Sunday, 03 July 2016 04:54



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02- JULY - 2016



IIT-Kanpur professor Sanjay Mittal bagged the prestigious G D Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2015.

Mittal was instrumental in establishing the High Performance Computing (HPC) facility at IIT Kanpur and heads the National Wind Tunnel Facility.

Who is Sanjay Mittal?

Sanjay Mittal is a Professor of computational fluid dynamics in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at IIT-Kanpur.

He completed his BTech from IIT Kanpur in 1988.

Thereafter, he got enrolled at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for MS programme.

He received his PhD and worked as a Research Associate under Professor Tayfun E. Tezduyar.

Then, he worked at Army High Performance Computing Center for 2 years.

He returned to India and joined IIT Kanpur in 1994 as an Assistant Professor.

He is also a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology.

His most significant contribution has been in the area of Bluff Body Flows (flows past blunt bodies associated with large unsteady separation and leading to large fluid forces).

About G D Birla Award for Scientific Research

G D Birla Award for Scientific Research was instituted in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation.

It was instituted in honour of the Indian philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla.

The award is given to an outstanding scientific research, mostly during the past 5 years, undertaken by an Indian scientist, who is below the age of 50, living and working in India.

The award is given every year and is available for all branches of science including medical science, basic and applied.

G D Birla Award for Scientific Research for 2014 was given to Sanjeev Galande.


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved 500 million US dollars loan to build a road bridge across the river Ganga near Patna in Bihar.

Once completed, the 9.8 kilometer long bridge will be India’s longest river bridge.

Features of the bridge project

• It will provide vital transport links between the northern and southern parts of Bihar and with neighboring Nepal.

• Along with the bridge structure itself, the project will also build viaducts, embankments, and toll and service facilities, and will link to national highway networks.

• A key feature will be a year-round embankment access road for the 250000 inhabitants of the Raghopur Diara river island, ending their reliance on boats and a seasonal pontoon bridge as their only links to Patna.

• The bridge, using state-of-the-art engineering techniques, will be the first of its kind in India. In all, the bridge is expected to benefit over nine million people.

• The height and length have been designed to minimize impacts on the river itself and to ensure the bridge will be able to withstand climate-related stresses such as a rise in the water level.

• In addition to the 500 million US dollars loan, the ADB will provide 900000 US dollars in technical assistance to improve bridge operation and management.

• The Bihar Government will provide support equivalent to 215 million US dollars.

• The project will run for about 4 years with an expected completion date of the end of December 2020.

Significance of the bridge to Bihar

• Bihar, the third most populous state in India with over 100 million inhabitants, has poverty levels above the national average. Out of the state’s 10 poorest districts, 7 are located in the north.

• Traffic volumes are rising but there are only four operational bridges along the 200 km stretch of the Ganges River that pass through the State.

• The capacity of existing bridges is already stretched, undermining connectivity and access to opportunities for northern communities.

• The new bridge, which will be located near Patna, will span both channels of the Ganges River and serve as an alternate route to the existing Ganga Bridge, which has begun to deteriorate.

• It will make it easier for people to move between jobs and markets, particularly for poorer communities in the north wishing to travel to the state capital, Patna, just south of the river.


The 17th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2016 were presented in Madrid, Spain.

The awards were presented by the International Indian Film Academy honouring the best Hindi films of 2015.

List of 2016 IIFA Awards



Best Film

Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Best Director

Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Bajirao Mastani

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Deepika Padukone for Piku

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Anil Kapoor for Dil Dhadakne Do

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Priyanka Chopra for Bajirao Mastani

Best Male Debut

Vicky Kaushal for Masaan

Best Female Debut

Bhumi Pednekar for Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Best Performance in a Comic Role

Deepak Dobriyal for Tanu Weds Manu Returns

Best Performance in a Negative Role

Darshan Kumar for NH10

Best Story

Juhi Chaturvedi for Piku

Best Debut Couple

Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty for Hero

IIFA Award for Woman of the Year

Priyanka Chopra

Best Music Direction

Amaal Mallik, Meet Bros Anjjan, Ankit Tiwari for Roy

Best Lyrics

Varun Grover for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage from Dum Laga Ke Haisha

Best Male Playback Singer

Papon for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage

Best Female Playback Singer

Monali Thakur for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage

Best Sound Design

Bishwadeep Chaterjee and Nihar Ranjal Samal for Bajirao Mastani

Best Background Score

Sanchit Balhara for Bajirao Mastani

Best Cinematography

Sudeep Chatterjee for Bajirao Mastani

Best Dialogue

Juhi Chaturvedi for Piku

About IIFA Awards

The awards are presented by the International Indian Film Academy every year.

These are presented to both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood.

The awards have categories like popular awards, technical awards and special awards.


Chile won the Copa America football tournament. In the final clash played at MetLife Stadium, Chile defeated Argentina 4-2 through penalties shootout.

This was second America title for Chile, it won the first title in 2015 after defeating Argentina 4-1 in a penalty shootout following a 0-0 scoreless draw at the end of regulation.

With this, Chile also became the first team to win the Copa America in back to back years since Argentina in 1946 and 1947.


Being deadlocked 0-0 after 90 minutes and another half an hour extra time in the match, the two teams were supposed to opt for penalty shootout.

Besides the Copa trophy, there were other awards to recognise both individuals and teams, and the winners in different categories are

• Golden Ball: Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

• Golden Boot: Eduardo Vargas (Chile)

• Golden Glove award: Claudio Bravo (Chile)

Fair Play Award: Argentina

The Technical Study Group also named the Tournament’s Best XI as follows:

• Goalkeeper: Claudio Bravo (Chile)

• Defenders: Mauricio Isla (Chile), Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina), Gary Medel (Chile), Jean Beausejour (Chile)

• Midfielders: Javier Mascherano (Argentina), Arturo Vidal (Chile), Charles Aranguiz (Chile)

• Forwards: Lionel Messi (Argentina), Eduardo Vargas (Chile), Alexis Sanchez (Chile)

Copa America Football tournament

Copa America, formerly known as the South American Football Championship is an international men's football tournament contested between national teams from CONMEBOL and CONCACAF. It is the oldest international continental football competition.

The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also participated.


Anju Bobby George and Pullela Gopichand were named as the members of Khelo India. Khelo India is a national programme launched by the Union Government for the development of sports in the country.

George, India's lone athletics World Championship medal winner and Gopichand, the chief national badminton coach are the two sportsperson who were included in the seven-member committee of Khelo India.

The committee will be headed by Sports Secretary Rajiv Yadav.

Pullela Gopichand

• Born 16 November 1973, Gopichand is a former Indian badminton player.

• In 2001, he became the second Indian to win the all-England badminton champion. The first one was Prakash Padukone.

• He has been the coach of the Indian national badminton team since 2006.

• He runs the Gopichand Badminton Academy.

• Awards felicitated on him include

a) He received the Arjuna Award in 1999

b) He received the Dronacharya Award in 2009

c) In 2014, he was conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award

Anju Bobby George

• Born on 19 April 1977, George is an Indian athlete.

• On 22 June 2016, George resigned as the president of the Kerala Sports Council along with 13 other members.

• She won the Gold medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2005.

• In 2005 World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, she was upgraded to gold status from silver following the disqualification of Tatyana Kotova of Russia by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

• She was awarded Arjuna Award in 2002.

• She won the bronze medal clearing 6.49 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games at Manchester.

• She also won the gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan. In 2001, she also won gold for triple jump and long jump in the Ludhiana National games.

• In 1999 she set the national record for triple jump in the Bangalore Federation Cup and Silver medal at the South Asian Federation Games in Nepal.


  • After facing a massive budget cut last year, the future of the Panchayati Raj Ministry continues to look bleak.
  • After the BJP government shuttered two of its key programmes — BRGF and the RGPSA it would soon be closed down and turned into a department under the Ministry of Rural Development.
  • Last year’s budget cut, from Rs. 7,000 crores to Rs. 96 crores, left such an impact on the Ministry that it lost confidence in empowering panchayats nationwide.
  • Some elements of RGPSA were retained and renamed as Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA). This year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley allotted Rs. 655 crores to RGSA.


  • Maharashtra has taken the first steps towards creating its version of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to ward off external cyber threats.
  • Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, heading a high-power committee on cyber security, appointed a consortium of M/s C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and Railtel Corporation of India to set up a CERT.
  • The consultancy report for the Rs. 838-crore project, for which the government has already released half the funds, will be submitted in eight days. The consultancy will cost around Rs 2 crore.
  • Railtel meanwhile, has expertise in working out a complex multimedia network based on broadband.
  • It has already put in place a network using modern transmission systems and high-end routers created for the Railways’s seamless right-of-way along 63,000 km tracks across 7,000 stations.
  • The state CERT will also work in coordination with the RBI to counter phishing websites. While banks will have authentication mechanisms in place, the CERT will work to mitigate further risks.


  • The Finance Ministry is set to propose on Wednesday a 23.55 per cent overall increase in salaries and pensions for more than 1 crore government employees and pensioners, in line with the 7th Pay Commission’s recommendations.
  • The cost to the exchequer on this account is estimated at Rs.1.02 lakh crore.
  • In November 2015, the pay panel had recommended increases of 16 per cent in pay and 24 per cent in pensions within the overall 23.55 per cent.
  • Its estimate was that these recommendations could result in an additional outgo of almost 0.65 per cent of the GDP.
  • The 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent increase, which the UPA government doubled while implementing it in 2008.
  • On the contentious issue of non-functional upgrade, on which the 7th Pay Commission had failed to reach consensus, the Ministry’s note for the Cabinet’s consideration recommends maintaining status quo, the source said.
  • Of the total financial impact of Rs.1.02 lakh crore, the panel proposed that Rs.73,650 crore be borne by the General Budget and the remaining Rs.24,450 crore by the Railway Budget.
  • It suggested raising entry level pay to Rs.18,000 per month from the current Rs.7,000. The recommended maximum pay for the Cabinet Secretary is Rs.2.5 lakh per month against the current Rs.90,000.
  • Earlier, a panel headed Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, vetted the pay panel’s recommendations that will impact remunerations of almost 50 lakh Central Government employees and 58 lakh pensioners.


  • An editorial in China’s state-run Global Times asserted that at least 10 countries opposed India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG.
  • The daily stressed that lack of India’s membership to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — the cornerstone of NSG membership — was the chief obstacle in New Delhi’s path to become a member of the club.
  • The write-up attributed India’s sharp reaction to the rejection of application at Seoul to the sustained “adulation” of India by the Western powers.
  • “Recent years have seen the Western world giving too many thumbs up to India, but thumbs down to China. India is spoiled.
  • Although the South Asian country’s GDP accounts for only 20 per cent of that of China, it is still a golden boy in the eyes of the West.”
  • The editorial made two additional points. First it stressed that “nationalists” in India are yet to develop a mindset befitting the citizenry of a “major power”.
  • It also contrasted the response by a section of people in India to the reaction in China to Beijing’s inability to become a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)
  • Meanwhile, Han Hua, the director of Arms Control and Disarmament at Peking University, pointed out that the strong structural linkage between NPT and the NSG is likely to undermine India’s efforts to become a member.


  • Prime Minister David Cameron said he wants the “closest possible” relations with the EU, adding the split should be “as constructive as possible”.
  • As he arrived at a Brussels summit, Mr. Cameron, who is to step down within weeks, told reporters that while Britain was leaving the EU, “we mustn’t be turning our backs on Europe”.
  • Mr. Cameron, who led the campaign for Britain to stay in the bloc, is under pressure from other European leaders to hurry up and file divorce proceedings by triggering the so-called Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
  • However, he said he will not take this step, which would start a two-year countdown until Britain’s departure. He said this was up to his successor, who is expected to take office in September.
  • ‘Leave’ campaigners in Britain have suggested Britain can retain access to the European single market and curb immigration — goals which are mutually incompatible under EU rules.


  • NASA performed its second and last test-fire of a rocket booster for the Space Launch System (SLS), a powerful engine that may one day launch astronauts to Mars.
  • NASA has described the SLS as the “world’s most powerful rocket,” and said the test aims to see how the propellant performs at the colder end of its temperature range.
  • The first full-scale booster test in March 2015 showed the booster performed adequately at 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 C) — the highest end of the booster’s accepted propellant temperature range.
  • The SLS will also carry 13 tiny satellites to test innovative ideas. These small satellite secondary payloads or ‘CubeSats’ will carry science and technology investigations to help pave the way for future human exploration in deep space.
  • SLS’ first flight, referred to as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), provides the rare opportunity for these small experiments to reach deep space destinations, as most launch opportunities for CubeSats are limited to low-Earth orbit.
  • The CubeSats will be deployed following Orion separation from the upper stage and once Orion is a safe distance away.


  • Gross bad loans at commercial banks could increase to 8.5 per cent of total advances by March 2017, from 7.6 per cent in March 2016, according to RBI's Financial Stability Report.
  • The central bank has been pushing lenders to review the classification of loans given by them as part of an Asset Quality Review (AQR).
  • The resultant sharp surge in provisions for bad debts has eroded profitability, especially at state-owned banks, in recent quarters.
  • The gross bad loans of public sector banks increased to 9.6 per cent as of March 2016, from about 6 per cent a year earlier, RBI data showed.
  • There was an almost 80 per cent jump in gross bad loans in 2015-16, according to the report. Gross bad loans of Indian banks widened to 7.6 per cent from 5.1 per cent in September and from 4.6 per cent in March 2015.
  • In 2004, gross bad loans in the Indian banking sector touched 7.8 per cent, while the ratio was 11.1 per cent in 2002.
  • The rise in gross NPA is mainly because of the AQR, RBI said in the report. The AQR conducted by the banking regulator found several restructured advances, which were standard in the banks’ books,
  • The net NPA of the banks also increased sharply to 4.6 per cent in March 2016, from 2.8 per cent in September 2015. Public sector banks’ net NPA was 6.1 per cent, while the ratio for private sector banks was 4.6 per cent.
  • On the business side, the report noted that credit and deposit growth remained in single digits for the previous financial year. While credit growth was 8.8 per cent, deposit growth was 8.1 per cent.
  • There was a stark difference in the credit and deposit growth of public sector banks as compared with their private sector counterparts.
  • According to RBI data, for public sector banks, loans grew at 4 per cent while it was 24.6 per cent for private banks. Deposits of state-run banks grew by 5.2 per cent, while for private banks it was 17.3 per cent.
  • The only silver lining is the housing sector, according to the financial stability report, which said with gross NPAs of the retail housing segment at 1.3 per cent, it does not pose any significant systemic risks in the Indian context.


  • The Centre will discuss with state CM's strategy to shift from the five-year plan approach to a new system that would consist of an overarching 15-year vision document supplemented by a seven-year strategy and three-year action plans.
  • Besides the new planning process, the Council is also expected to discuss the model law on land leasing developed by the Aayog.
  • The target enunciated by the Centre to double agricultural incomes in five years is also likely to come up for discussion.
  • The Prime Minister had in February this year urged all state governments to give priority to boosting the agriculture sector with a target of doubling the income of farmers by 2022.
  • The Aayog’s vice chairman Arvind Panagariya is expected to table an appraisal of the XIIth Five Year Plan at the meeting and is also like to apprise the council of the activities under taken over the past year by the Aayog.
  • The practice of five-year plans, being followed for over six decades, will end after the ongoing XIIth Plan that concludes in 2016-17.
  • The 15-year vision document to be prepared by the Aayog will also cover internal security and defence that have traditionally not been part of the planning process.
  • The Council is also likely to review the action taken on the three reports submitted by groups of chief ministers – on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Skill Development and rationalization of centrally-sponsored schemes.


  • The government has sought to assure industry that it would not harass those who came forward with their undeclared income.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a meeting with industry leaders and chambers of commerce regarding the Income Declaration Scheme where he sought to assuage these concerns.
  • The compliance window is open for people with undisclosed income to legitimise it by paying 45 per cent tax between June 1 to September 30.
  • Any declaration made under this law (the Income Declaration Scheme 2016) is protected, (and) that information won’t be shared with any other authority.”
  • This comes a couple of days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke about the Income Declaration Scheme in his Mann Ki Baat radio address.
  • “I have also promised that for those who voluntarily declare to the government their assets and their undisclosed income, the government will not conduct any kind of enquiry,” the Prime Minister added.






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Last Updated on Sunday, 03 July 2016 05:06