Current Affairs Update – 10th March, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 10th March, 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 10th March, 2016
  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 10 March 2016
    approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
    Under the scheme, a financial support of
    1600 rupees will be provided for each LPG connection
    to the BPL households.
    It will be implemented at an estimated
    cost of 8000 crore rupees over three years between April 2016 and March 2019

    to cover 5 crore BPL households.
  2. Country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank today launched a credit-linked subsidy scheme for home
    loans under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
    ICICI Bank has signed an MoU
    with National Housing Bank (NHB) to
    facilitate the credit-linked subsidy to eligible borrowers. Under the scheme,
    an eligible customer will get a subsidy
    at 6.5% per annum on a maximum amount of Rs 6 lakh
    or the loan amount,
    whichever is lower, for a maximum tenure
    of 15 years
    .
  3. HDFC Bank has shortlisted five
    start-ups that it will work with to strengthen their web, mobile and payment
    offerings
    . The five companies shortlisted were Senseforth Technologies,
    an AI customer response system, Tagnpin,
    a marketing and customer engagement company, Safe 2 Pay, a point of
    sale-free payment system, Bugclipper,
    in-app feedback tool and Taptis Technology, a biometric payment
    company.
  4. In a first, the Centre has initiated steps to develop the Automobile Servicing Cluster in Odisha
    under the ‘Micro and Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (CDP)’
    scheme
    .
  5. The state-owned power equipment
    maker BHEL on Thursday said it has commissioned a 500 Mw unit at Anpara-D thermal power plant in Uttar
    Pradesh
    .
  6. The Union Cabinet on 10 March 2016 gave its approval for entering
    into the
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the IMF for setting up of
    South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) in India
    .
  7. India and Bangladesh on 9 March 2016 signed a 2 billion US dollar Line of Credit (LOC) to implement
    socio-economic development projects in Bangladesh
    and strengthen bilateral
    relations.
  8. Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL), a wholly owned
    subsidiary of Tata Power, on 9 March 2016 signed a Share Purchase Agreement
    (SPA) with Indo Rama Renewables Limited
    (IRRL)
    to acquire its 100% subsidiary Indo Rama Renewables Jath Limited
    (IRRJL). IRRJL owns a 30 MW wind farm in Sangli District of Maharashtra.
  9. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 10 March 2016 launched the country’s sixth Indian
    Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)-1F
    , on board the trusted
    launch vehicle PSLV C-32.
  10. India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to cooperate in combating cybercrime in the wake of the
    serious security threat posed by it to safety of people.
  11. The Union Government on 7 March
    2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia at the Convention
    on Migratory Species Office in Abu Dhabi, commonly known as Raptor MoU
    .
  12. Altico Capital, a non-banking finance company (NBFC), promoted by
    Clearwater Capital, Abu Dhabi Investment Council and Varde Partners, has roped
    in banking veteran Naina Lal Kidwai as
    an independent non-executive director on its board
    .
  13. Jean Arnault was on 9 March 2016 appointed as the head of United
    National Political Mission in Columbia.
  14. Guwahati, the capital of Assam, followed by Pune has seen the highest appreciation in home
    prices in January-March quarter of 2015 on a yearly basis
    , According to the
    Residex by National Housing Bank (NHB).
  15. Tezpur University in Assam has won annual Visitor’s award for ‘best
    university’
    . President Pranab Mukherjee is the Visitor of central
    universities.


Finance/Industry/Banking –
CCEA approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to provide free LPG
connections to BPL households

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic
    Affairs (CCEA), chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 10 March 2016
    approved Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  • The scheme seeks to provide free
    LPG connections to women from below poverty line (BPL) households and builds on
    the objective of achieving universal coverage of cooking gas in the country.
  • Incidentally, this is the first
    time the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas would implement a welfare scheme
    benefitting crores of women belonging to the poorest households.

Features of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
  • Under the scheme, a financial
    support of 1600 rupees will be provided for each LPG connection to the BPL
    households.
  • The identification of eligible
    BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the
    Union Territories.
  • This will benefit about 1 crore
    50 lakh households below the poverty line in 2016-17.
  • It will be implemented at an
    estimated cost of 8000 crore rupees over three years between April 2016 and
    March 2019 to cover 5 crore BPL households.
  • It is complimentary to Prime
    Minister’s Give It Up campaign under which 75 lakh middle class and lower
    middle class households have voluntarily given up their cooking gas subsidy.

ICICI Bank launches credit-linked subsidy scheme under PMAY

  • Country’s largest private sector
    lender ICICI Bank Thursday launched a credit-linked subsidy scheme for home
    loans under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
  • Under this scheme, individuals
    including women borrowers from the economically weaker section and low income
    group will be able to acquire and construct the first brick-and-mortar house of
    the family by paying significantly lower equated monthly installments (EMIs), ICICI
    Bank said in a statement.
  • The scheme is available to those
    without a brick-and- mortar (pucca) house, with families comprising husband,
    wife and unmarried children.
  • ICICI Bank has signed an MoU with
    National Housing Bank (NHB) to facilitate the credit-linked subsidy to eligible
    borrowers.
  • Under the scheme, an eligible
    customer will get a subsidy at 6.5% per annum on a maximum amount of Rs 6 lakh
    or the loan amount, whichever is lower, for a maximum tenure of 15 years.

HDFC Bank ties up with five start-ups

  • HDFC Bank has shortlisted five
    start-ups that it will work with to strengthen their web, mobile and payment
    offerings. The company shortlisted five out of the 30 applications it had
    received in its maiden Digital Innovation Summit, it said on Thursday.
  • The five companies shortlisted
    were Senseforth Technologies, an AI customer response system, Tagnpin, a
    marketing and customer engagement company, Safe 2 Pay, a point of sale-free
    payment system, Bugclipper, in-app feedback tool and Taptis Technology, a biometric
    payment company.
  • The bank had previously tied up
    with the likes of Chillr, which not too long ago raised $6 million from Sequoia
    Capital, where it developed an ecosystem, which helped customers pay without a
    wallet.
  • Senseforth Technology, a Bengaluru-based
    start-up, has developed a machine-learning tool to help chat with customer to
    solve customer queries.

Odisha to have country’s first auto servicing cluster

  • In a first, the Centre has
    initiated steps to develop the Automobile Servicing Cluster in Odisha under the
    ‘Micro and Small Enterprises – Cluster Development Programme (CDP)’ scheme.
  • There are 52 big servicing units
    in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. In order to develop a cluster, the Government of
    India has approved to develop it under the MSE-CDP scheme. It is taken on a
    pilot basis to develop an automobile servicing cluster in the country.
  • The Union ministry of Micro Small
    and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has approved setting up of common facility
    centres at Bargarh, Ganjam and Brahmagiri (in Puri district).

BHEL starts 500 Mw thermal unit at Anpara-D power plant

  • The state-owned power equipment
    maker BHEL on Thursday said it has commissioned a 500 Mw unit at Anpara-D
    thermal power plant in Uttar Pradesh.
  • With this, BHEL has added 2,320
    Mw of generating capacity in Uttar Pradesh in the current financial year, it
    said.
  • This is a first of its kind
    project where the power plant has been set up on an abandoned ash pond, saving
    scarce land.
  • Setting up of power plant on an
    ash pond requires special technological innovations in civil engineering.
    Successful execution of this project has offered an alternative option for
    future projects facing land constraints.

Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and IMF for setting up South
Asia Regional Training and
Technical
Assistance Center
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 March
    2016 gave its approval for entering into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
    between India and the IMF for setting up of South Asia Regional Training and
    Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) in India.
  • The Cabinet also authorised the
    Finance Minister to approve related decisions in respect of India’s
    contribution for setting up of the centre, including Letter of Understanding
    for financial contribution by India, site of the SARTTAC, representative of
    India on the Steering Committee on SARTTAC, etc.

Features of SARTTAC
  • It will be a collaborative
    venture between the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and 6 member countries
    belonging to South Asia.
  • It will help in capacity building
    of Government officials including State level in macro, fiscal, monetary
    policies by the IMF and greater coordination between the six member countries
    of South Asia.
  • The six member countries are
    India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Additional member
    countries could join SARTTAC at a later stage.

India, Bangladesh signed 2 billion US dollar Line of Credit
  • India and Bangladesh on 9 March
    2016 signed a 2 billion US dollar Line of Credit (LOC) to implement
    socio-economic development projects in Bangladesh and strengthen bilateral
    relations. The LOC was extended by Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on
    behalf of the Government of India.
  • The 2 billion US dollar LOC is
    the biggest credit line India has so far extended to any country.
  • The LOC agreement to this effect
    was signed in Dhaka, Bangladesh by Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman & Managing
    Director, EXIM Bank, and Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary, Economic
    Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of the People’s
    Republic of Bangladesh.

E-portal for Pashmina “PHAMB” products launched

  • An e-commerce portal to sell
    famous brands of Pashmina products has been launched to boost global sale of
    this hand-woven fabric.
  • The main aim of the e-portal is
    to sell 200 elite brands of Pashmina products throughout the world.
  • Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir,
    Asgar Hussain Samoon launched the e-commerce portal, www.Phamb.co.in, for Pashmina
    products

Union Cabinet approved creation of Nominated Authority in Ministry of
Coal
  • The Union Cabinet on 10 March
    2016 approved creation of a post of Nominated Authority in the Ministry of
    Coal.
  • The post will be of Joint
    Secretary level and was created as per the Section 6 of Coal Mines (Special
    Provisions) Act, 2015.

The Union Government shall act through the Nominated Authority for
the following purposes –
  • Conduct the auction process and
    allotment with the assistance of experts
  • Execution of the vesting order
    for transfer and vesting of Schedule I coal mines pursuant to the auction
  • Executing the allotment order for
    any Government company or corporation in pursuance of Section 5 of Coal Mines
    (Special Provisions) Act, 2015

Lupin completed acquisition of GAVIS Pharma
  • Drug major Lupin on 9 March 2016
    announced completion of the acquisition of privately held US-based GAVIS
    Pharmaceuticals LLC and Novel Laboratories (GAVIS).
  • The acquisition of GAVIS Pharma
    was announced by Lupin of 23 July 2015.
  • The deal was cash-free and
    debt-free and it was funded by a bridge loan, with 10 crore rupees from
    existing cash reserves deployed for it.
  • With this acquisition, Lupin
    received access to a host of specialty generic drugs and niche products, mainly
    in dermatology, gastro-intestinal and injectables. GAVIS’s New-Jersey based
    manufacturing facility will now become Lupin’s first manufacturing site in the
    US.

Tata Power arm inked agreement with IRRL to acquire 30 MW wind farm in
Maharashtra
  • Tata Power Renewable Energy
    Limited (TPREL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power, on 9 March 2016
    signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Indo Rama Renewables Limited
    (IRRL) to acquire its 100% subsidiary Indo Rama Renewables Jath Limited
    (IRRJL). IRRJL owns a 30 MW wind farm in Sangli District of Maharashtra.
  • IRRJL’s wind farm is fully
    operational since July 2013 and has executed a long-term power purchase
    agreement with Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Limited. The wind
    farm is registered under the Generation Based Incentive scheme of Ministry of
    New & Renewable Energy.
  • With this acquisition, Tata
    Power’s total generation capacity will increase to 9130 MW and its operational
    Wind power generation capacity to 570 MW with wind turbines located across five
    states, which are Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
    TPREL also has 250 MW of wind projects under construction across Gujarat, Madhya
    Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.

DIPP gave approval for 12 industrial licenses to Reliance Defence Ltd

  • The DIPP on 9 March 2016
    announced that it gave approval for 12 industrial licenses to the Reliance
    Defence Ltd, which a subsidiary of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure Ltd.
  • The licenses were sanctioned to
    the Strategic Business Units (SBUs) of the company in February 2016 by the
    Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the Union Ministry
    of Commerce and Industry.
  • Reliance Defence Technologies
    Pvt. Ltd, Reliance Helicopters Ltd, Reliance Propulsion Systems Ltd, Reliance
    Aerostructure Ltd and Reliance Naval Systems Ltd are some of the SBUs under the
    Reliance Defence Ltd that got licenses.

India –
ISRO launched Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1F

  • The Indian Space Research
    Organization (ISRO) on 10 March 2016 launched the country’s sixth Indian
    Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)-1F, on board the trusted launch
    vehicle PSLV C-32.
  • The lift off took place from the
    second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre(SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikotta,
    India’s spaceport at 4:01pm. Satellite IRNSS-1F was launched after the
    54-and-a-half hour countdown that started on 8 March 2016.
  • XL version of PSLV was used in
    PSLV-C32 and it was the twelfth time that the ‘XL’ configuration was flown.

India-UAE sign pact for cooperation in combating cybercrime

  • India and the United Arab
    Emirates (UAE) have agreed to cooperate in combating cybercrime in the wake of
    the serious security threat posed by it to safety of people.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) between India and UAE on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and
    Combating Cybercrime was signed last month.
  • A meeting of the Union Cabinet,
    chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Thursday gave its ex-post approval for
    the MoU, an official spokesperson said.
  • The enhancement of technical
    cooperation between India and UAE in cyber space and combating cybercrime came
    in the wake of the serious threat of cybercrime on the security, interest and
    safety of the people.

Union Government signed Raptor MoU on conservation of birds of prey

  • The Union Government on 7 March
    2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of
    prey in Africa and Eurasia at the Convention on Migratory Species Office in Abu
    Dhabi.
  • The MoU was signed by T.P
    Seetharam, the Ambassador of India to the UAE.
  • With the signing of the Raptor
    MoU, India became the 56th signatory state to sign it.
  • The MoU is also in conformity
    with the provisions of the existing Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, wherein
    the birds have been accorded protection.

Rajya Sabha passed National Waterways Bill, 2015
  • The Rajya Sabha on 9 March 2016
    passed National Waterways Bill, 2015. The Bill seeks to unleash the navigation
    potential of India’s larger river ways resources.
  • As part of this Bill, under entry
    24 of the Union List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the Union
    government can make laws on shipping and navigation on inland waterways that
    are classified as national waterways.
  • The Bill identifies additional
    101 waterways as national waterways. It also specifies the extent of
    development to be undertaken on each waterway.

Allahabad HC asked UP government to stop illegal mining in Sonbhadra
district
  • The Allahabad High Court (HC) on
    9 March 2016 asked the Uttar Pradesh (UP) to immediately stop illegal mining in
    reserved forest areas of Sonbhadra district.
  • High Court’s bench of Chief
    Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Yashwant Varma took a strict note of illegal
    mining in the Sonbhadra and ordered the state Principal Secretary of Mining,
    District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of Police of Sonbhadra to take
    immediate action.
  • The High Court also instructed
    the State government to take action against those officials, who are
    responsible for illegal mining.

First-ever NCC Girls Everest Expedition flagged off
  • The Minister of State for Defence
    Rao Inderjit Singh on 9 March 2016 flagged off the first-ever all girls
    National Cadet Corps (NCC) Mount Everest expedition.
  • The aim of mountaineering
    expeditions in NCC is to strengthen the character and instill qualities of
    courage, comradeship, discipline and leadership in the cadets. NCC has always
    been in the forefront in adventure activities.
  • The all girls team comprising of
    10 girl cadets and 15 service personnel will be led by Colonel Gaurav Karki.
  • The plan of conducting the
    first-ever NCC Girls Expedition to Mt Everest was proposed by Director General
    NCC Lt. Gen. A. Chakravarty in 2014.

Lok Sabha passed Enemy Property Amendment Bill 2016
  • Lok Sabha, the lower house of
    Parliament, on 9 March 2016 passed the Enemy Property (Amendment and
    Validation) Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to make amendments to the 48-year-old
    Enemy Property Act, 1968.
  • The amendments are aimed at
    plugging the loopholes in the Enemy Property Act to ensure that the enemy
    properties that have been vested in the Custodian of Enemy Property for India
    remain so and they do not revert back to the enemy subject or enemy firm.

Main highlights of the Bill
  • The bill guards against claims of
    succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan
    after the 1965 and 1971 wars.
  • The bill also includes the
    properties of those persons who migrated to China after the Indo-China War of
    1962.

Signing and ratification of BIMSTEC Convention on Mutual Legal
Assistance in Criminal Matters approved
  • The Union Cabinet, presided by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 10 March 2016 gave its approval for signing
    and ratification of the Bay of Bengal Initiative on Multi Sectoral Technical
    and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in
    Criminal Matters.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has
    been designated as the Central Authority under Article 15 of the Convention.

Appointments –
Naina Lal Kidwai appointed realty NBFC Altico Capital’s independant
Non-Executive Director

  • Altico Capital, a non-banking
    finance company (NBFC), promoted by Clearwater Capital, Abu Dhabi Investment
    Council and Varde Partners, has roped in banking veteran Naina Lal Kidwai as an
    independent non-executive director on its board.
  • Kidwai’s presence on Altico’s
    board is expected to help the company to grow its business and enhance its
    brand, said Sanjay Grewal, Chief Executive Officer of Altico Capital.
  • Altico, which is focused on real
    estate, is looking to invest about Rs 2,500 crore every year for the next five
    years in the Indian real estate market.
  • Kidwai stepped down as
    chairperson of British lender HSBC India last year after serving the bank for
    13 years.

Jean Arnault appointed as head of UN Political Mission in Columbia

  • Jean Arnault was on 9 March 2016
    appointed as the head of United National Political Mission in Columbia. An
    announcement in this regard was made by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in
    New York, the USA.
  • In his new capacity, Arnault, a
    French national, will also serve as the Secretary-General’s Special
    Representative in Colombia.
  • Before the present elevation, he
    had been serving as the Delegate of the Secretary-General to the Sub-Commission
    on End of Conflict Issues within the Colombia peace process.
  • Earlier, Arnault moderated the
    peace process in Guatemala before being appointed the head of the verification
    mission in the country (MINUGUA).

Tapan Kumar Chand elected President of Aluminium Association of India
  • Tapan Kumar Chand was elected as
    the President of the Aluminium Association of India (AAI). His election took
    place unanimously on 29 February 2016 at the National Governing Council Meeting
    of the AAI in Bhubaneshwar.
  • He succeed SK Roongta who is the
    former Chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Vedanta Group.
  • At present, Tapan Chand is the
    Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco),
    which is a Navaratna Central Public Sector Undertaking.

Lists and Indexes –
Guwahati, Pune see highest growth in home prices: NHB Residex

  • Guwahati, the capital of Assam,
    followed by Pune has seen the highest appreciation in home prices in
    January-March quarter of 2015 on a yearly basis.
  • According to the Residex by
    National Housing Bank (NHB), which tracks housing prices in 26 cities, Guwahati,
    has seen an increase of 9% while Pune has seen an increase of 8% in Jan-March
    quarter of 2015. The NHB Residex comes with a lag.
  • Mumbai and Delhi NCR, the
    country’s two largest markets, did not fare very well. While Mumbai showed a
    growth of 4%, Delhi NCR saw a decline of 4.5%, Residex showed.
  • Chennai and Kolkata, the other
    two metros, saw a growth of 4% and 3% respectively. bengaluru, the country’s IT
    capital, saw a growth of 7%.

8 brands from Gujarat in Brand Trust Report 2016
  • Eight popular brands from Gujarat
    have emerged as category leaders in a recently released study by TRA (formerly
    Trust Research Advisory) The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2016.
  • The report features eight
    category leaders from Gujarat. Amul (All India Rank 41) has been listed as
    India’s Most Trusted Dairy-Diversified (F&B) brand. It is also holds the
    only reigning brand in the Butter Sub-Category.
  • Fogg (All India Rank 67) leads in
    the Deo/Perfume Category followed by Axe and Wildstone. Sintex (All India Rank
    214) leads as India’s Most Trusted Brand in the Manufacturing-Diversified
    Category.
  • While Astral Pipes (All India
    Rank 870) is the Most Trusted Brand in Pipes Category.Ajanta (All India Rank
    282) is a forerunner in the Home Care Category and correspondingly is the leader
    in the Clocks Sub-Category.
  • Yet another brand from the
    region, Symphony (All India Rank 579) has been ranked as the Most Trusted Brand
    in the Coolers Sub-Category of the Durable list.

World –
Kuwait imposes ban on import of Indian poultry products

  • Kuwait has banned imports of
    poultry products from India in the wake of incidents of bird flu virus in some
    states.
  • In October only the gulf nation’s
    Public Authority of Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAFR) had lifted
    the ban on import of live birds, hatching eggs, one-year-old chicks for the egg
    laying hens and flesh hens from India.
  • According to experts, as India
    mainly exports poultry products to the Middle East, this decision may impact
    exports prospects in the coming days.
  • In 2014-15, Kuwait imported 24.2
    tonnes of poultry products, valued at USD 120,000.
  • India’s poultry products export
    during April-December period of the current financial year increased to Rs 584
    crore from Rs 484 crore in the same period last year.

Awards & Honors –
Tezpur University in Assam won the President’s award for for ‘best
university’

  • Tezpur University in Assam has
    won annual Visitor’s award for ‘best university’. President Pranab Mukherjee is
    the Visitor of central universities.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
    (JNU), the prestigious institution has bagged the President’s award for excellence
    in research and innovation.
  • Mukherjee will present the
    Visitor’s awards for 2016 at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on
    March 14, as part of the ‘Festival of Innovations’.
  • The President had announced
    institution of these awards at the Vice Chancellors’ Conference in 2014 with
    the aim of promoting healthy competition amongst central universities and
    motivating them to adopt best practises from across the world.
  • The Visitor’s award for
    innovation will be given to Prof Rakesh Bhatnagar for development of a
    genetically engineered vaccine and a therapeutic antibody against anthrax, it
    said.

Obituaries –
Brazilian percussionist, Nana Vasconcelos, died
  • Eight time Grammy Award-winning
    Brazilian percussionist, Nana Vasconcelos, died on 9 March 2016 in Recife,
    Brazil. He was 71.
  • The musician from Brazil was
    known for his wide instrumental range and major role in free spirited jazz and
    world music of the 1970s and 1980.



Regards

Team ExamPundit

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