Indian Railway conducts first HR Round Table conference
On June 8, 2017, Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu inaugurated Indian Railways’ 1st HR Round Table Conference in New Delhi. A. K. Mital – Chairman of Railway Board and other senior Railway officials were also present at the conference.
The Conference was organized around following three themes:
(i)Stakeholders Expectations from HR
(ii)The Future of Work – HR Role
(iii)Creativity Within Constraints
HR experts and leaders of industry held round table discussion on each of the above mentioned themes.
Indian Railways – Workforce:
i. Indian Railways is the biggest civilian employer in India. It has staff strength of 13 lakh employees.
ii. The employees are spread over 10 departments in 17 Zones, 6 Production Units and 68 Divisions.
iii. The services of the Indian Railways are 24X7 which includes train operations and other technical tasks.
GST Council constitutes 18 Sectoral Groups for smooth roll-out of GST
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has announced the setting up of 18 sectoral groups to ensure a smooth roll-out of the GST on 9th of June, 2017
i. The newly constituted groups will represent various sectors of the economy.
ii. It will be headed by senior officers of the Centre and the states.
iii. They will ensure smooth implementation of GST by timely responding to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.
iv. The officials of these sectoral groups will deal with the issues and the problems of the respective sectors they represent.
v. This exercise will help in dealing with most of the sectoral problems and issues at the local/regional level.
vi. The sectors which would be looked into by the group include IT and ITes, textiles, gems and jewellery, food processing, e-commerce, oil and gas, pharma and MSME.
Ministry of AYUSH inaugurates 2nd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga in New Delhi
The Ministry of AYUSH has inaugurated the second National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga on 9June 2017 at the National Media Centre in New Delhi.
i. The theme of this year’s conference is “Yoga for Health and Harmony”.
ii. The conference is organized by the Ministry of AYUSH in association with Press Information Bureau(PIB), Central Council for Research in Yoga and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
iii. The main aim of the conference is to give insight to the journalists about the scientific aspects of yoga and its health benefits.
iv. It has included over 150 Health editors and media persons from National, Regional and International media organizations.
v. The workshop will also include short yoga demonstration as well as experience sharing by people who have been benefited by Yoga.
vi. The journalists will be given the opportunity to interact with the Yoga experts during the question and answer sessions.
vii. The first National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga was organized by Ministry of AYUSH and PIB in 2016.
viii. The Conference is being live streamed on PIB’s website and has also be made available on its various social media accounts including Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.
India, Pakistan become members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation at Astana Summit
On June 9, 2017, the Presidents of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member-states — China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — signed a document granting membership to Pakistan and India. The document was signed at Astana, Kazakhstan during the SCO Summit.
i. 2017 SCO summit is based on the theme “Future Energy”
ii. On June 9, 2017, PM Modi attended the SCO Summit and also attended this year’s World Exposition which is hosted by Kazakhstan.
India, UNOSSC launch partnership fund to promote sustainable development
On June 8, 2017, India and the UN Office for South- South Cooperation (UNOSSC) has launched a partnership fund for supporting sustainable development projects across the world.
i. The partnership fund was launched on the occasion of the ‘World Oceans Day’ at Permanent Mission of India to UN.M J Akbar – Minister of State for External Affairs, Syed Akbaruddin – India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Jorge Chediek – Envoy of the Secretary-General on South- South Cooperation and Director of United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), were present at the occasion.
ii. The objective of this partnership is to reduce poverty and hunger, improving health, education and equality, and expanding access to clean water, energy and livelihoods.
BANKING & FINANCE
Canara Bank and New India announces tie up
Canara Bank and the New India Assurance Company have entered into a corporate agency arrangement for distribution of insurance products.
More Details about Canara Bank, New India tie up:
i. The pact allows Canara Bank to offer non-life insurance products to its customers across metros and tier II and III cities through the bank’s extensive network of over 6,000 branches.
ii. New India Assurance will offer a bouquet of products — such as motor, home, health,travel, fire, marine, and engineering insurance policies — through branches of Canara Bank.
iii. The partnership aims to provide best-in-class general insurance products to Canara Bank customers at highly competitive rates.
Quick Facts about Canara Bank:
♦ Formation Year: 1906
♦ Headquarters: Bengaluru
♦ Current CEO: Rakesh Sharma
TCS launches BaNCS app development kit to help banks
Global software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has launched “BaNCS App Development Kit” (ADK) on 8th of June 2017.
i. It will enable banks to fast design and build their own apps and install it across devices and desktops.
ii. “BaNCS ADK” will help banks to design and deploy enterprise and consumer apps.
iii. These apps will build in hybrid architecture and will adopt modern principles of responsive web design.
iv. The vision for ‘BaNCS ADK’ is to transfer flexibility and increase speed of development to the Bank.
v. Banks can add their existing or new widgets at will and has the opportunity to open it to their ecosystem.
State companies to revise petrol, diesel prices daily from June 16
State-run oil companies such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) will revise the prices of petrol and diesel daily from 16th June 2017.
i. At present, State-run oil marketing companies revise rates of petrol and diesel on the 1st and 16th of every month.
ii. The move is aimed at countering the practice of undercutting by private retailers as well as to bring India at par with the US oil market.
iii. Private retailers such as RIL and Essar are also expected to switch to the new pricing mechanism.
iv. Dail yrevision of prices will cover the retailers from volatility of global crude prices.
v. It will free the state run retailers from government interventions while fixing prices.
vi. Daily revision of prices will result in small hikes rather than a steep rise which often attracts customers.
Ministry of Civil Aviation to roll out ‘DigiYatra’ for air travellers
In a bid to add digital experience for Air travellers, Ministry of Civil Aviation will roll out ‘DigiYatra’ Platform.
More Details about DigiYatra Platform:
i. This initiative aims at bringing together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver customers a seamless and paperless service experience at every stage of journey.
ii. The platform will help passengers to plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking.
iii. Passengers will also get relevant information pertaining to various facilities, protocols, airline timings, queue lengths at airports.
* Ashok Gajapathi Raju is the current Union Minister for Civil Aviation.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Polish poet, author Zagajewski wins Spain’s prestigious award
Adam Zagajewski, one of the most pre-eminent contemporary Polish poets, novelists and essayists has won Spain’s prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Literature.
i. Jury of Princess of Asturias Award has mentioned that Zagajewski resolute stance in defence of freedom and the search for beauty is faithfully reflected in his work which contains great human depth and fine aesthetic sensibility.
ii. The awards are presented to individuals and organisation in recognition for outstanding contribution to the field of science, humanities, and public affairs.
RedInk Awards recognise India’s best journalists
The Indian Express has got awards in two categories at the RedInk Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
i. RedInk Awards are hosted by the Mumbai Press Club.
ii.The awards were presented by Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
iii. Aniruddha Ghosal and Pritha Chatterjee of The Indian Express has received the award in the ‘environment’ category for their ‘Death by Breath’ series.
iv. Under this series an investigation into how the air quality in Delhi had improved with the introduction of CNG but then fell sharply as authorities looked the other way.
v. Jonathan Selvaraj of The Indian Express won the award in the ‘sports’ category for his report, ‘Who wants to fight this girl?’, on a teen aged Dalit girl who overturned the strict hierarchy of north India’s male-dominated akharas.
vi. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to T N Ninan, Chairman & Editorial Director, Business Standard
vii. The Journalist of the Year Award went to NDTV India’s Ravish Kumar.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Nepal’s first woman Chief Justice retires
Sushila Karki, first woman Chief Justice of Nepal Supreme Court retired after attaining the age 65 years.
About Sushila Karki:
i. She was appointed as acting Chief Justice of Nepal Supreme Court on July 11, 2016 since her predecessor Kalyan Shrestha
ii. Karki was 25th Chief Justice of Nepal Supreme Court.
iii. During her tenure, Ms. Karki handled many important cases including impeachment of Chief of Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) and appointment of Inspector General of Police.
iv. Justice Gopal Parajuli, the senior most judge of Nepal Supreme court, has assumed charge as acting Chief Justice.
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Microsoft acquires Israeli security firm Hexadite, sources say for $100M
Microsoft has acquired Hexadite. It is an Israeli startup that uses AI to identify and protect against attacks.
i. This deal cost $100 million.
ii. To bringnew technology and new innovations in areas like AI and machine learning.
iii. It helps our customers protect, detect and respond to the constantly evolving and ever-changing cyberthreat landscape.
iv. Hexadite’s technology and talent will enable our ability to add new tools and services to Microsoft’s robust enterprise.
v. This has led to an increasingly sophisticated landscape for security services, with companies covering every aspect of how we conduct business and a huge amount of spending by organizations to try to prevent, stop, fix or mitigate damage.
vi. IDC estimates that enterprises will spend nearly $82 billion on security software this year.
vii. According to Crunchbase Hexadite had raised $10.5 million in funding.
♦ CEO: Satya Nadella
♦ Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
President Pranab Mukherjee launches ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile app
President Pranab Mukherjee has launched the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile application on 9th of June, 2017
i. It aimed at raising awareness about female foeticide and sex selection.
ii. The campaign was started by Sunil Jaglan in June 2015 in village Bibipur in Haryana’s Jind district.
iii. The President has urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload them to make the campaign a success.
iv.’ Selfie with Daughter’ has become a worldwide movement against female foeticide and sex selection.
v. The aim of the campaign is to motivate society to feel proud to be parents of a girl child.It will result in improving child sex ratio.
World’s oldest fossil mushroom discovered
The world’s oldest fossil mushroom has been discovered in Brazil– dating back to about 115 million years.
i. The mushroom has been named Gondwanag Aricites Magnificus.
ii. According to the researchers it belongs to the Agaricales order.
iii. About five centimetres tall, the mushroom had gills under its cap, rather than pores or teeth, structures that release spores and that can help in identifying species.
iv. The next oldest mushroom fossils, found in amber in Southeast Asia, date to about 99 million years ago.
Bengaluru girl, Sahithi Pingali to get planet named after her for research, app on lake pollution
A twelfth grader from Bengaluru will get a minor planet in Milky Way named after her as reward for developing a crowd-sourced method to monitor pollution in water bodies.
i. Sahithi Pingali has presented her paper “An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies” at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).
ii. She was awarded the second position prize and 3 special awards in the Earth and Environment Sciences category.
iii. She developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit to visualise changing lake conditions by crowd sourcing lake monitoring to citizens and students.
iv. ISEF is regarded as the largest pre-college scientific research event in the world.
v. She also won a gold medal at the International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project (ISWEEEP) for her research work on Varthur
vi. A minor planet will be identified by the Ceres Connection program of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory.
vii. It has partnered with ISEF to motivate budding scientists by giving them a name in space.
Badminton World Rankings: Three Indian men in top-15
The three Indian men featured in the top-15 of the world rankings released by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) on 8th of June 2017.
i. Ajay Jayaram (No.13), Kidambi Srikanth (No.14) and Sai Praneeth (No.15) are the three men who achieved this high.
ii. Jayaram has achieved his career-best ranking of No.13 a few weeks back, Srikanth, who was once No.3 in the world, improved a spot to No.14.
iii. Sai Praneeth improved nine places to break into the top-15.
iv. This is the career-best ranking of Sai Praneeth, whose earlier best was No.22.
v. Women’s singles star shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal remained static at No.3 and No.11 respectively.
vi. In doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy are the highest Indians.
vii. Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold has gained a place to be ranked No.15 in the world.
viii. In mixed doubles Sikki and her senior women’s doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa are ranked No. 28.
ix. There are three pairs in top-50 :
(a)Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri (World No.29) are the top ranked Indians.
(b)Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (No.42)
(c)MR Arjun and Shlok Ramchandran (No.46) are the other two pairs in top-50.
x. Meghana/Poorvisha (No.32) and Sanjana Santosh/Arathi Sara Sunil (No.36) in the top-50.
Badminton World Federation (BWF):
♦ Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
♦ President: Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
Muttiah Muralidaran becomes first Sri Lankan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Muttiah Muralitharan is the most successful bowler in Tests and one-day internationals was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on 8th of June, 2017
i. Muralitharan was awarded the honour along with Arthur Morris, George Lohmann and Karen Rolton by fellow ICC Cricket Hall of Famers and members of the media.
ii. He became the first player from Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
♦ President: Zaheer Abbas
♦ Headquarters: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Jeje Lalpekhlua wins AIFF player of year award
Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC striker Jeje Lalpekhlua has been nominated as the ‘2016 All India Football Federation (AIFF) Player of the Year.
i. The Jeje Lalpekhlua from Mizoram will be presented a prize of Rs 2.5 lakh along with a trophy.
ii. He thanked his teammates for helping him go through a successful season.
iii. AIFF president Praful Patel has declared at the AIFF Annual General Body Meeting on 8thof June.
♦ Founded on 23 June 1937.
♦ Headquarters: Dwarka Sub City
♦ President: Praful Patel
Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi Dies
Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a tycoon known for his lavish billionaire lifestyle and far-reaching international connections, has died in London at the age of 82.
i. He was at one time estimated to be worth £2.4 billion ($3 billion).
ii. He ran into financial difficulties and had to sell his private DC9 airliner and his yacht, Nabila.
Eminent rights activist Mehrunnisa Dalwai no more
Mehrunnisa Dalwai, wife of prominent Muslim activist and thinker late Hamid Dalwai and the protagonist of a reformist movement ‘Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal’, passed away in Pune on June 9, 2017. She was 87.
Brief Biography of Mehrunnisa Dalwai:
i. She married Hamid Dalwai in year 1956 and since then, worked with him for justice and equal rights for Muslim women.
ii. Mehrunnisa had spearheaded a march to ‘Mantralaya’ inMumbai seeking abolition of triple ‘talaq’.
iii. After the death of Hamid Dalwai, the founder of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal, Mehrunnisa continued to lead the movement of safeguarding the rights of Muslim women and reformation of Muslim community.
iv. She eventually became the president of Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal and later founded Islamic Research Institute and Maharashtra Talaq Mukti Morcha.
v. Mehrunnisa’s autobiography titled “Mi Bharun Pawle” is considered as an inspirational piece for progressive movement.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
The Crisis within Knowledge and Education in India” authored by Ganesh Devy released
A book titled ‘The Crisis Within’ authored by Ganesh Devy was released in June 2017.
i. Through the book, Devy says, offering reservation quotas alone will not solve the problem of social exclusion in the country’s education system, which is headed for “failure”.
ii. “The Crisis Within” attempts to offer a clear picture of the mistakes that have been committed in the past and offers a vision for the future.
iii. Ganesh Devy, who is an Indian linguist and anthropologist and has researched and documented 780 living Indian languages.