Friday, 08 July 2016 04:28



RMI'S Current Affairs - https://www.facebook.com/RMIS-Current-Affairs

07- JULY - 2016



India successfully test-fired a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Odisha coast.

The Barak-8 missile, as it is called, was co-developed by the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) of DRDO in partnership with the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Features of Barak-8

• Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.

• The missile, along with MF—STAR, will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats.

• These missiles will be produced at the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad.

• Along with the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM), it would be inducted in all the three Services once the user’s trials are completed.

• The LR-SAM was successfully test-fired in Israel and India in November and December 2015 respectively.


The Argentina women’s team won the 2016 Champions Trophy Hockey title. To win the title, Argentina defeated the reigning World and Olympic champions the Netherlands 2-1.

The final match was held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, the UK.

For Argentina, it was the 3rd consecutive title and the 7th title overall.

In the championship, while the Argentina captain Carla Rebecchi stood as the top scorer with 7 goals, Netherlands’ shot—stopper Joyce Sombroek was named as best goalkeeper.

In the bronze medal game, the USA defeated Australia. For them, it was the first Champions Trophy medal since wining bronze at the 1995 event in Mar del Plata, Argentina.


Sameer Mon, the veteran sprinter of India, won gold in 100 meter dash in 10.60 seconds at the 56th National Inter-state Senior Athletics Championships in Hyderabad.

With this, Sameer, representing Manipur, also became the fastest athlete in the country.

32-year-old Sameer was a member of the bronze winning Indian 4x100m relay quartet in Delhi Commonwealth Games. He had earlier won the Inter-state titles in 2008 and 2011.

Other results of 56th National Inter-state Senior Athletics Championships are

Women's 100 metre dash: Reena George of Karnataka won Gold by clocking 11.99 seconds. Earlier, she switched from 400 meter dash to 100 meter dash.

Women's pole vault: Khyati Vakharia of Karnataka won Gold by clearing the season’s best 3.80 metre.

Women's 100 metre hurdles: M Sugina of Kerala clocked a personal best of 14.17 seconds to win gold.

Men’s 110 metre hurdles: D Sreekanth of Kerala won Gold by clocking personal best of 14.54 seconds.

Women’s Triple Jump: Shilpa Chacko won third gold for Kerala by clearing 13.22 metre. She was the only jumper among the four participants to leap over 13 metre.

Men's 20 km walk: Gujarat's Babubhai Panocha took his third Inter-state title in men's with a time of 1 hour 31 minutes 26 seconds.


The Interim Administrative Cell of the International Solar Alliance (ISA Cell) and the World Bank signed declaration to promote solar energy globally. The declaration was signed during the visit of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim to India in June 2016.

The declaration was signed by  Upendra Tripathy, Secretary of Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Chairperson, ISA cell and Onno Ruhl, India Country Director of the World Bank.

Major areas identified in the Declaration for working jointly

• Developing a roadmap to mobilize financing

• Developing financing instruments including credit enhancement, reduce hedging costs/currency risk, bond raising in locally denominated currencies etc. which support solar energy development

• Supporting ISA’s plans for solar energy through technical assistance and knowledge transfer

• Working on mobilization of concessional financing through existing or new trust funds

Benefits arising out of this Declaration

• The Joint Declaration will help in accelerating mobilization of finance for solar energy.

• The World Bank will have a major role in mobilizing more than 1000 billion US dollars in investments that will be needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.


The first squadron of home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas was inducted into Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Aircraft System Testing Establishment in Bengaluru.  The squadron has been named ‘Flying Daggers’ 45.

State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first two Tejas aircraft to the Air Force.

The aircraft will be operated for nearly two years by the squadron at Bengaluru before it is moved to its designated location at Sulur near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

According to IAF, the idea is to have a total of six aircraft this financial year 2016-17 and about eight in the financial year 2017-18. Tejas will feature in combat plan of the IAF in 2017 and will be deployed in forward bases also.

All squadrons of Tejas will have 20 planes in total, including four in reserve. As per the plan, while 20 would be inducted under the Initial Operational Clearance, another 20 will be inducted later with Beyond Visual Range Missile (BVR) and some other features.

IAF plans to induct over 80 aircraft with better specifications known as Tejas 1A. The upgraded version of Tejas, with Active Electrically Scanned Array Radar, Unified Electronic Warfare Suite, mid-air refueling capacity and advanced beyond the vision range missiles, will cost between 275 crore and 300 crore rupees.

Characteristics of Tejas

• The Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is a supersonic, single-seat, single-engine multirole light fighter aircraft that uses fourth generation technologies.

• It was co-developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency in cooperation with the Bengaluru-based Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

• It is built from CFC materials and has unstable aerodynamics

• It is equipped with a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire flight control system to ease handling by the pilot

• It incorporates an advanced glass cockpit that comprises all the round dialed electro-mechanical instruments

• It is fitted with the coherent pulse-Doppler Multi Mode Radar that is designed to operate equally effectively in the Air to Air and Air to Surface domains.

• It is fitted with Open Architecture Computer (OAC)


This induction of the two aircrafts in the IAF helped in ending the three decades long wait of induction of a homemade aircraft in forces. India in 1970s conceptualised the idea of having an indigenous fighter aircraft but the actual work on the same was started in 1980s.


  • Supreme Court asked government to investigate the “barriers” preventing disabled persons from entering government service, especially into the higher ranks.
  • “The intent is to turn persons with disability (PWD) into ‘agents of their own destiny’.
  • The Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995 was enacted to fulfill India’s obligations under the ‘Proclamation on the Full Participation and Equality of the People with Disabilities in the Asia and Pacific Region’.
  • It is disheartening to note that (admittedly) low numbers of PWD (much below three per cent) are in government employment long years after the 1995 Act,” a Supreme Court judgment by a Bench observed.
  • The apex court said the government must scrutinise the barriers to their entry by rigorous standards within the legal framework of the 1995 Act.
  • The apex court observed that there is hardly any representation of disabled persons in higher governmental hierarchy despite certain posts having been identified as suitable for them.
  • SC dismissed the government's argument that “providing for reservation (for disabled persons) in higher level posts is constitutionally impermissible,”
  • Supreme Court observed the basis for providing them preferential treatment is solely their physical disability and not factors banned by the Constitution like caste and religion.


  • A suicide car bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) ripped through a busy Baghdad shopping district, killing at least 119 people in the deadliest attack this year in Iraq’s capital.
  • The blast hit the Karrada district early in the day as the area was packed with shoppers ahead of this week’s holiday, marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
  • The attack came a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured Fallujah from the IS, leaving Mosul as the only Iraqi city under the jihadist group’s control.
  • IS issued a statement claiming responsibility for the suicide bombing, saying it was carried out by an Iraqi as part of the group’s “ongoing security operations”.
  • The jihadist group said the blast targeted members of Iraq’s Shia Muslim majority, whom the Sunni extremists consider heretics and frequently attack in Baghdad and elsewhere.
  • Bombings in the capital have decreased since the IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in June 2014, with the jihadists apparently occupied with operations elsewhere.


  • For years, scientists have been predicting that much of Kiribati may become uninhabitable within decades because of an onslaught of environmental problems linked to climate change.
  • And for just as long, many here have paid little heed. But while scientists are reluctant to attribute any specific weather or tidal event to rising sea levels, the tidal surge last winter, known as a king tide, was a chilling wake-up call.\
  • Pacific island nations are among the world’s most physically and economically vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events like floods, earthquakes and tropical cyclones, the World Bank said in a 2013 report.
  • While world powers have summit meetings to negotiate treaties on how to reduce and mitigate carbon emissions, residents of tiny Kiribati, a former British colony with 1,10,000 people, are debating how to respond before it is too late.
  • Much of Kiribati, a collection of 33 coral atolls and reef islands scattered across a swath of the Pacific Ocean about twice the size of Alaska, lies no higher than 6 feet above sea level.
  • The latest climate models predict the world’s oceans could rise 5 to 6 feet by 2100.
  • The prospects of rising seas and intensifying storms “threaten the very existence and livelihoods of large segments of the population,” the government told the UN in a report last year.


  • China will hold military drills in the disputed South China Sea ahead of an international tribunal ruling over Beijing’s maritime claims in the resource-rich area.
  • The drills will be held in waters around the Paracel Islands from July 5 to 11, with other ships prohibited from entering the waters during that time.
  • The military exercises come as an international tribunal in The Hague prepares to rule on a case brought by the Philippines challenging China’s claims in the strategic waterway.
  • Manila lodged the suit against Beijing in early 2013, saying that after 17 years of negotiations it had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues to settle the dispute.


  • The Baghdad bombings demonstrated the extremists’ ability to mount significant attacks despite major battlefield losses, including the city of Fallujah, which was declared “fully liberated” from IS just over a week ago.
  • The deadliest attack took place in the central Karrada district of Baghdad, where a suicide bomber blew up his explosives-laded pickup truck outside a crowded shopping centre.
  • Within hours, IS claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement posted online, saying they had deliberately targeted Shia Muslims.
  • Until the government launched its Fallujah operation, the Prime Minister had faced growing social unrest and anti-government protests sparked, in part, by popular anger at the lack of security in the capital.
  • In one month, Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone which houses government buildings and diplomatic missions was stormed twice by anti-government protesters.


  • Juno, an unmanned NASA spacecraft, is barrelling toward Jupiter on a $1.1 billion mission to circle the biggest planet in the solar system and shed new light on the origin of our planetary neighbourhood.
  • Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun. Its atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium and packed with so much radiation that it would be more than 1,000 times the lethal level for a human.
  • The gas giant is enshrouded in the strongest magnetic field in the solar system.
  • Jupiter is perhaps best known for its Great Red Spot, which is actually a massive storm, bigger than the Earth, that has been roiling for hundreds of years.
  • The planet is marked by cold, windy clouds of ammonia and water that appear as reddish, brown and beige stripes and swirls.
  • Getting close, and surviving, is no easy feat. Even though the spacecraft is entirely robotic and controllers on Earth can do nothing at this stage.


  • With Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan deciding not to seek a second term, the government is in the process of finalising Mr Rajan’s successor, and an announcement is expected shortly.
  • While the names of several economists and bureaucrats are doing roundsone thing certain is that the new governor will face number of challenges ranging from reining in inflation to managing currency volatility.
  • One of the immediate challenge is the redemption pressure of the Foreign Currency Non-Resident (bank) deposits, or the FCNR(B) deposits, as outflows will start from September.
  • These deposits were raised in 2013 when the rupee was depreciating sharply and went on to hit its lowest against the dollar in August 2013. While Mr. Rajan said the outflows, estimated at about $20 billion, was a non-event, there are concerns of foreign inflows slowing down.
  • The new governor will be also the first one to make his policy stance under the new framework of the Monetary Policy Committee. The Centre has already laid down the rules for the selection of its nominees to the panel.
  • MPC is a departure from the present practice where the entire onus rests on the governor for any rate decision.
  • While the governor will have the casting vote if there is a tie, the responsibility will be shared by the committee. The governor has to ensure that he does not opt for the casting vote frequently. .
  • The new governor will take charge amid expectation of sharp cuts in interest rates – something which Mr. Rajan resisted. RBI had reduced the policy rate by 150 bps to 6.5 per cent between January 2015 and now.
  • The burden of expectation now will fall on the new governor at a time when retail inflation accelerated to a near two-year high of 5.76 per cent in May, driven by surging prices of food products such as pulses and sugar.
  • The outgoing governor has cautioned against dropping the guard against inflation.
  • The new governor may find it challenging to manage rate cut expectation of the government and the industry at a time when inflation is on the rise, said a former central banker.
  • The new governor also has to complete the task of cleaning up of Indian banks that was started by Mr. Rajan, who had set a deadline of March 2017 to complete the exercise.
  • There are requests from banks to extend regulatory forbearance that Mr. Rajan has resisted. These requests will resurface again with the new governor taking charge. Also, saddled with bad loans, banks, particularly public sector ones, have squeezed lending.


  • India’s biggest oil refinery that state-run IOC, BPCL, HPCL and EIL plan to set up on the west coast will cost $30 billion or Rs.2 lakh crore.
  • The 60 million tonnes a year refinery and a mega petrochemical complex will be set up in two phases. Phase-1 will be 40 million tons together with an aromatic complex, naphtha cracker and polymer complex.
  • Phase-1 will cost Rs 1.2-1.5 lakh crore and will come up in 5-6 years from the date of land acquisition.
  • IOC has been looking at west coast for a refinery as catering to customers in West and South was difficult with its refineries mostly in the North.
  • HPCL and BPCL have also been looking at a bigger refinery because of constraints they face at their Mumbai units.
  • Fifteen million tonnes a year is the biggest refinery any public sector unit has set up in one stage. IOC recently started its 15 million tonnes unit at Paradip in Odisha.
  • Reliance Industries holds the distinction of building the biggest refinery in India till now. It built its first refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat with a capacity of 27 million tonnes (mt) , which was subsequently expanded to 33 million tonnes.
  • Being on the west coast will provide the unit a natural advantage of easily sourcing crude oil from the Middle-East, Africa and South America.




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