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Current Affairs Today – May 18 2016

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CAT May 18 2016


Women and Child Development Minister framed the New policy for women
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi drafted the New Policy for Women to deal the issues against the Women.
Policy: National Policy for Women 2016
Presented by: Maneka Gandhi
Focus: Dealing issues related to housing, single women and cyber crime against of women
i. The Draft Policy was notified in the Ministry website to get the recommendations and Suggestions
ii. National policy on women already framed in 2001 and noting that the policy was come into effect after 15 years.

World’s largest Single Rooftop Solar Power Plant inaugurated in Amritsar
Investment: Rs 82 Crore (2012) to Rs. 10,000 Crore
Employment Potential: 12,500
i. World’s largest single rooftop stretch of 42 acre solar power plant of 11.5 Mw capacity was installed in India
iii. Inauguration by:
New & Renewable Energy Resources Minister of Punjab Bikram Singh Majithia
iv. Project at:
Beas in Punjab
v. Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Centre,
Las Vegas in the United States is next biggest solar photovoltic power station

Trial run of Delhi Metro’s new ‘driver-less’ train begins
Trial run of Delhi Metro's new 'driver-less' train beginsi. The country’s first driverless-metro train was tested on track in the capital, equipped to run on Unattended Train Operations mode.
ii. The train was flagged off by Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at new Mukundpur depot.
iii. The trial run started at the Mukundpur depot and ended at Majalis Park station on the Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor.
iv. The high-tech train will increase the Delhi metro’s frequency to 90 seconds instead of the current average of two minutes.
v. The train brought from South Korea, It has wi-fi, USB ports, charging points, LED and LCD screens and backrest near the wheel-chair area.
♦ Lt. Governor: Najeeb Jung
♦ Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal.
♦ Delhi Metro is the world’s 10th largest metro system in terms of length.

Joint issue between Department of Posts and UN Postal Administration on UN Women HeForShe postage stamp
i. A Memorandum of Understanding was inked between Department of Posts and United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in February this year for HeForShe stamp, as Union Cabinet apprised the joint issue of UN Women HeForShe postage stamp.
ii. Upon this move the stamps were printed in the form of sheetlet of 20 se-tenants and Miniature Sheet of two stamps.
HeForShe Campaign:
♦ UN Women HeForShe campaign is a unity movement for gender equality that brings together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity for the benefit of all in social terms.
♦ The empowerment of women around the world is been encouraged in the campaign. This give fillip to great cause of gender equality

Govt opens Tatkal window for faster patents to startups
i. Union government has opened a Tatkal window to fast-track patent proposals. Start-ups by new applicants that fills the criteria allowed to use this route for obtaining faster clearances.
ii. This move is to streamline the patent regime also for expeditious clearance of applications by start-ups or those entities that opt for India as a place for first filing of patent.
iii. By March 2018 the government also plans to significantly cut down the time period for granting of patents to one-anda-half years from the existing five to seven years.
iv. This makes entities can choose the fast track for obtaining patent by paying additional fees if they select India as International Search Authority or International Preliminary Examining Authorities and file their applications in India first.
v. The application fees for individuals and start-ups have been kept at Rs 8,000 while for companies, it could be as much as Rs 60,000.

NK Singh to head panel on review of FRBM roadmap
NK Singh to head panel on review of FRBM roadmapUnion Finance Ministry has set up a new committee to review the government’s fiscal roadmap and review the working of the related Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act that was enacted in 2003
i. The proposed panel will make its assessment and provide its views on the expected impact of the expected impact of its recommendations on the general government deficit and other FRBM parameters, adding that.
ii. The committee will submit its report by October 31 this year also FRBM Act has been under implementation for more than a decade in 2003.
The Committee Members:

Panel MembersDesignationAppointed as
NK Singh.MP and Ex Revenue and Expenditure Secretary.Head
Arvind SubramanianChief Economic AdvisorMembers
Sumit Bose.Ex-Finance SecretaryMembers
Urjit Patel.Reserve Bank Deputy GovernorMembers
Rathin Roy.NIPFP DirectorMember


United Nations released World Cities Report 2016 – Urbanisation and Development: Emerging Futures’ report
UN reported that India is planned to add 300 million new urban residents by 2050 and it is required to build Climate Friendly cities to deal the challenge of accommodating the needs of the Population growth
♦ The first ‘World Cities Report 2016 – Urbanisation and Development: Emerging Futures’
In India
i. Contribution of urban areas more than 60 per cent of the GDP and an extra 300 million new urban residents are projected by 2050
ii. Urged the Government of India to build 100 new cities with low infrastructure, denser and low energy to avoid the addition of Greenhouse gases

UNICEF and EU Launch #Emergency Lessons Campaign on Education in Crisis Zones
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the European Union launched the #Emergency Lessons campaign on education in countries like Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
• The social media-driven public awareness campaign aimed at reaching 20 million Europeans and emphasising the vital role of education for children.
Emergency Lessons campaign:
i. This campaign targets people 25 year old and younger peoples, for the next seven months, the stories of the children affected by emergencies.
ii.The campaign celebrates the other benefits of going to school like the friends made, the teachers who support children through trauma, and the stability found in the routine of attending classes.
iiii. Over one in four of the world’s school-aged children 462 million – now lives in 35 countries affected by crises.
♦ Founded: 1946
♦ Headquarters: New York, United States.
♦ CEO: Anthony Lake


RBS to close retail banking operations in India
i. Royal Bank of Scotland is to shut its banking operations in India having given up on efforts to find a buyer as the planned to reduce its international operations to 13 countries from the current 38.
ii. The Bank planned to shut its 10 retail branches, as it exits the country as part of a plan to reduce its global footprint. It has less than 400 employees in India.
iii. The UK lender started seeking buyers in 2015 and drew interest from local lender IDFC and Singapore based  DBS Holdings.
iv. Earlier the bank In India has sold the offshore loan book and private banking business.
Royal Bank of Scotland:
♦ Founded: 1727
♦ Headquarters: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Five associate banks to merge with SBI
i. Country’s largest lender State Bank of India has planned to merge its five associate banks and also to merge Bharatiya Mahila Bank. All six are state-owned.
ii. A merger would create a banking behemoth with a balance sheet size of Rs.37 trillion that is also set to acquire their businesses including assets and liabilities.
iii. The five associate banks have a collective advances base of Rs.3.78 trillion and a deposit base of Rs.5.03 trillion.
iv. While the BMB was created in 2013 by the UPA government, particularly to cater to women’s lending needs based in Delhi.
The Banks to be merged with the SBI are,sbi branch 1.State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur,
2.State Bank of Hyderabad,
3.State Bank of Mysore,
4.State Bank of Patiala,
5.State Bank of Travancore,
6.Bharatiya Mahila Bank Limited.
State Bank of India:
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: July 1, 1955
♦ Chairperson: Arundhati Bhattacharya


NTPC partners with Coal India Limited to foray into fertilizer sector
i. Power major NTPC signed a joint venture agreement with state-owned miner Coal India to revive plants of the Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited (FCIL).
ii. The agreement was signed by NTPC’s general manager Arun Kumar Gupta and Coal India’s general manager T. Bandopadhyay.
iii. Under this joint venture company will take up the resumption of FCIL plants at Sindri in Bihar and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by setting up an ammonia urea plant at each location.
iv. This move would initially be integrated with 50:50 equity participation from both,but also holds provision of inducting strategic partners at a later date depending upon business requirement.

Ola signs MoU with govt. to benefit ‘Safai Karamcharis’
i. Cab aggregator Ola has signed a MoU with National Safai Karamcharis Finance and Development Corporation (NSKFDC) to focus on building a sustainable framework by supporting entrepreneurship, skill development training and self-defence courses for Safai Karamcharis and Scavengers.
ii. This partnership has the potential to generate synergies that will result in a better future for driver entrepreneurs by creating sustainable careers and livelihoods for them.
iii. This initiative is in line with Ola’s mission to up-skill drivers and create an ecosystem that is conducive for them to grow as entrepreneurs belonging to the families of Safai Karamcharis.


Shell India Announces Nitin Prasad  as New Head
Shell India Announces Nitin Prasad as New Headi. Shell India appointed Nitin Prasad as the new chairman, he will take charge from October
ii. Prior to his new appointment Prasad is currently the cluster general manager for lubricants sales and marketing for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
iii. He will fill the shoes of the incumbent Yasmine Hilton who retires in September this year. Hilton, who has been the chairman of Shell Companies in India and vice present for IT project excellence at the parent Royal Dutch Shell, after a career spanning 37 years with Shell.
Nitin Prasad:
He is an electrical engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA and a management graduate from INSEAD, He took up his current appointment in 2011 as General Manager.

Barco Appoints Rajiv Bhalla as MD for India
i. Belgium based visualization technology leader Barco has announced the appointment of Rajiv Bhalla as managing director for India.
ii. Rajiv has more than 22 years of experience in senior leadership in technology organizations such as  Thomson Consumer Electronics, Microsoft, NEC and Intel & has a deep understanding of the B2B and B2C aspects of the business.
iii. He will be the legal representative of Barco India’s side fulfilling all legal, regulatory and statutory obligations ensuring compliance with local legal, safety, environmental regulations also company directives and guidelines.
♦ CEO: Eric Van Zele
♦ Headquarters: Belgium.


India successfully test fires its indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile
i. India has successfully blasted off its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II prithvi-2missile as part of a user trial by the army from a launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha.
ii. The Missile have a strike range of 350 km also capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines also nine-metre-tall. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
iii. DRDO developed Prithvi is India’s first indigenously-built ballistic missile. It is one of the five missiles under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

Google launches group-sharing app Spaces on iOS, Android
i. Google launches Group-Sharing App Spaces to let out users easily share content and commentary, group-messaging style, on any topics they wish.
ii. With this it is simple to find and share articles, videos and images without leaving the app, since Google Search, YouTube, and Chrome come built on.
iii. With new Spaces App someone shares something new to a space, the conversational view lets you see what the group is talking about without missing a beat on Android, iOS, desktop, and mobile web for all Gmail accounts.


Rare sighting: Brown bears return to Kargil
i. J&K Wildlife Department has spotted eight Himalayan brown bears in Kargil’s Drass Sector, where the 1999 war had bring about destruction with their habitats.
ii. The sighting of eight brown bears, as well as three adult females and five grown-up cubs, is a rare figure. iii.It is first ever sighting of a group of bears. No such sighting has ever been reported from J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, where these animals are distributed.
iv. During trekking these animals were spotted. These sightings are only reported during the night, that too of a solitary bear or with a cub.
v. Himalayan brown bear is also known as the Himalayan red bear and  Isabelline bear. In the IUCN list of ‘vulnerable’category animals the bear is included.


England cricketer Joe Root bags top three England cricket awards and awarded ODI Cricketer of the Year
Eminent England Cricket Batsman Joe Root has been honored with England’s Test and One Day International Cricketer of the year during England Cricket Board Annual Awards
Other Awardees:
i. Somerset’s Anya Shrubsole – England women’s cricketer of the year award for the maiden time
ii. Charlotte Edwards, who recently announced her retirement from international cricket after 20 years, won the women’s player of the year


Andre Brahic, discoverer of Neptune’s rings, passes away at 73
Andre Brahic, discoverer of Neptune's rings, passes away at 73i. French astrophysicist Andre Brahic, He is known for the rings of Neptune, has died of cancer in Paris, at the age of 73.
ii. He launched a programme which led to the discovery, with US astronomer William Hubbard, of the rings around the gaseous planet Neptune in 1984.
iii. He became a specialist in exploring our solar system with the help of the NASA Voyager and later US-Europe Cassini unmanned missions in 1980s.
Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet in the Solar System. Its largest moon is called Triton


World AIDS Vaccine Day
i. World AIDS Vaccine Day is observed every year on May 18. This awareness day marked by promoting the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.
ii. The AIDS Vaccine Day is coined in 1997 by President Bill Clinton. The first World AIDS Vaccine Day was observed on May 18, 1998.
iii. India is the he world’s third-largest population suffering from HIV/AIDS after South Africa and Nigeria.
iv. However World AIDS day is observed on 1st December

International Museum Day
i. International Museum Day is observed worldwide on May 18 with 30,000 museums organizing the day since its inception.
ii. This day was recognized in 1977, promotes the message that Museums are an important for cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace.
iii. The theme of this year 2016 – Museums and Cultural Landscapes.