Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 18 - AUGUST - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 18 - AUGUST - 2016
Saturday, 20 August 2016 02:52

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

18- AUGUST - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL ::

TENSION BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN CONTINUES

  • India and Pakistan exchanged salvos instead of the usual Independence Day greetings, with Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit calling for Kashmir’s freedom and India terming Islamabad’s policies on Kashmir “illegal” and “absurd”.
  • The government responded sharply. Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said Pakistan should end its “illegal occupation” of PoK.
  • “Our stand is very clear in the context of the J&K issue. If at all there is any outstanding issue with Pakistan, it is how to liberate the part of J&K which remains under the illegal occupation of Islamabad,” he said.
  • His response came soon after the Ministry of External Affairs termed Pakistan’s offer to send relief material to Kashmir as “absurd”.

PRESIDENT DELIVERS INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH

  • At a time when India and Pakistan are engaged in a ‘war of words’, President Pranab Mukherjee asserted that there would no stepping back on New Delhi’s “neighbourhood first policy”.
  • In his televised address to the nation, on the eve of the sixty-ninth anniversary of Independence, Mr. Mukherjee also spoke about the attacks on “weaker sections which is against Indian ethos’’, and said that they should be dealt with firmly.
  • While maintaining that during his four years in office he had seen with some disquiet forces of divisiveness and intolerance trying to raise their ugly head.
  • Mr. Mukherjee said close bonds of history, culture, civilisation and geography provide the people of South Asia with an extraordinary opportunity to carve out a common destiny and to march together towards prosperity.
  • “This opportunity must be seized without delay. India’s focus in foreign policy will remain on peaceful co-existence and harnessing technology and resources for its economic development.”

ASHOK CHAKRA AND SHAURYA CHAKRA GIVEN TO MARTYRS

  • HavildarHangpan Dada, who died after killing three terrorists, has been awarded Ashok Chakra, while Lt. Col. Niranjan Ek who died during Pathankot operations, was awarded Shaurya Chakraby President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • In all, 82 Gallantry Awards have been awarded this year to armed forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces.
  • They include one Ashok Chakra, 14 Shaurya Chakras, 63 Sena Medals (Gallantry), two Nao Sena Medals (Gallantry) and two Vayu Sena Medals (Gallantry).
  • On May 26, 2016 as four heavily armed terrorists sneaked in across the Line of Control, Hav. Dada along with his team was tasked to chase and trap the fleeing terrorists.
  • Lt. Col. Niranjan Ek from the Corps of Engineers was with the NSG during the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in January.
  • An improvised explosive device (IED) attached to the body of one of the slain terrorists accidentally went off killing him and injuring four others.
  • The President has also awarded 28 ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ to Army personnel for significant contributions in different military operations which include five for ‘Operation Meghdoot’, 22 for ‘Operation Rakshak’ and one for ‘Operation Rhino’.
  • The Coast Guard was awarded one President’s Tatrakshak Medal and five Tatrakshak Medals for displaying gallantry, distinguished and meritorious service.
  • These awards are being given to the personnel of the Coast Guard on Republic Day and Independence Day every year, since January 26, 1990, the Coast Guard said.

CAG SAYS UNION OWES MORE THAN 80000 CRORES TO STATES

  • The Centre owes the States over Rs. 80,000 crore from its net proceeds of the period between 1996 and 2015, according to a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled in Parliament.
  • The revelation has the potential to significantly impact the finances of most States, because most of them could end up getting a few thousand crores each.
  • The report says that according to Article 279 of the Constitution, the CAG is “required to ascertain and certify the ‘net proceeds’ (any tax or duty the proceeds thereof reduced by the cost of collection), whose certification shall be final.”
  • The CAG report points out that in July 2000, the Finance Ministry requested for CAG certification of net proceeds of taxes afresh ante-dated from 1996-97 because of the 80{+t}{+h}constitutional amendment.
  • The amendment resulted from the recommendations of the 10{+t}{+h}Finance Commission for an alternative way of sharing proceeds of union taxes and duties between Centre and States.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

WORLD’S FIRST QUANTUM COMMUNICATION SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED BY CHINA

  • China is set to launch the world’s first quantum communication satellite which boasts of hack-proof ultra high security features to prevent wiretapping and intercepts.
  • If the satellite works well, it will pave the way to a hack-proof communication system, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. It will launch the satellite in a matter of days.
  • In July 2015, a quantum-computing lab jointly established by Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Internet giant Alibaba opened in Shanghai.

STRICTER ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS IN CHINA

  • China will use the stricter enforcement of environmental standards as well as tougher credit controls to help fight against overcapacity in key industrial sectors, the government said.
  • The world's second-largest economy has identified overcapacity as one of its key challenges and it has already pledged mass closures in the steel and coal sectors, but it has so far fallen behind on its targets.
  • Govt would “normalize the stricter implementation and enforcement of mandatory standards” to tackle overcapacity in sectors such as steel.
  • Firms that fail to comply with new energy efficiency targets would be given six months to rectify and would be closed if they fail to make progress.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

IMF RAISED QUESTION MARKS OVER THE ABILITY OF THE RBI TO TARGET INFLATION

  • An IMF paper has raised question marks over the ability of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to target inflation through monetary measures.
  • It said the size of the formal financial sector is small in India and may undermine the effectiveness of interest rate changes on aggregate demand.
  • The IMF working paper assumes significance as the RBI has recently implemented an inflation-targeting regime that requires it to hit publicly announced targets for retail inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Under the new dispensation, RBI will be required to meet retail inflation target of 4 per cent, plus or minus two per cent over the next five years.
  • The interest rate from the next policy, due on October 4, will be decided by a six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) instead of the central bank governor.
  • It said that careful studies of the effectiveness of monetary transmission in low-income countries have often found monetary policy effects that are counterintuitive, weak or unreliable.

:: SPORTS ::

BIG DENT TO INDIAN MEDAL HOPES

  • The Indian hopes of a tennis medal were dashed by the Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka, even as Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopannatried their best to make a fight.
  • The bronze was a welcome medal Hradecka, who missed out in the women’s doubles this time after having won silver in the last edition with Andrea Hlavackova.
  • Sania and Bopanna were unable to lift their game at the crunch though they were superb in patches.
  • After the Indian pair had slid to 0-5, Bopanna managed a hold to avert a first-set bagel.
  • Sania served two double-faults in the 11th game and was broken after saving two breakpoints, leaving it to Hradecka to serve the match out.
  • The Czechs had one ace and four double-faults, to the two aces and six double-faults that India served up.
  • Stepanek and Hradecka converted five of 10 breakpoints while the Indian pair capitalised on two of four.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

INDIA’S FIRST NUCLEAR SUPPLIERS’ INSURANCE POLICY UNVEILED BY INIP

The India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP) unveiled India’s first Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance Policy.

New India Assurance Company Limited and INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the pool.

The INIP has become the 27th such insurance pool in the world as countries such as France, Russia, South Africa and the U.S. have put in place such similar risk transfer mechanisms.

Features of India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP)

• It will cover the risks of liability of nuclear operators and suppliers under Section 6(2) and Section 17 of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act, 2010 respectively.

• It provides three types of policies viz., tier 1 policy for operators, tier 2 policy for turn key suppliers and tier 3 policy for suppliers other than turn key suppliers.

• The pricing of premiums will depend on factors such as risk probability, possible severity of damage and exposure to people and property around nuclear installations.

• It will be administered by the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re), the sole reinsurance company in the Indian insurance market.

• Out of the total fund amount of 1500 crore rupees the GIC Re and other four Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) including New India, Oriental Insurance, National Insurance and United India Insurance  invested 750 crore rupees. The British Nuclear Insurance Pool has also invested 500 crore rupees in the pool.

• The amount is in accordance with the act that prescribes that the operator’s maximum liability shall be 1500 crore rupees.

• It will provide insurance cover for both hot zones (radiation and nuclear reactors) and cold zones (outside the reactor areas).

• At present, nuclear plants in India only have insurance cover for zones that are outside the area of radiation and reactors.

CHINA LAUNCHES WORLD'S FIRST QUANTUM COMMUNICATION SATELLITE

China launched the world's first quantum satellite named Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite. The satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu.

The satellite will help establish hack-proof communications between space and the ground.

Highlights of the Quantum Experiments at Space Scaler (QUESS) satellite

• It is nicknamed Micius, after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher and scientist who has been credited as the first one in human history conducting optical experiments.

• It is designed to establish hack-proof quantum communications by transmitting uncrackable keys from space to the ground.

• It will enable secure communications between Beijing and Urumqi, the capital of China's violence-prone far western region of Xinjiang.
• It will circle the Earth once every 90 minutes after it enters a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 500 km.

A R RAHMAN HONOURED WITH TAMIL RATNA AWARD

Noted music composer A.R. Rahman was honoured with the Tamil Ratna Award.

The award was presented by New York based Tamil Sangam.

Rahman was bestowed with the honour after his concert at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) chamber.

Rahman was invited at the UNGA to perform a concert to honour M.S. Subbulakshi, the doyen of Carnatic music. The concert was sponsored by India's UN Mission and Sankara Nethralaya, a Chennai-based charity organisation.

The previous recipients of Tamil Ratna Award include Tamil movie director Bharathi Raja, Bharatha Natyam exponent Kamala Lakshman and Srinivasa Varadhan, the winner of the Abel Prize for mathematics.

About A.R. Rahman

A.R. Rahman's works are noted for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements.

His body of work for film and stage has earned him the nickname of the Mozart of Madras.

In 2009, Time included him on its list of the world's most influential people.

The UK-based world-music magazine Songlines named him one of Tomorrow's World Music Icons in August 2011.

In 2009, he won the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song, the latter shared with Gulzar) at the 81st Academy Awards.

He has also won two Grammy Awards: Best Compilation Soundtrack Album and Best Song Written for Visual Media.

His work in 127 Hours won him Golden Globe, BAFTA, and two Academy Award nominations (Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song) in 2011.

UNION GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED SMART GANGA CITY SCHEME IN 10 CITIES

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu launched Smart Ganga City Scheme.

The scheme was launched in 10 ten important cities through video conference. These cities are –

1. Haridwar

2. Rishikesh

3. Mathura-Vrindavan

4. Varanasi

5. Kanpur

6. Allahabad

7. Lucknow

8. Patna

9. Sahibgunj

10. Barrackpore

These cities were chosen as part of the Phase-I of the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) for infrastructure development for sewage treatment.

The projects in these selected cities will be executed on hybrid annuity mode based on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

INDIA’S FIRST BIO-CNG PLANT INAUGURATED IN PUNE

India’s first bio-CNG plant was inaugurated in Pune, Maharashtra.

The plant was jointly inaugurated by Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Key features of the plant

• It was commissioned by the city-based Primove Engineering Private Limited.

• It will use agricultural residue to generate compressed natural gas (CNG) that can be used in automobiles as fuel.

• The technology involves treating the waste with a special bacterial solution, after which the gas so generated is cleaned and compressed for use in vehicles.

• It was set up as a Proof of Concept (PoC) which can be replicated elsewhere.

• It was built at a cost of 4.5 crore rupees. Further it needs investment to the tune of 15 crore rupees to complete the 5-tonne standalone plant.

• There are examples of use of bio-CNG as automobile fuel in Europe but this would be for the first time such a technology will be deployed in India.

• This technology solves the twin problem of disposal of agricultural waste and dependence on imported transport fuels.

 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 20 August 2016 03:02
 

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