Daily Current Affairs 7th April, 2017
Thailand’s king signs new constitution
- Thailand’s new king has signed an army-drafted constitution that sets the country on the path to elections while cementing the grip of the military over any future government.
- The constitution is the nation’s 20th since the absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932.
- The new charter introduces a different electoral system, a modified proportional method of choosing the 500 members of the lower house of parliament in which people vote for one of 350 constituency candidates; those votes are totalled to determine which of the remaining 150 party list seats go to which party. Under the previous system voters cast two ballots, one for the candidate and one for the party.
- Along with weaker governments, the constitution stipulates that an unelected, 250-seat upper house, or senate, will wield significant influence in the years following the election, currently expected at the end of 2018.
- Membership of the senate will be essentially determined by the military, giving the generals enormous sway over future governments, which would need three quarters of the seats in the lower house to have a majority in both houses.
- Elected governments will also be bound in this constitution to follow the military’s 20-year blueprint for Thailand, and it will be easier for the “independent” bodies, like the Constitutional Court, which will have enhanced powers, to constrain those governments even further.
Iceland set to become world’s first country to neutralise gender pay gap
- Iceland is set to become the first country in the world to neutralise gender pay gap. In this regard, a bill was introduced in Iceland’s parliament that makes mandatory for public and private businesses to prove they offer equal pay to employees.
- The bill entails companies and institutions of a certain size (25 or more employees), to undertake a certification of their equal-pay programmes.
- According to World Economic Forum (WEF)’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI), Iceland was ranked first and was followed by fellow Nordic nations Norway, Finland and Sweden.
Union Government declares Kerala drought-hit
- The Union has declared Kerala drought-hit, along with seven other States. The declaration was based on a memorandum submitted to the Union Ministry of Agriculture by Kerala Government seeking assistance for drought relief activities.
- Other seven states are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Centre has allowed 50 additional working days in these eight states under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MGNREGA) Scheme and shall receive assistance of Rs. 24,000 crore.
FMCG is highest paying sector in India, according to a survey by Randstad.
- Employees of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry receive the highest salaries in India at ₹11.3 lakh a year as the average annual cost-to-company (CTC) across all levels and functions.
- The FMCG sector is followed by power and information technology, where employees earn average annual salaries of ₹9.8 lakh and ₹9.3 lakh respectively, according to Randstad 2017 Salary Trends Study findings.
- Pharma and healthcare, offering an average annual CTC of ₹8.8 lakh and telecom ₹8.7 lakhs take the fourth and fifth position in the list as India’s most lucrative industries.
- As far as the location-specific salary trends are concerned, Bengaluru, the IT capital of India tops the chart as the highest paying city in the country, with an average annual CTC of ₹14.6 lakhs while Mumbai offered ₹14.2 lakh.
NEFT transfers to be faster as RBI cuts clearance time
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to slash clearance time for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) in an attempt to enhance the efficiency of the electronic payment system and add to customer convenience.
- The NEFT settlement cycle will be reduced from hourly batches to half hourly batches, the RBI stated in the first bi-monthly monetary policy for 2017-18.
- 11 additional settlement batches will be introduced at 8.30 am onwards, taking the total number of half hourly settlement batches during the day to 23. RBI also stated the starting batch at 8 am and closing batch at 7 pm shall remain the same and the return discipline will also remain the same as per the existing practice.
Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra
- President Pranab Mukherjee has posthumously conferred Kirti Chakra, the second highest peacetime gallantry award on Lance Havildar Prem Bahadur Resmi Magar of Gorkha Rifles.
- The late Lance Havildar had eliminated four terrorists during an operation in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2016.
- President also presented 13 Shaurya Chakras, of which four were posthumous and 45 Distinguished Service medals that included 15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals, 2 Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 28 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals.
Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat conferred with honorary rank of general of Nepal Army
- General Bipin Rawat, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) was conferred with honorary rank of general of Nepal Army.
- The title was conferred by Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari during a special function at the President’s Office. India and Nepal have a long tradition of conferring such honorary titles on the chiefs of their armies since 1950 to signify the close military-to-military ties.
Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated 3-day National Children’s Film Festival
- Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated a three-day National Children’s Film Festival in Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
- It is the largest film festival for children in the country giving the audience quality and wholesome entertainment. The aim of the film festival is to expose children to quality cinema and to introduce novel elements beyond films.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
North India to get first wildlife DNA bank in Bareilly
- North India will soon get its first DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) bank for wildlife at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
- In this regard, scientists at IVRI in Bareilly are in the process of collecting the DNA samples of all kinds of wildlife to set up the bank.
- It is expected to help in wildlife research and also bring down poaching.
India takes over control of Kudankulam Unit 1
- India has taken over full operational control of Unit 1 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP). An agreement was signed in this regard recently.
- With the deal, the Russian and the Indian sides have confirmed fulfilment of all warranty terms and obligations of the contractor (ASE Group of Companies) for the construction of Unit 1.
- About Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant:
- Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is situated in Koodankulam in the Tirunelveli district of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
- The reactors are pressurised water reactor of Russian design. Thermal capacity is 3,000 MW, gross electrical capacity is 1,000 MW with a net capacity of 917 MW.
- When completed the plant will become the largest nuclear power generation complex in India producing a cumulative 2 GW of electric power.
- Pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are one of three types of light water reactor (LWR), the other types being boiling water reactors (BWRs) and supercritical water reactors (SCWRs). In a PWR, the primary coolant (water) is pumped under high pressure to the reactor core where it is heated by the energy released by the fission of atoms. The heated water then flows to a steam generator where it transfers its thermal energy to a secondary system where steam is generated and flows to turbines which, in turn, spin an electric generator. In contrast to a boiling water reactor, pressure in the primary coolant loop prevents the water from boiling within the reactor. All LWRs use ordinary water as both coolant and neutron moderator.
Google unveils ‘YouTube Go’
- Google has rolled out the beta version of its new ‘YouTube Go’ application in India. The application promises to give a better experience of watching videos on a slower network.
- It has been designed to be offline first and to improve the experience of watching videos on a slower network. Users can also keep a tab on data used for streaming or saving videos.
- It can be downloaded on the Google Play Store in India.
World Health Day: 7 April
- World Health Day is celebrated on 7th of April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization.
- The theme of 2017 World Health Day is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’.
64th National Film Awards
- The 64th National Film Awards were announced in which the Directorate of Film Festivals presents its annual National Film Awards to honor the best films of 2016 in the Indian cinema.
- The awards ceremony will be held on 3 May 2017 in India. Here is the list of Winners of all categories.
|Cateogry||List of Winners|
|Most Film Friendly State||Uttar Pradesh|
|Best writing on Films||G Dhananjayan|
|Best book on cinema||Lata Surgatha- a book that narrates the story of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar|
|Best Short fiction||Aba|
|Best Animation||Hum Chitra Banate Hain|
|Best Educational Film||The Waterfalls|
|Best Environment Film||The Tiger Who Crossed the Line|
|Best Investigative Film||Placebo|
|Best Biographical/Historical reconstruction||Zikr Uss Parivash Ka|
|Best Non-Feature Film||Fireflies in the Abyss, My Discovery of a Legend|
|Best Tamil Film||Joker|
|Best Gujarati Film||Wrong Side Raju|
|Best Marathi Film||Dashakriya|
|Best Hindi Film||Neerja|
|Best Bengali Film||Bisarjan|
|Best Kannada Film||Reservation|
|Best Malayalam film||Maheshinite Pratikaram|
|Best Visual Effects||Shivaay|
|Best Female Playback Singer||Iman Chakraborty|
|Best Male Playback Singer||Sunder Iyer|
|Best Actor||Akshay Kumar for Rustom|
|Best Children’s Film||Dhanak, Hindi|
|Best Supporting Actress||Zaira Wasim for Dangal|
|Best Film On Social Issues||Pink|
|Best Action Choreography||Peter Hein for Pulimurugan|
|Best Feature Film||Kasav, Marathi film|
|Best Director||Rajesh Mapuskar for Ventilator|
|Best Sound Recording||Kaadu Pookkunna Neram|
|Best Screenplay||Maheshinite Pratikaram|
|Best Child Artiste||Adish Praveen|
PERSONS IN NEWS
Bhimaraya Metri joins as Director of IIM Trichy
- Bhimaraya Metri has taken over as Director of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Trichy (IIM Tiruchirappalli).
- He succeeded Prafulla Agnihotri. Prior to joining IIM Trichy, Metri was the Dean at L&T Institute of Project Management, Vadodara.
Roland founder and digital music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi passes away
- Japanese engineer,Roland founder and pioneer of digital music Ikutaro Kakehashi passed away in Japan. He was 87.
- He was best known for founding Roland Corporation in 1972 as well as his roles in the development of Roland drum machines and MIDI standard (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).
Malvika Sinha appointed as new Executive Director of RBI
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Malvika Sinha as new Executive Director (ED) following the appointment of B P Kanungo as Deputy Governor.
- In her new role, she will look after foreign exchange department, internal debt management wing and department of government and bank accounts.
- Prior to her elevation, she was Principal Chief General Manager, Department of Cooperative Banking Supervision in the RBI. She had had joined RBI in 1982 and as a career central banker she had served in the areas of regulation and supervision, foreign exchange and government and bank accounts.
Ministry approves appointment of two foreign athletics coaches
- Sports Minister Mr. Vijay Goel has approved the appointment of two top foreign athletics coaches, one each in race walking and 400m race. Australian Dave Smith has been appointed as the coach in race walking.
- The ministry also approved the appointment of American Galina P Bukharina as coach of national 400m and 400m relay teams. The appointments have been made keeping in mind the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- The ministry has also approved the appointment of two masseurs- Dmitry Kislev and Elmira Kisleva both from Russia.
RCB, Nazara tie up to launch online cricket game
- Royal Challengers Bangalore and gaming entity Nazara Games have come together to launch a new mobile cricket game RCB Star Cricket.
- This will also mark the first cricket franchise to have a game off the field and on the screen.
P V Sindhu reaches career-best World No.2 ranking
- Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu jumped three places to achieve a career-best world number two ranking in the latest Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
- The 21-year-old shuttler from Hyderabad became only the second Indian woman after Saina Nehwal to break into the top-five of the world rankings by earning 75759 points.