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Army Design bureau created by Army to decrease import of equipment
i. The Indian Army has set up Army Design Bureau (ADB) with an aim to indigenize procurements and reduce dependence on imports. ADB will be part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative and integrate various stake holders in its long-term requirements.
ii. The Bureau has been formed in a bid to meet the Army’s long-standing need to create and modernize weapons indigenously. It will work as a repository of all technical know-how of defense equipment manufacturing.
iii. This move was announced by Army Chief General Dalbir Singh at an Army seminar on Make in India where he also launched the ‘Make in India Army Website’ meant to serve as a one stop platform for information to vendors.
iv. ADB will serve as link to provide better understanding of the Army’s requirements to the academia, research organizations and the industry for developing high tech defense products.
v. ADB will help Indian Army through constantly evolving at every stage from concept to design to development trails and production for Army’s modernization needs.
vi. It is noted that the Army was going to publish a comprehensive compendium listing out specific problem areas for the industry and research fraternity to propose solutions.
Allahabad High Court imposed a fine of Rs 1 Crore on UP government in a land acquisition matter
i. The Allahabad High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 1 Crore on Uttar Pradesh government in a land acquisition matter of Loni, Ghaziabad. The court has directed the government to deposit the fine in the Court before September 15, 2016 which has been fixed as next date of hearing.
ii. The bench, comprising Justices Tarun Agarwala and Vipin Sinha, passed the above order while hearing a petition filed by some residents of Loni, Ghaziabad.
iii. While imposing the fine, the Court directed state government to file a counter affidavit within two weeks, which has to be sworn by an officer not below the rank of secretary.
iv. About 105 acres of land of Noor Nagar and Loni, Ghaziabad was acquired for UPSIDC in the year 1973. But neither any physical possession was taken nor any award was made for the acquisition to the land owners.
v. It is noted that the impugned order instead of exemption of the land the state authority directed to the land acquisition officer to take recourse to acquire the land under the new land acquisition act of 2013.
Puducherry & Rajasthan Assembly ratifies GST Bill
i. Rajasthan and Puducherry governments unanimously ratified the Constitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Services Tax (GST) passed by Parliament. Meanwhile these states became 17 th and 18 th to ratify the legislation.
ii. The Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje asserted that GST will have a very positive impact and states including Rajasthan will get advantages.
iii. On the other hand in the Puducherry Assembly the bill was ratified during a walkout by AIADMK members and continuing boycott by opposition AINRC.
iv. The Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy asserted that steps had been taken to ensure that the new tax regime did not affect the Union Territory.
v. The 122-constitution amendment bill needs to be signed by at least 15 state legislatures before the President can notify the GST Council.
Vice President inaugurates the 4th phase of the Vidyadhanam project in Kochi
i. As part of his three-day visit to Kerala, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari inaugurated the fourth phase of the Vidyadhanam project, piloted by Prof. K. V. Thomas Vidyadhanam Trust at St.Teresa’s College.
ii. The Vidyadhanam educational scholarship scheme will benefit students of government and aided schools in Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency.
iii. The project offers financial incentive and scholarship to Government and aided school students, but also encourages cultivation of life skills, such as thrift and financial inclusion.
Vice-President of India:
♦ Incumbent: Mohammad Hamid Ansari
♦ The Vice-President of India is also ex officio Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha.
♦ He/ She holds office for five years also can be re-elected any number of times.
Prakampana-2016 held in Visakapatnam
i. A permanent facility of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) named ‘Prakampana’-the first Joint Disaster Management Exercise was inaugurated in Visakhapatinam. This program is aimed at synchronising the resources and efforts of all agencies involved in such exercises.
ii. The armed forces, in association with the National Disaster Management Authority and the NDRF, would be represented in these exercises.
iii. The three-day exercise is being conducted by the Eastern Naval Command (ENC), in liaison with the concerned Centre and state authorities.
iv.It is noted that based on the past experiences and adopted practices, a document should be prepared as a reference resource for disaster management in the state.
v. Given the vulnerability of Vizag to cyclones and considering the trails of destruction Hudhud had left in the city, a blue book would be prepared in which the suggestions and guidelines of the ‘Prakampana’ would be included.
India bags 35th place in World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index
The World Bank has recently released a Logistics Performance Index (LPI) 2016 report titled “Connecting to Complete 2016”. The Logistics Performance Index Report is published by World Bank every two years. The LPI is an interactive benchmarking tool created to help countries identify the challenges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics and what they can do to improve their performance.
India’s LPI :-
i. India has now been ranked 35 amongst 160 countries compared to rank of 54 in LPI 2014.
ii. This is a jump of 19 places. Further, in terms of the six-components of the LPI i.e. Customs, Infrastructure, International Shipments, Logistics Quality and Competence, Tracking and Tracing, and Timeliness, India’s ranking is 38, 36, 39, 32, 33 and 42 respectively.
iii. Improvement in India’s rank in Logistics Performance Index adequately establishes steady performance in our competitiveness in manufacturing and trade that also acts as one of the growth driver of Make in India Programme.
Top 5 List:-
BANKING & FINANCE
India’s economic growth recorded 7.1% in first quarter of current fiscal
i. Eventhough the Finance Ministry is still optimistic of close to 8 per cent growth this fiscal, the Central Statistics Office on Wednesday said the country’s GDP grew at 7.1 percent in the first quarter.
ii. The GDP grew at 7.1 per cent April-June period of current fiscal and it had recorded 7.5 per cent growth in the April-June quarter of last fiscal, while 7.9 per cent in January-March quarter.
iii. The gross value added at basic prices grew 7.3 percent in the first quarter, marginally higher than the 7.2 percent expansion a year ago.
iv. Agriculture, mining, and construction registered weak or no growth in the first quarter, offsetting the over 8 per cent growth registered in manufacturing, electricity generation, financial services, public administration and trade.
v. According to data released by the Central Statistics Office, growth in the farm sector was 1.8 % , and in construction it was 1.5 % during the quarter under review. But manufacturing sector growth accelerated to 9.1 %
vi. Attributing the slowdown in first quarter GDP to higher subsidy outgo, Finance Ministry
expressed confidence instead, saying that good monsoon and impact of pay commission award will push the economic growth close to 8 per cent in the current fiscal.
LG Electronic ties up with Amazon on smart-home services
i. South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc is partnering with Amazon.com Inc on smart-home services, enabling the Amazon services such as the Alexa virtual assistant on some of the electronics maker’s devices.
ii. Alexa will work with its Smart Think Q Hub, an LG device used to connect with home appliances over the internet, to allow users to control the South Korean firm’s home appliances via voice-recognition technology.
iii. This tie up enables so-called “smart” features on appliances that cannot communicate with other devices on their own, to allow users to quickly order household items such as laundry detergent or drinks.
iv. LG Electronics Inc. is a South Korean multinational electronics company headquartered in Yeouido-dong, Seoul, and it part of the LG Group, employing 82,000 people working in 119 local subsidiaries worldwide. With 2014 global sales of USD 55.91 billion.
v. LG comprises four business units: Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance & Air Solution, and Vehicle Components.
CCI imposes Rs 6,700 crore fine on 10 cement companies
i. The Competition Commission of India fined 11 cement companies and their lobby group Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) to a sum of Rs 6,714 crore for alleged cartelization.
ii. These cement companies includes ACC, Lafarge, Ultratech, Jayprakash Associates, Binani and their trade association the Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) on charges of cartelization in the sector.
iii. The CCI reconsidered the matter after the Competition Appellate Tribunal last December set aside its orders and asked the watchdog to take up the case afresh.
iv. The final order has been passed pursuant to the directions issued by Competition Appellate Tribunal remanding the matter back while setting aside the original order of CCI.
v.Penalties of Rs.1147.59 crore – ACC, Rs.1163.91 crore -ACL, Rs.167.32 crore – Binani, Rs.274.02 crore – Century, Rs.187.48 crore – India Cements, Rs.128.54 crore – JK Cements, Rs.490.01 crore – Lafarge, Rs.258.63 crore – Ramco, Rs.1175.49 crore – UltraTech and Rs.1,323.60 crore – Jaiprakash Associates) have been imposed by CCI.
BHEL commissions Unit-4 of Teesta Low Dam hydro power project
i. BHEL has commissioned the fourth and last unit of the 4×40 MW Teesta Low Dam Hydro Electric Project (HEP) Stage-IV in West Bengal.
ii. Power generation from the Teesta project will result in reduction of green-house gas emissions and will help in achieving a low carbon development path for the state as well as the India.
iii. A stretch of the river greenfield project located in Darjeeling district of West Bengal, Teesta HEP has been set up by NHPC Ltd, on the River Teesta.
iv. BHEL’s scope of work in the project comprised design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of complete E&M equipment including vertical shaft Kaplan Turbines and matching generators and the equipment was supplied by BHEL units at Bhopal, Jhansi, Rudrapur & Bengaluru and the execution of work on site was carried out by the company’s Power Sector Eastern Region.
v. It is noted that BHEL is presently executing Hydro Electric Projects of around 3,300 MW in the country which are under various stage of implementation. Other projects of NHPC currently under execution by BHEL are the 4×200 MW Parbati HEP Stage–II and 3×110 MW Kishanganga HEP.
About BHEL :
♦ CEO: Atul Sobti
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Founded: 1964
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Sudarsan Pattnaik wins prize in Moscow sand art show
i. Odisha based Eminent sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has bagged the people’s choice prize for his sand sculpture named Mahatma Gandhi World Peace at the 9 th Moscow Sand Sculpture Championship 2016.
ii. Pattnaik’s sand art depicted the message of non-violence and peace which has got 60,000 votes of a total of 80,000 votes in the People’s Choice category in the Championship where 20 sand artists from countries around the world participated.
iii. He has already won a gold medal for his Sculpture at the championship held earlier this year. The famous artist has also been honoured with a Padmashri Award. He runs a sand art school at Puri beach in Odisha.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Biocon MD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw appointed as ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur
i. Biocon chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has been appointed ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur – Knight of the National Order of the French Legion of Honour.
ii. She has been conferred with this position for her outstanding contribution and dedication to Biosciences and Research field globally.
iii. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is an Indian She is the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a biotechnology company based in Bangalore (Bengaluru), India and thecurrent chairperson of IIM-Bangalore.
Anuradha Rao appointed as MD, CEO of SBI Mutual Fund
i. SBI Mutual Fund named Anuradha Rao as its Managing Director and chief executive with effective from August 25, 2016. She took charge from Dinesh Kumar Khara, who has been appointed Managing Director of State Bank of India.
ii. Earlier Rao was Deputy Managing Director at SBI handling New Business Portfolio. She has also worked as the Chief General Manager of personal banking at the bank.
iii. Rao has over three decades of vast experience in banking and allied sectors which include developing the home loans and real estate businesses at SBI.
K K Aggarwal – New National President of the Indian Medical Association
i. Cardiologist K K Aggarwal has been unanimously elected as the National President of the Indian Medical Association for the year 2016-17.
ii. Aggarwal is currently the Secretary General of the doctors association.
iii. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), is a national voluntary organization of Doctors of Modern Scientific System of Medicine in India, which looks after the interest of doctors as well as the well being of the community at large.
iv. It was established in 1928 as the All India Medical Association, renamed “Indian Medical Association” in 1930. It is a society registered under The Societies Act of India.
v. With over 220,000 member doctors through more than 1,700 active local branches in 29 States and Union Territories in India, it is the largest association of physicians and medical students in India and probably larger than the American Medical Association. Its headquarters is at Delhi.
vi. The general control management and direction of the policy of the Association is vested in the ‘Central Council’ to which local branches send representatives and which meets once a year to lay down policies.
vii. It delegates its powers to a ‘Working Committee’ for implementation of programmes and activities. This committee meets at least three times a year to execute various activities for welfare of members and the people in matters of health.
Deep Kumar Upadhyay appointed as Nepal’s Envoy To India
i. Nepal Government nominated Deep Kumar Upadhyay as its envoy to India, nearly four months after he was recalled by the previous Oli government over charges of ‘non-cooperation’ and indulging in ‘anti-government’ activities.
ii. The meeting held at Prime Minister’s office in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, proposed Upadhyay for Nepali ambassador to India and Chief Secretary Lila Mani Poudel for China, reports Kathmandu Post.
iii. Upadhyay was already Nepal’s ambassador to India until the Oli government decided to recall him. The previous government recalled him, alleging that he was found involved in various activities aimed at toppling the government. Likewise, the government also accused him of leaving his place of work without informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
iv. Mr Upadhyay is the leader of opposition Nepali Congress who was appointed as Nepal’s envoy to India in April last year, was being seen as the first casualty of the cancellation of Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s planned visit to India.
v. Nepal,officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia with a population of 26.4 million. It is a multiethnic nation with Nepali as the official language. Kathmandu is the nation’s capital and largest city. Modern Nepal is a secular parliamentary republic.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
NASA discovers young cryovolcano on dwarf planet Ceres
i. NASA Scientist discovered young cryovolcano in isolated mountain, analysis of images from NASA’s Dawn mission has revealed. The Scientists believe that it would have spewed freezing.
ii. The discovered volcano to be expected less than 1 billion years old, much more recent than scientists thought possible. The cryovolcanic formation on Ceres is named Ahuna Mons.
iii. The cryovolcanic is about 5 kilometres high, the mountain is about half the height of Everest but the dwarf planet is just 1/13 the size of Earth and believed to be geologically new, as our solar system is about 4.5 billion years old.
Launch pad blast destroys SpaceX rocket, Facebook satellite
i. An unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket busted out on the launch pad during a trail destroying a satellite that Facebook scheduled to use to beam high-speed internet to Africa at SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40 resulting in loss of the vehicle in Florida.
ii. The blast caused no casualties however it was setback for the private space Rocket Launching firm based in California.
iii. The footage of the incident cleared that the rocket burst into a roaring ball of flame amid what appeared to be a succession of blasts sending its payload sinking to the ground as a dense plume of black smoke filled the air.
Indian pacer Zaheer Khan made as honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club
i. Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has been made an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), becoming the 24th Indian cricketer to be bestowed the honor.
ii. Zaheer Khan is a former Indian cricketer who was a member of the Indian national cricket team from 2000 till 2014. He also played for Worcestershire in County Cricket and plays for Mumbai and Delhi Daredevils in Indian domestic cricket. He was the second-most successful Indian pace bowler in Test cricket, behind Kapil Dev.
iii. Zaheer Khan was selected as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2008. Zaheer Khan announced his retirement from international cricket in October 2015.
Bangladesh rope in Thilan Samaraweera as batting guru for England series
i. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) named former Sri Lankan middle-order batsman Thilan Thusara Samaraweera as their batting consultant for next month’s home series against England.
ii. The Sri Lankan Appointment comes after the board named former West Indies great Courtney Walsh as the specialist pace bowling coach and fielding Coach Richard Halsall will now work as the assistant coach for the Side upon the termination of Sri Lanka’s Ruwan Kalpage contract.
iii. The Batsman known for his solid right-handed batting but is also a capable off spinner. He played 81 tests for Sri Lanka and scored 5, 462 runs with the average of 48.76.
Veteran trade union leader Sharad Rao passes away
i. Veteran trade union leader Sharad Rao has passed away after battling with cancer for the past two years in Mumbai. He was 77 years old.
ii. The Union leader Rao was a close associate of George Fernandes. The two separated ways when Fernandes joined the Bharatiya Janata Party then Rao took over control of trade unions run by Fernandes after the latter moved to politics.
iii. The Mumbaikar also headed the City’s Autorickshawsmen’s Union that embodies majority of auto rickshaw drivers in the city and he had handed over the baton to his son Shashank Rao owing to his poor health.
Eminent Assamese poet Nalinidhar Bhattacharya passes away
i. Assamese Eminent Poet Nalinidhar Bhattacharya has passed away due to old-age ailments in Guwahati. He was 95 years old.
ii. The Sahitya Akademi award winning litterateur is the elder brother of Assam’s first ‘Jnanpith’ award winner Birendra Bhattacharya.
iii. He registered his mark as a poet with five anthologies of Assamese poems – Ali Kuwoli (1979), Charshalir Malita, Aahot Xapun, Noni Asone Ghorot and Biday Phulor Din besides he is also a prolific essayist with five collections – Mul Aru Phul, Bezbaruah Aur Adhuniktar Dharana.
iv .He was bestowed with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002 for his collection of literary works Mahat Oitijhya and is also the recipient of Soviet Land Nehru Award along with various honours.