Monday, 16 May 2016 06:08



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16 - MAY - 2016



Future Group's Chief Executive Kishore Biyani was appointed Managing Director (MD) of Bharti Retail. The move is a part of a restructuring plan to execute the merger of Future Group with Bharti Retail, which was announced in 2015.

Biyani on 1 May 2016 had resigned from Future Retail Ltd, one of the group’s largest listed retail companies, which operates Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar. However, he will continue to hold office as non-executive director of Future Retail Ltd.

Besides, Rakesh Biyani, who is also a Director at Future Group, has also been appointed as Joint Managing Director of Bharti Retail, which will be later renamed as Future Retail Ltd and listed on stock exchanges.

In May 2015, Future Group had agreed to merge its retail business with Bharti Retail in an all-stock deal worth 750 crore rupees to create one of the biggest supermarket chains with 15000 crore rupees turnover.

About Bharti Retail

Bharti Retail is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bharti Enterprises.

Bharti Retail operates a chain of multiple format stores. The company’s neighbourhood format stores operate under the Easyday brand.

Recently, the company has become more involved in the food economic sectors, with a joint partnership in the agricultural company FieldFresh.

Future Group, that owns and operate Big Bazaar, combined retail operations with Easyday in May 2015. The merger has created one of India's biggest retail chains with more than 570 stores in 243 cities in India.


International Monetary Fund (IMF) Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific forecast retained India’s growth rate at 7.5 percent for the year 2016.

The IMF report titled Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, Building on Asia’s Strengths during Turbulent Times said that this growth momentum is expected to be underpinned by private consumption, which has benefited from lower energy prices.

It said that India that had a GDP growth rate of 7.3 percent in 2015 will have 7.5 percent growth in 2016 and 2017.

But it called on the policy makers to speed up the structural reform implementation. It suggested them to capitalise on the favourable economic momentum to speed up the structural reform implementation.

An incipient recovery in private investment is expected to help broaden the recovery. But the IMF also observed that weak exports and sluggish credit growth will weigh on the Indian economy.

It said that the growth in Asia and the Pacific is expected to be 5.3 percent in 2016-2017, marginally lower than the previous estimate of 5.4 percent.

In context of China and Japan, it said that the two nations will continue to face challenges. China's growth is forecast to moderate from 6.9 percent in 2015, to 6.5 percent in 2016 and 6.2 percent in 2017. Japan's growth is expected to continue at 0.5 percent in 2016, before dropping to -0.1 per cent in 2017.


A group of researchers from University of Cambridge researchers have built the world's smallest working engine. The research was published in the journalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) .

The engine is just a few billionths of a metre in size and uses light to power itself.

The nanoscale engine could form the basis of future nano-machines that can navigate in water, sense the environment around them, or even enter living cells to fight disease.

Professor Jeremy Baumberg from the Cavendish Laboratory, who led the research, has named the devices ANTs, or Actuating Nano-Transducers.

Key highlights of the nanoscale engine

The prototype device is made of tiny charged particles of gold, bound together with temperature-responsive polymers in the form of a gel.

When the engine is heated to a certain temperature with a laser, it stores large amounts of elastic energy in a fraction of a second, as the polymer coatings expel all the water from the gel and collapse.

This has the effect of forcing the gold nanoparticles to bind together into tight clusters.

However, when the device is cooled, the polymers take on water and expand, and the gold nanoparticles are strongly and quickly pushed apart.


The Selection Committee of the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics chaired by Edward Witten announced a Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

The prize recognizes the scientists and engineers who contributed to the momentous detection of gravitational waves. The detection was announced on 11 February 2016.

It is a 3 million dollar award which will be shared between two groups of laureates: the three founders of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will each equally share 1 million dollar and 1012 contributors to the experiment will each equally share the remaining 2 million dollars.

The three founders of LIGO are Ronald WP Drever, Caltech, professor of physics, emeritus; Kip S Thorne, Caltech, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, emeritus; and Rainer Weiss, MIT, professor of physics, emeritus.

The contributors sharing the prize include 1005 authors of the paper describing the discovery of gravitational waves from the numerous institutions involved in LIGO and its sister experiment, the Virgo Collaboration.

Also sharing the prize are seven scientists who made important contributions to the success of LIGO.

The laureates will be recognized at the 2017 Breakthrough Prize ceremony in the fall of 2016, where the annual Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (distinct from the special prize) will also be presented along with the Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences and Mathematics.

Earlier, Stephen Hawking won the Special Breakthrough Prize in 2013.

Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO)

• LIGO's gravitational wave detectors were conceived and Research and development was initiated in the 1960s.

• LIGO was built between 1994 and 2002 by Caltech and MIT in partnership with the National Science Foundation of the United States.

• It was with the aim of observing the gravitational waves predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity.

• After a major upgrade from 2010–2015, it almost immediately observed a gravitational wave distorting the structure of spacetime as it passed through the Earth.

• The detected distortion was less than a billionth of a billionth of a meter in size at LIGO's two 4KM observatories in Hanford, Washington and Livingston, Louisiana.

• The wave emanated from two black holes with masses about 30 times that of the sun, spiraling into each other 1.3 billion light years away.

• The discovery inaugurates a new era of gravitational wave astronomy which will open a window onto some of the most dramatic and violent phenomena in nature as well as the mysteries of the early universe.

Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics recognizes individuals who have made profound contributions to human knowledge.

It is open to all physicists which are theoretical, mathematical and experimental who are working on the deepest mysteries of the Universe. The prize can be shared among any number of scientists.

The Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics and the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics are funded by a grant from the Milner Global Foundation.


President Pranab Mukherjee conferred National film awards for the year 2015 in various categories at the 63rd National Film Awards Function held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The President also conferred 2015 Dada Saheb Phalke Award toManoj Kumar.

Amitabh Bachchan received the Best Actor honour for his role of a hypochondriac father in Piku. While Kangana Ranaut received the Best Actress Award for Tanu Weds Manu Returns.

Complete list of winners



Best Feature Film

Baahubali: The Beginning

Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film Of A Director

Neeraj Ghaywan for Masaan

Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Best Children's Film


Best Direction

Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani

Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration

Nanak Shah Fakir

Best Film on Environment / Conservation / Preservation

Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal

Best Film on Social Issue


Best Actor

Amitabh Bachchan for Piku

Best Actress

Kangana Ranaut for Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Supporting Actor

Samuthirakani for Visaranai

Best Supporting Actress

Tanvi Azmi for Bajirao Mastani

Best Child Artist

Gaurav Menon for Ben

Best Male Playback Singer

Mahesh Kale for Katyar Kaljat Ghusali

Best Female Playback Singer

Monali Thakur for Moh Moh Ke Dhaag (Dum Laga Ke Haisha)

Best Cinematography

Sudeep Chatterjee for Bajirao Mastani

Best Screenplay (Screenplay Writer Original)

Juhi Chaturvedi for Piku and Himanshu Sharma for Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Screenplay (Screenplay Writer Adapted)

Vishal Bhardwaj for Talvar

Best Screenplay (Dialogues)

Juhi Chaturvedi for Piku and Himanshu Sharma for Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Editing

Kishore Te for Visaranai

Best Music Direction (Songs)

M. Jayachandran for Kathirunnu (Ennu Ninte Moideen)

Best Music Direction (Background Score)

Ilaiyaraaja for Tharai Thappattai

Best Lyrics

Varun Grover for Moh Moh Ke Dhaag (Dum Laga Ke Haisha)

Special Jury Award

Kalki Koechlin for Margarita with a Straw

Best Special Effects

Baahubali : The Beginning

Best Choreography

Remo D'Souza for Deewani Mastani (Bajirao Mastani)

Best Animated Film

Fisherwoman Tuktuk

Best Art Direction

Shriram Iyengar, Saloni Dhatrak and Sujeet Sawant for Bajirao Mastani

Best Costume Design

Payal Saluja for Nanak Shah Fakir

Best Make-up Artist

Preetisheel G. Singh and Clover Wootton for Nanak Shah Fakir

Special Mention

Ritika Singh for Irudhi Suttru

Best Hindi Film

Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Best Tamil Film


Best Telugu Film


Best Sanskrit Film


Best Kannada Film


Best Marathi Film


Best Maithili Film

Mithila Makhaan

Best Punjabi Film

Chauthi Koot

Best Bengali Film


Best Konkani Film


Best Assamese Film


Best Haryanvi Film


Best Khasi Film


Best Manipuri Film

Eibusu Yaohanbiyu

Best Mizo Film

Kima’s Lode Beyond the Class

Best Odiya Film

Pahada Ra Luha

Best Malayalam Film



  • Delhi is no longer the most polluted city in the world, the latest air quality report from the World Health Organization (WHO) says.
  • The national capital, which earned notoriety for the state of its environment, now stands 11th among 3,000 cities in 103 countries in terms of fine particulate matter or PM 2.5.
  • The ‘Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database (update 2016)’ released by WHO placed the capital in the 25th place based on bigger particulate or PM 10 levels.
  • Particulate matter affects everyone but causes harm faster to children and senior citizens
  • Although Delhi improved its ranking, four Indian cities are among the world’s 10 most polluted.
  • Ten out of the top 20 are also in the country. The data are for 2013, but the Delhi government was quick to put out a statement exulting in a “definitive positive trend” in the city.
  • In 2014, Delhi was ranked the most polluted globally in terms of PM 2.5, for which the WHO had monitored 1,600 cities.
  • Delhi’s place as the most polluted is taken by Zabol, in Iran. Gwalior and Allahabad, meanwhile, come a close second and third in terms of PM 2.5, while Patna and Raipur are ranked 6th and 7th.
  • The WHO used data from government and research organisations to prepare the database.
  • It is based on ground measurements of annual mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and “aims at representing an average for the city or town as a whole, rather than for individual stations.
  • Years of measurements range from 2010 to 2015, unless the latest available data was older,” the report said.
  • PM 2.5 refers to atmospheric particulates with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres. Exposure to fine particulates is linked to premature death from heart and lung disease.
  • They trigger or worsen asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.The WHO states that as urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases.
  • More than 7 million premature deaths due to air pollution occur every year, and 3 million of these are due to outdoor air quality.
  • Common causes of air pollution include diesel-fuelled vehicles, heavy construction activities, temperature control in large buildings and use of coal or diesel generators.


  • Even as the Enforcement Directorate has initiated proceedings for the extradition of businessman Vijay Mallya, the Central Bureau of Investigation forwarded to the Interpol its request for issuance of a Red Notice against him to facilitate this.
  • After the U.K. authorities expressed their inability to deport Mr. Mallya on technical grounds, the ED wrote to the nodal agency CBI to forward its request for a Red Notice against him.
  • In former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s case, Interpol has not yet issued a Red Notice despite repeated attempts by Indian agencies.
  • According to sources, the ED is also preparing itself for launching extradition proceedings against Mr. Mallya in the U.K. through the External Affairs Ministry.
  • Article 11 of the India-UK Extradition Treaty (1993) prescribes the procedure for extradition.
  • The provision says that the request must be accompanied by an accurate description of the person, his nationality and residence; a statement of the facts of the alleged offence; legal provisions invoked and their definition and the maximum punishment prescribed there-under.
  • If the request relates to an accused person, it must also be accompanied by a warrant of arrest issued by a judge, magistrate or other competent authority in the territory of the Requesting State.
  • By such evidence as, according to the law of the Requested State, would justify his committal for trial if the offence had been committed in the territory of the Requested State.
  • UK authorities may seek additional evidence or information in case they find that details provided are not sufficient for the purposes of the Treaty.
  • Both the CBI and the ED have registered a case against Mr. Mallya, his now-defunct company Kingfisher Airlines and others for alleged criminal conspiracy and wilful default of Rs. 900 crore-loan from IDBI Bank.


  • Days after the Union Home Ministry publicised a draft geospatial Bill warning of fines of up to Rs. 100 crore and seven years of imprisonment, other sections of the government are looking to tone down its stringency.
  • The Bill in its current form is likely to be scrapped.The fine will likely be capped at a “crore or two” and specific to companies that wrongly depict borders. The DST was among several government agencies that were involved with the Bill.
  • The existing version of the draft Geospatial Information Regulation (GI) Bill will be “significantly changed” as it “goes against the spirit” of the National Geospatial Policy (NGP), 2016, spearheaded by the DST.
  • The NGP, which was uploaded on the website of the Science Ministry and is open for comments, in tone and tenor, is tamer than the GI Bill.
  • GDPSS refers to Geospatial Data, Products, Services and Solutions.
  • “Geospatial data of any resolution being disseminated through agencies and service providers, both internationally and nationally be treated as unclassified and made available and accessible by Indian Mapping and imaging agencies,” the policy note adds.
  • The Bill that appears on the Home Ministry website notes that it is open to comment.
  • The Bill has been on the anvil since 2012 but the January terror attack in Pathankot, where terrorists infiltrated an airbase and relied on information from Google Maps, prompted the department to act on tightening policy on making geospatial maps.
  • Another official from the Earth Sciences Ministry said they were “deluged” by concerns from the local and international geospatial industry.


  • China has opened its first deep-sea research institute, which experts said will be useful to identify marine resources and to improve naval technology.
  • The Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE) located in Sanya, Hainan province passed an acceptance inspection and began official operations.
  • It is the first scientific research base for study of the deep seas and is also China’s first public platform for deep-sea research.
  • The deep sea has a wealth of resources including mineral, biotic and petroleum resources, and there are more than 40 billion tonnes of petroleum in the South China Sea alone.


  • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended to face impeachment, ceding power to her Vice President-turned-enemy Michel Temer in a political earthquake ending 13 years of leftist rule over Latin America’s biggest nation.
  • Defiant to the end, Ms. Rousseff denounced a “coup” aimed at driving her from power, and urged her supporters to mobilise as she braces for an impeachment trial that is set to drag on for months.
  • Hours earlier, a nearly 22-hour debate in the Senate closed with an overwhelming 55-22 vote against Ms. Rousseff.
  • Only a simple majority of the 81-member Senate had been required to suspend Ms. Rousseff for six months pending judgment on charges that she broke budget accounting laws.
  • A two-thirds majority vote will be needed at the end of the impeachment trial to force Ms. Rousseff (68) from office altogether.


  • Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that India and Bangladesh will “work together” to combat terrorism.
  • After a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart, the Indian foreign secretary told reporters that the two countries would “further strengthen their existing counter-terrorism structure.
  • He also said that the government of India is strongly in support to Bangladesh as it is battling terrorism and extremism. He said “This is an issue of direct concern for us as a neighbour.”
  • In a separate development, India came out with open support for Bangladesh’s ongoing war crimes trial, which has sentenced several Islamist leaders to death.
  • India has also been supportive of a judicial process to address pending issues of retributive justice for war crimes committed during the movement for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
  • Meanwhile, Dhaka handed over a protest note to Pakistan in response to Islamabad’s condemnation of Nizami’s execution. For the second time this week, Shuja Alam, the Pakistani envoy, was summoned to the foreign office and handed over the note.
  • Pakistan’s Parliament had passed a unanimous resolution on Wednesday condemning the execution. In another incident of protest against the hanging, Turkey has reportedly recalled its Ambassador to Bangladesh.


  • Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit expressed the hope that the bilateral dialogue stalled by the Pathankot airbase attack would resume soon.
  • “Although we do not have a date I expect good things to happen sooner than later,” he said, when asked how optimistic he was.
  • “I feel we do have problems. We all understand that and in order to overcome those, we need to talk to each other. As agreed to between the two countries last December we should resume the dialogue process,” he said.


  • India’s industrial output growth slowed down to 2.4 per cent in financial year 2015-16 with the Index of Industrial Production remaining virtually flat in March 2016, growing by a mere 0.05 per cent.
  • Consumer price inflation, on the other hand, accelerated to 5.4 per cent in April from 4.8 per cent in March, official data showed.
  • The whole year IIP number and the March number indicate that the apparent recovery visible in February was not sustained and overall there are no signs of an upswing yet.
  • The moderation in the industrial output index, which grew 2 per cent in February, was driven by a contraction in the mining and manufacturing sectors, a slowdown in the consumer durables sector and a worsening scenario in the capital goods sector that shrank for the fifth month in a row.
  • The cumulative growth of industrial production, at 2.4 per cent, was slower than the 2.8 per cent recorded in 2014-15. In the last decade, industrial output has grown at a slower pace only on two occasions (1.1 per cent in 2012-13 and -0.1 per cent in 2013-14).
  • The IIP and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers indicate there are no real signs of a sustained recovery in the economy and suggest that the Reserve Bank of India will hold off on cutting interest rates in the near future.
  • The IIP numbers come as a surprise since the core sector data for March showed a strong growth of 6.4 per cent, which had seemed to suggest that the economy was seeing green shoots of recovery.
  • The mining & quarrying sector contracted 0.13 per cent in March following a strong growth in February of 5.1 per cent.
  • The manufacturing sector contracted 1.2 per cent in March, compared to a growth of 0.7 per cent in February.
  • By usage, the capital goods sector contracted 15.4 per cent in April compared to a contraction of 9.5 per cent in the previous month. Growth in the consumer durables sector slowed to 8.7 per cent from 9.6 per cent over the same period.


  • The amendment to the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty with Mauritius will push offshore fund management companies to set up shop in India.
  • Under the new safe harbour rules, offshore funds’ gains will be taxed as capital gains than as business income. This will require them to reconfigure their plans.
  • Under the amended treaty signed with the island nation, India gets the right to tax capital gains on investments routed through Mauritius. The amendment to the 1983 treaty will come into force from April 1, 2017.
  • Based on available information, it was, however, unclear if the amendment covered investments made using hybrid securities.


  • The 58-year-old Manohar was elected unopposed as the first independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) for an initial period of two years from May 12.
  • Although he will assume charge straightaway, he will formally preside over meetings at the ICC’s annual conference at Edinburgh, Scotland in June.
  • Manohar was the unanimous choice of the ICC’s 13-member executive board; even England and Wales Cricket Board’s Giles Clarke — who was supposed to succeed India’s N. Srinivasan by a 2014 arrangement, proposed his name.
  • The cricket world had seen it coming after he had confided to many of his BCCI colleagues and friends that he will not stay for a minute as the BCCI president the moment the Supreme Court validates the recommendations of the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee’s report on reforms in cricket, either in full or in part.



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 04:51