Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 4 July 2015

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Union Government launches eMigrate system for Foreign Employers:

  • Indian government launched online registration named as  eMigrate system for Foreign employers (FEs) who want to recruit Indian workers, including nurses.
  • Foreign Employers will have to register in the eMigrate system.
  • Features of eMigrate system:
    • It will allow Foreign Employers to raise their demand for Indian workers and seek a permit to recruit directly or select Recruiting Agents (RAs) in online manner.
    • Foreign Employers will have to declare the terms and conditions of employment of each category of the job at the time of applying for the demand registration.
    • The terms and conditions of employment  declared by  Foreign Employers will act as a specimen contract and will form the part of employment contract at the time of actual recruitment.
  • In case of recruitment of nurses, the overseas employment will have to be through three state-run recruiting agencies, namely Non-Resident Keralites’s Affairs Department (NORKA-ROOTS) Thiruvananthapuram, Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC) Thiruvananthapuram and Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited (OMCL) Chennai.
  • The emigration of nurses for overseas employment will also require prior emigration clearance from Protector of Emigrants’ offices in India.
  • The recruitment agencies which are authorized to recruit Indian nurses will not charge any fees towards recruitment expenses from Indian nurses.

Union Cabinet approved National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015[UPSC]:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the India’s first integrated National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015. The Policy acknowledges the need for an effective roadmap for promotion of entrepreneurship as the key to a successful skills strategy.
  • Vision:
    • The Vision of the Policy is to create an ecosystem of empowerment by skilling on a large Scale at Speed with high Standards.
    • It aims to promote a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship which can generate wealth and employment so as to ensure Sustainable livelihoods for all citizens in the country.

    Thrust areas of the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015

    • It addresses key obstacles to skilling, including low aspirational value, lack of integration with formal education, lack of focus on outcomes, low quality of training infrastructure and trainers, etc.
    • The Policy seeks to align supply and demand for skills by bridging existing skill gaps, promoting industry engagement, operationalising a quality assurance framework, leverage technology and promoting greater opportunities for apprenticeship training.
    • Equity is also a focus of the Policy, which targets skilling opportunities for socially/geographically marginalised and disadvantaged groups.
    • Skill development and entrepreneurship programmes for women are a specific focus of the Policy.
    • In the entrepreneurship domain, the Policy seeks to educate and equip potential entrepreneurs, both within and outside the formal education system.
    • It also seeks to connect entrepreneurs to mentors, incubators and credit markets, foster innovation and entrepreneurial culture, improve ease of doing business and promote a focus on social entrepreneurship.

ZSI monitoring climate change impact on Sundarban animals[Upsc]:

  • The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) set up monitoring bases inside the mangrove forests of Sundarbans to measure the effect of climate change on flora and fauna of Sundarbans.
  • n the process, the impacts on animals are being monitored by ZSI, while Botanical Survey of India is monitoring the impact on flora.
  • It is 3-year project funded by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
  • Why is Sunderbans important?:
  • The Sundarbans mangrove forest lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the coast of Bay of Bengal. Sunderbans is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a home for several endangered species like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

State Bank of India launched ‘Project Tatkal’[non-UPSC]:

  • The State Bank of India (SBI)  launched Project Tatkal, an initiative to provide doorstep services and expedite Home Loan Application (HLA) process.
  • Under this project, SBI will help home loan applicants to get the loan within 10 days after receipt of application form and relevant supporting documents.

Union Government approved introduction of Common Norms for all the Skill Development Schemes:

  • Currently, over 70-odd Skill Development Programmes (SDPs) are being implemented by the Union Government. Each programme has its own norms for eligibility criteria, duration of training, cost of training, outcomes, monitoring and tracking mechanism etc.This multiplicity of norms and parameters has created a diffusive effect of SDPs, which needs to be streamlined in order to achieve the final outcomes envisaged.
  • Common Norms seek to rationalise the whole spectrum of skill development processes and systems including inputs, outputs, funding/cost norms, third party certification and assessment, monitoring/tracking mechanisms and empanelment of training providers.
  • The common norms would be applicable to the skill development schemes being implemented through various Ministries. The State Governments are also expected to align their skill development schemes with these common norms so as to bring in uniformity and standardization
  • Creation of Common Norms Committee:
    • It envisages the creation of a Common Norms Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to bring about uniformity and standardisation among the skill development schemes of the Central Government.
    • The Committee will also consist of eight other representatives from relevant Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments, National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), with a provision for inviting experts and other significant stakeholders who may be necessary in the decision making process.
    • It will be empowered to amend the common norms, schedules of the notification, training costs and funding norms for skill development programmes.

Union Cabinet approved setting up of Online National Agriculture Market:

  • Currently, farmers are restricted to selling their produce at mandis or market committees that charge various taxes on producers. But, now an online platform would be set up wherein farmers will be able to sell and buy fruits, vegetables and other produce from across the country.
  • An agency will also be set up to oversee online trading and to ensure that transactions take place smoothly. It will also focus on creating go-downs and facilitating transportation of the farm produce after the online trade.
  • With this, farmers can sell their produce both in physical mandis and on online platform. This will likely boost their incomes and improve availability, moderating price rise.

Nationwide Mobile Number Portability becomes operational:

  • The operationalisation of nationwide MNP will allow customers to keep their existing mobile phone numbers while shifting between States and circles by changing operators. Prior to this, customers were only able to change their operator by retaining the same number only in the same state or telecom circle. Thus this move lays the first foundation stone for the Union government’s ambitious ‘One nation, One number’ plan.
  • Extra Facts:
  • Haryana was the first state where MNP was launched first.
  • At present, India is divided into 22 telecom circles.

Guinness Book Recognises Madhya Pradesh’s World Record in Washing Hands:

  • Madhya Pradesh has created a world Record in Washing Hands on ‘World Hand washing Day’ in 2014.
  • The mega hand washing event was held on 15 October 2014 to create awareness about hygiene by washing hands with soap.
  •  In it more than 12 lakh 78 thousand students had washed their hand simultaneously.
  • This record broke the earlier the world record which was jointly held by Argentina, Peru and Mexico. The joint record in three countries was created on October 14, 2011 in which 7,40,870 people had washed their hands simultaneously at different locations.
  • World Hand Washing Day is observed every year on 15th October.


BSNL launches mobile wallet service ‘Speed Pay’:

  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL)has  launched pre-paid card linked mobile wallet service ‘Speed Pay’.
  • BSNL has launched this service in partnership with IT company Pyro.
  • Speed Pay allows customers to  transfer money, pay for services and withdraw cash of up to 1 lakh rupees.
  • It also allows its customers to load money even if they are not having a bank account.
  • Money loaded in this wallet can be transferred to a bank account and can be withdrawn at any BSNL outlets or bank branches.


Airbus and Mahindra enters in a Joint Venture:

  • The joint venture is for the production of defence Helicopters in India.
  • Also, they will bid for the Defence contracts for manufacturing in India under ‘Make in India’ programme.


Tata Trusts and Google India launches ‘Internet Saathi’:

  • This is a project to impart basic training on the usage of Internet to rural women through specially designed Internet cycle carts that will visit around 4500 villages in 18 months for a specific time.
  • It is to be noted that only 12% of rural Indian women access Internet whereas this figure is 30% in case of Urban indian women.


HDFC launches ‘Watch Banking’ :

  • HDFC has become the first Indian Bank to launch Watch Banking for Apple Watch.
  • This platform can be accessed on wearable devices running on Android or iPhone.
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