Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14- OCTOBER - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 14- OCTOBER - 2016
Sunday, 16 October 2016 03:06

 

 

 


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DAILY NEWS UPDATES

14- OCTOBER - 2016

:: NATIONAL ::

US SAYS INDIA NEEDS TO RESPOND TO CROSS-BORDER TERRORISM

  • The U.S. empathises with India’s position that it needs to militarily respond to cross-border terrorism.
  • But given the history of wars between Indian and Pakistan and the heavily militarised character of the region, both sides must show restraint and caution, a senior White House official said on Wednesday.
  • Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council said: “It [Uri] was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemn this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack.
  • Every country has a right to self-defence. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint.
  • We share with India, the concern…. for preventing any future attack. We empathise with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution.”

CYBER SECURITY IS A BIG CHALLENGE TO THE WORLD

  • Deterrence in terms of national cyber security is a big challenge the world over, given that identification of the sources from where the threats emanate is a time-consuming process.
  • It can be difficult to find an attribution to a cyber attack: was it a foreign state, an individual or an activist group? It is a tricky issue.
  • The perpetrators could be operating from different foreign jurisdictions, hiding behind multiple levels of disguise in the cyber space.
  • In the recent past, Indian government agencies and corporates have come under cyber attacks on multiple occasions.
  • This May, two cyber security firms claimed to have identified espionage groups that targeted computer systems in government agencies and e-commerce businesses.
  • There are largely three sources of cyber threats to corporates: state-sponsored; criminals out to extort money; and activist groups which believe that a particular corporate’s activities undermine their cause.
  • Through ransomware, which is increasingly becoming sophisticated in terms of technology, criminals block access of corporates to their own data stored in servers and demand ransom to release it.
  • The cyber expert said law enforcement agencies are often able to identify the sources of such threats, which are usually located abroad, but in many cases certain foreign jurisdictions do not show much interest in taking action against perpetrators.

FINAL DRAFT OF THE NATIONAL WATER FRAMEWORK BILL, 2016 BROUGHT BY CENTRE

  • Centre has brought final draft of the National Water Framework Bill, 2016, that stresses managing water at basin-level and “right measurement” of State’s contribution to river system to resolve conflicts.
  • The draft Bill pitches for establishing River Basin Authority for each inter-State basin to ensure “optimum and sustainable” development of rivers and valleys.
  • The Bill is expected to be placed before the Union Cabinet for its approval in a month, before it is tabled in Parliament.
  • It suggests States to recognise the principle that the rivers are not owned by the basin-States but are “public trustees.”
  • It says all basin States have “equitable” rights over a river water “provided such use does not violate the right to water for life” of any person in the river basin.
  • The draft Bill says every person has a “right to sufficient quantity of safe water for life” within easy reach of the household regardless of caste, creed, religion, age, community, class, gender, disability, economic status, land ownership and place of residence.
  • Describing the draft Bill as “comprehensive” one, he said the model law also stresses on Centre and States working in partnership for managing water.
  • It proposes establishing institutional arrangements at all levels within a State and beyond up to an inter-State river basin level to “obviate” disputes through negotiations, conciliation or mediation before they become acute.
  • Water being a State subject, the Bill, however, will not be binding on States for adoption.

RIFT BETWEEN CIVIL AND MILITARY SECTIONS GROWS IN PAKISTAN

  • The growing rift between the civil and military sections of Pakistan over terrorism, which was first reported in the Karachi-based Dawn newspaper, has drawn the attention of BRICS delegates.
  • The diplomatic isolation of Pakistan and instability in the nuclear-armed country would be discussed during the October 15-16 summit.
  • Pakistan has been facing diplomatic isolation ever since SAARC member states withdrew from the Islamabad SAARC summit of November, citing “interference”, “cross-border terror” and “imposed war”.
  • Pakistan highlighted Turkey’s support for its position on Kashmir, and announced that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim was briefed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s special envoys on Kashmir.
  • Turkey’s support came on the eve of Mr Sharif’s planned visit to Azerbaijan, which, along with Turkey, has supported Pakistan’s campaign on Kashmir at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
  • Pakistan also sounded a conciliatory note on terror probes with its envoy indicating that resumption of dialogue might help the probe into the terror strike on the Pathankot airbase.
  • The report in Dawn had revealed that Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had informed the military-intelligence chiefs that terrorism had to be addressed to avoid growing the diplomatic isolation of Pakistan.
  • The BRICS summit is likely to discuss international terrorism in line with the September 14-15 meeting of BRICS National Security Advisers.
  • The shadow of terror also emerged on Goa with tight security measures being put in place to prevent any disruptive incident.

:: INTERNATIONAL ::

SYRIA ISSUE DISTURBS RUSSIA AND WEST RELATIONS

  • President Vladimir Putin cancelled a planned visit to France and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on anti-war campaigners to protest outside the Russian embassy in London against the bombing of Syrian city of Aleppo.
  • French Foreign Minister said Mr. Putin cancelled the visit to Paris because he was “embarrassed” about Russia’s bombing of Aleppo.
  • President Putin had been due in Paris on October 19 to inaugurate a spiritual centre at a new Russian Orthodox church near the Eiffel Tower and open an exhibition of artworks assembled by a Russian collector.
  • But French President Francois Hollande insisted Mr. Putin also took part in talks with him about Syria, where Moscow is providing military support to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
  • Russia has been waging a punishing aerial bombing campaign in Syria for more than a year in support of Mr. Assad’s forces, part of a multi-front war that has claimed some 300,000 lives and seen Moscow further estranged from the West.
  • Moscow blocked a draft French UN resolution calling for an end to air strikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo that have escalated in the last month, leaving hundreds of people dead, including dozens of children.

:: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ::

SCIENTISTS RECORDED SOUNDS BY JUPITER’S AURORA

  • Scientists have recorded haunting sounds cast by Jupiter’s auroras, captured by NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft during its first full orbit around the king of planets.
  • The radio emissions cast by Jupiter’s auroras — light shows similar to the northern and southern lights on Earth — were recorded by an instrument, called Waves, as the Juno spacecraft travelled about 4,100 km above Jupiter’s swirling clouds.
  • The emissions from Jupiter were discovered in the 1950s but had never been analysed from such a close vantage point, according to NASA.
  • The scientists want to learn how electrons and ions are accelerated along magnetic field lines above Jupiter to eventually collide with the atmosphere, creating the bursts of light that become the auroras.
  • To do that, the Waves instrument will sample plasma waves along different segments in the magnetic field lines with each of its orbits around Jupiter.
  • A camera aboard the spacecraft captured high-resolution views of the Jovian atmosphere.

:: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY ::

GOVT WARNS EMPLOYEES AGAINST CRITICISM OF GSTN

  • The Centre has warned its employees that they could invite penal action if it is found that they are indulging in criticism of its policies and actions.
  • Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)-a private company tasked with the creation of Information Technology (IT) infrastructure and composition of a GST council secretariat for the new tax regime.
  • It cited the service rules tinkered in June, covering the social media as well, that bar a government servant from making any adverse criticism of any policy or action of the government.
  • The Ministry said the primary objective of the service associations is to promote common service interest of its members.
  • The service rules were amended in June making it clear that disapproval of government policies on social media also amounted to violation of conduct rules.
  • And the threat of disciplinary action extends to caricatures that are uncharitable to the government.
  • Earlier rule book spoke about criticism made in a radio broadcast, public media (such as television) or documents. It will be applicable to anonymous and pseudonymous posts by officials too.
  • The recent memo of the Finance Ministry capped weeks of unrest among officers and cadre of the Excise and Revenue Department officials over a number of issues related to roll out of the General Sales Tax regime.
  • The central government holds 24.5 per cent stake in GSTN while state governments together hold another 24.5 per cent.
  • The balance 51 per cent equity is with non-government financial institutions, like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and LIC Housing Finance.

RAPID-GROWTH COMPANIES NUMBER INCREASED VERY FAST

  • The number of Indian firms among the global rapid-growth companies identified by the World Economic Forum has almost doubled to 30 now from 17 in 2014.
  • The sheer scale of the Indian market, and the necessary innovation made by Indian companies, make them highly competitive at the global level.
  • They have the opportunity to scale beyond what can be done in Europe, for example. So that gives birth to very interesting business models that can then be replicated around the world.
  • In the category of young, innovative, start-up to mid-size companies, we have 30 from India. We have PayTM, Ola Cabs, Dabur, Parle Agro etc. These are innovative companies and we see them playing a greater role in the WEF’s ecosystem.
  • There are 100 Indian companies that are members of the WEF, of which 30 are mid-sized or entrepreneurial companies.
  • There is a strong entrepreneurial spirit. There is some talk of over-valuation of start-ups and then the subsequent scaling back of this valuation as being a matter for concern.
  • Despite India’s improved performance in the global competitiveness rankings, there still remain substantial challenges in the ease of doing business, and the taxation system.

:: IMPORTANT DETAILED NEWS ::

MS SAHOO ASSUMES CHARGE AS CHAIRMAN OF INSOLVENCY AND BANKRUPTCY BOARD OF INDIA

MS Sahoo assumed charge as Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI). The oath of the office was administered by Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley.

He will serve the office will 2021.

Sahoo was recently serving as a member of anti-trust regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) and was earlier a member at capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

About Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

• IBBI is a four-member Board. The members of the IBBI are Ajay Tyagi, Amardeep Singh Bhatia, GS Yadav and Unnikrishnan.

• The main activity of IBBI is to regulate the functioning of insolvency professionals, insolvency professional agencies and information utilities under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016.

• The Board will be expanded to 10 Members (including the Chairman) in the future.

WILDLIFE FILM-MAKER PRAJNA CHOWTA CONFERRED KNIGHTHOOD BY FRANCE

Film-maker and elephant researcher Prajna Chowta was recently appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (Knight in the National Order of Merit) by the French Government.

The official ceremony is expected to be held later in 2016 in Bengaluru.

The appointment of Chowta by the President of the French Republic comes in recognition of a life devoted to caring for wild Asian elephants.

Who is Prajna Chowta?

Chowta is the founder of Aane Mane Foundation.

The Foundation has been researching and conserving wild Asian elephants.

She has also authored the Elephant Code Book on captive elephant management as well as the French book Enfant d’Elephant (Elephant’s Child) in 2014. The book is based on the sketches of tribals and their relationship with elephants.

As a researcher, she was also instrumental in developing an online monitoring system and one of the first GPS collars for elephants in India.

She is among the few Indian women to be appointed a Knight.

Earlier in 2016, businesswoman Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and actor Kamal Hassan were recognised under the French government’s Legion of Honour award.

About National Order of Merit

The National Order of Merit is a French order of merit with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic.

It was founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle.

The reason for the order’s establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens.

SBI BECOMES FIRST DOMESTIC BANK TO OPEN BRANCH IN YANGON

The State Bank of India (SBI) became the first domestic bank of India to open a branch in the capital city of Yangon, Myanmar. Ghanshyam Srivastava will be the Chief Executive Officer of the SBI Yangon branch.

This was made possible with the permission of the Myanmarese central bank, which allowed SBI to open a branch with the primary objective of extending wholesale banking services to foreign corporates.

The Yangon branch is the 54th foreign branch of the SBI, nation's largest lender. This branch extends the global presence of SBI in 37 countries through 198 offices.

Background
India has been a major trading partner of Myanmar for centuries. Since the signing of India and Myanmar trade agreement in 1970, bilateral trade between both the countries has been growing steadily.

SBI has been associated with Myanmar since 1861, when the erstwhile Bank of Bengal operated its branch in the then Rangoon. Later, as part of bank nationalisation, the operations of the Rangoon branch of SBI were taken over by the Peoples' Bank of Burma in February 1963.

ASHISH VOHRA APPOINTED AS CEO OF RELIANCE NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE LTD

Ashish Vohra was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Ltd. The position of CEO of the company was lying vacant after Anup Rau left the company in June 2016.

Prior to this appointment, Vohra was working at Max Life Insurance.

About Ashish Vohra

• Vohra is a mechanical engineer from IIT BHU and an MBA from IIM Bangalore.

• He has over 25-years of experience with various companies including Max Life Insurance, Fullerton India Credit, Citibank and Eicher Motors.

• He spent 8 years with Max Life Insurance and served as Senior Director and Chief Distribution Officer.

• Prior to joining Max Life, Ashish was Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Business at Fullerton India Credit Corporation.

• He has also served a long stint with Eicher Motors earlier.

About Reliance Nippon Life Insurance Ltd

• Reliance Life Nippon Life Insurance is a 51:49 joint venture between Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital and Nippon Life Insurance of Japan, a Global Fortune 500 company.

• It is one of the largest non-bank supported private life insurers with over 10 million policy holders, a strong distribution network of over 800 branches and over 100000 advisors.

• It is rated amongst the Top 3 Most Trusted Life Insurance Service Brands by Brand Equity‘s Most Trusted Brands Survey 2015.

DAVID THOULESS, F DUNCAN M HALDANE AND MICHAEL KOSTERLITZ WON 2016 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics was one half awarded to David J Thouless and the other half jointly to F Duncan M Haldane and J Michael Kosterlitz for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.

David J Thouless is a Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. While, F. Duncan M. Haldane is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, USA and J Michael Kosterlitz is the Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University, USA.

All three will jointly share the 8 million Swedish kronor prize.

Discoveries of all three Laureates

• All three Laureates used topological concepts in physics for their discoveries.

• In the early 1970s, Michael Kosterlitz and David Thouless overturned the then current theory that superconductivity or suprafluidity could not occur in thin layers.

• They demonstrated that superconductivity could occur at low temperatures and also explained the mechanism, phase transition, that makes superconductivity disappear at higher temperatures.

• In the 1980s, Thouless was able to explain a previous experiment with very thin electrically conducting layers in which conductance was precisely measured as integer steps.

• At around the same time, Duncan Haldane discovered how topological concepts can be used to understand the properties of chains of small magnets found in some materials.

 

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