Daily Current Affairs – 29th June, 2016, Wednesday

1) N S Vishwanathan appointed as RBI’s new deputy governor

a) The government’s appointments committee has approved the appointment of N.S. Vishwanathan as deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

b) Vishwanathan will replace H.R. Khan, who will retire on 3rd July. Viswanathan has been serving as executive director in RBI since 2014.

c) The RBI has four deputy governors; of which two are externally appointed. The other two are typically promoted from within the central bank. Urjit Patel, S.S. Mundra and R. Gandhi are the other three deputy governors at present.

2) Majuli in Assam becomes India’s first island district

a) In a first, Majuli, a 400 sq.km island in the river Brahmaputra in Assam has been granted district status.

b) Its area has shrunk from about 1250 sq kms in 1891 to about 515 sq kms in recent times due to massive river-bank erosion caused by the Brahmaputra.

d) It has been vying for a spot in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. With 22 satras (Vaishnavite monasteries) – and home to the colourful Mising tribes, Majuli has emerged as a major tourist destination despite seasonal floods and erosion.

3) Nestle names Ulf Mark Schneider as CEO

a) The world’s biggest food company Nestle, has appointed Ulf Mark Schneider as its CEO. He will succeed Paul Bulcke.

b) His appointment will be effective from September 1. However, he will function as CEO only from January 1, 2017 until his introductory period gets over.

c) Previously, Schneider was CEO of Germany-based healthcare company Fresenius SE.

4) India ranked 105th on WEF’s Human Capital Index

a) Out of 130 countries, India has been ranked 105th on the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Index. It measures countries’ ability to nurture, develop and deploy talent for economic growth.

b) As per the Index, India has optimised only 57% of its human capital endowment. Though the country’s educational attainment has clearly improved across age groups, its youth literacy rate is still only 90% (103rd in the world).

c) Finland topped the Index while India’s neighbouring countries China and Bangladesh stood 71st and 104th respectively.

5) Defence Ministry approves purchase of 145 Ultra-Light Howitzers from the US

a) The Defence Ministry recently approved the purchase of 145 Ultra-Light Howitzers, worth about $750 million, from the US. It also approved bulk production of 18 Dhanush artillery guns, the first acquisition of such weapon systems by the Army in three decades.

b) Acceptance of Necessity (AON) was also issued to the proposal of building six next-generation missile vessels under ‘Buy Indian’ category for Rs 13,600 crore. The navy will be allowed to issue tenders for the same.

c) While 25 guns will come to India in a fly away condition, the rest will be assembled at the proposed assembly Integration and test facility for the weapon system in India in partnership with Mahindra.

6) Rajnath Singh inaugurates HQ of Jharkhand’s special anti-Maoist force

a) Union home minister Rajnath Singh has recently inaugurated the newly constructed anti-Maoists forces Jharkhand Jaguar (JJ) headquarters built in Ranchi.

b) It is intended to be the landmark in progress of JJ, (also known as Special Task Forces), toward becoming a substitute for the central forces engaged in anti-guerrilla operations in 22 of the state’s 24 Maoist-hit districts

c) Built on a stretch of 173 acres, the JJ camp will have anti-guerrilla warfare training facilities, functionally rich barracks, parade grounds, firing range besides administrative block and officers’ mess.

d) The training centre will also have a helipad built to facilitate emergency evacuation and helidrops, especially in Maoist-hit regions located around Ranchi including Chatra, Latehar, Lohardaga, Khunti, Gumla and Saranda (West Singhbhum and Saraikela.

7) IMF clears payment of USD 501 million to Pakistan

a) The IMF has cleared immediate disbursement of $501 million to Pakistan, making the total amount given to the country since 2013 to $6.1 billion.

b) The approval was given after conclusion of 11th review of Pakistan’s economic performance under a three-year programme supported by an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.

c) IMF also reminded Pakistan that the current exports of $25 billion were not enough for an economy of over $280 billion and that it should aim to double the figure. This can be achieved by making concerted efforts to broaden tax bases, strengthening tax compliance and rationalising tax system in an efficient and equitable manner.

8) PM releases book titled The Birds of Banni Grassland

a) PM Narendra Modi recently released a book titled “The Birds of Banni Grassland” which is a compilation of research work based on 250 species of birds found in Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat.

b) The book was presented to the PM by scientists of the Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE).

c) Located in Bhuj, this institute has been studying the plant, bird and marine life in the Rann of Kutch for more than 15 years.

9) Indian bags UN honour for corporate sustainability initiative

a) An Indian social entrepreneur Zubaida Bai has been named among the 10 ‘2016 Global Compact SDG Pioneers’, an initiative launched by the UN to search for “entrepreneurs” who can play a vital role.

b) Zubaida is the founder of ‘ayzh’, a for-profit social venture providing health and livelihood solutions to impoverished women worldwide.

c) UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative that supports companies to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with ten principles of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption; and to take strategic actions to advance broader societal goals.

d) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the 10 pioneers at the Global Compact Leaders Summit.

10) NSCN (IM) Chairman Isak Chishi Swu passes away

a) Naga Militant leader Isak Chishi Swu has passed away at the age of 87.

b) Swu played a significant role in bringing out the Framework Agreement for Naga peace.