Current Affairs Update – 26th May, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit . Here are the Important Current Affairs of 26th May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming UIIC AO, SBI PO & Clerk Mains 2016 Exams.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 26th May, 2016

  1. State-owned Oriental Insurance has for the first time tied up with a private
    online insurance broker, Coverfox
    , to sell its comprehensive motor
    insurance product for both four and two wheelers.  
  2. Union Road Transport and Highways
    Minister Nitin Gadkari on 25 May 2016 launched 20 Nirbhaya buses of Rajasthan State
    Transport Corporation (RSTC)
    . These buses are fitted with multiple
    safety measures to better protect women passengers.
  3. Intel India on Thursday announced three innovative
    initiatives to strengthen its support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s
    Digital India programme. Building on the momentum of its “Ek Kadam Unnati
    Ki Aur
    ” initiative to accelerate access to technology in
    non-urban India, Intel India e-launched its latest “Unnati Kendra at Common Service Centre
    (UK at CSC) in Karnal, the first in Haryana. Intel India also announced the
    Digital
    Unnati
    ” website that is being set up in collaboration with the
    CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd.
  4. The Union Human Resource
    Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Zubin Irani on 25 May 2016 launched the
    multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in at Lucknow. With its
    launch, Bharatavani
    became the largest online repository of dictionaries in India.
  5. The finding of the first of its
    kind survey conducted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
    were released by the Research Team of L.N.Welingkar Institute of Management (WE
    School) in May 2016 at Mumbai Customs House.
  6. As Narendra Modi completes two years as Prime Minister, he remains the
    second most-liked world leader on Facebook
    , the social media giant
    said Thursday. The list of most-liked world leaders on Facebook released by the
    social network shows that Modi is second only to US President Barack Obama and
    is followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  7. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance
    Industries leads the pack of 56 Indian firms in Forbes’s annual list of the
    world’s 2,000 largest and mostpowerful public companies
    , with the US
    leading the list with 586 companies. Reliance is followed by State Bank of India which is ranked 149 and has a 23.3 billion dollar
    market value.
  8. Veteran CPI-M leader Pinarayi Vijayan was
    sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala
    on 25 May 2016.
  9. Startup Village Chairman Sanjay
    Vijayakumar
    , who played a key role in setting up India’s first
    technology business incubator on the PPP model in Kerala, has been appointed
    Advisor to the Rajasthan government’s Startup Council
    , to create a startup
    ecosystem in the state.
  10. Technology Academy Finland (TAF)
    on 24 May 2016 declared American innovator Frances Arnold as winner of the 2016
    Millennium Technology Prize
    . The 1 million euro prize is awarded
    biennially and Arnold is the first female winner in its 12-year history.

Finance/Industry –
Oriental Insurance ties up with Coverfox

  • State-owned Oriental Insurance
    has for the first time tied up with a private online insurance broker,
    Coverfox, to sell its comprehensive motor insurance product for both four and
    two wheelers.  
  • For Coverfox, which operates the
    online insurance portal coverfox.com, this is the first engagement with a public
    sector general insurer.
  • Currently, auto insurance is the
    largest selling category for Coverfox. Founded in 2013, Coverfox sells
    insurance online and offers car insurance, health insurance, home insurance and
    travel insurance.
  • Coverfox is the second largest
    online auto insurance provider, besides selling health and travel policies. It
    sells nearly 10,000 policies (auto, health and travel put together) a month and
    is witnessing a steady growth of about 20 per cent month-on-month
  • In March 2014, a new report by
    Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Google India estimated that three in every
    four insurance policies sold by 2020 would be influenced by digital channels
    during either the pre-purchase stage, purchase or renewal stages.
India, Japan MoU on sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power
development approved

  • The Union Cabinet on 25 May 2016
    gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between Indian and Japan for promoting
    sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) will help India in formulating suitable policies and developing
    technologies involved in producing sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal
    power.
  • The agreement will support Clean
    Coal Technology (CCT) for thermal power plants such as Ultra Super Critical
    (USC) and other environmental technologies.
  • It will also explore
    possibilities for acquisition of carbon credits with bilateral or multilateral
    offset schemes that are anticipated to be materialized in the future as a
    result of low-carbon power development.
Union Cabinet approves takeover of Hindustan Steel Works Construction
Limited by NBCC

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 May 2016 approved for financial
    restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited (HSCL). It also
    approved its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited
    (NBCC) to takeover HSCL.
  • The decision will benefit in
    economies of scale for NBCC and would assist in better manpower utilization.
    NBCC and HSCL will benefit from each other’s resources and expertise. HSCL will
    be able to fulfill its commitments of execution of projects and the orders.
Key features in financial restructuring of HSCL

  • The existing paid up equity
    capital of the HSCL is 117.1 crore rupees.
  • Under the proposal, Uni0on
    Government non-plan loan and plan loan along with accumulated interest thereon
    and outstanding guarantee fee worth 1502.2 crore rupees.
  • It will be converted into equity
    and equity capital of the company will be raised to that extent.
Union Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to MoU between India and
Maldives for cooperation in field
of
tourism

  • The Union Cabinet, presided by
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 25 May 2016 granted ex-post facto approval to
    the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Ministry of Tourism,
    Government of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Maldives.
  • The MoU was signed to strengthen
    cooperation in the field of tourism.
  • The MoU with Maldives will be
    instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent
    years, Maldives has also emerged as an important tourism generating market for
    India.
Key objectives of the MoU:

  • To expand bilateral cooperation
    in the tourism sector
  • To exchange information and data
    related to tourism
  • To encourage cooperation between
    tourism stakeholders, including hotels and tour operators
  • To establish exchange programme
    for cooperation in Human Resources Development
India –
Union Road Transport Minister Gadkari launches safety feature-rich
Nirbhaya buses

  • Union Road Transport and Highways
    Minister Nitin Gadkari on 25 May 2016 launched 20 Nirbhaya buses of Rajasthan
    State Transport Corporation (RSTC). These buses are fitted with multiple safety
    measures to better protect women passengers.
  • The 20 buses launched as a pilot
    project under the NIRBHAYA scheme include 10 luxury and 10 ordinary roadways
    buses.
Features of Nirbhaya bus

  • Nirbhaya bus security measures
    include Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), CCTV and panic buttons on every seat.
  • The VTS and the panic buttons
    will enable the police to know the exact location of the bus and provide prompt
    assistance.
  • Once the emergency signal is
    triggered, the CCTV cameras will start displaying live footage of the bus at
    the central control room.
Intel India unveils three new initiatives to support Digital India

  • Intel India on Thursday announced
    three innovative initiatives to strengthen its support for Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi’s Digital India programme.
  • It launched three projects
    designed to accelerate digital literacy at the grassroots level by reaching out
    to the population in non-urban India, upskill citizens in tier two cities and
    beyond and encourage innovation from the local level.
  • Building on the momentum of its
    “Ek Kadam Unnati Ki Aur” initiative to accelerate access to
    technology in non-urban India, Intel India e-launched its latest “Unnati
    Kendra at Common Service Centre” (UK at CSC) in Karnal, the first in
    Haryana.
  • The ‘UK at CSC’ will serve as the
    common access digital learning centres for people of the state.
  • Intel India is working with the
    government to open a network of up to 100 ‘UK at CSC’ facilities across 10
    states this year, with 10 such facilities already set up in the state of Telangana.
  • Intel India also announced the
    “Digital Unnati” website that is being set up in collaboration with
    the CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd.
  • It will enable Village Level
    Entrepreneurs (VLEs) to learn how to assemble a PC online and upskill their technology
    know-how.
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Union HRD Minister launches Bharatavani Portal at Lucknow

  • The Union Human Resource
    Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Zubin Irani on 25 May 2016 launched the
    multilingual knowledge portal www.bharatvani.in at Lucknow. With its launch, Bharatavani
    became the largest online repository of dictionaries in India.
  • The portal has been launched in
    22 scheduled languages, which eventually will be extended to 100 more
    languages. It will help the government to showcase the Indian culture and heritage
    to the world.
  • This project is in line with the
    HRD Ministry’s efforts to not only ensure universalization of education but
    also towards creation of a knowledge society in the digital age.
Key features of Bharatavani Portal

  • Aim: It aims at brining in people
    of India under one portal and establishes itself as a single point online
    window to knowledge in and about Indian Languages, dictionaries, language IT
    tools and textbooks.
  • Goal: Its goal is to bridge the
    Digital and language divide, with the idea to publish as well as involve people
    in the Open Knowledge movement.
  • One Point language resource: It
    is the first knowledge portal of its kind in India which focuses on becoming a
    single point source for multiple language learning, content and technology.
  • Window to language diversity: It
    will help the government to protect, preserve and include all Indian languages
    through technological development without discrimination.
The Bharatavani Portal would publish the content in the following
main sections:

  • Paa Thyapustaka Kosha: Textbooks
    by various authorities
  • Jnana Kosha: Encyclopedic
    Knowledge base in all languages
  • Shabda Kosh: Dictionaries,
    Glossaries, Terminologies
  • Bhasha Kosha: Language learning
    books
  • Suchanaa Praudyogikii Kosha: It
    tools (right now linked to TDIL)
  • Bahumaadhyama Kosha: Multimedia
    content
India’s first ever Passenger Satisfaction Survey conducted at
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

  • The finding of the first of its
    kind survey conducted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
    were released by the Research Team of L.N.Welingkar Institute of Management (WE
    School) in May 2016 at Mumbai Customs House.
  • The Central Board of Excise and
    Customs (CBEC) engaged a WE School to conduct a survey of Passenger
    Satisfaction levels of customs clearance process at the Mumbai International
    Airport.
  • The scope of the Survey was to
    assess Passenger Satisfaction levels with the Customs Clearance Process,
    focusing on three aspects. Those three aspects were Information, Behaviour and
    Process.
  • A research team comprising of
    faculty members and research associates of WE School conducted the survey over
    a week on 24×7 basis in May 2016.
Key findings of the survey:

  • Overall Satisfaction level at
    Mumbai Airport
  • The passengers were asked to rate
    their experience of Mumbai Customs vis-a- vis other international Airports
    across the world.
  • 69% rated their experience with
    Mumbai airport customs as better as or somewhat better than other international
    airports.
  • 15% rated on par.
  • About 16% felt that it was worse
    .
  • 77% of the passengers stated that
    they did not face any difficulty or harassment.
  • The study revealed that
    passengers are sensitive to the time they spend on the entire Customs Clearance
    Process.
  • In the case of Green Channel
    passengers, threshold time is up to 15 minutes while in the case of Red Channel
    Passengers, threshold time appeared to creep in the 15 to 29 minutes time
    interval.
Lists/Reports –
UNEP releases report titled Actions on Air Quality

  • The United Nations Environment
    Programme (UNEP) on 24 May 2016 released the report titled Actions on Air
    Quality. The report was released during the second United Nations Environment
    Assembly (UNEA-2).
  • As per the report, with the
    decline of the global air quality, action in some air quality areas points to
    political will to tackle this global public health emergency although current
    efforts still fall short.
Highlights of the report

  • According to the World Health
    Organization (WHO), global urban air pollution levels increased by 8 percent
    between 2008 and 2013.
  • More than 80 percent of people
    living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality
    levels that exceed WHO limits, threatening lives, productivity and economies.
  • The report found improvements in
    some areas such as access to cleaner cooking fuels and stoves, renewables, fuel
    sulphur content and public transport – pointing to a growing momentum for change.
Narendra Modi the second most-liked world leader on Facebook

  • As Narendra Modi completes two
    years as Prime Minister, he remains the second most-liked world leader on
    Facebook, the social media giant said Thursday.
  • The list of most-liked world leaders
    on Facebook released by the social network shows that Modi is second only to US
    President Barack Obama and is followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip
    Erdogan.
  • Modi’s Facebook post on May 15
    with his mother at his official residence at Delhi’s Race Course Road remains
    on top with 1.6 million likes, 1.2 lakh shares and 34,000 comments.
  • The Prime Minister’s colleagues
    are also not far behind in making their presence felt in the virtual world.
  • Out of a total of 50 cabinet
    ministers along with ministers with independent charge, 47 of them have
    verified Facebook presence.
  • During the last one year, the top
    performing ministers on Facebook include Home Minister Rajnath Singh, HRD
    minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Food processing
    minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
India home to 56 of the world’s largest public firms: Forbes

  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance
    Industries leads the pack of 56 Indian firms in Forbes’s annual list of the
    world’s 2,000 largest and mostpowerful public companies, with the US leading
    the list with 586 companies.
  • The 2016 Forbes ‘Global 2000’, a
    snapshot of the world’s largest companies, shows the dominance of US and China
    in the current global business landscape.
  • US and China-based companies
    dominate the top 10, with only Japan’s Toyota Motor at the 10th tenth
    preventing a clean sweep for the two nations.
  • India’s tally of 56 of the
    world’s biggest companies remains the same as last year and Reliance Industries
    maintains its top position of leading the largest public companies in India.
  • Reliance improved its ranking
    this year to 121 from 142 last year, with a market value of $50.6 billion and
    assets worth $91.5 billion.
  • Reliance is followed by State
    Bank of India which is ranked 149 and has a 23.3 billion dollar market value.
  • The other Indian companies on the
    list are Oil and Natural Gas ranked (220), ICICI Bank (266), HDFC Bank (275),
    Indian Oil (371), Tata Consultancy Services (385), NTPC (400), Bharti Airtel
    (453), Axis Bank (484), Infosys (590), Bharat Petroleum (650), Wipro (755,Tata
    Steel (1178) and Adani Enterprises (1993).
  • Also making to the list are Coal
    India (465), Larsen and Toubro (505), ITC (781), Kotak Mahindra Bank (899),
    Mahindra and Mahindra (901) and HCL Technologies (943).
Appointments –
Pinarayi Vijayan sworn-in as Chief Minister of Kerala

  • Veteran CPI-M leader Pinarayi
    Vijayan was sworn-in as 12th Chief Minister of Kerala on 25 May 2016. Governor
    P Sathasivam administered his oath of office and secrecy along with other 18
    ministers in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • He won the 2016 Kerala
    Legislative Assembly election as the CPI(M) candidate for Dharmadom
    constituency.
  • Of those who were sworn on the
    occasion are 12 ministers from CPI-M including Pinarayi Vijayan. While 4 ministers
    are from CPI, 3 others are from Congress(S), NCP and JD(S). Eight of those who
    were sworn on the occasion became ministers for the first time.
Startup Village head Sanjay Vijaykumar appointed advisor to Rajasthan
govt council

  • Startup Village Chairman Sanjay
    Vijayakumar, who played a key role in setting up India’s first technology
    business incubator on the PPP model in Kerala, has been appointed Advisor to
    the Rajasthan government’s Startup Council, to create a startup ecosystem in
    the state.
  • The Startup Council, headed by
    the Rajasthan Chief Minister, comprises a Member Secretary, nine members and 11
    experts from the industry.
  • The 32-year-old Vijayakumar has
    been appointed in his capacity as an eminent expert of the Startup Council,
    whose mandate is to play “an advisory role and act as a think tank for
    strengthening the startup ecosystem” in the state.
Awards & Honors –
US engineer Frances Arnold becomes first woman to win Millennium
Technology Prize

  • Technology Academy Finland (TAF)
    on 24 May 2016 declared American innovator Frances Arnold as winner of the 2016
    Millennium Technology Prize.
  • The 1 million euro prize is
    awarded biennially and Arnold is the first female winner in its 12-year
    history.
  • Biochemical engineer Arnold
    received the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize in recognition of her discoveries
    that launched the field of directed evolution, which mimics natural evolution
    to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.

Regards

Team ExamPundit