Daily Current Affairs – 28th and 29th May, 2016, Saturday & Sunday

1. Telangana Government signs Mou with US-based Eclat Health Solutions

a) The Telangana government signed an MoU with US-based Eclat Health Solutions as per which the healthcare tech firm will invest $15 million in the state and create 1,000 jobs.

b) Further, another agreement was signed between the state government and Monif Matouk, Chairman, Genesis Pharmaceuticals and Afi Hasan, CEO Safye Holdings.

2. Cabinet approves NBCC’s takeover of Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited

a) The financial restructuring of Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited has been approved along with its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Urban Development.

b) The decision aims to benefit both HSCL and NBCC from each other’s resources, manpower and expertise.

c) Key features of the financial restructuring of HSCL:

i. The paid up equity capital of the HSCL is 117.1 crore rupees.

ii. NBCC will infuse funds of 35.7 crore rupees as equity into HSCL.

iii. HSCL will become subsidiary of NBCC with NBCC holding 51 percent equity holding.

3. Frances Arnold becomes first woman to win Millennium Technology Prize

a) Bioengineering and Biochemistry expert Frances Arnold was recently awarded the Millennium Technology Prize, 2016 for directed evolution method.

b) Her discovery mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.

c) It is one of the most prominent awards for technological innovations that enhance the quality of people’s lives. The €1 million prize is given biennially and Professor Arnold is the first woman to have won the award in its 12-year history.

4. List of Scheduled Tribes modified in 5 states

a) The Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

b) Two bills have been proposed that seek to modify the existing list of Scheduled Tribes in five states, namely Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, and Tripura and identify new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

c) Members of the communities included in the list of Scheduled Tribes will be able to derive benefits meant for them Scheduled Tribes under schemes. Further, existing entries in list of Scheduled Castes (SCs) in case of Jharkhand and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) /Most Backward Classes (MBCs) of Central /State lists would be modified.

5. Union HRD Minister launches multilingual dictionary app Bharatvani

a) Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani launched Bharatvani, the largest online repository for dictionaries in India.

b) It is the largest language website in the world and will facilitate online cross-lingual courses enabling people to learn any language. The app has incorporated 22 scheduled languages and will be extended to 100 languages within a year.

c) The all-inclusive app is said to have six sections and the portal will document Indian languages and literatures in digital/electronic format; formulate, design scripts, typography codes; prepare dictionaries and glossaries; translate literally (written and oral text) and knowledge texts into modern and classical languages. It will also provide online language teaching, learning and language teacher training.

6. Draft Model Rules 2016 under Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 released

a) Draft Model Rules 2016 has been released for effective implementation of Juvenile Justice Act. It will revoke the Model Rules, 2007.

b) It is based on the philosophy of reformation, rehabilitation and social integration. Rather than retribution, it lays procedures for the functioning and composition of Juvenile Justice Boards, adoption, determining the age of the child wherever a claim of juvenility is raised, and offences against children, among other things.

c) As per the new rules, JJ boards will have to conduct preliminary assessment with regard to the child’s mental and physical capacity, ability to understand the consequences of the alleged offence and the circumstances in which it was committed within a period of three months. After this, the case can be transferred to a children’s court for trial.

d) The draft rules also provide for at least one ‘place of safety’ for such children in every state with adequate facilities and services for rehabilitation. The new Act not only covers juvenile crimes, it also addresses crimes against children.

e) Several new offences have been added in the JJ Act, 2015 which include the sale and procurement of children for any purpose including illegal adoption; corporal punishment in child care institutions; and offences against disabled children.

7. India’s first Passenger Satisfaction Survey conducted at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

a) The first-ever survey of ‘passenger satisfaction’ levels of customs clearance process at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport revealed that 69% respondents rated their experience as “better or somewhat better” than their global counterparts.

b) Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) engaged the Research Team of L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management (WE School) in May 2016 to carry out the analysis.

c) With most of the customers giving a satisfactory response, the three key areas for improvement were: Access and availability of information, speed of process and greater transparency of duty assessment process.

8. Cabinet approves incorporation of 6 new IITs; upgrades Indian School of Mines to IIT

a) Six new IITs are set to come up at Tirupati, Palakkad, Dharwar, Bhilai, Goa and Jammu, while ISM Dhanbad will be upgraded to an IIT.

b) The approval will bring the institutes under the ambit of Institutes of Technology Act, 1961. The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval to set up NIT, Andhra Pradesh, which has been registered as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001.

9. Communist leader KC Mathew dies

a) K.C. Mathew, veteran communist leader, passed away at the age of 92.

b) He was the prime accused in the attack on the Edappally police station in February 1950, which resulted in a witch-hunt of the communists.

10. China signs agreements with Sudan to build 600-megawatt atomic reactor

a) China has signed agreements with its close African ally, Sudan, to develop a 600-megawatt atomic reactor which will be first such project in the African country.

b) The agreements were signed during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, Head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

c) China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) signed two agreements with Sudan on nuclear power development which includes building of the atomic reactor.

11. India emerges as 5th largest producer of e-waste in world: ASSOCHAM-KPMG study

a) India, which has emerged as the second largest market for mobile phones, also ranks fifth in the list of largest producers of e-waste with a contribution of 18.5 lakh metric tonnes of electronic waste.

b) According to a study carried out by ASSOCHAM-KPMG, the rising levels of e-waste generation in India has been a matter of concern in recent years. With over 100 crore mobile phones in circulation, nearly 25% end up in e-waste annually.

c) The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified e-waste management rules, 2016, in which producers are covered under extended producer’s’ responsibility (EPR). It prescribed a waste collection target of 30% waste generated under EPR for the first two years progressively increasing up to 70% in the seventh year of the rule.

12. Ministry of Railways launches Rail Humsafar Saptaah

a) Rail Humsafar Saptah, a week-long celebration to highlight achievements of the Indian Railway during the last two years of the NDA regime was launched on May 26 and will continue till June 1, 2016.

b) Each day of the week will focus on a particular theme and will be observed as Swachchta Diwas, Satkar Diwas, Sewa Diwas, Satarkata Diwas, Saamanjasya Diwas, Sanyojan Diwas and Sanchaar Diwas.

c) All Zonal Railways will ensure that various passenger amenities works nearing completion would be commissioned during this week.

13. Sanjay Bangar appointed as India’s head coach for Zimbabwe tour

a) Former India and Railways all-rounder Sanjay Bangar has been appointed as the head coach for the Indian cricket team’s Zimbabwe tour.

b) Former wicketkeeper Abhay Sharma, who has worked with the India ‘A’, Rest of India and U-19 teams, will be there as the fielding coach.

c) He had served as assistant coach of the Indian team till the World T20.

14. Google wins Java copyright case versus Oracle

a) A federal jury recently concluded that Google’s Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by “fair use.”

b) Oracle claimed that Google stole its pieces of an Oracle programming language called Java and reaped huge benefits in Android phone business. However, the jury unanimously agreed in Google’s favour.

15. Noted Marathi writer RG Jadhav dies

a) Marathi literary critic, RG Jadhav has passed away at the age of 83. He was best known for his 91 reflective poems on Mahatma Gandhi.

b) Born in Vadodara, Gujarat, he taught Marathi literature in various colleges, including one in Amravati, Elphinstone College in Mumbai, and also at Milind College in Aurangabad.

c) Prof. Jadhav authored more than 40 works of literary criticism and poetry, including ‘Anandacha Doh’ (a study on Saint Tukaram), ‘Nilee Paha’ (a critique of Dalit literature) and most famously, ‘Bapu’ – his tour de force of 91 reflective poems on Mahatma Gandhi.

16. I&B Ministry frames policy guidelines on Online Central Government advertisements

a) The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has framed criteria for Empanelment of suitable agencies and Rate fixation for advertisements on websites.

b) The basic objective of these guidelines is to form rules for the the release of Government advertisements on websites. Websites which are owned and operated by Indian companies will be entitled for empanelment by Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP).

c) Websites which are owned and operated by foreign companies will also be entitled for empanelment if they have registered operating branch offices in India for at least one year.

d) A third party website traffic monitoring tool will take up the task of verifying the eligibility of the companies to get empanelled with DAVP which include Unique Users (UU) per month data.

e) The policy requires that the websites shall run the Government ads through a Third Party Ad Server (3-PAS) engaged by DAVP for providing all relevant reports linked with online billing and will be used for verification of bills for payment.

f) As per this policy, the DAVP is the nodal agency for all Central Govt Ministries / Departments for advertising.

17. Centre approves establishment of third NIMZ of India in Odisha

a) A National Investment and Manufacturing zone (NIMZ) is approved by the Central government in the state of Odisha. This is the third NIMZ of India.

b) This will provide jobs to around 1.5 lakh people. It will also facilitate growth of Odisha as a manufacturing hub and to help the Paradip port to grow.

c) In 2014, central government announced setting up of sixteen national investment and manufacturing zones (NIMZs) under National Manufacturing Policy (NMP). The core objective of the NMP is to increase the share of manufacturing sector in the National GDP by 25% and to create around a 100 million jobs over a decade.

18. Committee for Evolution of a National Education Policy submits report to HRD Ministry

a) Committee for Evolution of National Education Policy has finally submitted it’s report to the HRD ministry of the Indian central government.

b) A five member committee headed by former cabinet secretary TSR Subramaniam was formed by HRD ministry in October, 2015.

c) The committee has gone through a large number of consultations, recommendations & suggestions. The consultation process included online, grassroots and national level thematic deliberations on 33 themes.

19. Amit Kumar Saroha wins gold in 2016 French Open Athletics Championship

a) Arjuna awardee Indian para Athlete Amit Kumar Saroha bagged the Gold medal in men’s club throw (F-51) at the 2016 French Open Athletics Championship in Paris.

b) He broke his own Asian record in Men’s club throw by achieving a throw of 26.58 metres. He had set his previous record at World Championship 2015 at Doha.

c) Amit Kumar has already qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. He had previously received gold medal in the Olympic qualifier event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

20. International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 observed

a) On 29th May, United Nations observed the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers 2016 with a theme ‘Honouring Our Heroes.’

b) The day is observed to honour more than 3,400 UN Peacekeepers who lost their lives for the cause of peace while serving the UN missions since 1948.

c) The International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers was started by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 57/129 on 11th December, 2002. This day may 29th is selected because it marks the anniversary of the creation the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) in 1948. The creation of UNTSO was the first ever UN peacekeeping mission.