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Current Affairs Today – August 28 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Indian Government announces 2000 relief package for displaced people of PoK
i. The government is all set to announce an Rs 2,000 crore package for displaced people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir living in India amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approaches to people of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.
ii. The Jammu and Kashmir government has already identified 36,348 families for distribution of the package under which each family will get around Rs 5.5 lakh.
iii. The Home Ministry is expected to place the details of the package before the Union Cabinet for approval soon.
iv. The refugees from West Pakistan, mostly from PoK, got settled in different areas of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri districts. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.
v. Some of the families were displaced during partition in 1947, and others during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.
vi. It is noted that the displaced people can cast their votes in Lok Sabha polls but not in the elections to Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled the Electropreneur Park at Delhi University
Parki. India’s first Electropreneur Park is inaugurated by the Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad at Delhi University.
ii. Government-funded Electropreneur Park, an incubation centre with focus on IP creation and product development to increase domestic manufacturing of electronics items.
iii. The new units have manufactured around 11 crore mobiles and generated employment for 37,000 people.
iv. The incubation centre has been set up through a consortium of government, academia and industry, represented by Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) Delhi University (DU) and Indian Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).
v. The Electropreneur Park, will focus on IP creation and indigenous product development to increase value addition to domestic manufacturing of electronic items, like smartphones, smart meters, micro ATMs and set top boxes.
vi. It also provides World Class RF and Power Lab Facility and Workstations inside Delhi University South Campus, Technical and Business Mentorship, Industry and VC network and a Range of Other Shared Services.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS 

6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development held in Nairobi
i. The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI) was held from 27 to 28 August 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya.
ii. This conference held regularly with the objective “to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.
iii. Japan is a co-host of these conferences. Other co-organizers of TICAD are theUnited Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
iv. TICAD-VI will be a milestone of the TICAD process, since it will be the first-ever TICAD Summit to be held in the African continent in its over 20 years of history.
v. In the sidelines Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe committed to provide $30 billion as public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the African Continent.

BUSINESS

Carborundum Universal inaugurates new R&D centre at Hosur
i. Murugappa Group owned Carborundum Universal (CUMI) announced the inauguration of its Research and Development centre at its industrial ceramics division in Hosur Tamilnadu. However the Firm was tightlipped about the investment details.
ii. The R&D Centre would further fortify company’s capability for sustainable growth & market leadership of wear-resistant & technical ceramic products in selected segments.
iii. It is certified by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and has advanced equipment for material characterisation, micro-structural analysis, finished component analysis and other critical areas.
iv. It will also be a Centre of Excellence for research in technical ceramics for industrial & advanced applications.

BANKING FINANCE 

Sebi mulling relaxed norms for REITs, InvITs, startups listing
i. Market Watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has lined up wide-ranging relaxations to its norms for REITs and InvITs and an easier set of listing rules for startups. SEBI will consider these regulations in its board meeting next month.
ii. The InvITs(Infrastructure Investment Trusts), REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations were under review for the framework for Institutional Trading Platform (ITP) for startups by the SEBI.
iii. The slew of relaxations announced after Sebi observed that there is no single Trust has been set up as yet as investors wanted further measures under the REIT and InvIT Regulations in 2014.
iv. The Board of SEBI is likely to devise an easier set of norms on REITs and InvITs which will allow them to have up to five sponsors, as against the current norm for maximum three.
v. It would allow up to 20 per cent investment by such trusts in under-construction projects, up from a maximum of 10 per cent allowed now.
vi. It is also set to rationalise the requirements under the Related Party Transactions, under which approval of 60 per cent unit holders apart from related parties, and 75 per cent unitholders, apart from related parties, for passing special resolutions.
vii. The Proposal also includes to invest in two-level SPV (special purpose vehicle) by the REITs and InvITs and will scrap the restriction on the SPV to invest in other SPVs.

Doha Bank opens branch in Kerala
i. Qatar based Doha Bank has opened a branch, the Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the branch at Lulu International Shopping Mall in Edapally.
ii. The Bank also held an investors conference on Kerala-Qatar Investment Opportunities, which saw a participation of major investors and SMEs from the state and GCC and Doha Bank officials.
Doha-Bank-opens-in-KeralaDoha Bank:
Inception: 1978
Headquarters: Doha, Qatar
The Bank received Best Regional Commercial Bank Award from Banker Middle East in 2015, also bagged Environmental Award from The Arab Organization for Social Responsibility organisation in the same year.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Bain Capital MD Amit chandra appointed as a Non-Executive director of Tata Sons Board
i. The Tata Group announced the appointment of Amit Chandra, managing director of Bain Capital, on the Tata Sons board as a non-executive director with effect from August 26.
ii. Amit Chandra joined Bain Capital as Managing Director in early 2008 and is part of the firm’s leadership team in Asia.
iii. Mr. Amit R. Chandra has been the Managing Director of Bain Capital Private Equity since 2008 and also serves as its Head of Indian Operations. Mr. Chandra joined Bain Capital Private Equity in early 2008 to found the Mumbai office and focuses on investments in India and Financial and Business Services.
iv. He is a Co-Founder of New Silk Route. For a part of 2007, he was a Partner at NSR Advisors. Prior to joining Bain Capital, he spent most of his professional career at DSP Merrill Lynch.
v. He served as Head of Global Markets & Investment Banking at DSP Merrill Lynch Limited and Managing Director until 2007.
vi. Chandra also serves as a Trustee on several Tata Trusts. With Amit Chandra’s appointment, the Tata Sons Board now has nine directors.
vii. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Genpact, L&T Finance, Tata Investment Corporation, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Akanksha Foundation and GiveIndia. He is also Founder & Board Member of Ashoka University. In this year, he was named in the Forbes “Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy.

Mukesh Mehta named president of bullion and jewellers body
i. Apex association for all bullion and jewellery associations in the country, India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) has been appointed noted jeweller Mukesh Mehta as a president of the body.
ii. The Mumbai based Mehta associated with IBJA for a long time will fill the place of Mohit Kamboj, who resigned from the post. He is also the Director of Mark Bangles Pvt Ltd, has been a member of the IBJA Board since the last four years.
iii. India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd was established in 1919, the Apex body based in Mumbai. IBJA involved in the business for the last 97-years also representing bullion dealers and jewellers.

AM Naik names SN Subrahmanyan as next Larsen & Toubro chief
sni. Larsen & Toubro’s group named S N Subrahmanyan as the Managing director and chief executive officer of India’s largest infrastructure engineering company from October first.
ii. He is serving as deputy managing director and president of the company who will take over from executive chairman AM Naik as he retires on September 30, 2017.
iii. The appointment announcement of Subrahmanyan had then come in the 71st annual general meeting of the company.
iv. Subrahmanyan is a management graduate also holds Civil Engineering in his curriculum besides being the youngest member on L&T’s board has several achievements to his creditr.
v. L&T’s targeting to achieve a revenue of Rs 2 lakh crore by 2021 without compromising on margins and achieving an order inflow.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

ISRO successfully test-fires Scramjet Rocket Engine
i. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully tested its own scramjet engines from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
ii. A scramjet supersonic combusting ramjet is a variant of a ramjet air breathing jet engine in which combustion takes place in supersonic airflow. As in ramjets, a scramjet relies on high vehicle speed to forcefully compress the incoming air before combustion.
iii. But a ramjet decelerates the air tosubsonic velocities before combustion, while airflow in a scramjet is supersonic throughout the entire engine. This allows the scramjet to operate efficiently at extremely high speeds.
iv. Scramjets are designed to operate in the hypersonic flight regime, beyond the reach of turbojet engines, and, along with ramjets, fill the gap between the high efficiency of turbojets and the high speed of rocket engines.

Tech Giant Microsoft announces new resources to report hate speech
i. Tech giant Microsoft has announced a new dedicated web form for reporting hate speech on its hosted consumer services and a separate online form for petitions to reconsider and reinstate content.
Microsoftii. Microsoft will continue our “notice-and-takedown” approach for removing prohibited content on hosted consumer services, and the new form aims to improve the quality and speed of our reviews.
iii. It is noted that Microsoft has also been active in preventing terrorist content from propagating on its services, the company has received less attention than its peers. Services like Outlook, Skype, Xbox, OneDrive and Office 365 draw millions of users that are too easily forgotten with the rise of new platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
iv. Microsoft work with governments, online safety advocates and other technology companies to ensure there is no place on its hosted consumer services for conduct that incites violence and hate.
v. These initiatives are aimed squarely at reducing hate speech and increasing community by giving both sides a much needed voice.

Himachal Pradesh – the first state to launch mobile app for Ambulance Service
Himachal Health Minister launches ambulance mobile appi. State Health and Family Welfare Minister Kaul Singh Thakur mobile application for availing ambulance services with the launch of “108 Mobile App”. By doing so, Himachal became the first state to start mobile application for medical services.
ii. The app named ‘108 HP’ can be downloaded on any Smartphone. In this app, User will have to install 108 HP App after completing registration process user will get the unique registration ID. The device should be GPS & GPRS enabled while calling 108 HP helpline. On clicking the App, it will redirect on Google maps fetching user’s current position.
iii. It is noted that apart from these, 102 Janani Express is also facilitating pregnant women from home to hospital and after delivery to their door step, and so far 82000 women have benefited through it.
strong>iv. The government was spending Rs 1 lakh per day on the ambulance services to provide better facility to the people and till now 7.50 lakh emergency cases had been facilitated.
v. The Health Minister also flagged off five new ambulances under 108- National Ambulance Service from the historic Ridge maidan. These vehicles would serve at health centres of Jalog and Rampur in Shimla District, Chatari in Mandi District, Gagret in Una District and Bharari in Bilaspur District.

ENVIRONMENT

Agri scientists identify 8 varieties of wheat for better yield
i. On the 55th All India Wheat & Barley Research Workers meet which concluded in Hissar Haryana
Agriculture scientists revealed that eight varieties of wheat and one of barley have been identified across the country.
ii. In the four-day event various aspect of wheat improvement were released and awards were given to the groups of scientists which saw a participation of 500 scientists from all over the country.
iii. The plenary session in the meet came with the recommendation of eight wheat varieties and one barley variety also to yield well in various zones of India.
iv. Two varieties -HD 3171 and K 1317 were identified in North-Eastern Zone consisting of the states, namely, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and Assam.
v. The variety HI 8759 (d) was identified in the Central Zone’s Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Kota and Udaipur divisions of Rajasthan and Jhansi division of UP.
vi. A durum wheat variety -3949 (d) and a variety for chapati making namely HI 1605 were identified in Peninsular Zone comprising Maharashtra and Karnataka.
vii. The variety -PBW 723 was identified in North Western Plain Zone, On the other hand a barley variety -DWRB 123 was identified due to superiority in yield and quality.

SPORTS

Sania wins Connecticut Open doubles title
sania-mirza-monica-niculescui. Ace Tennis star Sania Mirza with Monica Niculescu of Romania clinched a Women’s doubles title after taking victory at the Connecticut Open in the U.S.
ii. The Indo- Romanian pair capped off their newly revived doubles partnership with their first title together with a straight set victory over the duo of Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Chuang Chia-Jung of
Taiwan in the title clash by 7-5, 6-4.
iii. Sania Mirza recently announced mutual calling off with her Doubles Partner Martina Hingis of Switzerland after a hugely successful partnership.
iv. She partnered with Barbora Strycova of Czech Republic at the Cincinnati Masters and Won the title,While This Romania Partnership is temporary and she will return to their regular partner in time for the US Open.

Western Railway wins all India railway athletic championship
i.In the 82nd All India Railway athletic Championship Mumbai based Western Railway won the overall team championship held at Tiruchirapalli Tamil Nadu.
ii.Meanwhile Central railway came in the second place and Southern Railway third in the overall team category. Tiruchirapalli Railway Divisional manager A K Agarwal gave away the trophies and prizes in the function.
iii.The athletic Championship which witnessed with athletes from various railway zones various Prizes were distributed besides team, The Best athlete award in men’s category is awarded to Jasdeep Singh of Northern Railway and Best women athlete award given to Dutee Chand of Northern Railway.
iv.Among various events in the men’s category, Western Railway topped the list and in the women’s category Central Railway won the championship trophy.
v.The gold Championship of women’s 100 m race was clinched by Dutee Chand of Central railway and their counterpart’s 100 m race Manikantha Raj of South Central Railway won the podium.