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India becomes third largest oil consumer in The World

India has surpassed Japan to become the world’s third-largest oil consumer.
•    With its oil demand galloping 8.1 per cent in 2015, according to BP Statistical Review of World Energy. 
•    With demand of 4.1 million barrels a day, India is the third-largest consumer behind the U.S. (19.39 million bpd) and China (11.96 million bpd). India accounted for 4.5 per cent of world oil consumption in 2015.
•    India’s demand growth surpassed China’s 6.3 per cent expansion. 
•    The U.S. oil consumption grew 1.6 per cent, which accounts for 19.7 per cent of the total world pie of 95 million bpd in 2015.
•    Japan slipped to the fourth spot after its oil usage contracted 3.9 per cent to 4.15 million bpd in 2015. 
•    In 2014, it used 4.3 million bpd, ahead of India’s 3.84 million bpd.
•    The review shows that global demand for primary energy grew only 1 per cent in 2015, which is significantly slower than the 10-year average.
•    Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, accounting for 32.9 per cent of global energy consumption and is gaining market share for the first time since 1999. 
•    Coal came in as the second-largest fuel by market share (29.2 per cent).
•    Natural gas’ market share of primary energy consumption stood at 23.8 per cent.

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Western Railway observed safety awareness week

Western Railways will observe safety awareness week from June 6 to June 10, 2016 to mark the 'International Level Crossing Awareness Day' on June 10 at all six divisions to educate people about the dangers of crossing unmanned railway level crossings without caution.
•    India is a member country of 'International Union of Railways' which is celebrating June 10 as 'International Level Crossing Awareness Day'. 
•    Accidents can be avoided by ""3 Es"" viz Education, Engineering and Enforcement. 
•    With a view to spread awareness in this regard among the target audience, this awareness campaign will be conducted among school & college students and panchayats.
•    For the safety of railway passengers as well as road users, it is necessary for road vehicles to always stop before a railway crossing and watch carefully for the incoming train from either sides and then cross the railway level crossing safely.
•    It is planned to carry out this campaign on mass level for effective dissemination of related information. 
•    Caps, coasters, steering wheel stickers, pencil stand, paper scales, posters and sharpeners with LC (Level Crossing) Awareness slogans will be distributed at Schools and at LCs during Level Crossing Awareness week. 

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PM Modi announces for India’ first Islamic bank

India’s first Islamic bank will start its operations in Gujarat and the person leading the initiative is none other than the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s friend, Zafar Sareshwala.
•    Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank will soon launch its first branch in Gujarat. The state will also get 30 medical vans as part of IDB’s social sector initiatives.
•    IDB and its private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), have already met with top officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), EXIM Bank and other nationalized banks. They are likely to start their India operations from Gujarat with a branch in Ahmedabad.
•    The plans will come to fruition after Modi’s trip in April to UAE, where India’s EXIM Bank had signed a memorandum of understanding with IDB for a $100 million line-of-credit to facilitate exports to IDB’s member countries.
•    IDB will provide 350 fully-equipped medical vans (mobile clinics) to India, 30 of which will be received for the tribal areas of Chhota Udepur, Narmada and Bharuch in Gujarat, in the first phase.
•    The IDB is likely to get involved in taking care of the maintenance of Gujarat’s Waqf properties.
•    Sareshwala is currently visiting Saudi Arabia for this purpose.

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Suresh Prabhu launches Tiger Trail Circuit Train on World Environment Day

Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 5 June 2016 flagged off the inaugural run of the Tiger Trail Circuit Train from Delhi Safdarjung Station.
The launch of this Tiger Express on World Environment Day is to highlight the significance of environment.
•    The most important objective of the train is to create and spread awareness about the wildlife in general and the tiger in particular.
•    This tourist train will be operated by Indian Railway PSU namely Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
•    It is one of the most innovative tourism products ever launched by Indian Railways.
•    This is for the first time that Indian Railways have forayed into the exciting and fascinating wildlife tourism.
•    This is also the first semi-luxury train on a tourist circuit having a dining car. The objective behind it is to facilitate frequent interactions among travelers during the travel.
•    The train with 5 days/6 nights itinerary will start from Delhi Sufdarjung railway station.
•    The semi-luxury train will take the guests onboard to the world famous Bandhavgarh and Kanha National Parks in Madhya Pradesh.
•    The 5 days/6 nights itinerary of the Tiger Express includes three Tiger Safaris.

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Frame national policy for relief to rape victims: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to frame a uniform national policy to financially compensate rape victims, while terming the Nirbhaya Fund a mere “lip service”.

•    A Vacation Bench led by Justice P.C. Pant said there was too much dichotomy and contradiction among States regarding compensation schemes for rape survivors. 
•    The Bench issued notice to the Centre, States and UTs on the question of effective implementation of Section 357 A of the Cr.PC. 
•    This provision mandates States to co-ordinate with the Centre to prepare a scheme for providing funds to compensate and rehabilitate victims or dependents. 
•    “Setting up of Nirbhaya Fund is not enough… The Union of India must ensure that adequate relief is being provided to the victims of sexual offences,” the Bench observed orally.

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Cabinet approves Additional allocations for the BPL and APL families in non NFSA State

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, has given its approval for additional monthly allocation of 41,800 tonnes of foodgrains for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at BPL rates and 20,507 tonnes of foodgrains for Above Poverty Line (APL) families at 2/3rd of Minimum Support Price (MSP) rates to three non-National Food Security Act (NFSA) States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nagaland, from April to June, 2016 or till implementation of NFSA by the respective State, whichever is earlier.
•    NFSA has come into force from 05.07.2013 and it provides for coverage of two-third population of the country, based on the population estimates of 2011 for receiving wheat at Rs.2 per kg and rice at Rs.3 per kg.
•    It was expected that the Act would be implemented in all the States/UTs by March, 2016 and beneficiaries under Targeted Public Distribution Systems (TDPS) would get highly subsidized food grains. 
•    Accordingly, during 2015-16 non-NFSA States/UTs were allocated additional food grains for BPL and APL families up to March, 2016. 
•    33 States/UTs have implemented NFSA so far and three States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nagaland are still getting allocation of food grains under the erstwhile TPDS. 
•    These States are in the process of implementation of NFSA in the coming months.  

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Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves Mau-Tarighat Railway line project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 1 June 2016 gave its approval for a new broad gauge line between Mau Station of North Eastern Railway and Tarighat Terminal station of East Central Railway.
•    The total length of this new broad gauge line will be 51 kilometers.
•    The estimated cost of the project is 1765.92 crore and expected completion cost is 2109.07 crore rupees with 5 percent escalation per annum.
•    It is estimated that the project will be completed in the next six years during 12th and 13th Plan period.
•    This project will provide alternative, shorter convenient and better transport infrastructure to the area separated by River Ganga.
•    It will ultimately remove the transport difficulties in the area and to boost the socio economic development.
•    The catchment area of project line will serve passenger requirement and will facilitate the people of the area for travelling to different parts of the country.
•    It will provide an alternative route connecting Northern and East Central railway via NE Railway.
•    It has huge potential in enhancing railway traffic and also gives opportunity to develop this area by providing more efficient transportation system.
•    The new line crosses the river Ganges at the downstream of existing road bridge for NH 97.
•    It is located almost parallel to it and joins the existing BG line from Tarighat to Dildar Nagar.
•    This line will be the alternative route for train passing from Howrah to New Delhi and back.
•    Construction of this line will provide a link to Allahabad-Patna double line electrified section.
•    It will also decongest the Allahabad-Mugalsarai-Patna route particularly around Mugalsarai yard.
 

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India performed worst in Global Slavery Index

Almost 46 million people are living as slaves globally with the greatest number in India but the highest prevalence of slavery in North Korea, according to the third Global Slavery Index.
•    The index, by Australia-based human rights group Walk Free Foundation, increased its estimate of people born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, or trapped in debt bondage or forced labour to 45.8 million from 35.8 million in 2014. 
•    Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free, said the rise of nearly 30% was due to better data collection, although he feared the situation was getting worse with global displacement and migration increasing vulnerability to all forms of slavery.
•    Incidences of slavery were found in all 167 countries in the index, with India home to the largest total number with an estimated 18.4 million slaves among its 1.3 billion population. 
•    But North Korea ranked as worst in terms of concentration with one in every 20 people - or 4.4% of its 25 million population - in slavery and its government doing the least to end this with reports of state-sanctioned forced labour.

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Prime minister released 1st ever Disaster Managment Plan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1 June 2016 released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). The plan aims to make India disaster resilient and reduce loss of lives.
•    It is the first of its kind of national plan prepared in India. It emphasizes on a greater need for Information, Education and Communication activities to prepare communities to cope with disasters.
 
•    The plan is based on:
•    Understanding disaster risk,
•    Improving disaster risk governance,
•    Investing in disaster risk reduction (through structural and non-structural measures),
•    Disaster preparedness, early warning and building back better in the aftermath of a disaster.
•    It covers all phases of disaster management: prevention, mitigation, response and recovery.
•    It provides for horizontal and vertical integration among all the agencies and departments of the government.
•    The plan also spells out the roles and responsibilities of all levels of government right up to Panchayat and Urban Local Body level in a matrix format.
•    The plan has a regional approach that will be beneficial for disaster management along with development planning.
•    It is designed in such a way that it can be implemented in a scalable manner in all phases of disaster management.
•    It also identifies major activities such as early warning, information dissemination, medical care, fuel, transportation, search and rescue, evacuation, etc. to serve as a checklist for agencies responding to a disaster.
•    It also provides a generalized framework for recovery and offers flexibility to assess a situation and build back better.

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Trial Run Of High-Speed Spanish Talgo Train Conducted In India

Nine-coach Spanish train Talgo’s trial run was conducted on 29 May 2016 on the Bareilly-Moradabad route of Uttar Pradesh. It was conducted as part of the Railways’ strategy to increase the speed of trains.
•    The trail run was conducted by a joint team of the Railway Design Standards Organisation (RDSO) and Spanish train manufacturer Talgo.
•    The nine-coach Talgo train hauled by a 4500 HP diesel engine was tested on the 90-km line as part of the first trial run. The 90-km distance was covered in 1 hour 10 minutes.
•    First phase: Bareilly-Moradabadone route
•    Second phase: Mathura-Palwal route
•    Third phase: Mumbai-Delhi route
•    Spanish train Talgo
•    It is a lighter and faster vehicle with speed up to 115 km per hour.
•    Besides reducing travel time, Talgo's lighter trains consume 30 percent less energy.
•    They are designed in a way that it can run on curves without decelerating the speed.
•    The nine-coach Talgo train consists of two Executive Class cars, four Chair Cars, a cafeteria, a power car and a tail-end coach for staff and equipment.
•    It envisages reducing time of journey between Delhi and Mumbai from 17 hours at present to 12 hours.
As of now, the Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani Express runs at an average speed of 85 km per hour.

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