Current Affairs 2016 May - Current Affairs Today Banking, SSC, UPSC

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Last Modified:31-05-2016

May 2016 – Current Affairs and Quiz

31 May 2016 Current Affairs

  • BJP leader and former MP Rudra Madhab Ray passes away

    Senior BJP leader and former MP Rudra Madhab Ray passed away on 31 May 2016. Ray, who had been ailing for quite some time, breathed his last while undergoing treatment at a private hospital. A three-time MLA in Odisha assembly from Daspalla constituency, Ray had been elected to the Lok Sabha in 2009 from Kandhamal seat as a BJD candidate. However, Ray who had long association with the Janata Dal and Biju Janata Dal joined BJP after being suspended from BJD in 2014. Ray, regarded as an influential leader and good organiser, was associated with a number of activities in social, educational and cultural sectors.  

    Present Drought Situation & Steps Taken by Modi Government

    According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), if the rainfall during the four monsoon months of June to September is deficient by 10 per cent of its long-term average, it is declared a drought monsoon. Indian Monsoon this year is predicted to be normal with La Nina playing the favourable role. Indian subcontinent in last two years received sparse rainfall leading to drought in many parts of the country and affecting million of rural population. According to a study done by scientists from Kerala and Pune, constant cooling of the atmosphere over Central Asia is set to increase the frequency of drought between 2020 and 2049. Present Drought Situation : Grim Facts :  In 2015-16, 266 districts in 11 different states were declared drought affected. Among them, more than 70 percent districts were in 8 States.The 11 drought affected States are – Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Jharkhand.  In both Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, 93% of the districts are drought affected followed by Jharkhand with 92% drought affected districts. 90% of the districts are drought affected in both Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.In terms of absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of drought affected districts (50) followed by Madhya Pradesh (46). More than 20 districts are affected by drought in five other states. The present specter of drought has affected more than 300 million people living in these 266 districts.The food grain production in 2015-16 has decreased compared to the average production of the preceding 5 years. The average food grain production between 2010-11 and 2014-15 is 255.59 million tonnes, while in 2015-16, it is estimated to be at 253.16 million tones. Steps Taken by Government Announcements made in Budget 2016-17 : Every block in drought affected areas will be taken up as an intensive Block under Deen Dayal Antyodaya MissionCluster Facilitation Teams (CFT) will be set up under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to ensure water conservation and natural resource management. Assistance from NDRF: In 2015-16, various states had submitted requests on drought, seeking financial assistance from National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF).Around 13500 crore rupees were approved from NDRF for drought relief in 10 different states affected by drought. Maharashtra was given the highest amount of relief (3049 crore rupees) followed by Karnataka with 2263 crore rupees.Formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) will be speeded up to promote multiple livelihoods Assistance to Farming Community : During drought the farming community is the worst affected. Against this backdrop, the Union Government in March 2015 revised norms in relation to the compensation to distressed farmers. The revised norms are – i. Farmers will be eligible for input subsidy even if 33 percent of their crop has been damaged due to unforeseen weather conditions as opposed to 50 percent or more, which is the norm till now. ii. Input subsidy given to distressed farmers will be enhanced by 50 percent of the existing amounts. iii. Besides, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana was approved in order to better protect farmers in times of unforeseen crises including drought. Programmes with potential to aid Drought Management : National Hydrology Project: The Union Cabinet in April 2016 approved the National Hydrology Project (NHP) at an estimated cost of around 3700 crore rupees.The project seeks to build the capacity of the government agencies in water resources management through the use of information systems and adoption of state-of-the-art technologies including remote sensing.Neeranchal National Watershed Project : It was approved by the Union Cabinet in October 2015 with a total budget of 2142 crore rupees in which India would bear 1071 crore rupees and the rest 50 percent cost will be borne by the World Bank.It will support the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana in hydrology and water management, agricultural production systems, capacity building and monitoring and evaluation.The project seeks to support integrated watershed management program (IWMP) through technical assistance to improve incremental conservation outcomes and agricultural yields. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojana : It was approved by the Union Government in July 2015 with an outlay of over 50000 crore rupees for the period between 2015 and 2020. The scheme seeks to provide convergence to existing schemes of water management, thus bringing efficiency to the use of water.It also aims at expanding cultivable area under assured irrigation (Har Khet ko pani) and improve on-farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water.  

    ONGC Videsh signs pact with SOCAR Trading for oil trading

    ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of state-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SOCAR Trading SA, the trading arm of Azerbaijan's government-owned energy firm SOCAR, for foraying into oil trading business. The objective of the MoU, signed in Geneva on 27 May, is to explore possibilities of joint marketing of OVL's crude oil portfolio by leveraging SOCAR Trading's experience in oil trading, OVL. The Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) field is located off the coast of Baku and is said to be the largest oilfield in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian basin. OVL had earlier bought a 2.7 per cent stake in the field from US-based Hess for $1 billion.Based on the performance of this agreement both parties will mutually agree to optimize price realization of other crudes from OVL's portfolio either through joint marketing or joint venture route. OVL operates 36 projects in 17 countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Libya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Vietnam and New Zealand. It currently produces 165,000 barrels of oil and oil equivalent gas per day and had total oil and gas reserves of around 632.65 million tonne of oil equivalent at the end of March 31. SOCAR trading is the international marketing and development arm of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan republic (SOCAR). SOCAR trading was incorporated in December 2007 with a mandate to market Azeri barrels produced from the ACG field and other surrounding fields in Azerbaijan.

    Gurpreet Singh Sandhu becomes first Indian to play in Tippeligaen

    National football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on 29 May 2016 became the first Indian to play top-tier European football league match. He turned out for Norwegian side Stabaek FC in Norwegian Premier League (Tippeligaen) . Gurpreet Singh Sandhu : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu signed for Stabaek FC in 2014. He played his first Tippeligaen (Norwegian Premier League) for Stabaek FC on 29 may 2016 and helped the team to claim a dominant 5-0 triumph over IK Start.He was a surprise inclusion in the 2011 Asia Cup squad. He made his debut for the Indian national team against Turkmenistan in 2013. He was trained in the Tata Football Academy and represented India at the Under-19 and Under-23 levels. Tippeligaen (Norwegian professional league) : Tippeligaen is a Norwegian professional league for association football clubs.It is the country's primary football competition which was founded in 1937. It was called Norgesserien (The League of Norway) in its early days and later Hovedserien (The Main League).It was expanded to 12 teams in 1972 and the league was renamed Tippeligaen in 1990.The league is also known as Eliteserien or The Elite League.

    Ashok Lavasa named Finance Secretary

    Ashok Lavasa, who was recently appointed as the Secretary, Expenditure in the Finance Ministry has been designated as the Finance Secretary by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) headed by PM Narendra Modi .  The 1980 batch IAS officer was shifted from the Environment Ministry to the Finance Ministry after the retirement of Ratan P. Watal on April 30. Watal was later appointed as Principal Advisor in NITI Aayog. In being designated as the Finance Secretary, Lavasa has trumped his batchmate Shaktikanta Das , the economic affairs secretary in the Finance Ministry. Though Das is senior to Lavasa in terms of age by eight months, Lavasa ranked higher in the merit list of the 1980 batch, tilting the scales in his favour for being designated as the Finance Secretary among the five Secretaries in the Finance Ministry. Das retires in February next year while Lavasa will superannuate in October, 2017. 

    Noted Kannada writer D Javare Gowda passes away

    Noted Kannada writer D Javare Gowda, popularly known as De Ja Gow, passed away on 30 May 2016 following a cardiac arrest in a private hospital at Mysuru. He was 101. He is survived by a daughter, a son and grandchildren. D Javare Gowda : Gowda served as the Vice-Chancellor of Mysore University from 1969 to 1975.He dedicated much of his time and efforts towards protecting Kannada and promoting the language as the medium of instruction in schools.He played an important role in getting the classical language status for Kannada by launching an indefinite fast and threatening to return the Padma Shri that was conferred on him in 2001. He also awarded with the Pampa Prishathi in 1998 and the Guru Award in 2003.In recognition of his contribution to literature and the cause of Kannada, the Karnataka government has honoured him with the Karnataka Ratna (2008) and the Nadoja title (2003).His works include Lakshmishana Jaimini Bharata (1957), Kanakadasara Nalacharitre (1959), Andayyana Kabbigara Kavya (1965), Chikkupadyayana Rukmangada Charitre (1964) and many more.He was a disciple of Kannada doyen and poet lauret K V Puttappa.

    World No-Tobacco Day 2016 with theme Get ready for plain packaging

    World No Tobacco Day is observed across the globel on May 31 every year. It is aimed at encouraging people to abstain from consuming tobacco for 24 hours and raising awareness about the hazardous effects of tobacco consumption on a person's health and well-being. World No Tobacco Day 2016 theme : "Get ready for plain packaging"  On the eve of World No Tobacco Day 2016 the World Health Organization has urged the member nations for plain packaging of tobacco products as it will reduce the attractiveness of tobacco products, restrict the use of tobacco packaging as a form of advertising, limits misleading packaging and labelling and increases the effectiveness of health warnings.  New Zealand and various other countries have introduced the plain packaging on tobacco products despite the threat of legal action from the industry. Plain packaging means cigarettes must be sold in boxes plastered with health warnings and gruesome pictures of smoking-related disease

    RIL sells stake in African oil retailer GAPCO to Total SA

    Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has sold its stake in African fuel retailer GAPCO (Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation's) to Total SA of France for an undisclosed sum.Total SA, which is already a leading retailer of petroleum products in Africa, will acquire Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation's (GAPCO) assets in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. RIL had in September 2007 bought a clutch of fuel stations and storage facilities in one of the fastest growing regions in Africa. Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation is a holding company incorporated in Mauritius with affiliates in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. RIL's overseas arm Reliance Exploration & Production DMCC, owns 76% stake while Fortune Oil Corporation, Mauritius has the remaining. Total SA has acquired two logistical terminals in Mombasa, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as well as a retail network of around 100 service stations. The acquisition will complementary to Total's existing operations in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and will strengthen its logistics in the region.

    Mahindra & Mahindra inks brand licence agreement with Pininfarina

    Mahindra & Mahindra today said it has entered into a brand licence agreement with Pininfarina for use of trademarks after closing the deal to acquire 76.06 per cent stake in the Turin-based company.  Last year Mahindra group had announced to acquire Pininfarina for an overall outgo of over 50 million Euros (nearly Rs 370 crore) after months of negotiations.  The acquisition was carried out through a special purpose vehicle (SPV). Last year the company had said that Tech Mahindra and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will own 60 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in the automotive and industrial design firm.  That the transaction has closed, the SPV has acquired 76.06 per cent stake in Pininfarina and as part of the overall transaction, the company has also entered into a brand license agreement with Pininfarina for use of trademarks owned by the Pininfarina group including licensing of brand Pininfarina for automotive products of the company," Mahindra & Mahindra said in a regulatory filing.  The Mahindra counter ended 0.6 per cent down at Rs 1,327.50 on the BSE whose benchmark Sensex continued its upward journey for the fifth continuous trading day gaining 0.30 per cent. 

    Admiral Sunil Lanba takes over as Chief of Naval Staff

    Admiral Sunil Lanba has took over as the new Chief of Naval Staff and vowed to ensure that the maritime domain of the country is safe and secure. 58-year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and Direction, will have the full three-year tenure as the Navy Chief.  He succeeded Admiral R K Dhowan who retired.  Sunil Lanba : An alumnus of Defence Services Staff College, Lanba is the 21st Indian to be the Navy Chief. The first two were British. Coming in with rich operational and staff experience in a career spanning more than three decades, Lanba has served as Navigating Officer of corvette INS Sindhudurg and frigate INS Dunagiri.  He has commanded four frontline warships  INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai , both destroyers. He is also an alumnus of the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad, where he has served as a faculty.  Lanba has also held key staff assignments such as Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet and the Chief of Staff, Southern and Eastern Naval Commands. He was also the Flag Officer Sea Training, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra and Gujarat Naval Area and Commandant, National Defence College.  He was the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command at Kochi, prior to being appointed to head the Western Naval Command. He took over as the Vice Chief on June 2, 2014. Admiral Lanba is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Athi Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service. 

    India among top 10 steel importers in 2015 : World Steel Association

    India, the world's third largest steel producer, was among the top 10 importers of the alloy last year, according to the latest data by the global industry body World Steel Association (WSA).  India imported 13.3 million tonnes (MT) of the metal in 2015 and was just a notch up from China, which imported 13.2 MT of steel during the same period.  According to the WSA data, European Union as a bloc imported 37.7 MT of steel last year, which was followed by the US (36.5 MT), Germany (24.8 MT), South Korea (21.7 MT), Italy (19.9 MT), Turkey (18.6 MT), Vietnam (16.3 MT), Thailand (14.6 MT), France (13.7 MT) and India (13.3 MT).  According to Indian government data, steel imports rose by 25.6 per cent to 11.71 MT during the 2015-16 financial year against 9.32 MT in the year-ago period. India was a net importer of the metal in the last fiscal. WSA data also showed that India exported 7.6 MT of steel in 2015, which was just a fraction of what its neighbour China exported during the same period at 111.6 MT.  Admitting that Indian steel sector is going through stress for some time due to rising imports, Steel Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had earlier this month assured the Rajya Sabha that government will take all steps to promote and safeguard the industry.  On the brighter side, WSA forecasted that India's steel demand is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent to 83.8 MT in 2016 on the back of low oil prices and reform momentum. India's prospects are brightening due to low oil prices, the reform momentum and policies to increase infrastructure and manufacturing output. India's steel demand will increase by 5.4 per cent in both 2016 and 2017 reaching 88.3 MT in 2017 . Economic environment facing steel industry continues to be challenging with China's slowdown impacting globally across a range of indicators contributing to volatility in financial markets, sluggish growth in global trade and low oil and other commodity prices. The global steel market is suffering from insufficient investment expenditure and continued weakness in manufacturing sector .

    India-US to sign two key pacts during Homeland Security Dialogue

    India and the US are likely to sign two key agreements in July that would exempt prominent Indian citizens from immigration checks in America and pave the way for exchange of information on terrorists on a real time basis. The two pacts on Global Entry--a US Customs and Border Protection programme that permits speedy clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers upon arrival in America and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6), which allows access to information on terrorists-- are expected to be signed during the Homeland Security Dialogue.  Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation at US-India Homeland Security Dialogue to be held in Washington in July . The US has been pressing for India's inclusion in the Global Entry so that high dignitaries like former Presidents, former Prime Ministers, former Union Ministers, film stars, top industrialists and frequent flyers could visit America without any hassle .Initially, the names of around 2,000 prominent Indians could figure in the coveted list, which would be expanded gradually after proper background checks of each individual. The kiosk issues the traveller a transaction receipt and directs the traveller to baggage claim and the exit. Two important conditions for inclusion of an individual in the Global Entry programme are that he or she should not have any criminal record or be in anyway connected with a money laundering case.  The other key pact which NEW DELHI may enter into is the Homeland Security Presidential Directive-6 (HSPD-6), which will enable it to access 'unclassified biographic information of known and suspected terrorists' maintained by the US on a reciprocal basis.  The HSPD-6 is a model text agreement proposed by the US to India for exchange of terrorist screening information between Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) of the US and an Indian agency.  TSC is a multi agency organisation administered by FBI which consolidates several terrorist watch lists maintained by different US government agencies into single terrorist database on terror suspects. The database includes the name of the terror suspect, nationality, date of birth, photos, finger prints (if any) and passport number.  However, later, the security agencies came to the conclusion that there was no disadvantage in entering into the proposed pact with TSC. The Intelligence Bureau will be the nodal agency and designated as the Indian party to the agreement. It was agreed that while signing the pact, it must be ensured that privacy issues .

    Indian economy to grow 7.7% in FY17 : Ficci survey

    Indian economy will grow 7.7% in the ongoing fiscal amid likely improvement in the industrial and agricultural sectors' performance on account of good monsoon, says Ficci's Economic Outlook survey. However, it has also said that the investment cycle is expected to take at least 6 months to witness a pick-up. The growth in 2016-17 is expected to be supported by an improvement in the agricultural and industrial sector performance. Prediction of a good monsoon after two consecutive years of sub-optimal rainfall backs the improved outlook in the current fiscal. The Reserve Bank last month had forecast a 7.6% growth for the current fiscal on the back of favourable monsoon, a notch lower than the upper end of government's range of 7% to 7.75%. Agriculture : Moreover, the agriculture sector is expected to record a median growth of 2.8% in 2016-17, with a minimum and maximum range of 1.6% and 3.5%, respectively. Industrial : Industrial growth is expected to grow by 7.1% in 2016-17, while services sector growth is estimated at 9.6%. The survey was conducted during April/May 2016 among economists belonging to the industry, banking and financial services sector. The economists were asked to provide forecast for key macro-economic variables for the year 2016-17 as well as for fourth quarter of FY16 and first quarter of FY17. Economists also shared their prognosis about the expected recovery in the investment cycle. A majority of them were of the view that investment cycle will take at least two more quarters to witness a pick-up.A majority of the economists also felt that while the government and the RBI are working together to address the issues at hand, recovery in the banking system will take time. The economists observed that the passage of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill, 2015 is a very positive step to deal with the challenging issue of exiting unviable businesses.Easy exit for a business would help in speedy winding up, productive redeployment of capital and ensure greater availability of credit by freeing up of capital.The median growth forecast for index of industrial production (IIP) has been put at 3.5% for the year 2016-17, with a minimum and maximum range of 3% and 4.5% respectively. The interest rate scenario was deemed positive by the respondents for a pick-up in credit growth. In the Union Budget 2016-17, the Finance Minister had announced that the government will reorient its interventions in the agriculture sector to double the income of farmers by 2022. In the current survey, the respondents were asked to indicate the way forward to achieve this target. The participating economists felt that setting up proper irrigation facilities is definitely a prerequisite. Along with this, encouraging water harvesting, promoting crop insurance schemes with greater vigour and creating a unified agricultural market that would ensure appropriate price for the agricultural produce by eliminating middlemen, will be most critical.It was also proposed that greater investments are needed towards building necessary rural infrastructure (such as warehouses, roads) and rural supply chain infrastructure. This will not only lead to seamless movement of agricultural commodities across the country but will also be the key to generate greater income for farmers.  

    Maneka Gandhi to release Draft Trafficking of Persons Bill 2016

    Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has released the Draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016 on 30 May 2016. It seeks to create a comprehensive law against trafficking of persons and is victim oriented. It makes clear the distinction between the trafficker and the trafficked. Highlights of the Bill : Aim: To prevent trafficking of persons and to provide protection and rehabilitation to the victims of trafficking.To create a legal, economic, and social environment against trafficking of persons and related matters Unifying Existing Laws : It seeks to check human trafficking by unifying and plug loopholes in several existing laws like Indian Penal Code, 1860, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 and Offenders Act, 1958. Offences Included : It includes other offences/provisions which are not dealt with in any other law for the purpose of trafficking, such as a.Penal provisions for the disclosure of identity of the victim of trafficking and witness b. Use of narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or alcohol for the purpose of trafficking c.Use of chemical substance or hormones for the purpose of exploitation Punishment : It calls for confiscation, forfeiture and attachment of property of an accused who uses the premises for committing trafficking related offences as defined in the bill.It makes the trafficking related offences a cognisable and non-bailable offence notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Creation of Special Courts : It shall be created by State Government in   consultation   with   the   Chief   Justice   of   the   High   Court by specifying for each district, a Court of Session to be a Special Court.The aim is to tackle trafficking cases and form joint working groups with neighbouring countries to undertake preventive measures. Special Public Prosecutor : For every Special Court, the Act specifies a Special Public Prosecutor for the purpose of conducting case or cases and offences under sections 370 to 373 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.To be eligible for Special Public Prosecutor, the person shall possess ten years active practice as an Advocate before a Court of Session having good record of prosecution. Special Agency for Investigation : The Union Government shall constitute a Special Agency for investigation of offences under the provisions of the Act. Investigating Officer : The State Government  shall  designate a  police  officer  of the rank of Gazetted Officer  to be an  Investigating  Officer for  investigating  offences  under  this  Act  and  under  section 370 to 373 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Protection and Special Homes : It provides for Protection Homes and Special Homes for short term and long term rehabilitation support. These will be in charge of a Welfare Officer who will oversee the management and monitoring of individual care plans of all victims in such homes. Anti-Trafficking Fund : It envisages creation of a fund for effective implementation of the Act and welfare and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking. Institutional Mechanism : It provides for a dedicated institutional mechanism at District, State and Central level which is to be formed by appropriate Governments for effective implementation of the Act.At the Centre there will be Central Anti–Trafficking Advisory Board headed by Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry.At the State there will be State Anti-Trafficking Committee headed by Chief Secretary of the State as the chairperson.At the District level, the implementation will be overseen by District Anti-Trafficking Committee headed by District Collector. Earlier, to deal with the problem of trafficking and missing children, earlier, the government has launched many initiatives like Khoya-Paya web portal, unique initiative with Railways, pasting of posters in railway coaches, expansion of Children helpline-Childline 1098 among others. Human Trafficking and Constitutional provision in India : Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. At present, Trafficking is the third largest organized crime. Constitutional provision that bans/prohibits trafficking is : Article 23 of Constitution of India prohibits traffic in human beings and forced labour. Its clause 1 prohibits traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour, making contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law. Article 21 of Constitution of India guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law. India has also ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and its three Optional Protocols, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children.

    42nd G7 Summit concluded in Japan

    The 42nd G7 Summit was held at Ise-Shima in Japan for 2-days from 26 May to 27 May 2016. During the summit, the member countries discussed a wide range of major global economic and political challenges and approved the G7 Ise-Shima Leaders’ Declaration. The summit assumed significance as it was the first one to be held after the adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by the United Nations in September 2015. During the summit, global economy and trade, climate change and energy, development, health and quality infrastructure investment were discussed by the leaders. The Summit was attended by all the seven members’ viz., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the European Commission (EC). EC is a permanently welcome participant in all meetings and decision-making since 1981. The 43rd G7 Summit wiil be held on Italy and also 44th G7 Summit wiil be held on Canada.

    Surajit Kar Purkayastha appointed Director General of West Bengal Police

    Surajit Kar Purkayastha on 30 May 2016 was appointed the Director General of West Bengal Police.Purkayastha will replace G.M.P Reddy, who retires on 31 May 2016. Director General of Police, Intelligence Branch, Raj Kanojia, three years senior to Purkayastha in the service, has been shifted to the post of Commandant General and DG Home Guards. Surajit Kar Purkayastha : Purkayastha is a 1985 batch Indian Police Service officer.He has earlier served as Kolkata's Commissioner of Police.He has obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. He had worked as ASP in districts including Barrackpore, Asansol and South 24-Parganas and SP of Howrah district. He had also worked with the Intelligence Branch for many years. He is one of the few IPS officers who have worked for Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in Iran.

    Alastair Cook becomes youngest cricketer to score 10000 Test runs

    England cricket captain Alastair Cook on 30 May 2016 became youngest Cricketer to score 10000 test runs. Cook, who is 31 years, 5 months, 5 days old, achieved the fete on the fourth day of the second test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street by flicking Nuwan Pradeep to the deep mid wicket fence for a boundary. It was his 128th Test. Cook went on to make 47 not out as England won the Test by nine wickets. The previous record was held by Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar who reached the landmark score against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in 2005. He achieved the same at the age of 31 years, 10 months and 20 days. Youngest Players to achieve fete of 10000 Test runs include • Alastair Cook (England) : He achieved the fete on 20 May 2016 at the age of 31 years, 5 months and 5 days    • Sachin Tendulkar (India) : He achieved the fete on 16 March 2005 at the age of 31 years, 10 months and 20 days    • Jacques Kallis (South Africa) : He achieved the fete on 27 February 2009 at the age of 33 years, 4 months and 11 days    • Ricky Ponting (Australia) : He achieved the fete on 30 May 2008 at the age of    33 years, 5 months and 11 days    • Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) : He achieved the fete on 26 December 2011 at the age of 34 years, 6 months and 29 days  Cook, the leading Test run-scorer of England, is the 12th player in the history to score 10000 Test runs and only the second opener. The first was Sachin Tendulkar. The other ten players include Allan Border, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara, Sunil Gavaskar, Ricky Ponting, Mahela Jayawardene, Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Steve Waugh.  

    Snapdeal opens data sciences centre in California

    Online marketplace Snapdeal has established a data sciences centre in San Carlos, California, to get top global talent and build high-value solutions. The centre will focus on big-data and advanced analytics to add clarity to Snapdeal's consumer-centric initiatives, help shape business strategy and optimise the operational efficiencies using data.Snapdeal is extensively working on data mining through an existing analytics team. The centre houses experienced data scientists from leading global brands like Groupon, Google, Yahoo and Amazon and is headed by Nitin Sharma, senior vice-president, Data Sciences. The richer understanding of the customers by capturing and integrating the information on their buying behaviour will drive habit commerce and is in sync with our vision of 20 million daily transacting users by the year 2020.

    AR Rahman conferred with Japan's Fukuoka prize 2016

    Legendary Oscar winning Indian music composer A.R. Rahman was on Monday awarded Japan's Fukuoka prize for 2016. It is reported that Rahman has been conferred with the award for his outstanding contribution towards creating, preserving and showcasing South Asian traditional fusion music. Other Awards : Rahman was the 1995 recipient of the Mauritius National Award and the Malaysian Award for his contributions to music. A four-time National Film Award winner and recipient of six Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, he has fifteen Filmfare Awards in his kity. In 2009, for his Slumdog Millionaire score, Rahman won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song, the latter shared with Gulzar) at the 81st Academy Awards. Last year, noted Indian Historian Ramchandra Guha was conferred with Fukuoka Prize in academic category. Fukuoka Prize : The Fukuoka Prize is an award established by the city of Fukuoka and the Yokatopia Foundation to honor the outstanding work of individuals or organizations in preserving or creating Asian culture. There are three prize categories: Grand Prize, Academic Prize, and Arts and Culture Prize.

    India's Sonia Lather wins silver in World Boxing Championships

    It's a sport she took up primarily for anger management but India's lone medallist at the just-concluded AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships, Sonia Lather, says she was quite sure of achieving big things in the ring even though the system was never too supportive. Sonia clinched a silver medal in the featherweight 57kg category in the prestigious event, where established names such as M.C Mary Kom and L Sarita Devi among others bowed out early on. The 24-year-old from Jind in Haryana said she is glad to have outdone the names she grew up admiring but she expected more from herself.Also a silver-medallist at the 2012 Asian Championships, Sonia said she could have achieved a lot more after that had it not been for "politics".  

    PM Narendra Modi's mother Heeraben given Nari Jagran Samman 2016 award

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's mother Heeraben was conferred the " Nari Jagran Samman - 2016" award by the Nari Jagran magazine. Somabhai Damodar Das Modi , elder brother of Narendra Modi received the award on behalf of his mother Heeraben.  Nari Jagran magazine's editor Meena Chaubey and another member Ashok Chaurasia presented the award to Somabhai. Speaking on the occasion Somabhai regretted that his mother could not be present to receive this award, as his 96-year old has difficulty in travelling.  The elder brother of PM that he had visited Varanasi last in the year 2014 but this time he found lot of transformation Varanasi, which is the parliamentary constituency of Narendra Modi. 

    Indian Railways, PEC sign MoU to set up Kalpana Chawla Chair on geospatial technology

    Union Ministry of Railways and PEC University of Technology have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up of Kalpana Chawla Chair on Geospatial Technology for Indian Railways at the University. The MoU was signed in the backdrop of Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s Budget announcement in this regard. The academic chair is being instituted in memory of Indo–American Astronaut and Alumnus of PEC Late Kalpana Chawla. She was the first woman of Indian origin in space. The objective of the chair is to encourage research activities of Indian Railways in Geo-spatial Technology. It will also help to strengthen Railway projects where use of remote sensing data, Geographical information System (GIS) and global positioning system (GPS) is predominant. This will immensely help Indian Railways to develop in house solutions to the problems which are often outsourced to western countries. The Chair will be headed as Chairman by V.K.Gupta, Member Engineering, Railway Board and Manoj Arora, Director, PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh as Co-chairman. The Chair will function through a Chair Core Committee (CCC) and shall have members from Railways and PEC.

30 May 2016 Current Affairs

  • Lewis Hamilton wins Monaco F1 Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton has  won the 2016 Monaco F1 Grand Prix on 29 May 2016. He emerged victorious in a close battle with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. The Formula One motor race was held at the Circuit de Monaco, a street circuit that runs through the Principality of Monaco. It was the sixth round of the 2016 season. Lewis Hamilton : Lewis Hamilton is a British Formula One racing driver from England. He currently races for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team. He is the 2008, 2014 and 2015 Formula One World Champion. In his first season in Formula One, he set numerous records while finishing second in the 2007 Formula One Championship. He won the World Championship the following season, becoming the then-youngest Formula One world champion in history before Sebastian Vettel broke the record two years later. Following his second world title in 2014, he was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year. In 2015, he became the first British driver in history to win consecutive F1 titles. He is the only driver in the history of the sport to have won at least one race in each season he has competed to date. Monaco Grand Prix :  The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco.It is run since 1929. It is widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world.The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monaco, with many elevation changes and tight corners as well as a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One.It is the only Grand Prix that does not adhere to the FIA's mandated 305-kilometre minimum race distance. Nico Rosberg was the winner of the 2015 Monaco F1 Grand Prix.  

    Rs.1 lakh crore for road infrastructure in northeast : Gadkari

    Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on 28 May 2016 that the government will invest lakh crore in the northeast region to develop road infrastructure in five years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had instructed him to put special emphasis on infrastructural development in the northeast as the region remained deprived off the progress for years.Development works estimated at Rs.40,000 crore have already started in the region. On development of waterways, Gadkari said that water transport is the cheapest way of travelling and with India having a 7500-km-long coastline which connects 78 districts of 13 states, the scope of water transport is immense. The multi-modal hubs are being developed in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Haldia in West Bengal and Sahibganj in Jharkhand where Ganga flows. As many as 40 water ports are being made and work on developing waterways on Brahmaputra River will start soon.Development of waterways will be the biggest achievement of our government.

    NGT imposes Rs.50 lakh fine on East Coast Railway

    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of `50 lakh on East Coast Railway  for operating a illegal railway siding without consent of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) at Jakhapura railway station near Kalinganagar in Odisha’s Jajpur district. The Kolkata bench of NGT that was hearing the case asked the railway board to deposit the fine amount at the Jajpur Collectorate within 2 months as environmental compensation for five years for operation of the railway siding. The NGT has asked the Jajpur Collector to make use of 25 lakh for infra development of Primary Health Centre at Jakhapura and remaining amount will be for improving environment in and around railway siding the court directed.

    China to launch first hack proof Quantum Communication Satellite

    Quantum communication satellite was in news in the last week of May 2016 as China planned to launch its first experimental satellite in July 2016 according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). With this, China will become the first country in the world to send encoded information from space that cannot be intercepted. The project will bring revolutionary changes in communications. It includes launch of a satellite and building of four ground stations for quantum communication and one space quantum teleportation experiment station. The Satellite Project : China plans to use its quantum satellite system to cover the planet by 2030. It is also building its own quantum information sharing network for use in national defense and security on the ground network. It will also help to establish quantum optical links simultaneously with two ground bases which are thousands of kilometres away.It took five years for Chinese scientists to develop and manufacture the first quantum satellite. It will be launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in southwest China for final preparation and launch in July. The launch of the quantum satellite is a part of Strategic Priority Program on Space Science which was initiated by China in 2011. The China had already launched their first Dark Matter Satellite, Wukong in 2015 and a Micro Gravity satellite SJ-10 in April 2016. Additionally, a hard X-ray telescope will be sent to space to study neutron stars and black holes in the latter half of 2016. Quantum Communication : Quantum communication boasts ultra-high security as a quantum photon cannot be separated or duplicated.If anyone tries to decode the information then the encryption would change so that the receiver can know that his information was opened by someone.U.S. physicist David Wineland and Serge Haroche of France were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for finding ways to measure quantum particles without destroying them.

    IMD to give state-wise monsoon forecast from next year

    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) will start giving state-specific monsoon forecast from the next year.IMD will start making state-wise monsoon forecast from 2017 apart from zone-wise prediction,” Union Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan. The National Monsoon Mission has already been approved. It's a Rs 400 crore project. Dynamic model is being introduced now. Big computers have already been installed, the programmes have been put in place.From next year we will start a spatial model. We will start giving monthly models. These are in advanced stages. there is a detailed plan to take it to the block level in next 2-3 years. The IMD currently gives zone-specific daily monsoon forecast during the season for northwest, central India, southern peninsula and east and northeast regions. It is further divided into sub-zones. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has launched 'National Monsoon Mission' (NMM) with a vision to develop a state-of-the-art dynamical prediction system for monsoon rainfall on different time scales. MoES has bestowed the responsibility of execution and coordination of this mission to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. For this national mission, IITM is collaborating with NCEP (USA), MoES organisations and various academic organizations and institutions under NMM. Climate Forecast System (CFS) of NCEP, USA has been identified as the basic modelling system for the purpose as it is one of the best among the currently available models. India Meteorological Department  : The India Meteorological Department (IMD), also referred to as the Met Department, is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations,weather forecasting and seismology. IMD is headquartered in New Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.IMD is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization. It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

    Narayanasamy to become new Chief Minister of Puducherry

    Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister V Narayanasamy was unanimously elected Legislature Party leader and is all is set to become the tenth Chief Minister of Puducherry on 28 May 2016.  Party Senior leader and former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit and AICC General Secretary Mukul Wasnik, who were deputed by the Congress high command to hold consultations in this regard, told reporters at the end of the meeting that Narayanasamy's choice was unanimous. All party elected legislators agreed that Narayanasamy should be made the Chief Minister and elected him the CLP leader. Narayanasamy had served as the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office in the second UPA government, after being MoS, Parliamentary Affairs, in the first UPA government.  There was a close race between him and Namassivayam who won in the assembly polls retaining Villianoor constituency.In the assembly polls, Congress won 15 seats while its ally DMK bagged 2 in the 30-member-assembly.  Narayanasamy  : V. Narayanasamy is  a politician from Indian National Congress party. He is designated Chief Minister of Puducherry. He is a former Member of the Parliament of India who represented Puducherry constituency. In the 2014 general elections, he was defeated by the NDA candidate R.Radhakrishnan who was backed by the ruling All India N.R. Congress. He is a member of the Congress Working Committee as well as All India Congress Committee's General Secretary.

    Government to sell off 14 ITDC hotels

    Fourteen out of 16 perennially loss making hotels owned by state-run ITDC will be sold off and the process to privatise them has already started, Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma .The Finance Ministry is taking forward the disinvestment plan to totally offload government's stakes in all the ITDC-run hotels except the Ashoka and Samrat  hotels in the national capital.  The government decided to privatise the hotels to improve the financial health of India Tourism Development Corporation BSE 12.10 % (ITDC), a public sector undertaking that currently runs 16 hotels in Delhi, Patna, Jammu, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Puri, Bhopal, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Guwahati, Mysore, Puducherry and Itanagar.  The process to privatise the 14 hotels has already been started. There are certain issues with the states and we are trying to address them .During NDA's first stint in power between 1999 and 2004, the then Vajpayee government had divested its stakes in 18 ITDC hotels, bringing down the number of state-run hotels from 34 to 16. Asked about the amount of money the government was eyeing to raise from the sale of the hotels, he refused to give any figure.  He was asked whether Tourism Ministry has put on hold appointment of Amitabh Bachchan as face of the Incredible India campaign after his name appeared in the Panama  Papers controversy. The director general of ASI and the Culture Secretary have visited the temple along with a team from IIT Madras. They said there is no risk to the temple. Our Prime Minister has also directed us to do it at the earliest .

    Sushma Swaraj inaugurated six language versions of PMO India website

    The Official Website of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Office, is now multi-lingual. The website can now be accessed in six regional languages namely Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu in addition to English and Hindi. The website was inaugurated by the Minister for External Affairs Smt. Sushma Swaraj on 30 May 2016. This initiative would further enhance the interaction between people from all parts of the country and the Prime Minister on various issues concerning their welfare and development. The Minister further said that other regional language versions of the website will be available in a phased manner. The six regional language websites can be accessed at the following links : Bengali : Gujarati : Marathi : Malayalam : Tamil : Telugu :

    Madhavan becomes goodwill ambassador for LEPRA India

    Bollywood Actor R Madhavan feels proud to be the goodwill ambassador for the the LEPRA India organisation that fights against diseases like leprosy and tuberculosis. LEPRA India is a non-government organisation working in the fields of leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, HIV or AIDS and community health. On the work front, Madhavan was last seen on the silver screen in 2016 "Saala Khadoos" directed by Sudha Kongara.

    Veteran film and TV actor Suresh Chatwal passes away

    Veteran TV and film actor Suresh Chatwal passed away on 29 May 2016 following a brief illness in Mumbai.  The actor was known for his role of Commissioner Suraj Agnihotri in F.I.R . Suresh Chatwal : Suresh Chatwal made his debut on the big screen in the year 1969 with Rakhi Rakhi.His work was appreciated much in the role of Dhukhiya of Doordarshan’s Nukkad, the Sayeed Mirza-Kundan Shah-directed show, which ran for two seasons, starting in 1986. He also was seen in Bollywood films like Karan Arjun, Munnabhai, Koyla and many more.In his acting career, Suresh has worked with Salman, Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt among others.He was last seen on the big screen in Nakshatra in 2010.On the small screen, Suresh was last working on the popular comedy show F.I.R. which airs on SAB TV.

    Gujrat CM launches state-wide campaigns against malnutrition

    Chief Minister of Gujrat, Anandiben Patel today launched two state-wide campaigns against malnutrition at Ahwa town in Dangs district.As part of &;Bal Amritam' and ;Mission Shakti' campaigns, iron-rich supplementary food would be provided to children and women, whether they live in towns or remote forested areas. She also called for creating awareness among tribal women about free screening and treatment of breast and cervical cancers at government hospitals, an official released. The chief minister also urged the people to take a pledge to work towards bringing down the infant and maternity mortality rates in this tribal-dominated district to the state's average. During her visit Patel dedicated several projects to the people. They include a nursing school for 40 students and a hostel built at a cost of Rs 12.70 crore, a science college built for Rs 11 core and modernisation of a civil hospital a at cost of Rs 31.46 crore.  

    Nalco pulls out of JV with NPCIL for nuclear power plant in Gujarat

    Aluminium major Nalco has decided to drop its plan to foray into nuclear energy generation. The company had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in 2012 to set up two units of Kakrapara Atomic Power Station in Gujarat with capacities of 700 Mw each. The cost of the project was estimated at Rs 12,000 crore. According to the joint venture agreement, Nalco would have a 26 per cent stake in the new entity  NPCIL-Nalco Power Company. Initially, it was decided to build the plant with indigenous technology. But later, it was decided to use foreign technology. The foreign technology will not only be more expensive, the gestation period of the project will also be more and we are in a mood to wait that long with so much of investment exposure. NPCIL and Bharatiya Nabhikiya Vidyut Nigam are the two government of India-owned companies authorised to set up nuclear power plants in the country. They are responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of thermal nuclear power plants. Although NPCIL was keen to involve other public sector firms such as Nalco, Indian Oil Corporation, and NTPC with whom it has signed MoUs, to expand its nuclear power footprint in the country, the existing Act did not allow this.The Atomic Energy Act, framed in 1962, also prohibited private control of nuclear power generation, though it allows them minority investment. Notwithstanding its unsuccessful bid to foray into nuclear energy, Nalco has identified renewable energy as its next focus area. It set up wind mills in Andhra Pradesh (50.4 Mw) and Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (47.6 Mw). We plan to set up more wind power mills in Rajasthan and Maharashtra (50 Mw each) and a 20 Mw solar power plant in Madhya Pradesh. We are also in the processing of installing a 14-Mw wind power mill at Damanjodi.

    Hyderabad Angels to invest Rs. 15 cr in 12 start-ups

    Hyderabad based a group of seasonal investors, Hyderabad Angels has committed to invest rs. 15 crore in 12 start ups in the current financial year. With this the investors has added 12 more start ups to its current portfolio of 20 companies and 50 investors to its existing base of 100 angels.  The current pool of investors in Hyderabad include a mix of entrepreneurs, professionals and the next generation from the world of jewelry and real-estate. The company is one of the most active and fastest growing angel networks in India.  Hyderabad Angels (HA) : Hyderabad Angels (HA) is a group of seasoned angel investors who are keen to invest in promising start-ups and early stage companies to create tangible as well as intangible value. Established in early 2012, HA investors are leading venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and business leaders, who, with their financial and business acumen, are committed to providing support to the rapidly growing Indian start-up ecosystem. Besides providing the much needed capital, we provide businesses with distinctive mentoring, access to our network and handholding the company through its entire lifecycle from fund raising with great focus on strategy and execution. Although based out of Hyderabad, we source investment opportunities from all over India and work closely with other Angel Networks, early stage VCs, Accelerators and Incubators.  

    Trial run of High-Speed Spanish Talgo Train conducted in India

    Nine-coach Spanish train Talgo’s trial run was conducted on 29 May 2016 on the Bareilly-Moradabad route of Uttar Pradesh. It was conducted as part of the Railways’ strategy to increase the speed of trains. The trail run was conducted by a joint team of the Railway Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Spanish train manufacturer Talgo.The nine-coach Talgo train hauled by a 4500 HP diesel engine was tested on the 90-km line as part of the first trial run. The 90-km distance was covered in 1 hour 10 minutes. Three phases of trial run The trial run will be conducted in three phases on three routes. These are: • First phase : Bareilly-Moradabadone route • Second phase : Mathura-Palwal route • Third phase : Mumbai-Delhi route Spanish train Talgo : It is a lighter and faster vehicle with speed up to 115 km per hour.Besides reducing travel time, Talgo's lighter trains consume 30 percent less energy.They are designed in a way that it can run on curves without decelerating the speed.The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class cars, four Chair Cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach for staff and equipment.It envisages reducing time of journey between Delhi and Mumbai from 17 hours at present to 12 hours.As of now, the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express runs at an average speed of 85 km per hour.  

    Manohar Parrikar inaugurates second submarine assembly workshop in Mazgaon

    Second submarine assembly workshop of the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) was inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 28 May 2016. After inaugurating the workshop, Parrikar said that the level of indigenisation in submarine construction should be much higher than the present. At present, MDL is building six Scorpene class of submarines for the Indian Navy, with around 35% of indigenisation.INS Kalvari, the first submarine of this class, is expected to join the Indian Navy by end of 2016. Submarine Marine Assembly Workshop : It is a pre-engineered building structure to handle construction of multiple submarines simultaneously. It was built at an expense of 153 crore rupees. It will make it possible to assemble five submarines in the workshop at the same time.This facility will enable MDL to go in for a second line of submarines concurrently. It can be used to construct additional Scorpenes or the new line of submarines under Project-75I. But the Request for Proposal (RFP) for P-75I is held up for want of clarity on Strategic Partnerships under the new Defence Procurement Procedure. At present, the current construction of Scorpene class submarines is taking place at its East Yard in collaboration with DCNS of France.

    Government approves over Rs 5500 Cr investment to improve infrastructure in six states

    The Union Government has approved an investment of over 5500 crore rupees for basic urban infrastructure in six states under Atal Mission. The States are Madhya Pradesh,Gujarat, Rajasthan,Odisha, Jharkhand and Meghalaya. The decision was taken by the Apex committee of Urban Development Ministry under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation,AMRUT in New Delhi. The total investment approved so far under Atal Mission has gone up to overRs 26,000 crore involving a central assistance of over 12 thousand crore rupees. The investment will be made for providing household water taps, improving water supply, sewerage networks, urban transport and provision of open and green spaces in one hundred eleven Atal Mission cities of these states. The Apex Committee also approved the release of central assistance of 520 crore rupees for the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission(JNNURM) scheme. The Head Committee, chaired by Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba, approved a total investment of Rs 5,534 crore for 111 Atal Mission cities. S.No State   Approved Amount   Central Assistance   No of Cities   1 Madhya Pradesh   Rs 2,074 crore   Rs 862.80 crore 34 cities 2 Gujarat   Rs 1,401 crore Rs 599.18 crore 31 cities 3 Rajasthan   Rs 1,120 crore Rs 536 crore 29 cities 4 Odisha   Rs 531 crore 265 crore 9 cities 5 Jharkhand   Rs.381 crore Rs 164 crore 7 cities 6 Meghalaya (Shillong)   Rs 26.67 crore Rs 24 crore 1 cities

    NASA successfully deploys BEAM, first inflatable room attached to International Space Station

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has successfully deployed the first experimental inflatable room attached to the International Space Station (ISS). The experimental inflatable room dubbed as BEAM (Bigelow Expandable Activity Module) was deployed after it was successfully expanded and pressurized. The inflatable room BEAM has been built by Nevada Company Bigelow Aerospace. It will be attached to the ISS for a two-year test and is the first such habitat to hold humans in orbit. It is made up of aluminium and soft fabric which expands in space. It is light weight and also takes minimal space.  It creates place for astronauts to live and work. It is 4 metres long and 3.2 metres in diameter with 16 cubic metres of interior volume when fully expanded. Its 2 year orbital test is intended to pave the way towards the use of such habitable rooms for long space trips, including to Mars and Moon.  

    Discus thrower Seema Punia qualifies for 2016 Rio Olympics

    Discus thrower Seema Punia has qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August 2016. She is the 19th Indian track and field athlete to qualify for Rio Olympics.  Seema was able to qualify after throwing discus at 62.62 meters at the Pat Young’s Throwers Classic 2016 event held at Salinas (California) in the United States.  She crossed the Rio Games qualification standard of 61meters with her season’s best effort of 62.62 meters and winning gold medal in the event.  This will be Seema’s third Olympic Games appearance having taken part in 2004 and 2012 where she failed to get past the qualification round on both the occasions.

    Commodity trader Noble Group CEO Yusuf Alireza resigns

    Singapore Embattled commodity trader Noble Group announced the surprise resignation of CEO Yusuf Alireza on 30 May 2016 and planned to sell a U.S. unit to bolster its balance sheet as it seeks to regain investor confidence. Alireza, a former Goldman Sachs banker had steered Asia's biggest commodity trader to sell assets, cut business lines and take big write downs as it battled weak commodity markets and the fallout from an accounting dispute. It appointed senior executives William Randall and Jeff Frase as co-chief executive officers and said it would begin a sale process for Noble Americas Energy Solutions.Noble came under the spotlight in February last year when it was accused by Iceberg Research of overstating its assets by billions of dollars, claims which Noble rejected. Its shares have since plunged by about 75 percent and its debt costs have risen as the company has been hit hard by credit rating downgrades and weak investor confidence. The first task is to stabilize the situation and convey stability and continuity," said Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an analyst at Religare Capital Markets. "That would be the immediate task of somebody in this business which has volatility.Noble won the backing of banks earlier this month to refinance its debt. In February, Noble reported its first annual loss since 1998, battered by a $1.2 billion writedown for weak coal prices. The company's shares slumped 65 percent last year, knocking it out of the benchmark Straits Times index.

    President Pranab Mukherjee presents Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar 2016

    The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has presented the Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar for the year 2016 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan  on 29 May 2016. The award was conferred upon 15 teachers from Punjab for their rare contribution in the field of education.The awardees were facilitated with 1 lakh rupees cash, certificate of excellence, a Robe of Honour and a medal. The initiative was mainly taken to promote the quality teaching in the schools besides encouraging the hundred percent attendance of girl students in the government schools. Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar : The Malti Gyan Peeth Puraskar was instituted by Mohinder Singh Syngle Education & Research Society. It was instituted in honour of its founder Malti Mohinder Singh Syngle, eminent educationist and social worker.Every year, government school teachers from Punjab Government’s High & Higher Secondary Schools receive this award for their contributions in the field of education.The teachers already awarded with the National or State Awards were not considered for this award.

    International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 observed with theme Honouring Our Heroes

    The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 was observed on 29 May 2016 with the theme Honouring Our Heroes.The day offers a chance to pay tribute to the Blue Helmets’ invaluable contribution to the work of the Organization and to honour more than 3400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag since 1948, including 128 in 2015. On the other hand, the UN Postal Administration (UNPA) also issued a set of six new stamps for the occasion. Honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace.Pay tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage. International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers : The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was so designated by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129, on 11 December 2002. It was designated after an official request of the Ukrainian Peacekeepers Association and the Government of Ukraine to the UN General Assembly.The day was first celebrated in 2003.The date, May 29, marks the anniversary of the creation of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948 to monitor the ceasefire after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, which was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.Theme for the year 2015 was Together for Peace.

    Tech Mahindra to acquire UK-based Target Group for $164 mn

    Tech Mahindra, India’s sixth-largest IT (information technology) services and solutions company, on Friday announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Target Group as it strengthens its presence in the BFSI (banking, financial services, and insurance) space. The transaction is expected to close in  the second quarter of FY17, subject to regulatory approvals. The total value of the acquisition is £112 million (or $164 million or Rs 1,100 crore) and an adjustment for surplus cash up to £8 million. Target Group is a provider of business process outsourcing and software solutions. Its fintech platform manages assets in excess of £24 billion. Tech Mahindra will pay £64 million upfront and a deferred consideration of up to £16.28 million in 2017. In addition, the company is also rolling over 7.6 per cent equity value into the Target Group, at present worth £6.8 million, which will be paid out in 2020 as a second deferred consideration depending on the performance of the company during 2017-2019. The acquisition catapults Tech Mahindra to one of the top three processors in UK financial services for certain complex lending and investment product categories. It also strengthens Tech Mahindra’s European presence and adds several new clients. Headquartered in the UK, the Target Group has 740 employees and a client franchise including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, specialist lender Shawbrook, and Yorkshire Building Society. The Target Group has been focused on building expertise in the lending, investments and insurance sectors, becoming a market leading player in each of our verticals.  We have delivered significant growth over the last four years, with the support of our current shareholder, Pollen Street Capital.  We now look forward to the next stage in our growth. By joining with the $4 billion Tech Mahindra, it will allow us to serve our clients better, greatly expanding the solutions and services we provide.

    Vice Admiral AR Karve takes charge of Southern Naval Command

    Vice-Admiral A R Karve took charge as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command (SNC).  Prior to this appointment, he was serving as the Chief of Personnel at IHQ MoD (Navy), at Delhi. He will succeed Vice Admiral Girish Luthra who has been appointed as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command. Vice-Admiral A R Karve  : Vice-Admiral A R Karve is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune and was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1980. He is an anti-submarine warfare specialist with rich experience of 35 years. In his distinguished service he has held several important operational and staff appointments both at sea as well as ashore. Important assignments : He also had held command of the aircraft carrier INS Viraat and the guided missile destroyer INS Ranvijay. He also had served as the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet and the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Information Warfare & Operations). He also had held key positions like Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer (Western Fleet), Command Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer (Western Naval Command) and Chief Staff Officer (Operations), Western Naval Command. Awards and Honours : He has been awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) in 2013 for his distinguished service.

    Sunrisers Hyderabad win IPL 2016 Season 9 Title

    Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has  won the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on 29 May 2016. In the final clash played at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by eight runs. This was maiden Indian Premier League title for Sunrisers Hyderabad, while third final lost for Bangalore in the IPL. Earlier, it lost in finals of 2009 and 2011 editions. Chasing the target of 209 runs, Bangalore got off to a flying start as Chris Gayle (76) and Skipper Virat Kohli (54) laid a perfect platform and forged 114-run partnership. But after the fall of the openers, no other batsman could contribute much as a result they only managed to score 200 runs for seven in 20 overs. Earlier, propelled by skipper David Warner, Hyderabad scored 208 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Warner, who hit 69, finished second in run-getters' list with 848 runs. Ben Cutting of Hyderabad was declared the Man of the Match for his all round performance. He had scored 39 runs and claimed two wickets. List of Awards and winner : Most Valuable Player : Virat Kohli (RCB). Orange Cap (most runs scored in the season) : Virat Kohli (RCB, 973 runs). Purple Cap (most wickets in the season) : Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH, 23 wickets). Emerging Player of the Tournament : Mustafizur Rahman (SRH, 17 wickets). Best fielder of the tournament : AB De Villiers. Best catch of the tournament : Suresh Raina (for his one-handed stunner in the slips in the KKR vs GL match). Most sixes in IPL 2016 : Virat Kohli (RCB, 38). Fastest 50 : Chris Morris (DD, 17 balls). Fairplay award : Sunrisers Hyderabad. IPL 2016 champions : Sunrisers Hyderabad. Indian Premier League (IPL)  : The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional Twenty20 cricket league in India contested every year by franchise teams representing Indian cities. The league, founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) member Lalit Modi in 2007, is scheduled over April and May of every year.[3] The title sponsor of the IPL in 2016 is Vivo Electronics, thus the league is officially known as the Vivo Indian Premier League. Of the 13 teams to have competed since the league's first season, six have won the title at least once. Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders have won twice, while Rajasthan Royals, Deccan Chargers and Sunrisers Hyderabad have won once. Sunrisers Hyderabad are the current champions having won the 2016 season.Until 2014, the top three teams in the tournament qualified for the Champions League Twenty20. However, the Champions League Twenty20 tournament was discontinued in 2015 and has been defunct since

    Real Madrid FC wins 2016 UEFA Champions League

    Real Madrid FC won the 2016 UEFA Champions League for the record 11th time by defeating Atletico Madrid FC by 5-3 goals in penalty shootout. In the final played, both teams scored 1–1 goals in regulation period leading to draw.  For the Real Madrid goal was scored by captain Sergio Ramos (15 minutes) and for Atletico Madrid was scored by Yannick Carrasco (79th minutes). In tie-breaker penalty shootout Real Madrid FC scored 5 goals against Atletico Madrid which scored only 3 goals. Earlier Real Madrid FC had won UEFA Champions League in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2014. UEFA Champions League :  UEFA Champions League (simply known as the Champions League) is an annual continental club football competition organised by the UEFA. It is contested by top-division European club and is considered as one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. It is also most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champion and for some nations of each UEFA national association.

    India, Australia sign MoU to enhance R&D capabilities in biotech

    India and Australia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance research and development (R&D) capabilities in biotechnology by launching a joint funding call. The MoU was signed between India’s BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) and Horticulture Innovation Australia. The MoU seeks to stimulate and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry. The focus of the funding call is to undertake horticultural research in order to develop and deploy modern tools of plant biotechnology to improve crop productivity. The funding commitment from BIRAC and Horticulture Innovation is up to 6 million Australian dollars over a period of three years. BIRAC :  It a PSU under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology. It seeks to stimulate and enhance the strategic research and innovation capabilities of the Indian biotech industry, particularly start-ups and SMEs, for the creation of affordable products addressing the needs of the largest section of society. Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) : It is a not-for-profit, grower-owned R&D and marketing company for Australia’s horticulture industry. It works collaboratively with industry, Australian government and the nation’s leading research institutions to deliver ground-breaking advancements in areas such as agri-technology, pest management, trade and industry promotion.

28 May 2016 Current Affairs

  • Telangana household survey enters Limca book of records

    An intensive household survey conducted by the Telangana government in August 2014 has entered into the Limca Book of Records. The exercise had involved 4 lakh government employees who covered over 1.09 crore households in a single day, between 7am and 8pm, an official release stated on Thursday. The survey, to gather information on households, educational qualifications of their members, their post office savings, bank account details, mobile phone numbers, Aadhaar card numbers and gas connection details, was ordered immediately after K Chandrasekhar Rao took charge of the youngest state in 2014. The CM had earlier said the data collected in the survey would be used to identify the real beneficiaries of the government welfare schemes. Ahead of the survey, allegations were raised in some quarters that the exercise has been planned with a view to identifying Seemandhra natives, which were rubbished by the CM.

    Jaitley to embark on six-day official visit to Japan

    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will embark on a six-day official visit to Tokyo, Japan from May 29 to June 4. He will have meetings with CEOs of Japanese companies including Soft Bank in Tokyo.  There, he will also attend the 22nd International Conference on The Future of Asia and will have bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, METI Ministers (Economy, Trade and Industry) and Health Minister. Than later on the other days, Mr. Jaitley will have several meeting which includes, meeting with Osamu Suzuki, chairman, Suzuki Motor Corporation, meeting with Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka and Hitachi Chairamn Hiroaki Nakanishi, meeting with CEOs organized by JIBCC, and JICA, meeting with Indian organizations at the India Club and will also deliver a lecture on 'India: Political, Social and Economic Change at Osaka University. The Finance Minister will leave for New Delhi on June 4.

May Current Affairs 2016 Fresherslive

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    Topics covered in the 2016 May month Current Affairs are
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  • Visits by World Presidents, Prime Ministers,
  • Political affairs and all Current News.

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