G.K. Update 22 May 2016 (English)
By: D.K. Choudhary
- 27th India and Indonesia CORPAT concludes in Belawan
- The 27th edition of the India-Indonesia CORPAT (Coordinated Patrol) has concluded in Belawan, Indonesia.
- The closing ceremony at Belawan saw the two navies conducting interactive session on measures to enhance inter-operability, which is also attended by INS Karmuk.
iii. The 27th CORPAT was held from 29 April to 19 May 2016 and the closing ceremony was held from 16 May to 19 May 2016. The exercise is being carried out to keep the vital part of the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping and international trade.
- After liquor, Bihar government bans gutka and pan masala
- Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government has announced the ban on sale, distribution, storage, manufacture, consumption and publicity of tobacco products like gutka and pan masala.
- The ban on both packaged and unpackaged edible items containing tobacco content will remain effective for a period of one year.
iii. Last month state government announced complete ban on the sale of any types of liquor in the state, but had allowed sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor in towns and cities.
- Indigenous faecal incontinence management device ‘Qora’ launched
- An indigenously developed “affordable” faecal incontinence management system ‘Qora’, a spin-off of a programme of the Department of Biotechnology and implemented at AIIMS and IIT Delhi, was launched by Minister of State for Science & Technology, Y.S. Chowdary.
- The international partners of the programme are Stanford University, US, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and Tottori University, Japan.
iii. The technology for the medical device was developed by Consure Medical, New Delhi, to address “a new level of care for patients outside the ICU”, said an official release, adding that the product has been clinically validated at AIIMS, New Delhi.
- World Bank arm IFC to invest $68 mn in Apollo Health
- World Bank subsidiary arm International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to invest US$68 million (about INR 460 crore) in Apollo Health & Lifestyle ltd (AHLL).
- AHLL is a subsidiary of Apollo Health Enterprises Limited and includes a network of primary healthcare clinics across the country.
iii. This investment is the part of the overall raise of $135 million or Rs 900 crore investment which was earlier invested by IFC. Apollo Health, which currently operates primary health care clinics, is reportedly planning to expand its operations with the investment.
- G-7 summit 2016 : Finance Ministers and central bank governors meet in Sendai
- Finance ministers and central banks governor from the Group of Seven developed nations kicked off the first day of their meeting in Sendai, Japan.
- They have held discussions on the world economy, ahead of next week’s G7 summit (26-27th May), to be held in Ise-Shima, central Japan.
iii. Ahead of G-7 summit kickoff, the G-7 financial leaders discussed the future of the global economy with noted economists, including Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, a professor at Yale University, and Martin Feldstein, a professor at Harvard University. The participants are said to have exchanged views on what their governments can do to put the global economy back on track and achieve sustainable growth. Among world economic issues that they have discussed are the slowing Chinese economy and lower crude oil prices. They also discussed ways of dealing with tax evasion and questionable tax avoidance in reaction to disclosures in the Panama Papers.
- US House of Representatives gave nod to bolster defence ties with India on par with NATO
- The US House of Representatives have given its nod to a bipartisan legislation to improve defence ties with India.
- In this regard, an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) was approved by the House.
iii. The amendment is dubbed as ‘Enhancing Defence and Security Co-operation with India’. The legislation, once approved by the Senate and the President, will bring the country’s bilateral relations with India on par with its NATO allies and Israel. It encourages the executive branch to designate an official to focus on US-India defence cooperation.
- IFC to invest $20 million in FCEL
- Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd (FCEL) has informed the stock exchanges that International Finance Corporation (IFC) will invest $20 million in the company through equity-linked instruments.
- It will use the funds to support growth plans and strengthen its balance-sheet. The company had also recently raised $55 million from US-based Proterra Partners (previously known as Black River Asset Management) and the promoters of the company and this completes the current fund raising plan of $75 million.
iii. Other investors in FCEL include Brussels-based Verlinvest and Singapore-based Arisaig Partners.
- HSBC to shut down half of its branches in India, 300 Jobs to go
- UK based banking giant, HSBC Holding Plc stated that it plans to close 24 branches in India.
- The decision comes after a strategic review of its retail banking and wealth management business showed customers are increasingly opting for digital banking services. This decision will impact around 10 % of the company’s retail customer base and lead to 300 jobs losses.
iii. Presently, HSBC employs over 33,000 people in the country. But now the bank would consolidate from 50 branches across 29 cities to 26 branches across 14 cities, and the closures will take place gradually over the next few months.
- Binali Yildirim set to become Prime Minister of Turkey
- Transport Minister of Turkey Binali Yildirim is all set to become as the country’s Prime Minster. He was named as the prime minister after he was formally chosen for the post in a closed vote.
- Yildirim is the Turkey’s minister of transport, maritime and communication as well as a founding member of the AKP.
iii. He will succeed Ahmet Davutoglu, who earlier stepped down due to differences with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- UN appoints Mary Robinson, Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino, climate
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish President Mary Robinson and Kenyan diplomat Macharia Kamau as special envoys for El Nino and climate.
- The El Nino weather phenomenon, which occurs every two to seven years, affects rainfall patterns and causes both drought and flooding. The UN said in a statement that the phenomenon has created massive needs in various places of the world, particularly in eastern Africa, southern Africa, Central America and the Pacific.
iii. Ms. Robinson had previously worked as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and as Ban’s special envoy for climate change. Mr. Kamau is Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations and former president of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Board. He was co-chair of the UN General Assembly working group on sustainable development goals.
- Lhakpa 1st lady to climb Mt Everest seven times
- A 42 year old woman born in Nepal, Lhakpa Sherpa has climbed Mount Everest for the seventh time. With this she has braked her own record for the most ascents to the world’s highest mountain by a woman.
- Two other Sherpa climbers share between them a record for 21 ascents of Everest, the maximum climbs by men and also shared the record for scaling the mountain for the most number of times overall.
iii. Lhakpa has reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak from the Tibetan side. She is one of the 11 children of a Nepali family and was born in eastern Sankhuwasabha district where the world’s fifth highest mountain, Makalu is located.
- Cairn India CEO Mayank Ashar quits
- Cairn India informed the stock exchanges that Mayank Ashar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, will step down from his post for personal reasons, effective June 5.
- Sudhir Mathur, the current Chief Financial Officer, will take over as Acting CEO. “Ashar will provide transition support to Mathur through June 30, 2016,” an official statement said.
iii. This is not the first change Cairn India has witnessed since 2012. Rahul Dhir, the first MD and CEO, quit in 2012. After Dhir came P Elango, from 2012 to 2014, followed by Ashar.
- Emmy award winning actor Alan Young dies aged 96
- Emmy award-winning English-born actor Alan Young, who rode to enduring TV fame alongside a talking horse on the popular 1960s sitcom “Mister Ed” and co-starred in the classic sci-fi film “The Time Machine,” has died at age 96.
- Young, who also provided the voice of cartoon characters including Disney’s Scrooge McDuck, died from natural causes at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, Los Angeles.
- Maurad Laachraoui wins European Taekwondo title
- Belgian Mourad Laachraoui has won gold in the European Taekwondo Championships.
- Now he will compete in this summer’s Rio Olympics. He has beaten Spaniard Jesus Tortosa 6-3 in the -54kg final in Montreux, Switzerland.
iii. He has won silver medal at the Summer Universiades in 2015 and has qualified for the Rio Games in August. He is the brother of Najim Laachraoui, was one of the two suicide bombers who struck Brussels airport on March 22, while a third attacker blew himself up at on a metro train, with the two attacks killing 32 people.
- Roger Federer withdraws from French Open
- Roger Federer has withdrawn from this year’s French Open after failing to recover from a back injury.
- The 34-year-old did not play in the Madrid Open earlier this month after hurting his back during practice for the tournament. Federer returned for the Italian Open but was beaten in the third round by Dominic Thiem.
iii. The Swiss has struggled with injury this year, having undergone knee surgery after January’s Australian Open.