Current Affairs 24th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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RR Hanchinal, Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority, New Delhi, has been selected for the 6th MS Swaminathan Award. A former Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, he has also been associated with the Indonesian government as an Advisor for field crop research. The Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) has instituted the national award since 2005. It is conferred biennially upon Indian scientists who have worked in India in any branch of agriculture to enhance productivity. The award carries a cash prize of ₹2 lakh, a medal and a citation. RICAREA said in a release that Hanchinal was instrumental in organising the commercial seed industry in West Africa, while serving as a seed production specialist for USAID and ICRISAT.

India , Thailand and Myanmar are working on a 1,400-kilometre long highway that will link India with Southeast Asia by land for the first time in decades, giving a boost to trade and cultural exchanges between the three countries.  Indian Ambassador to Thailand Bhagwant Singh Bishnoi said 73 bridges in Myanmar, built more than seven decades ago during World War II, were being renovated with funding from India to allow vehicles to cross the highway safely.  When the repair work will be completed in 18 months, the highway could be opened to traffic from all three countries .Negotiations are currently underway to conclude a tri- nation motor vehicle agreement for the use of the 1,400-km road that will reach Thailand at Tak, Mae Sot district.  There has always been a meeting of minds between India and Thailand. Our two countries share cultural, spiritual and linguistic links. With this road we will also have physical connectivity. Myanmar's Dawei deep-sea port and industrial estate project near the Thai border is also expected to help further integrate eastern India with South East Asian countries. The planned port can be linked up with India's Chennai port as well as Thailand's Laem Chabang Port on the other side of the ocean . India is also preparing to negotiate a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which includes the 10-country grouping, on top of the current India-Asean free-trade agreement (FTA).  Thai-Indian trade amounted to $8 billion last year, while more than a million Indian tourists visited Thailand last year. There were also about 300 Indian weddings held here.  Among major Thai investors in India are CP Group, Delta Electronics, Ital-Thai and Pruksa Real Estate , while the major Indian firms operating in Thailand are Tata Group, Aditya Birla and Indorama. 

Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Sarbanand Sonowal was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Assam on 24 May 2016. Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya administered his oath of office and secrecy at Khanapara in Guwahati. It was the first time after 1985, when a Chief Minister took his oath in an open field. With this, Sonowal became Assam’s second tribal chief minister after Jogen Hazarika in the 1970s. He is also first Chief Minister from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam. It is the first time that a BJP-led alliance will form a majority government in Assam. Earlier on 19 May 2016, the BJP and its allies Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front scored a massive victory bagging 86 seats in the 126 member Assam assembly. In 2011 Assembly elections of Assam the party won only five seats. Sarbananda Sonowal : He became state BJP President in 2013 for the first time.He started his political career in 2001 by becoming the member of Assam assembly in Asom Gana Parishad ticket. In 2004, he became Lok Sabha member for the first time by defeating Congress strongman Pawan Singh Ghatowar from Dibrugarh constituency.He joined Prime Minister Modi’s cabinet as the Union Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs.Prior to his political stint, he was the President of All Assam Students’ Union from 1992 to 1999.During 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP got 7 seats in Assam when Sonowal was in-charge of the state party unit.

SAARC Development Fund and ADB have signed a pact for co-financing of projects, regional connectivity and development of the SAARC region. Asian Development Bank (ADB) and SAARC Development Fund (SDF) have signed an MoU and agreed to collaborate for the development of the SAARC region through co-financing of projects and programmes focusing on regional connectivity /integration and economic cooperation among the SAARC member states. They have also agreed to provide technical assistance and investments for co-financing on the three windows of SDF, Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) Program, Social Enterprise Development Programme and any other new areas which can be covered under the pact.  

The Sports Ministry has stated that the winners from the upcoming Rio Games will be considered for this year's Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards.  The step has been taken to ensure that Olympic medalists get immediate recognition. So that the athletes need not wait for one full year after their medal-winning performances at the Olympic Games. The medal winners in individual events who have already not been conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in the past will be considered for the highest sporting honour.  But as per the existing provisions of the schemes of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards, sports achievements of the sports persons for the last four years preceding the year of award, that means, sports achievements during the period 2011 to 2015 are to be considered.

The Union Government on 24 May 2016 announced the 2nd batch of 13 smart cities that will be developed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Smart City Mission. Lucknow topped the list of winners of the Fast Track competition conducted for 23 cities from as many States and Union Territories. With the selection of these 13 cities, 25 States/Union Territories are now covered under Smart City Mission. The first batch of 20 smart cities was announced on 28 January 2016. Details related to 13 smart cities : The 13 cities were selected based on the marks scored by them in the Fast Track competition and the bench marks set by the top performers in the first round of Smart City Challenge competition.The 13 cities have substantially improved their smart city plans by addressing the deficiencies identified in the first round of competition.These cities ensured better profiling in terms of infrastructure gaps and baseline service levels. They also ensured consistency between citizens’ aspirations and action plans and more feasible resource mobilization plans. List of 13 smart cities :  Rank                             City                          State 1                              Lucknow                  Uttar Pradesh 2                              Warangal                 Telanagana 3                              Shimla                     Himachal Pradesh 4                              Chandigarh              Chandigarh 5                              Raipur                      Chattisgarh 6                              New Town Kolkata    West Bengal 7                              Bhagalpur                Bihar 8                              Panaji                      Goa 9                              Port Blair                 Andaman & Nicobar Islands 10                            Imphal                   Manipur 11                            Ranchi                   Jharkhand 12                            Agartala                 Tripura 13                            Faridabad              Haryana

FIFA acting Secretary General Markus Kattner was dismissed from his position with immediate effect on 23 May 2016. He was removed after FIFA’s internal investigation uncovered breaches of his fiduciary responsibilities in connection with his employment contract. He was accused of paying himself bonuses worth millions of pounds. The 45-year old German took over as acting General Secretary after Jerome Valcke was sacked for irregularities. Kattner joined FIFA in 2003 as Director of Finance, becoming Deputy Secretary General in 2007. His salary and bonuses were part of a contract that was unseen by relevant FIFA committees. Earlier on 13 May 2016, Senegalese UN diplomat Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura was appointed as its first female Secretary General.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has concluded his two-day visit to Iran. During his visit on 23 May 2016, Modi held discussions with President Hassan Rouhani and also inked 12 bilateral agreements with Iran. He also met the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to whom he gifted the reproduction of the seventh-century manuscript of the Holy Quran attributed to Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph. Written in Kufic script, this manuscript is a prized possession of the Ministry of Culture's Rampur Raza Library. Highlights of the visit : Two countries signed 12 agreements including the pact on developing the strategic Chabahar port .The two nations also released a Joint Statement titled Civilisational Connect, Contemporary Context. Prime Minister and Hassan Rouhani lead delegation level talks in Tehran.He gifted reproductions of Ghalib's collection of poetry in Persian 'Kulliyat-e-Farsi-e-Ghalib', as well as Sumair Chand's Persian translation of Ramayana to Dr Rouhani.Modi visited Bhai Ganga Singh Gurudwara in Tehran. In Tehran, he witnessed the inauguration of Conference on India and Iran, Two Great Civilizations: Retrospect and Prospects'.He released rare manuscript, Kalileh Wa-Dimneh, which is the Persian translation of the Panchatantra. Besides the bilateral pact to develop the Chabahar port for which India will invest 500 million US dollars, a trilateral Agreement on Transport and Transit Corridor was also signed by India, Afghanistan and Iran. Modi's visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 15 years, came months after the lifting of international sanctions on Iran following Tehran's historic nuclear deal with the Western powers over its contentious atomic programme. Earlier, the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited the country in April 2001.  

The Union Minister for  IT & Communications  Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced the  India Post's payments bank will start functioning from March 2017 and serve as a wider platform to implement financial inclusion programmes . India Post payments bank will have immense potential to sell third party product and services. About 50 companies, including some from abroad, are keen to partner with postal department for the payments bank, like World Bank , Citi from America, Barclay's from England . The payments bank of postal department will become a big platform of financial inclusion .we are going to invest about Rs 800 crore -- Rs 400 crore will be invested by the department and the remaining amount will be equity part (mobilised as equity) . Under (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi, we have decided to re-energise the postal department for India's growth and financial inclusion .In August 2015, the RBI had given in-principle approval to 11 entities to start payments bank, including the postal department.  The approval is valid for 18 months and all the entities are required to submit a detailed business plan after which they shall be given the final nod. 

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan would inaugurate the three-day conference of the Northeast Region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (NERCPA) in the Assembly house here on May 30.  Deliberations on two topics - to strengthen the NERCPA for further development of Northeast region states and soil erosion in Northeast India and its impact on the local populace and how political intervention could help to resolve the issue - will be figured in the conference. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Prof P J Kurien, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Dr M Thambi Durai and Secretary General of Lok Sabha Anoop Mishra would be present in the inaugural function apart from Mahajan, a senior official confirmed. Speakers and Deputy Speakers of all the eight North-eastern states are expected to attend the conference,Tripura Assembly Speaker Ramendra Debnath told during a press conference. 

F45 India, the master franchise for Australia-based functional training system for fitness F45, 24 MAy 2016 announced the appointment of former Australian cricketer Brett Lee as brand ambassador for the country. Fitness chains in India have sprung by dozen, but many of them lack the steam to carry on or transform into successful business models. F45 is here to lay all that to rest. The chain of health transformer is innovative, cost effective and incredibly systemised in their training facility.  

Hasan Latheef, lawyer of Maldives’ former President Mohamed Nasheed, claimed on 23 May 2016 that Britain has granted political refugee status to the ousted former president. Nasheed was granted permission in January 2016 to leave for the U.K. by the Maldivian Government to undergo a spinal surgery. He was supposed to return to Maldives after the treatment, but remained in London. Mohamed Nasheed : Mohamed Nasheed is a Maldivian politician, human rights and environmental activist. He served as the fourth President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012.He was the first democratically elected president of the Maldives and one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party.On 7 February 2012, he resigned as president under disputed circumstances, following weeks of protests by the opposition, which had then been joined by a majority of military and police forces. In September 2012, Nasheed was put on trial for abuse of power for his actions in arresting Judge of Criminal Court Maldives Abdulla Mohamed. However, his trial was cancelled without explanation.Nasheed was again arrested in October 2012 for violating a court order not to leave Malé Atoll, the atoll on which the Maldivian capital is located. He was detained overnight and then released on the condition that he would answer questions about his alleged abuse of presidential powers within 25 days. He was reported to have taken refuge in the Indian High Commission office in Malé in February 2013 after a Maldivian court issued an arrest warrant against him and ordered the police to detain him. On March 2013, he was arrested on the charges of abuse of the office but was released a day later. In February 2015, he was arrested again and ordered to stand on trial for his decision to arrest Abdulla Mohamed in 2012 while he was the President. On 13 March 2015, he was sentenced to thirteen years in Maafushi Prison for abducting Abdulla Mohamed. He was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act of Maldives.His jail term was widely criticised by international bodies, including the United Nations, and foreign governments.  On 16 January 2016, he was granted permission under the condition to serve the remainder of the sentence upon return to the Maldives after surgery.He was granted 30 days leave for a back surgery, which expired on 22 January 2016. The former president requested an additional 60 day leave extension was temporarily rejected by the Maldivian authorities.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the third week of May 2016 released a report titled Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Regional assessment for Asia and the Pacific. As per the report, nearly 40 million Indians will be at risk from rising sea levels by 2050. Highlights of the report : The worst impacts of climate change are projected to occur in the Pacific and South and South-East Asia.Settlement patterns, urbanisation and socio-economic status in Asia have influenced observed trends in vulnerability and exposure to climate extremes. By 2050, seven of the 10 most vulnerable countries worldwide will be in the Asia Pacific region. In 2011, six of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change worldwide were in Asia and the Pacific.By 2050, areas of storm surge zones are expected for Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, with a combined total of over 58 million people at risk.India tops the chart with nearly 40 million people in the country projected to be at risk from rising sea levels.Mumbai and Kolkata have the maximum exposure to coastal flooding in future due to rapid urbanisation and economic growth.

US President Barack Obama has announced an end to its embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam on 23 May 2016, its one-time enemy. He said the move removes a lingering vestige of the Cold War. The embargos were removed during President Obama’s official three-day visit to Vietnam. He is the third US President to visit Vietnam since the end of the decade-long Vietnam War in 1975. Other two Presidents were Bill Clinton and George W. Bush (went in 2000 and 2006). Earlier in 1995, the diplomatic relations between the two nations were restored by Clinton, but the US embargo on the sale of weapons remained in force. Since them, Vietnam had been arguing for an end to the arms embargo. The embargo partially lifted in 2014 by Obama allowed Vietnam to purchase naval-defense equipment. US Arms embargo on the Southeast Asian nation has been in place since 1984. Obama's visit and uplifting the decade’s long sanctions comes at the time when US is trying to build its relationship with its Pacific allies. It can be termed that it is a calibrated move of United States to seize the deteriorating ties between Vietnam and its neighbour China over South China Sea claims. China claims almost all of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which more than 5 trillion dollars of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.

The National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has signed a MoU with Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO). The signing of the MoU coincided with the official two days state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran. Highlights : The MoU was signed to explore the possibility of setting up smelter- cum-gas based power plant on joint venture in Iran for the proposed smelter plant in Chabahar Free Trade Zone. For the proposed smelter plant NALCO will supply alumina from its refinery in India. The MoU envisages tolling arrangement with existing smelters in Iran for producing aluminium and also proposes to look into other businesses. It also envisages setting up of a joint taskforce comprising NALCO and IMIDRO experts to work out the details of the project. NALCO is public sector enterprise of the Union Ministry of Mines incorporated 1981. It is Asia’s largest, and the sixth largest, integrated aluminium complex in the world. Its business encompasses alumina refining, bauxite mining, aluminium smelting and casting, power generation, rail and port operations.

National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 23 May 2016 banned use of light and heavy diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, in six major cities. The cities where these vehicles can’t ply on the roads include Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kollam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur. In its first sitting, the NGT Circuit bench, comprising NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued the order while hearing a petition seeking action against highly polluting diesel vehicles such as trucks and buses. The other member of the bench was Bikram Singh Sajwan. The petition was filed by Lawyers’ Environmental Awareness Forum (LEAF). Directions of the NGT : It directed the state government not to register any diesel vehicle in the capacity of 2000 CC and more, except public transport and local authority vehicles.It said, upon expiry of 30 days (from 23 May 2016), if any vehicle is found to be violating this direction will have to pay 5000 rupees as environmental compensation and this will be collected by traffic police or pollution control board.It asked the state police and pollution control board to maintain separate account in this regard. It also directed that the funds should be utilized for betterment of environment in these cities.

The cultural capital of Maharashtra, Pune, has emerged as the best 5 star hotels destination where Indian travellers paid the least in 2015, with an average price of Rs 7,602 a night, according to a survey.  Pune, also the second largest city in the state, made way as the new entrant that offered Indian travellers the best deal on 5 star accommodation with an average price of Rs 7,602 a night in 2015, according to the latest Hotels.Com Hotel Price Index (HPI) report.  The HPI is a regular report on hotel prices in major destinations across the world, tracking the movement in prices that people actually paid for their accommodation. The data for this report was drawn from bookings made in hotels on the Hotels.Com websites worldwide.  Pune was followed by Jaipur in Rajasthan at the second place with an average tariff of Rs 7,844 a night, it said.  Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, ranked third on the list to offer best deals for 5 star accommodation with tariff of Rs 8,114 per night last year.  The report said Chennai in Tamil Nadu took the fourth position in the list, followed by Hyderabad in Telangana priced at Rs 8,686 and Rs 8,701, respectively, for a night's hotel stay.  Eight cities from India featured as prominent destinations that offer best value 5 star accommodation, including metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore (Karnataka) and Kolkata (West Bengal). Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, was ranked ninth in the list, where Indians paid Rs 9,700 for a night.  The HPI report also revealed the top 10 cities where Indian travellers paid the most while booking a 5 star hotel accommodation in the year 2015.  Leading the list of cities with highest priced 5 star accommodation was Florence in Italy, which was priced at Rs 33,734 per night, followed by Tokyo in Japan at Rs 32,102.  London in the UK, which topped this chart in 2014, stood at third position, with the accommodation price of at Rs 31,750 for a night.  New York in the US, that bagged third position in the list, was priced at Rs 28,373 for a night at a 5 star property.  European cities, including Italy's Venice priced at Rs 26,698, Milan priced at Rs 24,311, Rome at Rs 23,754, and Paris in France priced at Rs 21,997 took the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth positions, respectively, on the list where Indians paid most for a 5 star hotel room. Hong Kong stood ninth in the list with 5 star hotel tariff of Rs 21,916, followed by Barcelona (Spain) priced at Rs 20,263 for the same.  Hotels.Com L.P. Operates Hotels.Com, an accommodation booking website with properties ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts

Rajasthan's Bundi may not be in the Centre's list of smart cities, but is stepping into the virtual world with an 'e-municipal council' to provide files at a click, and detailed digital mapping of the city with a database of its demographical and geographical information. The city's municipal data files which are currently decaying in a pre-Independence era building, will soon be digitised and can be accessed from anywhere on phones and computers, said Pankaj Kumar Mangal, commissioner of Bundi municipal council.  An 'e-municipal council' office equipped with solar panels and biometric entry and exit will also be constructed soon, where anyone would be able to view data on screen with a click.  Applicants would not have to make rounds of different offices but would be able to access desired documents directly through an 'e-processor'.The office would generate its revenue by selling accurate data and documents to the other government and non-government departments. Eight bighas of land for its construction have been earmarked at Chaterpura road in the city. It would come up in Bundi in next six to eight months, he said. The council has also embarked on a project of digitally mapping the city with a comprehensive database of its demographical and geographical information, including small lanes, streets, trees, drains, electric poles and housesbesides monuments with detailed information. The project has helped the council remove encrochement of government land, and has earned them a revenue of Rs 30 crores, the commssioner claimed.

The Indian Navy has commissioned indigenously built highly maneuverable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at the commissioning ceremony held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. INS Tarmugli will be based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh). It would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India. INS Tarmugli is indigenously conceived, designed and built by M/s Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE). It is the first Follow-on Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) and is an improved version of WJFAC, earlier constructed by GRSE. The ship is named after a picturesque Tarmugli island located in the Andaman group. Features : INS Tarmugli weighs 320-tonne and is 48 meters in length. It can achieve speeds in excess of 30 knots. It is fitted with advanced MTU engines, water jet propulsion and the latest communication equipment. Ship’s Crew : It is manned by a team comprising four officers and 41 sailors with one Commanding Officer.  Ship’s Main Role : Built for extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol the warship. It is capable of operating in shallow waters at high speeds and is equipped with enhanced fire power.  Ships armament : It is equipped with of a 30 mm CRN 91 gun, an electronic day-night fire control system namely Stabilised Optronic Pedestal (SOP), two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns (HMG) and multiple medium machine guns and shoulder-launched Igla surface-to-air missiles to combat aerial threats.

Lieutenant General SK Saini in third week of May 2016 took over as the 46th Commandant of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. Lieutenant General SK Saini :  Lt Gen Saini is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the Indian Military Academy (IMA).He was commissioned into the 7th Battalion of the Jat Regiment in June 1981.He has held various staff, instructional and command appointments.He has commanded his battalion, a mountain brigade and a counter insurgency force in Jammu & Kashmir. His staff experience includes appointment of Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, GSO1 (Operations) of an Infantry Division, BGS of a Corps, Director, Military Operations and other key appointments at the Army Head Quarters.He has also been senior directing staff at the National Defence College (NDC) and a weapon instructor in the National Security Guards Training Centre.He is a graduate of the Army Command and staff course at the Staff College, Camberley, in the UK and has studied at the Royal College of Military Science, Shrivenham, UK.  He has been awarded including the Chief of Army Staff Commendation, the Army Commander Commendation, the Yudh Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal. Indian Military Academy : The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun is the officer training Academy of the Indian Army.It was established in 1932.The academy is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, about 8 km west of Dehradun in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand.Brigadier L.P. Collins was the first Commandant of IMA.Brigadier Thakur Mahadeo Singh, DSO, was appointed the first Indian Commandant of the academy.Brigadier M.M. Khanna, MVC was the first IMA alumni to be appointed Commandant of the IMA.

India, Iran and Afghanistan sign historic three-way land transit agreement on Iran’s strategic southern port of Chabahar. It was signed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani in Teheran, Iran.  Under the agreement, India will invest up to 500 million dollars in a deal to develop a strategic port in Iran. Chabahar port is strategically located in the Sistan-Balochistan Province on the energy-rich Persian Gulf nation’s southern coast. It lies outside the Persian Gulf and is easily accessed from India’s western coast, bypassing Pakistan. The agreement on the establishment of a Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor has potential to alter the course of history of this region. It can spur unhindered flow of commerce throughout the region and its economic fruits will expand trade, attract investment, build infrastructure, develop industry and create jobs. India will get sea-land access route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan which will open opportunities for Indian companies to explore Afghanistan’s mineral wealth. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran :  It was the first by an Indian PM to Iran in 15 years and comes months after international sanctions on Iran were lifted following its historic nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations over its contentious atomic programme. Earlier, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Iran in April 2001.

Odisha Governor Dr SC Jamir has promulgated Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016 on 23 May 2016. The Ordinance empowers the state government to formulate laws to implement the Odisha Official Language Act 1954.This will facilitate use of Odia language in transaction of official businesses of the Government. The Ordinance enforced on 21 May 2016 will amend the Language Act and use Odia in writing files, letters and all other official documents prepared by the government. Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that the Odisha Official Language Act would be implemented by 15 August 2016. Some announcements made were • He also announced that a university to promote Odia language and literature will be set up for teaching and research at the postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.He also said that Odia Virtual Academy, which was announced in the state budget, would be set up. The academy will digitize the literary corpus of Odia language and make it available through web-portal. Constitutional provision : Article 345 of the Constitution of India: Official language or languages of a State Subject to the provisions of Article 346 and 347, allows the state legislature to adopt 'any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes' of the concerned State. It also provides that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution. Orissa is the first state to be evolved on the basis of language. So the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 was enacted in 1954.  

Renowned scientist S K Sharma  was appointed the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on 23 May 2016. Sharma will be responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power reactors. He has been appointed to the new post for a period of five years. At present, Sharma is working as Distinguished Scientist and Director (Operations) in NPCIL. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited : The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is a government-owned corporation of India based in Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra.It is wholly owned by the Central Government and is responsible for the generation of nuclear power for electricity. It is administered by the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt. of India (DAE). It was created in September 1987 under the Companies Act 1956. All nuclear power plants operated by the company are certified for ISO-14001 (Environment Management System). It was the sole body responsible for constructing and operating India's commercial nuclear power plants till setting up of Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam (BHAVINI) in October 2003.  

Scientists in a breakthrough discovery in May 2016 discovered a new property of light that can alter our basic understanding of fundamental nature of light like the way light behaves and how it is useful. The discovery was made by researchers from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics and CRANN Institute.The research was published in the journal Science Advances. The discovery was made while passing light through crystals. During this process scientists spotted this unexpected new property of light, which is based on the concept called 'angular momentum'. Angular momentum measures how much a beam of light is rotating and physicists have always thought that in all forms of light the angular momentum would be a multiple of Planck’s constant, the physical constant that sets the scale of quantum effects. The new property of light discovered : As against this, scientists discovered angular momentum behaves in very different way. They found that each photon (a particle of visible light) can have half-integer values of angular momentum. In other words, angular momentum of each photon takes only half of this value.It is this property which causes a beam of light to be confined to fewer than three dimensions. How the discovery is significant : The discovery will have real impacts for the study of light waves in areas such as secure optical communication opening up possibility for faster internet connections. It would enable strange new possibilities, including particles whose quantum numbers were fractions of those expected.The discovery shows, for the first time that the speculations on how quantum mechanics works for particles that are free to move in only two of the three dimensions of space, can be realised with light. How the discovery was made : The team used an effect discovered in the same institution almost 200 years earlier. In the 1830s, mathematician William Rowan Hamilton and physicist Humphrey Lloyd found that, upon passing through certain crystals, a ray of light became a hollow cylinder.  

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Nowadays, in most of the competitive exams and interviews, there is a separate section for current affairs which plays a major role in final merit listing of Candidates. Make use of this precious 24th May 2016 current affairs updates and quiz material for preparing Top competitive exams like UPSC, SSC CGL, SSC CHSL, SSC MTS, LIC AAO, RBI Grade 'B' & Assistants, NABARD Grade A & B, SBI PO & Clerk, IBPS PO & Clerk, IBPS RRB Officer Scale 1 & Assistants, CAPF, etc,.

On checking this page frequently, you can't miss any Current Affairs news of 24th May 2016. Go through all the current affairs news updated in this page and practice with Quiz right now to succeed in your competitive exam as well as interview.

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