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Current Affairs for 16 April 2016
April 16, 2016
Azlan Shah Cup 2016: India enters the final in style

India produced an inspiring performance to outplay host Malaysia 6-1 in a must-win match, and secure its seventh appearance in the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, in Ipoh on Friday.

Needing a victory in its last round-robin league fixture to qualify for Saturday’s title clash, five-time winner India stamped its authority on the host to finish ahead of defending champion New Zealand in the standings.

India’s opponent in the title encounter will be World champion Australia, which prevailed 3-0 over Canada to complete an all-win record in the preliminary league.

S.V. Sunil (2nd minute), Harjeet Singh (7th), Ramandeep Singh (25th and 39th), Danish Mujtaba (27th) and Talwinder Singh (50th) scored for India, while Shahril Saabah (46th) scored a consolation goal for Malaysia.


ISRO to launch 21 satellites in one shot

While the seventh and last of the regional navigation spacecraft is due to be launched on April 28, space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has lined up a record-making feat towards the end of May. It will put in orbit 21 small and mostly foreign commercial satellites along with a larger Indian spacecraft.

The primary passenger on the PSLV-C33 launcher will be the Earth observing, high-resolution Cartosat-2C, weighing around 700 kg.

Offering a resolution of about 60 cm, Cartosat-2C is touted to be the best Indian eye yet in the sky. It will cater to the country’s military requirements. Its camera, among other functions, can spot objects that are 60 cm wide or long – roughly an arm’s length, from its orbit of around 600 km.

As far as multiple launches go, the PSLV has launched 10 spacecrafts including eight small foreign ones in April 2008. Then, too, the main passenger was Cartosat-2A, another defence enabler, giving pictures of 80 cm resolution of the ground below. Last December, a PSLV took up six small Singapore satellites into orbit in one go.

NASA holds the 2013 record for placing the highest number — 29 — of mostly small customer satellites in orbit on a Minotaur launcher.


Google, RailTel to expand free WiFi service

Google, in association with RailTel, the telecom arm of the Indian Railways, announced the roll out of free WiFi services at nine more stations after Mumbai Central, bringing high-speed Internet access to about 1.5 million passengers and visitors.

The companies are also looking at making the service, which is currently free for users, financially sustainable. Google India Head of Access Project, Gulzar Azad, told The Hindu that the firms are in talks with multiple partners, including operators and advertisers, for potential revenue generation.

He added, “Since the launch in Mumbai on January 22, we have seen more than one lakh users every week. As people become more aware, this number will grow rapidly.”

The WiFi service is now available at Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Bhopal, Ranchi, Raipur, Vijayawada, Kacheguda (Hyderabad), Ernakulum Jn (Kochi) and Vishakhapatnam stations.


JNU amends admission policy, reduces grace marks for women

Jawaharlal Nehru University has reduced the compulsory grace points given to women candidates as it amended its admission policy after nearly a decade.

“Now female and transgender candidates who have pursued their education from any of the areas in JNU’s list of backward areas are entitled to relaxation of four marks. While girls and transgenders not belonging to any backward areas can get a relaxation of only two points,” a senior university official said.

Until now, all female admission seekers were entitled to 5 “deprivation” points in the entrance exam. In addition, if they belonged to backward areas listed by JNU under Quartile 1 (demarcation of backward areas) and Quartile 2 categories, they got additional privilege of 5 and 3 marks, respectively.

The compulsory 5 points given to women were introduced in 1994.

The move has drawn severe criticism from a section of students and teachers who have decided to launch an agitation against the administration.

“Girls used to get an excessive advantage in comparison to male candidates. For instance, if a girl belonged to a Quartile 1 district, she would get a total relaxation of 10 marks, which will place her way above a more competent male candidate,” the official said.


James Cross Giblin, 82, Wide-Ranging Author of Books for Children, Dies

James Cross Giblin, an award-winning writer of nonfiction for children, whose books ranged from topics like cutlery and why we use it, windows and why we have them, and walls and why we need them to cleareyed biographies of Hitler, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy and John Wilkes Booth, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 82.

His death, after a short illness, was confirmed by Dianne Hess, the executive editor of Scholastic Press and a longtime friend.

Mr. Giblin, who was for many years also a prominent children’s-book editor and publisher, was known most recently for his biographies for middle-grade and older readers, among them “The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler” (2002), which won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal from the American Library Association; “Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth” (2005); and “The Rise and Fall of Senator Joe McCarthy” (2009).

Infosys posts jump in profit, hikes salaries

Infosys said it has rolled out salary increments in the range of 6 per cent to 12 per cent for its India employees. The raises for employees at onsite locations would be in the range of 1.5 to 2 per cent based on the geography, it aded.

For employees at the managerial level, the raises would be effective from July 1, while for the rest, it will be effective April 1.

“We are starting with the process for our engineers and (technical) leads. The raises, based on performance, will be in the range of 6 to 12 per cent,” said, Krishnamurthy Shankar, Executive Vice President and Group Head, Human Resource Development.

During the quarter ended March, Infosys also promoted 2,147 employees below managerial levels, taking the total promotion in the fiscal to about 8,900 people.

The company has also made around 20,000 offers in campuses for the 2016-17 fiscal. Mr U B Pravin Rao, Chief Operating Officer said, “They are expected to join over the year. Lateral hires will be made on a need basis.”

In the January-March period, Infosys made a net addition of 661 people taking the total headcount to 194,044.

Narendra Modi’s Kollam visit ‘big relief’ for people of Kerala: Oommen Chandy 

KOCHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Kollam visit to take stock of the temple firework tragedy was a “big relief” for the people of Kerala, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here today.

The Chief Minister’s remarks came after state DGP T P Senkumar’s reported statement that he had objected to the visits of Modi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to Kollam, hours after the deadly explosion at the Paravoor Puttingal Devi temple last Sunday.

“Apart from the Prime Minister, national leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury…they all came. That was a big relief for people of Kerala.