Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 - MAY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 09 - MAY - 2016
Monday, 09 May 2016 05:29

 

 

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09 - MAY - 2016

 

INDIAN MANISH SHARMA APPOINTED TO PANASONIC’S GLOBAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic appointed senior executive Manish Sharma of India to its global executive council. It inducted an Indian onto the coveted decision-making body of the 80-billion dollar company for the first time ever.

The global executive council of Panasonic is a key decision-making body that manages the firm’s business plans across the globe.

Sharma is the first Indian and fourth non-Japanese member of the 50-member Council headed by a global president.

Apart from him, the other international representatives in the executive council include three Americans and one European.

The decision to include non-Japanese members in the council is in sync with company’s plan of enhanced representation of officials from key markets as it goes about localization of products and technologies.

Earlier, Panasonic also appointed Daizo Ito, former president of Indian operations, as managing executive officer, Panasonic Corporation.

GOAIR ELEVATED WOLFGANG PROCK-SCHAUER AS MANAGING DIRECTOR

Go Airlines (India) Ltd. elevated its present chief executive officer (CEO) Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as the managing director.

After this elevation, he will now become a member of the company's board. He will also hold twin charge of both CEO & managing director.

Prock-Schauer, who joined the company in June 2015, will hold the managing director’s post along with the promoter of GoAir Jeh Wadia.

Prior to GoAir, Prock-Schauer headed different airlines in different countries, including Jet Airways (2003-2009), British Midland Airways and Air Berlin.

He was also chairman, management board at the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline group, in 2002 and 2003.

About Go Airlines (India) Ltd

• Go Airlines (India) Ltd. is the aviation foray of the Wadia Group and it operates its services under the brand GoAir.

• In November 2005, GoAir launched its operations as a low-fare carrier with the objective of commoditizing air travel and offering airline seats at a marginal premium to train fares across India.

• The airline currently operates over 140 daily flights and approximately 975 weekly flights across 22 destinations.

INDIA'S FIRST AADHAAR ENABLED ATM LAUNCHED BY DCB BANK

DCB Bank launched an Aadhaar-based Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) usage facility wherein a customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN. The step is first of its kind in India.

The ATM will accept Aadhaar number and Aadhaar fingerprint (biometric) instead of ATM/Debit Card and PIN to dispense cash from the bank account. It is a Cardless and PIN less ATM.  The user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at an ATM to start a transaction, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN.

This ATM is currently placed in pilot site at DCB Bank at Peninsula Business Park, Lower Parel, Mumbai.

About DCB Bank

DCB Bank Ltd. is a private sector scheduled commercial bank in India.

It has a network of over 176 branches and over 400 ATMs in the country.

It offers products to individuals, small and medium businesses, rural banking and mid corporates across its branch network.

The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) is the promoter of the Bank with around 16.3% stake.

The Bank received the Scheduled Commercial Bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India on 31 May 1995.

INDIA’S FASTEST TRAIN GATIMAAN EXPRESS FLAGGED OFF

Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express from Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin station.

The train completed its maiden journey from Delhi to Agra in 100 minutes as compared to about 2-3 hours that other trains take to cover the distance.

The Gatimaan Express, which is indigenously built, will run six days a week, except Friday, in both directions. The train runs at a speed of 160 km per hour, covering the 184 kilometre distance between Delhi and Agra in 105-110 minutes.

In October 2014, the India Railways applied for safety certificate from Commission of Railway Safety to start the service. In June 2015, the train was announced officially and numbered 12049/50.

Besides, the Gatimaan Express provides free Wi-fi to its passengers. Also, the train will have stewards and hostesses on the lines of flight attendants.

Powered by a 5400 HP electric locomotive, the non-stop train has two Executive AC Chair cars and eight AC chair car coaches. The fare for the fully air conditioned Gatimaan Express has been fixed at 750 rupees, while the fare for the Executive class is 1500 rupees.

ICC ANNOUNCED WORLD T20 MEN AND WOMEN TEAMS OF THE TOURNAMENT

The ICC announced the teams of the tournament for the men’s and women’s ICC World Twenty20 2016 that finished at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 3 April 2016. The teams were announced under chairmanship of Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager – Cricket.

Indian player Virat Kohli was chosen as captain of the men’s side while Stafanie Taylor of the West Indies was named to lead the women’s line-up.

The men’s team contained four players from England, two players each from India and the West Indies, and one each from Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand and South Africa which included the twelfth player.

The women’s team comprised four players from New Zealand, two players each from Australia, England and the West Indies, and one player each from Pakistan and South Africa.

The two teams are (in batting order):

Men

1. Jason Roy (England)

2. Quinton de Kock (South Africa, wicketkeeper)

3. Virat Kohli (India, captain)

4. Joe Root (England)

5. Jos Buttler (England)

6. Shane Watson (Australia)

7. Andre Russell (West Indies)

8. Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)

9. David Willey (England)

10.Samuel Badree (West Indies)

11. Ashish Nehra (India)

12. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)

Women

1. Suzie Bates (New Zealand)

2. Charlotte Edwards (England)

3. Meg Lanning (Australia)

4. Stafanie Taylor (West Indies, captain)

5. Sophie Devine (New Zealand)

6. Rachel Priest (New Zealand, wicketkeeper)

7. Deandra Dottin (West Indies)

8. Megan Schutt (Australia)

9. Sune Luus (South Africa)

10. Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand)

11. Anya Shrubsole (England)

12. Anam Amin (Pakistan)

PRESIDENT PRANAB MUKHERJEE PRESENTED NATIONAL GEOSCIENCE AWARDS 2014

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee presented the National Geoscience Awards - 2014 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The annual awards are presented to honour individuals and team of scientists for their outstanding contributions in the field of fundamental or applied Geosciences, Mining and Allied areas.

For the year 2014, Prof. Ashok Kumar Singhvi was conferred with the highest honour National Geoscience Award for Excellence for his outstanding contributions in the field of sedimentary technologies.

Along with him, 32 other geoscientists were being given the awards in 13 disciplines including Mining Technology, Basic Geosciences, Geo-Information System, etc.

Recipients of National Geoscience Awards 2014

About National Geoscience Awards Scheme

• These are the prestigious awards in the field of Geosciences in the country.

• These were instituted in 1966 by the Union Ministry of Mines as National Mineral Awards and rechristened as NGA in 2009.

• Any citizen of India who is a professionally qualified geo-scientist or engineer or technologist or academician with significant contribution in any field of earth sciences is eligible.

• Nominations are invited annually for NGA under three categories viz., NGA, National Geoscience Award for Excellence and Young Researcher Award which carry 200000, 500000 and 50000 rupees award money respectively.

• The selection of the awardees is a three tier process and the final round of selection is done by the Award Making Authority chaired by the Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Mines.

UNION MINISTRY OF SKILL DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP LAUNCHED TRANSNATIONAL SKILL STANDARDS

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy launched Transnational Skill Standards in New Delhi.

On this occasion, 2 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between National Skill Development Council (NSDC) and Association of Colleges (UK) and NSDC and UK Awarding Organization City & Guilds and Pearsons Education.

These MoUs were signed to enable sharing of best practice, staff exchange and development of new models to increase employer engagement and investment in skills in India.

Features of Transnational Skill Standards

• Aim: It was launched with the aim to support Make in India and Skill India initiatives and to align domestic skill standards with that of best practices recognized globally.

• India-UK Partnership: These Transnational Skill Standards are benchmarked to United Kingdom across 82 identified job roles.

• India chose UK standards to benchmark Indian Skills standards since all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries recognize UK skill certification.

• The Transnational Standards will highlight the gaps in Indian Standards against the UK standards. To cover the gaps, those intending to migrate, will undergo bridge training.

• The Further Education Colleges (FE) of the United Kingdom will partner with Indian Training Providers to impart training on bridge courses.

• FE Colleges will set up Skill Academies of Excellences in the identified sectors in India.

• The training will be provided in several economic activities including agriculture, life science, healthcare, capital goods, textiles, hospitality, information technology, etc.

• Advantages: Transnational Skill Standards will support international mobility of Indian workforce and also prepare them to work in international companies having their operations in the country.

• These standards are expected to bring more quality in vocational education which will open more avenues for employment across countries for the youth.

BLACKSTONE INKED AGREEMENT WITH HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE TO ACQUIRE 60% STAKE IN MPHASIS LIMITED

Blackstone India, the Indian arm of global private equity fund Blackstone Group entered into a definitive agreement with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to buy a majority stake in Mphasis Limited.

Mphasis is a leading information technology services provider offering applications, business process outsourcing and infrastructure services. This deal represents the largest acquisition by Blackstone in India.

As part of the agreement, Blackstone will buy 60.5 percent stake in Mphasis that is currently owned by Hewlett Packard.

Blackstone will pay a purchase price of 430 rupees per share and based on the open offer subscription, the purchase price consideration will vary between 5466 crore and 7071 crore rupees.

About Mphasis Limited

• It has deep vertical expertise in Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector and strong portfolio focus on New Generation Services including Digital solutions.

• It serves marquee customers across the globe including 6 top global banks, 11 out of 15 top mortgage lenders, and 3 top global insurance companies.

• The company has roughly 24000 employees across 16 countries.

• It is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

About Blackstone

• It is a US-based company and one of the world’s leading investment firms.

• Its asset management businesses, with over 330 billion US dollars in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity and real estate on a global basis.

• It has been investing in India since 2005 and has committed to investments over 6 billion US dollars in private equity and real estate.

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI LAUNCHED STAND UP INDIA SCHEME

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Stand Up India Scheme to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes and Women entrepreneurs.

On this occasion, the Prime Minister also inaugurated a Kaushal Kendra (Skilling Center) under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna in Noida.

The Scheme is intended to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch, on an average one for each category of entrepreneur. It is expected to benefit at least 2.5 lakh borrowers within 36 months.

Highlights of the Stand Up India Scheme

• It provides for refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with an initial amount of 10000 crore rupees.

• It will create credit guarantee mechanism through the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC).

• It will provide support for borrowers both at the pre loan stage and during operations.

• Its focus is on handholding support for both SC/ST and Women borrowers.

• The aim is to leverage institutional credit structure to reach out under-served sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans repayable up to 7 years and between 10 lakh rupees- 100 lakh rupees for greenfield enterprises in nonfarm sector set up by such SC, ST and Women borrowers.

• The loan under the scheme would be appropriately secured and backed by a credit guarantee through a credit guarantee scheme for which Department of Financial Services would be the settler.

• The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) will be the operating agency for the loan.

• Margin money of the composite loan would be up to 25 percent.

KARNATAKA TO BUILD ASIA’S FIRST RICE TECHNOLOGY PARK

  • Karnataka government has decided to go ahead with the establishment of Asia’s first Rice Technology Park at Gangavati and a Maize Technology Park at Ranebennur on the public-private participation model
  • They will serve as a one-stop solution to all problems of rice and maize growers.
  • These parks would pave the way for opening new avenues for rice and maize growers to add value to their produce and get better returns and also enhance quality of the produce.
  • The establishment of the Rice Technology Park will convert Gangavati into a major agri business centre in the State and help rice growers in the region to end their dependence on mills in neighbouring States for processing paddy.
  • Although the production of paddy has more than doubled in the recent years, the processing facility has not grown to match it. According to an estimate, more than 50 per cent of the paddy produced in the region is sent elsewhere for processing.
  • As a value addition, the technology park would have facilities for rice flour, rice rava, rice bran oil, noodles, rice-based alcohol, animal and poultry feed and paddy husk used for power generation and brick-making.
  • Tthe proposed maize technology park would have mills for production of maize flour, maize flakes, poultry feed, dry maize, maize chips and popcorn to add value to the produce and enable farmers get better returns.

IMD PREDICTS NEARLY DOUBLE RAINFALL IN MAHARASTRA THIS YEAR

  • Maharashtra is on the verge of emerging from an extended drought and a devastated agricultural economy.
  • The latest data from the weather bureau forecast average rainfall in Maharashtra this monsoon in the range of 106%, twice more than the 59% deficient monsoon recorded last year.
  • This would result in a jump of nearly 80 lakh metric tonnes in agriculture production over the previous year.
  • As per IMD data, the agriculture department is also planning to increase the total sowing area to 152.44 lakh hectare in 2016-2017 as opposed to 149.42 lakh hectare in 2015-2016.

VICE-ADMIRAL SUNIL LANBA HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS NEXT CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF

  • Vice-Admiral Sunil Lanba, currently the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command has been appointed the next Chief of Naval Staff.
  • Vice Admiral Lanba, 58, is a qualified specialist in navigation and direction course and will have a full three-year-term in office till May 31, 2019.
  • In a service spanning nearly 38 years, Vice-Admiral Lanba has served in a variety of Command, operational and staff appointments.
  • He has commanded four frontline warships — INS Kakinada (minesweeper), INS Himgiri (frigate) and destroyers INS Ranvijay and INS Mumbai .
  • Vice Admiral Lanba is a recipient of the Param Vishist Seva Medal and the Athi Vishist Seva Medal for distinguished service of an exceptionally high order.

CROSS-BORDER TREATIES TO CONFISCATE OVERSEAS ASSETS OF WILFUL DEFAULTERS

  • Union government said it would enter into cross-border treaties to confiscate overseas assets of wilful defaulters and recover dues of banks even as the Lok Sabha approved a Bill that seeks to update related laws.
  • This comes after the Congress indicated support, in principle, for the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.
  • The Bill to overhaul India’s century-old bankruptcy regulations is key to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s agenda of improving the ease of doing business.

CAVES IN GOBI DESERT SHOWS VARIOUS HISTORICAL ASPECTS

  • Hewn out of solid rock in the middle of the bone dry Gobi desert, there exist hundreds of caves, whose intricately painted walls and magnificent statues have become markers in describing the epic journey of Buddhism.
  • The grottoes of Dunhuang are an emblem of an exceptionally powerful cultural cross-current that had, for centuries, threaded the Indian and Chinese civilisations.
  • Geography, and specifically the ancient Silk Road, had indeed played a foundational role in bringing about the India-China confluence of the past.
  • Dunhuang was a major point of intersection along the Silk Road. From this oasis town, the Silk Road, which had started from the not-so-distant Xian, and after having passed through the Gansu corridor, stood at a prominent junction.
  • After making way through the famous Jade Gate on the edge of Dunhuang, the Silk Road bifurcated along two lines. Both the trails eventually re-converged at Kashgar—another equally important junction along the Silk Road, on the edge of Central Asia.
  • These settlements are all on the foothills of the “celestial” Tien Shan mountains, on the way to Kashgar.
  • It is, however, the back-and-forth among people and goods along a branch of the southern route, which proved critical in channelling a masterly artistic fusion that is evident at Dunhuang’s magnificent Mogao caves.
  • Among Chinese officials in Dunhuang, the impulse for a cautious revival of India-China cultural ties, rooted in a common Buddhist heritage, is now palpable.

DEMOCRATIC TAMIL NATIONAL FRONT FORMED WITH TEN TAMIL PARTIES IN SRI LANKA

  • Ten Tamil parties and groups in Sri Lanka have come together to form a coalition — Democratic Tamil National Front.
  • Among the parties are the Tamil United Liberation Front of V. Anandasangaree; Eelam People’s Democratic Party of Douglas Devananda and Democratic People’s Congress of Praba Ganesan.
  • Only a few days ago, Mr. Devananda and Mr. Ganesan had met President and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party chief Maithripala Sirisena and declared their allegiance to him.
  • Explaining the purpose behind the coalition’s formation, Mr. Devananda told that the parties which claimed to have brought in the existing government had not been able to take care of the interests of Tamils.
  • The new coalition would campaign for the adoption of the “Indian model of federalism”, which could be accomplished by enlarging the scope of the 13th Constitutional Amendment, which created provincial councils.

GRAVITATIONAL WAVES DETECTION WON SPECIAL BREAKTHROUGH PRIZE IN FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICS

  • The LIGO team’s detection of gravitational waves, announced in February, has won the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.
  • The $3 million award, instituted by Yuri Milner, will be shared between two groups of laureates: the three founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and 1012 contributors to the experiment
  • First will each equally share $1 million (Rs. 6.65 crore); and 1012 contributors to the experiment, who will each equally share $2 million (Rs. 13.31 crore).
  • The founders are Ronald W.P. Drever; Kip Thorne and Rainer Weiss. The 1012 contributors include 1,005 authors of the paper and seven others.
  • K.G. Arun of Chennai Mathematical Instituteis among the 1012 contributors.
  • Dr. Arun joined the LIGO scientific collaboration through the INDIGO consortium in 2012.
  • The calculations done by his team occupies three paragraphs in the 11-page paper.

FIRST AGREEMENT UNDER THE INDO-U.S. CIVIL NUCLEAR DEAL COULD BE SIGNED DURING PM VISIT

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend a dinner hosted by the U.S –India Business Council (USIBC) on June 7 that will bring together around 400 CEOs, investors and business leaders during his two-day visit to the U.S capital.
  • The Prime Minister is scheduled to address a joint session of the U.S Congress on June 8, and will also attend an event of the Indian community.
  • Details of the Prime Minister’s address to the joint session of the Congress and the community event that will also have several U.S lawmakers participating, will be finalised after Mr Modi’s schedule on the Capitol is final.
  • Curiously, India has not formally announced the PM’s visit yet, which is taking place at the behest of President Barack Obama.
  • The photo-op of the visit could the signing of the first commercial agreement under the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal, between the Westinghouse Electric and the Nuclear Power Corporation India Ltd(NPCIL), to build six nuclear reactors in Gujarat.

NEXT MALABAR EXERCISE IN EAST OF JAPAN

  • In a move that is sure to raise eyebrows in Beijing, four Indian warships will join the navies of the United States and Japan in the second half of June for the next edition of Malabar exercises east of Okinawa, a Japanese island.
  • Last December, India and the U.S announced formal expansion of the bilateral exercises into a trilateral format with the edition of Japan.
  • Two stealth frigates, a guided missile corvette and a fleet replenishment tanker of the Indian Navy would take part in the exercises.
  • In September 2007, the navies of Australia, Japan and Singapore joined India and the U.S. in the Malabar exercises which forced China to issue a demarche to New Delhi. This is also not the first time these exercises will be held near Okinawa.
  • Australia has repeatedly expressed interest in joining Malabar on a permanent basis and the United States had been pushing its inclusion, but India has so far resisted the move so as not to antagonise China.

LOK SABHA CLEARS BILL TO CURB GOVERNOR’S POWERS IN MONETARY POLICY

  • The Lok Sabha approved the Finance Bill 2016 which included an amendment to the RBI Act clipping the central bank governor’s powers to set monetary policy.
  • The amendment made to the RBI Act through the Finance Bill removed the governor’s powers to singularly set monetary policy vesting them in a six-member Monetary Policy Committee.
  • Of the six members, the government will nominate three. The RBI Governor will chair the committee and have a second or casting vote in case of a tie.
  • The Deputy Governor in-charge of monetary policy and another officer to be nominated by the central bank’s board will also be members. Decisions will be taken by majority vote with each member having a vote.
  • The passage of the finance bill marks the completion of the three-stage process in the passage of the General Budget in the lower house.
  • With the passage of the Bill, the government has also succeeded in amending retrospectively the definition of foreign companies in the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010.
  • This would pave the way for political parties to receive funds from Indian registered foreign companies, where Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed.
  • Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill 2016, Mr. Jaitley said the government had no intent to impose Income-Tax on agriculture income as under the Constitution, the Centre had no powers to levy tax on agriculture income.

CENTRAL BANKS WANTS BANK LICENSING PROCESS TO BECOME CONTINUOUS

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a relaxation of norms for on-tap licenses for universal banks, as the banking regulator seeks to open the key economic sector to wider participation.
  • This is first time since the financial industry was opened up in 1991 that the RBI has decided to make the bank licensing process continuous as opposed to a ‘stop-and-go’ approach.
  • While the broad contours of the norms are in line with guidelines issued for bank licensing in 2013, the central bank has now made it clear that business houses predominantly in financing activities.
  • Groups in the private sector that are ‘owned and controlled by residents’ and have a successful track record for at least 10 years, provided such a group has total assets of Rs.5,000 crore or more, the non-financial business of the group does not account for 40 per cent or more in terms of total assets or in terms of gross income would be eligible as promoters.
  • Preference will be given to promoting entities having diversified shareholding, according to the central bank.
  • Individuals can also apply for a licence but they should have at least 10 years of experience in banking and finance.
  • The central bank has allowed individuals as well as companies who are directly or indirectly connected with large industrial houses to have 10 per cent stake in a bank, as compared to 5 per cent earlier.
  • However, the regulator said such shareholders should not have any director on the board of the bank on account of shareholder agreements or otherwise.
  • The initial capital requirement to open a bank has been set at Rs.500 crore and the entity has to maintain 13 per cent capital adequacy ratio for three years.

IN ORDER TO BOOST EXPORT GOVERNMENT MAY COME UP WITH COASTAL CORRIDORS

  • The government has suggested setting up 29 port-based coastal industrial corridors across 14 coastal economic zones to boost exports and employment.
  • These corridors, envisaging a total investment of Rs.1 lakh crore, would provide employment opportunities to nearly one crore people and boost exports by $110 billion in the next 10 years.
  • The project is part of the National Perspective Plan 2016.The plan contains details of Sagarmala, the government’s flagship programme to promote port-led development in the country
  • The industrial clusters will be built near 12 major and 13 non-major ports which have surplus land for development.
  • Smart Port industrial cities are proposed to be developed at Kandla and Paradip and their feasibility reports are currently under preparation.

 

The starting point of great success and achievement has always been the same. It is for you to, “dream big dreams.” There is nothing more important, and nothing that works faster than for you to cast off your own limitations and begin dreaming and fantasizing about the wonderful things that you can become and have and do.

Reflect on what your dreams are daily The more you think about what you want in life the more likely you are to create it.

How often do you daydream?

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2016 04:08