Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 11 - MAY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 11 - MAY - 2016
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 03:25

 

 

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11 - MAY - 2016

 

SENIOR IPS OFFICER SURENDER KUMAR BHAGAT APPOINTED AS DG OF RAILWAYS PROTECTION FORCE

Senior IPS officer Surender Kumar Bhagat was appointed as the Director General (DG) of Railways Protection Force (RPF). His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

As a DG of Railways Protection Force , Bhagat is entrusted with responsibility of protecting railway property and passengers. He will serve the Railway Board till the date of his superannuation that is on 30 June 2017.

He is presently working as Special Director General in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) at Western Sector, Jammu & Kashmir.

He is a 1982 batch IPS officer of Uttarakhand cadre.

CHINA DEVELOPED WORLD'S FIRST GRAPHENE ELECTRONIC PAPER

China developed a new electronic paper, which has been heralded as "the world's first graphene electronic paper.

It will be a huge breakthrough that will catapult the material to a new level. It was developed  by The Guangzhou OED Technologies in partnership with a company in Chongqing.

Compared with traditional e-papers, graphene e-paper is more pliable and has more intensity and its high-light transmittance means optical displays will be much brighter.

E-papers have been produced on a commercial scale since 2014. Compared with liquid crystal displays, e-papers are thinner, bendable and energy efficient, meaning products are more portable.

About Graphene

• Graphene is the world's strongest and lightest known material; a single layer of graphene is only 0.335 nanometers thick, and it can conduct heat and electricity.

• The material can be used to create hard or flexible graphene displays, used in electronic products such as e-readers and wearable smart devices.

• In addition, graphene is derived from carbon, meaning production costs will be much lower than for traditional e-papers, which use the rare, expensive metal indium.

WADA RELEASED 2014 ANTI-DOPING RULE VIOLATIONS REPORT; INDIA RANKED THIRD

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published its second annual Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) Report. The report represents the most comprehensive set of global doping statistics in sport for 2014.

With 96 cases of doping violations in 2014, India ranked third worldwide in the report. The two countries above India in the list are Russia with 148 cases and Italy with 123 cases.

Athletics had the highest number of doping violation cases in India (29), followed by power-lifting (23) and weight-lifting (22). Seventy nine of the 96 athletes failed tests during a sporting event, while the 13 others were caught out of competition.

The other countries in the top 10 are Belgium and France, each with 91 cases, Turkey with 73 cases, Australia with 49 cases, China with 49 cases, Brazil with 46 cases and South Korea with 43 cases.

Key highlights of the 2014 Anti-Doping Rule Violations Report

Report highlights 1693 Anti-Doping Rule Violations in 2014, involving individuals from 109 nationalities and across 83 sports

1462 ADRVs came from adverse analytical findings; 231 from ‘evidence-based intelligence’ non-analytical findings

64% of the 2287 AAFs reported in 2014 resulted in the 1462 ADRVs

Of the 231 non-analytical ADRVs, 185 were committed by athletes and 46 by athlete support personnel

Figures are from the final year under the 2009 World Anti-Doping Code

In total, athletes from 109 countries spread across 83 sports violated the anti-doping rules

IRAQ THOMAS MADE FASTEST EVER CENTURY IN CRICKET HISTORY

Tobago batsman Iraq Thomas created a record by scoring 21-ball century in the Tobago Cricket Association’s T20 tournament at Louis D'or.

The 23-year-old Thomas represented Scraborough/Mason Hall and remained not out on 131 runs off just 31 balls. He helped his side to chase down Speyside's target of 152 runs in just eight overs.

He slammed 15 sixes and five boundaries during his knock. During his innings he cleared the park thrice and the umpires were forced to bring new balls.

West Indies’ destructive batsman Chris Gayle holds the record for the hitting the fastest T20 ton. Gayle achieved the feat of just 30 balls against Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League.

In one-day internationals, AB de Villiers of South Africa owns the record for the fastest ODI century that he scored of a mere 31 balls.

SWAT ACTIVIST TABASSUM ADNAN WON 2016 NELSON MANDELA AWARD

Tabassum Adnan, a women’s rights activist from Swat valley of Pakistan, won the prestigious Mandela - Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.

She won the award for the individual activist category on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week held from 25 April to 28 April 2016.

A victim of child marriage, Tabassum Adnan was married at the age of 13. The marriage which was marked by frequent domestic abuse, ended after 20 years when she gathered the courage to divorce her abusive husband.

She is the founder of Khwendo Jirga (Sister's Council), the first women-only jirga in Pakistan. The council meets weekly to address issues of women's right, including honour killings, and acid attacks.

The jirga campaigns for women in Swat Valley, including issues related to women's security and their voting rights.

In March 2015, Adnan, from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, was awarded the International Women of Courage award in the US.

NABARD PARTNERS GERMANY FOR FOOD SECURITY INITIATIVE

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) entered into collaboration with German government for a special programme on 'Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security'.

The programme is part of the German government's recently introduced special initiative 'One World, No Hunger' initiative. India is the only country in Asia chosen for this initiative.

As part of the collaboration, NABARD is anchoring two major programmes — soil conservation and rehabilitation of degraded land programme in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is also conducting innovation of watershed development and climate change adaptation programmes in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Germany’s 'One World, No Hunger' addresses areas such as food and nutrition security, promotion of innovation, protection and sustainable use of natural resources in rural areas and promotion of responsible land use and access to land.

PRIME MINISTER MEETS CHIEF MINISTERS OF DROUGHT AFFECTED STATES

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka to discuss the drought situation in these States.
  • The separate meetings with each Chief Minister — alongwith Central and State officials — are part of Mr. Modi’s move to meet the Chief Ministers of the 11 drought-affected States.
  • Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sought additional Central assistance to deal with the situation, with as many as 28,000 villages being drought-affected.
  • He added that the Centre had agreed to his request to submit a supplementary memorandum, as 11,000 villages have been affected by drought recently, apart from the ones hit by drought earlier.
  • Days after refusing to accept a water train sent by the Centre for drought-hit Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav asked Mr. Modi for Central assistance.
  • After the meeting, Mr. Yadav said there was water in the dams of Bundelkhand but arrangements had to be made for its distribution.
  • Mr. Yadav told Mr. Modi that as against the Rs.7,543 crore sought by the State in 2015 to compensate for damage due to hailstorms, just Rs. 2,801 crore was received, and as against Rs. 2,057 crore sought for drought relief, only Rs. 934 crore was received.
  • With Karnataka facing one of the worst droughts in the last 44 years, the State government has sought an additional Rs. 12,272.21-crore assistance from the Centre for drought-proofing measures.
  • Chief Minister Siddaramaiah called on Prime Minister and submitted a detailed memorandum seeking Central aid in the form of increased assistance in existing schemes as well as special assistance for proposed drought mitigation measures.
  • During 2015–16, the State declared 137 taluks in 27 districts as drought-affected during kharif and rabi cropping seasons.
  • The water storage status in 13 major reservoirs as on May 4, 2016, was 152 tmcft, which constituted only 18 per cent of the total capacity.
  • In a petition to Mr. Modi, the government said agricultural and horticultural crops in 29.96 lakh hectares of land have suffered more than 33 per cent damage, amounting to Rs. 15,635 crore.
  • The State had submitted a memorandum to the Centre seeking Rs. 3,830 crore. But the Centre released Rs. 1,540 crore from the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

CHILD RIGHTS AND YOU SURVEY SHOWS CHILD MARRIAGE IS DECLINING BUT NOT AT VERY FAST PACE

  • NGO Child Rights and You (CRY) said India has the highest number of child brides and the rate of child marriages has declined just by 11 per cent in the last 15 years in the country.
  • CRY said recognising Mother’s Day was a welcome step but raised concern about the young girls who were experiencing motherhood due to coercion, trafficking and in economic and social deprivation.
  • Our country today has the highest rate of child marriage with globally the highest number of child brides.
  • Over 50 per cent of them are in Rajasthan, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
  • The national strategy document on prevention of child marriage, compiled by the Women and Child Development Ministry in 2013, shows that in the last 15 years, the rate of child marriages in the country has declined just by 11 per cent.
  • In Maharashtra, there were 2,12,993 married girls under 15 years of age, out of which 21 per cent have become mothers, Census figures cited by CRY showed.
  • Child marriage gives rise to anaemic and weak and under-aged mothers who eventually end up giving birth to children who are malnourished.
  • The NGO further said various socio-cultural, religious practices and beliefs were the reasons behind the social evil.

SCIENTISTS HAVE DETECTED ATOMIC OXYGEN IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF MARS

  • Scientists have detected atomic oxygen in the atmosphere of Mars for the first time since the last observation 40 years ago.
  • These atoms were found in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere known as the mesosphere.
  • Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars and therefore has a significant impact on the planet’s atmosphere.
  • An instrument onboard the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) detected only about half the amount of oxygen expected, which may be due to variations in the Martian atmosphere.
  • Scientists will continue to use SOFIA to study these variations.
  • To observe the far-infrared wavelengths needed to detect atomic oxygen, researchers must be above the majority of Earth’s atmosphere and use highly sensitive instruments, in this case a spectrometer. SOFIA provides both capabilities.

WORST FLARE-UP OF VIOLENCE SINCE 2014 WAR IN GAZA

  • Israeli aircraft hit two Hamas targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire as the worst flare-up of violence since a 2014 war entered a fourth day.
  • There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket launch and most such fire since 2014 has been carried out by fringe Islamist groups but Israel holds Hamas responsible for all such attacks.
  • It was the fourth day of the worst cross-border violence since the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas which left 2,251 Palestinians and 73 Israelis dead in 2014.
  • Mortar fire by Palestinian militants and Israeli air strikes and shelling have raised concerns for the future of an informal truce that has held since the conflict ended.

HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER OF PAKISTANI DESCENT BECAME MAYOR OF LONDON

  • Newly elected London Mayor’s opening words at his swearing-in ceremony – “Good Morning, I’m Sadiq Khan, and I’m the Mayor of London” – were drowned in claps and whistles by the audience at the Southwark Cathedral in London.
  • The 44-year old human rights lawyer of Pakistani descent is not only the first Muslim head of London, but set a record by winning 1.1 million votes.
  • Mr. Khan led an energetic campaign that was turned increasingly toxic by the personal attacks and slander levelled against him by his opponent, the billionaire Mr. Goldsmith, including the smear that he shared platforms with extremists in the past.
  • Mr. Khan, a practising Muslim, is a liberal who received death threats from extremists for his support for the legalisation of gay marriage in 2013.

UN CONCERNED WITH SRI LANKA HANDLING WITH FORMER LTTE FUNCTIONARIES

  • The United Nations has expressed concerns about the manner in which the Sri Lanka government has reportedly arrested of former functionaries of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in recent weeks.
  • The UN Special Rapporteur on torture said that the manner of “the arrests of rehabilitated persons alleged as happening recently… raise fears in the respective communities and only add to distrust about the motives for those re-arrests.”
  • He was responding to questions on the reports of the Terrorist Investigation Department having arrested over 20 persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, including three former functionaries of the LTTE.
  • The head of a rehabilitation centre informed him that 12,146 detainees “have been processed through the PTA [Prevention of Terrorism Act] to date”.
  • However, the UN Rapporteur said he had not received figures on prosecutions, convictions and acquittals. He also called the authorities to release detainees if there was lack of sufficient evidence.

NEPAL ACCUSES INDIA OF DESTABILISING POLITICAL SITUATION

  • A day after Nepal cancelled the visit of its President to India and recalled its ambassador, problem in bilateral ties is due to battle of nerves during which Kathmandu accused New Delhi of backing a plot to topple the government.
  • Nepal govt claims that the plot to break the ruling alliance, led by Mr. Oli, received support from India.
  • The crisis was triggered on May 3-4 when the former Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-Maoist), invited Sher Bahadur Deuba, leader of the Nepali Congress (NC), to form a combine and replace the government of Mr. Oli with a national unity government.
  • Nepal accused India of facilitating Mr. Prachanda’s sudden rebellion. Mr. Prachanda’s UCPN-Maoist is an alliance partner of Mr. Oli’s Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML). The shaky coalition continues as of now.
  • However, India has rejected Kathmandu’s charges. The govt says the setbacks are due to Mr. Oli’s “petulant and un-diplomatic behaviour.

EARLIEST KNOWN EXAMPLE OF A PLANT-EATING MARINE REPTILE

  • A bizarre crocodile-sized ’hammerhead’ creature, that lived 242 million years ago in what today is southern China may have been the earliest known example of a plant-eating marine reptile, researchers have said.
  • The fossil, discovered in 2014, has a poorly preserved head, but it seemed to have a flamingo-like beak.
  • Scientists found that “beak” is actually part of a hammerhead-shaped jaw apparatus, which it used to feed on plants on the ocean floor.
  • The reptile’s name, Atopodentatus unicus , hints at its muddled past — it is Latin for “unique strangely toothed.”
  • However, newly discovered fossils make it clearer how its “strange teeth” were actually configured.
  • Its wide jaw was shaped like a hammerhead, and along the edge, it had peg-like teeth. Then, further into its mouth, it had bunches of needle-like teeth.
  • Not only does this discovery solve the mystery of the strange-toothed animal, but it also provides us with an example of the first herbivorous marine reptile.
  • The jaw structure is clearly that of an herbivore. It has similarities to other marine animals that ate plants with a filter-feeding system, but Atopodentatus is older than them by about eight million years.
  • The existence of specialised animals like Atopodentatus unicus shows us that life recovered and diversified more quickly than previously thought.

PROCESS OF ISSUING UNIQUE BUSINESS IDENTIFICATION NUMBER STARTED

  • The government has started the process for issuance of Unique Business Identification Number (UBIN) to enable budding entrepreneurs set up their business without any delays, a top official said.
  • Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has begun an exercise for issuance of UBIN for budding entrepreneurs to start their new businesses without any delay.
  • The top bureaucracy has been activated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to produce results well within targeted time and in India it is no longer a business as usual.

THE AGRIHUB, A DIGITAL PLATFORM FOR THE FARM SECTOR, WILL RAISE $3 MILLION

  • The Agrihub, a digital platform for the farm sector, will raise $3 million over the next four months for scaling up operations, according to the co-founder of the Bengaluru-based start-up.
  • Over 3,600 farmers and well-known brands such as John Deere, Yara Fertilizers, Rallis, Namdhari Seeds, Tafe, KF Bioplants, New Holland Agriculture, Known You Seed, Ginegar and Nagarjuna have already been listed on the platform.
  • The product category offered by the company includes: seeds and plants; irrigation products; fertilizers and plant protection products; farm tools and equipment and hi-tech agriculture and allied products.

FORGERY AND FRAUD BIG REASON FOR NPA’S IN STATE-OWNED BANKS

  • State-owned banks are seeing a sharp jump in non-performing assets on account of forgery and fraud even as they struggle to cope with bad loans from distressed commodities and infrastructure sectors.
  • Bad loans extended on the basis of fake documents and outright cheating, soared to almost Rs.13,000 crore in 2015-16, more than double the amount two years ago and more than 16 per cent higher than the Rs.11,125 crore recorded in 2014-15, official data showed.
  • While Canara Bank recorded a 12-fold jump in fraud-triggered non-performing assets (from Rs.131.6 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.1,584.3 crore in 2015-16), just five big banks accounted for almost 60 per cent of such loans reported last year.
  • These are Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, State Bank of India, and Syndicate Bank, who together have Rs.7,680 crore of advances at stake in 2015-16.
  • State Bank of India, the country’s largest lender, identified loans worth Rs.1,841 crore in 2015-16 that were related to cheating cases, far higher than the Rs.248 crore in 2013-14.
  • Syndicate Bank’s fraud-related bad loans rose from Rs.123 crore in 2013-14 to Rs.1,385 crore in 2015-16.
  • Just two cases of a banker-borrower nexus accounted for almost Rs.1,100 crore of those loans last year, according to separate data provided by the finance ministry about bank employees found to have colluded with such cheating borrowers.
  • The total amount reportedly stuck in fraud-related bad loan cases jumped from Rs.5,591 crore in 2013-14 to Rs.12,935 in 2015-16, according to data submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Lok Sabha.
  • The number of cases of loans given on the basis of forged documents or cheating increased steadily from 1,520 in 2013-14 to 1,651 in the next year and 1,704 in 2015-16.
  • Bank of India identified Rs.574 crore worth of loans as being granted on the basis of fake documents in 2015-16, up from just Rs 2.2 crore in 2013-14.

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 13 May 2016 05:53