Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 20 - AUGUST - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 20 - AUGUST - 2016
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Saturday, 20 August 2016 03:15

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

20- AUGUST - 2016

 

:: NATIONAL  ::

REVIEW PETITION FILED BY BCCI

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) moved the SC for a re-look into its judgment upholding the recommendations of the former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha Committee, to overhaul functioning of the top cricketing body.
  • The review petition follows legal advice rendered by former Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju in his interim report to the Board that the verdict smacked of judicial overreach and was thus unconstitutional.
  • Justice Katju had said that though the Supreme Court’s intentions in intervening with the BCCI’s working was “good”, it amounted to “judicial legislation” and violated the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act and the Indian Constitution.
  • The petition follows Justice Katju’s advice that the Supreme Court plainly ignored the law that any change in the rules of the BCCI should have been made through a special resolution initiated under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act.

SC REFUSED TO PASS INTERIM DIRECTION IN NEET CASE

  • The Supreme Court refused to pass an interim direction to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to publish separate merit lists for CBSE students and their counterparts who studied under the State syllabus in the NEET exam..
  • However, a Bench of Justices sought the Centre’s response on petitions filed by several medical and dental aspirants drawn largely from Tamil Nadu against the “dis- crimination” shown in the Centre’s new NEET ordinance.
  • The new Amending Ordinance in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, on the other hand, makes it mandatory for private colleges to provide admission onlythrough NEET. The court issued notice also to the MCI and the CBSE in this regard.
  • The petitions by the students, who largely hail from Tamil Nadu, pleaded with the court to issue an interim order that admission to private medical colleges this academic year.

GANGA ACT WILL GIVE FINAL AUTHORITY TO CENTRE

  • A first-of-its-kind bill to regulate a river — the Ganga Act, will draw from the National Highways Act and allow the Centre final say over States during disputes over management of its water.
  • The National Highways Authority of India Act empowers the Central government to have complete power over roads designated as “national highways.”
  • It also gives them authority over bridges, culverts and associated land stretches near highways.
  • The Union Water Resources Ministry is the nodal agency in charge of implementing the Rs. 20,000-crore National Clean Ganga Mission by 2022, and has so far spent only around Rs. 320 crore, despite Rs. 2,000 crore being sanctioned.
  • Nearly 70% of the budget is to be apportioned for commissioning sewage treatment plants.
  • This was partly due to a lack of consensus between the Ganga States on how money allotted should be spent though.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

MASSIVE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION IN BALOCHISTAN FOR DECADES

  • Prime Minister Modi’s reference to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech signals an aggressive shift in India’s approach towards Pakistan.
  • Mr. Modi said: “The time has come for Pakistan to answer the world, on atrocities against people in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”
  • The Indian strategy could be drawing global attention towards one of the oldest internal problems faced by Pakistan.
  • Balochistan, home to over 13 million people, mostly Balochis, is Pakistan’s largest but least developed province. Similar to Kashmir’s, the roots of the conflict go back to Independence.
  • When Pakistan was born in 1947, the rulers of the Khanate of Kalat, a princely state under the British and part of today’s Balochistan, refused to join the new nation. Pakistan sent troops in March 1948 to annex the territory.
  • After the 1948 rebellion was put down, crisis erupt- ed in 1958. In 1962-63 and1973-77, Baloch nationalists mounted violent campaigns for independence from Pakistan.
  • But tensions started building up after General Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999. When the military started building new cantonments in Balochistan, radical nationalist factions saw it as a bid by the Army to tighten control over the region.
  • The fifth wave of insurgency that broke out in this context is still on. The province has several separatist groups, the strongest being the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), designated as a terrorist group by Pakistan.
  • Balochi nationalists accuse Islamabad of deliberately keeping the mineralrich province poor, while Pakistan’s rulers say it is the insurgency that has slowed down the pace of development.
  • But a bigger allegation Pakistan is facing, something which the Prime Minister tried to highlight in his speech, is the large-scale human rights violations, both by the Army and the militants.
  • Every time there is unrest in the region, the Army uses brute force to retain order. Even the Air Force was used against the civilian population many times. The Pakistani atrocities had attracted international condemnation.
  • The province now holds greater importance in Pakistan’s grand economic and geopolitical strategies.
  • It is one of the important locations in the economic corridor China has proposed to build at an investment of $46 billion linking the deepwater port of Gwadar with the city of Kashgar, a trading hub in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.
  • The much publicised Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline is planned to run through Balochistan.

CHINA EVOLVING ITS SOUTH ASIA POLICY

  • China has signalled its intent to establish diplomatic ties with Bhutan, adding another dimension to its evolving South Asia policy, which has already included a deeper engagement with Ne- pal, as part of Beijing’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
  • Soon after his return from New Delhi, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with visiting Bhutanese counterpart DamchoDorji.
  • The outreach is in line with China’s revamped approach towards India’s other neighbours
  • The symbolism of balancing ties is also likely to be expressed through an invitation to President Pranab Mukherjee for a visit to Nepal.
  • In tune with China’s high- octane Asian diplomacy, the Chinese leadership is set to receive Myanmar’s State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi in Beijing.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

WHOLESALE PRICE INDEX ROSE TO 3.6 PERCENT

  • Wholesale price inflation accelerated to a 23-month high of 3.6 per cent in July, driven mainly by higher food prices, according to official data.
  • The pace of price gains as measured by the wholesale price index more than doubled in July from 1.62 per cent in June, leaving the Reserve Bank of India even less elbow room to cut benchmark interest rates at its next meeting.
  • Food inflation came in at a blistering 11.8 per cent, the fastest in 31 months and compared with June’s 8.2 per cent.
  • Within the food category, inflation in foodgrains accelerated to 13.6 per cent in July from 10.9 per cent in June.
  • The fruits and vegetables category saw a whopping 22 per cent increase in prices in July but this could be due to a low base effect because the category saw a contraction of 15 per cent in the year-earlier period.
  • The Consumer Price Index for July also saw inflation accelerating to above 6 per cent, with the food component reaching almost 8 per cent.
  • Overall, the primary articles segment saw inflation accelerate to 9.4 per cent in July from 5.5 per cent in June.
  • Within this, the non-food category also saw a drastic quickening in the pace of inflation, moving to 9.5 per cent in July from 5.7 per cent in June.
  • Prices in the fuel and power segment contracted 1 per cent in July, compared with a contraction of 3.6 per cent in June.
  • Inflation in the manufactured goods segment accelerated marginally to 1.8 per cent in July from 1.2 per cent in June. Manufactured food products inflation at 10.2 per cent, was the highest it has been since September 2012.

RAJAN STRESSED ON THE NEED TO IMPROVE GOVERNANCE AT PUBLIC SECTOR

  • Raghuram Rajan has stressed the need to improve governance at public sector banks and said the task of appointing top executives and non-official directors in these entities should be left to the Bank Board Bureau (BBB).
  • At present, the Centre appoints the chief executive, executive directors and other board members.
  • Mr. Rajan’s suggestion is in line with the proposals of the P.J. Nayak committee set up by the RBI to look into the issue of governance in Indian banks.
  • The Centre set up the BBB in February this year under the chairmanship of former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai.
  • At present, BBB is involved in the short-listing and selection process of public sector bank executives. The final appointments are made by the government.
  • To fill the ranks in middle management that have been thinned out by retirements, banks should look for talent with expertise in project evaluation, risk management and IT, including cybersecurity, he said.
  • In this context, he said rewards like Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that give all employees a stake in the future of the bank might be helpful. “None of these changes are easy, but they are also not impossible,” he emphasised.
  • The RBI governor opined that public sector undertaking employees at the lower levels were overpaid, while those at the top level were underpaid.
  • He also said the central bank and the government should, over the medium term, reduce the differences in regulatory treatment between public sector banks and private sector banks.
  • With several new niche banks set to begin operations over the next six to seven months, Mr. Rajan said the current times are interesting, profitable, and challenging for the financial sector.
  • The environment would also be challenging because competition and novelty constituted a particularly volatile mix in terms of risk, Mr. Rajan added.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

WORLD’S BIGGEST AIRCRAFT AIRLANDER 10 MAKES MAIDEN VOYAGE IN BRITAIN

The world's largest airship, Airlander 10, flew for the first time over London's Cardington airfield.

This flight of the 92-metre ship, nicknamed the Flying Bum for its shape, lasted for about 30 minutes. The aircraft completed a series of flight manoeuvres and landed safely.

About Airlander 10

The Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV 304 Airlander 10 is a hybrid airship made by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) in the United Kingdom.

It was originally built for the US Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) project.

The US Army cancelled the LEMV project for cost reasons in February 2013.

HAV bought back the airship in September 2013 for 301000 US dollar.

In 2014, it was reassembled and refurbished for civilian use at RAF Cardington in England. It was also redesignated the Airlander 10.

HAV announced the new version in March 2016, with potential civil, military and leisure uses.

The aircraft is 143ft-wide and 85ft-high. It is about 50ft longer than the biggest passenger jets.

UNION GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED TARANG, E-TRANS & DEEP TO ENHANCE TRANSPARENCY IN POWER SECTOR

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal launched TARANG Mobile App, e-Trans and DEEP e-bidding web portals in New Delhi.

They were developed by Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL), a subsidiary of REC Ltd.

The initiatives were launched keeping in line with the Digital India initiative. The primarily seek to enhance transparency in power sector.

Features of TARANG

• It stands for Transmission App for Real Time Monitoring and Growth.

• The mobile application as well as the web portal will act as powerful monitoring tool to track upcoming transmission projects.

• It will also be utilized to monitor the progress of inter-state and intra-state transmission systems in the country.

• It helps the stakeholders - Ministry of Power, State Governments, all private sector transmission developers and PSUs like Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. for expeditious completion of such projects.

• Green Energy Corridors, an important component of renewable energy mission, would also be monitored through TARANG and help to meet ambitious targets in same on time.

• It shall enhance ease, accountability and transparency and would boost confidence of investors in power transmission sector.

• Better price discovery shall ultimately benefit the power consumers in India.

• It was developed through Regulated tariff mechanism as well as Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) route.

Features of e-Trans

• It is a web platform for e-bidding and e-reverse auction for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) in transmission projects.

• Till date, transmission sector providers have been participating in transmission bids through manual mode.

• With e-Trans, the interface will be electronic.

• On the lines of coal sector, reverse auction is being introduced in transmission sector to facilitate better price discovery in transmission projects.

Features of DEEP

• DEEP stands for Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price.

• It is an e-Bidding portal for medium term (1-5 years) purchase of power.

• It will provide a common e-bidding platform with e-reverse auction facility to facilitate nation-wide power procurement through a wider network.

• It facilitates realization of uniform and transparent process of power procurement.

• With this, the cost of procurement of power is expected to be reduced substantially, thereby significantly benefiting the ultimate consumers.

• The Portal is based on the Guidelines for Medium Term procurement of Power which was notified by Union Government in 2014 and further amended on May 2015.

• The scope of this portal shall be further expanded to cover long term procurement of power.

UNION GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED TARANG, E-TRANS & DEEP TO ENHANCE TRANSPARENCY IN POWER SECTOR

Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal launched TARANG Mobile App, e-Trans and DEEP e-bidding web portals in New Delhi.

They were developed by Rural Electrification Corporation Transmission Projects Company Limited (RECTPCL), a subsidiary of REC Ltd.

The initiatives were launched keeping in line with the Digital India initiative. The primarily seek to enhance transparency in power sector.

Features of TARANG

• It stands for Transmission App for Real Time Monitoring and Growth.

• The mobile application as well as the web portal will act as powerful monitoring tool to track upcoming transmission projects.

• It will also be utilized to monitor the progress of inter-state and intra-state transmission systems in the country.

• It helps the stakeholders - Ministry of Power, State Governments, all private sector transmission developers and PSUs like Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. for expeditious completion of such projects.

• Green Energy Corridors, an important component of renewable energy mission, would also be monitored through TARANG and help to meet ambitious targets in same on time.

• It shall enhance ease, accountability and transparency and would boost confidence of investors in power transmission sector.

• Better price discovery shall ultimately benefit the power consumers in India.

• It was developed through Regulated tariff mechanism as well as Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) route.

Features of e-Trans

• It is a web platform for e-bidding and e-reverse auction for Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) in transmission projects.

• Till date, transmission sector providers have been participating in transmission bids through manual mode.

• With e-Trans, the interface will be electronic.

• On the lines of coal sector, reverse auction is being introduced in transmission sector to facilitate better price discovery in transmission projects.

Features of DEEP

• DEEP stands for Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price.

• It is an e-Bidding portal for medium term (1-5 years) purchase of power.

• It will provide a common e-bidding platform with e-reverse auction facility to facilitate nation-wide power procurement through a wider network.

• It facilitates realization of uniform and transparent process of power procurement.

• With this, the cost of procurement of power is expected to be reduced substantially, thereby significantly benefiting the ultimate consumers.

• The Portal is based on the Guidelines for Medium Term procurement of Power which was notified by Union Government in 2014 and further amended on May 2015.

• The scope of this portal shall be further expanded to cover long term procurement of power.

SBI BOARD APPROVED MERGER OF 5 ASSOCIATE BANKS, BMB WITH ITSELF

The State Bank of India (SBI) board approved merger of its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with itself.

Apart from the BMB, the 5 associate banks that will be merged with the SBI are -

i. State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur

ii. State Bank of Hyderabad

iii. State Bank of Mysore

iv. State Bank of Patiala

v. State Bank of Travancore

Further, the board also finalised the share swap ratio for three of the listed subsidiaries and Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

The listed subsidiaries of the SBI are - State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore.

Highlights of the merger

• The merger will create a behemoth with an asset base of 37 lakh crore rupees or over 555 billion US dollar.

• The merged entity will have 22500 branches and 58000 ATMs serving a customer base of over 50 crore.

• SBI has close to 16500 branches, including 191 foreign offices across 36 countries while the five subsidiaries have nearly 6000 branches.

• The merger necessitates changes in various acts that govern the functioning of the SBI and its subsidiary banks - which require Union cabinet approval.

• The merger will make SBI as one of the top 50 banks in the world as currently no Indian bank features in the top 50 banks of the world.

Background

• The country's largest lender SBI had seven associate banks, of which it has merged State Bank of Saurashtra and State Bank of Indore with itself over the last 10 years.

• The parent bank had advances of 15.09 trillion rupees and deposits of 17.31 trillion rupees as of the end of the March quarter.

• Bank consolidation was proposed by the Union Government in March 2016 at a congregation of bankers and government officials where various issues pertaining to banks were discussed.

• In June 2016, the Union Cabinet gave its approval for the merger.

 

 

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 04:06
 

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