Daily Current Affairs – 13th and 14th July, 2016, Wednesday and Thursday

1) Second phase of Haritha Haram programme launched in Telangana

a) The two-week long Haritha Haram programme of Telangana government aimed to plant 46 crore plants to improve the green belt has recently begun.

b) Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao participated in the plantation programme at Gundrampally near Chityal in Nalgonda district by planting a Neem sapling. People from all walks of life including students, NGOs, self help group members the general public took part in the green drive on a massive scale. The exercise was intended to develop a green corridor all along the highway.

c) Hyderabad – Vijayawada highway was selected as a pilot project to plant trees on either side of highways. Such plans are proposed to be planted as part of the programme not only on Hyderabad – Vijayawada but Mumbai, Warangal, Bengaluru and Nagpur highways. 163 kms on this highway up to Telangana was divided into 14 segments to carry out the programme smoothly.

2) Zydus, Medicines Patent Pool inks agreement for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir tablets

a) Drug firm Zydus Cadila has inked a generic manufacturing pact with the Medicines Patent Pool for manufacturing global pharma major Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir tablets used to treat Hepatitis C.

b) The company “has signed a non-exclusive, royalty free agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) for the generic production of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s daclatasvir, a novel direct-acting antiviral that is proven to help cure multiple genotypes of the Hepatitis-C Virus said an official statement.

c) The agreement sub-licences Zydus to produce and sell daclatasvir in 112 low and middle income countries. Between 130 and 150 million people worldwide are estimated to have HCV.

3) India, Mozambique sign MoUs on drug trafficking, pulse trading and sports

a) India and Mozambique have signed agreements in areas of drug trafficking, pulse trading and sports. The MoU was signed in presence of PM of India Narendra Modi and President of Mozambique Filipi Nyusi.

b) The three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) – on reduction of drug trafficking and psychotropic substances and related materials, cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports, and long term agreement for purchase of pulses – were signed between Secretary of Economic Relations in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Amar Sinha and Mozambique’s Finance Minister.

c) The agreements were made with an aim to at enhancing mutual cooperation between the two countries in combating illicit trafficking in narcotics, psychotropic substances and their precursors through an exchange of information, expertise and capacity building.

4) 2nd Anti-Drug Working Group meeting of Heads of Drug Control Agencies of BRICS concluded

a) The 2nd Anti-Drug Working Group meeting of Heads of Drug Control Agencies of BRICS countries was concluded on 8 July 2016 in New Delhi and was attended by officials and policy makers from the other BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.

b) The delegates resolved to develop and enhance cooperation and collaboration among the Member States to monitor current trends and drug trafficking routes, exchange of information among the drug law enforcement agencies, share and exchange experiences, best practices and enhance capacity building in order to prevent and counter illicit drug trafficking and related crimes.

c) The meeting was the second such meeting of the Heads of Drug Control Agencies. The first such meeting was held in Moscow, Russia in 2015 in keeping with the spirit of the eThekwani Declaration.

5) Tathagata Roy sworn-in as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh

a) Tathagata Roy, the governor of Tripura, has sworn-in as the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. The oath was administered by the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Ajit Singh. He is the 18th Governor to be sworn in as Governor of this Himalayan State.

b) Roy will discharge the function of the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh during the absence on leave of Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa.

c) Dr. Joram Begi was also sworn-in as the Chief Information Officer of Arunachal Pradesh. The oath to the Chief Information Officer was administered by Tathagata Roy.

6) India, Tanzania signed five agreements

a) India and Tanzania have signed five agreements across various sectors to strengthen their bilateral ties during in the third phase of PM’s four-nation visit to the country.

b) The Indian Prime Minister and the Tanzanian President discussed a wide range of issues which also included agreements on trade between the two countries. They will be looking forward to strengthen ties with each other.

c) Key aspects of the pact:

  • Memorandum of Understanding for a new Vocational Training Centre at Zanzibar
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of water resource management and development Line of Credit (LoC) of 92 million US dollars to solve the current water crisis in Zanzibar
  • MoU to waiver Visa requirement for the people with Diplomatic/Official passports i.e. citizens with a Diplomatic or Official passport won’t require a Visa to visit either of the countries
  • Agreement on the collaboration of National Small Industries Corporation of India (NSIC) and Small Industries Development Organisation Tanzania (SIDO), as a part of a new Joint Action Plan (JAP)
  • The country heads decided to cooperate with each other in the food security and natural gas sector
  • Work on overall defence and security partnership, with special focus on the maritime domain
  • To tackle two of the greatest global threats, namely: terrorism and climate change, in a coordinated fashion.

7) Union Cabinet approves The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016

a) Centre has given its approval to introduce ‘The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 in Parliament. The High Courts (Alteration of Names) Bill, 2016 will facilitate the changing of the names of Bombay High Court as Mumbai High Court, Madras High Court as Chennai High Court and Calcutta High Court as Kolkata High Court respectively.

b) The High Courts of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta were named after the cities in which they were located. Currently, there is no central law to serve this requirement of name change.

8) Ashok Patnaik appointed as CEO of NATGRID

a) Ashok Patnaik has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), an ambitious intelligence gathering mechanism conceived in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

b) Patnaik is a 1983-batch IPS officer of Gujarat cadre. He was serving as an additional director in the Intelligence Bureau.

9) IDFC Bank acquires micro lender Grama Vidiyal

a) Private sector lender IDFC Bank has acquired South India-based lender Grama Vidiyal Microfinance for an undisclosed amount.

b) Grama vidiyal was acquired in an all cash deal to expand the customer base of IFDC Bank. The IFDC Bank will also gain access to loan portfolios which enjoy priority sector status.

c) Grama Vidiyal Micro Finance started operations in 1997 & had 1.2 million customers primarily in its home State, Puducherry and Kerala and in parts of Karnataka and Maharashtra.

10. Shinzo Abe’s party attains majority in Upper House of National Diet

a) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party emerged victorious in an election for the 121 seats in the upper house of parliament National Diet.

b) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition already enjoys a two-thirds majority in the lower house and they needed a supermajority in the House of Councilors to start a parliamentary motion for changing the constitution.

c) According to Abe, this victory is the result of his economic policies in Japan popularly known as Abenomics.

d) Abe’s LDP already enjoys majority in the lower house. With this win, the LDP has also got a super majority in the upper house. This will facilitate the way for Abe to start a parliamentary motion for changing the constitution.