Current Affairs 3rd May 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Launching the country's first solar powered e-boats in river Ganga in his parliamentary constituency - Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a jibe on Congress by saying, "Wo sarkarey gayi jo sirf amiro ko diya karti thi, ye sarkar unkey liye hai jinka duniya me koyi nahi (Gone are the governments that gave everything to wealthy people, this government is for those who have nobody for help)." Mentioning how Dalits, tribal and backward class people are benefitted with his Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Modi also targeted banks indirectly on liquor giant Vijay Mallya episode. "Poor of this country do not want loans in thousands of crores or rupees. Their requirement is meager. The way these poor people are repaying the banks should be judged that who is really `rich' by heart." He also cautioned boatmen not to misuse their earning, which is going to be increased by conversion of their manual or diesel motor boats into e-boats, for consuming liquor.

South India’s first underground metro services flagged of in Bengaluru i.e. at East-West corridor (Purple Line) of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The underground metro corridor has been named as Namma Metro and was flagged off Dr BR Ambedkar station by the Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. The newly inaugurated 28-km metro line has 5.12-km underground stretch and connects Cubbon Park to the City Railway station. With the opening of the east-west corridor of Namma Metro, a total of 28 km of the first phase of Bengaluru Metro (spanning total 42 km) has become operational.  Phase II of Namma Metro work has already commenced and it may become operational by 2020.

The Supreme Court of India on 2 May 2016 appointed a three-member panel headed by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha to oversee the functions of the Medical Council of India. It is the regulator of medical profession and education in India.Besides Lodha, the panel consists of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and Dr SK Sareen.The court appointed the panel as the MCI is often been accused of indulging in corrupt practices. The court referred to reports of a government panel and a parliamentary standing committee that indicted the MCI for various malpractices. A parliamentary committee report also quoted that the MCI was repeatedly found short of fulfilling its mandated responsibilities, medical graduates lacked competence in performing basic healthcare tasks. Instances of unethical practices continued to grow. The MCI was not able to spearhead any serious reforms in medical education.Earlier, RM Lodha headed a three-member panel appointed by the top court to look into the 2013 betting scandal in the Indian Premier league (IPL) and the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and also headed the committee appointed to sell assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL) and refund 49 thousand crore rupees to the investors.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended Virat Kohli for the Khel Ratna while Ajinkya Rahane has been nominated for the Arjuna Award.Kohli has been among the best batsmen in the world over the last few years. He was also insantly successful after taking over as India's Test captain after MS Dhoni's shock retirement in December, 2014.Kohli led India to a historic series victory over Sri Lanka before hammering South Africa 3-0 in a four-Test series at home last year. Even though he had a rather ordinary year with the bat, Kohli's exploits as captain against two quality teams impressed observers. Kohli has been in sensational form this year and became the quickest to 7000 one-day international runs and 25 ODI hundreds. He totalled 381 runs in the five-match ODI series against Australia before sparkling in the three-match T20 series against them soon after. The Delhi-dasher was also in brilliant touch in the Asia Cup Twenty20 and was named Player of the Tournament in the ICC World Twenty20.Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Rahane has also carved his own neeche, especially in the Test side. In 22 matches, the stylish Mumbai batsman has smacked six hundreds and seven fifties.

Leicester City was crowned as champions of English Premier League on 2 May 2016. It was crowned with the title without playing, as nearest challenger Tottenham Hotspur had 2-2 draw with Chelsea.The result meant second placed Tottenham will not be able to surpass Leicester City who has a seven point lead at the top of the table.This is the first time in the club’s 132-year history that Leicester is champion of England. Leicester City completed their contest for the Premier League title after Eden Hazard's late goal enabled Chelsea a draw with second-place Tottenham Hotspur.Premier League:The Premier League is an English professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the English football league system, it is the country's primary football competition.The league is a corporation in which the 20 member clubs act as shareholders. Seasons run from August to May.Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football League. Welsh clubs that compete in the English football league system can also qualify.

Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a special drive 'One Employee-One EPF' to encourage EPF members to consolidate their multiple accounts. The drive has been launched by Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya in New Delhi.The initiative of launching the Mission consolidation One Member One EPF Account is a step towards encouraging EPF members to access enhanced IT enabled services through Universal Account Number that are linked with Aadhaar.  Presently, the members whose accounts are scattered face many inconveniences such as approaching multiple employers located at multiple locations for settlement of claims.So EPFO has taken several IT based initiatives to provide convenient and efficient services to its stakeholders.This drive, will result in EPF members having just one EPF account and multiple conveniences and after the successful completion of this drive, it will reduce the burden of members as well as the work of EPF employees.  

Himachal Pradesh cadre IAS officer of 1982 batch Ajay Mittal today took charge as the Information and Broadcasting secretary. Mittal, succeeds Sunil Arora, who retired on April 30. Mittal has joined the I&B ministry at a time when it is planning to conduct the next batch of radio auctions, streamlining the film certification processes and also the remaining phases of the digitisation of cable sector drive.(REOPENS DES 24)  During a career span of more than 33 years, Mittal has served in various capacities in his cadre state of Himachal Pradesh. He served as Additional Chief Secretary in various departments including Information and Public Relations, Finance, Vigilance, Coordination and Public Grievances to the HP Government, a statement said. He was also the Chairman of Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board.

Leicester City striker forward Jamie Vardy was named 2015-16 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association (FWA). He will be honoured with the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner in London on 12 May 2016.19-year-old striker became the first Leicester City player to win the prestigious FWA Footballer of the Year award with 36 percent of the vote. With this he joined the likes of Bobby Moore, George Best, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo among its past winners.Vardy, who topped the vote among FWA members, scored 22 goals in 34 Premier League appearances this season. He was followed by his teammates, Riyad Mahrez (second) and N’Golo Kanté (third).Earlier, Mahrez was named the PFA's Footballer of the Year in April 2016.It is the first time that two players from the same club have claimed both awards in the same season since Everton's Neville Southall and Peter Reid in 1985.The England international has scored 24 goals for club and country so far this season.

Former president of Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) and veteran RSS leader Balraj Madhok died here on Monday.Madhok (96) was unwell for some time and had been admitted to AIIMS for a month, where he died around 9am. The last rites will be conducted in the evening.A two-time parliamentarian, Madhok represented the NCT of Delhi and South Delhi in the 2nd and 4th Lok Sabha in 1961 and 1967 respectively. Born on February 25, 1920, in Jammu and Kashmir's Skardu area, he was the founder-secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).In 1951, he was the convener of the first convention of Bharatiya Jana Sangh and was appointed the national secretary. In 1966, he was elected as national president of Bharatiya Jana Sangh.A teacher, he was head of the department of history in PGDAV College, New Delhi and edited "Organiser" in 1947-48 and Hindi Weekly "Veer Arjun" in 1948. He was also founder-secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Praja Parishad.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the demise of Madhok and said his ideological commitment was strong, had immense clarity of thought and was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. "Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of a stalwart leader of Jan Sangh Shri Balraj Madhok. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong & clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation & society."Had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions. His demise is saddening. Condolences to his family. RIP," Modi said in a series of tweets.  

The World Press Freedom Day was on 3 May 2016 observed across the world with the theme Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms - This Is Your Right! In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones: The 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland.The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles.The first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Three different aspects of press freedom: Freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right.Protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach.Ensuring safety for journalism online and offline. Background: World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO's General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Indian Railways on 2 May 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with forest departments of Haryana and Punjab to plant 5 trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary. The MoU was signed by Pankaj Saxena, Chief Engineer /P&D, Northern Railway on behalf of Railways whereas it was by Dr Amrinder Kaur, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) from forest departments.It paves way for planting 5 lakh trees during this season. Silent feature of the agreement:This agreement paves way for the following improvements with regard to afforestation on railway land:-Railway can contribute substantially towards the Green India Mission.Forest department is involved in the plantation as well as maintenance and disposal of trees, thus bringing in the much needed expertise in afforestation. Plantation along the railway track on railway land boundary by Forest department without declaring such land as protected forest with the provision for resumption of such land at any time by railways thus no hindrance to railway works / developmental projects.Protecting railway land from encroachment.All Zonal railways have been asked to execute similar agreement between their zones and concerned State Forest departments as early as possible.

Mumbai, May 1 (PTI) Kalvari, Indian Navys first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, today sailed out of Mumbai Harbour for sea trials even as the plan to purchase heavy-weight torpedos for the vessel remains stuck due to the VVIP chopper scam.Kalvari is the first of the Indias six Scorpene-class submarines being built under the much-delayed Project 75. The vessels are being built by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with French company DCNS. In October 2015, Kalvari had been set afloat. "The sea trials of Kalvari have begun today. It is a proud moment for us," a Navy official said.However, the plans to acquire heavy-weight torpedos for the submarine is stuck in the Defence Ministry even though the Navy had been pushing for it, citing national security imperatives.WASS Italy, a Finmeccanica company, had emerged as a successful bidder in the procurement for the torpedos for Project 75 submarines. Subsequently, because of the groups alleged involvement in the VVIP helicopter case, the procurement was put on hold in July 2014.Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan, while stressing on the importance of getting heavy-weight torpedos, had said that the Defence Ministry will take a final call on it.India may to go in for two more Scorpene-class submarines after the first six are delivered to the Navy. PTI SAP SC.

An Indian American Sikh woman from California has been elected to a key position in the Republican party at the national level. Chandigarh-born Harmeet Kaur Dhillon was elected as the newest national committee woman of the Republican National Committee on Sunday by thousand plus votes in attendance at the California Republican Party convention. She was earlier the vice chairman of the California GOP.  She was the first woman elected to this position of vice chair of the California Republican Party. A ntionally recognized trial lawyer, Dhillon, 47, was born in India, but raised in rural North Carolina after her Sikh parents moved to the US.  "A little girl from Chandigarh, India, the Bronx, and Smithfield, North Carolina back in the day, to being one of California's three votes on the RNC. For the next four years starting in late July, I will help shape the policies of the party of Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman, the party of liberty and opportunity," Dhillon said after here election.  Following her clerkship with Paul V Niemeyer of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Dhillon's practice in New York, London, and the San Francisco Bay Area has focused on federal and state commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular emphasis on unfair competition/trade secret misappropriation, intellectual property (including trademark litigation and internet torts), complex contractual disputes, and First Amendment litigation.  "I could not have done this without the support of a huge number of friends old and new and my family, who have brought me to where I am today. Thank you to my parents Parminder Kaur Dhillon and Tejpal Singh Dhillon for instilling conservative values in me. I am truly honored," she said.  Based in San Francisco, Dhillon among other things also sat on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and once made a financial contribution to Kamala Harris' campaign for local office - Harris who is a US Senate hopeful and rising star in Democratic politics.

India and New Zealand today signed a deal that opens the door for direct flights between the two countries that could boost tourism and trade sectors.The signing ceremony of the bilateral air services agreement was witnessed by visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. The air services agreement should also boost tourism and trade between New Zealand and world’s second most populated nation, New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges said. Bridges signed the deal with Sanjeev Balyan, India’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare.Air New Zealand, Air India and Singapore Airlines are among the operators which have the potential to run such a direct service, New Zealand Herald reported.Bridges said that New Zealand airlines now have the opportunity to code-share to seven Indian cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.For code-sharing operations, India will have any point in New Zealand. As intermediate points, India can have Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok and any two points in Australia, according to the text of the agreement. “India is an emerging superpower, and its population of 1.25 billion people presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand,” the minister said.“Our annual trade with India is worth more than 1 billion dollars. In the year to March 31, 2016, almost 52,000 Kiwis travelled to India and close to 60,000 Indians visited New Zealand. In addition, more than 160,000 people of Indian descent live here.“Today’s signing will boost tourism, trade and personal ties between our two countries,” he said.India New Zealand Business Council treasurer Bhav Dhillon said that getting a direct flight between the two countries would “change the paradigm” of both tourism and trade.“We are very confident that there will be a very robust growth in tourist numbers from India to New Zealand once we have a direct flight between these two countries,” Dhillon told the Herald.

ISIS technicians are working to develop a Google-style driverless car that could navigate itself into a crowded area before detonating an explosive device, a NATOsecurity expert has warned. ISIS’s research and development department in the terror group’s de facto Syrian capital, Raqqa, is believed to be producing the vehicles at the same time as US Internet giant Google attempts to perfect the same technology. If successful, the invention could prove to be a major headache for security services in Britain and throughout Europe and North America, where self-driving cars are expected to become commonplace. Thousands of driverless cars are expected to be on Britain’s roads within the next few years and there is a very real prospect ISIS fighters could prey on the new technology to launch attacks in the UK. The technology would remove the need for suicide bombers and could help the death cult – also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh – cope with the dramatic drop in its numbers, which has seen its fighting force cut almost in half. The FBI has long argued autonomous cars could be used by criminals as lethal weapons.

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