Wednesday, 06 July 2016 03:24



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06- JULY - 2016



The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) announced the appointment of NS Vishwanathan as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Vishwanathan will succeed Harun R Khan who will retire on 3 July 2016.

Who is NS Vishwanathan?

Vishwanathan served as the Principal Chief General Manager in the Department of non-banking supervision at Reserve Bank of India.

He has been an Executive Director at Reserve Bank of India since April 2014.

From 6 September 2012 to 31 May 2013, he served as the Director of Punjab National Bank.

From 30 May 2011 to 6 September 2012, he worked as Nominee Director at Dena Bank Ltd.

He also worked as the Chief General Manager of Vigilance at IFCI Ltd.

Deputy Governors of RBI

The Banker’s Bank has provision for four Deputy Governors.

Two of the Deputy Governors are appointed from outside. They are S S Mundra (commercial banker) and Urjit Patel (monetary policy department). Patel was given a three-year extension in January 2016 after his first three-year term.

The other two Deputy Governors are traditionally appointed from those working within RBI. They are are NS Vishwanathan and R Gandhi.


The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved 201.50 million US dollars for Technical Education Quality Improvement Project III (TEQIP III) in India to improve the quality of engineering education in select Indian states.

The objective of the project is to enhance quality and equity in participating engineering education institutes and improve the efficiency of the engineering education system in focus states.

The maturity period for the project if 25 years with an additional 5 years grace period.

Two Components of the Projects

Improving quality and equity in engineering institutes in focus states

• It will focus on improving engineering education in all government and government-aided colleges including the ATUs in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, LIS, states in the North East of India and hill states.

• It has three sub-components:

(i) institutional development for participating institutes

(ii) widening impact through ATUs

(iii) twinning arrangements to build capacity and improve performance of participating institutes

System-level initiatives to strengthen sector governance and performance

• It will support the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and key apex bodies including the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

• It will strengthen sector governance, management, accountability mechanisms and performance in the overall system of engineering education.


The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) released the State of the World’s Children 2016 report.

The data in the report show that, unless the pace of progress to reach them is accelerated, the futures of millions of disadvantaged and vulnerable children will be jeopardized.

Key highlights of the State of the World's Children 2016 report

The report mentions that unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, by 2030:

Almost 70 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthdays.

Children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than children in high-income countries.

Nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa.

More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school.

Some 750 million women will have been married as children.

The report also indicates that significant progress has been made in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty.

Global under-five mortality rates have been more than halved since 1990.

Boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries.

The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was in the 1990s.

The number of children who do not attend school has increased since 2011. A significant proportion of those who do go to school are not learning.

About 124 million children today do not go to primary and lower-secondary school. Almost 2 in 5, who do finish primary school, have not learned how to read, write or do simple arithmetic.

The report also points that investing in the most vulnerable children can yield immediate and long-term benefits. For example, cash transfers have been shown to help children stay in school longer and advance to higher levels of education.

For each additional year of schooling completed, on average, by young adults in a country, country’s poverty rates fall by 9 per cent.

India in the report

The report states that five countries will account for more than half of the global burden of under-five deaths. These countries are India (17 per cent), Nigeria (15 per cent), Pakistan (8 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 per cent) and Angola (5 per cent).

The average annual rate of reduction in neonatal mortality required for India to reach the target is almost double the current level.

In India, being born into the poorest households carries a learning ‘penalty’ relative to children from the richest households. The penalty widens between ages 7 and 11, reaching a 19 per cent gap in students’ ability to subtract.

By age 11 in India, girls and boys who come from the richest homes and have educated parents enjoy a huge academic advantage over other children.


The Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan.

The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.

The draft MoU between UPSC and RCSC, Bhutan will be signed to develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals.

The MoU covers the areas of cooperation that include

• Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs

• Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc.

• Sharing of experience on the modalities adopted on audit of processes and procedures followed by various Government agencies in recruitment for posts under the delegated powers.

• Digitization of records, storage and display of historical records


The 2016 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit concluded in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The 2-day meeting was conducted under the presidency of Uzbekistan.

Key highlights of the summit

India and Pakistan signed the Memorandum of Obligations on 24 June 2016.

The signing of Memorandum of Obligations by India and Pakistan started the formal process of joining the SCO as a full member. They are expected to become full members by the next meeting at Astana in 2017.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation.

It was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

These countries, except for Uzbekistan had been members of the Shanghai Five, which was founded in 1996. After the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation as SCO.

The 2015 Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit was held in Ufa, Russia.


Suzuki Motor Corp announced the appointment of Toshihiro Suzuki as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The appointment came after Osamu Suzuki announced that he will decline the CEO position to take responsibility for the automaker's use of incorrect testing methods when calculating vehicle mileage.

Who is Toshihiro Suzuki?

Toshihiro Suzuki is the son of Suzuki Motor Chairman Osamu Suzuki.

Toshihiro served as a Senior Managing Executive Officer and Senior Managing Director of Suzuki Motor Corp.

He joined Suzuki Motor Corp. in January 1994.

He is a graduate from Tokyo University of Science, Japan.

About Suzuki Motor Corporation

Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation.

It specializes in manufacturing automobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, outboard marine engines, among others.

It is headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan.

The company was founded as Suzuki Loom Works by Michio Suzuki in 1909.

In 1937, Suzuki began a project to diversify into manufacturing small cars.

In 1954, the company name was changed to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd.


Indigenously developed heavyweight torpedo Varunastra was inducted in the Indian Navy. It was handed to the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

With this India joined a select group of eight countries having the capability to design and develop heavyweight torpedoes.

Key features

• The torpedo was designed and developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of the DRDO for the Indian Navy. It carries 95 percent of indigenous content.

• It weighs around 1.25 tonnes and is capable of carrying about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.

• Varunastra, a versatile naval weapon can be fired from the Rajput class destroyers, Delhi class and all future Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) ships capable of firing heavy weight torpedoes.

• It is capable of targeting quiet and stealthy submarines both in deep and littoral waters even in intense countermeasure atmosphere.


• Torpedo is a self-propelled weapon with an explosive warhead.

• It can be launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater towards a target.

• It is designed to detonate either on contact with its target or in proximity to it.

• The term torpedo was originally employed for a variety of devices, most of which would today be called mines.

• From about 1900, torpedo has been used strictly to designate an underwater self-propelled weapon.

• The original torpedo is a kind of fish: an electric ray.

Earlier, Torpedo Varunastra was showcased for the first time on the 2016 Republic Day Parade at Rajpath.


China launched its second Shijian-16 series satellite. The satellite was carried by a Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

The Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements, radiation and its effect as well as technology testing.

The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013.

This launch was the 231st flight by a Long March rocket.

Long March-4B rocket

• It is used for the launch of sun-synchronous orbit meteorological satellites.

• It was first introduced in May 1999 and was developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology (SAST), based on the Chang Zheng-4.

• It is capable to launch a 2800 kg satellite into low Earth orbit, developing 2971 kN at launch.

• The 248470 kg rocket is 45.58 meters long and has a diameter of 3.35 meters.


  • An inter-ministerial meeting of secretaries will shortlist loss-making and sick government companies to be considered for closure and strategic disinvestment from a list the NITI Aayog submitted to PMO.
  • The meeting will recommend strategic disinvestment only in non-contentious government companies.
  • Air-India, which is now reporting operating profits, and BSNL, among the top three loss-making public sector units, will not be considered.
  • The plan is to start with the low-hanging fruit, where least resistance is expected from the Opposition and the employees, and gradually build momentum.
  • Candidates are likely to be picked from among the state-owned companies in the cement, salt, textiles, paper and antibiotics sectors, since there was no reason for government presence in these businesses.


  • India has revived its two decade old proposal for the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN General Assembly, given the recent spate of terror attacks across the globe.
  • India has been trying to build convergence around the CCIT, pending since 1996, so that we can plug an important legal lacuna in the fight against terror.
  • India has been able to complete a draft which effectively counters the opposition from the three main blocs that have raised objections: the U.S., the Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Latin American countries.
  • The original draft that was tabled in 1996 and discussed until April 2013 includes amongst key objectives: to have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UNGA will adopt into their own criminal law, to ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps regardless of their stated objectives, to prosecute all terrorists under special laws, and to make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.
  • The most powerful objector, the U.S. has been worried about the application of the CCIT to its own military forces especially with regard to interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Significantly, despite the current impasse over the NSG, China, that recently blocked India’s moves for a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, is not expected to pose hurdles for the CCIT.
  • Officials however, warned that Pakistan and a few other countries would most probably oppose India’s move to the hilt.


  • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday that her government was determined to “root out terrorism and militancy” from the country.
  • The Prime Minister also thanked all security personnel involved in the “successful” raid at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s high-security diplomatic enclave.
  • The siege began on Friday when seven gunmen stormed into the Holey Artisan Bakery. They shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ on their way in and started firing blanks, according to the police and the restaurant’s supervisor.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department said it “cannot yet confirm” whether the IS was behind the siege.
  • The Department, however, confirmed that one American citizen was among those killed.
  • Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni released a statement saying that nine Italians were killed in the attack and a 10th was missing, while the Japanese government confirmed seven of its citizens had died.
  • The attack follows a series of killings targeting religious minorities, foreigners, secularists and liberal activists.
  • The café attack is by far the deadliest of the recent wave of killings claimed by the IS or a local Al-Qaeda offshoot.
  • But the government of Ms. Hasina has always rejected IS or Qaeda presence in the country and has blamed local groups for jihadist violence.
  • Last month authorities launched a nationwide crackdown on local jihadist groups, arresting more than 11,000 people, under pressure to act on the spate of killings.


  • Reiterating America’s leadership role in the world, and rebuking Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements, the Democratic Party said it would be “a dangerous mistake for America to abandon our responsibilities.”
  • We cannot, as Donald Trump suggests, cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security to others who will not have our best interests in mind.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders, who is pushing for radical changes on issues such as trade and universal health care, has said he is only partially satisfied with the draft.
  • Discussing India in the context of Asia-Pacific, the document acknowledged India as the “the world’s largest democracy, a nation of great diversity, and an important Pacific power.”
  • “We will work with our allies and partners to fortify regional institutions and norms as well as protect freedom of the seas in the South China Sea. We will push back against North Korean aggression and press China to play by the rules.
  • Among other things, the platform also reiterates its support for Israel and Jerusalem as its capital, and calls for a two-state solution.
    Haibatullah Akhundzada called on the USA to end its “occupation” of Afghanistan
  • New Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada called on the Untied States on Saturday to end its “occupation” of Afghanistan in his first message since being appointed the militant group’s chief.
  • The message was released to mark the upcoming festival of Eid and comes two days after Taliban-claimed suicide blasts, targeting a convoy of buses transporting Afghan police cadets in Kabul, killed over 30 people and wounded more than 70.
  • “Admit the realities instead of useless use of force and muscle... and put an end to the occupation,” Akhundzada said.


  • Gold prices likely to move up further in the current calendar year owing to uncertainties in the global markets as U.K. voted to exit from the European Union.
  • Gold prices shot up to its highest level in three years, in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, as investors rushed to grab safer assets, leaving equities and other risk assets, which were already facing selling pressure.
  • The prices of gold hit a three-year peak at around $1,355 per ounce on June 23, and hovering between $1310 and 1,320 per ounce in the international market currently.
  • The risk to reward ratio currently is not favourable for long trades. However in the short term there is possibility for higher levels but soon the gold price will try to catch up with the lower end of the trading band.
  • In a statement issued last Friday, the World Gold Council (WGC) said that it expects to see strong and sustained inflows into the gold market driven by the staggering level of protracted uncertainty that investors are facing.
  • WGC predicted that purchases of gold coins by small retail investors, which were already up sharply in the months running up to the vote (Brexit), should accelerate further.


  • As many as 571 budding entrepreneurs have filed applications as on June 24 with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) for recognition as innovative startups to avail tax breaks and other benefits.
  • Out of these, only 12 are eligible for consideration by the inter-ministerial board for tax benefits. Startup India is an initiative of the DIPP.
  • Seven have submitted all documents and are eligible for Startup India benefits and tax exemption and 106 have submitted all documents but are not eligible for tax exemptions, it said.
  • The inter-ministerial board validates the innovative nature of the business for granting tax related benefits.
  • In January, PM unveiled a slew of incentives to boost start-up businesses, offering them a tax holiday and inspector raj-free regime for three years, capital gains tax exemption and Rs.10,000 crore corpus to fund them.
  • India has the third-largest number of start-ups globally.
  • To boost financing, a 20 per cent tax on capital gains made on investments by entrepreneurs after selling own assets as well as government-recognised venture capitalists is also exempted.



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Last Updated on Friday, 08 July 2016 04:28