Daily Current Affairs – 13th June, 2016, Monday

1. Veteran journalist Inder Malhotra passes away

a) Eminent journalist Inder Malhotra recently passed away in New Delhi.

b) He began his career as a journalist with United Press of India after completing his graduation from Punjab University. He later worked for Statesman and Times of India. He also wrote for international newspaper The Guardian from 1965-95.

c) Till now, he had published books like Indira Gandhi: A Personal & Political Biography (1989), Dynasties of India And Beyond (2003), and a fresh biography of Indira Gandhi (2006).

2. Satya Pal Jain appointed as Law Commission member

a) Former parliamentarian and additional solicitor general of India Satya Pal Jain has been recently appointed as a part time member of Law Commission of India.

b) This appointment is an addition to his duty as the additional solicitor general of India. Mr. Jain is well known lawyer and senior member of the BJP. Previously, he had served as dean of law faculty of Punjab University.

c) The 21st law commission of India was constituted by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on 14th September, 2015. Retired judge of SC, Justice BS Chauhan is the chairman of this law commission. Retired judge of Gujarat HC Ravi R Tripathi and the director of Gujarat National Law University B N Patel are among the other members of Law commission.

3. Union Ministry of Civil Aviation proposes passenger centric amendments to CARs

a) The Minister for Civil Aviation Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju presided over a presentation made by DGCA related to passenger centric initiatives. The first set of amendments was made in first category of CARs regarding the ‘refund of air tickets’. As per the proposed amendments, the refund process should be completed within 15 working days in case of domestic travel and 30 working days in case of international travel. Also, statutory taxes and user development fee/airport development fee/passenger service fee shall be refunded in case of cancellation of tickets.

b) The 2nd category of CARs is related to ‘Denied Boarding, flight cancellation and flight delays’. The third category of CARs relating to facilities to be provided to ‘Persons with reduced mobility’.

c) With regard to checking baggage charges, the Ministry has proposed that the Airline should restrict additional baggage charge Rs.100 per kg for baggage between 15 to 20 kg.

4. India, Japan, and the US begin Malabar Exercise near the South China Sea

a) India, Japan & US has recently begun their marine exercise called Malabar Exercise near the near Okinawa Island – about 400 kilometres from the contested Senkaku Islands.

b) This exercise is annually held at Malabar between India and US. This year the overall control of the exercise will be with Japan. Over 100 assets of warships, fighters and surveillance aircraft will take part in this exercise. One key elements of the exercise is anti-submarine warfare where three forces will create a scenario of hunting down Chinese submarines.

c) The location chosen for this exercise has a strategic importance due to the current chinese incursions in the area. China had already claimed many islands in the Eastern and southern Chinese sea. China had also completely ignored the protests from Japan, USA, EU & Australia and established an Aircraft Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea.

5. Norway becomes first country to ban deforestation

a) Norway Parliament recently pledged to make government’s public procurement policy deforestation-free. With this, Norway becomes the first country in the world history to ban deforestation.

b) This means that the parliament will no longer award government contracts to any company that cuts down and destroys forests. Norway had pledged to do that at the U.N. Climate Summit in 2014, alongside Germany and the United Kingdom.

c) This step is taken with an intent to save rainforests which play important role in absorption of carbon dioxide and stability of ecosystem. Norwegian lawmakers are also committed to find a way to source essential products such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber so that they leave little to no impact on their ecosystems.

6. International Albinism Awareness Day observed worldwide

a) International Albinism Awareness day was observed globally on 13th June, 2016. This day is celebrated to recognize the importance of increasing awareness and understanding of albinism in order to fight against global discrimination and stigma against persons with albinism.

b) Albinism is a rare, non-contagious, genetically inherited difference present at birth. It is a lack of pigmentation (melanin) in the hair, skin and eyes, causing vulnerability to the sun and bright light.

c) The United Nations in its 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda includes people with albinism which pledges to leave no one behind. On this second International Albinism Awareness Day, it also appointed the first Independent Expert on the human rights of people with albinism.

7. Kishore Tiwari-headed Task Force on Farmers submitted its report to Maharashtra Government

a) Maharashtra state government has recently launched a task force named as Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM). VNSSM will be headed by agriculture field expert Kishor Tiwari who will submit his report to the Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis.

b) The core objective of this mission is to bring at least 80% of the farmers under the purview of institutional credit net. For this, the mission has given a five point agenda.

c) They have suggested a crop loan helpline in 14 suicide prone district of Vidarbha. As per their suggestion, village and taluka; level crop committees should be set up to make a list of hardships faced by credit starved farmers. This committee should be comprised of sarpanch, tehsildars, block development officers, taluka agriculture officers and other government and bank officers. This committee should also be empowered to take necessary action for the disbursement of loan.

d) A certain action should be taken against banks which do not comply with government norms of disbursing loan.

8. Veteran Theatre Achyut Lahkar passed away

a) Achyut Lahkar, noted playwright and actor, passed away at the age of 85 in his hometown Pathsala following a protracted illness.

b) A theatre enthusiast, he is the founder of Nataraj Theatre, the first mobile theatre company of Assam in 1963.

c) He earned many awards like Kamal Kumari National Award , Bhaben Barua Award, Mancha Prabhakar Award and Brajanath Sarma Award.

9. Priyanka Chopra nominated for Choice TV Breakout Star in 2016 Teen Choice Awards

a) Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra has bagged the Choice TV Breakout Star at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards.

b) She received this award for her fabulous work as FBI trainee Alex Parrish in an American tv series called Quantico. She had also won the Favourite Actress title in a New TV series award at the People’s Choice Awards for the same role.

10. China launches 23rd BeiDou Navigation Satellite

a) To support its global navigation and positioning network China has recently launched it’s 23rd BeiDou satellite. This satellite is being developed as an alternative to US GPS.

b) The satellite was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre from Sichuan province in South China. It was the 229th launch of the Long March carrier rocket.

11. Saina Nehwal lifts Australian Open Super Series Badminton trophy

a) India’s ace badminton player Saina Nehwal emerged victorious in the finals of Australian Open Super Series Badminton trophy 2016.

b) She defeated veteran Chinese badminton player Sun Yu by 11-21, 21-14, 21-19 in a 72 minute long thrilling match at the Sydney sports centre.

c) This is Saina’s 2nd Australian open title, with this she has become the first shuttler in the world to win the Australian open twice.

12. Forex reserve hit record high of $363.46 billion

a) India’s foreign exchange reserves hit a record high at $363.46 billion.

b) It is due to the central bank’s taking delivery of it’s forwards dollar contracts and dollar buying in spot foreign exchange market.

13. Uk Nobel winners speak in favour of remaining in EU

a) UK’s top thirteen scientists have backed the campaign to remain in the EU and oppose Brexit.

b) A letter signed by these scientists was made public after a dramatic new poll boosted the momentum behind the Brexit campaign less than two weeks before the June 23 referendum.

c) Nobel award winner Peter Higgs (after whom the Higgs Boson name is given) have also signed in this letter.

14. Essar power to start 500 MW Hazira plant

a) Private utility Essar Power is planning to start operations for it’s 500 MW natural gas based power plant at Hazira in Gujarat.It is a natural gas-fired combined-cycle captive power plant.

b) The Bhander Power-Hazira plant was commissioned in 2006 and commenced full commercial operations in October 2008. But it was closed down as he company could not spare the high prices of the fuel.

15. Anilda Thomas bags gold in women’s 400m

a) Former winner of Federation Cup Indian Athlete Anilda Thomas has bagged gold in women’s 400m Sprints & Riley cup.

b) She defeated the Romanian team member Adelina Pastor by giving her best and clocking 52.60s.

16. Veteran cricket player Donald carr passed away

a) The former captain of the English cricket team Donal Carr has recently passed away at the age of 89.

b) He played first class & international cricket from 1945 to 1986 for Oxford University, Derbyshire and England. In the span of his vast career he scored around 20,000 runs and taken 328 wickets with left arm spin.

c) In 1960 he was named as the Wisden cricketer of the year. He had also served as the assistant secretary of MCC. From, from 1974 to 1986, he served as the secretary of the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) and the Cricket Council.

17. USA wins FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Super Final

a) Defending champion US has defeated spain by 13-9 at the 2016 FINA women’s water polo world league super final. Australia bagged the bronze medal by defeating China by 11-3.

b) USA’s player Courtney Mathewson was named the most valuable player, the best scorer went to Spain’s Roser Tarrago and Australia’s Lea Yanitsas was named the best goalkeeper.

18. The Rise of Environmental Crime Report released by UNEP and INTERPOL

a) United Nations Environmental Programme and INTERPOL has jointly released a report titled as ‘The Rise Environmental Crime’. This report notifies the 26% growth in the environmental crime than the previous estimates from 2014.

b) After drug smuggling, counterfeiting, human trafficking the environmental crime is considered as the 4rth largest criminal enterprise. The report focuses on the illegal trade in wildlife, corporate crime in the forestry sector, the illegal exploitation and sale of gold and other minerals, illegal fisheries, the trafficking of hazardous waste and carbon credit fraud.

c) As per this report, the weak laws and poor funding of security forces ae enabling international criminal network and armed rebels. The report recommends the world to come together to take strong national and international action to combat environmental crime.

d) A per the report, transnational organized criminal networks are using environmental crime to launder drug money. This decade has seen the environmental rise by 5-7% the environmental crimes are growing 2-3% faster than global GDP.