Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 -FEBRUARY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 19 -FEBRUARY - 2016
Friday, 19 February 2016 03:22

 

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

19 -FEBRUARY - 2016

 

INDIA AND SWEDEN INKED MOU ON TECHNICAL COOPERATION IN RAIL SECTOR

The Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of the Kingdom of Sweden inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in rail sector.

The MoU aims at developing cooperation activities in the railway area to promote efficiency and sustainability and achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, investment, research and technology transfer.

The MoU was signed by Girish Pillai, Adviser / Infrastructure on behalf of Ministry of Railways, and Oscar Stenstrom, State Secretary on behalf of Swedish Government.

Key highlights of the MoU

Benchmark railways policy development, regulations, organization and specific characteristics for each country.

Exchange of knowledge, technical expertise, innovation, technology, sustainable solutions and research.

Other cooperation projects agreed between the participants, such as, tilting coaches/trains, capacity allocation (time tabling) and optimisation of maintenance and improved freight/combination traffic.

Training and continuing education program in reliability and maintenance of rail transport system for railway engineers and managers.

The MoU will remain in force for 5 years from the date of signing. However, it can be extended for a further period of 5 years with the written consent of both sides.

TATA TELESERVICES SUBSIDIARY MRUPEE TIED-UP WITH IRCTC

mRUPEE, a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices, announced that it has tied up with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide an additional payment gateway.

Indian Railways carries more than 23 million passengers a day and the association will allow users one-tap payments for rail ticket bookings via mRUPEE wallet for a significant number of travellers.

About IRCTC

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the railways.

As the biggest e-commerce portal in India, IRCTC holds record of over 13 lakh tickets booked in a day in April 2015. The portal sees approximately 4.5 to 5 lakhs bookings per day on an average.

About mRUPEE

mRUPEE, a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices, is a service that allows the consumers to do various transactions through their mobile phone.

It converts customers’ mobile phones into a mobile wallet and allows them to send money to their family & friends’ bank accounts, shop online and make payments of bills & services.

1ST MEGA FOOD PARK OF JHARKHAND INAUGURATED AT GETALSUD

The first Mega Food Park (MFP) of Jharkhand was inaugurated at Getalsud village in Ranchi district. The MFP, named Jharkhand Mega Food Park, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal.

Features of Jharkhand Mega Food Park

• It was set up as a public private partnership (PPP) project under the aegis of the Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS) of the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI).

• It is promoted by M/s Jharkhand Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. at an estimated cost of 114.73 crore rupees in an area of 51.50 Acres.

• It has Central Processing Centre (CPC) at Ranchi and six Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) are being set up at Lohardaga, Gumla, Hazaribagh, Belchampa, Domchach and Patratu to provide strong backward linkages.

• It will have facilities of Multi Chamber Cold Storage, Dry Warehouse, Vegetable Dehydration Line, modern Quality Control& Testing Laboratory and other processing facilities for fruits & vegetables.

• It will create a modern infrastructure for arresting post-harvest losses of horticultural and non-horticultural produce and provide impetus to the growth of food processing sector in Jharkhand.

• It will help in providing better prices to farmers, reduce wastage of perishables, add value to agricultural produce and create huge opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment for the youth of the State.

• It will benefit the people of Ranchi district and the people of nearby districts of Lohardaga, Gumla, Ramgarh, Garhwa, Koderma, & Hazaribagh etc.as well.

• It is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to about 6000 people and benefit about 25000-30000 farmers in its catchment area.

ICC CRICKET FOR GOOD AND UNICEF LAUNCHED TEAM SWACHH CLINICS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BCCI

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good and United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with BCCI launched theTeam Swachh clinics during the ICC WT20 Host City Tour. The clinics were launched at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

The step was taken to promote a nationwide initiative that aims to build a social movement for sanitation and toilet use there by leading to an open-defecation-free India.

After Dharamshala, the ICC World T20 Host City Tour will visit each of the venues that will host matches of the showpiece event.

About Team Swachh

Team Swachh is the first of a series of collaborations between the ICC and UNICEF under the aegis of Cricket for Good.

It aims at leveraging the vast reach and power of cricket. The collaboration also aims at building a social movement for sanitation and toilet use.

The five-year global partnership between ICC and UNICEF was announced in October 2015 in New York.

The partnership will be used as the ICC’s platform to advocate for children in India and other countries where cricket is a popular sport.

WALK OF HOPE TO ADDRESS CRUCIAL AREAS OF SOCIAL CO-EXISTENCE IN INDIA

Walk of Hope: A padayatra for peace & harmony by the Manav Ekta Mission–from Kanyakumari to Kashmir

The term Walk of Hope was in news in the third week of February 2016. It came into news as it reached the national capital, New Delhi after covering a distance of 5400 kilometers in 374 days.

During these 374 days, the padyatra for peace and harmony passed through the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

The padayatra will traverse Delhi-NCR from 13 February to 4 March 2016 and will cover 130 kms through the state. After Delhi, the Walk will cover the states of Haryana, Punjab and reach Srinagar, Kashmir in May 2016.

Walk of Hope 2015-16 was started by the Manav Ekta Mission on 12 January 2015 under Sri M (born Mumtaz Ali Khan).

The padyatra that kick started on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is an ambitious walk that plans to cover 7500 km via 11 States and 86 districts over 500 days. Vivekanand undertook a similar journey to connect with the people and spread the message of communal harmony.

Objective of the Walk of Hope 2015-16

The walk wants to address the six crucial areas of social co-existence in India that will help us achieve lasting peace and harmony.

The crucial areas are

• Interfaith Harmony– Initiatives that promote and nurture interfaith unity, harmony and the message of oneness.

• Equality for All– It wants to enable equality for all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language and gender.

• Sustainable Living– Activities inspiring harmony with nature to energise our immediate eco-systems.

• Women Empowerment– Programs that engender empowerment and safety of women and their safety.

• Community Health– Propagating effective community awareness programs to improve sanitation and primary healthcare thus create a positive influence on personal and societal health and hygiene.

• Education & Youth Development– It aims to spread education in the lower strata of society and to empower youth through education across the nation.
Besides, the walk aims at connecting with 10 million Indians and spread the message of interfaith harmony. In its interactions with people, it seeks to explore the root cause of intolerance and divisiveness, and seeks a solution to restore the innate spirituality of the nation.

MINISTRY OF HEAVY INDUSTRIES UNVEILED NATIONAL CAPITAL GOODS POLICY 2016

Union Ministry of Heavy Industries unveiled National Capital Goods Policy 2016.

The policy, with the theme Building India of Tomorrow, seeks to achieve the vision of Make in India initiative and establish India as a global manufacturing hub by unlocking the potential for capital goods sector.

Features of National Capital Goods Policy 2016

• Vision: To increase the share of capital goods contribution from present 12 to 20 percent of total manufacturing activity by 2025

• Mission: To become one of the top capital goods producing nations of the world by raising the total production to over twice the current level

• To raise exports to a significant level of at least 40 percent of total production and thus gain 2.5 percent share in global exports of capital goods

• To improve technology depth in Indian capital goods from the current basic and intermediate levels to advanced levels

• Objectives: Increase total production to achieve total production in excess of 5 lakh crore rupees by 2025 from the current 2.2 lakh crore rupees

• To increase domestic employment from the current 15 lakhs to at least 50 lakhs by 2025 thus providing additional employment to over 35 lakhs people

• To increase the share of domestic production in India's capital goods demand from 56% to 80% by 2025 and in the process improve domestic capacity utilization to 80-90 percent

• To improve skill availability by training 50 lakhs people by 2025

• To improve 'technology depth' in capital goods sub-sectors by increasing research intensity in India from 0.9 percent to at least 2.8 percent of GDP

• Programmes: To achieve the above objectives the policy proposed a new scheme Heavy Industry Export & Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA) on pilot basis, Technology Development Fund under PPP model, start-up centre for capital goods sector.

• In addition, the policy recommended for strengthening the existingScheme on Enhancement of Competitiveness of Capital Goods and modernize the CG manufacturing units, especially SMEs.

Nine-point action plan: The policy has proposed a comprehensive set of policy actions which would enable the achievement of the objectives for the sector and had recommended a set of nine new initiatives and policy actions and they are:

1) Devising a long term, stable and rationalized tax and duty structure to ensure cost competitiveness of the sector

2) Drafting a comprehensive public procurement policy with amended qualifying criteria and introducing special provisions in contracts for domestic value addition

3) Promoting development of new technology through indigenous sources

4) Providing Technology Upgrade Fund Support across all capital goods sub-sectors

5) Creating a level playing field vis-à-vis imports by restricting imports of second hand machinery and mitigating duty disadvantages

6) Supporting availability of short and long term of financing at competitive rates to capital goods manufacturers

7) Enabling skill development by setting up sub-sector specific Skill Councils.

8) Enabling higher participation of India in standard creation and developing support system to improve compliance.

9) Developing manufacturing clusters with shared facilities especially for SMEs

Governance Mechanism: The policy proposes a governance mechanism for smooth implementation and effectiveness of the policy. The mechanism will be in the form of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental committees at the highest level to ensure due consideration of the interests of all stakeholders.

Periodic Review of Policy: The capital goods sector operates in a dynamic local and global environment and it is imperative for the policy to undergo a periodic review and revision to maintain its relevance.

The National Capital Goods Policy 2016 will be reviewed every five years and revised appropriately to take account of progress in implementation and emerging trends in the national and international environment.

AFTER HC JUDGE STAYS HIS TRANSFER, SUPREME COURT FREEZES HIS FUNCTIONS

  • The judicial hierarchy turned turtle when Justice C. S. Karnan of the Madras High Court ‘stayed’ the Chief Justice of India’s proposal to transfer him to the Calcutta High Court.
  • It forced the Supreme Court to authorise a freeze on his functions as a judge.
  • In an unprecedented development which threatened institutional esteem, a Bench of Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice R. Banumathi was informed by the Madras High Court that its sitting judge, Justice Karnan, has passed a “suomotu judicial order” ‘staying’ the Chief Justice ofIndia’s recommendation to transfer him.
  • The High Court judge stayed any move to transfer him to Kolkata, asking the CJI not to “interfere in my jurisdiction, as I am in the process of finalising an order on merits.”
  • He even suggests to Chief Justice Thakur to look up the Second Judges case law of 1993 delivered by a nine-judge Constitution Bench.
  • The 1993 case law had said that judges should be transferred “only in ‘public interest’ i.e. for promoting better administration of justice throughout the country.”

SUPREME COURT WANTS PARLIAMENT TO DECIDE THE LEGALITY OF PASSIVE EUTHANASIA

  • The Supreme Court said Parliament or the “people's court” should be the final judge to decide the legality of passive euthanasia and “Living Will”.
  • The Centre agreed with the apex court and illustrated the complexity of medically taking a person's life by pointing at how Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is “being kept alive for years on the hope he will wake up from his coma oneday”.
  • A Constitution Bench, said it will wait till July 20 with the “unwritten hope” that the government or Parliament will finalise a law on passive euthanasia.
  • The act of withdrawing medical treatment with deliberate intention of causing the death of a terminally-ill patient.
  • On legalising the ‘Living Will’ — an advance directive to physicians for end-of-life medical care — the Bench asked whether the concept was fundamentally against aperson's instinctive urge to live.
  • It asked whether such a person should be given every minute chance to recover without alien intervention.

MYSURU GETS TOP POSITION IN SWACHH BHARAT RANKING

  • Mysuru city in Karnataka retained the top position in Swachh Bharat Rankings for 2015 that were released by the Ministry of Urban Development.
  • Compared to the 2014 rankings, Chandigarh has replaced Tiruchirapalli of Tamil Nadu in the second rank while Dhanbad of Jharkhand is reeling at the 73rd slot, the lowest rank.
  • Urban development minister said that the survey was “more participatory and evidence based” as all the featured cities were informed two months in advance about the methodology.
  • In a year-long survey, the researchers studied 476 first-tier cities with two parameters: one, how ‘minimal’ opendefecation was in the city; two, how robust the municipalities were with the solid waste management system.
  • Launched in October 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Swachh Bharat Mission is the flagship sanitation programme of the National Democratic Alliance government, which aims to bridge the gap between sewerage and solid waste management and construct several million toilets in the urban centres.
  • With a Central funding of Rs.14,623 crore, the government aims to build 1.4 crore household toilets, 2.5 lakh community toilets and 2.6 lakh public toilets by 2019.

THE OLDEST OPERATIONAL AIRCRAFT CARRIER INS VIRAAT TO BE DECOMMISSIONED

  • In what is probably her last port of call, INS Viraat, the oldest operational aircraft carrier in the world, dropped anchor in Chennai.
  • Commissioned as HMS Hermes as part of the Royal Navy, she was in the thick of action during the Falklands campaign in 1982.
  • After serving the United Kingdom for almost 28 years since 1959, the carrier was inducted into the Indian Navyas INS Viraat in 1987.

SUPREME COURT DISMISSES PLEA FOR BRINGING PENDING CASES UNDER RTI

  • Fifteen years after its verdict that the confidence of litigants would be shaken if judgments were kept pending for years, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea to maintain the data on its pending judgments and make the information public under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
  • The court’s refusal to be made accountable under the RTI Act is despite the decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to disclose the number of pend- ing or “reserved” judgments.
  • The Commission’s decision was upheld by a single judge of the Delhi High Court in a case in which the Supreme Court itself was an opposing party.
  • The CIC had directed the Supreme Court to maintain its record in such a manner that RTI applicants could beinformed of the number of its “reserved judgments”.
  • “We are of the view that the total number of such cases in which orders are reserved should be duly intimated to the public.” Said CIC.
  • “Now that the benefit of computerisation is available, placing such data in the public domain should not be particularly difficult,” the CIC had said.

INDIAN OCEAN IS CORE TO MARITIME SILK ROAD PROJECT

  • A military base in Djibouti along with major port development projects in Myanmar and Sri Lanka are defining the contours of China’s Maritime Silk Road—an oceanic connectivity project, of which, the Indian Ocean is the core.
  • Reuters is quoting Ismail Omar Guelleh, Djibouti’s President, as saying that Chi- na will soon commence work on the naval base.
  • The Horn of Africa nation is strategically located on the junction of the Indian Ocean and he Red Sea—a gateway to the Suez Canal via the Strait of BabAl-Mandab.
  • Djibouti would become an ideal location for securing sea lanes, in the vicinity, which radiate from this area towards Africa’s Indian Ocean coastline and the Arabian Sea.
  • China has also quietly signed a deal to develop an Industrial Park and a deep water port in Kyaukphyu in Myanmar.
  • The facility in the Bay of Bengal amplifies Beijing’s pitch to deepen its stakes in Myanmar in order to lower its dependence on the Straits of Malacca—a strategic commercial channel, dominated by the U.S. sixth fleet.
  • Xinhua has reported that a consortium led by the China International Trust and In- vestment Corporation (CITIC), a construction company, has won the bid towards the end of last year to develop the two projects.
  • The deep sea enterprise includes development of 10 berths at the Maday Island Terminal and the Yanbye Island Terminal.
  • It will be completed in four phases spanning a period of 20 years.
  • Maday Island has already emerged as a major pillar of China’s energy security. Last year, a pipeline from the island transited oil sourced mainly from West Asia and Africa to China’s Yunnan province, thus avoiding the “Malacca trap”.

NEPAL PM ON MAIDEN VISIT TO INDIA

  • Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli said his maiden visit to India this week is aimed at bringing bilateral ties back on track by clearing “misunderstandings” even as he defended the new Constitution, opposed by Madhesis, as “inclusive and democratic”.
  • Mr. Oli’s much-anticipated visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes days after agitating Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, ended their crippling protests and blockade that had soured the bilateral ties.
  • The year 2015 remained a landmark in our history as we were able to promulgate the new Constitution despite the hardship facing the people due to the five-month-long blockade in the country’s southern border, even after suffering from the devastating earthquake that hit the country 10 months ago.
  • The new Constitution promulgated on September 20, 2015 was inclusive and democratic as it has all the features of a democratic Constitution including guarantee of human rights, independent judiciary, social justice and equality.

RBI GOVERNOR SAYS THERE IS NO NEED FOR CURRENCY DEVALUATION

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government don’t favour undervaluation of the exchange rate as a means to spur economic growth
  • “There are those who argue that in countries such as China, Japan and Korea business enterprises grew via an undervalued exchange rate.
  • However there are a lot of problems with undervaluing the exchange rate and some of these problems are reflected in the economic condition that these countries find themselves in today.
  • sustained undervaluation over a long period of time is not a feasible or desirable strategy. Which is why the RBI’s philosophy of not focusing on the level of exchange rate and trying to manipulate it up or manipulate it down but trying instead to minimise situations of extreme volatility and intervening in situations when the exchange rate becomes extremely volatile in either direction is the right one.
  • The Indian rupee is one of Asia’s worst performing currencies against the U.S. dollar this yearamid renewed concern about the health of the world economy and dwindling investor confidence
  • The advantage to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) should come from their capabilities, cost-effectiveness and innovative ideas rather than from undervaluation.
  • MSMEs can act as a means of social empowerment where disadvantageous sections of society can be empowered with money and wealth
  • Lack of infrastructure and logistics, lack of access to marketing, difficulty and the expense in acquiring land and financing are some of the impediments faced by MSMEs.
  • Kerala, with its literacy rate and educational achievements, is quite capable of triggering a revolution on the MSME front

NATIONAL CAPITAL GOODS POLICY INTRODUCED

  • The government introduced a National Capital Goods Policy to spur capital goods sector and the Make in India initiative.
  • Heavy Industry and Public Enterprisewas part of the government’s commitment to turn the country into a world class hub for capital goods.
  • The objective of the policy was to increase production of capital goods from Rs. 2.30 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 7.50 lakh crore in 2025 and raising direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million
  • The policy envisages making India a net exporter of capital goods and aims at facilitating improvement in technology across sub-sectors, increasing skill availability, ensuring mandatory standards and promoting growth and capacity building of MSMEs.
  • Some of the key issues addressed include availability offinance, raw material, innovation and technology, productivity, quality and environment-friendly manufacturing practices, promoting exports and creating domestic demand.
  • The key policy recommendations include strengthen- ing the existing scheme of the DHI (Department of Heavy Industry) on enhancement of competitiveness of capital goods sector by increasing budgetary allocation and increasing its scope to further boost global competitiveness in various sub sectors and enhancing export of Indian made capital goods through a ‘Heavy Industry Export and Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA)’.
  • It has also made provision for introducing a Technology Development Fund, upgrading existing and setting up a new testing and certification facility, making standards mandatory in order to reduce sub-standard machine imports and at the same time providing opportunity to local manufacturing units by utilising their installed capacity and unveiling scheme for skill development for capital goods sector.

EXPORTS SHRINK FOR 14TH STRAIGHT MONTH IN JANUARY

  • Merchandise exports fell for the 14th consecutive month with shipments in January, 2016 contracting 13.6 per cent year-on-year to $21 billion due to weak overseas demand as well as fall in major export items such as engineering goods and petroleum products.
  • Imports also fell during the month by 11 per cent to $28.7 billion, resulting in the trade deficit narrowing to an 11- month low of $7.6 billion.
  • The trade deficit would have been lower had the gold imports not recorded an 85.16 per cent increase in January to $2.91 billion.
  • The growth in exports have fallen for U.S.A. (-10.51%), European Union (-9.48%) and China (-7.01%) for November 2015 over the corresponding period previous year as per WTO statistics
  • Seventeen of the 30 export sectors recorded a negativegrowth in January. These included major sectors such as engineering goods (-27.6 per cent to $4.98 billion), ready- made garments (-6.1 per cent to $1.4 billion) and petroleum products (-35.1 per cent to $1.9 billion). Non-petroleum ex- ports in January 2016 fell 10.55 per cent to $19.1 billion
  • Reflecting the fall in global oil prices, oil imports in January 2016 were 39 per cent low- er year-on-year at $5 billion. However, non-oil imports during January, 2016 were only 1.4 per cent lower at $23.7 billion.
  • The net export of services for April-December, 2015-16 was estimated at $54.8 billion, lower than $56.5 billion during April-December 2014-15.

 

 

 

Living a peaceful life does not depend on the situations of past, present or future. Accepting life as it comes and having a will to let go without getting attached to anything is the key for a peaceful living. Do your duty and be contented with what you have.Every emotion has energy. In a day, we go through so many negative emotions--anger, guilt, grief, envy, greed, fear, worry, stress, lust----

but we don't realize that the energy associated with these emotions is usually used destructively by us, to cause harm to ourselves or to others. If we became aware, we would realize that every time we became angry or fearful or stressed out, the body produces tremendous energy. What we need to do is to channel this energy into something constructive, rather than letting it run amok, cause problems to us and others. These energies are like wild animals; we need to learn to domesticate them and put them to good use. Next time you feel a negative emotion, try and become aware and channel the energy into some constructive activity...
‪#‎RAY‬ - ‪#‎Empowering‬ ‪#‎Talent‬ ‪#‎Since‬ 1971
www.rosemaryinstitute.com

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2016 08:30
 

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