Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 3rd May, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 3rd May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI Clerk, SBI PO 2016 and UIIC AO 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 3rd May, 2016
  1. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 3 May 2016 launched e-enabled application, Project Management & Information System (PMIS) at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi. The application will used for proper monitoring of all the Railway projects throughout the country. Indian Railways have over 600 major projects of network expansion and modernization costing around 4.5 lakh crore rupees.
  2. Aviva Plc has acquired additional 23 per cent stake in stake in Aviva Life Insurance, from Dabur Invest Corp for Rs 940 crore. This was one of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals approved by the government on March 7. Following this acquisition, Aviva Plc's stake in the joint venture has increased to 49 per cent.
  3. RS Ventures of Abu Dhabi and Andhra Pradesh Government have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which entails an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore in healthcare, setting up of a university, tourism, hospitality and infrastructure in the new capital city of Amaravati.
  4. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained its growth forecast for India this year at 7.5%, largely driven by private consumption even as weak exports and sluggish credit growth weigh on the economy.
  5. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) today announced the commissioning of a 600-Mw coal-based thermal power plant Jhabua Thermal Power Project in Madhya Pradesh.
  6. The Supreme Court of India on 2 May 2016 appointed a three-member panel headed by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha to oversee the functions of the Medical Council of India. It is the regulator of medical profession and education in India.
  7. Future Group's Chief Executive Kishore Biyani has been appointed managing director of Bharti Retail as part of the reconstitution of the board following their merger pact announced last year.
  8. The United Nations has enlisted Oscar-winning Australian actor Cate Blanchett to help raise awareness about the plight of refugees, amid a massive global displacement crisis.
  9. Leicester City was crowned as champions of English Premier League on 2 May 2016. It was crowned with the title without playing, as nearest challenger Tottenham Hotspur had 2-2 draw with Chelsea. This is the first time in the club’s 132-year history that Leicester is champion of England.
  10. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today accepted Indian Olympic Association (IOA)’s invitation to become the country’s goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics alongside ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan.
  11. India has secured ninth position in the 2016 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, a global management consulting firm today said, underlining that the country is “finally” embarking on a growth path that will see it “unlock its full potential“.
  12. The World Press Freedom Day was on 3 May 2016 observed across the world with the theme Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms - This Is Your Right!





Finance/Banking/Industry –

Railway Ministry launched e-enabled application, PMIS to monitor Railway projects


  • Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 3 May 2016 launched e-enabled application, Project Management & Information System (PMIS) at Rail Bhawan in New Delhi. 
  • The application will used for proper monitoring of all the Railway projects throughout the country.

Salient Features of the Application
  • Indian Railways have over 600 major projects of network expansion and modernization costing around 4.5 lakh crore rupees.
  • The need of proper monitoring and management of the big projects has become a demand of the Indian Railways.
  • Indian Railways needs two things; one is money and the second is proper monitoring of projects in which that money is to be spent.
  • It is believed that the newly launched Project Management and Information System (PMIS) system will contain all the information about the ongoing projects.


Aviva increases stake to 49% in Indian JV with Dabur invest


  • Aviva Plc has acquired additional 23 per cent stake in stake in Aviva Life Insurance, from Dabur Invest Corp for Rs 940 crore. This was one of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals approved by the government on March 7. Following this acquisition, Aviva Plc's stake in the joint venture has increased to 49 per cent.
  • This transaction values Aviva Life at approximately Rs 4,087 crore.
  • The Insurance Laws (Amendment) Act that was passed in 2015 now allows foreign direct investment (FDI) of up to 49 per cent in insurance companies in India. Earlier, only 26 per cent FDI was allowed in the insurance sector.
  • The transaction is expected to have a neutral impact on Aviva's IFRS Net Assets. In 2015, Aviva India contributed 36 million pounds ($52.96 million) to Aviva's IFRS net assets and 4 million pounds to Aviva's profits, said a press release issued by Aviva Life Insurance.


BRS Ventures, AP ink MoU for investment of Rs. 12,000 cr in Amaravati


  • RS Ventures of Abu Dhabi and Andhra Pradesh Government have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which entails an investment of Rs. 12,000 crore in healthcare, setting up of a university, tourism, hospitality and infrastructure in the new capital city of Amaravati.
  • Dr. BR Shetty, a businessman from Abu Dhabi has committed an investment of $ 1.8 Billion (about Rs. 12,000 crore) in Andhra Pradesh. Shetty has business interests in hospitals (NMC Group of Hospitals), hospitality, educational institutions, financial services (UAE Exchange and Travelex), pharmaceuticals (Neopharma), ports, infrastructure and other businesses.
  • The MoU was inked by BRS Ventures represented promoter Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chairman, BRS Ventures and the Andhra Pradesh Government represented by J. Krishna Kishore, IRS, CEO, Economic Development Board, Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • State Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu wanted BRS Ventures to quickly complete the projects assuring the land allotment and clearances will be accorded at the earliest.


IMF retains India's growth forecast at 7.5% for 2016, 2017


  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has retained its growth forecast for India this year at 7.5%, largely driven by private consumption even as weak exports and sluggish credit growth weigh on the economy.
  • India's growth momentum is expected to be underpinned by private consumption, which has benefited from lower energy prices and higher real incomes, IMF said and called on the policymakers to speed up the structural reform implementation.
  • In its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific, IMF said weak exports and sluggish credit growth (stemming from weaknesses in corporate sector and public sector banks' balance sheets) will weigh on the economy.


BHEL commissions 600 Mw thermal power plant in MP


  • State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) today announced the commissioning of a 600-Mw coal-based thermal power plant in Madhya Pradesh.
  • "The unit has been commissioned at the 1x600 Mw Jhabua Thermal Power Project (TPP) located in Seoni district in Madhya Pradesh," BHEL said in a release.
  • The project has been developed by Jhabua Power Ltd (JPL), a subsidiary of Avantha Power & Infrastructure Limited (APIL).
  • This is the second project of APIL commissioned by BHEL after the 1x600 Mw Avantha Bhandar TPP at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, it said.


India –

Supreme Court banned all diesel cabs in NCR-Delhi from May 1


  • The Supreme Court of India on 30 April 2016 decided against extending the deadline for phasing out diesel cabs in National Capital Region (NCR). It ordered the diesel cabs to go off the roads from 1 May 2016.
  • The earlier deadline for phasing out diesel cabs was 1 April 2016, but it was extended for a month.
  • The earlier extension was given so that private cab aggregators could switch to compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles by 1 May 2016.
  • However, the Supreme Court allowed Delhi Police and Delhi Jal Board to buy and register the new diesel-run vehicles of 2000 cc engine capacity and above for transportation of undertrial prisoners, arms and ammunition and supply of water.


Supreme Court appointed RM Lodha-panel to reform Medical Council of India


  • The Supreme Court of India on 2 May 2016 appointed a three-member panel headed by former Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha to oversee the functions of the Medical Council of India. It is the regulator of medical profession and education in India.
  • Besides Lodha, the panel consists of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and Dr SK Sareen.
  • The court appointed the panel as the MCI is often been accused of indulging in corrupt practices.



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Appointments –

Kishore Biyani appointed as MD of Bharti Retail


  • Future Group's Chief Executive Kishore Biyani has been appointed managing director of Bharti Retail as part of the reconstitution of the board following their merger pact announced last year.
  • Besides, Rakesh Biyani, who is also a director at Future Group, has also been appointed as Joint Managing Director of Bharti Retail, which will be later renamed as Future Retail Ltd and listed on stock exchanges.
  • In May last year, Future group agreed to merge its retail business with rival Bharti Retail in an all-stock deal worth Rs 750 crore to create one of the biggest supermarket chains with Rs 15,000 crore turnover.


Cate Blanchett appointed UN refugee agency's goodwill ambassador


  • The United Nations has enlisted Oscar-winning Australian actor Cate Blanchett to help raise awareness about the plight of refugees, amid a massive global displacement crisis.
  • The UN refugee agency said it had appointed Blanchett as its newest goodwill ambassador, a role also held by US film star Angelina Jolie.
  • Last year, a record 60 million people worldwide were displaced from their homes, and more than one third of them were living as refugees, according to the UNHCR.
  • But solidarity has recently appeared to be in short supply in Europe for instance, which is facing surging xenophobia as it reels from its worst migration crisis since the second world war.


Indian American Sikh woman, Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, elected to key Republican position

  • An Indian American Sikh woman from California, Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, was elected to an important position in the Republican Party at the US national level.
  • Chandigarh-born Harmeet Kaur Dhillon was elected as the newest national committee woman of the Republican National Committee on 1 May 2016.
  • Earlier, she was earlier the vice chairman of the California GOP. She was the first woman elected to this position of vice chair of the California Republican Party.


Sports –

Leicester City crowned English Premier League champions for 1st time in 132-year history


  • Leicester City was crowned as champions of English Premier League on 2 May 2016. It was crowned with the title without playing, as nearest challenger Tottenham Hotspur had 2-2 draw with Chelsea.
  • The result meant second placed Tottenham will not be able to surpass Leicester City who has a seven point lead at the top of the table.
  • This is the first time in the club’s 132-year history that Leicester is champion of England.
  • Leicester City completed their contest for the Premier League title after Eden Hazard's late goal enabled Chelsea a draw with second-place Tottenham Hotspur.


Tendulkar accepts IOA’s invitation to become goodwill ambassador


  • Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar today accepted Indian Olympic Association (IOA)’s invitation to become the country’s goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics alongside ace shooter Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood star Salman Khan after the controversial actor’s appointment created an uproar.
  • With Salman’s appointment drawing flak from different quarters, including Olympic bronze medal winning wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former athlete Milkha Singh, who had said the honour should be given to top sportspersons, the IOA had approached Bindra, Tendulkar and celebrated music composer AR Rahman.
  • Both Bindra and Tendulkar accepted the Indian Olympic Association’s invitation.


Leicester City's Jamie Vardy named FWA Footballer of the Year 2016

  • Leicester City striker forward Jamie Vardy was named 2015-16 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association (FWA). He will be honoured with the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner in London on 12 May 2016.
  • 19-year-old striker became the first Leicester City player to win the prestigious FWA Footballer of the Year award with 36 percent of the vote. With this he joined the likes of Bobby Moore, George Best, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo among its past winners.


Reports/Indexes –

India rated 9th in FDI Confidence Index


  • India has secured ninth position in the 2016 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index, a global management consulting firm today said, underlining that the country is “finally” embarking on a growth path that will see it “unlock its full potential“.
  • India jumped two places to rank number 9 in this year’s AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index.
  • The Index of a London-based consulting firm is a forward looking analysis of how political, economic, and regulatory changes will likely affect FDI inflows into countries in the coming years.
  • The Index is constructed using primary data from a proprietary survey administered to senior executives of the world’s leading corporations.
  • In this year’s survey, 32 per cent of the respondents said they were more optimistic about India’s economic outlook over the next three years, compared to a year ago.


WWF released report titled Protecting People through Nature


  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report titled ‘Protecting people through nature’ with the subtitle ‘Natural world heritage sites as Drivers of sustainable development.’ The report was launched in April 2016.
  • The report says that nearly half of the iconic 229 natural and mixed World Heritage sites in 96 countries around the world, including Western Ghats, face significant threats.
  • Further, the iconic symbols of conservation are facing threats to their unique values, putting the livelihoods and well-being of people who depend on them at risk.

Main Highlights
  • Almost half of all natural World Heritage sites, and their outstanding universal value, are threatened by harmful industrial activities.
  • Eleven million people, equivalent to the population of Portugal, depend on these sites, and could be affected negatively by the impacts of harmful industrial activities.

Report with respect to India
  • In context of India, the report talks about Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, Kaziranga National Park, Keoladeo National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Sundarbans National Park and Western Ghats.
  • It says that three of the seven such Indian sites, namely Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Sundarbans National Park, and the serial sites of Western Ghats, are threatened by harmful industrial activities such as mining.


Days –

World Press Freedom Day observed across the world


  • The World Press Freedom Day was on 3 May 2016 observed across the world with the theme Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms - This Is Your Right!
  • In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones:
  • The 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland.
  • The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles.
  • The first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


World –

Astronomers discovered 3 Earth like planets using TRAPPIST telescope


  • Astronomers discovered three planets which have similar sizes and temperatures those of Venus and Earth. They have been found orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star just 40 light-years from Earth using the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory.
  • The discovery was published in the Journal Nature on 2 May 2016.
  • Michael Gillon-led team of astronomers of the University of Liege in Belgium used the TRAPPIST telescope to observe the ultra-cool dwarf star 2MASS J23062928-0502285, now also known as TRAPPIST-1.
  • They found that the dim and cool star faded slightly at regular intervals which indicated that several objects were passing between the star and the Earth.








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