Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14 - JULY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14 - JULY - 2016
Thursday, 14 July 2016 04:55

 

 



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14- JULY - 2016

 

PRESIDENT CONFERS 51ST JNANPITH AWARD ON DR. RAGHUVEER CHAUDHARI

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the 51st Jnanpith Award on renowned Gujarati writer Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari at Parliament Library Building, New Delhi. He was awarded with the India's highest literary honour for the year 2015.

He was given a cash prize, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Goddess Saraswati.

With this, he also became the fourth Gujarati literary artist to receive the prestigious award. The other Gujarati recipients of the award are poet Umashankar Joshi (1967), novelist Pannalal Patel (1985) and poet Rajendra Shah (2001).

Dr. Raghuveer Chaudhari

• Born in 1938, the Gujarati writer is a Gandhian and his works are largely influenced by literary figures like Kaka Kalelkar.

• Chaudhari’s most significant contributions have been in Gujarati language but he has also written Hindi articles.

• His most noted works include novels Amruta, Venu Vatsala and Uparvas.

• He had also received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1977, for his novel trilogy Uparvas.

• He was a teacher at the Gujarat University until his retirement in 1998 as a professor and the head of Department of Hindi.

• Raghuveer Chaudhari started his career writing novels and poetry, and later ventured into other forms of literature.

• He authored more than 80 books and received numerous literary awards.

• He also served for many literary organisations.

• He was one of the many participants of the Navnirman Movement and voiced openly against Emergency in the 1970s.

• At present, he is a trustee of the Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, a noted literary institution in the state, of which he was elected the president 2001.

• He served for the executive council of Sahitya Akademi from 1998 to 2002.

• He was a member of the Press Council of India from 2002 to 2004 and was also appointed as a jury member of the 25th Indian Film Festival.

• Between 1965 and 1970, he won numerous prizes awarded annually by the Gujarat government.

• Some of awards conferred on him include

a) Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1975

b) Munshi Award in 1997

c) Sauhard Samman from Uttar Pradesh Hindi Sansthaan in 1990

d) Narmad Award in 2010

e) Uma-Snehrashmi Prize in 1975

f) Ranjitram Gold Medal in 1975

About Jnanpith Award

Jnanpith Award is one of the prestigious literary awards in India. The name of award is taken from Sanskrit words Jnana and Pitha which means knowledge-seat. It was instituted in 1961 and is presented by Bharatiya Jnanpith, a trust founded by the Sahu Shanti Prasad Jain family.

The award is given to any Indian citizen who writes in any 22 official languages of India mentioned in VIII Schedule of Constitution of India. Prior to 1982, the award was only given for a single work by a writer. But since 1982, the award is given for lifetime contribution to Indian literature. The award includes cash prize of 11 lakh rupees, a citation plaque and a bronze replica of Saraswati.

The 50th Jnanpith award was given to Marathi writer Bhalchandra Vanaji Nemade, renowned for his books Hindu and Kosala.

SANJAY GUPTA APPOINTED AS CMD OF KONKAN RAILWAY CORPORATION LIMITED

Sanjay Gupta was appointed as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL).

Prior to Gupta’s elevation, he had been working as Director (Operating & Commercial) of Konkan Railway since 30 September 2013. He had also been officiating as the CMD since 24 November 2015 after the retirement of B P Tayal.

Who is Sanjay Gupta?

Sanjay Gupta has worked on several prestigious and coveted posts as well as on various assignments over the Railways.

He holds a rich experience of more than 30 years as a Mechanical Officer of Indian Railways.

Prior to his posting as Director (Operations & Commercial) of Konkan Railway, he worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer on Konkan Railway.

He is the Youngest Ever Officer to be appointed as CMD of KRCL.

About Konkan Railway Corporation Limited

Konkan Railway Corporation Limited is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways.

It operates the Konkan Railways, a subsidiary zone of the Indian Railways.

It is headquartered at CBD Belapur in Navi Mumbai.

The company started its full operations of trains on 26 January 1998.

The first passenger train ran on Konkan railway tracks on 20 March 1993 between Udupi and Mangalore.

The anti-collision devices, the Sky Bus and RORO are a few of the innovations from Konkan Railways.

INDIA, KENYA SIGNED SEVEN AGREEMENTS TO DEEPEN COOPERATION

India and Kenya inked seven agreements to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations between the two countries.

The agreements were inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kenya from 10 July to 11 July 2016. He visited the country on an invitation of President Uhuru Kenyatta. This was the first at the level of Prime Minister in 35 years.

Modi was on a four nation visit to Africa namely Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique from 7 July to 11 July 2016.

Agreements signed includes

• Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

• Bilateral agreement on exemption of Visa for holders of Diplomatic passports.

• MoU on Defence Cooperation.

• MoU on Cooperation in the field of standardisation, expertise sharing and mutual trade between Bureau of Indian Standards and Bureau of Kenya Standards.

• MoU on Cooperation in the field of National Housing Policy Development and Management.

• Line of Credit Agreement for US $15 million (first tranche of US $30 million) to IDB Capital Limited, Kenya, for development of various small and medium enterprises [SMEs] in Kenya.

• Line of Credit Agreement for US $29.95 million to the Government of Kenya for upgrade of Rift Valley Textiles Factory [RIVATEX East Africa Limited], Kenya.

Besides, the two nations also agreed on the importance of bolstering cooperation in the Health and Pharmaceutical sector. During the discussion session held between Modi and Kenyatta, Modi also announced the gifting of

• A telecobalt cancer therapy machine – the Bhabhatron II

• A donation of essential/ARV medicines and medical equipment and capacity building/training programmes in the health sector.

He also assured that positive consideration will be given to extend a LoC for the establishment of 100 beds Cancer Hospital in Kenya. On Development Assistance, India proposed to extend Lines of Credit (LoC) for Geothermal Projects and for agricultural mechanisation.

UTPAL BORA APPOINTED AS CHAIRMAN OF OIL INDIA

The Union Government appointed Utpal Bora as the full-time chairman of Oil India Ltd.

Bora's appointment was recommended by a three-member search-cum-selection committee headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha. The committee was formed after Public Enterprises Selection Board failed to come up with a suitable name.

On the other hand, the Department Of Personnel And Training also announced the appointment of D Rajkumar as head of Bharat Petroleum.

Rajkumar will take over the charge on or after 1 October 2016 after retirement of BPCL's current chief S Varadarajan in September 2016.

Who is Utpal Bora?

Utpal Bora is currently working as an Executive Director with ONGC.

He runs the explorer's Mehsana field in Gujarat. It is company's largest onland asset with 1552 operational oil and gas wells.

About Oil India Limited

Oil India Limited is the second largest hydrocarbon exploration and production Indian public sector company.

It has its operational headquarters located in Duliajan, Assam.

It comes under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

It is a state-owned Navratna company.

It is engaged in the business of exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas, transportation of crude oil and production of liquid petroleum gas.

PM MODI’S FOUR NATION TOUR TO KENYA, TANZANIA, SOUTH AFRICA AND MOZAMBIQUE CONCLUDED

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his four-nation visit to Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique.

During the five-day tour between 7 July and 11 July 2016, Modi met with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Tanzania John Magufuli and President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi.

He also held high level meetings on a wide range of bilateral issues and matters of regional and global concern. Modi’s visit to Africa had five key elements and they were

• Maritime Security and Defence cooperation

• Food Security and agriculture

• Diaspora engagement

• Climate Change and Solar energy

• Cooperation to check drug trade and terrorism

Major Highlights of the visit to Kenya

• India-Kenya signed seven agreements

• The two nations held delegation level talks at State House in Nairobi

• Modi received Guard of Honour during Ceremonial Reception at State House in Nairobi

• Modi laid wreath at the Mausoleum of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, First President of Kenya in Nairobi

• He addressed the Indian Diaspora at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi

• He addressed students at the University of Nairobi during his visit to Kenya

Major Highlights of the visit to Tanzania

• Modi met members of Indian diaspora in Dar es Salaam

• He also meets Solar Mamas in Dar es Salaam during his visit to Tanzania

• Modi and John Magufuli lead delegation level talks in Dar es Salaam

• Modi inspected the Guard of Honour at the Ceremonial Reception in Dar es Salaam

Major Highlights of the visit to South Africa

• Modi and Jacob Zuma helds delegation level talks in Pretoria

• He met with Gounder and Moonsamy, two surviving members of 1946 Passive Resistance

• He planted a pepper and a bark tree at the Phoenix settlement

• He visited Sarvodaya, Mahatma Gandhi's residence in Phoenix, the farm where Mahatma Gandhi spent formative years of his political carrier

• He inaugurated exhibition at the waiting hall where Mahatma Gandhi spent the night in Pietermaritzburg

• He also visits the spot where Mahatma Gandhi was offloaded at Pietermaritzburg

• He visited Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg

• He met with the anti-apartheid revolutionaries and their families in Johannesburg

• He visited Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg during his visit to South Africa

• Prime Minister inspected Guard of Honour at Union Buildings in Pretoria during his 3 day visit to South Africa

Major Highlights of the visit to Mozambique

• Three agreements were inked and three announcements were made including gifting 100 ton medicines and medical equipment

• At Maputo, the capital of Mozamvuque, Modi received a ceremonial welcome at the presidential palace.

• Modi and Filipe Nyusi held delegation level talks

• India has handed over 30 SUVs to Mozambique

• He attended the Indian community reception in Maputo.

• India, Mozambique agreed to cooperate to meet strategic, security challenges.

• Under long-term agreement India will buy pulses from this African nation to meet its recurring shortfall and contain prices of this commodity.

CENTRE IS LIKELY TO ANNOUNCE RS 25,000 CRORE CAPITAL INFUSION FOR PUBLIC SECTOR BANKS

  • Centre is likely to announce the first tranche of the Rs 25,000 crore capital infusion for public sector banks (PSBs), planned for this financial year (2016-17).
  • The recapitalisation is aimed at shoring up the PSBs lending capacities that are restricted by poor asset quality and weak capitalisation.
  • Gross bad loans, as a proportion of the total advances by these banks, rose to 7.6 per cent, a 12-year high in March 2016, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s latest financial stability report released on June 28.
  • On the rise since 2012, impaired assets in the banking system are negatively affecting credit supply and are a factor dampening India’s growth outlook, global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service recently said.
  • PSBs account for about 70 per cent of the total banking system assets. The banks requisitioned infusions after the finalisation of their fourth quarter results, in which, cumulatively, they had reported losses of Rs 18,000 crore in 2015-16.
  • The allocation is in line with the recapitalisation plan outlined in the Centre’s seven-pronged plan, ‘Indradhanush’, launched in August 2015 for reforming PSBs.
  • The Finance Ministry had estimated that the PSBs would need Rs 1.80 lakh crore by March 2019 to meet Basel III norms.
  • Of this, it proposes to provide Rs 70,000 crore as equity over four years and expects the banks to raise the rest from the markets or through internal profits.

KUDANKULAM SUCCESSFULLY OPERATIONALISED THE FIRST TWO REACTORS

  • The first unit, after attaining criticality in July 13, 2013 was synchronised with the southern grid in October the same year. It has generated 5,777 million units of power till May 2016.
  • Tamil Nadu is getting its share of 562.50 MWe from the first unit and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are getting 50 MWe, 221 MWe and 133 MWe respectively from the first reactor while the Union Territory of Puducherry’s share stands at 33.50 MWe.
  • Tamil Nadu is expected to get a minimum of 462.50 MWe from the second unit.
  • Having successfully accomplished the mission by operationalising the first two reactors, the KKNPP will now pay more attention for commencing the work on the construction of the third and fourth reactors, each with a capacity of 1,000 MWe, at an outlay of Rs. 39,500 crore.

KODAIKANAL TOWN IS FACING ACUTE WATER CRISIS

  • Kodaikanal town is facing acute water crisis owing to poor monsoon and rapidly depleting storage level in the dam near Kodaikanal Observatory, the main drinking water source for the town.
  • Many streams on the upper and lower Kodaikanal hills are dry. At present, residents of the town get water once in eight days and others living in the upper ridge areas get water once in 10-12 days.
  • The demand for drinking water has increased manyfold in the last few decades owing to rapid increase in population and quantum jump in arrival of tourists to the hill station.
  • Leaders of various political parties promised implementation of Gundar scheme during every election. But their promises remained only on paper.

HUBBLE TELESCOPE HAS IMAGED THE SUPERNOVA CRAB NEBULA’S ‘BEATING HEART’

  • NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the supernova Crab Nebula’s ‘beating heart’, an inner region that sends out pulses of radiation and tsunamis of charged particles.
  • Crab Nebula is the most historic and intensively studied remnants of a supernova, an exploding star.k
  • The neutron star at the very centre of the Crab Nebula has about the same mass as the Sun but compressed into an incredibly dense sphere that is only a few miles across.
  • Spinning 30 times a second, the neutron star shoots out detectable beams of energy that make it look like it’s pulsating.
  • Hubble’s sharp view captures the intricate details of glowing gas, shown in red, that forms a swirling medley of cavities and filaments.
  • Inside this shell is a ghostly blue glow that is radiation given off by electrons spiralling at nearly the speed of light in the powerful magnetic field around the crushed stellar core.
  • The neutron star is a showcase for extreme physical processes and unimaginable cosmic violence.

BANGLADESH BANS CONTROVERSIAL PREACHERS TV

  • The government of Bangladesh has banned broadcast of Peace TV, a channel run by controversial Indian preacher Dr. Zakir Naik on allegations that it inspired terrorism.
  • The announcement came at his meeting with the owners of private television stations, hours after the official decision to ban the channel.
  • Home Minister had earlier said that intelligence agencies were investigating Dr. Naik as his activities appeared provocative.
  • Dr. Naik is the founding president of Mumbai-based charity, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which owns Peace TV.
  • Dr. Naik, in a video response after the deadly Dhaka cafe attack, had said that he was not surprised that one of the gunmen knew him since he “inspires millions across the world”.

JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE’S COALITION ON TRACK FOR A DECISIVE VICTORY

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition was on track for a decisive victory in parliamentary elections, media projections showed.
  • Mr. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Buddhist-backed Komeito would take at least 63 of the 121 seats in Parliament’s upper house available in the election — half the chamber’s total — up from 59 previously.
  • The two parties control 77 seats from the other half of the chamber meaning that they are set to increase their majority in the 242-seat body.

INDIA TO PRESS FOR A GLOBAL PACT TO EXPEDITE THE SERVICES TRADE FLOW

  • India will press for endorsement by more nations for its proposal on a global pact to expedite the services trade flow, during the forthcoming Nairobi meet of the United Nations (UN) body for development issues including on trade.
  • The proposed pact, among other things, is aimed at making it easier for services professionals and skilled workers to move across borders for ‘short-term’ projects.
  • It will officially be known as the ‘Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for Services’ at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)-level.
  • Its objectives include streamlining procedures for global services trade, besides ensuring recognition at the WTO-level for services as a tradable item by establishing a framework.
  • The ‘Ministerial Conference’ is the Geneva-headquartered UNCTAD’s highest decision-making body, and is held every four years ever since UNCTAD was set up in 1964.
  • UNCTAD has 194 member States and is the UN subsidiary looking at measures to boost trade and investment in developing countries.
  • The idea of a ‘TFA for Services’ – similar to the WTO’s ‘TFA for Goods’ -- was mooted by India soon after the WTO’s tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December 2015.
  • According to UNCTAD, the ‘Global Services Forum’, will discuss various topics including “facilitating trade in services – with a focus on reducing transaction costs and explore if the lessons resulting from the WTO TFA (for Goods) could be applied to trade in services.”

RUSSIA HAS OFFERED INDIAN OIL COMPANIES A STAKE IN THE SECOND PHASE OF YAMAL LNG

  • Russia has offered Indian oil companies a stake in the second phase of Yamal LNG, the biggest project to produce liquefied natural gas in the Arctic.
  • Petronet LNG, India’s biggest natural gas importer, is studying the offer, they said adding other state-owned firms like Indian Oil Corp (IOC) may join in later.
  • Novatek OJSC, Russia’s second-biggest natural gas producer, had in 2013 offered a 9 per cent stake in the $27 billion Phase-I of Yamal LNG project to a consortium of Petronet, IOC and ONGC Videsh Ltd.
  • But later, OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), did not find the offer attractive and the Indian consortium backed off.
  • Now the company is planning a second phase and is offering a stake to Indian firms. OVL was previously interested in getting into the upstream part of the project, i.e gas field development. Petronet was keen to offtake LNG.

 

 

 

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2016 03:25
 

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