Current Affairs 27th May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Indian Coast Guard ship Arush, the seventeenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited, was commissioned 27 May 2016 at Kochi by the Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS Basra.  The flag officer also dwelt upon the fast paced development of the Indian Coast Guard and acknowledged its efforts to face the emerging security challenges in the maritime domain. He emphasised the importance of coastal security in view of the asymmetric threats from the sea and emphasised synergy in cooperation amongst all stakeholders to ensure maritime safety in face of nefarious designs. Indian Coast Guard will be a 150 ships/boats and 100 aircraft maritime force in next few years. In addition to these operational assets, a coastal surveillance network is being established with 46 stations to ensure real time coastal surveillance.  The Commander Coast Guard Region (West) Inspector General K Natarajan and other senior dignitaries of the Central and State Government were present on the occasion. The 50 meter indigenous FPV displaces 421 tonnes and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with an endurance of 1500 nautical miles at economical speed of 13 knots, equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and advanced communication and navigational equipment.  She makes an ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast missions such as surveillance, interdiction, search and rescue and medical evacuation. The special features of the ship include an Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS) and Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS).  The ship has been named ICGS Arush, literally meaning first ray of sun, and will be based at Porbandar under the administrative and operational control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (North West). The ship is commanded by Commandant Pramod Pokhriyal and has complement of four officers and 33 enrolled personnel. 

Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd has been ranked among the world's ten biggest and most powerful companies in the consumer financial services sector on a Forbes list topped by global major American Express.  Ranked 7th, HDFC is the only Indian company in top-ten in this category, where others include Capital One , Visa and MasterCard.  In the overall list of the world's 2,000 largest and most powerful public companies compiled by Forbes, HDFC is ranked 404th while it is at tenth position among Indian firms . There are total 56 Indian companies on the list, with Reliance Industries BSE 2.75 % ranked highest among them. It is at 121st place globally.  For the oil and gas sector, RIL is ranked 9th while the top-tanked firm is ExxonMobil of the US. ONGC ranked 220th in the global list and Indian Oil (371) are the other two Indian firms which got featured in the top 20 global companies in the Oil and Gas sector.  State Bank of India was ranked among the top 20 globally in the regional banks category. With a market capitalisation of USD 23.3 billion, SBI was ranked 149th in the global list.  Meanwhile, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank were named among the top 30 in the regional bank category. Both of the companies were ranked 266 and 275 in the global list. The data for the Global 2000 list was compiled using data from FactSet Research systems to screen for the biggest public companies in four metric: sales, profits, assets and market value.  The market value calculation was as of April 22, 2016 closing prices and includes all common shares outstanding. All together 56 Indian companies have been named in the global list, out of which 22 public sector lenders have been named in the regional banks category led by State Bank of India which was ranked 149 on the list.  Other public sector lender in the regional bank category include ICICI Bank at the 266 position, HDFC Bank 275 rank, Axis Bank (484), Bank of Baroda (801), Punjab National Bank (866), Kotak Mahindra Bank (899) and Canara Bank  (946).  Other Indian lenders which made the cut in the regional Bank category include -- Bank of India (1050), Union Bank of India (1276), IndusInd Bank (1375), IDBI Bank (1446), Central Bank of India (1559), Syndicate Bank (1652), Indian Overseas Bank (1704), Yes Bank (1732), UCO Bank (1816), Allahabad Bank (1834), Corporation Bank  (1846), Oriental Bank of Commerce (1863), Indian Bank (1931) and Andhra Bank (1947) . Chinese banks remain the largest corporations on earth. Three Chinese lenders, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China , China Construction Bank and Agricultural Bank of China, held onto their rank as the world's most powerful companies in 2015, topping the Forbes Global 2000. 

Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has received the 'India Biodiversity Award 2016' in one of its four categories. The Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district was awarded the prize under the category, "conservation of threatened species". A joint initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Biodiversity Authority and United Nations Development programme, India Biodiversity Awards recognise the contribution of a range of stakeholders towards the conservation of biodiversity. The Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme has been a major step towards conservation of four hornbill species that are found in the adjoining areas of Pakke Tiger Reserve.The Programme is a collaboration of Ghora-Aabhe Society, Nature Conservation Foundation and the Forest Department. Under this programme, urban citizens contribute money to protect hornbill nests around Pakke Tiger Reserve. The Ghora-Aabhe Society members have been conducting awareness meetings and various other activities towards safeguarding the hornbill species and its habitat.  The award was given away at a ceremony in Mumbai on May 22.

Bharti Enterprises founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal (58) was bestowed with 2016 Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award. Sunil Mittal is Indian telecom tycoon, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder, chairman and Group CEO of Bharti Enterprises, which has interests in telecom, financial services, retail and agri business. The Group flagship Bharti Airtel, with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa and has customer base of over 275 million. It is India’s largest telecom company and world’s third largest mobile operator. He is listed as the eight richest person in India by Forbes with a Net worth of 7 billion dollars. In 2007, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian honour. Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award  : The award the highest honour the Harvard Business School confers on its alumni who have contributed significantly to their companies and communities while upholding the highest standards and values. It is presented annually since 1968.

Barack Obama became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima memorial, site of the world’s first atomic bombing dropped on August 6, 1945. He paid tribute to the 140,000 people killed by the world’s first atomic bomb attack and laid wreath at Hiroshima nuclear memorial.  In the guest book of the memorial President Obama wrote “We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.” However President Obama did not officially apologize for the attack, which is viewed by many in the US as having hastened the end of World War II and others have called it a war crime that targeted civilians. The official trip of US President Barack Obama comes more than seven decades after an American plane, dropped its payload (nuclear bomb), dubbed ‘Little Boy’ over the western Japanese city.  The bombing had claimed lives of about 140,000 people and affected many from radiation-related illnesses. Three days later (On 9 August 1945) US dropped a second bomb dubbed as ‘Fat Man’ on the city of Nagasaki in which 70,000 more people were killed.  The twin bombings by US were dealt as the final blows to Japan which led to its unconditional surrender on August 15, 1945, bringing an end to World War. These two nuclear bombs attack on Japanese cities, are only instance in warfare history of mankind in which nuclear weapons by any country were used against another. The visit US President Barack Obama also marks seven years since he used his trademark soaring rhetoric to call for the elimination of atomic (nuclear) arms in a landmark speech in Prague that helped him win the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Visit of incumbent US President, is also considered as a gesture US and Japan hope will showcase their alliance and reinvigorate efforts to rid the world of nuclear arms.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the reservation for Jats and five other communities provided by the Haryana government. The reservation for these communities was provided under a newly carved Backward Classes (C) category as per provisions of Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016. The court gave its ruling on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the above Act which was passed unanimously by the Haryana Assembly in March 2016. The five other communities which were provided reservation under the Act were Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Muslim Jats, Rors and Tyagis. They were entitled to 10 per cent reservation in government services and also admission to educational institutions.  Earlier the Supreme Court also had ruled that Jats could not be treated as backward, the state assembly had no right to pass the law. However, the Supreme Court, in the case of Ram Singh and others versus the Union of India, held that Jats were not backward socially, educationally and politically. The Act provided 10 per cent quota in government jobs and educational institutions, and 6 per cent in Class I and II posts. It was provided in exclusion to the already notified 27 per cent quota for Other Backward Classes (Block ­A and B) and 10 per cent to Economically Backward (EB) Persons. Thus, it had violated the reservation ceiling of 50 per cent imposed by the Supreme Court.

Bengal for second successive five-year term on 27 May 2016. Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi administered her oath of office and secrecy. This is for the first time that a chief minister will take oath on Red Road. Banerjee, the state’s eighth chief minister and the first woman to occupy the post, took her oath in Bengali. The 42-member ministry, of them 18 are new faces, has seven ministers from the minority community. Banerjee is among the four women representatives in the ministry. Earlier on 19 May 2016, her party swept the electoral mandate begging 211 seats of the 294-seat Assembly. Mamata Banerjee : Born 5 January 1955, Banerjee has been Chief Minister of West Bengal since 2011.She is also the first woman to hold the office.Banerjee founded the party All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC or TMC) in 1997 and became its chairperson.She is often referred to as Didi (meaning elder sister in Bengali). In 2011, she pulled off a landslide victory for the TMC Congress alliance in West Bengal by defeating the 34-year-old Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front government, the world's longest-serving democratically-elected communist government. Earlier, she has served as the Minister of Railways twice and is also the first woman Railway Minister of India She opposed forceful land acquisition for industrialisation by the communist government in West Bengal for Special Economic Zones at the cost of agriculturalists and farmers.In 2012, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential People in the World. In September 2012 Bloomberg Markets magazine listed her among the 50 most influential people in the world of finance.

The Union Government has approved establishment of a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) in Odisha on 26 May 2016. This is the third NIMZ of India involving a massive area of 163 square kilometers. The project will come up at Kalinganagar industrial area in Jajpur district of Odisha. For execution of the project, the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has approved the 4241 crore rupees. Of this fund, estimated 3816 crore rupees will be invested for the first phase of the project which will be completed by 2020. Key facts of the project :  It will create job opportunities for around 1.5 lakh people. It will help Odisha grow as a manufacturing hub and help Paradip port's growth.National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs) In order to boost manufacturing sector, the Union Government in 2014 announced setting up of sixteen national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs) under National Manufacturing Policy (NMP). The NMP aims to enhance the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25 per cent and creating 100 million jobs over a decade. Till 2013-14, 16 NIMZs have been set up. Of these, eight are along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). These are: 1.Ahmedabad-Dholera Investment Region, Gujarat 2.Shendra-Bidkin Industrial Part city near Aurangabad, Maharashtra 3. Manesar-Bawal Investment Region, Haryana 4.Khushkhera-Bhiwadi-Neemrana Investment Region, Rajasthan 5.Pithampur-Dhar-Mhow Investment Regioin, Madhya Pradesh 6.Dadri-Noida-Ghaziabad investment Region, Uttar Pradesh 7.Dighi Port Industrial Area, Maharashtra 8.Jodhpur-Pali-Marwar Region in Rajasthan Besides, eight other NIMZs have been given in-principle approval and they are: 1. Nagpur in Maharashtra 2.Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh 3.Medak in Andhra Pradesh (now Telengana) 4.Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh 5.Tumkur in Karnataka 6.Kolar in Karnataka 7.Bidar in Karnataka 8.Gulbarga in Karnataka

Book titled Gujarat Files : Anatomy of a Cover Up authored by Rana Ayyub was released in May 2016. The book is an account of an eight-month long undercover investigation by journalist Rana Ayyub, who posed herself as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American Film Institute Conservatory to investigate the Gujarat riots. She was in Gujarat in 2010, when she was working for Tehelka magazine. The book narrates the story of fake encounters and the murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya. Rana in form of Maithili met bureaucrats and top cops in Gujarat who held pivotal positions in the state between 2001 and 2010. The transcripts of the sting operation reveal the complicity of the state and its officials in crimes against humanity. With sensational disclosures about cases that run parallel to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s ascent to power and their journey from Gujarat to New Delhi, the book tells the hushed truth of the state in the words of those who developed amnesia while speaking before commissions of enquiry, but held nothing back in the secretly taped videos which form the basis of this book.

Special Webpage on initiatives and achievements of the NDA Government at the Centre in the last two years. The webpage is linked on the main page under the icon “Transforming India” – “Desh Badal Raha Hai”. The Webpage has information on achievements in the last two years, Ministry-wise as well as Sector-wise.  All the important Cabinet decisions in the last two years of the NDA Government have also been provided on the special webpage chronologically. The webpage can also be directly accessed on Features : It includes info-graphics for use by the Media. These info-graphics are also being tweeted under the hashtag #TransformingIndia. The PIB shall also be tweeting short audio clips and video clips of beneficiaries on the twitter handle. Presentations made by the Ministries during the Press Conferences and interactions with the Media is uploaded on the webpage. Videos of success stories are being uploaded on the webpage besides the Press Conferences of the Ministers. A link has been created to the webpage where the interviews of the Union Ministers can be viewed. Links to the various social media platforms of the PIB on which content is being uploaded on the achievements of the Government can also be viewed by the Media. The wb page is collected a number of success stories across the country on various flagship programmes, innovative projects and schemes of the Government which is made available on the webpage. These success stories have been collected from 42 field offices across country

Narendra Damodardas Modi completed two years as the Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2016. The ascendance of Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Government’s (NDA) to power is of significance to the India politics because of two reasons : a.The Government came into power at a juncture where India needed a decisive leadership that is free of corruption, policy paralysis and coalition compulsions. b.High expectations from the ruling party as it was for the first time in the last 30 years that a single party could garner majority seats in the Lok Sabha. Previously, Rajiv Gandhi won 404 seats in the 1984 elections that were conducted in the aftermath of assassination of Indira Gandhi. To fulfill the poll promise of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, the government unveiled new policies and set up new institutions. Against this backdrop, it is pertinent to examine the key initiatives, achievements and challenges before the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government. Key initiatives :  1. Make In India : The campaign was launched to make India as a world-class hub of manufacturing by leveraging demographic dividend and attracting foreign directing investment by way of improving ease of doing business. To make this campaign successful, the government came up with a slew of plans and programmes including Skill India campaign, National Capital Goods Policy 2016, Start Up India, MUDRA Bank Yojana, etc. 2. Agriculture : The stated objective of the government is to double the farm income by 2022. For this, a slew of initiatives including Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana, Soil Health Card scheme, etc were launched. 3. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan : The Clean India Mission was launched in October 2014 to mark the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The objective of the campaign is to make India clean by 2019 by constructing toilets, improving waste management and launching massive awareness campaigns. The campaign seeks to underscore the importance of sanitation in achieving key health objectives as nearly 21% of communicable diseases in the country are related to unsafe water and India is home to 24% of global under-5 deaths out of which 90% occur due to diarrhea. 4. Digital India : The campaign was approved in August 2014 to create digital infrastructure, deliver e-government services and improve digital literacy. The scheme aims to leverage opportunities offered by the digital economy, improve transparency and reduce corruption. 5. JAM Trinity : It seeks to leverage the opportunities provided by interconnecting three platforms – Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile number. The objective of this initiative is to bring financial inclusion, efficiency in the execution of schemes, targeted subsidies and mobile governance. 6. NITI Aayog : It is one the key reforms as it replaced the decades old Planning Commission that commanded greater influence in the socio-economic policy sphere. In it’s over 16-months of existence NITI Aayog emerged as the primary advisory body of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub that reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog. While Team India Hub is aimed at nurturing cooperative federalism, Knowledge Hub builds think tank capabilities. 7. External relations : It has been one of the priority areas of the government for the last two years. The thrust on building the existing bilateral and trilateral relations has been primarily aimed at meeting the ‘mundane’ objectives of investments, economic growth and development rather than pursuing ‘altruistic’ or ‘idealistic’ agenda. Among other things, Act East Policy has been implemented with vigour and thrust. This policy builds upon the Look East Policy of the PV Narsimha Rao Government and in sync with the Pivot to Asia doctrine of Barack Obama that mandates pro-active engagement with the Asia Pacific region. 8. Infrastructure : To sustain the present growth momentum and to achieve the desired over 10% growth rate in the near term, it is necessary for India to upgrade the social and economic infrastructure. To this end, the government came up with a number of initiatives including Smart Cities Mission, Rurbar Mission, Sagar Mala, Setu Bharatam, National Smart Grid Mission, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana, etc. 9. Welfare : A slew of initiatives were launched to address the needs of SC, STs, minorities and BPL population. Major programmes include Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Padhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, USTAAD, Stand Up India, etc. 10. Administrative reforms : In the last 2-years the emphasis of the administration has been on ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance'. A series of steps to achieve this goal have been initiated that include simplification of procedures, identification and repeal of obsolete/archaic laws/rules and leveraging technology to bring in transparency in public interface. Some of the key initiatives in this segment are Digital India Plan, JAM Trinity, Task force on rationalising government staff, BS Baswan committee on civil services exam and GARV application among others. Achievements 1. Economy : As per the Economic Survey 2015-16, the growth rate of GDP at constant market prices was projected to increase to 7.6% in 2015-16 from 7.2% in 2014-15. It was a significant achievement considering the fact that India grew by 5% and 4.7% in 2012-13 and 2013-14 respectively. As per the World Economic Outlook of the IMF, India will retain its position as the fastest growing major economy in 2016-17 growing at 7.5%, ahead of China. This development is of significance for India because the world economy is expected to grow at 3.2% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2017. 2. Foreign investments and Ease of doing business : In 2015, India was for the first time emerged as the leading country in the world for FDI. It surpassed the USA and China that attracted $59.6 billion and $56.6 billion investment respectively. As per the World Bank’s Doing Business 2016 report, India could improve its ease of doing business ranking by 12 places to 130 rank among 180 countries surveyed. Besides, India emerged as the largest remittance receiving country in 2015 with an estimated 72 billion US dollars. 3. Human development : In the 2015 HDR, India, with a score of 0.609, was ranked 130 out of 188 countries in terms of Human Development Index (HDI). In the 2014 report, India was ranked 135 out of 187 countries. The incidence of poverty declined from 37.2 per cent in 2004-5 to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 for the country as a whole with a sharper decline in the number of rural poor. The Global Gender Gap Report 2015 of World Economic Forum placed India at the 108th position in terms of Gender Gap Index. Compared to the 2014 report, it accumulated 0.020 points and improved ranking by 6 places. 4. Fiscal deficit : The fiscal deficit for 2015-16 was within the targeted 3.9 per cent of GDP which gives enough leverage for the government to focus on socio economic development with increased capital expenditure. 5. External relations : Considerable achievements were made by the NDA Government in the last 2 years. Foreign visits of Narendra Modi resulted in signing of various agreements covering economic, security, technology spheres. Most important among them are India, US Logistics Exchange Agreement, Agreement to develop Chabahar port in Iran, civil nuclear cooperation agreements with Australia and Japan. Key challenges :  1. Black Money : Despite the initiatives like Income declaration scheme, formation of Justice MB Shah-headed Special Investigation Team and revision in Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements with various countries progress in recovering block money is not on expected lines. At the end of September 2015, undisclosed foreign assets worth only 3770 crore rupees were recovered compared to billions of dollars of unaccounted money. 2. Security threats : India has been facing security threats from multiple sources including cross border terrorism, left wing extremism, etc. The Global Terrorism Index 2015 of the Institute for Economics and Peace declared India as the 6th most affected State by terrorism in 2014. 3. Relations with neighbours : Though bilateral relations with Bangladesh improved to a large extent with the signing of Land Boundary Agreement, relations with Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka have become tricky and needed a great push. 4. Socio-economic development : Employment creation is one of the biggest challenges for the economy. Though the growth rates were pegged at over 7%, the Ministry of Labour’s 27th Quarterly Employment Survey estimated that there were 43000 job losses in the first quarter of FY 2015-2016 in eight employment intensive industries. As per the Global Report on Urban Health 2016 of the UN, urbanization and its associated lifestyle changes have triggered a health transition in favour of non communicable diseases (NCDs) in India. As per the World Health Statistics 2016, global life expectancy for children born in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), while in India it was 68.3 (66.9 for males and 69.9 for females). As per the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2015-16, India slipped 11 places to rank 89th compared to its 78th rank during 2014-15. This Index was prepared by INSEAD and measured ability of 109 to countries to retain talent. 5. Banking sector : Indian banking sector is facing a huge challenge in terms of non-performing assets (NPAs). If restructured assets are taken into account, stressed assets will be accounted for 10.9 percent of the total loans in the system. As per the International Monetary Fund (IMF), around 37 percent of the total debt in India is at risk.

India has one of the world's largest railway networks with over seven thousand stations. To ensure safety and better coordination of train movements, the stations are being upgraded with world class signaling technology. On May 18, the TVM Signalling and Transportation Systems Private Limited (TSTS), a subsidiary company of Kyosan, Japan inaugurated K5BMC (Kyosan) Electronic interlocking System at Nagasamudram railway station in Andhra Pradesh. TVM Signalling and Transportation Systems  : TSTS provides indoor and outdoor interlocking systems for small and major stations. Since it began operations some five years ago, the company has completed more than 265 stations commissioning. The company's interlocking system is based on proven EI system K5BMC from Kyosan Electric Manufacturing Company, Japan. Its I/O controller can be used as object controller and hence, thus minimizing use of copper cables. The electronic interlocking system has reduced complexity of the system and brought in cost effectiveness and components' reuse. Japanese companies are truly making a mark with their innovative technology. In Singapore Rinnai Holdings (Pacific) Pvt. Ltd. was awarded from the Build Environment Industry (BEI) ASIA award of 2015 / 2016. Established in 1920 as a manufacturer of gas appliances-mainly water heaters and kitchen appliances, for almost a hundred years, Rinnai Group has upheld its corporate missing of providing comfortable lifestyle by offering heating solutions to society through its business activities. The Japanese innovation and technology has improved the social life.

Noted Marathi critic and litterateur R G Jadhav passed away on 27 May 2016.He was 83. Born on August 24, 1932, at Vadodara in Gujarat, Jadhav served as a professor of Marathi literature in various colleges, including one in Amravati, Elphinstone College in Mumbai, and also at Milind College in Aurangabad.  Jadhav presided over Marathi Sahitya Sammelan held at Aurangabad in 2004 and worked as chief editor of Marathi Vishwakosha between 2000 and 2002.  Awards : Recipient of many awards, Jadhav penned more than 45 books, including 'Anandacha Doh' (a study of saint Tukaram), 'Nilee Pahat' (a critique of Dalit literature) and 'Bapu' (a collection of 91 reflective poems on Mahatma Gandhi).  He was also associated with Sadhana Trust and worked with rationalist and anti-superstition crusader Dr Narendra Dabholkar, who was killed in August 2013. 

The Union Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (I&B) has framed guidelines and criteria for Empanelment of suitable agencies and Rate fixation for Central Government advertisements on websites on 26 May 2016. Highlights of the Policy guidelines : Websites which are owned and operated by companies that are incorporated in India will be considered for empanelment by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP).  However, websites owned by foreign companies/origin can still be empanelled if such companies have branch offices which are registered and operating in India for at least one year. The policy stipulates eligibility criteria for websites to get empanelled with DAVP which includes Unique Users (UU) per month data, which shall be verified by credible third party tool that monitors website traffic in India.  The guidelines aim to ensure that the visibility of Government advertisements online is increased by strategically placing the ads on websites having higher Unique Users per month.The policy requires that the websites shall run the Government ads through a Third Party Ad Server (3-PAS) engaged by DAVP for providing all relevant reports linked with online billing. The Unique User Data of each empanelled websites will be reviewed in first week of April every year.The policy emphasizes that DAVP shall be the nodal agency for all Central Govt Ministries / Departments for advertising through DAVP empanelled internet websites. However, autonomous bodies/PSUs can directly release advertisements but at DAVP rates and to agencies empanelled with DAVP. Categories of the Unique User per month data of the websites :  Category                            Unique Users per month A                                            5 million and above B                                            2 million to 5 million C                                            0.25 million to 2 million Features of the policy guidelines  : Standard Banners on Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPTI) basis and a minimum Click-Through Rate (CTR) of 0.30. Video ads per five second videos.Fixed Banner on home page with minimum display size of 300 X 250 pixels in a time frame on six-hour slots (6 am-12 noon, 12 noon to 6 pm, 6 pm to 12 midnight and 12 midnight to 6 am). Fixed Video ads for 24 hour time slots on home page.

Strides Shasun has announced that it has received tentative approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Efavirenz tablets USP, 600 mg on 26 May 2016. The final approval will be received after patent expiry in August 2018. The company will manufacture the product at its oral dosage facility in Bengaluru. About Efavirenz : Efavirenz is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI).It is used as part of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) for the treatment of a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) type 1. It is also used in combination with other antiretroviral agents as part of an expanded postexposure prophylaxis regimen to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people exposed to a significant risk. It was discovered at Merck Research Laboratories.It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, the most important medication needed in a basic health system. Strides Shasun : Strides Arcolab is an Indian pharmaceutical company, headquartered at Bangalore in southern India.The company manufactures pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter drugs and nutraceuticals.The company has 15 manufacturing sites in six countries and marketing presence in 50 countries.The company's stock trades on the Bombay Stock Exchange and on the National Stock Exchange of India. Strides Arcolab changed name to Strides Shasun Ltd after an amalgamation of Shasun Pharmaceuticals with Strides Arcolab.Arun Kumar is the founder and Group CEO, and has been on the Board as Managing Director since its inception.

A jury in San Francisco has cleared Google of copyright infringement in a case brought by Oracle over Google’s use of Java in Android. Oracle was seeking damages of up to $9 billion US dollars on 26 May 2016. The jury of eight women and two men took three days to declare its verdict. The jury found that Android does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by fair use. What was the case : Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc. was a dispute related to Oracle's copyright and patent claims on Google's Android operating system.Java was originally developed at Sun Microsystems starting in 1991. It included a new programming language, a virtual machine, and a set of libraries for use with the language. Android, Inc. was founded in 2003 to develop a mobile phone platform.Google purchased Android in 2005 and continued developing the Android operating system. On 5 November 2007, Google released a beta of the Android platform noting that it would use some Java technologies. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz responded the same day, congratulating Google. Google released the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) on 12 November 2007.Amongst other APIs, Android included Apache Harmony implementations of some of the APIs from the Java SE specification. Google negotiated with Sun about possible partnership and licensing deals for Java, but no agreement was reached.Oracle purchased Sun in January 2010, and continued developing Java. Oracle sued Google for copyright and patent infringement in August 2010.  

Sanjay Bangar was appointed as the head coach of Indian Cricket team for Zimbabwe tour  on 26 May 2016. Before this appointment he worked as assistant coach (batting) for the team at the World T20 Cup in March and April 2016, under team director Ravi Shastri. Besides his appointment BCCI also appointed Abhay Sharma as fielding coach and Koka Ramesh as the administrative team manager for the tour. The BCCI is looking forward to appoint a full-time head coach for the national team after tenure of team director Ravi Shastri has come to an end in April 2016. Sanjay Bangar (batting), B Arun (fielding) and R Sridhar (fielding) were part of the coaching staff along with Shastri. Sanjay Bangar : He started his cricket career playing in teams of Maharashtra and Mumbai, but at state level he represented Railways.He came into Indian squad for their matches against England in the 2001–02 season and made his only century in the second test he played.He was one of the gutsiest allrounders in Indian domestic cricket who played 12 tests and 15 ODIs with batting averages 29.37 and 13.84 respectively. Besides Vijay Hazare, he is the only cricketer to achieve a double of 6000 runs and 200 wickets in the Ranji Trophy.He coached India A. He worked with the Kochi Tuskers as batting coach in 2010.He was named as assistant coach of Kings XI Punjab in January 2014 and later he was promoted to head coach of the franchise.He was named as batting coach of India in August 2014.  

India's economic growth rate will slowly accelerate to 8% by fiscal year ending March 2019, driven by the gradual implementation of structural reforms, higher disposable income and improvement in economic activity, global rating agency Fitch said in a report released on 26 May 2016. Fitch expects India's GDP to grow 7.5% in fiscal year ending March 2016 and improve to 7.7% in the current fiscal year and further to 7.9% in the fiscal year ending March 2018.  The global agency ,that the passage of the Bankruptcy Code earlier this month showed that implementation of big ticket reforms is possible in India, even though reforms related to land acquisition and a Goods and Services Tax have not passed thus far.  It also expects higher disposable income to contribute to faster GDP growth. "In rural areas, purchasing power will be supported by above-average rainfall from the monsoon, as expected by the India Meteorological Department, after two years of below-average rainfall. India remains the fastest growing country across the world with GDP in 2016 estimated to grow at 7.55% year on year compared to global GDP which is likely to grow at 2.5% according to Fitch estimates.  The agency sharply cut its forecast for US private investment growth and forecasted that the US economy will grow at 1.8% in 2016, the first sub-2% growth since 2013.  However, growth expectations for China have been revised up to 6.3% in 2016 and 2017, from 6.2% and 6% previously, as earlier policy stimulus gains traction and the authorities' commitment to stabilising near-term growth has strengthened.  The near-term threat to emerging market growth has eased, due to a more assertive stimulus policy in China and the stabilisation of commodity prices .

Indian American student Rishi Nairhas won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition 2016  on 26 May 2016 . As National Geographic Bee champion, Nair received a 50000 US dollars college scholarship and a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society. He also won a trip to Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park. Highlights of 28th annual National Geographic Bee : This Year, Indian-origin contestants maintained their dominance by sweeping all the top three slots.  Nair, a sixth grader from Florida, took top honours at the 28th annual National Geographic Bee held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC.Eighth-grader Saketh Jonnalagadda from Massachusetts was the runner up and recipient of the 25000 US dollars college scholarship.Third place and a 10000 US dollars college scholarship was grabbed by Kapil Nathan, a sixth-grader from Alabama. The seven other finalists, who won 500 US dollars each, were Grace Rembert of Montana, Rishi Kumar of Maryland, Pranay Varada of Texas, Lucas Eggers of Minnesota, Samanyu Dixit of North Carolina, Thomas Wright of Wisconsin and Ashwin Sivakumar of Oregon. This is the fifth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament. In 2015, Karan Menon had won the competition.

Guinea Bissau President Jose Mario Vaz issued a presidential decree naming Baciro Dja as Prime Minister of the country on 26 May 2016. Dja succeeds Carlos Correia, who was sacked earlier in May 2016. His removal threatened to deepen political turmoil in the tiny West African nation. Effects of Presidential decree : The presidential decree sparked protests from political opponents, who claimed the appointment as unconstitutional.The ruling party said it would not support Dja, who held the same post briefly in 2015. Dja was forced to resign when the Supreme Court ruled that the appointment was made without consulting all political parties and was therefore unconstitutional. Guinea Bissau and its politics : Guinea-Bissau is a country in West Africa.It covers 36125 square kilometres (13948 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1704000.In the 19th century, it was colonized as Portuguese Guinea.After its independence in 1974, the name of its capital, Bissau, was added to the country's name to prevent confusion with Guinea (formerly French Guinea).Guinea-Bissau has a history of political instability since independence, and no elected president has successfully served a full five-year term. It has had nine coups or attempted coups since 1980, and the turbulence has helped it become a major transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to Europe.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved for financial restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited (HSCL) on 25 May 2016. It also approved its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC) to takeover HSCL. The decision will benefit in economies of scale for NBCC and would assist in better manpower utilization. NBCC and HSCL will benefit from each other’s resources and expertise. HSCL will be able to fulfill its commitments of execution of projects and the orders. Features in financial restructuring of HSCL : The existing paid up equity capital of the HSCL is 117.1 crore rupees.Under the proposal, Uni0on Government non-plan loan and plan loan along with accumulated interest thereon and outstanding guarantee fee worth 1502.2 crore rupees. It will be converted into equity and equity capital of the company will be raised to that extent.The paid up equity capital of the company will become 1619.3 crore. Against this as on 31 March 2015, the accumulated losses of 1585 crore rupees will set off.After writing off of the accumulated losses, the equity and paid up capital of HSCL will become 34.3 crore rupees. Takeover of HSCL by NBCC : NBCC will infuse funds of 35.7 crore rupees as equity into HSCL. HSCL will become subsidiary of NBCC with NBCC holding 51 percent equity holding.The shareholding of Government of India in HSCL will be reduced to 49percent.The equity and paid up capital of HSCL will become 70 crore rupees.HSCL was established in 1964 for construction of modern integrated steel plants. It diversified into other civil infrastructure construction projects over the years.HSCL started incurring losses since 1978-79 mainly due to absorption of large workforce of several PSUs and private companies increasing the workforce from 4100 in 1970 to 26537 in 1979.The revival package for HSCL approved by Union Government in 1999 and further attempts for financial restructuring the company were not successful.  

The government has finally enforced the decision of retirement fund body EPFO to almost double the maximum sum assured under its insurance scheme to Rs 6 lakh for its 4 crore subscribers.  In September, Employee Provident Fund Organisation's apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT) had decided to increase benefits under the Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance ( EDLI ) scheme from Rs 3.6 lakh to Rs 6 lakh.  However, the notification to amend the scheme could not be issued by Labour Ministry as it was stuck in the Law Ministry.  The notification to enhance EDLI amount has been issued. It (the maximum sum assured) has been enhanced from Rs 3.6 lakh to Rs 6 lakh .Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya told reporters after launching a modernisation plan for National Academy for Training & Research in Social Security (NATRSS).  Some officials present on the occasion said however that they have not received the notification and are still settling the PF claims at 8.75 per cent for 2015-16. The minister was here at NATRSS to preside over a function where institute was renamed as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Academy of Social Security ( PDUNASS ). Under the modernisation plan, PDUNASS will be developed as an international centre of excellence in the area of social security administration. PDUNASS will also collaborate with bodies like International Social Security Association (ISSA) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) to encourage research in the field of social security.  The minister announced that PDUNASS will be developed as an international centre of excellence in the area of Social Security Administration and Research.  To begin with participation of officers from Social Security Agencies in the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) countries would be invited.  Social Security Professionals from the BRICS group of countries would be associated for experience sharing and learnings.  Collaboration with a reputed University will also be explored to lend academic support and recognition to the research related work done by PDUNASS. 

Online insurance platform, has partnered with public sector undertaking, The Oriental Insurance Company to facilitate the public sector undertaking's comprehensive motor insurance product for both four and two wheelers, online. Through this partnership, will be the first to offer the Public Sector Undertaking's (PSU's) .  The company said that online insurance industry in India has got significant traction in last few years. Purchase of policies online has increased from 2% to 200% in just two years in the country. Meanwhile a Boston Consulting Group report has claimed that digital insurance will skyrocket to Rs. 15,000 crore by the year 2020 from Rs. 700 crore in 2015.  With the eCommerce growth in India, PSU Insurance Companies have been waking up to the potential of online distribution for some time now, and have forayed into improving their system and technology .  Transparent information, better pricing, ease of buying a policy, expert recorded advice, transparency in a transaction are critical measures that attract customers to purchase insurance online. Features such as safe payment gateways also give customers the confidence to make an online purchase Given the sovereign backing, there is a demand from a significant number of online consumers for Government insurance company products. However, customers venturing onto comparison portals for comparison shopping were unable to compare and buy these products.  Oriental Insurance has now decided to enter the online broker/aggregator distribution with partnerships with insurance technology start-ups like . We are indeed thrilled by this partnership with Oriental Insurance, one of the most prestigious PSU's in insurance sector today. We appreciate the trust that Oriental Insurance has placed in us through this collaboration This broadens and gives much needed depth of choice to our customers .

Mumbai-based Union Bank of India  launched e-SBTR ( Electronic Secured Bank Treasury Receipt ), a facility for a single window payment facility of both stamp duty and registration fee for home purchase in Maharashtra. The e-SBTR allows payment without any ceiling and is available on 24x7x365 through internet banking.  The facility, makes it possible to do the necessary paper work and formalities on line and get the endorsement of the final document at the branch level at one go.  It initially starts in Maharashtra across 508 bank branches of the Bank and will be soon expanded to other states, according to V K Kathuria , executive director, Union Bank. The facility is also being offered by other banks such as Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India and Bank of India, among others.  The e-SBTR system adds to convenience of home buyers as the systems does away with the requirement of standing in queues to pay stamp duty and registration of property purchase.  Union Bank of India : Union Bank of India is one of the largest government-owned banks of India (the government owns 63.44% of its share capital). It is listed on the Forbes 2000, and has assets of USD 13.45 billion. All the bank's branches have been networked with its 6909 ATMs as on 30 September 2015. Its online Telebanking facility are available to all its Core Banking Customers - individual as well as corporate. It has representative offices in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Beijing, People’s Republic of China, London and Shanghai, and branches in Hong Kong, Dubai (Dubai International Financial Centre),Antwerp in Belgium and Sydney in Australia.The bank had 4196 branches in India as on 31 March 2016 and to add to it 4 overseas branches. Shri Arun Jaitley, Honorable Minister for Finance, Government of India on 30 March 2016 inaugurated the Sydney branch.  

The wait-listed and reservation against cancellation ( RAC ) train ticket holders can cancel their tickets online or by dialling 139.  Earlier only confirmed ticket holders could cancel their tickets through 139 service and IRCTC website . Now the facility can be used for cancellation of RAC and wait-listed tickets also.  Online cancellation through 139 will be permitted only four hours before the scheduled departure of the train in case of confirmed tickets and upto half an hour before the scheduled departure of the train in case of RAC and wait-listed tickets.  While booking tickets was a problem, cancelling those booked tickets and getting refunds were more problematic. So now cancellation of tickets has been made easy through introduction of this facility, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu .Besides the option of cancellation of tickets at the counter is also available for passengers.  The refund amount can be collected from the station where the journey commenced or nearby notified satellite Passenger Reservation System location . The facility will be available on the mobile number which was given at the time of booking. 

A new NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)-led study has found that sea ice cover surrounding Antarctica has been increasing slightly.  This study shows sharp contrast to the drastic loss of sea ice occurring in the Arctic Ocean to global temperature rise. The research study was based on data collected from satellite radar, ocean depth, temperature at sea surface and also consisted land form to study. The inverse phenomenon for this rise of the sea ice cover was observed due to geology of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Two persistent geological factors for the rise were the topography of Antarctica and the depth of the ocean surrounding it.  These two geological factors are influencing ocean currents and winds to drive the formation and evolution of Antarctica’s sea ice cover and help sustain it.  In this inverse phenomenon, sea ice forms and builds up early in the sea ice growth season This ice later due to winds gets pushed offshore and northward forming a protective shield of thicker, older ice that circulates around the continent. The persistent winds flowing down slope off the continent plays important role in piling of ice up against the massive ice shield, enhancing its thickness. The thickness of band of this ice varies in width from roughly 100 to 1,000 km. It protects and encapsulates younger, thinner ice from being reduced by winds and waves. This ice drifts away from the continent as the sea ice cover expands creating ice factories conducive to rapid sea ice growth.

China signed agreements with Sudan to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor. It was the first of its kind in the African country on 23 May 2016. The agreements were signed during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission. Features of the Agreements : State-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) signed two agreements with Sudan on nuclear power development which includes building a 600-megawatt atomic reactor.The agreements may involve a blueprint for nuclear power development in the next ten years for Sudan and building the first nuclear power station in Sudan.China already had a nuclear cooperation with Pakistan as it has built several nuclear power reactors and is currently building two 1100 mw reactors in Karachi.The contract value or the type of nuclear technology to be used for the reactor was not disclosed. China in Nuclear Production : China is looking to popularise nuclear technology at home and abroad and plans to develop the experience into nuclear exports.Chinese nuclear companies are making huge inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina. CNNC has clinched deals with Argentina to build two nuclear reactors, while CGN, another domestic energy giant, partnered with Electricite de France to build three reactors in Britain. Sudan faced power shortages in recent years and is seeking to build two 600-mw pressurised water reactors to meet the growing demand for electricity, with construction on the first one starting in 2021.The agreements reviewed all energy issues faced in Sudan and will provide solutions for all projects including the newer ones.

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