Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 30 - JUNE - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 30 - JUNE - 2016
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Thursday, 30 June 2016 03:54

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

30- JUNE - 2016

 

UNCTAD RELEASED WORLD INVESTMENT REPORT 2016

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a report entitled World Investment Report 2016 – Investor Nationality: Policy Challenges.

The report examines international production by multinational enterprises (including sales, exports, employment and value added), as well as their ownership structures and control of affiliates.

In a novel analysis, the report focuses on how policymakers can distinguish between "domestic" and "foreign" companies in a globalized economy and provides with a new framework for handling ownership issues in 21st century investment policymaking.

While the USA surpassed Hong Kong and China in terms of FDI inflows in 2015 with 380 billion US dollars, India continues to be at the 10th position with 44 billion US dollars.

Highlights of World Investment Report 2016

• FDI inflows: Top 10 countries in terms of FDI inflows in decreasing order - The USA, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Singapore, Brazil, Canada and India.

• Ireland and Switzerland registered considerable progress in 2015. While Ireland attracted additional 71 billion US dollars in 2015 compared to 2014, in the case of Switzerland it was 62 billion US dollars

• Global investment trends: The flows jumped by 38 per cent to 1.76 trillion US dollars, their highest level since the global economic and financial crisis of 2008–2009.

• Inward FDI flows to developed economies almost doubled to 962 billion US dollars. As a result, developed economies tipped the balance back in their favour with 55 per cent of global FDI, up from 41 per cent in 2014.

• FDI flows are expected to decline by 10-15 per cent in 2016, reflecting the fragility of the global economy and persistent weakness of aggregate demand, sluggish growth in some commodity exporting countries.

• Regional investment trends: Developing Asia saw FDI inflows increase by 16 per cent to 541 billion US dollars – a new record. The significant growth was driven by the strong performance of East and South Asian economies.

Investor Nationality-Policy Challenges

• More than 40 per cent of foreign affiliates worldwide have multiple “passports”. These affiliates are part of complex ownership chains with multiple cross-border links involving on average three jurisdictions.

• “Multiple passport affiliates” are the result of indirect foreign ownership, transit investment through third countries, and round-tripping.

• These types of affiliates are much more common in the largest Multi National Enterprises (MNEs). 60 per cent of their foreign affiliates have multiple cross-border ownership links to the parent company.

• The larger the MNEs, the greater is the complexity of their internal ownership structures. The top 100 MNEs in UNCTAD’s Transnationality Index have on average more than 500 affiliates each, across more than 50 countries.

• The blurring of investor nationality has made the application of rules and regulations on foreign ownership more challenging.

• Policymakers in some countries have developed a range of mechanisms to safeguard the effectiveness of foreign ownership rules, including anti-dummy laws, general anti-abuse rules to prevent foreign control, and disclosure requirements.

• The report advised the policy makers to find a balance between liberalization and regulation in pursuing the ultimate objective of promoting investment for sustainable development.

Report with respect to India

• Globally, India was at the top tenth position in terms of FDI inflows in 2015. Compared to 35 billion US dollars in 2014, it received 44 billion US dollars of investments in 2015.

• India’s and Bangladesh’s FDI performance pushed inflows to South Asia to 50 billion US dollars, an increase of 22 per cent from 2014.

• India became the fourth largest recipient of investment in developing Asia.

• Outward FDI from India, South Asia’s dominant investor, dropped by more than one third which resulted in an overall 36 per cent decline of outflows from the region to 8 billion US dollars in 2015.

SIX INDIAN WW1 WARRIORS GETS PLACE IN DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF UNITED KINGDOM

Six Indian World War I (WW-I) heroes became part of Britain’s new digital archive. The archive was launched as part of UK government’s centenary celebrations of WW-I and aims to tell the inspiring stories of war heroes.

The new Digital Archive was launched by Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to chronicle individual biographies of the war heroes. The new digital archive can be accessed through the UK government’s official gov.uk portal.

The Indians to be archived digitally for their important role during the War are:

• Risaldar Badlu Singh from Punjab

• Sepoy Chatta Singh from Uttar Pradesh

• Naik Darwan Singh Negi from Uttar Pradesh (modern day Uttarakhand)

• Lance Naik Lala from Himachal Pradesh

• Rifleman Gabar Sing Negi from modern day Uttarakhand

• Lance-Daffadar Gobind Singh from Rajasthan

These six Indian soldiers were part of some 175 men from 11 overseas countries who were awarded Britain’s award for valour, the Victoria Cross (VC), during the war. They were all awarded for their prominent bravery on the battlefield.

Earlier in 2014, these six soldiers were honoured in a commemorative plaque which was presented to India.

Besides India, the other 10 countries covered in the archive include Canada (70),  Australia – (66), New Zealand (16), South Africa (14), the US (5), Pakistan (3), Nepal (2), Denmark (2), Belgium (1) and Ukraine (1).

Background

August 2014 marked 100 years of First World War, the time when Britain entered into the war. The ongoing commemoration programme was announced in October 2012 by Prime Minister David Cameron.

ISRO LAUNCHES RECORD 20 SATELLITES FROM SRIHARIKOTA

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a record 20 satellites in a single mission from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

With this launch of 20 satellites, ISRO also managed to break its previous record of placing 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission in 2008.

The 20 satellites including India’s latest earth observation satellite Cartosat-2 was launched on-board Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV C-34. The other 19 satellites were from the US, Germany, Canada and Indonesia as well as two satellites from Sathyabama University, Chennai, and the College of Engineering, Pune.

Cartosat-2 Series Satellite

The Cartosat-2 series satellite is the primary satellite carried by PSLV-C34. This satellite is similar to the earlier Cartosat-2, 2A and 2B. After its injection into a 505 km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit by PSLV-C34, the satellite will be brought to operational configuration following which it will begin providing regular remote sensing services using Panchromatic and Multispectral cameras.

The imagery sent by the satellite will be useful cartographic applications, urban and rural applications, coastal land use and regulation, utility management like road network monitoring, water distribution, creation of land use maps, precision study, change detection to bring out geographical and manmade features and various other Land Information System (LIS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications.

Other satellites included

• LAPAN A3 of Indonesia: The micro-satellite will be used for earth surveillance and magnetic field monitoring.

• BIROS from Germany: This is meant for remote sensing of high temperature events.

• SKYSAT GEN 2-1 from US: It will be used for earth imaging. The micro-satellite was developed by Google Company Terra Bella's SkySat Gen2-1.

• Dove Satellites from US: it comprises of a total of 12 Flock-2P Earth imaging satellites.

• Maritime Monitoring and Messaging Microsatellite (M3MSAT) from Canada: This micro-satellite of Canada will be used for collection and study of automatic identification system signals from low earth orbit.

• GHGSat-D from Canada: It is an Earth observation satellite and is meant for measuring the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases (Carbon Dioxide and Methane).

• Sathyabamasat (Sathyabama University, Chennai): The satellite aims to collect data on green house gases.

• Swayam (College of Engineering, Pune): The satellite aims to provide point to point messaging services to the HAM (amateur radio) community.

Cartosat-2 along with its 19 co-passenger satellites together weighing about 560 kg at lift-off was injected into a 505-km polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.

According to ISRO, the total weight of all the 20 satellites was about 1288 kg.

SATELLITES AND MISSIONS LAUNCHED BY ISRO IN 2015-16

As usual the year 2015-16 had been a very busy year for Indian space organisation ISRO. But as said "hard work is always paid", the same goes for ISRO and its scientists working day and night to make India a self-reliant country in space science.

ISRO on 22 June 2016 launched a record 20 satellites in a single mission. With this launch of 20 satellites, ISRO managed to break its previous record of placing 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission in 2008.

ISRO's continuing success in launching satellites, both domestic and foreign, in past one year propelled us to provide a list of satellites/missions launched by ISRO in past one year.

List of Satellites/Mission launched by ISRO

Satellites/Mission Launched

Key Features

Reusable space shuttle RLV-TD (launched on 23 May 2016)

  • Mission also known as Hypersonic Flight Experiment
  • First step towards realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle
  • It is 6.5 meter long and weighs about 1.75 tons
  • Cost of the project is 95 crore rupees

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)

  • It comprises of seven satellites that were launched aboard seven PSLVs from 2013 to 2016
  • IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G were launched by PSLV-C22, PSLV-C24, PSLV-C26, PSLV-C27, PSLV-C31, PSLV-C32 and PSLV-C33 in July 2013, April 2014, October 2014, March 2015, January 2016, March 2016 and April 2016 respectively.
  • The other select countries in the league includes Global Positioning System (GPS) of US, GLONASS of Russia, BeiDou of China, GALILEO of Europe and Quasi-Zenith Satellite System of Japan

GIRI Radar System (established on 21 March 2016)

  • GIRI stands for Gadanki Ionospheric Radar Interferometer near Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
  • It was set up at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL)
  • It is a 30 MHz radar system that will be engaged in meteor and space weather research
  • It consists of a rectangular antenna array of 160 two-element Yagi-antenna among others

High-thrust Cryogenic Engine CE-20 (Successfully tested on 19 February 2016)

  • Tested at Propulsion Research Centre in Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu
  • The successful hotbed test lasted 640 seconds
  • Paved the way for the first developmental flight of the GSLV Mark 3 in December 2016
  • It uses Hydrogen as fuel, stored at minus 253 degrees Celsius and liquid oxygen as oxidizer at minus 193 degrees Celsius

6 Singapore satellites (launched on 16 December 2015)

  • The satellites were launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C29
  • For the PSLV, it was the 32nd flight overall, and 31st consecutive successful launch
  • With this, ISRO has put into orbits 57 foreign satellites belonging to 20 countries successfully

GSAT-15 communication satellite (launched on 11 November 2015)

  • Launched aboard the European Ariane 5 VA-227 from Kourou in French Guyana
  • The 3164 kilogram GSAT-15 carried communication transponders in Ku-band
  • It also carried GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload operating in L1 and L5 bands
  • GSAT-15 is the 10th communication satellite and has an estimated lifespan of 12 years

ASTROSAT (launched on 28 September 2015)

  • It is India’s first dedicated satellite for astronomy research
  • Launched aboard Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C30), which is the tenth flight of PSLV in its 'XL' Configuration
  • The satellite is of about 1513 kg and was placed in a 650 km orbit
  • It carries four X-ray payloads, one UV telescope and a charge particle monitor

NISAR Mission

  • It stands for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar mission
  • It is optimized for studying hazards and global environmental change
  • As part of it NISAR satellite, is expected to be launched during the year 2021
  • NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequency

GSAT-6 communication satellite (launched on 27 August 2015)

  • Launched aboard GSLV-D6 from Sriharikota
  • This was GSLV’s ninth flight and fifth developmental flight
  • GSAT-6 weighing 2117 kg is intended to provide S-band communication services

GAGAN System (launched on 13 July 2015)

  • GAGAN stands for GPS AIDED GEO AUGMENTED NAVIGATION
  • With this, India has become the fourth nation after the US, Europe and Japan to have inter-operable Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS)
  • GAGAN is the first SBAS system in the world to serve the equatorial region

Five British satellites (launched on 10 July 2015)

  • These satellites are three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites and two auxiliary satellites, viz., CBNT-1 and De-OrbitSail
  • These all satellites are built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited
  • Launched aboard PSLV-C28, which was the 13th flight of PSLV

HAL UNVEILS INDIGENOUS BASIC TRAINER AIRCRAFT HTT-40

Public sector aerospace Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) unveiled indigenous Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) HTT-40 in Bengaluru.

The aircraft made its maiden flight at HAL Airport in Bengaluru and was flown by Group Captain C Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Highlights of HTT-40

• Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) is two-seater aircraft designed and developed indigenously by the HAL.

• The aircraft weighs about 2800 kg and has Turbo Prop engine of 950 shp class.

• Almost 50 percent of the components on HTT-40 are manufactured by private players of the Indian aerospace manufacturers.

• The indigenous content on HTT-40 is close to 80 percent.

• HTT-40 will be used for the first-stage training for all flying cadets of the three services. The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018.

• Moreover, it will be used to meet the current requirement of the Indian Air Force with the provision for role expansion to attach weapons to the trainer aircraft.

CHINA’S SUNWAY TAIHULIGHT DECLARED WORLD’S FASTEST SUPERCOMPUTER

Chinese supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight with 93 petaflop/second speed was declared as the world’s fastest supercomputer. It was revealed in the TOP500 list of supercomputers released at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt, Germany.

The list further revealed that the USA is not home to the largest number of systems. With a surge in industrial and research installations registered over the last few years, China leads with 167 systems and the USA is second with 165.

Asian share of 218 systems, up from 173 in November 2015, includes 8 supercomputers owned by Indian-based organizations.

Features of Sunway TaihuLight

• This supercomputer can perform 93 petaflop operations per second.

• It was developed by the National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC) and installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi.

• It displaced the Tianhe-2, an Intel-based Chinese supercomputer that has claimed the top spot on the previous six TOP500 lists.

• With 10649600 computing cores comprising 40960 nodes, is twice as fast and three times as efficient as Tianhe-2.

• Sunway TaihuLight demonstrates the significant progress that China has made in the domain of designing and manufacturing large-scale computation systems as it is completely based on homegrown processors.

List of TOP5 Supercomputers

Rank

System

Country

Speed (PFLOP/S)

1

Sunway TaihuLight

China

93

2

Tianhe-2

China

34

3

Titan

The USA

17

4

Sequoia

The USA

17

5

K

Japan

10

Supercomputers in India

Rank

System

Organisation

Speed (PFLOP/S)

109

SERC

IISc, Bangalore

0.90

185

TIFR-Cray XC30

ILGTI-TIFR

0.55

217

HP Apollo 6000

IIT-Delhi

0.52

337

PARAM Yuva-II

C-DAC

0.38

396

Cluster Platform

IIT-Kanpur

0.34

413

Cluster Platform

CSIR-4PI

0.33

434

Cluster Platform

NCMRWF, Noida

0.31

438

Cluster Platform

IT Service provider

0.31

K2-33B, A NEWBORN EXOPLANET AROUND A YOUNG STAR, DISCOVERED BY NASA

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope and its extended K2 mission allowed astronomers to discover the youngest fully formed exoplanet, K2-33b. The WM Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii also helped in discovery of this new found planet. Exoplanets are planets that orbit stars beyond our sun.

The finding was published online in journal Nature.

Characteristic features of K2-33b

• The planet K2-33b is nearly 10 times closer to its star than Mercury is to our sun, making it hot.

• K2-33b is a bit larger than Neptune and whips tightly around its star every five days.

• It is only 5 to 10 million years old, making it one of a very few newborn planets found to date.

Two theories surrounding the discovery of K2-33b

The discovery of exoplanet K2-33b so close to its star has given the theorists new data point to ponder. They argue that the closeness of K2-33b could be explained either through the ‘theory of disk migration or the ‘theory of in-situ formation’.

As per the former theory, the exoplanet might have migrated so close in a process called disk migration that takes hundreds of thousands of years. On the other hand, later theory puts that planet might have formed in-situ – right where it is.

How it was found?

• The first signals of the planet's existence were measured by K2.

• The telescope's camera detected a periodic dimming of the light emitted by the planet's host star, a sign that an orbiting planet could be regularly passing in front of the star and blocking the light.

• Data from the Keck Observatory validated that the dimming was indeed caused by a planet, and also helped confirm its youthful age.

• Infrared measurements from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope showed that the system's star is surrounded by a thin disk of planetary debris, indicating that its planet-formation phase is wrapping up.

Astronomers have discovered and confirmed roughly 3000 exoplanets since the discovery of first massive exoplant 20 years ago. However, nearly all of them are hosted by middle-aged stars, with ages of a billion years or more.

INDIA HOPES OF NSG ENTRY THROUGH SPECIAL PLENARY

  • Sounding hopeful of its inclusion in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), India on Sunday acknowledged that the Seoul plenary of the elite club did not yield the “expected results”.
  • Confirming the report, an official source told the media that a “special plenary session of the NSG may be called at the year-end”.
  • However, the Ministry focussed on the reason for the failure in Seoul, saying India’s entry was scuttled by opposition from “one country”, meaning China.
  • It was the second time that India referred to opposition from one country which prevented it from becoming member of the NSG at the Seoul plenary.
  • MEA said India had the right credentials for becoming a NSG member as it had met the conditions of the non-proliferation treaty.
  • To the extent that the goalpost remains the implementation of the NPT, we believe we have met the criteria and have all credentials to be a NSG member.
  • Our non-proliferation credentials are very well known, our record speaks for itself.
  • As a step towards joining various technology regimes, India would join the Missile Technology Control Regime on Monday, he said.

80 PER CENT OF COMPANIES HAD BEEN VICTIMS OF FRAUD IN 2015-16

  • An overwhelming 80 per cent of companies polled in India said they had been victims of fraud in 2015-16, up from 69 per cent in 2013-14, according to a survey report.
  • The Global Fraud Report 2015-16 by risk mitigation consultancy Kroll found that the perceived prevalence of fraud in India is the third-highest among all countries and regions surveyed across six continents.
  • Only Colombia (83 per cent) and Sub-Saharan Africa (84 per cent) surpass India.
  • The report's authors observed that while the incidence of fraud was on the rise globally, a combination of a lack of preventive measures at Indian companies and a poor legal system had resulted in 92 per cent of the respondents saying they had witnessed an increase in exposure to fraud.
  • The India-centric data in the report shows that the highest incidence of fraud as reported by Indian companies is due to what the report terms ‘corruption and bribery’.

MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT HAS INSTITUTED THE NATIONAL CHILD AWARD

  • The government of India has sought nominations from all States for national awards for children with exceptional abilities in academics and other fields.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development has instituted the National Child Award to give due recognition to children with exceptional abilities.
  • Also recognise who have achieved outstanding status in various fields including academics, arts, culture, design and sports etc.

PM INDICATES OF CRACKDOWN ON TAX EVASION

  • Signalling a crackdown on tax evasion, PM, in Mann ki Baat, said a tax amnesty scheme for disclosure of undisclosed income and property would be the last chance for people to join a “transparent system”.
  • Mr. Modi also spoke of the declaration of Emergency, 41 years ago this June, and how things had changed, with an open assessment of the government, and “open mocking” of even his radio address, a sign of democracy.
  • “I have promised that there will be no inquiry into the source of the undisclosed income and assets if the declaration is made voluntarily. That is why I am saying it is a good chance for becoming a part of the transparent system." he said.
  • “My plea is that by running away from rules, we lose our peace. Any small person can harass us. Why should we let it happen?
  • Why not ourselves give correct information to the government about our income, about our wealth? For once, dispose of the baggage of the past. I appeal to my countrymen to get free from this,” the Prime Minister said.
  • At the same meeting, the Prime Minister said he was informed that only 1.5 lakh people had taxable income of over Rs. 50 lakh.
  • “This cannot be digested by anybody. One can see lakhs of people with taxable income of over Rs. 50 lakh in big cities. Before taking any tough step, the government wants to give the people a chance.
  • Therefore, my brothers and sisters, there is a golden chance to declare your undisclosed income.
  • Referring to the Emergency, and comparing the freedom enjoyed by the people now, he said, the government can be openly criticised and even mocked.
  • Recalling the imposition of the Emergency, Mr. Modi said: “All rights of the citizens were taken away. Along with Jayaprakash Narayan, lakhs of people and thousands of politicians were sent to jail.”

EUROPEAN LAWMAKERS URGED BRITAIN TO BEGIN EUROPEAN UNION (EU) EXIT PROCEEDINGS

  • European lawmakers urged Britain to begin European Union (EU) exit proceedings at a summit on 28th, as Germany suggested the country should be given time to “reconsider” the impact of its vote.
  • Amid confusion and dissent over the timetable for any Brexit, Martin Schulz told that a period of limbo would “lead to even more insecurity and thus endanger jobs”.
  • However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff insisted there was no rush to show Britain the door.
  • Echoing Mr. Schulz, the four biggest groups in the European Parliament have drawn up a draft resolution calling for Mr. Cameron to set the Brexit ball rolling.
  • Mr. Cameron said in the wake of the shock referendum outcome that he would resign his office by October and leave the Brexit negotiations to his successor.
  • To begin the withdrawal process, Britain must invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon treaty, which sets the clock ticking on two years of negotiations. \
  • However Ms. Merkel, who looked likely to take the lead in future talks, was more cautious, saying it was up to Britain to decide when to begin withdrawal proceedings, although they should not “drag on forever”.

POPE SPREAD MESSAGE OF PEACE FOR TURKEY-ARMENIA

  • Pope Francis on Sunday released peace doves on the Armenia-Turkey border in a gesture of reconciliation as Ankara slammed the pontiff for denouncing the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces as “genocide”.
  • Standing on a terrace of the Khor Virap monastery, Pope Francis and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church Kareki- II released the two white birds in the direction of Mount Ararat.
  • The long-planned gesture at the end of a three-day visit to Armenia came in the face of fresh Turkish ire after Pope Francis used the word “genocide” to refer to the century-old slaughter that Ankara furiously rejects.
  • Turkish Deputy Prime Minister labelled the Pope’s declaration “very unfortunate” and said it bore traces of “the mentality of the Crusades”. “It is not an objective statement that conforms with reality,” he said.
  • The Vatican rejected the allegations and said the Pope was trying to build “bridges not walls” and had nothing against Turkey.

JAPANESE MESSAGING APP COMPANY LINE CORP. IPO

  • In delaying its IPO by two years, Japanese messaging app company Line Corp. bought time to correct weak financial reporting controls, work on its business plan, bolster staffing.
  • Line's initial public offering in the next three weeks is set to raise about $1 billion, which given a global drought of such deals could make it the biggest tech listing this year.
  • The bulk of Line's revenue comes from games and sales of emojis and electronic stickers, including Brown the bear and Cony, his flatulent rabbit girlfriend.

 

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 04:44
 

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