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Current Affairs: 1st January 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Jan 2nd, 2015

1- Government splits Chairman & MD post in PSU banks and names chiefs for 4 PSU banks

Government has decided to separate the post of Chairman and Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in public sector banks. With this decision government is breaking the tradition of having the heads of state-run banks act as both chairman and managing director. As per the Finance Ministry, the Chairman in public sector banks other than State Bank of India (SBI) will be a part- time board member. He will preside over the board meetings and will not be an Executive Chairman. This means that for the first time, PSU banks will have a non-Executive Chairman, giving operational responsibility to Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

In pursuance of the decision, the government has appointed four Managing Directors and CEOs of following 4 PSU banks Koteeswaran was named as MD and CEO of Indian Overseas Bank. Srinivas was named as MD and CEO of United Bank of India. Animesh Chauhan was named MD and CEO of Oriental Bank of Commerce. Kishore Sansi was named MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank. Above 4 MD’s and CEO’s will have tenure of 3 years or till the date of superannuation, whichever is earlier. These appointments were made based on the recommendations of Appointments Board chaired by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor. Government also has decided to go for a fresh selection procedure for the post of Chairman and MD and CEO in Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Canara Bank, which are ‘A’ category large banks.

2- Microsoft sues Indian firm C-Cubed Solutions for technical support scam

Microsoft has sued an Indian company C-Cubed Solutions along with other entities for misusing its name and registered trademarks by providing fraudulent technical support services to unsuspecting consumers. In this regard, Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has filed a civil lawsuit in federal court located in the Central District of California against C-Cubed Solutions for unfair and deceptive business practices and trademark infringement. As per the lawsuit, C-Cubed Solutions along with other entities had used the Microsoft trademarks to enhance their credentials and confuse customers without any authorisation from them. Microsoft is demanding a jury trial against these entities. Microsoft is also seeking from jury a permanent injunction to restrain and enjoin these entities for the infringement of their registered trademarks and directly or indirectly engaging in false advertising regarding the quality or security of Microsoft software. It should be noted that, law suit has mentioned C-Cubed as a private company associated under Indian law. Its directors include Marc Haberman, Rachel Eilat Haberman and Jay Wurzberger. It is a subsidiary of California-based Customer Focus Services (CFS) and operates the mail server by which CFS. Microsoft has chosen to sue these entities after they had received more 65,000 customer complaints regarding fraudulent tech support scams since May 2014.

3- M Sathiyavathy becomes first woman to be appointed as Director General DGCA

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,M Sathiyavathy becomes first woman to be appointed as Director General DGCA

M Sathiyavathy

IAS officer M Sathiyavathy has become first woman to be appointed as Director General (DG) of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). She will succeed Prabhat Kumar, to become first woman to become the chief aviation regulator for period of three years till 2017. She is a 1982-batch UT cadre IAS officer. Earlier she has served in the Civil Aviation Ministry as a Joint Secretary and Financial Adviser since February 2014.

About Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)

DGCA is India’s regulatory body for civil aviation. It comes under the aegis of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation. As a regulatory body, it seeks to promote Safe and efficient Air Transportation through regulation and proactive safety oversight system in India. Enforce civil air regulations, air safety and airworthiness standards in India as per International standards.

4- Union government blocks 32 websites for spreading anti-India views and ISIS propaganda

Union government has blocked access to 32 websites for carrying anti-India views and spreading banned terrorist outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) propaganda. These websites were blocked after following an advisory given by an anti-terrorism team. The blocked uniform resource locator’s (URLs) include files, videos and source code-sharing websites. They were blocked by Department of Telecom(DoT) under Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and under Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. These rules give powers to the central government to block access to information on website’s if it threatens the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of the country, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence.

5- Union Government renames Planning Commission as ‘Niti Ayog’

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Union Government renames Planning Commission as ‘Niti Ayog’

Prime Minister

Union government has renamed Planning commission as National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. The renaming of the Planning Commission is being seen as the first step towards replacing it with a new-age institution.

Key Facts about  National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

It will serve as a ‘Think Tank’ of the government i.e. a directional and policy dynamo. It will also provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy formulation. This includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support It will work towards the following objectives Evolve a shared vision of national development priorities Foster cooperative federalism Develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level Focus on technology upgradation, among other things.

Composition

  • Chairperson– Prime Minister.
  • Governing Council– It will consist of- Chief Ministers (of States) and Lt. Governors (of Union Territories).
  • Regional Council- It will be formed on need basis. It will compromise Chief Ministers (of States) and Lt. Governors (of Union Territories).
  • Vice-Chairperson- To be appointed by the Prime Minister.
  • Part time members- Maximum of 2. They will from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions on a rotational basis.
  • Ex Officio members- Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.
  • Special invitees- They will be nominated by the Prime Minister and will be experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees.
  • Chief Executive Officer- Appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
  • Secretariat- If deemed necessary.

Background

Government’s decision comes after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2014 Independence Day announcement that the Planning Commission would be replaced with a new-age institution. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7th December 2014 had held consultation meeting with Chief Ministers of states, where most CM’s had favoured restructuring of the Socialist-era planning body. However, some Congress Chief Ministers opposed disbanding of the existing set-up.

6- Government signs $ 75 million loan deal with Asian Development Bank for KIUWMIP

Government signs $ 75 million loan deal with Asian Development Bank for KIUWMIP

Asian Development Bank

Government has signed a loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 75 million dollars and 1.8 million dollar grant for Karnataka Integrated Urban Water Management Investment Program (KIUWMIP). This loan fund will be used in the three towns of Byadagi, Davanagere and Harihar of Karnataka under the KIUWMIP. This loan seeks to expand and upgrade: urban water supply and sanitation infrastructure, improve water resource planning, monitoring and service delivery, and strengthen operational and administrative capacity in these towns. As per this agreement, the loan has a 25 year term including a grace period of five years. Implications: This project by utilizing the loan fund will help these urban towns to increase water treatment capacity by 15,000 cubic meters per day. It will also help expand and upgrade more than 1,000 kilometers of water pipelines and increase sewage treatment capacity by 48,000 cubic meters per day, thereby promoting water efficiency and environmental protection.

About Karnataka Integrated Urban Water Management Investment Program (KIUWMIP)

KIUWMIP- is an investment program that aims to improve water resource management in urban areas of Karnataka State in a holistic and sustainable. It seeks to modernize and expand urban water supply and sanitation (UWSS) by strengthening relevant institutions related to it in order to enhance their efficiency, productivity and sustainability in water use. It takes help of innovative social instruments like as public-private partnership (PPP) or reform oriented incentive funds. This Program also aims to improve the condition of more fragile environments located in North Karnataka that are increasingly affected by water resource degradation by promoting climate-resilient development, capacity-development techniques for conducive adaptation.

7- Delhi Police launches women safety mobile app ‘Himmat’

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Delhi Police launches women safety mobile app ‘Himmat’

Delhi Police launches women safety mobile app ‘Himmat’

Delhi police has launched women safety mobile application ‘Himmat’. It was launched by the Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi. It is an android based mobile app, which aims to cater employed women who have smartphones and travel alone late in the night. This application will allow women to send a distress call to Police Control Room (PCR) and their relatives in case of any emergency.

Key facts of women safety mobile app ‘Himmat’

In case to use this app, user has to download this app on their smartphone. After downloading the app, new user has to register them with the Delhi Police website by sharing their name, mobile number and that of a minimum of two relatives/friends. In case of emergency, user can send an alert by shaking her phone or by pressing the power button/soft button. As soon as the distress button is pressed, it will trigger a 30-second audio and video recording on the phone which will be relayed to the PCR. The victim will get a call back from the PCR. After distress button is pressed, SMS alert consisting of all the details of the victim, including her location, time will be forwarded to the PCR. Then from PCR, SMS alert it will be forwarded to the police patrol cars in the area and the local station house officer (SHO) through the Delhi Police cyber highway. In case of emergency, SMS alert will also be sent to minimum of 5 friends and relatives of the user. It will also post a status on the victim’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. In order to tackle false SOS alerts/ alarms the app is provided with inbuilt feature which cancels the registration after 3 such (False SOS alerts) incidents. But, the user can re-register to re-activate the facility.

8- India and Pakistan exchange list of nuclear facilities

India and Pakistan on 1st January 2015 have exchanged the list of their nuclear installations and facilities under the agreement on Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between India and Pakistan. The exchange of list was done through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad. It is the 24th consecutive exchange of such list between the two neighbouring countries which bars them from attacking each other’s atomic facilities.

Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear installations between India and Pakistan

This bilateral agreement bars both nations from carrying out any surprise attack (or to assist foreign power to attack) on each other’s nuclear installations and facilities. It  was signed on 31st December 1988 and entered into force on 27 January 1991. It was signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his Pakistani counterpart Benazir Bhutto. Both countries inform each other about their nuclear installations and facilities that need to be covered under the Agreement on 1 January every year.

9- Former MoS for External Affairs Kamala Sinha passes away

Former Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs Kamala Sinha passed away in Syracuse, New York in US. She was 82.

About Kamala Sinha

She was born in Dhaka (now in Bangladesh) on 30 September 1932. She is grandniece of Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. She was married to freedom fighter and Bihar minister Late Basawan Singh, a native of Vaishali district, Bihar. She was initiated into politics by her husband. She was twice elected a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1972 to 1984 and also had served as the Indian Ambassador to Suriname and Barbados. For several times, she was elected as the national President of Hind Mazdoor Sabha of the socialists. During the socialist movement of led by Jaya Prakash Narayan in 1974, she was imprisoned under Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA). She was a member of former Prime Minister I K Gujral’s cabinet from 1997-98.

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