Daily Current Affairs- 23 May 2016

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Daily Current Affairs- 23 May 2016

1. J Jayalalithaa sworn-in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for sixth time
1. Ms. J Jayalalithaa has sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for record sixth time after winning 2016 state assembly election with absolute majority. State Governor Dr.K. Rosaiah administered the oath of office and secrecy to her at oath taking ceremony held at the Centenary Auditorium, Madras University. 2. Besides, Governor also administered oath of office and secrecy to the 28 ministers of her government. This is J Jayalalithaa’s second consecutive term as chief minister and sixth overall. She is the second female Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran.

2. President appoints Kiran Bedi as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry
1. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed BJP leader and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry as per Article 239 of the Constitution. 
2. The a post LG was vacant for the past two years after the Union Government had sacked Virendra Kataria from the post in July 2014. Since then, it was under the additional charge of Ajay Kumar Singh, Lt. Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
3. Kiran Bedi was the first woman to join the Indian Police Service (IPS) in 1972. She remained in service for 35 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2007. At the time of retirement, she was posted as Director General (DG), Bureau of Police Research and Development.

3. World Bank Group launched Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility
1. World Bank Group launched the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) to protect poorest countries against deadly pandemics.
2. The PEF is an innovative and fast-disbursing global financing mechanism. It will accelerate both global and national responses to future outbreaks with pandemic potential.
3. It was built and designed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the private sector, introducing a new level of rigor into both the financing and the response.

4. Himachal Pradesh launched PEHAL programme for Shimla district
1. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on 22 May 2016 launched the PEHAL programme for the district of Shimla.
The objective of the programme is to identify certain thrust areas that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people in the district.
2. Under the PEHAL, 5 focus areas were identified by the district administration for development. They are –
1. Primary Education
2. Forest Rights
3. Health and Sanitation
4. Campaign against drugs and skill development
5. Women Empowerment

5. India, Oman sign 4 bilateral agreements on defence cooperation
1. India and Oman have signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements on defence cooperation. 
2. These MoUs/agreements were signed in Muscat during the visit of Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.
3. Signed agreements are MOU on 
Defence Cooperation: It was singed between the Union Ministry of Defence of India and Ministry of Defence Sultanate of Oman. 
MOU in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at Sea: It was signed between the Indian Coast Guard and the Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard). 
MOU on Maritime Issues: It was signed between the Government of India and the Government of Sultanate of Oman. 
Protocol on Flight Safety information Exchange: It was signed between Royal Air Force of Oman and the Indian Air Force.

6. India and Iran sign 12 Bilateral Agreements in various areas including Chabahar Port Development
1. India and Iran on 23 May 2016 signed 12 memorandum of understandings (MoUs) and agreements in various areas including building and operating the Chabahar port by India.
2. The MoUs and agreements were inked after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Modi is on a two day (from 22 May – 23 May 2016) visit to Iran.
3. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Iran in last 15 years. On his arrival to the country he was received by Iran’s Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Ali Tayyebnia at the Mehrabad International Airport.
4. The 12 Agreements/MOUs signed include
• India-Iran Cultural Exchange Programme: The objective is to extend the CEP for the period 2016-2019 covering the areas of culture and art; radio, TV, mass media and cinema; and relevant general and financial terms.
• MoU on Policy Dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks
• MoU for training of diplomats and exchange of eminent speakers: 
• Implementation Protocol (IP) on Cooperation in the Fields of Science and Technology: 
• MoU for cooperation between ICCR and ICRO: T
• Bilateral contract on Chabahar Port for port development and operations between IPGPL [India Ports Global Private Limited] and Arya Banader of Iran: The contract envisages development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and 5 berths with cargo handling [multipurpose and general] capacities.
• MoU between EXIM Bank and Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization [PMO] on current specific terms for the Chabahar Port project: This MoU is intended for the purpose of credit of 150 US dollar million for Chabahar port.
• Confirmation Statement between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran: This confirms the availability of credit up to 3000 crore rupees for the import of steel rails and implementation of Chabahar port.
• MoU to establish a framework of cooperation between ECGC and EGFI: 
• MoU to jointly explore the possibility of manufacturing aluminium metal
• MoU to enable IRCON to provide requisite services for the construction of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line
• MoU for cooperation between the National Archives of India and the National Library and Archives Organisation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

7. Hanchinal wins award for field crop research
1. RR Hanchinal, Chairperson of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority, New Delhi, has been selected for the 6th MS Swaminathan Award. A former Vice-Chancellor of University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, he has also been associated with the Indonesian government as an Advisor for field crop research.
2. The Retired ICAR Employees Association (RICAREA) has instituted the national award since 2005. It is conferred biennially upon Indian scientists who have worked in India in any branch of agriculture to enhance productivity.
3. The award carries a cash prize of ₹2 lakh, a medal and a citation. RICAREA said in a release that Hanchinal was instrumental in organising the commercial seed industry in West Africa, while serving as a seed production specialist for USAID and ICRISAT.

8. Postal Payment Bank from March 2017
1. The Payment Bank proposed by the Department of Posts (DoP) will become operational from March 2017. The Centre is investing ₹800 crore, including ₹400 crore from the Department, to set up the bank. The Department is running pilots in a few States to test the model.
2. As many as 50 global banking and financial institutions have shown interest to take part in the DoP’s payment bank, to offer third party services. The list includes the World Bank, Citi (the US), Deutsche Bank and Barclays of the UK.

9. SAARC Development Fund, ADB ink pact for co-financing projects
1. SAARC Development Fund and ADB have signed a pact for co-financing of projects, regional connectivity and development of the SAARC region.
2. Asian Development Bank (ADB) and SAARC Development Fund (SDF) have signed an MoU and agreed to collaborate for the development of the SAARC region through co-financing of projects and programmes focusing on regional connectivity /integration and economic cooperation among the SAARC member states.
3. They have also agreed to provide technical assistance and investments for co-financing on the three windows of SDF, Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) Program, Social Enterprise Development Programme and any other new areas which can be covered under the pact.

10. Gujarat Government launches Smart Village program
1. Gujarat Government has launched Smart Village program to improve public facilities in the villages. It was launched by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on the occasion of completion of two years of her Government.
2. Under this programme, 300 villages will be selected for Smart Village program. Villages will be shortlisted by the state-level committee consisting of experts on the basis of Gram Panchayat’s performance through a transparent process. It seeks to make villages ‘smart’ on the lines of Smart Cities that will help them become self-reliant, clean and hygienic.

11. May 22: International Day for Biological Diversity
1. Every year May 22 is being observed as International Biodiversity Day (IDB) across the world to promote conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. 
Objective: (i) To step-up understanding and awareness about biodiversity issues. (ii) To make people aware about the importance of biodiversity on the one hand and its unprecedented loss on the other.

12. Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling conferred with Nepal’s literary award
1. Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was conferred with the Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award, one of the Nepal’s prestigious literary award. The award was bestowed upon him by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli for his commendable contributions in promoting Nepali literature in India. 
2. The award ceremony was organised by Siddhicharan Shrestha Academy on the occasion of 105th birth anniversary of the late poet Shrestha. Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award carries a certificate of appreciation and a sum of 100,000 Nepali Rupees.