Current Affairs 10th September 2016 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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Rajasthan government has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with an education under which the firm will adopt 50 Adarsh and Utkarsh Vidyalayas in the state and try to fill the infrastructure gap. The organisation, Gems education, will contribute towards curriculum enhancement and capacity building. It will also adopt five District Institution of Education and Training (DIET) and State Institute of Education Research and Training (SIERT) Udaipur. The MoU was signed in the presence of chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday. “We are working with our sub groups, officers, principals and teachers and we need everyone’s energy, passion and excitement in making Rajasthan intellectual capital of the country.

Dilip Kumar Mandal has been appointed managing director & chief executive officer of IDBI Asset Management Company (AMC).  Prior to joining IDBI AMC, Mandal was chief general manager & zonal head of retail banking group, IDBI Bank, covering the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, and based at Bhubaneswar. IDBI Bank is an Indian government-owned financial service company, formerly known as Industrial Development Bank of India, headquartered in Mumbai, India. It was established in 1964 by an Act of Parliament to provide credit and other financial facilities for the development of the fledgling Indian industry.

The state Odisha government has launched pension scheme for construction workers which will benefit 25 lakh beneficiaries in phases. It ensures financial assistance of 300 rupees per month to all registered construction workers after attaining the age of 60 years and 500 rupeesfor construction workers of more than 80 years. According to chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the state government has launched housing schemes for construction workers residing in rural areas. Financial assistance for workers has also been enhanced to Rs 1.3 lakh under the scheme. He gave away work orders to 1000 construction workers  at the function.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned well-equipped offshore patrolling (OPV) vessel named ‘Sarathi’. It was commissioned by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) shipyard at Vasco in south Goa.’ ICGS Sarathi is the third in the series of six OPVs built by GSL for Indian Coast Guard (ICG). It is designed and built indigenously by GSL. It is the largest i.e. 105-meter long and is most advanced new generation off-shore patrol vessel.  It has been fitted with advanced EW and electronic systems and guns It is equipped with integrated bridge system, power management system, integrated machinery control system, high power external fire fighting system.  It has a state-of-the-art propulsion system that can propel the vessel to a speed of over 25 knots. It is designed to carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high speed boats. The vessel will be joining coast guard fleet based at Kochi, Kerala and will form part of the Naval Training Squadron.  In addition, it will be deployed for other surveillance and to safeguard the maritime interests of the country. It will also help the coast guard meet the increasing requirement of policing and patrolling of the India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Haryana has bagged ‘Best Horticulture State’ award for the concerted efforts made by the state government to increase the income of the farmers in horticulture. The award was received by Haryana Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar on 9 September 2016 at two-day 9th Agricultural Leadership Summit 2016. The summit was organized by Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA) in New Delhi.  Horticulture in Haryana : At present, about 2.5 lakh hectares of land of the state is under horticulture and a target has been set to increase it up to nine lakh hectares. For this purpose, the state has decided to set a Horticulture University in the state. It also decided to set up centers of excellence in horticulture in every district of the state and create 340 horticulture villages in the state. In addition, it would also set biggest Horticulture Mandi of the country at Ganaur on the pattern of Rungis Mandi of France and Shenzhen Mandi of China. Besides, the 2016 best agriculture state award went to Odisha. It was awarded with the award in recognition of the efforts towards development of agriculture and bringing rural prosperity.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the certificate of registration of five non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) on 8 September 2016. Now, these companies will not be able to transact the business of a non-banking financial institution as laid down under clause (a) of Section 45-I of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.The cancelled non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are Simco Consultants Private Limited Lunkad Securities Ltd Rajvir Marketing and Investment Private Limited Crystal Investments Limited    Jaya Investments Agency Limited (formerly known as Arcot Finance & Agency Limited)    The certificates were cancelled in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Section 45-IA (6) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on 8 September 2016 dedicated 2 mbps download and 512 kbps upload digital connectivity to 6000 villages. Under the E-gram program launched in 2006-07, total 14000 villages had been connected to internet through V-SAT technology which offers hardly 19-20 kbps speed. Many E-gram villages did not get enough speed when some centers login at the same time. Now, 6000 villages out of 14000 are given 2 mbps connectivity through BSNL network. As these villages are out of the V-SAT platform, the rest of the villages served by V-SAT will also get faster connectivity. Villagers are getting various services like PDS, health, data entry, power and gas bills through e-gram project. Gujarat Government has set the target to achieve 100 percent village connectivity through optical fiber network 2nd October 2017. Under the E-gram program launched in 2006-07, total 14000 villages had been connected to internet through V-SAT technology which offers hardly 19-20 kbps speed.

Mariyappan Thangavelu won India’s first gold medal at the Rio Paralympics. He won the gold in the Men’s High Jump T-42 event with a leap of 1.89 metres. With this, Thangavelu also became the first Indian high-jumper to win gold at the Paralympics. This was India’s overall third gold at the Games and the first after 12 years. In addition, Bronze in the event also went to India through Varun Singh Bhati, who jumped his personal best of 1.86 metres to finish third. USA's Sam Grewe bagged the silver medal. India had claimed a Gold and a Bronze at Athens in 2004. Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia had then won the Gold, with Rajinder Singh claiming the Bronze in powerlifting. In the last edition of the Games in London, India had attained just a Silver. India had won its first ever Paralympics Gold in the 1972 Heidelberg Games through Swimmer Murlikant Petkar.

Former Indian women’s cricket team captain Anjum Chopra in the first week of September 2016 was awarded an honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Chopra is presented with the honour along with former men’s team stalwarts Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag. With this, Chopra became the first Indian woman cricketer to get the prestigious life membership of MCC. Anjum Chopra : Anjum Chopra is a left-handed batswoman who bowls right-arm medium-fast. She has played in 12 Tests and 116 ODIs. She played her first friendly match with college girls team at the inter college level scoring 20 runs and taking 2 wickets. Later the same year, she was selected to play for New Delhi in the under−15 tournament.On 12 February 1995, she made her debut in One-day Internationals in the early age of 17 against New Zealand at Christchurch, New Zealand.She made her debut in Test cricket a few months later, against England at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on 17 November 1995.

Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has administered the oath of office to former IT Secretary J Satyanarayana as part-time Chairman of UIDAI but said the post will not have Cabinet rank. The part-time Chairman, who will have tenure of three years, will hold power limited to provisions defined under the Aadhaar Act 2016. In the UPA regime, the Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was equivalent to a Cabinet minister. Apart from Satyanarayana, the minister also administered the oath to IT company netCore's founder and Managing Director Rajesh Jain and Persistent Systems' Chairman and Managing Director Anand Deshpande  who have been appointed as part-time members of UIDAI. On queries regarding conflict of interest in appointing Jain and Deshpande as part-time members as both of them run IT companies. Total number of transactions on Aadhaar platform has reached 131.11 crore and total amount involved in those transactions is Rs 37,184.81 crore. We have saved amount of about Rs 36,000 crore from Aadhaar based transactions.

Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has received 'Pangkor Dialogue Award 2016' in Malaysia for the efforts made by the people of the state for environmental preservation and promotion.  Zeliang was awarded by the organisers- Institute Darul Rudzuan and Malaysian government. He also appealed to the people of Nagaland to continue environmental preservation and development and said the people should cooperate with the government to undertake mass tree plantation every year and preserve natural flora and fauna.

The Centre tonight announced a financial package for Andhra Pradesh that includes full funding of Pollavaram irrigation project, tax concessions and a special assistance, but stopped short of giving the state a special category status. Andhra Pradesh, which financially suffered because of creation of separate state of Telengana in June 2014, will get a railway zone as also all cost incurred on the irrigation part of Pollavaram project from the date it was declared a National Project on April 1, 2014 will be funded by the Centre. Andhra Pradesh has been demanding a Special Category State (SCS) status from the Centre ever since the state’s economic powerhouse Hyderabad, which housed several IT and pharmaceutical companies as well as PSUs, went to Telengana in the bifurcation. While the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act does not mention of SCS for the state, the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on the floor of Rajya Sabha on February 20, 2014 promised to grant the status to the state for five years.

PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Indra Nooyi was ranked 2nd on the list of Fortune's 51 Most Powerful Women list. The list is topped by Mary Barra, CEO and Chairman of General Motors. Nooyi was ranked 2nd on the list, same as 2015. In 2014. The list comprises 22 CEOs of major companies and many more corner office contenders across industries.  The 2016 list has 9 new comers. The top 5 most powerful women in the list include, Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin at the third place,  Ginni Rometty of IBM (4th),  Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments (5th).

Sikkim has been adjudged the cleanest state while Jharkhand comes last in the list on the condition of sanitation in rural areas of 26 states in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat is ranked 14th. The results of survey carried out last year by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was released today by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar . It has listed Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya among the top 10 states.  The states which fared poorly in the NSSO study include Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir. NDA major BJP is ruling or sharing power in five of the states that have been placed at the bottom of the list.  Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, where BJP is sharing power with other parties, have been placed at 15th and 16th positions respectively.  The NSSO conducted the survey in May-June 2015 covering 73,176 households in 3,788 villages across the country. The ranking given on the basis of percentage of households having sanitary toilets and using them (either household or community toilets).  According to latest report compiled by the Ministry on sanitation coverage, Sikkim has retained the top slot with 99.9 per cent sanitation coverage, followed by Himachal Pradesh (97.11 per cent) and Kerala (96.35 per cent).  Haryana (87.33 per cent), Uttarakhand (86.42 per cent), Mizoram (84.75 per cent), Meghalaya (82.47 per cent), Manipur (81.04 per cent) and Punjab (78.89 per cent) are the other states which are among top 10 states. 

Jayant Purushottam Gokhale has been appointed director of Syndicate Bank. The Centre has nominated Gokhale as part-time non-official director under the chartered accountants category for a period of three years. His appointment is subject to his resignation from the board of LIC Nomura Mutual Fund Asset Management Company, before joining the bank’s board.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Om Prakash Kohli has been sworn in as the new governor of Madhya Pradesh (MP).  Acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Rajendra Menon administered the oath. Kohli, who is also the Gujarat Governor, has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh after Ram Naresh Yadav's tenure in office got over on 7th sepetmber. Kohli is the 26th Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

China has claimed that it has successfully developed and tested a radar system that uses quantum entanglement to beat the stealth technology of modern military aircrafts.  This first Chinese quantum radar was developed by the Intelligent Perception Technology Laboratory. Prior to it, US was only the country stealth-defeating quantum radar. Quantum radar is a device that uses quantum entanglement photons to provide better detection capabilities than conventional radar systems. The radar system is able to detect a target at a range of 100 kilometers in a real-world environment.  The device employs single photon detection technology and was tested in mid-August 2016. It easily tracks targets with a low radar cross section, such as modern aircraft using stealth technology or targets employing active countermeasures to jam or baffle enemy radar. Earlier, China launched the world’s first quantum communications satellite, which uses quantum entanglement for cryptography.  

India’s first LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) laboratory will be set up in Aundh in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. It will be third such laboratory in the world and first outside the United States. The existing two laboratories are located in Hanford, Washington and in Livingston, Louisiana. The site at Aundh in Hingoli district has been chosen for carrying out experiments on the ambitious LIGO project that proved existence of gravitational waves. It was selected based on site researches conducted by scientists from Department of Science and Technology (DST).  The setup of LIGO-India laboratory will involve construction of 8 km-long beam tube at ultra- high vaccum on a levelled terrain.  The Aundh site is suitable flat site for carrying out the experiments as the four kms strips require an unhindered straight and flat site for studying the lasers. The LIGO-India laboratory will help to bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for Indian industries. MoU to set up the LIGO-India project was signed between the scientists from the US’ National Science Foundation (NSF) and India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and the DST in April 2016. Earlier in February 2016, the Union Cabinet had given its in-principle approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal for research on gravitational waves.

India along with 10 other member countries of World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) South-East Asian Regional Committee has decided to set up a dedicated fund aimed at building preparedness for health emergencies in the region.  Decision in this regard was taken at the 69th session of WHO Regional Committee Meeting held at Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka. The joint funding stream will be established under the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF).  The new funding stream will allow these countries to invest in infrastructure and human resources that will enhance preparedness. It will help member countries better prepare for such events was seen by the countries as a key priority for the regional health agenda.  Besides, these countries also passed a resolution for promoting physical activity and expanding health workforces across the region. The Regional Committee is WHO South-East Asia Region’s highest decision-making body. It comprises 11 countries – Bangladesh, South Korea, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand and Timor-Leste. In the recent years, earthquakes, cyclones and floods have caused health emergencies in south-east Asian region. It has also been threatened by a range of emerging diseases, including SARS, MERS CoV, pandemic influenza and Zika virus. Insufficient physical activity is also a major contributor to rising rates of non-communicable diseases in the region, with four-fifth of adolescents not getting enough of it.

The 28th and 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos from 6th to 8th September 2016. Prime Minister of the Lao PDR H.E.  Thongloun Sisoulith was Chairperson of the summit. The theme of the summit was “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”. The summit was attended by the leaders of all 10-member nations of ASEAN viz. Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR (host), , Vietnam,  Myanmar and Cambodia. India : Prime Minister Narendra Modi had represented India at the ASEAN summit at the 14th ASEAN-India summit. ASEAN-India adopted a document aiming at politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and people oriented people centered ASEAN-India Community. The document recognizes the vital importance of the planned review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods (AITIG) Agreement.  It seeks to ensure that the agreement is trade-facilitative and remains relevant to the current global trading practices. The document also emphasizes the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, unimpeded commerce, freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep concern over the rising export of terror in an apparent reference to Pakistan. He also mentioned that export of terror is common security threat to the region and there was need for a coordinated response from the ASEAN member nations to combat it. Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)  : ASEAN is a group of 10 South Asian nations which came into existence on August 8, 1967 after ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok declaration). It is a regional organisation comprising that aims to promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic integration amongst its members.

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