Current Affairs 2016
A monthly round up of Current Affairs for the year 2016. You can get the Current Affairs 2016 in Pdf format if you register for our monthly emagazines.
Current Affairs Books
Some recommended Current Affairs Books are as follows.
- Year Book 2014 by V.V.K. Subburaj- Buy Now
Price: Rs 280
- Manorama Yearbook 2015 by Mammen Mathew- Buy Now
Price: Rs 184
- India 2015 by Publications Division Team- Buy Now
Price: Rs 270
- General Knowledge 2015 by Manohar Pandey- Buy Now
Price: Rs 100
Current Affairs - January 2016
Current Affairs December 28 th 2015 to January 03 rd 2016
Interational Current News
- Hubble Telescope- for the first time ever this telescope captured merging of two galaxies nearly 230 million light-years away from the earth, in the Hercules constellation. NGC 6052 which was originally classified as a single abnormal galaxy collided with another drawn together by gravity.
National Current News
- Barack 8 missile-the Long Range Surface to Air Missile (LR SAM) manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited and jointly developed by India and Israel which was successfully test fired on Western Seaboard by INS Kolkata in the Arabian Sea.
- 1, 00,000MW- the amount of electricity government plans to generate from solar panels by 2022, with a 40,000MW contribution from grid-connected rooftop systems.
- Raptor MOU- stands for the MOU on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia with the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS). India recently gave its approval for its readiness in signing this MOU which will help India gain knowledge in effectively managing the habitats of these raptors.
- R Ashwin- the Indian off spinner who has been ranked as ICC's top Test bowler for 2015, 42 years after Bishan Singh Bedi became the first Indian to achieve the feat. He was also named as the No.1 Test all-rounder.
- Virat Kohli- India's Test captain who was named as the winner of the Polly Umrigar award for BCCI's International cricketer of the year.
- India- the defeated Afghanistan 2-1 to win the seventh SAAF Cup played at Thiruvananthapuram.
- Ben Stokes- he English cricketer who smashed his way to the second fastest double century in Test history on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at cape Town. He scored double century in 163 balls while the record for the fastest double century is held by New Zealand's Nathan Astle who made it off 153 balls against England in 2002.
Current Affairs January 04 th to 10 th 2016
National Current News
- Anything but Khamosh- the biography written by BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha which was released recently. The book focuses on Patna Sahib MPs troubled relations with the party post 2014 victory and its current leadership.
- 1st April, 2020- the date from which government is planning to enforce the more stringent Bharat Stage VI fuel emission norms for vehicles, advancing the deadline by a year as part of ongoing efforts to reduce pollution. BS norms were introduced in 2000 and were modeled around European regulations.
- Netflix- the popular American on-demand video streaming service which recently launched its services in India.
- Jallikattu- the famous and controversial bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu which was recently revived by central government. The government also allowed bullock cart races, a popular sport in states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat.
- Hashim Amla-he recently stepped down from the post of skipper of Test cricket of South Africa.
- Pranav Dhanawade- the Mumbai teenager who recently scored 1009 runs off 327 balls in the under-16 Bhandari trophy in Mumbai, thus becoming the first batsman ever to notch up a four-figure individual score. He broke the 117 year old record of AEJ Collins of 628 runs in 1899.
Current Affairs January 11 th to 17 th 2016
Interational Current News
- The Martian- the space adventure which won the top movie prize in the best motion picture-musical or comedy category at the 73rd Golden Globes Awards recently.
- The Revenant- the revenge drama which won the top movie prize in the best motion picture-drama category at the 73rd Golden Globes Awards recently.
- Juno- the NASA's spacecraft to Jupiter which broke the record for the most distant solar powered mission when it travelled 793mn km from the Sun. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016 and over the next year the space craft will orbit the Jovian world 33 times, skimming to within 5,000 km of the planet's cloud tops every 14 days. Launched in 2011, Juno is the first solar powered spacecraft designed to operate at such a great distance from the Sun.
- AIIB- stands for Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which was recently inaugurated by China's President Xi Jinping to streamline infrastructure across the continent. AIIB with an authorized capital of $100 billion is believed to be China's effort to rival the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
National Current News
- e-NPS- it is an online portal (htpps://enps.nsdl.com) of NPS Trust wherein a subscriber can register and contribute under NPS online. Through eNPS, a subscriber can register, generate a Permanent Retirement Account Number(PRAN) and contribute to his/her account through use of net banking/debit card or credit card.
15th January 2016- this day was recently celebrated as 68th Army Day.
- 2%- the amount of premium which has been fixed for Kharif crops in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana which was announced by the government recently. The premium for Rabi crops have been fixed at 1.5%. The new scheme will be implemented from the forthcoming Kharif season.
- 10,000 crore- the corpus of the start-up fund which is going to set up by the government to boost Start-up's in India as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently in a series of new entrepreneur friendly measures which include no tax on profits and no inspection for 3 years, self-certification-based compliance for labour and environment laws and 80% reduction in patent fees.
- Mohammad Shahzad- the Afghanistan batsman who smashed the fourth highest score in the T20 history when he made 118 against Zimbabwe at Sharjah recently.
- Lionel Messi- he won the FIFA world player of the year award for the record fifth time. He also ended Cristano Ronaldo's two year hold on FIFA Ballon d Or trophy to lift soccer's top individual honour when he won the FIFA Ballon d Or trophy 2015 at the FIFA event in Zurich, Switzerland recently.
- Rohit Sharma- he scored a back to back century in the first and second international cricket match against Australia, both of which were won by the host country. He also became the first Indian player to hit four hundreds in ODIs in Australia, eclipsing the three by VVS Laxman.
- India- this country climbed to the top of ICC's Test rankings recently with 110 ranking points, one point more than Australia who are second with 109 ranking points. South Africa has dropped to No.3.
- Virat Kohli- he scored his 24th ODI century when he made 117 against Australia in the third one day international match at Melbourne recently.
- Gideon Kipketer- the Kenyan athlete who won the Mumbai Marathon in the men's category.
- Shuko Genemo- the Ethiopian athlete who won the Mumbai Marathon in the women's category.
- Delhi Acers- the team which won the title of the Premier Badminton League.
Current Affairs January 18 th to 24 th 2016
Interational Current News
- 2015- this year was the warmest year since 1880 and it shattered the previous record set in 2014 by the widest margin of 0.16 degree C as per the report by the National Oceanic and atmospheric Administration Administration (NOAA).
- Houbara- the rare desert bird from which the ban on killing was recently lifted by Pakistan Supreme court. This is found in sandy and stony semi arid regions especially in Baluchistan.
- Zika- the virus which has brought havoc in Central America, South America, Caribbean and Oceania countries. It can be transmitted by the bite of mosquito or from the mother to the foetus via the placenta. It is believed it causes Microcephaly which is a neurological disorder in newborns.
- Snowzilla- the monster blizzard that deposited more than two feet of snow and brought Washington, New York and other northeastern US cities to standstill and killed many people.
National Current News
- 24th January 2016- this day was recently celebrated as National Girl Child Day.
- Chris Gayle- the West Indies batsman who recently equaled Yuvraj Singh's Twenty20 record with a 12 ball 50 for Melbourne Renegades in a Big Bash League match against Adelaide Strikers.
- John Ward- he started a new trend by becoming the first umpire to officiate in an international match with a helmet during the Big Bash League at Sydney recently.
- Shivnarine Chanderpaul- the West Indies batsman and the seventh highest Test match run maker in history announced his retirement recently.
- Ajit Chandila- the former Rajasthan Royals player who banned for five years for misconduct and corruption by the disciplinary committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI).
- Uttar Pradesh- they defeated Baroda to clinch their first ever domestic T20 championship when they won the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
- Manish Pandey- he scored a century in the last one day international cricket against Australia at Sydney.
- India- they became the first side to successfully chase a score of 300 or more versus Australia in Australia in One Day Internationals when India defeated Australia in the last one day match at Sydney.
- PV Sindhu- the Indian badminton player who defeated Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour to win the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix gold title.
Current Affairs January 25 th to 31 st 2016
National Current News
- 20- the number of cities which were selected in the first batch of cities planned to be developed as smart cities. Smart city denotes an urban area that provides world class sustainable infrastructure including uninterrupted clean water and power supply, roads, high speed internet, automated waste disposal, sustainable public transport, affordable housing and digitized public services. These cities are Surat, Ahmedabad from Gujarat; Jaipur and Udaipur from Rajasthan; Indore, Bhopal and Jabalpur from Madhya Pradesh; Sholapur and Pune from Maharashtra; Chennai and Coimbatore from Tamil Nadu; Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada from Andhra Pradesh; Ludhiana from Punjab; Bhubaneshwar from Odisha; New Delhi from Delhi; Guwahati from Assam; Kochi from Kerala; Belgaum and Davangere from Karnataka.
- Angelique Kerber- she defeated World No.1 Serena Williams to clinch the Australian Open title and become the first German to win a Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1999.
- Novak Djokovic- he hammered Andy Murray in straight sets to win a record equaling 6th Australian Open title. The world No.1 equaled the tally of Australian's Roy Emerson who won the tournament sis times between 1961 and 1967.
- Saina Nehwal-India's ace badminton player who was awarded Padma Bhushan award, India's third highest civilian award. She was bestowed with the Khel Ratna and Padma Shri in 2010.
- Virat Kohli- he struck his second unbeaten half century in the T20 series during the second match against Australia which India won. He is the first Indian player to score more than one 50+ score in a T20 series. He was also adjudged Man of the series in the T20 series against Australia which India won 3-0.
- Sania Mirza- she along with Martina Hingis defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka to win the doubles title of 2015 Australian Open.
- India- they recorded its highest run chase ever on Australian soil as they pulled off a dramatic 7 wicket victory in the third and final T20 ODI to achieve a clean sweep of 3-0 against the hosts.
- K Srikanth- the Indian shuttler who defeated China's Huang Yuxian to win his maiden Syed Modi International Badminton championship.
Current Affairs - February
Current Affairs February 01 st to 07 th 2016
National Current News
- Sec 377- this section of the Indian Penal code (IPC) which calls gay sex against the order of nature and makes it punishable was in news recently after the Supreme Court agreed to reexamine it and referred the curative petition to five-judge constitutional bench.
- Tata Motors- they were in news recently when they decided to rename its soon-to-be launched hatchback 'ZICA' in view of the outbreak of the Zika virus that has caused hardships across many nations.
- Virat Kohli- he climbed to the top of ICC rankings list for Twenty20 batsman replacing Australian captain Aaron Finch.
- Pawan Negi- the uncapped Delhi all-rounder who was surprised inclusion in the Indian squad for the cricket Asia Cup and WT20 squad.
- Guwahati- the place where the South Asian Games were inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Around 2600 athletes from eight countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka besides India-will be vying for top honours in the games to be co-hosted by Shillong.
- Paradip- the place in Odisha where Prime Minister recently inaugurated the Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) refinery. This refinery has helped IOC overtake Reliance Industries as the country's top refiner, has a capacity of 15 million tonnes and is touted to be among one of the most modern refineries in the world that can process cheaper high sulphur content crude oils.
Current Affairs February 08 th to 14 th 2016
International Current News
- My Shake- the new app developed by the University of California, Berkley to give early warning of an earthquake.
- LIGO-stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory facility in Louisiana, USA which captured the first ever glimpse of the gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are ripples in the space-time fabric triggered by colliding black holes or neutron star (that is formed by the explosive death of another star).
National Current News
- TRAI- stands for The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India which was in the news recently after it upheld uninhibited access to the internet and rejected differential pricing on data which dealt a strong blow to Airtel Zero and Facebook Free Basic platform.
- Mehedi Hasan Miraz- the Bangladesh captain who was adjudged Man of the Series in the U-19 Cricket World Cup 2016 played at Mirpur, Bangladesh.
- Kasun Rajitha- the Sri Lankan fast bowler who was awarded man of the match in the first T20 match at Pune in which they defeated India by five wickets.
- Shikhar Dhawan- he smashed his maiden fifty in T20 internationals to help India win the second T20 match against Sri Lanka at Ranchi.
- Pakistan- they defeated India in the summit clash of men's hockey at the 12th South Asian Games at Guwahati recently.
- West Indies- they defeated India to win their maiden U-19 Cricket World Cup played at Mirpur, Bangladesh.
- R.Ashwin- he was adjudged Man of the Match as well as Man of the Series for his impressive form in the recent T20 series against Sri Lanka which India won 2-1.
Current Affairs February 15 th to 21 st 2016
National Current News
- EDF- stands for Electronics Development Fund which was recently launched by Department of Electronics and Information Technology with a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore. The fund has been set up in collaboration with Canbank Venture Capital Fund to encourage innovation in the electronics sector.
- NCGP- stands for National Capital Goods Policy, India's first ever policy for capital goods that aims to triple the sector's production by 2025 was recently announced by government. The clear objective of this policy is to increase production of capital goods from Rs.2, 30,000 crore in 2014-15 to 7, 50,000 crore in 2025.
- 8.8%- the revised interest rates on provident fund for 2015-16 from the existing rate of 8.75% as announced by Employees Provident Fund Organisation.
- Mohd.Shami- the Indian pacer who was recently ruled out of India's squad for the upcoming Asia Cup in order to give him more time to recover from injury. Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been named as replacement for him.
- Punjab Warriors- they defeated Kalinga Lancers to win their maiden title of the Hockey India League in the fourth edition of the tournament.
- Brendon McCullum- the New Zealand captain who while playing his last international match hit the fastest century in Tests- off 54 balls- against Australia at Christchurch recently. He surpassed the 56 ball century record of West Indies Vivian Richards achieved against England in 1985-86.
Current Affairs February 22 nd to 28 th 2016
International Current News
- SOFIA- stands for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy which is flying telescope of NASA in a heavily modified Boeing 74SP jetliner. It carries a 100 inch telescope to altitudes between 39,000 and 45,000 feet, giving astronomers the ability to study celestial objects at infrared wavelengths that cannot be seen from observatories on Earth.
National Current News
- Humsafar- the new AC 3 trains introduced in Railway Budget 2016 which was announced recently by Rail minister Suresh Prabhu.
- Tejas- the new premium super-fast train travelling at 130kmph which was announced in Railway Budget 2016 recently by Rail minister Suresh Prabhu.
- UDAY- stands for Utkrisht Double Decker AC Yatri Express which was announced in Railway Budget 2016 recently by Rail minister Suresh Prabhu.
- Antyodaya Express- the unreserved superfast trains which was announced in Railway Budget 2016 recently by Rail minister Suresh Prabhu.
- Australia- they reached the top Test rankings with a 2-0 series victory over New Zealand recently.
- Rohit Sharma- he was awarded Man of the Match for his 83 off balls in the first match of Asia Cup in which India defeated Bangladesh by 45 runs at Mirpur, Bangladesh.
- India- they stood second in the ICC Test championship while South Africa and Pakistan came third and fourth respectively.
- Mumbai- they defeated Saurashtra by an innings and 21 runs to win their 41st Ranji Trophy cricket title.
- Virat Kohli-he was awarded Man of the Match in the Asia cup match against Pakistan at Mirpur which India won by 5 wickets.
Current Affairs - March
Current Affairs February 29 th to March 06 th 2016
National Current News
- EPF - stands for Employees Provident Fund which was in the news recently after the government announced in the Union Budget 2016 that EPF withdrawal taxable for contributions made after April 1, 2016.
- 2.85 million hectare - the area which the government intends to bring under cultivation after the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana in mission mode.
- 0.5% - the amount of new Krishi Kalyan Cess which will be levied on all taxable services with effect from June1, 2016 as announced in Union Budget 2016. The proceeds from this will be used to finance and promote initiatives to improve agriculture. This will effectively increase the service tax from 14.5% to 15%.
- 2022 - the year by which the government is planning to double farmer's income as announced in Union Budget 2016.
- Air India - the airlines which had an all women flight crew on AI173- Delhi to San Francisco on the occasion of International Women's Day.
- Martin Crowe - the former New Zealand cricket captain who died recently after a long battle with cancer.
- Virat Kohli - the Indian batsman who won the Man of the Match award for his unbeaten 56 to enable India defeat Sri Lanka by five wickets which enabled India to enter the final of the Asia Cup cricket.
- Mumbai - they defeated Madhya Pradesh to bag the under-23 CK Nayudu cricket trophy.
- Jitu Rai - the Indian shooter who clinched the gold in the 50m pistol at the ISSF World Cup in Bangkok recently.
- Patna Pirates - they defeated U Mumba 31-28to win the Pro Kabaddi League final at New Delhi.
- India - they clinched the Asia Cup trophy for record sixth time after beating hosts Bangladesh by eight wickets.
Current Affairs March 7 th to March 13 th 2016
International Current News
- Barbie-it is one of the world's best-selling dolls which turned 57 on March 9, 2016. It is inspired by German doll 'Bild Lilly'. Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler introduced Barbie, named after Barbara, in 1959.
- Alpha Go-the name of the computer program that that recently made waves after winning the ancient strategy game 'Go' from one of the strongest players of the game, Lee Sedol of South Korea in what's seen as a historic breakthrough in the building of artificial intelligence(AI) systems. Alpha Go clinched the series in Seoul. It has been developed by Google Deep Mind, a subsidiary of Google/Alphabet.
National Current News
- India-this country recently made a sharp drop in development assistance to SAARC nations in the 2016-17 budget. Except Pakistan, all other six members of SAARC (Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar) receive significant financial assistance from India. The slashing of the assistance to the SAARC countries is in line with the cut in Budget to the Ministry of external Affairs this year that has fallen by Rs.500 crore.
- 1 crore-the amount of money the Department of Science and Technology(DST) may invest in every fresh start up from next financial year. Currently the maximum permissible limit is 50 lakhs. The DST outlay for seeding has been increased from Rs.40 crore to Rs.180 crore in the coming financial year to help fund the increased investment.
- 5/20 rule-this rule stipulates that a domestic airline must have a fleet of 20 aircraft and have flown for five years in the domestic skies before it can undertake international flights. The centre recently indicated the promoters of domestic airlines that it is yet to take a final decision on the contentious 5/20 rule.
- Citrus Pay- the country's second largest internet payment processor which has decided to waive all fees on online payments made to government bodies for the next 18 months- a move which will put pressure on banks to follow suit by cutting charges. This comes a day after the RBI floated a concept proposing banks to have a lower charge structure for transfer to government bodies to promote card usages.
- IRNSS-1F-it is the India's sixth dedicated navigation satellite which was launched recently from Sriharikota. The satellite was launched on-board India's workhorse launch vehicle, the polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The Independent Regional Navigation satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India and the region extending up to 1,500 km from the border.
- UDAY BONDS-it stands for Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana Bonds which will be issued by the electricity distribution companies as non-SLR (statutory liquidity ratio) grade. The Finance Ministry recently backed a reserve bank of India (RBI) proposal to go in for private placement of these bonds with the EPFO, LIC, mutual funds, FI's and banks.
- 140kmph-itis the maximum limit of speed which the government is planning to allow on expressways from the current speed limit of 100kmph. The government is planning to come out with the norms on such stretches which will be access-controlled with minimum entry and exit points.
- Andhra Pradesh-the state which is having the highest percentage of rural households in debt with 55.9% followed by Kerala with 49.5% and Karnataka with 46.4%. This data on rural indebtedness is based on NSSO statistics of 2013.
- Aadhaar Bill, 2016-the bill recently passed by The Lok Sabha. Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 provides for unique identity to residents and give legal teeth to the government in ensuring that subsidies reach beneficiaries in full. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number created after taking one's finger prints and iris scan. Aadhaar number is the window to get government benefits and subsidies. The law clearly states that only those who have Aadhaar will get government benefits.
- IGNOU-stands for Indira Gandhi national Open University which recently reactivated its popular educational portal eGyankosh on an 'as-is-where-is' basis. The knowledge repository at eGyankosh was launched in October 2005 to store, index, preserve, distribute and share the digital learning resources developed by the open and distance learning (ODL) institutions in the country. It was shut down in 2013.
- Allahabad High Court-they recently celebrated 150th year of its establishment. Addressing a galaxy of eminent personalities from politics and judiciary at the sesquicentennial celebrations of the Allahabad High court President Pranab Mukherjee said that there are 1056 posts of judges sanctioned in the country out of which only 591 judges have been appointed so far. He also said that several decisions of the Allahabad High court made a big impact on the country.
- 111-the number of rivers across the country that was recently declared as National waterways which paved the way for development of these stretch as transport carriers. So far, only five of the river stretches were declared as national waterways. India has its unique advantage. Its 14 states were bestowed with 7,500km of coastline with 14,500 km of potentially navigable waterways.
- Maria Sharapova-the tennis legend who was recently suspended for testing positive for drugs. The five times Grand Slam champion and the highest paid female athlete was banned on March 12, 2016 for testing positive for the recently prohibited drug 'Meldonium' at the Australian Open. The drug was added to the Prohibited list of 2016 on January 1 after being on the World Anti-Doping agency (WADA) monitoring list of 2015.
- Bangladesh-this country along with Afghanistan from the qualifiers qualified for the main draw of ICC T20 World Cup.
- Tamim Iqbal-he became the first cricketer from Bangladesh to score a century in Twenty20 format as he led his side to the World T20 Super 10s.
Current Affairs March 14 th to 20 th 2016
International Current News
- February 2016 - the month in which the global temperature in February 2016 smashed monthly records to become the warmest month in more than a century of recordkeeping. According to NASA data, global surface temperature across land and ocean in February were 1.35C warmer than the average for that month measured from 1951-1980 baselines.
- Mars - the planet for which Europe and Russia recently launched a spacecraft in a joint mission to sniff out life on Mars and bring humans a step closer to flying to Red Planet themselves. The craft, part of the ExoMars programme, blasted from Baikonour spaceport in Kazakhstan on board a Proton rocket, starting a seven-month journey through space.
- September 4, 2016 - the date on which Mother Teresa would be canonised. Pope Francis recently approved sainthood for Mother Teresa, the missionary nun who became a global symbol of compassion for her care of the sick and destitute. The pontiff set September 4 as the date for her canonization, elevating her to an official icon of the Catholic faith.
- Amazon - the online retail colossus has applied for US patent on using selfies-instead of passwords- for shopping using smartphones. Amazon reasoned that combining sensor and camera capabilities in smartphones with face and gesture recognizing software's results in higher security than passwords or identification numbers.
- European Union -they recently concluded a treaty with Turkey intended to halt illegal migration flow to Europe in return for financial and political rewards for Ankara. Under the pact Ankara would take back all illegal migrants who cross to Greece, including Syrians, in return for the EU taking in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and rewarding it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.
National Current News
- September 4, 2016 - the date on which Mother Teresa would be canonised. Pope Francis recently approved sainthood for Mother Teresa, the missionary nun who became a global symbol of compassion for her care of the sick and destitute. The pontiff set September 4 as the date for her canonization, elevating her to an official icon of the Catholic faith.
- Quarterly - the interval after which Reserve Bank of India has mandated banks to credit interest on savings accounts.
- 1.6% per anum - it is the growth rate in Farm sector in the first four years of the ongoing Five Year Plan(2012-17) as against the targeted 4% annual growth . The low average growth rate is attributed to setback in annual crop production except for 2013-14 due to deficiency in monsoon rainfall, moisture stress and un-favourable weather, temperature conditions impacting production of Kharif and Rabi crops.
- 1st April, 2016 - the effective date of start of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. The PMFBY will replace National Agricultural Insurance scheme and Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme from the Kharif season of 2016. Banks, through their branches in notified areas have to ensure all farmers taking loans under seasonal Agricultural Operational Loans scheme or those holding Kisan credit cards are covered under the scheme.
- Bharti Airtel - India's largest telecom operator by subscriber base recently agreed to buy Videocon Telecommunications Ltd. Spectrum for Rs.4,428 crore,the second such deal after the government allowed spectrum trading in October last year. These spectrum for these six circles was bought by Videocon for Rs.2,200 crore in 2012.
- 8.1% - the new rate on Public Provident Fund (PPF) from April1,2016. This is the sharpest reduction in nearly 15 years. The rates are to be reviewed every three months. The rates of Kisan Vikas Patra have been reduced to 7.8% from 8.7% and that of Sukanya Samridhi Account to 8.6% from 9.2%.
- 50 microns - the minimum thickness prescribed for plastic carry bags. The centre recently banned the use of plastic carry bags of less than 50 microns in thickness as against the existing norms of less than 40 microns. These rules are part of stringent plastic waste management rules to regulate use of the hazardous material and generate the waste generated by it. Shopkeepers and street vendors willing to provide plastic carry bags, will have to get registered with local body on payment of 'plastic waste management fee' of minimum Rs.48,000 per anum. They will have to display at prominent place that the plastic carry bags are given on payments.
- 23rd March - this day is celebrated as Saheedi Diwas to mark the martyrdom of freedom fighters- Bhagat Singh, Sukdev and Rajguru, the greatest revolutionaries who are still idols for the youth and young generations.
- PMUY - stands for Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which aims to provide 1.5 crore free LPG connections to BPL families in the fiscal 2016-17.The guidelines for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana are going to be issued soon.
- Virat Kohli - India's ace batsman who was awarded Man of the Match award in the match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens during the World Cup Twenty20 which India won by 6-wickets. He has scored 3 consecutive half centuries against Pakistan in the last three editions of the World T20.
- Chris Gayle - the West Indies opener smashes 100 off 47 balls to score the first century of the sixth Twenty20 World Cup. His efforts helped his team chase down 183 to beat England by six wickets in Mumbai. Gayle took 47 balls to reach his ton which is the joint third fastest in T20 internationals. The fastest are by Richard Levi (SA)-45 balls, Faf du Plessis (SA)-46balls, Aaron Finch (Aus)-47 balls.
Current Affairs March 21 st to 27 th 2016
International Current News
- HD20782 - it is the new extra solar planet spotted by scientists from San Francisco State University, about 117 light years from Earth, that boasts of the most eccentric orbit ever seen, measured at an eccentricity of .96. This means that the planet moves in a nearly flattened ellipse, travelling a long path far from its star and then making a fast and furious slingshot around the star at its closest approach.
- Airlander 10 - it is the world's longest aircraft which was unveiled recently. It is part plane, part airship and part helicopter, is 92 m long-around 15 longer than the biggest passenger jets. The British firm Hybrid air Vehicles(HAV) have designed the craft to stay airborne for up to three weeks using helium and the vessel is able to travel at a speed of 148kmph.
- Twitter - the famous social networking site which completed 10 years recently. The micro blogging site has 320 million active monthly users out of which 32 million users are in India. The little Twitter birdie has a name-Larry Bird after Hall of Fame basketball player Larry Bird.
National Current News
- Tuberculosis - the disease for which the miracle drug 'Bedaquiline' manufactured by Johnson & Johnson's pharma arm Janssen was rolled out recently to battle multi drug resistant tuberculosis MDR-TB and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB). The drug was rolled out in six public hospitals across the country as part of a coordinated programme between the government and drug company Johnson & Johnson. This is the first instance when a multinational has partnered with the government to roll out treatment for a disease showing an alarming spread. Significantly, Bedaquiline (trade name Sirturo) is perhaps the first drug in decades, with potential to dramatically improve MDR-TB treatment outcomes and reduce the number of deaths due to the disease.
- Chenab - the river is the one over which the tallest railway bridge which is expected to be ready by 2019. This is being built on the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Rail Link. The bridge which will rise 359 metres over the Chenab and is being built in hostile and isolated terrain and will be35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. Currently the tallest bridge is above the Tam River in France with its tallest pillar rising 340m from the river bed. The Chenab Bridge, which has an arch design will connect the steep banks on the Bakkai (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar) ends.
- Scripbox - an Indian online mutual funds investment platform founded barely four years ago, has been ranked No.2 among the 50 most effective financial services brands in terms of using LinkedIn platform to engage, educate and inspire its target audience. All others in the top10 are global brands with Citibank heading the list.
- Kisan Suvidha - the name of mobile app which was recently launched for the benefit of farmers. The app helps farmers keep track of the weather and the price of agriculture produce in the market.
- District level - the level from which the National Business register will list establishments. The government has launched a mammoth enumeration exercise to collect data on all the business enterprises for the National Business Register, a move aimed at strengthening assessment of economic activity. This will list establishments at the district level covering seven acts and authorities, including the factories Act, the shops and Commercial Establishments Act, the Societies Registration Act, the Cooperative Societies Act, the Khadi and Village Industries Board and the Directorate of Industries.
- New Zealand - the team which along with India qualified from Group 2 and West Indies and England qualified from Group 1for the semifinals of the 2016 World Cup T20. The first semifinal will be played between New Zealand and England at New Delhi on 30th March 2016 while the second semifinal will be played between West Indies and India on 31st March 2016 at Mumbai.
- Amitabh Bachchan - the Indian super star sang the National Anthem before the historical India-Pakistan at Eden Gardens during the T20 World Cup recently. The Pakistani national song was sung by famous Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali. India beat their arch rivals by six wickets to maintain their all-win record against Pakistan in the World Cup.
- Virat Kohli- the Indian vice-captain made an unbeaten 51 ball 82 runs to steer India to six wickets victory in the last league match against Australia at Mohali. This victory steered India into the semifinals of T20 World Cup.
- Shiv Shankar Prasad Chawrasia - he recently won the Indian Open Golf Championship which was played at New Delhi. The defending champion Anirban Lahiri settled for the tied second spot.
- Gurmmet Singh - he created history by becoming the first Indian athlete to clinch a gold medal in the Asian 20km Race Walk Championship as he won the men's event with his season's best efforts recently. He defeated Japan's Isamu Fujisawa in a close fight in the last 5km.
- HS Prannoy - the Indian badminton player who defeated Marc Zwiebler of Germany to win the Swiss Open Badminton men's title. This was his second Grand Prix title as he has won the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold in 2014.
Current Affairs March 28 th to April 03rd 2016
International Current News
- 22nd March - this day was recently celebrated as World Water Day. According to the report 'Water: At what cost?' released by Water Aid on this day, about 7.6 crore people, which is 5% of India's population , are deprived of safe water and country registers around 1.4 lakh child deaths annually due to diarrhea, mainly a water-borne disease. India has the world's largest number of people without access to safe water. India's neighbours -China, Bangladesh and Pakistan-are also among the top 10 countries where maximum number of people are living without uncontaminated drinking water.
National Current News
- 112 - the single number which is going to be introduced for all emergency services in India soon, including the police, fire brigade and ambulance. At present, such callers need to dial in different numbers for different emergencies like 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management. The move recommended by the Telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI) in April 2015 was approved by the Telecom Commission recently.
- Bajrangi Bhaijaan - the picture which won the Best Popular Film award at the 63rd National Film Awards which were announced recently. S.S.Rajamouli's magnum opus Baahubali was declared the Best Feature Film.
- Tata Sons - they recently increased its stake in Air Asia India to become the only company in India to run two airlines. Tata Sons already owns a majority stake in full carrier Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines.
- Gensets - the one for use of which the centre recently notified stringent environment standards to make cities and towns shift to less noisy gensets running on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)/Natural Gas(NG),diesel with LPG/NG and petrol with LPG/NG. This is the first time such standards have been notified for gensets running on LPG/NG or in combination with diesel/petrol. Under the new standards, manufacturers across the country are required to obtain certification for engine products by empanelled agencies which help in regulating the unorganized sector. These standards were recommended by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) after consultations with industries and other stakeholders.
- 100% FDI - the percentage of FDI which has been allowed by centre in the fresh guidelines issued for foreign domestic investments (FDI) in e-commerce in the market place based model-an arrangement where e-commerce companies provide an online platform to sell their products.
- 1st April, 2016 - the date from which the inactive EPFO accounts will start earning interest. Out of the total of over 15 crore EPF accounts about 9 crore accounts worth Rs.32, 000 crore were inoperative as on 31st March 2015. Accounts in which contributions have not been received for 36 months at a stretch and that have definite claimants are classified as 'inoperative'. The system of not giving interest on inoperative accounts was stopped in 2011.
- Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) - it is the system to which the banks will move to from 1st April, 2016. This will be closely based on market rates, allowing quicker transmission of monetary policy. Banks will set their lending rates under the marginal cost of funds (deposits) every month, which will be based on the rate offered on new deposits, which would reflect the market rates. However, fixed rate loans of tenor above three years will continue to be exempted from MCLR system. MCLR will benefit new customers, but existing customers will also have an option to shift to the new regime with some conditions.
- World Bank - they recently signed a $1.5b loan agreement with India for the Swachh Bharat Mission Support Operation Project. The loan is to support the Government of India in its effort to ensure that all citizens in the rural areas have access to improved sanitation with a focus on changing behavior and eliminating the practice of open defecation by 2019. Additionally, the World Bank will provide $25 million in technical assistance for capacity building by some state governments to implement community led behavioral change programme.
- 2,000 cc and more - this is the engine capacity above which the diesel vehicles have been banned in the National Capital Region. In December 2015 the court has imposed a three month ban on it. The Supreme Court recently extended the ban on registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000 cc and more in the National Capital Region till further orders, keeping the fate of carmakers in uncertainty.
- Bangladesh - the cricket team was not able to win a single match in the Final Super 10 matches of the World Cup T20. Bangladesh was one of the qualifiers to the Super 10 stage. The other qualifier to the Super 10 stage, Afghanistan defeated West Indies to win one match and finish with 2 points.
- England - the country which won the first semifinal of the World Cup T20. They defeated New Zealand by 7 wickets in the first semifinal played at New Delhi. England opener Jason Roy was adjudged Man of the Match for his 44 ball 78 runs.
- West Indies - they defeated India by 7 wickets in the second semifinals of the World Cup T20 played at Mumbai. Lend Simmons was awarded Man of the Match for his unbeaten 83 runs off 51 balls. They will meet England in the finals of the World Cup T20 to be played at Kolkata on 3rd April, 2016. West Indies defeated England to lift the ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2016.
- Australia - they were defeated by West Indies team to win their maiden Women's title of ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2016.
- Carlos Brathwaite - he hit the winning four consecutive sixes foe West Indies in the finals of the World Cup Twenty20 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. He took three English wickets and with 19 needed in the final over hit four consecutive sixes to steer his team to victory.
Current Affairs - April
Current Affairs April 04th to April 10th 2016
International Current News
- Suddeutsche Zeitung - the newspaper of Germany which received the documents from the Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca about illegal investments in tax heavens. Commonly called the ' Panama Papers' is the set of over 11 million leaked documents that reveal how the rich and connected around the world used tax heavens for salting away their wealth. The Indian Government has formed a team comprising the CBDT, FIU, Foreign Tax and Tax Research and RBI to look into the leaks.
- Ethereum - the name of the newly created virtual currency that has soared in value, climbing 1,0005 over the last three months. Unlike Bitcoin, which was released in 2009 by a mysterious creator known as Santoshi Nakamoto, Ethereum was created in a more transparent fashion by 21-year old Russian-Canadian, Vitalik Buterin.
- NTT - stands for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, the former telephone monopoly in Japan, has agreed to buy technology services business from Dell for $3 billion as the company seeks to expand overseas to counter an aging domestic market. The acquisition through unit NTT Data is to strengthen the foot print in North America and enhance cloud service and business-process outsourcing.
National Current News
- Rota virus vaccine - this was launched recently as part of its universal immunization programme by Health ministry to prevent diarrhoeal deaths due to virus which claims lives of nearly one lakh children every year. Rota virus, a leading cause of severe diarrhea and death among children less than five years of age, is responsible for around 10% of total child mortality every year. The vaccine developed by Indian firm Bharat Biotech will be initially introduced in four states-Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha. Its coverage will be expanded to the entire country in a phased manner.
- Minor, Substantial and Non-substantial - they are the categories of Green Violations which have been proposed by Law Ministry to the proposed draft of the Environment Laws(Amendment) Bill -meant to amend the existing Environment(Protection) Act,1986 and the National Green Tribunal Act,2010. Minor would be an act of omission or commission by a person causing damage to environment due to failure of compliance of the provisions of environment laws. Substantial will be damage to environment by release of environment pollutant or handling of hazardous substance. Non-substantial would be -damage to environment which is neither a minor violation nor a substantial damage.
- Directed Energy Weapons (DEWS) - they are basically beams of concentrated electronic magnetic energy or subatomic particles to hit targets. DEWS can be high-energy/solid-state lasers; high power microwaves; charged particle beams. These are futuristic weapons. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is already tom-tomming its ongoing development of a 10-Kilowatt DEW against UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) like targets with establishment of critical technology of precision tracking/pointing and laser beam combination.
- Gatimaan Express - the India's first semi-high-speed train which was flagged off recently by Railway minister Suresh Prabhu. The new train will run between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Agra Cantonment stations and can touch a speed of 160km/hr. The train will have Railway hosts and hostesses, bio-toilets, LED lights, Free Wi-Fi. The train was indigenously built at a cost of Rs.50 crore at the Kapurthala Rail Coach Factory.
- 25 basis - the points by which the Repo Rate cut by Reserve Bank of India in its latest monetary policy announced on 5th April, 2016. Repo rate-the rate at which banks borrow from the RBI was cut by 25 basis points, from 6.75% to 6.50%, signalling its belief that prices of goods were moderating. The monetary policy kept the overall cash reserve ratio -CRR- the amount of funds that the banks have to park with the RBI-unchanged at 4%, while the minimum daily maintenance of the CRR was cut to 90% from 95%.
- Afghanistan - the team defeated West Indies by six runs in the group phase at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. The Afghanistan team which was one of the qualifiers in the Super10 phase impressed everyone by their play and lion-hearted effort in each of their match.
- Victoria Azarenka - the tennis player of Belarus defeated Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the Miami Open women's singles title.
- Ratchanok Intanon - the player from Thailand pocketed her second India Open Super Series title with a straight game victory over Olympic champion Li Xuerui at New Delhi recently. The men's crown was claimed by Kento Momota of Japan.
- Novak Djokovic - the World No.1 tennis player won his third consecutive Miami Open crown with victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori. Djokovic's win-his sixth career victory in Miami equaled the Andre Agassi record and helped him in surpassing Roger Federer as the highest earning player in ATP Tour history.
Current Affairs April 18th to April 24th 2016
International Current News
- Earth day - this day was celebrated on 22nd March 2016. Leaders from 160 countries officially signed the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day 2016.The deal was thrashed out in Paris last December in order to stem global warming. The signing makes this year's Earth Day one of the most important in years, and the organisers will be attempting to build on the momentum created by last year's Paris Climate Summit.
- Rio City - the capital of the Rio de Janeiro state which lies in the south eastern region of Brazil. It was in news as the official countdown to Rio 2016 began with the lighting of the Olympic flame at the Temple of Hera, Olympia by Greek actor Katerina Lehou.
National Current News
- Provident Fund - the withdrawal norms for this were rolled back by government recently. The government announced a complete and unconditional roll back of the new norms that barred employees from withdrawing their provident fund corpus before retirement.
- 52.1% - the percentage of rural households going for open defecation as per the recently released Swachhta Status report by the National Sample (NSS) Office.The percentage of urban households stands at 7.5%. The nationwide rapid survey was conducted during May-June 2015, concurrently with the 72nd round of the NSS. The households having toilet in rural areas is 45.3% and in urban areas is 88.8% as per the report.
- 41 km per day -it is the length target of highways which the government is planning to set up in 2016-17. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry will award contract for 25,000km national highway projects, two and a half times more than the projects it had sanctioned in the previous year. The National Democratic Alliance(NDA) government has set an ambitious target of constructing 41 km of national highways every day in 2016-17, up from more than 16 km per day of highways built in 2015-16.
- 1:1,700 - the doctor to citizen ratio in India as of March 2015. The WHO stipulates a minimum ratio of 1:1,000. India will need 4 lakh more doctors by 2022 to achieve WHO standards. As of March 2015, India had 420 medical colleges- 200 run by the government, 220 privately run.
- Rocket - it is the name of the National Security Guards(NSG) K-9 unit's expert assault and sniffer dog that has been recommended for the gallantry award following his valiant effort during the Pathankot attack. He was injured during the event but is back to work after one month treatment. This Belgian Malinois, raised in NSG itself, helped security forces in establishing the presence of one of the fidayeen attackers at the IAF base on January 4, 2016 when a massive fire had engulfed some buildings.
- 24th April 2016 - this day was celebrated as National Panchayat Day in all Gram Panchayats across the country for the first time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed all the Gram Sabhas from JRD Tata Sports Complex,Jamshedpur on that day.
- SC/ST Act - the centre recently notified rules for amendment of Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities') Act of 1989 to tighten provisions to ensure speedier justice to SCs and STs, the Social Justice and Empowerment ministry notified the rules to give effect to the changes. The object of the amended provisions is to speed up the process of dispensation of justice, liberalise and expedite access to relief for victims of atrocities, ensuring special sensitivity in cases of offences against women.
- Worker's Bank - it is the name of the bank for which the Labour Ministry has requested Reserve Bank of India to examine the proposal. The ministry has asked RBI to form a panel headed by a former Deputy Governor to look into a proposal of creating a Worker's bank using Employees' Provident Fund (EPF). The proposal was mooted by the trade unions about a decade ago and has been discussed by Labour Ministry and Employee's Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for several years now. As on 31st march 2015, EPFO's total corpus stood at Rs.6.34 lakh crore.
- Rafael Nadal - he maintained his ominous clay court form by seizing back the Barcelona Open title from Kei Nishikori with a 6-4, 7-5 victory on Sunday, matching Guillermo Vilas's record title haul on the surface.A week after reclaiming the Monte Carlo crown, the 29-year-old Spaniard returned to another of his favourite hunting grounds to end Nishikori' s two-year hold on the trophy and take his tally in the Catalan capital to nine.
- Dipa Karmakar - the Indian gymnast who created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics as she booked a berth for the Rio Games. Apart from being the first Indian woman, she will also be the first Indian gymnast qualifying for the Olympics in 52 years. Since Independence, only 11 Indian gymnasts-all men- have taken part in the Olympics (two in 1952, three in 1956 and six in 1964). She had created history by becoming the first Indian woman gymnast to win a medal- a bronze-in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Current Affairs April 11th to April 17th 2016
National Current News
- Nine - the number of stations saw the launch of free Wi Fi after the successful implementation in Mumbai Central, bringing high speed internet access to about 1.5 million passengers and visitors. The Wi-Fi service is now available at Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), ErnakulamJn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam stations. Google and RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, had collaborated to make Wi-Fi network available across 100 stations to deliver high speed internet to 10 million Indians a day by the end of the year. The project will eventually be rolled out to cover 400 railway stations across India.
- $94.7 billion - the projected amount of Current Account Deficit of India in 2021 as projected by International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest edition of the World Economic Outlook (WEO). The report predicted that India would achieve its inflation target of 5 percent in the first half of 2017, though it warned that un-favourable monsoon and the effect of public sector wages increase could pose a risk.
- Canara Bank - they recently received the first loan from BRICS bank for renewable energy. The New Development bank (NDB) of BRICS countries has handled out $250 million to India's Canara Bank for renewable energy projects as part of its first set of loans amounting to more than $800 million. The first tranche of $75 million will be given to Canara bank for on lending to projects generating 500 MW additional renewable energy capacity.
- 96-104% - the percentage of the 50 year average which is the range of monsoon to be considered as normal as per the parameters of Meteorological Department. The 104-110% is considered as above normal. The meteorological department has predicted a bountiful monsoon this year. Like any prediction model, the one Meteorological department uses to make this forecast has an error margin of 5%.
- 2009 - the year before which those who registered for PhD need not have NET for lectureship. At present, a student who has a postgraduate degree or an MPhil and has cleared the NET/SET is eligible for lectureship in a college or university. If the student fails to clear the eligibility test but has an MPhil degree, he or she can teach in a college but not a university. From 2009 the UGC made NET and PhD the minimum criteria for the post of assistant professors in colleges and universities but now some relaxation has been issued for PhD registered before 2009.
- Australia - they won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey tournament. They defeated India 4-0 at Ipoh, Malaysia to lift the Sultan Azlan Shah trophy.
- Ratchanok Intanon - the badminton player from Thailand pocketed her second India Open Super Series title with a straight game victory over Olympic champion Li Xuerui at New Delhi recently. The men's crown was claimed by Kento Momota of Japan.
- Novak Djokovic - the World No.1 tennis player who won his third consecutive Miami Open crown with victory over Japan's Kei Nishikori. Djokovic's win-his sixth career victory in Miami equaled the Andre Agassi record and helped him in surpassing Roger Federer as the highest earning player in ATP Tour history.
Current Affairs April 25th to May 01st 2016
International Current News
- MK2 - the 100 mile wide moon which was recently spotted by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope orbiting the second brightest icy dwarf planet after Pluto in the Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt is a vast reservoir of left over frozen material from the construction of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago.
- $5 - note of New Zealand won the Bank Note of the Year Award for 2015 from among a record 20 countries which placed their bank notes on the ballot. The note featuring Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to summit Mount Everest, was chosen by the International bank Note Society for its artistic merit and security features.
- 171 - the number of nations which signed the Paris accord on climate change on 22nd April, 2016 as the landmark deal took a key step forward, potentially entering into force years ahead of schedule of 2020. After signing, countries must formally approve the Paris Agreement through their domestic procedures. China, the world's top carbon emitter, announced it will 'finalize domestic procedures' to ratify the Paris Agreement before the G-20 summit in China in September 2016. The US also has said it intends to join the agreement this year.
- C/2014 S3 -the name of the new comet which has been discovered recently. The new comet is made of rocky materials found on Earth. Researchers believe that it was formed in the inner Solar System, somewhere near earth, but was expelled to the backyard and preserved in the Oort Cloud for billions of years. This comet is nicknamed Manx, after a breed of cats without tails, as this planet is made of rocky material and there is no vaporization or tail.
National Current News
- 59th - the score of India in 'The World Justice Report' latest report which calculates rule of law index for 100 countries. The first three score holders are Denmark, Norway and Sweden respectively. It is based on surveys of over one lakh households and more than 2,000 experts in these nations about the general perception in the public about constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, order and security, justice system and other issues related to fairness in society.
- Panic button - the button which should be present in all phones sold in India from 2017 which will enable users to intimate about emergency situations. The measure, aimed at women's safety, will also see a provision for installation of GPS from January 1, 2018 to track the location of the person in crisis with accuracy.
- Distribution of LED bulbs - this is being undertaken under the UJALA scheme which stands for Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All. Under this scheme there is a target to distribute upto 77 crore LED bulbs in the next three years which will help in saving Rs.40,000 crore every year. This will also result in reduction of about 10.5 million tonnes CO2 every year. Out of this 10 crore LED bulbs have already been distributed which will presently save Rs.5, 194 crore annually on electricity bills. The scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited.
- IRNSS-1G - India's navigation satellite which successfully lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh recently. India completed its landmark mission for a regional navigational system on par with United States-based GPS with the successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and last in the constellation of satellites that make up the system. The IRNSS comprising the seven satellites will offer services with much 'better accuracy' and targeted position in navigation on par with the Global Positioning System of the United States. ISRO had launched and operationalised other six satellites - IRNSS-1F on March 10, 2016, IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014) and IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013.IRNSS-1G which has a 12-year mission life would become operational in about a month's time, marking the full-fledged functioning of the IRNSS.
- Hongi - the name of the traditional Maori greeting of New Zealand. This was in the news recently as New Zealand Governor General Lewis Moeau greeted India's President Pranab Mukherjee in this traditional style upon his arrival in Auckland recently. The Maori people of New Zealand will greet visitors with a beautiful gesture called hongi (pressing foreheads and noses together, with eyes closed). Maori will perform this move to initiate newcomers, and exchange the breath of life with them.
- 54% - the percentage of construction of household toilets in urban areas as per the data submitted by the urban development ministry to the Lok Sabha. Out of a target of constructing 25lakh individual household toilets, only 13.2lakhs were actually built from October 2, 2014 to March 2016. Gujarat emerged the best performer accounting for more than one third of the total households toilets constructed.
- INS Kalvari - the name of India's first new submarine in 16 years whose trial began recently. The diesel -electric submarine is believed to be commissioned by December end-2016 with the other five Scorpene submarines following at nine-month intervals till 2020.
- Matiouze Royer - the French boxer who was defeated by Vijender Singh to help him to notch up his fifth successive knockout win. The 30 year old was up against his most experienced rival till date who came with an accumulated 250 rounds under his belt but he was declared winner little over a minute into the fifth round of the six round super middle weight contest. Singh turned professional when he signed a multi-year agreement with Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions through IOS Sports and Entertainment. On 10 October 2015 Vijender Singh fought his first professional boxing match and defeated his opponent Sonny Whiting.
- Badminton - the game which saw Japanese pair of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao create world record with longest ever match in history. It happened during the women's double semifinal at the Badminton Asia Championship recently where the match lasted for a staggering 2 hours and 41 minutes(161 minutes) to create a new world record. No match in badminton history has gone beyond two hours before this women's doubles semis at ABC at Wuhan, China.
Current Affairs - May
Current Affairs May 02nd to May 08th 2016
International Current News
- Sea Hunter - the world's largest unmanned surface vessel, a self-driving 132-foot ship which can travel up to 10,000 nautical miles on its own to hunt for stealth submarines and underwater mines. The US military's research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, in conjunction with the navy will be testing the ship off San Diego coast over the next two years.
- Mars -the planet on which scientists have detected atomic oxygen in the atmosphere for the first time in 40 years. These atoms were found in the upper layers of the Martian atmosphere known as the mesosphere by an instrument on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).The oxygen we breathe is called O2 as it comprises of two atoms of oxygen and O (one atom) is atomic oxygen. Atomic oxygen affects how other gases escape Mars and therefore has a significant impact on the planet's atmosphere.
- Mercury - the planet whose transit was visible in India recently. It is the phenomenon which occurs when the Sun, Mercury and earth are lined in one plane. Unlike solar eclipses, Transit of Mercury are rare. In a century, there are about 13-14 events. They happen in pairs separated by about three years. The next one will be on November 11, 2019. But this will be visible only in some parts, including South America and Africa and not in India. The following one, to occur on November 13, 2032 will be viewed in India.
National Current News
- 2.1% - the percentage by which the global remittance to India fell in 2015 over 2014. This was the first annual fall since the global financial crisis of 2008. The biggest fall happened in inflows from the Gulf region, which accounts for 52% of the total annual remittances. The yearly remittances fell from $70.4 billion in 2014 to $68.9 billion in 2015.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - the foundation which has been chosen to partner with the Central Government to carry out a survey to rank the villages on different sanitation parameters. The idea is to encourage villages to improve sanitation and become open defecation-free. The survey will involve interaction with village panchayats, visiting households and taking pictures in different locations in villages.
- CMS - it stands for Centralized Monitoring System which the government is setting up to automate process of lawful interception and monitoring of phones and Internet. The government has decided to set up the CMS in a phased manner to automate the process of lawful interception and monitoring of mobile phones, land lines and the internet in the country. The CMC at Delhi and RMC (Regional Monitoring Centre) at New Delhi and Mumbai have been operationalized.
- 85% - the percentage of pictorial warnings which is compulsory to be displayed on surface of cigarette packets. It was in the news recently as the Supreme Court directed the tobacco manufacturing companies to comply with the 2014 rules until the validity of the law is decided by the court of India in reply to the petition filed by Tobacco Institute of India which challenged the rule.
- 2 years - the period of holding of shares of startup companies which will be exempted from Capital Gains Tax as the fresh amendments introduced in the government in the Finance Bill. Currently, there is no capital gains tax on share transactions in listed companies if those stocks are held for 12 months but shares of unlisted entities face capital gains tax of 20% even after three years. The move to exempt capital gains on holding of shares of unlisted cos. for 24 months will benefit the startups and is expected to spur M & As.
- 10% - the maximum percentage of investment allowed for corporate in new bank as per the draft guidelines released by Reserve Bank of India for issuing of bank licences recently. The RBI recently said that after a thorough examination the current 'Stop and Go' licensing policy will now pave way for 'Continuous authorization' policy where it will open a permanent window for bank licences. The new policy allows individual promoters with 10 years-experience in banking and finance to float banks. The new draft allows the promoter to own a minimum of 51% in the holding company while in the past the non-operating holding company had to be wholly owned by the promoter.
- ICICI Bank - the first financial institution in the country to tie up with the BRICS promoted New Development Bank (NDB) for a partnership in bond issuances, co-financing, treasury management and human resources. As part of the pact the two lenders will look at each other as 'preferred partners'.
- Six - the number of members who will be there in the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) set up for monetary policy review as per the amendments to the Reserve bank of India Act of 1934 as proposed in the Finance Bill, 2016. The MPC will be chaired by the RBI governor, however, will not enjoy a veto power to overrule the other panel members but will have a casting vote in case of a tie. The government will nominate three eminent persons to the MPC. No government official will be nominated to the MPC. The other three members would be from the RBI with the governor being the ex-officio chairman. Deputy Governor of RBI in charge of the monetary policy will be a member, as also an Executive Director of the central bank.
- GeM - it stands for 'Government e-Marketplace' which will be online market being created for purchase of commonly used goods and services by ministries and departments of government. GeM will be utilized by government buyers to direct online purchases. Up to Rs.50, 000 of purchases can be made from any of the available suppliers on GeM.
- SVA - it stands for Security Vetting Authority which is the name of authority which will be set up as per the draft of 'The Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016'. Centre will set up SVA whose permission will be needed for acquiring maps, geospatial data through 'space or aerial platforms such as satellite, aircraft, balloons, unmanned aerial vehicles or terrestrial vehicles or any other means. An 'apex committee' will oversee SVA. Publication/dissemination of India's map, online or offline has to be vetted by SVA after publisher gets a license. The older maps must seek licenses within a year of bill being passed. Licensees must display 'insignia of clearance'.
- Leicester City - they won the English Premier League for the first time in the club's 132-year history. Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association (FWA).The 29-year-old has scored 22 league goals to help fire his team from 5,000-1 outsiders to odds-on favourites to win the Premier League title for the first time this season.
- Sachin Tendulkar - the cricket legend who has accepted the Indian Olympic Association's invitation to become a goodwill ambassador for the country at the upcoming Rio Olympics. He is the third goodwill ambassador roped in by the IOA after Bollywood actor Salman Khan and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra.
Current Affairs May 09th to May 15th 2016
International Current News
- HoloFlex - the name of the world's first holographic flexible smartphone that lets users interacts with 3D videos and images without any headgear or glasses. It allows for glasses free interactions with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user. HoloFlex features a 1920x1080 full high definition Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touch screen display.
- Sea Harrier - the iconic aircraft of Indian Navy as recently phased out after 33 years of service. This maritime fighter was inducted in 1983 and was built by British aerospace. Indian Navy's Sea Harrier squadron was deployed during Operation Vijay in 1999 and embarked on the Viraat during the Operation Parakram in 2001 when standoff with Pakistan was at all time high.
- 1284 - the number of new planets which have been discovered by astronomers beyond our solar system recently which is believed to be the single largest findings of planet to date. 9 of them are possibly in orbits suitable for surface water which bolsters their prospects of supporting life. The new planets were identified during the Kepler space telescope's four year primary mission and a new analysis technique that applied statistical models to confirm the batch as planets, while ruling out scenarios that could falsely appear to be orbiting planets.
- Redzikowo - the place in northern Poland is the place where the US has put up missile interceptor stations as part of the NATO's larger shield due to become fully operational by 2018. In addition to it one missile interceptor has also been set up at Deveselu in southern Romania. This has led to war of words between US and Russia. The Redzikowo station is just 250km from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad and due to this Moscow views this system as security threat on its very doorstep.
- Harmony of the Seas - the world's biggest cruise ship which sets sail on its maiden voyage to the UK from France recently. The 1 billion euro, 16 deck ship is bigger than the Eiffel tower and holds the record for being the widest cruise ship ever built-boasting a 6,360 passenger capacity. It's been compared to a floating city with more than 2,500 staterooms, 20 dining venues, 23 swimming pools and a park with more than 10,000 plants and 50 trees.
National Current News
- NEET - it stands for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test. It will be the only basis of all admissions to MBBS/BDS courses in government and private medical colleges or in deemed universities as per the recent decision of Supreme Court. NEET will be conducted by CBSE and will be based on NCERT syllabus for Classes XI and XII.
- PMKVY - it stands for Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana which is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The objective of this Skill Certification and Reward scheme is to enable and mobilize a large number of Indian youths to take up skill training in accordance to the national Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). Under the scheme, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has also been started; wherein individuals with prior learning experience or skills are assessed and certified.
- Anti - Hijacking Bill- the Bill which was recently cleared by Lok Sabha which provides for death penalty to the offenders in the case of death of hostages or security personnel and also has life imprisonment for the offence as well as confiscation of movable and immovable property of the accused. The Bill had been cleared by the Rajya Sabha earlier. The bill amends the 1982 act which provided for death penalty for the hijackers only in the event of death of the hostages.
- Sea Harrier - the iconic aircraft of Indian Navy as recently phased out after 33 years of service. This maritime fighter was inducted in 1983 and was built by British aerospace. Indian Navy's Sea Harrier squadron was deployed during Operation Vijay in 1999 and embarked on the Viraat during the Operation Parakram in 2001 when standoff with Pakistan was at all-time high.
- 7.3% - the rate by which India's economy is expected to grow in 2016 as per the mid-2016 update of the World Economic Situation and Prospect Report. As per the report India's economy is slowly gaining momentum and is expected to achieve a 7.5% growth in 2017. China which grew at 6.9% in 2015 is expected to witness slowdown in growth with its GDP projected to grow 6.4% in 2016 and 6.5% in 2017.
- RAU - stands for Rajendra Agriculture University, Pusa, Samastipur, Bihar which was recently upgraded to central university after in a rarest of rare case, and both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha passed the legislation meant for upgrading the university as a central university in one day. Even President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to it the same day-making it a rarest of the rare case in parliamentary history. This gave Bihar its first central agriculture university.
- 40% - the limit of holding the Financial Institutions can hold in banks as per the new circular issued by Reserve Bank of India. Individuals can hold up to 10% while non-financial entities have been allowed 15% stake.
- Discovery Communications- the company which recently acquired 74% stakes in celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor -promoted Turmeric Vision which owns and operates TV network FoodFood and its digital products, in a deal estimated to be worth 47.10 million(around Rs.50 crore). Discovery's investment in FoodFood is being seen as part of strategy to expand its presence in the country and strengthen its portfolio of female and lifestyle brands such as TLC and ID.
- Section 499 - the section of the Indian Penal Code which codifies the criminal defamation and punishment of up to two years in jail is prescribed in Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code. It was in the news recently as Supreme Court ruled that defamation will remain a criminal offence in India. The court said that the right to speech was sacrosanct but not absolute, and that one's right to reputation was part of one's fundamental right to life.
- National IPR policy - it stands for National Intellectual Property Rights policy was unveiled by India recently which looks to safeguard trademark identities and promote creativity and entrepreneurship. It aims at fostering innovation, cutting delays in clearing patent, trademark and copyright applications, protecting traditional knowledge and encouraging entrepreneurship. This will bring India's IP regime in line with global standards and help improve its ranking in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index. The new policy will also help substantially cut the time taken on clearing the backlog of IPR applications from the current five to seven years to 18 months by March 2018.
- FSSAI - it stands for The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has turned its attention to restaurants, eating joints and hotels to enforce hygiene standards. A sub-group consisting of industry bodies like the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and the FSSAI have been formed to amend rules that govern safety standards at eating establishments. The sub-group is expected to meet in the next three weeks to propose amendments to Schedule 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, that govern hygiene standards of food service operators.
- Michel Platini - he resigned from the post of President of UEFA after his appeal against a ban from football activities failed though it was cut to four years. He has been UEFA president since 2007 and the FIFA ban upheld the Court of Arbitration of Sport effectively ended his career, one of the most powerful figures in sports.
- Novak Djokovic - the tennis player who defeated Andy Murray to win the Madrid Open men's tennis title which helped him to clinch a record 29th Masters title.
- Tony Cozier - the legendary West Indian commentator passed away recently. Winston Anthony Cozier was born in July 1940 in Barbados. An icon in international cricket commentary, Cozier was widely regarded as the voice of West Indian cricket.
- Tokyo - this city has been selected as host of 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee awarded the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 to Tokyo, which was chosen over fellow Candidate Cities Istanbul and Madrid after two rounds of voting during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires. The games are planned to be held from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo. The city was announced as the host at the 125thIOC Session in Buenos Aires on 7 September 2013.Tokyo previously hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, and in 2020 will become the fifth city (and the first in Asia) to host the Summer Olympic Games more than once. Tokyo will also be hosting the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
- Real Madrid - the Spanish football giants retained top spot on a list of the world's most valuable football teams for a fourth consecutive year, according to a Forbes poll released recently. Barcelona was second on the list with a value of $3.5 billion, also up 12 percent from last year.Manchester United ($3.3 billion), Bayern Munich ($2.7 billion) and Arsenal ($2 billion)rounded out the top five.
- Barcelona - the club which defeated Granada to win the La Liga title which made them the champions of Spain. Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick to help the defending champion Barcelona clinch their 24th La Liga title. He scored 40 goals in 35 games to become the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to finish as La Liga top scorer since 2009.
- Andy Murray - the tennis player of Great Britain defeated Novak Djokovic of Serbia in straight sets in the final of the Italian Open in Rome recently.No British man had won the Italian title since 1931 and the triumph gives the world number three Murray a major boost before the second of the season's grand slams, the French Open, starts next week.
- Serena Williams - she overcame a stubborn effort from Madison Keys to win the first all-American women's tour final for four years in straight sets and lift the Italian Open title in Rome on Sunday.It was Williams's fourth title triumph in Rome in 14 years, her 70th career title in all and her first since winning in Cincinnati nine months ago.
- Sania Mirza - the India's tennis star who along with her Swiss partner Martina Hingis won their first ever title on red clay, capturing the Internazionali BNL d'Italia trophy with a win over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the final in Rome. This was their 14th title as a pair, and their fifth of 2016.
Current Affairs May 16th to May 22nd 2016
International Current News
- ROSS - it is the name of the first artificial intelligence lawyer which has been hired by a US firm, which will use the robot to assist its teams in legal research. The robot is built upon Watson, IBM's cognitive computer.
- 'Unique Pink' - the name of the rare pear-shaped 15.38 carat pink diamond which sold recently for $31.6 million(Rs.211.6 crore approx.) at Sotheby's in Geneva, making it the most expensive fancy vivid pink diamond ever sell at an auction. The previous record was held by 'Sweet Josephine', a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 16.08 carats which sold for $28.5 million (Rs.190.08 crore) at Christie in November 2015.
- RoboBees - the name of the flying micro robots built by scientists which can perch during flight like birds or butterflies to save energy and stay in the air for longer. Inspired by nature the RoboBees has been pioneered at the Harvard Microbotics Lab which uses an electrode patch and a foam mount that absorbs shock.
National Current News
- IndusInd bank - the first bank to break away from the 'tied' agency model and partner multiple insurance companies. The private bank entered into a second distribution arrangement with Reliance GENERAL Insurance in addition to its partnership with Chola Mandalam Insurance. From April 2016, insurance regulator IRDA has allowed banks to follow an 'open architecture' where they can sell insurance plans of multiple companies.
- Prithvi-II - the indigenously developed nuclear capable missile which was successfully test fired by India from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha recently. The trial of the surface to surface missile was carried out successfully from a mobile launcher from the launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test range at Chandipur.
- Punjab National Bank - the bank which recently posted the highest quarterly loss by an Indian bank in India. The loss reported was Rs.5367 crore for the quarter ended March 2016 while in the same quarter last year bank reported a net profit of Rs.306 crore. The previous highest quarterly loss of Rs.3342 crore was reported by bank of Baroda for December 2015 quarter.
- State Bank of India - the bank which recently announced its proposal to explore the possibility of acquiring India's first women bank-the Bhartiya Mahila Bank. It also announced the proposal to explore the merger of five associate banks with itself that could create an Rs.37 lakh crore banking monolith with a country wide presence and low costs.
- 100% - the percentage of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) allowed by Reserve Bank of India in credit information firms. The RBI recently clarified that investors whose ownership is well diversified (shareholdings not concentrated in the hands of a select few) may pick up to 100 percent in a credit information company. A credit information company aggregates and analyses data of individuals and businesses and puts out a credit score which is an indicator of credit worthiness of that individual or business. Currently, India has four credit information companies-CIBIL, Experian, Equifax and CRIF High Mark.
- SEBI - stands for the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the capital market regulators tightened rules on issue of Participatory Notes (P-notes) to bring in more transparency and curb misuse of the investment route used by foreign investors not registered in India. SEBI said that Indian KYC (Know Your Customers) or anti-money maundering rules (AML) will be applicable to P-note holders. P-notes allow foreign investors to take exposure to Indian stocks without registering with SEBI. These instruments are issued by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) registered with SEBI.
- 21st June - this day is celebrated as International Yoga Day or simply Yoga Day. It was declared to be internationally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 11, 2014. Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline that originated in India. June 21 is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.
- RLV-TD - India's first 'space shuttle', was successfully launched recently. India successfully launched the first technology demonstrator of indigenously made Reusable Launch Vehicle, capable of launching satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter the atmosphere, from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This is the first time ISRO has launched a winged flight vehicle, which glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal, some 500 kilometres from the coast. The RLV, being dubbed as India's own space shuttle, is the unanimous solution to achieve low cost, reliable and on-demand space access.
- 21st May 2016 - this day was celebrated as International Buddha Poornima Diwas. The event was organised by Ministry of Culture and coordinated by International Buddhist Confederation to spread the ideals of peace and dharma.
- Sevilla - the Spanish football club defeated Liverpool 3-1 to clinch a record third successive Europa League title recently. Sevilla captain Coke lifted the trophy at Basel's St Jakob-Park having been the architect of their heroics, scoring twice in the match against Liverpool.
- RH Shodhan - better known as Deepak Shodan is India's oldest ex-Test cricketer who passed away recently. Shodan was India's first batsman to score a century to debut in the first innings of a Test. He accomplished the feat against Pakistan at the Eden Gardens in December 1952.
- India - the country which won the silver medal in the women's Asian Team Squash championship played recently at Taipei. The championship was won by Malaysia. India's performance was better than their bronze medal finish in the earlier edition of the championship.
- Anurag Thakur - he was recently unanimously elected as the second youngest BCCI President post-Independence, while Ajay Shirke was chosen as Secretary .The 41-year-old Thakur replaced Shashank Manohar who quit the position to take up the ICC chairman's job.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni - he will lead the Indian team for the coming limited over's tour of Zimbabwe. The national team is scheduled to play a series consisting of three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals against Zimbabwe, beginning on June 11th, before traveling to the Caribbean Islands for a four-Test series in July-August.
Current Affairs May 23rd to May 29th 2016
International Current News
- CNN TV - the channel which will feature Anthony Bourdain, a chef and food critic eating street food with US President Barrack Obama in Hanoi, Vietnam. He ate 'bun cha' in the Bun Cha Huong Lien eatery for the travel show on CNN about the hidden culinary gems.
National Current News
- Air India One - also referred to as AI-1 or AIC001 is the aircraft the Prime Minister or the President of India uses when flying abroad. The aircraft is operated as a VIP flight by the Indian Air Force.
- Kesar - the famous saffron-coloured variety of mango, largely grown around the foothills of Girnar Mountain in Junagadh district of Gujarat, which recently got a global recognition as 'Gir Kesar' mango, after being granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Now, the Kesar mango is the second variety of mango in India to get GI registration, after the Dussheri mango variety grown in Uttar Pradesh.
- Dairy - the sector which is getting a new boost with the launch of National Gokul Mission in which the government is focusing on the development of indigenous breeds. So far, the Centre has approved setting up 14 ' Gokul Grams' (integrated indigenous cattle centres)-that would scientifically help local farmers conserve desi breeds of cows and buffaloes-across states under this mission. These Grams will be self-sustaining centres and will generate resources from milk sales, organic manure, vermicompost and urine distillates. Each centre will maintain milch and unproductive animals in the ratio of 60:40 and will have the capacity to maintain about 1,000 animals.
- 180 days - the period within which the UGC has directed all universities across the countries to issue degrees to students qualifying for the degree. The communique also carried a sage comment that withholding a student's degree could hamper 'the entry into a world of possibilities and promises'. The Commission warned that any institution found violating the norm will face punitive action, including withdrawal of grants or status as a university.
- 24 million tones - the target of pulse production government wants to touch in 2020-21. The five year road map wants to achieve self -sufficiency in pulses with a six-pronged strategy, to increase production consistently by raising yield (production per hectare) as well as area under pulse crops in all major pulse producing states including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The target is to raise production from 170.6MT estimated in 2015-16 crop year(July-June) to 24 MT in 2020-21 and 27.5 MT in 2024-25. The target is also to increase yield from 750kg/hectare to 900kg/hectare in 2020-21 and 1000kg/hectare in 2024-25.
- SEBI- stands for The Securities and Exchange Board of India which has barred those named as willful defaulters from raising public funds through stocks and bonds, and also from taking board positions at listed companies. Sebi notified these norms on Wednesday, disallowing defaulters from setting up market intermediaries such as mutual funds and brokerage firms. These defaulters would also not be allowed to take control of any other listed company. The changes apply to all individuals and companies declared willful defaulters by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- AIBMA - stands for The All India Bread Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 organised bread manufacturers such as Harvest Gold and Britannia announced recently that they will stop using potassium bromate and potassium iodate voluntarily on its own. The Centre for Science and Environment had claimed that the bread samples of top brands in Delhi contained cancer-causing chemicals -- potassium bromate and potassium iodate.
- SAY - stands for Shala Asmita Yojana, probably the world's largest student tracker which will be launched in India from February 2017. It will have data base of 25 crore school going children. ASMITA is the acronym for All Scholl Monitoring Individual Tracing Analysis. The prime minister's office recently gave the go ahead for SAY, which intends to use Aadhaar numbers to track the educational development of students, be it their attendance, enrolment, dropping out, mid day meals, toilets and other related parameters like teacher transfers and learning assessment of children. The initiative will cover 15 lakh schools and 77 lakh teachers of government and government-aided schools.
- 24th - it is the rank of India in the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings (HESSR) 2016 with a score of 60.9 out of 100. The US has scored a centum and tops the heap, UK is in the second place with 98.5, while Germany takes the third spot with 94. The QS HESSR(overall ranking0 is an assessment done through four categories- system strength, flagship, access and economic concept of different countries-in the field of higher education.
- Capital Goods Sector-it is the sector in which the government recently approved 'The National Capital Good Policy' which aims to create over 21 million jobs by 2025, envisaging increasing the share of domestic production in India's capital goods demand from 60% to 80% by 2025 and in the process improve domestic capacity utilization to 90%.
- New India Assurance - the largest state owned company, recently issued the country's first Nuclear Operator's Liability Policy to nuclear Power Corporation of India. This policy is underwritten by a consortium of insurance companies through the India Nuclear Insurance Pool. The entire Rs.1500 crore India Nuclear Insurance Pool is entirely supported by domestic companies and is managed by General Insurance Corporation(GIC) which has also committed funds to the pool. The policy was the missing component from the set of requirements for getting private investment in nuclear power-the doors for which were open ten years ago when the then Manmohan Singh led government signed the agreement with US.
- Denmark - the country which won the Thomas Cup for 2016, the world badminton championship. They defeated Indonesia to secure their first world badminton team championship and also became the first European team to win the Thomas Cup.
- Sanjay Bangar - former India and Railways all-rounder was recently named coach of the national cricket team for the upcoming tour to Zimbabwe. The Indian cricket team is slated to play three T20s and as many ODIs in Zimbabwe, starting June 11. The team will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad - the team which won the cricket Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. They defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the finals by 8 runs to clinch first IPL title at Bengaluru recently.
Current Affairs - June
Current Affairs May 30th to June 05th 2016
International Current News
- Robot Taxi - the Japanese technology company unveiled its driverless taxis on the sidelines of the G-7 summit held recently at Ise-Shima in Japan. Robot Taxi is a joint venture between ZMP that develops automated vehicle technology and mobile portal and e-commerce websites provider De Na Co.
- Harambe - the 17-year-old endangered gorilla which was shot dead by the Cincinnati Zoo authorities in the United States after a four-year-old entered the enclosure, sparking a furious debate on animal rights. The male western lowland gorilla named Harambe was killed on Saturday by a special zoo response team that feared the boy's life was in danger. Video taken by zoo visitors showed the gorilla at times appeared to be protective of the boy but also dragged him through the shallow moat.
National Current News
- Masala Bonds - they are the financial instrument through which the road transport and highway ministry is planning to raise fund for road projects. Masala Bonds are named after Indian spices and refer to the financial instrument via which the Indian firms can raise money from global market in rupees. These are similar to Dim Sum bonds issued in Chinese currency.
- 50,000 - the amount of PF withdrawal on which no tax is being deducted at source from June 1, 2016. The government has notified raising the threshold limit of PF withdrawal for deduction of tax from existing Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000. "The Finance Act, 2016 has amended section 192A of Income Tax Act, 1961 to raise the threshold limit of PF withdrawal from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 for Tax Deducted at Source (TDS)," the notification stated. The government had introduced the proposal to deduct TDS on PF withdrawals in order to discourage pre-mature withdrawal and to promote long term savings.
- 1% - the tax on cash purchase of gold jewellery which was rolled back by government recently which was announced in this year's Union Budget. The jewellers had earlier been on a 45-day strike after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech in February proposed 1% excise tax on non-silver jewellery.
- KaBom - the name of Khasi traditional drum on which the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently tried his hand during his visit to Meghalaya. The prime minister expressed keenness about the rhythm and beat a drum together with the other Khasi tribal musicians. The Prime minister visited the state to address at the 65th plenary session of North Eastern Council.
- Finmeccanica - the Italy's company for which the central government has decided to cancel all ongoing tenders for defence equipment as a precursor to blacklisting of the firm which is being investigated for bribery in the Agusta Westland VVIP chopper deal. The government has also started the process for blacklisting Finmeccanica and its subsidiaries. The government has already withdrawn the RFP for heavy weight torpedoes for Socrpene submarines which was won by WASS, a Finmeccanica subsidiary, during the United Progressive Alliance regime.
- KKC- it stands for Krishi Kalyan Cess which is 0.5 per cent of service tax introduced from 1st June 2016 on all services thus increasing the total tax chargeable on services to 15 per cent.
- Four month - the period for which the window under the Income Declaration Scheme has been launched from 1st June 2016 which gives a chance to domestic tax payers to declare undisclosed income or assets and avail immunity from penalty and prosecution by paying tax 45 per cent. The scheme requires declaration of undisclosed asset at its fair market value (FMV) as on date of commencement of the scheme and will be regarded as cost of acquisition of the asset for any subsequent transfer.
- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation - this department will be the coordinating agency for the government initiative to launch a special drive at 100 sites that will be identified as 'iconic places' as part of the Swachh Bharat Mission. The first list of 10 includes heritage sites such as TajMahal, Vaishno Devi temple, Golden Temple, ChhatrapatiShivaji Terminus, Ajmer Dargah. The coordinating agency will work with the ministries of urban development, culture, tourism and the government of states where the sites are located.
- Banking sector - the sector for which the government is planning to launch the second edition of Indradhanush. The government is mulling Indradhanush-II, expanding the scope of banking reforms, to get rid of bad loans, manage risks better, bring millions of un-banked and under-banked people into the fold as well as create a holding company for the public sector banks. Indradhanush -- a seven-pronged strategy to revamp functioning of PSBs through professional appointments, creation of Banks Board Bureau, re-capitalisation, de-stressing, empowerment, accountability, and governance reforms -- was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government in August last year. Indradhanush-II is likely to chart out the process for resolution of non-performing assets. Apart from resolution, risk management, financial inclusion, expansion of digital banking, credit growth and use of modern technology are among the areas that are likely find a mention in Indradhanush-II. The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act (also known as Sarfaesi Act) would be amended to enable banks to recover NPAs speedily, with fewer legal hurdles. The Debt Recovery Tribunal will also be streamlined to shift its processes online and ensure faster processing of cases.
- Alastair Cook - he recently became the youngest player to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket. He scored the runs at 31 years and 157 days beating Sachin Tendulkar record of 31 years and 326 days. He became the first England batsman to score 10,000 Test runs and also the 12th player of all time to make 10,000 test runs.
- Novak Djokovic - the world's No. 1-ranked player defeated British second seed Andy Murray 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 to claim his maiden French Open title at Roland Garros and hold all four grand slams at the same time. Djokovic is first man to hold all four major titles at the same time since Rod Laver, and only the third man in history to do it, along with Don Budge, who won six consecutive major titles from 1937 to 1938.
- Garbine Muguruza - the tennis player from Spain won the ladies singles trophy of French Open at Roland Garros. She achieved the rare feat of overpowering world Serena Williams to claim her maiden Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the world number one and defending champion in the French Open final recently.
- AIBA - the Boxing world's body which in a historic decision recently, allowed professional boxers to compete alongside amateur ones in AIBA competitions. The decision will allow professional boxers to also take part in Olympics and other international events.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar - the player of Sun Risers Hyderabad who won the 'Purple cap' for the taking the maximum number of wickets in IPL 9. He took 23 wickets in the tournament.
- Virat Kohli - the player of Royal Challengers, Bangalore who won the 'Orange cap' for scoring the maximum runs in IPL 9. He scored total of 973 runs.
- Seema Punia - the Indian women discuss thrower won gold medal at the Pat Young Throwers Classic in California, USA recently. The reigning Asian Games champion registered an attempt of 62.62 metres to better the Olympic qualifying marks of 61 metres and qualified for Rio Olympics.
Current Affairs June 06th to June 12th 2016
International Current News
- 5th June 2016 - the date on which the World Environment Day was celebrated recently.
- QF-16 -the unmanned world's, most lethal drone which was recently tested by US Air Force over Florida and Gulf of Mexico. It is a new version of the F-16 fighter plane. A fully loaded F-16 has a six barrel M61 gun, along with 11 other places to mount weapons including nuclear missile.
- The World Bank - they slashed its 2016 global growth forecast on Wednesday to 2.4 per cent from the 2.9 per cent estimated in January due to stubbornly low commodity prices, sluggish demand in advanced economies, weak trade and diminishing capital flows. The downgraded World Bank forecast follows a similar move by the International Monetary Fund, which cut its growth forecasts two months ago.
- Jupiter - the largest planet of the solar system, is the planet which will be approached by American space agency NASA's Juno spacecraft within less than a month. The Juno mission was launched on August 5, 2011 with the primary aim of improving our understanding of the solar system's beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.
- The Carbfix project - the project at Iceland's Hellisheide plant, the world' largest geothermal facility which recently made a breakthrough of turning carbon dioxide into stone in matters of months by pumping it deep under- ground, offering a revolutionary new way of storing the greenhouse gas to tackle climate change. The pioneering experiment in Iceland mixed CO2 emissions with water and pumped it hundreds of feet underground into volcanic basalt rock- where it rapidly turned into a solids.
National Current News
- 6.5 % - the short-term lending rate which was retained by Reserve bank of India second bimonthly monetary policy for the current fiscal. It is the rate at which the RBI lends to commercial banks. Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) which is the share of deposits bank must kept with RBI, was kept at 4 percent Reserve Bank of India. Governor Raghuram Rajan kept the key policy rate unchanged citing higher upside risks to 'inflation trajectory' but said the central bank will remain accommodative provided data are supportive.
- Six - the number of nuclear power plant reactors to be set up in India for which the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and US firm Westinghouse have agreed to begin engineering and site design work immediately conclude contractual arrangements by June 2017. Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, fulfilling the promise of the US-India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India's growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
- INS Vikramaditya - the naval ship which recently saw an incident of gas leak during repairs which led to death of 2 persons. INS Vikramaditya, the Russian made aircraft carrier is India's largest naval ship equipped with a variety of integral weapons and sensors. It is presently undergoing repairs at Karwar in Karnataka.
- Rs.100 - the rate per kg for the first 5 kg of excess baggage which has been fixed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) which will be effective from 15th June 2016. In addition to this other changes has also been introduced relating to refunds, compensation, delays and passenger facilities.
- Boxing - the sports with which Muhammad Ali, one of the world's greatest athletes, who transcended his sport, race and politics who died recently was related. Born Caussius Marcellus Clay on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Ali began boxing at the age of 12 itself.
- France - the country which is hosting the EURO 2016 football tournament.
- Maria Sharapova - the Russian former world number one who has been given a two-year ban by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) following her positive test for the banned drug meldonium at this year's Australian Open. Meldonium was added to WADA's list of banned substances at the start of the year after evidence that it boosted blood flow and enhanced athletic performance. Sharapova is the world's highest-paid female athlete. Her career earnings amount to $36 million while her off-court earnings, according to Forbes, are around $200 million.
- Laos - this country was defeated by India in one of the biggest ever wins and to help India book a berth in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup football Qualifiers. The victory and a berth in the Asian Cup Qualifiers will ease a lot of pressure on Coach Stephen Constantine whose future has been under a scanner after a string of poor shows by the national team.
- Sun Yu - the badminton player of China was defeated by Saina Nehwal in the finals to win the Australian Open badminton title. It is Saina's second Australian Open victory, having clinched the title in 2014 as well.
Current Affairs June 13th to June 19th 2016
International Current News
- Microsoft Corp - the company which recently announced its proposal to buy LinkedIn Corp for $26.2 billion in it's biggest-ever deal, combining the software giant's business-productivity tools with an online network of 433 million professionals. For Microsoft, the deal will help it in its mission of trying to keep services like Outlook email relevant enough that customers won't want to leave it for competitors such as Google's Gmail. For LinkedIn, the opportunity to tap Microsoft's customers, including the 1.2 billion users of its Office suite of business software, could help it jump start growth, which has slowed in recent quarters.
- Kepler - 1647 b -the name of the largest planet discovered recently by Astronomers which is outside our solar system. Astronomers have discovered the largest planet outside our solar system orbiting two stars, at a distance that would make it potentially habitable for people. A team of NASA astronomers that made the discovery using the Kepler space telescope revealed the findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, California recently. The gaseous planet -- dubbed -- is the size of Jupiter and has a wide orbit, revolving around its two stars in 1,107 days, or around three years. The discovery is the eleventh of its kind since 2005.Planets that orbit two stars -- known as circumbinary planets -- are sometimes called "Tatooines," after the similar fictional planet in the movie Star Wars where Luke Skywalker was raised.
- June 14 - this day is commemorated as World Blood Donor's Day to celebrate Karl Landsteiner's birthday .Professor Landsteiner, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist is the first who classified blood into groups.
- ExoMars - the name of the joint mission to the Red Planet by Europe and Russia which captured its first images of Mars this week as part of its preparation for arriving at the planet in October 2016. The mission was launched on March 14, 2016 and has already flown half of its nearly 500 million km journey.
- Tianhe-3 - it will be the name of new super computer to be launched by China in 2020. It will be capable of doing at least a billion calculations per second and will be launched during the 13th five year plan period (2016-2020). In 2010 China's first petaflop supercomputer Tianhe-1, capable of at least a million calculations per second came into service in the supercomputing centre.
National Current News
- IIS - stands for The Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Bangalore which has retained its position as the country's best university, according to the latest Asian University rankings by global higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds. It has risen one place to 33rd spot, driven largely by its research work. IIT, Mumbai has risen 11 places to 35th position. The top 3 universities in the overall QS University rankings 2016 (Asia) are national University of Singapore(NUS), Singapore; University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Nanyang Technological university(NTU), Singapore.
Rs 500 crore - the amount that should be the worth of accounts to be eligible for 'Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets' which was announced by The Reserve Bank of India recently. The Reserve Bank of India under this has allowed banks to conduct deep restructuring of large accounts to revive projects that can be saved, effectively throwing a lifeline to promoters who risked losing their companies. Only those promoters who have shown no malfeasance in their actions while running the show can ask for the permission to continue with the management, even if they get reduced to minority shareholders in the process.
- Aviation sector - the sector to which the 5/20 policy relates to which was tweaked by the cabinet recently. '5/20' policy prevented Indian airlines from flying overseas unless they have operated for at least five years and have a fleet of 20 aircraft. Easing the 5/20 rule would mark an important further step towards liberalising India's aviation market, the world's fastest growing. The rule, unique to India, had sought to encourage the growth of the nascent domestic aviation industry, but many officials say that it now inhibits Indian carriers from growing their share of international travel.
- Rs.29.7 lakh crore - it is the expected value of total assets worth of State Bank of India post- merger with its five associate lenders and Bharatiya Mahila Bank. The Union cabinet recently approved the merger in a definitive push for consolidation in the banking sector. The merger is expected to be completed in 2016-17. While India's largest lender would reap benefits of scale and a larger balance sheet, it will be a major challenge to integrate staff and rationalise branches. A significant aspect of employee rationalisation will be aligning the pay structures. The associates have a little over 70,000 employees, or 34 per cent of SBI's employee base.
- 2% - the amount of cess the government will impose on domestic and international air travel after the approval of National Civil Aviation Policy by Union Cabinet recently. This cess has been imposed to fund the subsidy element to boost connectivity to smaller towns and cities. The airfares has been fixed at Rs 2,500 for one-hour long flights with an aim to increase connectivity to smaller towns and cities by offering incentives to airlines. The Centre will refund 80 per cent of the losses incurred by airlines due to the cap in fare on such routes.
- HTT 40 - the name of India's indigenous basic trainer aircraft which made its inaugural flight recently. The two-seater aircraft designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is to be used for first stage training from all three military arms.
- KL Rahul - he became the first Indian player to score an ODI century on debut when he scored an unbeaten 100 against Zimbabwe in the first ODI at Harare. He is the 11th player overall to do so. He is also the first player to score a century in both Tests and ODIs in his maiden innings as opener. India defeated Zimbabwe by 9 wickets in this match.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni - he became the first Indian wicketkeeper-batsman to complete 350 dismissals in 50 overs' cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the fourth wicketkeeper in the world to effect 350 dismissals in One-day Internationals, while widening the gap further with his India predecessors. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has taken 261 catches and effected 89 stumpings in 278 matches. He is now placed fourth in the overall list behind Kumar Sangakkara (482 victims), Adam Gilchrist (472) and Mark Boucher (424 victims).
Current Affairs June 20th to June 26th 2016
International Current News
- K2-33b - it is the youngest fully formed planet which has been discovered by scientists recently. It is slightly larger than the Neptune and whips tightly around its star every five years. The discovery was made using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope and its extended K2 mission, as well as the W M Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
- Mars - the planet on which minerals were recently discovered by NASA's Curiosity Rover. It has been exploring the sedimentary rocks within Gale Crater since landing in August 2012 from where significant amount of a silica mineral called 'Tridymite' has been discovered. On Earth, tridymite is formed at high temperatures in an explosive process called silicic volcanism. Mount St.Helens, the active volcano in Washington State and the Satsuma-Iwojima volcano in Japan are examples of such volcanoes.
National Current News
- 21st June - this day was recently celebrated as International Yoga Day. International Day of Yoga (or commonly and unofficially referred to as Yoga Day, is celebrated annually on June 21 since its inception in 2015,as it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world
- 100% - the percent of FDI which has been allowed in the airlines in the recent key reform decisions taken at a high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narender Modi recently. FDI in existing airports have been allowed under automatic rule. Earlier the FDI allowed in airlines was just 49%.
- Rs 10,000 crore - it is the amount by which the government recently set up 'Fund of Funds for Startups' to support them with an aim to generate employment for 18 lakh persons. The decision was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Cabinet approved the establishment of 'Fund of Funds for Startups' (FFS) at Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) for contribution to various Alternative Investment Funds (AIF), registered with SEBI which would extend funding support to startups.
- 6,000 crore - the amount of special package announced by government recently for textiles and apparel sector that aims at creating one crore (10 million) new jobs in 3 years and attract investments of $11 billion while eyeing $30 billion in exports. The measures approved include additional incentives for duty drawback scheme for garments, flexibility in labour laws to increase productivity as well as tax and production incentives for job creation in garment manufacturing. A unique feature of the scheme will be to disburse the subsidy only after the expected jobs are created.
- PSLV - it stands for The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and it is India's work horse vehicle and so far it has successfully carried 113 satellites of which 74 were for international customers. It was in the news recently as it successfully launched a rocket carrying 20 satellites and placed the Cartosat-2 Series and 19 others in the designated polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). The 727.5kg Cartosat-2 series will provide regular remote sending services and multispectral cameras and its imagery will be of multiple use.
- India - this country recently joined Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as its 35th member. Marking India's first entry into any multilateral export control regime, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in the presence of France's Ambassador-designate Alexandre Ziegler, The Netherlands' Ambassador Alphonsus Stoelinga and Luxembourg's Charge d'Affaires Laure Huberty. The MTCR was created in order to curb the spread of unmanned delivery systems for nuclear weapons, specifically delivery systems that could carry a minimum payload of 500 kg for a minimum of 300 km.
- Cleveland Cavaliers - the basketball team which won the NBA basketball championship for their first ever Larry O'Brien trophy. They ended their 52-year old drought in major sports championship and it is also their first NBA title. They also became the first team to comeback after trailing 3-1 in the finals. The Most Valuable Player for the team was LeBron James who led the charges for Cavaliers with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists-his 7th triple double in the NBA finals. Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Golden State Warriors 93-89 in the finals.
- Chile - the country which upset favourites Argentina with a penalty shootout victory in the Copa America final to retain their title in the world's oldest continental soccer competition. Chile earned themselves bragging rights as South America's dominant team as they beat heavyweights Argentina 4-2 on penalties for a second straight year to win their second Copa America title. The Centenary Copa America was played in the United States for the first time this year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Copa America in 1916.The tournament was expanded to 16 teams, 10 from South America and six from the CONCACAF region of North and Central America and the Caribbean.
- Lionel Messi - the 29 year old famous football player from Argentina announced his retirement from international soccer after Argentina lost to Chile in Copa America final recently. Argentina lost to Chile 4-2 on penalties. Messi, who took the first penalty for Argentina, missed the goal. This is the seventh straight loss for Argentina in major international tournaments including Copa America, Confederations Cup and Fifa World Cup. Messi has suffered agonizing defeats in the 2014 World Cup final against Germany and to the Chileans last year.
- India - this country won silver medal in the Champions trophy hockey championship played at London recently. They were defeated by Australia 1-3 in the shootout which was marred by controversy. This was India's best performance in Champions Trophy, bettering the bronze in 1982.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni - the Indian cricket captain who equalled Australian great Ricky Ponting's record of leading the side in 324 international matches across all formats. Dhoni achieved the milestone during the third and final Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club. Dhoni, who was appointed captain in 2007, has led India in 60 Tests, 194 ODIs and 70 T20 Internationals. The 34-year-old is also India's most successful captain ever, having overseen 27 Test match victories, 107 ODI wins and 40 T20 successes. During his nine-year tenure, Dhoni has guided India to title triumphs in the World T20 (2007), the World Cup (2011) and the Champions Trophy (2013) besides leading the side to the top of the ICC Test rankings.
- Anil Kumble - the former India captain was named as India's new cricket coach. The Board of Control for Cricket in India made the announcement in Dharamsala recently on the sidelines of the Board's Working Committee meeting. The BCCI's Cricket Advisory Committee comprising three of India's greats -- Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and V V S Laxman -- were entrusted the job of picking the right candidate for the top post.
Current Affairs - July
Current Affairs June 27th to July 03rd 2016
International Current News
- The Grimsel - the name of the electric racing car built by Swiss student engineers that recently broke the world record for acceleration by battery-powered vehicles when it took only 1.513 seconds to reach 100kph.The record-breaking electric car was developed and built in less than a year by a team of 30 students at the ETH Zurich and Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland. The previous record of 1.779 seconds was set last year by a team at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
- 6.5 million - the number of premature deaths which takes place in the world due to air pollution as per the special report released recently by International Energy Agency (IEA). China and India accounts for more than half of the deaths. India alone contributes 1.59 million deaths due to air pollution. The report also warned that the global number will increase significantly touching 7.5 million in 2040 unless the energy sector that emits majority of air pollution takes greater action to curb emission.
- China - the country where the first indigenous commercial jet made its debut flight recently, was carrying 70 passengers. The jet ARJ21 took to maiden flight from Chengdu city in southwestern China's Sichuan Province to Shanghai, marking a landmark success. The jet manufactured by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), completed the maiden flight with a total of 70 passengers mostly journalists and television crews. The plane is China's first regional jet to be manufactured according to international standards and it is expected to compete with France's Airbus 320 and America's Boeing 737.It was put through six years of grueling tests before being awarded airworthiness certificates from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the US Federal Aviation Agency.
- 2018 - the year in which NASA will launch the world's most powerful rocket Space Launch System (SLS) with Orion spacecraft, known as Exploration Mission-1(EM-1). It will also carry 13 small satellites secondary payloads or 'Cube Sats' to carry out science and technology investigations to help pave the way for future human exploration in deep space, including the journey to Mars. It was in the news recently as NASA for the last time tested the booster in a test environment at Orbital ATK Propulsions System's test facilities at Promontory, Utah.
National Current News
- 105 - it is the rank of India on a Worldwide Human Capital Index, which measures countries' ability to nurture, develop and deploy talent for economic growth. The list was topped by Finland. India ranks much below China's 71st position while Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka are also placed higher on the index released recently by Geneva-based World Economic Forum. India was ranked 100th last year out of total 124 countries included in the 2015 index.
- Tejas - it is the name of the locally produced light combat aircraft that will be now be inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) after 33 years the project was approved. The single-engine planes, a much delayed replacement for ageing MiG-21 fighters are being manufactured by Bengaluru based Hindustan aeronautics Limited (HAL)
- NPPA - its stands for National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority and was in the news recently after it fixed/revised ceiling prices of 45 scheduled formulation of Schedule-I under Drugs(Price Control) Amendments Order,2016.The authorities has also fixed the retail price of 12 formulations under Drugs Price Control Order,2013. The 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%. Companies are allowed to increase the prices of such drugs by up to 10% in a year.
- 7th Pay Commission - the commission, whose recommendations were cleared by Union Cabinet recently. About 1 crore (10 million) central government employees and pensioners are going to get the benefit of hike. The pay panel had in November recommended 14.27 per cent hike in basic pay at junior levels, the lowest in 70 years. The previous 6th Pay Commission had recommended a 20 per cent hike which the government doubled while implementing it in 2008.After considering the increase proposed in allowances, the hike in remunerations comes to 23.55 per cent.
- 7.6% - it is the percentage of bad loans of banks (as percentage of total advances) as on 31st March 2016 as against 5.1% as of 30th September, 2015. 8.5% is the estimated percentage of gross bad loans as of 31st March, 2017. The top 100 borrowers of banks accounted for 19.3% of bad loans as on 31st March, 2016, a surge from just 2.9% in September 2015. The clean- up process initiated by RBI has resulted in bad loans stocks of banks rising to a record Rs.5.8 lakh crore as of 31st March, 2016. These data's are based on Foreword to the RBI's Financial Stability Report written by the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan.
- 30th September, 2016 - it is the last date of the Income Declaration Scheme 2016 that gives tax evaders the opportunity to declare undisclosed income or face strong punitive action. The scheme announced in this year budget opened on 1st June, 2016. Those who had under-reported their income or assets for the previous assessment years have the option to come clean by paying tax, interest and penalty totaling 45% of the undisclosed income.
- Varunastra - the name of indigenously-built heavyweight anti-submarine torpedo which was formally handed over to the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently. With this, India has joined the list of eight countries having the capability to design and build such a system. Having almost 95 per cent indigenous content, Varunastra, costing about Rs. 10-12 crore per unit, is capable of targeting quiet and stealthy submarines, both in deep and littoral waters in intense counter-measure environment. Varunastra weighs around 1.25 tonnes and can carry about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.
- Prashikshak - it is the name of the Teacher Education Portal which was launched recently by Ministry of Human resources Development in association with NCTE. The features of portal are that it will have database about all DIETs, comparative index for DIETs, data analytic report and monitoring of CSSTE related parameters. The mission is to foster District Institute of Education and Training (DIETs) through Teacher Education Portal (TEP).
- Dutee Chand - she became the first Indian in 36 years to complete in 100m race at the Olympics when she defied all odds to qualify for the women's 100 metres event at the Rio Olympics recently. She broke her own national record with a timing of 11.30 seconds in the heats at the 26th G Kosanov Memorial Meet in Almaty, Kazakhstan to win the berth. P.T.Usha who competed at the 1980 Olympics was the last to represent India in this event.
Current Affairs July 04th to July 10th 2016
International Current News
- Juno - the name of space craft which successfully entered into the orbit around Jupiter on a mission to probe the origins of the solar system. It will investigate Jupiter's origin, interior structure, deep atmosphere and magnetosphere. It will be the first solar array-powered spacecraft to go this deep into space and it is named after the goddess-sister-wife of the Roman god Jupiter.
- Nepartak - the name of typhoon, the first of the year, which recently hit many parts of Taiwan and China.
National Current News
- Madras High Court - the name of this court along with Bombay High Court will undergo a change in their names after the Cabinet approved a law ministry proposal to change the name of these two high courts through an Act of Parliament to correspond to the present names of the cities Mumbai and Chennai respectively. The proposal of the Department of Justice in the Law Ministry is to bring a bill-The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016-to rename the two High Courts established in 1860's under Indian High Court Act, 1861.
- 3 years - it is the period for which the tax holidays are available to Startups in India in a block of initial five years. If a tax holiday is to be availed, the entity is required to be set up between April1, 2016 and March31, 2019 with an approval of an inter-ministerial board set up by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).
- 25 lakh or more - it is the amount which can be received by Startups via the convertible note route in a single tranche from a person which will not be termed as a 'deposit'. Such a convertible note is to be turned into equity or repaid within 5 years. Owing to this relaxation, the stringent rules relating to informing the registrar of companies (RoC) or creating a deposit repayment reserve in the books of accounts will not apply to start up receiving funds via convertible notes. But this relaxation is available only to those startups meeting the government prescribed norms.
- Rs.331.75 - it is the monthly per capita spending on services in rural India as against Rs.819.36 in urban areas as per the data from the 72nd round of the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) carried out between July 2014 and June 2015.
- 26th May 2016 - it is the date from which the affixing label of 'Star rating' of electric consumption has been mandatory on Colour TVs and Direct Cool Refrigerators. Mandatory labeled appliances now are frost free refrigerator, tubular fluorescent lamps, distribution transformers, room air conditioners, direct cool refrigerators and colour televisions.
- Serena Williams - she defeated Angelique Kerber to win the Wimbledon tennis women's single title 2016. This was her 7th Wimbledon title and she also equaled the record of 22 Grand Slam victories of Steffi Graf.
- Portugal - this country defeated France to win the Euro Cup 2016. Substitute Eder scored in extra time to secure Portugal's first European Championship title after they overcame the early loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to snatch a 1-0 smash-and-grab victory over hosts France recently.
- Lionel Messi - the famous footballer of Argentina who along with his father was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison for tax fraud. The Barcelona court found the Barcelona star and his father guilty of three counts of defrauding tax authorities of 4.1 million euros ($4.6 million). However these two sentences are likely to be suspended as in Spain, sentences of less than two years for first offences are usually suspended, and meaning neither will go to jail.
- Andy Murray - he won the men's singles Wimbledon tennis title 2016. He defeated Milos Raonic in the finals to claim a second Wimbledon title.
Current Affairs July 11th to July 17th 2016
International Current News
- 11th July - this day was recently celebrated as World Population day. This is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues. The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987-approximately the date on which the world's population reached five billion people. It encourages the activities, events and information to help make this right a reality throughout the world. World Population Day aims at increase people's awareness on various population issues such as the importance of family planning, gender equality, poverty, maternal health and human rights.
- Dadaab Camp - the refugee camp in Kenya which is the world's largest refugee camp. It is the site of a UNHCR base hosting 329,811 refugees in five camps as of October 2015, making it the largest such complex in the world. The center is run by the UNHCR, and its operations are financed by foreign donors. It was in the news recently after Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai spent her 19th birthday there to draw attention to the global refugee crisis.
- Leap Second - the extra second which is added to the official clocks to keep clocks in sync with Earth's rotation. It was in the news recently as the timekeepers will add an extra second to 2016 on December 31,2016.Earth takes a little over 24 hours for full rotation-86,400.002 seconds and not 86,4000. First leap second was added in 1972 and the last one on June30, 2015. The leap second can only be added on June30 & Dec 31 at 23:59:60.
- MeerKAT - the radio telescope of South Africa which was recently in the news for revealing 1300 galaxies in a tiny corner of the universe where only 70 were known before. The image released recently was the first from MeerKAT, where 16 dishes were formally commissioned the same day. MeerKAT's full contingent of 64 receptors will be integrated next year into a multi-nation Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which is set to become the world's most powerful radio telescope.
- DURUS - the name of new robot-with human sized feet laced up in a pair of sneakers which has been developed by scientists of the Georgia Institute of Technology. The bipedal robot steps with a heel-toe motion that copies human locomotion more closely than flat-footed robot walkers can and to enhance the similarity the researchers also gave it pair of sneakers.
National Current News
- Sankat Mochan - the name of operation aimed at evacuating over 500 Indians stuck in the war-torn South Sudan which got underway recently. The operation is being spearheaded Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh with the help of two C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the Indian Air Force from South Sudan's capital Juba.
- Rs.3.00 lakhs - the amount over which the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has sought a ban on cash transactions, limiting cash holdings and allowing the government to take over undisclosed cash beyond the threshold and overseas income. Pointing to rules in country such as France and Italy, the panel has proposed that cash transactions beyond Rs.3.00 lakhs be declared illegal and punishable under the law.
- 10crore - the prescribed turnover of jewelers up to which the income tax department will not conduct search and seizure operations or challenge valuations regarding purity or weight of the metal, though the central government will not withdraw the 1% excise on non-silver jewellery. These are part of the recommendations of a panel headed by former chief economic advisor, Ashok Lahiri whose recommendations were accepted by the finance ministry recently.
- 1gm - it is the minimum subscription which has been allowed in the 4th Tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bond which was issued by Government of India recently. These bonds have a tenure of 8 years with exit options in 5th, 6th and 7th year also.
- Antoine Griezmann - the player of France who was awarded the Golden Boot for his 6 goals in the Euro Cup football 2016 championship which concluded recently. Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Oliver Giroud of France followed with 3 goals each.
- Misbah-ul-Haq - the Pakistan captain became the oldest player to score a Test century for 82 years, when he scored an unbeaten 110 runs against England at Lord's recently. The 42-year old, who was playing his first Test on England soil, celebrated his 10th Test century by doing press-ups at the 'home of cricket'. In 1934, England's Patsy Hendren had scored a century against Australia and still holds the record for being the oldest player to score a Test century.
- Golf - this game is being re-introduced in the Olympics after a gap of 112 years. While the men's competition will be staged at the Olympic golf course in Rio de Janerio from August 11-14, the women's event will begin on August 17, 2016.
- PR Sreejesh -he was appointed as the captain of the Indian's men hockey team for the Rio Olympics. He also captained Indian team during the recently concluded Champions Trophy. The experienced goalkeeper is the first hockey player from Kerala to lead the national team at the Olympics. S V Sunil has been named as the deputy to Sreejesh.
- Sushila Chanu - she was appointed as the captain of the Indian's women hockey team for the Rio Olympics. She replaced Ritu Rani who was dropped on grounds of poor form and attitude. Goalkeeper Deepika Kumari will be Chanu's deputy.
- Vijender Singh -the Indian boxer who defeated Australia's Kerry Hope to win WBO Asia-Pacific Super Middleweight title.
- D Harika - the Grandmaster of India who won her maiden Fide Women's GP title in Chengdu, China. K Humpy finished second which made a rare one-two for India in the women's GP series. Both tallied seven points in the 11 rounds but Harika edged on the tie break.
- South Korea - this country was defeated by India in the Asia Oceania Davis Cup tennis match played recently at Chandigarh. It ensured that India has now qualified for the World Group play-offs.
- India Gate, New Delhi - the place from where the Great India run was flagged off on 17th July 2016. The 1480-km run from Delhi to Mumbai features 15 top ultra-marathoners of the world and is claimed to be Asia's longest. The run spread over 21 days will pass through Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra before concluding on 6th August 2016 at Gateway of India, Mumbai.
- Saurav Ghosal - he won the men's title at the 73rd Squash Nationals which was played recently at Mumbai. He won the national title for the 11th time to surpass RK Narpat Singh's record of ten titles that he won between 1946 and 1955.
- Dipika Palikal - she won the women's title at the 73rd Squash Nationals which was played recently at Mumbai. This was Dipika's second national title.
Current Affairs July 18th to July 24th 2016
International Current News
- Perlan 2 - it is the name of engineless space glider that departed for a record-breaking attempt to glide at 90,000 feet over Argentina, which, if successful, could pave the way for hypersonic travel and aircraft on Mars.
- 13.4% - this is the decadal rate at which Artic Sea Ice is melting. The extent of Artic sea ice at the peak of the summer also covers 40% less area than it did in the late 1970s.The six-month period from January to June 2016 was the planet's warmest half-year on record, and also had the lowest Artic Sea extent since satellite records began in 1979, according to NASA.
- TRAPPIST-1c - the name of the exoplanet which is believed to be within the star's habitable zone. This is one of the exoplanet in addition to TRAPPIST-1b which has been discovered by the astronomers recently using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The planets orbit a red dwarf star at least 500 million years old, in the constellation of Aquarius. 1.5 days and 2.4 days is the time taken by TRAPPIST-1b and TRAPPIST-1c respectively to complete a circuit around red dwarf star. The planets are between 20 and 100 times closer to their star than the Earth is to the Sun.
National Current News
- Rs.22915 crore -the amount of capital which has been provided by the government recently to 13 PSU banks including SBI, PNB and IOB to enhance their lending operations and enable them to raise more money from the market. This is the first tranche of capital infusion for the fiscal and more funds would be provided in future depending upon the performance of PSU banks. The capital infusion exercise for the current fiscal is based on an assessment of need as assessed from the compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of credit growth for the last five years, banks' own projections of credit growth and an objective assessment of the potential for growth of each PSBs
- Deen Dayalu - it is the name of first modern unreserved coach which was rolled out recently by Railways. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the first Deen Dayalu coach in New Delhi recently. It will have facilities like potable drinking water, mobile charging points and bio-toilets among others to improve quality of travelling in general class.
- IISc, Bangalore -it was ranked the top Indian institute in BRICS 2016 rankings. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), global higher education analysts and compilers of the QS World University Rankings release a ranking of the best universities in the BRICS nations every year.
- 7.4 percent - it is the growth projections for 2016-17 for India which has been trimmed by International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently, a drop of 0.1 per cent from its previous forecast, attributing it to a more sluggish investment recovery while declaring Brexit as a "spanner" in the global economic recovery. Updating its growth projection from the one it issued in April 2017, the IMF said in 2016 and 2017 India is projected to grow at a rate of 7.4 per cent. This it said is a drop of 0.1 per cent in both the years. According to IMF, China's growth rate in 2016 and 2017 would be 6.6 and 6.2 per cent.
- 14 years - it is the age below which employment of children has been made a cognizable offence for employers and provides for penalty for parents. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill' makes employment of children below 14 years as cognizable offence for employers and provides for penalty for parents. The Bill defines children between 14-18 years as adolescents and lays down that they should not be employed in any hazardous occupations and processes.
- NHAI - stands for National Highways Authority of India which plans to raise up to $750 million (around Rs.5000 crore) through green masala bonds that will be listed on the London Stock Exchange soon. Housing finance major HDFC became the first Indian company to list masala bonds-denominated in Indian rupees-on the London Stock Exchange when it raised Rs.3000 crore last week. Masala bonds-the name is derived from the Hindi word for spice-are instruments through which Indian entities can raise funds in rupees by accessing overseas capital markets while bond investors hold the currency risk.
- INS Viraat - the India's majestic aircraft carrier which is being decommissioned after nearly six decades in service. Viraat had first served British Navy for over 30 Years before being bought by India. Viraat was originally commissioned by British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on November 18, 1959.
- Startup Village - the country's first public-private partnership business incubator, has been named India's best startup incubator. Startup Village is ranked number one in a first-of-its-kind comprehensive ranking by the India edition of Entrepreneur Magazine of the 100 best startup incubators in India (25 across sectors and 75 sector specific).
- BharatNet - formerly National Optical Fibre Network project, is the ambitious project planned to improve internet penetration in rural areas. The government is in the process of establishing a massive network infrastructure by connecting all 250,000 gram panchayats through optical fibre, providing broadband connectivity by all categories of service providers which will be implemented in three phases. In the first phase, 100,000 gram panchayats will be connected by March 2017, and this connectivity would be further extended to the remaining 150,000 panchayats by December 2018. The third phase involving a future-proof network involving fibre between districts and blocks, is planned to be completed by 2023.
- AN-32 - it is the name of Indian Air Force's Port Blair bound transport plane went missing after it took off from the Tambaram air base in Chennai on July 22, 2016. After 48 hours of frantic search involving assets drawn from Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, authorities have lodged a formal complaint with Tamil Nadu police over the missing AN-32 aircraft. Meanwhile, the search and rescue team is seeking satellite imagery to find any clue of the plane that lost contact over the Bay of Bengal.
- Karwan-e-Aman - meaning, Peace Caravan, is the name of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service which was in the news recently after it resumed its services. The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service resumed recently after remaining suspended for two weeks in view of the unrest in Kashmir Valley. The bus service was started in April 2005 as part of the confidence building measures between New Delhi and Islamabad.
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) - the software services major which has been ranked as the top employer in the Indian IT industry by the representative body Nasscom. The Mumbai-based firm was followed by its peers Infosys, Cognizant, Wipro and Capgemini. At the end of June, 2016, TCS had a total headcount of 3.62 lakh while Infosys and Wipro had 1.97 lakh and 1.73 lakh, respectively.
- Yasir Shah - the leg spinner of Pakistan who topped the International Cricket Council(ICC) Test rankings after his heroics in the Lord's Test victory against England. The 30-year-old, who picked up 10 wickets to guide his side to a 75-run victory over England in the first Test, is followed by India's off-spinner R Ashwin and the England pace duo James Anderson and Stuart Broad. He also became the first Pakistani bowler in 20 years to top the ICC Test rankings. Mushtaq Ahmed was the last bowler from Pakistan to top the rankings since in December 1996.
- Russia - the country on which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided not impose a blanket ban for next month's Rio Olympics over the nation's doping record. However it said that it will leave decisions on individual athletes' participation with their sports federations. The IOC's announcement follows the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) call for a Rio ban in response to the independent McLaren report that found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
- Sania Mirza - the sportsperson whose autobiography 'Ace against Odds' was recently launched at a function in Mumbai. The legend Indian tennis player, Sania has penned the biography at the age of 29.
- Navjyot Singh Sidhu - the veteran cricketer and three-time Amritsar MP who resigned from Rajya Sabha recently. He was MP from Amritsar from 2004 to 2014.
- Lodha Committee - the committee whose recommendations on the functioning of the Board of Control of Cricket in India were accepted by The Supreme Court recently. As per the recommendations there will be no minister in BCCI and age cap of 70 has been accepted for officials. It also accepted the recommendations of 'One state-One vote'.
- Mohammed Shahid - the India's former hockey captain, who won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games died at a Gurgaon hospital recently.
- Virat Kohli - the Indian Test match skipper who recently completed 3000 Tests runs while playing 1st Test match against West Indies at Antigua recently. It was his maiden hundred in the Caribbean Islands and his fifth as captain of the Indian team.
- Ravichandran Ashwin - he was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his century and 7 for 83 in the first Test against West Indies at Antigua. It was Ashwin's first five-wicket haul outside the subcontinent. India recorded their biggest ever win outside the subcontinent by thumping the West Indies by an innings and 92 runs in the first Test at Antigua. The off-spinner also became the first Indian to score a hundred and take a fifer in the same Test on two different occasions.
- Narsingh Yadav - the wrestler who was in the news recently after he failed a dope test conducted by NADA, which casts serious doubts on his participation in the 74kg freestyle category at the Rio Olympics.
Current Affairs July 25th to July 31st 2016
International Current News
- Solar Impulse 2 - the solar-powered aircraft which successfully completed the first fuel-free flight around the world recently, returning to Abu Dhabi after an epic 16-month voyage and demonstrating the potential of renewable energy. It first took off from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015, beginning a landmark journey of about 40,000 km (24,500 miles) around the globe and nearly 500 hours of flying. Swiss explorers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse founders and pilots, took turns piloting the aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 747 and weighing only as much as a family car.
- 28th July 2016 - this day was recently celebrated as World Hepatitis Day. The theme for this year's World Hepatitis Day is 'Know Hepatitis-Act Now'. World Health Organisation (WHO) observes July 28 as World Hepatitis Day each year and the theme for 2016 is elimination. 400mn people are affected globally by water-borne A & E and blood-borne B & C Hepatitis.
- Luca - it stands for Last Universal Common Ancestor is the single-cell, bacterium like organism which is believed to be the common ancestor of all life on Earth. Luca arrived about 3.8 billion years ago, and would eventually give rise to two different kinds of simple cells-bacteria and archaea.
- Sleep Spindles - the waves which oscillates or alternates during sleep and looks like waves on an electroencephalogram. The scientists have suspected their involvement in cataloguing and storing memories as we sleep. The scientists now hope to target these spindles to treat memory impairment and cognitive deficits.
National Current News
- Myntra - the Flipkart-owned company which recently acquired Jabong from Global Fashion Group a move that will mark further consolidation in India's booming e-commerce industry.
- Gujarat - the state which is having the cleanest railway stations in the country according to a passenger feedback survey on cleanliness carried out by the Railway Ministry, which says lack of sanitation at stations was the biggest area of concern for commuters. Out of the 40 different cleanliness parameters passengers rated stench at stations as their top concern, followed by lack of dustbins and unclean platforms. The survey was conducted at 407 major railway stations and nearly 130,000 passengers took part in it. Among the 10 cleanest stations in the order of ranking are Beas, Gandhidham, Vasco Da Gama, Jamnagar, Kumbakonam, Surat, Nasik Road, Rajkot, Salem and Ankleshwar. Five stations in Gujarat--Gandhidham, Jamnagar, Surat, Rajkot and Ankleshwar-- are among the top 10
- Humboldt penguins - the species of penguins that have been brought to India for the first time. They will be put in special enclosure of Byculla zoo in Maharashtra after three months of acclimatization. Humboldt penguins nest in burrows and are medium sized, growing between 55cm and 70cm in length and can weigh up to 5.9kg. They are mostly found along the pacific coast of South America, from Isla Foca in Peru down to Algarrobo in Chile.
- 1% -it is the additional tax on inter-state sales as proposed in the GST bill which was removed from the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill by the Union Cabinet recently which headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. By doing away with the 1 per cent inter-state tax over and above the GST rate, the government has met one of the three key demands over which Opposition Congress has been blocking the Bill in the Upper House. The other demands of including GST rate in the statute and a Supreme Court judge-headed dispute resolution body has not been accepted
- GST Council - the committee that has been proposed in the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill to adjudicate any dispute between states and the Centre. It will have representation from both the Centre and states. The changes approved by the Cabinet are to the Constitutional Amendment Bill that was approved by the Lok Sabha in May last year. Once the Rajya Sabha approves the legislation, the amended Bill will have to go back to the Lok Sabha again for approval.
- 5 -the number of initial years of rollout is the period which has been agreed for providing guarantee to compensate states for any revenue loss of the proposed indirect tax regime by the Cabinet in the GST Constitutional Amendment Bill. The Bill, in its present form, provides that the Centre will give 100 per cent compensation to states for first three years, 75 per cent and 50 per cent for the next two years. However, the Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha had in its report recommended 100 per cent compensation for probable loss of revenue for five years. As per the amendments, the Centre will now constitutionally guarantee states any loss of revenue from the GST subsuming all indirect taxes, including VAT, in the first five years of introduction.
- CAF Bill - it stands for Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill which was passed by the Parliament recently. The bill once it gets it ascent from President will also create a institutional mechanism for use of fresh accrual of an estimated Rs. 6,000 crore per anum(over the Rs.42000 crore lying unspent till now) that would be collected for diversion of forest land for non forest use in future. Bill is also meant for setting up a national authority at the Centre and one in respective states to monitor utilization of the funds.
- Shyam Benegal committee - this committee has recommended scrapping the anti-tobacco warning running on the screen along with the film and instead put a static visual at the beginning of the film. The panel has also recommended that 'licensed suppliers' of performing animals be used for providing animals for films and clarity on definition of such animals.
- James Anderson - the star England paceman who recently broke Australian legend Glenn McGrath's record for number of wickets by a pacer in home conditions. Anderson, who claimed four wickets in England's thumping victory against Pakistan in the second Test, has now 291 wickets at home. The England pacer overcomes McGrath's long-standing record of 289 wickets that he took in Australia. However, Anderson remains a long way behind Muthiah Muralidaran's overall record of 493 wickets at home, with fellow spinners Anil Kumble (350) and Shane Warne (319) also ahead of Anderson.
- Pallekele - the place in SriLanka which was the venue of the first cricket Test match in which the hosts defeated the top ranked Australia by 106 runs. Australia for the first time have now lost seven successive Tests in the subcontinent.
- Neeraj Chopra - the player from India who set a world record in javelin throw during the IAAF World U20 Championships at the Zawisza Stadium in Poland. He threw his spear at a record-breaking distance of 86.48m and became the first Indian world champion in athletics at any level.
- Mumbai 5's - they defeated Kochi 5's to win the inaugural edition of Premier Futsal football championship played at Mapusa, Goa.
- Mohammed Shami - the Indian fast bowler who equaled the record for the fastest 50 Test wickets by an Indian fast bowler. Venkatesh Prasad is the only other Indian pacer to pick 50 wickets in 13 Tests. Overall, seven Indian bowlers have taken 50 test wickets in fewer matches but all have been spinners.
- 6 - it is the number of dismissals effected by Indian wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha in the first innings of the Antigua Test against West Indies. For India, Syed Kirmani and MS Dhoni are the only other wicket keepers to effect six dismissals in an innings. Saha, is also the first Indian wicket-keeper to be associated in the dismissals of the top five batsmen in Test innings.
- Ravichandran Ashwin - the Indian off-spinner surged to the top of the ICC Player Rankings for Test Bowlers after a superb outing in the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua which the visiting side won by an innings and 92 runs. Ashwin, who was top-ranked in the 2015 year-ending rankings, not only regained the top spot with his second-innings haul of seven for 83 but has also gained in the batsmen's rankings with a knock of 113 and resultantly strengthened his grip on the top spot among all-rounders.
- Patna Pirates - the reigning champion defeated Jaipur Pink Panthers 37-29 to win the 4th Pro Kabaddi League. The finals was played at Gachibowli Indoor stadium in Hyderabad. Puneri Paltan defeated Telgu Titans to win the third place.
Current Affairs - August
Current Affairs August 01st to August 07th 2016
International Current News
- Delta - it is the name of the world's lightest paraglider tride that can take off and land with wheels while carrying an adult pilot. It has two rear-mounted propellers, horizontally arranged, each driven by a motor and is powered by lithium polymer batteries. The Delta has been built for the National Geographic Channel.
- Raven Whale - the new species of Whale which has been reported from the northern Pacific Ocean. It is a black-beaked whale only rarely seen alive by Japanese fisherman which they call 'karasu', the Japanese word for raven. They have beaks like dolphins, dive several feet to feed on squid and bottom fish. The whales are elusive and can only be seen if the water is perfectly calm.
- Uber - the US cab-hailing firm recently winded up its business in China to put its India expansion plan in top gear. Uber will be the third American technology behemoth after Amazon and Apple to double down on India, after having failed to make a breakthrough in China.
- Moon Express - the private firm which has received a license from the US's Federal Aviation Administration to launch a spacecraft and land on the moon in 2017. So far, there been no private space missions beyond the Earth's orbit. The farthest commercial venture have so far gone up to 22,236 miles, the geosynchronous orbit to place the telecommunication satellites that fly above the earth.
- The Google Lunar X Prize - the $20 million reward, is to incentivize space entrepreneurs to create an era of affordable access to space. The competition's prize goes to the first team to land a privately funded rover on the moon, travel 500m and transmit HD videos and images.
National Current News
- 60/40 - it is the admission formula which was scrapped recently by the Joint Entrance Examination Apex Board(JAB) for admission to the 31 National Institutes of Technology(NIT), Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology(IIEST-Shibpur, IIITs and government institutes. Now the minimum qualification criteria would be 75% marks in higher secondary (HS) exam or rank among the top 20 percentile in their board exams.
- 15years - it is the period for which NITI Aayog is likely to form a committee of experts to estimate the demand for food supplies and chart out a roadmap to meet the requirement. This was finalised in a meeting of Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Aayog was asked to adjust food production targets based on public consumption trends as it would help prioritize what would be required in future, considering the implications of an evolving middle class in India.
- Universal banks - these banks in the private banks are the one for which the Reserve Bank of India released the final guidelines for their on-tap licensing, under which it ring-fenced the banking system from large industrial houses, excluding them from floating banks in the future. But conglomerates have been allowed to hold up to 10 per cent in the lenders. For this purpose, RBI defined large group NBFC as an entity which is a part of a group having total assets of Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) or with the non-financial business of the group not accounting for 40 per cent or more in terms of total assets or gross income. The minimum paid-up equity capital for a bank would be Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion). The bank shall open at least 25% of its branches in un-banked, rural centres.
- Rs. 10,000 - it is the fine for drunken driving which has been proposed in the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 which was approved by Government recently. The bill also has provision of up to Rs. 10 lakh compensation in case of road fatality and Rs 2 lakh compensation for hit-and-run cases. The proposals are based on the recommendations of transport ministers from 18 states, and the bill includes penalties in the range of Rs 1000-Rs 4000 for over-speeding. As per the bill, driving without insurance will be punishable with Rs. 2,000 fine and/or three-month imprisonment, while driving without helmets will attract Rs. 2,000 fine and 3-month suspension of licence. The provisions also include that guardian/owner will be deemed to be guilty in case of road offence by juveniles while registration of the vehicle will be cancelled.
- April 1, 2017 - it is the target date for rollout of the Goods and Services Tax as per the detailed roadmap for its implementation unveiled by government recently. The government also said it is aiming for an 'optimal' rate of taxation though the final decision will be taken by the GST Council. Once implemented, the GST will subsume various taxes, including excise, services tax, octroi and other levies and the proceeds will be shared between the Centre and states.
- 7th August - this day is celebrated every year as National Handloom Day. This day is celebrated to mark the 1905 Swadeshi movement. It was on August 7, 1905 that the formal proclamation of the Swadeshi Movement was made in a meeting at the Calcutta Town hall. The movement involved boycotting British products and the revival of domestic products and production processes.
- Novak Djokovic - the tennis player of Serbia who won the men's singles title of Rogers Cup after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan in Toronto recently. Djokovic clinched his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. He also became the first four-time winner of the Rogers Cup.
- Tuvalu - the country which is being represented by the smallest delegation of just one person in the Rio 2016 Olympics. Sprinter Etimoni Timuani will carry the flag at the opening ceremony for the South Pacific nation of Tuvalu, the smallest delegation at Games in Rio de Janeiro. Comprising of just nine islands, Tuvalu ranks as the fourth smallest country on the planet in terms of land mass, and was formerly known as the Ellice Islands before gaining independence from Great Britain in 1978.
- Gaurika Singh - she is the youngest athlete at Rio 2016. She is just 13-year-old, lives in London and will represent Nepal at the Olympic Games. She will compete in the women's 100m backstroke. Her personal best is one minute, 8.12 seconds. The fastest competitor in the event, London 2012 silver medallist Emily Seebohm of Australia, is 11 years older than Singh and enters the heats with the top time of 58.26 seconds.
- 206 - the number of countries which are participating in the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio, Brazil. There are a total of 306 events in 42 disciplines which are being played at 37 venues with 11,239 participants.
- Virginia Thrasher - the player of USA who won the first gold medal of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after she won the women's 10m air rifle event. Being the first champion of the 2016 fames she was awarded the medal by IOC President Thomas Bach.
- Roston Chase - he was adjudged Man-of-the-match for his all-round show in the second Test match between West Indies and India at Jamaica. He took 5-121 with his off-spin in the India innings, before showing his class with the bat when he scored a century. He became just the fourth West Indies player to score a century and take five wickets in the same Test, and the first to do so in 50 years. Gary Sobers, the only player to accomplish the feat twice, last achieved that double in 1966.
- Rangana Herath - he is the Sri Lankan bowler who recently claimed a hat trick. He became only the second Sri Lankan cricketer to claim a Test hat-trick on the second morning of the second Test against Australia recently. The left-arm spinner dismissed Adam Voges, Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc off successive deliveries to achieve the feat in the second match of the three-test series at Galle as the visitors folded for 106 in 33.2 overs, their lowest score against Sri Lanka, who grabbed a 175-run first innings lead. Former paceman Nuwan Zoysa was the first Sri Lankan to claim a Test hat-trick, against Zimbabwe in a 1999 match at Harare.
- KL Rahul - he became the first Indian opener to score ton on debut in West Indies. The previous highest was 96 scored by Ajay Jadeja in St John's in 1997. KL Rahul became the fifth Indian player to score a hundred in his maiden innings in West Indies. His knock of 158 is the highest among the five.
- Abhinav Bindra - India's only individual Olympic gold medalist who was India's flag bearer at the Rio Olympics 2016. He is representing India in his fifth Olympics.
- Leander Paes - India's ace tennis player earned the distinction of representing India in maximum number of the Olympic Games. Rio is his 7th games, one more than shooter Randhir Singh.
- Dipa Karmakar - the Indian gymnast who scripted history as she became the first Indian to make the cut for the individual vault finals in her debut Olympic Games after finishing 8th in the qualifying round in Rio de Janeiro recently. The Tripura-girl, who is the country's first woman gymnast to qualify for the Olympics, managed to perform her much-appreciated 'Produnova' vault cleanly to secure 14.850 points after two attempts.
- Talimeran Ao - he was the flag bearer of independent India's first contingent at the Olympic Games. The Nagaland-born-football team captain was the flag bearer at the 1948 Olympic Games at London, the first to be held after a gap of 14 years on account of the Second World War.
- Shiny Wilson - she was the first Indian woman flag bearer at the Olympic Games. In 1992 at Barcelona the athlete earned this great distinction.
- Nita Ambani - she is the first Indian woman to be elected as International Olympic Committee member. An Indian businesswoman and owner of the Mumbai Indians Indian Premier League franchise, she was among eight new members elected to the IOC recently on the eve of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The eight new members bring the total number of IOC members to 98.
Current Affairs August 08th to August 14th 2016
International Current News
- Nida - the name of typhoon which recently swept across many parts of southern China and Hong Kong. It was the strongest typhoon to hit the Pearl River delta in 30 years.
- 1007 - the number of robots which simultaneously participated together in a dancing event in China to make a new Guinness World Record. Each of the 43.8 cm tall dancing were controlled by just one mobile and the event was organised by the Chinese company, Ever Win Company. The earlier record was set by Chinese company UBTECH Robotics Cor with 540 dancing robots earlier this year.
- 13th August - this day every year is celebrated as Organ Donation Day in India by the people, government organizations and other related professions in order to motivate normal human beings to donate the organs as well as to understand the value of organ donation in the life of an individual. The organ donor can be anyone of which the organ can be transplanted to the patient urgently require. The organ donated by the normal human being is saved properly to transplant into the patient whenever he or she require. One can get the new life through the organ transplantation donated by someone.
National Current News
- 31st October -the name of film starring Soha Ali Khan and Vir Das based on former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination that was recently cleared by the censor board. Directed by National award winning film maker Shivaji Lotan Patil, the movie is based on the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination.
- 6.5 percent -the repo rate presently which was kept unchanged by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan recently in the 3rd bi-monthly monetary policy review citing upside risks to the Reserve Bank's inflation target for March 2017. Repo rate is the rate at which RBI lends to the system has been retained at 6.5 per cent, while the reverse repo rate which is paid to banks has been maintained at 6 per cent. The Cash Reserve Ratio will be at 4 per cent. On growth, RBI maintained its projection of 7.6 per cent on a gross value addition basis, saying the favourable monsoon which is 3 per cent above the average which raises agricultural growth and rural demand and higher consumption on the back of the 7th Pay Commission implementation will be aiding it.
- Jaldoot Train - the name of train which was deployed to supply water from Miraj town to Latur in Marathwada. Since its first run in April2016 to then parched Latur, the train delivered 2.79 crore litre water to the drought-affected town till completing its 111th and last trip recently. The train, run jointly by Indian Railways and state government, filled up 50 wagons with water from Miraj junction and carried it 340-km away to Latur city on its last trip.
- 3cm - the average growth in height of Indian men between 1914 and 2014 which has taken the average height of men in India to 165cm(5'5") while women grew taller by 5cm to take the average height to 153cm(5'1"). The men from Netherlands with average height of 182.5cm and women from Latvia with average height of 169.8cm are the tallest. These findings are based on study conducted by Imperial College, London.
- NW1 - the name of country's first national waterway which was notified in October 1986 and its total length is 1620km. It was in the news recently after the government launched its first trial of cargo transport carrying 200 newly assembled Maruti cars and another 1000tonnes building material from Varanasi to Kolkata.
- Produnova - the high risk vault which was performed by India's gymnast Dipa Karmakar in the finals at Rio Olympics 2016. It is named after Russian gymnast Yelena Produnova who was the first person to execute the vault in 1999. It is so risky that only four gymnasts have tried it since.
- R. Ashwin- the Indian all-rounder recently scored his fourth Test hundred, off 265 balls, and indeed his fourth against the same opposition, West Indies. He joined a select group of players - Richie Benaud (vs South Africa in 1957-58), Tony Greig (vs West Indies in 1973-74) and Ian Botham (vs Australia in 1981) - to take multiple five-wicket hauls and score multiple hundreds in the same Test series.
- Carlos Brathwaite- the all-rounder who has been named as the new captain of West Indies T-20 team. West Indies axed their two-time World Twenty20 winning captain Darren Sammy and put fellow all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite in charge for two matches against India to be played recently in Florida.
- Kohei Uchimura - the player of Japan who became the first gymnast in 44 years to win back-to-back Olympic all around titles recently. Uchimura became only the fourth man, and the first since his compatriot Sawao Kato in 1972, to win successive golds in the event that tests skills across six apparatus. He won with a total of 92.365. Max Whitlock become the first British man in over a century to win a medal in the event after picking up bronze with a total of 90.641.
- Golf - the game which returned to the Olympics after a gap of 112 years. Golf was featured in the Summer Olympic Games official programme in 1900 and 1904. At the IOC session in Copenhagen in October 2009, the IOC decided to reinstate this event for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
- Michael Phelps - he equaled the oldest record of sports, 2160 years old record when he chalked up his 12th individual Olympic swimming gold medal. Leonidas, a runner who competed between 164 and 152 BC according to Olympic historians, is the only other athlete to have won 12 solo titles. There is plenty of documentary evidence to attest to the dominance of Phelps, winner of a record 21+ golds and 25 medals in an astonishing career spanning five Games that is far from finished. The achievements of Leonidas rely on somewhat sketchier accounts, provided much later by Philostratus the Athenian and Pausanias who hailed the runner's 12 victories through four Olympiads.
- Hanif Mohammad - the famous Pakistani cricketer also known as 'Little Master' who lasted 970 minutes in what is still the longest innings in Test history died recently in his home town in Karachi.
- Joseph Schooling - the swimmer from Singapore who beat swimming great Michael Phelps in the 100m butterfly to win the first Olympic Gold Medal for his country. This was in news as a young boy Schooling met Phelps in 2008 and his photo with Phelps still inspires him.
- Lionel Messi - the famous football player of Argentina who recently reconsidered his decision to quit as international player and announced that he will continue playing for Argentina's national team.
Current Affairs August 15th to August 21st 2016
International Current News
- 41.8 million tones - it is the amount of global E-waste generated in 2014 as per the Global E-waste Monitor 2014. In the last five years global e-waste generation has gone up by 23% from 33.8 million tonnes in 2010 to 41.8 million tonnes in 2014. E-waste is a term used to cover all discarded electrical and electronic equipment and their parts.
- Greenland sharks - they are the Earth's longest living creatures with a spine according to the first study on its lifespan. 392 years is the age of the oldest of the Greenland sharks examined after it was caught around four years ago. Greenland sharks are found in the North Atlantic.
- July 2016 - this month has been recorded as the Earth's hottest month in modern times setting a new high mark for global heat in 137 years of record-keeping as per the report of United States government scientists released recently. July 2016 was 1.57 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th-century average, breaking last year's record for the warmest July on record by 0.11 degrees. Scientists say the heating trend is being driven by fossil-fuel burning, and is made worse by the ocean warming phenomenon known as El Nino, which came to an end last month. July's global average of temperatures taken over land and ocean surfaces was the highest for any month in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880.The report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came just two days after the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration released its climate data, which also found July was a record-breaking month.
- August 19 - this day is observed as World Photography Day, which aims to inspire photographers across the planet to share a single photo with a simple purpose: to share their world with the world. World Photo Day originates from the invention of the Daguerreotype, a photographic process developed by Frenchmen Louis Daguerre and Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1837. On January 9, 1839, The French Academy of Sciences announced the daguerreotype process. A few months later, on August 19, 1839, the French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift "Free to the World".
- Airlander 10 - the name of the helium-filled airship, considered the world's largest aircraft which flew for the first time in Bedford, UK recently. The Airlander 10 is a hybrid of blimp, helicopter and airplane and has been nicknamed the 'flying bum' because of its bulbous front end. The Airlander is designed to use less fuel than a plane but carry heavier loads than conventional airships.
- Micius - the name of the world's first quantum satellite launched by China recently in an effort to harness the power of particle physics to build an 'unhackable' encrypted communication systems. The nickname is after a 5th century BC Chinese philosopher-scientist, the satellite will be used in experiments to prove the viability of quantum technology to communicate over long distances.
- Iran - the country whose airbase was used for the first time by Russian bombers to strike over Syria. Russia recently launched Tu-22M3 long range bombers & Su-34 frontline bombers on Syria from the Hamedan air base, 280 km southwest of Tehran. Earlier Russia's long range bombers had to be launched from 1900km away, now bombers need to fly only 640km from Iran to Syria.
National Current News
- 2017 - it is the year from which there will be no separate Railway Budget in India putting an end to a practice that started in 1924. The finance ministry has agreed to railway ministry proposal to merge the annual exercise with the general budget.
- 3days - it is the period fixed by the Reserve Bank of India for customers to report the unauthorized electronic transactions to get the benefit of 'zero liability' in third party frauds. This means banks will have to make goods the losses suffered by customers. In case where the victim notifies the fraud between 4 and 7 days after coming to know about it, the customer's liability will be capped at Rs.5, 000. In a draft notification issued recently RBI said that if a bank employee is responsible for the fraud the customer must get his money back irrespective of whether it is reported in time or not.
- 66th - it is the rank of India as per report by the UN World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), which calls for more transparent policies if the country aspires to become a global driver of innovation India moved up 15 spots from 81st last year to 66th this year in the overall global rankings. The top rankers are: Switzerland 1, Sweden 2, UK 3, USA 4.The Global Innovation Index 2016, released by the WIPO, Cornell University, and the multi-nation business graduate school INSEAD, said India ranks among the top 50 economies overall in two pillars: market sophistication, 33, and knowledge and technology out-puts, 43.
- Machhli - the name of the legendary Ranthambore tigress that died recently.She was 19 years old. She is believed to have died of age-related issues. Also referred to as T 16, Machhli was probably the world's most photographed tigress. She was named Machhli because of the marks on her face that resemble a fish. She had contributed more than $10 million a year to the economy of Ranthambore over the last 10 years.
- Bharatiya Mahila Bank - it is the wholly-owned bank by the government started in 2013 which is going to be merged with State Bank of India by March 2017. The State Bank of India recently approved the share swap ratios for the merger of five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank with itself. SBI will also issue 44.2 million shares to the government for one billion shares of Bharatiya Mahila Bank.
- 90 paise - it is the insurance premium which will be charged by Indian Railways (IR) from September 2016 for coverage of Rs.10 lakhs. At first, insurance would be available for those who book tickets online. Later, the scheme could be extended to season ticket travellers, where for a premium of Rs 200-300, they will get annual coverage. IR has selected three insurance companies - Shriram General Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Royal Sundaram General Insurance - for insuring its passengers. Each would get insurance policies on a rotation basis from an automated system. The railway scheme is in line with the present government's policy of affordable insurance schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Suraksha Bima Yojana, where for an annual premium of Rs 330 and Rs 12, respectively, consumers get coverage of up to Rs 200,000.
- 20% - it is the hike which has been made in the pension of the freedom fighters after it was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to the nation on the 70th Independence Day from the Red Fort. There are around 37,000 freedom fighters in the country. The existing dearness relief system based on All India Consumer Price Index for Industrial workers, which was hitherto applied to freedom fighter pensioners on annual basis, is being discontinued and replaced by the dearness allowance system applicable to central government employees twice a year.
- 20ft - it is the cap on height of Dahi Handi as per the recent decision of Supreme Court. The court also directed that no one below 18 years of age can take part in human pyramids formed to celebrate Janmashtami.
- Belgium - it is the country which defeated India in the quarterfinals of the men's hockey at Rio Olympics. Eight-times gold medalist India thus blew away a great opportunity to create history after a hiatus of 36 years to climb the medal podium. Belgium on the other hand, scripted history as they progressed to the semifinals of the Olympics after a gap of 96 years.
- 0.15 - it is the points by which Dipa Karmakar of India lost the bronze medal in the women's vault final gymnastic at the Rio Olympics. The 23-year old Dipa, who had become the first Indian woman gymnast to have qualified for the Olympics, scored an average of 15.066 points, a mere 0.15 less than the eventual bronze winner Giulia Steingruber (15.216) of Switzerland.
- Sakshi Malik - Indian women wrestler scripted history by becoming the first woman wrestler from India to bag an Olympic medal and only fourth female athlete from the country to climb to the podium at the biggest sporting event. The 23-year-old from Haryana, a silver medalist at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and bronze winner at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, earned a dramatic come-from-behind 8-5 win over Kyrgysztan's Aisuluu Tynybekova to win the bronze medal in the Women's Freestyle 58 kg.
- Nozomi Okuhara - this badminton player of Japan was defeated by P V Sindhu in the semifinal at the Rio Olympic Games recently to make her the first Indian shuttler to reach the final at the Olympics in the women's singles. The two-time World Championships bronze medalist scored a sensational 21-19, 21-10 victory over the All England champion in 49 minutes. She won silver medal after she lost to two-time World champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the finals.
- Repechage - it is a French word which means second chance. This word came into news recently after under this the Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik got another chance to fight for bronze medal which she won. Under 'repechage' all the players defeated by the finalists on the way to finals get a chance to fight for bronze medal.
- USA - it is the country which won its 1, oooth gold medal in Olympics history when the American's women team won the 4x100 metre medley relay race. Of the 1,000 gold medals, more than half have come from track and field (323) and swimming (246).
- Sri Lanka - they completed a rare 3-0 sweep over Australia after left-arm spinner Rangana Herath with 7 wickets for just 64spun the hosts to a comprehensive 163-run victory in the final test in Colombo recently. Herath claimed a 13-wicket match haul to bag the man-of-the-match award while his 28 wickets from three tests also made him the obvious choice for the man-of-the-series award. Sri Lanka clinched the Warne-Muralitharan trophy in emphatic style.
- United States - they achieved the 100 metres hurdles event's first ever Olympic podium sweep when all the three medals were won by athletes from this country itself at the Rio Olympics 2016. Brianna Rollins won the gold in a time of 12.48 seconds leading compatriots Nia Ali won silver with 12.59 seconds and Kristi Castlin won the bronze with 12.61 seconds.
- Argentina - they defeated Belgium to claim the Olympic title and win their country's first Games medal in men's hockey. Long playing in the shadow of a much-celebrated women's team, Argentina's men will leave Rio with their first Olympic hockey medal. Belgium's sliver was their best finish at the Games in 96 years. They last took home bronze in Antwerp in 1920.
- David Rudisha - the athlete from Kenya who became the first man in 52 years to clinch back-to-back 800m titles in the Olympics when he won the title at Rio Olympics with a timing of 1minute 42 seconds. The last man to win consecutive 800mtitles was New Zealand's Peter Snell in 1960 and 1964.
- Joao Havelange - the former President of FIFA for two decades who transformed soccer's governing body into a multibillion-dollar business died recently. He oversaw six World Cups in 24-year term as FIFA President and led the number of team expansion in World Cup from 16 to 32 teams.
Current Affairs August 22nd to August 28th 2016
International Current News
- Great Auk - the penguin sized extinct flightless birds which disappeared in the 19th century after the last known bird was killed in 1844 on an Iceland island. Until the species extinction in the 19th century Great Auk ranged across Atlantic from northern Europe to Iceland. It was in the news recently after the scientists are planning to bring back the extinct bird. Researchers recently met at the International centre for Life in Newcastle to discuss reintroducing the flightless marine birds onto the Farne islands in England.
- SwagBot - the world's first robot designed to round up livestock being developed by Australian scientists to help the country's farmers. SwagBot is a box of electronics supported by four independently moving legs on wheels. It is omnidirectional and can navigate obstacles across water and be remotely controlled by farmers as it herds cattles. The cattle stations in Australia average about 400,000 hectares of land where rearing livestock is becoming very difficult with growing producer's becoming older.
National Current News
- 10 years - the new time period fixed by the Election Commission to review the national and state party status of political parties instead of the present five. A commission notification said while the criteria of being recognised as a national and state party will remain unchanged, the review of the status will take place every two consecutive Lok Sabha or assembly elections instead of one. Recognition as a national or a state party ensures that the election symbol of that party is not used by any other political entity in polls across India. Other registered but unrecognised political parties have to choose from a pool of "free symbols" announced by the commission from time to time. Besides, these parties get land or buildings from the government to set up their party offices. They can have up to 40 number of 'star campaigners' during electioneering. Others can have up to 20 such 'star campaigners'. A political party becomes eligible to be recognised as a national party if it has won 2 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha from at least three different states in the latest general election; or in a Lok Sabha or assembly election it has polled 6 per cent of the total valid votes in at least four states, in addition to winning four Lok Sabha seats; or it has been recognised as a state party in at least four states.
- Rs.4.31 crore - the price at which the suit donned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his meeting with United States President Barack Obama in New Delhi in 2015 was auctioned which has now entered the Guinness World records as 'the most expensive suit sold at auction'. The suit was purchased by Surat based diamond trader Lalji Patel who owns Dharmananda Diamonds Company. The suit which has stripes with 'Narendra Damodardas Modi' woven into gold letters was reportedly prepared at a cost of Rs.10 lakh.
- 7th - the position of India according to the report by the New World Health as India figured among the top 10 wealthiest countries in the world with a total individual wealth of $5,600 billion. The US is the wealthiest in the world in terms of total individual wealth held at ($48,900 billion) while china stood second and Japan third with a wealth of $17,400 billion and $15,100 billion respectively. Wealth refers to net assets of a person, including assests (property, cash, equities, business interests).
- UPI - it stands for Unified Payments Interface operated by which National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) which went live recently. It is an application that will make money transfer as easy as sending a text message by allowing real-time money transfer. By using this application, a customer can transfer money to another person through a unique virtual address (virtual addresses are aliases to a bank account allowing a customer's account to be uniquely mapped), or mobile number, or Aadhaar number. Therefore, customers do not need to know the payee's bank account details, etc, and this will make the process simpler. It is currently available for a customer of 21 banks. UPI is a payment solution which empowers a recipient to initiate the payment request from a smartphone. It facilitates 'virtual payment address' as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money and works on single click 2-factor authentication. The soft launch of UPI was announced by the outgoing Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan in April this year and was under pilot run, mainly with employee-customers, for some time. After assessing the success of pilot run, RBI had accorded its final approval for public launch of the product.
- 25% - it is the new cap on exposure limit of banks to a single borrower group which was recently announced by Reserve Bank of India. At present banks can go up to 55% of their tier-I capital in case of infra loans. In case of individual entities the limit has been raised from 15% to 20%. The central bank also proposed to allow corporate bonds as a collateral for short term borrowings under repo- a mechanism where bonds are sold and bought back at predetermined prices. These steps have been announced to prevent banks from building up large exposures to a few big corporate and move them to bond market.
- Rs. 70 lakhs - it is the expense limit set by Election Commission for each candidate for the Lok Sabha elections and Rs.28 lakhs for assembly polls for bigger states. For some states the limit is Rs.54 lakh and Rs.20lakh for Lok Sabha and assembly polls respectively. Till 1997 the limit was Rs.15 lakhs for LS polls and Rs.6 lakh for Assembly polls for most states. It was in the news recently after the Supreme Court ruled that the market value of the campaign materials fixed by the Election Commission is not "sacrosanct".
- Gratuity - it is the benefit which has been extended to all government employees recruited after January 2004. The Centre and many state governments switched to the new pension scheme (NPS) from January 1, 2004 that required employees to contribute 10% of their monthly salary towards their pension with a matching contribution from the government. Gratuity is calculated as a proportion of the last salary drawn and takes into account the number of years put in by the employee. The upper limit for the gratuity was recently raised from Rs.10lakh to Rs.20lakh in line with the recommendation of the seventh Pay Commission. As per the pension department order issued recently all government employees covered by the NPS shall be eligible for the benefit of retirement gratuity and death gratuity on same terms and conditions as applicable to other employees.
- 67th - the final position achieved by India with one silver and one bronze in the medal tally of Rio Olympics. USA finished at the top of the medals tally with 121 medals which included 46 gold, 37silver and 38 bronze.
- CAS - stands for Court of Arbitration for Sport. This was in the news recently after it set aside the decision of the Indian doping body NADA and slapped a four year ban on Narsingh Yadav.
- Sakshi Malik - the Indian wrestler who won the India's first medal was the country's flag bearer during the closing ceremony of Rio Olympics.
- Jitu Rai - the ace shooter of India has been conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting award. The other winners of this award are Olympic medalists P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik alongside trail-blazing gymnast Dipa Karmakar. The Keel Rant Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years. Apart from a medal and citation, the Keel Ratna awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh.
- Lalita Babar - the long distance runner of India who stood 10th in the 3000m steeplechase at the Rio Olympics 2016 has been selected for this year Arjuna Award. The sports ministry announced 15 athletes for this year's Arjuna Award. The Arjuna Award is given for consistent performance over four years. Arjuna awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.
- Bishweshwar Nandi - the name of coach of famous Indian gymnast Dipa Karmakar who has been conferred with the famous Dronacharya Award. This year's Dronacharya Award will be conferred on six coaches, the most notable among others are India Test team captain Virat Kohli's mentor Raj Kumar Sharma, Nagapuri Ramesh (athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (boxing), Pradeep Kumar (swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime). The Dronacharya Award is given to coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events. Dronacharya Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.
- The Punjabi University, Patiala - this university was awarded the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2015-16.The overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is presented the MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs 10 lakh and certificates.
- Port of Spain - the venue of the fourth and final Test match between India and West Indies which was washed out after only 22 overs of play on the opening day after which four successive days were lost to a wet outfield. It is the third shortest match ever in the history of Test cricket. India ended up losing the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings. The draw benefitted Pakistan, who replaced India at the top of the ICC Test rankings, reaching the coveted position for the first time ever.
- Pink - the colour of the ball which is being used in the day-night Duleep Trophy by the Indian Cricket Board for the first time on an experiment basis. Rs.8000 is the cost of the pink Test ball, almost four times the cost of its red variant. Adelaide hosted the first pink-ball Test in November 2015 between Australia and New Zealand. The original colour of the ball was red and it was used for Tests, first-class cricket and ODI's with swing and seam movement. The white ball was introduced in World series Cricket in Australia by Kerry Packer in 1977. In 2009 Marylebone Cricket Club picked pink as best suited for D/N Tests.
Current Affairs - September
Current Affairs August 29th to September 04th 2016
International Current News
- Titan - the name of Saturn's moon, which is believed to be the only celestial body other than Earth with liquid lakes and seas on its surfaces. It was in the news recently after NASA has unveiled plans to send a submarine to scour depth of Titan's largest ocean, Kraken More, for signs of life. Kraken More is the largest known body of liquid on the surface of Titan. It was discovered by the space probe Cassini and named in 2008 after the Kraken, a legendary sea monster. Kraken More may be hydrologically connected to the second-largest sea on Titan, Ligeia Mare.
- Juno - the NASA's spacecraft sent to study the secrets of planet Jupiter. It was in the news recently as it executed its first flyby of Jupiter, passing 4200km above the gas giant's clouds-the closest contact ever achieved by a man-made probe with the planet. Juno entered its aimed-for orbit around Jupiter on July4, 2016 and passed closest on August 27, 2016. Juno will study the origins of Jupiter, its internal structure, its magnetosphere and its atmosphere.
- Mars - the planet for which NASA mock mission ended successfully recently after the six people team ended their one year isolation at the barren northern slope of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. The crew included a French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans-a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a soil scientist spent their time inside a dome 36 feet(11m) in diameter and 20 feet tall.
National Current News
- India - it is the fourth country to demonstrate the flight testing of Scramjet Engine after the United States, Russia and European Space Agency. India recently successfully test fired its futuristic Scramjet (Supersonic Combustion Ramjet) Rocket Engine using oxygen from the atmosphere that could cut the cost of the launches several fold and help in Indian Space Research Organisation's bid to design advanced air breathing engines. The first experimental mission of Scramjet Engine was successfully conducted from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh recently. Scramjet engine designed by the ISRO uses Hydrogen as fuel and the Oxygen from the atmospheric air as the oxidiser. Usually, rocket engines carry both fuel and oxidiser on board for combustion, but these newly developed engines with air-breathing propulsion system will use oxygen from the atmosphere thereby reducing the lift-off mass of the vehicle. It will also help in bring down launch costs substantially.
- August 29 - this day is celebrated as National Sports Day in India. This day marks the birthday of Dhyan Chand, the hockey player who won gold medals for India in the years 1928, 1932 and 1936. This day is celebrated by organizing friendly matches between different Indian hockey teams at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, which was constructed in the respect and honor of Dhyan Chand.
- E-rickshaws and e-carts - they will no longer require permits to ply on roads but states can impose restrictions on them under appropriate traffic laws regarding their movement in certain areas as per the decision taken by the government recently. According to the notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the provisions of the sub-section (1) of section 66 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, will not apply to e-carts and e-rickshaws (as defined in section 2A of the Act,) that are used for carrying goods or passengers with personal luggage. The notification has removed the legal hurdles in the way of running of electric rickshaws as last mile connectivity. As per the notification, e-rickshaws have been allowed to carry four passengers and 40 kg luggage while e-carts would transport goods up to 310 kg.
- Tata Motors - the company whose controversial acquisition of 997.11 acres of land in Singur in 2006 by the then Left Front government in West Bengal to set up the ambitious Nano car manufacturing plant was set aside by the Supreme Court recently. They agreed that the land should be restored in 12 weeks to the owners and cultivators after completing the survey, identification and other formalities within 10 weeks. The apex court said the state government cannot claim back the amount of compensation given to the land-losers as it had enjoyed the right over the acquired land for 10 years.
- Rs. 10 lakh - the amount of insurance cover being offered by Railways on booking a train ticket online which started from 1st September 2016. A person booking a train ticket through the IRCTC website will be able to opt for travel insurance cover for a premium of 92 paise only. The new facility will be available to all passengers, excluding those travelling by suburban trains while booking online irrespective of the class. The cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age and foreign citizens. It will be for passengers holding tickets such as confirmed, RAC and wait-listed ones. The scheme offers travellers/nominees/legal heirs a compensation of Rs 10 lakh in the event of death or total disability, Rs 750,000 for partial disability, up to Rs 200,000 for hospitalisation expenses and Rs 10,000 for transportation of mortal remains from the place of a train accident or where an untoward incident, including terrorist attack, dacoity, rioting, shootout or arson, occurs. However, no refund of the premium will be given in case of cancellation of the ticket.
- Avanti Finance - the name of proposed microfinance firm which is going to be started by Tata Trusts chairman Ratan Tata, former Infosys CEO Nandan Nilekani and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy chairman Vijay Kelkar. Avanti will apply to the RBI for registration and is expected to start operations before the end of financial year.
- 72nd - the rank of IITs in Delhi and Mumbai in the recently released Reuters list of Top 75 Asia's Most Innovative Universities. The list identifies institutions doing the most advance science, invent new technologies and help drive the global economy. The list is topped by KAIST of South Korea followed by University of Tokyo, Japan. The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the only other Indian Institute in the list, is ranked 73
- 7.1 - the percentage of GDP growth of India during the quarter April to June 2016 which was slowest in 15 months. Despite the slowdown, India remains the world's fastest growing major economy, ahead of 6.7% growth in China. GDP growth slowed mainly due to subdued performance of mining, construction and farm sectors.
- Sony Pictures - the company which recently announced its deal to buy the Ten Sports from Zee Entertainment for $385 million (Rs2850 crore). This sale will consolidate the sports broadcast market in India between Sony Pictures and Star India, with Nimbus retaining the third spot.
- Rs.3.93 lakh crore - the amount of Fiscal deficit in the first four months of the current financial year i.e. April -July 2016 which was 73.3% of the Budget Estimates (BE) for 2016-17. Fiscal deficit, which is the gap between expenditure and revenue for the entire current fiscal has been pegged at Rs.5.33 lakh crore or 3.5% of the GDP for 2016-17.
- 75 - the percentage of money the government agencies and public bodies will have to pay to the contractors against a bank guarantee in case of any dispute of payment as per the new Cabinet decision. This move will unlock thousands of crores and infuse liquidity into the stressed construction sector.
- 10 years - the period of residence which can be allowed to foreign investors if they invest Rs.10 crore over 18 months or Rs.25 crore over three years, resulting in jobs for at least 20 residents every fiscal as per the new policy approved by the Union cabinet recently. The residency permit can be extended by a decade. Up to now, such investors have been eligible for business visas lasting up to five years.
- Rs.300 per day - the revised minimum wages in C category area for agricultural workers as announced by government recently which was previously Rs.211 per day. The daily wages for non-agriculture workers was Rs.246 which has now increased to Rs.350 per day.
- England - this country recently scored the highest One day International score of 444. England amassed a world record One-Day International total of 444 for three as they crushed Pakistan by 169 runs at Trent Bridge recently. Jos Buttler struck the last ball of the innings for four to take Eoin Morgan's men past Sri Lanka's 443 for nine against Netherlands in July 2006.
- Shahid Afridi - the Pakistani player with 97 wickets is the highest wicket taker in T20 international matches since the inaugural match in 2005. Pakistan dominate the T20I top wicket-takers list with Shahid Afridi (97), Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal (85 each) occupying the top three places.
- Courtney Walsh - the famous West Indies fast bowler who has been appointed as the Bangladesh's bowling coach for a three-year period. The 53-year-old Walsh, the most successful bowler from the Caribbean with 519 Test wickets, recently completed his role as a West Indies selector and his contract with Bangladesh runs until the 2019 World Cup in England.
- KL Rahul - the Indian batsman who scored a century in just 46 balls to equal the record for the second fastest century of T20. South African Faf du Plessis has scored a T20 ton in 46balls and South African Richard Levi holds the record for the fastest T20 hundred in 45 balls. This was his maiden T20 century in just his fourth T20match.
- Saketh Myneni - the only Indian who was in fray in the US Open men's single tennis tournament. He went down fighting to world No. 49 Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic in a five-set thriller in the first round of the men's singles at the 2016 US Open in New York recently. He is the first Indian since Yuki Bhambri, who featured in the 2015 and 2016 Australian Open first round, to make it to the main draw of a Grand Slam event.
- CRPF - the country's largest paramilitary force which appointed Rio Olympics silver medalist P V Sindhu as its brand ambassador and confer the honorary rank of Commandant on her. The Central Reserve Police Force also has the credit of raising the first all-women's battalion in a central paramilitary or a police force way back in 1987 and at present has four such contingents, with three in active duty.
- Yogeshwar Dutt - the Indian wrestler whose London Olympic Games men's 60kg freestyle bronze medal has upgraded to silver. The development came after the silver medalist from the 2012 Games -- deceased Besik Kudukhov of Russia -- was stripped off his medal for using banned substance. As per Russian agency flowrestling.org, the four-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist Kudukhov, who had died in a car crash in 2013 in southern Russia, has been found positive for dope test conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency. As a result, Yogeshwar, who had bagged a bronze medal in men's 60kg freestyle category in London Games, moved up from bronze to silver and join Sushil Kumar as another silver medalist from the 2012 Olympics.
- Jasprit Bumrah - India's young fast bowler who added his name to the record books after capturing the most T20 International wickets in a calendar year. Bumrah, who only made his T20I debut in January against Australia at the Adelaide Oval, has taken 28 wickets for India in the game's shortest format from 21 matches. Former Australia quick Dirk Nannes was the previous record holder, having taken 27 wickets in 14 matches in 2010.
- Mann Kaur - the 100-year-old Indian runner was in the news recently after she picked up a gold medal in the 100-metre race at the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver, Canada. Hailing from Chandigarh she completed the race in a minute and a half to claim the gold medal -- she was the only female competitor in her age category at the competition for senior athletes.
- Four - the number of athletes who were for the first time presented with the country's highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016. The last time the sports ministry made an exception with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award was back in 2009 when for the first time three athletes-Sushil Kumar, Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom -were conferred the award. This year award was given to Rio Olympic medalists PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai.
Current Affairs September 05th to September 11th 2016
International Current News
- Lionrock - the typhoon which rocked Japan recently especially the northern portions of the country. The typhoon with wind speed of over 160kmph landed on Japan's northern Pacific coast and tore through the region dumping torrential rain over a wide area, stranding communities, with roads and bridges destroyed or blocked.
- 5th September - this day is celebrated every year as the International Day of Charity by United Nations to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace". With a single-minded mission of serving the poorest of the poor, Teresa worked for the poor, sick, orphaned and dying on the streets of Kolkata before her death on this day in 1997 at the age of 87. Recently, her canonisation by Pope Francis in the Vatican City mass was attended by 1, 00,000 pilgrims, including 13 heads of state or government and hundreds of sari-clad nuns from the Missionaries of Charity.
National Current News
- Trinamool Congress - the party which was recently recognized by the Election Commission as a 'national party'. National party status for Trinamool comes after EC recently revised norms for recognition of parties, allowing for review of a party's recognition based on its performance over two consecutive polls.
- 2050 - the year by which India is now expected to achieve the goal of universal primary education as per recently released UNESCO's new Global Education Monitoring report. As per the report India will be half a century late in achieving its global education commitments and the country needs fundamental changes in the education system if it wants to meet the 2030 sustainable development goals. UNESCO's report says that based on current trends universal primary education in Southern Asia will be achieved in 2051, lower secondary in 2062, and upper secondary in 2087. India is expected to achieve universal primary education in 2050, universal lower secondary education in 2060 and universal upper secondary education in 2085.
- INSAT-3DR - on-board GSLV-F05, is the advanced weather satellite which was launched by ISRO recently. The launch of the GSLV-F05 marks the tenth flight of India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, designed to inject 2 to 2.5 ton class of satellites in geostationary orbits.The rocket is almost 49 meters high -- as much as a 17-floor building. It weighs 415 tons -- as much as the combined weight of 80 full grown elephants.GSLV-F05 is significant since it is the first operational flight of GSLV carrying Cryogenic Upper Stage. The INSAT-3DR satellite is an improvement of its predecessor -- INSAT-3D. The new satellite possesses an atmospheric sounding system which allows it to map vertical changes of humidity, temperature and ozone content in Earth's atmosphere. The INSAT-3DR will provide a variety of meteorological services to the country
- Flexi fare system - the new concept of pricing of tickets which has been introduced by Railways in 2AC ,Chair Car and 3AC for premier trains - Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi from September 9.The base fare for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains will be on flexi fare system. However, there will be no change in the existing fare for 1AC and Executive Class of travel in premier trains.While 10 per cent of the seats will be sold in the normal fare in the beginning, it will go on increasing by 10 per cent with every 10 per cent of berths sold with the ceiling limit at maximum 50 per cent depending upon the demand. For 2AC and Chair Car, the maximum hike is 50 per cent while for 3AC, it is 40 per cent. Other supplementary charges like reservation charges, superfast charge, catering charges, and service tax as applicable shall remain unchanged. There are total 42 Rajdhani trains, 46 Shatabdi and 54 Duronto trains.
- ICICI Bank - the country's largest private sector lender,is employing robots to perform tasks like generating customer IDs, updating addresses and mobile numbers, resolving ATM-related queries, etc. Claiming to be the first Indian bank to use software robotics, ICICI Bank claimed recently that the use of this technology has helped them in reducing response time by up to 60 per cent. Software robotics is essentially a step up over automation, where bots ensure applications can interact seamlessly.
- BYJU's - a Bengaluru-based education technology firm is the first venture where Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's investment arm for education and healthcare, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has made its first investment in Asia.The $50 million commitment saw funding from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Sofina and Lightspeed Ventures, and Times Internet. The investment would be used for expansion. The BYJU's app has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times and reached 250,000 annual subscribers across India. It has an average engagement rate of 40 minutes per day and 90 per cent of users renew their subscription.
- 1.4 million - the number of lives which was lost in India in 2013 due to air pollution as per the World Bank report released recently. As per the report released by the World Bank and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in 2013 more than 5 million deaths worldwide were attributed to health conditions caused by air pollution. China and India were ranked 4th and 6th respectively in the world in the deaths per million due to air pollution in 2013.
- Greek Landscape - the iconic grey painting by iconic modernist Akbar Padamsee which was recently sold for Rs.19.2 crore($2.9 million),setting a new auction record for the artist. It also became the fifth priciest work by an Indian artist with VS Gaitonde in the No.1 slot (Rs.29.3 crore).
- Stanislas Wawrinka - he defeated top-seeded defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 and win the US Open men's singles title 2016 recently for the third Grand Slam title of his career. The 31-year-old Swiss, who defeated Djokovic on his way to winning the 2014 Australian Open and 2015 French Open, denied the world number one a third Grand Slam title this year following the Serb's wins in Australia and France. The victory was worth $3.5 million for Wawrinka, who is only missing a Wimbledon victory to complete the coveted career Grand Slam.
- Angelique Kerber - she defeated Karolina Pliskovato win the US Open women's ingle title.The new world No 1 who upstaged Serena Williams from this rank- Angelique Kerber - lived up to her new billing by outlasting Karolina Pliskova in three gripping sets.
- Lindsay Tuckett - the world's oldest cricketer who passed recently at the age of 97.Tuckett represented South Africa in nine Test matches against England between 1947 and 1949.The distinction of the oldest surviving cricketer in the world now passes to another South African player, all-rounder Johnny Watkins, who is 93.Having taken a total of 19 international wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, Tuckett became the backbone of the South African pace attack when cricket resumed after the second World War. He is also known for bowling the last over of the dramatic Durban Test against England (Marylebone Cricket Club) in the 1948-49 season, which ended with a two-wicket victory for England, secured off the final ball.
- Australia - they piled up the highest ever total in a Twenty20 international when they scored 263 against Sri Lanka at Kandy recently. They broke a nine-year record held by Sri Lanka, who scored 260/6 against Kenya in 2007.
- Ryan Lochte -the swimmer of USA, who was recently slapped with a 10-month suspension by the US Olympic Committee and USA Swimming, following his bogus gunpoint robbery story during a drunken night out at the Rio Olympics. Three other swimmers Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and James Feigan who were with him in this false alarm were also given four-month suspension.
- Tillakaratne Dilshan - the famous cricketer of Sri Lanka who announced his retirement from international cricket recently. Inventor of the famous "Dilscoop" ramp shot, Dilshan played the last of his 87 Tests in 2013 before quitting the longer format with 5,492 runs and 39 wickets to his name. The 39-year-old signed off from the shorter formats with over 10,000 runs and 22 centuries in 330 one-day internationals and 80 T20 matches. He is one of only six men to have scored a hundred in all three formats of the game.
- Bethanie Mattek-Sands - the tennis player of US and Czech Lucie Safarova defeated French top seed partnership of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to win the US Open women's doubles title. With the win, Mattek-Sands and Safarova close in on a career doubles Grand Slam, having hoisted trophies at the Australian and French Open last year.
- Angelique Kerber - she was recently crowned the new world number one in women's tennis rankings. The 28-year-old became the oldest player to rise to that rank when the new list was published recently capping a memorable summer that also included the Olympic silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and a Wimbledon final appearance.
- Aleksander Ceferin - the president of Slovenia's football federation, was overwhelmingly elected as the new head of European soccer's governing body UEFA at an extraordinary Congress recently. Ceferin beat Dutchman Michael van Praag, the only other candidate, by 42 votes to 13 and will succeed Frenchman Michel Platini, who announced his resignation in May after being banned from football for four years for ethics violations.
- Sikki Reddy - she partnered with Pranaav Jerry Chopra to clinch their maiden Grand Prix badminton title, bagging the Brazil Open recently. Indian mixed doubles pair bagged the Brazil Open with a straight games victory over Canadian combo of Toby Ng and Rachel Honderich at Foz do Iguacu in Brazil recently. The top seeded Indian pair, ranked 65, prevailed 21-15, 21-16 over second seeds Toby and Rachel in a 37-minute summit clash at Costa Cavalcante.
- Anjum Chopra - the Former Indian women's team captain who has been awarded a honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). She is the first Indian woman cricketer to get the prestigious life membership of MCC. The 39-year-old Anjum played 12 Tests, 127 ODIs and 18 T20 Internationals for India. She scored 548 runs in Tests with 4 half centuries while in 50 over's format she scored 2856 runs with a century and 18 half-centuries.
- Mariyappan Thangavelu - the Indian high jumper who scripted history after winning the Gold medal at the Rio Para Olympics recently. The 21-year old cleared 1.89m edging out the US world champion Sam Grewe who cleared 1.86m. Varun Singh Bhati won the bronze medal of the men's high jump event. It is the first time two Indians have won medals in the same event at the Paralympics.
- Devendra Jhajharia - the Javelin thrower became the first Indian to clinch two gold medals at the Paralympics after he broke his own world record to clinch the top honors at the Rio Games in Rio de Janeiro. Devendra, who won his previous gold in the 2004 Athens Games, bettered his own world record to finish on top in the men's F46 event.
- Deepa Malik - she created history by becoming the first-ever woman from the country to win a medal at the Paralympics when she bagged a silver in the shot put F-53 event in Rio de Janeiro recently. Deepa's best throw of 4.61m from her six attempts was enough to clinch the silver medal. Bahrain's Fatema Nedham won the gold medal with a best throw of 4.76m, while Dimitra Korokida of Greece bagged the bronze medal with a throw of 4.28m.
Current Affairs - October
Current Affairs October 17th to October 23rd 2016
International Current News
- JiaJia - the name of the world's oldest giant panda which died at Hong Kong theme park recently at the age of 38, the equivalent of 114 human years. JiaJia whose name meant 'good' was a gift from the Chinese government to Hong Kong in 1999, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the former British colony handover to the mainland.
National Current News
- 1989 - the year in which the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was formed. The FATF is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering. In 2001 the purpose expanded to act on terrorism financing. It was in the news recently after the BRICS Goa declaration reaffirmed commitment to the Financial Action Task Force international standards on combating money laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation.It also called for swift, effective and universal implementation of FATF on combating terrorist financing, including effective implementation of its operational plan.
- Rosneft - it is the Russia's state-controlled oil giant who recently took over major stake in India's second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil in an all-cash deal valued at about $13 billion (Rs 88,000 crore). Rosneft bought a 49 per cent stake in Essar Oil's refinery port and petrol pumps, while Netherlands-based Trafigura Group Pte, one of the world's biggest commodity trading companies, and Russian investment fund United Capital Partners split another 49 per cent equity equally. The remaining 2 per cent is held by minority shareholders after delisting of Essar Oil. The deal has an enterprise value of close to $13 billion, which includes Essar Oil's debt of $4.5 billion (Rs 30,000 crore) and about $2 billion (Rs13,342 crore) debt with the port company and power plant. Also, the near $3 billion dues to Iran for past oil purchases will continue to be on Essar Oil books. Essar Oil, part of a steel-to-ports conglomerate controlled by the billionaire Ruia brothers, operates a 405,000-barrels-a-day refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat. The refining complex also has a captive power plant as well as a port and terminal facilities.The deal would help the Essar Group, one of India's largest and most indebted conglomerates, trim its about Rs 88,000 crore (over $13 billion) debt and ward off creditor pressure.The deal was announced as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting of the leaders of the BRICS countries in Goa.The deal is the single largest foreign investment in the Indian refining sector and will strengthen the ties between the world's largest oil producer and the world's fastest growing fuel consumer.The acquisition is the biggest foreign acquisition ever in India and Russia's largest outbound deal.
- Post Offices - it will be the new outlets for the sale of subsidised pulses by the government. In the absence of government outlets in states, the Centre will utilise huge network of post offices across the country to sell subsidised pulses, mainly tur, urad and chana, to ensure availability in the ongoing festival season.An inter-ministerial committee, headed by Consumer Affairs Secretary Hem Pande, took the decision at its meeting in New Delhi recently. There are 1.54 lakh post offices in the country, of which 1.39 lakh are in rural areas. The government has been releasing tur and urad from its buffer stocks for last many months to state governments as well as government agencies like Nafed and Mother Dairy for retail distribution at a subsidised rate in order to protect consumers from high prices.The government has targeted to create a buffer stock of 20 lakh tonnes this year and pulses are being procured directly from farmers in the domestic market and through imports.
- PRJA - which stands for People's Resurgence Justice Alliance is the name of new party launched by rights activist Irom Sharmila recently in Imphal. Recently she broke her 16-year-old hunger strike demanding repeal of the AFSPA and announced that she would take her battle to the next level by floating her party as she wants to become the chief minister of Manipur to "press' for the demands.
- INS Arihant - this is the country's first armed nuclear submarine capable of delivering atomic weapons from land, sea and air which was commissioned into service recently after extensive sea-trials. The 6,000-ton, 110-metre-long INS Arihant (the Sanskrit name meaning 'Slayer of Enemies') is powered by a 83 MW pressurised light water nuclear reactor. The vessel has been built under the Advanced Technology Vessel Project at the Ship Building Centre Visakhapatnam. With this induction, India has also completed its nuclear triad, which has a 'no first-strike' policy regarding the use of its nuclear weapons. Only five countries in the world -- US, UK, France, Russia and China have so far developed nuclear-armed submarines.
- Cairn India Ltd - the company whose plea to export its share of crude oil from Barmer oil field in Rajasthan was rejected by the Delhi high court recently. This was rejected on the ground that domestic crude cannot be exported till India attained "self-sufficiency". It was said that in the instant case, as no notice of India attaining self-sufficiency was given to Cairn, it can only claim compensation from the government for not picking up its share of crude from the oil field. Under the production sharing contract (PSC) between Cairn and the Centre, the company gets 70 per cent of the crude produced from Barmer, with the rest going to the government.
- Four - the slab GST tax structure of 6, 12, 18 and 26 per cent with lower rates for essential items and the highest for luxury goods that will also be levied with an additional cess was mooted recently at the GST Council meet recently.With a view to keep inflation under check, the proposal sponsored by the Centre proposed to continue exempting food items from tax as well as keep 50 per cent of the common use goods in either exempt category or lower band.Also, 70 per cent of the items is proposed to be governed by 18 per cent of lower GST rate. But ultra-luxury items like high-end cars and demerit goods like tobacco, cigarettes, aerated drinks, luxury car and polluting items would attract an additional cess on top of the 26 per cent GST rate.The panel that also includes representatives of all states, agreed on keeping base year for calculating the revenue of a state at 2015-16 and considering a secular growth rate of 14 per cent for calculating the likely revenue of each state in the first five years of implementation of GST.
- Brahmos - these missiles are the one whose new generation series is going to be developed jointly by New Delhi and Moscow. The new generation of Brahmos missiles with 600 km-plus range will have the ability to hit protected targets with pinpoint accuracy. This range enables these missiles to strike anywhere within Pakistan. That Russia can work with India to produce these missiles has been possible due to New Delhi joining the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016. Brahmos' current range is 300 km, which makes it difficult to hit targets deep inside Pakistan. India has ballistic missiles with longer range than the next generation Brahmos. But Brahmos' ability to take down specific targets, even well-protected ones, makes it a potential game changer in any conflict with Pakistan. Ballistic missiles are powered for the initial half of their flight path and they use gravity to complete their trajectory. But cruise missiles are powered throughout.
- NBCC - the company in which the government recently initiated steps for its 15 per cent stake sale. The government holds 90 per cent in the company, which has a market capitalisation of Rs 15,180 crore.The Union Cabinet had in July this year cleared disinvestment in the project management consultancy and Real Estate Development Company.The stake sale is part of the government's Rs 56,600 crore disinvestment programme for the current fiscal. So far this fiscal, the government has raised Rs 6,414 crore through OFS and buyback of equity.NBCC is the third disinvestment through offer for sale (OFS) route by the government in the current fiscal. It had sold 7 per cent stake in Hindustan Copper to raise Rs 400 crore in September and 11.36 per cent in NHPC in April to garner Rs 2,716 crore.
- INS Tihayu - the high tech water jet fast attack craft which was commissioned by the Indian Navy recently. Vice-Admiral H C S Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-In-Chief of the ENC, commissioned the ship, built by Garden Reach Shipbuilder and Engineers, at the Naval Dockyard in Visakhapatnam.INS Tihayu, specifically built for meeting needs of extended coastal and offshore surveillance and patrol, has a length of 49.9 metres and maximum breadth of 7.5 meters. Named after an island in Nicobar, the vessel has an endurance of 2,000 nautical miles at 12 to 14 knots of economical speed.
- April 2017 - the period from which no manufacturer will be allowed to produce vehicles that don't meet BS-IV emission norms as per the road transport ministry's notification. However it doesn't mention that already manufactured vehicles cannot be sold. The Supreme Court-appointed pollution control watchdog Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) recently threw a surprise suggesting that vehicle manufacturers should stop selling vehicles that are BS-III compliant from April 2017.
- UDAN - which stands for Udey Desh Ka AamNagrik is the ambitious program of government set to give wings to its ambitious regional air connectivity scheme. The government had on July1,2016 unveiled the draft scheme which fixed all-inclusive fares at Rs.2500 for one-hour flight in its attempt to make flying affordable for common man.
- The Ministry of Urban Development -this department recently signed a MoU with Ministry with Ministry of Railways under which railway stations and adjoining areas will be redeveloped on smart city lines for enhancing passenger amenities, providing easy access to stations and enabling optimal utilization of land at railway stations.
- CIPAM which stands for Cell for IPR Promotion and management has been created as a professional body under the aegis of DIPP to take forward the implementation of National IPR Policy that was approved by the government in May 2016.
- Kane Williamson - the captain of New Zealand led from the front with a superb century to help New Zealand edge past India by six runs in the second One-Day International in New Delhi recently. The Black Caps levelled the five-match series 1-1 and in the process also won their first game of the tour. Williamson hit a fluent 118 off 128 balls, laced with 14 boundaries and a six.
- Luis Suarez - the football player of FC Barcelona is the famous football player who won the Golden Boot Trophy recently. He received a second European Golden Shoe of his career after becoming the leading scorer in Europe's top domestic leagues last season.
- Swapnil Gugale - the Maharashtra skipper who partnered with Ankit Bawne to post an unbeaten 594-run stand for the third wicket to record the highest partnership in the history of Ranji Trophy and highest in first class cricket. The broke the 70-year-old Indian mark of 577 between Vijay Hazare and Gul Mohammad for Baroda vs. Holkar in the final of 1946-47. It is the second highest partnership in first class cricket, behind only the 624 runs that Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene added in a Test against South Africa.
- MS Dhoni - the skipper of One Day Internationals of India entered into the record books recently for the second most number of wins by an ODI skipper in the history of the games. This victory was Dhoni's 108th in 195 matches. The top spot still belongs to Ricky Ponting (Australia) with 165 out of 230. Dhoni went past Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga and is now the most successful Indian ODI skipper in the sub-continent, in fact in all of Asia.
- Sourabh Varma - he recently clinched the men's singles badminton title at the Chinese Taipei Open after defeating Malaysia's Daren Liew in the summit clash of the $ 55,000 Grand Prix tournament in Taipei City.The 23-year-old from Madhya Pradesh rallied to grab the first two games and emerged victorious after his opponent Liew retired in the third game due to a shoulder injury with the score line reading 12-10, 12-10, 3-3 in the Indian's favour.
- Hardik Pandya - the bowler who had a dream debut for India when he picked three crucial wickets in the first ODI against New Zealand in Dharamsala. The 23-year old all-rounder, who received the India cap from legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev ahead of the game, also bagged the Man-of-the-Match award for his bowling effort.
- Saina Nehwal - the Indian shuttler who has been appointed a member of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Athletes' Commission in a rare honour for an Indian sportsperson. The Athletes' Commission is chaired by Angela Ruggiero and it comprises nine vice presidents and 10 other members.
- Bengaluru FC - this club led by Indian captain Sunil Chhetri made it to a historic AFC Cup final by scripting an inspiring 3-1 win over defending champions Johor DarulTa'zim at Bangalore recently. It was a historic day for Indian football as no club from the country has ever made it to the summit clash of the prestigious second-tier continental tournament. The significance of this achievement could be gauged by the fact that only two Indian football clubs -- Dempo Sports Club of Goa and Kolkata giants East Bengal -- had made it to the semifinals of the tournament since its inception.
- India - this country has decided to use the Decision Review System (DRS) on a trial basis in the upcoming five-test series against England to assess improvements made to the technology. The influential Indian board (BCCI) has long been a staunch opponent of the DRS system, which aims at reducing umpiring howlers by detecting edges and predicting the ball trajectory to ensure correct catch and leg-before decisions. India played in the first series that used DRS against Sri Lanka in 2008 but the BCCI have since refused to allow its use in any bilateral series involving its team.
- 137th - the rank achieved by Indian football team in their best FIFA ranking in over six years when the side leaped 11 places to be 137th in the list released recently. India, who defeated 114th ranked Puerto Rico in an international friendly in Mumbai in September, garnered 230 points for the month. In August 2010, India were ranked 13 - their best ever stand in FIFA ranking since then.
Current Affairs October 24th to October 30th 2016
International Current News
- Astroturfing - the new method developed by scientists for spotting people who post false reviews, comments or tweets from multiple social media accounts to espouse opinions. Researchers from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in the US, describe a statistical method that analyses multiple writing samples - a practice known as 'astroturfing'. They found that it is challenging for authors to completely conceal their writing style in their text. Based on word choice, punctuation and context, the method is able to detect whether one person or multiple people are responsible for the samples.
- Carbon Monoxide - one of the 100 toxic gases released by 'lithium-ion' battery commonly used in smartphones and tablets as per the new study by researchers from the institute of NBC Defence in the US and the Tsinghua University in China. It was also found that a fully charged battery will release more toxic gases than a battery with 50% charge.
- Wade - the new species of titanosaur, a long necked behemoth recently confirmed, that roamed in Australia about 95 million years ago. The fossil remains of the dinosaur, dubbed Savannasaurus Elliottorum, commonly called wade was discovered in Queensland in 2005. It is believed that these massive animals migrated from present day South America into present day Australia and Antartica, back at the time when the three were connected as a part of the landmass Gondwana. The results were recently published in a journal Scientific Reports.
- Haima - the name of typhoon which recently hit many parts of Hong Kong and Philippines effecting normal life and damaging properties and some life were also due to the wrath of this typhoon.
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - the gas for which the scientists have developed a way of reverse combustion process in which CO2 can be turned back into a fuel. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US recently used complex nanotechnology techniques to turn the dissolved pollutant gas into ethanol.
- Lettuce - the leafy green plant which has been planted by NASA on the International Space Station to learn how to grow fresh food in space-which may help astronauts on manned mission to Mars.
National Current News
- Rs.2500 - the cap on fares for 1-hour flights by the government in its recently introduced UDAN scheme. From January 2017 the government will roll out its ambitious plan to introduce budget regional flying by connecting small towns by flights whose fares will be capped at Rs.2,500 for a one-hour flight. Termed "Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik" or UDAN, this regional connectivity scheme+ (RCS) will be funded by levying a fee on aircraft landing at bigger airports.
- DGCA - it stands for Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been allowed to penalise pilots and airlines found violating aviation safety norms by imposing fines and going beyond just suspension or cancellation of permissions, in a move that will give more power to aviation regulator. Presently, the DGCA only debars, suspends and sometimes cancels permission to fly for airlines, individual pilots or engineers who err on the wrong side but is not allowed to impose any monetary penalty.
- Sophia - the name of dog which along with horse 'Thunderbolt'-- the four-legged soldiers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police created history by becoming the first animals which were decorated with special service medals during the celebrations of the 55th Raising day of ITBP recently. While seven-year-old Thunderbolt is part of the Animal Transport unit of the force, 'lifeline' of the force at high-altitude forward posts, three-year-old Sophia undertakes special sniffing operations to detect IEDs with her handler in Left Wing extremism hit areas of Chhattisgarh. The 80,000-personnel strong ITBP was raised in 1962 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression and the force, apart from rendering border guarding duties, is tasked to carry out various activities in the internal security domain in the country.
- Air India - they recently earned the record of operating the longest non-stop flight in the world with its October 16, 2016 Delhi-San Francisco flight over the Pacific covering the 15,204 km journey in 14.5 hours, two hours less than the 13,900km Atlantic route. Despite the route being longer, the flight took almost two hours less due to the winds blowing in the same direction and thus making it go faster.
- TPC - it stands for Total Polar Compounds is the measure which can be used to continually monitor the changes in oil quality during frying. This was in the news recently after India's top food regulatory body, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) initiated a process that sets a maximum limit beyond which the edible oils become unsafe and must not be reused.
- Carbon Monoxide - it is one of the 100 toxic gases released by 'lithium-ion' battery commonly used in smartphones and tablets as per the new study by researchers from the institute of NBC Defence in the US and the Tsinghua University in China. It was also found that a fully charged battery will release more toxic gases than a battery with 50% charge.
- Vaibhavi - the name christened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the new born daughter of a couple, Bharat Singh and Vibha Singh from Mirzapur. PM granted the wish of the Mirzapur couple after the infant's mother wrote to him.
- GEAC - it stands for Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is the central biotech regulator of India. It was in the news recently after the sub-committee submitted its report to the GEAC saying that GM mustard was safe for consumption and cultivation.
- 130 - it is the rank of India among 190 countries that had been surveyed for the annual rankings in the Ease of Doing Business list 2017 released by World Bank recently. The top 10 positions went to -New Zealand which was followed by Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden and Macedonia.
- Rs.1.50 lakh per month - it is the monthly salary of President of India while it is Rs.1.25 lakhs for Vice-President of India. It was in the news recently after the Union Ministry prepared a proposal raising the emoluments of the two top functionaries. The move comes after the implementation of the 7th Pay recommendations which has created an anomalous situation in which the salary of President is Rs.1.00 lakhs less than the country top bureaucrat, the Cabinet Secretary.
- INS Viraat - it is the aircraft carrier which recently made its last voyage, sailing under tow from Kochi to Mumbai. It is the oldest aircraft carrier and the 28,000-tonne warship was inducted into the Indian Navy in May 1987. It was commissioned in the UK's Royal Navy in 1959. The British operated it for 27 years. The aircraft carrier will fly the Indian flag and the naval ensign till it is decommissioned.
- ePOS - it stands for electronic Point of Sales is the new system for monitoring transactions at fair price shops which has curtailed the scope of manipulation of purchase records and diversion of PDS grains to the open market. In India there are 5, 27,947 Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the country out of ePOS has been introduced in 1,54,628 shops. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan are the states where all fair price shops are ePOS enabled.
- Great Indian Bustard - this bird along with vulture are two of the prominent birds among the 7% birds which are nearing extinction in India as per the biennial WWF study-the Living Planet report which takes stock of the global environment.
- MS Dhoni - the Indian captain made a record of highest number of sixes in One day International by an Indian. He recently registered his 196th six in ODIs bettering the 195 by Sachin Tendulkar.
- Virat Kohli - he recently hit his 26th century in One day International cricket. Only three batsmen have managed more centuries in ODIs - Sachin Tendulkar (49), Ricky Ponting (30) and Sanath Jayasuriya (28). Virat has taken 166 innings for his 26 hundreds - the quickest among the players with 26 centuries or more in ODIs.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni - he is the third wicketkeeper of world to complete 9000 runs in ODIs - his tally being 9058 (ave.51.17) in 281 matches - the first two being Adam Gilchrist (9410) and Kumar Sangakkara (13341). Dhoni's feat of reaching the milestone in 244 innings is the quickest by a wicketkeeper - the next two being Sangakkara (252) and Gilchrist (262).
- Abhijeet Gupta - the chess Grandmaster and Commonwealth champion who created history at the Hoogeveen International chess tournament by becoming the first player ever to win the title twice in a row in the FIDE Open that concluded in the Dutch hamlet. Defending champion Abhijeet lived up to his top billing, and scored 7.5 points out of a possible nine to win the title solely ahead of second placed Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda. It was an Indian sweep as the third and fourth places were bagged by GM M R Lalith Babu and GM M Shyam Sundar respectively.
- India - they won the 2016 World Cup kabaddi, it's third in a row. They defeated Iran in the finals which was played at Ahmedabad. India defeated Iran 38-29, riding on Ajay Thakur's brilliant performance.
- India - this country will stage the Under-17 football World Cup from October 6 to 28 next year, the sport's world governing body FIFA announced recently. Kochi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Delhi, Margao and Kolkata have been ratified as venues following inspections by the FIFA delegation.
- Abhinav Bindra - the Olympic Champion of India who recently set up a High Performance Training centre in India at Mohali. The 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist has helped setting up systems and structures in place which will help athletes assess as well as train, a first in India. The athletes after blocking their slots can train free of cost.
Current Affairs - November
Current Affairs October 31st to November 06th 2016
International Current News
- Puan - the orangutan residing in Perth Zoo has recently been named the world's oldest Sumatran orangutan in captivity by the Guinness Book of World Records. She celebrated her 60th birthday recently with her birthday breakfast from her childhood home in Malaysia. She was gifted to the zoo in 1968 by the Sultan of Johor. Female orangutans in the wild do not generally live past 50.
- FIM - it stands for Flight Deck Interval Management is the new system developed by NASA which increases the number of airplanes that can land on the same runway which will help to keep the flights on time. Cockpit based FIM is connected to the aircraft's on-board information and navigation systems.
- 67 - it is the percent by which the global wildlife population could fall by an average between 1970 and 2020 as a result of human activities, according to World Wildlife Fund's Living Planet Report 2016.The report indicated that the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012.The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled. According to the report, the top threats to species were directly linked to human activities including habitat loss, degradation and over exploitation of wildlife.
National Current News
- Samvat 2073 - the Hindu Year which started recently.
- 82 - the number of foreign satellites ISRO is planning to launch in a daring single shot on January 15, 2017. Out of this 60 belong to the US, 20 are from Europe and 2 are UK made. The record for launching the highest number of satellite in one go is currently held by Russia which launched 37 satellites on June 19,2014.If the mission in January succeeds, India will once again break a global space record- for the second time in about two and a half years. On September 24, 2014 in a record breaking feat, India entered the Martian orbit in the very first attempt, garnering international acclaim.
- SAHYOG - the livelihood donation programme of Khadi India where one can donate Rs.13500 for a Charkha. It is a grass root livelihood support initiative where the donations will help over a million artisans living in rural India, predominantly women to get possession of Charkha which can sustain a family for life.
- 28th October 2016 - the Dhanwantari Jayanti which was recently celebrated as First National Ayurveda Day.
- NAD - it stands for the National Academic Depository is the store of online academic certificates which is going to be started by the government soon. The proposal for this was approved by cabinet recently. It will be in place for institutes to upload certificates issued to the students at the end of the academic year.
- AQI - it stands for air Quality Index which tells us how clean or polluted the air is. AQI has six categories-Good (0-50), Satisfactory (50-100), Moderate (100-200), Poor (200-300), Very Poor (300-400), Severe (400-500). The AQI considers eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3 and Pb). Based on the measured ambient concentrations of these pollutants, a sub-index is calculated for each of these and the worst sub-index reflects the overall AQI. PM stands for Particulate Matter. PM2.5 comprises fine particles of diameter 2.5 micrometres or less. These particles are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen using an electron microscope. PM10 comprises coarse dust particles of diameter ranging between 2.5 to 10 micrometres.
- 87th - it is the rank of India globally in terms of gender equality on the annual Global Gender Index 2016 compiled by Geneva based World Economic Forum. India was ranked 108th in the 2015 index. Iceland has emerged at the top of the list followed by Finland.
- NCR - it is the US based ATM manufacturer recently bagged a Rs.334 crore order from SBI to install over 7,000 cash vending machines, making this the single largest order in the country. NCR is the largest player in the domestic ATM market with over 1 lakh cash vending machines running.
- SEBI - it stands for Securities and Exchange Board of India, the securities market regulator recently tightened rules for credit rating agencies (CRAs) as per the new circular issued recently. The new guidelines standardizes the rating criteria, method of public disclosures, the internal functioning of rating committees and disallows the suspension of ratings.
- Vigilance Awareness Week, 2016 - this is being celebrated from 31st October 2016 to 5th November 2016. The theme of this year celebrations are 'Public participation in promoting Integrity and Eradicating Corruption'.
- 67 -it is the percent by which the global wildlife population could fall by an average between 1970 and 2020 as a result of human activities, according to World Wildlife Fund's Living Planet Report 2016.The report indicated that the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012.The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled. According to the report, the top threats to species were directly linked to human activities including habitat loss, degradation and over exploitation of wildlife.
- 1st July, 2017 - it is the time after which the government's plan to make Indian languages support for mobile phones mandatory will become effective. The government was trying to notify the regulations by the end of this year but the initiative was delayed by issues raised by handset makers. Handset makers have pointed to difficulties in making the changes required and have sought more time.
- IIT-Kharagpur - the institute which recently developed tool to prevent train collision. Train journeys could soon be safer as scientists successfully tested a new tool for electronic railway interlocking system which prevents trains from colliding into each other. The tool suite is developed by the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the institute in collaboration with Research, Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Service Improvement Group (SIG) of the Indian Railways. The Indian Institute of Technology researchers said this project has the potential to be further extended to study and develop optimum traffic operation plans, alternative plans for emergencies. The Indian Railways, through RDSO, has awarded 12 research projects to IIT Kharagpur's Centre for Railway Research in the area of analysis and design of rolling stock, infrastructure, operations and maintenance.
- The Paris Agreement - this agreement on climate change came into force from 4th November, 2016. The Agreement's entry into force comes a month after countries representing 55% of the worlds emissions committed to joining the deal -- the level required to put the agreement into action -- and less than a year after negotiators from nearly 200 countries agreed to the specifics of the text at the 2015 UN climate summit. India ratified the landmark Paris climate deal in October. Next week's meeting in Marrakech will provide the first opportunity since that summit in Paris for all parties to the agreement to iron out implementation details. The Paris Agreement provides a valuable framework for countries to address climate change in an international context, but negotiators kicked many of the implementation details down the road, to be determined at later climate meetings, known as COPs. The rapid entry into force put pressure on negotiators to hash out those details sooner rather than later.
- 83.9 - the percent of the Budget Estimates in the first half of 2016-17 is the fiscal deficit of the centre. This is the highest in the first six months of a financial year since 1998-99, on account of elevated capital spending and higher salaries outgo. On revenue side, lower realisations from disinvestment and other streams hurt the exchequer. The gap between the Centre's expenditure and revenue was significantly higher than 68.1 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. In fact, it was the highest for April-September period since 1998-99, the oldest year for which the data is available on the Controller General of Accounts website. The closest it came to was in 2014-15 when the deficit was 82.6 per cent of BE in the first half.
- The construction sector - the sector which is now India's second-largest employer after agriculture, the trend coinciding with India's high-growth phase and decline in poverty levels. Construction has played a major part, both in rural areas (through the 10-year-old Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which provides jobs building ponds, roads and other infrastructure) and urban areas (through real estate and infrastructure).Construction is a $126 billion (Rs 8.39 lakh crore) industry - larger than pharmaceuticals and gems and jewellery sectors, for example - attributed to the infrastructure sector, industrial activities, residential and commercial development.
- 7.9% - it is the rate of growth of GDP of India by S&P India ratings which recently predicted a stable economy growth of India. International rating agency Standard & Poor's has affirmed its 'BBB-/A-3' credit ratings for India. A BBB rating means the country has adequate capacity to meet its financial commitments. However, adverse economic conditions or changing circumstances are more likely to lead to a weakened capacity to meet its financial commitments.
- 31st October - it is the date every year on which National Unity day (also known as Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) is celebrated by the people all through India. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who really unified the country. Rashtriya Ekta Diwas or National Unity Day was introduced by the Government of India in 2014 with the aim of celebrating this event every year on 31st October.
- Bangladesh - they recently recorded their first ever Test match victory against England when they won the second Test match by defeating England in the second Test match by 108 runs which was played at Dhaka. It was Bangladesh's first win in the game's long form against a full-strength major Test-playing country. It was also only the eighth Test victory in 95 matches since the country secured Test status in 2000.
- India - they defeated Pakistan 2-1 in the finals to win the 4th Asian Champions Trophy of hockey at Kuantan, Malaysia. This was the second time India won the title-they won the last title in 2011.
- Valencia - the place in Spain which was the venue of the 4-nations International Junior Hockey tournament which Indian Junior Hockey team won after defeating Germany 5-2 in the finals recently.
- Amit Mishra - the Indian spinner who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 5 wickets for 18 runs in the 5thone-day international match against New Zealand played at Vishakhapatnam in which India thrashed New Zealand by 190 runs.
- Gaurav Gill - the player of Team MRF scripted a momentous chapter in the history of Indian motorsport by sealing the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship title after he won the Malaysian rally at Johor Bahur. Team MRF also clinched the APRC team championship in the wake of his clean sweep.
- Ravichandran Ashwin - the premier spinner of India leads the bowler's rankings in the latest ICC Test rankings for bowlers. Off-spinner Ashwin, who became the second fastest to 200 wickets during the Test series against New Zealand, maintained his position with 900 points, with South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn (878) and England's James Anderson (861) completing the top three. Ashwin's spin partner Ravindra Jadeja is at seventh place with 805 points. Ashwin is also leading the all-rounders' table with 451 points, with Jadeja occupying the fifth place position with 292 points.
- India - they leads the team ranking in the latest ICC Test rankings for teams. India lead the team's table with 115 points ahead of arch rivals Pakistan (111) and Australia (108). England were at fourth place followed by South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe completing the list.
- Cricket -it became an analogy to highlight the warm ties between India and New Zealand as Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and John Key drew references from the game to stress on the progress made in their bilateral equation, in New Delhi, recently. Both compared the relationship between the two countries to the just concluded India New Zealand series.
- Sania Mirza - India's tennis star retained her numero uno status in women's doubles for the second consecutive year, despite failing to defend the WTA Finals Singapore title with partner Martina Hingis. During the year, Sania has won titles, including Australian Open with Hingis, Cincinnati Masters with Barbora Strycova. Sania had split with Hingis but they paired up and made an unsuccessful bid to defend the WTA Finals Singapore.
Current Affairs November 07th to November 13th 2016
International Current News
- Living Torah - the name of the world's oldest known stone tablet inscribed with Ten Commandments-dating back about 1,500 to 1,700 years- which was recently put up for auction. The slab was discovered in 1913 in Israel and based on the shape and content of the text, scholars concluded that it was an ancient form of Samaritan, an archaic mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew that dated to between 300 and 500 AD.
- World Science Day - this day is celebrated on 10 November every year all over world which was started by UNESCO in 2001 to demonstrate the importance of science in normal life.
- 5th November 2016 - this day was recently celebrated as World's First Tsunami Awareness Day. Tsunamis are rare. But they can be extremely deadly. In the past 100 years, more than 260,000 people have perished in 58 separate tsunamis. At an average of 4,600 deaths per disaster, the toll has surpassed any other natural hazard. Such a stark impact isn't inevitable, however. Early warning systems can save lives. Equally important is community and individual understanding about how and where to evacuate before a wave strikes. Tsunamis know no borders, making international cooperation key for deeper political and public understanding of risk reduction measures. As a result, the UN General Assembly has made 5 November into World Tsunami Awareness Day, with the first edition being held this year.
- 14 November - this day is observed as World Diabetes Day every year. World Diabetes Day was launched in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the rapid rise of diabetes around the world. It focuses on a theme related to diabetes. This year the theme is 'EYES ON DIABETES'.
National Current News
- The Micro Solar Dome (MSD) - it is a day and night lighting single device unique in its features, that has a transparent semi-spherical upper dome made of acrylic material which captures the sunlight and the light passes through a sun-tube having a thin layer of highly reflective coating on the inner wall of the passage.
- Surya Jyoti Project - it is a clear and green energy initiative of the Department of Science and Technology which will also supplement the Green Energy initiatives of Govt of India.
- Robot Lakshmi - India's first banking robot Lakshmi made her debut in Chennai. Launched by the Kumbakonam-based City Union Bank, the artificial intelligence powered robot will be the first on-site bank helper. It can answer intelligently on more than 125 subjects.
- 'School Chalo' - the name of operation which has been launched by the Indian Army in South Kashmir, under which it provides free coaching to students and makes them participate in extra-curricular activities.
- Mission Raftar - the name of the project introduced by Indian Railways to increase the train speed to up to 160 km per hour on the total 9000-km main trunk routes across the country. Strengthening of the track, upgrading of signalling system and fencing off vulnerable sections along the route are to be undertaken to ensure 160 km per hour speed. Currently, Mail and Express trains including Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains can speed up to 130 km. After the successful launch of Gatimaan Express, Railways has undertaken a mammoth exercise of reducing journey time on the Delhi-Howrah and Delhi-Mumbai routes by increasing speed of trains to up to 160 km per hour at an estimated cost of about Rs 10,000 crore.
- Red Fort - the famous monument of Delhi which is the major theme of the new Rs.500 note. The new design in the Rs 500 denomination incorporates a different colour, size, theme, design and location of security features. The note, measuring 63 mm by 150 mm will be in a new colour (stone grey).
- Mars - the planet whose India's low cost mission 'The Mangalayan' will find place on the new Rs 2,000 note, which is a first under the denomination and it will be called the 'Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. The base colour of the note will be magenta and the size of the note will be 66 mm by 166 mm. Both the new designs, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000, will be very friendly towards the visually-impaired by having features which make it accessible for all sections.
- 1946 -the first time when the Rs. 1,000 and higher denomination notes were first demonetised. It was first demonetized in January 1946 and again in 1978. The highest denomination note ever printed by the Reserve Bank of India was the Rs. 10,000 note in 1938 and again in 1954. But these notes were demonetised in January 1946 and again in January 1978, according to RBI data.
- 133rd - the rank of India out of 183 countries in the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI) compiled by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Global Youth Development Index report measures countries' prospects for young people in employment, education, health, civic and political spheres. The top 10 countries in 2016 are Germany (1), Denmark (2), Australia (3), Switzerland (4), UK (5), Netherlands (6), Austria (7), Luxembourg (8), Portugal (9) and Japan (10).
- Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana - a flagship scheme of MSDE launched recently with a fund support of Rs 499.94 Crores and will provide entrepreneurship education and training to over 7 Lakh students in 5 years through 3050 Institutes. It will also include easy access to information and mentor network, credit, incubator and accelerator and advocacy to create a pathway for the youth.
- Commonwealth Wrestling Championship - the tournament designed for top wrestlers in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is not linked to Commonwealth games, nor has any accreditation with any sports body in any country. In the recently held event in Singapore, India won eight Gold Medals.
Current Affairs November 14th to November 20th 2016
International Current News
- 12 November - this day is celebrated as The World Pneumonia Day globally to generate awareness about the 'pneumonia' disease. The day aims to highlight the severity of pneumonia and bring together the people from all over the world to promote the prevention and treatment of the disease. The Theme for 2016 "Keep the Promise, Stop Pneumonia Now".
- Digital India - the theme adopted for the 36th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF), started at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. 150 companies from 27 countries are taking part in the fair. The 2016 IITF has been organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), under aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This year's partner country is South Korea and focus country is Belarus. Besides, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are partner states and Haryana is focus state. This year's theme highlights country's persistent efforts to alleviate poverty through meaningful convergence of digital technologies and e-governance.
- Asian Development Bank (ADB) - they have inked a $500-million loan agreement to build a 9.8 km long road bridge across the Ganga River in Bihar. It will be country's longest river bridge and shall provide better connectivity between North and South Bihar and also Patna and its surrounding areas. In addition to the loan, ADB will $900,000 in technical assistance. The state government will provide $215 million for the project. It is expected to be completed by end of December 2020.
- 16 November - The International Day for Tolerance is observed globally on 16 November to generate public awareness of the dangers of intolerance. The observance of the day seeks to educate masses about the need for tolerance in society and help them understand the negative effects of intolerance. The International Day for Tolerance was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 51/95 in 1996.
- 'Sumway Taihulight' - it won the fastest supercomputer title in the recently released 48th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers. With this, Chinese supercomputer has retained the top spot in the list of the world's fastest supercomputers for the eighth consecutive year. TaihuLight is built entirely using processors designed and made in China. It had made its first public appearance in June 2016. It was developed by the China's National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC). It can perform 93 quadrillions calculations per second (petaflop/s) almost three times as fast as Tianhe-2.
National Current News
- Digital India - the theme adopted for the 36th edition of India International Trade Fair (IITF), started at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. 150 companies from 27 countries are taking part in the fair. The 2016 IITF has been organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), under aegis of Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry. This year's partner country is South Korea and focus country is Belarus. Besides, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand are partner states and Haryana is focus state. This year's theme highlights country's persistent efforts to alleviate poverty through meaningful convergence of digital technologies and e-governance.
- Hand in Hand - the joint military training exercise held between India and China every year. Recently sixth edition of same started in Pune. The aim of the bilateral military exercise is to share the expertise in drills and practices while tackling insurgency and terrorism between Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China. Thus, it seeks to promote healthy military to military relations between the two armies and developing joint strategies for conducting operations in a counter terrorism environment.
- CACP - it stands for Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices gives recommendation to Government for change in minimum support prices for certain important agricultural commodities like wheat, pulses etc. The Commission for Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP since 1985, earlier named as Agricultural Prices Commission) came into existence in January 1965. Currently, the Commission comprises a Chairman, Member Secretary, one Member (Official) and two Members (Non-Official). The non-official members are representatives of the farming community and usually have an active association with the farming community. The prices are decided by CCEA on the basis of the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
- Rs 100 - the amount which has been increased in the minimum support price of wheat. The procurement cost of wheat will be 1,625 rupees per quintal against 1,525 rupees per quintal last year. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has hiked the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of wheat and pulses to boost the output of these Rabi crops and check prices.
- 14 November 2016 - the date on which super moon was observed. This is for the first time moon came closest to Earth since 1948. Last time, the moon came closer to earth on 26 January 1948. Next time the super moon will be observed on 25 November 2034. During this time moon will be even closer than this year.
- Super moon or perigee full moon is a phenomenon that occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being the closest to the Earth on its orbit. During this time, the natural satellite appears roughly 30% larger in area and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons. In terms of diameter, the width of the moon is about 14% wider than the smallest full moons.
- SAIL - it stands for The Steel Authority of India limited which has won the prestigious 2016 Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Governance. It was bestowed with this award on account of its exemplary performance in the field of corporate governance i.e. for balancing the interests of all the stakeholders of the company management, customers, shareholders, suppliers, financiers, government and community. They are presented annually under various categories. The awards comprise to sets Global Awards and National Awards. SAIL is one of the largest state-owned steel in India and one of the top steel makers in world.
- Rustom-II (TAPAS 201) - India's indigenously developed long-endurance combat-capable drone has successfully completed its maiden-flight. The test flight took place from Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), Chitradurga, Karnataka, which is a newly developed flight test range for the testing of UAVs and manned aircraft. RUSTOM-II is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV. The UAV weighs two tonnes. It has an endurance of 24 hours. It has been designed and developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), the Bangalore-based lab of DRDO. HAL and BEL are the production partners.
- CRPF - it stands for The Central Reserve Police Force which for the first time has deployed a team of women commandos in anti-Naxal operations in Jharkhand. The 135 women commandos belonging to the 232 battalion's Delta Company have started carrying out anti-Naxal operations. CRPF is the largest central armed police force or paramilitary force in India. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). Its primary role is to assist States/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and contain insurgency. It was established in 1939, under Crown Representative's Police but after independence it was made statutory after enactment of the CRPF Act, 1949. At present, CRPF is the world's largest paramilitary force with 228 battalions and over three lakh personnel.
- Ministry of Minority Affairs - the department of government which for the first time had inaugurated Hunar Haat (Skill Haat) at India International Trade Fair (2016) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. It is aimed at promoting and supporting artisans from Minority communities and providing them domestic as well as international market for display and sell their products. The Hunar Haat exhibition has been organised by the National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under "USTTAD" scheme In it about 184 master artisans from across the country are showcasing their traditional art and skills at about 100 stalls at the international platform. USTTAD stands for upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development. It was launched by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs.
- NSSP - this stands for National Student Startup Policy is a programme launched to promote technology-driven student start-ups. It was launched during the second Visitor's Conference held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The NSSP has been formulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It aims to create 1 lakh technology based student start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years. It also aims to propel Indian youth to contribute to the nation's socio-economic progress through promotion of technology-driven student start-ups. NSSP seeks to develop an ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem by lending crucial soft skills like decision-making in the students. It also seeks to promote strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions.
- Rs 2.5 lakh is the amount which was allowed by the Union Government recently for families celebrating weddings to withdraw from bank account.
- Aditi Ashok - she became the first Indian woman to win a Ladies European Tour title. She achieved this feat by winning the Hero Women's Indian Open held at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram, Haryana. She won a prize purse of 60,000 dollar. She won the tournament with a score of 3-under-par 213. Her round included birdies on the par-four second and 10th holes and bogeys on the seventh, 13th and 17th. Aditi Ashok is the first and the only Indian golfer who had played the Asian Youth Games (2013), Youth Olympic Games (2014), Asian Games (2014) and Rio Olympics (2016).
- Jallikattu - a sport of Tamilnadu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu on Mattu Pongal day as a part of Pongal celebrations i.e. harvest festival. It is one of the oldest living ancient tradition practiced in the modern era. Jallikattu has been derived from the words 'calli' (coins) and 'kattu' (tie), which means a bundle of coins is tied to the bull's horns. In Sangam literature the sport is called as 'Yeru thazhuvuthal' (means to embrace bulls). In older times Jallikattu was popular amongst warriors during the Tamil classical period. The bull tamer sought to remove this bundle from the animal's head to win gold or silver coins to be called 'brave' and 'valourous'. All castes participate in the event and majority of jallikattu bulls belong to the pulikulam breed of cattle.
- Lewis Hamilton - the Mercedes Formula One racing driver from England, has won the 2016 Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Brazil. It is his 9th win in 2016 season and the 52nd of his career.
Current Affairs November 21st to November 27th 2016
International Current News
- 'Sumway Taihulight' - this computer won the fastest supercomputer title in the recently released 48th edition of Top500 list of supercomputers. With this, Chinese supercomputer has retained the top spot in the list of the world's fastest supercomputers for the eighth consecutive year.TaihuLight is built entirely using processors designed and made in China. It had made its first public appearance in June 2016. It was developed by the China's National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC). It can perform 93 quadrillions calculations per second (petaflop/s) almost three times as fast as Tianhe-2.
- 'Toilets and jobs' - the theme of the World Toilet Day celebrated on 19 November 2016 to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. It seeks to draw attention of people around the world to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation which in fact is a human right along with clean water. It focuses on how sanitation or the lack of it, can impact on livelihoods. It also highlights the importance of crucial role played by Toilets in creating a strong economy, as well as improving health and protecting people's safety and dignity, particularly women's and girls'. The observance of this day is coordinated by United Nations-Water in collaboration with Governments of member countries and relevant stakeholders. In India, the observance of the day highlights the importance of Swacch Bharat Mission which to make India clean and open defecation free (ODF) by 2019. So far under Swacch Bharat Mission-Gramin 2.7 crore toilets are built, 1.2 lakhs villages are declared ODF, 60 districts declared ODF, 3 states (Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala) are declared ODF.
- NASA - they successfully launched highly advanced geostationary weather satellite Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R). The satellite will boost the US's weather observation capabilities, leading to more accurate and timely forecasts, watches and warnings. Key Facts GOES-R is the first of four new advanced weather satellites of the GOES-R program managed by US's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It will become operational within a year after undergoing a testing and validation of its six new instruments, including the first operational lightning mapper in geostationary orbit. GOES-R is also first satellite to carry a lightning mapper instrument to geostationary orbit. It will photograph lightning activity throughout Western Hemisphere about 200 times every second. It also will be part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System, an international satellite-based search and rescue network operated by NOAA.
- 25 November 2016 - this day was observed as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women across the world. The theme for the day is "Orange the World - raise funds to end violence against women". The colour orange in the theme symbolizes a better future without the pervasive human rights violation that affects 1 in 3 women and girls all over the globe. The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed to raise awareness about violence against women and discuss solutions that would work for women community.
National Current News
- Agni-I - the indigenously built nuclear capable ballistic missile was successfully test-fired from a test range off Odisha coast, as part of a user trial by India Army. It was test-fired from a mobile launcher from the launch pad-4 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island (Wheeler Island). The last trial of Agni-I was conducted successfully in March 2016 from the same base. About Agni-I missile Agni-I is intermediate range nuclear capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile. It is first missile of the Agni series launched in 1983.
- Rs 2.5 lakh - the amount which was allowed by the Union Government recently for families celebrating weddings to withdraw from bank account.
- Project Insight - the project name which is planned by Income Tax Deptt to start from May 2017 to monitor high value transactions, with a view to curbing the circulation of black money. This project has been initiated for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widening and deepening tax base. 'Project Insight' is an integrated platform that will utilize vast amount of information easily available on social media to conduct raids online rather than traditional way of conducting random searches, known as tax raids. The Permanent Account Number (PAN) will be the unique identifier is used by the Income Tax department to link and analyse various transactions relating to the tax payers.
- NSS - it stands for National Student Startup Policy which is a programme launched to promote technology-driven student start-ups. It was launched during the second Visitor's Conference held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. The NSSP has been formulated by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). It aims to create 1 lakh technology based student start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years. It also aims to propel Indian youth to contribute to the nation's socio-economic progress through promotion of technology-driven student start-ups. NSSP seeks to develop an ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem by lending crucial soft skills like decision-making in the students. It also seeks to promote strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions.
- Textile Ministry - they launched scheme of 'Pehchan' identity cards to artisans in Ahmedabad. The upgraded 'pehchan' cards were distributed to artisans from five clusters of Gujarat namely Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli and Kalol. Pehchan cards scheme was launched as part of the Pehchan' initiative of Union Textile ministry to register and provide Identity (ID) cards to handicraft artisans and link them to a national database. It is a new upgraded ID card for artisans that will be linked with their Aadhar numbers and bank accounts so that they can receive direct cash transfer benefit.
- 138th - the rank of India in 2016 ICT Development Index with IDI score of 2.69. In 2015, it stood at 135th position with IDI score of 2.50. UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) released the 2016 edition of the Measuring the Information Society Report. The report was launched on 22 November 2016 during the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium (WTIS). WTIS was held in Botswana, South Africa from 21 November to 23 November 2016. The ITU index prepared after surveying 175 economies of the world was topped by the Republic of Korea with IDI of 8.84. The Sub-Saharan Africa's Niger with an IDI of 1.07 ranked lowest. India was placed at 138th rank
- Airtel - they launched Airtel Payments Bank Limited on 23 November 2016 launched India's first live Payments Bank in Rajasthan. The bank will provide an interest of 7.25% per annum on deposits. The Bank rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan, which is aimed at testing systems and processes ahead of a full-scale pan-Indian launch.
- Jaguar DARIN III - the twin-seat aircraft on 24 November 2016 received the Initial Operation Clearance (IOC). IOC is a significant milestone for India's military aviation sector. The aircraft is now equipped with world-class avionics system. The up gradation was part of IAF's modernisation plan to upgrade the four decades old Jaguar fighter planes.
- Aditi Ashok - she recently became the first Indian woman to win a Ladies European Tour title. She achieved this feat by winning the Hero Women's Indian Open held at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram, Haryana. She won a prize purse of 60,000 dollar. She won the tournament with a score of 3-under-par 213. Her round included birdies on the par-four second and 10th holes and bogeys on the seventh, 13th and 17th. Aditi Ashok is the first and the only Indian golfer who had played the Asian Youth Games (2013), Youth Olympic Games (2014), Asian Games (2014) and Rio Olympics (2016).
- P V Sindhu - the India's ace shuttler and Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu who won the $700,000 2016 China Open Super Series title in women's category. It was her maiden Super Series Premier title and first post 2016 Rio Olympics title. In the summit clash held in Fuzhao, Sindhu (World No 11) defeated China's Sun Yu (World No 9) by 21-11, 17-21, 21-11 score.
Current Affairs - December
Current Affairs November 28th to December 04th 2016
National Current News
- 26 November 2016 - this day was observed as the National Milk Day (NMD) to mark birth anniversary Dr. Verghese Kurien, father of the White Revolution in India. To mark this event, all dairy cooperatives across the country had conducted a mega activation in all markets across the country. In addition, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and dairy products printed 150 million milk pouches with the National Milk Day logo featuring Dr. Kurien's picture with the National Milk Day logo on it.
- Annapurna Rasoi Programme - the programme which has been started by Rajasthan Government to provide quality meal at cheap and affordable price to people belonging to the weaker section and labourers. The main beneficiary of the scheme will be rickshaw pullers, labourers, auto drivers, students, working women, elders and other weaker section. Key Facts The food under this programme will be provided at subsidized rates, breakfast at Rs 5 per plate and lunch/dinner at Rs 8 per plate. In the first phase the scheme will be started in 12 districts. They are Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Pratapgarh, Dungarpur, Banswara, Baran and Jhalawar. The food will be distributed by 80 mobile vans at locations decided by local self-help agencies in districts. The remaining 21 districts of state will be covered in second phase.
- Samvidhan Diwas - observed on 26th November to spread awareness of Indian Constitution. On this day in 1949, constitution of India was adopted and came into force on January 26, 1950 marking the beginning of a new era in the history of free India. The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is the nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day. This year it is second edition of the Constitution Day. On this occasion Prime Minister Narendra has released two books on Constitution 'Making of Constitution' and 'New Version of Constitution of India'.
- 'e-pashuhaat portal' - launched by The Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh for livestock. to connect farmers and breeders of bovine animals. The portal will provide all details at a single platform, including availability of bovine germplasm. The e-pashu haat portal will not only enable the farmers to buy bovine animals but cattle frozen semen and embryo may also be purchased through it. It can be reached at "www.epashuhaat.gov.in"
- Fertilizer - the item for which the Union Government has decided to introduce Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system subsidy payments. Under the proposed system, 100% subsidy on various fertilizer grades will be released to the manufacturers and importers on basis of actual sales made by the retailer to the beneficiaries. Initially, the modified subsidy procedure under DBT system will be introduced on pilot basis in 16 select districts. In the second phase, the new payment system will be rolled out in all states only after its due stabilization in first phase. The proposed DBT will address the issues relating to diversion and smuggling of urea.
- Rs 630323cr - the amount of NPA of all PSBs as a whole as on 30 September 2016 grown from Rs550346 Cr as on 30 June 2016. It shows increase of Rs. 79,977 crore NPAs on quarter on quarter basis during this period. This is an alarming level of increase. Large number of NPAs affects the profitability & liquidity of the banks. It adversely affects the value of bank in terms of market credit and widens assets and liability mismatch.
- TeamIndus - the private aerospace startup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket on December 28, 2017. It will be India's first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO's workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). TeamIndus moon mission's aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon. It will also travel at least 500 metres and beam high- definition images, video and data back to the earth. Except for the launch vehicle, all of the technology that will power the lander and rover will be developed in-house by TeamIndus. For launching purpose TeamIndus has signed an agreement Antrix, the commercial arm of ISRO. ISRO's workhorse PSLV will launch the TeamIndus's spacecraft in a three-day window centred on December 28, 2017.
- The Hornbill Festival - it began in the Naga Heritage village of Kisama of Nagaland. The festival coincides with the Statehood Day of Nagaland which is observed on 1st December. It is also called as the 'Festival of Festivals'. It is organized by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments. It is also supported by the Union Government. It was established on 1st December 1963 and was inaugurated by the then President Dr. S Radhakrishnan.
- Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA) - this was launched by the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development (HRD) to make people aware about cashless economic system. It was launched by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. It is campaign by Higher Educational institutions for digital econmy. VISAKA aims to create awareness among people about digital economy and cashless modes of transactions It was launched on line with Prime Minister's appeal to youth in 'Mann Ki Baat' for creating awareness for making India digital and cashless economy.
- POCSO e-BOX - it stands for "Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) e-box BOX" which was launched in August 2016 for easy and confidential registration of complaints regarding sexual offence against children. This information has recently given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Krishna Raj in the Rajya Sabha.
- 102nd - the rank of India among 136 nations in the 2016 Enabling Trade Index (ETI), as per recently published 'Global Enabling Trade Report 2016 of World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation. The list is topped by Singapore followed by the Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Luxembourg and Sweden. The index assesses the extent to which economies have in place the factors facilitating the free flow of goods over borders and to their destinations. It takes into consideration various factors, including domestic and foreign market access, border administration, transport and digital infrastructure and operating environment.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) - the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. It is in news because ICMR has recently signed a MoU with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for cooperation in the area of zoonoses, anti-microbial resistance, nutrition and pesticide residues. This MoU will strengthen the ties between the two organizations and energize environment of mutual cooperation and collaboration. The headquarters of ICMR is located in New Delhi.
- Eliud Kipchoge - Kenya's Olympic marathon champion has won the men's race in Delhi Half Marathon. It was ninth edition of Delhi Half Marathon. Over 34 thousand participants from across the world had participated in it. 13 Rio Olympians took part in the elite race category. The marathon also had featured some of the biggest track and field and distance runners, with a total of 25 men and 18 women athletes from country.
- Magnus Carlsen - the Grandmaster of Norway has won the 2016 World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time. He retained the title after defeating Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Karjakin had tied against Carlsen in 12 regular rounds but was beaten in the final phase of four quickfire games. Magnus Carlsen is No. 1 ranked player in the world and reigning World Chess Champion in classical, rapid, and blitz.
- Argentina - they won the 2016 edition of Davis Cup tennis tournament by defeating Croatia in the final by 3-2 in Zagreb, Croatia. It is their first Davis Cup title. Del Potro and Federico Delbonis are played a remarkable play to win the title. Argentina had lost in the final of the tournament four times earlier while Croatia won the title in 2005.
Current Affairs December 05th to December 11th 2016
International Current News
- SolarStratos - the name of the solar powered two-seater aircraft with a mission to fly some 78,000 feet above the earth in 2018, which was recently unveiled in Payerne in Switzerland. The team behind the SolarStratos plans to breach the stratosphere and if successful it will fly higher than any plane before it and shows that renewable energy can not only match fossil fuels but surpass them. The pilot will be subjected to frigid temperatures and extremely low pressures during the flight.
- The World Bank - they recently cancelled a $100 million loan to Pakistan for a natural gas efficiency project due to no progress in achieving the development objectives and a lack of interest on the part of the gas distribution company. The project, which was to be carried out by Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) in its distribution areas in Karachi, interior Sindh and Balochistan, was aimed at enhancing the supply of natural gas by reducing physical and commercial losses of gas in the pipeline system. A World Bank report said the failure of the project led to its closure and, as a result, the levels of unaccounted-for gas (UFG) remained high while continuing to drain the precious natural resource. The project was aimed at enhancing the supply of natural gas by reducing physical and commercial losses of gas in the pipeline system.
- Apple - the company which recently announced its decision to partner with Goldwind, the world's largest wind turbine maker, in projects in china that will provide 285MW of wind power. This marks Apple's foray into wind power and is its largest clean-energy project to date.
- Giraffe - the tallest land animal, which as now at risk of extinction according to biologists. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1985 the number of giraffes was anywhere between 1, 51,000-1, 63,000 which has declined to 97,562 in 2015. Because the giraffe population has shrunk nearly 40% in just 30 years, scientists have put it on the official watch list of threatened and endangered species worldwide calling it "vulnerable".
National Current News
- Rs. 20 & Rs. 50 - the denominations for which the new currency will be issued as per Reserve bank of India directives, which will be issued with numerals in ascending size in the number panels and without intaglio printing. The old notes of Rs 20 and Rs 50 will remain legal tender.These new notes come against the backdrop of government last month scrapping Rs 500/1000 currency notes to crack down on black money.
- Amritsar Declaration - the declaration which called for dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens in the region, as well as disrupting all financial, tactical and logistical support for terror networks was issued after the Heart of Asia Conference which was held at Amritsar recently. The two-day deliberations was attended by 40 countries including major regional and global powers and blocs. Held in the backdrop of number of cross-border terror attacks on India and elsewhere, the HoA expressed serious concern over gravity of the security situation in Afghanistan and in many parts of the region, holding that united efforts are required to contain terror groups. Apart from calling for concerted cooperation to combat the terror groups, the declaration sought early finalisation of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. It also favoured an early meeting of experts to discuss a draft Regional Counter-Terrorism Framework, recently prepared by Afghanistan, for its early finalisation. The delegations of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan, and of the European Union were led by the respective Ministers. The Conference also saw the presence and participation of guest countries Austria, Bulgaria, Latvia and Uzbekistan.
- 4th December - this day was recently celebrated as Navy Day. Navy Day is observed on December 4 every year to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force to the country. During the India-Pakistan war of 1971, the Indian Navy had launched Operation Trident on this day and played a significant role in the bombing of the Karachi harbour.
- NitiAayog - it is providing financial support to incentivize the district administration to reach out to the general public and small traders in villages and talukas, and encourage them to shift to cashless payments.It has also asked district magistrates to ensure that financial transactions in the district and subordinate organizations are cashless and on e-platforms. As per the plan, an incentive of Rs 10 will be given to the district administration for every individual who has shifted to digital payment mode and has made at least two digital transactions for day-to-day activities, like selling and buying goods or services. The Aayog has already given up to Rs 5 lakh to every district to kick-start the process, right from the panchayat level. An incentive of Rs 100 will be provided to common services centre operators for every merchant transacting digitally and Rs 5 for every citizen shifting to digital payments. The government think tank wants the district administration to ensure that money transfers, whether to beneficiaries of welfare schemes or payments to labourers engaged by contractors, are through digital mode. To speeden the transition from cash transactions to digital platform at the grassroots level, the Aayog asked DMs to collect all types of user charges, fees and penalties through digital payment modes. The first 50 panchayats to go cashless will be given the 'digital payment award of honour' by Niti Aayog. Also, the top 10 best performing districts will be given the 'digital payment champions award' by the government think tank.
- $300 billion - the amount of foreign direct investment milestone which was reached by India recently firmly establishing its credentials as a safe investment destination in the world. India crossed this milestone between April 2000 and September 2016.Thirty three per cent of the FDI came through the Mauritius route, apparently because the investors wanted to take advantage of India's double taxation avoidance treaty with the island nation. India received $101.76 billion from Mauritius between April 2000 and September 2016. The cumulative FDI inflows during the period amounted to $310.26 billion. The other big investors have been from Singapore, the US, UK and the Netherlands.
- NIOS - it stands for National Institute of Open Schooling was recently declared the best distance education institution of the world by The Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
- Visas, Cyberspace and investments - the sectors in which India recently signed four agreements with Qatar following delegation level talks led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Qatar counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Naseer bin Khalifa Al Thani.
- Rs.100 - the denomination of notes whose new version will be put up in circulation in market by the Reserve Bank with enlarged identification features.The notes with '2016' printing year will be similar in design with the existing Rs 100 notes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005 having ascending size of numerals in the number panels, bleed lines, and enlarged identification mark, on the obverse.RBI said it has already put to circulation Rs 100 currency notes with the ascending size of numerals in the number panels but without bleed lines and enlarged identification mark.These banknotes will remain in circulation concomitantly with the banknotes being issued now.
- INS Betwa - the navy warship which tipped over during undocking in Mumbai recently. The 3850-tonne Brahmaputra-class guided missile frigate which was undergoing a medium maintenance refit at the dockyard since April 2016, slipped from her dock blocks.
- Rs.2000 - the amount up to which the Reserve Bank of India recently relaxed two-factor authentication for acceptance of card payments. This authentication process entails generation of one-time password (OTP) on the user's phone to complete a card transaction. Presently the customers need to wait for text message containing the OTP before concluding the transaction. But now users will be able to complete a payment just by entering a password authenticated by the card network if they register with the merchant.
- Repo rate unchanged at 6.25 percent, Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4% and reduction of GVA forecast to 7.1% were the main policy recommendations of the Reserve Bank of India which were announced by The Reserve Bank of India (RBI in its fifth bimonthly policy review recently. Rate cut: RBI maintained its key policy rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent. In its maiden policy review on October 4, RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had cut the policy rate by 25 basis points. CRR: RBI kept the cash reserve ratio unchanged at 4 per cent, but said the incremental cash reserve requirements that it had imposed in November will be removed with effect from December 10. Under the incremental CRR rule, RBI had asked domestic lenders to keep all the deposits they received between September 16 and November 11 under cash reserve requirement. Inflation/GDP outlook: RBI is expecting the consumer price inflation (CPI) to drop by 10-15 basis points in the ongoing quarter due to the government's recent demonetization move. The central bank has cut its gross value added (GVA) forecast for FY17 to 7.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent earlier. Governor Urjit Patel said the MPC felt that it was important to achieve 5 per cent CPI inflation by March 2017. Market stabilisation scheme: RBI said the liquidity released by the discontinuation of the incremental CRR would be absorbed by a mix of MSS issuances and liquidity adjustment facility (LAF).
- Neil and Havelock are the islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which were recently effected by cyclone. Nearly 1,500 tourists were stranded at two famous tourist destinations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, namely, Neil and Havelock. The Navy ships were deployed for the evacuation due to the high intensity of the cyclone.
- 1900 is the number of political parties in India which is the largest in the world. Out of thesethere are over 400 of them which have never contested any elections. It was in the news recently as Election Commission has now decided that it will now annually 'strike off' names of such parties from the list. Once off the list these parties won't be eligible for tax breaks on contributions and donations.
- India was recently granted the "major defence partner" status by the United States. India's Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and outgoing United States Defence Secretary Ashton Carter recently finalised the "major defence partner" status to India which will fast-track cooperation and sharing of high-end American defence technology. Both sides also vowed to expand the bilateral defence cooperation as Carter met Parrikar in New Delhi for the record breaking seventh time.
- Discount of 0.75 per cent on purchase of petrol and diesel, 10 per cent and 8 per cent discount in case of general and life insurance PSU's for buying new policy or paying premium online, 0.5 percent discount on monthly and seasonal suburban railway tickets purchased through digital mode are some of the incentive measures announced in a bid to promote less-cash economy. Announcing 11 decisions to promote digital transactions, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that Online booking of Railway tickets will get Rs 10 lakh accident insurance. Those using digital mode to pay for railway catering, accommodation, retiring room will be entitled to discount of 5 per cent. Jaitley said that public dealings with government departments and PSUs through digital mode will be free of transaction fee and MDR charges.The minister further said 10 per cent discount will be available on use of digital mode for paying for RFID or fast-tags for highway toll.
- Service Sector Enterprise is the theme of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)'s 74th Round Survey which under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India conducts nationwide sample surveys on various socio-economic subjects to collect data for planning and policy formulation. During the current survey (July 2016-June 2017), information on economic and operational characteristics of Services Sector enterprise would be collected under the provisions of Collection of Statistics Act 2008 and Rules 2011.
- Indus, Jhelum and Chenab is the western rivers of the Indus river system which India intends to develop under its ambitious plan to utilize its share of water from Indus river system. India looks to speed up its three proposed hydro power projects on these western rivers-the PakalDul of 1,000MW on Marusudar river, tributary of Chenab in Kishtwar; Sawalkot of 1856 MW on Chenab in Ramban district and Bursar of 800 MW on Marusudar river, tributary of Chenab in Kishtwar. The three eastern rivers of the Indus river system are Ravi, Beas and Sutlej and their tributaries.
- NitiAayog has planned an incentive scheme including Rs.1 crore prizes, for those using digital payments system the most as the government steps up measures to push electronic transaction. It has asked the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to conceptualise and launch the scheme to incentivize digital payments. Under the scheme, all consumers and merchants using digital payments will be eligible. All modes of digital payments such as USSD, AEPS, UPI and RuPay Cards will be eligible.
- India - they maintained their supremacy in the women Asia Cup after they defeated arch-rivals Pakistan by 17 runs for their sixth title in Bangkok recently. It was also a sweet revenge of sorts for India, who had lost to Pakistan during the World T20 at home in March. With the memorable win, India also managed to maintain their enviable record in the continental event, having won all the six editions to have taken place so far.
- Harmanpreet Kaur - the skipper of Indian cricket team which won the Women's T20 Asia Cup recently. Veteran Mithali Raj was removed as T20 captain just before the start of the tournament.
Ahmadabad -the place in India, where the world's biggest stadium, in terms of seating capacity is going to be built soon. The stadium will accommodate 1, 10,000 people, the biggest in terms of seating capacity. The Stadium will surpass the Melbourne Cricket Ground which can hold 100,024 people. It was in the news recently after the Gujarat Cricket Association handed the contract to Larsen & Turbo (L&T) to begin work for the makeover.
- October 1, 2017 - the time from which cricket is set to join sports like hockey and football which allows players to be ejected from the field. In the case of cricket, players will be sent off for serious disciplinary breaches like threatening an umpire, physically assaulting a player umpire, official or spectator, or any other act of violence. The recommendations need to be approved by the main MCC committee, which should be a formality. The MCC, headquartered at Lord's in London, is the custodian of the laws of the game.
Current Affairs December 12th to December 18th 2016
International Current News
- Gotthard Base Tunnel of Switzerland - the world's longest and deepest rail tunnel which was officially opened recently after almost two decades of construction work, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Luganao.57.5km is the length of the Gotthard Base Tunnel which was built in 17 years with an estimated expenditure of Rs.12bn Swiss Francs (Rs795 billion).
- The World Bank - they recently asked India and Pakistan to explore options to settle their dispute over two hydroelectric projects in the Indus river basin, after New Delhi questioned its neutrality. This follows the bank's decision to proceed with two parallel mechanisms-Pakistan's demand for a Court of Arbitration and India's request for neutral experts. The bank 'paused' the process, saying two countries should consider resolving their dispute in an 'amicable manner and in line with the spirit' of the Indus Water Treaty of 1990.
National Current News
- Vardah - it is the name of cyclone which recently effected many parts of Tamil Nadu with heavy rains and winds disturbing normal life in these regions. It is the most intense to have hit the Tamil Nadu capital in two decades which flattened homes, snapped power, communication lines and threw into disarray rail, road and air traffic as it crossed the coast, pounding Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram with heavy rain and squall. No flight landed or took off from Chennai Airport as NOTAM (notice to airmen) was issued after strong cyclonic winds and poor visibility hit Chennai and other parts of the state, throwing life out of gear. NOTAM, is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.
- 100 Million for 100 Million - the name of campaign that strives to change the future of millions of children world-wide. This was launched recently by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan recently. Conceptualised by Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, the campaign was flagged off by President in the presence of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Nobel laureates Tawakkol Karman and Leymah Gbowee,former Australian PM Julia Gillard and First Lady of Panama Lorena Castillo.
- The Indian Egg Eater - the rare species of egg eating snake found in Indian subcontinent. The snake belongs to the monotypic genius Elachistodon. This is the only snake in Asia which has a specialization in taking egg content as food and is the only true egg-eater of the continent. The species, which comes under Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, was spotted for the first time in Rajasthan in Ranthambore recently which has been reported in the Russian Journal of Herpetology.
- The National Green Tribunal - it recently banned the sale and use of glass coated thread in the entire country including Chinese manjha. The thread is responsible for numerous accidental deaths during the kite-flying festival of Sankranti.
- Single Tax to replace multiple levies, Single tax leviable on goods and services, Automated processes to reduce human interface, Reduced cost of compliance for taxpayers- these along with Lesser logistics and inventory costs are the major benefits of GST Tax (Goods and Services Tax). It is also expected to increase economic activity and investment, fillip to 'Make in India' initiative and exports, of more employment and efficient neutralization of taxes to make our exports competitive.
- Ratan Watal - the former finance secretary headed the government committee on electronic payments which submitted its final report recently. However this report has run into difficulties with the Reserve Bank of India unwilling to cede its control over payment settlements to an independent regulator -- as the committee has recommended. H R Khan, former deputy governor of the central bank, has made his dissent clear in a note as a member of the committee. The differences mean it will be difficult for the finance ministry to push for the more significant changes in the payment systems to make digital cash more accessible for Indians. The key issues are as follows: When a payments service provider like Paytm or SBI Buddy offers a consumer to load her e-wallet with cash and authorise payment, they have to route the final settlement through a bank, before crediting the seller. Only some of the payment service providers have direct access to banks including those which are run by banks. Most have indirect access as sub-members of a particular bank. The banks, of course, earn fees from the sub-members, which is loaded as cost on the final consumer. The Watal Committee, minus Khan, wants this to end to "enable payments to be interoperable between bank and non-banks as well as within non-banks". Not only that, the committee has suggested a two month time-frame for the government to make it happen. According to them, the current system makes payment companies dependent on the banking sector without any benefit.
- NITI Aayog - it stands for National Institute for Transforming India Aayog is the agency which recently announced daily, weekly, and mega-awards on digital transactions to incentive cashless payments for consumers and merchants to encourage a transition to digital payments. The awards will be offered through two schemes - the Lucky Grahak Yohajana for consumers, and the Digi-dhan Vyapari Yojana for merchants, and the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) will implement the schemes. Under the Lucky Grahak Yojana, 15,000 winners will get Rs 1000 each every day starting on December 25 and ending on April 14 next year. In addition, there will be weekly awards for 7000 people, and the maximum prize is worth Rs 1 lakh. The scheme runs from December 25, 2016, to April 14, 2017. On April 14, a mega award of Rs 1 crore will be announced. Under the Digi Dhan Vyapari Yojna, 7000 winning merchants will receive prizes worth up to Rs 50,000 every week, also within the same time frame. In addition, mega-awards will be announced on April 14 for both consumers and merchants. Both schemes will cover small transactions between Rs.50 and Rs.3000 to encourage every section of the society to move to digital payments.
- IAF - it stands for Indian Air Force is the service in which Muslim cannot grow a beard after joining it as discipline, uniformity and cohesiveness in the armed forces could not be sacrificed for religious beliefs, which clashed with the rules of a defence force, the Supreme Court ruled recently. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices D Y Chandrachud and L Nageswara Rao said the defence forces were required to maintain a secular character as people from different faiths and religions joined to serve the nation and regulations and policies on personal appearance were not intended to discriminate against religious beliefs.
- 235 - it is the highest runs ever scored by an Indian cricket captain. These runs were scored recently by Virat Kohli when he scored his 3 double tons against England during the Mumbai Test match recently. With 3 double tons in one year he became the first Indian and 5th batsman in the world to achieve this feat.
- Jayant Yadav - he scored the first century by a No.9 batsman of India when he scored 104 against England at the Mumbai Test match. Last No.9 to hit a ton against England was Pakistan's Asif Iqbal in 1967.
- Pankaj Advani - the ace Indian cueist who outclassed Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the final to win his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title, in Bengaluru recently. Advani beat Gilchrist by six games to three in a gripping final contest to wrap up his 16th world title overall.
- Cristiano Ronaldo - the famous football player who claimed a fourth Ballon d'Or award recently after leading Portugal to an emotional European Championship title and Real Madrid to a record-extending Champions League crown in 2016.Ronaldo is one short of the record tally of five awards won by Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who was second with the pair having taken the first two spots since 2011.
Current Affairs December 19th to December 25th 2016
International Current News
- America - the researchers of this country have developed world's first Chikungunya vaccine for chikungunya fever made from an insect-specific virus that does not have any effect on people, making the vaccine safe and effective. The study indicated that the vaccine quickly produces a strong immune defence and completely protects mice and nonhuman primates from disease when exposed to the chikungunya virus. The findings were published in journal of Nature Medicine. Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that causes a disease characterised by fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet and may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Some patients will feel better within a week but many develop longer-term joint pain that can last up to years. Death is rare but can occur. The researchers used the Eilat virus as a vaccine platform since it only infects insects and has no impact on people. They used an Eilat virus clone to design a hybrid virus-based vaccine containing chikungunya structural proteins.
- The Benthic Rover - the robot which recently set a world record for the longest distance travelled and duration sustained under the sea, while collecting climate data for the entire year. It has been developed by the Monetary Bay Aquarium Institute (MBARI) in the US. The Rover operates at Station M-an area of flat, muddy, abyssal sea floor, 4000 metres deep and about 220 kilometres from the California coastline. It measures sinking marine snow-bits of plankton as well as facial matter-that drifts down the seafloor.
National Current News
- 7 - the number of RAC berths which will be available in sleeper coaches from 16th January, 2017 onwards. The government has decided to increase the number of RAC berths to seven from the current five as a result 14 passengers can be accommodated instead of 10 now. In 3AC coaches, RAC berths have been increased to four from two earlier to accommodate eight passengers instead of four. In 2AC coaches, such berths have been increased to three from the existing two.
- Rs.10, 000 - the amount of fine which would be imposed on any person or agency, government or private, found throwing garbage at a public place as per the directives of The National Green Tribunal. It said all authorities were under "statutory" obligation to ensure that waste was collected, transported and disposed of in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. "Any person, hotel, resident, slaughter house, vegetable market etc that does not comply with the directions or throws waste over any drain or public place shall be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 per default," the NGT said. The bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, said segregation of waste and disposal, depending on the type of waste, must be ensured. The green court observed that it was the obligation of all major sources of waste to segregate the garbage before handing it to the centres for waste collection.
- The Payment of Wages Act, 1936 - the Act which was recently amended by the centre recently for allowing business and industrial establishments to pay salaries through cheques or electronically. Employers will also have the option to pay wages in cash, the source added. As per practice, the government introduces ordinance to amend laws for immediate implementation of new rules. An ordinance is valid for six months only. The government is required to get it passed in Parliament within that period. The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016, seeks to amend Section 6 of the principal Act to enable employers to pay wages to employees through cheques or by crediting it to their bank accounts electronically. It will also allow state governments to specify industrial or other establishments that adopt cashless way for salary payments. The new procedure will serve the objective of 'digital and less-cash economy'. The Act had come into force on April 23, 1936, providing for payment of wages in coin or currency notes, or in both. The provision for payment of wages by cheque or crediting it into bank account after obtaining the requisite authorisation of employee was inserted in 1975.At present, the Act covers all those employees in certain categories of establishments whose wage does not exceed Rs 18,000 per month. The Centre can make rules regarding payment of wages in relation to railways, air transport services, mines, oil fields and its establishments while states take a call on all other cases.
- Service Providers, Body Corporates, Data Centres and Intermediaries - they are bound by law to report cyber incidents. Section 70B of IT Act read with Rule 12(1) (a) provides for mandatory reporting of cybercrimes by them in cases of probing of critical networks, attacks on servers & network devices, unauthorized access of IT systems/data, identify theft, spoofing & phishing attacks, defacement of websites, attacks on critical infrastructure & wireless network, malicious code attacks and attacks on applications such as e-Governance, e-Commerce etc.
- 60 days - the additional grace period which has been provided to farmers to benefit from the prompt repayment incentive of 3% to farmers whose crop loans are due for repayment between November 1 and December 31, 2016. Under the interest subvention scheme, farmers get a short term crop loan of up to Rs. 3 lakhs for one year at an incentive rate of 7%. An incentive of 3% is provided if the loan is repaid before the due date.
- Nirbhay - the nuclear-capable cruise missile of India which test failed for the fourth time. The land-attack cruise missile, designed to carry nuclear warheads to a strike range of 1,000-km, failed recently. This was the subsonic missile's fourth test since March 2013, all of which have more or less failed to achieve test parameters. The missile had to be destroyed in mid-air after it deviated from its flight-path along the coast in Bay of Bengal soon after launch from the Integrated Test Range at Balasore off the Odisha coast. While the missile's first test in March 2013had completely failed, the second one+ was dubbed "a partial success" in October 2014. But the third test+ in October 2015 and the one on Wednesday also failed miserably.
- Aadhaar/e-Aadhaar, PAN Card, Voter ID, School Leaving certificates, Pension order, Driving Licence etc. - these have been included as list of documents which will be accepted as birth proof date while submitting documents for making the passport as per the new rule announced by the government recently. This will override existing Passport Rules, 1980, according to which applicants born on or after January 26, 1989 have to submit birth certificates.
- IMPS and UPI - the mode of digital payments for whose encouragement the Union Finance Ministry recently asked public sector banks to restrict fees on payments to the extent that is applicable for National Electronic Funds Transfer fund transfer of over Rs 1,000. As per Reserve Bank of India norms, NEFT of up to Rs 10,000 attract Rs 2.5 fee. From Rs 10,000-1 lakh the fee is Rs 5; on Rs 1-2 lakh it is Rs 15, and beyond Rs 2 lakh it is Rs 25. Service tax is charged in addition to this. For Unstructured Supplementary Service Data transactions above Rs 1,000, the ministry said a further discount of 50 paise on these rates shall apply. USSD is mobile short code message and used mainly for banking services on feature phone. The USSD fee is Rs 1.50, which has been waived till December 30, 2016. IMPS is an inter-bank electronic instant mobile money transfer service through mobile phones. The UPI app enables customers to make online as well as offline payment to merchants from their bank accounts, without typing card or net banking/wallet details and Indian Financial System Code. This direction will apply for all transactions up to March 31, 2017.
- 9th - the rank of Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister in the Forbes list of 74 of the World's Most Powerful People which was released recently. The list is topped by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a fourth straight year and has US President-elect Donald Trump in the second place. Forbes annual ranking of the World's Most Powerful People identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions means the most.
- Rs.53,796 - the amount of debt which hangs over every Indian's head by taking into consideration the total external debt of the government on March 31,2016 which stands at Rs.32.2 lakh crore as per data from Ministry of Finance, GoI. However as percentage of GDP, India's external debt is only 50% according to the World Bank. USA's external debt is 97% of its GDP and Japan's is 202%.
- Iron products and steel products - the one on whose imports policies Japan recently dragged India to WTO. Japan dragged India to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against certain measures taken by New Delhi on imports of iron and steel products. India has imposed minimum import price (MIP) on imports of certain iron and steel products. In February, India imposed MIP of 173 products for six months, which was later extended twice for two months. Earlier this month, the government extended MIP on 19 products till February 4, 2017. India has imposed MIP as growing imports from steel surplus countries like China, Japan and Korea with predatory prices have been a major concern for the domestic industry since September 2014. India has also imposed anti-dumping duties on certain steel products to guard domestic players from cheap imports. As Japan has filed the case, it will do bilateral consultations with India on the issue. As per the WTO's dispute settlement process, the request for consultations is the first step in a dispute.
- PoS Machines - they are the ones which have been exempted from BIS labeling by government recently. To facilitate cashless payments, government has exempted imported Point of Sales machines from mandatory BIS-labelling till March 31, 2017 to expedite their shipments. The ministry of electronics and IT has given nod to a proposal of finance ministry "to allow the import of non-labelled BIS registered Point of Sales terminals" complying to certain conditions. The merchant will be given clearance for import if he presents valid registration number issued by BIS for particular model of PoS being imported along with manufacturer's details. Also, the merchant will need to label products at the port before the release of consignment. An SBI research report said that the country has 15.1 lakh PoS machines but may need an additional 20 lakh more if digitisation has to gain traction. As per rules, it is mandatory for PoS machines that are imported in the country to BIS certification and accordingly bear BIS standard logo for clearance at Indian customs for sale in the country. BIS is implementing agency. Customs department allows import of goods covered under it as per direction of MEITY and BIS.The Bureau of Indian Standards, empowered through an Act of the Indian Parliament, known as the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, operates a product certification scheme by which it grants licences to manufacturers covering practically every industrial discipline from Agriculture to Textiles to Electronics.
- Agni-5 - the India's intercontinental, nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a range of nearly 6,000 km, which was successfully test fired recently. Agni-5, India's longest range nuclear capable missile, was test fired at Kalam Island off the Odisha coast. The intercontinental surface-to-surface nuclear capable ballistic missile, the latest in India's "Agni" family of medium to intercontinental range missiles, has been through three trials before. The Agni 5 missile, with new technology for navigation and guidance, gives India the strategic depth it needs to contain its enemies and after a few more trials, it will soon join India's military arsenal. The 17-metre long Agni-5 Missile weighs about 50 tonnes and is a very agile and modern weapon system. The surface-to-surface missile is a fire-and-forget system that cannot be easily detected as it follows a ballistic trajectory.
- Petra Kvitova - the Czech tennis star and the two time Wimbledon champion who was recently stabbed by an intruder at her home in the city of Prostejov, about 260km southeast of Prague, the capital of Czech Republic.
- India - they won the gold medal in the Junior Hockey World Cup after defeating Belgium 2-1 at the Major Dyan Chand stadium in Lucknow recently. India, who won the tournament in Hobart in 2001, became the first team to win the competition on home soil. The six-time champions and title holders Germany had to contend themselves with the bronze medal after outclassing Australia 3-0 in the third-fourth place play-off match.
- Francis Cheka - the former world champion boxer from Tanzania who was defeated by Vijender Singh during the WBO Super Middleweight fight in New Delhi recently. India's boxing star Vijender Singh successfully defended the WBO Asia-Pacific title. Vijender took less than 10 minutes to score a knockout win and remain undefeated in his professional career, which is eight fights old now.
- Atletico de Kolkata - they were crowned Indian Super League champions for the second time in three years after they edged out Kerala Blasters 4-3 in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout after both sides were locked 1-1 in regulation time in Kochi recently.
- India - they finished 2016 as the number-one ranked Test side on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings after registering a 4-0 victory over England in the five-match series which culminated with an innings and 75 runs win for the home side in Chennai recently. The series win has helped India gain five points and it has moved to 120 points in the last Test team rankings update of 2016, 15 points ahead of second-placed Australia. In contrast, England, which had started the series tied with Australia on 105 points but was ahead on decimal points, has slipped from second to fifth position.
- R. Ashwin and R. Jadeja - they created history when for the first time in Test history two players from a team scored 200 or more runs and took at least 25 wickets in a Test series. R. Ashwin scored 224 runs and took 28 wickets and R. Jadeja scored 224 runs and 26 wickets.
- Karun Nair - the Indian batsman who scored an epic triple ton in his 3rd Test and 3rd innings. It's the 3rd highest score by an Indian after Virender Sehwag (319 & 309). No batsman in Test history has scored a triple ton so early in his career. Len Hutton did it in his 9th innings and Don Bradman in his 13th. Nair is the only 3rd test batsman to convert his maiden ton into a triple ton. The other two are Gary Sobers (365 n.o) & Bob Simpson (311). It's the highest maiden Test score by an Indian.
- Ravinchandran Ashwin - he was recently named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016. He won the Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 recently. He is also the World's No 1 Test bowler and Test all-rounder for 2016. Ashwin took 48 wickets in 8 Tests this year at an average of 15.39 and also contributed with the bat by scoring 336 runs, (Average: 42) during the voting period from September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016.Virat Kohli was the last Indian to win the honour, getting the gong in 2012.
- M C Mary Kom - she along with Vikas Krishan are the two Indian boxers who brought laurels for India at the International Boxing Association's 70th anniversary gala in Montreux, Switzerland recently, picking up different awards for their performances. While five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medalist Mary Kom was presented the AIBA Legends award for her trailblazing boxing career, Vikas was handed the APB (AIBA Pro Boxing) Best Boxer trophy. Mary Kom was picked for the honour for her decorated career during which she also won multiple Asian Championships gold medals besides the spectacular feat of five world titles. She was christened 'Magnificent Mary' by AIBA after her fourth world title back in 2008 and was also one of the eight brand ambassadors for the event this year. Vikas Krishan won a bronze medal in the Olympic qualifying tournament besides finishing a quarterfinalist in the main event in Rio.
- India -they defeated Sri Lanka by 34 runs to lift the Asia Cricket Council Under-19s Asia Cup cricket title at Colombo recently. India, coached by the batting legend Rahul Dravid, defeated the hosts by 34 runs in the final. With the victory, India completed a hat-trick of Asia Cup titles as they had won the previous one in UAE (2014) and shared the inaugural tournament with Pakistan in Malaysia (2012).
- Jeje Lalpekhlua - he was recently adjudged the 2016 Player of the Year by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). The India, Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC striker will get Rs.2.5 lakh and a trophy. Odisha's Sasmita Malik was chosen woman footballer of the year.
- Shiva Keshavan - he won the gold at the Asian Luge Championships in Nagano, Japan. Keshavan has participated in five Winter Olympics. He is the first Indian representative to compete in luge at the Winter Olympic Games and had set a new Asian speed record at 134.3 km/h (83.5 mph) after beating the previous record of 131.9 km/h (82.0 mph) and won gold medal in Asia Cup 2011 at Nagano in Japan. In 2012, he set a new Asian track record at 49.590 seconds. This is Keshavan's third gold at the Asian Championships in Nagano. A luge is a small one- or two-person sled on which one sleds supine (face up) and feet-first. Steering is done by flexing the sled's runners with the calf of each leg or exerting opposite shoulder pressure to the seat.
Current Affairs December 26th 2016 to January 01st 2017
International Current News
- Cucumber - the plant whose seedlings were germinated under microgravity conditions of the International Space Station (ISS) by scientists to understand how plants sense gravity and stimulate their own growth. Cucumbers features specialized protuberances, or pegs, whose formation is regulated by gravity. These pegs form during the pant's early growth stage to help the seedlings emerge from their hard seed coat and anchor the developing plant in the soil while its roots form. In August last year, NASA astronauts harvested their own 'outredgeous' lettuce aboard the ISS. In January this year, astronauts grew the first flower in space, a zinnia. Growing tomato plants on the space station is planned by NASA in 2017.
National Current News
- The Reserve Bank of India - it recently allowed banks to issue prepaid instruments to any institution that can be given to their employees to facilitate greater adoption of digital payments. Earlier, this facility was available only for listed companies. The central bank modified a clause in its circular for prepaid instruments, allowing employers such as "unlisted corporates, partnership firms, sole proprietorship, public organisations like municipal corporations, urban local bodies, etc. to issue prepaid instruments for their employees.
- Cheetah - the mammal which is 'sprinting' to extinction due to habitat loss and other forms of human impact, according to a new study released recently which calls for urgent action to save the world's fastest animal. The study published in the "Proceedings of the National academy of science" estimated that just 7,100 cheetahs remain in the wild, occupying just 9% of the territory they once lived in. India was home to many cheetahs but the last is believed to have been killed in 1947. The cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952-the only large mammal to have been declared extinct in the country according to the Union environment ministry.
- Rs 200 crore - the amount which was recently sanctioned by government to the Tirupur dyeing industry which was on the verge of closure due to severe financial crisis. The industry was facing problems on account of their huge investments in the first ever Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) projects in the country. Finance Ministry sanctioned Rs 200 crore to Tamil Nadu for the 18 CETPs (Common Effluent Treatment Plants) as an interest free loan to be converted into grant based on the performance of the CETPs.
- The move will help ailing CETPs and 450 dyeing units to recover from the financial crisis and help them to complete the project to achieve 100 per cent capacity utilization. More than 450 dyeing units in Tirupur had collectively set up 18 ZLD enabled CETPs with a total cost of Rs 1,013 crore.
- 9.1 - the percent of the Gross Non Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio in September 2016 of banks as per the Financial Stability Report which was published by Reserve Bank of India recently. Bank's asset quality that has been under pressure may deteriorate even further if the macroeconomic condition takes a beating, a stress test undertaken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) suggests. The ratio may increase to 9.8 per cent by March 2017. This could further increase to 10.1 per cent by March 2018.
- BHIM - it stands for Bharat Interface for Money is the Aadhaar-based mobile payment application - a rebranded version of UPI (Unified Payment Interface) and USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Digi Dhan Mela event in Talkatora stadium in New Delhi recently. The new app is expected to minimise the role of plastic cards and the point of sale (PoS) machines once believed to be essential for a less-cash society. The app would eliminate fee payments for service providers like card companies such as Mastercard or Visa, which has been a stumbling block in merchants switching to digital payments. That will make it affordable even to merchants in remote villages, said people familiar with the development.
- Housing sector - this sector will get a boost after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech on New Year's eve announced measures including financial assistance for urban and rural poor for buying and building homes, a move aimed at fulfilling the government's promise of housing for all. The government announced interest subvention of 3% and 4% for loans of up to Rs 12 lakh and Rs 9 lakh, respectively, under Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY). In addition to this relief, a 3% subvention will be given for loans of up to Rs 2 lakh to build and expand existing houses in rural areas. The government has also decided to increase the number of homes to be built in rural areas under PMAY by 33%.
- Rs.6000 - the amount which will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women who undergo institutional delivery and vaccinate their children. This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a slew of announcements in his speech on December 31, 2016.So far, pregnant women in 53 districts were being given financial assistance of 4000 rupees, under a pilot project
- Caste, Creed and religion - the basis on which grounds no politicians can seek votes as per the landmark ruling on elections by the Supreme Court recently. This ruling was passed in the midst of the 1995 Hindutva cases' hearing. Four judges out of the seven-judge Constitution bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur ruled that elections are essentially a secular activity. In its order, the SC said that the 'relationship between man and God' is an individual choice and the state is forbidden to interfere in such an activity. The top court in a majority verdict held that any appeal for votes on ground of religion amounts to corrupt practices under electoral laws. The court also said the function of an elected representative should be secular. The judgment will have significant implications in states that go to the polls just months from now, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab where religion is a top campaign issue.
- Samit Gohel - the batsman from Gujarat who broke a 117-year-old record in first-class cricket by notching up the highest score while carrying his bat through the innings of 359 not out during his team's Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Odisha. While Hanif Mohammed's epic 499 remains the highest score by an opener in first-class cricket, no one has scored more than Gohel while remaining not out in his team's score of 641.Gohel eclipsed the previous best of 357 by Surrey's Bobby Abel against Somerset way back in 1899 at the Kensington Oval ground.
- Women's wrestling - this was the main theme of the Amir Khan starrer Dangal movie which was released recently. The movie depicts the story of rise of Phogat sisters - GeetaPhogat and BabitaPhogat who entered this game inspite of all social taboos bit with sheer determination and efforts of their father Mahavir Singh Phogat.
- Somdev Devvarman - India's star singles player who announced his retirement from professional tennis, bringing an abrupt end to what was once a promising career. The 31-year-old's career was hampered by a recurring shoulder injury in 2012. He recovered to stage a comeback but he had been missing from action without any specified reason for some time now. Somdev was India's star singles player since he first broke into the scene in 2008. He was conferred the Arjuna award -- the country's second highest sporting honour -- in 2011.
- Anurag Thakur - the President of Board of Control for Cricket in India who was recently removed in a landmark judgement by the Supreme Court recently. The court also removed BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke. Both were removed as they failed to implement its orders to bring transparency and accountability in cricket body. The Supreme Court said a committee of administrator will look after the affairs of the Board. The three-member Lodha Committee was appointed by the Supreme Court after the 'conflict of interest' issue sparked a controversy in Indian cricket.
- Ana Ivanovic - the former world number one tennis player who announced her retirement recently because she no longer feels fit enough to compete at the highest level. Ivanovic became the first Serbian woman to win a grand slam tournament when she beat Russian Dinara Safina in the 2008 French Open final, following in the footsteps of compatriot Novak Djokovic who clinched the Australian Open title the same year.