Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 8th June, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 8th June, 2016. These are important for the upcoming SBI Clerk & SBI PO Mains 2016 Exams.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 8th June, 2016
  1. India and the US today announced the setting up of two financial assistance programmes worth $60 million for supporting India’s much-needed clean energy initiatives including in solar power and other renewables.
  2. ICICI Bank on Wednesday said it has added five more features, including instant tax payment and rail ticket booking, on its mobile banking app, ‘iMobile’.
  3. State Bank of India on Wednesday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jain Farm Fresh Foods Ltd (a subsidiary of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd) to help farmers associated with the latter to avail of finance against receivables due from the company.
  4. Software major Infosys Ltd would provide its core banking solution Finacle to e-commerce platform Paytm for its payments bank business, the firm said on Wednesday.
  5. Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said it has approved a $100 million (around Rs 660 crore) loan to strengthen a key irrigation system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of Cauvery Delta in Tamil Nadu.
  6. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Union Government on 3 June 2016 signed the Loan Agreement for 200 million US dollars to upgrade 176 Kilometres of State roads in Jharkhand.
  7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on Tuesday with President Obama began on a propitious note as members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), agreed to admit India, in a triumph for the prime minister.
  8. India on 4 June 2016 became the co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
  9. India on 4 June 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States of America (USA) to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into America at selected airports. It will provide quick security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk travellers from India.
  10. Himachal Pradesh on 5 June 2016 became the first Indian state to have a State Data Centre (SDC). The centre was launched by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Shimla.
  11. Rajasthan Government on 5 June 2016 launched mobile application RajVayu for sharing information about Air Quality Index of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. The app was launched by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on the eve of World Environment Day.
  12. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal launched Surya Mitra mobile App at National Workshop on Rooftop Solar Power in New Delhi on 7 June 2016.
  13. Exercise Desert Eagle II, which was the second in the series of bilateral exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF), was concluded on 3 June 2016.
  14. Fashion designer and AIDS activist Kenneth Cole was named an international goodwill ambassador by the head of the UN's AIDS-fighting organisation.
  15. Russian Tennis player Maria Sharapova was suspended for two years on Wednesday for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.
  16. The World Oceans Day was observed globally on 8 June 2016 with the theme Healthy oceans, healthy planet. The main focus of this year's theme is on curbing the plastic pollution.
  17. Forbes on 6 June 2016 released the list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2016 showing women who impacted businesses, media, philanthropy, politics and more. The world’s most powerful woman in the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel who fetched the first spot for the sixth consecutive year.



Finance/Banking/Economy –

India, US set up 2 clean energy financial support programmes for $60 mn


  • India and the US today announced the setting up of two financial assistance programmes worth $60 million for supporting India’s much-needed clean energy initiatives including in solar power and other renewables.
  • An announcement in this regard came after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office.
  • This includes the creation of a $20 million US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative, equally supported by the US and India.
  • This is expected to mobilise up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020.
  • The White House said India and the US committed themselves to establish the US-India Clean Energy Hub as the coordinating mechanism to focus the US government’s efforts, in partnership with leading Indian financial institutions, to increase renewable energy investment in India.


ICICI Bank’s ‘iMobile’ app gets an upgrade


  • ICICI Bank on Wednesday said it has added five more features, including instant tax payment and rail ticket booking, on its mobile banking app, ‘iMobile’.
  • India’s largest private sector bank said customers can also add an extra layer of security to their cheque-based transactions with ‘Positive Pay’, apply for a personalised Expressions Debit Card and purchase travel and motor insurance as well as mutual funds via its banking app.
  • In a statement, the bank said, users can now avail themselves of over 150 services on ‘iMobile’.


SBI ties up with Jain Farm to extend loans to farmers associated with co


  • State Bank of India on Wednesday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jain Farm Fresh Foods Ltd (a subsidiary of Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd) to help farmers associated with the latter to avail of finance against receivables due from the company.
  • Under the tie-up, India’s largest bank will use the corporate’s ecosystem data to digitally enable lending solutions to customers. Farmers’ past performance data with the associated anchor company will be used to assess eligibility and enable loan sanction.
  • This solution, unlike traditional agri-lending products, moves away from lending based on the farmers’ assets, land holding and financial history. Instead, it uses proprietary historical performance data and information from the public domain to assess the farmer's eligibility and credit worthiness to sanction the loan.
  • The new product relies on minimal documentation and liquid assets as security and helps reduce the time involved in sanctioning. A proprietary digital tool has been developed by SBI to facilitate this centralised electronic sanctioning.
  • Rajnish Kumar, MD - National Banking Group, SBI said, his bank is seeking to harness the combined potential of the rural economy, disruptive digital innovation, and leverage the strength of corporate partnerships.


Infosys Finacle to power Paytm banking


  • Software major Infosys Ltd would provide its core banking solution Finacle to e-commerce platform Paytm for its payments bank business, the firm said on Wednesday.
  • The flagship banking product is part of the company's subsidiary EdgeVerve Systems.
  • The application programme interfaces of Finacle will enable Paytm to integrate payments bank services to its wallet business at a reduced cost and simplify its banking operations.
  • Finacle's scalability will allow Paytm to meet growth needs and manage expansion in the scale of its operations.


ADB approves $100 million loan for irrigation system in Tamil Nadu


  • Multilateral lending agency Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday said it has approved a $100 million (around Rs 660 crore) loan to strengthen a key irrigation system and improve water management in the Vennar sub-basin of Cauvery Delta in Tamil Nadu.
  • This project will support both physical improvements and stronger water management, giving a significant boost to the lives of coastal communities who often go without sufficient irrigation water.
  • The Vennar irrigation network is no longer able to meet the needs of many of its poorest farmers particularly in coastal areas and the climate extremes that have been battering the country and are expected to worsen mean there is a pressing need to upgrade it.
  • To boost management, more community members will be tapped to take part in planning and delivery of water services, training will given to state water resource department officers,it said.
  • The Cauvery delta, on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, is known as the 'rice bowl' of the state, with over 70% of the delta population engaged in farming and fishing, but access to water is unreliable and flooding common during the monsoon season.


ADB and Union Government signed Loan Agreement to upgrade 176 Km of roads in Jharkhand


  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Union Government on 3 June 2016 signed the Loan Agreement for 200 million US dollars to upgrade 176 Kilometres of State roads in Jharkhand.
  • The agreement was signed by Raj Kumar. Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and by M. Teresa Kho, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission.

Highlights of the agreement
  • It will upgrade existing sections of four State roads to two lane standard and will also support improvements in the design, safety and maintenance of the network.
  • Besides upgrading 176 km of roads, the project will help the State develop an international standard road safety master plan for promoting road safety in Jharkhand.
  • It will enhance the State’s ability to systematically identify, analyze, develop and prioritize critical road safety measures, which will benefit all road users.


India –

India joins elite Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting on Tuesday with President Obama began on a propitious note as members of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), agreed to admit India, in a triumph for the prime minister.
  • A deadline for members of the 34-nation group to object to India's admission had expired on Monday without any raising objections. Strong US backing set India up nicely for membership as rival China does not belong to this elite club of 34 countries that control trade in missile and space technology.
  • This will give India access to high-end missile technology from across the world and will allow India to purchase top-of-the-line missile systems.The MTCR will also pave the way for India to sell its supersonic BrahMoscruise missiles, which it developed jointly with Russia to third countries. It’s a feather in Modi’s cap, that the development will make India a significant arms exporter for the first time.
  • The Obama administration has strongly backed India's membership into MTCR and three other export control regimes — the Australia Group, Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement.
  • Rome had earlier objected to admitting India into the missile control group because of its spat with India over an Italian marine.


India becomes co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under CGPCS

  • India on 4 June 2016 became the co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS).
  • This decision was taken through a consensus during the 19th Plenary Session of the CGPCS that took place in Mahe, Seychelles during 31 May – 3 June 2016.

Steps taken by Indian Navy to ensure safety at Somalian Coast and in the Indian Ocean Region
  • The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have played a very important role by enhanced patrolling in the high seas and providing armed naval escorts to ships moving in the area.
  • To protect Indian ships and Indian citizens employed in sea-faring duties, Indian Navy commenced anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden from 23 October 2008.
  • In addition to escorting Indian-flagged ships, ships of other countries have also been escorted by the Indian Navy.
  • Merchant ships are currently being escorted along the entire length (490 nm long and 20 nm wide) of the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) which is heavily patrolled by Indian Navy.
  • To maintain high degree of alertness in the region, around 19 coastal security operations and exercises have been undertaken over the past year.


India signed MoU with USA to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians to US

  • India on 4 June 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States of America (USA) to facilitate hassle-free entry of Indians into America at selected airports. It will provide quick security clearances for pre-approved, low-risk travellers from India.

Features of the Agreement
  • The Agreement was signed as a part of America’s International Expedited Traveller Initiative which is also known as the Global Entry Programme. India became the ninth country to sign the agreement with US.
  • It was signed between India’s US Ambassador Arun K Singh and Kevin K McAleenan, deputy commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection..
  • The agreement will have positive impact on all kinds of people-to-people exchange between the two countries as the programme at the US airports will enable further easing of travel environment for the approved travellers.

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Himachal Pradesh becomes first state to launch green-concept based State Data Centre


  • Himachal Pradesh on 5 June 2016 became the first Indian state to have a State Data Centre (SDC). The centre was launched by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in Shimla.
  • The SDC is designed using green data centre concept. The centre will offer 101 people-oriented service online through an integrated data base.
  • CM Virbhadra Singh directed all government departments to make use of SDC for hosting e-Governance applications instead of creating their own infrastructure.
  • Now, departmental applications can be hosted centrally in SDC free of cost and HIMSWAN connectivity could be provided in field offices to access departmental applications.

Key highlights of the State Data Centre
  • The SDC was launched at an expenditure of 58-crore rupees.
  • The centre will integrate the websites of various departments.
  • All services could be accessible through the integrated data base. It will save time and money spent on creation of infrastructure.
  • The centre will help in reducing the burden on state exchequer and at the same time help in the integration of online databases of various departments.


Rajasthan Government launches Mobile App RajVayu on Air Quality Index


  • Rajasthan Government on 5 June 2016 launched mobile application RajVayu for sharing information about Air Quality Index of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur. The app was launched by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on the eve of World Environment Day.
  • With this, Rajasthan became first state in country to launch such app for sharing information about air quality index of cities. 

Highlights of RajVayu App
  • Information provided on RajVayu app is based on the data collected by sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment and weather sensors.
  • The app has been designed by Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board (RSPCB) jointly with Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
  • It will share details about the air quality, such as levels of pollutants likes SOx, NOx, CO, Ozone particles and Particulate Matter (PM) with the city residents and tourists.


Union Government launched Surya Mitra Mobile App


  • Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal launched Surya Mitra mobile App at National Workshop on Rooftop Solar Power in New Delhi on 7 June 2016.
  • The App will be very useful in the field of Renewable energy to serve customers at their doorsteps with quality installation, repair, and Observations and Measurements (O&M) services.

About Surya Mitra Mobile App
  • The Mobile App was developed by National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) which is an autonomous institution of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • It is a high end technology platform that can handle thousands of calls simultaneously and can efficiently monitor all visits of Suryamitra’s.
  • The trained Suryamitra’s who opts for entrepreneurship have joined in the Mobile App in several states.


Mirza Imtiyaz Judicial Commission constituted to probe Mathura violence

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 7 June 2016 appointed a judicial commission to probe into the recent Mathura violence hours.
  • The Judicial commission will be headed by retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Mirza Imtiyaz Murtaza. It has been asked to submit its report in two months.
  • The commission was formed after the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking a CBI probe into the incident.

Course of Action for the Judicial Commission
  • The commission has been mandated to conduct the inquiry on six points of reference.
  • Among other aspects it will find out the reasons because of which such a big incident occurred, the lapses on the part of police and intelligence failure if any.
  • It will look into the plan and preparedness of district administration and its effectiveness.


Rajiv Gauba Committee on Decongestion of Traffic in Delhi submitted report

  • The Rajiv Gauba Committee on Decongestion of Traffic in Delhi on 5 June 2016 submitted its report to the Union Ministry of Urban Development.
  • To ensure a safe, sustainable, affordable, equitable, comfortable, accessible and environmental friendly public transport system in the city, the Committee recommended a 4-pronged strategy with the components of -
  • i. Improving Public Transport and Disincentivising use of private vehicles
  • ii. Promoting Road Safety and efficient Traffic Management
  • iii. Setting up Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority and enhancing institutional capacity
  • iv. Promotion of Transit Oriented Development through integrated land use and transportation planning


Exercise Desert Eagle-II concluded


  • Exercise Desert Eagle II, which was the second in the series of bilateral exercises between Indian Air Force (IAF) and United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAE AF), was concluded on 3 June 2016.
  • This was a ten-day air combat exercise in which the IAF and the UAE Air Force undertook air exercises from Al-Dhafra Air Base, Abu Dhabi starting from 22 May 2016.

About Exercise Desert Eagle II
  • Exercise Desert Eagle-II saw the IAF Su 30 MKI participating along with Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 block 60 of the UAE Air Force.
  • Mission commanders from both sides participated in the Exercise and availed this opportunity to the maximum to draw valuable operational lessons.
  • Despite the predominantly hot and arid conditions with temperatures well beyond 40 deg Celsius, IAF maintenance support staff succeeded in maintaining high serviceability state of aircraft and equipment.


Appointments –

Kenneth Cole named UNAIDS international goodwill ambassador


  • Fashion designer and AIDS activist Kenneth Cole was named an international goodwill ambassador by the head of the UN's AIDS-fighting organisation.
  • The yesterday's appointment by UNAIDS chief Michel Sidibe came on the eve of the UN General Assembly's high-level meeting on ending AIDS today through Friday.
  • Cole told reporters at a news conference at UN headquarters he hopes to combine his United Nations work with his work at The Foundation for AIDS Research, known as amfAR, and its goal of finding a cure for the disease by 2020.
  • He said it's as important as ever to continue bringing about awareness of AIDS because a cure is within reach even as calls for pulling back funding for AIDS research increase.


Sanjay Saxena appointed Crime Branch chief Mumbai


  • Special Inspector General of Police Sanjay Saxena was on Tuesday appointed as the chief of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
  • Mr. Saxena was heading the Force One, the State’s paramilitary force formed after the Novembr 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.
  • Mr. Saxena will take charge of the post vacated by Additional Director General of Police Atulchandra Kulkarni, who took over as the head of the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad after his promotion last month.
  • An Indian Police Service officer of the 1993 batch, Mr. Saxena has served as Superintendent of Police in Manmad, and Deputy Commissioner of Police in Bhiwandi, before being transferred to Mumbai, where he served as DCP, Zone VIII.


Shahid Rasool takes charge as Director of Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia

  • Shahid Rasool, a communication technology specialist, on 7 June 2016 took charge as the Director of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA).
  • Rasool will guide CEMCA in its mission to ensure effective utilisation of educational media resources for distance education.
  • He was earlier the Director of the Educational Multimedia Research Centre, University of Kashmir. He earned his MS Degree in Communication Technology from Syracuse University and has a doctorate in mass communication and journalism from the University of Kashmir.


Sports –

Tintu Luka won silver at Josef Odlozil Memorial Athletics Meet in Prague


  • Tintu Luka, the Rio Olympics-bound Indian track and field athlete, on 7 June 2016 won a silver medal in 800 meters in the Josef Odlozil Memorial Athletics Meet in Prague, Czech Republic.
  • To win the medal, she covered the distance with her season's best timing of 2:00.61 (2 minutes point Six One seconds).
  • The reigning Asian champion was second behind 2013 World Youth Championship gold winner Anita Hinriksdottir of Iceland who ran the distance in 2:00.54 (2 minutes point five four seconds).


Maria Sharapova suspended for 2 years for doping


  • Russian Tennis player Maria Sharapova was suspended for two years on Wednesday for testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open.
  • The five-time Grand Slam champion was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in early March, when she announced at a news conference in Los Angeles that she failed a doping test in January.
  • Sharapova said then she was not aware that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had barred athletes from using meldonium, also known as mildronate, as of Jan 1.
  • Her lawyer, John Haggerty, said Sharapova took the substance after that date.


Days –

World Oceans Day observed across the world


  • The World Oceans Day was observed globally on 8 June 2016 with the theme Healthy oceans, healthy planet. The main focus of this year's theme is on curbing the plastic pollution.
  • Plastic pollution is a serious threat because it degrades very slowly, polluting waterways for a very long time. In addition, plastic pollution impacts the health of aquatic animals because animals including zooplankton mistake the microbeads for food. Scientists also fear health impacts for humans.
  • The United Nations celebrated World Oceans Day 2016 by recognizing the winners of the Annual World Oceans Day Oceanic Photo Competition at an event at the United Nations Headquarters.


Lists/Reports –

Forbes released World’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2016 list


  • Forbes on 6 June 2016 released the list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2016 showing women who impacted businesses, media, philanthropy, politics and more.
  • Four metrics: money (net worth, company revenues or GDP), media presence, spheres of influence, and impact, were analysed to prepare the list.

Highlights of the List
  • The world’s most powerful woman in the list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel who fetched the first spot for the sixth consecutive year.
  • The top three most powerful in the list are politicians: Germany’s Angela Merkel, U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
  • Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, tops the list in the automotive section.

Indian Women in the list
  • Four Indians have been named in Forbes list including Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chair-Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI), who stood at 25th position.
  • Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, was placed at 40th position.
  • Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Founder-chair of Biocon Limited, was placed at 77th position.
  • Shobhana Bhartia, Chair, HT Media, was placed at 93rd position.


World –

International Monetary Fund approved 1.5 billion US dollar loan to Sri Lanka

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 7 June 2016 approved 1.5 billion US dollar loan to Sri Lanka. IMF has already transferred 168 million US dollars as the first Instalment with immediate effect to support the country’s economy.
  • The Executive Board of the IMF accepted this 36-month extended arrangement under its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Sri Lanka under special drawing rights.
  • An early disbursement of about 168.1 million US dollars will be made immediately.
  • The remaining amount will be settled in six installments on quarterly reviews.


Obituaries –

Chess Grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi dies


  • Viktor Korchnoi, regarded as one the greatest chess players, passed away on 6 June 2016 in Wohlen, Switzerland.  He was 85.
  • Korchnoi played in three matches that produced the World Champion, but in each case lost to Anatoly Karpov. It made Korchnoi the strongest player never to have won the title.


Amber Gurung, composer of Nepali National Anthem, passes away


  • Amber Gurung, the legendary Nepali musician and composer of the country's national anthem, died on 7 June 2016. He was 78.
  • He was suffering from diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
  • He was cremated in Kathmandu with full state honours, which was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Bhim Rawal. A contingent of the Nepal Army offered a final salute.






Regards



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