Current Affairs 25th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Pinarayi Vijayan has taken oath as the Chief Minister of Kerala with 19 ministers at the central stadium in capital Thiruvananthapuram. Pinarayi Vijayan served for 17 years as the CPM's Kerala state secretary, the longest tenure ever. He has been elected to the state assembly five times and won this year's election from Dharmadam constituency by a margin of 36,000 votes. In his cabinet, Mr. Vijayan will have 12 ministers from the CPM or Communist Party of India-Marxist, 4 from the Communist Party of India or CPI and one each from LDF constituents the Janata Dal-S, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress-S.  The son of a toddy tapper, Mr. Vijayan was picked to be chief minister over Mr. Achuthanandan, the CPM's star campaigner, primarily because he is younger, the party explained. Mr. Vijayan is 72, 20 years younger than 93-year-old Mr. Achuthanandan.

State-run BHEL has commissioned the first 800 MW supercritical thermal unit in Raichur, Karnataka.  The unit has been commissioned at the 2x800 MW Yeramarus Thermal Power Station (TPS) located in Raichur district of Karnataka, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) . The second unit of this project is also in the advanced stage of construction and is expected to be commissioned shortly . BHEL's scope of work for the project envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of supercritical boiler and turbine generators along with associated civil works and agreed balance of plant packages.  The key equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi, Thirumayam and Bengaluru plants, while the construction of the plant has been undertaken by the company's power sector- southern region . In 2015-16, BHEL has been entrusted with orders for 12 supercritical steam generators and 10 supercritical steam turbine generators by various utilities. 

The book titled A Call to Mercy : Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve was in news on 25 May 2016. The book is a collection of previously unreleased writings by Mother Teresa. The material in the book offers Mother Teresa’s profound yet accessible wisdom on how we can show mercy and compassion in our day-to-day lives. The book was compiled by the Rev. Brian Kolodiejchuk, who has led the case for Mother Teresa’s sainthood. It will be released in August 2016 weeks before the late Nobel Peace Prize winner is to be canonized.

The Union Cabinet has approved the National Capital Goods Policy 2016 on 25 May 2016. This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector with a clear objective of increasing production of capital goods from 2.3 lakh crore rupees in 2014-15 to 7.5 lakh crore rupees in 2025. It also seeks to raise direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million by 2025. Features of National Capital Goods Policy 2016 Vision : To increase the share of capital goods contribution from present 12 to 20 percent of total manufacturing activity by 2025  Mission : To become one of the top capital goods producing nations of the world by raising the total production to over twice the current level.To raise exports to a significant level of at least 40 percent of total production and thus gain 2.5 percent share in global exports of capital goods.To improve technology depth in Indian capital goods from the current basic and intermediate levels to advanced levels Objectives : Increase total production to achieve total production in excess of 5 lakh crore rupees by 2025 from the current 2.2 lakh crore rupees.To increase the share of domestic production in India's capital goods demand from 56 percent to 80 percent by 2025 and in the process improve domestic capacity utilization to 80-90 percentTo improve skill availability by training 50 lakhs people by 2025.To improve 'technology depth' in capital goods sub-sectors by increasing research intensity in India from 0.9 percent to at least 2.8 percent of GDP Programmes : To achieve the above objectives the policy proposed a new scheme Heavy Industry Export & Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA) on pilot basis, Technology Development Fund under PPP model, start-up centre for capital goods sector. In addition, the policy recommended for strengthening the existing Scheme on Enhancement of Competitiveness of Capital Goods and modernize the CG manufacturing units, especially SMEs. Action plan : The policy has proposed a comprehensive set of policy actions which would enable the achievement of the objectives for the sector and had recommended a set of nine new initiatives and policy actions and they are: Devising a long term, stable and rationalized tax and duty structure to ensure cost competitiveness of the sector Drafting a comprehensive public procurement policy with amended qualifying criteria and introducing special provisions in contracts for domestic value addition Promoting development of new technology through indigenous sources Providing Technology Upgrade Fund Support across all capital goods sub-sectors Creating a level playing field vis-à-vis imports by restricting imports of second hand machinery and mitigating duty disadvantages Supporting availability of short and long term of financing at competitive rates to capital goods manufacturers Enabling skill development by setting up sub-sector specific Skill Councils. Enabling higher participation of India in standard creation and developing support system to improve compliance. Developing manufacturing clusters with shared facilities especially for SMEs Governance Mechanism : The policy proposes a governance mechanism for smooth implementation and effectiveness of the policy. The mechanism will be in the form of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental committees at the highest level to ensure due consideration of the interests of all stakeholders. Periodic Review of Policy : The capital goods sector operates in a dynamic local and global environment and it is imperative for the policy to undergo a periodic review and revision to maintain its relevance. The National Capital Goods Policy 2016 will be reviewed every five years and revised appropriately to take account of progress in implementation and emerging trends in the national and international environment.  

A New charter for Persons With Disabilities was on 24 May 2016 endorsed at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.This new charter is aimed at improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities during emergencies. Five Principles of humanitarian actions :  The Charter urges government representatives as well as leaders of non-governmental organizations to ensure that their future humanitarian actions will be inclusive of people with disabilities, based on five principles: Non-discrimination and recognition of the diversity of people with disabilities; Involvement of people with disabilities in developing humanitarian programs; Ensuring services and humanitarian assistance are equally available for and accessible to all people with disabilities; Implementation of inclusive global policies; and Cooperation and coordination among humanitarian actors to improve inclusion of people with disabilities. What does the Charter call for  Non-discrimination : Condemn and eliminate all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities in humanitarian programming and policy by guaranteeing protection. Participation : Promote meaningful involvement of persons with disabilities in the needs assessment, design, implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian preparedness. Inclusive policy : Engage with all relevant States, other stakeholders and partners to ensure protection for persons with disabilities as required by international law. Inclusive response and services : Ensure that emergency and preparedness planning are designed to take into account the diverse needs of persons with disabilities. Cooperation and coordination : Foster technical cooperation and coordination among authorities and all humanitarian actors and representative organisations of persons with disabilities.  

The United Nations World Humanitarian Summit concluded on 24 May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. The summit was organised by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). More than 50 heads of state and government attended the summit, which commenced on 23 May 2016. However, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced his disappointment at the absence of world leaders from G7 countries. The World Humanitarian Summit’s main achievement was the Grand Bargain, which is the name for a set of 51 commitments to reform humanitarian financing to make emergency aid finance more efficient and effective. In the summit, a New charter for Persons With Disabilities was also endorsed. The charter aims at improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities during emergencies. World Humanitarian Summit : Ban Ki-moon, in his Five-Year Action Agenda, released in January 2012, set out his vision to develop a humanitarian system that was more global, accountable and robust.A key aspect of his agenda was convening a World Humanitarian Summit to help share knowledge and establish common best practices among the wide spectrum of organizations involved in humanitarian action. The summit’s goal was to fundamentally reform the humanitarian aid industry to react more effectively to today’s many crises. In November 2015, Antoine Gerard was announced as the head of the World Humanitarian Summit. The position was previously held by Jemilah Mahmood from April 2014 to November 2015.

The abbreviation NEDA standing for North East Democratic Alliance was in news as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 24 May 2016 formed NEDA to boost development agenda in North-Eastern states of India. This alliance can be termed as non-Congress alliance of parties willing to join of Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim. The main objective of the NEDA, which is part of the NDA, will be all-round development of North East and better co-ordination among the states and central government. The decision to form the alliance was taken at a meet in Guwahati in the presence of BJP President Amit Shah, BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav and Chief Ministers of Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. BJP leader and Cabinet Minister in newly formed Assam government Himanta Biswa Sarma will be Convener of the alliance. Assam is the first North Eastern state of India that is governed by BJP, which wants to utilise the opportunity as the gateway to North-East India. At present, Congress runs three north-eastern states. Apart from this, this region sends 25 Member of Parliament (MP) to Lok Sabha. At present, BJP have eight lawmakers from the region in Lok Sabha, of which seven are from Assam (14 seats available) and 1 from Arunachal Pradesh (2 seats available).

The Ministry of Railways launched Rail Humsafar Saptaah on 26 May 2016, a week-long initiative to highlight significant achievements made by Indian Railways in all spheres. The Rail Humsafar Saptaah will conclude on 1 June 2016. In addition, each day of the week will focus on a particular theme and hence the days have been named as: 26th May : Swachchta Diwas 27th May : Satkar Diwas 28th May : Sewa Diwas 29th May : Satarkata Diwas 30th May : Saamanjasya Diwas 31st May : Sanyojan Diwas  1st June : Sanchaar Diwas Activities to be undertaken during the week are : All Zonal Railways will ensure that various passenger amenities works nearing completion would be commissioned during this week. On 26th May, efforts were made to undertake Intensive Cleanliness Drive on all the Stations and in Trains. Stations of Indian railways were inspected by an officer including GMs and DRMs who will be supervising the cleanliness drive with the help of railway staff, NGOs, staff associations, scouts and guides. On 27th May, officers will be deputed to inspect all catering establishments and drinking water facilities at stations and in trains. In addition, pantry cars will be inspected and catering units at stations will be checked. On 28th May, each train, other than sub-urban commuting trains, will be monitored by an officer between 1000 to 1600 hrs. These nominated officers would travel by these trains and interact with passengers in all classes and ensure that amenities are provided and grievances are redressed. On 29th May, punctuality and ticket checking drive will be undertaken across the Zonal Railways. This drive will include ensuring 100% punctuality of mail/express and passenger trains. On 30th May, a day-long exercise will be undertaken on all divisions and zonal railway HQs wherein teams of concerned officers would inspect all railway staff colonies along with representatives of recognized unions to undertake cleanliness drive in the colonies. Besides, each zonal railways will undertake plantation of at least 1000 trees on each division especially in the railway colonies and other premises.On 31st May, all DRMs and GMs will hold meetings and seminars with all Major Freight Traffic Customers to advise them about the various reforms and policy initiatives on the freight traffic side.On 15th June, all DRMs and GMs will review various activities under taken during the week.

Dubai has opened the world's first functioning 3D-printed office building, part of a drive by the Gulf's main tourism and business hub to develop technology that cuts costs and saves time. The printers  used industrially and also on a smaller scale to make digitally designed, three-dimensional objects from plastic  have not been used much for building. This one used a special mixture of cement, a Dubai government statement said, and reliability tests were done in Britain and China.The one-storey prototype building, with floorspace of about 250 square meters (2,700 square feet), used a 20-foot (6-metre)by 120-foot by 40-foot printer. This is the first 3D-printed building in the world, and it's not just a building, it has fully functional offices and staff," the United Arab Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Mohamed Al Gergawi. The arc-shaped office, built in 17 days and costing about $140,000, will be the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation the company behind the project  is in the center of the city, near the Dubai International Financial Center. Gergawi  studies estimated the technique could cut building time by 50-70 percent and labor costs by 50-80 percent. Dubai's strategy was to have 25 percent of the buildings in the emirate printed by 2030.

Snapdeal-backed FreeCharge has reshuffled its top management elevating chief operating officer (COO) Govind Rajan as its new CEO.  Co-founder and CEO Kunal Shah will now move to a new role as the Chairman at the digital payments company. In April last year, Snapdeal had acquired Freecharge in the one of the biggest deals in the e-commerce sector. While the companies had not disclosed the deal size, it was estimated to be a USD 400 million transaction. Govind has led with great insight and initiative. His understanding of the payments industry and its future trends is equally matched by his discipline and ability to get things done. Rajan had joined Snapdeal last year from Airtel, where he was serving as the CEO for Airtel Money. Later, he was given the additional responsibility as the COO of FreeCharge.  FreeCharge, which offers mobile recharge and utility bill payment services, had started mobile wallet service last year.  

US biochemical engineer, Frances Arnold has won the Millennium Technology Prize for her work 'directed evolution' in Finland. Directed evolution is a method of rewriting DNA to improve medicines and develop green fuels.With this Arnold has become the first female winner in its 12 year of history and awarded with the 1 million euro prize. The award was presented by the Technology Academy Finland.  The 59 year old, Arnold is a professor of chemical engineering at California Institute of Technology and her method of creating new proteins with desired properties is being used to convert renewable resources like sugar cane into bio fuels and to improve everyday products such as laundry and dish washing detergents to enhance their performance in cold temperatures. She recognizes developments that change people's lives for the better. Millennium Technology Prize : The Millennium Technology Prize is one of the world's largest technology prizes. It is awarded once every two years by Technology Academy Finland, an independent fund established by Finnish industry and the Finnish state in partnership. The prize is presented by the President of Finland. The Millennium Technology Prize is Finland's tribute to innovations for a better life. The aims of the prize are to promote technological research and Finland as a high-tech Nordic welfare state. The prize was inaugurated in 2004.  

Union Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated five new project namely  New AC Weekly Express train between H. Nizamuddin-Pune,  Expansion of VIKALP Scheme of Alternate Train Reservation to Delhi-Howrah, Delhi- Chennai, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Secunderabad Circuits   Pilot Project of Sale of Unreserved Tickets through Hand Held Terminals Launching of Ergonomically Redesigned & Optimised Tools for Track Gangs, Keymen & Patrolmen   Pilot Project for Improving Safety at Unmanned Level Crossing.   Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated following activities through video conferencing from Mumbai.  Simultaneously, there was a parallel ceremony at H. Nizamuddin Railway Station where Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences and Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha were specially present to grace the occasion. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital Member Traffic Mohd. Jamshed, Member Engineering V.K. Gupta, Member Mechanical Hemant Kumar along with other senior officials were also present on the occasion.  

The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities will now be known as 'Divyangjan' Sashaktikaran Vibhag in Hindi, dropping the word 'viklangjan' from its previous nomenclature. The Centre had proposed the change in name of the department by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. Now, the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities ('Viklangjan' Sashaktikaran Vibhag) will be Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities ('Divyangjan' Sashaktikaran Vibhag), according to an order issued by Cabinet Secretariat. President Pranab Mukherjee has given approval to the new nomenclature. The department, which works under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, facilitates empowerment of persons with disabilities. As per the 2011 census, the differently abled constitute 2.21% of the total population of the country.

Government has approved the revision in guidelines of the Performance in Credit Rating Scheme, aiming to increase its credibility and effectiveness for both borrowers and banks.  Under the revised guidelines, the fee to be paid to the rating agencies shall be based on the turnover of the micro and small enterprises which has been categorised into three slabs.  For turnover up to Rs 50 lakh, the fee to be reimbursed by the MSME Ministry will constitute 75 per cent of the fee charged by the rating agency subject to a ceiling Rs 15,000. For turnover between Rs 50 lakh and 2 crore, the fee to be reimbursed will be 75 per cent of the fee charged by the rating agency subject to a ceiling of Rs 30,000.  Similarly, for micro and small enterprises having turnover above Rs 2 crore, the fee to be reimbursed will be 75 per cent of the fee charged by the rating agency subject to a ceiling of Rs 40,000.  Besides, only rating agencies registered by SEBI and empanelled as External Credit Assessment Institution (ECAI) by RBI would be eligible to carry out rating of MSEs under the Scheme.  The eligible rating agency should apply to receive subsidy under the PCR Scheme on the portal of NSIC. Approval for eligible rating agencies should be given within one month.It is expected that the Rating Scheme would encourage MSE sector in improving its contribution to the economy by way of increasing their productivity, since a good rating would enhance their acceptability in the market and also make access to credit quicker and cheaper and thus help in economizing the cost of credit. The rating agency is also required to complete the rating process within 60 days of the receipt of complete application alongwith prescribed documents. The validity of a rating shall be for a period of one year from the date of issue of the rating letter.Government in March had sought comments from stakeholders on the recommendations of the Committee set up by MSME Ministry for revision in the guidelines of Performance in Credit Rating Scheme. Performance and Credit Rating Scheme is being implemented by Ministry of MSME through National Small Industries Corporation.

Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for opening an Ayurvedic centre in China. According to a statement issued by the hospital, the collaboration will take place with Yogame, a Chinese company, and the Ayurvedic centre will be opened in Kunming -- the largest city in Yunnan province of Southwest China. Yogame is currently running Indian traditional yoga centres in China. According to the terms of MoU, Arora will contribute for sourcing of Ayurvedic materials. He will also provide skills and training manpower. Arora will also provide consultancy on Ayurveda for the newly-established centre. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital : Sir Ganga Ram Hospital is a 675-Beded multi-speciality state-of-the-art Hospital in India. It provides comprehensive Healthcare India services, and has acquired the status of a premier medical institution. It is the only hospital in the private sector that has maintained nearly 100% bed occupancy due to its reputation of providing the highest level of medical services to patients from Delhi and neighbouring states. The hospital was founded initially in 1921 at Lahore by Sir Ganga Ram (1851-1927), a civil engineer and leading philanthropist of his times. After the partition in 1947, the present hospital was established in New Delhi on a plot of land approximately 11 acres.

S.M. Seenivel (65), the MLA-elect of Tiruparankundram constituency belonging to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) passed away on 25 May 2016. Mr. Seenivel, who defeated the rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) candidate M. Manimaran by a margin of 22,992 votes. From 1980, for 25 years, he was secretary of Panchayat Union in Thiruparankundram. He was chairman of Thirupankundram Housing Board Association from 2001 to 2006. Mr. Seenivel had already served as an MLA of Thiruparankundram constituency when AIADMK was in power between 2001-06.  

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD)  has decided to launch ASMITA, a student tracking system programme. ASMITA is acronym for All School Monitoring Individual Tracing Analysis and shall be launched under Shala Asmita Yojana (SAY). SAY aims to track the educational journey of school students from Class I to Class XII across the 15 lakhs private and government schools in the country. ASMITA will be an online database which will carry information of student attendance and enrolment, learning outcomes, mid-day meal service and infrastructural facilities among others. Students will be tracked through their Aadhaar numbers and incase those not having unique number will be provided with it.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on 24 May 2016 launched its inaugural World Wildlife Crime Report. The report highlights how the poaching and illegal trade of thousands of different species across the globe present real environmental dangers. The report also urges shared responsibility in tackling this crime given how products made from illicit flora and fauna such as fashion items, furniture, food, and pets, may be hidden in plain sight. The report is a part of UNODC's ongoing Global Programme on Wildlife and Forest Crime. The report was developed by UNODC with data provided by partner organizations under the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), including the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Highlights of the report : Wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or regions, but is a truly global phenomenon.Nearly 7000 species have been seized, including not only mammals but reptiles, corals, birds, and fish. No single species is responsible for more than 6% of the seizure incidents. Illegal wildlife markets do not correspond neatly to biological categories. Some markets make use of multiple species, while some species feed multiple distinct markets. In some cases, it appears that a large share of the illegally acquired wildlife is ultimately sold in a legal market. By introducing illegal products into licit markets, traffickers have access to a much broader pool of potential buyers.Certain markets are vulnerable to the infiltration of illegally sourced or trafficked wildlife: (a) Where there is no international regulation; (b) At wild source; (c) Farm laundering; (d) Trafficking between two legal markets; (e) Under cover of fraudulent paperwork. The World Wildlife Crime Report sheds light on seven specific areas which best illustrate the scale of wildlife and forest crime. They are seafood; pets, zoos and breeding; food, medicine and tonics; art, décor and jewellery; cosmetics and perfume; fashion; and furniture.The report additionally highlights how gaps in legislation, law enforcement and criminal justice systems present serious issues. It does not provide a dollar amount estimate for the annual value of illicit wildlife trade.  

Renowned Pink Panther star Burt Kwouk passed away on 24 May 2016. He was 85. He is survived by his wife Caroline Tebbs and a son. He was best known for playing Inspector Clouseau's manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films. Burt Kwouk : Born in Warrington, Cheshire in 1930, Kwouk was raised in Shanghai until he was 17. Kwouk started acting when he returned to England in 1954 after 1949 revolution.His big break came 10 years later when director Blake Edwards offered him the part of Cato Fong, opposite Peter Sellers's Inspector Clouseau.He appeared in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Sellers as Clouseau's servant who regularly attacked his employer to keep him alert.Kwouk also appeared in three James Bond films including Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.He also starred in BBC sitcom Last of the Summer Wine from 2002 to 2010.Kwouk had a long TV career, appearing in numerous TV shows including The Avengers and Doctor Who. He also played Major Yamauchi in the 1980s wartime television drama Tenko. He joined long-running sitcom Last of the Summer Wine as electrician Entwistle - a part that was written with him in mind.  He was awarded an OBE for services to drama in the 2011 New Year Honours List.  

The State Government has separated the Plus II colleges from the Plus III colleges and made it a part of school education.  A Gazette notification in this regard was issued by the Higher Education Department on23 May 2016.  Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister Pradeep Panigrahy informed that starting from this academic session Plus II courses would be in line with the CBSE syllabus and Board examination would be introduced in the first year of the Plus II course.  From the current academic session, all the Plus II colleges would come under the purview of the School and Mass Education Department. Now, the State Government can access funds under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) and the Rashtriya Uchatar Sikshya Abhiyan (RUSA) for development of junior and undergraduate colleges.   

The Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and Bengaluru (IIM-B) have improved their positions on the Financial Times  (FT) global rankings for Executive Education-Customised programmes for 2016. IIM-B ranked top in the custom category among Indian business schools offering executive education. At 47th slot, it moved up 10 positions from 57 in 2015. IIM-A was ranked at 74, moving up by nine places from 83 last year in the custom executive education programmes. In the open category, IIM-B fell from 53 last year to 57 this year and IIM-A debuted at 67. According to IIM-A, the premier B-school was one of seven ranked institutes in Asia in the open enrolment programmes and one of the five ranked institutes in Asia in customised programmes. IIM-A is committed to strengthening its executive education programme offerings. The improvement in our FT rankings this year is one indicator of that commitment. We will continue to endeavour that IIM-A executive education maintains an ongoing dialog and bidirectional learning with leaders in the world of practice. Commenting on the rankings, Sebastian Morris, Chairperson, IIM-A Executive Education said, "IIM-A Executive Education believes in giving high value to our clients and we will continue to serve them with vigour.  The FT Rankings this year saw Iese Business School (Spain) secure the top rank in executive education-customised, followed by IMD, HEC Paris, Center for Creative Leadership, Harvard Business School, London Business School, and Insead.

Senior Afghan Taliban sources  confirmed the death of their chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a US drone strike, adding that a council is underway to decide his successor. Mansour's death was confirmed by two other senior figures, who said the group's top leaders were gathering in southwest Pakistan to name their future chief. Mullah Zakir, Mullah Shireen and Siraj Haqqani are strong candidates. Another Taliban source confirmed Haqqani, leader of the feared Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network and one of Mansour's deputies, was a frontrunner, adding that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was also in contention.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) today said it has incorporated its agricultural equipment rental services arm as a wholly-owned subsidiary. is incorporated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of M&M with an initial subscription of 50,000 shares of Rs 10 each aggregating Rs 5 lakh . An organised farm equipment rental service through a franchise-based model using new-age digital technology, Trringo-com was incorporated on May 23.  Its operations will be initially limited to India.  Trringo will use a proprietary digital platform as an enabler to process orders and pass them on to the nearest franchisee through location-based mapping.  Franchisee could also tie up with tractor owners in the vicinity enabling them to rent out equipment to farmers on a commission basis.  Besides, large farmers who own expensive, high-end equipment can rent out their assets, optimising utilisation based on seasonality, cutting across geographies.  The stock was trading at Rs 1,291.30 on BSE, up 0.38 per cent from its previous close.   

China's dancing grannies have taken their moves to the record books.  Guinness World Records says more than 31,000 Chinese participants have set a record for mass plaza dancing in multiple locations.  It says on its website that 31,697 participants in Beijing,Shanghai and four other cities set the new mark on Saturday by performing choreographed dance moves together for more than five minutes.  Participants in Beijing posed with Guinness representatives in front of the city's iconic Bird's Nest stadium.  Generally middle-aged and elderly women, such dancers are a common site in parks, plazas and other public spaces in Chinese cities.  While considered a healthy way to exercise and socialize, the performances have sometimes drawn criticism from those living nearby over the loud music accompanying the moves.

The Loan and Project Agreements for World Bank (IBRD) assistance of US$ 100 million for the Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernization project were signed between Government of India/Government of Karnataka and the World Bank here today.  The Loan Agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Michael Haney, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The Project Agreement was signed by Shri V. Ponnuraj, Managing Director, Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development & Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) on behalf of the Government of Karnataka. Mr. Michael Haney signed the Project Agreement on behalf of the World Bank.  Objectives : The objective of the project is to provide city-wide access to a continuous piped water supply in the eligible cities in the State of Karnataka and to strengthen the service delivery arrangements at the city level. KUIDFC is the implementing agency for the project.The project would have four broad components:  Capital Investment Program Institution Building  Technical Assistance for Sector Development Project Management.  Highlights : The project will be implemented over a period of six years, initially in the twin cities of Hubballi-Dharwad, with provision for other eligible cities to join the project at a later date. Under the project, the Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation has hired a professional water supply operating company for improving the water supply system, as also to manage the refurbished system through a 12-year contract in accordance with strict performance criteria. The municipality will retain ownership of the water supply assets and control of the service delivery set up. The project will help the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation set up a city-level water utility that will take over water supply operations from the professional operating company at the end of its contract period. The project will benefit about one million residents of the Hubballi- Dharwad, including estimated 160,000 slum dwellers. 

India has banned its nationals from travelling to Libya, irrespective of the purpose of the visit, in view of the prevailing security situation in that country. Announcing this on 23 May 2016, the External Affairs Ministry said the decision had been notified to all immigration authorities. In view of the prevailing security situation in Libya, security threats and challenges to the lives of Indian nationals in Libya, the government has decided to impose travel ban on Indian nationals planning to travel to Libya irrespective of the purpose. Asking Indian nationals for compliance, the Ministry said the travel ban was effective from May 3 till further orders. The Ministry’s announcement came a day after reports of a Libyan former Minister being killed in clashes between unity government forces and fighters of the Islamic State jihadist group in Sirte. Libya is witnessing increased violence due to the clashes.  

Telangana government today said it has signed an MoU with US-based healthcare tech firm Eclat Health Solutions, which, according to the agreement, will invest $15 million in the state to provide 1,000 jobs.  A state government team led by IT Minister K T Rama Rao which is currently touring the US signed the MoU on 24 May 2016. Without disclosing details, the release also said the team signed another agreement with Genesis Pharmaceuticals Chairman Monif Matouk, and Safye Holdings CEO Afi Hasan.  According to the release, KTR met Deputy Governor of Illinois Tery Childress and Governor of Indianapolis Mike Pence. 

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25th May 2016 Current Affairs Quiz

Try to answer the 25th May 2016 Current affairs quiz questions, after going through 25th May 2016 current affairs news. 25th May 2016 current affairs Quiz questions are designed in an endearing and better way to revise all the important points of current events. Correct answers are shown at the end of the Quiz to scale up the candidate’s grasping level of General Knowledge.

Enrich your GK with FreshersLive 25th May 2016 Current Affairs News

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 25th 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 25th 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.