve the non performing assets (NPAs) issue to a large extent. As per an estimate, publicly traded banks in India added nearly 1 trillion rupees in bad loans between October and December 2015.The new entity will help in leveraging the synergies among the banks. As a result, it will pave the way for lot of cost benefits and expansion of financial services to remote areas.It would create a banking behemoth with a balance sheet size of 37 trillion rupees. Its size would be more than 5 times the 7.2 trillion rupees worth ICICI Bank Ltd., which is India’s second largest lender. In terms of assets, the combined entity will help India to figure in the top 50 largest banks in the world. In 2015, SBI was at the 52nd place in the world in terms of assets. Post-merger, it will be figured at the 45th position.

Barco, a global leader in visualization technology, has announced the appointment of Rajiv Bhalla as managing director for India. Armed with a BE(Electronics) degree and MBA, Rajiv is an industry veteran, with more than 22 years of senior leadership experience in technology organizations like Thomson Consumer Electronics, Microsoft, NEC and Intel & has a deep understanding  of the B2B and B2C aspects of the business. Rajiv will help formulate and execute business strategy with the goal of tapping into India’s enormous potential and expand Barco’s local business presence. He will also be the legal representative of Barco India, fulfilling all legal, regulatory and statutory obligations ensuring compliance with local legal, safety, environmental regulations as well as company directives and guidelines.  India is at an exciting inflection point for accelerated growth led by the government’s focus on Smart Cities, Digital India & Make in India.   

IndiGo has appointed Rohit Philip as its chief financial officer. Philip, who previously worked as corporate vice-president and treasurer of Xerox Corporation, replaces Pankaj Madan who is leaving the airline to pursue other interests. He will assume charge from July 18. Earlier, Philip had worked at United Airlines for 17 years where he was a senior vice-president, corporate strategy and business development. At United, he also held various other senior executive roles including vice-president  financial planning and analysis; assistant treasurer  corporate finance; and vice-president  finance & CFO, Mileage Plus Holdings.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has successfully launched a super pressure balloon to conduct near-space scientific investigations. It was launched from South Island Wanaka Airport, New Zealand in the fifth attempt. Earlier four attempts to get the massive balloon airborne were thwarted by bad weather. The balloon is 532,000 cubic metres and aims to remain airborne for more than 100 days. It is expected to circumnavigate the globe in the mid-latitudes of southern hemisphere once every one to three weeks, depending on wind speeds in the stratosphere. Balloon’s operational float altitude is 33.5 kms and it will be visible from the ground, particularly at sunrise and sunset in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitudes. Its flight operations throughout the mission will be controlled by NASA’s balloon experts at Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility and NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia. Long-duration balloon flights at constant altitudes play an important role in providing inexpensive access to the near-space environment for science and technology.

Indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was successfully test-fired from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. Missile test: It was carried out by Strategic Force Command (SFC) from a mobile launcher at launch complex-3 from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha. Prithvi-II Missile  : Prithvi-II is a tactical short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) developed by indigenously by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It is the first missile indigenously developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). Powered by: Can operate with both liquid and solid fuel twine engines. Warheads: Capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of nuclear as well as conventional warheads. Strike Range : It has strike range of 350 km. It has the ability to dodge enemy missiles and uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target. It has advanced inertial navigation, control and guidance system. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory. The missile was inducted into Indian armed forces in 2003. Variants : Prithvi-I for the Indian Army; Prithvi-II for the Indian Air Force; and the Dhanush for the Indian Navy. The last user trial of Prithvi-II was successfully conducted on February 16, 2016 from the same test range in Odisha.

The Income Tax (IT) department has launched electronic grievance redressal system ‘e-nivaran’ to fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints. In this regard, a separate and dedicated window for grievance redressal has been launched in the Income Tax Business Application (ITBA). The e-nivaran system also called as unified grievance management system seeks to integrate all online and physical complaints gathered by the department. The complaints at this platform will be monitored by the Assessing Officer upto the supervisory officers in a paperless environment. The system records the origin of the grievance on the electronic platform and also keeps tracking it till it reaches its logical conclusion for final resolution. It will also ensure that grievances related to any section or domain of the IT department is transferred quickly to the concerned department.

Indian American teenager from Texas Syamantak Payra (15) has won the $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. Payra won this prestigious award along with Kathy Lu (17). He won the award for his work in making a low-cost electronically-aided knee brace device which allows people with weakened legs to be able to walk better. Payra had tested his design on two people that were left partially disabled after suffering from polio. His device has allowed them to walk more naturally, and improved their mobility. He had won this award after beating out 1,700 young scientists from 419 fairs held in 77 countries around the world. In this edition of Young Scientist Award, there were five Indian Americans out of 22 “Best of Category” winners, each of whom received $5,000 in prize money. Five Indian Americans  :   Rajeev Jha (Hawaii) : Won in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category.  Marissa Sumathipala (Virginia) : Won in the Cellular and Molecular Biology.  Swetha Revanur (California) : Won in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.  Tiasha Joardar (Texas) : Won in the Energy: Physical category.  Prashant Godishala (Minnesota) : Won in the Translational Medical Science. The Young Scientist Award is given out by Intel Corporation and the Society for Science and the Public (SSP). All winners were given awards at the 2016 ‘Intel International Science and Engineering Fair’ held in Arizona,US.  

Odisha Government has decided to launch Green Passage scheme for orphan students to ensure that they get free of cost higher education in the state. A proposal of the higher education department in this regard, was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. As per the scheme Orphan students pursuing higher education (from Plus-II level) to post-graduation level, will no longer have to bear the education expenses. Students pursuing higher education will be exempted of tuition fees, admission fee and laboratory fees for higher studies. It will be applicable to all government, government aided, private colleges and universities. Students also will be provided free hostel facilities and food. These educational institutions have to ensure that the orphan students are not charged in any form.

Indian American professor Dr. Rakesh K. Jain will be presented 2015 National Medal of Science of the United States. He will be presented with this top award by US President Barack Obama for his individual achievement and leadership in advancing the field of science and technology. Dr. Rakesh K. Jain  : DR Rakesh K. Jain is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumour micro-environment. He is widely recognized for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology, in vivo imaging, bioengineering, drug delivery and bench-to-bedside translation. Currently, he is working as professor at Harvard Medical School and also is the director of tumour biology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and holds B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from IIT-Kanpur. So far, he has received more 75 awards for his contribution to engineering and medical field. National Medal of Science :  It is an annual award established in 1959 by United States Government. It is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. The award is bestowed by the US President to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioural and social sciences, chemistry, engineering, biology, mathematics and physics.

The Union Government on 17 May 2016 opened up a Tatkal Window to expedite examination of patent applications by start-ups as well as entities choosing India for the first filing of patent. The move came in the backdrop of 2.37 lakh patent applications pending in the country. The government is aiming to bring down the time period for initial examination of patent applications from the present 5-7 years to 18 months by March 2018.  The move will popularise India as a patent filing hub so that more companies file applications in India. Highlights of the Tatkal Window for Expedited examination :  Under the tatkal-like system, applicants can opt for the Expedited Examination Route on the grounds that they have chosen India as International Searching Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authority.The expedited examination route is also available to all entities that qualify as a start-up as per the definition for start-up provided in the Patent Rules. Under the expedited examination route, the fees for individuals and start-ups have been fixed at 8000 rupees, while for small firms it is 25000 rupees and for large companies, the fee is 60000 rupees.The applications for this route have to be filed only electronically.

Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on 17 May 2016 unveiled 2016 Draft National Policy for Women for comments and consultation. It will replace National Policy for Empowerment of Women, 2001. It will also guide Government action on Women’s issues over the next 15-20 years.The drafted policy shifts the focus from entitlements to rights and from empowerment to creating an enabling environment. Features of the policy are as follows : It seeks to create a society in which women attain their full potential and participate as equal partners in all spheres of life. It also emphasises the role of an effective framework to enable the process of developing policies, programmes and practices which will ensure equal rights and opportunities for women.It seeks to create conducive socio-cultural, economic and political environment to enable women enjoy de jure and de facto fundamental rights and realize their full potential. It describes emerging issues such as making cyber space safe place for women, redistribution of gender roles, for reducing unpaid care work, review of personal and customary laws in accordance with the Constitutional provisions and many more.It wants to review of criminalization of marital rape within the framework women’s human rights etc. relevant in the developmental paradigms. Priority Areas Health including food security and nutrition : Focus on recognizing women’s reproductive rights, shift of family planning focus also to males, expansion of health insurance schemes and addressing the intergenerational cycle of under-nutrition. Education : Improve access to pre-primary education, enrolment and retention of adolescent girls, and address disparities with regard to ICTs. Economy : Raising visibility, engendering macro-economic policies, generate gender-disaggregated land ownership database, skill  development and equal employment opportunities with appropriate benefits related to maternity and child care services. Governance and Decision Making : Increasing women’s participation in the political arena, administration, civil services and corporate boardrooms. Violence Against Women :  Address all forms of violence against women through a life cycle approach, Improve Child Sex Ratio (CSR), and prevention of trafficking at source, transit and destination areas for effective monitoring of the networks. Enabling Environment : Gender perspective in housing and infrastructure, gender parity in the mass media & sports, and support services for all women especially the vulnerable, marginalized, migrant and single women. Environment and Climate Change :  Addressing gender concerns during distress migration and displacement in times of natural calamities due to climate change and environmental degradation. Promotion of environmental friendly, renewable, non–conventional energy, green energy sources for women in rural households. Operational strategies  : Enabling safety and security of women : With initiatives such as One Stop Centres, Women Helpline, Mahila Police Volunteers, Reservation of women in police force, creating immediate response mechanism through panic buttons in mobiles, public and private transport, surveillance mechanisms in public places. Creating eco-systems to encourage entrepreneurship amongst women : Through platforms like Mahila E-Haat, dedicated theme based exhibitions, focussed skill training, mentoring through Women Entrepreneurship Council, availability of easy & affordable credit and financial inclusion. Training and capacity building of all stakeholders : Through Gender Champion initiative, frontline workers, women sarpanches and all officials dealing with policy and delivery systems impacting women. Facilitating women in workplace : Through gender friendly work place, flexi timings, increased maternity leave, provision of child care/creches at workplace, life cycle health care facilities.  

Andre Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died on 15 May 2016 in Paris, France. He was 73. In 1984, Brahic with US astronomer William Hubbard launched a program that led to the discovery of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune. About Andre Brahic : Andre Fernand Brahic was a French astrophysicist. He was a member of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and a professor at the University of Paris. He was also on the imaging team for the Cassini–Huygens spacecraft.In 1990, the asteroid 3488 Brahic was named in his honour. In 2001, he was given the Carl Sagan Medal. Rings of Neptune : The rings of Neptune consist primarily of five principal rings and were first discovered in 1984 in Chile.The rings were eventually imaged in 1989 by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. At their densest, they are comparable to the less dense portions of Saturn's main rings such as the C ring and the Cassini Division. However, much of Neptune's ring system is tenuous, faint and dusty.Neptune's rings are named after astronomers who Contributed important work on the planet : Galle, Le Verrier, Lassell, Arago and Adams. : The rings of Neptune are made of extremely dark material, likely organic compounds processed by radiation.The proportion of dust in the rings (between 20% and 70%) is high, while their optical depth is low to moderate, at less than 0.1.The Adams ring includes five distinct arcs, named Fraternité, Égalité, Liberté (Liberty, Equality and Fraternity), the national motto of France.

Honda Motorcycle and a Scooter India (HMSI), the country's second-largest two wheeler player, has partnered with IndusInd Bank to offer retail finance to buyers. Honda's customers can now not only buy a Honda two wheeler at an attractive rate of interest but can reap benefits of up to Rs 7,500 through this finance scheme. IndusInd Bank will offer finance to eligible customers for purchasing Honda two wheelers through its network of over 1,000 branches across the country. A customer can avail loan of up to 90% of the product value to be repaid in up to 36 months. Other benefits include waiver of processing fee and a quick loan approval within an hour. Indusind is a leading player in two wheeler financing and finances around 750,000 units a year. The tie up will offer more convenience to buyers of Honda two wheelers. We have added sales network and launched new products last year. This tie up is another enabler to drive sales, said YS Guleria, senior vice-president (sales and marketing) at HMSI.  HMSI sold record 4.48 million two wheelers in the year ended March 31, 2016. The company aims to sell over 5 million units in the current financial year.   

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducted the trial run of the country’s first ever Metro train equipped to run in the driverless mode. The train was ceremonially flagged off by Union Minister for Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The driverless trains will run on the over 58 km-long Majlish Park-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and the over 38 km-long Janakpuri (West)- Botanical Garden (Line 8) corridors of the Phase-III. This new-generation driverless metro train equipped to travel on Unattended Train Operations mode and is also with advanced features. It is suitable to eventually run on UTO mode as the train has extremely high levels of automation. Thus, train operators will not be required to operate these trains. The Operations Control Centres (OCC) of the Delhi Metro system will directly regulate the movement of the trains. The On-board CCTV cameras provides inside and outside view of the train. The images from CCTV can be directly accessed by the control centre in driverless mode. In addition, a green Receiving Sub Station (RSS) was also inaugurated at Mukundpur. It will help to meet the power requirements of the Majlis Park – Shiv Vihar corridor.  The RSS has been designed as a green structure with features such as solar power plant, rain water harvesting and sewage water treatment facilities.

The England's annual awards ceremony held at a celebratory dinner in Leeds on May 16 , Joe Root bagged a hat-trick of awards as he was named Test Player of the Year, Limited Overs Player of the Year and Fans' Player of the Year. The Yorkshire batsman beat tough competition from Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes for the Test award while Jos Buttler and David Willey ran him close in the Limited Overs category. The 25-year-old was England's leading run-getter at the recently-concluded World T20 in India where his side finished as runners-up, and also enjoyed a phenomenal season with the bat in Tests as he scored two centuries in his side's Ashes triumph last year. There was also a Special Achievement Award for former England coach turned Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd. Joe Root : Joseph Edward "Joe" Root is an English cricketer, who plays for Yorkshire County Cricket Club and England. He made his debut for England in the 2012 Test series in India and made his ODI and Twenty20 International debuts on the same tour, before scoring his maiden Test century at his home ground of Headingley the following Spring against New Zealand. He is currently the No. 2 ranked batsman in Test cricket on the ICC Player Rankings, No. 10 in the ODI rankings and No. 4 in the T20Is rankings.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries have organized a day-long national conference on ‘Gaushalas’ (cowsheds) in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar said that the technical sessions will discuss three issues  i) how to increase the milk productivity of Indian cows,  ii) Making provision for feed, fodder and ancillary requirements for Indian cows and  iii) Management of cows in the post-productive phase. The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar has also hinted on a yojna in near future under which farmers will be provided fodder free of cost for animal grazing. He also shared concern on smuggling of animals. He said that the animal welfare board has been directed to give detailed report on such incidents in two months time.   

HDFC Bank Ltd. on 16 May 2016 launched SmartUp solution. It is a first-of-its-kind dedicated platform for start-ups to fulfill all their banking needs. The SmartUp is tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up, offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services. It was launched in association with Zone Startups India, a start-up accelerator in Mumbai. Zone Startups India is a collaboration between BSE Institute (a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange), Ryerson University’s accelerator Digital Media Zone, Ryerson Futures Inc. and Simon Fraser University. Benefits of SmartUp include : Enhanced transaction limit with no minimum balance requirement for first six months.Customized Salary Account offering coupled with best-in class services and largest suite of product range.PayZapp for Business - for providing invoicing, delivery and collection solutions and secure money transfer.Dedicated Relationship Manager for taking care of all banking needs as well as investment advisory.Recommendation of a Chartered Accountant for Tax, Regulatory and Compliance issues  

RBI has authorised 29 agency banks to accept payments of Income Tax dues. RBI has appealed tax payers to remit their income tax dues sufficiently in advance of the due date. In order to minimize the hassle, tax payers can also use the facility of online payment or use alternate channels like the authorized agency banks. 29 agency banks to accept payments of Income Tax dues : Some of the agency banks authorized by RBI to collect tax include Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, State Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Dena Bank, HDFC Bank Ltd, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Axis Bank Ltd and Punjab National Bank. RBI has taken this measure as the rush for remitting Income Tax dues becomes far too heavy towards the end of June every year making it difficult for the Reserve Bank to cope with the pressure.  

Steeplechase athlete Sudha Singh on 14 May 2016 set a national record in women’s 3000m steeplechase event to finish eighth at the IAAF World Diamond League held at Shanghai. Sudha clocked 9 minutes, 26.55 seconds to finish a eighth in the second leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League Meet. Sudha Singh : Born on 25 June 1986, Sudha Singh is an Indian athlete in the 3000 metres steeplechase event. She has been a consistent performer in the 3000m steeplechase event, holding the National record in the same event for nearly 7 years. In the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, she won the gold medal with a time of 9:55.67. In June 2012, she qualified for Olympic Games 2012 after she broke her own 3000m steeplechase national record with a timing of 9:47.70 secs.In the 2014 Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea, she finished fourth, one place behind Lalita Babar. Babar also broke Sudha's national record, clocking 9:35.37 in the process. However, when the gold medallist Ruth Jebet from Bahrain was disqualified on account of stepping inside the track before crossing the line, Sudha was promoted and won the bronze medal. In August 2015, she sealed her spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a 19th-place finish in the women's marathon event.

Shell has announced Nitin Prasad as its new India head from October 1. Yasmine Hilton, currently chairman of Shell Companies in India and vice-president for information technology project excellence at parent Royal Dutch Shell, will end her assignment after 37 years of service on September 30. Prasad is the cluster general manager for lubricants sales and marketing for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He is an electrical engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology, US, and a management graduate from INSEAD. He took up his current appointment in 2011 as general manager. He has been instrumental in turning around lubricants business in India. His previous roles in Shell include chemicals where he was GM for APME supply chain and senior advisor on downstream strategy.Hilton began her career in Shell in 1979 in IT and went on to hold a number of senior posts in the Group including Chief Information Officer for the UK and for Shell's global Retail business, operating in all five continents. In October 2012 she took up a four year assignment as country chairman, the first woman leader in the Indian oil and gas Industry.

The Union Government on 17 May 2016 constituted a five member committee to comprehensively review and give recommendations on the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) roadmap for the future. The committee will be headed by former Revenue and Expenditure Secretary NK Singh. It has been asked to submit its report by 31 October 2016. Other members of the Committee are Sumit Bose, former Finance and Revenue Secretary, Dr. Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Urijit Patel, Deputy Governor, RBI and Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute Public Finance and Policy, NIPFP. Terms of Reference (ToR) of the Committee are : It will review the working of the FRBM Act over last 12 years and suggest the way forward, keeping in view the broad objective of fiscal consolidation and prudence and the changes required in the context of the uncertainty and volatility in the global economy. It will look into various aspects, factors, considerations going into determining the FRBM targets. It will examine the need and feasibility of having a ‘fiscal deficit range’ as the target in place of the existing fixed numbers (percentage of GDP) as fiscal deficit target; if so, the specific recommendations of the Committee thereon. It will also examine the need and feasibility of aligning the fiscal expansion or contraction with credit contraction or expansion respectively in the economy.It will make its assessment and provide its views on the expected impact of its recommendations on the General Government deficit and other FRBM parameters. It will examine and give recommendations on any other aspect considered relevant in relation to the determination and implementation of the FRBM roadmap. The Committee may be entrusted with additional ToR, if considered necessary. In this context, the Committee may consult Departments/Agencies of Government, experts and institutions, as considered necessary, and determine its own procedures. The plan to constitute a committee was announced by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech for 2016-17.  

Uttar Pradesh government, appointed Manzil Saini as the new Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of state capital Lucknow.Manzil Saini is popularly known as 'Lady Singham'. Before cracking the Civil Services examinations, Saini had, for three years, worked at a private firm.She is married to a businessman and had cleared the Civil Services exam in the first attempt.A 2005 batch officer, she is the first woman officer in the history  of the state to take charge of Lucknow. She was earlier posted in Etawah, the hometown of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.Saini was expecting a baby when she cracked the Civil Services examinations to become the country's first married woman IPS officer.Saini has replaced Rajesh Pandey who has been attached to the DGP office.  

Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA) of the Food and Agriculture Organnisation (FAO) will enter into force on 5 June 2016. The agreement seeks to ensure sustainable fisheries and responsible fish stock management globally. The agreement is world’s first-ever international agreement specifically targeting illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) championed by FAO. This became possible after 29 countries and the European Union formally deposited their instrument of adherence to the PSMA. Highlights of the Agreement : The new agreement requires that parties designate specific ports for use by foreign vessels, making control easier.Those ships must request permission to enter ports ahead of time, and provide local authorities with information, including on the fish they have on board. The ships must also allow inspection of their log book, licences, fishing gear and actual cargo, among other things. It calls on countries to deny entry or inspect vessels that have been involved in illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and to take necessary action.To support the implementation, it includes the obligation for parties to share information regionally and globally, regarding any vessels discovered to be involved in such fishing.It applies to any use of a port, so even vessels that are just refuelling will have to comply with inspection requirements. Implementation of the Agreement : In order to support the implementation of the agreement by developing coastal countries and Small Island developing States, FAO has a)    invested substantially in capacity-building projects to support the application of port state measures; and b)    launching a series of national, regional and inter-regional initiatives, including a global programme on capacity development for implementation of the agreement. Parties to the Agreement : The following States and regional economic integration organizations are Parties to the agreement: Australia, Barbados, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, European Union – Member Organization, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Iceland, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Palau, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Tonga, United States, Uruguay and Vanuatu. The implementation of the Port State Measures Agreement will help make IUU fishing difficult across the globe. It is because the 30 countries which are party to the agreement account for more than 62 percent of worldwide fish imports and 49 percent of fish exports, which were 133 billion dollars and 139 billion dollars respectively, in 2013 According to FAO, each year IUU fishing is responsible for annual catches of up to 26 million tons, with a value of up to 23 billion dollars.

US-based law firm BakerHostetler in May 2016 hired the world’s first robot lawyer ROSS to assist the company and its various teams in legal research. The law firm will licence artificial lawyer ROSS for use in its Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Creditors’ Rights team. Characteristics of ROSS : ROSS has been built by ROSS Intelligence and is built upon IBM cognitive computer Watson.With the support of Watson’s, lawyers can ask ROSS their research question.The ROSS reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences and returns highly relevant, evidence-based answers.ROSS also monitors the law around the clock to notify users of new court decisions that can affect a case.The programme continually learns from the lawyers who use it to bring back better results each time. ROSS Intelligence in 2014 began its research at the University of Toronto with the goal of building an artificial intelligence legal research assistant which would allow lawyers to enhance and scale their abilities. Just ten months after they began teaching ROSS bankruptcy law, the company is commercialising its first offering.  

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