Current Affairs Today – May 11 2016
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Landmark meeting of SAARC Countries on protection of Children held in Delhi
Initiative: The eight nations composing the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) are assembled.
Eight Nations : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Venue and Date: New Delhi, 9th-11th May, 2016.
Purpose : To set strategies and agree on commitments to ensure the protection and security of the children of the region.
♦ The 4th Ministerial Meeting carries forward the collective inter governmental ownership of SAIEVAC, which is reflected in its Governing Body composed of official members, representing each of the eight governments.
Investments through Mauritius to be taxed from April 2017
India will start imposing capital gains tax on investments routed through Mauritius from April next under a revised tax treaty
i. To curb tax evasion and round-tripping of funds
ii. Mauritius and Singapore are among the top-most sources of foreign direct investments into India
iii. The signing of the protocol with Mauritius follows decade-long negotiations.
Amended treaty with Mauritius:
From two years beginning April 1, 2017, capital gains tax will be imposed at 50 per cent of the prevailing domestic rate. Full rate will apply from April 1, 2019.
Parliament passes bill on potable alcohol
i. Parliament has passed the Industries (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015 with Lok Sabha approving some technical amendments.
ii. The bill seeks to transfer from the Centre to states the control over industries engaged in the production of potable alcohol.
iii. The bill was introduced by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha. It was earlier approved by the Rajya Sabha last month and certain changes were adopted by the Lower House.
iv. The bill envisages central government would continue to be responsible for formulating policy and regulating foreign collaboration for all products of fermentation industries, including industrial and potable alcohol.
Harish Rawat led Congress Government wins the Floor Test in Uttarakhand Assembly
i. Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister and Congress leader Harish Rawat won the Assembly floor test and the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it will revoke President’s Rule in the state.
ii. Harish got the support from 33 of the 61 MLAs who voted. The floor test aka trust vote, was held to ascertain whether the ousted chief minister still enjoys a majority in the House.
iii. Union government has imposed President’s Rule in Uttarakhand in March citing Rawat lost his majority.
♦ Uttarakhand is the only state in India with Sanskrit as one of its official languages.
♦ Two of India’s largest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna, originate in the glaciers of the state
EC to send Meghdoot postcards to 3 lakh voters
i. Election Commission will be sending out ‘Meghdoot‘ postcards to three lakh voters inviting them to cast their votes in the May 16 Assembly polls in Puducherry.
ii. Joint Chief Electoral Officer Rudra Goud handed the cards to 30 postmen at the Head Post office of the Union Territory to ensure that voters turn up in overwhelming numbers.
iii. In the drive cards carry a message that visually challenged voters will also have the Braille voting system also assistance would also be provided to orthopedically and physically challenged persons to cast their ballots.
♦ Lieutenant Governor: A. K. Singh
♦ Chief Minister: N. Rangaswamy
♦ Delhi and Puducherry are the two union territories in India that is authorised by special constitutional amendments to have an elected legislative assembly and a cabinet of ministers, thereby conveying partial statehood.
Govt sets up panel to draft national policy on marine fishery
i. Union government has set up a new panel to prepare a draft national policy on marine fishery after ascertaining the current status of exploitation of the resources. Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Kumar Balyan informed in Lok Sabh.
ii. A committee was constituted on July 28, 2015, under the chairmanship of S Ayyapan, former director general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
iii. The Ayyapan committee was set up after the recommendations of the Meena Kumari Committee on deep-sea fishing was not being implemented by the government as the committee’s report was received on August 5, 2014.
US India Defence Cooperation Act introduced in Senate
US India Defence Cooperation Act introduced a legislation passed by Congress.
♦ To elevate the status of the Indo US defence relationship on par with that of America’s closest allies like NATO and Israel.
The US India Defence Technology and Partnership Act:
i. The legislation has been sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for necessary action.
ii. US government’s focus on the US India security relationship while sending a powerful signal to India that the US is a reliable and dependable defence partner.
iii. This bill supports strengthening our bilateral relationship partner in promoting security in Asia. iv. India has huge potential as a market for US defence manufacturers, which support millions of American jobs.
To End AIDS Epidemic By 2030 needed more funding and leadership : UN
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon submitted report on May 09, 2016.
i .To Fight against AIDS threatened by lack of money and leadership.
ii. Global progress fighting AIDS could be lost because prevention programs are suffering from a lack of leadership, accountability and funding.
♦ Track to end the AIDS epidemic reveals that the extraordinary acceleration of progress made over the past 15 years.
♦ To ensure that the global AIDS epidemic is ended as a public health threat by 2030.
Bangladesh executes Jamaat chief Nizami for war crimes
i. Bangladesh executed Islamist party Chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for convicted criminal during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan.
ii. The Jamaat leader was hanged at Dhaka Central jail, after the Supreme Court rejected his final plea against a death sentence imposed by a special tribunal for genocide, rape and arranging the massacre of top intellectuals during the war.
iii. He became the fourth Jamaat leader and the fifth person hanged after being convicted of war crimes by one of the two International Crimes Tribunals.
iv. The war crimes tribunal set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010 has erupted violence and drawn criticism from opposition politicians, including leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami.
BANKING & FINANCE
RBI to issue Rs 1000 banknotes with inset letter R
i. Mumbai based Reserve Bank of Indiais mulling to issue banknotes of 1000 rupees denominations with inset letter ‘R’ in both the number panels.
ii. The banknotes will also have on the obverse side that all the other security features, including ascending size of numerals, bleed lines and enlarged identification mark,
iii. These banknotes will bear signature of RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. It will also have the year of printing 2016 printed on the reverse side.
The current series of banknotes that began in 1996 is known as the Mahatma Gandhi series.Indian currency notes are printed by two different bodies namely.
1.Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt Ltd (BRBNMPL)
2.Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL)
♦ Governor: Raghuram Rajan
Government fixes ceiling price of 54 drug formulations
i. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority fixed the ceiling price of 54 drug formulations used for treatment of cancer and other diseases it also fixed the retail price of 11 drugs.
ii. The regulator has fixed/revised ceiling prices of Schedule-I under Drugs Price Control Amendment Order, 2016 and Retail Price of 11 formulations under-2013 Amendment.
iii. Union government fixes the prices of essential drugs based on the simple average of all medicines in a particular therapeutic segment, having sales of more than 1%.
National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority:
The NPPA is formed 1997 headquartered In New Delhi, which is a government regulatory agency that controls the prices of pharmaceutical drugs in India.
Nalco signs MoU with BARC for research and development
i. Bhubaneswar based National Aluminium Company has signed an MoU with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai, for research and development cooperation in the fields of mutual interest.
ii. The pact was signed by BK Satpathy, Executive Director of NALCO and Jagtap, Director of BARC.
iii. It will be NALCO’s first R&D project with BARC for R&D projects like Extraction of Gallium from Bayer liquor, Extraction of rare earth elements from Red Mud and Development of Reference Standards would be taken up.
National Aluminium Company Limited:
NALCO is incorporated as a public sector enterprise of the Ministry of Mines, in 1981 based in Bhubaneswar Odisha.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Senior advocate Atma Ram Nadkarni appointed Additional Solicitor General
i. Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Bombay High Court’s senior advocate Atma Ram Nadkarni as Additional Solicitor General for a period of three years.
ii. Earlier he had served as Advocate General also called highest law officer of the Goa.
Additional Solicitor General:
♦ He is third ranking lawyer of the Union Government, An Additional Solicitor General acts as law officer to advice the Union government on various legal matters under the Article 76.
♦ Solicitor General and Additional Solicitor General’s mainly assist the Union Government’s top legal adviser Attorney General.
Rodrigo Duterte wins 2016 Philippines Presidential Election
i. The PDP-Laban party’s Rodrigo Duterte has Won Presidential Election in the Philippines with an unbeatable lead in unofficial tallies in the country’s presidential runoff.
ii. The general election in the democracy saw a record engagement with an estimated 80% turnout of the 54 million registered voters.
iii. He is among the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and has been mayor of Davao City working out more than 22 years.
iv. Rodrigo is set to take as the 16th President-elect of the Republic of the Philippines.
♦ Capital: Manila
♦ Currency: Philippine peso
Michel Platini to resign as UEFA President
i. UEFA president Michel Platini will resign from European football’s governing body after failing to overturn his ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
ii.A Court of Arbitration for Sport panel also reduced the ban from six years to four years.
iii. The court also ruled that Platini was guilty of conflict of interest for taking a $2 million payment from FIFA approved by Sepp Blatter in 2011.
iv. UEFA would meet on 18 May to discuss next steps. In the meantime there will be no Uefa president appointed interim post.
Union of European Football Associations:
♦ Inception: 1954
♦ Headquarters: Switzerland
♦ Membership: 55 associations
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA’s Kepler telescope finds largest trove of exoplanets
i. Kepler space telescope helped NASA’s discovery that results with 1284 new planets outside our solar system, more than doubling the number of known exoplanets.
ii. This Findings makes hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth.
iii. Unmanned Kepler space works by observing a dimming in the light of star, known as a transit observatory was launched back in 2009, has been scanning 150,000 stars for signs of orbiting bodies.
Indian Navy launches underwater vigil system in Visakhapatnam & decommissions fighter planes Sea Harriers
i. Indian Navy has launched Harbour Defence Systems at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam. 1.Integrated Underwater Harbour Defence,
2.Surveillance System (IUHDSS), 3.Mine Warfare Data Centre (MWDC).
These state-of-the-art systems would enhance the Navy’s surveillance capability and response to security threats.
ii. Navy’s Vice Admiral Bisht, AVSM Flag Officer commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command inaugurated the two systems.
This IUHDSS is a multi-sensor system capable of detecting, identifying, tracking and generating warnings for all types of surface and underwater threats to Visakhapatnam harbour.
Mine Warfare Data Centre:
The MWDC will compare, analyse and classify data collected by the Navy’s Mine Hunting Ships from various ports along the East coast.
The Iconic Sea Harrier’s will be decommissioned from the Indian Navy after 30 years of glorious service for the country’s various mission. The Harriers have been replaced by a squadron of Russian MiG 29k jets.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm launches digital wallet
i. Mumbai based Reliance Jio has launched digital wallet service called JioMoney for common people. With this users can do mobile and DTH recharges, send/receive money, make bill payments, pay insurance and other premiums et al. JioMoney is powered by 4G small cell technology.
ii. This JioMoney is like already existing digital payment platforms such as PayTm, FreeCharge that will allow people to make cashless transactions at various outlets including both online shopping platforms and offline stores.
iii. Reliance has partnered with over 50000 merchants to enable transactions through JioMoney on their respective platforms.
Reliance Industries has 95% stake in Infotel Broadband Services Limited (IBSL) of Rs 4,800 crore, IBBL was the only firm to win broadband spectrum in all 22 zones in India in the 4G auction.
Scientists develop second skin to reduce wrinkles, eye bags
i. Scientists developed an invisible elastic film called second skin that can be applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags and even reshape your face.
ii. The wearable film developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology America that has shown promise in a series of small trials.
iii. This can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions by covering dry itchy patches with a film that moistens and soothes.
iv. The researchers made a large collection siloxanes their basic form is one atom of oxygen linked to two atoms of silicon chemicals which form polymers.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
India vs Pakistan: Why Can’t we just be Friends by Husain Haqqani
i. Former Pakistani ambassador to the US,Husain Haqqanito author a book titled India vs Pakistan: Why Can’t We Just Be Friends is set be published soon.
ii. The book reveals that US intelligence agencies had evidence about Pakistan spy agency ISI’s involvement in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in which 166 people were killed and over 300 injured.
iii. Husain Haqqani has exposed Pakistan’s role in the deadly terror attacks. He also has mentioned about the ISI’s role in the 26/11 attacks. The author said that retired Pakistan Army officers were behind the Mumbai attacks.
National Technology Day
i. National Technology Day’ is celebrated across India on May 11 being commemorated to memorize the achievements of its scientists.
ii. To celebrate this great occasion, with great pride as the country achieved a huge technological progression on this particular day.
iii. On this day that the first, indigenous made aircraft “Hansa-3” was test flown at Bangalore. India also performed successful test firing of the Trishul missile on the same day and performed three successful nuclear tests, carried out at Pokhran, in Rajasthan.
iv. The theme for this year’s is Technology enablers of Startup India. The day is also significant for scientists and engineers who play a vital role in country’s technological developments
v. The President of India gives National Technology Award to companies and also to individuals for their great contributions to science.