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DAILY GK -- MAY 2016 -- 151 TO 200


151. President appoints CJs of MP, Allahabad & Kerala HCs as SC judges

i. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Chief Justices of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the Allahabad High court and that of the Kerala High court as judges of the Supreme Court.
ii. According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Law and justice, the President also appointed Lavu Nageswara Rao, as SC judge.
iii. In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (2) of article 124 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Justice Ajay Manikrao Khanwilkar, Chief Justice of the Madhya.

152. Iran stops free shipping of oil to India: Govt

i. Iran has stopped free shipping of oil to Indian refiners from April 2016 and the freight will be arranged by the buyers in future.
ii. Iran since 2013, has offered free shipping due to international sanctions imposed on it because of its nuclear program, Iran has asked for all payments in Euros.
iii. However, Iran has continued with its liberal fiscal terms of offering 90-day credit period - payment becomes due only after three months of invoice being raised.

153. Government inks MoU with NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. to popularize India Handloom products

i. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between The Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and NDTV Ethnic Retail Ltd. for popularizing India Handloom textiles as a fashionable product for youth. 
ii. The three-year MoU was signed at Udyog Bhawan.
iii. The joint endeavor will endorse and launch a project, Indianroots Fashion Accelerator (IFA), a project by NDTV to support fresh talent and to support new and innovative ventures in fashion industry. Government will support the project with incubation and production support. 

154. Nalco signs MoU with BARC for research and development

i. Odisha based aluminium company, National Aluminium Company (Nalco) has signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai for Research and Development (R&D) in fields of mutual interest.
ii. NALCO incorporated in 1981 as a public sector enterprise of the Ministry of Mines, Government of India. As per NALCO' chairman, Extraction of Gallium from Bayer Liquor will be NALCO's first R&D project with BARC. 
iii. The MoU was signed by B K Satpathy, executive director (Business Development) with BARC representative.

155. ICICI launches country’s 1st contactless credit card for SMEs

i. ICICI Bank, a private sector lender has launched the country’s first contactless business credit card in association with Jet Airways for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees. 
ii. ICICI Bank is the first bank globally to offer a dual advantage reward programme on the expenses and repayments of the credit card.
iii. This card is powered by the 'VISA payWave' contactless technology that enables the cardholder to make payments by simply tapping the card at contact less enabled terminals in more than 48 countries including India.

156. Reliance Jio Infocomm launches digital wallet 

i. Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm has launched its digital wallet service, called as JioMoney Wallet, for Indian consumers, following the introduction of 4G services to the public through an employee-driven invite system. 
ii. The company has already signed up more than 50,000 online merchants for this service. JioMoney will also be accepted at thousands of offline stores across India. 
iii. It is available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. It is the 2nd app from Reliance Jio to go live after messaging app Jio Chat. The wallet service will give Reliance Jio access to the Rs 350-crore and growing mobile wallet market in India. 

157. Kenya to close World's biggest refugee camp in Dadaab

i. The Kenyan government has decided to close the World's biggest refugee camp in Dadaab. Presently, around 3,28,000 refugees mostly from Somalia are staying in Dadaab camp. 
ii. Kenyan Government sources said, the camp compromises Kenya's security because it harbors some of Somalia's Al-Shabab militants and is a conduit for smuggling weapons.
iii. The decision has been condemned by domestic and international rights groups and organizations dealing with refugees. The UN has urged Kenya to reconsider its decision to close Dadaab camp. 

158. Obama honours Indian-American elementary teacher Revathi Balakrishnan

i. An Indian-American woman elementary teacher from Texas has been honored by US President Barack Obama at the White House for her excellent work in the field of education. He was among the 56 'state teachers of the year' list.
ii. Revathi Balakrishnan, a talent and gifted specialist teacher at Patsy Sommer Elementary School in Austin was also named as 2016 'Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year' by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as part of the National Teacher of the Year Program.
iii. Balakrishnan has taught at 'Sommer Elementary' for six years before teaching at Forest North Elementary for three years. Originally from Chennai, Balakrishnan was a systems analyst with Liberty Mutua for about 12 years before becoming a teacher.

159. Kotak sole Indian on Forbes’ most powerful list

i. Kotak Mahindra Bank Chief Uday Kotak, with a net worth of $7.1 billion.
ii. He is the only Indian in Forbes' 'Money Masters: The Most Powerful People In The Financial World' list of 40. 
ii. The 57-year-old is ranked 33rd in the list topped by Blackstone Group's CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who has a net worth of $10.2 billion.

160. AR Rahman named Goodwill Ambassador for Olympics

i. Renowned Music composer AR Rahman has accepted the Indian Olympic Association's offer to become the Goodwill Ambassador for Rio Olympics. 
ii. Rahman is India's fourth Goodwill Ambassador after Bollywood actor Salman Khan, Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. 
iii. Notably, this time , India is to send its largest ever contingent of about 90 athletes to the Rio Olympics starting August 5.

161. Manohar elected first independent ICC Chairman

i. Former BCCI President Shashank Manohar, who resigned recently, was now elected unopposed as the ICC's first independent Chairman for two years. 
ii. ICC's Full Council also approved changes to its Constitution to accommodate the independent Chairman. 
iii. This comes after ICC abolished its President post and amended its rules so that the ICC Chief cannot be associated with a cricket board.

162. Brazil Prez Rousseff suspended for six months

i. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff was suspended for at least six months after the country's Senate voted 55-22 to impeach and put her on trial. 
ii. The Senate's upper house will try Rousseff for allegedly manipulating the government's accounts ahead of the last election. 
iii. The judges will reportedly be Senators, many of whom are accused of more serious crimes.

163. Cricket commentator Tony Cozier has passed away 

i. West Indies cricket writer, commentator and journalist, Tony Cozier has passed away. He was suffering from neck and legs related infections. He was 75 year old. 
ii. He was awarded with Cozier life membership for his services to the game in 2011 by the London-based Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
iii. He was a most familiar voice to cricket audiences the world over as well as at home in the West Indies. He served the industry as cricket broadcaster for 50 years and became especially well-known in Britain after first joining the BBC's Test Match Special team in 1966.

164. Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Praveen Rashtrapal has passed away 

i. Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Praveen Rashtrapal has passed away after suffering a heart attack. 
ii. The Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect towards sitting Congress member. He is 76 year old.
iii. He was a elected to the 13th Lok Sabha (1999-2004). He was a member from the Upper House from April 2006 to April 2012 and was re-elected in April 2012. He was also a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam in the previous Lok Sabha.

165. Stephen Curry named NBA’s Most Valuable Player for second straight year

i. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year.
ii. With this, he became the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-year history after a record-breaking contribution to the Warriors’ historic season.
iii. Stephen Curry, the 11th person to win back-to-back MVP awards, swept all 131 first-place votes including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters and one from the Kia MVP fan vote. He secured 1310 points to top in the list.

166. Niti Aayog to replace 5-year plans with 15-year vision document

i. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has decided to replace the five year plans with 15 year vision documents. 
ii. These will be framed to meet the country's social goals without wavering from the sustainable growth agenda. The NITI Aayog has been directed to prepare a vision document at the earliest. It will be implemented after the 12th five year plan, as it is going to terminate in 2017. 
iii. The first 15-year vision document will start from 2017-18, along with a seven-year National Development Agenda which will lay down the schemes, programmes and strategies to achieve the long-term vision. The National Development Agenda will be reviewed after a gap of every three years to ensure that it was aligned with financial needs and requirements. For the first Development Agenda, the review would be done in 2019-20, in line with the termination year of the 14th Finance Commission.

167. Cabinet approves India's first IPR policy

i. The Cabinet has approved India's first National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy announced by FM Arun Jaitly. 
ii. The policy is guided by seven objectives, including IPR public awareness, generation of IPRs, human capital development, and strong law enforcement. Further, the window for trademark registration will be reduced to one month by 2017.
iii. The IPR policy will also focus on enhancing access to healthcare, food security and environmental protection. The Industrial Policy and Promotion will be the nodal department to coordinate, guide and oversee implementation and future development of IPRs in India. The policy is aimed at creating and exploiting synergies between all forms of intellectual property (IP), concerned statutes and agencies. 

168. Govt approves Rs 1,984-cr Delhi-Meerut Expressway stretch

i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for development of 8 and 6 laning of Delhi-Meerut Expressway - Package-II on NH-24 in Uttar Pradesh. 
ii. The cost is estimated to be around Rs 1984 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. 
iii. The project will help in expediting the improvement of infrastructure in Uttar Pradesh and reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Delhi-Meerut on National Highway-24. It will also increase employment potential for local labourers for project activities.

169. TRAI penalty on Telecom companies for call drops illegal : SC

i. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that Telecom companies will not compensate mobile phone users for inconvenience caused by call drops. In this regard, the apex court has struck down the TRAI Regulation which made it mandatory for telecom companies to compensate subscribers for call drops from January 2016. 
ii. The Ruling was given by the SC bench comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman on the appeals filed by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). SC Ruling SC struck down the TRAI regulation calling it as arbitrary, unreasonable and non-transparent. 
iii. TRAI cannot punish telecom companies in the name of protecting consumer interests. Dismissed that telecom companies alone were to blame for call drops and were thus deficient in service. 

170. Indian Air Force’s Electronic Maintenance Management System launched

i. Indian Air Force has launched its Electronic Maintenance Management System (e-MMS) Project, an automated military maintenance system. It was inaugurated by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha at the Air Force Station in Pune, Maharashtra. 
ii. The e-MMS project is one of the largest Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) IT implementation in the world. The project has been designed and developed by the Indian IT giant Wipro. IAF had signed the contract for the project e-MMS with Wipro as a System Integrator (SI) in 2013. 
iii. The e-MMS system has a central console that will help IAF to get rid of paper works and heavy logbooks. It seeks to seamlessly connect squadrons, wings, commands, and Air Headquarters after its implementation. It will help to transform work environment of IAF to become more efficient and also help to monitor the operational availability of all fleets and systems in real time at various hierarchical levels.

171. Railways to constitute Mobility Directorate, Non-Fare Revenue Directorate

i. The Union Railways Ministry has decided to constitute two Directorates namely Mobility Directorate (MD) and Non-Fare Revenue Directorate (NFRD). 
ii. They will be established for creation of cross functional directorates to focus on different areas in line with the Railway Minister’s budget speech. 
iii. It will be constituted to focus on areas like speed enhancement. It will handle work such as identification and prioritization of train corridors for raising speed and identification of path for timetabled freight trains. 

172. Sri lankan President on a two day India visit 

i. President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena will arrive in capital today. He is on a two day visit to the nation. 
ii. The visit is expected to contribute to further strengthening the close and cooperative relations between India and Sri Lanka.
iii. Sirisena will address the valedictory session at the Vaicharick Mahakumbh which is being held as part of the Simhastha Mahakumbh in Ujjain on the 14th of this month. He will also visit Sanchi where he will tour the World famous Sanchi Stupa and will also attend a function organised by the Mahabodhi Society of Sri Lanka during which he will unveil a statute of Angarika Dharmapala.

173. Delhi no longer the world's most polluted city: WHO 

i. World Health Organization has said that India is home to four of the five cities in the world with the worst air pollution. 
ii. The dirtiest air was recorded at Zabol in Iran, which suffers from months of dust storms in the summer. The next four are all Indian cities - Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur. 
iii. From the No. 1 position in 2014, India's capital New Delhi is the ninth worst city, measured by the amount of particulate matter under 2.5 micrograms found in every cubic metre of air.

174. India and five others countries sign agreement on tax info sharing

i. As per the report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), India and five other countries have signed a multilateral pact for automatic exchange of information on tax issues and developing new tools to tackle the tax evasion. 
ii. The signing ceremony of the agreement took place in Beijing, China.
iii. The pact allows all signatories to bilaterally and automatically exchange Country-by-Country Reports with each other. It will help to ensure that the tax administrations obtain a complete understanding of how the multinational enterprises structure their operations, while also ensuring that the confidentiality of such information is safeguarded. 

175. India, Bangladesh hold security talks in Dhaka

i. India and Bangladesh began a five-day dialogue in Dhaka over a host of security issues, including drug trafficking and cattle smuggling across the border between the two neighbors. 
ii. A 21-member delegation led by Border Security Force BSF Chief K K Sharma reached Dhaka to hold the talks with their counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).
iii. The Indian team also includes officials from the Union Home Ministry. It will brief the BGB delegation about measures put in place to completely stop instances of cattle smuggling and other illegal substances across the boundary. A joint record of discussions will be signed between the two sides at the end of the Dhaka talks.

175. Cabinet approves pact between SEBI and FSRA of Abu Dhabi

i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SEBI and Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi for Mutual Co-operation and Technical Assistance.
ii. The agreement will promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two signatories and will help create conditions for development of securities markets in the two countries. 
iii. It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two regulators.

176. RBI issues norms for prior approval of branch offices by foreign entities in India

i. The Reserve Bank of India has stated that entities from Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran and Hong Kong or Macau will require its prior approval to establish branch office or project office or liaison office in India.
ii. The approval is also required if the applicant is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO), a Non-Profit Organisation, or a Body/ Agency/ Department of a foreign government. 
iii. Apart from these, the permission of RBI will also be required for opening a BO/LO/PO in Jammu and Kashmir, North East region and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The RBI approval will also be needed if the principal business of the applicant falls in the four sectors like defence, telecom, private security and information and broadcasting.

177. Central Asian state leaders inaugurated CASA-1000 power project in Tajikistan

i. Central Asian state leaders have inaugurated the Central Asia South Asia (CASA-1000) transmission line near Dushanbe in Tajikistan to link the four nations and to promote regional stability, security and prosperity. 
ii. These countries are Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 
iii. The CASA-1000 project comprises the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of a 750-kilometer high voltage direct current (DC) transmission system between Tajikistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan. The estimated cost of the project is 1.2 billion dollars and is expected to be competed by 2018.

178. World's largest cargo aircraft has landed in Hyderabad, India 

i. Today, the world's largest cargo aircraft - Antonov An-225 Mriya has made its first landing in India at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad for refuelling. It will stay at the  GMR-owned Shamshabad Airport for 20 hours.
ii. The aircraft has such a spacious cargo hold that a Boeing 737 aircraft could be accommodated. The aircraft is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest airplane ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes. 
iii. It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. 

179. Indian-American, Manjit Singh has appointed as member of President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based

i. US President Barack Obama has appointed an Indian-American engineer, Manjit Singh, as the member of President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
ii. The announcement came along with several other appointments made by the US President. Singh is the President of Agilious, a software technology consulting firm he founded in 2013. He is also the co-founder of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national Sikh American media, policy and education organization.
iii. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and also as a Member-at-Large of The Board of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan in Washington.

180. Parkash Singh panel submits report on Jat quota stir

i. In Haryana, Parkash Singh committee, headed by former DGP of Uttar Pradesh retired IPS Officer Parkash Singh has submitted its report on Jat Quota agitation to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal.
ii. The committee was constituted to inquire into the omission and commission on part of all officers and officials of police and civil administration during Jat Quota agitation.
iii. The panel submitted its report in two volumes which run into about 450 pages. There is a mention of about 90 officers who have been found guilty.

181. Head of Sant Nirankari Mission passes away

i. The head of Sant Nirankari Mission and an Indian spiritual guru Hardev Singh has passed away in a road accident in Canada. He was 62 year old. 
ii. The Sant Nirankari Mission is established in 1929 and also known as Universal Brotherhood Mission. 
iii. He had been leading the organisation since 1980, after the assassination of his father, who was the previous head of the Sant Nirankari Mission. The Sant Nirankari Mission (SNM) is a spiritual and humanitarian movement with its headquarters in Delhi. The SNM has over 100 branches outside India in 27 countries, most prominently in Britain and North America.

182. Anil Kumble retained ICC Cricket Committee head, Rahul Dravid made member

i. Former India captain Anil Kumble has been re-appointed ICC Cricket Committee chairman for a second term of three years while his one- time team-mate Rahul Dravid was named member of the top panel. Kumble will now continue to head the panel until 2018.
ii. Another former India captain Dravid and ex-Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene have been appointed to the ICC Cricket Committee for a three-year term.
iii. Former Australia off-spinner has been elected as current player representative, replacing Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, who has completed his three-year term. Richard Kettleborough, three-time ICC Umpire of the Year, has been appointed as umpires' representative in the committee.

183.First world conference on tourism for development will be held in Beijing
i. The First World Conference on Tourism for Development will be held in Beijing, China from 18th to 21st of May, 2016.
ii. The conference aim to advancing the contribution of tourism to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) under the theme 'Tourism for Peace and Development'.

iii. It will create a better understanding on tourism’s contribution to development, including poverty alleviation and peace.
iv. The conference will be organized by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
v. It will be inaugurated by the Head of State of China on its tourism day.
vi. On this occasion, China, as chair of the G20, will also host the 7th T20 Ministers’ Meeting under the theme 'Sustainable Tourism – An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development'.

184. Fifa Appoints Fatma Samoura As First Female Secretary General
i. FIFA has appointed a UN diplomat as its first ever female secretary-general, a surprise and historic move announced at a congress to overhaul the scandal-hit organisation.
ii. Fatma Samoura, who is currently based in Nigeria for the UN Development Program, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of football's world governing body.
iii. Her appointment was announced at FIFA's congress in Mexico City by president Gianni Infantino, elected in February to lead the soccer federation out of the worst graft scandal in its history.

185. India's first Solar-Powered Train Set For Trial In Jodhpur
i. In a bid to provide solar energy, the Indian Railways is all set to conduct trial of its first solar panel-powered train in Rajasthan's Jodhpur city.
ii. The Solar panels have been installed on top of the coaches in the train and the energy, which we will get from the sun, will be used for the functioning of lights and fans inside the coaches in the train.
iii. The Indian Railways has been focusing on alternate source of fuels with trials already on to use CNG, biodiesel and natural gas among others.
iv. As per the studies, a train using solar power can reduce diesel consumption by up to 90,000 litres per year and also bring down carbon dioxide emissions by over 200 tonnes.

186. SEBI approves Ashok Chawla as NSE chairman
i. The Capital market apex, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved the appointment of Ashok Chawla as National Stock Exchange (NSE) new Chairman.
ii. He will serve the organization till 27th of March, 2019. Mr. Chawla will replace Mr. S B Mathur, who who has stepped down upon completing his tenure.
iii. Mr. Chawla has inducted as a Public Interest Director to NSE board last month only.
iv. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Chawla was serving the Competition Commission of India (CCI) as the chief.

187. Indian artist wins award at UN poster contest on N-disarmament
i. Anjali Chandrashekar, a 22-year-old Indian artist is among the three winners of a UN poster competition on creating awareness about nuclear disarmament.
ii. She was appreciated by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the poster depicts a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon.
iii. She has won the 3rd prize in UN Poster for Peace contest presented by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (ODA) to raise awareness of the need for nuclear disarmament.
iv. The 1st prize went to Ivan Ciro Palomino Huamani from Peru for his 'Spinning Peace', which features a nuclear weapon being unraveled into string which is then used to fly kites and balloons, and to jump rope.

188. Anil Kumble Re-Appointed ICC Cricket Committee Chairman
i. Former India captain Anil Kumble has been re-appointed ICC (International Cricket Council) Cricket Committee chairman for the second term of 3-years.
ii. Earlier he was appointed as the chairman for his first term in 2012 and now he will continue to head the panel until 2018.
iii. Anil Kumble is a former international cricketer and former captain of the Indian cricket team. A right-arm leg spin (leg break googly) bowler, he took 619 wickets in Test cricket and remains the third-highest wicket taker only behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne as of 2015.

189. Rwanda Captain Bats 51 Hours Straight, Creates New Guinness Record
i. Rwandan national captain Eric Dusingizimana, has set a new Guinness world record by batting out a straight 51 hours, the longest individual net session, beating the record set last year by India's Virag Mane, who had batted a straight 50 hours.
ii. Pakistan's Hanif Mohammad, who batted over a period of three days during his epic match-saving knock of 337 against West Indies in 1958, is currently the record holder for batting the longest period of time in a cricket match.
iii. He had spent a total of 16 hours and 10 minutes at the crease.

190. India inks Project Collaboration Agreement with WHO to promote traditional medicine 
i. India has signed a historic Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) with World Health Organization (WHO) for cooperation on promoting the quality, safety and effectiveness of service provision in traditional and complementary medicine. 
ii. The PCA aims at supporting WHO in the development and implementation of the ‘WHO Traditional and Complementary Medicine Strategy. 

Key facts of PCA 
  • PCA for the period 2016-2020 will contribute to the global promotion of traditional Indian Systems of Medicine. 
  • It will deliver for the first time WHO benchmark document for training in Yoga, and WHO benchmarks for practice in Ayurveda, Unani and Panchakarma. 
  • These will contribute significantly to the strengthening of national capacities in ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of traditional medicine including in establishing regulatory frameworks for traditional medicine.

191. PM Narendra Modi, Sri Lankan President release Simhastha Declaration 
i. The Prime Minister along with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena have released ‘Simhastha Declaration’ at Ninora village in Ujjain. 
ii. Both leaders addressed the concluding session of the three day International Vichar Mahakumbh held on side-lines of the month-long Simhastha mela.
iii. PM Narendra Modi in his address appealed saints to conduct Vichar Kumbh every year with devotees and discuss social issues like the need to educate the girl child or plant trees.
iv. He also called Kumbh as the biggest example of excellent management and he advised academic institutions to adopt Kumbh as a management case study. 

Key highlights of Declaration
  • Simhastha Declaration has 51 sacred points for betterment of mankind that will start new discourse not only in India but around the world. 
  • It is also a prescription on how a duty-centred system that had been the origin of Indian philosophy of life is relevant in today’s India. 
  • Saints and seers, subject experts and scholars from the country and abroad also discussed on various issues in the sessions of ‘Vichar Mahakumbh’. 
  • Sessions on sustainable development, sanitation and climate change, peace, values of life, agriculture and cottage industry were also organised.  

192. 2016 Red Flag Aerial combat exercises concludes in US 
i. The multilateral Red Flag Aerial combat exercises between US, NATO and allied forces and India Air Force (IAF) concluded in Alaska, US. 
ii. The four-week long (from April 28 to May 13, 2016) aerial combat exercises was held at the Nellis Air Force Base, Alaska. This was the second time India had participated in such an exercise after 2008. 

Key facts 
  • Objective of IAF’s participation in this inter-continental exercise was to showcase its capability in undertaking integrated air operations and gain also operational lessons.
  • In this edition, IAF flew 10 aircraft viz. 4 Su-30MKIs, 4 Jaguars and 2 IL-78 aerial refuelling tankers and a team of over 170 personnel was part of the exercise. 
  • The exercise was conducted multiple simulated scenario to provide realistic settings with a Red Force, defending their airspace and assets and a Blue Force acting as offensive side.
  • Red Force was constituted by US F-16 fighters, while the IAF planes along with other USAF aircraft such as F-15, F-16 and F-22 and US Navy F-18, constituted the Blue Force. 
  • The exercise also endured the sub-zero temperatures, which posed a challenge to the maintenance team to maintain 100 per cent serviceability of all platforms. 

About Red Flag Air Exercises 
  • The Red Flag exercise is advanced aerial combat training exercises, held periodically at the Nellis Air Force Base since 1975. 
  • The exercises provide an opportunity to the pilots from the US, NATO and other allied countries to practice and refine their skills for real combat situations. 
  • The real combat situations include the use of live ammunition for bombing exercises and enemy hardware within the Nellis complex. 
  • India’s Participation: Due to high cost of participation, IAF takes part in the exercise once in every five year. For the first time IAF had participated in 2008, and for second time it was scheduled in 2013 but the plan was cancelled by the US following budget cuts.

193. Justice Naveen Sinha sworn-in as Chief Justice of Rajasthan HC 
i. Justice Naveen Sinha has sworn in as the 31st Chief Justice of Rajasthan. 
ii. He was administered the oath to the office by Governor Kalyan Singh as per the provisions of the Article 219 of Constitution.
iii. He was appointed by President Pranab Mukherjee as per provisions Article 222 of Constitution after following recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) T.S. Thakur. 
iv. Prior to the transfer, Justice Naveen Sinha was Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court since July 2014. 

About Justice Naveen Sinha 
  • Born on 19 August 1958. He had obtained LL.B. degree after completing a bachelor’s degree in arts. 
  • He had joined bar in July 1979 and had practised for 23 years primarily at Patna High Court.
  • He was specialised in civil, constitutional, labour, service, commercial, company, criminal laws. 
  • He was elevated as a judge of Patna High Court and later was made a permanent judge of in February 2004. 
  • He was transferred to Chhattisgarh High Court as Chief Justice in July 2014. 

194. Union Cabinet approves country’s first National Intellectual Property Rights Policy 
i. The Union Government has approved National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy, 2016 to promote the IP regime and to encourage innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in India. 
ii. The first of its king policy in the country seeks to strengthen legislative and legal framework of IPRs, their commercialization and reinforce enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms for IPR infringements. 
iii. The National IPR Policy will endeavour for a “Creative India; Innovative India: रचनात्मकभारत; अभिनवभारत”. 

The Policy lays down seven objectives 
  • IPR Awareness: Outreach and Promotion- It seeks to create public awareness about the social, economic and cultural benefits of IPRs among all sections of society. 
  • Generation of IPRs: It seeks to stimulate the generation of IPRs.
  • Legal and Legislative Framework: It call for a strong and effective IPR laws, which will have balance the larger public interest and interests of rights owners. 
  • Administration and Management: It seeks to strengthen and modernize service-oriented IPR administration. Commercialization of IPRs: Provide appropriate value for IPRs through commercialization.
  • Enforcement and Adjudication: Seeks to strengthen the adjudicatory and enforcement mechanisms for combating IPR infringements. 
  • Human Capital Development: Seeks to expand and strengthen human resources, capacities and institutions for teaching, research, training and skill building in IPRs. 

195. Parkash Singh panel submits report on Jat quota Agitation
i. Parkash Singh committee constituted to inquire into the omission and commission on part of all officers and officials of police and civil administration during Jat Quota agitation submitted its report to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The report was submitted on 13 May 2016.
ii. The panel submitted its report in two volumes which run into about 450 pages, of which the Main Report is in about 200 pages and another 200 pages is of Annexures. While the, second volume of only about 40 pages, deals with the role of Intelligence in the context of the riots.
iii. After receiving the report, Chief Minister said that government would examine the report and would take appropriate action accordingly.

Findings of the committee
  • There is a mention of about 90 officers who have been found guilty.
  • Officers who were derelict in performing the duty or showed soft corner for the agitators have been identified and their names have been mentioned in the report.
  • The report carried the names of officers who acted responsibly during the Jat quota agitation.
  • To finalsie the report, the committee visited 8 affected districts of the state and inspected the crime scene, gave patient hearing to the aggrieved and listened those who wanted to appear before the committee. It also collected video footage of the incident of arson from people.

196. Italian Parliament approves same-sex civil unions
i. The Italian parliament on 11 May 2016 passed legislation legalizing same-sex civil unions, with 372 voting in favour, 51 against and 99 abstaining. With this, it has become the last country in Western Europe to do so.
ii. The bill to this effect was approved by the Senate on 25 February 2016 and the Chamber of Deputies on 11 May 2016. However, the bill has yet to be signed into law by the Italian President.

Key highlights of the bill
  • The new law grants same-sex couples many of the same rights as married heterosexual couples.
  • Partners in a civil union can apply for public housing as couples. The law also makes this right available to unmarried heterosexual couples.
  • The same-sex couples can also inherit their partners’ pensions. Property inheritance rules will be the same as for married couples.

197. 'Dhan wapsi’ Income Declaration Scheme for domestic black money to commence from June 01

i. The central has announced its amnesty scheme for declaring domestic black money would start from june 1st. 
ii. Individuals willing to declare their black money in the country will have to pay tax and a penalty, totaling 45 per cent, to come clean. 
iii. It will remain in force till 30th of September. The declarations can be filed online or with the Principal Commissioners of Income-tax. The scheme is part of Finance Act, 2016 which seeks to provide an opportunity to all persons who have not declared their income correctly in previous years to come forward and declare their undisclosed incomes.

198. Union Minister J P Nadda Lays Foundation Stone For Three Medical Colleges In Jammu & Kashmir

i. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda laid the foundation stone for three new medical colleges at Rajouri, Anantnag and Baramulla districts in Jammu and Kashmir.
ii. As per the Nadda,  total outlay of Rs 189 crore for each college, the three new Medical colleges will add 300 MBBS seats per year in the States with 100 seats per College. 
iii. In addition, the medical infrastructure in the districts will be strengthened with addition of a 300 bed facility attached to each college.

199. India Post Goes High-Tech, Geo-Tags Post Offices On Bhuvan

i. The postal department of India, India Post is going high tech by geo tagging the post office on Bhuvan and has begun monitoring timely clearance of the letter boxes through a mobile app. 
ii. The portal is developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and will help to provide visualization services and earth observation data to users in public domain.
iii. The initiative is the part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's drive to use space technology by various departments of the government. Under this initiative, the Geo-tagging will help people to find the nearest post office, their services and timings. 

200. Centre Approves Proposal To Set Up Kalinganagar National Investment Manufacturing Zone

i. The Centre has approved the Odisha Government's proposal to set up Kalinganagar National Investment and Manufacturing Zone in Jajpur district. 
ii. The Zone will be a mega industrial zone having a world-class township to cater to the needs of the investors.
iii. This is the third Investment and Manufacturing Zone of India involving a massive area of 163 sqr km. According to reports, the project is expected to invite 1 lakh Cr. rupees investment and generate 1 lakh 50 thousand direct jobs.


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