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Current Affairs Today – August 9 2016

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Mental Health Care Bill passed in Rajya Shaba for the welfare of the Mentally Ill people
Mental Health Care Bill , a bill which seeks to decriminalise suicide and provide better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness was passed by the Rajya Sabha.
i. The Mental Health Care Bill 2013, which provides for protection and promotion of rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of health care in institutions and in the community, was passed unanimously by a voice vote.
ii. The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 says that any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to be suffering from mental illness at the time of attempting suicide and shall not be liable to punishment under section 309 of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
iii. As of now, a person who attempts to commit suicide is charged under section 309 of IPC as it is considered to be an offence.
iv. There were 134 official amendments to the bill, which took almost an hour to be passed clause by clause.
v. This bill seeks to provide better medical care to mentally ill besides ensuring their basic rights.

U’khand tops in industry, service sectors growth: Assocham
i. Trade Body ASSOCHAM puts Uttarakhand on the top on its study in terms of growth in the industry and service sectors in the last ten years.
ii. The study also highlighted the state’s economic growth and industrial development as it has recorded the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5 per cent and 12.3 per cent respectively in during the last ten years from 2004 to 2015.
iii. The growth figure achieved by the small state is much higher than the national average growth of about 7 per cent in the same decade.
iv. The state’s contribution to the nation in terms of economy has shown significant growth from a tiny 0.8 percent in 2004-05 to 1.2 % in 2013-14.
v. However the state has produced negative growth in terms of agriculture as the sector covers the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) from over 22 per cent in 2004-05 to 9 per cent in 2014-15.
♦ This is 27th state which was created from the Himalayan and adjoining northwestern districts of Uttar Pradesh in 2000.
♦ Nanda Devi(7,816 m (25,643 ft)) is one of the highest mountain in the world and ranked second in India.

Maharashtra launches Quit India movement 2 against social evils
Mah launches Quit India 2i. Maharashtra government has launched the Quit India Movement 2 against various social ills, the launch is in line with commemorating the Platinum Jubilee anniversary of the Quit India Movement at the historic August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai.
ii. The launch took place in Kranti Maidan from where Mahatma Gandhi had given the clarion call of Quid India back in1942, in the function Union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was also present in the .
iii. Union Minister Naidu also pledged that centre will run a fortnight-long campaign to revitalize patriotism among the society, the campaign named Azadi 70 Saal — Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani.


India remains as the Number one among the Wikipedia’s Priorities
After 2010, now in 2016 India is expected to remain the “number one most strategic region” in the global plans of the Wikipedia, the free Internet encyclopedia that allows its users to edit most of its content.
i. India became the largest, most popular general reference work on the Internet, and among the top 10 most-visited sites in the world.
ii. This was coping with India’s “huge size and diversity”. “Hindi Wikipedians as a community have such a hard time meeting up across different states and even countries”.
iii. The WikiConference India 2016 ended in the twin towns of Chandigarh-Mohali in August.


RBI makes no changes in Repo rate and CRR in its third Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Review
As expected The Reserve of India (RBI) in its third bi-monthly monetary policy review kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.50 per cent citing upside risk to March 2017 inflation target.
i. In this latest Monitory Policy Review, the repo rate was left unchanged at 6.50 per cent.
ii. With retail inflation ruling above its projection of around 5 per cent for FY2017, the RBI held the rate steady and in the current financial year, the RBI last cut the repo rate in itsfirst bi-monthly monetary policy review, in April by 25 basis points to 6.50 per cent.
iii. The RBI kept the cash reserve ratio of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liabilities.
iv. It is noted that RBI Governor Raguram Rajan is set to retire on September 4 after a three-year term with plans to return to academia in the US.

HDFC, Max group merge life insurance businesses to create company worth Rs 67,000 crore
HDFC, Max group merge life insurance businessesi. The boards of HDFC and Max Financial’s groups have given their nod to merge their respective life insurance entities. This will pave the way for more consolidation in the life insurance space.
ii. The boards of HDFC Life, Max Life, Max Financial Services and Max India decided to amalgamate their businesses to create a Rs 25,500-crore entity under the label of HDFC Life through a 3:7 share swap under which a Max shareholder will get three HDFC Life shares for every seven in an old share deal.
iii. The Max promoter group will be paid a non-compete fee of Rs 850 crore over four years. The boards of HDFC Life, Max Life and Max Financial Services approved the scheme of arrangement for merging the insurance businesses
iv. In the merged entity, five companies will have stakes. While HDFC will have the lion’s share of stake [42.5%], Standard Life will have a 24% stake. Mitsui Sumitomo will have 7.8%, Max Group will have 6.6% and Axis Bank will have 1.2%.
v. On referring the merged entity, which will have an asset base of Rs 1.1 trillion, will overtake ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. Ltd as India’s largest private insurer.
About HDFC :
♦ Name – Housing Development Finance Corporation
♦ HQ – Mumbai
♦ Establishment – 1994
♦ CEO – Adithya Puri.

RGIC ties up with SVCB to foster the spread of the Insurance Policies on a Pan – India Basis
i. Reliance General Insurance Company Ltd, Non-life insurer declare a bancassurance tie-up with Shamrao Vithal Co-operative Bank (SVCB) on August 9.
ii. Reliance General will distribute its insurance products to the customers of SVCB.’ SVCB is having a network of 194 branches.
iii. This is the fourth big partnership by Reliance in bancassurance, apart from the tie-up
with IndusInd Bank, Bank of India and Andhra Bank and expects to boost our top line by up to 10 per cent through these tie-ups and alliances.
iv. This tie-up will enable Reliance General Insurance to leverage SVC Bank’s unparalleled retail and small and medium enterprises pan-India customer base, robust distribution network and strong brand name.
v. Bancassurance tie-up forms an important part of Reliance General’s growth strategy and the company has been forging strong alliances with various banks to enhance its distribution footprint in India.

Ponzi schemes not under our purview: SEBI
i. Market Regulator SEBI has clarified that any regulatory purview over Ponzi schemes will come under purview of state governments. The state government is the responsible to protect investors.
ii. SEBI’s clarification come as a response of the Supreme Court which asked what the government and the market regulator were doing to check the “menace” of schemes in various forms.
iii. SEBI has stated that Ponzi schemes do not fall under the regulatory purview of SEBI, such schemes were banned under the Prize Chit and Money Circulation (Banning) Act, 1978 and the State government concerned is the enforcement agency.
Ponzi Schemes:
A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud in which fraudulent companies woos clients promising a large profit in short term at little or no risk at all. Such entities are focused on attracting new clients to make investments. Thereby new investments (income) are used to pay original investors their returns, marked as a profit from a legitimate transaction.


NTPC, CSIRO collaborate for research in low emission tech
i. State run Power major NTPC has entered into a collaboration with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research in low emission technologies.
ii. The Letter of Intent was inked by R.K Srivastava,Executive Director (NETRA) at NETRA Greater Noida and Mr Peter Mayfield, Director CSIRO, Energy Queensland, Australia
National Thermal Power Corporation
♦ Headquarters‎: ‎New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1975
♦ CEO: Gurdeep Singh
♦ NTPC was conferred Maharatna status by the Union Government of India in 2010.

India slaps anti-dumping duty on steel products from 6 nations
i. India imposed anti-dumping duty on certain hot-rolled steel products from six nations including China and South Korea with an aim to guard domestic players from cheap imports.
ii. An anti-dumping duty of USD 474-557 per tonne was imposed on ‘hot-rolled flat products of alloy or non-alloy steel’ import from China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.
iii. The anti-dumping duty imposed shall be effective for a period not exceeding six months, unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier and shall be paid in Indian currency.
iv. An anti-dumping duty of $474 per tonne was imposed on import of hot-rolled flat products of alloy or non-alloy steel of a width up to 2100 mm and thickness up to 25 mm from Korea and Japan.
v. A similar anti-dumping duty was slapped on import of similar products from China, the exporter company being Angang Steel Company Ltd and Zhangjiagang. Imports of the same from Indonesia, Russia and Brazil too attracted $474 per tonne duty.
vi. Hot rolled flat products of alloy or non-alloy steel not in coils of a width up to 4950 mm and thickness up to 150 mm imported from Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia would attract $557 per ton anti-dumping duty.


Takehike Nakao Re-elected again as the President of ADB
i. Asian Development Bank Board has re-elected Takehiko Nakao as the multilateral funding agency’s president for a five-year term beginning 24 November, 2016.
ii. The Asian Development Bank was conceived in the early 1960s as a financial institution that would be Asian in character and foster economic growth and cooperation in one of the poorest regions in the world.
iii. ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
iv. ADB is composed of 67 members, 48 of which are from the Asia and Pacific region.
v. Being the ninth president of ADB, he was the sole nominee after ADB’s Governors were invited from May 31 to June 30, 2016, to make nominations for the organization’s presidency
vi. Prior to joining ADB in 2013, Mr. Nakao was a senior official in the Ministry of Finance, Japan, where he gained extensive experience in international finance and development. Mr. Nakao also taught international finance as a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo in 2010 and 2011. Born in 1956, Mr. Nakao holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Tokyo and a M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
About ADB :
♦ Name – Asian Development Bank,
♦ Establishment – 1966
♦ President – Takehiki Nakoa
♦ HQ – Philippines.

Hero Moto Corp strengthens its Boards members to accelerate growth; reappoints Pawan Munjal as it MD & CEO
Hero Moto Corp strengthens its Boards members to accelerate growth; reappoints Pawan Munjali. Two-wheeler maker Hero Moto Corp Ltd reappointed Pawan Munjal as its chairman, managing director and CEO for a period of five years. It also elevated its head of operations and supply chain Vikram Kasbekar as a director on the company’s board.
ii. His appointment comes with effect from 1st of October, 2016 and it is noted that his current tenure comes to an end on 30th of September 2016.
iii. Hero MotoCorp has also appointed Ms Neerja Sharma as the Company Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer.
iv. It is noted that Kasbekar’s elevation to the board of directors is a part of its initiative aimed at consolidation of leadership at home and accelerate global expansion.
v. The changes come days after Sunil Kant Munjal, the former joint managing director of the company, announcing his decision to leave Hero MotoCorp, headed by his elder brother Pawan, to focus on some other group entities besides pursuing his other interests.

United Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra gets it new head of the boards on August 9.
i. Pawan Kumar Bajaj as Managing Director of UBI and Ravindra Prabhakar Marathe as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bank ofMaharashtra.
ii. It is noted that Marathe is Executive Director in Bank of India. He will take over the charge on or after October 1, 2016 and continue for a period upto November 30, 2019.
iii. Pawan Kumar Bajaj is Executive Director in Indian Overseas Bank. He has been appointed as MD and CEO “based on merit-cum-preference” and he has been appointed to the post up to September 20, 2018.
About UBI,                                       About BOM,
♦ Name- United Bank of India,               ♦ Name – Bank of Maharashtra
HQ – Kolkata                                       ♦ HQ – Pune


Endosulfan may cause DNA damage in animals
For the first time, Indian researchers have found that mice and rats exposed to endosulfan suffer from DNA damage and genomic instability and impaired DNA damage response.
Testing – impacts:-
♦ Five animals per group were studied and the experiment was repeated many times. Three different concentrations of endosulfan were tested on animals and four doses of each concentration were given at 24 hours interval.
♦ Genetic abnormality and increased cancer occurrences have been seen in people who have had occupational exposure of 2-70 microgram/litre of endosulfan in blood. But we didn’t see this in animals that had 20 microgram/litre of endosulfan in blood. It’s probably because people are exposed continuously and for longer duration
Endosulfan :
Endosulfan is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today, responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world.

Union Government unveils India’s first e-Market place for Online selling of goods and services by Govt. Departments
i. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched an “e-marketplace” for online purchase of goods and services by various central government ministries and departments.
ii. Complete Transparency- ‘Government e-Market place’ end to end Digital India platform for government procurement is launched by the Union Minister.
iii. Government procurement of select goods and services is now possible at a one-stop online marketplace, an arrangement aimed at improving transparency and bringing down corruption.
iv. This platform is launched on a pilot phase of ‘Government e-Marketplace’ (GeM), an end-to-end procurement system for common use goods and services by government buyers developed by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D).
v. Items such as computers, office equipment and stationery can be purchased online in the pilot stage. Apart from goods, GeM provides facility for engaging taxi services with multiple options of hiring like spot, daily use, monthly or annually.
vi. Under the new system, a buyer can carry out direct purchase of goods and services up to Rs. 50,000 and beyond this through price comparison, bidding or reverse auction.


Country gets its first tiger repository
i. Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change run Wildlife Institute of India (WII) will establish repository on tigers, under its new Tiger Cell in Dehradun. This is first such repository in India.
ii. The Dehradun-based WII has worked with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on tiger Conservation and population and created data base which includes about 23,000 images of tigers. Upon this if a tiger skin is recovered it can check where the tiger might have come from.
iii. The Tiger Cell will be headed wildlife scientist Y.V. Jhala which will be funded by the NTCA, a statutory body under the Environment Ministry.


Anderson topples Ashwin from top spot in ICC bowler rankings
i. In the latest MRF player Rankings for Test Bowlers England Speedster James Anderson has topped the list. The English cricketer replaces India off Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
ii. The Pacer has reached his career best by claiming the top position month back in May 31. The race was among Ashwin, Pakistani bowler Yasir Shah and Anderson.
iii. This progress of the pacer was significant after he showed impressive performance in the
test series against England.
iv. In the Latest rankings Australia’s Mitchell Starc, Sri Lanka’s Dilruwan Perera has also shown better Improvements.

Abhijeet Gupta retains Commonwealth Chess championship crown
i. Former world junior Chess champion Abhijeet Gupta has won the 20th Commonwealth Chess championship crown 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  He is the third Indian to win this prestigious championship, after Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna.
ii. This is the second crown consecutively after the maestro won 19 th Championship.
iii. In addition International Master Tania Sachdev clinched a gold medal. Besides all the medals won by the Indians players in the senior category.
iv. On the other hand Grandmasters S L Narayanan and Deep Chakkravarthy got the silver and bronze medals respectively in the open section.


Former Arunachal Pradesh CM Kalikho Pul commits Suicide
Former Arunachal Pradesh CM Kalikho Puli. Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul allegedly hanged himself on Tuesday morning at his residence in Itanagar and it is found that he has been suffering from depression.
ii. Kalikho Pul born on 20 July 1969 was an Indian politician and acting Chief Minister of the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh for a brief time in 2016.
iii. He was elected five times from the Hayuliang Vidhan Sabha constituency representing the Indian National Congress. With the support of a few elected members of Congress and the opposing Bharatiya Janata Party, he took Chief Ministership of Arunachal Pradesh.
iv. However, the Supreme Court of India ruled against this appointment on various grounds.
v. Pul had left a diary which police took for examination. The police officials confirmed that a suicide note was found but did not divulge the contents of it. It is noted that Pul’s supporters protested in Itanagar demanding investigation byCentral Bureau of Investigation(CBI) in this death.

Modern Yoga Father T Krishnamacharya’s son TKV Desikachar Passes Away
i. TKV Desikachar, son of Indian yoga master T Krishnamacharya , passed away in Chennai on August 8 and He was 78 while he breathed his last breath.
ii. TKV Desikachar is the son and student of T Krishnamacharya, popularly known as ‘the father of modern yoga’.
iii.  T.K.V. Desikachar went on to develop Viniyoga, an approach that tailors the practice to each students unique condition.
iv. T.K.V. Desikachar, born in 1938, son of the great yoga master Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, grew up immersed in the yoga tradition.
v. Although as a child he apparently found hatha yoga so boring he once climbed a coconut tree to avoid practicing, he enthusiastically began formal training with his father in his 20s, shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree in engineering.
vi. In 1976 he founded the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, a yoga center in Madras, India. Drawing on his father’s teachings, Desikachar went on to develop Viniyoga, a highly individualized approach to yoga that tailors the practice to each student’s specific physical condition, emotional state, age, cultural background, and interests.

Veteran journalist Barendrakrushna Dhal dead
i. Odisha’s legendary Journalist and Columnist Barendra Krushna Dhal passed away following a prolonged illness at his residence in Bhubaneswar.
ii. Dhal was born on March 25, 1941 in Cuttack ,He started his journalistic career in ‘Matrubhumi’ in 1960 and worked there for about 25 years. He worked in different language newspapers like in Odia, English and Bengali.
iii. He was also a correspondent at Bengali News Paper Aajkal and editor of Odia daily ‘Swaraj’ for a brief period. He was also elected as the president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
iv. Dhal had received Sahitya Akademi award in 1993.


International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples- 9 August
International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoplesi. The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated on August 9 annually to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people globally. The Day was first announced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994.
ii. This day also marks the indigenous people’s achievements and contributions besides improve world such as environmental protection.
iii. This year the day is observed with the Theme: Indigenous Peoples’ Right to Education
iv. The theme focuses people right to education is also protected by various organisations like international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.