Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 28 - MARCH - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 28 - MARCH - 2016
Monday, 28 March 2016 03:37

 

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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

28-MARCH- 2016

 

JUSTICE H L DATTU APPOINTED AS MEMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE BUREAU

Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and former Chief Justice of India HL Dattu was appointed a member of the International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) Bureau in Geneva.

NHRC, India will now be representing Asia-Pacific Region along with Mongolia, Qatar and Australia.

No other National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) from the Asia Pacific region nominated a candidate against Dattu to fill the position of a member vacated by the representative of NHRI of South-Korea.

About International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions

The International Coordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC) is a global network of NHRIs administrative bodies set up to promote, protect and monitor human rights in a given country.

The ICC coordinates the relationship between NHRIs and the United Nations human rights system.

The ICC Bureau is an important human rights body, which serves as the Management Committee of the ICC.

The ICC Bureau implements all the decisions of the ICC General Meetings and directs the operations of the ICC between these meetings.

All sub-committees and working groups report to the ICC Bureau.

PUNJAB LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY PASSED THE PUNJAB SETTLEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL INDEBTEDNESS BILL, 2016

Punjab Legislative Assembly passed The Punjab Settlement of Agricultural Indebtedness Bill, 2016. The bill specifies that the interest payable on debt shall be calculated at such rate as may be notified by the government.

Features of the Bill

• This would be in accordance with the interest rates charged by banks on yearly basis.

• The bill, aimed at providing fair and expeditious settlement of agriculturists debt-related disputes.

• It also specifies that the pledged property of the debtor who has repaid to the creditor double or more than double the principal amount or pays any amount which makes the total repayment equal to double the principal amount shall stand released and debt deemed to be discharged.

• Legislation also proposed that on and from the commencement of the Act, no Civil Court shall entertain any new suit filed for the recovery of any debt covered under the Act.

• Once the Act is enforced, any suit pending before a civil court, in respect of any such debt shall be transferred by that court to the Forum having jurisdiction in the matter.

UNION GOVERNMENT USED TELEPHONE FEEDBACK MECHANISM UNDER CPGRMS FOR THE FIRST TIME FOR GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL

CPGRMS: Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System

The abbreviation CPGRMS was in news as the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Dr Jitendra Singh initiated a telephone feedback mechanism under the CPGRMS for the first time.

Using this facility, feedback regarding the response given by the officials will be collected from the complainants who used the Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System.

Features of the CPGRMS

• The Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) is a web based portal to receive grievances from citizens on the functioning of Government.

• It was launched in 2007 to improve public service delivery and making governments citizen-centric.

• The portal also allows senior officials to monitor the progress of redressal of grievances at different levels.

• Between June 2014 and February 2016 around 12 lakhs grievances were registered. At present, on an average 1500 grievances are disposed off in a day and nearly 45000 grievances in a month.

• Around 12000 officers across the departments were designated by the Union Government for processing the grievances registered under the portal.

• It has been designed and implemented in all the Ministries and Departments of Government of India. A customized software with local language interface has also been designed for the state governments. This software is called CPGRAMS - States.

• The state module of CPGRAMS has been implemented in 9 States/Union Territories namely Haryana, Odisha, Rajasthan, Puducherry, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Uttrakhand, Jharkhand and Punjab.

• In October 2015, a mobile application for the portal was launched that provides for a Quick Response (QR) code which can be scanned on to the smart phone after which the grievance can be sent from the phone directly on to CPGRAMS.

UNION GOVERNMENT LAUNCHED PRADHAN MANTRI FASAL BHIMA YOJANA

The Union Finance Minister Aurn Jaitley launched the crop insurance scheme Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana in Mumbai.

The revamped scheme is aimed at reducing distress in the farm sector and to boost the agricultural sector in the country.

On this occassion, the Minister also launched the NABARD Agri-Credit Monitoring portal to help financial institutions to monitor the status of agricultural loans given to farmer and unveiled the Roadmap of E-Shakti Expansion Programme of digitization of Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

Features of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana

• To avail the scheme, farmers will pay a uniform premium of only 2 percent for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops.

• In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, farmers will pay a premium of only 5 percent.

• The balance premium, after farmers paying the premium at very low rate, will be paid by the Government to provide full insured amount to the farmers against crop loss on account of natural calamities.

• There will not be any upper limit on Government subsidy. Even if balance premium is 90 percent, it will be borne by the Government.

Significance of the scheme

• Compared to the previous agriculture insurance schemes, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana is significant due to the following reasons -

• Under the previous agriculture insurance schemes, there was a provision of capping the premium rate which resulted in low claims being paid to farmers. This capping limited the Government outgo on the premium subsidy.

• Now, this capping was removed and farmers will get full sum insured without any reduction against their claim. Also, farmers will have to pay much lower premiums compared to the previous schemes.

• While formulating the scheme, localized risks, including post harvest losses were also taken into account to ensure no farmer is alone in times of distress.

• The usage of technology will be encouraged to a great extent. Smart phones will be used to capture and upload data of crop cutting to reduce the delays in claim payment to farmers.

• Remote sensing technology will also be deployed to reduce the number of crop cutting experiments.

GERMANY’S NICO ROSBERG WON 2016 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany won the 2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.

Rosberg's 15th Formula One victory was also his fourth in succession after he won the final three races of last season.

Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, winner of 2015 Australian Grand Prix, secured the second place in the race.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Germany came third for Ferrari after leading for much of the race.

Results of the Australian Grand Prix

Ranking

Player

Team

1

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

3

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

4

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull Racing

5

Felipe Massa

Williams

6

Romain Grosjean

Haas

7

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India

8

Valtteri Bottas

Williams

9

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

10

Max Verstappen

Toro Rosso

About Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand Prix is a motor race held annually in Australia, currently under contract to host Formula One until 2023.

The Grand Prix is the oldest surviving motor racing competition held in Australia having been held 79 times since it was first run at Phillip Island in 1928.

Since 1985, the race has been a round of the FIA Formula One World Championship and is currently held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit at Albert Park in Melbourne.

Prior to its inclusion in the World Championship, it was held at a multitude of venues in every state of Australia.

It became part of the Formula One World Championship in 1985.

The winner of the race is presented with a circular plate, recently named the Jack Brabham trophy, and a perpetual trophy, the Lex Davison trophy.

NGT FINED UTTARAKHAND-BASED DEVELOPER DHDPL 20 LAKH RUPEES FOR CONSTRUCTION ON GANGA FLOODPLAIN

National Green Tribunal (NGT) fined 20 lakh rupees on Uttarakhand-based Darrameks Hotels and Developers Pvt Ltd (DHDPL) for construction on Ganga floodplains.

It was fined for constructing a hotel within 200 meters from the Ganga river bank.

Main Highlights of the Order

  • It slapped the environmental compensation on the developer for violating the order passed by Uttarakhand High Court. In the said order, the HC had prohibited construction of any commercial unit within 200 meter of the river bank.
  • DHDPL also violated the conditions set in the Consent to Establish issued by the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB).
  • The developer through the use of JCBs (mechanical excavators) for levelling the area has disturbed the immediate/direct catchment of the River Ganga by changing the drainage pattern.
  • It also pulled up Uttarakhand government for issuing No Objection Certificate (NoC) to the hotel, located adjacent to the river, without inspecting the site in question.
  • It constituted a committee headed by Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board to inspect the site in district Tehri Garhwal of Uttarakhand and give its recommendations with respect to the hotel project and its impact on Ganga.
  • It directed the committee to submit its report within four weeks and prohibited DHDPL from further construction on the area till the time the panel submits its report.

The judgement came on a petition filed by Rajiv Savara, a chartered accountant. In the petition he had alleged that illegal commercial construction on the river bank was posing a serious threat to the ecology and causing irreparable damage to the river.

PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI INAUGURATED BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY TO NE STATES VIA BANGLADESH

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated broadband connectivity to North Eastern States via Bangladesh to strengthen telecom services in the region.

Under the project, an international gateway for broadband connectivity will be set up at Agartala in Tripura.

Using this platform, connectivity will be provided to other North Eastern States like Manipur, Nagaland, etc through Bangladesh.

The cost of the project is around 19 crore rupees and BSNL will bear annual operational expenditure of around seven crore rupees from its own resources.

Background

During the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June 2015, an agreement on this project was signed between India and Bangladesh. The agreement was signed between the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company limited.

Before this link, telecom connectivity for networks was provided to North East from Chennai via Kolkata. The new link is a short route cable between Cox Bazar cable landing station in Bangladesh to Agartala through Akhaura.

INDIAN COAST GUARD VESSEL ARNVESH COMMISSIONED

The Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV), ICGS Arnvesh, of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) was commissioned in Visakhapatnam.

The vessel was commissioned by the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral HCS Bisht.

The ship is mainly intended to undertake surveillance at sea, coastal patrol, anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations.

Arnvesh is the 16th vessel among the 20 vessels in this category being constructed by Cochin Shipyard Limited.

Key highlights of ICGS Arnvesh

Arnvesh is equipped with the most-advanced navigational and communication sensors and equipment, including night vision capabilities.

It is fitted with 40/60 Bofors gun onboard as main armament.

The 300-tonne and 50-m long vessel is propelled by triple Rolls Royce Kamewa water jets and can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots.

INDIA REJECTS PAKISTAN’S CLAIM OF INDIAN SPY IN BALOCHISTAN

  • India rejected Pakistan’s claims that it had arrested a serving naval officer in Balochistan for what it called “subversive activities”.
  • In a statement, the Ministry of External affairs however, admitted that the man believed to be arrested was a former officer of the navy.
  • India has now sought consular access to him. The government said that India has no interest in interfering in internal matters of any country and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in the interest of all in the region.
  • According to documents released by Military intelligence sources in Pakistan, the arrested man identified himself as Kulbhushan Yadav, formerly a commander in the navy, who, Pakistan claims, was sent under deputation to the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to Iran.
  • A passport (No. L9630722), purportedly belonging to the arrested man, showed his assumed name as ‘Hussein Mubarak Patel’, born in Sangli, Maharashtra, and living in Powai, as well as a valid Iranian visa in his name.

ELECTION COMMISSION GIVES ITS APPROVAL FOR PM’S MANN KI BAAT

  • The Election Commission of India has given its approval for PM’s radio broadcast “Mann Ki Baat”, with a condition that his address to the public should not violate the Model Code of Conduct in place for the coming Assembly elections in four States and a Union Territory.
  • The Model Code of Conduct came into force on March 4 when the ECI announced the schedule for elections.
  • Elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry will be held on May 16, and beginning April 4 in West Bengal. Assam will go to the polls in two phases on April 4 and 11.
  • Owing to the Model Code, it is learnt that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had approached the ECI seeking clearance for the PM’s monthly address.

IN ORDER TO CURB EXTREMISM AND RADICALISATION U.S. WANTS TO WORK WITH INDIA

  • The U.S. has proposed to work with India to prepare a road map in countering violent extremism and radicalisation.
  • The phenomenal rise of the terrorist outfit, the Islamic State (IS), is one of the reasons that prompted the move and the U.S. has proposed that both countries exchange information on this aspect.
  • India and the U.S. are to meet for Homeland Security dialogue soon and this is one of the agenda points that will be discussed.
  • In a countrywide raid in January this year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the police had cracked down on a pan-India IS network and arrested around 25 young men from various parts of the country.
  • The accused had pledged allegiance to the IS and wanted to establish ‘Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind’ or the Army of Caliph of India by carrying out terror strikes at important installations.
  • The United States has also reiterated its proposal that India agree to the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-6), a model text agreement for exchange of terrorist screening information between Terrorist Screening Centre (TCS) of the U.S. and any Indian security agency.
  • On its part, the U.S has said that in the past one year, “two dozen people with terrorist links” were arrested in Canada and Australia with the help of HSPD-6 as both countries are signatories to it. In all, the U.S. has finalised the agreement with 30 other countries.
  • If India signs it, it could get access to the U.S. database of 11,000 terror suspects. Indian security agencies are apprehensive of giving unhindered access to the U.S. on sensitive data related to terrorists and the agreement is stuck for the past several years.

IN A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH US FORCES KILLED IS SECOND-IN-COMMAND

  • U.S. forces killed the Islamic State group’s second-in-command this week, dealing a blow to the extremists’ ability to conduct operations in Iraq, Syria and abroad, Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said.
  • Mr. Carter told reporters, referring also to the killing early in the month of Omar al-Shishani, the man known as “Omar the Chechen”, who was effectively IS’s defence minister.
  • The latest killing “will hamper the ability for them to conduct operations inside and outside of Iraq and Syria,” Mr. Carter said of Abdar-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, referring to him as Haji Imam.
  • He said al-Qaduli served as the group’s finance minister and had been behind some foreign plots.
  • The U.S. Justice Department had offered a bounty of up to $7 million for information leading to al-Qaduli.

AFTER BRUSSELS ATTACK EU LEADERS LOOK TO IMPLEMENT DECISIONS TAKEN AFTER PARIS ATTACK

  • Calling the Brussels terror attack an “attack on our open, democratic society”, an urgent meeting of European Union Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs held in Brussels resolved to swiftly implement decisions taken at a similar meeting held after the Paris blasts in November last year.
  • The failure to share intelligence was identified as the lesson not learned following the Paris attacks — a major failure that has had costly consequences.
  • Therefore a key outcome of the meeting was the decision by the Ministers to “increase as a matter of urgency the systematic feeding, consistent use and interoperability of European and international databases in the fields of security, travel and migration.”
  • The attacks were a “shock but unfortunately not a surprise”, DimitrisAvramopoulos, member of the European Council in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, told a press conference.
  • On the importance of intelligence and data sharing he said the EU Ministers resolved to quickly set up a joint liaison team of national experts that would become the nerve- centre of counter terrorism.
  • Mr. Avramopoulos castigated the EU institutions for their failure to implement some of the political decisions taken after the Paris attacks.
  • He cited the example of the explosives used in the Paris and Brussels attacks, which were home-made.

INDIA WILL APPEAL WTO’S VERDICT IN SOLAR CASE

  • India will appeal against the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) verdict over its policy relating to solar power equipment.
  • “The U.S. made it a prestige issue. It is very unfortunate that they pursued the complaint in the WTO. It reflects the hollowness of the U.S.’ commitment to clean energy,” Power Minister Piyush Goyal said
  • India had, as part of its National Solar Mission, imposed a stipulation that solar cells and solar modules be locally sourced.
  • The U.S. had filed a case against India at the WTO demanding a level-playing field for Indian and foreign solar component manufacturers. The world body ruled in favour of the U.S.
  • India’s capacity to produce solar components and solar cells comprises only a portion of the demand in India. This means that the foreign component makers would still have a substantial market to cater to.
  • Indian manufacturers had a complaint against the U.S. counterparts for dumping in India, he said. This would have attracted huge anti-dumping penalties and duties for the U.S. manufacturers, had it been pursued.
  • The Minister also said he was examining the situation in the U.S. where nine states had similar programmes to protect their domestic manufacturers
  • The Indian government was committed to its domestic manufacturers and would find other ways to protect them.

INDIAN FOREX REACHED ALL TIME HIGH

  • The country’s foreign exchange reserves rose to an all time high of $355.94 billion for the week ended March 18, latest data released by the Reserve Bank of India showed.
  • According to the central bank, total reserves grew by $ 2.54 billion for the week ended March 18 on the back of sustained inflows in the equity market.
  • The previous all time high was reached on the week ended 21 August, 2015, when it touched $355.35 billion.
  • According to RBI, foreign currency assets mainly contributed to the rise in total reserves which grew by $2.5 billion during the week to $ 322.5 billion.
  • The government maintained the fiscal deficit target for 2016-17 at 3.5 per cent while reducing the small savings rate which could create more room for the central bank to lower interest rate.
  • RBI, which has reduced interest rate by 125 bps since January 2015, is widely expected to cut it by at least 25 bps when it reviews the monetary policy on April 5.
  • In about two and half years since Raghuram Rajan took over as the governor of the central bank, foreign exchange grew by $122 billion, from a low of $274.8 billion, reached on the week ended September 6, 2013 when the country was in the middle of a currency crisis.
  • The healthy growth in foreign exchange reserves has increased the import cover close to 10 months, which fell to a low of 6-7 months during the currency crisis of 2013.

NON-CONVERTIBLE DEBENTURES BECOMING IMPORTANT SOURCE OF FINANCE FOR INDIAN FIRMS

  • Indian firms have raised a staggering over Rs.58,000 crore through issuance of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the ongoing fiscal, amid a sluggish equity markets.
  • This was much higher than Rs.9,713 crore garnered in the entire last fiscal.]
  • Most of the funds have been mobilised for expansion, to support working capital requirements and for other general corporate purposes.
  • The debentures are loan-linked bonds that cannot be converted into stock and usually offer higher interest rates than convertible debentures.
  • As per the provisional data with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), firms raked in a total of Rs.58,533 crore through non-convertible debentures in the current fiscal (2015-16) as on March 14.
  • In terms of numbers, 20 issuances have taken the NCD route in the ongoing fiscal as compared to 25 in the entire 2014-15.

 

 

 

 


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 05:01