G.K Update 11 may 2016 (English)
By: D.K. Choudhary
1. Parliament Passes Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016
i. Parliament has passed the Anti-Hijacking Bill, 2016 to widen ambit of law dealing with this anti-hijacking crime. The Bill was first passed in the Rajya Sabha and later in the Lok Sabha in May 2016.
ii. Now the Bill will go for Presidential assent as per Article 111 of Indian Constitution.
iii. The Bill defines hijacking as seizing control of an aircraft in service, unlawfully and intentionally, by coercion, technological means or by exercising force or any other form of intimidation. It covers several acts within the definition of hijacking. It includes (i) attempt and abetment of hijacking (ii) organizing or directing others to commit hijacking and (iii) making a credible threat to commit hijacking.
2. President of India to attend the National Technology Day celebration tomorrow
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will attend the National Technology Day (May 11, 2016) Celebrations at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi tomorrow.
ii. The National Technology Day is being celebrated every year on May 11 by the Ministry of Science & Technology to commemorate achievements of Innovation and Technology in the country.
iii. This year’s theme for celebrations of the Technology Day is ‘Technology enablers of Startup India’.
3. Ministry of Environment & Forests launches web-based application on Integrated Waste Management System
i. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has launched a web-based application on Integrated Waste Management System (IWMS). The system’s web address is www.iwms.nic.in.
ii. The government launched the system for better management of waste. The user-friendly application is capable of tracking the movement of hazardous waste.
iii. Objectives of the Integrated Waste Management System- To enhance transparency in the working of the Ministry and other Centre/State level regulatory bodies. And to reduce the time taken for processing applications, seeking various types of permissions under the recently notified waste management regulations.
4. Indian Army conducts ‘Chakravyuh-II’ training exercise in Rajasthan
i. Indian Army had conducted major military training exercise ‘2016 Chakravyuh-II’ in Suratgarh, Rajasthan.
ii. Purpose behind this exercise is to Validate battle readiness and operational effectiveness of the Pivot Formation and Rapid Division of Indian Army along with all its affiliated components.
iii. The Chakravyuh-II exercise involved rapid mobilisation and execution of battle plans in conjunction with the Indian Air Force (IAF). It envisaged mechanised manoeuvres in the entire spectra of new generation weapons, systems and platforms in the rapid urbanisation and development areas along the border.
5. Rural Sanitation Initiatives for Ganga Rejuvenation launched in Jharkhand
i. The Union Government has launched nine projects initiatives for rural sanitation initiatives for conservation of river Ganga in Jharkhand.
ii. It was launched by Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti under Namami Gange Programme in Sahibganj, Jharkhand.
iii. Under this programme, villages located on the entire 83 Km. stretch of Ganga River in Jharkhand will be covered to improve the health and quality of life. It will be carried out under the overall guidance of the Ministry with the support from UN Development Programme (UNDP), community organizations and NGOs. The programme initiatives will contribute to improved, sustainable liquid and solid waste management in the identified 78 villages along the Ganga River.
6. RBI to issue rs. 1000 banknotes with inset letter ‘R’
i. As per the Reserve Bank Of India it will shortly issue rupees 1,000 denomination bank notes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series of 2005 with the insert letter of ‘R’ in both the number panels.
ii. The banknotes will also obverse all the other security features, including ascending size of numerals, bleed lines and enlarged identification mark as well as the signature of Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor, Reserve Bank of India. These banknotes will also have the year of printing ‘2016’ printed on the reverse.
iii. All the banknotes in the denomination of rs. 1000 issued by the Reserve Bank in the past, including rs. 1000 denomination banknotes with ascending size of numerals in the number panels but without bleed lines and enlarged identification mark, will continue to be legal tender.
7. 100% FDI through Automatic Route permitted in Asset Reconstruction Companies
i. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry has allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) under the automatic route.
ii. Till now, foreign investment was automatic only up to 49 per cent, beyond that government approval was needed. But now its 100 %, However, some conditions have been set, including the stipulation that the total shareholding of individual foreign institutional investors/foreign portfolio investors must be below 10 per cent of the total paid-up capital.
iii. FII/FPIs have also been permitted to invest up to 100 % of each tranche in security receipts issued by ARCs, subject to RBI directions/guidelines. Now as per the DIPP, the investment limit of a sponsor in the shareholding of an ARC will be governed by the provision of the Sarfaesi law, as amended from time to time.
8. RBI releases “Draft Guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector”
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the ‘draft guidelines for ‘on tap’ Licensing of Universal Banks in the Private Sector’.
ii. But the final guidelines will be issued and the process of inviting applications for setting up of new universal banks in the private sector will be initiated after receiving feedback, comments and suggestions on draft guidelines from banks, non-banking financial institutions, industrial houses, other institutions and the public at latest by 30 June 2016.
iii. Present guidelines include:
(i) Resident individuals and professionals having 10 years of experience in banking and finance as eligible persons to promote universal banks,
(ii) large industrial/business houses are excluded as eligible entities but permitted to invest in the banks to the extent of less than 10 per cent,
(iii) Non-Operative Financial Holding Company (NOFHC) has now been made non-mandatory in case of promoters being individuals or standalone promoting/converting entities who/which do not have other group entities,
(iv) The NOFHC is now required to be owned by the promoter/promoter group to the extent of at least 51 % of the total paid-up equity capital of the NOFHC, instead being wholly owned by the promoter group,
(v) Existing specialised activities have been permitted to be continued from a separate entity proposed to be held under the NOFHC subject to prior approval from the Reserve Bank and subject to it being ensured that similar activities are not conducted through the bank as well.
9. Google launches free WiFi at 5 railway stations
i. Multinational company Google has announced the launch of its free high-speed public WiFi service at Ujjain, Jaipur, Patna, Guwahati and Allahabad railway stations. The service is now available in 15 stations across India.
ii. This is in continuation with its project to provide high-speed public WiFi service at 100 Railway stations across India by end of the year.
iii. The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu will inaugurate the service at these stations soon. Google stated that it has been deploying the service over the extensive fibre network of Indian Railway’s arm Railtel which provides Internet services as RailWire.
10. Knowlarity acquires customer engagement platform Smartwards
i. Asia’s leading cloud telephony company, Knowlarity Communications has announced the acquisition of Delhi-based Smartwards, a customer engagement platform that simplifies loyalty for local businesses and their customers.
ii. As part of the move, Shantanu Mathur and Dhanraj Singh Bisht – the co-founders of Smartwards, will lead the India operations for Knowlarity.
iii. The deal will see Knowlarity integrating the Smartwards product and technology into its own product ecosystem to provide enterprise software solutions to small & medium businesses.
11. Mahesh Sharma released a Commemorative coin on Maharana Pratap
i. As a part of 475th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Maharana Pratap Union Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma has released a Commemorative coin of Rs. 100 and a Circulation coin of Rs. 10 in New Delhi.
ii. Maharana Pratap was a brave warrior, successful organizer and ingenious strategist. He fearlessly fought with the Mughals and protected his people until his death.
iii. Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 475th Birth Anniversary of Maharana Pratap during 2015-16 in association with the State Government of Rajasthan. The Government of India and the State Government of Rajasthan have also decided to create a multi-purpose indoor stadium at Khel Gaon, Udaipur in his memory. For this purpose, Ministry of Culture has agreed to give a sum of Rs. 9.50 crore to the State Government.
12. BAFTA TV awards 2016 has been announced
i. The British Academy Television Awards have presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television
Arts (BAFTA). They have been awarded annually since 1955. This year’s British Academy Television Awards, hosted by Graham Norton.
ii. List of Winners :- Drama series – WINNER – Wolf Hall (BBC2), Entertainment programme – WINNER – Strictly Come Dancing (BBC1), International – WINNER – Transparent (Amazon Prime), Single drama – WINNER – Don’t Take My Baby (BBC3), Leading actress – WINNER – Suranne Jones – Doctor Foster (BBC1) and Leading actor – WINNER – Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall (BBC2) etc.
iii. The Special Award in Honour of Alan Clarke – Presented to Lenny Henry, Britain’s best-loved comedians and writers, in recognition of his outstanding creative contribution to television during a career for 40 years.
13. Shashank Manohar quits as BCCI President
i. Shashank Manohar has stepped down from as BCCI president. The Nagpur bigwig had taken over the role last year after the position was left vacant following the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya.
ii. Manohar, lawyer by profession, is currently the chairman of International Cricket Council. Manohar only took the board’s top position last October and his term was one of the shortest terms ever served by a president. Manohar predecessor Jagmohan Dalmiya’s reign lasted only six months — from March to September 2015 — until he passed away.
iii. While Manohar is BCCI’s nominated chairman in ICC, the executive board of the global body has passed a rule that ICC’s chairman should be of independent nature and can’t act in dual role keeping his position as his country’s cricketing chief.
14. Sanjay Kaul is the new Country Head for Apple India
i. The Cupertino technology giant, Apple, has elevated Sanjay Kaul as the country manager for Apple India. Although there has been no official communication from the company, Kaul’s LinkedIn has been updated with the same.
ii. A Canadian citizen, Kaul has been associated with Apple since Novmeber 2011 and has been taking care of the Apple’s iPhone business. From heading iPhone business to Director, Telecom, he has now taken over the role of Country head from Manish Dhir, who had quit the company in January this year.
iii. Before joining Apple, Kaul was associated with BlackBerry (earlier Research In Motion) in the capacity of Director – Channel sales for India for over two years where he revived Airtel BlackBerry business to achieve three digit percentage growth in net subscriber additions in 12 months.
15. Mrugank Paranjape took charge as MD and CEO of Multi Commodity Exchange
i. Mrugank Paranjape took charge as managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), country’s largest commodity exchange.
ii. He will have tenure of 3 years. His appointment fills the vacancy of the post which was vacant for past two years.
iii. Prior to this, Mrugank Paranjape was working with Deutsche Bank for 14 years as Asia Pacific Head of Trust & Securities Services/Cash Management for Financial Institutions.
16. US actor William Schallert has passed away
i. US actor William Schallert, who parlayed an everyman face into hundreds of television and film roles, most notably as the father in the 1960s TV situation comedy ‘The Patty Duke Show’ has passed away. He was 93 year old.
ii. Born on July 6, 1922 in Los Angeles, Schallert was the son of a journalist. He appeared in shows spanning the history of television, did hundreds of voice overs and served as President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1979 to 1981.
iii. Schallert is best remembered for his role as Martin Lane, the father in The Patty Duke Show, which aired from 1963 to 1966.
17. Indian scientist bags SGD 3 mn grant from Singapore’s NRF
i. An Indian scientist from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur city has been awarded a grant of SGD 3 million (about Rs 14.7 crore) by National Research Foundation to research in congenital and adult cardiovascular diseases.
ii. The NRF, a department within the Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore is responsible for developing strategies, policies and plans for research, innovation and enterprise.
iii. Dr Manvendra K Singh, who is working as an assistant professor in the cardiovascular and metabolic disorders programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, said he that is among the seven young scientists from across the world to be endowed with the Singapore NRF fellowship to carry out cutting-edge research this year. He has been awarded the fellowship to pursue research in the field of congenital and adult cardiovascular diseases.
18. Indian boxers won 4 medals at 7th Asian Youth Championship
i. Indian boxers on 9 May 2016 won four medals at the 7th Asian Youth Championships held in Pavlodar, Kazakhstan.
ii. India finished at third in the overall standings with three silver and a bronze medal in the tournament.
iii. The Indian boxers who won silver medals are National champion Ankush Dahiya (60kg), Ashish Kulhirya (64kg) and Reyal Puri (81kg). Manjeet Singh (+91kg) won the solitary bronze. Kazakhstan topped the medal tally with 6 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals followed by Uzbekistan at second position with 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals. The tournament featured more than 150 boxers from 23 countries