Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 13 - MAY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 13 - MAY - 2016
Friday, 13 May 2016 06:05

 

 

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13 - MAY - 2016

 

INDIA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA SIGNED FOUR AGREEMENTS TO DEEPEN BILATERAL RELATIONS

India and Papua New Guinea signed four agreements/MoUs to boost the bilateral relations.

These MoUs were inked during the two-day visit (28 to 29 April 2016) of President Pranab Mukhrejee to Papua New Guinea. Mukherjee’s visit was the first ever presidential visit from India to this country.

The signed agreements/MoUs are

• MoU in the Field of Health Care and Medical Science: It was inked between the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of Papua New Guinea.

• MoU for a USD 100 Million Credit Line: It was inked for development of infrastructure in the island-nation between the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Export Import Bank of India.

• MoU for cooperation in agricultural research: It was inked between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi and PNG University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea.

• MoU for establishing of India-Papua New Guinea Centre for Excellence in IT.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is the largest of all the Pacific island-nations. It is a state that occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia, a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia.

• It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.

• 852 languages are listed for the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers.

• Most of the population of over 7 million people lives in customary communities, which are as diverse as the languages.

• It is also one of the most rural, as only 18 percent of its people live in urban centres.

• The country is one of the world’s least explored nations, culturally and geographically.

• Many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior, as well as groups of uncontacted people.

INDIA, NEW ZEALAND SIGNED AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT

India and New Zealand signed an Air Services Agreement paving the way for introduction of direct flights between the two countries.

The agreement was signed in the presence of the President Pranab Mukherjee and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Mukherjee was on an official tour to Papua New Guinea (April 28-29, 2016) and New Zealand (April 30 to May 2, 2016).

The agreement was signed under the Convention of International Civil Aviation opened for signature at Chicago on 7 December 1944. It was opened with an aim to promote international air services between their respective territories.

The agreement will lead to easier connectivity that has inhibited both business travel and people-to-people contact in the past.

Business, Education and Tourism have grown exponentially between India and New Zealand in the recent years. There are nearly 175000 persons of Indian origin in New Zealand of which about 15000 are Indian students. The two-way trade between the two countries has doubled in the last few years. The two-way tourist traffic has also witnessed sharp rise, partly due to the exotic and pristine locales of New Zealand shown in Indian movies.

DILIP TULI APPOINTED AS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF HOUSING.COM

Former KPMG Director Dilip Tuli was appointed the new Senior Vice President - Strategy & New Business Initiatives of Housing.com, India’s leading online real estate platform.

Tuli will assist with strategy and oversee new business initiatives, such as transaction facilitation and fulfilment services.

Who is Dilip Tuli?

Dilip Tuli graduated from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.

He is a chartered accountant and a CFA Charter from CFA Institute.

He holds nearly 15 years of consulting experience of working across many different businesses.

At KPMG, he was a Director with the Deal Advisory practice. During the last 2 years, he was a senior member of the sector team responsible for Logistics and Industrial Markets at KPMG.

He started his career at PwC, in the audit and process improvement team and transitioned to the deal advisory practice before moving to KPMG.

About Housing.com

Housing.com is a Mumbai-based real estate search portal.

It allows customers to search for housing based on geography, number of rooms, and various other filters.

The company has 6000 brokers and serves 40 cities in India including Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi.

A group of twelve students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay founded Housing.co.in in June 2012.

INDIAN TEAM WON ONE SILVER, TWO BRONZE IN ARCHERY WORLD CUP

Indian team bagged one silver and two bronze medals at Archery World Cup at the Yuanshen Stadium in Shanghai.

The silver medal was secured by Indian women's team who lost to Chinese Taipei in the final. Women's team comprising Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram and Laxmirani Majhi lost to the lower-ranked Chinese Taipei 2-6 in the recurve team final.

On the other hand, men's trio and mixed pair won their respective bronze playoffs in the first stage of Archery World Cup. The third seeded Indian men's recurve team of Atanu Das, Jayanta Talukdar and Mangal Singh Champia thrashed the ninth seed British team 6-0 to bag the bronze medal.

The mixed pair of Deepika and Atanu ended India's campaign, getting the better of much fancied Koreans 5-4 in a nerve wracking shoot-off to end with another bronze.

INDIAN SHOOTERS BAGGED 3 GOLD, 1 BRONZE IN ISSF JUNIOR WORLD CUP

Indian shooters bagged three gold medals and a bronze on the opening day of the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany.

The Indians won a gold each in the team events of men's 25m standard pistol and women's 50m rifle prone competitions. India also earned an individual gold medal in the men's 25m standard pistol competition through Rituraj Singh. Gaayathri Nithyanadam bagged a bronze in the women's 50m rifle prone competition.

The Indian team of Rituraj Singh, Shivam Shukla and Arjun Das walked away with the gold medal in the team event of the men's 25m standard pistol competition, shooting a total of 1661. France won the silver medal with 1659 points while Australia had to settle with the bronze with 1648 points.

Indian women also walked away with the gold medal in the team event of the 50m rifle prone competition. The team of Gaayathri Nithyanadam, Sonika and Ayushi Podder shot a total of 1846.6 to emerge winners. They were followed by France (1841.7) and Poland (1836.3) respectively.

SC ENDS UNCERTAINTY SAYS NEET IS THE ONLY WAY FOR STUDENTS

  • After weeks of uncertainty, the Supreme Court finally “clarified” that National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) is indeed the only way for students to get admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses across the country.
  • It is clarified that only NEET would enable students to get admission to MBBS and BDS studies.
  • The apex court’s order strikes a death blow to States’ entrance exams, some of which have already been held or are in the offing.
  • All private medical and dental colleges, deemed universities, associations will have to go by NEET results.
  • In Tamil Nadu, students would have to take NEET despite a 2007 law in existence banning entrance exams in the State.
  • The Supreme Court is yet to sit in judicial review of the constitutionality of NEET.
  • This decision has come despite pleas by the Centre and Medical Council of India to allow States’ exams alongside NEET for this year alone.

GOVT MAY RE-LOOK AT THE GEOSPATIAL BILLL

  • Govt agreed to review a much-criticised draft Bill that proposes jail term of seven years and a fine up to Rs. 100 crore for wrongly depicting the map of India.
  • The Bill was first drafted in 2012 and the January 2 attack at the Pathankot airbase was the immediate trigger for reintroducing the Bill.
  • Three days after the draft Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016 was uploaded on the Home Ministry’s website seeking comments from the public, the government indicated that it was open to review its contents.
  • The draft Bill has come under scathing criticism on social media and other online platforms for its draconian features.
  • This Bill has been in the works since 2012. A committee of secretaries (CoS) had submitted a report, calling for a regulatory body to monitor the Internet giants like Google and Microsoft.
  • the investigations in the Pathankot airbase attack revealed that the terrorists who got into the airbase had precise information about its topography.
  • According to the draft Bill, it will be mandatory to obtain permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing any geospatial information of India.
  • No person shall depict, disseminate, publish or distribute any wrong or false topographic information of India, including international boundaries, through internet platforms or online services or in any electronic or physical form.

NEPAL GOVT STARTED THE DAMAGE CONTROL

  • The government of Nepal has begun damage control efforts to calm political tensions at home and with India even as the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) sharpened its attack.
  • Shekhar Koirala, leader of Nepali Congress said his party would not remain in opposition forever and will replace Mr. Oli’s government and ruled out cooperation for Mr. Oli’s amendment plans which need the support of the NC, the largest party in the Nepali parliament with 207 seats in the 601-member House.
  • Mr. Oli called the United Madhesi Democratic Front (Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, SLMM) for talks after almost three months but the NC and several Madhesi parties have refused to participate.
  • Mr. Oli’s government cancelled the trip to India by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and dismissed Mr. Upadhyay, an important NC leader.
  • The government in Kathmandu is yet to name the next ambassador to Delhi, giving Mr. Upadhyay some more days in Delhi.

BANGLADESH HAS SUMMONED THE PAKISTAN ENVOY OVER REACTION TO SUPREME COURT VERDICT

  • Bangladesh has summoned the Pakistan envoy to lodge a ‘strong protest’ over Islamabad’s reaction at a recent Supreme Court verdict.
  • Pakistan’s Foreign Office had expressed “deep concern and anguish” over the Bangladesh apex court’s decision to uphold the death sentence of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahman Nizami in a war crimes case.
  • Mizanur Rahman, Secretary (bilateral) at the foreign ministry, handed over a protest note to Pakistan High Commissioner Shuja Alam on Monday.
  • Nizami led the notorious al Badr Militia that carried out indiscriminate killings of the top secular intellectuals during the 1971 Liberation War.]
  • Meanwhile, the authorities in the Dhaka Central Jail have reportedly taken “all preparations” to carry out the execution of Nizami “any time”.
  • His death warrant was issued by the war crimes tribunal after the Supreme Court published the full copy of its verdict on March 16. He was brought to the Dhaka Central Jail from Gazipur’s Kashimpur Jail.

INDIAN AID FOR RAMAYANA TRAIL MAY BE FINALISED SOON

  • India’s assistance for the Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka may be finalised in a high level meeting between the two governments next month.
  • India’s help has been sought for development of infrastructure or amenities in the sites that form part of the Ramayana circuit.
  • About a dozen places have been identified as part of the circuit and Sita Eliya in Nuwera Eliya of the Central Province is one of them.
  • Legend has it that it is in this place that Sita was held captive by Ravana. About a week ago, Mr. Sugathadasa visited the Sita Eliya where the renovation of a temple for Sita was under way.
  • To be held in the third week of June, the meeting, part of the Joint Working Group on Tourism, would pick up from where the officials held discussion four months ago in New Delhi. It would also deliberate on developing the Buddhist circuit in India.
  • Indian High Commission said legal and other issues would also be examined. The finalisation of the details would lead to signing of a memorandum of understanding which may take place later.

IMAMS AND MUSLIM SCHOLARS ARE FIGHTING IS THROUGH THEOLOGY

  • As the military and political battle against the Islamic State escalates, Muslim imams and scholars in the West are fighting on another front — through theology.
  • The IS, however, has taken notice. The group recently threatened the lives of 11 Muslim imams and scholars in the West, calling them “apostates”.
  • The recent issue of the IS’s online propaganda magazine, Dabiq , called them “obligatory targets”, and it said that supporters should use any weapons on hand to “make an example of them”.
  • The danger is real enough that the FBI has contacted some of those named in the magazine “to assist them in taking proper steps to ensure their safety.
  • The death threats are a sign that Muslim religious leaders have antagonised the IS, according to analysts who are studying the militant group.
  • Their growing influence also contradicts those who claim that Muslim leaders have been silent in the fight against violent extremism.
  • Several of the targeted Muslim leaders said in interviews that, while they were taking the threat seriously, they had no intention of backing off.
  • These scholars ridicule the IS’s claim to have created a “caliphate”.
  • Instead, in a highly effective bit of rebranding, they call the IS Kharijites, a reviled group of Muslims who killed women and children and rebelled against the caliphs in the seventh century.
  • The imams named by the IS are based in the United States, Canada, Britain and Australia. They represent a broad spectrum of Islamic thought — from spiritual Sufis to puritanical Salafis, and even the more militant “Salafi Jihadis”.

SCIENTISTS FOUND OUT GENE WHICH GIVES RISE TO CAROTENOIDS

  • Scientists unveiled the gene in carrots that gives rise to carotenoids, a critical source of Vitamin A and the pigment that turns some fruits and vegetables bright orange or red.
  • Un-poetically dubbed ‘DCAR_032551’, the star gene emerged from the first complete decoding of the carrot genome, published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics .
  • Carotenoids were first discovered in carrots (hence the name), but which among the vegetable’s newly tallied 32,115 genes was most responsible for their formation remained a mystery.
  • The researchers sequenced the genome of a bright orange variety of the vegetable called the Nantes carrot, named for the French city
  • Daucus carota now joins a select club of about a dozen veggies — including the potato, cucumber, tomato and pepper — whose complete genomes have been sequenced.
  • Laying bare the humble carrot’s genetic secrets will make it easier to enhance disease resistance and nutritive value in other species, the researchers said.
  • Among vegetables spinach and peas are widely associated with growing up strong, but it’s hard to beat the carrot when it comes to health boosters.
  • Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, a natural chemical that the body can transform into Vitamin A.The deeper the orange colour, the more beta-carotene.
  • Carotenoids are also antioxidants, which are thought to protect against heart disease and some forms of cancer by neutralising so-called “free radicals”, single oxygen atoms that can damage cells.
  • Interestingly, carrots — along with many other plants — have about 20 per cent more genes than humans.
  • Looking back at the plant’s family tree, scientists have been able to determine that it split with the grape about 113 million years ago and from the kiwi about 10 million years after that, when dinosaurs still lorded over the planet.
  • Originally white, the wild ancestors of the carrot likely came from central Asia. The earliest record of carrots as a root crop dates from 1,100 years ago in Afghanistan, but those were yellow carrots and purple ones, not orange ones.
  • Paintings from 16th century Spain and Germany provide the first unmistakable evidence for orange carrots. Global crop production of the root has quadrupled in the last 40 years and is today eaten everywhere in the world.

GOVT BELIEVES INITIATIVE TAKEN WILL CREAT JOBS

  • Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Monday that the government’s initiatives will lead to creation of one crore jobs by next year.
  • “I agree, in the last two years, the (labour) policy decisions were delayed but now after framing these policies, we will activate them and definitely employment generation will improve.”
  • By next year, the NDA government will generate employment for a minimum of one crore people in the country,” Mr. Dattatreya said.
  • Employment generation slowed to a six-year low in 2015 – with just 1.35 lakh new jobs being created in eight labour-intensive industries, the lowest since 2009.
  • The minister emphasised that the size of technically skilled workforce in India is very small compared to Japan, China and Germany and the government is focussing on providing skills to the workers.

INDIA RUNS INTO TRADE DEFICIT WITH COUNTRIES WITH HIGH-DEMAND COMMODITIES

  • India has a trade deficit with as many as 27 major countries, including China, Australia, Iraq and Iran, during the last three years.
  • With these countries, India has trade deficit continuously during the last three years, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.]
  • India generally runs a deficit with those countries from which high-demand commodities are sourced.
  • These include items like crude oil, gold, diamond and fertiliser. In 2015—16, India’s trade deficit fell 14 per cent to $118.35 billion.
  • Other countries with which India has a trade gap include Indonesia, Korea, Germany, Canada, Taiwan, Russia and Ukraine.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 14 May 2016 03:57
 

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