Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 24 - JUNE - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 24 - JUNE - 2016
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Friday, 24 June 2016 04:49

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

24- JUNE - 2016

 

CHINA LAUNCHES 23RD BEIDOU NAVIGATION SATELLITE

China launched its 23rd satellite it the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). The satellite launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province will support China’s global navigation and positioning network.

The satellite was taken into orbit by a Long March-3C carrier rocket. It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is being developed as an alternative to US GPS. The satellite, after entering its designed work orbit and finishing in-orbit testing, will join others already in orbit and improve the stability of the system, preparing for BDS to offer global coverage.

PRIYANKA CHOPRA NOMINATED FOR CHOICE TV BREAKOUT STAR IN 2016 TEEN CHOICE AWARDS

India's bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra was nominated for 2016 Teen Choice Awards . She got her final nomination in the category of Choice TV Breakout Star.

She was nominated for her role as FBI trainee Alex Parrish in American TV series,Quantico.

Earlier, she also won the Favourite Actress title in a New TV series award at the People’s Choice Awards On 7 January 20162016 for her debut role on an American TV show.

Teen’s Choice award

• The Teen Choice Awards is an annual awards show that airs on the Fox television network.

• The awards are voted by teen viewers who have ages 13 to 19 with-in the 50 states of America.

• The winners will receive a full size surfboard designed with the graphics of that year's show.

• It celebrates year’s achievements in the fields of television, music, film, comedy, video games, sports and fashion.

• The Ceremony of 2016 Teen Choice Awards will be on 31 July 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

NORWAY BECOMES FIRST COUNTRY TO PROHIBIT DEFORESTATION

Norway became the first country to prohibit deforestation.

On 26 May 2016, the Norwegian Parliament had pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free. The step was taken after a committee of MPs recommended imposing regulations to ensure the state did not contribute to deforestation of the rainforest.

The step taken by the government means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests.

Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems. Norway had pledged to do that at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.

Importance of rainforests

A natural rainforest emits and absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide.

They are referred to as lungs of Earth.

They help to stabilize Earth’s climate. Scientists believe carbon dioxide is a major contributor to climate change. By absorbing carbon dioxide, rainforests help to reduce the effects of worldwide climate change.

They are an important home to about half of the species of plants and wildlife on the planet. Many of the species found in rainforests are endangered and can only survive in rainforests.

They help maintain the water cycle by producing large amounts of rainfall every year.

Why are rainforests disappearing?

Tropical and temperate rainforests have been subjected to heavy logging and agricultural clearance throughout the 20th century.

Biologists have estimated that large numbers of species are being driven to extinction due to the removal of habitat with destruction of the rainforests.

Another factor causing the loss of rainforest is expanding urban areas.

Almost 90% of West Africa's rainforest has been destroyed.

Since the arrival of humans, Madagascar has lost two thirds of its original rainforest.

Several countries, notably Brazil, have declared their deforestation a national emergency.

As per a 2007 report from WWF, deforestation could wipe out or severely damage nearly 60% of the Amazon Rainforest by 2030.

THE RISE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME REPORT RELEASED BY UNEP AND INTERPOL

The report titled The Rise of Environmental Crime was released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL. The report revealed that environmental crime grew up by 26 per cent larger than previous estimates of 2014.

Environmental crime is the world's fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

INTERPOL and UNEP have joined forces to bring awareness in the world about the environmental crime.

The crime includes the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud.

Highlights of the report

• The report finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.

• The vast sums of money generated from the environmental crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.

• The report recommends the world to come together to take strong national and international action to combat environmental crime.

• It includes measures targeted at disrupting overseas tax havens; an increase in financial support commensurate with the serious threat that environmental crime poses to sustainable development; and economic incentives and alternative livelihoods for those at the bottom of the environmental crime chain.

• The last decade has seen environmental crime rise by at least 5-7 per cent per year. This gives an impression that environmental crime is growing two to three times faster than global GDP.

• The report also looks at how money generated from the illegal exploitation of natural resources funds rebel groups, terrorist networks and international criminal cartels.

• The report notes that transnational organized criminal networks are using environmental crime to launder drug money.

• The report looks at the rise of white collar environmental crime, from the use of shell companies in tax havens to launder money generated from illegal logging to transfer mispricing, hacking and identity theft.

USA WINS FINA WOMEN WATER POLO WORLD LEAGUE SUPER FINAL

The USA Women’s Senior National Team won gold at the FINA Women Water Polo World League Super Final. The team defeated Spain 13-9 in the championship match in Shanghai, China.

The victory marks the United States’ third straight FINA World League Super Final title and 10th overall.

On the other hand, Australia defeated China 11-3 for the bronze medal.

About FINA Water Polo World League

The FINA Water Polo World League is an international water polo league organized by FINA, which plays annually.

League play features continental tournaments for men and women, from which the top teams emerge to play in the Super Final where the league champion team is crowned.

Men's league play began in 2002 to capitalize on increased worldwide popularity of water polo created by the 2000 Olympic Games.

The women’s league was added in 2004, based on growing interest in women's play.

About FINA

International Swimming Federation (FINA) is the international federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for administering international competition in Aquatics.

It was founded on 19 July 1908 at the end of the 1908 Summer Olympics by the Belgian, British, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian and Swedish Swimming Federations.

It is one of several international federations which administer a given sport/discipline for the IOC and/or international community.

It is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

FINA currently oversees competition in five aquatics sports: swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, water polo and open water swimming.

HUBBLE TELESCOPE UNCOVERS SOLITARY GALAXY, UGC 4879

Hubble telescope of NASA captured the drizzle of stars scattered across this image forming a galaxy known as UGC 4879. It is an irregular dwarf galaxy which is smaller and messier than its cosmic cousins. It also lacks the majestic swirl of a spiral or the coherence of an elliptical.

This galaxy is isolated and at a distance of 2.3 million light years from its closest neighbor, Leo A which is in between the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way at the same distance.

This galaxy has not interacted with any surrounding galaxies, making it an ideal laboratory for studying star formation uncomplicated by interactions with other galaxies.

The study on UGC 4879 galaxy revealed a significant amount of star formation in the first 4 billion years after the Big Bang which was followed by a strange 9-billion-year lull in star formation that ended 1 billion years ago by a more recent re-ignition.

However, the reason for this behavior remains mysterious.

The solitary galaxy continues to provide ample study material for astronomers looking to understand the complex mysteries of star birth throughout the universe.

About Hubble Space Telescope

• It is a space project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. It was launched in 1990 that orbits Earth.

• Its gaze has helped determine the age of the universe and the existence of dark energy.

• It is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, while the Hubble science operations are conducted by the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore.

TATA POWER SIGNED AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE WELSPUN RENEWABLES

Tata Power Co. Ltd agreed to acquire renewable energy company Welspun Renewables Energy Pvt. Ltd.

Tata Power took the step in a bid to grow its clean energy portfolio to 2.3 gigawatts (GW).

Key highlights of the agreement

Tata Power’s renewable energy unit Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL) has signed an agreement to acquire Welspun Renewables Energy Private Ltd (WREPL).

It is the largest transaction in renewables space in India.

The acquisition is being made at an enterprise value of 9249 crore rupees.

TPREL will acquire 1140 MW solar and wind power assets of Welspun Energy Private Ltd.

The deal is expected to close in September 2016.

RBI INTRODUCES SCHEME FOR SUSTAINABLE STRUCTURING OF STRESSED ASSETS

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the guidelines on  the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets.

The guidelines were issued with an aim to further strengthen the lenders’ ability to deal with stressed assets and to put real assets back on track.

Highlights of the Scheme

• RBI formulated the Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) as an optional framework for the resolution of large stressed accounts.

• The S4A envisages determination of the sustainable debt level for a stressed borrower.

• It also envisages bifurcation of the outstanding debt into sustainable debt and equity/quasi-equity instruments which are expected to provide upside to the lenders when the borrower turns around.

• In order to make sure that that the entire exercise is carried out in a transparent and prudent manner, S4A envisages that the resolution plan will be prepared by credible professional agencies.

• An Overseeing Committee, set up by the Indian Banks Association, comprising of eminent experts will independently review the processes involved in preparation of the resolution plan for reasonableness and adherence to the provisions of these guidelines.

• The scheme is applicable to those projects that have started commercial operations and have outstanding loan of over 500 crore rupees.

Reasons behind the formulation of S4A

Resolution of large borrowal accounts which are facing severe financial difficulties may require co-ordinated deep financial restructuring which often involves a substantial write-down of debt and/or making large provisions.

Often such high write-downs act as a disincentive to lenders to effect a sustainable change in the liability structure of borrows facing stress.

Accordingly, RBI, after due consultation with lenders, has formulated the scheme.

AFTER REFORMS PM SAYS INDIA IS MOST OPEN ECONOMY IN THE WORLD

  • The Modi government announced radical liberalisation of the FDI regime by easing norms for a host of important sectors, including defence, civil aviation and pharmaceuticals, opening them up for complete foreign ownership.
  • The move assumes significance as it comes soon after Raghuram Rajan’s announcement that he would not seek another term as the Reserve Bank of India Governor.
  • The governor’s announcement, days before Britain decides whether to stay in the European Union, had triggered fears that India’s growth narrative could unravel.
  • Commerce and Industry Minister stressed that the announcement had nothing to do with the RBI governor's decision. “We have been working on this for quite some time. We could not have done all this in one or two days,” she said.
  • The decision on FDI reforms was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • In November last, the government announced FDI reforms across several sectors, two days after the BJP-led NDA suffered a resounding defeat in the Assembly elections in Bihar.

ASI HAS UNEARTHED STRUCTURES RESEMBLING A BUDDHIST MONASTERY IN GUJARAT

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed structures resembling a Buddhist monastery in Vadnagar city of Gujarat.
  • The latest excavation revealed structures resembling monastic cells. However, only further excavation at the site would help establish whether the structures were part of a monastery or were secular in nature.
  • To establish Vadnagar’s claim as a thriving Buddhist centre, this could be an important discovery, but for that govt need to get land so it can carry out further excavation.
  • The ASI carried out excavation at Vadnagar in two phases between January, 2015, and May, 2016.

OUTGOING RBI GOVERNOR REITERATES NEED TO GUARD INFLATION

  • Outgoing RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan warned policymakers against lowering the guard on inflation, amid expectations his successor will make sharp interest rate cuts.
  • He said “We had got used to decades of moderate to high inflation, with industrialists and governments paying negative real interest rates and the burden of hidden inflation tax falling on the middle class and the poor,”.
  • Delivering a lecture at TIFR, he said a central bank serves the economy and cause of growth best by keeping inflation low and stable around the target given by govt.

BRITISH PM SAYS RISE OF INDIA IS ONE OF THE REASON TO GO AGAINST BREXIT

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron invoked increasing trade with India as part of his plea to the public to vote to remain in the European Union (EU), saying cutting off from the main EU market would be “economic madness”.
  • Mr. Cameron said, “The rise of countries like India and China... [means we have] big economies that we need to trade with more.”.
  • He said Britain could “do more with India” but not by cutting itself off from the EU.
  • Mr. Cameron also said that about 80 per cent of Britain’s economy consists of services like insurance and banking and architecture and sales and advertising.
  • About 45 per cent of the U.K.’s exports go to the EU at £227 billion, while imports accounts for £288 billion, according to 2014 data.
  • The debate for Britain’s future with the 28-member economic bloc has entered its final stage with just three days to go before the crucial referendum.
  • With opinion polls reflecting a very close contest between the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ camps, some of the U.K.’s senior-most entrepreneurs and professionals spoke out in favour of the country remaining in the Union.
  • Virgin Group boss Richard Branson, one of the country’s most respected business tycoons, also warned that a British exit from the EU would be “devastating” for the U.K.’s long-term prosperity.

VIRGINIA RAGGI WAS ELECTED AS ROME’S FIRST WOMAN MAYOR

  • Virginia Raggi waselected Rome’s first woman Mayor, sweeping into city hall on the ticket of the populist Five Star movement (M5S) with the backing of over two-thirds of voters.
  • Ms. Raggi (37), a Rome-born lawyer, started the campaign as a political novice.
  • However, she won over voters with her programme for cleaning up the administration, presenting her ideas in the crisp and sober manner of a patient academic.

CHINA COOLS DOWN INDIA'S NSG ENTRY TALKS

  • India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is not yet on the agenda of the Seoul Plenary this week, China said.
  • “We understand that non-NPT countriesare very concerned about their entry into the NSG but since the NSG is still divided on this issue it is still not mature to talk about it at the annual conference in Seoul,” China said.
  • The statement from Beijing came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India hoped to convince China to support its application.
  • China and a few other NSG countries have called for a criteria-based process for entry of countries like India and Pakistan, who are not signatories to the NPT, into the 48-member nuclear club.

STUDY SHOWS CRETACEOUS PERIOD ASTEROID WIPED OUT 90% MAMMALS

  • The same asteroid that killed the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period 66 million years ago also wiped out over 90 per cent of mammal species, significantly more than previously thought, new research has found.
  • Following the asteroid hit, most of the plants and animals would have died, so the survivors probably fed on insects eating dead plants and animals.
  • With so little food, only small species survived. The biggest animals to survive on land would have been no larger than a cat, the study said.
  • For the study, the researchers reviewed all mammal species known from the end of the Cretaceous period in North America.

PM DISCUSSES RUPEE MANAGEMENT

  • PM held meetings with his key officials to assess the possible impact on the rupee and macro-economic stability following the announcement by RBI Governor that he would not seek another term.
  • In the immediate term, the most effective strategy will be for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to signal that it intends to defend the rupee.
  • The RBI has accumulated foreign currency reserves in excess of $350 billion, which will be used.
  • The government wants to make sure that the bond and currency markets remain calm after Mr. Rajan’s departure, especially when a foreign currency non-resident deposit scheme’s redemptions begin, starting September. T
  • here could be outflows of about $20 billion due to the imminent maturity of the scheme, which the RBI unveiled in October 2013, weeks after Mr. Rajan joined, to tide over the worst rupee crisis in decades.
  • India had mobilised $26 billion through foreign currency non-resident bank account (FCNR-B) deposits by offering a special swap window for banks after the U.S. Federal Reserve ‘taper tantrums’ in the summer of 2013.
  • Several alternatives are on the table for mitigating the impact of the redemptions, including the option of rolling over the bonds, the source said.
  • One option is to mobilise funds from NRI's through a fresh dollar-denominated instrument along the lines of the ‘India Millennium Deposit’, the State Bank of India’s foreign currency denominated deposits (IMD) issued in 2010.
  • The handling of the situation has become more important because India is up for a ratings upgrade this year.
  • Last October, global ratings agency Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ‘BBB-’ long-term and ‘A-3’ short-term sovereign credit ratings for India, with a stable outlook.

THE WORLD BANK EXPECTS INDIA’S ECONOMY TO EXPAND 7.6 PER CENT IN 2016-2017

  • The World Bank expects India’s economy to expand 7.6 per cent in 2016-2017, followed by a modest acceleration in the rate of growth to 7.7 per cent in 2017-2018 and 7.8 per cent in 2018-2019.
  • GDP accelerated to 7.6 per cent in 2015-16 from an average of 6.5 per cent during the three-year period 2012-13 — 2014-15, the World Bank’s India Development Update released said.
  • India’s economy expanded at a faster pace even as several growth engines stalled.
  • Agriculture faced a second consecutive year of drought, rural households were under stress, private investments remained flat and exports plummeted, the report said.
  • Despite these drags, the working engines — demand from urban households and public investments — propelled the economy to a higher growth path.
  • To remain on this growth path and sustain the 7.6 per cent growth rate in 2016-17, India will need to re-start dormant growth drivers while ensuring that the working engines do not run out of fuel, according to the report.
  • The bi-annual report on the economy and its prospects said that India’s sources of growth had been few, with many segments of the economy facing challenges.
  • External demand has been tepid and GDP growth has relied exclusively on domestic demand, which itself has been running on just a few engines. Private investment stagnated and likely contracted in the January-March quarter.
  • Private consumption, which accelerated to 7.4 per cent in 2015-16 from 6.2 per cent in 2014-15, is puzzling, given that over two-thirds of Indian households are in rural areas, which suffered a second year of sub-par monsoons in 2015-16.
  • Growth in agriculture output remained muted at 1.2 per cent. Urban households appear to have been the main drivers of growth in 2015-2016.
  • The manufacturing and services sectors, which expanded 7.4 and 8.9 per cent respectively, are likely to have created urban jobs. Inflation abated, primarily because of lower food prices.

THE CENTRE HAS KEPT INTEREST RATES UNCHANGED FOR VARIOUS SMALL SAVINGS SCHEMES

  • The Centre has kept interest rates unchanged for various small savings schemes for the July-October period of the 2016-17 fiscal.
  • The Finance Ministry in a statement on Monday said that the interest rate on one-year deposits for the July-October period of this fiscal had been kept unchanged at 7.1 per cent.
  • The interest rate on two-year, three-year and five-year time deposits were kept at 7.2 per cent, 7.4 per cent and 7.9 per cent, respectively. The interest rate on Public Provident Fund remained at 8.1 per cent, the Ministry said.

RANCHI TO HOST 2017 ASIAN MEET

  • The 22nd Asian athletics championship will be held in India after a gap of four years. The Birsa Munda Stadium at Ranchi will host the event from July 1 to 4, 2017.
  • Recently, the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) officials visited the venue before finalising it.
  • The Jharkhand government has come forward to support the event which will be staged in India for the third time, the early editions in New Delhi (1989) and Pune (2013).
  • Nearly 800 athletes from 45 countries are expected to take part. The winners of the Asian meet will get a direct berth for the World championship in London from August 4 to 13.

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2016 11:06
 

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