Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the Important Current Affairs of 30th June, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains & UBI PO PGDBF Exams 2016.
RBI to study Blockchain technology to curtail paper currency
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) H R Khan on 24 June 2016 announced that it will soon set up a committee to study the use of Blockchain technology.
- The technology will be used to reduce the use of paper currency.
What is Blockchain technology?
- The Blockchain database consists of blocks that hold time-stamped batches of valid transactions.
- Then, digital records are put together into blocks and then leaped together cryptographically and chronologically into a chain using complex mathematical algorithms. The encryption process is termed as ‘hashing’.
- The linked blocks form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing those before it, thus giving the technology its name.
- Hashing is carried out by different computers. If they all agree on the answer, each block receives a unique digital signature.
- Once updated, the ledger cannot be altered or tampered with.
- The Blockchain is seen as the main technical innovation of bitcoin.
HDFC Bank launches e-banking platform SM@Bank for SMEs
- HDFC Bank today launched SM@Bank, touted as India's full fledged banking service for small and medium enterprises (SME). The new entity would allow clients access full bouquet of services instantly on 24x7 basis over personal computers or mobile phones.
- The existing brick-and-mortar service format for the SMEs would coexist with SM@Bank and it would be the sole discretion of customers to choose between the two formats, HDFC Bank Group Head (Business Banking) Aseem Dhru told Business Standard over a video-conference call.
- He informed HDFC Bank's SME loan portfolio was about Rs 70,000 crore, which corresponded to roughly 7% of the consolidated SME banking space in India.
- Replying to another question, Dhru noted the prevailing environment was enabling the entrepreneurial space in the country and HDFC Bank wanted to make it easier and more convenient for the SMEs get institutional finance.
India gets $1 billion loan from World Bank for solar mission
- The World Bank Group has agreed to provide a loan of over $1 billion to support India’s ambitious initiatives to expand solar through investments in solar generation.
- The announcement came as the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who emphasized the importance of adequate climate change financing for countries like India, which are consciously choosing to follow an environmentally sustainable path.
- In keeping with the Bank’s commitment to support India’s solar energy programme, the Government of India and the World Bank on Thursday signed an agreement for the $625 million Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Program, said the World Bank statement adding that the project will finance the installation of at least 400 MW of solar Photovoltaic (PV) installations that will provide clean, renewable energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by displacing thermal generation.
- The development of a $200 million shared infrastructure for solar parks project under a public-private partnership model is also under preparation.
- Besides, the World Bank Group also signed an agreement with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), consisting of 121 countries led by India, to collaborate on increasing solar energy use around the world, with the goal of mobilising $1 trillion in investments by 2030.
Union Government enhances Financial Powers of Ministries, Departments
- The Union Government on 28 June 2016 revised the financial limits of departments and ministries for appraisal and approval of Non-Plan Schemes or Projects by competent authorities.
- With this, appraisal and approval process in the Central Government Ministries and Departments will be expedited.
Highlights of the Revised Financial Limits
- As per the revised delegation, the Committee on Non-Plan Expenditure (CNE) will now appraise proposals involving expenditure of 300 crore rupees and above. The earlier limit for this was 75 crore rupees.
- Non-plan Schemes/projects of less than 300 crore rupees can now be appraised by Ministry or the Standing Finance Committee of the Ministry concerned.
- The financial power of the Minister-in-charge of the administrative Ministry can now approve Non-Plan schemes costing less than 500 crore rupees. The earlier limit for this was 150 crore rupees.
- Finance Minister shall be competent financial authority for approving scheme/projects having financial implications of 500 crore rupees and above and upto 1000 crore rupees.
- Proposal having financial limits of 1000 crore rupees and above shall require approval of the Union Cabinet/Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.
Navy inducts Indigenous Heavyweight Torpedo 'Varunastra'
- Indigenously developed heavyweight torpedo Varunastra was inducted in the Indian Navy on 29 June 2016. It was handed to the Indian Navy by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
- With this India joined a select group of eight countries having the capability to design and develop heavyweight torpedoes.
- The torpedo was designed and developed by Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of the DRDO for the Indian Navy. It carries 95 percent of indigenous content.
- It weighs around 1.25 tonnes and is capable of carrying about 250 kg of explosives at a speed of around 40 nautical miles an hour.
- Varunastra, a versatile naval weapon can be fired from the Rajput class destroyers, Delhi class and all future Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) ships capable of firing heavy weight torpedoes.
- It is capable of targeting quiet and stealthy submarines both in deep and littoral waters even in intense countermeasure atmosphere.
India's first integrated defence communication network launched
- India's first integrated defence communication network was launched on Thursday, enabling the army, air force, navy and the Special Forces Command to share situational awareness for a faster decision-making process.
- The Defence Communication Network (DCN), a strategic, highly secure and scalable system, has a pan-India reach — from Ladakh to the North East to island territories.
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who inaugurated the network at South Block, emphasised on the need to keep the network completely secure all the time.
India inks Rs 262 crore deal with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems
- India has signed an over Rs 262 crore deal with Germany's ThyssenkKrupp Marine Systems to retrofit anti-ship American Harpoon missiles on two Shishumar Class submarines.
- The retrofitting of the new weapon suite will be carried out on INS Shankush and INS Shalki at Naval Dockyard, Mumbai and is backed by a training package to support and operate the system.
- The company, which is also eyeing the over Rs 60,000 crore P75 (I) project under which six conventional submarines are to be built in India, said it has successfully carried out such integration on similar boats for other navies across the world.
- Emphasising on the company's commitment towards India, Sodhi said ThyssenKrupp is also ready to integrate any weapon system, including 'Brahmos' on to the latest 214 Class Submarines for the upcoming project P75 (I) project.
High-speed OPV INS Tarasa launched
- The last ship in the series of four Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts (WJFAC) being built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) for the Indian Navy was launched here on Thursday.
- Christened INS Tarasa, after an island in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, the ship was launched by Aruna Korde, wife of Vice Admiral Jaywant Korde, the navy's Controller of Logistics.
- An improved variant of the Car Nicobar-class high-speed offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), INS Tarasa will be fitted out at the GRSE's Raja Bagan Dockyard and handed over to the navy after sea trials.
- With a 315 tonne displacement, the ship is designed for a maximum speed of 35 knots, with an endurance of nearly 2,000 nautical miles at 12-14 knots.
India-Israel co-developed MR-SAM missile successfully test-fired
- India on 30 June 2016 successfully test-fired a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) from a mobile launcher in the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
- The MR-SAM was co-developed by the Defence Research Development Laboratory (DRDL) of DRDO in partnership with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Features of MR-SAM
- Apart from the missile, the system includes a Multi Functional Surveillance and Threat Alert Radar (MF STAR) for detection, tracking and guidance of the missile.
- The missile, along with MF—STAR, will provide the users with the capability to neutralise any aerial threats.
- The missile will be produced at the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) in Hyderabad.
- Along with the long range surface-to-air missile (LR-SAM), it would be inducted in all the three Services once the user’s trials are completed.
India Post opens ‘My Stamp' scheme for individuals and corporate
- India Post in June 2016 opened up the ongoing scheme of customized printing of ‘My Stamp’ for individuals and corporate also. Under the scheme an individual or a corporate entity can get their photo or logo printed inside the postage stamp at a price of 12 lakh rupees.
- As per reports, this time there will be 5000 sheets comprising 60000 postage stamps. These stamps can be used for general postal mail.
- The plan to go ahead with the scheme of ‘My Stamp’ was reached on specific demands of several like Western Union, SNDT Women's University, Allahabad High Court and others.
- Earlier, India Post only allowed printing of photo or design next to postage stamp on a 300 rupees ‘My Stamp’ sheet.
- So far the department has issued customised My Stamp for e-commerce platform Amazon India, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
- My Stamp has helped India Post to receive two crore rupees in fiscal 2016-17. Total revenue from My Stamp fiscal in 2015-16 was of 2.83 crore rupees.
My Stamp scheme
- It is the brand name for personalized sheets of Postage Stamps of India Post.
- The personalization is achieved by printing a thumb nail photograph of the customer images and logos alongside the selected Commemorative Postage Stamp.
- It was first introduced in India during the World Philatelic Exhibition, ‘INDIPEX-2011’.
- The scheme is available in selected Philatelic Bureaux and counters /Important Post offices/Post Offices situated at tourist places.
Union Cabinet approved MoU between UPSC and Royal Civil Service Commission of Bhutan
- The Union Cabinet on 29 June 2016 approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Bhutan.
- The MoU will strengthen the existing relationship between RCSC and UPSC. It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.
- The draft MoU between UPSC and RCSC, Bhutan will be signed to develop institutionalized linkage between the Public Service Commission of both the countries, which share the common ideals.
- The MoU covers the areas of cooperation that include
- Sharing of experience and expertise in Civil Service matters such as recruitment and selection, exchange of resource persons and development of professional skills of the officers and staff of the parties through attachment and training programs
- Sharing of expertise on use of Information Technology (IT) in examination processes, Computer Based Recruitment Tests and Examinations, sharing of experience in Single Window System for expeditious scrutiny and speedy disposal of cases, building merit based staffing system, etc.
Saresh Lotlikar appointed Advocate General of Goa
- Goa government has appointed Saresh Lotlikar as the new Advocate General of the state.
- Governor Mridula Sinha had granted her assent to the appointment.
- In a notification issued by Under secretary (Law) Manuel Barreto, Lotlikar was yesterday appointed as the new Advocate General.
- The post was lying vacant after the resignation of Atmaram Nadkarni nearly a month back.
- The name of new AG was cleared by the state Cabinet earlier this month and was sent to Governor for finalisation.
- Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had told reporters last week that Nadkarni will continue to represent Goa in sensitive matters such as mining before the Supreme court, and Mhadei river water dispute with Karnataka and other important cases before the National Green Tribunal.
JNU VC Jagadesh Kumar appointed member of UGC
- The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has appointed Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar as a member of the University Grants Commission.
- Kumar was a professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT-Delhi before he took over as the VC of JNU, after former VC S K Sopory’s term ended on January 27 this year.
- He is also a member of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
Argentina Women won 2016 Champions Trophy Hockey title
- The Argentina women’s team on 27 June 2016 won the 2016 Champions Trophy Hockey title. To win the title, Argentina defeated the reigning World and Olympic champions the Netherlands 2-1.
- The final match was held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, the UK.
- For Argentina, it was the 3rd consecutive title and the 7th title overall.
- In the championship, while the Argentina captain Carla Rebecchi stood as the top scorer with 7 goals, Netherlands’ shot—stopper Joyce Sombroek was named as best goalkeeper.
10th National Statistics Day celebrated with theme Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare
- The 10th National Statistics Day was celebrated on 29 June 2016 across the country with the theme Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
- The main function for the celebration was organised by the Ministry of Statistics Programme Implementation at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
- The National Statistics Day is celebrated annually on the occasion of birth anniversary of Late Prof PC Mahalanobis, India’s eminent statistician.
- Its objective is to create public awareness among people, especially the younger generation about the importance of statistics in daily life as well as in the process of planning and development.
- The 2015 National Statistics Day was celebrated with the theme social development.
- World Statistics Day is celebrated on 20 October 2010 worldwide.
SCO Summit 2016 concludes in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
- The 2016 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit concluded on 24 June 2016 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
- The 2-day meeting was conducted under the presidency of Uzbekistan.
- India and Pakistan signed the Memorandum of Obligations on 24 June 2016.
- The signing of Memorandum of Obligations by India and Pakistan started the formal process of joining the SCO as a full member. They are expected to become full members by the next meeting at Astana in 2017.
China launches second Shijian-16 series satellite
- China on 29 June 2016 launched its second Shijian-16 series satellite. The satellite was carried by a Long March-4B rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
- The Shijian-16 satellite will be used for space environment measurements, radiation and its effect as well as technology testing.
- The first Shijian-16 satellite was launched in October 2013.
- This launch was the 231st flight by a Long March rocket.
Italian film actor Bud Spencer dies
- Bud Spencer, Italian actor and filmmaker, passed away on 27 June 2016 in Italy following brief illness. He was 86.
- Spencer was known among his fans as the big friendly giant of the screen because of his height and weight.