Daily News Analysis for IAS / UPSC (25th August, 2016)

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National

Maharashtra Govt. has enacted Internal Security Act for the state

  • Maharashtra government hasenacted a stringent law — Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act — to deal with the challenges of terrorism, insurgency, communalism and caste violence.
  • A new internal security Act, envisaged by the state’s police department, is expected to put this in black and white, thereby bridging the gap and plugging loopholes in the existing security arrangements
  • Maharashtra is the first state in the country to have its own internal security Act.
  • draft covers various aspects including security of government and non-government establishments, coastal security, security audits, and target hardening.
  • department has already presented the 50-page draft before the state government. Also, the Home department is keen on successful implementation of this Act and has listed it under its ‘key result area‘.

 

Chhattisgarh & Gujarat Assembly Ratifies GST Bill

  • Chhattisgarh and Gujaratstate Assembly passed the Goods and Service Tax (GST) Constitution Amendment Bill, becoming the fifth and sixth state to pass the bill respectively.
  • The GST bill which was passed recently by the centre seen as single biggest tax reform in a long time, needs to be ratified by at least 15 state legislatures before the Presidentcan report the GST council which meant to adopt the new tax rate

 

MOU on Regional Connectivity Scheme

  • Maharashtra State government, Civil Aviation Ministry and Airports Authority of Indiasigned a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • MOU pave the way for collaborative process of these agencies together for successful launch of the Regional Connectivity Scheme.
  • discussions for early operationalization of several available airports and airstrips in the State (like Shirdi, Kolhapur, Nasik, Sholapur etc) were carried out.

 

Air Force to build new Aerospace Museum in Delhi

  • Indian Air Force is set to build new Aerospace Museumin New Delhi, focusing to showcase and to create awareness in general public about India’s rich Aerospace heritage.
  • 43 acres Museum will come up close to the international airport in the capital which will have extensive indoor and outdoor displaysincluding huge aircraft parked and hanging in flying attitude with mural depicting the golden era of the Indian Air Force.
  • proposed for new Air Force Aerospace Museum will be constructed within 3-5 years, the Defence Ministry and final financial sanction on the Detailed Project Report is awaited.
  • museum would have dedicated children’s area where cockpits of the aircraft meant to see and get the feel of flying controls.

 

BRICS meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction in Udaipur

  • BRICS countries meeting to set up a joint task forceon disaster management as a permanent forum for regular dialogue, mutual support among the member nations.
  • All the five BRICS countries are parties to the adoption of the Sendai Framework for DRR in March, 2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015.
  • Key government functionaries working in the area of Disaster Management, including senior officials and technical experts from member countries, are participating in the event.
  • meeting will focus on two distinct but inter-relatedthemes of Flood Risk Management and Forecasting of Extreme Weather Events in the context of Changing Climate.
  • Three technical sessions on areas of disaster risk management challenges, forecasting and early warning on flood and disaster risk in a changing climate will be held during the meet.

 

International

Narendra Modi joins with Afghan President to inaugurate the Stor Palace through Video Call

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghanivia video conferencing from New Delhi to inaugurate the renovated Stor Palace in Kabul.
  • India and Afghanistan inaugurated the $300 million Friendship Dam in Herat.
  • India also gifted Kabul a symbolic gift of democracy, its new parliament building in December last year.
  • India has poured more than$1 billion into Afghanistan reconstruction projects and humanitarian aid, making it one of the largest donors to the war-torn country.
  • India had handed over to Afghanistan a new parliament building, the Salma dam and the restored Stor Palace.
  • In 1919, one of the rooms in the palace was the setting for the signing of the Rawalpindi Agreement, by which Afghanistan became an independent sovereign state.

 

Business and Economy

India ranks 7th among the Wealthiest Nations in the World

  • The New World Wealth is a research consultancy that tracks the global wealth sector. The value of total individual wealth in India – which includes property, cash, equities and business interests – is pegged at $3,492 billionin 2015.
Rank Country Wealth in Billion
1 US 48, 900
2 China 17, 400
3 Japan 15, 100
4 UK 9, 200
5 Germany 9, 100

JNPT signs pact with SBI, DBS for $400 million loan

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has signed a pact with State Bank of India   and Singapore’s DBS for a loan of Rs 2,600 crore), to double its annual capacity.
  • The funding by JNPT is the first of its kind for major port and it opens up a one more avenueto major and government ports to raise funds by accessing international markets for their requirements.
  • ministry of shipping has already granted its approval as required under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 for the ECB.
  • JNPT is going to double its capacity in the next seven years. This evacuation corridor would help in supporting the EXIM trade besides providing economic opportunity to the local and region.
  • ECB comprising USD 300 million from SBI and USD 100 million from DBS will be primarily utilised by JNPT, which has US dollar denominated foreign currency earnings that can be leveraged for a low cost foreign currency borrowing, for expansion of its existing roads network connecting to port project.

 

Pfizer to acquire oncology specialist Medivation for $ 14 bn

  • US based Pharmacy Major Pfizer is all set buy a San Francisco-based Medivationa cancer drug firm, which will give a boost to Pfizer’s consolidation effort through a series of acquisitions.
  • Deal size valued about $14bn(£10.7bn), the purchase is likely to accelerate revenue growth and drive overall earnings growth potential.
  • Pfizer will pay about $81.50per share for Medivation. The purchase will give a boost to Pfizer’s scale of operations and customer reach.
  • US biopharmaceutical company Medivationwas founded in 2004 which was  focused on rapid development of novel therapies to treat serious diseases.

 

Airtel and Vodafone unveils e-KYC solution to use Aadhar number for SIM activation

  • Bharti Airtel and Vodafone has started rolling out Aadhaar based e-KYC solution following the notification by the Department of Telecom, Government of India.
  • Vodafone will roll out e-KYC facility across4,500 storesin India that will quickly activate SIMs of its customers with an Aadhaar number.
  • Airtel had 4 croresubscribers while Vodafone had a base of 19.8 crore users as on May 2016
  • use of e-KYC will drastically cut down delays in activating new connections because of infrastructure challenges like power cuts, transporting volumes of paper, lack of photocopying and photography facilities. It will also strengthen the verification process as there will be no room for any manual error.

 

Awards

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai

  • Sports Ministry announced that Rio Olympics medalists shuttler V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malikwill receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai on August 29th 2016(Sports Day)

 

Science and Technology

China’s unmanned submersible sets new national record

  • China’s unmanned submersible(underwater drones-vehicles which can operate underwater without a human) has dived to a depth of10,767 metresat the world’s deepest ocean point.
  • This dive created a new record for China that also helps the country to enable it to explore ocean beds for minerals and other natural resources.
  • submersible named Haidou-1set the record at the Mariana Trench in the West Pacific, the deepest area in the world, during a scientific expedition carried out between June 22 and August 12.
  • Development of China also marks the third nation after Japan and the US to boast with submersibles capable of reaching depths in excess of 10,000 metres.

 

Environment and Ecology

Toxic gas leak at Bangladesh fertilizer unit sickens 250

  • About 250 people, including children, have fallen sick and hundreds of residents have been evacuated from their homes after atoxic gas leak from a fertilizer unit in Bangladesh’s port city of Chittagong.
  • Di-ammonium phosphate (DPA) leaked from the DAP Fertilizer Company Limitedon the bank of Karnaphuli river last night and firefighters battled until late morning to plug the leakage.
  • DPA is one of a series of water-soluble ammonium phosphate saltsthat can be produced when ammonia reacts with phosphoric acid.
  • Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), which runs the unit, formed a 10-member committee to investigate the incident, while the district administration has formed a three-member panel to probe the leak.
  • the amount of ammonia in the air was recorded at 600ppm (parts per million) whilst workers at the factory can tolerate conditions with ammonia gas up to 25ppm. 

 

People in News

Two Indo American Women qualified for the prestigious White House Fellow Program

  • AstrophysicistAnjali Tripathi from California and physician Tina R Shah from Chicago  have been selected for the prestigious White House Fellow program.
  • program offers first-hand experience of working at the highest levels of the US federal government and they are among the 16 White House Fellows appointed from across the nation for the year 2016-17
  • Tripathi, an astrophysicist recently at Harvard University, focuses on the formation and evolution of planets.
  • She has pioneered the characterization of planet forming environments and developed the first 3D simulations of planets evaporating due to extreme atmospheric heating.
  • Shah is a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician-scientistfocused on transforming healthcare delivery for patients with chronic diseases.
  • She recently completed her clinical fellowship at the University of Chicago (UC), where she redesigned the care cycle for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), dramatically reducing hospital readmissions.

 

Scientist P D Gupta appointed as new NV of Homi Bhabha National Institute

  • P D Gupta was appointed as Vice Chancellor of Mumbai-based Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI).
  • Homi Bhabha National Instituteis an Indian deemed university, which unifies several constituent institutions.
  • Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai is one of the institutions of excellence as per section 4(b) of (Reservation in Admission) Act, 2006 andit has been placed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) task force in Category ‘A’.

 

Anand Krishnamurthy, MD and chief executive of Catholic Syrian Bank has resigned

  • Anand Krishnamurthy, managing director and chief executive of Catholic Syrian Bank, has resignedwithin a year after taking over the posts.
  • Krishnamurthy had been associated with the bank for the past one yearand was previously responsible for corporate banking, SME business, and integrated treasury operations as head of wholesale banking and treasury.
  • It is one of the oldest banks in India. The bank has a network of over 430 branches and more than 240 ATMs across India.

 

Singapore’s Indian-origin former President Sellapan Ramanathan passes away

  • Singapore’s Indian-origin president Sellapan Ramanathanat a hospital after suffering a stroke
  • Nathan served as President of the nation from 1999 to 2011, He was close ally of Singapore’s Political king Lee Kuan Yew.
  • He was the country’s sixth and longest-serving president who served two terms, also the only person who has served two terms as President
  • Nathan started his service from civil Service also held positions in the civil service and was appointed high commissioner to Malaysia in 1988.
  • He also served as Singapore’s ambassador to the United States.
  • Indian Government bestowed the Pravasi Bharatiya Sammanto Nathan in recognition of his contribution in building closer links between both the countries in 2012

 

Malayalam daily “Mathrubhumi” former Editor K K Sreedharan Nair passed away

  • Veteran journalist and former editor of Malayalam daily “Mathrubhumi” K K Sreedharan Nair has passed away.
  • He started his career in Journalism as a sub-editor in Mathrubhumi in 1953.
  • Nair had an illustrious career in various capacities including Chief Sub-Editor, News Editor and Deputy Editor.
  • Nair, who was appointed Editor of the daily in 1990, continued in the post for 10 years.

 

Sports

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics – Overview

Country G S B Total
United States(1) 46 37 38 121
Great Britain(2) 27 23 17 67
China (3) 26 18 26 70
Russia (4) 19 18 19 56
Germany (5) 17 10 15 42
India (67) 0 1 1 2

 

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