Wednesday, 01 June 2016 03:16

RMI'S Current Affairs - https://www.facebook.com/RMIS-Current-Affairs


01 - JUNE - 2016



Indian-American Syamantak Payra, a 15-year-old from Friendswood, Texas, won Intel Foundation Young Scientist Awards of 50000 US dollar. He was awarded for developing a low-cost electronically aided knee brace that allows an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally.

He shared the 50000 US dollars award with Kathy Liu of Salt lake City, Utah who was awarded for developing an alternative battery component that could significantly improve battery performance and safety.

The first prize in the form of Gordon E. Moore Award of 75000 US dollars went to Han Jie (Austin) Wang. He was awarded for developing microbial fuel cells (MFCs) that more efficiently convert organic waste into electricity.

The award was given by Intel Corporation and the Society for Science & the Public at the 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair on 13 May 2016 at Phoenix, a city in Arizona.

These Awards were given in 22 different categories of which someinclude among others:

• Rajeev Jha from Honolulu, Hawaii: Was awarded in the field of Behavioral and Social Sciences

• Swetha Revanur from San Jose, California: Was awarded in the field of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Tiasha Joardar from Plano, Texas: Was awarded in the field of Energy: Physical

• Translational Medical Science Prashant Godishala and Brennan Clark from Golden Valley, Minnesota: Were awarded in the field of Translational Medical Science

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest high school science research competition. It honours the world’s most promising student scientists, inventors and engineers.

Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. The 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair featured more than 1700 young scientists selected from 419 affiliate fairs in 77 countries, regions and territories. The Intel Foundation also awarded a 1000 US dollar grant to each winner’s school and to the affiliated fair they represent.


A multidisciplinary research team from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) announced that it genetically engineered world’s first clone of the Zika virus strain.

The development of cDNA clone, as it is called, is expected to speed up many aspects of Zika research, including vaccine and therapeutic development.

It will also unlock scientists’ ability to more quickly develop countermeasures and explore whether or how the Zika virus has evolved to spread more quickly and cause more severe diseases in people.

In addition to the cDNA clone, the scientists developed mosquito infection models and the Zika mouse model which will help the researchers deciphering why the virus is tied to serious diseases.


India successfully test fired indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast.

As part of a user trial, the surface-to-surface missile was fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range.

The launch activities were carried out by the Strategic Force Command and monitored by the DRDO scientists.

Features of Prithvi-II Missile

• It weighs 4600 kilogram and has a strike range of 350 kilometer.

• It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines.

• It is the first missile to be developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under India's Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).

• IGMDP was started in early 1980 and ended in 2008.The missiles developed under the program were Prithvi, Agni, Trishul, Akash and Nag.

• Prithvi-II Missile was inducted into India's armed forces in 2003.

• The naval operational variant of Prithvi-II class missiles are known asDhanush. It was already inducted into Indian navy.


World’s largest Single Rooftop Solar Power Plant with capacity of 11.5 MegaWatt (MW) was inaugurated at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh at Beas, in Amritsar, Punjab. It was inaugurated by Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal.

About the Rooftop Solar Power Plant

• This is the largest Solar Power Plant spread over 82 acres of rooftop in single campus on multiple roofs with installed capacity of 19.5 MW.

• The plant has been set up with the cost of 139 crore rupees.

• This state-of-the-art project was installed by the Radha Soami Satsang Beas Educational and Environmental Society with technical collaboration of Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA).

• The project will generate clean and green energy sufficient to power approximately 8000 homes.

This solar power project at Dera Beas will help in abating about 4 lakh tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in next 25 years. This is equivalent to plant nearly 2 lakh trees.

Solar Power Plan in India

• Union Government in December 2015 revised the target of 20000 MW of solar power to be achieved by 2022 to one lakh MW of solar power in the same time.

• The government in its submission to the United Nations Frame Work Convention on Climate Change on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has stated that India will achieve 40% cumulative Electric power capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030 with the help of transfer of technology and low cost International Finance including from Green Climate Fund.


The Odisha Government decided to launch Green Passage Scheme for orphan students.

The scheme will ensure that the orphan students get free of cost higher education in the state.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also gave his green signal for the scheme, which would function under the department of higher education.

Key highlights of the scheme

Orphan students pursuing higher education from Plus-II level to post-graduation level will no longer have to bear the education expenses.

As many as 16382 orphan students lodged in 272 institutions across the state, will be exempted of admission fee, tuition fees and laboratory fees for higher studies.

They will be provided free hostel facilities and food.

The state government has also directed all government, private, government aided colleges and universities to ensure that the orphan students are not charged in any form.

The state government will bear all cost of the orphan students.


The Indian 4x100m women's relay team broke the 18-year-old national record to finish in 4th position at the IAAF World Challenge held in Beijing, China.

The 4x100m women relay team, which included Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, HM Jyoti and Merlin Joseph, clocked 44.03 seconds to finish the race.

The clocked time broke the 18-year-old record of 44.43s created by the quartet of Saraswati Dey, Rachita Mistry, EB Shyla and PT Usha on 22 July 1998 in Fukuoka, Japan.

The Indian team ran with Joseph starting the race with Jyoti running the second. They were followed by Nanda with Chand running the anchor leg.

The China A and the China B team grabbed the first and third position respectively while Japan finished second.

The China A team clocked 42.65s for the gold medal. Japan finished the race in 43.81s for the silver medal. The China B team finished third for the bronze medal by clocking 43.89s.

About 4 × 100 Metres Relay

The 4 × 100 metres relay or sprint relay is an athletics track event run in lanes over one lap of the track with four runners completing 100 metres each.

The first runners must begin in the same stagger as for the individual 400 m race.

A relay baton is carried by each runner and must be passed within a 20 m changeover box, which extends 10 m on either side of each 100 m mark of the race.

Another line is marked 10 m further back, marking the earliest point at which the outgoing runner may begin.

About IAAF World Challenge

The IAAF World Challenge is an annual global circuit of fourteen one day athletics competitions organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Started in 2010, it comprised the second level (after the IAAF Diamond League) of athletics meetings over the season and replaced the IAAF Grand Prix.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his “report card” of two years at the helm of the NDA government in a five-and-a-half-hour television talkathon over the national broadcaster, Doordarshan.
  • He said his government’s work as a the beginning of a “new dawn”, and the result of “keeping the interests of the common man front and centre.”
    Prime Minister Modi spoke about the general direction of his government and his strong measures to tackle graft across the board in the governmental system.
  • We have managed to save more Rs 36,000 crore in pilferage within the system. We caught more than 1.62 crore fake ration cards, fake schools with teachers on their rolls receiving salaries,” Mr. Modi said.
  • “Facts like these, and the use of subsidised LED bulbs leading to a saving of over 20,000 MW of power every year do not make for headlines, but we must not allow a spirit of despondency to grip the nation,” he said.
  • “My target is to provide five crore gas connections to those households which still rely on wood fired ovens for cooking,” Mr. Modi said.
  • “We have three years of this term left; I promise to work hard to justify the confidence placed on me by the people. I will not stint when it comes to hard work,” the Prime Minister said.


  • The no detention policy in schools should be applicable till Class V and exams be held from Class VI onwards, the Subramanian committee formed by the government to formulate a New Education Policy (NEP) has recommended.
  • Panel has suggested that foreign institutions be allowed to come to India to improve the quality of higher education.
  • The panel has also given specific suggestions to raise the standard of education which are found wanting in many respects from primary to higher level.
  • One of the key suggestions is to focus on “remedial coaching” and “hand-holding” to ensure the learning outcome of children does not suffer.
  • It has recommended that the ‘No detention policy’ be reviewed and exams be held from Class VI. The Right To Education law prescribes the no detention policy for students till Class VIII.
  • However, in case a child does not pass in the first instance, he or she should be given two more chances to appear in the exam.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried his hand at beating the traditional Khasi drum as he wound up his two-day visit to Meghalaya.
  • Mr. Modi expressed keenness about ‘rhythm’ and beat a drum together with Khasi tribal musicians.
  • “The Prime Minister tried his hand at beating our ‘Ka Bom’ and also interacted with leaders from at least 10 Himas,” The chief priest of HimaMawphlang, said.
  • Mr. Modi also expressed interest on sacred groves and forest fragments with religious connotation for the protectors and sought to know details of how they were managed by the local community.
  • Hunting and logging are usually strictly prohibited within these sacred groves.
  • Mr. Modi’s visit to the sacred forest of Mawphlang, however, could not take place due to inclement weather. However, he was briefed on how the highly-regarded grove was managed, controlled and administered.


  • You arrive at the railway station armed with a waitlisted ticket for, say, Rajdhani Express, hoping for a miracle to find a berth.
  • The train, however, leaves without you, but minutes later another Rajdhani Express pulls into the station — just to carry waitlisted ticket-holders like you.
  • Such a dream scenario could turn into a reality starting June, when the Indian Railways plans to launch ‘clone trains’ on high-demand routes that will be run within an hour of a scheduled train’s departure to accommodate those on the waiting list.
  • The idea behind such real-time demand-driven trains is to ensure that they reach their destination around the same time originally scheduled.
  • Moreover, passengers will be informed about their berths in the clone train soon after the reservation charts for the original scheduled train are firmed up four hours before departure.


  • New efforts, tweaks and hopefully a Rs. 2,600-crore grant are being explored to salvage 25 years of work and resources of over Rs. 2,000 crore spent on the Kaveri and use the engine’s derivatives in unmanned strategic projects of the future - probably with a different name.
  • Already its spinoff version has been identified as the engine for ‘Ghatak’, a tentatively named future unmanned combat aircraft on which early studies have been taken up at two aeronautical labs based in Bengaluru.
  • The military research establishment has not given up the quest for a potential Indian powerplant for future military systems, he indicated.
  • Dr. Tamilmani said that the development of aero engine technology and product was long identified as a critical need in defence research.


  • Pakistan seems to have failed to seal the $700 million deal for the purchase of eight F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. following a row between the two countries over their financing.
  • The Pakistani government was required to provide the Letter of Acceptance for purchase of the jets by May 24, but Dawn reported that the document was not issued leading to expiry of the offer.
  • Initially, the $700 million deal for eight F-16 multi-role fighters, was to be partially financed through the U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme but the Congress disallowed subsidising the sale.
  • The subsidising was disallowed over concern that Pakistan had not done enough to end the dreaded Haqqani network’s terror sanctuaries on its soil as well as fears over Islamabad’s nuclear programme.
  • Pakistan, which expected to get the fighters at the subsidised rate of $270 million, was subsequently asked by the U.S. administration to make the full payment for the eight aircraft from its national resources.
  • Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said last month that Pakistan could look to buy the aircraft from some other country if the deal did not go ahead.


  • The U.S. has asked Pakistan to go after terrorists, especially the Taliban leadership, days after an American drone killed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in Balochistan Province.
  • “We continue to cooperate closely with Afghanistan, but also urge Pakistan to go after terrorists, especially Taliban leadership, and that cooperation continues,” State Department Deputy Spokesman said.
  • Meanwhile, a former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, James B. Cunningham, said the drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansour inside Pakistan should send a signal that the U.S. will not tolerate terrorist safe havens.


  • In an apparent snub to Pakistan for its opposition to India’s bid to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the U.S. has said it is not about an arms race, but about the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
  • “This is not about an arms race and it’s not about nuclear weapons. This is about the peaceful civil use of nuclear energy, and so we would certainly hope that Pakistan understands that,” State Department Deputy Spokesman said.
  • He was responding to questions about India’s application for NSG membership and Pakistan’s opposition to it on the grounds that it will lead to a nuclear arms race in the region.


  • The government has brought in this Code, largely modelled on the U.S. Bankruptcy Law, with the good intention of facilitating timely resolution of corporate bankruptcy.
  • Under the Code, where a corporate debtor fails to pay a debt that is due, the corporate insolvency resolution process may be initiated by a financial creditor or by an operational creditor or by the corporate debtor itself.
  • A financial creditor is a creditor to whom a financial debt is owed by the corporate debtor. An operational creditor is a creditor who has provided goods or services to the corporate debtor, including employees, central or state governments.
  • When a corporate debtor fails to pay a debt due to an operational creditor, such an operational creditor can demand payment of the same.
  • If the corporate debtor fails to pay the amount due within 10 days of the demand or fails to dispute the debt, the operational creditor may file an application before the adjudicating authority for initiating a corporate insolvency resolution process.
  • A dispute regarding the debt would be one where there is a record of a suit or arbitration proceedings having been filed before a demand for payment is made. Here lies the difficulty.
  • To file a suit is expensive. Therefore, corporate debtors would dispute an operational debt by merely filing an arbitral reference regarding the dispute which is also arbitration proceedings in law, without really intending to pursue actual arbitration for resolving the dispute.
  • Even if the arbitration award is given resolving the dispute, the corporate debtor would seek to set aside the award in the High Court which may take a long time to reach final resolution.
  • Thus, the Code does not make much sense for the operational creditor.
  • One of the ways of remedying the situation is to empower the adjudicating authority to finally determine whether the dispute is bonafide or not and to say that such a determination is a question of fact and hence not appealable.
  • As far as financial creditors are concerned, they can straight away approach the adjudicating authority for an insolvency resolution process, even if there are certain disputes regarding the financial debt.
  • Under the Code once an application of an operational creditor is admitted by the adjudicating authority an interim resolution professional gets appointed and the management of the corporate debtor passes to the interim resolution professional.
  • Displacement of management of corporate debtor on account of a few unpaid operational creditors and financial creditors can cause great damage to the cause of entrepreneurship.
  • Since the management of the corporate debtor under the Code passes to the insolvency resolution professional immediately after the application is admitted by the adjudicating authority.
  • the adjudicating authority should be expressly empowered to order disgorgement by the resolution professional of all illegal and illicit gains if made by him when in management of the corporate debtor.
  • The Code does not clearly say that the management of the corporate debtor would be restored once the insolvency resolution plan is fully implemented. This should be put down very clearly in the cause of entrepreneurship.
  • The insolvency resolution professional has to submit an insolvency resolution plan within 180 days to 270 days and if insolvency professional fails to do so or if the insolvency resolution plan is rejected by the adjudicating authority, the adjudicating authority has no option but to order liquidation of the corporate debtor.
  • Before ordering the liquidation of the corporate debtor it is not clear whether the corporate debtor can be heard by the adjudicating authority for granting any reliefs. This has to be clearly laid down.


  • The transition to Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms for vehicles will pose a significant technological challenge, according to a top official of Wheels India.
  • Even for Europe, the transition from Euro 5 to Euro 6 norms took a lot of time.
  • Technologies had to be adapted, innovations relating to manufacturing had to be done, and, more importantly, testing and validation to the new standards had to be performed.
  • The climatic conditions, driving habits and road conditions, leave alone fuel conditions and maintenance practices, were significantly different in India compared to Europe.
  • Significant developments in terms of automotive technology and pace of innovation must happen first if the industry had to meet the target that had been set for BS-VI.
  • The government recently announced that India would leapfrog from BS-IV emission norms that are now in force to the BS-VI norms by 2020.
  • Introduced in 2000, the Bharat norms are emission control standards put in place by the government to check air pollution.
  • Based on European regulations (Euro norms), these standards prescribe specifications/limits for the release of air pollutants from equipment using internal combustion engines, including vehicles.
  • Implementation of the BS-V standard was originally scheduled for 2019. This has now been skipped. BS-VI, originally proposed to come in by 2024, has now been advanced to 2020 instead.


  • Micro-blogging platform Twitter is now considering the roll-out of the Twitter Seva service in other countries such as the U.K. and the UAE.
  • This follows the success of the service, developed for the India market to help delivery of e-governance services.
  • Twitter Seva helps process a large volume of tweets and assigns them to the relevant authority for real-time resolution.
  • It is currently being used by Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Railways, besides the Bengaluru Police.
  • The product had been designed and developed in the country, and the processes that Twitter had built into it are ‘absolutely’ India exclusive.
  • Twitter India is also exploring the roll-out of the product with more ministries and state governments.
  • “The detailed analysis of the tweets also presents insights about their audience along with the receptiveness and impact of their tweets,” Twitter representative said.
  • Through the service, the Railway Ministry processes about 5,500 tweets per day, responding to any citizen query related to catering, cleanliness, or even urgent medical support on board a train.
  • Similarly, Ministry of External Affairs processes over 6,000 tweets in a month, while the number is over 40,000 per month for Commerce Ministry and over 3,000 in a month for Bengaluru Police.
  • In the two years of being in power, Prime Minister Modi’s following on Twitter has grown by 400 per cent from 4 million to 20 million followers, making him the most-followed political leader in India and second in the world after American President Barack Obama.


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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 June 2016 03:22