Current Affairs 5th jan 2016

  • RK Mathur sworn in as 8th Chief Information Commissioner

Image result for RK MathurFormer Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur (62) has sworn in as the eight Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of the Central Information Commission.
He was administered the oath of office by the President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Mr. Mathur as the CIC will have tenure of about three years i.e. till 2019 till he attains the age of 65 years. He succeeds Vijai Sharma as he has retired after completion of his tenure.
  • In December 2015, President Pranab Mukherjee had approved the appointment R K Mathur as CIC after receiving proposal of Prime Minister led selection committee as per The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
  • The selection committee included Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Chairman), Leader of the Largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha, Mallikaarjun Kharge and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

About R K Mathur

R K Mathur is a retired IAS officer of Tripura cadre. He had served as Defence Secretary for two years. He also had served as Secretary Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Defence Production and Supplies.

  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 103rd Indian Science Congress
Image result for PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 103rd Indian Science Congress
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 103rd edition of the Indian Science Congress (ISC) on January 3, 2015 in Mysuru, Karnataka.
The theme of this edition of the Congress is “Science and Technology for Indigenous Development in India.”
During the inaugural speech Prime Minister gave a new mantra comprising five Es – “Economy, Environment, Energy, Empathy and Equity”.
Key facts
  • The Congress aims to bring together eminent scientists, research scholars to popularize science and foster a scientific temperament.
  • The 5 day event (ending on 7 Jan will witness deliberations and presentation of papers by the scientific fraternity from across the globe.
  • Over 100 eminent scientists from different universities and research institutions are going to deliver plenary talks at the congress on subjects like Space Science, Nano Science, Technology & Applications, Evolution: The Frontiers, Atomic Energy, Safe water, Diabetes, and sanitation, Public-Private partnership for the Swachh Bharat Mission and Diseases and drug development.
  • The key speakers of this edition of congress will be Noble laureates Arthur B McDonald (US), Dan Schetman (Israel), John Gurdan (UK), Serge Haroche (France), David J Gross (US) and Fields Medalist mathematician Manjul Bhargava.
  • The 5th Women’s Science Congress was inaugurated on January 4, 2015. While the Children Science Congress was inaugurated by Nobel Laureate John B Gurdon.

  • RBI imposes Rs 1 crore fine on State Bank of Travancore
Image result for RBI imposes Rs 1 crore fine on State Bank of TravancoreThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of one crore rupees on State Bank of Travancore, an SBI associate bank for violation of some of its instructions.
The monetary penalty was imposed on State Bank of Travancore for violation of its instructions including reporting of data to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC).
Prior to imposing the penalty, RBI had issued a show cause notice to the bank for not having complied with the directions issued by the bank on submission of accurate data to the CRILC.
Finally RBI came to the conclusion that the bank had violated the instructions or guidelines issued from time to time after considering the bank’s reply and information submitted and documents furnished.
Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC)
It has been established by RBI to collect, store, and disseminate data on all borrowers’ credit exposures.  It is mandatory for banks to report all such information under it including classification of an account as Special Mention Accounts (SMA) on all borrowers having aggregate fund-based and non-fund-based exposure of 5 crore rupees and above.

  • India-Nepal friendship bus service resumes after gap of 27 years

Image result for India-Nepal friendship bus service resumes after gap of 27 yearsA friendship bus service between India and Nepal was flagged off via Champawat district in Uttarakhand after a gap of 27 years.
The resumed bus service has been regularised and will run between Kanchanpur in Nepal close to the Banbasa border in Champawat district and Anand Vihar in New Delhi.
People travelling in these buses do not require any special documents to travel. These buses are air conditioned and provide free wi-fi connectivity to passengers.
The India-Nepal friendship bus service was suspended 27 years back in the wake of the Indo-Nepal Trade and Transit Treaty. This bus service is mainly used by the people on both sides of the border as they have family as well as trade relations with each other.

  • Recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee on BCCI reforms

Image result for Recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee on BCCI reformsJustice RM Lodha Committee has submitted its report to the Supreme Court suggesting reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The committee was appointed by the SC in 2014 to make recommendations to the BCCI in order to prevent frauds and conflict of interest in cricket administration.
Major Recommendations Committee
  • Governing Bodies: They should be separate for Indian Premier League (IPL) and BCCI, with limited autonomy for the IPL Governing Council.
  • BCCI office-bearer: No Minister or government servant should become a BCCI office-bearer.
  • BCCI office-bearer’s tenure: It should not exceed more than two consecutive terms, and he/she cannot hold two posts at the same time.
  • Membership: Only to team representing the respective states. Each state should have only one vote.
  • Zones: The relevance of different zones should be for the purpose of tournaments and not for the governance of the BCCI and its committees.
  • State Associations: There should be uniformity of structure in the organisation and functioning of state associations on the lines of BCCI.
  • Management: The BCCI management affairs should be done by professionals led by Chief executive officer (CEO).
  • Players Associations: It should be formed for the international as well as for the first class levels. It should be for both men and women teams.
  • Player’s ethics: BCCI should carry out awareness programmes for the players.
  • Players Agents: They must be registered under the BCCI and players association norms.
  • Betting and match-fixing: Betting should be legalised and match fixing should be made criminal offence.
  • Conflict of Interest: To avoid conflicts it should be handled with the norms laid down by an ethics officer.
  • The Electoral Officer and Ombudsman: The electoral officer will oversee the election process, while the ombudsman to resolve grievances.
  • Functioning and Transparency: All details and rues of BCCI must be uploaded on the website on BCCI for transparency functioning purpose.

  • Invasive species of snowflake coral discovered off coast of Thiruvananthapuram

Image result for Invasive species of snowflake coral discovered off coast of ThiruvananthapuramRecently scientists have discovered presence of several colonies of an invasive species of snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei) off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram and Kanyakumari.
They were discovered at 10 metre depth off Kovalam (Thiruvananthapuram) and 18 metre depth off Enayam (Kanyakumari). Scientists have noted that these fast-growing alien species could pose a serious threat to the marine ecology of the region.

About Snowflake Corals

  • The snowflake coral is native of the tropical Western Atlantic and Caribbean. For first in 1972 it was reported as an invasive species from Hawaii. Since then, it has spread to countries like Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
  • It is considered an invasive species because it has capacity to dominate space and crowd out other marine organisms.
  • It is known to inhabit reefs and underwater structures such as piers and shipwreck. It can also attach itself to metal, concrete and even plastic.
  • In India, it has been reported from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu), Gulf of Kutch (Gujarat) and Goa.
  • As it has capacity to thickly settle and occupy a variety of surfaces it can destabilise the marine ecosystem.
  • It can crowd out other marine species like corals, algae, sponges, ascidians that are mainly contributing to the rich marine biodiversity of the region