GK Eduwrap – Weekly – 23rd May to 28th May 2016



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National – Across the India:


1. Gujarat Government has launched Smart Village program to improve public facilities in the villages.


It was launched by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on the occasion of completion of two years of her Government.

Under this programme, 300 villages will be selected for Smart Village program.

Villages will be shortlisted by the state-level committee consisting of experts on the basis of Gram Panchayat’s performance through a transparent process.


2. Seven more capital cities, including Bengaluru, allowed to enter the smart city competition.


Union Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Venkaiah Naidu announced that seven more capital cities will be allowed to enter the smart city competition.

They are Patna, Shimla, Naya Raipur, Itanagar, Amaravati, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram.

Lucknow, Warangal and Panaji are among the 13 smart cities selected by the Union government.

A ‘smart city’ is an urban region that is highly advanced in terms of overall infrastructure, sustainable real estate, communications and market viability.


3. The Union Ministry of Urban Development has shortlisted 13 cities from 13 States/UTs in the list of second batch of Smart Cities Mission.


These cities were shortlisted based on scores obtained in Fast Track competition conducted for 23 cities from as many States and Union Territories.

This competition list was topped by Lucknow in Uttar Prades and was followed by Warangal in Telangana and Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh.


4. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Circuit Bench of Kochi has banned light and heavy diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old in six major cities of Kerala.

These six major cities are Thiruvananthapuram (state capital), Kochi (commercial capital), Kollam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur.

Order in this regard was given by the NGT Circuit Bench comprising NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar and expert member Bikram Singh Sajwan.


5. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to amend The Institutes of Technology (IIT) Act, 1961 for incorporation of 6 new IITs.


This amendment will declare these 6 IITs as the institutions of national importance six new IITs will come up at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir).

Union Cabinet also gave its approval to convert of Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad into an IIT under the ambit of the IIT Act, 1961.

6. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy 2016 to give an impetus to the capital goods sector and the Make in India initiative.


This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector framed by the Union Government (Ministry of Heavy Industry & Public Enterprise).

Objectives of the policy are:

(i) Increase production of capital goods from 2,30,000 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 7,50,000 crore rupees in 2025.

(ii) Raise direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.

(iii) Increase exports from the current 27% to 40% of production.

(iv) Increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80% to make India a net exporter of capital goods.


7. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the reservation for Jats and five other communities provided by the Haryana government.


These communities were provided reservation under a newly carved Backward Classes (C) category as per provisions of Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Act, 2016.

The court gave its ruling on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the above Act which was passed unanimously by the Haryana Assembly in March 2016.

The five other communities which were provided reservation under the Act were Jat Sikhs, Bishnois, Muslim Jats, Rors and Tyagis.

They were entitled to 10 per cent reservation in government services and also admission to educational institutions.


8. The Union Ministry of Railways has launched Rail Humsafar Saptaah, a week-long initiative to highlight significant achievements made by Indian Railways in all spheres.


It will start on 26th May 2016 and will conclude on 1st June 2016.

Each day of the week will focus on a particular theme and the days have been named as below:

 26th May (Swachchta Diwas)

 27th May (Satkar Diwas)

 28th May (Sewa Diwas)

 29th May (Satarkata Diwas)

 30th May (Saamanjasya Diwas)

 31st May (Sanyojan Diwas)

 1st June (Sanchaar Diwas).


9. The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) ARUSH was commissioned by the Coast Guard Commander (Western Seaboard) Additional Director General SPS Basra at Kochi.


The ship has been named ICGS ARUSH that means first ray of sun.

ARUSH is the seventeenth ship in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs), designed and built by M/s Cochin Shipyard Limited.


10. Lakshadweep became the first Union Territory (UT) to sign 24×7 Power for All document which aims to provide each household access to electricity through 24×7 Power supply by 2019.


International – Across the Globe:


1. United States has fully lifted its embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam, its one-time enemy.


By this US removed a lingering vestige of the Cold War that was seen in South East Asia in 1970’s.

US President Barack Obama announced it during his official state visit to Vietnam and after talks with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

He is the third US President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

Other two Presidents were Bill Clinton (visited in 2000) and George W. Bush (2006).


2. Barack Obama became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima memorial, site of the world’s first atomic bombing dropped on August 6, 1945.


He paid tribute to the 140,000 people killed by the world’s first atomic bomb attack and laid wreath at Hiroshima nuclear memorial.

In the guest book of the memorial President Obama wrote “We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”




1. Mohun Bagan FC has won the 2016 Indian Federation Cup football tournament title for the 14th time.


They have won the tournament after a gap of 8 years and last was won in 2008.

In the final match they defeated Aizawl FC by 5-0 goals.

The match was played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati (Assam).

For Mohun Bagan FC the Jeje Lalpekhlua scored two goals while Haitian Sony Norde, Dhanachandra Singh and Bikramjit Singh scored one each.


2. Pankaj Advani, India’s ace cueist, has created history by clinching the Asian 6-Red Snooker title held in Abu Dhabi.


By getting this victory, Advani became the first cueist in the world to hold both world and continental titles in 6-red snooker at the same time.

In the Asian 6-Red Snooker title held in Abu Dhabi, Advani defeated top seeded Malaysian cueist Keen Hoh Moh by 7-5 score.


3. Indian para athlete Amit Kumar Saroha clinched gold medal in men’s club throw (F-51) at the 2016 French Open Athletics Championship in Paris. The event was held on 23 May and 24 May 2016.


Awards & Recognition:


1. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was conferred with the Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award, one of the Nepal’s prestigious literary award.


The award was bestowed upon him by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli for his commendable contributions in promoting Nepali literature in India.

The award ceremony was organised by Siddhicharan Shrestha Academy on the occasion of 105th birth anniversary of the late poet Shrestha.

Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award carries a certificate of appreciation and a sum of 100,000 Nepali Rupees.

His other works in Nepali include Prarambhik Kavita (1978), Antyaheen Sapana: Mero Bipana (1985), Ma Ko Hoon! (1992) and Sikkim ra Nariko Maryada.


2. Bioengineer Frances Arnold from United States (US) has won the prestigious 2016 Millennium Technology Prize.


By receiving this award she becomes first female to be awarded with this prestigious biennial award in its 12-year history.

The Technology Academy Finland (TAF) had chosen Frances Arnold for this award in recognition of her discoveries that launched the field of directed evolution.

Her discoveries mimic natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.


3. Indian-American students have won the prestigious 2016 National Geographic Bee championship, securing the first three positions.


It was 28th annual edition of National Geographic Bee Competition which was held in at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington.

This is the fifth consecutive year of National Geographic Bee championship in which an Indian-American has won the prestigious national tournament.

Indian American Winners are Rishi Nair, Saketh Jonnalagadda, Kapil Nathan.


4. Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has won the ‘India Biodiversity Award 2016’. The tiger reserve was selected in the conservation of threatened species category for its Hornbill Nest Adoption Program.


Hornbill Nest Adoption Program – It is joint collaboration of Ghora-Aabhe Society, Nature Conservation Foundation and the State Forest Department. Under this program, urban citizens contribute money to protect hornbill nests around Pakke Tiger Reserve.

India Biodiversity Award 2016 – The award is presented to those stakeholders who pays their contribution towards the conservation of biodiversity.

It is given in four categories – Conservation of Threatened Species, Sustainable use of biological resources, Successful models for access and benefit sharing and Biodiversity Management Committees.


Appointments & Resignations:


1. Anurag Thakur was elected as President of BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) by the board’s special general meeting (SGM) held in Mumbai.


He is 34th BCCI President and shall have tenure till September 2017.

He succeeds Shashank Manohar who stepped down to take get elected as ICC’s first independent chairman.

Thakur is the second youngest BCCI President after Fateh Singh Gaekwad who was the youngest BCCI President to get elected at the age of 33 in 1963.


2. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry as per Article 239 of the Constitution.


The a post LG was vacant for the past two years after the Union Government had sacked Virendra Kataria from the post in July 2014.

Since then, it was under the additional charge of Ajay Kumar Singh, Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


3. Ms. J Jayalalithaa has sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for record sixth time after winning 2016 state assembly election with absolute majority.


State Governor Dr.K. Rosaiah administered the oath of office and secrecy to her at oath taking ceremony held at the Centenary Auditorium, Madras University.

Governor also administered oath of office and secrecy to the 28 ministers of her government.

This is J Jayalalithaa’s second consecutive term as chief minister and sixth overall.

She is the second female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran.


4. S. K. Sharma, a renowned scientist was appointed the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).


He will now be responsible for design, construction, commissioning and operation of nuclear power reactors.

He has been appointed to the new post for a period of five years.

Currently, he is working as Distinguished Scientist and Director (Operations) in NPCIL.

NPCIL is a government-owned corporation responsible for the generation of nuclear power for electricity.


5. BJP leader and former Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was sworn-in as the 14th Chief Minister of Assam after winning 2016 state assembly election with absolute majority.


State Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya administered the oath of office and secrecy to Sarbananda Sonowal at the oath taking ceremony held in Khanapara, Guwahati.

Besides, Governor also administered oath of office and secrecy to the 10 ministers of his government.


6. Veteran CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala after the left Democratic Front (LDF) had won 2016 state assembly election.


State Governor P Sathasivam administered his oath of office and secrecy to him along with other 18 ministers of his government in Thiruvananthapuram.

In the 2016 state assembly election, the CPI (M)-led coalition of LDF had emerged victorious after winning 91 seats in the 140 member Assembly.

Then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) had emerged as largest opposition coalition after winning 47 seats.


7. Veteran CPI (M) leader Pinarayi Vijayan was sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala after the left Democratic Front (LDF) had won 2016 state assembly election.


State Governor P Sathasivam administered his oath of office and secrecy to him along with other 18 ministers of his government in Thiruvananthapuram.

In the 2016 state assembly election, the CPI (M)-led coalition of LDF had emerged victorious after winning 91 seats in the 140 member Assembly.

Then ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) had emerged as largest opposition coalition after winning 47 seats.


Economics & Banking GK:


1. According to a Crisil report, remittances from the Gulf nations to India declined for the first time in six years due to sliding oil prices.


It fell by 2.2 per cent in 2015-16 but the slide had also resulted in a contraction of oil imports, which offset the drop.

Falling oil prices have had a sweeping impact on the oil producing economies of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), severely denting their oil revenues and spending by both governments and households


2. The World Bank has launched Pandemic Emergency Finance Facility (FEP) to help countries and health agencies fight deadly disease outbreaks.


FEP is a financing mechanism designed to quickly mobilize funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk.

It was unveiled at the G-7 Finance Ministers Summit held in Ise-Shima, Japan.

Japanese Government has committed to donate $50 million dollars to it, becoming the first donor.


3. Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is about to open its first branch in India at Ahmedabad, Gujarat.


IDB and its private sector arm, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), already have met with top officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), EXIM Bank and India’s other nationalized banks.

This announcement comes as part of MoU signed between IDB and India’s EXIM Bank during Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) in April 2016.


Bills – New & Amendments:


1. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.


These bills seek to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Tripura. They also seek identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

The Bills add the following communities to the list of Scheduled Castes:

Assam: Inclusion of Boro, Boro Kachari, Bodo, Bodo Kachari and Karbi (Mikir) communities in the list.

Chhattisgarh: Inclusion of Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, Bhuyan, Dhanuhar/Dhanuwar,Kisan, Saunra, Saonra and Dhangad communities in the list.

Jharkhand: Inclusion of Bhogta, Deshwari, Ganjhu, Dautalbandi (Dwalbandi), Patbandi, Raut, Maajhia, Khairi (Kheri) and Puran communities in the list.

Tamil Nadu: Inclusion of Malayali Gounder, Narikoravan and Kurivikkaran communities in the list.

Tripura: Inclusion of Darlong community in the list. Puducherry: Identification (First Order) of Irular (including Villi and Vettaikaran).


Memorandum of Understanding (MoU):


1. India and Iran signed 12 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and Agreements in various areas including building and operating the Chabahar port by India.


The other agreements include cooperation in science and technology, culture, library sciences, and cooperation between the EXIM banks of both the countries.

These agreements were signed after the delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

These agreements are:

Bilateral contract on Chabahar Port for port development and operations

MoU between EXIM Bank and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO)

Confirmation Statement between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran (CBI

MoU between IRCON and CDTIC

MoU on India-Iran Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP)

MoU on Policy Dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks

MoU between Foreign Service Institute, MEA and School of International Relations, Iran’s MoFA

Implementation Protocol on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology


2. India and Oman have signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements on defence cooperation.


These MoUs/agreements were signed in Muscat during the visit of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.

Signed agreements are:

MOU on Defence Cooperation

MOU in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at Sea

MOU on Maritime Issues

Protocol on Flight Safety information Exchange


3. The National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has signed a MoU with Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO).


The signing of the MoU coincided with the official two days state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Iran.

The purpose of the MoU is to explore the possibility of setting up smelter- cum-gas based power plant on joint venture in Iran for the proposed smelter plant in Chabahar Free Trade Zone.


4. India and World Bank have signed the Loan and Project Agreements for World Bank (IBRD) assistance of US 100 million dollars for Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernization project.


Objective of the project is to provide city-wide access to a continuous piped water supply in the eligible cities in Karnataka and to strengthen the service delivery arrangements at the city level.

KUIDFC is the nodal implementing agency for the project.

The project has four broad components:

(i) Capital Investment Program

(ii) Technical Assistance for Sector Development

(iii) Institution Building

(iv) Project Management


5. The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) for cooperation in the exploration and user of outer space for peaceful purposes.


Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

The MoU seek to set up a Joint Working Group with members from ISRO and UAESA.

It will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing the MoU.


6. China and Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding to build 600-megawatt (MW) atomic reactor.


Sudan is China’s its close ally in Africa.

It was the first of its kind project to be built by China in African country.

The two framework agreements in this regard have been signed by state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) with Sudan.

These agreements include nuclear power development and building a 600 MW atomic reactor.


Science & Technology:


1. The Indian Navy has commissioned indigenously built highly maneuverable Fast Attack Craft INS Tarmugli at the commissioning ceremony held in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

INS Tarmugli will be based in Visakhapatnam under the Naval Officer-in-Charge (Andhra Pradesh).

It would be deployed for coastal patrol and surveillance operations along the East Coast of India.


2. The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has decided to launch ASMITA, a student tracking system programme.


ASMITA is acronym for All School Monitoring Individual Tracing Analysis and shall be launched under Shala Asmita Yojana (SAY).

ASMITA will be an online database which will carry information of student attendance and enrolment, learning outcomes, mid-day meal service and infrastructural facilities among others.

Students will be tracked through their Aadhaar numbers and incase those not having unique number will be provided with it.


3. Scientists from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Physics and CRANN Institute have discovered a new property of light based on Angular Momentum.


The scientific breakthrough discovery has potential to alter the basic understanding of fundamental nature of light.

The discovery was made by passing light through crystals. During it passage, unexpected new property of light, based on the concept called ‘angular momentum’ was observed.


4. As per recent study conducted by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), chemical additive Potassium bromate (KbrO3) widely prevalent in bread and refined flour is carcinogenic.


The test was conducted by CSE’s Pollution Monitoring Laboratory.

It has found that 84% of the samples were found to be laced with carcinogenic and thyroid triggering chemicals, such as Potassium Bromate and Potassium Iodate.

These chemicals content were found to be on the higher then permissible limit in the sandwich breads followed by white bread, pavs, pizza bread and burger buns.


5. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has decided to test an Air-breathing Propulsion System after successful test of Reusable launch Vehicle- Technology Demonstration (RLV-TD).


The testing of air-breathing propulsion system aims to capitalize on the oxygen in the atmosphere instead of liquefied oxygen while in flight.

ISRO is evolving and testing various technologies to bring down the cost of launch vehicles and the air-breathing propulsion system is part of its new space endeavor.


2. The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test-fired a land-attack version of the supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos at the Pokaran field firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.


During the flight trial, the missile met its mission goals and destroyed a designated target.



Important Dates:


1. Every year May 22 is being observed as International Biodiversity Day (IDB) across the world to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.


The objective is to step-up understanding and awareness about biodiversity issues and to make people aware about the importance of biodiversity on the one hand and its unprecedented loss on the other.

2016 Theme is “Mainstreaming Biodiversity: Sustaining People and their Livelihoods”


Click here to Download GK Eduwrap Weekly (23rd May to 28th May 2016) in PDF Format


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