Daily Current Affairs – May 27, 2016, Friday

1. China tops clean
energy job creation list; India ranked 5th

(i) The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), in
its Annual Review 2016, has placed China in the top spot as regards renewable
energy job creation. In China, 3.5 million are employed in this sector.

(ii) Brazil holds the second place with 918,000, followed by
the US. India is at the fifth spot, with 416000 jobs. The solar photovoltaic
(PV) sector continues to be the largest clean energy employer worldwide, with
2.8 million jobs.

(iii) As per Irena, there was a 5% rise over a year back in this
sector, with new jobs being created though employment in the wider energy
sector fell. Regardless of future developments in manufacturing, attaining
Indian government’s aim of 100 gigawatts (GW) in PVs by 2022 could create 1.1
million jobs in construction, project commissioning & design, business
development and operations & maintenance.

(iv) The report titled ‘Renewable Energy & Jobs’ states
that 30% of the new jobs would be skilled, which therefore, necessitates improvement
of training and education.

2. India gets its
first Nuclear Operator’s Liability Policy

(i) India’s first
Nuclear Operator’s Liability Policy has been issued to the Nuclear Power
Corporation of India, guaranteed by a consortium of insurance companies through
the India Nuclear Insurance Pool, which is wholly backed by domestic companies
and is managed by General Insurance Corporation.

(ii) The policy was the only missing tool from the set of
pre-requisites for gaining private investment in nuclear power, which was not
forthcoming because nuclear risks are usually excluded by insurers. Nuclear
power operators have a maximum liability of Rs.1,500 crore under this policy.

(iii) The pool would also enable supply of nuclear fuel as
it would also cover the Nuclear Suppliers Liability.

3. Panel instituted
to investigate mounting NPAs of power PSUs

(i) Centre has set
up a panel to look into rising NPAs of public sector power sector financers
like Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation
(REC).

(ii) Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of PFC were 3.15% of
its loan assets as on March 31 as against 1.16% a year back. Gross NPAs of REC amounted
to around 1.71% of its loan assets.

(iii) The three-member committee will comprise independent
directors of the companies and a senior official of the power ministry.

(iv) The companies have increased their focus on clean energy
projects as power firms have deferred their plans to expand or establish new
thermal coal-based plants.

4. Sunil Mittal
conferred with Harvard Alumni award

(i) Bharti
Enterprises founder and Chairman Sunil Mittal has been conferred with this
year’s Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award.

(ii) Presented every year since 1968, the award is the
highest honour the School bestows on its alumni who have made significant
contributions to their communities while maintaining high values.

(iii)  He has been
serving in HBS Board of Dean’s Advisors since 2010.

5. Ashok Leyland re-appoints
Vinod K Dasari as MD

(i) Automobile manufacturing firm Ashok Leyland has
re-appointed Vinod K Dasari as MD for a period of five years

6. Baciro Dja
appointed as PM of Guinea Bissau

(i) President of Guinea Bissau has named Baciro Dja as the
Prime Minister of the country amid protests, as per a presidential decree.

(ii) Dja succeeds Carlos Correia, who was sacked in early
May. However, the ruling party has stated that it would not back Dja, who was
PM for a brief period last year, but had to resign when the Supreme Court ruled
that the appointment was made without conferring with political parties and was
thus unconstitutional.

(iii) Guinea Bissau is a former Portuguese colony that has
not had a democratically elected leader serve a full term since its
independence in 1974. It has witnessed nine coups or attempted coups since
1980, and the unrest has led to the West African nation becoming a major
transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to Europe.

7. Indian-American
wins National Geographic Bee competition

(i) Rishi Nair, a 12-year-old Indian-American student, has
won the coveted $50,000 National Geographic Bee competition this year in which
Indian-origin contestants bagged all the top three prizes.

(ii) This is the fifth year in a row that an Indian-American
has won the national tournament. Last year Karan Menon had won the competition.

(iii) The 28th edition of the annual competition
saw Nair getting a $50,000 scholarship and a lifetime membership to the
National Geographic Society.

(iv) Fourteen-year-old Saketh Jonnalagadda from
Massachusetts was the runner-up and winner of the $25,000 college scholarship.
The third prize which gave the winner a $10,000 college scholarship was grabbed
by Kapil Nathan, a sixth-grader from Alabama.

8. Adverse climate to
harm tea cultivation in north-east: Report

(i) The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN
has released a report of the Working Group on Tea on Climate Change at the 22nd
session of the Intergovernmental Group on tea held at Naivasha, Kenya.

(ii) India chaired the working group supported by Sri Lanka,
China and Kenya. As per the report, tea growing regions in Kenya, Sri Lanka and
north east India are quite susceptible to climate change and the adaptation
measures need to be adopted.

(iii) Some of the salient suggestions include – development
of plants/crops suitable for drought and water-logging tolerance, more reliance
on seed-based high yielding quality plants/crops.

(iv) The report states that since fertilizers are vital for
higher yield, focus should be on integrated nutrient management, among other
measures.

(v) The 22nd session was attended by over 20 tea producing
and consuming countries. The Indian delegation was led by Santosh Kumar Sarangi,
Chairman, Tea Board of India.

9. Committee formed to
make India a cashless economy

(i) Reducing cash transactions has been one of the major
goals of the Reserve Bank of India and the government. In this regard, a seven-membered
committee has been instituted underNeeraj Kumar Gupta.

(ii) This panel is exploring ways to ensure and increase the
acceptance of card payments. This will require more of point-of-sales (PoS)
machines. 

(iii) RBI’s March 2016 data shows 24.5 million credit cards
and 661.8 million debit cards in the country, compared to 1.3 million PoS
terminals.

(iv) The panel is also thinking of ways in which card users need
not have to pay a surcharge for fuel, utility bills and railway bookings.

10. Journalist Rana
Ayyub’s book Gujarat Files: Anatomy of a
Cover-Up
released

(i) Journalist Rana Ayyub’s book titled Gujarat Files:
Anatomy of a Cover-Up has been released.

(ii) The book is an account of an eight-month long covert investigation
by the journalist, who posed as Maithili Tyagi, a filmmaker from the American
Film Institute Conservatory, in order to probe into the Gujarat riots.

(iii) The book recounts the story of fake encounters and the
murder of state Home Minister Haren Pandya. The transcripts of the sting
operation expose the collusion of the state and its officials in orchestrating
the 2002 pogrom.

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