Daily Current Affairs – 28th June, 2016, Tuesday

1. Scientists develop bio-ink for 3D printing with stem cells

a) Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed a new kind of bio-ink, which could allow the production of complex tissues for surgical implants.

b) The new stem cell containing bio-ink allows the 3-D printing of living tissues which is known as bioprinting.

c) The findings have been featured in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.

d) This research could eventually lead to the ability to print complex tissues using the patient’s own stem cells for surgical bone or cartilage implants, which in turn could used in knee and hip surgeries.

2. India becomes 35th full member of Missile Technology Control Regime

a) To enhance its non proliferation credentials, India has joined the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

b) The instrument of accession to MTCR for India was signed in New Delhi. This marks India’s first entry into any multilateral export control regime.

c) India’s inclusion to the MTCR means strengthening its own export controls, which will help it to justify transferring sensitive technology to India in front of other MTCR members. MTCR membership will enable India to deal in high-end missile technology.

3. Centre approves setting up of District Level Advisory and Monitoring Committees

a) Union government gave its nod for setting up of District Level Advisory & Monitoring Committee to be formed by state governments.

b) These committees will promote people-centric planning and execution of the Centre’s new urban development schemes.

c) They will review and monitor implementation of schemes such as affordable housing and urban poverty alleviation programmes, Swachh Bharat Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana, etc.

d) The seniormost member of the parliament in the district will be appointed as the chairperson of the committee. Two more MPs, one each from the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha, would be co-chairpersons. These committees will also comprise MLAs from respective districts representing the urban local bodies, mayors and chairpersons of civic bodies and chief executives of urban development authorities in districts.

4. Rajnath Singh inaugurates 22nd meeting of Eastern Zonal Council 

a) The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh headed the 22nd meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.

b) The Eastern Zonal Council, including the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal, discussed issues like modernisation of State Police Forces, measures to curb communal tension and Left Wing Extremism (LWE), curbing of drug trafficking, measures for bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India, issues relating to fisheries, productivity of livestock and poultry to usher Blue Revolution.

c) Issues of internal security, sharing of water of major rivers, development of railways, construction of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) and Multi Sectoral Development Programme in the Eastern Zone were also discussed.

5. AIIB approves first loans for projects in four countries

a) The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) announced four loans of total $509 million, three of them co-financed with other multilateral development banks.

b) The four approved loans include the following,

  • $165 million for a power distribution system in Bangladesh.
  • $100 million for a section of a highway in Pakistan, co-financed with Asian Development Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
  • $27.5 million for improving a border road in Tajikistan, co-financed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
  • $216.5 million for a slum upgrading project in Indonesia, co-financed with the World Bank.

6. BHEL commissions two hydel units in Afghanistan

a) State-run Bharat Heavy Electronics recently commissioned two hydel units at Salma Hydro electric project in Afghanistan each of 14 MW capacity.

b) During his recent visit, India’s PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Salma Dam or India-Afghanistan Friendship dam. This project has been funded under Government of India’s grant to Afghanistan.

7. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar awarded Honorary Fellowship in UK

a) An honorary fellowship was conferred on spiritual guru Shri Shri Ravi Shankar by National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU).

b) He was honoured for his contributions to world peace and culture. NISAU mentioned Ravi Shankar’s efforts towards a violence-free society, his social and cultural contributions to India and for furthering Yoga, Meditation and Spiritual Studies in a global context.

8. N Srinivasan re-elected as TNCA president for 15th term

a) N Srinivasan, the former BCCI president and former International Cricket Council president is selected as the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) for the 15th time.

b) KS Viswanathan is selected as the secretary of the TNCA.

9. Argentina women win record seventh FIH Champions trophy title

a) Argentinian women’s team has claimed their seventh Champions trophy over reigning World and Olympic champions, the Netherlands, in the finals. The final was played at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

b) They recorded a win over the Netherlands with 2-1.

c) In the bronze medal game, USA battled to a shootout victory over Australia, giving the team a first Champions Trophy medal since winning bronze at the 1995 event in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

10. Odisha Government launches Kalinga Siksha Sathi Yojana

a) Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has launched a new scheme called Kalinga Shiksha Sathi Yojana to provide education loan at one per cent interest to students for pursuing higher studies.

b) State government of Odisha will provide the Rs. 500 crore fund for this scheme. This scheme will prove beneficial to poor students of Odisha while pursuing the higher education.

c) Naveen Patnaik dedicated this scheme to Biju babu on his birth centenary who had instituted ‘Kalinga UNESCO’ award for the popularisation of science when he was only 35 years old.

11. Sujoy Bose appointed as CEO of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund

a) Senior World Bank official Sujoy Bose has been appointed as the CEO of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

b) Presently, he is working as the Director and Global co-head, Infrastructure and Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank.

12. All natural calamities will be treated as state disaster: UP govt.

a) As per the Uttar Pradesh government’s recent announcement, all natural calamities, including unseasonal heavy rain, lightning, storm, etc. will be treated as state disasters.

b) So, victims of these disasters will be given relief as per provisions under the Centre’s State Disaster Relief Fund.

c) The compensation provided by the local authorities to these victims is quite less. The state disaster relief fund will provide ample compensation to the victims.

13. Newly expanded Panama Canal reopens after 9 years of work

a) The  newly expanded Panama Canal has been thrown open for business. The Chinese-owned container ship Cosco Shipping Panama was the first ship to cross the canal.

b) The Panama canal expansion project is called as the third set of Locks project which began in 2007.

c) The project has built two new sets of locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides, and excavated new channels to the new locks. It has doubled the capacity of Panama canal. It has also raised the maximum operating water level of Gatun Lake.

d) Due to this expansion, the canal can allow larger no. of ships for transport. Larger ships can also pass through the canal due to the increase in the width and depth of newly expanded Panama canal. The new larger size of ships is called New Panamax.

14. Jitu Rai wins silver in ISSF World Cup

a) Indian shooter Jitu Rai won the silver medal in the 10m air pistol at the ISSF World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was his 6th world cup medal.

b) Felipe Almeida Wu of Brazil received the gold medal and Jin Jongoh of Korea came third.

c) It was the second medal in a World Cup this season for the 28-year-old Jitu, who had won the free pistol gold in the first World Cup in Bangkok.

15. Sweden inaugurates world’s first electric road

a) World’s first-ever electric road has been built by the Swedish government in conjunction with truck manufacturer Scania. It a 2 km freeway in central Sweden with power lines attached.

b) Hybrid trucks specially fitted with a device called a ‘pantograph power collector’ can drive underneath the lines and tap into the power. When connected to the lines, they run completely on electricity. When they drive out of the right lane, the onboard engine kicks on, as it reverts back to hybrid mode.

16. Gudni Johannesson wins Iceland’s presidential election

a) A history professor, Gudni Johannesson has won Iceland’s presidential election.

b) He was benefitted with the anti-establishment sentiment among voters after the infamous Panama papers leak which implicated many top Icelandic officials.

c) With 39.1% votes, he won the election against Halla Tmasdttir, a businesswoman without party affiliation who recieved 27.9% votes.

d) Jhannesson will now replace lafur Ragnar Grímsson, 73, who served 20 years as head of state.

17. Xerxes Sapur Desai, founder of Titan passes away

a) The founder of Titan Pvt Ltd has passed away at the age of 79 in Bengaluru.

b) Desai played a key role in introducing India to its first quartz watch in the late 80s when he set up Titan Co. Ltd (part of Tata Sons).

c) Before establishing Titan, Desai spent four decades working across the Tata Group-TAS, Tata Press & Taj Hotels.

18. PM Narendra Modi launches projects for 20 Smart Cities

a) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched India’s flagship programme Smart City Mission in 20 cities across the country from Pune.

b) He said, “Apart from projects in Pune, as many as 69 such works will be launched on the same day in the other ‘smart cities’ entailing a total investment of about Rs 1,770 crore.”

c) These projects are related to solid waste management under Swachh Bharat Mission, water supply projects, sewage treatment plants and development of open and green spaces under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).

19. Excessive blue light emitted by LED can adversely impact human health: AMA

a) According to a report recently released by the American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Science and Public Health, excessive blue light emitted by light emitting diodes (LED) can adversely affect human health.

b) The human eye perceives the large amount of blue light emitted by some LEDs as white. Blue light directly affects sleep by suppressing the production of the hormone melatonin, which mediates the sleep-wake cycle in humans.

c) According to the report, compared with conventional street lighting, the blue-rich white LED street lighting is five times more disruptive to sleep cycle. Glare forms a veil of luminance that reduces the contrast, thereby reducing visibility of a target. The report also notes that unshielded LED lighting causes papillary constriction, leading to “worse night-time vision between lighting fixtures.” Intense blue spectrum can even damage the retina.

20. World Bank releases India Development Update 2016

a) According to the World Bank’s latest India Development Update, India’s economy has expanded at a faster pace in FY 2016.

b) The biannual report on the Indian economy and its prospects states that the economy was lifted to a higher growth path by demand from urban households and public investments, despite the fact that other key growth engines were stuck.

c) The Indian financial sector has performed extremely well as compared to the last three decades.

d) Implementation of recommendations of 14th Finance Commission resulted in varied gains throughout the states. While health and education expenditures increased in almost every state, Rajasthan and Kerala stood out as spending over 70 percent of additional resources on health, education, and infrastructure. Uttar Pradesh spent over one-third of its additional resources on health and education.