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Current Affairs for 22 April 2016
April 22, 2016
Uttarakhand HC quashes President’s Rule

The Uttarakhand High Court, on Thursday, quashed the order of the Central government that had put the State under President’s Rule on March 27. Deciding that the Congress shall return to power, the Division Bench of the Court also ordered that a floor test must be held in the Uttarakhand Assembly on April 29 where former Chief Minister Harish Rawat’s claim of having majority support shall be put to test.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice V.K. Bisht had decided to reserve the verdict for later, but taking the apprehensions of Mr. Rawat’s counsel into consideration where it was being feared that the Central Government might revoke President’s Rule and try and get the BJP to form government in the State before the Court’s final verdict in the case, the Bench took the decisions on quashing Presidential Proclamation on Thursday itself.

Women activists enter Trimbakeshwar temple’s inner sanctum

A day after they were allegedly manhandled while trying to enter into the sanctum sanctorum of the famous Trimbakeshwar temple in “dress code”, the four women activists today took ‘darshan’ of the deity amid police protection.

The activists, led by Vanita Gutte of Pune-based Swarajya Mahila Sanghatana, offered prayer inside the Lord Shiva temple’s ‘garbha griha’ (sanctum sactorum) at around 6 am today, accompanied by police personnel, Trimbakeshwar Police Station in-charge H P Kolhe said.

“We are happy that we offered prayer inside the garbhagrih. We arrived in the dress code — wearing wet cotton and silk saris — and were treated well by the trustees,” Gutte told reporters.

A team of police personnel were deployed at the temple premises ahead of the scheduled visit today, Kolhe said.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Trimbakeshwar temple is one of the 12 ‘Jyotirlingas’ situated in the country.


Tata ferrochrome plant may start operation from June

The 55,000 tonnes per annum capacity ferrochrome plant, which happens to be the anchorage industry of Gopalpur Industrial Park being developed by Tata Steel in Ganjam district of Odisha, is expected to start functioning from June.

GIP encompasses a multi-product Special Economic Zone of the company.

Speaking to newsmen here, Arun Mishra, the vice-president, Project Gopalpur & MD, Tata Steel Special Economic Zone Ltd. said Central government has already approved the SEZ project of the company and a notification would come up soon.

Functioning of this ferrochrome plant would be the beginning of future development of GIP.

According to Mr Mishra around 20 companies from Singapore, United Kingdom and UAE have shown interest in having units in this SEZ. Tata Power has also proposed to invest in two thermal power plants in the region.

Jharkhand ready to auction gold mines next month

Jharkhand is all set to become the second State in the country to auction gold mine – two, in this case – and will come out with tenders for the blocks by April-end or in the first week of May.

The government has already set the ball rolling for the auction process.

The State has already successfully auctioned two small limestone blocks in February this year, which are prospecting lease-cum-mining lease (PM-cum-ML).

A senior government official said the State will bring out notice inviting tenders (NITs) for the Pahardia block in the West Singhbum district and the Parasi block in the Ranchi district.

Jharkhand had tried to auction its first gold mine in the Pahardia block earlier this year. Three companies, including mining giant Vedanta, had evinced interest, but later it did not participate in the same, he added.

The State then shelved the auction, saying it will again invite fresh bids, the official said.

Confirming the development, another official said: “Now the State is close to finalising the NITs for Pahardia and Parasi blocks. They are likely to come out with the NITs either in last week of April or by the first week of May.”

Haryana launches scheme for farmers

With a view to creating effective backward linkages and empower farmers, the Haryana government has implemented a scheme for grant-in-aid for setting up of Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) and Collection Centres (CCs) in rural areas.

A notification to this effect has been issued recently by the Industries and Commerce Department.

The scheme aims at creation of effective backward linkages and empowerment of farmers, an official release said here on Thursday.

Value addition

This could be achieved by value addition of produce, provision of processing and preservation facilities at village level to help the farmers to enhance shelf life of perishable produce, resulting in better remunerative prices for their agricultural produce, it said.

A piece of land measuring one to two acres would be required for setting up of these PPCs and CCs.

Processing facilities

Under this, processing facilities would be provided at the farm level, which may include facilities for weighing, cleaning, sorting, grading, packing, pre-cooling, Controlled Atmosphere (CA) or Modified Atmosphere (MA), cold storage and dry warehouses.

Award for Himachal for implementing Soil Health Card scheme

Himachal Pradesh has bagged another National Award in Agriculture sector for 2015-16 as Hamirpur district has been selected for the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration.

The award is given for excellent implementation of Soil Health Card Scheme, Upma Chowdhary, Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture) said.

The Soil Health Card Scheme is one of the four schemes- three others being Swachh Bharat, Gramin Swachh Vidyalaya and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana – identified by the Union Government to be awarded under Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, she said.

Only two districts, Hamirpur in Himachal and Balrampur in Chhattisgarh, have been given award for implementation of this scheme and Himachal bagged the first position among the Hilly and northern States.

For the first time, police use RFID tags for recruitment

For the first time, the Mumbai Police are using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the physical tests of their recruitment process to electronically record the time taken by candidates to finish the mandatory 1.5-km run.

The tags have cut down the time taken in the process down to half.

The decision to use RFID tags was taken after seeing its success in the Mumbai Marathon, in which participants are given bibs with inbuilt RFID tags. The idea was suggested by Mumbai Police officers, who participate in the marathon every year, and after discussions, the police contacted some private suppliers and an arrangement was reached to procure the tags, said officials.

“Each candidate is given a tag to wear on their chest, at the beginning of the 1.5-km run, which is conducted every morning on the service road adjacent to the Vikhroli–Kanjurmarg stretch of the Eastern Express Highway. Scanners have been installed at the start and end points, and the timings are automatically recorded,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Administration) Anup Kumar Singh, under whose supervision the recruitment process is being conducted.

Accenture inaugurates largest security centre

Global IT major Accenture said it is expanding its global security presence by opening a cyber centre in Bengaluru.

The centre will help Accenture’s clients tackle complex security challenges, according to a statement from the company.

The new centre is the largest cyber security facility in Accenture’s global delivery network, which includes more than 50 facilities employing about 3,400 security specialists.

“As we help our clients become digital businesses, we must also help them protect their critical data and infrastructure, and become more resilient,” said Mr. Manish Sharma, Senior Managing Director, Delivery and Solution Development, Accenture Operations.

Rajan, Sania, Priyanka among 100 most influential people: Time

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan, tennis star Sania Mirza, actress Priyanka Chopra, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and founders of Flipkart Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal have been named by Time magazine in its list of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World.’

Time’s annual list, released on Thursday, includes pioneers like American composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, leaders like IMF head Christine Lagarde and icons like Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio who are “exploring the frontiers of art, science, society, technology and more.”

‘India’s prescient banker’

Terming Dr. Rajan “India’s prescient banker,” Time said he is among a rare breed of “economic seers” who “steered” India through the global crisis and fallout, “playing a large role in making it one of the emerging market stars of the moment.

While serving as the youngest chief economist of the IMF from 2003 to 2006, Time said Dr. Rajan predicted the subprime crisis that would lead to the Great Recession, standing up to critics like former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who labelled him a “Luddite.”


Xi takes Commander-in-Chief title as military reforms peak

The ongoing military restructuring in China appears to have peaked, with President Xi Jinping assuming the title of Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Battle Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The South China Morning Post quoted analysts as saying that the move showed that President Xi had built up a level of personal authority over troops on par with late leaders such as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Interacting with forces of the integrated Joint Command on Wednesday,

President Xi insisted that the new formation should be “absolutely loyal, resourceful in fighting, efficient in commanding, and courageous and capable of winning wars”, China Central Television reported.

The new title adds to the other three that President Xi holds— general secretary of the Communist Party of China , President, and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC).

The daily quoted Xu Guangyu, a retired PLA Major General, as saying: “Xi’s camouflage military suit (which he wore) showed that he is top commander of the PLA’s supreme joint battle command body, which was set up to meet today’s modern warfare demands, and is capable of commanding land, navy and air forces, as well as other special troops like the Rocket Force and Strategic Support Force.”