Daily News Analysis for IAS / UPSC (24th August, 2016)


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Indian and Germany joins hand to deepen the collaboration in Skill Development

  • India and Germanysigned an agreement that aims to foster conditions that will help create and improve workplace-based vocational training in India’s industrial clusters in order to deepen the collaboration on skill development.
  • provides a competitive edge to German industry and businesses and need to adapt elements of the German VET systemto the Indian context
  • ensure that skill training in India is closely aligned with the requirements of industry.
  • will initiate a new project focused on adapting elements of the German dual system in select industrial clusters in India.
  • aim of the program is to involve private sector and entrepreneurs in defining the qualification that is required in creating practical training at the workplace.
  • project will run for three years starting August 2016 with a budget of EUR 3,000,000 (22.6 crore) – made available by the German Government
  • It will be implemented in three selected clusters, which include the Automobile cluster in Maharashtra and Electronics cluster in Bangalore.


Child Sex Ratio drops to 800 of 1000 in Uttarakhand

  • child sex ratio i.e number of girls per 1,000 boys is all set to fall drastically to a little over 800 by 2021 census.
  • In India, the Child Sex Ratio is defined as the number of females per thousand males in the age group 0–6 years in a human population.
  • an imbalance in this age group will extend to older age groups in future years. Currently the ratio of males to females is generally significantly greater than 1, i.e. there are more boys than girls.
  • According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 108.8 in 2011.
  • ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana.
  • If under-five mortality rate of 48 deaths per 1,000 births in India is taken into account in the context of Uttarakhand, the child sex ratio in the state would have reduced to 813 in 2011-2012 and 819 in 2012-2013.
  • Uttarakhand has the seventh lowest child sex ratio (CSR) in the age group of 0-6 years among 35 States/UTs of India as per the 2011 censuswith CSR of 890 girls per thousand boys.


OIC expresses concern over Kashmir violence

  • world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have expressed concern over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir. 
  • The valley wrapped up with violence since July after Police forces killed militant, BurhanWani during gunfight. Since then in J& K as many as 67 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in clashes.



Myanmar extends support to China’s One Belt and One Road project

  • Myanmarannounced its support for China’s ambitious One Belt and One Road (OBOR) connectivity initiative along the ancient Silk Road
  • The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, also known as The Belt and Road, One Belt, One Roador the Belt and Road Initiative is a development strategy and framework, proposed by China.
  • focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components,the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) and oceangoing “Maritime Silk Road” (MSR). 
  • strategy underlines China’s push to take a bigger role in global affairs, and its need to export China’s production capacity in areas of overproduction such as steel manufacturing.
  • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridormeant to industrialize a stretch spanning more than 2,000-km.
  • BCIM corridor links Kunming in China with Mandalay in Myanmar and passes through Bangladesh and ends at Kolkata in India. Myanmar also asked for China’s support to realize peace and national reconciliation through political dialogue in case of militancy.


93 years old WWII veteran Ernie Andrus become the oldest person to run across America

  • 93-year-old World War II Ernie Andrus veteran completed his coast-to-coast trek, becoming the oldest person in America to run across the country.
  • After two years and 10 months, 93-year-old Ernie Andrus has made it across America.  More than 200 island residents and visitors, equipped with encouraging signs, flags, and patriotic attire, cheered on Andrus as he reached his goal at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Andrus was 93 and he was running to raise money to return a WWII-era ship in Indiana to Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing.He was a medic on a similar ship during the war.


Business and Economy

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to sign agreement with bankers for External Commercial Borrowing

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Porthas signed an agreement with State Bank of India and Development Bank of Singapore for External Commercial Borrowing to the tune of USD 400 Million under External Commercial Borrowings
  • first Major Port to finalize the terms of ECB.
  • Credit seeks at a very competitive interest rate to improve the infrastructure required for doubling its existing capacity to 9.85 Million TEUs annually which is for Door-to-Door tenor of 7.5 years.
  • ECB would substantially eliminate the requirement of hedging the forex risk and further reducethe cost of borrowing.
  • agreement with the SBI & DBS was signed after the Reserve bank of Indiagranted approval to JNPT for raising USD400 Million with an end use of on-lending to Mumbai JNPT Port Road Company Limited (MJPRCL) for implementation of road project.


Cabinet liberalizes FDI norms for NBFC sector

  • Union Cabinet has permitted foreign investment through automatic routein other financial services, that are comes under regulators like Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and State bank of India (SBI) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) or government agencies.
  • At present regulations on Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) stipulate that 100 per cent FDI through automatic route permitted for only 18 specified NBFC activities such as merchant banking, under writing, portfolio management services.
  • cabinet also eliminated minimum capitalization norms as mandated under FDI policyas most of the regulators have already fixed minimum capitalization norms which will induce FDI and spurt economic activities throughout India.
  • also kept aside the need for prior center’s nod for up to 74 per cent FDI brownfield investmentin pharmaceuticals and eliminated the condition of access to ‘state-of-the-art technology’ for defense sector in the FDI.


Central Government to ban cash transactions over 3 lakhs to curb black money

  • In the next move to clamp down on black money in the economy, the government is set to ban cash transactions over Rs 3 lakh.
  • Rs 3 lakh-limit is aimed to ensure that transactions are made usingcredit or debit cards, cheques or drafts which can be easily tracked.
  • government has already initiated several steps, including banning cash advance of more than Rs 20,000 for property transactions.
  • Despite the crackdown on use of unaccounted money, authorities continue to unearth several transactions involving purchase of jewellery or even cars in all-cash deals.
  • The Supreme Court-appointedSpecial Investigation Team (SIT) on black money had recommended the move.
  • The government, however, is yet to decide on the SIT’s other recommendation to bar cash holdings over Rs 15 lakh due to opposition from trade and industry.


BSNL, Microsoft India sign MoU for big businesses

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and Tech giant Microsoft India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide telecom & IT solutions for big businesses to leverage the domain capability and strategic position in the Industry to garner more business.
  • MoU will pave the way to meet the demand challenges in IT and cloud services, and audio, video needs of the BSNL’s enterprise customers including government organizations.
  • request for proposal put in place by the BSNL from companies that have expertise in this area and for strategic business alliances with world renowned companieswhich was won by Microsoft.
  • both the sides will jointly serve government to government, government to consumer, government to business, and business to business segments.


GAIL signs MoU with Bloom Energy for fuel cell power generation

  • India’s largest state-owned natural gas processing and distribution company GAIL Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with California-based Bloom Energy for developing natural gas-based fuel cell power generation.
  • Fuel cell power generation is a method comes with less pollution or negligible which can be put in places like the Parliament and also in areas like Andaman and Nicobar, where people are hugely dependent on diesel for power generation.
  • fuel-cell converts fuel into electricity through an electro-chemical process of positively charged hydrogen ions with oxygen with minimal usage of water to generate the power. The cost range of Rs 13 per unit.



Kamal Haasan awarded with Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres

  • Actor Kamal Haasanhas been chosen for the famous French honor of Chevalier Award.
  • Kamal Haasan has been appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres(Knight in the National Order Arts and Letters) by the Minister of Culture and Communication, France.
  • Kamal Haasan is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, director, producer, playback singer, choreographer, lyricist, philanthropist and dancer
  • Haasan has won several Indian film awards including four National Film Awards and 19 Filmfare
  • Kamal Haasan has starred in the highest number of films submitted by India for the Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film.


IOA President N. Ramachandran was awarded with the Olympic Order

  • Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President  Ramachandranwas awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement.
  • Narayana Ramachandran is an Indian squash administrator who serves as current President of WSF(World Squash Federation).
  • He is also, since the 9th of February 2014, the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).


Steve Jobs to Be Inducted Into the International Photography Hall of Fame

  • Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs have been inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame, in recognition of Jobs’ invaluable contributions to the world of photography.
  • will be one of eight inductees to enter into the International Photography’s Hall of Fame, alongside photographers Annie Leibovitz, Ernst Haas and Sebastião Salgado, Photoshop’s John Knoll and Thomas Knoll, filmmaker Ken Burns, and singer-songwriter Graham Nash.
  • Passionate about photography both in his work and personal life,his most profound contribution to the artistic community and the world is the iPhone which, in less than a decade, has changed both the art of photography and the industry around it.
  • Steve helped create products that revolutionized the creative world and became essential tools for designers, filmmakers, music producers and photographers.


People in News

Ashok Chawla to take over as YES Bank non-executive chairman

  • Former head of the Competition Commission of India (CCI)Ashok Chawla has been named as the non-executive part-time chairmanof Mumbai based YES Bank
  • he is the Chairman of NSE and chairs the governing council of The Energy and Research Institute (TERI)
  • He worked as the chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) post retirement.
  • Chawla is set to take over from October 30 from the incumbent Chairperson, Radha Singhas he demits office upon the term ends


Prominent Black Journalist, Publisher George Curry dies

  • Prominent African-American journalist and publisher George Curry has passedaway of heart failure. He was 69 years old.
  • He maintained a syndicated column was passed in more than 200 African American-owned newspapers, and he had sometime as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a news service for black papers also worked as editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine in the 1990s.
  • Curry became the first African-American to be elected president of the American Society of Magazine Editors.
  • He received Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Kentucky State University Honorary Doctorate from Lane College and won Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2003.


Science and Technology

New Kind of laser created from jellyfish proteins

  • scientists have developedlaser from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria.
  • These lasers have the potential to be far more efficient and compact than conventional ones and could open up research avenues in quantum physics and optical computing, researchers said. The breakthrough represents a major advance in so-called polariton lasers
  • Barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins engineered from jellyfish DNA. Each protein’s cylindrical shell encloses a component that emits light, and keeps those molecules from getting too cozy and interfering with one another.
  • The researchers sandwiched a thin film of the fluorescent protein between two mirrors. Activating the light-emitting molecules with a pulse of blue light from an external laser successfully coaxed laser light from the proteins.
  • Researchers filledoptical microcavities with this protein before subjecting them to “optical pumping,” where nanosecond flashes of light are used to bring the system up to the required energy to create laser light.


Environment and Ecology

16th-century shipwrecks found with treasures worth millions

  • US Scientists have discovered three 16th ­century Spanish shipwrecksoff the coast which contains looted French artifacts.
  • These findings are the only one of its kind worth millions of dollars.
  • finding stake account of three ornate bronze cannons which measures two that are three meters longand one that is two metres long ­ and a marble monument, inscribed with the coat of arms of the king of France.
  • These were been identified from the manifest of a 1562 expedition to Floridaby the French navigator Jean Ribault.
  • cannons and the monument, were found with 19 iron cannons, 12 anchors, a stone grinding wheel, and scattered ballast and ammunition.



Vikash Anand wins premier title in National Racing

  • Vikash Anandwon a double to clinch the title in the MRF Formula 1600 category and a ticket for the Mazda Road to Indy shootout as the fifth and final round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship concluded in Chennai.
  • F1600 category was led by triple-header, Vikash who clocked 16mins, 54.111secs and Karthik Tharaniwere locked on 138 points clocking 16:58.677.


Gujarat to host the 2016 – Kabaddi World Cup

  • International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) announced that the2016 World Cup will be held in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The tournament is set to take place from 7 to 22 October. 
  • Gujarat will play host to 12 teams from around the world including India, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Iran, Poland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Korea, Japan and Kenya.
  • Kabaddi World Cup was first played in 2004, then in 2007 and then annually from 2010 onwards. 2004 and 2007 were played in Standard Style and other years in Circle Style.


Sania Mirza moves alone to the top of WTA Doubles Ranking

  • Sania Mirza took sole possession of the WTA doubles number one ranking after teaming up with Barbora Strycovato beat former partner Martina Hingis and Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday’s Cincinnati final.
  • Hingis and American Vandeweghe saw a 5-1 lead in the opening set evaporate, before Mirza and the Czech Republic’s Strycova hung in during the second to close out a straight-sets victory.
  • Sania will move alone to the top of the rankings, after Sania and Hingis ended their highly successful partnership last month as joint number ones.
  • Hingis and Mirza are no longer permanently together, they will still play in October’s year-end WTA Tour Championshipsin Singapore