Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - AUGUST - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 27 - AUGUST - 2016
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 05:10

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

27- AUGUST - 2016

 

: NATIONAL ::

AFTER PM'S APPEAL NOW HOME MINISTER TO LEAD J&K MISSION

  • Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing “deep concern and pain” over the situation in Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh will undertake a two-day visit to the Valley.
  • The Home Minister will review the situation and may hold talks with a cross section of people.
  • Mr. Singh would not extend an exclusive invitation to the separatists but he would welcome anyone who comes to meet him during his stay there.
  • This is his second visit in a month to the Valley which has been witnessing unrest since July 8 when Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.
  • As many as 65 people, including two policemen, have been killed and several thousand injured so far in the violence there.
  • Mr. Singh has also held meetings with some non-Kashmiri Muslim leaders in the past few days to find a solution to the Kashmir crisis. The government also intends to rope in the clergy to spread the message.
  • Former Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor M.M. Ansari, former Orissa High Court judge Ishrat Masroor Quddussi and security analyst Qamar Agha were the few personalities Mr. Singh met recently.

U.N. CONFIRMED SIX ADDRESS OF DAWOOD IN PAKISTAN

  • India’s consistent stand that Dawood Ibrahim is based in Pakistan has got a virtual endorsement from the U.N. which has confirmed six addresses of the underworld don in that country.
  • The listing of the UN Security Council’s ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee also includes information about Dawood’s various passports, including those issued in Pakistan.
  • India, in a dossier, had cited nine addresses in Pakistan as those frequented by Dawood of which the UN Security Council’s ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee removed three, finding those incorrect.
  • The Committee, which amended its entry concerning Dawood, a UN-designated terrorist, made no changes with regard to six addresses provided by India.
  • One of the three addresses which have been dropped by the Committee from its list was found “similar to that of a residence of Islamabad’s envoy to the U.N. Maleeha Lodhi”.
  • The addresses were included in a dossier prepared by India in August last year that had listed nine residences in Pakistan of the mastermind of 1993 Mumbai serial blasts as evidence to show that he is holed up in that country.

IITS MAY HAVE 1 LAKH SEATS BY 2020

  • The IIT Council on Tuesday approved in principle an increase in number of seats by 2020, subject to each IIT’s assessment of its preparedness.
  • Govt's vision for 2020 is one-lakh seats, though it is up to the institutes to decide how to go about it. The student-teacher ratio, which should be 10:1 is right now 15:1.
  • New recruitments will, therefore, have to accompany the capacity expansion planned. As of now, the IITs admit 10,500 UG students, 8,000 PG students and 3,000 Ph.D students. Other initiatives are planned to improve the IITs.
  • The government is planning to put in place an engineering aptitude test that students of classes 11 and 12 can take up to assess their ability to excel as engineers beforehand.
  • This apart, plans for global collaborations have also got the nod of the IIT Council.
  • A Prime Minister Research Fellowship would be started so that bright students do not suffer for lack of funds. He also gave details of the progress of some other initiatives.
  • He said 92 projects have till now been accepted under the Uchhatar Avishkar Yojana (UAY) – aimed at giving students of premier institutions like the IITs a more market-oriented mindset – at an expense of Rs. 282-crore.
  • Under the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN), 260 foreign academics have already come and delivered lectures in classrooms. The lectures have also been recorded.
  • Over 800 academics will come to India from abroad under this initiative, he added.

BIHAR CM DISCUSSED FLOOD SITUATION WITH PM

  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and requested him to send a team of experts to assess the “unprecedented” situation in the State and prompt action on a national silt management policy.
  • He also expressed concerns that the Farakka barrage in West Bengal had led to silting in the Ganga and exacerbated the floods in Bihar.
  • The Farakka barrage has 104 gates and they are being opened to manage nearly 11 lakh cusecs of water that have inundated Bihar and affected nearly 10 lakh residents in the past week.
  • “It is not possible to protect Bihar from devastating floods without removal of the Farakka barrage on the Ganga,” Mr. Kumar had said, before an aerial survey of the flood-hit districts.
  • The barrage, built in 1975 close to the Bangladesh border, was designed to transfer 1,100 cubic metres per second of water from the Ganga to the Hoogly to flush out sediments.
  • However it has been controversial, with complaints that it is choking up the river’s natural flow and affecting aquatic life.
  • The Ganga and five other rivers are still flowing above danger mark in many parts of Bihar, triggering a flood-like situation, while in Uttar Pradesh water level of major rivers has crossed the red mark at several places in the State.
  • At least 22 persons have been killed while 23.71 lakh people affected in the Bihar floods with many areas, especially the riverine belt of 12 districts was badly reeling under water in the State.
  • The floods caused by a spate in rivers Ganga, Sone, Punpun, Burhi Gandak, Ghaghra and Kosi have affected 23.71 lakh people in 1,115 villages under 362 panchayats in 12 districts of the state.

CENTRAL WATER COMMISSION AND THE CENTRAL GROUND WATER BOARD COULD BE MERGED

  • The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), it is learnt, is receptive to the idea of forming the proposed National Water Commission (NWC) by merging the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
  • The NWC was the key recommendation of a report submitted last month by a committee headed by water expert Mihir Shah that was tasked with reorganising river water management in the country.
  • Since 1945 the CWC has been tasked with managing surface water and its associated structures such as dams and barrages. The CGWB, on the other hand, is largely concerned with the quality of groundwater.
  • The proposed NWC pushes for an integrated policy, greater cognisance of over-extraction of groundwater.
  • It will also maintain environmental stability by ensuring States that share water do not draw from river basins more than what is ecologically tenable.
  • As of today, States must get a technical clearance from the CWC before they can go ahead with constructing dams and other reservoirs.
  • Were an NWC to come into being, this power would devolve to the States and other research institutions, with the Central body becoming a research organisation and a repository of data on India’s river basins.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

U.S.’S SECURITY ASSISTANCE TO PAKISTAN HAS SLOWED SIGNIFICANTLY

  • The U.S.’s security assistance to Pakistan has declined by 73 per cent since 2011 due to the deterioration in ties following the killing of Osama bin Laden, according to a Congressional report.
  • The report, prepared for the U.S. Congress by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), covers both military and economic assistance given between 2002 and 2015 as well as those earmarked for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
  • The bilateral relationship started deteriorating after the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a raid in Abbottabad and a U.S. air strike on a Pakistani border post in Salala that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
  • Earlier this month, the Pentagon decided not to pay $300 million in military reimbursements to Islamabad over its alleged reluctance to act against the Haqqani network, a charge Islamabad had immediately rejected.
  • Security aid fell 73 per cent from nearly $1.3 billion in 2011 to $343 million in 2015. Economic aid declined from nearly $1.2 billion in 2011 to $561 million in 2015, the report said.
  • The CSF accounted for “as much as one-fifth of Pakistan’s total military expenditures” from 2002 to 2014, said the CRS, a U.S. government news and analysis service for Congress.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

AN AUTHORITY TO ADMINISTER AND MANAGE ITS DIGITAL LOCKER INITIATIVE

  • The Centre will soon appoint an authority to administer and manage its Digital Locker initiative, one of the key projects under Digital India programme, as it looks to push paperless governance.
  • The Digital Locker Authority will be responsible for granting licenses and to authorise a private entity to offer these services.
  • Besides, it will need to prepare standards and guidelines, while also ensuring compliance by service providers. These guidelines include those for data retention and migration, audit and security and privacy.
  • The authority will also need to notify the fee or service charges a subscriber will have to pay for availing Digital Locker services from authorized service providers.
  • Currently, the services are offered for free.

GOVT MIGHT BAN ALL CASH TRANSACTIONS ABOVE 3 LAKHS

  • The government is considering a recommendation by the Special Investigation Team to ban all cash transactions of more than Rs.3 lakh.
  • The government was also in talks with Singapore to renegotiate the tax treaty between the two countries along the lines of the revised treaty between India and Mauritius.
  • While there will be some differences between the India-Singapore and India-Mauritius treaties, they won’t be significant.
  • The General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) would supersede all other international tax treaties India has entered into, except those with specific provisions that run counter to GAAR.

NEW NON-PERFORMING ASSETS FORMATION SLOWED

  • The pace of formation of new non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans has decelerated although some banks have posted losses for the first quarter of the current financial year due to higher provisioning.
  • Most of the banks are adequately capitalised and the government has promised additional capital if they require.
  • In a bid to shore up cash-strapped public sector banks, the government last month announced infusion of Rs.22,915 crore capital in 13 lenders including the State Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank.
  • Gross non-performing assets of the public sector banks had surged from 5.43 per cent (Rs.2.67 lakh crore) of advances in 2014-15 to 9.32 per cent (Rs.4.76 lakh crore) in 2015-16.

INDIA IS 7TH WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD

  • India has figured among the top 10 wealthiest countries in the world with a total individual wealth of $5,600 billion while the U.S. topped the chart.
  • According to a report by New World Wealth, India was ranked 7th ahead of Canada ($4,700 billion), Australia ($4,500 billion) and Italy ($4,400 billion), which came in at 8th, 9th and 10th slots, respectively.
  • The U.S. is the wealthiest in the world in terms of total individual wealth held ($48,900 billion) while China stood second and Japan third, with total individual wealth of $17,400 billion and $15,100 billion, respectively.
  • Others in the top 10 club include the United Kingdom (4th) with a total individual wealth of $9,200 billion, followed by Germany (5th, $9,100 billion) and France (6th, $6,600 billion).

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

UNION CABINET APPROVES INTRODUCTION OF SURROGACY (REGULATION) BILL, 2016

The Union Cabinet approved the introduction of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016.

The Bill will ensure effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples.

Provisions of the Bill

• It will regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level.

• It will also establish State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the State and Union Territories.

• All infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefited.

• The rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected.

• It shall apply to whole of India, except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

• The commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes.

• It will control the unethical practices in surrogacy.

Background
India has emerged as a surrogacy hub for couples from different countries. However, there have been reported incidents concerning unethical practices, exploitation of surrogate mothers, abandonment of children born out of surrogacy and rackets of intermediaries importing human embryos and gametes.

The 228th report of the Law Commission of India recommended for prohibiting commercial surrogacy and allowing ethical altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian citizens by enacting a suitable legislation.

UNION GOVERNMENT, US SIGN MOU FOR COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF TRADITIONAL MEDICINES

The Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H) and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in traditional medicine.

The MoU was signed by Rajiv Kumar Sharma, Director of PCIM & H and Dr KV Surendra Nath, Senior Vice President, Global Sites, USP.

Highlights of the MoU

• It aims at collaborating, identifying, and development and dissemination of science-based standards in medicines field.

• It will promote the safety, quality and integrity of traditional medicines and botanical dietary supplements.

• It will improve public health in India, US and worldwide by working together to increase awareness and understanding of traditional and herbal medicines, botanical dietary supplements and their products.

• It will help to harmonize the Pharmacopeia in terms of international conventions.

About Pharmacopoeia Commission for Indian Medicine and Homoeopathy (PCIM&H)

• The PCIM&H  comes under the AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddhant and Homeopathy) Ministry.

• It is an autonomous organisation with a primary mandate to develop pharmacopoeial standards for drugs and formulations used under AYUSH.

On the other hand, United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a global health organisation and its public standards provide scientifically validated test methods and cover over 250 botanical ingredients and dosage forms including ashwagandha, turmeric, turmeric extract and others.

FORBES RELEASES LIST OF THE WORLD'S HIGHEST-PAID ACTRESSES 2016

Forbes released the list of The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2016. Jennifer Lawrence topped the Forbes magazine list for the second straight year with earnings of 46 million US dollars.

Indian actress Deepika Padukone is the only newcomer to the World’s Highest-Paid Actresses list and the only Indian star to make the cut.

Highlights of the list

• The list is topped by Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence with 46 million US dollars in her pocket.

• The second position is grabbed by Ghostbusters star Melissa McCarthy (33 million US dollars) followed by Scarlett Johansson (25 million US dollars) and Jennifer Aniston (21 million US dollars) at third and fourth position respectively.

• Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (17 million US dollars) took the fifth spot in the list.

• This year, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon and Kristen Stewart are drop-offs from the 2015 list.

• 30 percent of the list hail from outside the US; while Charlize Theron, a dual citizen of South African and the US returns to the list for the first time since 2013.

• India’s Deepika Padukone is the only newcomer to the ranking and the only Indian in the list. She joined the list with Bollywood hits such as Bajirao Mastani.

• Together, the world’s 10 highest-paid actresses tallied a combined 205 million US dollars between June 2015 and June 2016, before fees and taxes.

• Half of the list is filled by women with the age over 40 and Jennifer Lawrence is the youngest list member and the only one under 30 years.

• There were also some noteworthy near misses: Kristen Wiig, Renée Zellweger and Cate Blanchett all narrowly missed the 10 million US dollars cut off for this year’s ranking.

US POSTAL SERVICE HONORS DIWALI FESTIVAL WITH A FOREVER STAMP

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced to commemorate the joyous Hindu festival of Diwali with the launch of Forever stamp.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony of the Forever Stamp will take place at the Consulate General of India, New York on 5 October 2016. The launch of this stamp is an important recognition for the more than 3 million Indian-Americans who celebrate Diwali every year in US.

The Diwali stamp will be issued as a Forever stamp. This Forever stamp will also be equal in value to the current First Class Mail 1-ounce price.

The stamp design is a photograph featuring a traditional diya oil lamp beautifully lit, sitting on a sparkling gold background.

 

 

 

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