Current Affairs Daily Updates: June 4th 2016

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APPOINTMENTS

1. N.K. Chari is the new State Bank of Mysore MD
• N.K.Chari, the new Managing Director of State Bank of Mysore, assumed office.
• Mr. Chari, a postgraduate in commerce from Delhi University, joined State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer in September 1978.

AWARDS & HONOURS

1. Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik bags gold medal at World Sand Art Championship
• Pattnaik emerged as the gold medal winner at the World Sand Art Championship that was held in Bulgaria
• Titled Drugs kill Sports; Pattnaik's sand art highlights the issue of drugs in the sporting field.
• With a total 10 artists participating in the championship, Pattnaik received the highest number of public votes and was awarded the gold medal for his sand art that was 2 metre high.

2. PM Modi conferred Afghanistan’s highest civilian honour
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred with Afghanistan's highest civilian honour, the Amir Amanullah Khan Award.
• Afghan President Ashraf Ghani conferred the award on Modi after the two leaders jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam, earlier known as Salma Dam that was rebuilt with India's aid.

BANKING

1. ATM-based validation of tax returns activated
• The Income Tax department has launched an ATM-based validation system for filing e-ITRs by taxpayers as part of its measure to enhance the paperless regime of filing the annual IT returns.
• Now, Electronic Verification Code (EVC) can be generated by pre-validating your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) provided by the bank where a taxpayer has an account.

2. MFIs have disbursed 35% of MUDRA loans since April 2015
• Microfinance institutions have disbursed about 35 per cent of total loans extended under the Micro Units Development and Refinance (MUDRA) Bank.
• Since its launch in April 2015, total loan disbursement under the scheme, which was originally launched as Prime Minister’s Mudra Yojana (PMMY), has been about Rs. 1.43-lakh crore.
• MUDRA offers three categories of loans: Shishu (covering loans up to Rs. 50,000); Kishor (loans above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs. 5 lakh); and Tarun (above Rs. 5 lakh and up to Rs. 10 lakh).

DEATHS

1. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at 74
• Muhammad Ali, former world magnificent heavyweight boxing champion whose fast fists and irrepressible personality transcended sports and captivated the world, has died. He was 74.
• He was former three times world heavyweight champion (1964, 1974 and 1978) who had record-setting boxing career, which had made him one of the best-known figures of the 20th century.

ECONOMY

1. HDFC ERGO acquires L&T General Insurance
• HDFC Ergo, a joint venture between home loan major HDFC and German insurer Ergo International, has agreed to buy L&T General Insurance for Rs 551 crore in the first buyout in the country's general insurance industry.
• This transaction marks the beginning of this consolidation phase.

2. Tata Trusts, MP government join hands to work in healthcare
• Tata Trusts has entered into a partnership with the Madhya Pradesh government to work together in areas of healthcare, nutrition, mental health and cancer care in the state.
• Through this collaboration, the state government will be able to achieve convergence of their programmes and improve efficiencies as well. Tata Trusts will play a role in setting up of these initiatives along with strategic and technical advisory support.

3. Six Hindustan Unilever brands cross Rs. 2,000-cr sales milestone
• Six brands of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) have notched up annual sales in excess of Rs. 2,000 crore. These include Surf Excel, Brooke Bond, Wheel, Lifebuoy, Rin and Fair and Lovely.
• The cumulative sales of these brands constitute about half the consumer giant’s total India revenue of Rs. 32,000 crore.

4. Centre to give Rs. 400-cr bonus to top 10 towns for urban reforms
• It is not just appraisal season across corporate offices, but in the Ministry of Urban Development as well.
• The Ministry is looking to reward top performers in urban reforms with a special bonus.
• It will choose 10 best performers from 497 towns under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) based on their performance in 2015-16. It has set aside a kitty of Rs. 400 crore to disburse as bonus among these top 10 achievers.
5. Sterlite Power plans Rs. 2,500-crore mop up via infra investment trusts
• Sterlite Power Transmission (SPTL), a company that was demerged from Sterlite Technologies, has initiated a process to raise Rs. 2,500-3,000 crore through Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs).
• The company has mandated Morgan Stanley and Edelweiss Financial Services as merchant bankers for the process.

INTERNATIONAL

1. India, Singapore agree to enhance scale of military interaction
• India and Singapore held the first dialogue between their defence ministers as they agreed to enhance the scale and complexity of existing bilateral military interaction, at a time when freedom of navigation in international waterways has emerged as a major concern.
• Decision in this regard, was taken at inaugural Singapore-India Defence Ministers’ Dialogue (DMD). The Dialogue was co-chaired by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Singapore counterpart Dr. Ng Eng Hen.

2. PM inaugurates Afghan-India Friendship Dam wapcos executes landmark infrastructure project
• Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam) with President of Afghanistan Dr. Ashraf Ghani at Chist-e-Sharif in Herat province in Western Afghanistan.
• Salma Dam is a landmark infrastructure project undertaken by Government of India on river Hari Rud.

3. China warships to join major U.S.-hosted naval drills
• China confirmed it would send warships to join a major U.S.-hosted naval drill.
• The Rim of the Pacific exercise (RIMPAC), the world's largest international maritime exercise, is conducted in June and July, every two years in Hawaii.
• Its participation was limited to areas such as humanitarian relief and search and rescue operations.

NATIONAL

1. Odisha becomes first state to give social welfare benefits to transgender community
• Odisha is first in the country to give transgender people social welfare benefits - such as a pension, housing and food grains.
• This move seeks to give the transgender community in the state same benefits as those living below the poverty line (BPL) in order to improve their overall social and economic status.

2. Khattar inaugurates ‘Jai Jawan Awas Yojna’ to provide affordable housing to serving, retired JCOs
• Foundation stone of Jai Jawan Awas Yojna (JJAY), an initiative to provide affordable housing to serving and retired JCOs and Other Ranks, was laid by Shri Manohar Lal Khattar, the Honorable Chief Minister of Haryana, at Bahadurgarh, Haryana.
• The project is being executed by Army Welfare Housing Organization and aims to provide low cost housing. This housing project has been named in the memory of Late Major Rajiv Joon, recipient of Ashok Chakra and Shaurya Chakra.

3. Government announces national competition for students
• Union Minister Smriti Irani announced that a national-level competition to promote research and innovation among students will start August and students will contribute their ideas directly to the central government.
• Irani, who was in New Delhi, was addressing dignitaries, professors and students through a web-conferencing facility during the nationwide digital launch of 10 infrastructure projects under the Ministry of Human Resource and Development’s Rastriya Uchchatar Scheme (RUSA), which includes SPPU’s project of Digital Classroom and E-content learning modules.

PERSONS IN NEWS

1. Goa-born Sayonara Luxton is mayor of UK Royal borough
• Goa-born Sayonara Luxton has taken charge as the mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in southeast England.
• Councillor Luxton, in her 60s, had been serving as the deputy mayor of the area for the past year and was proposed to take over by former mayor Councillor Dee Quick.

PLACES IN NEWS

1. PM visits Workers Camp in Doha
• The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, interacted with Indian Workers at a project site in Mesheireb in Downtown Doha, Qatar.
• After concluding his address to assembled workers, the Prime Minister moved from table to table, interacting with groups of workers, and sat down to share a meal with some of them.

2. Union Textiles Minister inaugurates Apparel and Garment Making Centre in Mizoram
• Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar dedicates the Apparel & Garment Making center to the people of Mizoram. The Center is located at Industrial Growth Centre at Luangmual in Aizawl.
• The Center has been set up to give an opportunity to local entrepreneurs to convert their ideas and designs into flourishing businesses.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

1. New bionic leaf can turn sunlight into liquid fuel
• A team of scientists from Harvard University has co-created a unique "bionic leaf" that uses solar energy to split water molecules and hydrogen-eating bacteria to produce liquid fuels.
• This artificial photosynthesis device has been dubbed bionic leaf 2.0. The new system can convert solar energy to biomass with 10% efficiency. Its efficiency is much higher than the 1% seen in the fastest growing plants.

SEMINARS & MEETINGS

1. India becomes co-chair of Working Group on Maritime Situational Awareness under Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia
• The 19th Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) took place in Mahe, Seychelles.
• India was chosen to co-chair the important Working Group on Improving Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA) in the Region through consensus.

2. India, US sign MoU for speedy entry of Indians into US
• Speedy security clearances will now greet the Indian travellers upon arrival in the US.
• India and the US have have signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expedite the security clearances.

3. Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue opens in Singapore
• Asia’s largest annual security forum Shangri-La Dialogue was inaugurated in Singapore to talk about security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
• The forum has been organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

SPECIAL DAYS

1. International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed on June 4th
• The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression was observed across the world on June 4th.
• It was established on 19 August 1982.

SPORTS

1. Indian Boxing Council gets affiliation from Commonwealth Boxing Council
• The Indian Boxing Council (IBC), a licensing body for professional boxers in the country which has Vijender Singh among others on its roster, has been granted affiliation by the Commonwealth Boxing Council (CBC).
• The CBC will now formally register Raja as a Director in its Annual General Meeting scheduled.

STATE

1. US Consulate unveils plan for new building in Gachibowli
• Unveiling the plans for its new building that will come up at Cyberabad, the US Consulate General, Hyderabad, at completing the construction by 2020.
• The new consulate compound, which will be built on a 12.3 acres site, has been designed by the US-based firm of Richard-Bauer based in Arizona. The US Consulate office sees between 800 to 900 visa applicants a day at its current office at Begumpet, and that the new premises will be able to accommodate upto 2,500 people on a daily basis.

2. Six declared elected to Rajya Sabha
• In all six candidates were declared, unanimously, to the Rajya Sabha in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Signing the necessary papers, they took the declaration from the Returning Officers.
• In Telangana D. Srinivas and Capt. Laxmikanth Rao, both from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, while in AP, the break-up was two from the ruling Telugu Desam, and one each from Bharatiya Janata Party and the YSR Congress.

SURVEYS

1. India among top 5 in 2015 in green energy spending: Report
• India was among the top five countries in 2015 in terms of investment in renewable energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating capacity, wind and hydropower capacity, according to a global renewables report .
• India was fifth in terms of investment in renewable power and fuels in 2015 after China, US, Japan and Britain.