Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 10 - MAY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 10 - MAY - 2016
Tuesday, 10 May 2016 04:09

 

 

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10 - MAY - 2016

 

NEW ZEALAND'S $5 BILL WON IBNS BANKNOTE OF THE YEAR AWARD

The International Bank Note Society (IBNS) announced that New Zealand’s five-dollar note won theBanknote of the Year Award for 2015. The bill came out as a clear winner among nearly 40 eligible designs from a record 20 countries.

The runner’s up in the voting were Sweden’s 20 Kronor note depicting children's author Astrid Lindgren, Russia’s 100 Ruble note illustrating Crimean landmarks, Kazakhstan’s 20000 Tenge note and Scotland’s (Clydesdale Bank) 5 Pound polymer note.

About NZD $5 bill

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand began releasing a new family ofBrighter Money banknotes in 2015. It began with the $5 and $10 denominations.

The $5 bill is printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in Ottawa.

Each orange and brown $5 note displays a map of New Zealand in a polymer window as well as numerous upgraded security features.

The face features New Zealand mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillaryand South Island’s Mount Cook (Aoraki). A colour changing yellow-eyed (hoiho) penguin completes the face design.

The back design again features this rare penguin unique to New Zealand as well as local flora.

The $5 is slightly smaller than U.S. banknotes but almost identical to the 20 Euro with a face value of approximately 3½ US Dollars, 3 Euros or 2½ British Pounds at early April exchange rates.

About International Bank Note Society

The International Bank Note Society was founded in 1961.

It operates as a non-profit educational organization.

Its objectives are to promote, stimulate and advance the study and knowledge of worldwide banknotes and paper currencies.

The winner of the Bank Note of the Year Award for 2014 was the 50 Dollar polymer Trinidad and Tobago note.

INDIAN ACADEMICIAN RADHA KUMAR APPOINTED TO UNITED NATIONS' UNIVERSITY COUNCIL

Indian academician Radha Kumar was appointed to the United Nations' University Council to formulate its principles and policies, consider and approve biennial budget and work programme.

Kumar is among 12 people who are appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the council. These 12 appointees will take office with effect from May 2016 and will serve for terms of either three or six years.

Some of the other members appointed to the UN University Council are Simon Chesterman, Lecturer at Harvard and MIT, Isabel Guerrero Pulgar of Chile, Bassma Kodmani of Syria and Lan Xue, Dean of School of Public Policy and Management at China's Tsinghua University.

About Radha Kumar

• Radha Kumar is the Director General of New Delhi-based think tank Delhi Policy Group.

• She is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peacemaking and peace-building.

• Formerly Director of the Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia University, Kumar has also been a Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in the city.

• She had also served as one of the three-member Group of Interlocutors appointed by the Union Government for Jammu and Kashmir.

About United Nations' University Council

• The main function of the UN University Council is to formulate the principles and policies of the University and govern its operations.

• It also considers and approves its biennial budget and work programme.

• Appointed members of the Council serve in their individual capacity and not as representatives of their country's government.

• The members are selected with the aim of achieving a geographic and gender balance, with due regard for major academic, scientific, educational and cultural trends.

INDIA EXTENDED 1-BILLION DOLLAR LINE OF CREDIT TO MONGOLIA

India extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of 1 billion US dollars to Mongolia. The LoC was extended after delegation-level bilateral talks between the Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh and Mongolian Foreign Minister Lundeg Purevsuren in New Delhi.

Besides, the two countries also agreed to exchange sentenced persons.

Lundeg Purevsuren was on a three-day state visit to India from 27 April to 29 April 2016. This visit was a part of the intensified bilateral exchanges following the upgrade of bilateral relations during Modi's visit.

The extended LoC is the part of announcement made by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Mongolia in May 2015. He announced the LoC for economic expansion and infrastructure development. During that visit, the two nations also signed 13 agreements.

This was the first prime ministerial visit from India to Mongolia.

Earlier on 28 April 2016, Purevsuren conferred Mongolia's highest civilian award, the Order of North Star, on Lokesh Chandra, President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), andMansura Haider, former academic adviser of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).

India and Mongolia are marking 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2016 with a series of events.

EXPERIAN INDIA LAUNCHED FRAUD DETECTION MECHANISM NAMED HUNTER FRAUD SCORE

Experian, the global information services company, launched a fraud detection mechanism named the Hunter Fraud Score.

The new scoring mechanism measures the probability of fraud in a credit application across banking and insurance industries.

Experian had launched the Hunter Fraud Management Services for the life insurance sector in India in March 2016.

Key highlights of Hunter Fraud Score

As per Experian, the new score will help retail finance providers and insurance companies in India significantly increase their efficiency in fraud detection.

Businesses will be able to identify applications that should be screened for potential fraud, and prioritise those that have a high probability of being fraudulent.

This will enable the businesses to potentially lower their fraud losses and focus on approving applications from genuine customers.

Hunter prevents application fraud by matching credit application data against multiple data sources, including the shared fraud data.

It comprises several rules that work towards identifying inconsistencies in credit applications.

The suspicious applications are moved into the investigation tool for further analysis and action.

About Experian

Experian is a global information services group with operations in 40 countries.

The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Experian is a partner in the UK government's Verify ID system.

ODISHA CHIEF MINISTER NAVEEN PATNAIK INAUGURATED 100 RURAL DRINKING WATER PROJECTS

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 100 piped water supply projects for rural areas. The CM also pledged to make piped water provision in all gram panchayats by 2017.

The project was inaugurated on the occasion of Utkal Gaurab Madhusudan Das’ anniversary.  Das was the first graduate and advocate of Odisha.

Earlier on 20 April 2016, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had dedicated 100 urban drinking water supply projects in the state.

In early April 2016, the state government also announced that it will sink a tubewell in each of the 27711 areas spending around 195 crore rupees. In rural areas all gram panchayats have been asked to spend 30 per cent of the panchayat funds towards piped water supply.

Key highlights of 100 piped water supply projects

The 100 projects will benefit 172000 people residing in 107 villages across the state.

The project is made at an estimated cost of 72 crore rupees.

Water crisis in Odisha

In 2016, Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) township is experiencing a massive drinking water crisis. It is due to the drying up of the River Koel, which provides water to the city.

Against a demand of 15.5 million gallons per day, RSP is able to supply less than half to its employees.

In Keonjhar, two kids allegedly died after drinking contaminated water.

Several tribal settlements around Byree area of Jajpur district are being provided with water tankers by private donors.

In 2015, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) found that drinking water in adequate quantity was not supplied to people in 95 out of 106 urban areas of the state.

SUPREME COURT ORDERED FLOOR TEST TO END CONTROVERSY OVER PRESIDENT’S RULE

  • The Supreme Court ordered a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly on May 10 for deposed Congress Chief Minister Harish Rawat to prove his numbers and “end the controversy over the proclamation of President’s rule in the State.”
  • It held that the nine Congress MLAs disqualified by the Speaker would not be able to vote.
  • “The learned Attorney-General said the Centre has no objection to a floor test,” the Bench underscored, while ordering that President’s rule, imposed on March 27, be lifted for the duration of the special session.
  • However, the apex court clarified that there would be no “status quo ante” for Mr. Rawat.
  • This means that Mr. Rawat would not be automatically restored as Chief Minister when President’s rule is lifted for the duration of the test. He would have to first prove he had the numbers.
  • In this the apex court has differed from the Uttarakhand High Court judgment of April 21, which had restored Mr. Rawat as Chief Minister even before the floor test initially scheduled on May 29.
  • If he fails to prove his majority, the Governor can invite the leader of the majority group to form a new government.

PM TO DISCUSS DROUGHT SITUATION WITH UP, MAHARASTRA AND KARNATAKA CM’S

  • Prime minister will meet Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka in Delhi to discuss the drought situation in their respective States.
  • A package for the Bundelkhand region was being considered.
  • Union Cabinet Secretary reviewed the drought and drinking water situation with Chief Secretaries and officials from the departments of drinking water, rural development, water resources and agriculture of 13 States.
  • He directed all Ministries to release funds under various schemes as soon as the Finance Bill was cleared by Parliament.The Lok Sabha approved the Bill on 5th May.

DEATH PENALTY INDIA REPORT SAYS 60 PERCENT DEATH ROW INMATES ARE FIRST TIME OFFENDERS

  • According to “Death Penalty India Report”, released on Friday, a total of 241 out of the 385 death row inmates in India were first-time offenders.
  • For the study, 373 of all the 385 death-row inmates in India were interviewed from July 2013 to January 2015 by the Center of Death Penalty at National Law University, Delhi.
  • The study found that around 60 percent of the prisoners did not complete secondary education and nearly 75 percent belonged to economically vulnerable sections.
  • Education levels affect the extent to which the death row prisoners are able to understand details of the case filed against them; lack of which results in alienation from the system.
  • While this finding does not imply direct discrimination, it reflects structural concerns which disempowered the marginalised.
  • Pendency of legal proceedings greater than five years is considered a grave violation of speedy justice by the Supreme Court.
  • While the median duration of trial for the death row prisoners was around four years, trials went beyond five years for 127 prisoners.
  • Though lengthy trials happen to be a concern in general, it has more significance in the case of death penalty.
  • The seriousness of charge forces the families to hire a private lawyer than rely on poor quality of free legal aid provided by the government.
  • The report finds that while the high fee of private lawyers – opted by more than 60 per cent of the prisoners during trial and high court – deepens the economic vulnerability of the already poor families, it doesn’t ensure access to competent legal representation.
  • This makes it difficult for an accused to “navigate through the various stages of the legal process without sufficient socio-economic and political resources.”
  • The study found that median duration of trials and High Court proceedings in cases involving sexual offences is the lowest as compared to other cases. State-wise analysis also shows that trails were fastest in cases of sexual offence.
  • According to researchers, it must be examined why the courts deliver faster decisions in cases of sexual offence when so is not the case for other offences.
  • Access to legal representation is critical during interrogation and investigation phases.
  • The study found that 185 of the 191 prisoners who shared information didn’t have a lawyer during interrogation. Most of them claimed they had experienced custodial violence and were tortured in police custody.
  • Even at the time of being produced before a magistrate – where legal representation has been recognised as a fundamental right by the Supreme Court – 169 of 189 prisoners who shared information didn’t have a lawyer.

CHINA WILL TAKE PART IN RIM OF THE PACIFIC EXERCISE (RIMPAC)

  • China will take part in a regular U.S.-led naval exercise starting next month, despite tensions over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • The U.S. will host multi-national naval drills called the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) off Hawaii in June and July.
  • Although the Chinese navy has previously joined the exercises, held every two years, the latest drill comes as the country more aggressively asserts its maritime claims in Asia.
  • It prompted the US to say in March that it was “reassessing” Beijing’s participation.

US MIGHT BLOCK MILITARY AID TO PAKISTAN FOR FAILING TO CONTROL TERRORISM

  • The U.S. Congress has initiated a move to block $450 million in aid to Pakistan for failing to “demonstrate its commitment” and taking action against the Haqqani terror network.
  • The provision in the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) for the fiscal year 2017, if passed by the Congress, would not allow the U.S. government to waive this condition in ‘national interest’.
  • According to NDAA 2017 of the total amount of reimbursement and support authorised for Pakistan ($450 million) would not be eligible for a national security waiver unless govt certifies that Pakistan continues to conduct military operations against the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.
  • The Defence Secretary also needs to certify that Pakistan is demonstrating commitment to prevent the Haqqani Network from using North Waziristan as a safe haven and is actively coordinating with Afghanistan to restrict the movement of militants, including the Haqqani Network, along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
  • There is similar certification requirement in the current fiscal 2016 ending on September 31, 2016, but the amount is $300 million.

POPE DREAMS OF EUROPE WHERE BEING A MIGRANT IS NOT A CRIME

  • Pope Francis said he dreamed of a Europe in which “being a migrant is not a crime”, as he urged EU leaders to “tear down the walls” and build a fairer society.
  • Invoking the memory of the EU founding fathers’ pursuit of integration after the WW II, he said they inspired because they “dared to change radically the models” that led to war.
  • “Today, more than ever, their vision inspires us to build bridges and tear down walls,” he told a Vatican audience, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • German chancellor has been at the centre of the EU’s attempts to resolve its biggest refugee crisis since the war ended in 1945.

A RARE ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENON TO OCCUR ON 9TH MAY

  • Planet Mercury will be seen as a dot on the solar disc from several parts of India, a rare astronomical phenomenon that occurs only 13 times in a century.
  • The planet will be seen as a small black dot travelling from one limb of the solar disc to the other as the Sun, Mercury and the Earth will be lined up in one plane.
  • The last transit of Mercury had occurred on November 6, 2006, when just the end of the event was visible from the extreme north-eastern parts of India at sunrise.
  • In Delhi, the event can be seen for about 2 hours 20 minutes, as it will start at 4.41 p.m. and sunset will take place at 7.01 p.m.
  • The planet appears as a dot on the disc because its angular size is very small compared to that of the Sun as seen from the Earth.
  • The phenomenon is relatively rare and occurs 13 or 14 times in a century. It occurs in May and November.
  • The interval between one November transit and the next November transit may be 7, 13 or 33 years whereas the interval between one May transit and the next May transit may be 13 or 33 years.
  • The transit of Mercury will be visible from most parts of Asia.The next transit of Mercury will take place on November 11, 2019, but the event cannot be seen from India as the same will begin after the sunset time in the country.
  • The transit of Mercury on November 13, 2032 will be visible again from India.
  • The Sun should never be viewed with the naked eye. Safe technique to observe is using filter like aluminised mylar, black polymer or welding glass of shade number14.

NEW PROBLEMS IN STRAINED INDO-NEPAL RELATIONSHIP

  • The political crisis in Nepal deepened as Kathmandu recalled its ambassador to India hours after cancelling President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s visit to the Simhastha Kumbh at Ujjain.
  • Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay told that the decision was taken after a Cabinet meeting during which his role in the latest political crisis came under criticism.Mr. Upadhyay had “counselled against the cancellation of the President’s visit.”
  • There is a lack of trust between the governments and I am being recalled to Kathmandu owing to a major misunderstanding between the two governments,” he said, after a telephone conversation.

TAXPAYERS INFORMATION CAN BE REVEALED UNDER INCOME DECLARATION SCHEME

  • Govt can reveal information related to taxpayers disclosing previously concealed income under Income declaration scheme, if it is deemed to be in public interest.
  • The Income Declaration Scheme offers people with undisclosed income to declare it by paying a penal tax rate of 45 per cent on such income.
  • The final version of the Finance Bill okayed by the Lok Sabha has imported Section 138 of the Income Tax Act into the declaration scheme's ambit.
  • Bringing in Section 138 to the Scheme brings in objectivity on confidentiality of income tax information and the limitations thereof.
  • This is appropriate to ensure that people don’t misunderstand the confidentiality aspect.
  • In other words, the aim behind bringing in this section is to dispel the perception that the details disclosed under the scheme are confidential under any circumstances — they can be disclosed if it is deemed to be in public interest.
  • The discretion has been given to the Chief Commissioner who is a very senior authority and he has to see if it is in public interest to share the information.

FUND UNDER NIIF WILL ADDRESS CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS OF DOMESTIC STEEL COMPANIES

  • Government is looking at creating a fund under India’s first sovereign wealth fund, NIIF, which will address capital requirements of domestic steel companies.
  • The government in December created the Rs.40,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) as an investment vehicle for funding commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects.
  • Government is also working on operationalising National Infrastructure Fund, the sovereign fund, and that is envisaged as a mother fund and within that there will be specific sectoral funds.
  • The Finance Ministry had signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi and Russian nano-technology company and is also having discussions with some funds with the UK for investments in NIIF.
  • While the government will invest Rs.20,000 crore in NIIF, the remaining amount will come from private investors.
  • NIIF is set up as a Fund of Funds (Category II Alternate Investment Fund) with a proposed series of funds.
  • High capital cost is one of the major reasons that affect the competitiveness of Indian steel industries and the government is working on a two pronged strategy to deal with that.
  • One is that right now as government is looking at developing long-term funding for sectors like steel and RBI has brought the 5/25 format.
  • The stressed assets are a major challenge. The RBI, Department of Financial Services and the banks are working to see how government can help clean up the balance sheets so that banks can get capital at lower costs.

 

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2016 03:24