16 June, 2016

Gk Update 16 June 2016

1. Railways flags off 1st time-tabled freight train

i. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has flagged off India's first timetabled freight train, named ‘Cargo Express’, from Delhi to Bengaluru. 
ii. The move aims to reduce the delay and uncertainty over the time schedule for delivery of goods. 
iii. Earlier, passenger trains in the country used to get preference over goods trains for transportation across busy routes.

2. Union Cabinet approvals on 15th June,2016

i. The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the MoU for the cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sector between India and Taiwan. Besides, the cabinet also gave its nod to the signing of Air Services Agreement between both the countries. The MoU was signed between Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India and India-Taipei Association in Taipei, Taiwan.
ii. The 2nd approval by Union Cabinet is for the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Bill, 2016. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11 May 2016. The bill seeks to improve ease of doing business and thereby, attract investments into the economy by fast-tracking recovery of bad loans.
iii. 3rd approval is for enhancement of retirement age of government doctors’ to 65 years to strengthen the healthcare sector in the country. In this regard, Union Cabinet has approved proposal forwarded by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Cabinet has approved the superannuation age of Public Health and Non-Teaching Specialists of Central Health Service from 62 years to 65 years Doctors of General Duty Medical Officers (GDMOs) sub-cadre of Central Health Service (CHS) from 62 years to 65 years. This decision of the Union Government would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges. 
iv. 4th approval is for the MoU between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) on cooperation in the field of outer space. The MoU was signed between two parties in Ottawa, Canada in April 2015. It will lead to an establishment of joint team, drawing members from CSA and ISRO.

3. President reaches Windhoek on the last leg of his 3-nation tour to Africa

i. President Pranab Mukherjee has reached Windhoek, the capital of Namibia on the last leg of his three-nation tour to Africa. 
ii. He was received on his arrival at Hosea Kotako international airport by the deputy Prime Minister Ms. Nandi Ndaitwah Netumbo. 
iii. The visit, apart from consolidating bilateral interaction, will carry forward the momentum generated in India-Africa ties after third IndoAfrica forum summit held last year in Delhi. One issue that is likely to dominate the bilateral talks is the supply of Uranium. Both the countries entered into an agreement on nuclear energy way back in 2009 when the then Namibian President visited India.

4. HRD minister Smriti Irani launches Vidyanjali in New Delhi

i. Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani has launched Vidyanjali, a school volunteer programme in New Delhi. 
ii. Vidyanjali is an initiative under Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat, to enhance community and private sector involving government-run elementary schools across the country. Through Vidyanjali, the government aspires to bring change in the quality of education in schools.
iii. She expressed hope that every school in the country will be connected with Vidyanjali by December this year. She also said Vidyanjali is a constructive effort to engage citizens participation. 

5. 3,049 people perform largest Karma dance in Madhya Pradesh enters Guinness world records

i. During the recent event in District Mandla,Madhya Pradesh, 3,049 people registered their spot in the Guinness book of world records for performing largest Karma Naach dance ever. 
ii. The people took part in the dance to celebrate the culture and history of the Gond tribes of central India. Organised by district administration association, the participants formed 61 large circles of 50 people and performed the traditional tribal dance in spectacular synchronicity. 
iii. In accordance with the Guinness World Records guidelines, the choreographed Karma Naach dance continued for a minimum of five minutes. All the participants were dressed in traditional clothing to complete the attempt, and the folk dance was accompanied by live music. 

6. Petroleum Minister visiting St Petersburg to represent India at the SPIEF

i. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, the Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas is going to visit St Petersburg, Russia on two days meet holding on 16th and 17th June, to represent India at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). 
ii. SPIEF is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues. It attracts over thousands of participants, including political and business leaders, leading scientists, public figures, and members of the media from all over the world. The Forum mainly discusses the most pressing issues facing Russia and the world.
iii. During his visit to St Petersburg, Mr. Pradhan will meet his Russian counterpart Mr. Alexander Novak and CEOs of Rosneft, Gazprom, Gazpromneft, Lukoil and Novatek. He will also participate in a panel discussion on the subject ‘New Global Petroleum Market Realities’. The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations particularly in the field of hydrocarbon sector between India and Russia.

7. Kiran Bedi launches a mobile app to help senior citizens in distress

i. The “HelpAge SOS App’’ was launched by Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi at Raj Nivas.
ii. The app provides for an SOS-Save our Seniors button to immediately reach to the counsellor desk of Help Age for rendering emergency help and assistance, apart from health related information. It has 24x7 functionality and aims at helping elders in distress at any given time.
iii. The primary and first use of the App is to provide one-click emergency services to senior citizens. The app can be downloaded from or from the Google Play Store. The app has been launched in English and Hindi and other languages will follow. The app is GPS enabled and picks up the location of the caller and will dial into the particular State Office.

8. Russia launches most powerful nuclear icebreaker Arktika

i. Russia's new Project 22220 nuclear-powered icebreaker dubbed Arktika was launched from the Baltic Shipyard in Russia's second largest city of St. Petersburg. 
ii. Built at the Baltic Shipyard, which belongs to Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation, project 22220 is the world’s largest and most powerful vessel of its kind. 
iii. The Project 22220 vessel is 189.5 yards long and 37.1 yards wide. The ship displaces 33,540 metric tons. Fitted with two specifically designed RITM-200 nuclear power reactors.

9. Uber enters into pact with Tata group

i. Tech-based car-hailing company Uber has entered into an agreement with Tata group to help its drivers own Indica and Indigo cars with less hassle. 
ii. While Tata Capital Financial Services and Tata Motors Finance will offer loans at "competitive'’ interest rates, ‘affordable’ insurance would be offered by Tata AIG as a package.
iii. But initially, the pact will only be valid for Hyderabad city then later it will be rolled out in other cities also.

10. Karnataka Bank gets award

i. Karnataka Bank Ltd has bagged CFBP (Council for Fair Business Practices) Jamnalal Bajaj award for fair business practices.
ii. The bank has been awarded under the ‘service enterprises – large’ category.
iii. Mahabaleshwara MS, Chief General Manager of the bank, received the award from Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group, in Mumbai.

11. Margaret Atwood awarded 2016 PEN Pinter Prize

i. Canadian poet, novelist and environmental activist Margaret Atwood was awarded the 2016 PEN Pinter Prize.
ii. Atwood will receive her award at a public event at the British Library on 13 October 2016.
iii. She was chosen by judges Vicky Featherstone, Zia Haider Rahman, Peter Stothard, Antonia Fraser and President of English PEN and Chair of Judges, Maureen Freely. She has also been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once for her novel The Blind Assassin.

12. Indian Diabetes specialist Shashank S Shah wins Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award 2016

i. Pune-based diabetes specialist Shashank S Shah was conferred with the Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award 2016. He was selected for his research  titled Gastric Bypass vs. Medical/Lifestyle Care for Type 2 Diabetes in South Asia with BMI 25-40 kg/m2 — The COSMID Randomised. It is one of the pioneering bariatric surgeons in India and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy in Asia.
ii. He was awarded at the ADA’s 76th Scientific Sessions from 10 June to 14 June 2016 in New Orleans.
iii. The award was given by American Diabetes Association (ADA) for his pioneering research on diabetes in South Asia.

13. Assam Pradesh Congress President Anjan Dutta passes away

i. Assam Pradesh Congress President (APCC) Anjan Dutta has passed away in New Delhi. He was undergoing treatment at AIIMS for past several days. He was 64 years old. 
ii. Dutta was born on 13th April 1952 in the Sibsagar district of Assam and was a three times MLA from the Amguri Constituency. He served as the Minister and the Member of the State Legislative Assembly.
iii. He had also served as the president of the Assam Pradesh Youth Congress Committee and the chairman of the North East Youth Congress Co-ordination Committee. Dutta also served as a member of the Assam Agricultural University.

14. India won three-match ODI Series against Zimbabwe, 3-0

i. India has won the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Zimbabwe 3-0.
ii. In the third and final match played at Harare, India defeated Zimbabwe by 10 wickets.
iii. With this win, India got it’s a third successive series clean-sweep in Zimbabwe after the triumphs in 2013 and 2015. The ODI series will be followed by 3 Twenty-20 matches that will begin on 18 June 2016.

15. 'A new world' - the Official slogan for Rio Olympics

i. The Rio 2016 organising committee revealed the official slogan for the first Olympic and Paralympic Games in South America – “A new world” – while also unveiling the medals, 52 days from the start of the quadrennial extravaganza. 
ii. Along with the Olympic torch, the medals and the mascots, the slogan plays a major part in creating the unique identity of each Olympic Games.
iii. For Rio 2016, the core values of the slogan and the manifesto are unity, respect for diversity and the will for change. With less than two months to go until the Olympic Opening Ceremony on August 5, Rio organisers are still tackling numerous issues but there remains an underlying confidence that things will be ready come Games time. 

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