Welcome to the Quick Gyan (QG) Section of D2G. QG is just a glimpse of what happened today all over the world.
Only For Serious Candidates : We strongly recommend you to read the Current Affairs in detail. For your convenience, we have provided quick links under the updates. Make use of it.
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AWARDS AND HONORS
PM Narendra Modi conferred Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour
In a special gesture, Saudi Arabia conferred its highest civilian honour — the King Abdulaziz Sash — on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The award is named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.
- The Prime Minister was conferred the prestigious award by King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the Royal Court where they held extensive talks on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
- World leaders who have received the honour include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Quick Link – Civilian honour
BANKING AND FINANCE
DCB Bank starts India’s first Aadhaar-based ATM
In a first for any domestic bank, small-sized lender DCB Bank has started an Aadhaar-based ATM usage facility wherein a customer can transact using his biometric details instead of the PIN.
- The user can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or swipe the card at an automated teller machine (ATM) to start a transaction, but at the stage of confirming the identity, it requires biometric details rather than the PIN.
- Seeding the bank account with the Aadhaar number will be essential before a customer can use the facility.
- The solution has been developed in-house and involves connecting up with the Aadhaar server to authenticate the identity of the customer every time a transaction is initiated.
Quick Link – Aadhaar-based ATM
India ranked 6th in top 10 largest manufacturers list: UN report
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization in its report has placed India at 6th among the world’s top 10 largest manufacturing countries. India previously held the 9th rank.
- The Yearbook, published by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), found that in India, the Manufacturing Value Added (MVA) grew by 7.6% in 2015 compared to the previous year.
- It also said that the quarterly index of industrial production (IIP) shows 1% growth of manufacturing output in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of the previous year.
- The report also said the global growth rate of manufacturing production has slowed to 2.8% in 2015.
Quick Link – India in 6th of manufacturers
Government to halve Christian Couples’ separation time
The government plans to amend a law to reduce the separation period for Christian couples seeking to file for divorce by mutual consent, a move which comes against the backdrop of a Supreme Court ruling and demands by the community.
- The Law Ministry has drafted a Cabinet note to amend the Divorce Act, 1869 to halve the separation period for couples from the present two to one year before they can file for divorce by mutual consent to bring it at par with laws governing other communities.
- The separation period under Hindu Marriage Act, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act and the Special Marriage Act is one year.
- Section 10A(1) of the Divorce Act, added through an amendment in 2001, says that a couple seeking divorce should be living separately for a period of “two years or more”.
- Against the backdrop of a Supreme Court order delivered in April last and demands by members of the community, the Law Ministry has decided to move the proposal to reduce the separation period.
Quick Link – Christian couples
IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore top the list of best Indian universities
IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore have topped the list of top educational institutes unveiled by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
- The HRD ministry released first-of-its-kind National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
- According to the list, IIT Madras is the top engineering college followed by IIT Mumbai and IIT Kharagpur. IIM Bangalore is the top management college followed by IIM Ahmedabad at rank no. 2 and IIM Calcutta at rank no. 3.
- The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore is the best university in India.
- Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the top pharmacy institute in the country.
Quick Link – IIT Madras and IIM Bangalore
Mehbooba Mufti sworn in as Jammu and Kashmir’s First Woman CM
Mehbooba Mufti, president of the Peoples Democratic Party, took the oath as the first woman Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. A leader with grassroots-level popularity, Mehbooba Mufti turned Peoples Democratic Party into a regional force and emerged from the shadow of her illustrious father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to head Jammu and Kashmir, the first woman Chief Minister of the state.
- A law graduate, 56-year-old Ms. Mufti took a plunge into mainstream politics of the state in 1996 by joining Congress, along with her father, at a time when militancy was at its peak.
- Heading a PDP-BJP government formed with an alliance between two idealogical extremes, Ms. Mufti faces a challenging task ahead as she will strive to carry forward her father’s ’healing touch’ legacy.
- J & K slipped into the governor’s rule immediately after sitting Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s demise on January 7.
- The PDP-BJP stalemate ended only after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ms. Mufti on March 23.
Quick Link – Mehbooba Mufti as J & K Woman CM
Greece passes asylum law needed for EU-Turkey migrants deal
Greek lawmakers have passed an asylum amendment bill needed for the implementation of a European Union agreement with Turkey for the return of refugees and migrants from Greek islands to Turkey. The deal aims to end the uncontrolled influx of refugees and other migrants after more than one million people crossed into Europe last year.
- Both Greece and Turkey had to amend their legislation to permit the start of the scheme – denounced by the U.N. refugee agency and rights groups for lacking legal safeguards – to send back all migrants who reached Greece after March 20.
- The bill was passed by 169 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament.
- The legislation does not explicitly designate Turkey as a “safe third country” – a formula to make any mass returns legally sound.
- The European Commission sees this as not essential, provided rules are in place to allow people to be sent back to a “safe third country” or a “safe first country of asylum”, with each case examined individually.
Quick Link – EU-Turkey migrants deal
MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Xiaomi makes first investment in India in Hungama
Xiaomi has made its first investment in India, leading a $25-million (Rs 170 crore) funding round into Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, an aggregator and publisher of entertainment content on the internet. Xiaomi, which will invest along with Hungama’s existing investors Intel Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, will pick up a minority, but undisclosed, stake in the Mumbai-based company.
- The investment marks Xiaomi’s first investment into a start-up outside its home market of China, and underlines the importance of the fast growing Indian smartphone market, which is well on its way to become a leading base of internet consumers, from the present base of around 400 million users.
- Xiaomi will integrate Hungama’s video on demand service with the Mi platform available on smartphones and televisions, the latter not yet available in India.
- China’s largest smartphone maker is replicating its home model in India, where it has launched two of its leading smartphones in 2016, including the latest flagship Mi 5 last week.
Quick Link – Xiaomi makes Hungama
World’s largest oil firm Aramco to invest in India
India and Saudi Arabia have vowed to substantially boost investments and their trade ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited cash-rich Saudi firms to invest in infrastructure and form joint ventures for oil exploration. Saudi Oil giant Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm with crude reserves of about 265 billion barrels, plans to make major investment in India’s petroleum sector as it considers India the most preferred destination to invest at a time when the global economy is in a crisis.
- During the Prime Minister’s two-day visit. India showcased its initiatives at improving the ease of doing business and efforts to simplify and rationalise existing rules and relax the foreign direct investment norms in key areas, including railways, defence and insurance.
- Saudi Arabia is India’s largest supplier of crude oil.
- The two countries also expressed satisfaction at the growing bilateral trade in the energy sector.
- Modi invited Saudi firms such as Aramco and SABIC to invest in the India’s infrastructure sector.
Quick Link – World’s largest oil firm
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
India’s first cash giving app ‘CASHe’ launched
Tslc Pte Ltd., a fin-tech company, has announced the launch of its all new mobile-only lending platform – CASHe, providing users a personalized experience to borrow cash anytime, anywhere within minutes. CASHe was launched in Mumbai with Bollywood’s rising star Arjun Kapoor unveiling the product. He was joined by CASHe’s eminent Board of Advisors comprising Dr. Rakesh Mohan, Former Deputy Governor of RBI and Director IMF, Suhel Seth, well known marketing guru and media personality and Yezdi Lashkari, tech thought leader.
- CASHe uses sophisticated proprietary technology that mines the borrowers’ social network and requests basic documentation to arrive at a “Social Loan Quotient” (SLQ) and a loan eligibility amount.
- Using multiple unique data points to arrive at a distinct credit profile for the customer, CASHe will transform traditional credit measurements, providing financial inclusion to underserved young professionals who are kept out by traditional credit rating and banking systems.
- By providing basic information on a smart phone, professionals can avail of – within minutes – a convenient 15-day loan for a one-time processing fee with no other hidden costs, no painful paper work and no human interaction.
Quick Link – CASHe
Reusable Blue Origin rocket makes third successful vertical landing
Jeff Bezos’ space transportation company, Blue Origin, successfully launched and landed for the third time a suborbital rocket capable of carrying six passengers, taking another step on its path in developing reusable boosters.
- The New Shepard rocket and capsule blasted off from a launch site in West Texas and landed minutes later back at a landing pad.
- The capsule, which was flying autonomously, parachuted to a nearby site and was recovered.
- This flight marks the third successful launch-and-land for the rocket, with similar missions completed in January and November.
Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc., recently said Blue Origin expects to begin crewed test flights of the New Shepard next year and begin flying paying passengers as early as 2018.
Quick Link – Blue Origin
Vedanta sets Guinness World Record for mass plantation
Mining conglomerate Vedanta said its subsidiary Talwandi Sabo Power (TSPL) has set the Guinness World Record for planting 2,08,751 saplings at a single location in less than an hour. Guinness World Records acknowledged this achievement by TSPL on December 17, 2015, by presenting a certificate. The mass plantation drive was organised in Mansa (Punjab) on October 30, 2015.
TSPL has set the benchmark for environmental compliance by developing 222 acres of green cover (as of March 2015) around the periphery of the plant and installing Zero Discharge Unit, Sewage Treatment Plant and High Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) system.
Sustainable development and community empowerment are the two core elements that guide the CSR strategy of Vedanta Limited. The company undertakes high impact initiatives to ensure the health and safety of the workers and makes valuable contributions to communities and regions across the country; with environmental footprint gaining a special position among its host of activities.
Quick Link – Vedanta for mass plantation
Kenya’s Kotut and Jepkesho win Paris Marathon
Kenya’s Cyprian Kotut claimed a double in the French capital within a month when he won this year’s Paris Marathon in personal best of 2 hours, 07 minutes and 13 seconds. Kotut, the brother to three-time London Marathon champion Martin Lel, overtook Ethiopian Abraha Gebretsadik with three kilometres to go, pumping his pistons past the 40 km mark in 2:00:34 to victory.
In the women’s race, Kenya’s Visiline Jepkesho atoned for her last year’s third place finish to win this year’s Paris Marathon in 2 hours 25 minutes and 57 seconds.
Bahrain Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg wins as Lewis Hamilton stutters
Nico Rosberg made it two F1 wins out of a possible two in 2016 as he stormed to victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Vettel was forced to withdraw on the pre-race formation lap with smoke billowing from his engine. Rosberg’s Mercedes teammate Hamilton, meanwhile, stuttered from pole position on the grid before colliding with Valtteri Bottas of Williams at turn one. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished second 10.2 seconds behind Rosberg while Hamilton would battle back to finish third.
Hamilton is now second in the driver’s title race, 17 points behind Rosberg who has a maximum 50 points. Three-time world champion, Hamilton, remains nine points clear of Daniel Ricciardo who lies third in the overall standings. Red Bull’s Ricciardo finished fourth in Bahrain Sunday, one place ahead of Romain Grosjean of the American Haas team.
Quick Link – Lewis Hamilton stutters
Novak Djokovic wins 2016 Miami Open Title
The top seed, Novak Djokovic, continued his domination of men’s tennis with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the final of the Miami Open in Florida. Djokovic dropped serve in the first game but it was pretty much one-way traffic after that as he outclassed the No6 seed in all facets of the game on the hardcourt at Key Biscayne.
The 28-year-old Serb took 85 minutes to join the American Andre Agassi as a six-times Miami Open winner, for his 63rd career title. He claimed $1,028,300, becoming the sport’s all-time leading money-winner.
It is his fourth consecutive championship, and his 28th overall, in the Masters 1000, a series of nine tournaments considered the most prestigious other than the four grand slams. It is also Djokovic’s fourth title of 2016, following victories at the Australian Open, Qatar and Indian Wells.
Quick Link – Miami Open Title
West Indies wins 2016 ICC T-20 Cricket World Cup
West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite smashed England’s Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to snatch a sensational four-wicket win in World Twenty20 final as the Caribbean side became the first team to win the title twice. Needing 19 off the last over sent down by Stokes, Brathwaite exhibited nerves of steel to complete the chase in stunning style and trigger wild celebrations among his jubilant teammates who invaded the Eden Gardens pitch.
- The 24 runs Brathwaite scored off Stokes was the highest in the final over of a Twenty20 International, bettering Australia’s mark of 23 against Pakistan in Gros Islet in 2010.
- England’s death overs hero Stokes was left distraught after failing to contain Brathwaite, who had a memorable night having scored 34 with the bat after earlier claiming 3-23 with the ball to restrict England to a modest total.
- Man-of-the-match Marlon Samuels was not out on 85 but it was Brathwaite’s blistering total off 10 balls that saw them home.
Quick Link – T-20 Cricket World Cup
Actor Larry Drake died from rare cancer
A rare form of cancer cost former “LA Law” star Larry Drake his life, according to the actor’s death certificate. The 66-year-old actor, who played Benny Stulwicz in the long-running TV legal drama, died last month after losing his battle with a string of health issues.
The death certificate claimed he had been diagnosed with polycythemia vera – a rare form of cancer related to an overproduction of red blood cells in the bone marrow. The medical examiner also listed cardiac arrest, hypertension, and morbid obesity as causes of death. Drake’s body was found in his Hollywood apartment by a friend.
Quick Link – Larry Drake Passed away
Former Italy coach Cesare Maldini passes away
Former Italy head coach Cesare Maldini has passed away at the age of 84. The former AC Milan defender took charge of the national team in 1996, replacing Arrigo Sacchi, and successfully qualified for the 1998 World Cup. Maldini played for Milan from 1954 to 1966 and was a star for the club before son Paolo went on to become a legend in his own right. He helped the club win four Scudetti along with their first European Cup in 1963 when they sealed a 2-1 win over Benfica.
At club level, Maldini won 4 Serie A league titles and 1 European Cup with Milan. Internationally, he played for the Italian national team, earning 14 caps and participating in the 1962 World Cup. As a coach, he had a successful career in charge of the Italian Under-21 side, winning the European Under-21 Championship a record three consecutive times.
Quick Link – Cesare Maldini passes away