Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - MAY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - MAY - 2016
Friday, 27 May 2016 04:55

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

27 - MAY - 2016

 

INDIA SUCCESSFULLY TEST FIRES INDIGENOUS ADVANCED AIR DEFENCE INTERCEPTOR MISSILE, ASHWIN

India successfully test fired an indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile, Ashwin. It was launched from the complex of Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island) off Odisha coast.

The advanced version of low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile was fired at a ballistic missile, a modified version of Prithvi weapon system. It was test fired to validate various parameters of the interceptor in flight mode.

About Advanced Air Defence interceptor missile, Ashwin

• Ashwin is capable of destroying any incoming hostile ballistic missile.

• Indigenously developed by DRDO, the ADD interceptor missile is a 7.5-meter long single-stage solid rocket propelled guided missile equipped with a navigation system, a hi-tech computer and an electro-mechanical activator.

• It weighs around 1.2 tonnes and has a diameter of less than 0.5 meter.

With this, India became the fourth country to have successfully developed this anti-ballistic missile system. The other three are United States, Russia and Israel. This development now strengthens India's position in the very exclusive Ballistic Missile Defence club of the three countries.

The success is likely to pave the way for the supersonic interceptor missile’s induction in the armed forces. The test was the twelfth test of interceptor missiles fired from a warship in the Bay of Bengal near Paradip. Of the 11 tests held earlier, nine have been successful.

SANIA MIRZA AND MARTINA HINGIS CLINCH 2016 ITALIAN OPEN TITLE

World No. 1 women's doubles team of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis captured the Italian Open title. The pair defeated Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6(5)-7, 10-3 in the final to clinch the title.

The Italian Open women’s doubles title was the fifth title for the Indo-Swiss pair after Sydney, Brisbane, Australian Open and St Petersburg.

With the win, Mirza and Hingis also captured their 14th women's doubles title together.

About Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza is currently ranked No. 1 in the women's doubles rankings.

From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked by the Women's Tennis Association as India's No. 1 player, both in singles and doubles.

Throughout her career, she has established herself as the most successful female Indian tennis player ever.

About Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis is a Swiss professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 1 in doubles by the WTA.

She spent a total of 209 weeks as the singles world No. 1.

She has won five Grand Slam singles titles (three at the Australian Open, one at Wimbledon, and one at the US Open), twelve Grand Slam women's doubles titles and four Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

About Italian Open

The Italian Open is an annual tennis tournament held in Rome, Italy.

It is one of the most prestigious red clay tennis tournaments in the world after the French Open.

The tournament is played on clay courts, currently during the second week of May.

The event is also known as the Rome Masters and the Italian Championships.

Rafael Nadal has won the title a record seven times.

The 2015 Italian Open women’s doubles title was won by Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic.

Serene Williams is the winner of 2016 Italian Open women’s singles title.

Andy Murray is the winner of 2016 Italian Open men’s singles title.

ANDY MURRAY BEATS NOVAK DJOKOVIC TO WIN FIRST ITALIAN OPEN TITLE

Andy Murray won his first Italian Open Men's Singles Tennis title. In the final played in Rome, third-ranked Murray defeated the top-ranked Djokovic 6-3, 6-3.

It is Murray's first title in Rome and it comes exactly a week before the French Open begins on 22 May 2016.

The only other British man to win the tournament was George Patrick Hughes in 1931. He is also the first British singles champion in Italy since Virginia Wade won the title in 1971.

On the other hand, Serena Williams ended a nine-month title drought with a 7-6, 6-3 win over Madison Keys in an all American women's Singles final.

Besides, Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis won the Women's Doubles Title. In the final, the World Number One pair defeated the 7th seeded Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-7, 10-3.

INDIAN SHORT FILM ‘BETI’ TO BE SCREENED AT SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Beti, a four minute documentary film on girl child education from India, has been invited for special screening at the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), Washington DC.

Beti is the only short film from India to be featured amongst 421 films representing 85 countries and will be screened on 30 May 2016, which is Seattle Memorial Day at the SIFF.

About Beti

• The film was made by young student filmmakers of Chandigarh.

• The movie is directed by Shivain Arora.

• Other crew members of the film include Pihu Gupta, Keshav Garg and Shubham Garg.

• The short film promotes girl child by narrating the real life story of three girls from a government school and their dream for the future.

• Purple People Labs produced the film with a local school as a joint Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative for kids from the Young Filmmakers Academy.

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

• SIFF is held annually in Seattle, Washington since 1976.

• It is among the top film festivals in North America.

• Its mission is to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world.

2016 RED FLAG AERIAL COMBAT EXERCISES CONCLUDE IN ALASKA

The Air Forces of India and the U.S. concluded the 2016 Red Flag aerial combat exercises at Alaska in the U.S.

A successor to the Cope Thunder exercise series, the main phase of the Red Flag exercises had commenced on 28 April 2016 with a mix of combat and support elements from the Indian Air Force (IAF), US Air Force (USAF) and US Navy (USN).

The four-week long aerial combat exercises were held at the Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, United States of America. This was the second time India had participated in such an exercise after 2008.

Key highlights of 2016 Red Flag aerial combat exercises

A team of over 170 Indian Air Force personnel was part of the exercises.

The Indian Air Force flew 10 aircraft: four Su-30MKIs, four Jaguars and two IL-78 aerial refuelling tankers.

The objective of this inter-continental deployment was to showcase the IAF’s capability in undertaking integrated air ops and to imbibe operational lessons from the exercise engagements.

During the exercise, IAF also flew as a part of the Red Force (simulated as the Defensive force component fighting to protect own airspace and assets) alongside the Aggressors which was a first of its kind.

The IAF Jaguars DARIN II undertook integrated strike missions dropping practice bombs over the world renowned JPARC Air to Ground Range.

The temperatures were sub-zero during a large part of the exercise.

About Exercise Red Flag

Exercise Red Flag is an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

• Red Flag – Alaska is held at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. It is a successor to the previous COPE THUNDER exercise series in the Western Pacific and Alaska.

The purpose of the exercises is to train pilots and other flight crew members from the U.S., NATO and other allied countries for real air combat situations. This includes the use of enemy hardware and live ammunition for bombing exercises within the adjacent Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR).

FIFA APPOINTS JUSTICE MUKUL MUDGAL AS DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF ITS GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE

World governing body for football, FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) appointed Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal as deputy chairman of its Governance Committee.

Portuguese Luis Miguel Maduro, Advocate General of European Court of Justice (ECJ), was appointed as the Chairman of the Governance Committee.

Justice Mudgal was also appointed as the head of the FIFA’s first Independent Review Committee along with Luis Miguel Maduro.

Mudgal is the former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana and headed the IPL spot-fixing probe. He was also involved in overseeing the conduct of international cricket matches and IPL games at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. The inclusion of justice Mudgal to FIFA’s is being seen as a major development for Indian football and judiciary.

The decision to appoint Jutice Mukul Mudgal was taken at the 66th FIFA Congress which was held at the Mexico City.

About FIFA’s Independent Review Committee

The Committee has been set up to protect the organisation against any conflict of interest in the approval of any appointments to the key committees and bodies.

As a result it will be responsible for checking eligibility of the members who will be appointed to the FIFA’s Audit & Compliance Committee, whose chairman Domenico Scala’s resigned on 14 May 2016.

NITI AAYOG TO PREPARE 15-YEAR VISION DOCUMENTS BY REPLACING 5-YEAR PLANS

The Union Government in the decided to replace 5-year plans with 15-year vision documents.

The long-term perspective plans will be prepared by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog beginning from 2017-18 financial year.

Features of 15-year vision document

• Unlike the earlier 5-year plans, the new document will also cover subjects like internal security and defence.

• The previous twelve 5-year plan documents, for the period between 1951 and 2017, focused on social and economic infrastructure like health, connectivity and education.

• The decision to bring internal security and defence in the ambit of the vision document is in tune with the government’s announcement to done away with plan and non-plan expenditure from 2017-18.

• The initial vision document will be co-terminus with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda (2016-2030) to which India is a signatory.

• To convert the long term vision into an implementable policy, a 7-year strategy will be prepared by the NITI Aayog as part of the National Developmental Agenda.

• The strategy will be for 2017-18 to 2023-24. There will also be a mid-term review of the strategy in the year ending March 2020.

• Besides, a 3-year action Plan for 2017-18 to 2019-20 will be prepared to align the National Development Agenda with the 14th Finance Commission award period (2015-20).

INDIAN WOMEN WIN SILVER MEDAL AT 18TH ASIAN TEAM SQUASH CHAMPIONSHIPS 2016

Indian women’s squash team won the silver medal at the 18th Asian Team squash championships. In the final played at Taipei in Chinese Taipei, Indian team lost to the Malaysian team by 0-2 margin.

This was the ninth women’s Asian Team Squash Championships title for the Malaysian team.

In the first match, India’s Sachika Ingale lost in straight games 7-11, 6-11, 10-12 to Malaysian Sivasangari Subramaniam. Later, Delia Arnold of Malaysia defeated India's top player Joshna Chinappa 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9.

Dipika Pallikal was not required to play the third match which could have been decisive had Joshna won her encounter.

On the other hand, the Indian boys’ team faced a defeat in the semi-final by arch-rivals Pakistan, 2-1. With this win, Pakistan managed to enter the final for a clash with Hong Kong. Pakistan Men's Team won the title by defeating Hong Kong.

INDIA AND IRAN SIGNED VARIOUS AGREEMENTS INCLUDING TO DEVELOP CHAHBAHAR PORT

  • India and Iran signed a series of agreements that will allow New Delhi to use the port of Chahbahar to access Central Asia and Afghanistan.
  • The first agreement, a bilateral, signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s May 22-23 visit, will provide India the right to develop and operate two terminals and five berths with multipurpose cargo handling capacities in the port of Chahbahar for 10 years.
  • India and Iran also sealed 11 other agreements, covering culture, finance and conservation, during Mr. Modi’s official meetings with the Iranian President.
  • Mr. Modi’s visit was preceded by those by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan when the contracts were finalised.
  • “The agreement to develop the Chahbahar port and related infrastructure, and availability of about $500 million from India for this purpose, is an important milestone. This major effort would boost economic growth in the region,” Mr. Modi said in his statement, following the signing of the agreement between IPGPL (India Ports Global Private Limited) and Arya Banader of Iran.

KOCHI SPECIAL CIRCUIT BENCH OF NGT PROHIBITED OLDER DIESEL VEHICLES

  • In an order with far-reaching implications, the Kochi Special Circuit Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) prohibited light and heavy diesel vehicles of more that 2000 cc engine capacity that are older than ten years from plying in six major cities of the State.
  • The ban, which will cover vehicles in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode, and Kannur, will come into effect in another 30 days.
  • Each detected violation thereafter will entail a Rs.5,000 fine as environmental compensation. The fine should be collected by the traffic police or the Pollution Control Board.
  • This means that out of the 96 lakh vehicles registered in the State, close to two lakh diesel vehicles, which are already 10 or more years old and have engine capacities of 2000 cc or more, have to be phased out.
  • These include over 98,400 light motor vehicles, 44,524 medium motor vehicles, 41,121 heavy motor vehicles and 3,700 private stage carriers.
  • The NGT Bench comprising Chairperson Swatanter Kumar and Expert Member Bikram Singh Sajwan has also directed the State government not to register any more diesel vehicle of 2000 cc and above, except Public Transport and Local Authority vehicles.

THE CENTRE HAS TOLD STATES TO WITHDRAW LESS PICTORIAL WARNING TOBACCO PRODUCT

  • The Centre has set May 31 deadline for the States and Union Territories to withdraw from the market tobacco products whose 85 per cent packaging space is not covered with pictorial warning.
  • A communiqué from the Tobacco Control Division of Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has requested the Chief Secretaries of all States and UT's to take steps for strict enforcement of the new rules on pictorial warnings.
  • The Pictorial Warning Rules under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 had come into force from April 1, 2016.
  • The communiqué said that packages not compliant with the new rules be allowed for sale “only by printing, pasting or affixing the new warnings thereon covering 85 per cent of the principal display area.”
  • Though the Union Health Ministry’s notification on the larger size of pictorial warning was issued in September last year to come into force from April 1, the cigarette manufacturers continued to mislead the public by restricting the warning to 40 per cent of the display space on one side.

INDIA TAKES BABY STEPS TOWARDS DEVELOPING A REUSABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE

  • The test flight of the RLV-TD represented the first step towards the ISRO programme to master the reusable launch vehicle technology.
  • Termed the Hypersonic Flight Experiment, it was the first of a sequence of four test flights to validate various technologies.
  • Designed and developed by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at a cost of Rs. 95 crore, the RLV-TD weighing 1.75 tonnes used a thermal protection system (TPS) including 600 heat-resistant silica tiles and a Carbon-Carbon nose cap to withstand the high temperature during atmospheric re-entry.
  • Taking baby steps towards developing a reusable launch vehicle capable of sending spacecraft into orbit and returning to the earth’s surface.
  • The technology, when developed completely, would launch spacecraft, including satellites, into space and re-enter the earth’s atmosphere withstanding extreme pressure and heat conditions and land in an intended spot, helping to cut costs on launch vehicles substantially.
  • The design of the air frame, development of mono propellant thrusters for guidance and control and advanced avionics for mission management were other challenges.
  • As many as 600 engineers from ISRO centres, National Aerospace Laboratories, IITs and Indian Institute of Science were involved in the development of the RLV-TD over a period of eight years.

CSE PUTS ALARMING REPORT ON BREAD

  • Your daily bread could contain cancer-causing chemicals — including potassium bromate and potassium iodate — substances that are banned in many countries, but not in India, warns the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
  • The study tested bread sold in Delhi and found residues of potassium bromate/iodate in commonly consumed varieties of the food item.
  • The use of potassium bromate — classified as a category 2B carcinogen (possibly carcinogenic to humans) — is banned in most countries. Potassium iodate contributes to thyroid-related diseases.
  • The CSE has now recommended the immediate ban of these two chemicals to prevent their routine exposure to the Indian population.
  • The study, conducted by the CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory (PML), says Indian bread manufacturers use potassium bromate and potassium iodate to treat flour while making bread.
  • The PML tested 38 commonly available branded varieties of pre-packaged breads, pav and buns, ready-to-eat burger bread and ready-to-eat pizza breads of popular fast food outlets in Delhi.
  • The study found that 84 per cent (32/38) samples were found to contain potassium bromate or iodate in the range of 1.15-22.54 parts per million (ppm).
  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Monday said it has decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permitted additives while it is examining evidence against potassium iodate before restricting its use.
  • In 1999, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified potassium bromate as possibly carcinogenic to humans. It was found to cause tumour of the kidney and thyroid, and cancer of the abdominal lining in laboratory animals.
  • Considering potassium bromate as a ‘genotoxic carcinogen’, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives in 1992 said “use of potassium bromate as a flour treatment agent was not appropriate”.
  • The EU had already banned its use in 1990 and so did the U.K. Subsequently, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Nigeria, Peru and Columbia too decided against its use.

DIGITISING DATA ON ‘STOLEN’ BUDDHIST RELICS

  • Chinese authorities are engaged in a major international effort to digitally accumulate information on the priceless cultural treasures of the Buddhist caves in Dunhuang
  • Most of the artworks, controversially removed from the iconic Mogao caves, hewn out of the imposing sandstone cliffs, found their way in the British Museum in London, the National Museum in New Delhi and The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.
  • Part of the collection, sometimes after a change of hands, also found its way to The Tokyo National Museum and The National Museum of Korea.
  • Dunhuang Buddhist caves, housing 2,000 painted sculptures and half a million square feet of wall paintings, are in the Gobi desert, at a major junction of the ancient Silk Road.
  • The Silk Road snaked between Xian in China, and Rome, passing through treacherous terrain of deserts and mountains.
  • Lured by the promise of large commercial fortunes, or spiritual solace, countless perished on this route as victims either to the calamities of nature or attacks by armed brigands.
  • Stein’s role was pivotal in this controversial chapter, which soon acquired a sharp emotive edge in the backdrop of nationalistic stirrings in China against imperial powers.
  • In three expeditions, mounted between 1900 and 1916, the former principal of Oriental College, Lahore, whose prime interest was in exploration of Central Asia, China, India and West Asia, removed 24 trunks of ancient Buddhist scriptures and five boxes of paintings, embroideries, and other artworks from the Mogao caves, all for a princely sum of £130.
  • More than a century after Stein’s arrival in Dunhuang in 1907, a major collaborative effort to ‘reunite’ information on the treasures of the Dunhuang caves has commenced.
  • This enterprise aims to unite information on “all these artefacts through the highest quality digital photography by coordinating international teams of conservators, cataloguers and researchers”.
  • The National Museum in New Delhi is a founding member of the IDP.

BARACK OBAMA WILL NOT APOLOGISE FOR THE ATOMIC BOMBING OF HIROSHIMA

  • Barack Obama will not apologise for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima when he this week becomes the first sitting U.S. President to visit the city, he told Japanese television.
  • The comments are the clearest yet from his administration over an issue that raises hackles in the United States and has been the subject of heated debate for decades.
  • “It’s a job of historians to ask questions and examine them, but I know as somebody who has now sat in this position for the last seven and a half years, that every leader makes very difficult decisions, particularly during war time.”
  • American airmen launched the world’s first atomic strike on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, causing the deaths of about 1,40,000 people.
  • Tens of thousands were killed by the fireball that the powerful nuclear blast generated, with many more succumbing to injuries or illnesses caused by radiation in the weeks, months and years afterwards.
  • The southern city of Nagasaki was hit by a second bomb three days later, killing 74,000 people, in one of the final acts of World War-II.
  • Mr. Obama will visit Hiroshima after attending the Group of Seven summit hosted by Japan.

INDIA NEEDS TO TIGHTEN SECURITY NORMS TO DEAL WITH THE THREATS THAT CYBERCRIME

  • India needs to tighten security and regulatory norms to deal with the threats that cybercrime, terrorism, fire and corporate espionage will pose to businesses in the coming years, according to a recent study.
  • The report highlights the fact that while awareness about security issues is on the rise, there is a need to overhaul security standards and the regulatory framework.
  • Besides, there is also a lack of confidence in facing natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.
  • The ‘Physical Security Environment Survey 2016’ found that as many as 73 per cent opined that the number of security incidents had increased in the past two years.
  • The report added that India ranked 143 on the global peace index, lagging behind Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

RBI WARNED BANKS TO BE ON GUARD AGAINST MISUSE OF JAN DHAN ACCOUNT

  • Raising concerns that Jan Dhan accounts can be misused by ‘money mules’, the RBI today warned they are “very vulnerable” to frauds and asked banks to be on guard against such activities.
  • The newly opened accounts under the PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana) could be very vulnerable to fraud practises.
  • Third-parties can be used to launder the proceeds of fraud schemes (such as phishing and identity theft) by criminals who gain illegal access to deposit accounts by recruiting them as ‘money mules’.
  • Failure to guard against misuse of customer accounts, might result in banks incurring supervisory sanctions and enforcement action from the RBI.
  • He also expressed displeasure with entities surrendering their payments bank licences and said the RBI would explore the possibility of a levying processing fee on the applicants.
  • In August, the RBI granted in-principle licences to 11 entities. While Cholamandalam Investment dropped out in March, last week Sun Pharma promoter, Dilip Shanghvi, surrendered the licence.

GOVT. RELAXES LICENCE FEES FOR INDIA-CONTROLLED SHIPS

  • The government said domestic shipping firms will have to pay only a one-time licence fee of Rs.20,000 to own foreign flag vessels, in a bid to give a boost to the maritime sector.
  • Vessels of Indian Controlled Tonnage will now be required to pay only a one-time processing fee of Rs.20,000 towards issue of licence.
  • Till now, they were being charged Rs. 20,000 on a monthly basis by the Directorate General of Shipping as processing fee for issue of licence.
  • The government said the move would boost the Indian Controlled Tonnage Scheme and be a step towards promoting ‘ease of doing business’ in the maritime sector.

 

 


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Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2016 05:50