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GK Update 17 June 2016

1. Peter Thomson elected as President of 71st session of United Nations General Assembly

i. The United Nations General Assembly elected Peter Thomson, Permanent Representative of Fiji, as President of its upcoming 71st session.
ii. Mr. Thomson, who will replace current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, will begin his tenure in September at the commencement of the 71st General Assembly session.
iii. The Fiji representative will replace current General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft. Thomson will begin his tenure in September 2016 at the commencement of the 71st General Assembly session.

2. Government approves Rs 2,070-crore highway project in Punjab

i. The Union Cabinet has  approved a Rs 2,070-crore highways project in Punjab under its hybrid annuity mode to ensure faster movement of traffic between Chandigarh and Ludhiana.
ii. The project is part of Chandigarh-Ludhiana section. Six/ four laning of Kharar to Ludhiana section of NH 95 (New NH 5) has been approved by the Cabinet .
iii. The 76-km highway stretch will be constructed at a cost of Rs 2,069.70 crore and land required for it is 383.22 hectare, majority of which has been acquired and remaining 145 hectares will be acquired .

3. Andhra Pradesh to start Internet-based phone service

i. Andhra Pradesh is perhaps the first State to have obtained a telecom licence and it can issue phone numbers starting with the ‘797’ series from August this year.
ii. It indirectly got the opportunity to start an internet based telephone service ‘without requiring any further registration’ after it obtained permission from the Telecom Ministry for starting its own IPTV Internet Protocol based Television network  as part of its Fibre Grid project. Although it primarily aims at providing affordable net connectivity in every corner of the Stat.

4. Supriya Sahu appointed as Director General of Doordarshan

i. Supriya Sahu was appointed as Director General of Doordarshan on 15 June 2016.
ii. She will be the full-time director general of the state-run broadcaster after two year as the post was lying vacant since July 2014.
iii. A 1991 batch IAS officer, Sahu is currently working in her cadre state Tamil Nadu. 
iv. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved to appoint Sahu for the post. She would replace Aparna Vaish who was acting head of Doordharsan. 

5. Famous TV actress Ann Morgan Guilbert dies

i. Famous Television actress Ann Morgan Guilbert died on 16 June 2016 after battling with cancer. She was 87.
ii. She began her TV career in the 1960s, appearing on popular programmes such as I Dream of Jeannie, My Three Sons, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Partridge Family, Love, American Style, and The New Andy Griffith Show.

6. Sunil Mittal elected chief of International Chamber of Commerce

i. Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder chairman of Bharti Enterprises, has been elected as the head of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), based in Paris, France.
ii. Mittal is the third Indian business leader to head ICC in its near-hundred year history of being the world's oldest and most respected global business organisation.
iii. He takes over from Terry McGraw, Chairman Emeritus of S&P Global, who will now become ICC's honorary chairman.

7. Suresh Chandra appointed as Union Law Secretary

i.  Senior legal service officer Suresh Chandra was appointed as Union Law Secretary 
ii.  Chandra is currently Additional Secretary in the department. G Narayana Raju, Legislative Secretary, was holding additional charge of the post of Secretary, Legal Affairs.
iii. This is the first time, government had issued advertisements for the post, even seeking candidates from outside the Law Ministry. Initially, the ministry received 45 applications from across the country, including those from serving sessions judges.

8. Piyush Goyal launches Vidyut Pravah and Urja Mobile App in Goa to enhance consumer connectivity

i. Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal has launched ‘URJA’- Urban Jyoti Abhiyaan Mobile app on the side-lines of ongoing two day Conference of Power Ministers at Cansaulim in South Goa. 
ii. The two day conference is expected to deliberate on Coal related issues, Hydropower policy, transmission related issues behind other issues.
iii. The app is developed by Power Finance Corporation on behalf of Ministry of Power for Urban Power Distribution Sector to enhance consumer connect with the Urban Power Distribution sector by providing information of IT enabled towns on important parameters which concern the consumers like outage information, timely release of connections, addressing complaints, power reliability etc.

9. Thailand PM Chan-ocha arrives in Delhi on a three-day visit to boost ties between both the nations

i. Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayuth Chan-ocha, arrived in New Delhi for a three-day visit aimed at reviewing bilateral relations. Prayuth is visiting the country on an invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is accompanied by his deputy, five senior ministers and a 46 -member business delegation.
ii. It is Prayuth's first visit to India. Former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra had visited India in January 2012, when she was invited as chief guest for India's Republic Day celebrations.
iii. Prayuth will also address events organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), both associations of business organisations. The Thai Prime Minister will also visit Bodh Gaya, a prime Buddhist pilgrimage.

10. North America to have its first sanctuary for dolphins

i. Baltimore’s National Aquarium has announced its plan to create an Oceanside dolphin sanctuary. This will be first of its kind sanctuary for the marine mammals in North America.
ii. The aquarium will move its colony of eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins to an outdoor facility with natural seawater by 2020. Of the eight bottlenose dolphins (six female and two male), only one has ever lived in the open ocean. For this purpose of creating a sanctuary, a team is scouting locations in Florida and the Caribbean for the habitat.
iii. Decided venue for the dolphins will be a protected coastal habitat, where the animals will continue to live under human care.

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