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Last Modified:30-06-2016

June 2016 – Current Affairs and Quiz

30 June 2016 Current Affairs

  • Government nod to Rs 6000-cr road projects in 3 states

    The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved four-laning of three national highways in Punjab, Odisha and Maharashtra, at an investment of nearly Rs 6,000 crore, mainly to ease traffic on busy routes. CCEA approved development of four-laning of Phagwara-Rupnagar section of the national highway in Punjab. The cost is estimated to be Rs 1,444.42 crore. The total length of the road to be developed is approximately 80.820 km. Four-laning of Angul-Sambalpur section of the national highway in Odisha was also approved on Wednesday. The cost is estimated to be Rs 2,491.53 crore. The total length of the road is approximately 151 km. Another four-laning project of Aurangabad-Telwadi section of the national highway in Maharashtra was also approved by the CCEA at an estimated cost of Rs 2,028.91 crore, totalling a length of 87 km.

    India test-fires new surface-to-air missile co-developed with Israel

    The medium range surface-to-air missile missile (MR-SAM) developed jointly by India and Israel was successfully test-fired. During the test, the missile was launched from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.  After getting signal from the radars, the missile successfully intercepted a moving aerial target supported by unmanned air vehicle (UAV) ‘Banshee’. The MR-SAM has been developed jointly by Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), a laboratory of the DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).  The missile consists of Multi-Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF-STAR) system for detection, tracking and guidance. The MR-SAM has strike ranges from 50 to 70 km. Once inducted into Indian Armed forces, it will provide the users capability to neutralise any aerial threats. Earlier in December 2015, Indian Navy had successfully test launched the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM), also developed with Israel’s assistance. The test was undertaken on the Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata.

    Union Defence Minister launched the India's first integrated defence communication network

    India's first integrated defence communication network was launched on 30 June 2016, enabling the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process. The Defence Communication Network (DCN), a strategic, highly secure and scalable system, has a pan-India reach from Ladakh to the North East to island territories. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who inaugurated the network at South Block, emphasised on the need to keep the network completely secure all the time. While all the three forces have their own command, communication and intelligence networks, this is the first time when there will be a dedicated network for greater synergy. Technology decides how the wars are fought these days. The network has a pan-India reach and is a testimony to the fact that Indian Army and the Corps of Signals are well placed to meet any challenges and responsibilities which come their way. Built by HCL under a nearly Rs 600 crore project, DCN offers high quality voice, video and data services covering 111 entities spread across the country. It is capable of working on terrestrial as well as satellite mode of communication and has also been fixed onboard different military vehicles.

    Amul signs up as official sponsor of Indian team to the Olympics

    India’s leading food products company Amul has signed up as the official sponsor for the Indian contingent to the Rio Olympics 2016. The company will launch a series of advertising campaigns for milk and other dairy products to promote this association. In addition, the company’s products will also sport special branding to promote this association. Amul will launch a series of advertising campaigns for milk and various dairy products to promote this association in the coming months. Amul has embarked upon an ‘Eat Milk with Every Meal’ campaign. Amul is committed to strengthening the Olympic movement in India and encourage the young generation from all over the country to take up Olympic sports. Milk is nature’s original energy drink and plays a pivotal role in building the physical and mental strength of the athletes. “This association will help in engaging the kids and youth so that they can enjoy a healthy life.

    Union Government enhances Financial Powers of Ministries, Departments

    The Union Government has revised the financial limits of departments and ministries for appraisal and approval of Non-Plan Schemes or Projects by competent authorities on 28 June 2016. With this, appraisal and approval process in the Central Government Ministries and Departments will be expedited. Highlights  : As per the revised delegation, the Committee on Non-Plan Expenditure (CNE) will now appraise proposals involving expenditure of 300 crore rupees and above. The earlier limit for this was 75 crore rupees.  Non-plan Schemes/projects of less than 300 crore rupees can now be appraised by Ministry or the Standing Finance Committee of the Ministry concerned.  The financial power of the Minister-in-charge of the administrative Ministry can now approve Non-Plan schemes costing less than 500 crore rupees. The earlier limit for this was 150 crore rupees. Finance Minister shall be competent financial authority for approving scheme/projects having financial implications of 500 crore rupees and above and upto 1000 crore rupees.  Proposal having financial limits of 1000 crore rupees and above shall require approval of the Union Cabinet/Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.  Increase in upto 20 percent cost of the firmed up cost estimates can now be appraised by the Financial Adviser and approved by Secretary of the administrative Department, if the absolute cost escalation is upto 75 crore rupees. And if the absolute cost escalation is above 75 crore rupees, then it will be approved by the Administrative Minister-in-charge.

    RBI to study Blockchain technology to curtail paper currency

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) H R Khan has  announced that it will soon set up a committee to study the use of Blockchain technology on 24 June 2016. The technology will be used to reduce the use of paper currency. Blockchain technology : The Blockchain database consists of blocks that hold time-stamped batches of valid transactions. Then, digital records are put together into blocks and then leaped together cryptographically and chronologically into a chain using complex mathematical algorithms. The encryption process is termed as ‘hashing’. The linked blocks form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing those before it, thus giving the technology its name.Hashing is carried out by different computers. If they all agree on the answer, each block receives a unique digital signature. Once updated, the ledger cannot be altered or tampered with.The Blockchain is seen as the main technical innovation of bitcoin. blockchain database can help in reducing the use of paper currency : The distributed nature of a blockchain database makes it harder for hackers to attack it. The linked blocks make hacking tricky as the hackers would have to get access to every copy of the database simultaneously. As the hash cannot be converted back into the original data, the blockchain database keeps data secure and private. Therefore, if the original document or transaction were subsequently altered, it will produce a different digital signature. The network is highly vigilant towards a mismatch. Thus, the blockchain method makes fraudulent activities less likely and easier to spot.  

    Researcher develops non-invasive method to kill cancer cells in two hours

    Matthew Gdovin, an associate professor in the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Department of Biology, developed a newly patented method to kill cancer cells. Gdovin’s research was published on 27 June 2016 in The Journal of Clinical Oncology. The discovery may help people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumours. Discovered the  method :  The research involved injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumour and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue. A beam of light was aimed at the tissue, which caused the cells to become very acidic inside. It forced the cells to commit suicide. Thereafter, it was estimated that up to 95 percent of the targeted cancer cells were dead within two hours. Effectiveness of the method : Gdovin tested the method against triple negative breast cancer, which is one of the most aggressive types of cancer and one of the hardest to treat. The prognosis for triple negative breast cancer is usually very poor.After one treatment in the laboratory, he was able to stop the tumour from growing and double chances of survival in mice.

    India Post opens ‘My Stamp' scheme for individuals and corporate

    India Post has opened up the ongoing scheme of customized printing of ‘My Stamp’ for individuals and corporate also in June 2016 . Under the scheme an individual or a corporate entity can get their photo or logo printed inside the postage stamp at a price of 12 lakh rupees. As per reports, this time there will be 5000 sheets comprising 60000 postage stamps. These stamps can be used for general postal mail. The plan to go ahead with the scheme of ‘My Stamp’ was reached on specific demands of several like Western Union, SNDT Women's University, Allahabad High Court and others. Earlier, India Post only allowed printing of photo or design next to postage stamp on a 300 rupees ‘My Stamp’ sheet. So far the department has issued customised My Stamp for e-commerce platform Amazon India, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. My Stamp has helped India Post to receive two crore rupees in fiscal 2016-17. Total revenue from My Stamp fiscal in 2015-16 was of 2.83 crore rupees. My Stamp scheme :  It is the brand name for personalized sheets of Postage Stamps of India Post. The personalization is achieved by printing a thumb nail photograph of the customer images and logos alongside the selected Commemorative Postage Stamp.It was first introduced in India during the World Philatelic Exhibition, ‘INDIPEX-2011’. The scheme is available in selected Philatelic Bureaux and counters /Important Post offices/Post Offices situated at tourist places.

    Rodrigo Duterte sworn in as President of Philippines

    Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as the 16th President of Philippines. He will have tenure of six years. He was administered oath to the office by the Supreme Court justice at the Malacanang presidential palace. Rodrigo Duterte  : Born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Leyte into a political family with a modest background. By profession he is lawyer but later had entered into the politics. In his political career, for the first time he became vice-mayor of Davao in 1986 and mayor in 1988. He is the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and was mayor of Davao City for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years span. During his stint as a mayor of Davao, he had played important role in reducing crime rates in the Davao City.  It had earned him the nickname The Punisher, among the locals due to his successful zero tolerance policies against criminals. He also had held a seat in Philippines congress representing Davao City. During the Presidential elections, he was nicknamed as Dirty Harry and often was compared to the US presidential candidate Donald Trump. Background. In the 2016 presidential election of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte had emerged victorious by a landslide victory. He had secured 39% (15.36 million) of the votes and was followed by Mar Roxas 23% (9.27 million) votes and Grace Poe with 22% (8.6 million) votes.

    FSSAI signs pact with ASCI to check misleading advertisements

    Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) signed MoU with each other to put check on the issues of misleading as well as uncorroborated advertisements in the food and beverage sector. Under this MoU, FSSAI asked ASCI to make it compulsory to keep check upon the process of complaints against misleading ads by food companies. Active monitoring will be done by ASCI of various advertisements from across all the media segments.  ASCI will also report to FSSAI if the companies do not abide by the instructions through the complaints if received on GAMA Portal set up by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

    Government launches web portal to keep a check on environmental approvals for mining of minerals

    A new web portal has been launched for online submission and monitoring of environmental approvals for mining of sand and minor minerals. Launching the web portal at a workshop on mining of sand and minor minerals.  According to the Prakash Javadekar Minister of State (I/C) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the web portal will lead to the empowerment of the project proponent, as it not only enhances transparency of the entire application process, but also enables the proponents to track their applications online. Some of the features of the application include– submission of all projects in a single window interface; facilitate management in effective monitoring; delays in the clearance process can be ascertained; a unique ID for each proposal for future reference; On-the-fly generation of all required reports; automatic mailer notification to take instance action; accessible from any PC having internet facility and different types of privileges roles for users as per their responsibilities.

    Four Indian-Americans honoured with 2016 Great Immigrants Award in US

    Four Indian-Americans have been honoured with prestigious Great Immigrants : The Pride of America Award 2016. They are among 42 distinguished US personalities representing more than 30 countries of origin around the world  honoured with this year’s award.  All of these personalities represent a wide range of personal immigration stories, and inspiring professional accomplishments. Four Indian-Americans are  Sunder Pichai : He is CEO of internet search engine giant Google.  Hari Sreenivasan : He is broadcast journalist associated with the PBS NewsHour.  Vikram Malhotra : He is associated with McKinsey.  Bharati Mukherjee : He is award-winning author. She is professor emerita in the department of English at the University of California, Berkeley. Great Immigrants : The Pride of America Award :  The award is given by New York-based Carnegie Corporation on the occasion of Independence Day of United States i.e. 4th July. Carnegie Corporation’s founder Andrew Carnegie was one of pioneer American capitalist who had shaped the modern American industry and philanthropy. He was the son of impoverished immigrants who had settled in US.

    Renowned modern artist K G Subramanyan passes away

    Renowned sculptor and painter KG Subramanyan passed away in Vadodara, Gujarat following a brief illness. He was 92. He was multifaceted artist credited with being one of the pioneers of Indian modern art and was also a freedom fighter. K G Subramanyan  : K G Subramanyan Born in 1924 in Kerala. He was a socialist and Gandhian throughout his life. In his career as an artist spanning over six decades he had been a painter, sculptor, muralist and print maker besides an author of children’s books. He was renowned for his terracottas, outdoor murals and toys and also experimented with weaving.  In the 1970s, he began experimenting with reverse painting. It was an 18th century craft tradition where a rtist paints on a sheet of glass and reverses glass to view the final image. He was also an art historian and his works forms a significant document of Indian art history. He was a professor at various times at Faculty of Fine Arts at MS University, Baroda and also in Kala Bhavan (Santiniketan) from where he retired in 1989.  During freedom struggle he was actively involved and underwent imprisonment for a short period during the Quit India movement. Awards and Honours : Padma Vibhushan (2012), Padma Bhushan (2006) and Padma Shri (1975).

    China launches second Shijian-16 series satellite

    China has successfully launched its second Shijian-16 series satellite for space research and experiments. The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013. The satellite was launched on board of Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Jiuquan, northwest China’s Gansu Province. It was the 231st by a Long March rocket. The second Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements and technology testing. It will mainly probe the space environment, radiation and its effects and also record space physical environment parameters and conduct other related space experiments. Long March-4B rocket  : Long March-4B rocket is  a Chinese orbital carrier rocket used to launch sun-synchronous orbiting meteorological satellites. The carries was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST) and was first introduced in May 1999. It is three stages rocket weighing 248470 kg and s 45.58 meters long and has diameter of 3.35 meters. It is capable to launch a 2800 kg satellite into low Earth orbit.

    Climate change impact on animals in Himalayas to be recorded by ZSI

    Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has started five long-term monitoring plots in the Himalayas to document the impact of climate change on animal world on 29 June 2016. The project is funded by the Union Ministry for environment, forest and climate change. Under the project, ZSI will monitor indicators in species like fish, butterflies, bees and other insects to find how their distribution has been affected by climate change. Project : The collected data on the distribution of species will be compared with the old records that are available with ZSI. This comparison will allow the team of ZSI to depict the impact of climate change in their survival. The project will run for three years in West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. More than two crore rupees have been earmarked for the project. In 2015, 262 new animal species were discovered from India out of which 70 have been credited to ZSI scientists.As on 31December 2015, India is home to 94515 species from the animal Kingdom.

    Suzuki Motors appoints Toshihiro Suzuki as CEO

    Suzuki Motor Corp has announced the appointment of Toshihiro Suzuki as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on 29 June 2016. The appointment came after Osamu Suzuki announced that he will decline the CEO position to take responsibility for the automaker's use of incorrect testing methods when calculating vehicle mileage. Toshihiro Suzuki : Toshihiro Suzuki is the son of Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki. Toshihiro served as a Senior Managing Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director of Suzuki Motor Corp. He joined Suzuki Motor Corp. in January 1994.He is a graduate from Tokyo University of Science, Japan. Suzuki Motor Corporation :  Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation. It specializes in manufacturing automobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard marine engines, among others. It is headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan.The company was founded as Suzuki Loom Works by Michio Suzuki in 1909. In 1937, Suzuki began a project to diversify into manufacturing small cars. In 1954, the company name was changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.

    Union Cabinet approves MoU between India and Tanzania in the field of water resources

    The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Tanzania for bilateral cooperation in water resources management and development. Under this MoU, the areas of enhanced cooperation include techniques in water harvesting, groundwater and surface management and development and aquifer recharge. Provisions in the MoU Collaboration and sharing of expertise in the field of water resources will benefit both counties in techniques in water conservation and management. Union Government shall encourage the exchange of experts, study tours, training programs and other such activities including demonstrative pilot studies to build capacities. A Joint Working Group between both countries will be formed to monitor the activities under the MoU. The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has been envisaging bilateral cooperation with other countries in water resources development and management.  These are mainly through sharing of technical and policy expertise, conducting of workshops, scientific, technical symposia and training courses, study tours and exchange of experts.

    Anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra inducted in Indian Navy

    Indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo Varunastra has been successfully inducted in the Indian Navy. With this India becomes one of the eight countries in the world to have the capability to design and build such anti-submarine torpedo system. The Varunastra torpedo has been developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL), a premier laboratory of DRDO. It weighs around 1.25 tonnes and carries about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.  It has almost 95% indigenous content. It is capable of targeting stealthy and quiet submarines, both in deep and littoral waters in intense counter-measure environment. It has advanced autonomous guidance algorithms with low drift navigational aids, insensitive warhead which can operate in various combat scenarios.  It has integrated instrumentation system for recording its all the dynamic parameters in case of emergency shut down or malfunction. It has a GPS-based locating aid which is a unique feature in contemporary torpedoes in the world. The torpedo can be launched from Delhi, Kolkata, Teg, Talwar and Kamorta classes of warships. Torpedo : It is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead. It is launched above or below the water surface and propelled underwater towards a target. It is designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

    Union Cabinet considers Model Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill, 2016

    The Union Cabinet has considered the Model Shops and Establishment (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Bill on 29 June 2016 , 2016. The Bill will now be sent to States/Union Territories (UTs) to enable them to modify their individual Acts, if they so desire. The States/UTs were given choice to adopt the Bill as it is or after modifying its provisions as per their requirements. Provisions of the Bill   :  It will cover only establishments employing 10 or more workers except manufacturing units.The Bill provides for freedom to operate 365 days in a year and opening or closing time of establishment.Women to be permitted during night shift, if the provision of shelter, rest room ladies toilet, adequate protection of their dignity and transportation, etc exists.No discrimination against women in the matter of recruitment, training, transfer or promotions.Online one common Registration through a simplified procedure Powers of Government to make rules regarding adequate measures to be taken by the employer for the safety and health of workers. Provision of clean and safe drinking water.Lavatory, creche, first aid and canteen by group of establishments, in case, it is not possible due to constraint in space or otherwise by individual establishment. Five paid festival holidays in addition to national holidays etc.Exemption of highly skilled workers (for example workers employed in IT, Biotechnology and R&D division) from daily working hours of 9 hours and weekly working hours of 48 hours subject to maximum 125 over-time hours in a quarter. This Bill was finalised after detailed deliberations and discussions with public through internet and with employees/labour representatives, employers’ associations/federations and State Governments through tripartite consultative process. The Model Bill would bring about uniformity in the legislative provisions, making it easier for all the States to adopt it and thereby ensuring uniform working conditions across the country and facilitate the ease of doing business and generate employment opportunities.

    UNICEF released the State of the World's Children 2016 Report

    The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has released the State of the World’s Children 2016 report on 28 June 2016. The data in the report show that, unless the pace of progress to reach them is accelerated, the futures of millions of disadvantaged and vulnerable children will be jeopardized. Highlights of the State of the World's Children 2016 report : The report mentions that unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, by 2030:Almost 70 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthdays. Children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than children in high-income countries. Nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school. Some 750 million women will have been married as children.The report also indicates that significant progress has been made in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty.Global under-five mortality rates have been more than halved since 1990. Boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries.The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was in the 1990s. The number of children who do not attend school has increased since 2011. A significant proportion of those who do go to school are not learning.About 124 million children today do not go to primary and lower-secondary school. Almost 2 in 5, who do finish primary school, have not learned how to read, write or do simple arithmetic.    The report also points that investing in the most vulnerable children can yield immediate and long-term benefits. For example, cash transfers have been shown to help children stay in school longer and advance to higher levels of education.For each additional year of schooling completed, on average, by young adults in a country, country’s poverty rates fall by 9 per cent. India in the report : The report states that five countries will account for more than half of the global burden of under-five deaths. These countries are India (17 per cent), Nigeria (15 per cent), Pakistan (8 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 per cent) and Angola (5 per cent). The average annual rate of reduction in neonatal mortality required for India to reach the target is almost double the current level.In India, being born into the poorest households carries a learning ‘penalty’ relative to children from the richest households. The penalty widens between ages 7 and 11, reaching a 19 per cent gap in students’ ability to subtract. By age 11 in India, girls and boys who come from the richest homes and have educated parents enjoy a huge academic advantage over other children.  

    29 June : National Statistics Day

    The National Statistics Day is being observed every year on 29 June to create public awareness among people about the importance of statistics in daily life and in the process of planning and development. 2016 is the tenth edition of National Statistics Day. Significance of the Day : It is celebrated annually on the occasion of Birth anniversary of India’s eminent statistician Late Prof Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis. It also commemorates the contributions made by PC Mahalanobis in the fields of statistics and economic planning. 2016 Theme : “Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare”. The Union Ministry of Statistics Programme Implementation had organised main function for the celebration day at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. C Mahalanobis  : Born on 29 June 1893 in Kolkata. Died on 28 June 1972 in Kolkata. He was the first Indian statistician to receive world recognition. In 1933, he had founded the first Indian statistical journal Sankhya. He founded the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), and contributed to the design of large-scale sample surveys. He had made pioneering studies in anthropometry in India. He is also best remembered for the statistical measure Mahalanobis distance. He was also a member of the Planning Commission (PC) from 1955 to 1967. The Second Five-Year Plan had relied on Mahalanobis’s mathematical description of Indian economy. This plan had encouraged the development of heavy industry in India and later became known as the Mahalanobis model or Basic Industry strategy of economic growth.

    Union Cabinet approved MoU between UPSC and Royal Civil Service Commission of Bhutan

    The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan. The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment. The draft MoU between UPSC and RCSC, Bhutan will be signed to develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals. The MoU covers the areas of cooperation that include : Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc. Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on audit of processes and procedures followed by various Government agencies in recruitment for posts under the delegated powers.Digitization of records, storage and display of historical records  

29 June 2016 Current Affairs

  • Two women appointed as Shariah High Court judges in Malaysia

    Two women have been appointed as judges of Malaysia’s Islamic Shariah High Court for the first time in the history of the judiciary of the Muslim-majority country. Noor Huda Roslan, 40, and Nenney Shuhaidah Shamsuddin, 41, received their official letters of appointment from Selangors Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah during a ceremony at the Istana Bukit Kayangan. Malaysia had ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the appointments were in line with empowering women. Shariah High Court, also known as Syriah High Court, refers to Sharia law in Islamic religious law and deals with exclusively Islamic laws, having jurisdiction upon every Muslim in Malaysia. Both women graduated with a bachelors degree in Islamic studies and later studied Psychology (Counselling) and International and Comparative Legal Studies respectively. Shuhaidah was a senior Shariah officer at the Attorney-Generals Chambers while Huda was a chief Registrar at the Selangor Shariah Judiciary Depart­ment.   

    Three Indian Navy ships reach Russia to enhance Maritime Cooperation

    Three Indian naval ships has  reached Russia as part of efforts to enhance maritime cooperation between the navies of both countries.  INS Sahyadri, Shakti and Kirch, under the Command of the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet, Rear Admiral S V Bhokare, reached Vladivostok on a four day visit as part of deployment of the Eastern Fleet to the South China Sea. During the visit, the ships will have professional interactions with the Russian Navy aimed at enhancing co-operation between the two forces.  The visiting Indian ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the Russian Navy, aimed at enhancing interoperability in communication as well as search and rescue procedures, post departure from Vladivostok.  The current visit seeks to enhance maritime cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Russian Navy. It will further bolster the strong bonds of friendship between India and Russia and contribute to security and stability in this vital part of the world.  

    Assam’s famous Kamakhya Temple receives an aid Rs. 25 crore for Infrastructure

    For the development of Kamakhya temple’s infrastructure, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan  announced an aid of Rs 25 crore over the next couple of years. Pradhan, who was in Guwahati to attend a series of meetings and road show made the announcement at the end of the historic Ambubachi Mela. Ambubachi is the celebration of goddess Kamakhya’s annual menstruation cycle, considered as a symbol of fertility by the Hindus. The temple’s sanctum sanctorum is closed to devotees during the period which marks the time of the fair. Kamakhya temple atop Nilachal Hills reopened its doors. During the festival, lakhs of devotees, including politicians made their way to the temple to have a glimpse of the Goddess. According to official sources, the Ambubachi mela drew more than 25 lakh pilgrims this time around.

    Rajnath Singh inaugurates Headquarters of Jharkhand’s special anti-Maoist force

    Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the newly constructed headquarters of Jharkhand's special anti-Maoist force 'Jharkhand Jaguar' in Jharkhand's capital city Ranchi. The headquarters will pave the way for the further strengthening of the force.  Singh also inaugurated the administration block and other buildings at Jharkhand Jaguar campus. Jharkhand Jaguar is an anti-Maoist squad formed eight years ago in 2008 and has led many successful operations against Maoists so far. Jharkhand Jaguar, also known as Special Task Force, towards becoming a substitute for the central forces engaged in anti-guerrilla operations 22 of the state's 24 Maoist-hit districts.  Spread over 173 acres in Tendargram in Kanke block on the outskirts of the state capital the permanent JJ camp houses anti-guerrilla warfare training facilities, functionally rich barracks, parade grounds, firing range besides administrative block and officers' mess. Helipad is the unique feature of the camp.

    Anand honoured with "Honoris Causa" Doctor of Science degree by IIT,Kanpur

    Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand was conferred the "Honoris Causa" Doctor of Science by Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT) during its 49th convocation ceremony. The 46-year-old Anand was bestowed with the degree by NITI aayog chairman Arvind Panagariya.  Viswanathan Anand : He became the undisputed World Champion in 2007 and defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He then defended his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in the World Chess Championship 2012 against Boris Gelfand. In the World Chess Championship 2013 he lost to challenger Magnus Carlsen and he lost again to Carlsen in the World Chess Championship 2014.n April 2006 Anand became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list, after Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov. He was also the first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991–92, India's highest sporting honour. In 2007, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, making him the first sports person to receive the award.

    Italian film actor Bud Spencer is dead

    Italian film actor Bud Spencer  known among his fans as the‘big friendly giant’ of the screen because of his height and weight has died at age 86 on 27 June 2016 in Rome. He appeared in, produced and directed over 20 films together.  He was a regular in Spaghetti Westerns (a western film made cheaply in Europe by an Italian director). Pedersoli's first film role was in Quel fantasma di mio marito,an Italian comedy shot in 1949 and released in 1950. In 1951 he played a member of the Praetorian Guard in Quo Vadis, a fampus epic film shot in Italy made by MGM and directed Mervyn LeRoy Spencer was born in the southern Italian city of Naples in 1929, but later moved to Rome, where he became a promising swimmer. In 1950, he was the first Italian to swim 100m in under one minute. He abandoned his swimming career after the 1960 Olympics in Rome. 

    EESL, Teri partner to work on energy efficiency

    State-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly work on energy efficiency for two years. Both organisations have decided to enter into an agreement as 'strategic partners' to work jointly for the achievement of common goals and objectives related to energy efficiency in India and abroad, Power Ministry .The MoU was signed in the presence of Power Minister Piyush Goyal. The main focus of Teri will be on working with governments, regulatory bodies, industry organisations, and utilities to create a policy environment for clean energy technologies. EESL will emphasise on implementing projects and programmes to promote clean energy technologies through innovative policy based business model to end users. The agreement will also bring in people and institutions who work on the policy side into the market based interventions.It will also enable cross country and global linkages so that there is an exchange of information and replication of interventions. The collaboration will provide comprehensive turnkey solutions where Teri will use its expertise to create energy efficiency projects through audits, etc. And EESL will bring in its business models to implement them. This model of the collaboration will primarily be used in countries of Africa and East Asia and will further investigate its use in Latin America and other developing countries.In developed nations like Europe and USA, the role of Teri will be to create market awareness about the business opportunities that EESL can potentially unlock.

    India jumps 19 places in World Bank's global logistics performance ranking

    India has jumped 19 places in the latest World Bank ranking in the global logistics performance, reflecting the improvement in movement of goods inside the country thus facilitating better trade.  The World Bank in its latest once-in-two-year Logistics Performance Index (LPI) said India is now ranked 35th as against the 54th spot it occupied in the previous 2014 report.  Logistics organises the movement of goods through a network of activities and services operating at global, regional, and local scale.  In the 2014 report, India had a LPI score of 3.08, which increased to 3.42 in 2016. For the third time, Germany with 4.23 points tops the ranking, followed by Luxembourg (4.22), Sweden (4.20), Netherlands (4.19) and Singapore (4.14).  Other countries in top 10 are Belgium, Austria, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United States. Japan is ranked 11. China has jumped one spot to be ranked 27th while Pakistan is at 68th. Syria ranked lowest.  Logistics performance both in international trade and domestically is central to countries' economic growth and competitiveness . Efficient logistics connects people and firms to markets and opportunities, and helps achieve higher levels of productivity and welfare. Unfortunately, the logistics performance gap between rich and poor countries continues and the convergence trend experienced between 2007 and 2014 has reversed for the least performing countries . The report ranks countries on a number of dimensions of supply chain performance, including infrastructure, quality of service, shipment reliability, and border clearance efficiency.  According to the report, over the past six years, the world's top-10 performers have remained consistent and include dominant players in the supply chain industry.  However, for the first time in the history of the Connecting to Compete reports, landlocked countries are no longer automatically disadvantaged, as shown by the performances of both Rwanda and Uganda, which benefit from regionally coordinated efforts to improve trade corridors. Gonzalez said building on a rich set of information, the report shows that improving logistics performance is a complex, unfinished, cross-cutting, and evolving agenda. The priorities depend on country performance. 

    V Sasi elected Deputy Speaker of Kerala Assembly

    CPI's V Sasi was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the 14th Kerala Assembly. While Sasi polled 90 votes, opposition UDF candidate I C Balakrishnan garnered 45 votes in the voting held in the assembly. Four members were absent, including BJP's lone member O Rajagopal, and one vote was declared invalid.Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan did not exercise his franchise. Sasi, the two-time MLA from Chirayankeezhu constituency in the Assembly, was earlier a member of the Travancore Devaswom Board. The CPI(M) headed LDF has a strength of 92 in the 141 member Assembly, including the nominated Anglo-Indian member, John Fernandez. Congress led UDF has 47 members, BJP has one and P C George is an Independent MLA. V Sasi  : He belongs to Communist Party of India and represents Chirayinkeezhu constituency. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of National Textile Corporation and Coir Board, Kerala.He is Chairman, Kerala Agriculture Workers Welfare Fund Board (2006-2009).He also Member of Travancore Deveaswom Board.

    Virat Kohli promotes a healthy lifestyle; launches Stepathlon Kids

    Indian Super League, Indian cricket Test captain Virat Kohli has now partnered with Stepathlon Lifestyle, a wellness-promoting entity, to launch Stepathlon Kids, a company dedicated to children's fitness programmes. This venture will also mark Stepathlon’s entry into the business to consumer space. The company will also receive operational support from Cornerstone Sports and Entertainment, a sports celebrity management company. The new firm, through an annual ‘30 Day Race’ around a virtual world, will urge children to take 15,000 steps a day, in a bid to have a healthy lifestyle and to create long-term positive behaviour.  According to a study commissioned by the World Health Organization in 2014, as many as 22 per cent of children in India are obese and facing health issues. Stepathlon Kids will be focused on building children’s holistic health – encouraging of physical activity and educating them on nutrition, exercise, stress and more. Kohli will play a role in creating widespread awareness. The company will begin with the launch of a nationwide, 30-day, pedometer-based, mass participation virtual race, built to promote fitness among children. Initially, targeting the eight to 12 years age bracket through this campaign, Stepathlon Kids’ target for the first year is to reach 50,000 children, aiming to use technology positively in reaching out via a gamified environment. It will, they say, encourage teamwork and healthy competition, while being educational and fun. Children will be given pedometers to track their steps during the 30 Day Race. These steps when entered on the Stepathlon Kids website get converted into distance and the team will move across a map of the world. Stepathlon Kids is a first of its kind and much needed offering in our country, and I'm sure Stepathlon will replicate the success it has witnessed in the corporate space. I will be substantially involved in the development and promotion of Stepathlon Kids to achieve our goal to create a healthier nation through the future of India - our kids.

    CSIR-CIMFR inked MoU for coal quality analysis with coal supplying companies

    Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CSIR-CIMFR) on 28 June 2016 inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Coal Supplying companies and Power Utilities for quality analysis of coal being supplied to power utilities by coal companies. The CSIR-CIMFR would make use of its knowledge base support in maintaining the quality of coal at national level for the entire power sector.  It is estimated that about 300 million metric tons of coal samples would be analyzed for quality per year. The contract value of the project is around 250 crore rupees per annum at minimum.  It is also expected that this project will result in improvement in performance of power plants besides leveraging benefits to the consumer in particular and society as a whole. The endeavour would help the nation in sustainable energy supply and security planning for future as it may reduce import of thermal coal.

    Exercise Jalrahat for flood Relief in Assam started

    Armed Forces and state government of Assam started exercise JALRAHAT at Narangi Cantt of Assam on 28 June 2016 . It is an initiative that is being carried on for flood relief in the state. The Exercise spread over three days terminates on 30 June 2016. Exercise Jalrahat, a joint initiative led by GAJRAJ Corps with full support from HQ Eastern Command, is based on Flood Relief in an urban setting. It is a clubbed name of the relief works that will be carried by all the three forces of India that is, Indian Army, Navy and Air Force. Indian Navy will be carrying out Exercise Prakampana based on relief and assistance in case of a super cyclone at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh in August 2016. Indian Air Force will be undertaking Exercise Sahayta based on relief and assistance in case of a major earthquake at Bhuj, Gujarat.  

    World Bank approves 201.50 million for Technical Education Quality Improvement Project in India

    The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved 201.50 million US dollars for Technical Education Quality Improvement Project III (TEQIP III) in India to improve the quality of engineering education in select Indian states on 24 June 2016. The objective of the project is to enhance quality and equity in participating engineering education institutes and improve the efficiency of the engineering education system in focus states. The maturity period for the project if 25 years with an additional 5 years grace period. Two Components of the Projects : Improving quality and equity in engineering institutes in focus states :  It will focus on improving engineering education in all government and government-aided colleges including the ATUs in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, LIS, states in the North East of India and hill states. It has three sub-components: a. institutional development for participating institutes b.widening impact through ATUs c.twinning arrangements to build capacity and improve performance of participating institutes System-level initiatives to strengthen sector governance and performance : It will support the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and key apex bodies including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA). It will strengthen sector governance, management, accountability mechanisms and performance in the overall system of engineering education.

    Union Cabinet approves recommendations of 7th Pay Commission

    Union Cabinet has approved the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission on 29 June 2016. The recommendations will come into force from 1 January 2016. The commission recommended 23.55 percent hike in pay and allowances of government employees. Approved Recommendations are :  The minimum pay for government employees is recommended to be set at 18000 rupees per month. The maximum pay is recommended to be 225000 rupees per month for Apex Scale and 250000 per month for Cabinet Secretary and others presently at the same pay level. The increase in pay will be 16 percent, increase in allowances will be 63 percent and increase in pension will be 24 percent.  The present system of pay bands and grade pay has been dispensed and a new pay matrix has been designed. Grade Pay has been subsumed in the pay matrix. The status of the employee, determined by grade pay, will now be determined by the level in the pay matrix. The rate of annual increment for employees will be 3 percent. Abolition of 52 allowances and introduction of a Health Insurance Scheme. One Rank One Pension proposed for civilian government employees on line of OROP for armed forces. Increase in Military Service Pay and revised pension formula for civil employees including Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Defence Personnel retiring before 1 January 2016. Military Service Pay (MSP), which is a compensation for the various aspects of military service, will be admissible to the defence forces personnel only. Ceiling of gratuity enhanced from 10 lakh rupees to 20 lakh rupees and ceiling on gratuity will be raised by 25 percent whenever DA rises by 50 percent. Short service commissioned officers will be allowed to exit the armed forces at any point in time between 7 to 10 years of service. A fitment factor of 2.57 which will be applied uniformly to all employees. Systemic change in the process of Cadre Review for Group A officers recommended. Allowances relating to Risk and Hardship will be governed by the newly proposed nine-cell Risk and Hardship Matrix. It recommends that House Rent Allowance (HRA) be paid at the rate of 24 percent, 16 percent and 8 percent of the new Basic Pay for Class X, Y and Z cities respectively. The rate of HRA will be revised to 27 percent, 18 percent and 9 percent respectively when DA crosses 50 percent. It recommended abolition of all non-interest bearing advances and increased the limit for interest-bearing advances for buying home from 7.5 lakh rupees to 25 lakh rupees. Introduction of a Health Insurance Scheme for Central Government employees and pensioners has been recommended. It recommends that in case of death in the line of duty, the force personnel of CAPFs should be accorded martyr status, at par with the defence forces personnel. A consolidated pay package of 450000 rupees and 400000 rupees per month for Chairpersons and Members respectively of select Regulatory bodies.  Introduction of the Performance Related Pay (PRP) for all categories of Central Government employees, based on quality Results Framework Documents and Annual Performance Appraisal Reports. All India Service officers and Central Services Group A officers who have completed 17 years of service should be eligible for empanelment under the Central Staffing Scheme and there should not be two year edge. The age of superannuation for all CAPF personnel should be 60 years uniformly. The 7th Pay Commission was set up on 28 February 2015 to revise remuneration of over one crore central government employees and pensioners.  The commission headed by Justice AK Mathur submitted its report to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 19 November 2015. Other members of the Commission were : Vivek Rae (full time Member), Dr. Ratin Roy (part time member) and Meena Agarwal (Secretary). Later, the government constituted a panel headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to study the recommendations of the pay commission.  This implementation of the recommendations will put an additional burden of 1.02 lakh crore rupees on the exchequer annually or nearly 0.7percent of GDP.

    Naga rebel leader Isak Chishi Swu dies

    Naga rebel leader Isak Chishi Swu died on 28 June 2016 following a prolonged illness at Fortis hospital in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. He was 87. He was the co-founder and chairman of Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM). Isak Chishi Swu :  Swu, who belonged to the Sumi tribe, hailed from Nagaland’s Zunheboto district.  In the 1950s, Swu joined the Naga National Council (NNC) and served in various capacities in the organisation.Opposed to the Shillong Accord signed by the then NNC with the Centre, he formed the NSCN-IM in 1980.   Swu played a significant role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace. Isak Chishi Swu's death has brought the focus back on the status of the Naga peace accord negotiations that are going on since the signing of a framework agreement between the Union Government and the NSCN-IM in August 2015. The signing of the pact came after over 80 rounds of negotiations that spanned 16 years with first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed.  The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isaac-Muivah) is the biggest Naga rebel group which has been maintaining the ceasefire.  

    Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden, Kazakhstan elected non-permanent UNSC members

    United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has elected Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sweden and Kazakhstan as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 28 June 2016. The two-year terms at UNSC of the new members will begin from 1 January 2016 and run through 31 December 2018. The 193-member UN body conducted the elections for five non-permanent seats. A third round of voting is due to take place on 29 June 2016 for the final available seat with Italy competing against The Netherlands. These newly-elected countries will replace Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Angola and Venezuela. Process of Election : In the election of the five nations, the members of the General Assembly voted by secret ballot for five seats divided by geographical grouping – three from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, one from Eastern Europe, and one from Latin America and the Caribbean. 1.Bolivia and Ethiopia were chosen by their regional groups and had no competitors. 2. Kazakhstan won the seat reserved for Asia Pacific against Thailand. 3. Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden had competed for two seats for Western Europe. United Nations Security Council : Under the UN Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility for international peace and security, with all UN Member States required to comply with Council decisions.  The Council’s 10 non-permanent seats are allocated according to a rotation pattern set by the Assembly in 1963, to ensure a proportionate representation over time from the different parts of the world: five from African and Asian States; one from Eastern European States; two from Latin American States; and two from Western European and Other States. The Security Council has 15 members, including five permanent. The five permanent members, each with the power of veto, are China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other current non-permanent members are Japan, Egypt, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay. Responsibility of the Security Council : The Security Council is responsible for determining the existence of a threat against peace and to respond to an act of aggression. It is also responsible for finding peaceful means to settle a conflict or a dispute between States. In some cases, the Council can resort to sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security.  It also recommends to the General Assembly the appointment of the Secretary General and the admission of new Members to the United Nations.  

    World Bank approves $63 million for Tejaswini Project in Jharkhand

    The World Bank Board has approved the 63 million US dollar project on 21 June 2016, Tejaswini : Socioeconomic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women in Jharkhand. Tejaswini is the first World Bank project in India that is solely focused on the welfare of adolescent girls and young women.   The project will support adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 14 and 24 to complete their secondary level education. It will also help them to acquire relevant skills for the job market.   Highlights of the project : The project will support market-driven skills training, secondary education and broader socio-economic empowerment for adolescent girls and young women in 17 select districts of the state. It is expected to benefit about 680000 adolescent girls and young women in the state. In the 17 project districts, there are about 2.1 million adolescent girls and young women in the 14-24 age group, of which 13% belong to Scheduled Castes and 25% to Scheduled Tribes. The project will intervene at two levels, i.e., at the community and at the institutional level.The community-based platforms will hold regular counselling and guidance sessions, life skills education, livelihood support services and more. At the institutional level, it will work with partner institutions through performance-based contracts to deliver vocational training, business skills training and non-formal education. Life skills education will include four core elements: a.Resilience and soft skills : It includes communication and problem-solving skills, goal-setting and techniques to maintain psychological wellbeing through adversity. b.Rights and protections : This is related to early marriage, child labour, safe migration, gender-based violence and more. c.Health and nutrition : It includes sanitation and hygiene, nutritional habits for self and children and sexual and reproductive health. d.Financial literacy : It will help teach numeracy, saving, budgeting and accessing credit and financial institutions.

    CAG Shashi Kant Sharma gets honorary professorship in China

    The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India Shashi Kant Sharmahas been conferred with the honorary professorship by the Nanjing Audit University (NAU), China. China’s Nanjing Audit University is the only university which is recognized by the Institute of Internal Auditors. Shashi Kant Sharmahas  : Shashi Kant Sharmahas is a 1976 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre. He had succeeded Vinod Rai as the CAG, supreme federal auditor of the country in May 2013 Prior to appointment as CAG he had served as secretary in the Union Ministry of Defence. In July 2014 he had assumed office as Member of the United Nations Board of Auditor General (UNBAG) for a term of 6 years.

    Andhra Pradesh government inks deal for Rs 10000 crore gas-based fertilizer project

    The Andhra Pradesh government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a three-nation consortium of China Huanqin Contracting and Engineering Corporation, LEPL Ventures Private Limited and Isomeric Holdings to set up a gas-based fertilizer project at Krishnapatanam with an investment of Rs 10,183 crore.  The MoU was signed during Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's ongoing visit to China, wherein he was participating in the World Economic Forum's 10th annual meeting of New Champions in Tianjin.  This proposed year of commencement for the project is 2017-18, a release from the CMO here said.  This project will help generate 5,000 thousand jobs.China Huanqiu, headquartered in Beijing, is an affiliate of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).  Isomeric Holdings is a Malaysian company with expertise in gas-based manufacturing projects while LEPL is a Vijayawada-based infrastructure company that also runs an airline.  Chandrababu presented him a brief on the emerging business opportunities in the state as the government intended to make it a logistics hub. 

    Majuli in Assam becomes India’s first island district

    Majuli was in news  as the Government of Assam approved its up gradation as a district on 27 June 2016. With this approval, Majuli has become the first island district in the country. The approval was given by the State Cabinet in its first meeting after the formation of the government on 24 May 2016. At present, Majuli is a Mohkuma, a sub division of the Jorhat District and represented by the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the Assembly. Related to Majuli island :  It is a fluvial landform (a riverine delta), a unique geographical occurrence and a result of the dynamics of the Brahmaputra river system. It is bounded by the river Subanisri and her tributaries on the North West, the kherkatia Suli (a spill channel of the river Brahmaputra) in the northeast and the main Brahmaputra River on the South and the South west. It is the largest mid river delta system in the world. It is also comprised of many islets locally called the Chaporis.Its area has shrunk from about 1250 square kilometers in 1891 to about 515 square kilometers due to the erosion of river-bank. It is the abode of the Assamese neo-Vaisnavite culture initiated around 15th century by the revered Assamese saint Srimanta Sankardeva and his disciple Madhavdeva.There are a total of 30 Sattras or Vaishnavite monasteries including the Dakhinpat Satra which was established in 1584 AD. Each Sattra, represents, within its region, a centre for cultural activities and even acts as a democratic institution to settle local disputes. Most of the villages associate with respective Sattra, and the villagers partake in the activities of their own Sattra during festivals and occasions. These sattra villages and other vernacular settlements house people from various ethnic origins all of whom have settled in Majuli like Mishings, Deori, Sonowal Kachari, Koch, Kaivartta and Nath.It is a hotspot for flora and fauna, harbouring many rare and endangered avifauna species including migratory birds that arrive in the winter season. Among the birds seen here are the greater adjutant stork, pelican, Siberian crane and the whistling teal. Paddy, mustard, potato, pulses, sugarcane, wheat are the main crops cultivated on the island.Various seasonal vegetables and fruits like orange, banana, pineapple, jackfruit, etc are also grown in abundant quantity. In March 2011, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of the Union Ministry of Culture proposed to nominate the island for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

    Nestle named Ukf Mark Schneider as CEO

    Food and Beverage multinational Nestle SA on 27 June 2016 named Ulf Mark Schneider as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is the CEO of Fresenius, a Germany-based healthcare company. He will join Nestle on 1 September 2016 and start as CEO on 1 January 2017. He will succeed incumbent CEO Paul Bulcke, who will resign from the position on 31 December 2016. Bulcke has been named by Nestle board as its next chairman after incumbent Peter Brabeck-Letmathe retires in 2017. 50-year old Schneider will be the first outsider to run 150-year old Nestlé since 1922, when banker Louis Dapples was appointed to head the company after its only financial loss. The appointment of Schneider highlights the increasing importance of health and nutrition for Switzerland-based manufacturer of Maggi noodles and Kit Kat candy bars. Schneider appointment will expand the Nestle's capability to become one of the pre-eminent players in the Nutrition, Health and Wellness sector. In this line, Nestle also unveiled plans to integrate its skin-health and health-sciences businesses into the main Nestle organization reporting directly to Schneider from January 2017. The succession announcement comes against the backdrop of Nestle missing its sales target of organic growth of 5% to 6%, dubbed the “Nestlé Model”, for three years. The slowdown has been due to slowdown in major markets like Europe and China, strong Swiss franc and weak consumer prices. Ulf Mark Schneider : He has been the CEO of Fresenius for over 13 years. Under his leadership company generated annual sales of 28 billion euro (31 billion dollar) and offers products and services for dialysis, hospitals and outpatient treatments.He is a German and U.S. citizen with a doctoral degree from the University of St. Gallen and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Nestle : Nestle foundation was laid in 1866 with the setting up of Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company It was founded by German-born pharmicist Henri Nestle, who develops a breakthrough infant food in 1867.In 1905 the company was merged with Anglo-Swiss to form what is now known as the Nestlé Group. It sells more than 200 brands in 189+ countries with 436 factories in 85 countries.

28 June 2016 Current Affairs

  • Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan : A scheme to boost healthcare facilities for pregnant women

    Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA), an initiative of the Narendra Modi Government, was launched in June 2016. The scheme aims at boosting the health care facilities for the pregnant women, especially the poor. It also seeks to protect pregnant ladies from infectious diseases. Under the scheme, the pregnant ladies will be given free health check-up and required treatment for free on 9th of every month. The scheme will be applicable for pregnant women to avail in every government hospitals across India. Features of Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan : All kinds of medical checkups under the scheme will be completely free.Tests will take place at the medical centres, government and private hospitals and private clinics across the country. Women will be marked differently based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem.The scheme is applicable only to the women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months. The women belonging to semi urban, poor and rural areas will be given preferences.

    Xerxes Sapur Desai, founder of Titan, dies

    Xerxes Sapur Desai, the man who founded Titan Co Ltd, died on 27 June 2016 following a prolonged illness in Bengaluru. He was 79. Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan Co. Ltd (part of Tata Sons), after enduring years of resistance from state-owned HMT Watches. Xerxes Sapur Desai : Desai joined Tata Administrative Service (TAS) in 1961 after graduating from Oxford University.  He worked with Tata Press, Tata Chemicals and Taj Hotels before setting up Titan in 1986.  The idea of Titan came about in 1979, but it took him seven long years to finally set up a factory in Hosur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru, in 1986 with support from the Tamil Nadu government.With the success in watches,  Desai got Tata's approval to start Tanishq, the jewellery business that is now a trusted brand and India’s largest jewellery firm.

    Excessive blue light emitted by LED can adversely impact human health : AMA

    A report released by the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health on 14 June 2016 claims that excessive blue light emitted by light emitting diodes (LED) can adversely impact human health. AMA report looked at the LED street lighting on US roadways. It also adopted guidance for communities on selecting among LED lighting options to minimize potential harmful human and environmental effects. Effects of LED light : A large amount of blue light emitted by the high-intensity LED lighting appears white to the naked eye but it can create worse nighttime glare than conventional lighting. Discomfort and disability from intense, blue-rich LED lighting can decrease visual acuity and safety, resulting in concerns and creating a road hazard. Blue-rich LED streetlights that operates at a wavelength adversely suppresses melatonin during night, thus it directly have an impact on drivers.It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps. The detrimental effects of high-intensity LED lighting are not limited to humans. Excessive outdoor lighting disrupts many species that need a dark environment. For instance, poorly designed LED lighting disorients some bird, insect, turtle and fish species. The findings are similar to the findings of some surveys of recent past. These findings suggest that brighter residential nighttime lighting are associated with reduced sleep times, dissatisfaction with sleep quality, excessive sleepiness, impaired daytime functioning and obesity. Community Guidelines :  It asks communities to minimize and control blue-rich environmental lighting by using the lowest emission of blue light possible to reduce glare. It asks for an intensity threshold for optimal LED lighting that minimizes blue-rich light.  It also says that all LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimize glare and detrimental human health and environmental effects.Consideration should be given to utilize the ability of LED lighting to be dimmed for off-peak time periods.

    RBI executive Director NS Vishwanathan appoints the Deputy Governor of RBI

    The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has cleared the appointment of NS Vishwanathan as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Vishwanathan is currently an executive director at the RBI, overseeing the banking regulation and non-banking department. He would succeed Khan, who will retire on July 3, ANI tweeted. The key departments under Khan are financial markets, external investments and operations, payment and settlements, information technology, foreign exchange and internal debt management. The RBI currently has four deputy governors(Kolkata,Mumbai,New Delhi,Chennai). They are H R Khan, Dr Urjit Patel, R Gandhi and S S Mundra. N. S. Vishwanathan  :  N. S. Vishwanathan M.A. (Economics) served as Principal Chief General Manager in the Department of non-banking supervision at Reserve Bank of India.He has has been an Executive Director at Reserve Bank of India since April 2014.He also server served as a Director of Punjab National Bank.He served as Nominee Director at Dena Bank Ltd.  

    Gudni Johannesson wins Iceland’s presidential election

    Gudni Johannesson won Iceland’s presidential election on 26 June 2016. The history professor who ran as an independent in the election was able to secure 39.1% of the vote. He will succeed Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who served 20 years as head of state. The elections were held in the backdrop of the Panama Papers leak in April, which implicated several top officials of the country. Johannesson, a history professor, who is a newcomer in the politics decided to run for the presidency after the leak and rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment. Halla Tomasdottir, a businesswoman without party affiliation, came second with 27.9%. While David Oddsson, a former conservative prime minister and central bank governor won just 13% of the vote. President in Iceland : A president, elected head of state, in Iceland holds a largely ceremonial position. The president is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage and has limited powers. The constitution does not limit the number of terms the president is allowed to serve. He acts as a guarantor of the constitution and national unity and carries the powers to block legislation. There have been five presidents since Iceland became a Republic in 1944.

    India maintains third position in ICC ODI team rankings

    India maintained its number three position in the recently released MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings which is being headed by world champions Australia.  South Africa’s three loses and one no-result has meant it has dropped two points to join India on 110 points, but behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side when the points are calculated beyond the decimal point. MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings List :  Rank     Team                Ratings 1    Australia                   123 2    New Zealand             113 3    India                         110 4    South Africa              110 5    England                     104 6    Sri Lanka                   104 7    Bangladesh                 98 8    West Indies                 94 9    Pakistan                     87 10    Afghanistan               51 11    Zimbabwe                 46 12    Ireland                      41 MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings : The ICC Player Rankings is a widely followed system of rankings for international cricketers based on their recent performances. The current sponsor is MRF Tyres who signed a 4-year deal with the ICC that will last until 2020. The ratings were developed at the suggestion of Ted Dexter in 1987. The intention was to produce a better indication of players' current standing in the sport than is provided by comparing their averages. Career averages are based on a player's entire career and do not make any allowance for match conditions or the strength of the opposition, whereas the ratings are biased towards recent form and account for match conditions and the quality of the opponent using statistical measures. Initially the rankings were for Test cricket only, but separate One Day International rankings were introduced in 1998. Both sets of rankings have now been calculated back to the start of those forms of the game. The rankings include the top 10 Test, ODI and T20I batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders based on the rating of each player.

    Odisha Government launches Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana

    Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has launched a new scheme Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana (KSSY) with an aim to provide education loan at 1 percent interest to students for pursuing higher studies . The State government dedicated this scheme to former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik on his Birth Centenary. Patnaik had instituted Kalinga UNESCO award for the popularisation of science when he was only 35 years old. Highlights of the Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana : Poor students aspiring to pursue professional and technical education can now avail themselves of study loan up to 10 lakh rupees at one percent interest rate.This will be a major help for students pursuing higher education including Management, Law, Engineering, Medicine etc. It will reduce the loan burden of parents who are not able to effort money for higher education. Odisha government will provide a cost of 500 crore rupees from its own resources for this purpose. Criteria For Availing the Loan : Family income must be below 4.5 lakh per annum.Security deposit as per bank rules. Students will have to repay the loan amount after 4-5 years moratorium period. Maximum 10 lakh loan can be availed. Bankers to decide to whom loan would be provided  

June Current Affairs 2016 Fresherslive

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