Current Affairs 2017 – May

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Justice Leila Seth: First Woman Chief Justice of a State High Court Passed Away

Justice Leila Seth who became the first woman Chief Justice of a State High Court has passed away at the age of 86. She has also received the distinction of becoming the first woman to top the London Bar exam as well as the becoming the first female judge of the Delhi High Court. Leila Seth is the mother of the noted author Vikram Seth.

Justice Leila Seth began her career in 1959 as an advocate in the Calcutta high court as well as in the Supreme Court. Justice Leila Seth had been on the panel of lawyers for the Bihar and the West Bengal government. Justice Leila Seth was made as a permanent judge of the Delhi High Court in 1980. In 1991, she was made as the Chief Justice of the Himachal Pradesh high court.

Justice Leila Seth had also served as member of the 15th Law Commission of India (1997 to 2000). She was also member of the Justice JS Verma committee which was mandated to take a relook at the criminal laws after the December 16 gang rape incident. The committee’s work resulted in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, that widened the definition of rape and made the punishment more stringent.

Justice Leila Seth has also written a number of books, namely, an autobiography, titled ‘On Balance’, ‘We, the Children of India’ (2010), ‘Talking of Justice: People’s Rights in Modern India’ (2014).

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China’s C919 Passenger Jet completed its Maiden Flight

China’s home-grown C919 passenger jet has completed its maiden flight. China’s C919 is a symbol of China’s ambitions to take market share from Boeing and Airbus in the lucrative global jet market estimated to be worth $2 trillion over the next two decades. It is a part of China’s broader “Made in China 2025” plan aimed at boosting its domestic high-tech manufacturing.

As a part of its maiden flight, C919 passenger jet undertook an 80-minute flight flying over the Yangtze River delta and touched down at Shanghai’s international airport.

C919

C919 is a made by state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). The aircraft can carry 158-168 passengers. The aircraft was conceived in 2008. The aircraft has been built relying on overseas technology firms including General Electric, France’s Safran, Honeywell International Inc and United Technologies Corp subsidiary UTC Aerospace Systems. China’s Eastern Airlines has placed 570 orders from 23 customers.

Issues

C-919 will require years of tests to get certified in China, as well as in the United States and Europe. This will take years from first flight to commercial usage. For instance, China’s first home-made jet, the regional ARJ-21, received its certification six years after its first flight. In addition without the certification by European and U.S. regulators, it cannot sell the jet in those countries that accept its certification standards. Hence, it would be difficult for the COMAC and its partner United Aircraft Corp to sell the jet in a global market dominated by Boeing and Airbus. Boeing has 100 years of experience in the aviation market while the Airbus has over 40 years experience.

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Heads of 7 PSU Banks Appointed

In a major restructuring in the banking sector, Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed heads of seven public sector banks besides shifting managing directors of PNB and Bank of India.

PNB Managing Director (MD) Usha Ananthasubramanian has been appointed as the head of Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank.

Melwyn Rego of Bank of India will head the Syndicate Bank.

Rajkiran Rai G, currently executive director of Oriental Bank of Commerce will head Union Bank of India as its MD and CEO for a period of three years.

R Subramaniakumar, currently executive director of Indian Overseas Bank, has been made as its MD and CEO.

Sunil Mehta, currently the executive director of Corporation Bank will head the PNB in place of Usha Ananthasubramanian.

The executive director of Canara Bank Dinabandhu Mohapatra will be the MD and CEO of Bank of India.

R A Sankara Narayanan, currently executive director of BoI will be the MD and CEO of Vijaya Bank.

Reason

Non-performance of the public sector banks in tackling the menace of non-performing assets (NPAs) is said to be the reason behind the major restructuring of the public sector banks.

Bad loans of public sector banks (PSBs) surged by over Rs 1 lakh crore to reach Rs 6.06 lakh crore during April-December of 2016-17. The bulk of the NPAs have emanated from the power, steel, road infrastructure and textile sectors.

Last month, NPA-laden IDBI Bank’s head Kishor P Kharat was shifted to Indian Bank and the Indian Bank’s Mahesh Kumar Jain was shifted to IDBI Bank.

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