Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:34


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27- JUNE - 2016



DBS Bank India has appointed Niraj Mittal as the Managing Director and Head of Institutional Banking for the country.

Mittal will report to Jeanette Wong, Group Executive and head of institutional banking group in Singapore, and Surojit Shome, CEO of DBS India.

Prior to DBS Bank, Mittal served as Managing Director and Head of institutional banking business (North India) at The Royal Bank of Scotland NV (RBS).

About DBS Bank

DBS Bank Ltd is a Singaporean multinational banking and financial services company.

It was previously known as The Development Bank of Singapore Limited.

The present name of the bank was adopted in July 2003 to reflect its changing role as a regional bank.

It was set up by the Government of Singapore in June 1968 to take over the industrial financing activities from the Economic Development Board.


1st Meeting of National Committee on Ramayana Circuit & Krishna Circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme was held. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Tourism & Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma.

During the meeting proposal to set up 11 Ramayana Circuits and 12 Krishna Circuits were approved.

The destinations for these two circuits were earlier approved by the expert committee.

Destinations under Ramayana Circuit

Under Ramayana Circuit, 11 destinations spread across 6 states are proposed. These are:

• Ayodhya, Nandigram, Shringhverpur & Chitrakoot (Uttar Pradesh)

• Sitamarhi, Buxar & Darbhanga (Bihar)

• Jagdalpur (Chattisgarh)

• Bhadrachalam (Telangana)

• Hampi (Karnataka)

• Rameshwaram (Tamil Nadu)

Expert committee also suggested including Chitrakoot (Madhya Pradesh), Nashik & Nagpur (Maharashtra) and Mahendragiri (Odisha) in the proposed circuit.

Destinations under Krishna Circuit

Under Krishna circuit, 12 destinations spread across 5 states are proposed. These are:

• Dwarka (Gujarat)

• Nathdwara, Jaipur & Sikar (Rajasthan)

• Kurukshetra (Haryana)

• Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon & Govardhan (Uttar Pradesh)

• Puri (Odisha)

Besides, projects worth more than 300 crores rupees were approved in-principle in Uttar Pradesh under both the circuits.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

Swadesh Darshan Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2014-15 with an aim to develop theme based tourist circuits in the country. It will be developed on the principles of high tourist value, competitiveness and sustainability in an integrated manner by synergizing efforts. The scheme focuses on needs and concerns of all stakeholders to enrich tourist experience and enhance employment opportunities.

Under the Scheme, 13 thematic circuits have been identified, for development. These are: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.


The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women appointed Anne Hathaway as global Goodwill Ambassador.

The Academy Award-winning actor will advocate for the adoption and implementation of policies worldwide to bring change at both government and corporate levels.

Hathaway has previously served as an advocate for Nike Foundation. She travelled to Kenya and Ethiopia to raise awareness on child marriage.

About Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway is an American actress and singer.

She made her professional screen debut in the Fox television seriesGet Real.

She appeared in the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the Disney comedy film The Princess Diaries.

In 2005, she starred alongside Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal in Ang Lee's drama Brokeback Mountain.

In 2006, she was seen as an assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor in the movie The Devil Wears Prada.

In 2006, she appeared on People magazine's list of the world's 50 Most Beautiful People.

In 2012, she received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film Les Misérables.

About UN Women

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women.

UN Women became operational in January 2011.

Former president of Chile Michelle Bachelet was the inaugural Executive Director of the entity.


The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) released National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) 2016. The policy’s mission is to  provide safe, secure,  affordable and  sustainable air travel  for passengers  and  air  transportation  of  cargo  with  access to various parts of India and the world.

Vision of the Policy

• To create  an  eco-system  to  make  flying  affordable  for the  masses

• To enable 30  crore  domestic  ticketing by  2022 and  50  crore  by  2027

• To increase international  ticketing  to 20 crore by 2027

• Increase cargo volumes to 10 million tonnes by 2027

Key Objectives of the Policy are:

• To establish  an  integrated  eco-system  leading  to significant growth of civil aviation sector that would promote tourism, increase employment and  lead  to  a balanced regional growth.

• To ensure safety, security and sustainability of aviation sector through the use of technology and effective monitoring.

• To enhance regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development.

• To enhance ease of doing business through deregulation, simplified procedures and e-governance.

• To promote the entire aviation sector chain in a harmonised manner covering cargo, MRO, general aviation, aerospace manufacturing and skill development.

Highlights of the NCAP 2016

• Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS): It will not allow the airlines to charge more than 2500 rupees for one hour flight between two small cities. The RCS will come into effect in the second quarter of 2016-17.

• Code-share agreements: Indian carriers will be free to enter into code-share agreements with foreign carriers for any destination within India on a reciprocal basis. Indian carriers need to simply inform Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) 30 days prior to starting the code-share flights.

• Encourage Private Security: The Government will encourage use of private security agencies at airports for non-core security functions. The private security agencies will comprise retired personnel from military and para-military forces.

• No-Frills Airports: They will be built at an indicative cost of 50 crore to 100 crore rupees.

• Viability Gap Funding (VGF): It will be shared between MoCA and the State Government in the ratio of 80:20 while it is 90:10 for the North Eastern States.

• The payment of the full amount of VGF will be made to the airline operator from the Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) and the State Governments will be subsequently asked reimbursement.

• MoCA’s share of VGF will be provided through the RCF, which will be collected and operated by Airport Authority of India (AAI) or any other entity identified by MoCA.

• MoCA will persuade State Governments to make Value Added Tax (VAT) zero-rated on MRO activities to develop India as an MRO hub in Asia.

• 5/20 Rule: The requirement for 5/20 is modified and all airlines can commence international operations provided that they deploy 20 aircraft or 20 percent of total capacity (in term of average number of seats on all epartures put together), whichever is higher for domestic operations.

• Bilateral Traffic Rights: Under this, government will enter into an ‘Open sky’ ASA on a reciprocal basis with SAARC countries and countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5000 kilometers radius from New Delhi.

• India has Air Service Agreements (ASA) with 109 countries covering aspects relating to the number of flights, seats, landing points and code-share.

• Upgradation of Airports: Airport Authority of India (AAI) will continue to modernize the existing airports and upgrade quality of services.    It will also maintain an ASQ  rating  of  4.5  or  more  across all airports  which  have  a throughput above 1.5  mppa and ASQ rating  of 4.0 or more for the rest.

• Ground Handling Agencies (GHA): The airport operator will ensure that there will be three Ground Handling Agencies (GHA) including Air India's subsidiary/JV at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008 to ensure fair competition.

• Advanced Cargo Information system: It will be implemented in a phased manner after a universally accepted international template has emerged.

• MoCA will be nodal agency for developing commercial aero-related manufacturing and its eco-system in India in line with Aeronautical Make in India.

• Growth of helicopters: Government will support growth of helicopters for remote area connectivity and separate regulations for helicopters will be notified by DGCA.


Russia launched the new Project 22220 nuclear icebreaker dubbed ‘Arktika’. It was launched from the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg – the second largest city of Russia.

Project 22220 is the world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind and it has been built at the Baltic Shipyard of the United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia.

Key characteristics of Arktika

•    The vessel is 189.5 yards long and 37.1 yards wide.

•    It displaces 33540 metric tons and is fitted with two specifically designed RITM-200 nuclear power reactors.

•    Nuclear fuel for the vessel's RITM-200 nuclear-power reactors is to be produced by the TVEL fuel company by the end of 2016.

•    It is the first Russian nuclear icebreaker to be fully built in modern-day Russia.

•    It will be able to escort convoys in Arctic and can break ice up to almost 10 feet (3 meter) thick.

The Baltic Shipyard will be building two more Project 22220 icebreakers by 2020 in collaboration with Rosatom. The two ships will be built at a cost of 84.4 billion rubles (1.2 billion dollars) and will be commissioned in December 2019 and December 2020 respectively.


According to Rosatom CEO Sergei Kirienko, the successful launch of ‘Arktika’ icebreaker indicates that the Russia is able to start the serial production of nuclear icebreakers. It is estimated that Russia may need at least five Project 22220 nuclear icebreakers for Arctic exploration.

Further, it will give boost to Russia in exploring oil and natural gas in Arctic region as it is believed that Arctic shelf holds huge amounts of oil and natural gas. Russia has been laying claims to deposits within its offshore border areas, as have the United States, Canada, Norway and Denmark.


Senior IAS officer Supriya Sahu was appointed as Director General of Doordarshan. She will be the full-time director general of the state-run broadcaster after two year as the post was lying vacant since July 2014.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved to appoint Sahu for the post.

She would replace Aparna Vaish who was acting head of Doordharsan. She was appointed after the board decided to appoint the senior-most additional director general (ADG) at Doordarshan.

Tripurari Sharan was the last full-time director general at Doordarshan who stepped down in July 2014.

About Supriya Sahu

• She is a 1991 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.

• At the time of the appointment, she is working in her cadre state Tamil Nadu.

• She was the power behind the Say no to plastics campaign to protect the eco-system of the hill station, Ooty, during her tenure as District Collector of the Nilgiris district.

• She has also worked as Joint Secretary for Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).


Mohun Bagan on 15 June 2016 announced that it will honour country’s only Dronacharya football coach Syed Nayeemuddin with the Mohun Bagan Ratna.

Nayeemuddin was chosen for the prestigious award for his overall contribution to the club and the country both as a player and as a coach.

Who is Syed Nayeemuddin?

Syed Nayeemuddin is an Indian football coach and former player.

As a player, he captained the Indian national team that won a bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games.

He was appointed coach of India in 1997.

He won the South Asian Football Federation Cup by beating the Maldives 5–1 and reached the semi-finals of the Nehru Cup for the first time.

He is the only sports-person to win both the Arjuna and Dronacharya Awards for football.

About Mohun Bagan Ratna

The Mohun Bagan Ratna is awarded annually to great football players.

It is a mark of respect which recognizes and lauds indispensable contribution of football greats to the club over the years.

The award is presented to the winners on 29 July, which is celebrated as Mohun Bagan Day.

In 2015, Karuna Sankar Bhattacharya was honoured posthumously with the Mohun Bagan Ratna.


Baltimore’s National Aquarium announced its plan to create an Oceanside dolphin sanctuary. This will be first of its kind sanctuary for the marine mammals in North America.

The aquarium will move its colony of eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to an outdoor facility with natural seawater by 2020. Of the eight bottlenose dolphins (six female and two male), only one has ever lived in the open ocean.

For this purpose of creating a sanctuary, a team is scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean for the habitat.

About the Venue

• Decided venue for the dolphins will be a protected coastal habitat, where the animals will continue to live under human care.

• The venue will lie in a tropical or subtropical location will also contain natural stimuli for the dolphins, such as fish and sea plants.

Years of research on dolphin behavior and pressure from animal rights groups made the national aquarium to make a decision of moving the marine mammals to a sanctuary. Animal rights groups were protesting over the captivity of dolphins for years.

Bottlenose dolphins

• Bottlenose dolphins are the one of the most common species of marine mammals, with colors ranging from light gray to black.

• They range in size from 6 feet (1.8 meters) to more than 12 feet (3.6 meters) in length, and adults can weigh up to 1,400 pounds (635 kg).

Challenges that lies ahead

• Of the eight bottlenose dolphins, only one dolphin, female named Nani, has ever lived in the open ocean as she was born in wild in 1972.

• They have never felt the rain on their dorsal fins, neither they ever chased a mullet along a mangrove shore or teased a startled crab.

• These dolphins will have to learn the acts of being ocean-dwelling dolphins with its sets of skills to fight against problems like pollution, noise, jellyfish and red tides.

• They will have to learn to survive in the new habitat that will be much larger than their current habitat.

• The new habitat will also have more fish and marine plants as compared to the present habitat.


The idea of protecting the dolphins by providing sanctuary after providing the same to big cats, elephants, chimpanzees and many more is a sign of a maturing ethic of caring all living species.


The Rio 2016 organising committee revealed the official slogan, A New World, for the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in South America.

The slogan was unveiled by Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), at a special ceremony held at Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, Brazil.

Besides, the organising committee also unveiled the designs for the 2488 gold, silver and bronze medals that ten thousand athletes will soon be competing for.

What the slogan is all about?

A new world will be the front and center message that will be transmitted around the world in the lead-up to and during the 2016 Games.

The slogan was chosen to show the desire of Rio 2016 for a better world.

The creation of a slogan is a tradition of each Olympic Games. Previous Olympic mottos included Welcome home for Athens in 2004, One world, one dream for Beijing in 2008, and Inspire a Generation for London in 2012.


China is all set to operationalise the 'exascale supercomputer' by 2020 which will be capable of performing at least a billion billion calculations per second.

The supercomputer will be named Tianhe -3 and it will be operationalised three years before the US plan to install such computers.

The development of the ‘exascale supercomputer’ is part of the China’s national plan for the next generation of high performance computers. It will be developed during the 13th Five-Year-Plan period (2016-2020).

The government of Tianjin Binhai New Area, NUDT and the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin are working on the project.

In 2010, China unveiled the first petaflop supercomputer Tianhe-1 which is capable of performing at least a million billion calculations per second and is

About Supercomputers

•    A supercomputer is a computer with a high-level computational capacity compared to a general-purpose computer.

•    Performance of a supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS).

•    Since its introduction in June 2013, China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer is the fastest in the world at 33.86 petaFLOPS (PFLOPS), or 33.86 quadrillions of FLOPS.


  • After a day of twists and turns, India’s hopes for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) got stuck over the question of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in Seoul.
  • Even as the much-anticipated bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Tashkent ended without a statement of support from China.
  • Although India had scored a coup when the NSG agreed to hold a ‘Special Session’ on June 24th with India’s membership on the agenda.
  • This was despite China’s repeated assertion that the membership of non-signatories to the NPT, or “non-NPT countries” was not on the table for the 26th Plenary session that got under way in Seoul.
  • However, while India stated its case to China, there was no return statement from the Chinese government.


  • Mangrove swathes dotting the coastal areas would be wiped out upsetting the coastal ecology and livelihood options of millions of fishermen if the Shailesh Nayak Committee report on Coastal Regulation Zone 2011 notification is accepted.
  • The panel, which recommended that “developmental activities in private mangrove land can be taken up,” has also directed that no buffer zones would be required in private holdings.
  • Construction of “walkways, interpretation centres, promenades, public facilities for developing parks, research facilities related to mangrove biodiversity, facilities for conservation and the like” can be set up in the 50-metre buffer suggested for vegetation extending more than 1,000 sq metres.
  • The buffer could also be developed as a greenbelt to prevent “encroachment, illegal dumping, construction activity and slum redevelopment” and such “unauthorised and illegal activities which are harmful to mangroves,” it recommended.


  • Anil Kumble has been named head coach of the Indian team for the next 12 months.
  • He will take charge at the squad’s preparatory camp ahead of the upcoming tour of the West Indies next month.
  • Announcing the decision, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Anurag Thakur said it was taken by “the president and secretary” after the Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and V.V.S. Laxman submitted “a few names”.
  • “Kumble has been a match-winner, has a great record and now we expect him to have a great record as a coach,” he said.


  • Government remained optimistic of a positive outcome at the NSG meeting, given that India’s membership is now firmly on the agenda, and the consensus is in India’s favour.
  • India’s hopes of a place at the nuclear high table rest on that consensus being acknowledged in some form in the closing statement of the NSG, with a commitment to take forward India’s membership application either on Friday or in the near future with a fixed timeline.
  • As the special session began, and even though India had received vocal support in intervention from at least 32 countries during the day, including the United States, Japan, France and host South Korea.
  • However it became clear that several countries were holding out on the question of how to proceed forward for all countries that have not signed the NPT, without making a special exception for India.


  • Any “exception” in granting membership to the NSG will “disturb” strategic stability in South Asia, Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain told his Chinese counterpart.
  • Making a strong case for Pakistan’s bid to join the NSG, Mr. Hussain said that his country had made notable efforts over the years to strengthen its export controls, command and control and nuclear safety and security.
  • Mr. Hussain met Mr. Xi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan and discussed Pakistan’s entry into the NSG, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
  • Mr. Hussain said Pakistan was committed to the timely realisation of all the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and emphasised that it would not only benefit Pakistan and China but would be a game changer for the entire region.
  • Mr. Xi expressed China’s complete support to Pakistan’s national security and territorial integrity.


  • A desert telescope has focussed with unprecedented sharpness on a star circling a supermassive black hole thought to lurk at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, excited astronomers announced.
  • This means they will be able to observe the star's movements in more detail than ever before, in an important test for Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity.
  • Dubbed S2, the star lies about 25,000 light years from our Solar System. It is the celestial body known to make the closest approach to our galaxy's central black hole, named Sagittarius A, on a 16-year elliptical orbit.
  • S2 is a relative youngster in astronomical terms — no more than 100 million years old.
  • It has been studied before, but in much less detail than can now be observed by the European Southern Observatory's Gravity instrument in Chile's Atacama desert.
  • Gravity combines the light from Europe's four largest telescopes to create a combined 130-metre (427-foot) diameter lense with “much sharper” imaging.
  • It will seek out miniscule but telltale deviations in the movement of gas and stars swirling around Sagittarius A — ultimately proving its existence.
  • Sagittarius A is thought to be four million times more massive than our Sun.
  • Black holes are regions in space-time where mass is collapsed into such a small area that gravity takes over completely, and nothing, not even light, can escape — making them invisible.
  • If Einstein was right, the Gravity team would expect to see minute changes in S2’s orbit in the extreme gravity environment nearest Sagittarius A.And they managed to set up their instrument just in time.
  • In 2018, S2 will make its closest approach to the black hole on its egg-shaped orbit — “just” 17 light hours or 18 billion km away.


  • With more banks offering mobile banking services, transactions through mobile apps has increased seven-fold in three years, between 2013 and 2016, the Reserve Bank of India said.
  • The central bank, which has released the payments and settlement vision document 2018, said all segments of electronic payments, particularly retail, had shown healthy growth since 2012-13.
  • At the same time, the usage of cheques had come down, indicating shift in customer preference towards electronic mode of payments.


  • Commerce Minister said there is a “desperate need” for India to ensure high quality standards for goods, since increasing tariffs or imposing quantitative restrictions alone cannot completely prevent “poor quality and undesirable imports.”
  • “Unless we have set standards, it is not going to be possible for us to stop unwanted and undesirable imports. There is no way in which just tariff measures are going to be sufficient to stop such imports which we do not desire,” Ms. Sitharaman said
  • Ms. Sitharaman said that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) had a lot of “catching up” to do in terms of setting up technical regulations (or mandatory standards) to ensure that Indian consumers get good quality products.
  • The minister’s observation assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of allegations of a surge in imports of sub-standard goods from countries like China.
  • She said BIS needed to speed up its work with the ministries concernedto ensure matching high standards for locally-made and imported items.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2016 10:46