Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - APRIL - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - APRIL - 2016
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 03:20

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

27 - APRIL - 2016

 

CHINESE PROFESSOR GE FUPING HONOURED WITH GEORGE GRIERSON PRIZE FOR PROMOTING HINDI

President Pranab Mukherjee honoured the Chinese professor Ge Fuping with the George Grierson prize for his remarkable works done for the propagation of Hindi abroad.

Ge has made commendable efforts for the promotion of Hindi language abroad. Besides him, Alka Dunputh (from Mauritius) and Shichiro Soma (from Japan) were also given the George Grierson award by the President.

These awards were instituted by Central Hindi Institute, Agra in 1989. 14 scholars receive this award in seven different categories every year for their contribution in the field of Hindi language and literature.

Ge Fuping was among over 30 international and Indian scholars that were honoured by President Pranab Mukherjee for their effort in promoting Hindi language. The President presented them with the Hindi Sevi Samman awards for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

ICC AND EMIRATES AIRLINE RENEWED DEAL FOR ADDITIONAL SEVEN YEARS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and Emirates Airline renewed their deal for an additional seven years. With this, Emirates Airlines became the Global Partner for all ICC events from 2016-2023.

The ICC and the Emirates relationship date back to 2002, when the award-winning airline came on board as a sponsor of the ICC. The partnership was strengthened with Emirates becoming the ICC’s official partner for the 2007-2015 events cycle.

Highlights of the deal

This new deal is an extension and expansion of previous partnership as Emirates will continue its sponsorship of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires and Match Referees.

The Fly Emirates logo will be displayed prominently on the umpires’ clothing when they are officiating at all international cricket matches.

In the current cycle, the partnership promises to reach greater heights, as the ICC will stage an ICC World Twenty20 tournament in 2020, two ICC Champions Trophy and two ICC Cricket World Cups.

How this partnership boosts Emirates Airline's feat?

The renewal of the partnership of Emirates with the ICC confirms the former's commitment to cricket, which dates all the way back to 1999 when the Airlines sponsored the Australian team, which went on to win the World Cup.

Since then, cricket has offered the company a powerful platform to connect with fans and communities of cricket playing nations across Asia, Australasia and the UK.

With a fleet of over 250 aircraft, Emirates is also the largest operator of the state-of-the-art Airbus A380 and Boeing 777. The airline flies to 152 destinations on six continents from its home base in Dubai, making sure cricket fans, players and officials can get where they want to go.

IRAN UNVEILED S-300 MISSILE SYSTEM PARTS AT ARMY PARADE

Iran unveiled S-300 missile system parts at army parade in Tehran. It was a long-awaited air defence system ordered from Russia.

The S-300 system was on order since 2007 but Russia postponed the sale three years later after the UN Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution relating to Iran's nuclear programme.

A deal between Iran and six world powers over its nuclear activities which led to lifting of sanctions in January 2016 removed the barriers to delivery but the fully operational system is still awaited.

Iran insists the system is necessary to defend itself from threats of attack, including possible bombing of its nuclear facilities, and the S-300 would allow early detection of approaching aircraft.

Iran and Russia are also in talks on a sale of the Sukhoi SU-30 fighter, another proposal criticised by the US.

About S-300 Missile System

• The S-300 is a series of initially Soviet and later Russian long range surface-to-air missile systems produced by NPO Almaz, based on the initial S-300P version. It was first deployed by Russia in 1979.

• The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defence Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

• The system is one of the more advanced types of weaponry of its kind that can engage multiple aircrafts and ballistic missiles around 90 miles away.

INDIA RANKED 133RD IN 2016 WORLD PRESS FREEDOM INDEX

India with a score of 43.17 was ranked 133 out of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index that was released. The Index was published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

In 2015 Index, India with a score of 40.49 was ranked 136 out of 180 countries.

The index has been topped by Finland followed by the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand at second, third, fourth and fifth position respectively.

At the bottom of the index lies Eritrea at 180th rank. It is preceded by North Korea, Turkmenistan, Syria and China at 179th, 178th, 177th and 176th position respectively.

Main highlights

•    India continues to languish in the bottom third of the World Press Freedom Index, because of the number of journalists killed and the impunity for crimes of violence against the media.

•    The situation is worsening in India, although its media are dynamic and much more capable of playing the role of democracy’s watchdog than the media in most other countries in last third of the Index.

•    Frequent lawsuits against journalists by local officials and draconian legislation on defamation and online publications impose major constraints on the media and encourage self-censorship.

•    Violence has emerged as the main brake on media activity in recent years, especially for reporters in the field and investigative journalists. Wherever they work, Indian journalists are exposed to growing violence.

•    Frequent verbal and physical violence, attacks by armed groups are on the rise in several states and the local authorities have had little success in reining it in.

•    With almost one attack on a journalist every month and four journalists murdered in 2015 (at least two of them in connection with their work), the state of Uttar Pradesh has become one of India’s most dangerous regions.

•    Indian government has made no provision for the creation of a special unit to combat impunity for crimes of violence against journalists, although there was an attack against a journalist every three days in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.

About World Press Freedom Index

World Press Freedom Index is published annually by RSF since 2002. It measures the level of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries using the following criteria – pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative environment, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses.

HIMACHAL HIGH COURT ISSUED NOTICE TO UNION AND STATE ON DECLARING MONKEYS AS VERMIN

The Himachal Pradesh High Court issued notice to the Union and State governments on the issue of declaring monkeys as vermin for six months in the Shimla Municipal Corporation's jurisdiction.

Monkey being vermin means anyone can kill monkeys anywhere in the state capital without official permission. This would lead to drastic decline in the simian population.

The bench further directed the Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change, the state chief secretary and the national board of wildlife's member-secretary to file their replies within six weeks.

The notice was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan while hearing a plea in this regard filed by animal activist Rajeshwar Singh Negi.

What does plea said?

• In his plea, Negi had challenged the Union Government notification of 14 March 2016.

• In March 14 notification Union allowed State government’s request to declare monkey as vermin for six months in Shimla municipal jurisdiction.

• The request was allowed because of destruction to property and crops caused by the monkeys in Shimla.

• He argued that the notification disregarded a Constitutional mandate about securing wildlife and the environment and the right to life ensured by Article 21 of the Constitution, which extends to animals as well.

• The petitioner also pleaded that killing monkeys for violent behaviour was not a solution to the problem. Instead, a substantial scientific method could be used to deal with them.

• Monkey became the third species to be declared vermin after Wild Boars and Nilgai in the State.

• In January 2011, the high court had put on hold the permission granted to farmers to shoot monkeys. The stay is still in force.

GOVT LOOKING TO MAKE EXPLORATION POLICY MORE ATTRACTIVE TO PRIVATE PLAYERS

  • To make exploration more attractive for private players, the Union government will reimburse the costs to mining firms that fail to find adequate mineral wealth and ofer them a share of the revenue from blocks where they do strike valuable reserves.
  • However, the exploration firms will not enjoy any preferential right to the blocks where they find viable mineral reserves or be eligible for direct compensation from firms that end up operating the mines they discover, as was earlier envisaged.
  • The Union Ministry of Mines has set forth these ideas in the final Cabinet note on the new mineral exploration policy, which was circulated for inter-ministerial consultations this week.
  • Under the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulations) Act of 2015, reconnaissance permits cannot be converted into a prospecting licence or a mining licence, though there was a provision for that in the earlier law.
  • Firms that did not find anything in the blocks they explored would be reimbursed on the basis of normative costs so that they did not suffer any loss.
  • The Geological Survey of India has identified 108 blocks in 23 States that can be taken up for mineral exploration, once the Cabinet approves the new policy.

IMD SAYS THAT THERE WILL BE NO RESPITE FROM HEAT WAVES FOR FEW MORE DAYS

  • Several parts of India reeled under severe heat wave conditions, with the maximum temperature exceeding 47 degrees Celsius at Titlagarh in Odisha and above 45 degrees in several other parts of the country.
  • No respite is in sight till April 27, as India Meteorological Department issued severe heat wave or heat wave warnings for parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, Telangana and Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Vidarbha in Maharashtra, Bihar and the Gangetic West Bengal also recorded above normal temperatures.
  • IMD declares a heat wave when the maximum temperature exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in the plains.
  • If the normal maximum temperature of a place is less than or equal to 40 degrees Celsius, an increase by 5-6 degrees Celsius is needed for heat wave to be declared.
  • If the temperature goes up 7 degrees Celsius above normal, it is considered a severe heat wave.
  • Heat wave across several places has already claimed over 160 lives. Heat wave during the third and fourth week of May last year claimed over 2,200 deaths in the country.

UJJWALA SCHEME TO PROVIDE FIVE CRORE FREE LPG CONNECTIONS

  • Petroleum Minister said 10,000 new LPG distributors will be appointed in the current financial year.
  • At present, there are 18,000 gas distributors in the country and in the coming three months, 2,000 new distributors will be made and by the end of this financial year 8,000 more distributors will be made
  • The Rs. 8,000-crore Ujjwala scheme will provide five crore free LPG connections to BPL families using the money saved from 1.13 crore cooking gas users voluntarily giving up their subsidies.
  • Mr. Modi will launch the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana on May 1 and do a repeat function at Dahod in Gujarat on May 15.
  • 61 per cent households in the country have LPG connections, while in Uttar Pradesh 53 per cent houses have gas connections.

CENTRE NOTIFIES RULES FOR AMENDED SC/ST ACT

  • Govt notified the amended Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989 to tighten provisions to ensure speedier justice to SCs and STs, to give effect to the changes on Babasaheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary.
  • The object of the amended provisions is to speed up the process of dispensation of justice, liberalise and expedite access to relief for victims of atrocities, ensuring special sensitivity in cases of offences against women.
  • The new provisions now provide for an increase in the existing quantum of relief from between Rs. 75,000 to Rs. 7,50,000 to Rs. 85,000 to Rs. 8,25,000, depending on the nature of the offence.
  • It also provides for admissible relief to SC/ST women for offences of grievous nature, onconclusion of trial, even though they may not have ended in conviction.
  • The changes in the law also make provision for regular reviews of the scheme for the rights and entitlements of victims and witnesses in accessing justice at the State, district and sub-division level committees in their meetings.
  • Other important provisions include completing investigation and filing a charge sheet within 60 days and provision of admissible relief in cash or kind or both within seven days to victims, their family members and dependents.
  • For the first time, there is provision of relief for rape and gang rape.
  • No medical examination will be necessary to seek relief for non-invasive offences against women such as sexual harassment, gestures or acts intended to insult the modesty of women.

ACCESS TO JUSTICE SURVEY PUTS GLOOMY PICTURE

  • Most of the litigants in the country earn less than Rs. 3 lakh a year, says a new survey by the Bengaluru- based civil society organisation DAKSH.
  • The nationwide “Access to Justice” survey was conducted across 305 locations in 24 States between November 2015 and February 2016 to hear the voice and explore the profile of people making use of judicial system in India.
  • The results of the survey, which were released, reveal that 90 per cent of the litigants earn less than Rs. 3 lakh per annum and the median expected cost of litigation for this group is around Rs. 16,000.
  • Though legal aid aims to provide free legal services to the weaker sections who otherwise can’t afford it, the survey found that that just one per cent of the respondents were making use of this service.
  • A majority of the respondents found their lawyers by way of reference from colleagues, acquaintances or family members.
  • Experts point out that accountability of legal aid lawyers towards their clients and lack of communication between the two are serious concerns plaguing the system.
  • The financial barrier is not just limited to accessing courts.The main reason individuals could not meet the conditions of bail was found to be lack of funds.
  • A third of the respondents, who couldn’t get a bail whenit was due, cited this as a reason.
  • Also, around half the litigants cited expense as a major deterrent for filing appeals in the High Court if their cases were not resolved in their favour.
  • The survey shows that two-thirds of all civil disputes were regarding land and property, followed by litigation on family matters.
  • Researchers and lawyers present during the release of survey concurred that ‘access to justice’ should not be equated with ‘access to courts’, which is too narrow.

CHINA TO PROVIDE POWER TO ISLANDS THROUGH FLOATING NUCLEAR PLANTS

  • All the radar systems, lighthouses, barracks, ports and airfields that China has set up on its newly built island chain in the South China Sea require tremendous amounts of electricity, which is hard to come so far from the country’s power grid.
  • Beijing may have a solution: floating nuclear power plants.
  • A state-owned company, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp., is planning to build a fleet of the vessels to provide electricity to remote locations including offshore oil platforms and the contentious man-made islands.
  • China would not be the first country to employ floating nuclear power plants. In the 1960s, the U.S. Army installed a nuclear reactor inside the hull of a World War II freighter to provide electricity for the Panama Canal Zone.
  • And nuclear power has been on vessels since 1955, when the commanding officer of the Nautilus, an American submarine, sent word that the craft was “underway on nuclear power”.

IS TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR BANGLADESH PROFESSOR’S MURDER

  • The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the murder of Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, an English professor in Bangladesh’s Rajshahi University.
  • The group said it killed him for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh, according to U.S.based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist outfits. The claim was made by IS-linked Amaq Agency, according to SITE.
  • But fellow university teachers said Mr. Siddiquee, while active in cultural events, never spoke or wrote anything about religion or Islam.
  • He was attacked near his home in Rajshahi. Witnesses and police said the assailants on a motor.
  • Five secular bloggers and a publisher have been killed in a similar fashion since February last year.
  • The IS has claimed responsibility for the killings of two foreigners, attacks on mosques and Christian priests in Bangladesh in recent months. The government says there is no organisational network of IS in Bangladesh.
  • The gruesome killing triggered protest by teachers and students of the Rajshahi University who blocked a major road and demanded immediate arrest of the killers. Three teachers at the university have been killed in recent years.

RANDSTAD AWARD SURVEY SAYS SALARY AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ARE MAJOR CRITERIA FOR WORKERS

  • Salary and employee benefits, long-term job security and financial health of the company are the top three priorities among the Indian workforce while choosing an employer, says the Randstad Award survey.
  • The Randstad public opinion survey on employer branding, independently conducted with more than two lakh respondents across 25 countries worldwide.
  • Survey also revealed that salary and employee benefit continued to be top driver with (48 per cent), long-term job security (46 per cent), financial health of the company (43 per cent), pleasant working atmosphere (40 per cent) and good work- life balance (38 per cent).
  • However, the importance of salary has decreased from 2015 (six per cent).
  • The survey findings also reflected that the Indian workforce prefers to work or move to sectors such as IT and Communication (70 per cent), followed by automobiles (66 per cent) and FMCG, re- tail and e-commerce (64 per cent).
  • It is a proven fact that companies that are capable of attracting the right talent for the right job simply perform better.

GST WILL HELP RESOLVE VARIOUS TAXATION ISSUES

  • Implementation of GST will help resolve various issues concerning taxation and logistics with regard to e-commerce business, which has been recording rapid growth in the country, says a study.
  • The e-commerce space has rapidly evolved but several challenges have surfaced primarily in areas of taxation, logistics, payments, internet penetration and skilled man power
  • In taxation, for example, the lack of a uniform tax structure leads to several issues such as double- taxation or impediments in the free flow of goods across the country.
  • However, the ensuing Goods and Services Tax (GST) is expected to help in overcoming these challenges through a uniform tax structure.
  • Clearly defined rules for e-commerce transactions in GST and a consultative approach while framing these rules will be favourable to both, the government as well as e-commerce companies.

NEGATIVE INTEREST RATES MAY NOT PROVIDE DESIRED BENEFIT

  • Europe and Japan’s central bank policies of negative interest rates are a “horror” and will run counter to the desired effect, Mr.Jefrey Gundlach, the widely followed investor said.
  • Mr.Gundlach, said negative rates would not help fight deflation but withdraw liquidity from the market because people would rather hoard cash than invest or deposit it in a bank account.
  • Last year, Mr.Gundlach predicted that oil prices would plunge, junk bonds would live up to their name and China’s slowing economy would pressure emerging markets.
  • In 2014, he correctly forecast that U.S. Treasury yields would fall, not rise as many others had expected.

INDIAN OLYMPIC ASSOCIATION HAS SIGNED SALMAN KHAN AS GOODWILL AMBASSADOR

  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has signed actor Salman Khan as the good- will ambassador for the Indian contingent bound for the Rio Olympics.
  • The announcement was made in the presence of Olympic medallists and Rio star athletes boxer M.C. Mary Kom, hockey captain Sardar Singh, and shooter ApurviChandela, among others.
  • And, in its long-term goal towards becoming financially independent, the Indian Olympic Association has roped in three sponsors.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2016 02:52