Monthly Current Affairs

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July 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

Russia asks 755 US diplomats to leave country following American sanctions

Russian President Vladmir Putin has asked 755 US diplomats to leave the country. The action was taken three days after the US Congress approved sanctions against Russia. Earlier, the US Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Putin in an interview to a Russian TV channel said, more than 1000 people are working at the US embassy and consulates in Russia. He said 755 of them should stop their activities and return.

Four Arab States ready for dialogue with Qatar

The four Arab nations boycotting Qatar have announced willngness to initiate a dialogue with the country, bringing the hope of some sort of resolution to the gulf crisis. The foriegn ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have expressed readiness to engage in a dialogue with Doha if it agrees to some of their demands including showing genuine willingness to stop funding terrorism. The same was revealed by Bahrain’s foreign minister, after a two-meet with his counterparts from the other three nations.

7th edition of SAARC Artists Camp & Paintings Exhibition begins in Nepal

The 7th edition of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Artists Camp and Exhibition of Paintings has begun at Kathmandu. Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation of Nepal, Jitendra Narayan Devhas inaugurated the event. These events provide platform to artists for exchanging ideas with fellow artists and helping in creating special bonding among them and 40 artists from SAARC member countries except Afghanistan taking part in the 4 day camp. The event is organised by Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal and SAARC Cultural Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

US tests missile-defence system after North Korea missile launch

The United States (US) has tested the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in Alaska by launching a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean. The missile-defence system test came after North Korea conducted an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test. A medium-range target ballistic missile (MRBM) was launched by US Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean and the THAAD weapon system detected, tracked and intercepted the target. This was the 15th successful intercept out of the 15 tests carried out for the THAAD weapon system. The THAAD interceptors are meant to help guard the US against a missile attack from a country such as North Korea.

China produces natural gas from flammable ice

China successfully produced natural gas from flammable ice, also known as methane hydrate, in an experimental project conducted in the South China Sea. As a part of the experiment, a drilling platform was deployed off the coast of the south-eastern Chinese city of Zhuhai for 60 days. It produced around 309,000 cubic metres of natural gas, which is a record extraction volume from gas hydrate. According to China’s Ministry of Land and resources, China has made a historic breakthrough. The ministry stated that the country has achieved theoretical, technological, engineering and equipment innovations after nearly 20 years of unremitting efforts.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos overtakes Gates to become world’s richest

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest man in Forbes magazine’s tracking of wealth, as stock in his e-commerce company hit an all-time high. Mr Bezos, who is also chairman and chief executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth almost $91bn (£70bn) after Amazon’s share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in New York. That put his fortune ahead of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’. The latter has a net worth of around $90.7bn and has been at the top of Bloomberg’s rich list since 2013. But Mr Bezos slipped back into second place later in the day.

BRICS nations sign memorandum to facilitate taxation cooperation

Tax authorities of the five BRICS countries have signed a landmark document to establish a mechanism for taxation cooperation. The BRICS Taxation Cooperation Memorandum, signed at the fifth meeting of BRICS Heads of Tax Authorities, is the bloc’s first document that elevates taxation cooperation to the institutional level. The authorities also agreed to cooperate on taxation information exchange, improve consultation procedures efficiency, boost taxation capacities and plan paths for coordination of taxation policies and tax collection. The meeting comes ahead of the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Fujian province’s Xiamen city from September 3 to 5.

Bolivian President declares ‘Total Independence’ from World Bank & IMF

Bolivia’s President Eva Morales has declared that his nation has achieved “total independence” form the IMF and the World Bank. President Morales declared the news on his official twitter account. The socialist leader published his comments following a meeting with his peers at a gathering in Argentina of the Mercosur, a sub-regional economic bloc.

Trump administration urges NSG members to support India’s application

Donald Trump’s administration has urged other members of the Nuclear Suppiers Group to support India’s membership bid to the elite grouping. The NSG controls international nuclear trade. The US Department of Defence and Department of State said in a report that the United States welcomed India’s application to join the NSG and it continues to re-affirm that India is ready for membership. It also added that the US has called upon other NSG members to support India’s application.

BRICS Youth Forum opens in Beijing

The 2017 BRICS Youth Forum opened in Beijing, China to discuss the development of the youth in the countries of the grouping. The theme of three-day forum is ‘Enhance BRICS Partnership, Promote Youth Development’. It gathered 50 youth representatives working as civil servants, scholars, entrepreneurs, artists and journalists from the BRICS countries. The five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – first came up with the idea of establishing a dialogue mechanism for BRICS youth in 2014 during a meeting between BRICS leaders in South Africa.

World’s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland

The world’s first floating windfarm has taken to the seas in a sign that a technology once confined to research and development drawing boards is finally ready to unlock expanses of ocean for generating renewable power in Scotland. The £200m Hywind project is unusual not just because of the pioneering technology involved, which uses a 78-metre-tall underwater ballast and three mooring lines that will be attached to the seabed to keep the turbines upright. It will bring power to 20,000 homes.

World’s largest supercarrier USS Gerald R Ford commissioned in USA

US Navy commissioned world’s largest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford into the fleet. The commissioning ceremony was held at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia in presence of US President Donald Trump. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in this new class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford and has been built by Newport News Ship Building Company. The massive 1,106-foot-long carrier displaces a staggering 100,000 tons fully loaded and is powered by two new generation nuclear reactors.

UAE Minister tops most powerful Arab women: Forbes

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE Minister of State for Tolerance has topped a poll of the most powerful Arab women in government for 2017, according to Forbes Middle East. Ms. Qasimi was followed by two women from Egypt – Sahar Nasr, the country’s minister of investment and international cooperation and Ghada Wali, the minister of social solidarity. Forbes has also released a list of the top 100 most powerful Arab business women for 2017, and the UAE represents the highest number of women, with 18, followed by Egypt, with 16. Saudi Arabia’s Lubna Olayan, who runs Saudi conglomerate the Olayan Group, tops the businesswoman list. The rankings were compiled by taking into account scope of the role or ministry, years of experience and company revenues, or GDP in the case of government.

Indonesia bans Islamic organization Hizb-ut-Tahrir

Indonesia has banned Islamic organization Hizb-ut Tahrir Indonesia under a contraversial presidential decree. The step has been taken to safeguard the existence of the Island nation’s pluralist state ideology Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. The legal status of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which compaigns for the country to adopt Islamic law and become a caliphate, was revoked to protect Indonesia’s unity. On the other hand, the Islamic organization condemned the ban and said it “will not remain silent”, vowing to challenge the decision in court.

Google introduces recruiting app ‘Hire’ for business

Google launched ‘Hire, a recruiting app for small and medium sized businesses that integrates seamlessly with G Suite. The launch of Hire app is seen an apparent move to compete with Microsoft-owned LinkedIn. Hire makes it easy to identify talent, build strong candidate relationships and efficiently manage the interview process end-to-end. It integrates seamlessly with G Suite apps like Gmail and Google Calender that are being used by over three million businesses to drive recruiting efforts.

Indonesia Renames its portion of the South China Sea

Indonesia has named waters in its exclusive economic zone that overlap with China’s expansive claim to the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea. The part of the renamed area falls in China’s “nine-dash line” waters extending hundreds of miles to the south and east of China’s island province Hainan. Several South-East Asian states dispute China’s territorial claims and are competing with China to exploit the South China Sea’s abundant hydrocarbon and fishing resources.

Japan’s men only island gets UNESCO Heritage tag

Japan’s Okinoshima island, an ancient religious site where women are banned, has been declared a World Heritage site by the UN’s cultural body Unesco. Okinoshima is home to the Okitsu shrine, built in the 17th century to pray for the safety of sailors. Before setting foot on the island, men must take off their clothes and undergo a cleansing ritual. When they leave they are not allowed to take away any souvenirs, or disclose details of their visit. Okinoshima, which is a part of the city of Munakata, Fukuoka, Japan, is located in south-west Japan between the main island of kyushu and the Korean Peninsula. Referred as the men only island, the island is permanently manned by a Shinto priest who prays to the island’s goddess, in a tradition that has been kept up for centuries.

Govt to organise global food fair in Nov to boost food sector

The government of India will organize a global food fair in November 2017 to provide a platform to Indian farmers and manufacturers to showcase their products and explore partnerships with foreign companies. The three-day international level fair ‘World Food India 2017′ is being organized on November 3-5 by the Food Processing Ministry, where industry body CII will be an event partner. The World Food India is a step aimed at creating India a ‘Global Food Factory’ and ‘Global Food Retail Market’. The food processing sector received USD 5.76 billion in FDI equity inflows from 2010-11 to 2015-16. In 2016-17 (April-December), the food processing sector in the country has received USD 663.23 million worth of FDI.

Brazil’s Archaeological Site added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO added Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site in the World Heritage List. The committee, during its meeting in Krakow, Poland, stated that Valongo is the most important physical trace of the arrival of African slaves on the American continent. It is located in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and encompasses the whole of Jornal do Comercio Square.

122 Countries adopts historic global treaty to ban Nuclear Weapons

The United Nations has adopted a historic global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The treaty was adopted by a vote of 122 members in favour. The Netherlands was the only country who voted against the treaty. Singapore abstained from voting. Costa Rica’s ambassador, Elayne Whyte Gomez, was the president of the UN conference that negotiated the treaty. Nearly 129 countries signed up to take part in the drafting of the treaty which represents two-thirds of the UN’s193 member states. Nearly 141 countries led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and New Zealand drafted the treaty in a hope that the treaty would increase pressure on the nuclear powers to take disarmament more seriously. The treaty would be opened for signature on September 20. It will enter into force once 50 countries ratified it. All of the ratifying countries should never under any circumstances develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. The treaty also bans any transfer or use of nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

European Parliament approves first ever EU-Cuba agreement

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal between the European Union and Cuba. MEPs in the eastern French city of Strasbourg approved the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement which was signed in December 2016. With the deal, Cuba joins other Latin American countries with similar agreements with the EU, whose relations with the island had previously been conducted in the so-called Common Position that linked ties to improvements in human rights.

INDIA & WORLD

India, Pakistan to hold talks on hydropower projects under Indus Waters Treaty

India and Pakistan will hold talks on two hydrpower projects, namely Kishenganga and Ratle, under the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty (IWT) at the World Bank headquarters in Washington. Union Water Resources Secretary Amarjit Singh is leading the Indian delegation during the talks. The delegation will include officials from ministries of external affairs and water resources. World Bank Vice President for South Asia resion Annette Dixon – in a letter to the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna – has welcomed the participation of both the countries in the dialogue. The meet at Washington is being held as part of efforts by the World Bank to resolve the issues raised by Pakistan over India’s hydroelectricity projects.

Delhi Metro declared as world’s first green metro

The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) was declared as the owrld’s first green metro after it added a green certification for all its major buildings and installations. Apart from depots and sub stations, DMRC was also awarded the platinum rating for its 10 residential colonies for adherence to green building norms by the IGBC. The declaration was made during National Conference on Green Metro Systems by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The conference was attended by delegates from all other Metro systems in the country.

India, Bangladesh sign pact to connect both countries by waterways

India and Bangladesh have signed a pact to connect both the countries by waterways. The waterways will facilitate movement of passengers and goods between India’s northeast and West Bengal with Bangladesh. Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya said in Agartala that infrastructure for the services would be set up along the major rivers in Bangladesh, West Bengal and Brahmaputra in Assam. He said, the services are expected to start by the end of this year.

India ranks 132 in commitment to narrow income inequality

India has ranked 132nd out of 152 countries on the inaugural “Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index” released by international NGO Oxfam in association with Developmental Finance International. Sweden topped the index while Nigeria took the bottom most spot. Sweden is followed by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany. Among India’s neighboring countries, China’s rank is 87; Pakistan fared worse than India at 146 while Bangladesh ranked at 148.

India, Japan civil nuclear deal comes into force

India-Japan agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy has come into force recently. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Ambassador of Japan to India Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu exchanged diplomatic notes in this regard. The agreement was signed on 11th November 2016 in Tokyo during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan. The agreement is a reflection of the strategic partnership between the two sides and will pave the way for enhanced cooperation in energy security and clean energy.

Australia joins International Solar Alliance led by India & France

Australia became the 35th country to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2015 in Paris. It is co-led by India and France. The aim of ISA is to support developing countries to boost their solar production capacity. India on its part through the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) is contributing $1 million to the ISA fund. The larger aim of ISA is to mobilize over $ 1000 billion by 2030 towards promoting solar power on all fronts generation and storage. The solar alliance, whose head office is in India, has grown stronger in the past two years with more countries joining the group and signing the agreement.

India & Sri Lanka sign MoU to develop village in Sri Lanka

India and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU to develop a village in Anuradhapura District in Sri Lanka at a cost of 30 crores Sri Lankan rupees. The village in the name of a famous Buddhist monk Sobitha Thero, envisages construction of 153 new houses, a multi-purpose community building, internal water supply system and renovation of monk’s quarters & library. The project is in line with Government of Sri Lanka’s policy of rehabilitation of rural villages for economic development. It will benefit 153 families residing in the village.

India launches solar project to electrify the remote village of Agaween in Egypt

India has launched a solar project with state-of-the-art technology to electrify a remote village in Egypt. The Solar Electrification Project is an off-grid system that is ideal fr remote locations. The project has been launched at Agaween village in the Western Desert in Matrough Governorate, close to the Libyan border. The project was inaugurated by India’s Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharya and Major General Alla Fathi Abou Zeid, Governor of Matrough. To successfully launch the Solar Electrification Project, India provided all the solar panels and sub-systems, machinery, equipment and technical support, as well as training for technicians. The Egyptian Government provided the location for implementation of the project.

India ranks 116 out of 157 nations on 2017 SDG index

India is ranked 116 out of 157 nations on a global index that assesses the performance of countries towards achieving the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDG Index and Dashboards Report produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung shows that world leaders need to strengthen their joint efforts to realise the 17 global goals. India is ranked 116th on the index with a score of 58.1, behind countries such as Nepal, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and China. Pakistan is ranked 122. Sweden leads the list, followed by Denmark and Finland. The United States ranks 42nd on the Index, while Russia and China rank 62nd and 71st respectively.

US House of Representatives passes Bill on defence co-operation with India

The United States House of Representatives has passed an amendment to National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), 2018, a $621.5 billion defence expenditure bill to advance defence cooperation with India. India related amendment in the bill was adopted by a voice vote in the House by 344-81. Now, NDAA needs to be passed by the US Senate before it can be sent to US President Donald Trump to sign into law. The India-related amendment in NDAA 2018, requires the US Secretary of Defence, in consultation with the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for advancing defence cooperation between US and India. The NDAA is a United States federal law specifying the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defence. Each year’s NDAA also includes other provisions. The US Congress oversees the defence budget primarily through two yearly bills: the NDAA and Defense appropriations bills.

India Rise to 96th in FIFA World ranking, Best in Two Decades

India has moved four places up to the 96th position in the FIFA World Ranking released recently. This is the country’s second-best ranking and its previous best was the 94th position in February 1996. India has moved 77 positions up from the 173rd rank on March 2015. The team has now won 13 of its last 15 matches and is unbeaten in the last eight games (including the unofficial match against Bhutan).

India ranked 23rd in second Global Cybersecurity Index

India has been ranked 23rd out of 165 nations in the second Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) that measures the commitment of nations across the world to cyber security. The Index has been released by the UN telecommunications agency International Telecommunication Union (ITU). India has been listed in the “maturing category” of the index with a score of 0.683. Around 77 countries have been placed in the maturing category as they have developed complex commitments to cyber security and engage in cybersecurity programmes and initiatives. Singapore has topped the index with a score of 0.925. Singapore is followed by United States (2nd), Malaysia (3rd), Oman (4th), Estonia (5th), Mauritius (6th), Australia (7th), Georgia (8th), France (9th), Canada (10th) and Russia (11th). China has been placed at 34th.

India and Israel sign 7 Agreements

India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
MoUs between India & Israel are:
MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F).
MoU for conservation of water in India.
MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India India-Israel Development Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020).
Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks.
MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.

India’s TERI ranked second among world’s climate think tanks

New Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) was ranked second among world’s best climate think tank by the International Centre for Climate Governance (ICCG). TERI was ranked number two under the category ‘2016 Top Climate Think Tanks in the Rest of the World-Absolute Global Rankings’ during ICCG’s 23rd annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE) in Athens, Greece. ICCG is an internationally-renowned body whose activities focus on the design of climate policy and related governance issues. It rankings helps to highlight the scale and magnitude of work done by the think tanks working in the field of climate change.

Indo-Thai joint military exercise Maitree 2017 begins in HP

A 14-day joint military training exercise between India and Thailand started in Himachal Pradesh. The joint exercise of the Indian Army with the Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district. The aim of this exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies. ‘Exercise Maitree 2017′ is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016. The Maitree series of bilateral exercises has been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand.

Two Indian-Americans to be honoured with Great Immigrants award

Two Indian-Americans, Adobe Chief Shantanu Narayen and former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy are among 38 immigrants to be honoured this year for their role in helping advance the country’s society, culture and economy. Narayen and Murthy will be honoured with the prestigious ‘Great Immigrants’ annual award on US’s Independence day. Murthy, born in the UK and a Harvard and Yale alumnus, was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2014, becoming the first-ever Indian-American to occupy the post and also the youngest ever surgeon general of the country. Narayen, a native of Hyderabad has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

India contributes Rs. 3 Crores to UN Peacebuilding Fund

India has contributed $500,000 (Rs. 3 Crores) to the UN Peacebuilding Fund, expressing hope that more funding by nations will boost efforts by the world body to build and sustain peace. India has been a member of the Peacebuilding Commission since its inception in December 2005 and has so far contributed $5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. The fund was launched to support activities, actions, programmes and organisations that seek to build a lasting peace in countries emerging from conflict.

NATIONAL

Union Govt launches Sagar Vani to alert coastal community

Union Minister of Science & technology Harshavardhan has launched Sagar Vani application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences. The portal was launched with an aim to alert the coastal communities. This Integrated Information Dissemination System (IDS) was developed by ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS). It is aimed at disseminating the advisories effectively and timely, directly from the lab to the end user.

Niti Aayog clears six proposals for high-tech public transport

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog has approved 6 transport proposals of the transport ministry exploring options to improve public transport. It includes high-tech mass rapid transportation technologies such as metrino, hyperloop, pod taxis, stadler buses, hybrid buses and freight rail road. The proposals of the transport ministry were approved with a condition that the transport ministry conducts trial run of all these technologies and puts in place safety measures before starting operations commercially. Following the go-ahead from NITI Aayog, the transport ministry has formed a six member committee, headed by former top official of Railways, to study safety parameters associated with these technologies and their best global practices.

No immediate arrest under dowry harassment law:SC

The Supreme Court ruled that the police cannot arrest the accused without conducting a preliminary inquiry under dowry harassment cases. With this, the court puts an end to immediate arrests in dowry harassment cases, under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC). The ruling was made by a bench of Justices A K Goeal and UU Lalit.

National Centre for Seismology launches app ‘India Quake’

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Environment, Forests & Climate Change has launched an app Inida Quake for Earthquake Parameter Dissemination. The minister launched the application on the occasion of Foundation Day of Ministry of Earth Sciences in New Delhi. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) operates national seismological network with 84 stations. These stations are connected to NCS headquarter through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) for real time data communication.

Union Govt plans to open over 100 new post offices by 2018

The Union government is planning to open 81 sub-post offices and 100 branch post offices during the 2017-18 fiscal year under the “Rural Business & Access to Postal Network” scheme. The same was notified to the Parliament. The Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha in a written reply in the Lok Sabha said that under the scheme, the Department of Posts plans to open 66 new branch post offices during the current fiscal year by creation of new post offices in 32 worst affected Left Wing Extremism (LWE)-hit districts in the country.

Delhi Govt constitutes State Names Authority

The Delhi government constituted the state Names Authority, a seperate body mandated to name government roads and institutions under the state purview. The State Names Authority (SNA) will be headed by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. While, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain will be the Vice-Chairman of the Authority. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has gave his approval for the formation of the authority. The authority will have a total of 34 members including the Union home secretary, the Union HRD secretary, the DDA vice-chairman, the Delhi PWD secretary and the Delhi Principal secretary (Home). Aam Aadmi Party lawmakers Rajesh Gupta, Nitin Tyagi, Vishesh Ravi, Sanjeev Jha, Rakhi Birla, Bhavna Gaur and Adarsh Shastri will also be the members of the Authority.

Union Home Minister chairs first meeting of IDA

The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted Islands Development Agency (IDA). The Union Home Minister presented the vision for developing India’s maritime economy while preserving the natural eco-system and addressing the security concerns. He emphasized upon the need for sustainable development of Islands with people’s participation. After detailed consultations with key stakeholders, 10 islands namely Smith, Ross, Aves, Long and Little Andaman in Andaman & Nicobar and Minicoy, Bangaram, Suheli, Cherium and Tinnakara in Lakshadweep have been identified for holistic development in the first phase. With this meeting, the efforts for holistic development of Islands of India received a major boost.

Right to Education is Right to Quality Education says SC

The Supreme Court quashed the regularisation of 1.78 lakh Shiksha Mitras as teachers in Uttar Pradesh (UP) or not holding adequate qualification as fixed under Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. A bench of Justices AK Goel and UU Lalit ruled that their jobs could not be regularised at the cost of fundamental right of children to free quality education by duly qualified teachers. It ruled that Right to Education means to right to quality education. The court held that appointment of Shiksha Mitras was not as per qualification prescribed for a teacher and they could not be regularized as teachers.

Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 introduced in Lok Sabha

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley introduced the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Lok Sabha. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance 2017, which was promulgated in May 2017.
Provisions of the Bill:
1. It authorises the RBI to direct the banking companies to resolve the problem of stressed asstes.
2. It also allows the RBI to initiate insolvency resolution process on specific stressed assets.
3. It empowers RBI to issue other directions for resolution, appoint or approve authorities or committees to advise the banking companies for stressed asset resolution.
4. The recovery proceedings will be carried out under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 that provides for a time-bound process to resolve defaults.

Union Govt launches SHe-box portal

The union Ministry of Women and Child Development launched an online patform ‘SHe-box (Sexual Harassment Electronic Box) to enable women employees of the Central government to file complaints related to sexual harassment at the work place. The Ministry also instructed officials to make the ‘SHe-box’ portal as interactive as possible. The e-platform will be hosted on the WCD ministry’s website and the complaints will then be taken up with the respective ministries or departments. Once a complaint is registered, it will be forwarded to the concerned ministry or department where the woman works. Initially, only the central government women employees can file complaints through the portal, but later its ambit will include the private sector as well.

Supreme Court asks Centre & States not to protect any kind of vigilantism

The Supreme court of India asked the Union Government and the states not to protect any kind of vigilantism. It alsom sought their response on violent incidents of cow vigilantism. A three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Dipak Misra comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice M M Shantanagoudar was informed by the Centre that law and order is a state subject but it does not support any kind of vigilantism in the country. The bench also sought the assistance of the Centre and states for removing violent content related to cow vigilantism uploaded on social media. The centre’s response was on a petition filed by social activist Tehseen Poonawala, who in his plea seeks a direction to states and centre to take action against so-called Gau Rakhasks, who profess to protect cows.

Jaitley releases National Trade Facilitation Action Plan

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley released the National Trade Facilitation Action Plan. The WTO-Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was a major milestone for the global trading system. This Action Plan gives a time bound map, not only for implementing TFA, but also for India’s initiatives for trade facilitation and ease of doing business which goes beyond TFA. According to a Finance Ministry statement, all actions covered under the plan have been categorised by prioritising the activities into short, mid and long term.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches quality mark logo for milk and milk products

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched National Dairy Development Board’s (NDDB) quality logo for milk and milk products to signify safe and quality milk and milk products from dairy cooperatives. This move will reinforce the consumer’s recgnition that the quality mark is synonymous with good quality. NDDB’s quality mark will provide dairy cooperatives and producer institutions the much-needed brand identity and a competitive edge.

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley formally launched the Pradhan mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY). PMVVY is a pension scheme announced by the Union Government exclusively for the senior citizens aged 60 years and above. The scheme is available from 4 May 2017 to 3 May 2018. The scheme can be purchased offline as well as online through Life Insurance Corporation of India which has been given the sole privilege to operate this scheme. The scheme provides an assured return of 8 per cent per annum and is payable monthly for 10 years. The pension is payablle at the end of each period during th policy term of 10 years, as per the frequency of monthly/ quarterly/ half-early/ yearly as chosen by the pensioner. This scheme is exempted form Service Tax or GST.

UIDAI launches mAadhaar app with biometric check

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has launched new app for Android called mAadhaar. The mobile Aadhaar app lets users carry their Aadhaar information such as name, date of birth, gender, address as well as the photos linking to their Aadhaar card on their smartphones, making it easily accessible when needed. The app is currently only available for Android devices and is available via the Play Store. There is no information on an iOS Aadhaar app so far. For added security, the mAadhaar app also comes with biometric locking/unlocking that should keep users’ personal information safe. There is only a Time-based One-Time Password system (TOTP) that can be used to create a temporary password, which can be used in place of a traditional SMS-based OTP. Users will also see their updated profile after they have successfully filed an update request. They can also share QR codes and password protected eKYC data to retrieve information. UIDAI has noted that the app is currently in beta, and some of the features will be made available in the future via updates.

Cabinet Approvals on 19th July 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields.
The Cabinet has approved:
MOC in respect of tax matters between India and BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.
MoU between India and Netherlands on cooperation in space technology.
IRDAI’s admission as a signatory to International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU).
Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
Revision of Indian Community Welfare Fund guidelines.
Cadre Review of Indian Defence Accounts Service, IDAS.

Smriti Irani gets I&B ministry, Narendra Singh Tomar Urban Development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the Information and Broadcasting portfolio to Smriti Irani, a day after M. Venkaiah Naidu, who was handling the Ministry, was picked to be the NDA’s Vice Presidential candidate. The Urban Development Ministry, which was also being handled by Naidu, has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar. Naidu had resigned from his ministerial responsibilities.

PM Modi to inaugurate APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating a memorial for former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam at his birthplace, Peikarumbu near Rameswaram on 27 July 2017. The same was announced by Union Minister of State for Road Transport Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan in Madurai. The minister stated that the Prime Minster will come to Tamil Nadu next week to open the memorial.

Matunga becomes India’s first railway station with All-Women Staff

Central Railway has taken a step towards women empowerment by appointing an all-female work staff at the suburban Matunga station. Matunga station has now become the first such ladies special station. According to the official, women have been manning this station, which falls on the Central Railway, since the past two weeks. A total of 30 women staffers, including 11 booking clerks, five RPF personnel, seven ticket checkers are working under the supervision of station manager Mamta Kulkarni since last two weeks. This is not the first time the Central Railway is taking the lead in empowering women. In 1992, its staffer Mamta Kulkarni became the Mumbai’s first woman station master. Kulkarni was posted in Kurla. Currently, the all-women staff at Matunga Railway Station has been handling overall operations of the railway station round the clock. Matunga railway station, which is located in central Mumbai, gets a huge number of student population as a lot of colleges are located in the area.

Railways launches mobile app ‘Rail SAARTHI’

Indian Railways launched an integrated mobile application to cater to various passenger requirements including ticket booking, inquiry, on-board cleaning and ordering meal on a single platform. The app is called Rail SAARTHI and was launched by Railway Minister. The Rail SAARTHI (synergised advanced application rail travel help and information) such as safety for women, complaint facility and suggestion for improvement. One can also book air ticket through the app and give feedback. Railway Minister also announced a quota facility for differently- abled people in 3AC coach and extending the advance booking period for foreigners to 365 days from present 120 days. Now a lower berth in a 3AC coach will be reserved for physically-challenged people and the middle for the individual accompanying them. However, there will be only one such berth in the 3AC coach of a train.

Indian Railways launches RailCloud, NIVARAN & CTSE Scheme

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu has launched RailCloud project, NIVARAN-Grievance Portal (First IT Application on Rail Cloud), Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE) Scheme and Handing over of 1st CTSE Card.
1. RailCloud: Indian Railway has started a strategic IT initiative, christened IR-OneICT, for enterprise wide digital single platform with an aim to improve customer satisfaction, improve revenue and effective, efficient and safe operations. To achieve the goal of single digital platform for IR a few foundational projects need to be implemented first, establishment of RailCloud is one such project.
2. NIVARAN-Grievance Portal First IT application on RailCloud: ‘NIVARAN-Grievance Portal’ is the first IT application to be launched on the RailCloud. It is the platform for resolution of service related grievances of serving and former railway employees. The existing application was hosted on a conventional server; it has been made cloud-ready and being migrated as the first cloud application of Indian Railways. It will save significant revenue and at the same time user experience will also improve.
3. Cashless treatment Scheme in Emergency (CTSE): Railway provides Comprehensive Health Care Facilities to its beneficiaries through in-house health Institutions, supplementing with referrals to recognized hospitals whenever necessary. The beneficiaries include retired employees and their dependent family members. Large no. of retired beneficiaries lives in the newly developed suburbs of various cities. These parts of the city are often far away from the established Railway Health Institutions. In this scenario the RELHS beneficiaries coming to Railway Health Institutions in routine is acceptable, however in emergency situations, precious time (Golden Hour) is lost in travel.

National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-22 launched by Nadda

J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has launched the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22). The Strategic Plan gives year wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria in the next 5 years. This plan focuses on the states such as Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The strategies involve strengthening malaria surveillance, establishing a mechanism for early detection and prevention of outbreaks of malaria, promoting the prevention of malaria by the use of Long Lasting Impregnated Nets (LLINs), effective indoor residual spray and augmenting the manpower and capacities for effective implementation for the next five years.

Govt empowers Army to procure weaponry for short intense wars

Tne Union Government empowered the Army to directly procure critical weapons systems and military platforms to maintain cmbat readiness for short duration intense wars. This decision will help the Army to complete the procurement process for such ammunition and equipment in a faster way. The Army vice-chief Sarath Chand has been given the full financial powers to procure ammunitions. The decision was made after an internal review found that the optimum holding state was not maintaine in a proper way. As part of the decision, the Army has been allowed to procure 46 types of ammunition and spares for 10 different types of weapons systems. Another proposal to allow the Army to procure 20 types of armament and 6 types of mines is also under consideration.

Mithali Raj Creates Women’s Cricket History

Mithali Raj has been India’s premier player ever since she made her debut in 1999. Her exploits in the international stage in both Tests and ODIs have made her India’s premier player. She created a world record by smashing seven consecutive fifty-plus scores, making her the first woman player to achieve the feat. In the crucial game against Australia, Mithali became the woman cricketer who has scored most runs in ODIs. Mithali Raj became the first women’s player to reach 6000 ODI runs. England’s Charlotte Edwards was the previous leading run-getter in ODIs with 5992 runs. 164 – Number of innings that has taken Mithali to achieve this feat. She has 48 not-outs to her name, which is the most in women’s cricket.

Union Govt launches new tax payer service module Aaykar Setu

The Union Finance Ministry has launched Aaykar Setu, a new tax payer service module. The new e-initiative literally means taxpayer’s bridge and will be available in android phones. It compiles various tax tools, dynamic updates, live chat facility and important links to various processes within the Income Tax Department (ITD) in a single module. Aaykar Setu has been launched in mobile responsive android application and also in desktop version to enhance mobile access as well as desktop access. This e-initiative aims provide better taxpayer services and also help in reducing the direct physical interface between assesses and tax assessing authorities.

Prez launches 3 digital initiatives over e-education

President Pranab Mukherjee has launched digital initiatives – Swayam, Swayam Prabha and National Academic Depository – in New Delhi to push e-education in the country. The aim of the initiatives is to raise the Gross Enrollment Ratio in the higher education from 24.5 to 30 by 2020.
Swayam will host courses taught in classrooms from Class 9th to post-graduation, which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere at any time. It will target those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
Swayam Prabha is the platform of 32 DTH channels devoted to telecasting high-quality educational programmes 24X7 using GSAT-15 satellite.
National Academic Depository will facilitate online verification of certificates. All the courses are interactive and available free of cost. Students from various recognised institutes in India will be able to earn credits on clearing these online courses.
He also launched the National Digital Library which containing 6.5 million books.

GST Rates Finder’ App launched by Govt to allow consumers verify accurate tax rate

Ministry of Finance has launched an app – GST Rates Finder to verify the accurate tax rate on commodity and services under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the app in New Delhi. Through this app, user can determine GST rate by entering the name of the commodity or service. The search result will list all the Goods and Services containing the name which was typed in the search box. A taxpayer can search for applicable CGST, SGST, UTGST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. This mobile app can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The application has been launched on Android platform, and is expected to be unveiled for iOS users shortly.

STATES

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launches Jiyo Parsi Publicity Phase-2 in Mumbai

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, has launched the Jiyo parsi Publicity hase-2 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. While launching the Phase-2, Naqvi said that Parsi community has immense contribution in nation building and Parsi community has been a “role model” for other communities for its culture and traditions. The Parsi Community has given so many great people who have been ‘architects of nation building”. The main aim of the Jiyo Parsi scheme is to reverse the declining trend of Parsi population by adopting a scientific protocol and structured interventions. The scheme also aims to stabilize their population and increse the population of Parsis in India.

Punjab launches ‘Apni Gaddi Apni Rozgar’ scheme

The Punjab government has recently announced the launch of its flagship ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme by flagging off over 100 uber MOTO bikes. Under the scheme, the state government will be providing commercial two wheelers and four wheelers to unemployed youth at subsidized rates. Though Uber will be able to operate easily with in Punjab, but it may not have a smooth ride with in the Chandigarh Central Region. Since Haryana is charging a high entry tax on commercial passenger vehicles entering from Chandigarh and Punjab. Uber and Ola- both have taken up the matter with Monahar Lal led BJP government. The scheme aims to generate job opportunities for youth and providing better mobile transport in Punjab. Uber target is to create 10,000 entrepreneurial opportunities in one year and 45,000 in next five years.

Mumbai Metro launches ‘OnGo’, India’s first mobile ticketing system

Mumbai Metro announced the launch of India’s first Mobile Ticketing System ‘OnGo’ which will help commuters pass the AFC gates using their mobile phones. The system is in the final advanced stage of testing and will be implemented by mid-August. Through the Mumbai Metro App, commuters will be able to buy their token or pass and generate a QR Code which will be used to gain access through the automated fare collection (AFC) gates. Commuters will be able to generate a QR Code through ‘OnGo’ service for current or future journeys upto a week in advance by clicking the mobile app wherein they would pay for their journey.

PM Modi inaugurates Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial at Pei Karumbu in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu on the second death anniversary of the former President. Mr Modi unveils a statue of Dr. Kalam and hoisted the National flag at the memorial. Mr. Modi will flag off Kalam Sandesh Vahini, an exhibition bus which will travel across the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on 15th of October, which marks the birth anniversary of the former President. The majestic memorial for the missile man Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has been designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organization.

Uttarakhand records second highest tiger count in India

The count of tigers in Uttarakhand shot up 242 with an increase of 63 big cats in the year 2017. the news was announced by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. In addition, 11 cubs were also found in the two tiger reserves, the Corbett Tiger Reserve and the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, in the state. While announcing the statistics, the Chief Minister congratulated the forest department for the great work being done for the conservation of tigers and added that in terms of area and tiger population ratio. Uttarakhand is the second state in terms of tiger count behind Karnataka, which has 400 big cats.

Madras HC makes Vande Mataram mandatory in schools, private & govt offices

The Madras High Court ruled that Vande Mataram should be sung in all schools and colleges across Tamil Nadu atleast once in a week and in government and private offices atleast once in a month. while issuing order, Justice MV Muralidharan stated that to instil a sense of patroitism in each and every citizen of Tamil Nadu, the National song ‘Vande Mataram’ shall be played and sung in all educational institutions atleast once a week, preferably on Monday and Friday.

Rajya Sabha passes Maritime Admiralty Bill, 2017

The Rajya Sabha passed the Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2017. The Bill was presented by the Minister of State or Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya. The Bill repeals laws such as the Admiralty Court Act, 1861 and the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act, 1890. The bill was earlier passed by the Lok Sabha in March 2017.

AAI, Uttarakhand Govt ink MoU on Aviation Development

Airports Authority of India (AAI), has signed an MoU with Government of Uttarakhand and joined hands with Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA). The MoU was signed by S. Ramaswamy, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand and Anil Gupta, General Manager (Business Development), AAI. The scope of the MoU is to identify relevant factors influencing the development of civil aviation infrastructure in Uttarakhand, assessing the commercial potential of various airports of the State, and identifying technical considerations for airport operations in the State.

UP Govt to launch all-women ‘Pink’ AC busses with CCTV cameras

The Uttar Prasedh (UP) Government announced to launch ‘Pink’ air-conditioned buses installed with CCTV cameras exclusively for women. The staff including the conductor in these buses, will be women only. The ‘Pink’ buses will have panic buttons installed for emergencies. The presentation in this regard was made before the Union Ministry of Women Child Development by the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) authorities. Following this, the Union Ministry sanctioned funds for the 50 buses from its ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for the ‘Pink’ buses in UP. The ministry permitted the state government to buy the buses and install CCTV cameras in the other 12500 busesn owned by the UPSRTC.

Literary Festival themed ‘Tolerance’ to be held in Kerala

At a time when the country witnesses raging debate over intolerance, Kerala is getting ready to host a literary festival with tolerance as the core theme. Creative writers, journalists, theatre and film personalities will deliberate on tolerance at the fifth edition of South India Writers Ensemble (SIWE), to be held at Chengannur, a sleepy town in coastal Alappuza district, from July 24. Organised by People for Performing Arts and More, an art-cum-cultural outfit, the three-day annual literary gathering is aimed at bringing about an enriching interaction between writers from different languages and regions.

Castor plant can reduce soil pollution: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Hyderabad, Castor bean plants can prove useful in fighting soil pollution. It was found that these plants can absorb toxic heavy metals from soil from these polluted areas due to industrial pollution. The roots, leaves and stem of these plants from the polluted areas contain heavy metals such as lead. It was also observed that these plants accelerate the remediation of polluted soils due to presence of some chemicals in them known as chelators which enhances the capability of the plant to accumulate heavy metals. Castor seed plants are generally known to be one of the sturdiest plants that can grow in areas where the soil is highly polluted, including in areas where mining is carried out. Traditionally, Castor oil (also known as ‘Arandi ka tel’ in Hindi) has been an age old home remedy for a variety of ailments in India.

Kamal Haasan is the brand ambassador of Tamil Thalaivas

Actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan has been appointed as the brand ambassador of team Tamil Thalaivas in the fifth season of Pro Kabbadi League. Tamil Thalaivas is owned by a consortium of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and businessman N Prasad. The tournament starts from 28 July in Hyderabad.

Prez inaugurates Bicentenary Celebration of Paika Rebellion of Odisha

The President of India Pranab Mukharjee inaugurated the bicentenary celebration of the Paika Rebellion of Odisha organised by the Union Ministry of Culture. The Paika Rebellion was an armed rebellion against the British East Inida Company’s rule in Odisha in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader Bakshi Jagabandhu and, projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity. The rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being ruthlessly put down by the company’s forces. The Paikas were the traditional landed militia of Odisha. They served as warriors and were charged with policing functions during peacetime.

Odisha CM dedicates longest bridge to nation, names it after Netaji

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated to the nation the state’s longest bridge and named it after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The 2.88 km bridge connects Barang on the outskirts of capital city Bhubaneswar with Judicial Academy Chhak in Cuttack. It reduces the distance between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar by almost 12 kms. Although the construction work of the bridge started after Mr. Patnaik laid the foundation in February 2011, the completion missed the deadline by over three years.

Telangana launches ‘Janahitha’ for speedy redressal of public grievances

The Telangana government launched a special portal called “Janahitha” to receive complaints from the public. The programme was inaugurated in Suryapet district on a pilot basis by Telangana Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy. The portal, which has been developed by Telangana’s IT department is a single window for all grievances and their redressal management. It is aimed at facilitating the public to submit their complaints online and get speedy redressal.

Maha govt revamps scheme for girl child welfare

The Maharashtra government has approved a revised policy of the ‘Majhi Kanya Bhagyashree’ scheme, according to which families who have a yearly income of upto Rs 7.5 lakh will be benefited. The scheme was launched by the state government on April 1, 2016 in place of ‘Sukanya’ scheme. It is aimed at improving the skewed girl child ratio, prevent sex determination and female foeticide, and support female education.

In a first, Telangana to have eco-friendly bridges for movement of tigers

In a first of its kind, the Indian state of Telangana will soom have eco-friendly bridges for easy movement of tigers. The state will have the bridges over a canal cutting across the tiger corridor linking the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra with the dforstsrs in Telangana’s Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. the inttcention requioires the laying of fertile soil to grow grass and plants over the structure, so that fragmentation of the reserve forest is camouflaged.

J-K govt launches weekly festival ‘Culture on Cruise’ at Dal Lake

The spectacular Dal Lake here hosted first ever ‘Cultrue of Cruise’, a weeekly cultural programme organised by the Jammu and Kashmir government aimed to bring artists from various fields on one stage. The innovative programme series brings writers, performance artistes, musicians, poets and academics together and offers a program of performances, workshops, talks, forums and debates. The inaugural programme of the series saw artistes such as Mohammed Yaseen Gundpuri, Mohammed Subhan Shah, and Bashir Kotur perform before a select gathering of audience comprising singers, artists, writers, and poets.

Karnataka Govt appoints panel to design its own state flag

The Congress-led Sidsaramaiah government in Karnataka has constituted a nine-member committee to study the possibility of designing its own ‘state flag’. The panel headed by Principal Secretary, department of Kannada and Culture is expected to prepare a design for a seperate state flag and soon submit a report looking into the legal sancity of the same to the state government. If the move does get legal sanction then it would make Karnataka the only second state in the country to officially have its own flag after Jammu & Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Raipur, the most customer-friendly airport

Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport was ranked first in Customer Satisfaction among 53 non-metro airports in the country. Raipur Airport achieved 4.84 score on a five point scale index in the latest CSI (Customer Service Index) survey conducted by an independent agency for the period of January-June 2017, followed by Udaipur, Amritsar and Dehradun airports which have scored 4.75, 4.74 and 4.73 respectively. Customer Satisfaction is one of the key performance objectives of AAI which is evaluated through Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by an independent agency commissioned by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). The survey covers a wide range of parameters like transportation, parking, passenger facilities and cleanliness, etc

Maharashtra passes law against social boycott

Maharashtra has become the first state to make social boycott a crime after President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the legislation. The Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention Prohibition and Redressal) Act prescribes a maximum punishment of three years in jail and a fine of Rs1 lakh. It aims to prevent atrocities carried out by extra-judicial courts and caste panchayats. The Act also provides for compensation to victims. The fines imposed on violators will be used to compensate them. The Act also has a provision to withdraw cases with the consent of victims and permission from a court. In case of a withdrawal, the accused will have to perform community service.

Delhi Police to get ‘super cop belt’

National capital police will be the first state police in India who will get ‘super cop belt’, a specially designed belt, widely used by Police in UK, USA, Russia and para-military forces like CRPF, CISF, NSG etc. This belt will help cops to keep things like Gun, Mobile Pouch, Security Batten, Wireless Set Pouch & ammunition pouch. According to the Delhi Police, currently a cop has to carry wireless set, pistol, and cartridge separately. During any protest or event which have large public gathering, these equipments become liability.

Maharashtra launches free injectable contraceptive for women

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to provide women an injectable contraceptive for free. The state’s public health department launched a program called Antara to offer women an injection of Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), a birth-control hormone. According to state health officials, the injection, a safe means of birth control, is effective for three months. The injection will be given intramuscularly to women in the age bracket of 18-45 years. Currently, the injections are available for free at public health facilities in Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri and Beed.

Rajasthan fixes min education qualification for cooperative body poll

Rajasthan has laid down the minimum educational qualifications for contesting elections to village cooperative societies and various other cooperative bodies. With this, Rajasthan became India’s first state to fix minimum educational qualification for cooperative body poll. In this regard, the Rajasthan Gvernment amended State Cooperative Societies Rules, 2003. The new rules would benefit about 10000 cooperative and agricultural credit societies. Moreover, the benefit of education will accrue to the societies as their management will go to expert hands.

Delhi becomes second state to accept online RTI applications

Filing an RTI application with the Delhi government is now just a click away. Delhi became the second state to launch e-RTI portal that will enable citizens to file online Right to Information (RTI). Maharashtra is the first state to launch the online RTI platform. The portal launched recently will enable citizens to file RTI and seek information related to 172 departments of the Delhi government including the office of the CM and his ministers. The e-RTI portal, which has been designed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), includes filling of application, payment of fees and getting replies online. An applicant will also be able to track the status of RTI application. The e-RTI application fee will have to be paid through net banking. Citizens can file the e-RTIs by logging at www.rtionline.delhi.gov.in. You can also call at 011-23392726 and 011-23392421 for any queries related to the process of filing the RTI.

Kerala Govt proposes Stray Dog Zoos

The Kerala government is planning “stray dog zoos” to keep them off the streets in the State. The State government informed a Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra that it had asked all district panchayats to keep aside two to three acres and notify them as ‘stray dog zoos’. The State government, represented by senior advocate V. Giri, was responding to a question from the Supreme Court on the construction of shelter homes for the stray dog population, which has increased aggressively over the years and become a dangerous presence on the streets, especially after dark. However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and activists refused to be convinced by the solution Kerala has arrived at concerning stray dogs.

J&K Assembly passes resolution to implement GST in the state

Jammu and Kashmir Assembly adopted a resolution to implement the goods and services tax (GST), bringing the state’s indirect taxation into the new unified tax regime that the rest of the country adopted on 1 July at a landmark ceremony in Parliament. The resolution moved by state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, was adopted through a presidential order calling on the Centre to safeguard the special status and exclusive taxation powers of the state. With this Jammu and Kashmir has become the last state to pass the GST bill in the state.

CONFERENCES

India to host 2017 Global Conference on Cyber Space

India will host Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) 2017, the world’s largest conference on cyber space and related issues in New Delhi in November 2017. This is for the first time GCCS is taking place outside Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. It will be the fifth edition the conference. The theme for the GCCS 2017 is ‘Cyber4All: An Inclusive, Sustainable, Developmental, Safe and Secure Cyberspace‘. The cyber security will be one of the major focus areas in GCCS 2017. It will serve as a platform for the exchange of ideas with global think thanks and promote closer co-operation among the international community. The GCCS is a prestigious international conference that aims at encouraging dialogue among stakeholders of cyberspace. It was incepted in 2011 in London.

22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) held in Istanbul

The 22nd World Petroleum Congress (WPC) International Conference was held recently in Istanbul, Turkey. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan visited Istanbul to represent India at the Conference. The theme for 22nd World Petroleum Congress was ‘Bridges To Our Energy Future’. WPC was first organized in year 1993. Currently, it is being held at the interval of three years. “This time – Istanbul!” was the motto for the Turkish delegation as they faced the USA with Houston, Kazakhstan with Astana and Denmark with Copenhagen in the election to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in 2017. In a tightly run competition, Istanbul won the right to host the prestigious Congress with 55% of the votes in the third round against its strongest rival Houston with 45%.

Model UN Regional Conference begins in Kathmandu

A Model United Nations (MUN) Regional Conference is being held at Kathmandu. The event is organised by the US Embassy in partnership with the Youth Thinker’s Society. Youths from 12 South and Central Asian countries including India are participating in 5-day conference. The basic aim of the MUN is to provide a platform to young minds to channelize energy and resources for a more prosperous and peaceful world. The conference simulate four UN committees-United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN), United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Danfoss India conferred with Golden Peacock Award

Climate and energy efficiency solutions company Danfoss India has been conferred with the ‘Golden Peacock Award’ for Environment Management. The award was presented in Hyderabad during the 19th World Congress on Environment Management’ in the presence of Supreme Court Justice Kurien Joseph. Acknowledging its commitment towards the environment, the company has been recognized for its LEED Platinum rated constructed the manufacturing facility in Chennai. Danfoss’s commitment towards sustainable development via its energy-efficient products, green initiatives at the Oragadam campus and its ongoing pan India CSR Programmes driving Sustainability are some the key contributing factors for the award.

12th G20 Summit held in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg is hosting the twelfth G20 Summit on 7th and 8th of July, 2017. The G20, or group of 20, is an international meeting between heads of states, finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s leading economies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting this year’s G20 Summit in Hamburg. The theme of the German presidency of the G20 is ‘Shaping an interconnected world’. Leaders of the G20 countries agreed to swift action and targeted exchange of information on terrorism and its financing. In a statement released at the end of the first day of the 12th G20 Summit, the member countries decided to take concrete steps to stop funding of the terror activities. The leaders also decided that the private sector will also be involved in the global efforts to counter terror financing.

5th Meeting of BRICS Education Ministers held in Beijing, China

Meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education was held in Beijing, China. The Indian delegation was led by Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar. The delegation of all the five BRICS countries participated in the two-day deliberations. Javadekar highlighted some of the initiatives of the Govt. of India in education. He specifically spoke about the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), SWAYAM platform which has already hosted over 480 courses online, research initiative IMPRINT and Smart India Hackathon. He also appreciated the creation of institutional mechanism in the form of BRICS Network University and BRICS Think Tank Council. Under BRICS Network University proposal, 12 universities from each of the 5 countries will engage with each other in education research and innovation. The 5 areas of cooperation which have been prioritised are–Communication and IT, Economics, Climate Change, Water Resources and Pollution, and BRICS study.

10th Session of the India- Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee held in New Delhi

The 10th India-Jordan Trade and Economic Joint Committee (TEJC) Meeting was held in New Delhi under the co-chairs of Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, (India) and Mr. Yarub Qudah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply (Jordan). The two leaders also inked the revised Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between India and Jordan, aiming at boosting and diversifying bilateral trade relations, in addition to promote economic, trade and investment cooperation based on the principle of equity, non-discrimination. On the sidelines of the TEJC, business federations from both sides also met and discussed the roadmap for the promotion of trade and investment through a B2B mechanism.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Japanese, Sri Lankan among 2017 winners of Magsaysay awards

Yoshiaki Ishizawa, a Japanese historian who helped Cambodians preserve the Angkor temples, and Gethsie Shanmugam, a Sri Lankan teacher who counseled war widows and orphans to overcome their nightmares, are among the six winners of this year’s Ramon Magsaysay Awards. The other recipients named are Abdon Nababan, an Indonesian, a Singaporean businessman Tony Tay, a Philippine theater group and Lilia de Lima , a Filipino. The awards, named after a Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash, are to be presented in Manila on August 31.

Jhulan Goswami and Subrata Bhattacharya felicitated by Mohun Bagan

Mohun Bagan was conferred former club captain and coach Subrata Bhattacharya with prestigious Mohun Bagan Ratna award at the club’s annual day programme in kolkata. The city football gaint also felicitated India Women’s cricket team veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami with a special award. On the other hand, former club striker Balwant Singh was awarded the Best Football Player of the Year prize. Debabrata Das was honoured with the Best Cricket Player of the Year award. Former Bengal batsman Shyam Sundar Mitra was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Advani receives Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in Lok Sabha

Veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions as a parliamentarian in the Lok Sabha. JD-U leader Sharad Yadav also received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a Rajya Sabha representative from Vice President Hamid Ansari at a function organized by the Lokmat Media Group to honor distinguished Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members. The awardess were selected by a jury headed by former Lok Sabha Speaker Shivraj Patil. The criteria for choosing the awardees included whether the parliamentarians followed the rules of procedures of the house. The jury also considered if these parliamentarians spoke only about their constituencies, their states or the nation as a whole. They also considered if parliamentarians took into account the situation developing across the world in terms of economic situation, international relations, cultural relations, war and peace and science & technology.

IIFA Awards 2017: Shahid-Alia win Best Actor and Actress, Neerja wins Best Film

The 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy Awards was held in New York. Sonam Kapoor’s film Neerja won the best film award. Actor Shahid Kapoor earned the Best Actor award for his role in Udta Punjab, while Alia Bhatt won the Best Actor (Female) award for the same film.
Here is the list of winners of the IIFA Awards 2017:
Best Actor: Shahid Kapoor (Udta Punjab)
Best Actress: Alia Bhatt (Udta Punjab)
Best Film: Neerja
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Varun Dhawan (Dishoom)
Best Actor in a Negative Role: Jim Sarbh (Neerja)
Style Icon of The Year: Alia Bhatt
Best Debutante: Disha Patani (M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Debutant: Diljit Dosanjh (Udta Punjab)
Woman of The Year: Taapsee Pannu
Special Contribution to Indian Cinema: AR Rahman
Best Supporting Actress: Shabana Azmi (Neerja)
Best Supporting Actor: Anupam Kher (M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story)
Best Director: Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury (Pink)
Best Story – Shakun Batra and Ayesha DeVitre Dhillon (Kapoor & Sons)
Best Music Director: Pritam (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Lyricist: Amitabh Bhattacharya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Male: Amit Mishra (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil)
Best Singer Female- Tulsi Kumar (Airlift) and Kanika Kapoor (Udta Punjab).

NABARD celebrates 36th Foundation Day

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the 36th National Bank For Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) Foundation Day and Silver Jubilee of SHG Bank Linkage Programme, in New Delhi. Self Help Group Bank Linkage Programme (SHG BLP) is a pioneering initiative of Financial Inclusion by NABARD. The pilot stage of this programme was started in year 1992.

Sindhu bags ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award

Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu was bestowed with the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ award during the ‘Maruti Suzuki Sportsperson of the Year’ Charity Gala Awards. Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand received the Coach of the Year award while the Flying Sikh Milkha Singh was given the Living Legend of the Year award. Young India cricketer K L Rahul, who made a mark in the last Test series against Australia, was awarded Gamechanger of the Year award. The 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medallist and the country’s sole gold medal winner in individual events at Olympics, Abhinav Bindra was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Para athletes Devendra Jhajaria, Mariappan Thangavelu, Varun Bharti and Deepa Malik also received awards.

Kambala’ Buffalo Race Gets President’s Assent

The President gave his assent to the bill passed by Karnataka Assembly to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’. In pursuance of the proviso to clause (1) of article 213 of the Constitution of India, the President of India hereby approves the promulgation of ‘The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017′ by the Governor of Karnataka. Bowing to public pressure, a bill to legalise traditional buffalo race ‘Kambala’ and bullock cart races in Karnataka was passed by the state Assembly in February with all parties backing the move. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, was amended in its application to Karnataka by the bill which was tabled after the clamour for Kambala grew, spurred by the success of pro-jallikattu (taming of bull) stir in Tamil Nadu. Kambala, held from November to March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person.

SPORTS & GAMES

Caeleb becomes first ever to win three gold medals in one night

The 20-year-old Caeleb Dressel established himself as America’s newest star of the pool recently, becoming the first swimmer to win three gold medals on a single night at either the worlds or the Olympics. Caeleb Dressel accomplished this feat at 2017 FINA World Aqatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Not even Phelps managed such an audacious feat. Dressel raced three times over the course of about two hours – and won every time. Dressel’s sprint heroics were compiled in just over 90 minutes, interspersed by Sarah Sjostrom’s world record in the women’s 50 metres freestyle on another stunning night’s racing at the Duna Arena.

Shiva Thapa, Manoj Kumar strike gold at Czech Boxing tourney

Indian boxers packed quite a heavy punch at the 48th Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem, clinching five gold, two silver, and one bronze medal at the event in the Czech Republic. World Championships bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg), former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg), Amit Phangal (52kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed gold medals after winning their respective summit clashes. Kavinder Bisht (52kg) and Manish Panwar (81kg), on the other hand, settled for silver medals.

India clinch Division B crown in front of sellout home crowd

India defeated Kazakhstan, 75-73, to clinch the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup’s Division B title. The thrilling final was held at the Kanteerava Inddor stadium in Bengaluru. To celebrate the win, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced a cash award of Rs. 10 lakh for the Indian team. On the other hand, Japan defeated Australia 74-73 in the Division A summit clash.

Sebastian Vettel wins 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and the Ferrari driver won the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod. The second and third place was taken by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas of Finland respectively. The 2017 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2017 Formula One season and the 32nd running of the Hungarain Grand Prix.

Indonesia to host AFC U-19 championship in 2018

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Competition Committee awarded Indonesia the hosting of the AFC Under-19 championship 2018. The AFC U-19 championship is scheduled to be held from October 18 to November 4 of 2018. The committee felt that Indonesia was regarded as the most favourable among the bidders.

India finishes 7th in Youth Commonwealth Games with 11 medals

The Indian contingent finished an impressive seventh in the recently-concluded 6th Youth Commonwealth Games at the Bahamas with a total tally of 11 medals including for four gold, one silver and six bronze medals. England topped the medal list with atotal of 51 medals including 23 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze followed by Australia at the second position with atally of 39 medals that includes 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze. The other countries to finish ahead of India include New Zealand, Scotland, Soth Africa and Singapore.

Sachin Siwach strikes gold at Commonwealth Youth Games

World Youth Champion Sachin Siwach clinched a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games, Bahamas after defeating Welsh boxer James Nathan Prober 4-1 in the final. Siwach, who won gold last year, was the only one of the 103 boxers to have clinched a gold so far in the tournament, taking place in Bahamas. He had stormed into the finals after defeating SA Kuse 5-0. The World Youth Champion was also the flag bearer of India for the tournament.

India lose Women’s World Cup 2017 final to England by 9 runs

Indian eves lost to England by a narrow margin of nine runs in the ICC Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s in London. Chasing a target of 229, Indian middle-order collapsed like a pack of cards, being bowled out for 219 in 48.4 overs. India put up a tough fight but England lift the World Cup. It is the fourth time England has won, following successes in 1973, 1993 and 2009. Opener Poonam Raut was top scored with 86, while Harmanpreet Kaur contributed 51. Earlier, Natalie Sciver’s 51 and Sarah Taylor’s 45 laid the foundation for England’s decent total of 228 for 7. For England, it was their fourth Women’s World Cup.

CM Mukul Sangma launches ‘Mission Football’ in Shillong

Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma launched ‘Mission Football’ at a grand ceremony at JN Sports Complex, Shillong recently. During the occasion, Dr. Mukul Sangma stated that through this mission the future of Meghalaya can be foreseen when the State will be connected with the rest of the world because of the love and passion for the game. Mission Football is an initiative to help develop skills of football enthusiasts and develop young footballers for the country. It is a dedicated program for talent identification and nurturing of talents to develop national and international players. A total of eight grounds will be developed and the development of football stadiums in seven districts with an investment of Rs 5 crores per stadium.

Prannoy Clinches 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton title

Rising shuttler H S Prannoy defeated Parupalli Kashyap to clinch the $120000 US Open Grand Prix Gold in Anaheim, Calfornia. Prannoy defeated Kashyap 21-15 20-22 21-12 in the summit clash, which lasted an hour and five minutes. In the women’s singles category of the tournament, Aya Ohori of Japan won the final by defeating Michelle Li of Canada. The 2017 US Open Grand Prix Gold was the eleventh Grand Prix’s badminton tournament of the 2017 BWF Grand Prix and overall eight Grand Prix Gold title of 2017 BWF Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

Karamjyoti Dalal bags Bronze at World Para Athletics

India’s Karamjyoti Dalal has won bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships 2017 in the discus-throw. In the women’s F55 category of discus-throw, she managed a throw of 19.02 m. Earlier, Sundar Singh Gurjar had opened India’s account at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships by winning gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event. Later, Amit Saroha won silver medal in the club throw event in the F-51 category. Dalal is currently ranked World No. 8 and had finished fourth at the 2015 IPC Para-athletics championships.

FIFA lifts suspension of Sudan Football Association

World football’s governing body FIFA lifted the ban on the Sudan Football Association (SFA) imposed on it for the failure to abide by agreements mentioned in articles 14 and 19 of the FIFA statute. The SFA and its member officials are now eligible to benefit from the FIFA development program, course or training. It does mean that Sudan will be able to continue their campaign in the 2019 African Nations Cup qualifiers. They have already been knocked out of the 2018 World Cup preliminaries.

Roger Federer wins historic 8th Wimbledon Title

Roger Federer won a record eighth Wimbledon title and became the tournament’s oldest champion with a straight-sets victory over injury-hit Marin Cilic who dramatically broke down in tears midway through the final. Federer claimed his 19th Grand Slam title beating Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. The 36-year old Federer is also Wimbledon’s oldest men’s winner of the modern era, succeeding Arthur Ashe, who was almost 32 when he won in 1976. This was his 11th Wimbledon final and 29th title at the majors. With this victory, Federer also became the first player since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win Wimbledon without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

Lewis Hamilton wins record fifth British Grand Prix

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the British Grand Prix for the fifth time – matching the record of Jim Clark and Alain Prost to cut Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to just a single point. They allowed Valtteri Bottas to grab second from Kimi Raikkonen to secure a Mercedes one-two, as Vettel trailed home seventh. Hamilton was 1.6 seconds clear after the first lap before the race was neutralised by a safety car following a collision between the Toro Rosso drivers.

Muguruza defeated Venus to clinch Maiden Wimbledon

Spain’s Garbine Muguruza won her maiden Wimbledon title with a straight-set win over five-time champion Venus Williams. It was 23-year-old, the 14th seed Muruguza’s first Wimbledon title. Also Muruguza’s 2nd Grand Slam title – the first was in French Open 2016 defeated Sarena Williams. Muruguza, playing her 4th Wimbledon Tournament, reached the final two years ago as nearly unknown player and was stricken in straight sets by Venus’ sister Serena. She saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5, 6-0 victory under the Centre court roof.

Sundar Singh Strikes Gold at 2017 World Para Athletics Championships

India’s Sundar Singh Gurjar claimed gold medal in men’s javelin throw event at the World Para Athletic Championships taking place in London on the opening night of the tournament itself. He attempted his personal best, an effort of 60.36m in the men’s javelin throw F46, which was enough for him to take the top spot and open India’s medal tally. Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Priyantha Herath came second with 57.93 meters while defending champion Guo Chunliang of China was third with a season’s best 56.14 meters.

In a First, India to Host 8th Theatre Olympics in 2018

Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Culture and Tourism has announced that 8th edition of the greatest carnival of Theatre in the World will take place in India for the first time ever from February 17 – April 08, 2018 simultaneously in various cities across the country. There will be 500 plays & 700 ambience performances from across the world and Allied activities like exhibitions, seminars, symposia, interactive discussions and workshops with well-known academicians, authors, actors, designers and directors will be held. In a development that puts India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country is all set to host the next edition of the prestigious Theatre Olympics. Established in 1993, the Theatre Olympics is the foremost international theatre festival, presenting the finest productions of well-known theatre practitioners from around the world. The Theatre Olympics, being held in India for the first time, is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture.

India tops medal tally at Asian Athletics

India has topped the medal tally for the first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships. In a stunning show of dominance on the fourth and final day of competitions in Bhubaneshwar, India clinched five gold, 1 silver, and 3 bronze. With that, the hosts ended the championships on top with a haul of 29 medals which included 12 gold, 5 silver, and 12 bronze. India’s earlier best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals (10 gold, 5 silver, 7 bronze). India pushed China to the second spot (20 Medals). China ended this edition with a tally of 8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze. Kazakhstan finished third (8 Medals) with 4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze while Iran ended on fourth with 4 gold and 1 bronze.

Harinder wins South Australian Open title

India’s Harinder Pal Sandhu beat Rhys Dowling of Australia in the final to lift South Australian Open squash title. Sandhu was down 1-7 after winning the first game comfortably as the Australian fought back strongly. He mounted a comeback to win it on extra points. The third game was a no-contest as the Indian, a former national champion, shut out Dowling’s challenge 11-4 to wrap up the victory. It was Sandhu’s eighth title at the PSA level and the third this season after winning two in Malaysia in the month of May.

Valtteri Bottas wins Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas roared to the second victory of his career when he won the Austrian Grand Prix for Mercedes ahead of championship leader Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. The Finn, in his first season with Mercedes after replacing 2016 champion Nico Rosberg, came home 0.658 seconds clear of Vettel who increased his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship to 20 points. Bottas finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second and third respectively. Three-time Formula One champion, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth in the race.

Pankaj Advani-led Indian beat Pakistan to win Asian Snooker Championship

India’s leading cueist Pankaj Advani teamed up with Laxman Rawat to demolish Pakistan in the final of the Asian Team Snooker Championship in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Advani drew first blood by putting on a sterling performance against Mohammad Bilal. After the Pakistani scored the first solitary point and benefited from a foul from Advani, the Indian bounced back to piece together a brilliant break of 83 to seal the first tie of the best-of-five final. To complete a whitewash, the Indian pair maintained their superlative performance in the doubles tie. Advani remained the only player not to lose a single individual match in the team event. This title brings up Advani’s second Asian title this season and 8th overall while it was a first major first international title for Rawat.

Germany Defeats Chile to Win Maiden Confederations Cup Title

Germany was crowned 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup champions after a hard-fought 1-0 final victory over Chile in Saint Petersburg. In the final played, the four-time World Cup winners defeated Chile by a solitary goal. Lars Stindl put Germany ahead in the first half against the run of play, and Germany then held on to the lead. Earlier, in the third-place play-off match in Moscow, Portugal defeated Mexico 2-1. The match was held at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

ECONOMY

Canara Bank launches its first digital branch ‘CANDI’

Canara Bank has launched its first ‘Digital Banking Branch’ named ‘CANDI’ in Bengaluru. The branch will provide an end-to-end digital experience to customers. The bank has introduced customer-friendly mobile apps which help customers get most of the information related to their accounts from the app without the need to visit the branch. The most attractive feature of the Digital Branch is a humanoid robot that addresses basic queries of customers on banking products and services. This is a first-of-its kind initiative by a public sector bank in the country.

SBI cuts savings bank rate on deposits up to Rs. 1 cr

The decline in rate of inflation and high real interest rates have prompted State Bank of India to cut the savings bank deposits rate from 4 per cent to 3.5 per cent on deposits below Rs. 1 crore. This cut in savings bank rate will prompt many banks to follow suit. The savings bank deposits above Rs. 1 crore will continue to earn 4 per cent interest. The cut in SB rate will enable it to maintain the marginal cost of funds based lending rate at the current level.

Union Bank slapped with Rs. 1 crore penalty by RBI for KYC non-compliance

The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs. 1 crore on state-owned Union Bank of India for “non-compliance” with the directions on Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. This action is based on deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers. The central bank said it had examined the documents regarding the complaint and notice was issued to the state-owned lender. The bank was asked to show cause “as to why penalty should not be imposed” for non-compliance with directions issued by the RBI. The RBI said after considering the bank’s reply, oral submissions, additional information and documents, it concluded that the charge was substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.

NPCI gets RBI nod to operate Bharat Bill Payment System

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment systems has received a final nod from the Reserve Bank of India to function as the Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU) and operate the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS). The final clearance from RBI comes almost a year after NPCI launched the BBPS pilot project to make payment of utility bills easier. The pilot started on 31 August 2016 with eight BBPS operating units that had received in-principle approval from RBI.

Six Scheduled Commercial Banks got Supervisory Colleges

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up Supervisory Colleges for six Scheduled Commercial Banks which have sizeable international presence. The six Scheduled Commercial Banks are State Bank of India, ICICI Bank Ltd., Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank Ltd. and Punjab National Bank. The objectives of the colleges are to enhance information exchange and cooperation among supervisors, to improve understanding of the risk profile of the banking group and thereby facilitate more effective supervision of internationally active banks.

IOB goes live with Bharat Bill Payment system

Public sector Indian Overseas Bank has offered Bharat Bill Payment System, introduced by the National Payments Corporation of India, for its customers. BBPS is an integrated bill payment system that offers inter-operable online bill payments to customers. The services include online payments of electricity, telecommunication, DTH, water and gas bills, the Chennai headquartered bank said in a statement. Indian Overseas Bank is one of the three public sector banks (apart from Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India) to get the approval from RBI for providing the service.

PNB ties up with Bajaj Allianz General for distribution

Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance have signed an agreement for the distribution of insurance products through the branches. Under this agreement, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance will offer personal lines of insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine and engineering insurance, etc to the bank’s customers.

BSE inks pact with Egyptian Exchange

Leading bourse BSE joined hands with Egyptian Exchange (EGX) for cooperation in exchange of information across business areas. Through this MoU a range of opportunities has been explored for the development of their businesses, products and markets to share knowledge and strengthen international connectivity.

Guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme revised

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for revision of guidelines of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) Scheme with a view to achieve its intended objectives.
Two sets of changes have been made in the scheme:
1. Specific changes have been made in the attributes of the scheme to make it more attractive, mobilise finances as per the target and reduce the economic strains caused by imports of gold and reduce the Current Account Deficit (CAD).
2. Flexibility has been given to Ministry of Finance to design and introduce variants of SGBs with different interest rates and risk protection / pay-offs that would offer investment alternatives to different category of investors. Ministry of Finance (the issuer) has been delegated this power to amend / add to the features of the Scheme with approval of the Finance Minister to reduce the time lag between finalizing the attributes of a particular tranche and its notification.

CAC adopts universal standards for pepper, cumin and thyme

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted three Codex standards for black, white and green pepper, cumin and thyme, paving the way for universal agreement on identifying quality spices in various countries. The decision was taken during the Codex Alimentarius Commission’s 40th session in Geneva. The step is seen as a major recognition of India’s efforts to benchmark global spices trade.

Axis Bank acquires FreeCharge from Snapdeal for Rs. 385 crore

Axis Bank announced the acquisition of Snapdeal-owned mobile payments provider Freecharge in an all-cash deal worth Rs. 385 crore. The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the indicative time-frame to complete the acquisition is two months, the private sector lender said in an exchange filing. With this buyout, Axis Bank will get over 50 million customers of Freecharge along with its niche and patented technology and human resources. Founded in 2010 by Mumbai based entrepreneur Kunal Shah, FreeCharge started as a recharge deal coupons platform before turning into a full-scale mobile wallet. Amazon had in fact placed a higher bid for FreeCharge, however the Snapdeal-owned payments platform opted for the Axis Bank offer.

Yatra acquires Air Travel Bureau

Yatra Online Inc, India’s second-largest online travel operator, has acquired corporate travel service provider Air Travel Bureau (ATB). ATB is India’s ‘largest corporate travel services provider’ with gross bookings of Rs 1,500 crore and a client base of 400 companies in the country. Yatra has agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of ATB and assume its debt. The debt amount has not been disclosed. ATB specialises in corporate travel management, MICE operations and leisure tourism. Its web site says it has been in this business for 54 years with a pan-India presence through a team of over 700 travel experts.

Sidbi starts merchant banking operations for MSMEs

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has started full-fledged merchant banking operations to benefit the expanding number of growth-oriented micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially those with a strong technology and innovation quotient. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the access of MSMEs to the capital markets, including the SME Trading Platform and Institutional Trading Platform.

BoB signs MoU with DGS&D for services to govt’s e-marketplace

Bank of Baroda has entered into an agreement with Directorate General of Supplies & Disposal (DGS&D) for extending various banking services to Government e-Marketplace (GeM). DGS&D has been mandated to set up GeM, an initiative intended to bring greater transparency and efficiency in public procurements. The relationship of the bank with GeM will immensely benefit all stakeholders and ensure a support system including a dedicated team for seamless functioning of the portal.

Karnataka Bank, PNB MetLife launch Met Loan and Life Suraksha

Karnataka Bank, in association with its PNB MetLife, has launched Met Loan and Life Suraksha (MLLS), a single premium plan covering the loan liability of a customer. In the year of celebrating 15 years of its partnership with M/s PNB MetLife, the bank also introduced ‘KBL MLLS’ app exclusively for KBL employees to instantly calculate insurance cover and premium based on loan liability of their borrowers.

ADB projects 7.4% growth for India in 2017

According, to Asian Development Bank supplement report India is expected to achieve the projected growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2017 and further up to 7.6 per cent next year on strong consumption demand, with South Asia leading the growth chart in Asia and the Pacific. According to the report, South Asia will be the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of 7 per cent in 2017 and 7.2 per cent in 2018.

SBI to cut NEFT, RTGS charges by up to 75%

To encourage more customers to transact digitally, State Bank of India will slash charges for National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) transactions by up to 75 per cent with effect from July 15. The reduced charges will be applicable on the transactions done through the internet banking (INB) and mobile banking (MB). Additionally, the bank has also waived off charges for fund transfer of up to Rs. 1,000 done through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) effective July 1, 2017.

SBI waives off IMPS charges for fund transfer up to Rs 1000

Country’s largest bank SBI has waived charges for fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000 through its IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to promote small transactions. State Bank of India had been charging Rs 5 along with the applicable service tax for IMPS fund transfer of up to Rs 1,000. IMPS is an instant interbank electronic fund transfer service through mobile phones as well as internet banking. For IMPS, the charge will be Rs 5 along GST for fund transfer in the range of Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 lakh. The charge will go up to Rs 15 for transactions of Rs 1-2 lakh. GST at the rate of 18 per cent is applicable on all financial transactions.

Google acquires Bengaluru-based AI startup Halli Labs

Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. Halli Labs was founded in 2017 by Pankaj Gupta with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems. Halli Labs becomes the latest AI start up to be acquired by a technology giant after a mass of similar acquisitions by firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple among others. Over 30 artificial intelligence startups have been acquired in the first quarter of this year. Google has been the most aggressive buyer in this space with 11 acquisitions since 2012 followed by Apple, Facebook and Intel.

Finance Ministry launches next gold bond tranche

The next tranche of sovereign gold bond (SGB) scheme was launched by the Government. This time, provided a 2.5 percent annual interest to investors. The bonds will be available in banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognized stock exchanges namely National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Finance Ministry has announced the sixth tranche of gold bonds applications for which will be accepted from July 10 to July 14, 2017. The bonds will be issued to eligible applicants on July 28. The investors will get the interest payable semi-annually on the nominal value of the investment. The minimum investment will be 1 gram of gold. The maximum limit can be subscribed up to 500 grams per person per fiscal year. A self-declaration to this effect will be obtained. Payment options available are cash payment (up to a maximum of Rs 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.

ICICI Bank ends joint venture pact with Fairfax Financial

In pursuance of the proposed sale of a part of its shareholding in ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company (ICICI General) via an initial public offering, ICICI Bank said its joint venture agreement with Canada-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings has been terminated. In May 2017, Fairfax Financial Holdings offloaded 12.18 per cent in ICICI General to a clutch of investors, including Warburg Pincus, Tamarind Capital Pte and IIFL Special Opportunities Fund, for ₹2,473 crore. In 2015, Fairfax Financial Holdings had increased its stake in the Indian insurance firm to 35 percent by picking up an additional 9 per cent stake in ICICI Lombard for about Rs. 1,600 crore. The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has already given its initial approval to Fairfax’s new insurance venture.

FINO becomes payments bank

FINO Payments Bank has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from 30th June 2017 according to the Reserve Bank of India. FINO PayTech Ltd, Mumbai, was one of the 11 applicants which were issued in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank. Besides FINO, the other applicants which have launched payment bank operations are Airtel M Commerce Services, Department of Posts and Paytm Payments Bank.

India’s economic growth rate at 7.3% in 2017-18 – RBI report

The Reserve Bank of India stated the ongoing accelerated reform initiatives like Goods and Service Tax and continuing political stability will push the economic growth scale to 7.3 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added – GVA in the current fiscal year (2017-18). The Financial Stability Report 2017 released, going forward, reforms in FDI and real estate sector, implementation of GST, and revival in external demand are likely to contribute to a better growth outlook. According to the RBI report, GVA growth is expected to be higher at 7.3 per cent in 2017-18. On inflation, it paints a rosy picture and projects CPI inflation to be in the range of 2-3.5% in the first half of the year and 3.5-4.5% in the second half.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

DRDO develops India’s first indigenous unmanned tank

Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India’s first unmanned remotely operated tank, which has three variants – surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats. It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab. The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S is the country’s first tracked unmanned ground vehicle developed for unmanned surveillance missions while Muntra-M is for detecting mines and Muntra-N is for operation in areas where there is a nuclear radiation or bio weapon risk.

Scientists journey to the world’s hidden 8th continent

A group of scientists set sail in a new expedition aimed at unlocking the secrets of the lost continent ‘Zealandia’. The lost continent, which is mostly submerged, is said to have sunk after breaking away from Australia 60-85 million years ago. In a paper published in the Geological Society of America’s journal GSA Today in February 2016, scietists argued that the Earth has a hidden eighth continent, which should be reflected on the maps. The researchers said that the submerged continent met all the criteria applied to Earth’s other continents including elevation above the surrounding area, distinctive geology, a well-defined area and a crust much thicker than that found on the ocean floor.

Iran successfully launches rocket designed to carry satellites

Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket called ‘Simorgh’ into space. The launch took place at the Imam Khomeini National Space Station in Semnan, some 220 kilometers (138 miles) east of Tehran. The development marks a significant step forward for the Islamic Republic’s young space program. It also raises alarm among the nation’s adversaries who fear that the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles. the U.S. State Department has termed the launch as “provocative”. The rocket is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 250 kilograms (550 pounds).

In a first in USA, scientists edit DNA of human embryos

A group of scientists at the Oregon Health & Science University edited the DNA of viable human embryos efficiently and apparently with few mistakes. However, the experiment was just an exercise in science and the embryos were not allowed to develop for mor than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb.

Researchers generate human antibodies in the lab

A team of scientists developed a method to rapidly produce specific human antibodies in the laboratory. The revolutionary technique could speed the production of antibodies to treat a wide range of diseases and facilitate the development of new vacancies. Antibodies are produced by the body’s B cells to fight off infections by bacteria, viruses, and other invasive pathogens. When an individual B cell recognizes a specific pathogen-derived “antigen” molecule, it can proliferate and develop into plasma cells that secrete large amounts of antibody capable of binding to the antigen and fending off the infection.

US Navy tests world’s first drone-killing laser weapon

The U.S. Navy recently tested the world’s first-ever active laser weapons system, which is now deployed and ready for war. The system has special materials that release photons and at the speed of light, it silently hits an object, burning it to a temperature of thousands of degrees. Each strike travels 50,000 times the speed of an incoming intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). In the test, the system was able to destroy a drone in flight and moving targets in the Persian Gulf. With its addition, USS Ponce becomes the first ship in the world to be deployed with such an advanced weapons system.

Scientists discover galaxy 1000 times brighter than Milky Way

A group of researchers discovered a very distant galaxy, which is about a thousand times brighter than the Milky Way. As per the researchers, it is the brightest of the submillimetre galaxies, a class of ultraluminous infrared galaxies. To measure this galaxy, the researchers used the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garfia, La Palma) in Spain.

Indian scientists discover ‘Saraswati’, a supercluster of galaxies

Indian scientists have discovered Saraswati, a large supercluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation Pisces, and at a distance of 4,000 million (400 crore) light years away from Earth. A team of astronomers from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and members of two other Indian universities, have discovered this supercluster of galaxies. Supercluster is a chain of galaxies and galaxy clusters, bound by gravity, often stretching to several hundred times the size of clusters of galaxies, consisting of tens of thousands of galaxies. This newly-discovered Saraswati supercluster, extends over a scale of 600 million light years and may contain the mass equivalent of over 20 million billion suns.

Pakistan successfully test fires ‘Nasr’, a short-range ballistic missile

Pakistan has successfully test-fired short-range surface-to-surface ballistic missile ‘Nasr’. NASR is a high-precision weapons system with the ability for quick deployment and a range of 70 kilometers, or 43.5 miles. Pakistan Army has conducted a series of training launches and tests during the current week for validation of new technical parameters of ‘NASR’ with an enhanced range of 60-70 kilometers and flight maneuverability.

India Successfully Test-Fires Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) added another feather to its cap by successfully test-firing the Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) from ITR Chandipur, off the Odisha Coast. The technologies and subsystems incorporated in the missile met all the mission requirements. All the radars, Electro Optical Systems, Telemetry Systems and other stations have tracked the Missile and monitored all the Parameters. The missile has a strike range of 25 km to 30 km. Designed to be a quick reaction missile, it involves an all- weather weapon system capable of tracking and firing. The missile was test-fired from a truck-mounted canister launcher from launch complex-3 at the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur, Odisha.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Ravi Mittal appointed part-time member on IRDAI board

Ravi Mittal, who has joined as additional secretary in the Finance Ministry in place of Anil Khachi, is now a part-time member on the board of IRDAI. Mittal has replaced N S Rao at IRDAI, who is a joint secretary level officer. Maruthi Prasad Tangirala, has been appointed as an Executive Director (ED) at IRDAI. Tangirala has replaced Sriram Taranikanti, who is a 1992 -batch IAS officer. Suresh Mathur will be handling reinsurance portfolio at IRDAI as Executive Director.

Shehbaz Sharif to succeed Nawaz Sharif as PM of Pakistan

Shehbaz Sharif, The Chief Minister of Punjab and the brother of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Nawaz as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The name of Shehbaz was announced during a high-level PML-N meeting. The decision came following Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as Prime Minister of the country on 28 July 2017. He resigned following a decision by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office on corruption charges. Shehbaz is not a member of the National Assembly or Senate, and in order to be appointed as the Prime Minister of the country, he will have to get elected to the Senate.

Shikha Sharma re-appointed MD & CEO of Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma has been re-appointed as MD&CEO of Axis Bank for three-year term from June 2018. Her current term was to end in June 2018. Axis Bank informed Bombay Stock Exchange that board of directors has approved the re-appointment. Sharma began her career with the erstwhile infra lender ICICI Ltd in 1980 and played a key role in setting up the group’s investment banking business. She joined Axis from ICICI Prudential Life where she was the managing director and chief executive and replaced the first chairman and chief executive of the bank P J Nayak.

PV Sindhu appointed Group-I officer by Andhra Pradesh Govt

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu has been appointed a Group-I officer in Andhra Pradesh. Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu handed over the government order to the Rio Olympics silver winning shuttler. Chandrababu Naidu had promised a Group-I post to Sindhu when she won the silver medal in Olympics. Accordingly, she was appointed the deputy collector. The 21-year-old shuttler has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office. Although Sindhu had missed out on gold in Rio de Janeiro, she scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman athlete ever to win silver at the Olympics.

Nitish Kumar takes oath as Bihar CM, Sushil Modi as his Deputy

Nitish Kumar, who resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar iting circumstances prevailing in Bihar, was sworn-in as the Cheif Minister of the state on 27 July 2017. He took oath as Bihar Chief Minister with Bharatiya Janata Party as a partner of his Janata Dal-United. With this, the JD(U) President Nitish Kumar has sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the sixth time. Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi adminstered the oath of office to Nitish Kumar at the Raj Bhavan in Patna. In addition to this, BJP’s Sushil Kumar was sworn-in as the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

Subhash Garg appointed on ADB Board of Governors

Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has been appointed as Indias Alternate Governor on the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Finance Ministry announced recently. Garg has been appointed in place of former DEA Secretary Shaktikanta Das. The appointment came into effect from July 12.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai joins Alphabet Board of Directors

Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who has led the company for the past two years, is joining the board of directors of Alphabet, Google’s parent company. The move represents a vote of confidence in Pichai, who has led Google through a period of sustained growth. Alphabet shares have risen by more than 50% since Pichai, following a lighting fast ascent through Google’s managerial ranks, became CEO of Google in August of 2015. Google accounts for the vast majority of Alphabet’s revenue and virtually all of its profits. Alphabet is the second most valuable U.S. company behind Apple. Pichai is best known for doubling down on Google’s commitment to artificial intelligence, which has led to a long list of improvements for Google’s consumer and enterprise services. Pichai becomes the fifth insider to join the Alphabet board, which now has 13 members.

Janalakshmi Financial Services appoints TPG’s Ajay Kanwal as CEO

Gearing up for the launch of their small finance bank, Janalakshmi Financial Services (JFS), the largest microfinance company, has announced the appointment of its new CEO Ajay Kanwal. Kanwal, a veteran banker having 27 years of experience in both consumer and commercial banking sector, will take charge of office from August 1. V. S. Radhakrishnan, the current CEO, will take over as Vice-Chairman and R. Srinivasan, the current Vice-Chairman, having reached the age of superannuation, will retire but will continue his association with Janalakshmi.

Mithali Raj named Captain of ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team

India Skipper Mithali Raj was named as the Captain of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 team by the International cricket Council (ICC). Besides Mithali, Harmanpreet Kaur and Deepti Sharma were the other two Indians included in the ICC’s team. This is the second time that Mithali has been named in the team of the tournament at a World Cup. She was first included in the team in 2009.

Ramnath Kovind takes oath as 14th President of India

Ramnath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India. He was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice of India Justice JS Khehar at a special function in the Parliament. After swearing-in ceremony of kovind, he was given 21-gun salute. With this, Kovind has become the second Dalit President of India after KR Narayanan. The ceremony was attended by outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of the Cabinet. Kovind was elected as the President on 20 July 2017 after he defeated the Opposition parties nominee Meira Kumar by a huge margin.

Brenda Hale to be First Woman President of UK SC

The UK government has appointed 72-year-old Brenda Marjorie Hale as the first female president of the Supreme Court, the head of the highest court in the country. Hale will take charge as the head of Britain’s top judging panel in September following the retirement of current President, Lord Neuberger. She has served as Neuberger’s deputy since 2013. Three new justices have also been appointed to the Supreme Court – Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Lord Justice Brigg – who will take up the role when Lady Hale is sworn in officially as President on 2nd October.

Gopal Baglay appointed Joint Secretary in PMO

Senior diplomat and External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay was appointed as Joint Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Baglay, a 1992 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Baglay’s appointment to the post for three years. He has been appointed in place of Vinay Mohan Kwatra, who has been already named as India’s Ambassador to Paris.

Sanjay Kothari appointed Secy to new Prez Ram Nath Kovind

Sanjay Kothari, Chairman of Public Enterprises Selection Board, has been appointed as Secretary to President-elect Ram Nath Kovind. Senior journalist Ashok Malik has been named as Press Secretary to Kovind, by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Senior Gujarat-cadre forest service officer Bharat Lal will be Joint Secretary to Kovind. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has cleared these appointments for an initial period of two years. Kothari, a 1978-batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre, retired in June last year as DoPT secretary. He was in November 2016 appointed as the chief of the government’s head-hunter the PESB.

Lord Mervyn Davies appointed as Chair of UK India Business Council

Lord Mervyn Davies was apponted as the Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) with effect from 1 September 2017. He will succeed Patricia Hewitt, who is stepping down after 8 years. Davies will serve a three- year term. UK India Business Council is the leading market entry advisory and advocacy consultancy fcused on the United Kingdom and India trade opportunity. It supports the UK Government in its volume services as well as providing a business voice in Government to Government discussions.

Bharat Arun appointed Team India bowling coach until 2019 World Cup

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has appointed Bharat Arun as the Indian Cricket team’s bowling coach. BCCI’s acting Secretary Amitabh Chaudhary announced that the cricket body has also decided to retain Sanjay Bangar as an assistant coach and R Sridhar as fielding coach till the 2019 ODI World Cup. The confirmation of their appointment came after newly appointed Indian coach Ravi Shastri met the four-member committee comprising of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and Committee of Administrators member Diana Edulji in Mumbai.

T R Zeliang appointed new CM of Nagaland by Governor

TR Zeliang has been appointed as the Chief Minister of Nagaland by Governor PB Acharya. This will be the second term for Zeliang, his earlier term was from 2014 to 2017. Zeliang’s appointment came after Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu and nine ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) legislators failed to appear for the floor test. Zeliang was asked to prove his majority on the floor of the House on or before 22 July 2017. Zeliang claims the support of 43 MLAs including seven independents.

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj elected as President of Ramakrishna Math

Swami Smarananandaji Maharaj was elected as the 16th President of Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission. The office of the President fell vacant following the death of Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj on 18 June 2017. Ramakrishna Math & Ramakrishna Mission are twin organizations which form the core of a worldwide spiritual movement Ramakrishna Movement or Vedanta Movement.

Parajuli to be Nepal’ new SC Chief Justice of Nepal

Justice Gopal Prasad Parajuli will be the new Chief Justice of Nepal. The Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee (PHSC) unanimously endorsed Justice Parajuli’s name for the post of Chief Justice of Supreme Court. After endorsement by PHSC the President will now appoint him as the Chief Justice. He will head the judiciary till April 28, 2018. Parajuli, the senior-most Justice at the Supreme Court, has taken up the responsibility of acting Chief Justice since June 7, this year after the retirement of then Chief Justice Sushila Karki on June 6.

Lilly Singh appointed UNICEF’s Global Goodwill Ambassador

UNICEF appointed Indian- origin Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh as its newest Global Goodwill Ambassador at a special event in New Delhi. Lilly was in the capital to support UNICEF’s Youth4Change initiative, a programme for youth that brings them together to support their peers and communities in taking action on issues such as health, hygiene, child labour and gender equality. As the UNICEF ambassador Lilly, who has 11.9 around million subscribers on the video sharing website, will use her channel to showcase the organisation’s work and urge millions of her followers to work for children’s rights.

Mukesh Kumar Jain appointed MD & CEO of Oriental Bank

The Centre has appointed Mukesh Kumar Jain as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Oriental Bank of Commerce, a public sector bank. His appointment is for a period of three years. Prior to this appointment, Jain was an Executive Director at Punjab & Sind Bank. At OBC, Jain comes in the place of Animesh Chauhan, who has superannuated.

Aarthi Subramanian appointed as Chief Digital Officer of Tata Sons

Tata Sons, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has appointed Aarthi Subramanian as the group’s Chief Digital Officer. Subramanian, currently the Executive Director at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), will join Tata Sons in august. She will, however, continue with TCS in a non-executive capacity. Subramanian is the second TCSer whom Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran has picked up to be a part of his core team after Suprakash Mukhopadhyay.

Justice Vikramajit Sen appointed as Chairperson New BCCC

Justice Vikramajit Sen was appointed as the Chairperson of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Council (BCCC). His appointment was approved by the Board of Directors of Indian Broadcasting foundation (IBF). Justice Sen succeeds Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice, whose three-year term as BCCC Chairperson came to an end. Justice Vikramajit Sen is an alumnus of St Xavier’s School (Delhi) and St Stephen’s College (Delhi). He earned his degree in Law from Faculty of Law, Delhi University. After a long tenure as a Judge of the Delhi High court, he was appointed as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. He was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India in 2012, an office he served till December 2015.

Ravi Shastri named new India coach

Former skipper Ravi Shastri has been named as the new coach of the Indian cricket team. The appointment was confirmed by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Shastri will take charge from India’s upcoming three-Test series against Sri Lanka, starting July 26. Shastri, was chosen by the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) that included former captains Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and veteran batting star VVS Laxman. Shastri, who has represented India in 80 Tests and 150 One-Day Internationals between 1981 and 1992, he had initially not applied for the post but when the BCCI extended the deadline for acceptance of applications till July 9, the former skipper jumped into the fray and suddenly became the hot favourite.

GST intelligence agency gets new chief John Joseph

A key intelligence agency tasked with checking evasion of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has got its new chief. Senior bureaucrat John Joseph has been appointed Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DG GSTI). Joseph, a 1983 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise), has worked in the Finance Ministry’s important departments, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The DG GSTI is the new name given to the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), mandated to check service tax and central excise duty evasion. The post of chief of central excise intelligence (now GST intelligence) was lying vacant for over a month after R K Mahajan took charge as Member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

Saima Wazed made WHO goodwill ambassador for autism

Saima Wazed Hossain, a globally renowned champion for the cause of autism spectrum disorder has been appointed as the WHO’s goodwill ambassador for autism in the world body’s Southeast Asia region. Her appointment is for a period of two years. As WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Hossain will be promoting the Thimphu Declaration which emphasizes on integrating the needs of autism affected people into national health and socioeconomic development plans. Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are life- long disabilities that affect brain functioning, and when left without proper support can cause significant impairment in exercising of an individual’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Achal Kumar Joti Appointed Next Chief Election Commissioner

Achal Kumar Joti has been appointed as the next Chief Election Commissioner, the Law Ministry informed. Mr. Zaidi will demit office on July 5. Mr. Joti, a 1975-batch IAS officer joined the three-member Commission as an Election Commissioner on May 8, 2015, will be in office till January 17, 2018. He was retired as the Gujarat Chief Secretary in January 2013. A CEC or an EC can have a tenure of six years or hold office till the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier. Mr. Joti, who will be the 21st CEC, has also served as the Gujarat Vigilance Commissioner and worked in various capacities in the State, including as the chairman of the Kandla Port Trust between 1999 and 2004 and the managing director of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. (SSNNL).

New chiefs of Union Bank of India & Syndicate Bank take charge

Rajkiran Rai G & Melwyn Rego has been assumed charge as Managing Director & CEO of Union Bank of India, Syndicate Bank respectively. Prior to joining Union Bank of India, Rai was Executive Director of Oriental Bank of Commerce & Rego was MD & CEO of Bank of India. Rajkiran Rai started his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Finance Officer in Central Bank of India. Rai has been appointed by the government to head Union Bank of India for a period of three years from the date of his taking over charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, according to a finance ministry notification. Melwyn Rego started his career with IDBI Bank Ltd in 1984 and rose to the position of Deputy Managing Director. Rego will be at the helm of the bank till the remainder of the term up to August 13, 2018, according to a finance ministry notification.

Trump appoints Indian-American as US Ambassador to Peru

US President Donald Trump has appointed Indian-American Krishna R. Urs as the new US Ambassador to Peru. The appointment of Urs, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, would have to be approved by the Senate. He is currently Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Madrid. Urs took over after James Costos, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, resigned. Urs, a 30-year veteran of the foreign service was earlier the Deputy Chief of Mission in Spain. During his three decades of State Department service, Mr. Urs has specialised in economic issues and developed extensive policy experience in the Andean region of South America.

B). RESIGNS

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passes away

Bollywood actor Inder Kumar passed away recently. He was 44. Inder Kumar suffered a heart attack at his residence in Andheri’s Four Bungalows. He has worked in more than 20 films. He also shared the screen space with Salman Khan in Wanted and Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge among others. He was currently shooting for his next film Phati Paid Hai Yaar. The cremation will be held today evening at Yaari Road Shamshaan Bhoomi.

Nawaz Sharif resigns as Pakistan PM in Panama Papers case

Nawaz Sharif has resigned as prime minister of Pakistan following a decision by the country’s Supreme Court to disqualify him from office. The ruling came after a probe into his family’s wealth following the 2015 Panama Papers dump linking Mr Sharif’s children to offshore companies. Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are the new contenders for the post of Pakistan Prime Minister. Pakistan’s stock market fell by 3.4 percent after Supreme Court ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar Chief Minister

Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister of Bihar, has resigned from his office. He resigned on 26 uly 2017 after citing differences with ally RJD in the issue of corruption charges against Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav. After submitting his resignation to Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi, Nitish said under the circumstances prevailing in Bihar, it bacame difficult to run the grand alliance government. He said, I tried to work it out and didn’t ask for anybody’s resignation but asked Tejashwi Yadav to explain the charges of corruption.

Renowned Indian Scientist Yash Pal passes away

Renowned Indian Scientist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, Professor Yash Pal passed away at his residence in Noida in the National Capital Region of India. He was 90. Though the cause of death is not yet known, he had reportedly recovered from cancer a few years ago. Known for his contributions to the study of cosmic rays, as well as for being an institution-builder, he was awarded India’s thrid highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2013. In his later years, he became one of the leading science communicators of the country.

Sean Spicer resigns as Press Secretary of US White House

Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, resigned from his position following the appointment of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as Communications director by President Donald Trump. After the appointment of Scaramucci, Spicer was asked to stay on as the Press Secretary and was asked to report to Scaramucci. However, Spicer rejected the offer and resigned. Following his resignation, Spicre’s top deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders was appointed as Press Secretary. Sacramucci is a Fox News contributor and is known for his on-air defence of President Trump.

C). DEATHS

Former Karnataka CM Dharam Singh passes away

  1. Dharam Singh, former Chief Minister of Karnataka, passed away following a heart attack. He was 80. He was the 17th Chief Minister of the state. He headed the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government from May 2004 to February 2006. Dharam Singh represented the Karnataka Legislative Assembly seven times without a defeat and was a member of the Lok Sabha from Bidar constituency once (2009).

Former ISRO Chief U R Rao passes away at 85

Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away due to age related ailments. He was 85. He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram. Professor Rao, who served as ISRO Chairman for 10 years during 1984-1994, was inducted into International Aeronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame last year during the closing ceremony of IAF Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Under the 2017 Padma Vibhushan award winning scientist, India carried out at least 20 satellites project including the country’s first, Aryabhatta.

Sr Congress Leader & Freedom Fighter Shivajirao Patil passes away

Shivajirao Girdhar Patil, Senior Congress Leader, freedom fighter and former Maharashtra Minister passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai. He was 92. The father of late national Award winning actress Smita Patil, he began his social activism at an early age when he took part in the Indian Independence movement. Patil like his daughter had always displayed a staunch commitment to social causes across sectors with unwavering resolve and contribution in the fields of education and agriculture through the cooperative sector. He was married to Vidyatai Patil, a social worker, who passed away in March 2015 after 77 years of marriage. He served as an active politician since a very young age and had been associated with several political parties including CPI, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

Former Sikkim CM Nar Bahadur Bhandari passes away

Nar Bahadur Bhandari, the former Chief Minister of Sikkim who served the state from 1979 to 1994, died at a Delhi hospital. He was 77. Born on 5 October 1940 at Malbasey in Sikkim, Bhandari was serving a givernment school as a teacher before joining the active politics. He became the Chief Minister of Sikkim for the first time in 1979 on a Sikkim Janata Parishad ticket, a party founded by him in 1977. In 1984, he dissolved the Sikkim Janata Parishad and formed a new party known as Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP). In 1985 and 1989, he became Chief Minister of the state. He was also a former president of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee. Bhandari was the first Gorkha to ever hold the office of the Chief Minister in the history of Indian polity. He remained the President of SSP until his death.

China’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo dies at 61

China’s Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo has died at the age of 61 while still in custody following a battle with cancer, after officials ignored international pleas to let him spend his final days free and abroad. Liu was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Chinese intellectual and activist is the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since German pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, the 1935 recipient, who died under surveillance after years confined to Nazi concentration camps.

Syrian Observatory says ISIS Chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has died. Observatory sources in Syria’s eastern town of Deir al-Zor had been told by IS sources that Baghdadi had died but they did not specify when. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s original name is Ibrahim Awad al-Samarrai born in Tobchi in a poor area near Samarra, north of the capital Baghdad. Baghdadi is the leader of the Sunni Salafi-Jihadist militant, a jihadist organisation known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

D). VISITORS

Navy chief begins visit to Mozambique, Tanzania

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba had begun an eight-day-long two-nation tour of Mozambique and Tanzania with an aim of exploring new avenues of bilateral defence cooperation. Admiral Lanba, who also heads the powerful Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC), will visit first Mozambique. Later on his tour, Admiral Lanba will begin his five-day-long visit to Tanzania on July 26. He is scheduled to meet President of Tanzania John Magufuli, Defence Minister Hussein Mwinyi and other higher delegations. Indian Armed Forces cooperate with the armed forces of Mozambique and Tanzanian on many fronts, which include training and hydrography, besides participating in each other’s defence events. India and Mozambique have a Joint Defence Working Group (JDWG) for defence and security cooperation.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

Microsoft launches ‘Made for India’ Kaizala app

Technology giant Microsoft has officially launched ‘Kaizala’, a productivity app that has been designed to enhance the collaboration and communication experience for Indian enterprises. The ‘Made for India’ app is designed for large group communications and work management and works even on 2G networks. The product will make it possible for organizations to interact with people within the organization as well as outside like partners and vendors in a seamless manner.

Scientists discover glow-in-the-dark shark in Pacific Ocean

A group of scientists identified a new species of glow-in-the-dark shark in the Pacific Ocean off the coast f the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The shark has an unusually large nose, weighs a little less than a kilo measures less than a foot. TThe new species is a member of the lantershark family. The species has been named Etmopterus Lailae.

World’s oldest emoji discovered on 3700-year-old pot in Turkey

A group of archaelogists working on a site in Southern Turkey discovered a 3700-year-old smiley face, which is drawn on the side of a jug. A team of Turkish and Italian archaeologists have been exploring a site on the Turkish-Syrian border, but they have never encountered such an object before. The site depicts the era of the Hittities, an ancient civilisation and empire that is beleived to have existed in the north-central Anatolian region. the ancient smiley jug will be displayed at the nearby Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology.

Neil Armstrong Moon Bag sold for USD 1.8 million in New York

Neil Armstrong bag containing traces of moon dust was sold at an auction for USD 1.8 million in New york. The bag was sold to an anonymous buyer following a sluggish five-minute bidding war on the telephone. The collection bag was used by astronaut Neil Armstrong to collect the first dust samaples from the Moon during the 48th anniversary of that mission. During the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong collected nearly 500 grams of material finer than 1 cm, as well as 12 rock fragments larger than one cm ffrom five different locations at th Sea of Tranquility.

Study indicates Mars soil may be toxic to alien life

As per a research conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, surface of Mars has chemical compunds called perchlorates that can wipe out living organisms. The discovery has major implications for hunt for alien life on the red planet as it means any evidence is likely to be buried deep underground.

Hubble telescope spots two dozen groups of newborn stars

Researchers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope found a new dsk-shaped galaxy surrounded by clusters of newborn stars. They compared the sighting as if the universe launched fireworks. Apparently, the cosmic event took 11 billion years before reaching the Hubble’s lenses, which is just 2.7 billion year after the Big Bang. The data comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which features the sightings made during the Hubble Telescope’s four-year mission. The sum of all image data from the survey adds up to one-fourth of the observable sky.

Britain’s first pregnant man gives birth to girl

Britain’s first pregnant man has given birth to a girl. Hyden Cross, 21, made headlines around the world earlier in 2017 when he announced that he was pregnant by a spem donor. Three years ago, Cross had legally become male through gender assignment. Reports suggest that his daughter, Trinity-Leigh, was born on 16 June 2017 by caesarian at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. With her birth, Cross became the first transgender man to give birth in the United Kingdom.

India declares itself free from Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8)

India has declared itself free from highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1 and H5N8) after surveillance in the states showed no evidence of its presence. It has been notified to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The surveillance was carried out throughout the country since completion of the operation including culling, disinfection and clean-up and surveillance in the states showed no evidence of the presence of Avian Influenza Virus. India had reported outbreaks of influenza at various epicenters in different states across the country between October 2016 and February 2017. Avian Influenza known avian flu or bird flu refers to influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds.

BOOKS IN NEWS

Amartya Sen releases ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’

Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen released a book titled “Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives” at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee, who received the first copy of the book. The book is the academic and research work of scholars, educationists and practitioners from India and abroad. It aims to provide international and comparative perspectives on higher education and highlights issues being faced by Inidan Universities. The book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ has been complied by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU University and is published by Oxford University Press.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 observed

The United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2017 was observed across the world on 30 July 2017. This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDODC) selected ‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’ as the focus of the Day. The theme emphasizes one of the most pressing issues of the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts focus on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. In addition, it addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.

29 July: International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day (also known as Global Tiger Day) is observed annually on 29 July to raise awareness for tiger conservation. This year’s International Tiger Day would be celebrated with the slogan ‘Fresh Ecology For Tigers’ Protection’. The goal of observance of the day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation. Many international organisations are involved in the celebration of this day, including the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) etc. The International Tiger Day was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit. The summit had issued St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation with an aim to double the big cat population by 2022. The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face. It is has been founded that in the last century 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared, with only around 3,000 left alive.

28 July: World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. The Theme for World Hepatitis Day 2017 is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’. Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year – that’s as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.

26 July: Nation celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas

The country is celebrating the 18th Anniversary of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ today. On the occasion, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and three Chiefs of Services will lay floral tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated on 26 July, commemorates India’s emphatic victory against Pakistan and honors the war heroes. On this day in 1999, the Indian Army successfully took control of posts at a treacherous high altitude and glaciated terrain across the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, after fighting for 60 days.

18th July: Nelson Mandela International Day

Nelson Mandela International Day (or Mandela Day) is an annual international day in honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on 18 July, Mandela’s birthday. The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year’s Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela’s leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all. Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically Elected President of a free South Africa.

15 July: World Youth Skills Day

The World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is observed golbally on 15 July every year to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development. This year, the United Nations along with WorldSkills.orgorganised campaigns #SkillsForAll and #WYSD to raise awareness about the importance of youth developing skills. #SkillsForAll campaign was aimed at creating awareness that everyone should have the oppurtunity to discover and develop their talents. Through skills individuals, communities, and countries can create a more prosperous future. The theme of this year is “Skills for the Future of Work”. The World Youth Skills Day was established by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 11 November 2014. The Assembly designated 15 July as the World Youth Skills Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of investing in youth skills development.

11 July: World Population Day

World Population Day is being observed globally on 11th July. The objective of the day is to increase the awareness of the people towards the worldwide population issues. The theme of this year is ‘Family Planning- Empowering People, Developing Nations’. This year’s celebrations coincide with the Family Planning Summit, the second meeting of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) initiative, which aims to expand access to voluntary family planning to 120 million additional women by 2020. The Day was first marked on 11 July 1990 in more than 90 countries.

Bank unions to observe July 19 as ‘Save public sector banks’ day

The United Forum of Bank Unions has decided to observe July 19, the 48th anniversary of nationalisation of major banks, as ‘Save public sector banks’ day. All members will wear a commemorative badge on the day, display posters in front of all branches, distribute leaflets and hold rallies/ demonstrations at all centres across the country.

 

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June 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

British PM Theresa May narrowly wins Parliament confidence vote

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly won the confidence vote in the parliament, winning her first major test as the Prime Minister of a minority government in the United Kingdom (UK). With this, May was finally confirmed as the British Prime Minister three weeks after the election, after winning the vote on her legislative program known as the Queen’s Speech was approved by 323 votes in favour and 309 against in the 650-seat parliament.

UN Votes to Sharply Reduce Peacekeepers in Sudan’s Darfur

The UN Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution sharply reducing the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. The British-drafted resolution will reduce the number of peacekeepers by 44 per cent and the number of international police by about 27 per cent in the Darfur mission, whose current budget is over USD 1 billion annually. The Darfur conflict began in 2003 when ethnic Africans in the vast western region rebelled, accusing the Arab-dominated Sudanese government of discrimination. The UN-AU force was established in 2007 with a mandate to help protect civilians in Darfur.

Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin designated ‘Global Terrorist’ by US

The USA designated Pakistan-based Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a specially designated global terrorist. The move by the US state department came before the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump at the White House. The move has been welcomed by India. The US designation of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and result in denial of access to the US financial system.

China unveils World’s first track-less train that runs on virtual rails

China has unveiled the world’s first train that operates on a virtual track using sensor technology instead of metal rails. China has unveiled world’s first train that runs on a virtual track making use of sensor technology instead of metal rails. The new trains are non-polluting as they are battery powered. The train is capable of reaching a top speed of 70 kmph and can travel a distance of 25 km by just charging for 10 minutes. The train which is only about 32 metres long can carry up to 307 passengers. The new trains are fitted with sensors which are capable of detecting the dimensions of the road permitting it to follow the routes without the need for metal rails. So it can run without the presence of tracks. The new trains will make use of rubber wheels on a plastic core and can be automatically guided without rails. This new technology has been copyrighted by the Chinese rail corporation. The train will be rolled out for public use in 2018.

China to have second biggest International Yoga Day celebrations in the world after India

In China, ahead of the third UN International Day of Yoga, thousands of Chinese would participate in scores of events organized across the country. It will be the second biggest yoga day celebration in the world after India. The Indian Embassy in Beijing besides Indian Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou are also organizing dozens of events commemorating the events featuring Chinese officials. However, yoga has become immensely popular over the years in China vying with ancient indigenous physical fitness martial art form Tai Chi. China also backed India’s move in the UN to make June 21 as International Yoga Day, giving a fillip to hundreds of yoga clubs and organizations.

AIIB approves Argentina, Madagascar and Tonga as new members

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga at its second annual meeting of Governors. The AIIB’s Board of Governors adopted resolutions approving the three applicants to join the bank at the second annual meeting, which kicked off earlier in the day in South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju. The first meeting was held in Beijing in 2016. The approved applicants included one regional prospective member of Tonga and two non-regional members of Argentina and Madagascar. The three prospective members will officially join the AIIB once they complete the required domestic processes and deposit the first installment of capital with the bank.

World’s largest floating Solar Farm launched in China

China has launched world’s largest floating solar farm in Anhui province. The 40-megawatt power plant has 160,000 panels resting on a lake that emerged after the collapse of a coal mine in central Anhui province. As per the Reports, China has been the world’s largest investor in clean energy since 2012, spending $88 billion on the wind and solar power in 2016. The plant has been built in Huainan City, Anhui Province, bySungrow Power Supply, a Chinese company specialized in renewable energy.

Montenegro becomes NATO’s 29th member

Montenegro has officially joined North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and hence became the 29th member country of NATO. Montenegro Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic submitted the official accession papers in a ceremony at the US State Department. The move came in the face of bitter opposition from Russia, which says NATO’s steady expansion into the former communist states of Eastern Europe threatens its own security and cannot go unchallenged. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the alliance will benefit from Montenegro’s insight into the Balkans.

Nepal signs MoU with China for construction of Budhigandaki Hydropower Project

Nepal has signed a major deal with a China to develop a 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project, the biggest hydro project in the landlocked country that could resolve its perennial power crisis. Nepal’s Ministry of Energy has signed an MoU with China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) for the development of the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki Hydroelectric Project. The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 5.33 billion for the project’s development in the current fiscal year. The project will be developed in Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Financing (EPCF) model, as per which, the concerned construction company itself generates the required fund for the project, Minister for Women Children and Social Welfare Development Kumar Khadka told The Himalayan Times. “The EPCF is a new model to develop hydel projects in Nepal,” Minister Khadka said. “So far we have been developing projects in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) model”.

UN chief announces new talks on Cyprus reunification

The agreement to resume negotiations on a historic deal was reached during a meeting between Greek Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Guterres at UN headquarters on 5th June. UN Chief said all agreed that the chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance to the two communities and agreed to reconvene the conference on Cyprus in the month of June.

INDIA & WORLD

India becomes 1st country to contribute $100000 to UN Tax Fund

India has contributed $100,000 to a UN fund to help developing countries actively participate in the discussion of tax issues, becoming the first country to make the contribution. The UN Tax Trust Fund aims to support the work of the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters. The UN Tax Committee, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council (ESOSOC), has provided guidance on current issues such as double taxation treaties, transfer pricing (profit shifting) taxation of the extractive industries and taxation of services. The committee also provides a framework for dialogues with a view to enhancing and promoting international tax cooperation among national tax authorities, while making recommendations on capacity-building and the provision of technical assistance to developing counties and countries with economies in transition.

India, Portugal sign 11 MoUs in various fields

India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 11 MoU’s were exchanged in the meeting and there was the announcement of the launch of a joint science fund for which both India and Portugal will contribute Euros two million each. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology. One of the MoU’s was signed for the creation of an India Portugal Space Alliance and for advancing collaborative research. These agreements will promote India’s science and technology partnership with Portugal, towards the establishment of a unique Centre on the Azores Archipelago – the Atlantic International Research Centre.

India, Russia Sign ‘Military Cooperation Roadmap’

India and Russia have agreed to a roadmap for the development of bilateral defense cooperation. The roadmap includes specific activities to be concluded by both sides, and aims to enhance cooperation in the field of political and military dialogue, exercises, exchange of visits, military cooperation and training of military personnel. The agreement was reached at the 17th meeting of the India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation which was held in Moscow. The meeting took place was held under the Co-Chairmanship of the Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and the Defence Minister of Russia Sergei Shoigu.

US approves sale of Predator Guardian drones to India

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India. This deal has been termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2 to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department. The sale of 22 predator drones being manufactured by General Atomics is “a game changer” for US-India relations as it operationalises the status of “major defense partner.” The Indian Navy had made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year.

India, Russia identify areas to boost cooperation in S&T sector

India and Russia have identified key areas to bolster cooperation in the science and technology sector, including space and marine technologies, IT and deep ocean engineering. The areas were chosen at the first meeting of India-Russia Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. The meeting was co- chaired by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitryi Rogozin. The India-Russia high-level committee on Science & Technology is a newly established committee and it was established to discuss cooperation in high technologies. Inspired by India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, Moscow has launched a “Do It In Russia” initiative to promote local manufacturing and technology development.

India and Portugal inks Agreement to Promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives

India and Portugal have signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal. As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighbouring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.

India becomes 71st country to ratify UN TIR Convention

India has become the 71st country to ratify the United Nations International Convention on Road Transports, TIR, a move that will help boost trade through smoother movement of goods across territories. TIR is managed and developed by IRU – the world road transport organisation. The TIR Convention is part of India’s multi-modal transport strategy that aims to integrate the economy with global and regional production networks through better connectivity. TIR will help India to integrate with Myanmar and Thailand as well as Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. China was the last TIR contracting party who acceded to the Convention in July 2016.

Afghan Prez inaugurates first air corridor with India, bypassing Pak

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the first Afghanistan-India air corridor at the Kabul International Airport. The corridor is a direct route that will bypass Pakistan and is meant to improve commerce in Afghanistan. The aim of the route is to create more opportunities and make Afghanistan an exporter country. Afghan agricultural products will for the first time head to India on cargo planes. Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked country and all imports and exports depend on neighboring countries. The first India-bound flight included 60 tons of medicinal plants and a second flight will carry 40 tons of dry fruits from the southern Kandahar province.

India 60th most-innovative globally: GII rankings

India continued to rise in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings for the second year in succession, after four consecutive years of decline. In 2017 rankings released in Geneva (Switzerland), India improved its position from 66 to 60. It highlighted the continual improvement of India in terms of investment, tertiary education, quality of its publications and universities, its ICT services exports and innovation clusters. Its improvement is part of a trend both in the middle-income countries and Asian countries, many of which have improved their innovation capacities in recent years. The GII was first developed 10 years ago by the business school INSEAD in Paris.

India top remittance-receiving country in 2016: UN report

India has claimed the top spot among the remittance-receiving nations, surpassing China. The United Nations, in its report, stated that Indians working across the globe sent home 62.7 billion US dollars in 2016. According to the ‘One Family at a Time’ study by the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development, about 200 million migrants globally sent more than 445 billion dollars as remittances in 2016 to their families. Remittance flows have grown over the last decade from 296 billion in 2007 to 445 billion dollars in 2016. It said 80 percent of remittances are received by 23 countries, led by India, China, the Philippines, Mexico, and Pakistan. India, while retaining its top spot as the world’s largest remittance recipient, led the decline with remittance inflows amounting to $62.7 billion last year, a decrease of 8.9 per cent over $68.9 billion in 2015.

India-Australia naval exercise ‘AUSINDEX 17’ begins

Indian warships began a week-long naval exercise off the coast of Western Australia. The second AUSINDEX exercises are aimed at increasing interoperability between Australian and Indian naval forces, executing complex naval manoeuvres. The first AUSINDEX was held in the Bay of Bengal in 2015. As the only countries with the largest Indian Ocean coastline, Australia and India are natural partners in maritime security, particularly in the region where India has its greatest strategic interests.

India ratifies two key ILO conventions on child labour

India ratified two key ILO conventions on child labor, according to a statement issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who is in Geneva stated that the ratification reaffirmed India’s “commitment to a child labor free society”. According to ILO, the Government of India deposited with the International Labour Office the instruments of ratification of the two fundamental ILO Conventions concerning the elimination of child labor, the Minimum Age Convention (No 138) and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No 182). India is the 170th ILO member state to ratify Convention No 138, which requires states to set a minimum age under which no one shall be admitted to employment or work in any occupation, except for light work and artistic performances. In addition, India is the 181st member to ratify Convention No. 182, which calls for the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including slavery, forced labour and trafficking; the use of children in armed conflict; the use of a child for prostitution, pornography and in illicit activities (such as drug trafficking); and hazardous work.

India, Mauritius sign MoU to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments

India and Mauritius have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to institutionalize cooperation between Parliaments of the two countries. The MoU was signed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Speaker of National Assembly of Mauritius Santi Bai Hanoomanjee in Port Louis. Mrs. Mahajan was on a five-day visit to Mauritius from 6th of June with a Parliamentary delegation. She stated that the MoU on a joint framework for parliamentary support and capacity building is a visionary step forward.

EU, France grant 3.5m euros to curb emissions in India

Aiming to reduce emissions and promote sustainability to help India’s smart city programme, France and the European Union have extended a grant of 3.5 million euros under the ‘Moblise Your City’ (MYC) initiative. Three Indian cities- Nagpur, Kochi and Ahmedabad — will get the grant as part of the EU’s commitment under the Paris Climate agreement according to French Development Agency (AFD). More funds would be provided to India as the loan to take forward the smart city and sustainable transport initiatives in the three cities on the pilot basis. The MYC, supported by the French and German government, also has financial support from the European Union (EU).

India, Pakistan Become Full Members Of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

India and Pakistan became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the first-ever expansion of the China-dominated security grouping after 2001. With the inclusion of India and Pakistan, SCO now represents over 40% of world population and nearly 20% of the global GDP. 2017 SCO summit was based on the theme “Future Energy”. The document was signed at Astana, Kazakhstan during the SCO Summit. (SCO) member-states viz. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India signs OECD pact to check tax evasion by MNCs

India signed the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) multilateral convention that aims to check cross-border tax evasion by multinational companies. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley signed the multilateral convention in Paris, France to implement tax treaty- related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting. More than 65 countries, including India, signed the convention. As per the Finance Ministry, the Convention will modify India’s treaties in order to curb revenue loss through treaty abuse and base erosion and profit shifting strategies by ensuring that profits are taxed where substantive economic activities generating the profits are carried out and where the value is created. The Multilateral Convention is an outcome of the OECD/ G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) which is resorted to by MNCs through tax planning strategies by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.

India Signs Loan Agreement with the World Bank for the project “Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery”

An agreement for International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) Credit of USD 39.2 Million from World Bank for the project ‘Assam Citizen Centric Service Delivery’ was signed recently. Loan agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. Hisham Abdo, Manager, Operations (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The programme size is USD 49 million, of which USD 39.2 million will be financed by the Bank, and the remaining amount will be funded-out of State Budget. The programme duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve access in the delivery of selected public services in Assam.

India signs agreement with Sri Lanka for developing Railway sector

India signed an agreement to provide fresh assistance of 318 million US Dollar credit line to Sri Lanka for the development of the railway sector in the country. The agreement was signed in Colombo amidst the presence of senior officials of Sri Lanka’s finance and transport ministries. The Indian side was represented by Managing Director of the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of India David Rasquinha and Deputy High Commissioner Arindam Bagchi. India has already provided four Lines of Credit for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka through its EXIM Bank amounting to approximately USD 966 million.

India overtakes China to top global retail index: Study

India has surpassed China to secure the top position among 30 developing countries on ease of doing business, according to a study that cited India’s rapidly expanding economy, relaxation of FDI rules and a consumption boom as the key drivers. The 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), now in its 16th edition, ranks the top 30 developing countries for retail investment worldwide and analyses 25 macroeconomic and retail-specific variables. India’s rapidly expanding economy easing of foreign direct investment (FDI) rules and a consumption boom are the key drivers for India’s top ranking in the GRDI.

India slips to 45th spot in IMD’s World Competitiveness list

India has been ranked 45th, down four notches from last year, in terms of competitiveness in the annual rankings compiled by IMD which saw Hong Kong topping the list. US was pushed out of the top three slots while Hong Kong consolidated its dominance of the annual rankings for the second year in the list compiled by the International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) World Competitiveness Center. Switzerland and Singapore were ranked second and third respectively, with the USA at the fourth spot – its lowest position in five years and down from third last year. The IMD World Competitiveness Center is a research group at IMD business school in Switzerland. It has been publishing the rankings every year since 1989. This year’s list comprises 63 countries with Cyprus and Saudi Arabia making their first appearance.

India ranked 137th in the Global Peace Index 2017

India has ranked 137th out of 163 countries on Global Peace Index 2017 published by The Institute of Economics and Peace. This is the eleventh edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). Iceland has been named the world’s most peaceful country, topping the Global Peace Index for the tenth consecutive year followed by New Zealand and Portugal at second and third position while Syria has been named the least peaceful country.

India, Spain strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism: PM

PM Modi has said that India and Spain should strengthen their bilateral cooperation to fight against terrorism.Both the nations have faced the security challenge. Modi met Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace, the official residence of the president and the king of Spain in the first engagement during his stay in the country. Modi said, the focus of his discussion in Spain will be on the international developments. The prime minister praised the Spanish president saying under Rajoy’s leadership the country has undergone economic reforms “which is also the biggest priority of my government.

NATIONAL

Govt launches National Data Repository (NDR) & Open Acreage Licensing Process

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan introduced a new oil and gas block licensing policy that is expected to open up 2.8 million square kilometers of sedimentary basins to exploration and production activities. The OALP, a part of the government’s Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), gives exploration companies the option to select the exploration blocks on their own, without having to wait for the formal bid round from the Government. OALP is a fundamental shift and a very transformative step in India’s E&P history. This policy reiterates GoI’s commitment to reduce administrative & regulatory burden, thus enhancing ease of doing business.

New training programme ‘COMMIT’ was launched for State Govt officials

The Minister of State for Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh launched a new training program ‘Comprehensive Online Modified Modules on Induction Training’ (COMMIT) for State Government officials. The objective of this training program is to improve the public service delivery mechanism and provide citizen- centric administration through capacity building of officials who interact with the citizens on day-to-day basis. COMMIT will be launched in 6 States of Assam, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal initially on the pilot basis during the current financial year 2017-18 and within next year it is expected to cover all India level. The COMMIT programme, developed by DoPT in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will supplement the existing 12-Day ITP launched in 2014-15 for newly recruited state Government officials to develop in them Generic & Domain specific competencies. The programme will cover approximately 74,000 State Government officials in the financial year 2017-18.

PM Modi inaugurates filling of Aji Dam under Sauni Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various irrigation and water-related initiatives at Aji Dam in Rajkot, Gujarat including the filling of Aji dam with Narmada waters under Sauni Yojana. PM recognized the role of younger generation in finding solutions to the everyday problems. PM on the occasion launched Smart Rajkot Hackathon where urban local body will engage with young students to find innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of various government departments. The Narmada water reaching the dam will resolve the water woes of the people of this city in Saurashtra region which has been facing perennial water shortage due to deficient rains.

EC joins hands with FB to Launch First Time Nationwide “Voter Registration Reminder”

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has joined hands with Facebook to launch nationwide voter registration reminder aimed at reminding eligible Indian voters to register themselves on the electoral rolls. As a part of the initiative, Facebook will activate a unique ‘Register Now’ button reminding all the eligible Indian users to enroll themselves as voters. The reminder will be made available for four days beginning July 1. When the users click the button, they will be redirected to National Voters’ Services Portal, where they can register themselves as voters. The reminder will be available in 13 languages-English, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu, Assamese, Marathi and Oriya.

MSME Ministry launched ‘Digital MSME Scheme’ & exchanged three MoUs

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Mr. Kalraj Mishra has launched the Digital MSME Scheme and also exchanged three MoUs with SAP India, Intel and HMT. The MSME has a total budget of Rs. 85.705 Crore including Government of India’s contribution of Rs. 58.105 crore during 2017- 18 to 2019-20.

Finance Ministry sets up ‘War room’ to battle GST crises

Equipped with multiple phone lines and computer systems and manned by tech-savvy youngsters, a “mini war room” has been set up in the finance ministry to deal with crises related to the implementation of GST. The unit will act as a quick resource centre for central and state government officials to address their queries on the historic tax reform scheduled to be implemented from July 1. The action room will function from 8 am to 10 pm. It will provide prompt response to queries raised by states and central government officials. The room will act as a single-window for anything and everything related to the GST.

Centre clears proposal for setting up new airport in Greater Noida

The Government has cleared the proposal for setting up a new airport in Jewar in Greater Noida. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju stated that in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar has been granted to cater to the growing flying requirements of National Capital Region. The Noida International Airport will cater to 30 to 50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years.

Aadhar not valid ID proof for travelling to Nepal, Bhutan: Govt

Aadhaar is not a valid identification document for Indians traveling to Nepal and Bhutan, according to the Union home ministry. Indians can travel to Nepal and Bhutan- both countries for which they don’t need visas – if they possess a valid national passport or election ID card issued by the Election Commission. Moreover, to ease travel, persons over 65 and below 15 years can show documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity. These include PAN card, driving licence, Central Government Health Service (CGHS) card and ration card but not Aadhaar. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement of Indians going abroad. The Aadhaar card, which has a 12-digit unique identification number and personal details like name and address, acts as a proof of identification and residence.

MeitY launches Web Portal for smooth GST implementation

In order to ensure smooth GST implementation from 1st July 2017, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched a dedicated Webpage for facilitating taxpayers with regard to addressing issues related to Information Technology Services and Electronics goods. The webpage can be accessed through Ministry’s Web Portal www.meity.gov.in. Individuals, Companies, and Entrepreneurs in IT and Electronics sector can visit the webpage for sector-specific information. It also enables filing of grievances in relation to the implementation of GST.

Union Govt launches VAJRA scheme to attract Indian scientists abroad

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) under Ministry of Science and Technology has launched the Visiting Advanced Joint Research Faculty (VAJRA) scheme in a bid to bring together the Indian scientists abroad and India-based researchers for conducting joint researches in India. The web portal of VAJRA was launched by Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan. The motive behind the launching of VAJRA scheme is to bring the best of the world to India and conduct research in the country itself. It aims to convert brain-drain into brain-gain.

Cabinet aprroves agreements & MoUs on different fields

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved following agreements and MoUs on different fields. Those includes:
1. Amendment of the Bilateral Social Security Agreement (SSA) between India and the Netherlands by incorporating the ‘Country of Residence’ Principle into the said SSA.
2. MoU between Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Kingdom of the
Netherlands for bilateral cooperation in the field of water resources management.
3. Constitution of Indian Naval Material Management Service (INMMS) as an Organized Group ‘A’ Engineering Service.
4. MoU on cooperation in the textiles, clothing and fashion sectors between India and Australia.
5. MoU on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space between India and Armenia.
6. MoU for cooperation in Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy between India and Sri Lanka.

Union Government launched Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga”

Minister for Science & Technology Dr. Harshvardhan launched a Mobile App “Celebrating Yoga” developed by Ministry of Science & Technology in New Delhi. The Mobile App has been developed by DST on the occasion of International Yoga Day (21 June) 2017. The purpose of the App is to popularize Yoga and encourage people to participate in it for a scientifically healthy living. The App will enable in capturing both mass events being organized in public places, schools and office complexes across the country and individual enthusiasts who are performing yoga to promote the celebration of the day and yoga performances. The App “Celebrating Yoga” can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

Piyush Goyal Launches Energy Conservation Building Code 2017

Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines has launched the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017). Developed by Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India. The updated version of ECBC provides current as well as futuristic advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth. The code aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants, and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.

DIPP sets up GST facilitation cell

The government has set up a GST facilitation cell in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to facilitate the rollout of Goods and Services Tax. The cell is headed by Sudhansu Sekhar Das Economic Adviser of the department. The cell will remain in constant touch with major industry and business associations relating to the Department. It will be the first point of contact for addressing any issue being faced by any sector related to the Department.

Pensioners can now subscribe digitally for APY through APY@eNPS

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has now introduced “APY@eNPS” which involves a complete digital enrolment process. This is the latest in the series of various initiatives taken by PFRDA for expansion of outreach of Atal Pension Yojana (APY), to give the additional push to cover the as yet unreached population with greater ease. PFRDA has conducted meetings with Banks and Dept of Post at Kolkata, Bengaluru & Mumbai respectively for the earliest roll out of the facility call. The APY was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 9th May 2015 and became operational from 1st June 2015. APY is available for all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years.

External Affairs Minister inaugurates KIP for Young Overseas Indians

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has inaugurated Know India Programme (KIP) for NRI and PIO youth with a view to provide them with an exposure to the country of their origin so that they can understand India better and more closely. External Affairs Minister has also launched a portal for the Know India Programme (KIP). Know India Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of External Affairs for the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) between the age group of 18 to 30 years. The Know India Programme is a three-week orientation programme which is aimed at promoting awareness on different facets of life in India as well as the progress made by the country in fields such as economic and education.

Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates Kochi Metro

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Kochi Metro & dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation. He took a ride on the Metro from Palarivattom station to Pathadippalam station. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan also travelled with Mr Modi. Kochi Metro is the first public transport system to reserve jobs for members of the third sex and it will be manned mainly by women a self-help group. Modi also launched the PN Panicker National Reading Day – Reading Month Celebrations. Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a 50-50 Joint Venture of Centre and the Kerala government. The estimated completed cost of the metro touched Rs 5, 181.79 crore.

Health Ministry launches IDCF to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched the Intensified Diarrhea Control Fortnight (IDCF) in order to intensify efforts to reduce child deaths due to diarrhoea. The Ministry has made it a national priority to bring health outcomes among children to a level equitable with the rest of the world. Through this initiative, the Ministry will mobilize health personnel, State Governments and other stakeholders to prioritize investment in control of diarrhea, one of the most common childhood illnesses. It aims to create mass awareness about the most effective and low-cost diarrhoea treatment, a combination of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) solution and Zinc tablets. Nearly 12 crores under 5-children will be covered during the program across the country. ASHA worker would undertake distribution of ORS packets to households with under-five children in her village. ORS- Zinc Corners will be set-up at health care facilities and non-health facilities such as Schools and Anganwadi centres.

India to be Co-Partner Country in ANUGA 2017

Minister of Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal addressed a Joint Press Conference with the organizers of ANUGA – an international business platform for Food Industry to be held in Cologne, Germany. She also signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Participation in the ANUGA Exhibition with Ms Katharina C Hamma, Chief Operating Officer, Koelnmesse GmBH (Organizers of ANUGA).

Recent Cabinet Approvals-14th June 2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval in the various fields and has also approved some important MoUs. The important approvals of the Cabinet are as follows-

The Cabinet has approved-

* The Interest Subvention Scheme (ISS) for farmers for the year 2017-18: This will help farmers getting short term crop loan up to Rs. 3 lakh payable within one year at only 4% per annum. The Government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 20,339 crore for this purpose.
* Ex-post facto approval to the MoU between Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture in the State of Palestine on agriculture cooperation.
* The proposal to introduce a Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017: The Bill would provide for a comprehensive resolution framework for specified financial sector entities to deal with bankruptcy situation in banks, insurance companies, and financial sector entities.
* The signing of MoU between India and Armenia on cooperation on youth matters
* The signing of MoU between India and Bangladesh for promoting cooperation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics.

Railway Ministry launches Mission Retro-Fitment to enhance the passenger experience

To enhance the passenger’s experience by upgrading existing fleet of coaches with better furnishing, aesthetics & amenities and better safety features with a view to provide a safe and comfortable travel, Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhu has launched MISSION RETRO-FITMENT in Rail Bhavan, New Delhi. Mission Retro-Fitment is an ambitious program to upgrade the level of furnishing & amenities in the coaches of Indian Railways. This is one of the largest retro fitment project in the world as Indian Railways’ 40,000 coaches will be refurbished and retrofitted in the next five years.

India’s first canal top solar PV system at NTPC Mouda

State-run power giant National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has energized India’s first 150 kWp canal top solar PV System on cooling water (CW) channel inside power station premises at its 2,320 MW, Mouda Thermal Power Project, near Nagpur in Maharashtra. This novel Solar PV system makes use of side walls of CW channels as load bearing structure thereby significantly decreasing cost of civil and mounting structure. It also has several other unique advantages such as land and water conservation due to reduced evaporation, increased PV generation due to cooling and reduction in dirt, leaves thereby reducing chemicals for water treatment.

GST Council revises rates for 66 items

India’s most comprehensive indirect tax reform the goods and services tax (GST) is inching towards a July 1 rollout with the GST Council cutting the rate on household goods and other essential items, raising the threshold for the scheme that requires lesser compliance and approving another key set of rules relating to audit and accounts. At its meeting in New Delhi, the council revised rates on 66 items such as pickles, sauces, fruit preserves, insulin, cashew nuts, insulin, school bags, coloring books, notebooks, printers, cutlery, agarbattis and cinema tickets, following representations from industry. Restaurants, manufacturers and traders having a turnover of up to Rs 75 lakh can avail of the composition scheme with lower rates of 5%, 2%, and 1%, respectively, with lower compliance, against Rs 50 lakh previously. A GST rate of 5% will be applicable on outsourcing of manufacturing or job work in textiles and the gems and jewelry sector. Bleaching and cleaning of human hair, a big industry in Midnapore, will not face any tax.

Dr. Jitendra Singh announces “Hill Area Development Programme” for Northeast

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh announced the launch of “Hill Area Development Programme” (HADP) for Northeast in Imphal, Manipur. He announced the launch of the program to address a meet of Investors and Entrepreneurs, organized by NEDF (North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd), with joint participation of the Union Ministry of DoNER and the Government of Manipur. The program aims to bridge the gap between the hill and valley districts in terms of infrastructure, quality of roads, health and education. HADP was launched during the Fifth Five Year Plan aimed at balanced regional development.

Govt launches Tele Law to provide legal aid in rural areas via video conferencing

The government of India has launched ‘Tele Law’ service to provide legal aid for the people living in rural areas through video conferencing. The service has been launched to make legal aid easily accessible to the marginalized communities and citizens living in rural areas. The Ministry of Law and Justice partnered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to provide legal aid services through its Common Service Centres, CSC at the panchayat level, spread across the country. The service was launched by IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Under the scheme, the Tele-Law portal will be available across the CSC network connecting the citizens to legal service providers. In the first phase, the Tele-Law scheme will be tested as a pilot across 1000 CSCs in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

NITI Aayog launches SATH programme

Furthering the agenda for cooperative federalism, NITI Aayog has launched SATH, a program providing ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital’ with the State Governments. The vision of the program is to initiate transformation in the education and health sectors. The program addresses the need expressed by many states for technical support from NITI. NITI Aayog invited all States and Union Territories for the three-stage selection process out of which 16 responded. Five States were shortlisted post project presentation by 14 States. Subsequently, three States will be selected through further assessments. SATH programme will be implemented by NITI Aayog along with global consultancy McKinsey & Company and IPE Global consortium in the three selected States after the signing of MoUs.

Ayush Ministry launches yoga awareness drive using attractive mascots

The Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy (CCRYN) under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, has initiated a Yoga Awareness Drive through Mascots and Flash Mobs (YogMob) prior to International Yoga Day (21st June) to increase the popularity of Yoga, especially among the youth. The campaign is underway at Delhi NCR, Haryana and Lucknow. The first such event was held in Rohini area of the National Capital. According to the Ministry, illustrative Yoga sessions with the help of mascots were organised where the Mascots demonstrated a few Yoga asanas to the crowd. The mascots Provide an eye-catching way of helping boost the awareness of International Day Of Yoga. They are connecting with families by providing added entertainment and interactivity, especially at Malls, Public Places, Events & Recreational Tourist Areas.

Indian Overseas Bank launches retail mart in Thiruvananthapuram

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), the Lead Bank for Thiruvananthapuram district, has launched the Retail Mart, a retail lending concept, in Kerala’s capital city. The exclusive facility that handles retail products has started functioning at the main branch. The Retail Mart has been designed with an aim to complete all the pre-release formalities at the customer’s doorstep and sanction quality retail loans at a competitive rate of interest with a minimum turnaround time.

President Pranab Mukherjee launches ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile app

President Pranab Mukherjee today launched the ‘Selfie with Daughter’ mobile application, aimed at raising awareness about female foeticide and sex selection. The President urged people to take photographs with their daughters and upload them to make the campaign a success. The campaign was started by Sunil Jaglan in June 2015 in village Bibipur in Haryana’s Jind district. The former sarpanch had been working in the field of women empowerment and village development. The aim of the campaign is to motivate society to feel proud to be parents of a girl child, which, in turn, will result in improving child sex ratio.

Civil Aviation Ministry to roll out ‘DigiYatra’ for air travellers

Civil Aviation Ministry is adding a digital experience for Air travelers through ‘DigiYatra’ Platform in New Delhi. This initiative aims at bringing together entire industry to develop a digital ecosystem that will deliver customers a seamless and paperless service experience at every stage of journey. Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha stated that the initiative envisages providing airline travelers in India, a digitally unified flying experience across all stages of their journey. The initiative will help passengers plan their trips efficiently by identifying price trends and estimate future airfares at the time of ticket booking. Passengers will also get relevant information pertaining to various facilities, protocols, airline timings, queue lengths at airports.

Nadda launches Skill for Life, Save a Life initiative to promote skill development in the health sector

Shri J P Nadda has launched ‘Skill for Life, Save a Life’ initiative to promote skill development in the health sector. ‘Skills for Life, Save a Life’ Initiative’ aims to upscale the quantity and quality of trained professionals in the healthcare system. Under this initiative, various courses are planned to be initiated targeting specific competencies for healthcare professionals as well as for the general public. Shri Nadda further informed that the curriculum has been designed by National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) and AIIMS, Delhi.

Health Secretary inaugurates ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre

Shri C K Mishra, Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) inaugurated the ‘Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh’, a National Human Milk Bank and Lactation Counselling Centre at the Lady Hardinge Medical College (LHMC) in New Delhi. The Vatsalya – Maatri Amrit Kosh will be the largest milk bank and lactation counseling center available in the North India. It is established in collaboration with the Norwegian government, Oslo University and Norway-India Partnership Initiative (NIPI). It is a national human milk bank and lactation counseling center that will collect, pasteurize, test and safely store milk that has been donated by lactating mothers and makes it available for infants in need.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Korea for export credit of USD 9 billion

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Export-Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) and Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) for export credit of USD 9 billion for infrastructural development in India and for the supply of goods and services as part of projects in third countries. The MoU is proposed to be signed between the two banks during the forthcoming visit of the Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, to Seoul, the capital city of South Korea during 14-15 June 2017 for the Annual Financial Bilateral Dialogue. The decision is expected to promote the country’s international exports, and deepen political and financial ties between India and South Korea.

Elections for India’s 15th President on July 17

The process for electing the 15th President of India will begin on June 14 with the Election Commission issuing the notification for the polls. As per the Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi (in Picture), the Presidential elections will take place on July 17. The Commission has set June 28 as the last date for filing nominations, while July 1 will be the last date for their withdrawal. Polling will take place in Parliament House and in the Assemblies of the States. Counting of votes will take place in Delhi. The term of President Pranab Mukherjee will come to an end on 24 July 2017. He assumed the office of President in July 2012. The electors, drawn from elected Members of Parliament and State legislatures will be required to use a “particular pen” provided by the Commission to mark their choice(s). The pen uses a particular ink. “The use of any other pen, apart from the particular pen provided by the Commission, will see the vote being declared invalid,” Zaidi said.

SEBI gets nod for MoU with Iran, EU counterparts

The Union Cabinet recently gave its nod for Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to enter into two separate memoranda of understanding (MoU) with securities market regulators of the European Union and Iran. These MoUs are expected to strengthen cooperation between India and the respective countries on matters pertaining to securities market. In the case of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the MoU is likely to establish cooperation arrangements as a precondition for ESMA to recognise Central Counter Parties (CCPs) established in India and supervised by the Securities and Exchange Board of India to provide clearing services to clearing members or trading venues established in the European Union and to provide ESMA with adequate tools to monitor the ongoing compliance by the covered CCPs with the recognition conditions.

Narendra Modi government to scrap UGC, AICTE soon with HEERA

The University Grants Commission (UGC) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) will soon be a thing of the past as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is planning to replace the two education regulators with a new Higher Education Regulator. This is being done to bring one single education regulator named HEERA in place. Higher Education Empowerment Regulation Agency or HEERA is the name of the new proposed regulator. This new body will be implemented with the aim of eliminating the overlaps in the jurisdiction and also to remove the irrelevant regulatory provisions. The Human Resource and Development Ministry (HRD) is working with the Niti Aayog towards the implementation of this new proposed regulatory body. They are working to bring the technical as well as the non-technical institutions under the same umbrella.

Vijaya Bank set to develop 100 digital villages

Vijaya Bank is going to develop as many as 100 digital villages in various States of the country as part of its initiative to promote digital banking among the rural population. Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of the bank’s 2031st ATM at Pandit Nehru Bus Station in the Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, Bank Executive Director B.S. Rama Rao stated that Vijaya Bank is the only public sector financial institution to develop digital villages with focus on rural areas and it has already developed five villages including the one in Guntur district.

India will be first in world to run all government ports on green energy

All 12 major domestic ports will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first country to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. As part of this the government plans to install almost 200 megawatt solar and wind power generation capacity at the ports by 2019. A high-level conference attended by shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari, top officials and chairmen of several port trusts was held at JNPT in Mumbai to discuss the road map of implementing the green ports project. These renewable energy projects will help in reduction of carbon emission and lead to improvement of environment around the ports.
Few major Government Ports are Listed Below:
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh.
Kochi Port, Kerala.
New Mangalore Port, Karnataka.
Mundra Port, Gujarat.
Kandla Port, Gujarat.
Port of Quilon – The oldest and second largest port in Kerala

India’s GDP slows to 6.1% in fourth quarter, is 7.1% for 2016-2017

India lost its fastest-growing major economy tag in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, with GDP growth coming in at 6.1% compared with China’s 6.9% in the same period. Data from the Ministry of Statistics on Wednesday showed GDP grew 7.1% in the financial year 2016-17, slower than the 8% registered in 2015-16.

Indian Railways to launch ‘buy now, pay later’ feature for tickets

Railways have decided to provide the ‘buy tickets now and pay later’ service for any Express trains, According to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) Ltd. IRCTC has collaborated with a Mumbai-based firm ePayLater for adding the new service option. Through this service a passenger can book a ticket five days prior to the journey with a service charge of 3.5 per cent and pay it in the next 14 days.

STATES

Odisha to set up India’s first blood bank for Cattle

Odisha is all set to become the first state in the country to have a blood bank for the cattle. It is the first of its kind blood bank established on the premises of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.25 crore. After approval from the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP), the OUAT is now awaiting approval from the state government. The project will have a 60:40 sharing between the Centre and the state government. The cattle farmers will provide blood voluntarily. The blood bank will also go and collect blood from centers. This will prevent the death of cattle during deliveries and other ailments.

UP Govt signed an agreement with ADB for strengthening of Roads

Uttar Pradesh Government has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of 1950 crore rupees for strengthening of roads in different districts. As per agreement, ADB will provide the loan amount for Uttar Pradesh Main District Roads Development Project of 2782 crore rupees cost. State government will spend 832 crore rupees form its own resources on the project. Project is scheduled to be completed by 2024 and ADB will provide the loan for the period of 25 years on the interest rate of 2 percent.

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2017: Odisha’s biggest festival begins

In Odisha, the most awaited biggest annual festival of Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival at Puri commences today (25th June 2017). This is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals of the country as well as the whole world. Rath Yatra (chariot festival) marks the annual journey of the three deities from the 12th century Jagannath temple in the chariots to the temple of Devi Gundicha, their aunt. The celebration ends nine days later with Bahuda Yatra or the return journey of the three to their temple. The rituals started early in the morning. Jagannath Puri temple is called ‘Yamanika Tirtha’ where, according to the Hindu beliefs, the power of ‘Yama’, the god of death has been nullified in Puri due to the presence of Lord Jagannath, popularly known as Lord Krishna, and his siblings – Lord Balbhadra and deity Subhadra – in the Jagannath Puri temple.

‘Mypetrolpump’ of Bengaluru becomes 1st in India to deliver diesel at home

Bengaluru has become the country’s first city where one can have fuel delivered at one’s doorstep, just like milk and newspapers, only weeks after oil ministry announced that the Centre was thinking of rolling out such a system. Mypetrolpump, a one-year-old startup launched this home delivery system with three vehicles, each with the capacity of 950 liters. Diesel is delivered at home at the price declared for that day. The startup is charging Rs. 99 as one-time delivery charges for up to 100 litres whereas for additional one liter of fuel, the customer has to pay Re. 1 each as delivery charge. The order for the supply of fuel can be placed online, through app or through a phone call.

Uttarakhand 4th & Haryana 5th ODF States in the country

Under the Swachh Bharat Mission Gramin (SBM-G), rural Uttarakhand and rural Haryana have declared themselves as the 4th and 5th Open Defecation Free (ODF) States of India, respectively. The two states joined the league of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, and Kerala, which were the first three states to be declared ODF. Nationally, the sanitation coverage has increased from 42% to over 64% in just two and a half years since the launch of SBM. Uttarakhand has 13 districts, 95 blocks, 7256 gram panchayats and 15751 villages while Haryana has 21 districts, 124 blocks, and 6083 gram panchayats – all of which have declared themselves as ODF in formal declarations in Dehradun and Chandigarh, respectively.

Odisha Govt approves 53 projects under AMRUT scheme

The state government approved 53 urban projects with a total investment of Rs 538 crore under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). The scheme, launched in nine urban places in the state since 2015-16 fiscal, has aimed at strengthening drinking water distribution network, development of sewerage system, storm water management, up-gradation of city transport system and development of amusement parks. The scheme will be implemented with fund sharing patter of 50:50 between the Centre and state government.

Indore gets India’s first traffic control robot

The number one clean city of India – Indore has got another milestone to its name. This commercial capital of Madhya Pradesh has reportedly become the first city in India where the robot is being used on an experimental basis to control its ever growing and unruly traffic. The traffic police in association with a private engineering college of the city for the first time has installed a metallic robot at a busy MR 9 intersection on an experimental basis to control the chaotic traffic in the locality. This traffic controller robot has been designed by 2 professors of an engineering college of the city Prof Rahul Tiwari and Aniruddh Sharma.

Free Education for girls in Punjab from Nursery to PhD

The Punjab Government has announced free education for girls in government schools and colleges from Nursery to Ph.D, free textbooks, as well as Nursery and LKG classes in government schools from the next academic session. This is the major step towards women empowerment by Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh. Reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Urban Local Bodies has already been increased by the government from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. The CM also announced free Wi-FI for 13,000 primary schools and all 48 government colleges.

Telangana launches PashuBazar website for online cattle sale

Soon, farmers in the state will be able to sell and purchase cattle online. The Telangana government has launched a website to facilitate this service. The online sale or purchase of cattle through pashubazar.telangana.gov.in website will help farmers as the cattle need not be brought to shandies every time and farmers can save on transportation cost on cattle. Special Chief Secretary, Animal Husbandry, Suresh Chanda launched the website developed with NIC’s support. The Pashu Bazaar platform was developed to help farmers to sell their animals without physically taking them to weekly markets. The farmer can keep maximum five registrations for sale at any time.

Sikkim govt signs MoU with British Council

The Human Resource Development department of Sikkim government signed an MoU with the British Council to enhance quality of education in the state. The MoU will improve the educational structure of the schools of Sikkim. The purpose of the MoU is to support the aims and aspirations of the young people of Sikkim through collaborative projects in the area of English, education and skills by strengthening the capacity of the teachers and other professionals, working with youth in the state and support its cultural economy.

UP tops the list with maximum child labor in the state-CRY report

According to the Child Rights and You (CRY) report, over 8 lakh children in India between the age group 5 and 6 years are engaged in child labor. A large percentage, over 5 lakh of these children do not attend school. The majority of these kids are engaged in family-based employments. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of 2,50,672 children engaged in labor, followed by Bihar with 1,28,087 children and Maharashtra where the number stands at 82,847. The report has outlined that reach of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), which was introduced with the intent of providing a strong base to these children, is quite limited as it covers only 50% percent of this population.

Kolkata to get India’s first underwater Metro

Kolkata, the ‘City of Joy’ is about to experience a wonder in the form of an underwater Metro train which will run beneath the Hooghly river. It’s one of the path-breaking projects in India as never before a tunnel has been dug beneath a flowing river. The entire project is 16.6 km long, out of which 10.8 km runs under the ground. Of this 10.8 km, 502 meters is under the water. The project connects Howrah to the west and Salt Lake to the east. The stretch of 16.6 km will have 12 stations, six of which will be under the ground, while the remaining six stations will be on elevated tracks. The train is said to run without a driver. The train would carry around 1,000 passengers in one go and will have six air-conditioned coaches. With the cost of Rs 60 crore, the project is expected to be completed by December 2019.

UDAN scheme: Tamil Nadu govt signs MoU with Aviation Ministry

The Government of Tamil Nadu has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry for the implementation of the UDAN scheme in the state. The MoU has been signed at the Secretariat in Fort St George, Chennai, by the officials in presence of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and the Airports Authority of India Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra. Under the Regional Air Connectivity scheme UDAN, three of the tier-two industrial towns such as Hosur, Salem and Neyveli are to be developed in the first phase where airstrips are available, though not in use.

Kerala government implements ‘green protocol’ for weddings

Wedding ceremonies in Kerala are all set to become ‘green’, with the state government coming out with a green protocol to make auspicious occasions more nature-friendly. With the implementation of the protocol, plastic and other non-biodegradable articles including disposable glasses and plates and thermocol decorations will be kept at bay from marriage functions. Instead of this, people would be persuaded to use tumblers, plates and other utensils made of glass and environment-friendly metals.

Centre approves modifications to ‘kambala’ Bill

The Centre has approved the modifications to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017 to pave way for organizing ‘kambala’ in the coming season, according to PP Chaudhary, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice. Now, the Bill will be placed before the President for his approval. The approval by the President will help in the smooth conduct of ‘Kambala’ (the traditional slush track buffalo race) in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. The Bill proposes to exempt ‘kambala’ from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960.

Telangana launches single-woman pension scheme

Telangana government launched the single-women pensions scheme across the state. Single women will be given 1,000 per month in what is being described as the first such scheme in India.

AP’s Vizianagaram bags MGNREGA national award

The Ministry of Rural Development has selected Vizianagaram as one among the 17 districts across the nation for the MGNREGA annual award for effective implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act during 2015-16. The award would be presented at the Mahatma Gandhi NREGA Sammelan to the district programme coordinator and District Collector on June 19 in New Delhi.

Odisha to have first automatic coastal warning for disasters

Come the next independence day, Odisha can warn the vast population residing along its 480 km-long coast by pressing a single button from a control room in the State capital in the event of the occurrence of natural disasters like a tsunami or a cyclone. The State government is likely to commission the ambitious Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) that would enable loud sirens go off simultaneously from towers at 122 locations by August 15.

Telangana launches T-Wallet for people with and without mobile phones

The Telangana Government has launched a digital wallet, named T-Wallet, which doesn’t charge transaction fee from consumers. The government is planning to use the wallet, available in Google Play, for remittances under job guarantee scheme MNREGA and scholarships for students. Telangana became the first state in the country to launch official e- wallet.

Inauguration of MITS Mega Food Park at Rayagada

The first Mega Food Park in the state MITS Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Rayagada has been inaugurated today by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries. This is the 7th Mega Food Park operationalized in the last 3 years by the present government. On this occasion Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, MoS (Food Processing Industries), Government of India, were also present. Ministry of Food Processing Industries is focusing on boosting the food processing industry so that agriculture sector grows exponentially and become a major contributor to doubling the farmer’s income and ‘Make In India’ initiative of the government.

Arun Jaitley inaugurates Telangana solar plant

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated a grid-connected solar power plant of 16 MW capacity at the Ordinance Factory in Telangana’s Medak district. The solar power plant at Medak set up at a cost of Rs 105 crore by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEML) with the commissioning of 9 Mega Watt windmill project at Dammit. The excellence awards in the institutional category for 2014-15 was given to Bharat Dynamics Limited, Hyderabad while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bengaluru. The best performance award in exports for 2014-15 was given to Goa Shipyard Limited while the award for 2015-16 was conferred on Bharat Electronics Limited, Bengaluru.

CONFERENCES

6th Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held between India & Myanmar

The 6th India – Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting co-chaired by Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Commerce & Industry from India and Dr. Than Myint, Union Commerce Minister from Myanmar was held in New Delhi. The Joint Trade Committee plays a key role in facilitating issues related to the enhancement of the bilateral economic partnership between the two countries. Myanmar shares a long land border of over 1600 Kms with India as well as a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal. During the meeting discussions were held on exploring the feasibilities of direct shipping lines with Sittwe port and Vizag/ Chennai. Similarly, the need for direct air connectivity with Chennai/ Guwahati was discussed.

G7 environment ministers meeting 2017 held in Bologna, Italy

Group of Seven (G7) Environment Ministers Meeting was held in Bologna, Italy to discuss issues ranging from climate change to sustainable development and litter at sea. The meeting was attended by the Environment Ministers of the seven countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) and the Commissioners of the European Union for Environment and Climate. The Bologna meeting focused on the priority themes of the global environmental challenge, such as the state of implementation of the goals set by the Paris Agreement to fight climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN 2030 Agenda. ‘5-year Bologna Roadmap’ was adopted at the meeting, which focuses on important issues such as resource efficiency indicators, citizen involvement, awareness on food waste and economic analysis of the efficient use of resources.

Minister of Railways Inaugurates 1st Indian Railways HR Round Table Conference

Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated Indian Railways’ 1st HR Round Table Conference in New Delhi. The Conference was organized around three themes i.e.,
(i) Stakeholders Expectations from HR.
(ii) The Future of Work – HR Role
(iii) Creativity Within Constraints
HR experts and leaders of industry held round table discussion on each of the above mentioned themes.

Ministry of AYUSH inaugurates 2nd National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga

The second National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga has begun in New Delhi. The conference aimed at giving insight to the journalists about the scientific aspects of yoga and its benefits for health. The theme of the conference is ‘Yoga for Health and Harmony’. Eminent experts of yoga and modern medicine present highlights from recent research work on aspects of yoga. The event was inaugurated by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik. It is being organized by Ministry of AYUSH in association with Press Information Bureau as a part of celebrations of the 3rd International Day of Yoga on 21st of June.

Rajnath Singh inaugurated conference on disaster management

Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a two-day national level conference on “Capacity Building of SDRF-2017″ in New Delhi. The conference was organised by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), holded discussions to develop a synergy and to highlight the way ahead to strengthen the response capabilities of State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF). In the conference, various agenda points like streamlining the training process of SDRFs and conducting it in a planned and coordinated manner, integrations of operational efforts between NDRF and SDRF, requirement and creation of training infrastructure in each state, improving response time by SDRF’s was discussed.

70th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Adi Godrej & Andrew Liveris bag USIBC Global Leadership Awards

Adi Godrej Chairman of Godrej Group and Andrew Liveries CEO of Dow Chemical have been awarded the Global Leadership Awards of the US-India Business Council for their role in integrating India in the global supply chain. Both were honored for creating inclusive business environments, integrating India in the global supply chain and advancing core values such as manufacturing, innovation and scale in tough market conditions. Liveris and Godrej were presented with the prestigious annual award at the USIBC’s annual gala.

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at International meet

Uttarakhand was conferred with the award of Excellence at the 2nd Global Skill Development Summit held in Paris recently for innovations and extensive use of IT for skilling the state’s youth. Project Director of Uttarakhand Skill Development Committee Pankaj Kumar Pandey received the honor on behalf of the state.

Hyderabad- based man awarded ‘Best Astrologer of world’

City-based astrologer and numerologist TS Vineeth Bhatt has been conferred with the ‘Best astrologer of the world’ award at the ‘Russian-Indian economic dialogue’ round-table meet held in Moscow. The event was organized by Peacemakers International, a charity that works for the advancement of conflict resolution through mediation services and training. Bhatt, 37, is from Kerala and lives in Bowenpally. Three generations of his family have been practising astrology. He is a personal astrologer to ministers, ambassadors, senators across the globe.

West Bengal’s Kanyashree initiative Honoured with UN Public Service Award

The West Bengal Government’s Kanyashree Prakalpa was awarded the first prize in United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific. Out of 552 initiatives from 62 different countries, West Bengal Government’s initiative was chosen the best. The award was presented at The Hague, Netherlands. Kanyashree Prakalpa is a targeted conditional cash transfer scheme aimed at retaining girls in schools and other educational and skill development institutions and preventing child marriage. The scheme has already enrolled more than for million adolsecent gilrs and the State Government has till date transferred about USD 500 million directly to the beneficiaries bank account. The scheme is being implemented through 16000 institute and schools.

Indian agri microbiologist given environment award in Japan

Indian agricultural microbiologist Shrihari Chandraghatgi has been conferred the Ministry of Environment Award for 2017 in Japan for developing cutting edge technologies to address burning environmental problems. Chandraghatgi, who is President and CEO of EcoCycle Corporation, is the first foreigner to be given the Ministry of Environment Award, the highest award in the environmental sector in Japan. The Ministry of Environment Award is the highest honour given in the environmental sector every year jointly by the Ministry of Environment, Japan, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan and The Nikkan Kogyo Shinbun (a media group).

Qatar Airways named best airline in the world by Skytrax

Qatar Airways has been named Best Airline in the World for 2017 by leading consumer aviation website Skytrax. The Gulf-based carrier was presented with the honor at World Airline Awards at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways was voted Best Airline by travelers across the world in the annual passenger survey. The Doha-based carrier has now won the prestigious Airline of the Year title for a fourth time. Qatar Airways also won the World’s Best Business Class, the World’s Best First Class Lounge and the Best Airline in the Middle East awards. On the other hand, Malaysia-based Air Asia won awards for being the Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia for a month year in the row, and also as World’s Best Low-Cost Airline Premium Cabin 2017.

Member of the British Empire Award for Annabel Mehta

Sachin Tendulkar’s mother-in-law and social activist Annabel Mehta, a British national, has been awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her work and service to the underprivileged. The award will be presented to her at Buckingham Palace in London later this year. Annabel has been recognized and honored for over 40 years of service to underprivileged communities in India. Much of this has been through her leading role within the NGO, Apnalaya, of which she has been President since 2013. Mehta was born in Birmingham in 1940 and trained in Social Administration at the London School of Economics where she met her Indian husband, Anand Mehta. Annabel moved to India in 1966.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute bags first PM’s Yoga award

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune has been selected as the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for outstanding contribution to promotion and development of Yoga 2017. The Institute has worked to spread Yoga, internationally, over a period of four decades. The institute has published several books on yoga and these have been translated into multiple languages. There are thousands of Iyengar Yoga teachers popularizing and propagating yoga across the world. The selection was done from among 85 nominations received and 15 more recommended by the Screening Committee. The institution of the award was announced by the Prime Minister on the occasion of the Second International Day of Yoga at Chandigarh in 2016.

Israeli author David Grossman wins Man Booker Prize

Israeli author David Grossman has won the Man Booker International Prize 2017 for his novel ‘A Horse Walks Into a Bar’. Grossman beat out five other finalists, including fellow Israeli author Amos Oz for the counterpart to Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize. Grossman’s novel is about a failing standup comic and his final performance. The award has a prize of 50,000 pounds ($64,000) that is split evenly between Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen.

Bhupen Hazarika Award conferred to Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi

The Fifth Bhupen Hazarika National Award, 2017 has been conferred to an eminent writer from Arunachal Pradesh Yeshe Dorjee Thongshi. This is the fifth edition of the award which was first conferred in 2012. The prestigious Award, instituted by Sarhad, a Maharashtra-based organization, is honoring a person every year since 2012, who has rendered an outstanding literary work at national and international level. The award consists of 51,000 rupees, a memento and a certificate. His most important novel is Mauna Onth Mukhar Hriday (Silent lips, murmuring hearts) which won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2005.

NASA confers Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn posthumously

NASA has posthumously awarded the Exceptional Public Service Medal to Michael A’Hearn, one of the world’s leading comet scientists. A’Hearn died at the age of 76. The NASA Medal is for “fundamental work on comets and small bodies of the solar system, leadership in space missions, and ensuring public access to data from NASA missions and related projects.”

Nalanda model of water conservation chosen for National Award

A model of water conservation adopted successfully by the authorities in Nalanda district of south-central Bihar, has been selected for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee program (MGNREGP), by the ministry of rural development. The award for excellence will be conferred on ‘Project Jal Sanchay’, the water conservation model developed in chief minister Nitish Kumar’s native district, at a function to be organized at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on June 19.

Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar Make It to Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities List

The Forbes list of world’s highest-paid celebs is out and has Sean Combs right at the top. On the list, Bollywood big stars with Shah Rukh Khan leading the charge at the 65th position with $38 million in earnings this year. On his heels is Salman Khan at the 71st spot with $37 million earned in 2016-2017. Akshay Kumar is at 80th position with $35.5 million. Unlike last year, Amitabh Bachchan has not made to the list.

Indian girl bags Little Miss Universe Internet 2017 crown at Little Miss Universe in Georgia

A 12-year-old Padmalaya Nanda from Odisha has created history by becoming the youngest girl to bag the “Little Miss Universe Internet 2017″ and “Little Miss Actress” crowns at the Little Miss Universe 2017 at the port city of Batumi in Georgia. This is the first time that a 12 yr Indian girl has won this beauty pageant title. She will now participate in the “Little Miss World 2017″ competition that will be held at Greece from Sept 25 to Oct 1, 2017. The award received by the girl was a golden crown which is valid only for a year and will be returned to the Little Miss Universe 2018 competition.

Poet, essayist Haraprasad Das gets Kalinga Literary Award

Legendary poet and essayist Haraprasad Das was conferred with the covetous Kalinga Literary Award for his work and contribution to literature at the fourth edition of Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF). The three-day literary festival was inaugurated by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. This year the KLF introduced two new awards – the Kalinga International Literary Award, which was received by Anand Neelakantan for his contribution towards literature, and the Kalinga Karubaki Award, which was given to Paramita Satpathy for her contribution to Odia poetry.

Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee to receive Legion d’ Honneur

Thespian Bengali actor, Soumitra Chatterjee has been conferred with the France’s highest civilian honour, the coveted Legion of Honour. The award will be presented to the Kolkata-based actor by the Ambassador of France to India Alexandre Ziegler. The award comes with the octogenarian Bengali screen legend exactly 30 years after Satyajit Ray got the honour by the then French President Francois Mitterrand in 1987. Dadasaheb Phalke award winner, Chatterjee featured in some of Ray’s most talked about movies such as Apur Sansar, on one of the famous Apu trilogy, Charulata, Aranyer Din Ratri and Sonar Kella.

SPORTS & GAMES

ISSF Jr World Championship: India finish second with 8 medals

The Indian shooting squad has finished a creditable second at the ISSF Junior World Championship with three gold, two silver and three bronze medals in Suhl, Germany. India picked up a gold and silver in the team and individual sections of the 25m pistol junior men’s event. India also won team bronze in the 25m pistol junior women’s event to shore up their tally on the fourth and final day of competitions. Anish Bhanwala won three medals, one of each colour. The fourth and final day of the tournament saw Anish Bhanwala winning all the three colours in medals for India. His wins included both individual events and team, in which he teamed up with Anhad Jawanda and Shivam Shukla to total 1733 in the 25m pistol to win gold. With 19 medals in their kitty, China topped the medal tally to finish first in the tournament. They claimed eight gold medals in the tournament.

Roger Federer defeats Alexander Zverev to lift Ninth Halle Open title

Swiss legend Roger Federer has clinched his ninth Halle Open title after beating Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-3 in the final. The top seed Roger Federer showed no mercy with fourth seed Alexander Zverev after wrapping up his ninth title in his 11th Halle final. The final took place at the Gerry Weber Stadion in Halle, Germany. With this result, Federer won, for the first time in his career, one tournament nine times. The match was the quickest final in the history of the Halle Open.

Ankush claims gold, Devendro wins silver at Mongolia tourney

The fast-rising Ankush Dahiya (60kg) clinched a gold while the experienced L Devendro Singh (52kg) settled for a silver medal on the final day of the Ulaanbaatar Cup boxing tournament in Mongolia. The 19-year-old Ankush, who is a former Asian youth silver-medalist, defeated Korean Man Choe Chol in a split verdict, while Devendro lost to Indonesia’s Aldoms Suguro, again a split decision. India thus signed off with a gold, a silver and three bronze medals from the tournament. K Shyam Kumar (49kg), Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) and Priyanka Chaudhary (60kg) – lost their respective semi-final bouts to settle for bronze medals.

India set record for most 300-plus totals in ODI cricket

India became the team to score the most 300-plus totals in One Day International (ODI) Cricket. India did so when they scored a total of 310 for the loss of five wickets in the second ODI against West Indies. It was the 96th time that India crossed the 300-run mark, surpassing Australia’s 95. India went on to win the match by 105 runs, the highest winning margin they have ever enjoyed against West Indies in the Carribeans. The other teams posted 300+ scores in ODIs as follows: Australia 95, South Africa 77, Pakistan 68, Sri Lanka 62, England 57 and New Zealand 51.

Anish Bhanwala bags gold medal in ISSF Junior Shooting World Championship

Haryana’s Anish Bhanwala gave a robust start for the Indian challenge by clinching the 25-metre standard pistol gold with a world junior record in the Junior World Shooting Championship in Suhl, Germany. The 15-year-old Anish shot 579 to win the gold seven points ahead of Florian Peter of Germany. In the process, Anish also bettered the junior world record of 574 set by Denis Koulakov of Russia in Lahti, Finland, in 2002. Anish’s score was seven points clear of second-placed German Florian Peter who shot 572, while Ukraine’s Pablo Korostylov won the bronze in the event shooting a score of 570.

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Australia Open Super Series title

In Badminton, ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has lifted the Australian Open Superseries trophy in Sydney. In the summit clash, 11th world ranked Srikanth stunned former world number one and Rio Olympics Gold medalist Chen Long of China in straight games, 22-20, 21-16. It was Srikanth’s first victory over the Chinese in 6 matches. The trophy is Srikanth’s second straight title victory in a week after he won the Indonesian Open Super Series Premier.

Kidambi Srikanth clinches Indonesia Open title

Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth lifted the Indonesia Super Series Premier men’s singles title, beating Japan’s Kazumasa Sakai in the final by defeating Japanese qualifier Kazumasa Sakai in straight games 21-11, 21-19. World No.22 Srikanth won in a 37-minute clash against the Japanese qualifier in the $1,000,000 event. This was the 24-year-old’s second Super Series Premier title. His last Super Series Premier triumph had come in the 2014 China Open.

Virat Kohli becomes No.1 ranked ODI batsman

In a major shakeup in the top of the rankings after the group stages of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Indian captain Virat Kohli displaced South Africa’s AB de Villiers as the No.1 ranked ODI batsman in the world while Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood took over from Proteas pacer Kagiso Rabada as the No.1 ranked bowler.

  1. Top three ODI Batsman are-
    * Virat Kohli (IND)
    * David Warner (AUS)
    * AB de Villiers (SA)
  2. Top Three ODI Bowlers are-
    * Josh Hazlewood (AUS)
    * Imran Tahir (SA)
    * Mitchell Starc (AUS)

Rafael Nadal rises to second in ATP world rankings

Rafael Nadal’s magnificent run to a 10th French Open title has earned the Spaniard a move into second in the latest ATP world rankings. The 31-year-old clinched his record- breaking Roland Garros crown by demolishing Stan Wawrinka in a one-sided final for a 15th Grand Slam crown. The Top three players in the list are- 1. Andy Murray, 2. Rafael Nadal, and 3. Stan Wawrinka.

Lewis Hamilton wins Canadian GP for sixth time

Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix for the sixth time. He won against Sebastian Vettel’s overall championship and lead to 12 points. It was Hamilton’s third victory of the season and also his third in a row. It was the three-time champion’s sixth victory at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was the 56th title of his career.

Jitu Rai-Heena Sidhu clinch gold medal in ISSF World Cup

India’s Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu combined to clinch the gold medal in mixed team 10m air pistol event of the ISSF World Cup, beating Russia in the final in Gabala, Azerbaijan. France beat Iran by an identical score to win the bronze in the event. 430 athletes from 45 countries are competing for medals in the ongoing World Cup, which is the last chance for rifle and pistol shooters to qualify for the ISSF World Cup Finals.

Shashikant Kutwal wins gold at world chess championship for differently-abled

Shashikant Kutwal has won the gold medal at the 17th World Individual Chess Championship for differently-abled. The World Chess Championship was held in Slovakia. Shashikant Kutwal is a railway employee with Pune Division.

The French Open 2017- Complete list of Winners

The French open title 2017 was held recently from 22 May-11 June 2017 at Roland Garros in Paris, France. Numbers of records were shattered and created during the tournament. The game has witnessed so many turnovers in the matches that have made it one of the most exciting tournaments in the World. Here is the complete list of all the winners in different categories of The French Open 2017.

* French Men’s Singles Open Title- Spain’s Rafael Nadal (10th French Title) defeated Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland).
* French Women’s Singles Open Title- Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko (1st Grand Slam Title) defeated Simona Halep (Rome).
* French Men’s Doubles Title- Michael Venus (New Zealand) and Ryan Harrison (USA) defeated Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young.
* French Women’s Doubles Title- Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) defeated Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.
* French Open Mixed Doubles title- Rohan Bopanna (India) and Gabriela Dabrowski (Canada) defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah.

Rafael Nadal wins 10th French Open title

Spain’s Rafael Nadal made history by winning a record 10th French men’s Open title with victory over Stan Wawrinka in the Paris final (French Open 2017). Nadal came through 6-2 6-3 6-1 against the Swiss third seed to claim his 15th major title. He becomes the first man or woman in the Open era to have won a Grand Slam tournament 10 times. Rafael Nadal won his first French Open title at the age of 19 in 2005. Only Australia’s Margaret Court has more victories at a single Grand Slam tournament, with 11 Australian Open wins between 1960 and 1973. He extended his record at Roland Garros to 79 wins and two losses since his first victory in 2005, the only defeats coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2014.

Jelena Ostapenko won French Open title 2017

Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title by beating Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in just under two hours in the women’s final of the French Open 2017. With this win, the unseeded Latvian became the youngest women’s champion at Roland Garros in 20 years. Ostapenko also recovered from a break behind in the third set and finished the contest with a flashing backhand winner to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933.

Michael Venus-Ryan Harrison clinch French Open men’s doubles title

Michael Venus became New Zealand’s first Grand Slam champion since 1974 when he partnered American Ryan Harrison to the French Open men’s doubles title. Venus and Harrison defeated Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and American Donald Young 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in the final at Roland Garros. The 29-year-old is just New Zealand’s second Grand Slam winner in the modern era after Onny Parun teamed up with Australian Dick Crealy to win the men’s doubles crown in Paris 43 years ago.

IOC approves new events for 2020 Tokyo Game

The International Olympic Committee has approved new events for the 2020 Tokyo Games, including a number of mixed gender competitions. The IOC’s Executive Board made the decision at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. The choices reflect the IOC’s focus on gender equality and appeal to young people. The additions include a mixed team event for judo. Table Tennis will also get a mixed doubles competition. The event was featured in the recent world championships in Germany. Three-on-three basketball is an example of the IOC’s focus on youth and urban sports. The IOC has recommended awarding the hosting rights for both the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time.

Muttiah Muralidaran becomes first Sri Lankan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Muttiah Muralidaran, the most successful bowler in Tests and One-Day Internationals, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in London. The Sri Lankan spin great was honored during the innings break of the India versus Sri Lanka Champions Trophy match at The Oval. He became the first player from Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when ICC CEO Dave Richardson presented him with a commemorative framed cap.

Ramkumar Ramanathan lifts ITF men’s Futures tennis title

India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan lifted the ITF (International Tennis Federation) men’s Futures tennis title after outplaying Raymond Sarmiento of the USA in straight sets in Singapore. The top-seeded Indian beat the second seeded player 6-2, 6-2 in the final of the event. It was the first title of the season for Ramkumar. A regular in India’s Davis Cup team, Ramkumar had recently competed in the qualifying event of the French Open but failed to make it to the main round of the Grand Slam tournament.

Virat Kohli sole Indian in top 100 of Forbes list of world’s highest paid athletes

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli is the sole sportsperson from the country to feature in the world’s 100 highest paid athletes in the latest Forbes list topped by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. Virat Kohli has been ranked 89th on the 2017 Forbes list of ‘The World’s highest paid athletes’ with a total pay of $ 22 million that includes $ three million from salary and winnings and another 19 million from endorsements. The list has been topped by Ronaldo with a total pay of 93 million dollars. American basketball star LeBron James comes in at the second spot, followed by Argentine footballer Lionel Messi (3rd) and tennis star Roger Federer (4th). Tennis star Serena Williams, who comes in at the 51 spot with $ 27 million, the lone female athlete to make the cut this year.

Rohan Bopanna wins French Open mixed doubles title to clinch maiden Grand Slam

Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski produced a fighting performance to beat their German-Colombian opponents Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Robert Farah in the final to clinch their maiden French Open mixed doubles title in Paris, France. Seeded seventh, Bopanna and Dabrowski took an hour and six minutes to win, saving two match points, as they overcame the unseeded Groenefeld and Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 on Philippe-Chatrier Court. Bopanna has become only the fourth Indian to win a Grand Slam crown, after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. Indians have accounted for 20 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles.

Real Madrid wins UEFA Champions League title

Real Madrid beat Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final 2017 to successfully defend the title. Cristiano Ronaldo, Casemiro and Marco Asensio all scored to take their side to the 12th title in the tournament. It was a historic day for the French manager Zinedine Zidane as well as the Spanish giants, which became the only club to retain the title in the Champions League era.

B Sai Praneeth wins Thailand Grand Prix Gold

B Sai Praneeth came back from a game down to beat Indonesian Jonatan Christie 17-21, 21-18, 21-19. It is Praneeth’s second title of the year after the victory at the Singapore Super Series earlier in the year.

West Indies cricket team’s official name changed to WINDIES

The cricket board for West Indies, on its 91st anniversary, has re-branded themselves as Cricket West Indies from the former West Indies Cricket board. The board also announced in a media release on their official website that the cricket team from now on will be officially known as ‘WINDIES.

ECONOMY

India signs loan agreement with World Bank for projects in Assam

An agreement for IBRD Credit of USD 35 Million from World Bank for “Assam State Public Financial Institutional Reforms Project” was signed in New Delhi. The agreement was signed by Shri Raj Kumar, Joint Secretary (MI), Department of Economic Affairs on behalf of the Government of India and Mr. John Blomquist, Acting Country Director, World Bank (India) on behalf of the World Bank. The program duration is 5 years. The objective of the project is to improve predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam. The project will benefit the citizens of Assam through efficient processes, enhanced transparency and better service delivery (such as electronic payments and collections for services, better public procurement, and enhanced taxpayer services) provided by public institutions.

EU fines Google a record 2.42 billion euros

The European Union has handed Google a record-breaking €2.42bn (£2.14bn) fine for abusing its dominance of the search engine market in building its online shopping service, in a dramatic decision that has far-reaching implications for the company. It is the biggest fine the EU has ever imposed on a single company in an antitrust case, exceeding a 1.06- billion-euro sanction handed down to U.S. chipmaker Intel in 2009. The ruling also orders Google to end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face a further penalty. However, if it fails to change the way it operates the Shopping service within the three-month deadline, it could be forced to make payments of five percent of its parent company Alphabet’s average daily worldwide earnings.

RBI amends Banking Ombudsman Scheme

The Reserve Bank has extended the scope of Banking Ombudsman Scheme under which banks could be penalised for mis-selling third-party products like insurance and mutual funds via mobile or electronic banking. Under the amended scheme, a customer would also be able to lodge a complaint against the bank for its non-adherence to RBI instructions with regard to mobile banking/ electronic banking services in India The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an award has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the Banking Ombudsman to pass an Award has been increased from existing rupees one million to rupees two million. Banking Ombudsman is a quasi judicial authority functioning under the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, 2006. The authority was created to enable resolution of complaints of customers of banks relating to services rendered by the lenders.

World Bank sanctions 44 million dollars for ASPIRe Project

World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan assistance of 44 million dollars for the Assam State Public Finance Institutional Reforms (ASPIRe) Project. The loan was sanctioned by World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) in its meeting held at Washington DC, USA. The project aims at improving predictability and transparency in budget execution and efficiency in tax administration in Assam.

Hike partners with Yes bank to launch UPI-based wallet

Hike Messenger has launched the new version of the app with a completely new interface and the addition of a mobile wallet, in partnership with YES Bank. With Unified Payments Interface support enabled in Hike 5.0, users can now do free and instant bank-to-bank transfers with their friends. The feature works even if your friends aren’t on Hike. For those who don’t actively use a bank account, Hike still allows them to send and receive money with your friends through the Wallet. The app now also allows users to recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill right from inside Hike.

Meghalaya signs two MoU with SBI for online payments

Meghalaya government has signed two MoUs with the State Bank of India as a part of an initiative towards migrating government transactions to digital mode. With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax(GST), these MoUs are expected to give dealers and other citizens the desired platform for conducting financial transactions with the state government on a digital platform. The state government has already established a new treasury called as Cyber Treasury, which dedicatedly handles all online transactions of government receipts across the state centrally for a few selected departments. The state government will now escalate its transactions for the collection of tax and non-tax revenue through the online system – Government Receipt Accounting System (GRAS) covering all departments in a phased manner.

Lockheed signs pact with Tata to make F-16 planes in India

The defence arm of the Tata Group has signed an agreement with American firm Lockheed Martin to produce and export new generation F-16 fighter aircraft, potentially kick- starting a mega ‘Make in India’ project. The agreement has been signed at the Paris Airshow, Lockheed to produce F-16 fighter planes in India. It is the newest and most advanced version of the world’s most successful, combat-proven multi-role fighter.

SBI, Tirumala Milk Products tie up for providing loans to dairy farmers

State Bank of India has entered into a tie-up with Tirumala Milk Products, a South- based company which was acquired by Groupe Lactalis in 2014, to provide loans to dairy farmers who supply milk to the latter. France-based Groupe Lactalis, which also acquired Indore-based Anik Dairy in 2016, wants to double the number of dairy farmers under its fold to three lakh and ramp up the amount of milk it procures daily to 25 lakh litres by 2020 from 14 lakh litres now. Under its scheme for financing dairy units, SBI offers loans for, among others, construction of shed, and purchase of milch animals, milking machine, and chaff cutter.

CCI slaps Rs 87 Crore fine on Hyundai Motor for unfair business ways

The country’s competition watchdog has imposed a penalty of Rs 87 crore on Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor India for anticompetitive conduct. According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the carmaker imposed arrangements upon its dealers that resulted in resale price maintenance – a deal not to sell a product below a specified price – in the sale of passenger cars manufactured by it. Such arrangements also included monitoring of the maximum permissible discount levels through a Discount Control Mechanism, in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(4)(e) read with Section 3(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.

Aadhaar must for bank accounts, transactions over Rs 50,000

Stepping up its fight against tax evasion, the Centre has made it mandatory to quote the Aadhaar number for opening bank accounts and for transactions exceeding Rs.50,000. With the amendments to the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005 notified earlier this month, banks will have to demand both Aadhaar and the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for verification of identity, starting June 1. By the Finance Act, 2017, the Government had made it mandatory to seed PAN with Aadhaar and quote it in income-tax returns. However, the Supreme Court had held that only those individuals who possess an Aadhaar card need to link it with PAN. The new rules mandate existing bank account-holders to provide their Aadhaar details by December 31, while new applicants will be expected to quote either the 12-digit number or offer proof that they have applied for Aadhaar enrolment.

AIIB grants USD 150 mn loan for India Infrastructure Fund

China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects. The Board of Directors of the AIIB, who met in Jeju in South Korea has approved USD 150 million equity investment to the India Infrastructure Fund. The bank, in which India is a lead partner, has approved two loans and one equity investment totalling USD 324 million to support infrastructure projects in India, Georgia and Tajikistan. This initiative will benefit local infrastructure development by enhancing private capital inflows from global long-term investors, such as public pension funds, endowments and insurance companies.

TerraPay partners with Yes Bank to enable instant cross-border money transfer service in India

Private sector lender Yes Bank has partnered with mobile payments switch TerraPay to enable real-time money transfer to bank accounts in India. Powered by TerraPay’s global clearing and settlement service, the partnership will make it faster and convenient for consumers to send money to any bank account. TerraPay has partnered with Yes Bank in a Rupee Drawing Arrangement which enables TerraPay’s network partners to make instant cross-border money transfer to bank accounts in India. This means that Indian migrants worldwide can walk into TerraPay’s partner outlet anytime and send money to their family and friends back home, instantly in their bank account. For bank accounts other than Yes Bank accounts, Yes Bank will disburse funds using the immediate payment service, popularly known as IMPS. The service is available 24X7.

World Bank approves over $500 million for Afghanistan to boost economy

The World Bank has approved financing worth more than 500 million dollars for Afghanistan to support a string of projects to boost the economy, help improve service delivery in five cities and support Afghan refugees sent back from Pakistan. The international troop withdrawal, which began in 2011, and political uncertainties have impacted Afghanistan’s economy deeply. The largest chunk of the package, some 205.4 million dollars, will go toward supporting communities affected by refugees returning from Pakistan.

RBI Issues New Rs. 500 banknotes with inset letter ‘A’

In continuation of issuing of Rs500 denomination banknotes in Mahatma Gandhi (new) series from time to time which are currently legal tender, a new batch of banknotes with inset letter “A” in both the number panels, bearing the signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel Governor, Reserve Bank of India; with the year of printing ’2017’ on the reverse, are being
issued. The new series earlier released and currently, in circulation has the inset letter “E”. They will continue to be valid. The design of these notes is similar in all respects to the Rs500 banknotes.

Microsoft signs agreement to acquire Israeli security firm Hexadite

Ransomware attacks have prompted Microsoft to sign an agreement to acquire Hexadite. This deal cost $100 million. Hexadite is an Israeli startup that uses Artificial Intelligence to identify and protect against cyber attacks.

Canara Bank ties up with New India Assurance Company

Canara Bank has inked pact with the state-owned general insurer The New India Assurance Company Ltd. to sell policies through its branches. The pact allows Canara Bank to offer non-life insurance products to its customers across metros and tier II and III cities through the bank’s extensive network of over 6,000 branches. The pact also strengthens distribution network of New India Assurance. Under the agreement, New India Assurance will make offer a bouquet of products such as motor, home, health, travel, fire, marine, and engineering insurance policies through branches of Canara Bank.

SBI cuts interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 bps

The State Bank of India, country’s largest lender cut the interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 10 basis points (bps) to 8.60 percent. For salaried women borrowers, the loans will be offered at 8.55 percent. According to SBI, the new rates will be effective from June 15. The home loan rates offered are lowest in the industry. The statement added that taking a cue from the recent RBI reduction in risk weightage on home loans, SBI is passing on the benefit to its customers by reducing its interest rates on home loan above Rs 75 lakh. SBI has the largest share on the home loan market.

Axis Bank to issue biodegradable prepaid gift cards

Axis Bank Ltd has announced biodegradable prepaid gift cards on the occasion of World Environment Day (05th June). With this, the bank has become the first to introduce biodegradable cards in the country. The card has the look and feel of regular plastic cards and can be used in PoS terminals and ATMs. Biodegradable cards can also be recycled.

RBI keeps Repo Rate unchanged in Second Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2017-18

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:

  • Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 6.0 per cent, and
  • The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.50 per cent. The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth.

NHB approves merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance

The proposed merger between Aadhar Housing Finance and DHFL Vysya Housing Finance has hit the final lap with it got the nod from housing finance regulator National Housing Bank (NHB). Aadhar Housing Finance Chief Executive Officer Deo Shankar Tripathi stated that it had applied to National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for the next stage approval. Both the companies are owned by Wadhawan family promoted Wadhawan Global Capital Pvt Ltd. International Finance Corporation owns 20% in Aadhar Housing, while DHFL Vysya is fully owned by Wadhawan family. According to the merger plan, Aadhar Housing will merge into DHFL Vysya, making it a pan-India company. Both the companies operate in mutually exclusive locations at present. Post merger, the Wadhawan family would own 82% in the merged entity and the balance 18% will be with institutions including IFC. The merged entity is proposed to be named as Aadhar Housing Finance, subject to NCLT’s approval.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India’s communication satellite GSAT-17 successfully launched from French Guiana

India’s latest communication satellite GSAT-17 has been successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana. GSAT-17 with a lift-off mass of about 3,477 kg carries payloads in Normal C-band, Extended C-band and S-band to provide various communication services. The Satellite also carries equipment for meteorological data relay and satellite-based search and rescue services being provided by earlier INSAT satellites. This was third satellite launch by ISRO, the other two being first developmental flight of GSLV MkIII and PSLV C-38 missions launched from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.

Scientists created the Brightest Light ever made on Earth

Scientists have created the brightest light ever produced on the Earth, shining a billion times stronger than the surface of the sun. The researchers discovered that it could be used as a new type of X-ray, capable of taking higher resolution images than the traditional kind. These could be used in hospitals but also by engineers, scientists and for security purposes. When light strikes an object, it scatters – an effect that enables our eyes to see it. Normally an electron scatters just one photon of light at a time but the light beam produced in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extreme Light Laboratory saw nearly 1,000 photons scattered at a time.

ISRO’s PSLV-C38 Lifts Off From Sriharikota With 31 Satellites

Adding another feather in its cap, Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse rocket PSLV C-38 blasted off from the spaceport of Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh carrying the Cartosat-2 series satellite – a dedicated satellite for the defense forces – along with 30 co-passenger satellites. The total weight of all the satellites carried on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is about 955 kg. The co-passenger satellites comprise 29 Nano satellites from 14 countries – Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America besides a Nano satellite from India.

DRDO successfully test fires third generation anti-tank ‘Nag’ missile in Rajasthan

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully test fired the anti-tank missile “Nag” in a desert in Rajasthan’s western sector. The Nag missile is a third generation “fire and forget” anti-tank missile. It has reportedly also been equipped with highly advanced Imaging Infrared Radar (IRR) seeker and has integrated avionics technology in its arsenal.

India successfully test-fires 1st all weather tracked-chassis QR-SAM

India on 4th June successfully test-fired its first all weather tracked-chassis Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QR-SAM) from a mobile launcher at Integrated Test Range at Chandipur in Odisha. The Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QR-SAM) was jointly developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited.

Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired

India today successfully test-fired its indigenous developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile from a test range in Odisha as part of a user trial by the Army. The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur near here at around 9.50 am, official sources said. The Prithvi-II missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target with precision and accuracy.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Beijing Envoy Vijay Keshav Gokhale is New Secretary (Economic Relations)

Vijay Gokhale, currently Indian Ambassador to China, has been appointed as the Economic Relations Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Vijay Keshav Gokhale, a 1981-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service (IFS). Gokhale has served as Ambassador of India to Germany and also in Indian missions in Hong Kong, Hanoi, Beijing and New York. He has also held the posts of Director (China and East Asia) and then Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the ministry.

Rajiv Kumar appointed as new Chief Secretary of UP

Rajiv Kumar was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh. His appointment was approved by the Uttar Pradesh Government. Prior to this appointment, Kumar was a Secretary in the Union Shipping Ministry. He is a 1981 batch IAS Officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Mr. Kumar has replaced Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar. Rahul Bhatnagar was shifted to Greater Noida as chairman, with additional charge of investment commissioner of Uttar Pradesh, in New Delhi.

Union Govt appoints Rajesh Shah as NIFT Chief

The Union Government (Ministry of Textiles) has appointed Shri Rajesh V. Shah as Chairperson on the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). He has replaced Shri Chetan Chauhan as per the provisions of the National Institute of Fashion Technology Act, 2006. Set up in 1986, the institute, which has centres across the country, comes under the Union Ministry of Textiles.

Kaushik Basu takes over as president of IEA

Former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu has taken over as president of the International Economic Association (IEA). Mr. Basu has also served as senior vice-president and chief economist at the World Bank from 2012 to 2016 and as the chief economic adviser to the Government of India from 2009 to 2012. He is currently the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell. The IEA is a leading organisation for professional economists and it seeks to shape global economic policy and research.

Priyanka Chopra appointed as ambassador for Govt’s Skill India campaign

Actress Priyanka Chopra has been appointed as the ambassador for government’s flagship Skill India campaign, with the National Skill Development Corporation. Priyanka will use her celebrity status to motivate youngsters to hone their abilities through a media campaign. Earlier, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actors Sidharth Malhotra and Shabana Azmi and singer Mohit Chauhan had also become goodwill envoys for Skill India.

Mihai Tudose designated Romania’s new PM

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis appointed Social Democrat Mihai Tudose, candidate proposed by the parliamentary majority, as prime minister and mandated him to form a new government. Mihai Tudose, the outgoing economy minister of Romania, has been appointed as prime minister, days after the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD) removed its own government following an internal power row. The 50-year-old Tudose now has 10 days to gain the vote of confidence in his government and his program.

J-K Governor N N Vohra is new president of IIC

Jammu & Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has been appointed the president of the India International Centre (IIC). IIC is one of the premier cultural institutions in the country. The appointment was made after eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee quit the presidential post.

IDFC Bank elevates Sunil Kakar as MD & CEO

IDFC Ltd announced the elevation of its CFO Sunil Kakar as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company for three years. Mr. Kakar has also been appointed as additional director. Both the appointments are subject to shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting (AGM). Kakar joined IDFC as the Group Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for finance and accounts, business planning and budgeting and investor relations, among others. Besides, the company announced that the Board has approved the resignation of veteran banker Vikram Limaye from the post of MD and CEO who is set to join leading stock exchange NSE as its new Managing Director and CEO.

UN Appoints Vladimir Voronkov as Chief of UN Counter-Terrorism Centre

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Russian diplomat Vladimir Voronkov to head the newly established UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), despite growing tensions between the US and Russia. The office is established under the General Assembly resolution 71/291 on 15 June 2017. The Under-Secretary-General will provide strategic leadership to United Nations counter-terrorism efforts, participate in the decision-making process of the United Nations and ensure that the cross-cutting origins and impact of terrorism are reflected in the work of the United Nations. He had served as Russia’s ambassador to Vienna and has been serving as an ambassador to UN organisations since 2011.

Jeevandas Narayan appointed as MD of Manappuram Home Finance

Manappuram Finance has announced the appointment of Jeevandas Narayan as the Managing Director and Subhash Samant as CEO of its fully-owned home loans subsidiary, Manappuram Home Finance. Prior to this Narayan, who has more than 37 years of experience in the financial services industry, was Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore. The company also announced the appointment of Subhash Samant as CEO of Manappuram Home Finance Pvt. Ltd.

Ayurveda specialist appointed special secretary in Ayush

Ayurveda physician ‘Vaidya’ Rajesh Kotecha has been appointed as special secretary in Ayush Ministry. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Kotecha’s appointment for three years on a contract basis, according to an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). Vaidya (physician) Kotecha is the chief consultant of Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic, Jaipur. The appointment is in line with the Centre’s efforts to bring in specialists from the private sector in the government.

UNICEF appoints teenage refugee as its latest Goodwill Ambassador

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced the appointment of Muzoon Almellehan, a 19-year-old education activist, and Syrian refugee, as its newest – and youngest – Goodwill Ambassador. The appointment makes Muzoon the first person with official refugee status to become an Ambassador for UNICEF. Muzoon, who received support from UNICEF while living in Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, follows in the footsteps of the late Audrey Hepburn, a Goodwill Ambassador who was also supported by UNICEF as a child. She lived as a refugee for three years in Jordan before being resettled in the United Kingdom.

Govt ropes in Amitabh Bachchan to promote GST

The Union government has roped in Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan to promote Goods and Services Tax (GST), ahead of the sweeping tax reform’s implementation scheduled from July 1. The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) will make the 74-year-old star the brand ambassador of the GST. A 40-second video featuring him had been shot and is being circulated. In the video, Mr. Bachchan explains the GST as an unifying force just like the three colours in the national flag. The megastar has been roped in just as the rollout of the biggest tax overhaul since independence entered its final phase. Ace badminton star PV Sindhu was previously the GST ambassador.

Govt appoints Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission

The government of India has appointed a senior executive of Tata Consultancy Services Ramanathan Ramanan to head Atal Innovation Mission, its initiative to promote entrepreneurship in the country. Ramanathan Ramanan, senior vice president at TCS, has been appointed as mission director of Atal Innovation Mission, under the government’s premier think tank NITI Aayog, in the rank of additional secretary on secondment basis from the IT bellwether for two years initially. According to the notification, Ramanan’s appointment will be without pay and allowances. The Atal Innovation Mission is the Centre’s endeavour to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Government announces Indian envoys to European Union, Italy, Belgium and Denmark

India has announced a number of new diplomatic appointments in its missions abroad, including envoys to the European Union, Italy, Belgium, and Denmark.

* Gaitri Issar Kumar, joint secretary in the President’s Secretariat, was named as India’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union which has its headquarters in the Belgian
capital of Brussels.
* Reenat Sandhu was named as India’s new Ambassador to Italy. He has replaced Anil Wadhwa.
* Ajit Vinayak Gupte, joint secretary in the external affairs ministry, has been named India’s Ambassador to Denmark. He will take over from Rajeev Shahare.

Indian-origin Leo Varadkar becomes Ireland’s youngest PM

Leo Varadkar, a 38-year-old Indian-origin doctor, scripted history by becoming Ireland’s youngest and the first openly gay Prime Minister of the Catholic-majority country. Varadkar, the country’s first Indian-origin premier, officially took over from Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, as the Irish prime ministerial title is known, after a parliamentary vote in Dublin confirmed him as the leader by 57 votes to 50, with 47 abstentions.

Lakshmi Vilas Bank appoints B K Manjunath as part-time chairman for 3 years

Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) has appointed B K Manjunath as a part-time chairman for three years. Lakshmi Vilas Bank has informed the stock exchange that subsequent to an approval granted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Board of Directors of the bank at their meeting have co-opted B K Manjunath as additional director in the category of Non-Executive and Independent Director. Manjunath is a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a practicing charted accountant for the last 25 years.

K G Karmakar, Gauri Shankar appointed directors of IPPB

K G Karmakar and Gauri Shankar were appointed as Independent Directors of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB). The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved their appointment to the post on the board of directors of the bank for a period of three years. The IPPB has been incorporated as a public sector bank under the Department of Posts with 100 percent equity of the government of India.

Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of copyrights office

Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights. The Office of Copyrights, under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, is mandated to protect the music and film industry besides addressing its concerns, among others. The competent authority has approved the appointment of Singh, a 1994 batch officer of the Indian Telecom Service, as Registrar, Copyrights Office, for a period of five years. The Copyright Office is under the immediate control of a Registrar of Copyrights, who acts under the superintendence and directions of the Central Government, according to norms.

Sher Bahadur Deuba elected Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time

Veteran Nepalese politician Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected as Nepal’s Prime Minister for the fourth time. Deuba, 70, was the sole candidate to contest in the Prime Minister election as the main opposition UML or any other party didn’t register their candidacies. He secured 388 votes in his favour and 170 votes against him. A total of 558 were cast during the voting. He needed 297 votes in the 593-strong Parliament to prove his majority. Mr. Deuba served as the prime minister from 1995 to 1997, from 2001 to 2002, and from 2004 to 2005. He was sacked by the then King Gyanendra Shah in 2005 over failure to hold elections and bring Maoist rebels to a round table negotiation.

Leo Varadkar to be next Ireland PM

The son of an Indian immigrant who came out as gay in 2015 will be the next Irish prime minister, after he was voted leader of the country’s main governing party. Leo Varadkar’s victory in the Fine Gael leadership contest on Friday, which took place after outgoing PM Enda Kenny announced his resignation last month, marks another significant step forward for equality in the country, after 2015’s gay marriage referendum. As well as becoming Ireland’s first gay prime minister, Varadkar, 38, will also become the country’s youngest leader, and the first from an ethnic minority background.

UN General Assembly elects Slovakian Miroslav Lajcak as new president

The United Nations General Assembly picked Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajcak to be its next president. The 193-member assembly, the U.N.’s most representative body, burst into applause when current President Peter Thomson of Fiji announced that Lajcak had been elected by acclamation to lead its 72nd session beginning in September.

B). RESIGNS

Anil Kumble steps down as Indian cricket team’s Head Coach

Anil Kumble, the former Indian Captain, resigned from the post of Head Coach of the Indian Cricket team. His resignation came before the limited-overs tour of the West Indies team. During this trip to the Caribbean, the team management will be supervised by M V Sridhar, the general manager of cricket operations. The batting coach Sanjay Bangar and fielding coach R Sridhar will continue in their roles. Under Kumble, India enjoyed a great record in all formats of the game. In Tests, the Men in Blue attained the No 1 ranking with series victories over West Indies, New Zealand, England and Australia. In ODIs, India edged New Zealand and England on home soil before finishing runners-up in the Champions Trophy, while in the shortest format of the game, Kumble endured his only loss in a bilateral series, when India went down to world champions West Indies in a two-match series, before beating England 2-1 in India.

Ram Nath Kovind resigns as Bihar Governor

Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind has resigned from his gubernatorial post. The resignation follows his nomination as the ruling NDA’s presidential candidate. President Pranab Mukherjee has accepted the resignation of Kovind as the Governor of Bihar. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi will discharge the functions of the Governor of Bihar, in addition to his own duties. BJP announced the name of 71-year-old Mr. Kovind, a low-profile Dalit leader and a two-term BJP Rajya Sabha member, as its nominee for President.

C). DEATHS

Harry Potter actor Sam Beazley dies at 101

British Actor Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, has passed away at the age of 101. Beazley passed away in his sleep. Beazley began his professional acting career as a teenager in 1930s and featured in films like Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. He most recently did guest roles on Foyle’s War, Kingdom, and Casualty, all in 2007.

Former CJI PN Bhagwati Passes Away

Former Chief Justice of India PN Bhagwati, considered a pioneer of judicial activism in the country for introducing the concept of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) was passed away in New Delhi after the brief illness. Justice Bhagwati, 95, is survived by his wife Prabhavati Bhagwati and three daughters. The 17th Chief Justice of India, Justice Bhagwati remained on the highest judicial post between July 1985 and December 1986. He was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973. As a Supreme Court judge, Bhagwati introduced the concepts of public interest litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system.

German reunification architect Helmut Kohl dies at 87

Former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, the architect of German reunification, died at his house in Ludwigshafen, in the western state of Germany. He was 87. Mr. Kohl, who led the centre-right Christian Democrats, was the longest-serving German chancellor of the 20th Century. As Germany’s leader for 16 years, Kohl was remembered for reuniting the country and for making a huge political and economic contribution to Europe’s integration. Kohl was credited with bringing East and West Germany together after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Together with his French ally President Francois Mitterrand, he was responsible for the introduction of the Euro.

Veteran Telugu Poet, Writer C Narayana Reddy Passes Away

Legendary Telugu poet and writer C Narayana Reddy passed away. He was 85. He was honored with Padma Shri in 1977 and Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India. He had received the Jnanpith Award for the year 1988. He was also the president of the Telangana Saraswatha Parishath. He was also a former Rajya Sabha MP.

Adam West, TV’s Batman dies at 88

A well known US actor, Adam West died in Los Angeles. He was suffering to leukaemia for some time. He was 88. Adam West rose to prominence in the 1960s for a TV series Batman. First appearing in season two in 2002, he voiced Quahog’s eccentric Mayor Adam West, described by series creator Seth MacFarlane as an “alternate universe”, satirised version of the actor.

Eminent rights activist Mehrunnisa Dalwai passes away

Mehrunnisa Dalwai, a noted social activist and author, and the wife of one of modern Maharashtra’s most remarkable and formidable social reformers, Hamid Dalwai, passed away. She was 87. Her autobiography, “Mi Bharun Pawle” is considered an inspirational piece for progressive movement.

D). VISITORS

PM Modi’s Three-Day Tour

  1. PM Modi in Portugal-The Journey of PM started on 24th June. In the first leg of his tour, he reached Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Over there, India and Portugal have signed eleven MOUs for cooperation in areas including double taxation avoidance, science and technology, trade and investment, nanotechnology, space research, administrative reforms and culture. 5 of the MoU’s were in the area of science and technology.
    2. PM Modi in The USA-In the second day of his three-nation tour PM arrived in US capital Washington D.C. This was the first Meet of Mr. Modi with the newly appointed President of USA Mr. Donald Trump. India and the United States agreed to enhance cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation.
    3. PM Modi in The Netherlands in his 3rd day- In the final day of his three-nation tour, PM Modi arrived in Amsterdam, the capital of Netherlands, after concluding his visit to the US. The Netherlands has backed India’s early entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, NSG, and other multilateral export control regimes. In a joint communique issued after the meeting between PM Modi and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Hague. The Netherlands also supported the country’s bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat. India and Netherlands also signed three MOUs on water management, cultural cooperation and on amending social security arrangement.

PM Narendra Modi leaves for Netherlands after concluding US trip

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for the Netherlands in his last leg of the three-nation visit after completing his two-day US tour. The Prime Minister will reach Amsterdam where he will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Mr. Mark Rutte. Both countries are celebrating 70 years of the establishment of Indo-Dutch diplomatic relations this year.

PM Modi leaves for three-nation tour, Portugal to be first stop

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has embarked on a three-nation visit. In the first leg of his tour, he will reach Portuguese capital, Lisbon. After Portugal, the Prime Minister will depart for the US capital, Washington DC. During his two-day US visit, the Prime Minister will meet its President, Donald Trump. This will be the first meeting between the two leaders. In the last leg of his tour, Mr. Modi will visit The Netherlands for bilateral talks with his counterpart, Mr. Mark Rutte.

Arun Jaitely’s four days visit to South Korea

The Union Minister of Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley was on a four-day official visit (from 14th to 17th June) to Republic of Korea (ROK) and participated in the India-Korea Strategic Economic Dialogue and the 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The Key Points of the visit are:
1. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved USD 150 million equity investment loan to the India Infrastructure Fund. It is the bank’s first such loan to fund private projects.
2. India, South Korea agree to increase investment to push infrastructure, bilateral trade
The two countries have signed agreements to establish 9 billion US dollar in concessional credit and 1 billion dollars in Official Development Assistant, ODA funding for infrastructure development projects in India. With this, Republic of Korea became one of the first non-G-7 countries to become an ODA contributor in India.
3. India-Korea Financial Dialogue in Seoul
Both sides agreed that in the face of uncertainty and the risk of rising protectionism, there was a need for the two countries to increase efforts to stimulate investment flows, support for infrastructure development, and bilateral trade among others. The dialogue was followed by the signing ceremony of Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) agreement between India and South Korea and thereafter, an MOU was signed between EXIM Bank of India and South Korea’s KEXIM Bank.
4. 2nd Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the AIIB
The second annual meeting of the AIIB was held on June 16, 2017, in South Korea’s Jeju Island. The theme of this year’s annual meeting was “Sustainable Infrastructure”. During this second annual meeting of governors, AIIB approved the membership of Argentina, Madagascar, and Tonga.
5. India to host AIIB Annual Meeting 2018
The Board of Governors of the AIIB announced that the Bank’s third Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors will be held in Mumbai, India in June 2018. India is the Bank’s second largest shareholder (China is the 1st) and is becoming an increasingly important geography for AIIB investments.

PM of India leaves for Kazakhstan to attend SCO summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for Kazakhstan, where he will attend the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and meet some foreign leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the summit in Astana, India and Pakistan will become full members of the grouping, which at present comprises China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Ahead of his two-day visit, PM Modi stated that he looked forward to deepening engagement with the SCO countries. At this meeting, on completion of the process, India will become a full member of the SCO upon which the SCO will represent over 40 per cent of humanity and nearly 20 percent of the global GDP. On the evening of June 9, he will also attend the inauguration of the Astana Expo with the theme of “Future Energy”.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

UNESCO declares Sharjah as World Book Capital 2019

Sharjah, a city in the United Arab Emirates was named ‘World Book Capital for the year’ 2019 by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee which met at the Headquarters of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) at La Haye. The city was selected because of the very innovative, comprehensive and inclusive nature of the application, with a community-focused activity program containing creative proposals to engage the very large migrant population. The program runs with a slogan ‘Read – you are in Sharjah’. It focuses on six themes: inclusivity, reading, heritage, outreach, publishing, and children. The Sharjah is the first in the GCC and third in the Arab world and Middle East, to have received this recognition. The GCC countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Dangal becomes 1st Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 at globally

The Aamir Khan starrer Dangal has become the first Indian movie to earn Rs 2,000 crore worldwide. Recently, Dangal also created the record of being the fifth highest-grossing non-English film ever. Based on the life of wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat, the sports drama film is also the highest grossing Indian film in China. According to a report by Forbes, on its 53rd day of release in China, Dangal made Rs 2.5 crore ($390,000) at the China box office taking its worldwide total to Rs 2000 crore. The movie has already beaten movies like ‘Captain America: Civil War’, ‘xXx: Return Of Xander Cage’, ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’, ‘Titanic 3D’ and ‘The Jungle Book’. ‘Dangal’ is now behind world’s biggest blockbuster ‘Avatar’ and Chris Pratt’s ‘Jurassic World,’ which are positioned at number 15 and 14, respectively at the China box office.

SpiceJet becomes world’s top airline stock with 124% gain in 2017

Two and a half years after Indian air carrier SpiceJet Ltd was forced to ground its entire fleet on its inability to pay a mere $2.2 million in fuel bills, the budget airline has become the world’s best-performing airline stock – with $26 billion in plane orders to boot. The company’s co-founder and chairman, Ajay Singh, has played the white knight, injecting capital, cutting loss-making routes and aggressively adding capacity in one of the world’s fastest growing markets. SpiceJet shares are the best performers on a Bloomberg Intelligence index of airline stocks this year.

Maharashtra man Gokulnath becomes 1st Indian to finish solo Race Across America

Srinivas Gokulnath from Maharashtra created history by becoming the first Indian to complete the 4,941-km Race Across America (RAAM) in solo category. Srinivas, 37, completed the toughest cycle race in the world in 11 days and 11 hours in the 18-49 age category. The time given was 12 days to complete the race, that is 13 hours earlier than the scheduled time. The race concluded at Odenton. In a feat that marks the Indian arrival on the endurance cycling scene globally, another Maharashtrian, Dr. Amit Samarth followed Gokulnath at the finish line at Annapolis on American east coast. Among the nine men who finished, Gokulnath stood 7th while Samarth was right on his heels at number 8. The race was won by Christoph Strasser.

Doon girl wins Miss World title in bodybuilding championship

Bhumika Sharma, another Indian has become Miss World in bodybuilding championship. Dehradun’s girl gained maximum points in three categories – individual posing, body posing and fall in that eventually bagged her the Miss World title and the gold medal at the world championship in Venice, Italy. The championship drew 50 competitors from different countries. But bodybuilding wasn’t her original choice. During a shooting event in New Delhi three years ago, a chance meeting with a bodybuilding coach changed the life of the 21-year-old.

Manushi Chhillar from Haryana takes the crown of Miss India 2017

The 54th Femina Miss India World 2017 winner is Manushi Chhillar from Haryana, while the first runner-up is Sana Dua from Jammu and Kashmir and the second runner-up is Priyanka Kumari from Bihar. The event was held at Yash Raj Studios in Mumbai. This is the first time the participants wore an Indian dress at the finale designed by Manish Malhotra. The show was hosted by Karan Johar and Riteish Deshmukh. Besides, Vinali Bhatnagar won the Miss Active crown whereas Vamika Nidhi won the special award of ‘Body Beautiful’. The pageant judged by Miss World 2016 Stephanie Del Valle, along with Bollywood stars like Arjun Rampal, Bipasha Basu, fashion designer Manish Malhotra, Abhishek Kapoor, Vidyut Jammwal, Ileana D’Cruz among others.

Rajiv Gauba is new Home Secretary after Major reshuffle in central bureaucracy

Urban development secretary Rajiv Gauba will be the new home secretary after the completion of the tenure of Rajiv Mehrishi on August 30. The 1982-batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre will join immediately as an officer on special duty (OSD) in the home ministry. The government also has transferred 17 IAS officers. In another significant change, N.K. Sinha has been appointed as Information and Broadcasting Secretary in place of Ajay Mittal who has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training. Sinha is currently serving as Culture Secretary.

Mumbai The Most Expensive City In India For Expatriates

Mumbai is the most expensive city for expatriates in India and is ranked higher than major global cities such as Paris, Canberra, Seattle and Vienna. According to Mercer’s 23rd annual Cost of Living Survey, Mumbai is placed 57th on the list while New Delhi was placed at 99. Chennai (135), Bangalore (166) and Kolkata (184) were the other Indian cities on the list. Luanda, the capital of Angola, was the costliest city, driven by cost of goods and security, followed by Hong Kong and Tokyo at the second and third places, respectively. The improvement of ranking of Indian cities was not just on account of internal factors, but also because some global cities fell in ranking following currency volatility, especially in Egypt, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi Arabia’s crown Prince

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession. A royal decree removed Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a 57- year-old nephew of the king, as next-in-line to the throne and replaced him with Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was previously the deputy crown prince. The newly-announced crown prince was also named deputy prime minister and maintained his post as defense minister. The newly announced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman heads an economic council tasked with overhauling the country’s economy

India Re-Nominates Dalveer Bhandari to the ICJ

India has re-nominated Justice Dalveer Bhandari as its candidate for another term as judge at the International Court of Justice or ICJ, the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. Bhandari, 69, was elected in April 2012 during simultaneous balloting in both the General Assembly and the Security Council to a seat on the International Court of Justice, which is also known as the World Court. His current term runs through February 2018. The ICJ elections will be held in November and if elected, he will serve a term of nine years. During his term at the ICJ, Mr Bhandari has been engaged actively in the work of the Court and has delivered individual opinions in eleven cases covering a broad spectrum of subjects such as maritime disputes, whaling in Antarctica, crime of genocide, delimitation of continental shelf, nuclear disarmament, financing of terrorism and violation of sovereign rights.

BankBazaar.com opens its office in Malaysia

Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar has begun its operations in Malaysia to strengthen its presence in South East Asia. Further, to scale and steer its international operations, BankBazaar has appointed former Visa employee Vipin Kalra to lead the business growth internationally. In line with this vision to expand its foothold across south east Asia, last month, BankBazaar announced an investment of Rs. 5 crore in the Malaysian market and an additional Rs. 10 crore in its Singapore business.

ISRO’s Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit

Indian Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) also called Mangalyaan completes 1000 Earth days in its orbit. The interplanetary mission of ISRO was launched on 5th November, 2013. It was inserted into Martian orbit on 24th September, 2014 in its first attempt. The Mars Orbiter Mission credited with many laurels like cost-effectiveness, short period of realisation, miniaturisation of five heterogeneous science payloads completed 1000 Earth days which corresponds to 973.25 Martian Solar day. Scientific analysis of the data received from the Mars Orbiter spacecraft is in progress. According to ISRO, the satellite is still in good health and continues to work as expected.

Delhi’s Connaught Place 9th costliest office market, Mumbai lags

Connaught Place in the national capital is the most expensive prime office market in India and the ninth most expensive office market in the world, with an occupancy cost of $153.89 per square feet, according to the bi-annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey of US-based CBRE. This makes Connaught Place costlier than Dubai, downtown Boston and Shanghai. According to the survey, Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) moved one place up from nineteen to 20 while the CBD of Nariman Point ranked thirty-third on the list of the top 50 most expensive office markets around the world. Hong Kong (Central) became the world’s highest-priced office market with an occupancy cost of $302.51 per sq ft per annum. Asia continues to dominate the list of the world’s most expensive office locations, accounting for seven of the top ten markets, according to the survey.

Katy Perry Becomes First to Hit 100 Million Twitter Followers

Katy Perry just keeps soaring in popularity. The Witness singer and pop culture lightning rod became the first person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, making her the most-followed person on the platform, Twitter reports. Perry joined Twitter back in 2009, making her something of an early adopter as a celebrity. Since then, she’s been an active user, sending out over 8,500 tweets in her time on the service; that’s about a thousand each year. She’s also been at the center of many memorable conversations and pop culture moments on the platform, from the 2015 Super Bowl’s viral “Left Shark” debacle during her performance to her participation in the 2016 election.

China’s First X-Ray Space Telescope To Study Black Holes

China successfully launched its first X-ray space telescope to study black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts. The 2.5-tonne Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named ‘Insight,’ was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China’s Gobi desert. It was delivered into orbit, 550km (341 miles) above the Earth, by the Long March- 4B rocket. Beijing aims to send a probe to the dark side of the moon by 2018 and to put astronauts on the moon by 2036. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), named Insight, will allow Chinese scientists to observe magnetic fields and the interiors of pulsars and better understand the evolution of black holes.

Neeru Chadha becomes 1st Indian woman as member of ITLOS

Indian nominee Neeru Chadha became the first Indian Woman to be elected as the Member of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Chadha, the international law expert, got 120 votes with the highest in the Asia-Pacific group. She will have a nine-year term as the Judge at ITLOS from 2017 to 2026. Currently, an eminent jurist from India P Chandrasekhara Rao is a judge at the tribunal. He was elected as the member of the tribunal in 1996 and his term will expire in September 2017. Neeru Chandha is an eminent lawyer and the first Indian woman to become the Chief Legal Adviser in the Union Ministry of External Affairs and has advised the government on diverse issues relating to the law of the sea involving interpretation of various provisions of the UNCLOS. With an extensive international arbitrattion and ligitation experience, she had served as an agent for the Indian government in its maritime delimitation case with Bangladesh.

IDBI Bank only PSB to get ‘high’ rating for code compliance

According to the Code Compliance Rating of banks done by the Banking Codes and Standards Board of India (BCSBI) 2017, only one (IDBI Bank) out of 26 public sector banks and eight out of 17 private sector banks got ‘high’ rating for their adherence to code compliance. The eight private sector banks that got ‘high’ rating are- Axis Bank, DCB Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, RBL Bank and YES Bank. The three foreign banks are Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, that were surveyed got ‘high’ ranking. The code compliance rating, which is based on five parameters viz. information dissemination, transparency, grievance redressal, customer- centricity, and customer feedback may be considered an indicator of the level of implementation of important code provisions at the grassroot level of a bank.

IRDAI takes over management of Sahara Life Insurance

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has taken over the administration of Sahara India Life Insurance, a first of its kind move in the insurance sector. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions. R.K. Sharma, general manager, IRDA has been appointed as the administrator with “immediate effect” to manage Sahara India Life Insurance Company. The administrator will act as per the powers and duties and applicable provisions under the Insurance Act, 1938 and manage the business with the greatest economy, compatible with efficiency and regular reporting to the regulator, the order states. The current board of Sahara India Life is headed by Chairman OP Srivastava. Sanjay Agarwal is whole-time director and CEO.

World’s smallest & cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ launched in USA

The World’s smallest and cheapest private jet ‘Vision Jet’ was launched in the USA recently. The Vision Jet can haul five adults up to 1,150 miles at 28,000 feet. It is the first Private Jet with a single engine and can be conveniently operated by a single pilot, thus keeping production and maintenance costs low for the users. The jet can fly at a speed of 345mph and has an operating altitude of 28,000 feet.

Indian American Raja Chari among 12 new astronauts chosen by NASA

NASA has chosen 12 new astronauts, including an Indian American named Raja Chari, from a record number of over 18,000 applicants, who will be trained for missions into Earth orbit and to deep space. The 12 new candidates include six military officers, three scientists, two medical doctors, a lead engineer at SpaceX and a NASA research pilot. Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the first Indian American after Kalpana Chawla to be chosen by NASA for one of its missions at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This is the largest group NASA has selected in almost two decades. Lt Col Raja “Grinder” Chari, 39, is a commander of the 461st Flight Test Squadron and the director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

PLACES IN NEWS

Mumbai’s Taj Palace becomes first Indian building to get trademark

The iconic Taj Mahal Palace hotel in the Mumbai City has acquired an ‘image trademark’, making it the first building in the country to get intellectual property rights protection for its architectural design. This makes the 114-year-old building the first in the country to get such a registration. The hotel, which has been a defining structure of Mumbai’s skyline, has joined the elite and small club of trademarked properties in the world which includes the Empire State Building in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House. Usually, logos, brand names, combination of colours, numerals and even sounds are trademarked but the registration of an architectural design has never been attempted since the Trademark Act came into force in 1999.

BOOKS IN NEWS

Venkaiah Naidu launches Book on democracy’s darkest

Venkaiah Naidu has launched the book which titled ‘The Emergency – Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ a book written by Surya Prakash, chairman of Prasar Bharati. The book was launched at a conference to mark the anniversary of the Emergency and to honor all those who fought for the restoration of democracy in the country in the mid-1970s.

Ex-Uttarakhand CM Pokhriyal authors book on Vajpayee ‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’

Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank, has officially handed over the first copy of the 450-page book titled -‘Yug Purush, Bharat Ratna, Atal Ji’ to the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. However, the book will be launched soon in the market for all.

COMMITTEES

BCCI forms seven-member Committee to oversee Lodha Panel Reforms

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the formation of a special seven-member committee to identify the ‘few critical points’ for the general body of the cricket board to consider before they are submitted to the Supreme Court. The decision to form the panel was arrived at the BCCI’s Special General Meeting in Mumbai. This committee will be responsible for identifying those points that are difficult to be implemented, in regards to the Justice RM Lodha Committee reforms. The seven-member Lodha committee has been formed under the head of Rajeev Shukla. The other members of the committee include former India captain Sourav Ganguly, T.C. Mathew (Kerala Cricket), Naba Bhattacharjee (North East representative), Jay Shah (Gujarat Cricket Association), BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary.

Ex-ISRO head K. Kasturirangan to head panel on National Education Policy

Ex-ISRO Chief & Padma Vibhushan awardee Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan has been appointed the Chairman of the committee to prepare the final draft of the National Education Policy. The Chairperson apart, the committee has eight members. The National Policy on Education was framed in 1986 and modified in 1992. These include Vasudha Kamat, K.J. Alphonse, Manjul Bhargava, Ram Shankar Kureel, TV Kattamani, KM Tripathy, Mahzar Asif & M.K. Shridhar.

RBI expands oversight committee with three more members for faster bad loan resolution

The Reserve Bank of India reconstituted the Oversight Committee by appointing three more members and empowered the panel to approve stressed asset cases where lenders have more than Rs 500 crore exposure. The high-level panel was formed to examine the process to resolve mounting bad loans in the banking sector. According to the RBI former chief vigilance commissioner, Pradeep Kumar will head the now reconstituted 5-member panel. Besides Kumar, the other members of the committee are former SBI Chairman Janki Ballabh, former Canara Bank Chairman and MD MBN Rao, former Chairman of L&T Finance YM Deosthalee and S Raman, member SEBI. Raman would be inducted into the panel from September 7, 2017 after he completes the term at SEBI. The expansion follows promulgation of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 last month.

Govt sets up 18 sectoral groups for smooth GST rollout

The government has set up 18 sectoral groups, comprising senior members from the Centre and the States, to ensure the smooth rollout of the Goods and Services Tax. The 18 groups pertain to sectors such as banking and insurance, textiles, exports, information technology, transport, and oil and gas. As per the Finance Ministry, these 18 sectoral groups containing senior officers of the Centre and the States are being set up to timely respond to the issues and problems of their respective sectors.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

26 June: International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

By resolution 42/112 of 7 December 1987, the General Assembly decided to observe 26 June as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking as an expression of its determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. The theme for 2017 is- “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe”. It is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

21 June: International Day of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being. The International Day of Yoga is celebrated across the world on 21 June. It aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga. The theme for the 2017 celebration, organized by the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, is ‘Yoga for Health.’ The theme highlights the fact that yoga can contribute in a holistic way to achieving an equilibrium between mind and body.

20 June: World Refugee Day

The World Refugee Day is observed across the world on 20 June to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. The day is celebrated by United Nations. The Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families that are forced to flee for their lives each day. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.

World Oceans Day- 8 June

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. The overall theme for World Oceans Day 2017 is ‘Our Oceans, Our Future’. Conservation action focuses on Encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future. World Oceans Day helps raise the profile of the ocean and inspire more involvement in helping to conserve this amazing resource we all depend on.

World Environment Day: 5 June

Once again UN Environment seeks to make the biggest global call and mobilization for action on 5 June, World Environment Day (WED). World Environment Day is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action and takes place every 5 June. This year’s host country Canada got to choose the theme and will be at the centre of celebrations around the planet. World Environment Day is a day for everyone, everywhere. Since it began in 1972, global citizens have organized many thousands of events, from neighbourhood clean-ups, to action against wildlife crime, to replanting forests. “Connecting People to Nature”, the theme for World Environment Day 2017.

World Milk Day: 1st June

In 2001, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) selected June 1 as World Milk Day, which celebrates the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, livelihoods and nutrition. The Global Dairy Platform coordinated global celebrations on June 1, 2017.

 

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May 2017 Current Affairs Study Material

INTERNATIONAL

 

First Women’s TV Channel launched in Afghanistan

The first ever Women television channel “Zan TV” (or Women’s TV) has started in Kabul, Afghanistan. It has been started on May 30, 2017 with a staff of all female presenters and producers. The main purpose to launch the women TV Channels is to highlight the rights of Afghan Women and to improve their status and ensure their equality with men in the conservative society. It has been taken a crucial step for Women’s rights, in a male dominated country which is struggling for peace.

 

Apple opens first official store in South east Asia

Apple opened its first Southeast Asia store in Singapore on 27 May, 2017. It was drawing hundreds of excited fans to the swanky two stores site in the city’s up market shopping district. Located on the affluent Orchard Road, the new shop easily distinguished by its iconic glass facade is expected to be one of the most popular Apple stores in the World according to US tech giant. Merchandise  such as the iphone and Macbook were strategically  placed on display across the spacious first floor, while the upper level acted as a classroom for customers to participate in hands on sessions.

 

Mark Zuckerberg gets honorary Harvard Degree

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg received an honorary doctorate degree from Harvard University. He dropped out of the lvy league school to focus on Facebook. He started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room in 2004. The social network was initially limited to Harvard students only. It later expanded to other lvy league Universities, before being rolled out globally. Now, Mr. Zuckerberg is the World’s fifth richest person.

 

Egypt blocks 21 Media Websites, including Al-Jazeera

Egypt has blocked 21 media websites including the main website of Qatar based Al-Jazeera news channel for allegedly supporting terrorism, as per reports by one of the countries local news agencies. According to sources, the blocked websites also include some Egypt focussed Websites hosted abroad such as Masr Al Arabia. There claims from the Egyptian Government that the websites are being financed by Qatar. They were blocked inside Egypt of having content that supports terrorism and extremism.

 

Taiwan Court rules in favour of same sex marriage, first in Asia

Taiwan’s constitutional court has declared that same sex couples have the right to legally marry. This is the first such rule in favour of same sex marriage in Asia. The court gave the country’s parliament a period of two years for laws to be amended to allow same sex marriage. Without a doubt, Taiwan is walking in front of other Asian countries in favour of same sex marriage.

 

Omar Hegazy becomes first amputee to swim across Red Sea

Egyptian Swimmer Omar Hegazy has become the first amputee to swim across Red Se’s 20 km Aqaba Gulf from Egypt to Jordan. Hegazy, a 26 year old banker who lost his left leg in a motorcycle accident. Aqaba Gulf is a large gulf at the northern tip of  the Red Sea. Its coastline is divided between four countries. Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

 

Mumbai and Kota among World’s most Crowded cities

World Economic Forum refers UN-Habitat data named two Indian cities Mumbai and Kota among the World’s most crowded cities. Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh has population density of 44,500 people per square Kilometer. Mumbai has a population density of 31,7000 people per square kilometer. Kota in Rajasthan with 12,100 people per square kilometer has been ranked seventh in the list.

 

PM Modi Calls for Creation of Asia Africa Growth Corridor

PM Narendra Modi on 23 May 2017 called for the creation of an Asia Africa growth corridor for the development of Africa. Modi called for the creation of this corridor while inaugurating the 52nd Annual Meeting of African Development Bank (AfDB) at Mahatma Mandir in Gujarat Gandhinagar. The core theme of the Annual Meeting is “Transforming Agriculture for wealth creation in Africa. “The meeting AfDB is a five day event that will witness about 3,000 delegates from 81 member countries.

 

70th World Health Assembly Kicks off in Geneva

The 70th World Health Assembly opened on 22 May 2017 at Geneva based UN headquarters in Switzerland. The World Health Assembly is the main decision making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Member states of the WHA will elect a new Director General, who will take office for a five year term on 1 July 2017. The three nominees from Ethiopia, Great Britain and Pakistan were address the Health Assembly for 15 minutes each on 23 May 2017.

 

UN releases the First Draft of Nuclear Ban Treaty

The United Nations on 22 May 2017 released the first draft of the nuclear ban treaty that would legally prohibit the possession of Nuclear Weapons. It would also require the states to make a pledge to never use the weapons and also to never develop, produce, stockpile, transfer or test them. The draft also rejects the concept of nuclear deterrence promoted by nuclear armed countries. The Draft was released in Geneva by Costa Rican UN Ambassador Elayne whyte Gomez . It condemns the use of nuclear weapons a violation of International humanitarian law.

 

Japan to build war museum in Manipur for Japanese soldiers

Japan will build a war museum at the hillock at Maiba Lokpa in Manipur. Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu has announced. Hiramatsu said that around 70,000 Japanese soldiers had died during World War II in Imphal and Kohima, between the months March and June in 1944. Meanwhile Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has offered to assist the Japanese Government.

 

NASA honours APJ Abdul Kalam by naming new species after him

NASA paid tribute to late President of India APJ Abdul Kalam by naming a newly discovered organism after him. As of now, the bacterium named “Solibacillus Kalamii” by NASA scientist Kasthuri Venkateswaran, is found  only on the ISS, which is orbiting Earth at 400 KM. Kalam had trained at NASA in 1963 before setting up India’s first rocket launching facility in Kerala.

 

Gujarat gets its First Woman Police Chief

Geetha Johri, an IPS officer of the 1982 batch was appointed the new Gujarat DGP, Johri becomes the State’s first woman police chief. Johri was in news of her role in the SIT probing post Godhra riots and as investigating officer in the Sohrabuddin Shaik and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. She was the supervisory officer of Sohrabuddin encounter case in 2006-07 when the CID investigated the case following the opex court's direction.

 

Indian American Nominated for Key Post in FERC

US president Donald Trump Nominated Indian American Neil Chatterjee as a member of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) FERC is an agency responsible for overseeing America’s power grid and deciding on multibillion dollar energy projects. He is the second Indian American appointed by Donald Trump to a major regulatory position.

 

Made in China C 919 passenger jet takes maiden flight

The twin engine, 158-174 seat passenger jet made by state owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation it feature several imported elements like German landing Gear and Austrian interior. Single aisle plan carry up to 168 passengers and is meant to rival Airbus and Boeing Aircraft. China’s first domestically made regional jet, the twin engine regional AR 121, flew its passengers in June 2016.

 

Trump’s Obama care replacement bill passed by US House

In USA, lawmakers vote to repeal and replace Obamacare with makes Quality health insurance more affordable and available to the Americans. The Republican bill is knows as the American Health Care Act. It would repeal more Obamacare taxes, including a penalty for not buying health insurance. The bill would slash funding for medicaid, a program that provides insurance for the poor replacement.

 

China to launch its own Encyclopaedia as a Rival to Wikipedia

China plans to launch its own online encyclopaedia next year rivalling Wikipedia and Britain’s Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Main objective of this project is to guide public thought. China fears that its citizens who use Wikipedia are being corrupted by foreign influences. For the compilation of the project, nearly 20,000 Scholars and academics have been tasked to created more than 300,000 entries before its 2018 launch.

 

Dubai becomes First City in World to gets its Own Microsoft Font

Dubai has become the first city in the World to have its own Microsoft designed font. The font will have typeface both in Latin and Arabic script. It will be made available in 23 languages. The font was launched by the crown prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Not content with having the world's tallest building and biggest shopping centre, Dubai has become the first city to get its own font.

 

INDIA & WORLD

India, Spain inks seven agreements

India and Spain have signed seven agreements following talks between PM Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa palace in the Spanish Capital  on 31 May, 2017. The visit of Pm Modi is the first visit by the Indian Prime Minister to Spain in nearly 30 years. The last Prime Minister to Visit Spain was Rajiv Gandhi in 1988. Spain is India’s 7th largest trading partner in the European Union, Bilateral trade between both the nations have totalled USD 5.27 billion in 2016.

 

India to be first in World to run all govt ports on green energy

All 12 major domestic ports in India will soon switch to renewable energy to meet their power requirements. Thus India will become first in the world to run all govt ports on green energy. Indian Govt is planning to install 150 mw of solar power and 50 mw of wind power generation capacity by year 2019. The resulting 200 mw of renewable energy generation capacity will be ramped up to 500 mow in the next few years. Total initial investment in the project is expected to be Rs. 500 crore.

 

India, Fiji Sign MoU on Defence Cooperation

In an endeavour to strengthen defence ties between India and Fiji, the two nations on 29 May, 2017 signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) on defence cooperation. Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola accompanied by his delegation  met Minister of Defence Arun Jaitley. A MoU on defence cooperation envisaging several areas of cooperation including in defence industry, military training and humanitarian assistance and disaster management.

 

Taj Mahal among top 10 global landmarks

Taj Mahal, the magnificent monument of love, has made it to the top 10 landmarks in the World by securing fifth position in the list. One of the most iconic wonders in the World, the Agra based imposing white marble structure, a tourist delight, is the only indian monument to figure in the the World’s top 10 Travellers Choice awards for landmarks Angkorwat in Cambodia topped the list followed  by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi (UAE) Mezquita Cathedral cordoba in Spain and St peter’s Basilica in Vatican city (Italy).

 

India becomes second largest steel producer in the World

According to data released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), India has become the second largest stainless steel producer in the World after China. The International Stainless Steel Forum is a non-profit research and development organization which was founded in 1996. It serves as the focal point for the International stainless steel industry. India overtook Japan which was the second largest producer last year.

 

Start UP India Summit to be held in Dubai

Dubai will host a two-day “Startup India Summit in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Consulate General of India (CGT) Dubai and Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi in partnership with Indian Software product Industry Round Table (iSPIRIT). This is the first “Startup Summit” being held in the UAE. India is the third largest ecosystem in the World leading in tech innovation.

 

India Ranks at 154, below Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, on health care Index

India has Ranked 154th among 195 countries on health care Index in Lancet Medical Journal’s report titled “Global Burden of Disease”. Performance of countries was assessed for a period of 25 years from 1990-2015, based on death rates from 32 diseases that could be avoided by effective medical care. This study has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. During 2008 – 20, it is expected to clock a compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5%.

 

Election Commission of India Launches National Contact Centre

The Election Commission of India has launched National Contact Centre with a toll free number – 1800111950. The move would enable any citizen from any port of the country to call on the toll free number and get their query or complaint addressed at any time of the day in Hindi or English. The National contact centre is operated on a National Grievance Redressal system software.

 

India to replace its research station in Antarctica

India has decided to replace the Maitri research station in Antarctica with a new area in the next three to four years. The country is also drafting laws to safeguard its interest in Antarctica and is poised to expand its research activity in the coldest continent. The Maitri station will be replaced by a new station in the next three to four years.

 

Eager Lion Jordan, US launch major military exercises

Jordan and the United States Kicked off annual military exercises known as “Eager Lion’, with about 7,400 troops from more than 20 nations taking part in it. The manoeuvres would include border security, cyber defence, and “command and control” exercises, to booster coordination in response to threats including terrorism. A global strike mission will be conducted by two US Air Force B – 1 B bomber aircraft. It is the 7th exercise and largest and most complex.

 

Indian Born Hinduja Brothers top UK’s rich list

The India Born brothers Srichand and Gopichand topped the ‘Sunday Times Rich List 2017’ released and the annual rankings showed that they had added 3.2 billion pounds to their personal fortune in a year to be worth an estimated 16.2 billion pounds. Steel tycoon Lakshmi Nivas Mittal was ranked fourth in the list, released by the Indian High Commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna. The fortune of Mittal, however has plummeted by 3.3 billion pounds to finish with 6.4 billion pounds.

 

India Organized Festival in Egypt to mark Tagore’s birth anniversary

India will organise Tagore Cultural Festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore from May 8 – 12. Tagore Cultural Festival will be organised by the Maulana Azad centre of Indian Culture (MACIC) which is the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo. As a part of the festival, a dance drama based on Tagore’s work called “Chitrangada” will be performed by the Kolkata based Dancers Guild.

 

Facebook launches Express Wi – Fi in India

Facebook has launched its “Express Wi-Fi” in India. This Wi-Fi service is available through 700 hotspot in 4 states. Express Wi – Fi is a program of Facebook's global initiative to enlarge internet connectivity. Express Wi-Fi services are currently active in Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia and Tanzania. Now, it will include the States of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Meghalaya, Facebook has also mentioned a partnership with Bharti Airtel.

 

NATIONAL

Amul Inks MoU with ISRO for Fodder Acreage Estimation

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) on 30 May, 2017 has signed an agreement with ISRO for fodder acreage assessment using satellite observation and space technology. GCMMF markets its products under the brand name of Amul. Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) ISRO will help in Identification between food crops and fodder crops at village level and also locate suitable areas of current fallows and cultivable wastelands at village level for green fodder cultivation.

 

Delhi Police launches Bicycle Patrols for better Policing

Delhi Police on 30 May, 2017 launched the Bicycle Patrols for better Policing in the capital. The Bicycle Patrols were flagged off by Union Minister of Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir. In the first phase, a total of 65 high end bicycles have been operationalised, out of 65 bicycles, 30 were allotted for North East district, 20 for East district and 15 for Shahdara district. The scheme will be extended to other areas of Delhi as well.

 

PM Modi to lay foundation stone of bullet train project in September

PM Narendr Modi and Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe will together lay the foundation stone for the bullet train project in the Months of September. Mumbai Ahmedabad bullet train will have the speed of 320 km per hour. The construction work would continue for another five years. And mentioned that the government was committed to complete the project by the end of 2022. The high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 97,636 crore in collaboration with Japan.

 

Union Government launched new campaign “Darwaza Band” to promote Sanitation

The Union Government launched a new campaign called

Darwaza Band for the Promotion of toilet usage in the rural areas across the country. Bollywood Veteran actor Amitabh Bachchan, who leads the campaign, is proposed to be joined by Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the formal launch event to be held in Mumbai.

 

Defence Minister inaugurtes DRDO’s Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka

Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the Defence Research and Development organisation (DRDO)’s new Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Karnataka. The ATR is a facility under the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) which Works on a range of Unmanned air Vehicles (UAV);s It will be an integrated test center for the DRDO’s cluster of aeronautical laboratories like IISC, ISRO, BABA Nuclear  Research organisation most of them in Bengaluru.

 

Prakash Javadekar launches Anti Ragging Mobile App

The Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar on 29 May, 2017 launched an Anti Ragging Mobile App. It has made by University Grants Commission (UGC). This mobile app will help students to register complaints on ragging. This app will work android system and students can login and register their complaints.  One had to register a complaint against ragging and records showed that that timely action has

resulted in the decrease in such cases.

 

PM Modi lays Foundation Stone for IARI at Gogamukh

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the Foundation Stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Gogamukh in Assam's Dhemaji district located on the Assam Arunachal border. This will be the third Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) Apart from IARI in the national capital, the work on setting up of second IARI in Ranchi, Jharkhand has commenced. The setting up of a new institute in envisaged to help in the overall development of agriculture sector in North – East India.

 

Kejriwal, Venkaiah Naidu flag off Delhi Metro Heritage Line

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Union Urban Development Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu on 28 May, 2017 flagged off Delhi Metro Heritage Line through video

 

Conferencing at Metro Bhavan in Delhi. Union Minister of

Science and Technology. Harsh Vardhan was also present at the event. This Heritage line will connect Old Delhi Areas with the commercial hub of Delhi at Janpath. This Heritage line comprises four stations Delegate, Kashmere Gate, Jama Masjid and Lal Qila on the stretch of 5.17 km.

 

Gadkari flag off Country’s First E-Vehicle Public Transport

Marking the third anniversary of the Narendra Modi Government, Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari along with Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis flagged off taxi aggregator Ola electric Vehicle (EV) services in the city. Nagpur will be the first in the country to have such a service. A battery Charging station for the vehicles was also inaugurated at the airport where the launch function was held.

 

PM lays Foundation stone for AIIMS at Changsari in Assam

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a Unit of the Delhi based. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Changsari in Assam. The institute will be constructed at a cost of Rs.1123 cores as part of the “Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana”. The seven functioning AIIMS are located in New Delhi, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh. The unit is expected to be completed within the next four years.

 

Union Minister Vijay Goel flags off Slum Yuva Daud

Minister of youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel Flagged of the Slum Yuva Daud to mark the beginning of the Adopt Slum Campaign in New Delhi. The run started from Delhi University’s Shankarlal Hall and ended at the Rugby Stadium with participation of about 5000 youngsters from various slums of Delhi. It was initiated by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan.

 

Union Environment Ministry bans sale of Cattle for Slaughter

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests recently ban the sale of all kinds of cattle for slaughter across India. The rules were issued under the prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It requires anyone purchasing cattle to provide an undertaking that the animals are bought for agricultural purposes and not for slaughter. The Definition of Cattle includes balls, bollocks, cows, buffalos, steers, calves and camels. The new rule will be implemented in the next three months.

 

PM Modi inaugurates India’s longest bridge in Asom

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 May, 2017 inaugurated India’s longest bridge in Asom. It was built in Assam over the Lohit River, a tributary of Brahmaputra. The bridge will span 9.15 km to connect two small towns, Dhola at the river’s South bank and Sadiya in the north. The previous holder of the all-India record for bridge length, the Bandra Worli Sea link in Mumbai is 5.6 km long. The commemoration of three year anniversary of NDA govt time in power and one year anniversary of the BJP govt in Assam the inauguration was held.

 

Manoj Sinha launches BSNL’s satellite phone service

The Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha has launched, BSNL’s Satellite Phone Service, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Telecom Skill Excellence Award scheme and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Sanchar Kaushal Vikas Pratishthan's Scheme BSNL has played an important role in spreading communication network across the country. Global Satellite Phone services is modern satellite Phone service.

 

India’s First Underwater Rail Tunnel Completed in Kolkata

The two Organizations Afcons Trans Tondl stores and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) implemented the India’s first underwater tunnel under the Hooghly river to link Howrah and Kolkata. The length of Kolkata’s East-West Metro is 16.6 km long. Out of which a length of 502 metres is under the Hooghly river. The East-West Metro will have 12 stations, six will be underground stations.

 

Govt launches ‘e SANAD’ for online Document Verification

The Human Resource Development Ministry and the External Affairs Ministry launched an online verification portal “e SANAD” to make the document Verification process easier for students who planning to study abroad. The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) academic repository of degrees and certificates Parinam Manjusha” was also involved in the project of creating eSANAD. The Human Resources development Ministry launched this portal on 24 May, 2017.

 

Swachh Bharat App Launched in National Museum

“Swachh Bharat App” has been launched in National museum under Ministry of Culture by he Minister of State (I/C) for culture and Tourism Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The main focus of this “Swachh Bharat App” is to basically involve people actively to become part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement). At present this app is available for Android Mobile Phones which can be downloaded from Google Play Store. This app will be monitored by the Ministry of Culture.

 

Cochin Port Trust Bags TWO Best Performance Awards

Cochin Port Trust has received two Best Performance Awards from Ministry of Shipping for the highest growth in operating surplus and also for achieving third highest growth in cargo traffic among the major ports in the year 2016-17. The awards were received from Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari by P.Raveendran, Chairman to Cochin Port Trust at a function held at Goa on 22 May, 2017.

 

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flags off Tejas Express from Mumbai to Goa

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 21st May, 2017 flagged off the much awaited Tejas Superfast Express from Mumbai to Goa. The train, which will cover the distance 630 km in less than 9 hours. The train has Ultra Modern amenities on board like LED TV, Wi-Fi and CCTV. The Tejas Express would operate between Mumbai and Karmali (Goa) five days a week during non-monsoon period and during monsoon. Just three days a week. It will run at a speed of 130 kmph.

 

Free Wi-Fi facility inaugurated at 28 Railways Stations in India

Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi Internet facility at 28 Railway station in Maharashtra. Indian Railways has tied up with SYSCON/ JOISTER for providing 2 mbps peer to peer 24 hours free Wi-Fi bandwidth. The free Wi-Fi facility would help the travellers, commuters, and tourists access essential information while waiting for trains on railway stations.

 

Anshu Jamsenpa becomes first Indian Woman to Conquer Mt. Everest twice within 5 days

India’s Anshu Jamsenpa has become the first Indian Woman to Conquer Mount Everest twice within five days. Anshu Jamsenpa along with Nepali climber Furi sherpa scaled the peak on 21st of May. With this Jamsenpa becoming the first woman climber to make double ascent in 5days time. She is also the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the fifth time.

 

NGT Bans Open Defecation, waste Damping on Yamuna Flood Plains

The National Green Tribunal (Green Court) has banned open defecation and waste dumping on the floodplains Yamuna river and announced an environment compensation or penalty of Rs. 5000 for those violated the rule. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also constituted a Committee headed by Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining the cleaning of the river.

 

Pune doctors successfully perform country’s first uterus transplant

A team of Pune doctors successfully performed country’s first uterus transplant on a 21 year old Solapur woman on 18th of May. Since birth the woman has been suffering from congenital absence of uterus. It was fitted with her mother’s uterus so that She can conceive normally. Transplant performed only through open surgery and it took 9 hours. Pune’s Galaxy Core Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI), where the surgery was done have been licensed to carry out uterus transplant.

 

Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister launches e-Krishi Samvad

The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Radha Mohan Singh has launched a portal for addressing problems in the agricultural sector. The platform is known as e-Krishi Samvad and is a portal that allows agricultural workers and other stakeholders to directly approach the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) with the problems they face. The platform is meant for farmers,students, researchers and entrepreneurs.

 

Rajnath Singh launches an app for Central Armed Police Forces

The Union Home Ministry launched a grievance redressal mobile app for the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) on 11 May, 2017. The soldiers serving in the CAPF’s can download the app. If any soldier has a complaint, they can directly log it through the app and it will be taken up by the home Ministry for redressal. The CAPF includes jawans from Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

 

The SC order Sentencing Justice Karnan to Six Months Imprisonment

The Supreme Court (SC) recently sentenced a sitting judge, C.S. Karnan of the Calcutta High Court, to six months of imprisonment, holding him guilty of contempt of court. He is the first serving high court judge to be sent to prison for contempt. A seven judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar directed the arrest of Karnan.

 

NBT to host book fairs in Panchayats

The National Book Trust (NBT) has launched Panchayat Pustak Mela its aim is to organize regular book fairs in rural areas across the country. The main objective of hosting book fairs in Panchayat level is to encourage the growth of reading habit in villages. All the books showcased at the fairs will be published by the NBT in regional languages, Hindi and English. The NBT will start to host book fair bodies in the Maoist hit areas of Chhattisgarh.

 

Supreme Court becomes paperless, digital court

The Supreme Court has taken its first step towards becoming a paperless, digital court. PM Narendra Modi  inaugurated the digital filing system at a function in New Delhi, where the integrated case Management System will be connected with the Supreme Court. The event will also be attended by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and judges of the apex court. The Supreme Court of India is the Highest Judicial Forum and final court of appeal.

 

Union Home Minister announced SAMADHAN to tackle of left wing Extremism

A meeting of the Chief Ministers of states affected by Left Wing Extremism or Maoists, Presided over by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was held in New Delhi on May 8, 2017. In this meeting Mr. Rajnath Singh Announced SAMADHAN, a new strategy to wipe out left wing terror. The Other Officials attended by Union Home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, the Director of Intelligence Bureau and so on.

 

CRPF Command Shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) shifted back from Kolkata to Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The recent decision was taken due to the backdrop of 37 Jawans killed of the paramilitary force in Sukma district. CRPF is the largest central armed police force or paramilitary force in India. It functions the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

 

Gadkari inaugurated countries first bio refinery Plant

Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways inaugurated India’s first biorefinery plant that produces ethanol from a variety of biomass in pune on 7 May 2017. Gadkari stated that such projects with help stage a great revolution in India’s agriculture sector. The project is located at Rahu, a village in Daund Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra. The newly set up plant is capable of producing one million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of agricultural residue including rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, cane trash, corn cobs with superior product yields.

 

Odisha’s Sualgiri, Swalgiri Communities notified as Scheduled Castes

Odisha’s Sualgiri and Swalgi Communities have been notified as Scheduled castes following President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to a new law. The Rajya Sabha had last month passed the bill on it after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March, The president gave the nod to the constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act – 2017.

 

Uttar Pradesh deploys Ambulances for Cows

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya flagged off an ambulance service that would cater to cows. Under the “Gau Vansh Chikitsa Mobile Vans” service, the ambulance would rescue ill or injured cows and transport them to gaushalas or take them for treatment to the veterinary doctor. A “gau seva toll – free number” was also released so that common people can come to help of such cows.

 

Gadkari inaugurates The Highway Saga, SRISHTI exhibitions

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated two exhibitions namely The Highway Saga past present and Future, Safe Road and Interstate Highways Transforming India (SRISHTI) at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The Highway Saga exhibition will depict the evolution of road transport in India. The exhibitions are part of three day India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit being organized by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways from 3rd to 5th May, 2017.

 

PM Modi inaugurated Patanjali Research Institute in Uttarakhand

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Patanjali Research Institute at patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar on 3 May, 2017. An amount of 2000 crore was spent on building the patanjali Research centre. The research centre would do a research on forest products and produce herbal products from the same. Patanjali is one of the top brands in the country and has expanded its wings in FMCG sector after health care herbal products.

 

Narasaraopet set a Guinness World Record in Organ Donor

A Guinness World Record for the most number of people to sign up as organ donors in a single hour was broken at a programme held to mark the 70th birthday of AP Assembly Speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao in Narasaraopet, on 3rd May. Dr. Rao himself led the way by signing up as the first donor. Adjudicator from the Guinness World Record Swapnil declared that a new record was created after 11, 987 people signed up as donors in just an hour after the programme began. The earlier record was held by a college in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu which registered 6,697 organ donors in the hour in 2016.

 

Maharashtra CM inaugurates Automatic Weather Station in Nagpur

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has inaugurated the state’s first automatic weather station at Dongargaon in Nagpur. This is one of the Unique Project in the country, which will measure wind direction, wind speed relative humidity and record amount of rainfall. This information will be shared with farmers who can then manage sowing in a much better and planned as per the weather conditions.

 

Ganga Swachhata Sankalp Divas celebrated on May 2, 2017

May 2, 2017 was observed as Ganga Swchhata Sankalp Divas by National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) at twelve locations Kanpur, Bithoor, Allahabad, Devprayag, varanasi, Patna, Bhagalpur, Koklata, Raj Ghat, Sahibganj, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Vidhur Kuti (Bijnor). Ganga Vichaar Manch and local NGO’s organized the event at 30 more locations. On May 2, 2017, Ganga cleanliness resolution day was observed in 15 cities and 985 Villages situated on the banks of River Ganga.

 

PM Modi releases stamp on Ramanujacharya’s 1000th Birth Anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative stamp on the 1000th Birth Anniversary of Saint Ramanuja charya on 1st May, 2007 in New Delhi. The central message of Saint Ramanujacharya’s life was inclusive society. Religion and Philosophy. Ramanujacharya saw manifestation of God in human beings and saw all devotees of God as equal. Sri Ramanuja Jayanthi is celebrated each year and Jayanthi is decided based on Tamil Solar Calendar. This year which falls on 1st May.

 

STATES

 

IIT Kharagpur develops new pollution free, Biofuel

Researchers at IIt Kharagpur have developed a new technology which will change the way biofuel is manufactured by making the process Cheaper, quicker and pollution free, Professor of Department of Agricultural and Food Engineering Dr. Rintu Banerjee said the technique will ensure relatively quicker production of biofuel and the process is completely green. A new technology known as “soil- to-soil” manufacturing technology for manufacturing cheaper, quicker and pollution free.

 

Goa bans thin plastic bags to tackle garbage

The Goa State government has decided to ban buying and selling of plastic bags below 50 microns. The ban will come to effects from July 2017. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar implemented the law with the fine of Rs. 500 and then the fine will be subsequently raised to Rs. 5,000. Goa has already banned plastic bags below 40 microns. This thin plastic has a tendency to cause flooding by Choking drains, and can easily travel by wind and water in floodplains.

 

Dailong Village in Manipur declared Biodiversity Heritage Site

The Manipur government has declared Dailong Village of Tamenglong district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site of the State. Dailong Village, covering an area of 11.35 sq km, has been declared as Biodiversity Heritage Site under Section 37 (1) of Biological Diversity Act, 2002. The declaration was made after the recommendation of Manipur Biodiversity Board, the state government has stated in the notification.

 

Haryana announces pension scheme for Journalists

On 27 May, 2017, Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar announced following incentives following incentives for journalists at the “Swarna Jayanti Journalists Meet in Panchkula Rs. 10,000 monthly pension scheme, for those who are above 60 years and have completed 20 years in the profession. A life insurance covers of Rs.10 lakh and a cashless media claim policy of Rupees 5,00,000. Media persons, who have completed five years in the profession, who be given recognition by the state government.

 

J&K agriculture minister launches e-plant clinics

The Jammu and Kashmir agriculture minister launched an e-plant clinic service for farmers with the aim to double farmer’s income by 2022. The Department of Agriculture in collaboration with centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) has set up 15 plant clinics in Samba, Kathua and Jammu. Under the “Plantwise” programme of CABI, 22 officials have been trained as plant doctors to diagnose various plant diseases in the Jammu region.

 

UP CM launches JE Vaccination drive in 38 districts

Uttarpradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on 25 May, 2017 launched a massive immunisation drive in 38 districts of the state to eradicate Japanese Encephalitis (JE) This anti-encephalitis drive was launched from Kushinagar district. The government has also involved all the voluntary and social organisations in these JE Prone districts. CM Yogi also launched a toll free number to get or provide any information about encephalitis. The num is 18001805544.

 

PM Modi  inaugurates series of projects in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22 May 2017 inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for various projects of the Kandler post in Kutch District in Gujarat. Kandla Port is India’s No.1 Major Port since last 10 years. The projects include construction of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Convention Center. Railway Bridge at sal junction, Mechanised fertiliser handling facility and purchase of two mobile harbour crane. He said that good ports are essential for the progress of india and Kandla has emerged as one of the finest ports in Asia.

 

Turlapati Kutumba Rao As Ambassador to Swachh Andhra  Mission

Veteran Journalist and Columnist Turlapati Kutumba Rao appointed as Ambassador to Swachh Andhra  Mission.  The Andhra Pradesh’s Swachh Andhra Pradesh Corporation M.D. Murali Reddy appointed him to the honorary post. He was the former secretary to T.Prakasham Pantulu. He was also a former Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Grandhalaya Parishad. He was served to develop telugu language and to develop grandhalayam in Andhra Pradesh.

 

“Good Morning” Squads to Tackle Open Defecation in Maharashtra

The Maharashtra Government has decided to form ‘good morning’ squads to monitor and prevent open defecation in villages and districts across the state. These squads will comprise representatives of local bodies, self help groups, NGO’s, students and social workers working in the area of sanitation and cleanliness. A government resolution issued and stated that these squads have been asked to keep an eye on the areas this practice is prevalent and to ensure that local have access to toilets there.

 

“No Helmet No Petrol” drive begins in Lucknow

‘Lucknow Police on 22 May, 2017 began a new drive in Uttar Pradesh Capital where in Petrol will not be provided to refill the tanks of two wheelers, it the riders are found not wearing a helmet. Reportedly, the government has asked all petrol pumps to report Vehicle numbers to transport authorities whenever they found a two-wheeler without a helmet. Banners and posters will be put up at every petrol pump to create awareness among the people about the importance of wearing helmets.

 

Hyderabad’s Turbo Megha Airways first private airline to get UDAN licence

Hyderabad based Turbo Megha Airways has become the first Private airline to get a licence to fly under UDAN, the government scheme for subsidized regional flights. It flies as TruJet, it will launch Hyderabad cuddapah, Hyderabad Nanded and Nanded Mumbai routes. TruJet is one of the five operators who have been awarded a total of 128 routes Under the UDAN scheme. The airline will use the three ATR-72 aircraft.

 

Andhra Pradesh to ink MoU with Singapore Government

In a move that can speed up the construction of its new capital, Amaravathi, the Andhra Pradesh Government will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore recently. The MoU will enhance Cooperation between the Singapore government and Andhra pradesh in the development of Amaravathi Masterplan. A joint implementation working committee comprising senior officials from both the governments will report to the JSTC.

 

Kerala tops, Bihar last in Public Affair Index

Kerala has secured first rank and Bihar has ranked and Bihar has ranked last on this year’s Public Affairs Index (PAI), compiled on basis of a survey by Bengaluru based think tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC). The survey was based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82 indicators. It was released by former Chief Justice of India MN Venkatachaliah, Former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, Director of Public Affairs Centre (PAC) G. Guru Charan and former Chief Secretary of Rajasthan C.K. Mathew were also present at the event.

 

UP CM to declare no school bag day on Saturdays in Govt schools

The UP Government is planning to declare no school bag day on Saturdays in all the state run schools. The proposal for the same was submitted at a meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma on 12 May 2017 in Lucknow. The move aims to encourage more involvement of Children in creative activities on those no school bad day. It will also help establish a good rapport between students and teachers and help in their personality development.

 

Kochi Metro Rail offer job to members from transgender community

Kochi Metro decided to employ 23 members of the transgender community. This is the first time a government owned company has formally appointed members of transgender community. These 23 transgender workers will be a part of 530 kudumbasree workers to be employed at 11 stations in the Kochi Metro Station.

 

Odisha to introduce boat ambulances in four districts

Odisha will introduce boat ambulance service in four districts, where people face difficulties in getting health care service. The districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Kendrapara and Kalahandi people face problems in availing 108 ambulance service due to intervening large water bodies in the form of rivers and dams. The Govt will also shortly add 92 Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulances to its fleet of 420 ambulances that are now in operation in different parts of the state.

 

Govt to set up 100 training institutes to skill drivers

The Union Ministry of road transport and Highway and the Union Skill Development Ministry have signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up 100 driver training institutes. The MoU was signed in New Delhi of May 5, 2017 in the presence of Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will provide stipend up to Rs. 15000 per trainee to compensate the wage loss during the training period.

 

Jharkhand as second state to announce Jan – Dec FY

Jharkhand will become the second state in the country to announces its financial year from January to december. The new fiscal year for Jharkhand would commence from January 1, 2018 and end on December 31, 2018. Madhya Pradesh was first state to adopt the new financial year. Jharkhand Chief Minister “Raghubar Das in a meeting has directed the officials to spend the money of the current financial year’s budget by end of December.

 

Police Public Schools will be set up in Haryana

The Haryana Government will set up Police Public Schools in all subdivisions to provide best education facilities to the children of Police personnel in the state by the end of April 2018. 1560 houses for Police personnel are being built by the Haryana Police Housing Corporation in the first Phase. Construction of 1500 more houses will be under taken in the second Phase. The Police Housing Corporation has already constructed 10 such police Schools in the state.

 

Telangana at 4th, Apat 12th Place in UDAY Scheme

UDAY is basically a scheme of financial turnaround of state owned distribution companies. This objective is mainly to be achieved via phased takeover of the debts of the discoms by state governments. In this Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana Scheme Gujarat occupied 1st place. Telangana State in the fourth position and Andhra Pradesh in the 12th Position, in the recent updated list.

 

India’s first “Village of Books” inaugurated in Maharashtra

India’s first “Village of Books” was inaugurated and opened for public reading  at Maharashtra’s Bhilar Village on 4th May, 2017. A total of  25 premises, including residences, hostels, temples and schools will have about fifteen thousand books belonging to different genres, Wall of each of these of these 25 premises measuring a total of 11,000 square feet have been adorned with different painting signifying the theme of books available here.

 

Labourers in Haryana to get breakfast for Rs.5, full meal for Rs.10

Construction labourers in Haryana can now look forward to getting food at heavily subsidised rates of Rs.5 for breakfast and Rs.10 for full meal. While they would be provided cheap yet wholesome food right at their workplace, mobile vans would be deployed to make food available to the poor at the labour chowks. The Govt aimed at providing food at affordable Prices to construction workers and the poor people.

 

AIIB Grants $ 160 MN for AP Power Project

China sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on 5th May, 2017 approved $ 160 MN loan for a Power Project in Andhra Pradesh. It is the first credit from this bank for an Indian Project. The Project is co-financed by the World Bank. The 24 X 7 Power of All project is part of Government of India’s Power of All Programme that was launched in 2014. AP is one of the first states selected for roll out of the programme.

 

Banganapalle Mangoes receives Geographical Indication Tag

The succulent Banganapalle Mango has received a Geograpghical Indication (GI) tag, making Andhra Pradesh the proprietor of the variety known for its sweetness. The registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, O.P. Gupta has accorded the registration following an Application from the Horticulture commissioner, Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh Government is the registered proprietor of the GI tag for mangoes, often hailed as the king of Fruits.

 

Swachh Survekshan 2017 : Indore is No-1 Cleanest City

Indore in Madhya Pradesh has been ranked as the No.1 cleanest City in the country, while Gonda in UttarPradesh has been ranked as the dirtiest, as per the “Swachh Survekhan – 2017” The results of the survey were announced on 4 May 2017 by Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu. Bhopal has bagged the 2nd position in the ranking of  434 cities. Visakhapatnam was placed 3rd among the top ten cities, the fourth slot has been claimed by Gujarat’s Surat. Mysore which would be first in the Previous lists of clean cities, has slipped to the fifth place.

 

Vijayawada Airport becomes International Airport

The Union Cabinet has granted International Airport status for the Vijayawada Airport. The approval was given as per provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The airport is currently undergoing infrastructural upgradations and improvement in facilities for international operations. The upgradation works are being carried out by the Airports Authority of India.

 

Madhya Pradesh first to switch to Jan-Dec fiscal year

Madhya Pradesh became the first state in India to switch to the January – December financial year from existing April – March cycle. It will break a 150 – year old tradition of adopting the financial year from April to March. This practise of April _March financial year was adopted by the British Government in 1867. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan decided to shift the financial year January- December.

 

Nandini Siddha Reddy as Chairman for Telangana Sahitya Academy

The Telangana State Government has appointed the Telangana famous poet, author Nandini Siddha Reddy As a Chairperson for Telangana Sahitya Academy. He was completed his M.A. from Osmania University Hyderabad. He did his M.Phil and Ph.D on modern Poetry. He got the Nandi Award for his song “Nageti  Salla lona Telangana” in the picture Veera Telangana.

 

AP CM Chandrababu Naidu selected for USIBC Award

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister (CM) Nara Chandrababu Naidu on 2nd May 2017, selected for the “Transformative Chief Minister Award” of the US – India Business Council (USIBC) He was selected for his role in advancing the US-India partnership at the state level. The Award will be presented to him on 8 May, 2017 at the USIBC coast summit in the Silicon Valley.

 

Real Estate Act will come into force on 1st May

The Real Estate Regulatory Act, which promises to protect the rights of home  buyers and bring in transparency to the sector, comes into force 1st May. Though only 13 states and Union Territories have notified the rules so far, the centre believer that within next two months, others too will follow suit. Real estate developers shall get on going projects that have not received with regulation authorities by July end. This enables the buyers to enforce their rights and seek redress.

 

CONFERENCES

 

World Health Assembly (WHA 70) held in Geneva

70th World Health Assembly (WHA 70) was held from 22nd to 31st May, 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Margaret chan gave her last address as Director. General of the WHO, with her tenure coming to an end. Member State of WHO, elected Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director General of WHO. The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision making body for Who. It generally meets in Geneva in May each year, and is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States.

 

The two-day G-7 Summit begins in Italy

The two-day G-7 Summit, that will focus on issues surrounding security and growth began on 26 May in Italy. Those participating in the Summit include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, along with the Prime Ministers of Italy, Japan and UI, Paolo Gentiloni, Shinzo Abe and Theresa May respectively.

 

2017 NATO Summit held in Belgium

The 28th Edition of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit has started in Brussels, Belgium on May 24 and 25, 2017. The top agenda of the meeting was terrorism. It also expected that NATO is to join the US led anti Islamic State Coalition (IS). The main aim is to fight against Islamist terrorism. The 2018 NATO Summit will be held in IStanbul. Turkey, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee was petr Pavel. It was formed on 4th April 1949.

 

G – 20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meet held in Germany

G – 20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meet was held Bad Neuenahr, Germany from 18 to 19 May 2017. Germany chaired the G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meet, as it currently hold the G-20 Presidency. The Meeting focused on the theme “Towards an Inclusive Future Shaping the world of work” This meet had been discussing topics like Boosting Youth Employment, Shape the Future of Work, Decent Work in Global Supply Chains and so on.

 

ICT4D Conference held in Hyderabad

The ninth annual ICT4D Conference was held in Hyderabad. It was held May 15 to 18, 2017. Around 800 delegates from 74 countries were participated in the conference. They were discussed about Agriculture, Education, Health, Environment, Disaster Management Big Data, Partnerships and Digital Financial Inclusion. The strategic use of technology innovations in relief and development programmes that enhance program quality, improve decision making and increase impact.

 

India and Palestine Inks 5 Agreements

India and Palestine exchanged five agreements for cooperation in different sectors including agriculture, information technology and health. The agreements were exchanged after a high level delegation talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi. The MoUs were also inked Visa exemption on diplomatic and official passports and cooperation in youth affairs and sport.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

President of India Presents Hindi Sevi Samman Awards

The President of India, Pranab Mukherjee Presented the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards to 26 eminent Hindi Scholars for the year 2015 on 30 May, 2017 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan New Delhi. The ceremony was attended by several dignitaries including the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prakash Javadekar, The awards were conferred to the scholars under 12 different categories for their contribution in the field of Hindi language and literature. Every year this award was given to Hindi scholars in the field.

 

Priyanka Chopra bags Dadasaheb Phalke Award

Actress Priyanka Chopra will be honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award for being an international icon. The Bollywood star will be given the award under the newly introduced . “Internationally Acclaimed Actress” category at a ceremony. The board of trustees for Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards include Johny Lever, Pahlaj Nihalani, Mithun Chakraborty and TP Agrawal. The award ceremony will be held on June 1, 2017 in Mumbai.

 

Dr. Sunil Kothari to be awarded the Akademi Ratna

Dr. Sunil Kothari who was the first one to complete Ph D from Vadodara M S University’s Department of  Dance, has been selected for the coveted Akademi Ratna award by the Sangeet natak Akademi. The 83 year old Kothari, who is a native of Matar town of Kheda district will receive the highest Indian recognition given to an artist in October by the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He was starting the school of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

 

Pune city Police receive FICCI smart Policing award

The Pune City Police have received the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) Smart Police Award for the year 2017. Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla received the award from BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi during a Programme Organised by FICCI and Vivekananda International Foundation on Homeland security in Delhi. The program focussed on the use of modern technology for countering internal security issues.

 

Three Odias get Sangeet Natak Akademi -2016 Awards

Three eminent personalities from Odisha odissi guru Ratikant Mohapatra, theatre director Satyabrata Raut and Pala singer Laxmidhar Raut have been selected for the prestigious Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi – 2016 Awards. The legendary artists have been picked by the Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi from among representatives from 30 states for the immense contribution to dance, music, theatre and other performing arts in the state.

 

Pranab Mukherjee Presented the Dr. Ambedkar National Awards

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee has Presented the Dr. Ambedkar National Awards for the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 on May 26, 2017 in New Delhi. The winners of Dr. Ambedkar National Awards were SK. Thorat, Samta Sainik Dal, Amar Seva Sangam, Shri Babulal Nirmal respectively. These awards has been given for outstanding contribution to the promotion of social understanding and for the upliftment of weaker sections of the society.

 

Jacqueline Fernandez win International Humanitarian Award

Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez was awarded with the International Humanitarian Award in Editor’s Choice Category of Asian Voice Charity Awards. The award recognises the work of Charity organisations in the United Kingdom (UK) and abroad. Fernandez was awarded for her Philanthropic Work in India. She has been working with the Charity “Habitat for Humanity” for last five years. This Organisation Works to help people to live with dignity by giving them homes to live in.

 

Drake bagged 13 Awards at 2017 Billboard Music Awards

Rapper Drake grabbed a record 13 wins at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards. He was eclipsing Adele’s previous record of 12 awards in 2012. Drake, who also won top artist, top male artist, and top rap album for “views”, artist of the year. Adele and Justin Bieber picked up five nominations each,  with Beyonce on four alongside the chainsmokers. The nominations were announced on U.S. TV Show Good Morning America by singers Joe Jonas and Rachel Platten.

 

Rohan Chakravarty wins WWF International President’s Award

Rohan Chakravarty an Indian Wildlife and environment cartoonist won World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International President’s Award. The award ceremony was held recently in Manado, Indonesia. Chakravarthi cartoons under the banner of Green Humour mainly emphasis on environmental issues honoured with the award. The award is top award given by WWF to recognize leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world.

 

Indian boy wins top Intel Science Award in US

An Indian boy has won the World’s largest pre-college science competition in the US in the environmental engineering category. His project was on biodegradation of pesticides. Prshant Ranganathan, a 12th grader from Jamshedpur, along with 20 high school students from various parts of India. Participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In all, more than 1700 students from across the world participated in the week-long event.

 

Pranay Varada wins National Geographic Bee Contest

A 14-year old Indian – American Student, Pranay Varada has won the Prestigious National Geographic Bee competition. He gets $ 50,000 in scholarship and other prizes. Thomas Wright was declared the runner up. Wright has received $ 25,000 in scholarship. Indian Americans have won the National Geographic Bee Competition for the last ten consecutive years. This year six of ten finalists were Indian-Americans.

 

Indian Scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni wins Dan David Prize 2017

Indian Scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni on  18 May 2017 won the Israel’s prestigious Dan David Prize 2017 for his contribution in the field of astronomy. He was awarded in the “Future’ Category which is dedicated to astronomy this year. He will share the award with Andrzej Udalski of the University of Warsaw and Neil Gehrels of NASA for their discoveries on time-domain astrophysics. Kulkarni is a professor of astrophysics and planetary science at california Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

 

Sanjay Gubbi and Purnima Barman win Whitley Awards 2017

Two Indian Nature Activists Sanjay Gubbi and Purnima Barman on 18 May 2017 won the annual Whitley Awards, popularly known as “Green Oscars”, for their Works in the field of animal and bird conservation in India. These two Indians are among six global winners of the award shortlisted from 166 entries. Each winner will receive 35000 pounds prize money in project funding over the year.

 

David Letterman wins Mark Twain Prize – 2017 for American humour

David Letterman, who was the longest running host of late night TV shows in the United States, was on 17 May 2017 awarded with the Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour. With this, Letterman became the 20th humorist to receive the Prize. Letterman hosted over 6000 late night shows in 33 years on the air. He won 10 Emmy awards. His final show in May 2015 drew an audience of 13.8 million people.

 

Aravind Kumar Rengan bags INSA Young Scientist Award

Aravind Kumar Rengan, Assistant Professor in Department of Biomedical Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT – H) Hyderabad has been awarded the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal in the Young Scientist Category for 2017. Prof Aravind has been awarded the medal for devising. A novel way of nano delivery using liposomes and gold nanoparticles which is useful for both imaging and therapeutics.

 

ISKCON’s Govardhan Eco Village wins Smart Village Award

Maharashtra’s Govardhan Eco Village has  won the “Smart Village” Award for being a sustainable project in rural Maharashtra. The “India Trade Promotion Organisation” (ITPO)’s award was received by Nimai Lila Das to Chief Sustainability Officer of Govardhan Eco Village, in New Delhi on May 13, 2017. Eco Village was set up by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in adjoining Thane district.

 

Konkona bags Best Director and Best Actress Awards at NYIFF

Konkona Sensharma has bagged the best director for her debut film “A Death in the Gunj”. Konkona had also bagged the best actress for “Lipstick Under My Burka” at 2017’s New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF). The film festival took place from April 30 to May 7. She received the top honour for the performance in Alankrita Shrivastava Lipstick Under My Burka. She won the award for directing the drama thriller.

 

Presidential awards for classical Tamil Presented

On May 9, 2017 the President of India. Mr Pranab Mukherjee Presented the “Presidential Awards for classical Tamil” for the year 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 at Rashtrapati Bhavan New Delhi. The Presidential Awards for Classical Tamil were instituted by central Institute of classical Tamil functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development. These awards are presented to distinguished scholars who have made outstanding contribution to classical Tamil language and literature.

 

Emma Watson bags first ever ‘genderless’ award

Hollywood Star Emma Watson picked up the first ever genderless Acting Award for the Best Actor category at the MTV Movie and TV Awards. The 27 years old actress made history at the annual event held at the Shrine Auditorium in Madrid, Spain on 7 may, 2017. The star, who first became known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter films, is a feminist campaigner and UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. Her ‘Beauty and the Beast’ also won movie of the year.

 

Sachin Tendulkar Conferred with Fellowship Award in UK

Indian Former Cricket Player Sachin Tendulkar received the Fellowship Award at the 7th annual Asian Awards in the United Kingdom. India’s playback singer  Adnan Sami won the award for outstanding achievement in Music. The award for outstanding achievement in cinema conferred on Om Puri who died earlier this year at age of 66. He was receiving the Award at the 7th annual Asian Awards Held in London.

 

Saqib Majeed wins 2016 Wisden – MCC Cricket “Photograph of the year” award

A Srinagar based freelance photographer has done Kashmir Proud, Pocketing the prestigious 2016 Wisden – MCC (Melbourne Cricket Council) Cricket photograph of the year for a stunning image, which captured boys playing cricket in the outskirts of the city. Saqib Majeed, an engineer by profession clicked the award winning picture at eh Nishat Garden in Srinagar. Majeed is  the first Kashmiri and second Asian after Atul Kamble to receive the award.

 

Sunny Pawar chosen for Rising Star Award in the UK

Child actor Sunny Pawar, best known for his Performance in the Oscar nominated film Lion, has been chosen for the Rising Star Award in UK. The award will be presented to Sunny at the 7th Annual Asian Awards. Sunny, grew up in the Mumbai Slums, shot to global fame with his role in Australian drama where he worked alongside award winning actors Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

 

Movie The Black Prince Awarded at International film fest in Houston

The Hollywood film The Black Prince starring Indian Actress Shabana Azmi and singer poet Satinder Sartaaj awarded special Jury Remi Award at 50th Annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival. The Black Prince is a historic film of the last king of Punjab. Maharajah Duleep Singh and his relationship with Queen Victoria. The Worldfest Houston International Film Festival is the World’s largest independent film festival.

 

Padma Venkataraman bestowed with Avvaiyar Award

The Tamil Nadu Government on 2 May 2017 conferred the 2017 Avvaiyar Award to Padma Venkataraman, a social worker and daughter of former Indian President, the late R.Venkataraman. Padma was honoured with the award for her efforts in the field of women’s welfare and rehabilitation of leprosy – affected people since the past 30 years by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Kohli only Indian in top 10 of ICC ODI rankings

India captain Virat Kohli is the lone cricketer from the country to feature in the top 10 of the ICC players Rankings for ODIs as he managed to hold on to his third sport in the batsman’s chart. The top three batsmen South Africa’s AB de villiers (874 points), Australian David Warner (871 points) and Kohli (852) Points are separated by just 22 points. Among other Indians to feature in the top of 20 of the ICC players Rankings for ODI batsman Rohit Sharma (12th) M.S. Dhoni (13th) and Shikhar Dhawan, who draped a place to (15th)

 

Lionel Messi wins Fourth Golden Shoe

Professional football player Lionel Messi has won the European Golden Shoe for a fourth time. Playing for Football Club Barcelona, Lionel Messi scored 37 goals in this season. With the fourth golden shoe to his name, Messi has equalled Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo’s Record,Lionel Messi topped the Golden Shoe table by scoring 37 goals and securing 74 points, and was ahead of Bas Dost of Sporting Lisbon by Six Points.

 

Sebastian Vettel wins Monaco Grand Prix

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has won Monaco Grand Prix, was held on 28 May, 2017. The race was held at Circuit de Monaco, La Condamine and Monte Carlo, Monaco. The second place in the race was secured by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. The third place was secured by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. The gap in the drivers Championship between Vettel and Lewis Hamilton has been extended by 25 points as Hamilton settled for a seventh place. Vettel Completed this race in 1 hour 44 minutes and 44.340 seconds only.

 

South Korea defeat China to win 2017 Sudirman Cup

South Korea defeated China won badminton Sudirman Cup for the first time in 28 years on 29 May, 2017. South Korea has won by 3-2 points over 10-time Champions China. It was held in Gold Coast Australia. South Korea also claimed their fourth cup in the World mixed teams competition with a Charged 21-17, 21-13 win by Choi Sol gyu and Chae Yoo-Jung in the mixed doubles match. South Korea won in mixed doubles in 1991, 1993 and 2003 respective years.

 

Ananya Kamboj selects for the FIFA Programme in Russia

Ananya Kamboj, 8th Standard student from Chandigarh has been selected as young journalist at the global Football for Friendship (F4F) Social programme in Russia. India joins the programme for the first time and 60 other countries will participate. Mission XI Million is a programme of the FIFA U – 17 World Cup India 2017. It will focus on the development of children’s football, fostering tolerance and respect for different cultures and nationalities among  Children from different countries.

 

Bhavani Devi win Gold in International Fencing Tournament

India’s Fencing Player Chadalavada Bhavani Devi has become first Indian to win a Gold Medal in an International fencing tournament. She has won the gold medal sabre event of the Tournoi Satellite Fencing Championship held at Reykjavik in Iceland. In the final, she beat Sarah Jane Hampson of Great Britain with 15-13 points. Chadalavada Bhavani Devi is a sabre fencer from Chennai. She had Previously won silver medal in another event.

 

Manchester United won 2016-17 UEFA Europe League Title

Manchester United won the 2016-17 The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Europa League Title. They defeated Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax (AFC) team. Manchester United Football Club is a Professional Football Club based on Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England. Jose Mourinho, that serial trophy hunter, won his 12th final out of 14 finalist games.

 

HCL to host Asian Junior Tennis Championship 2017

Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL) to host the Asian Junior Tennis Championship 2017, the most reputed tennis championship in the Asia. The Championship is being held in association with the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association and under the support of International Tennis Federation (ITF), Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) and All India Tennis Association (AITA). Different players from 11 countries Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Hong-Kong, Malaysia, China, Sri Lanka, Iran and India are participating in the Championshi.

 

PV Sindhu elected to BWF Athletes Commission

Olympics silver medalist PV Sindhu on 24 May, 2017 elected as members to Badminton World Federation (BWF) Athletes’ Commission. Sindhu emerged the highest voted (129) Player in the BWF Athletes Commission election that took place on the sidelines of the Sudirman cup in Gold Coast, Australia. Along with Sindhu, Marc Zwiebler of Germany voted (108) and Kristry Gilmour of Scotland voted  (103) were also elected as members to BWF Athletes Commission. The three were served a four year term.

 

  1. Aswin wins International Cricketer of the year Award

India off Spinner Ravichandran Aswin, on Wednesday (24 May, 2017) received the Prestigious International Cricketer of the year Award at the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2017. Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar and Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPG Enterprises Presented the award to the spin searched at a function held at the Cricket Club of India. Aswin was the wrecker in chief during the home season, where India won 10 of their 13 matches.

 

Sweden beat Canada to win ICE Hockey World Title

Sweden won Ice Hockey World Championship Title for the 10th time. Sweden won the Championship with a 2-1 goal. This win is Sweden’s first in four tries against Canada. The teams were tied at 1-1 after three periods in Cologne, Germany, with Victor Hedman scoring for the Swedes and Canada’s Ryan O'Reilly equalising. Finally Sweden have won the ICE Hockey World Championship, beating favourites Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout.

 

Bengaluru FC wins 38th Federation Cup Football Tournament

Bengaluru Football Club has won the 28th Federation cup Football tournament. In the final match they defeated depending Champions and 14 time winners Mohun Bagan with 2-0. The match went into extra time after neither of the teams could break the deadlock in 90 minutes. India international CK Vineeth, then, scored twice for Bengaluru in extra time helping them to win the tournament for just second time.

 

Mumbai Indians beat Rising Pune Supergiants to win 2017 IPL

Mumbai Indians on 21 May 2017 defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run to clinch the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League. It is the third time that the Mumbai Indians clinched the IPL winner title. With the win, Mumbai Indians became the first team to win three IPL titles. Krunal Pandya of Mumbai Indians was declared the Man of the Match. Mumbai Indians won the first title in 2013 and second title in 2015 by defeating Chennai Super Kings.

 

Alexander Zverev clinches Italian Open Single Title

Alexander Zverev on 21 May 2017 defeated World No.2 Novak Djokovic 6-4,6- 3 to win the Italian Open. The Final was held in Rome, Italy. With the win, Zverev became the youngest Master 1000 titlist. Now, he entered the ATP top 10 for the first time after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open. Between October 2013 and June 2014, he was the No.1 Ranked boys junior player.

 

India win all 10 gold medals in South Asian

In the South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship India has won 10 gold medals. It was a proud moment for India. The tournament was held in Mount lavinia, near Colombia in Sri Lanka. Apart from 10 gold medals, the Indian participants have also won 14 medals that total makes to 24. In this Championship Manav Thakkar won Junior boys final Archana Girish Kamath won Junior Girls final.

 

Vaishnavi Shone won 2 gold medals in the first Asia level Yoga Competition

Vaishnavi Shone a Coimbatore girl won 2 gold medals in the first Asia level Yoga Competition in Thailand. She was won the Junior Category (13 to 15 years). Overall 150 participants from singapore and Thailand took part in the meet which was held in Bangkok. Vaishnavi has achieved Various awards and titles including”Yoga Rami” and “Yoga Natchathra” from India Yoga Association and Government of Tamilnadu.

 

Indian Men’s Team wins Compound Gold in World Cup Archery

The Indian Men’s Compound archery team Abhishek  Verma, Chinna Raju Sridhar and Amanjeet Singh won compound gold at World Cup Stage -1 championships held in Shanghai, China. They defeated Colombian team comprised Camilo Andres Cardona, Jose Carlos ospina and Daniel Munoz to achieve gold. India defeat USA in the semifinal and Iran in the quarterfinal.

 

Mohammad Anas breaks 400m National Record

Mohammad Anas from Kerala has breaked the national record in men’s 400 m race and won a gold medal at the third leg of the Indian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in New Delhi. He finished the race in 45.32 seconds at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. He also qualified for the World Championships to be held in London in August. Rajiv Arokia and Sachin Baby were second and third in 46.32 seconds and 47.18 seconds respectively.

 

ICC hikes Prize Money for Champions Trophy

The International Cricket Council (ICC) in the second week of May 2017 announced that the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy Carries a total prize money of USD 4.5 million. The winner of the eight team tournament will take home a Cheque of $ 2.2 million. The runner up of the tournament will get a Cheque of $ 1.1 million, while the other two semifinalists will get $ 450000 each. Teams finishing third in each group will take home $ 90,000 each.

 

Indian Women Cricketers sets New World Record in One-Day Internationals

The partnership of Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut scored 320 in 45.3 overs to become the World’s first ever first Wicket Partnership , to achieve a 300 – run opening wicket Partnership in One-Day Internationals (ODI’s). The earlier best Partnership for the first wicket in Men’s Cricket was 286 scored by Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga and Sanath jayasuriya against England in 2006. Deepti Sharma did 188 runs and Poonam Raut did 109

runs in the Match against Ireland Women’s Team.

 

Arjun Maini becomes the first Indian to win GP3 Race

Arjun Maini became the first Indian driver to win a GP3 Race when he won the sprint race at the circuit de catalunya, Barcelona. The 19 years old scored his first win in two years while finishing six seconds ahead of Frenchman Dorian Boccolacci and teammate Alessio Lorandi of Italy. Arjun Maini, driving for Jenzer Motorsport’s and creating history.

 

Lewis Hamilton Wins Spanish Grand prix

Lewis Hamilton cut Sebastian Vettel’s lead at the top of the Formula one drivers standings to six points as he won the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton will start at pole position after edging out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just. 0.051 seconds Spanish Grand Prix is a Formula one motor race which is one of the oldest of its kind in the world. He is a three time Formula one World Champion.

 

India Claim 2 Medals At World Para Athletics Grand Prix

India Claimed a gold medal and a bronze medal and a bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix held in Beijing, China, Ramudu Someshwara Rao, who became the fastest Indian blade runner in the recently conducted 17th National Para Athletics Championships at Jaipur, won a gold medal in the 200 m race at World Para Athletics Grand Prix, Beijing. Shot Putter Hokato Sema who also won gold at 17th National Para Athletics Championships at Jaipur, won bronze at World Para Athletics Grand Prix Beijing.

 

VVS Laxman awarded honorary life membership of Marylebone Cricket Club

Former Indian cricket player VVS Laxman on 11 May, 2017 was awarded an honorary life membership to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Laxman is the fifth Indian to receive the honour, after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan. He was a right handed aggressive bats man, who played mostly in the middle order. In 2011 he was awarded the padma shri Award.

 

Harpreet Singh wins bronze in Asian Wrestling Championship

Harpreet Singh won a bronze medal Greco-Roman Weight divisions in the Asian Wrestling Championship held at the K.D. Jadhav arena in the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi. Harpreet won the bronze medal after beating his rival Jun JiNa of China in 80 kg category. Asian Wrestling Championships are Organized every year by the Asian Associated Wrestling Committee (AAWC)

 

Vikram Malhotra Wins 5th PSA Title

India’s Vikram Malhotra won his fifth PSA title after beating Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the final of the Abu Dhabi Open. The US based Indian won 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11 against his opponent. The top seeded Indian, fresh frona Asian Championship held in Chennai, beat Hesham Mohamed Aly of Egypt in the first round thereafter seventh  seed Ahmad Ali Siraj of Jordan in the quarters, both in fluent style. In the semi final he took out Pakistan’s Khawaja Adil Maqbool who retired in the third game after trailing by two games.

 

Odisha CM Unveils Logo and Mascot of Asian Athletics Championships

Naveen Patnaik Unveils Logo and mascot of Asian Athletics Championships. The 22nd Asian Athletics Championship is scheduled to be held at kalinga stadium from July 6 to 9. While the logo depicts an athlete crossing the finishing line with historical tourist attractions of Odisha in the back drop, the mascot is named OLLY that represents the famous Olive Ridley Sea turtle. The State Governments would spend Rs. 43 crore for preparation of the grand event.

 

Jhulan Goswami as highest wicket taker in Women’s ODIS

Fast bowler Jhulan Goswami is now the highest wicket taker in one day internationals in the women’s game. Goswami, who now has 181 wickets in 153 matches, Surpassed the world record held by Australia bowled Cathryn Fitzpatrick (180). She achieved this feat with the wicket of No.11 batsman Raisibe Ntozakhe of South Africa. She broke the record in the ongoing match against hosts South Africa in the women’s Quadrangular series in potchefstroom.

 

Devender Singh, javelin thrower to qualify for London Words

Indian Javelin Thrower Devender Singh qualified for the World Championships in London. Devender Singh with a stunning throw of 84.57 mt won the gold medal at the Indian Grand Prix Athletics meet in Patiala. He is the second Javelin thrower from the country Qualify of the London Championships. Neeraj Chopra, the World Junior Champion and record holder. He was the first Indian Javelin thrower to qualify for the London Worlds when he threw 83.32 mt at the Asian Grand Prix in Jiaxing.

 

Asian Boxing Shiva, sumit settle for Silver

Shiva Thapa (60kg) settled for a silver medal at the Asian Boxing Championships after an injury forced loss in the final in Tashkent. He was becoming first Indian to claim three back to back medals at the tournament. Sumit Sangwan also won silver after losing to Kazakhstan’s top seeded Vassiliy Levit in a unanimous verdict. Levit was the silver medalist at last year’s Rio Olympic Games. Shiva had previously won a gold in 2013 and won a bronze in the 2015 edition.

 

Britain down Australia to win sultan Azlan Hockey Cup

Great Britain won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup for the first time ever on 6 May, 2017. It was defeating defending champions Australia 4-3 in Malaysia. With the victory, Britain became the first European team to win the cup since the Netherlands in 2006. This Victory came to Great Britain in the Azlanshah Cup after 23 years. It becomes the first team from the British Isles to win the Azlan Shah title since 1994.

 

ICC raises Women’s World Cup Prize Money

International Cricket Council (ICC) tries to popularise women’s Cricket and also the upcoming 2017 World Cup in england by increasing the Prize money to $ 2 million. This is the ten times to the amount that was awarded in the late edition in 2003. The ICC announced that Decision Review System (DRS) will be put in place for the first time in Women’s Cricket during the eight team tournament in June.

 

India slips to 4th Position in ICC T-20 Rankings

India Slipped to the fourth position in the ICC Twenty – 20 International team rankings in the annual update of the rankings. India dropped two places by having lost six points, giving Pakistan and England an edge to slide higher in the rankings list. In the updated list New Zealand retained its top position with 125 points, England in 2nd position with 121 points. Pakistan too joined England on 121 points after gaining five points but was placed third for being behind England by a fraction of point.

 

Indian Football Team Reached in Top 100 FIFA Ratings

Indian Football team first time reached it into the top 100 at the FIFA World Cup Ratings. And it if for the first time ever in entire 21 years Indian team reached the Final of FIFA World Cup. As per the updated rankings, the Stephen Constantine Coached side is now placed at the 100th spot along with Nicaragua, Lithuania and Estonia. India is the 11th highest placed team in entire Asia on its rankings.

 

Soumyajit Ghosh wins Singles and Doubles gold at Chile Open

Indian Table Tennis Player Soumyajit Ghosh has bagged both the singles and doubles gold at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Challenge Chile Open in Santiago, Chile. Men’s single final was contested between two Indian Players Soumyajit Ghosh and Anthony Amalraj, in which Soumyajit Clinched the title. In Men’s doubles final the Indian Pair of soumyajit & Anthony Amalraj defeated Philipp Floritz and Hunor Szocs. This is the first time India has won a men’s doubles title on either the ITTF World Tour or ITTF Challenge Series.

 

ECONOMY

India announces $ 500 mn assistance to Mauritius

India on 27 May, 2017 announced a $ 500 million line of credit to Mauritius as the two countries decided to firm up cooperation in the field of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. The two sides signed a maritime security agreement after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth. They also done a deal, effective management of conventional and non-conventional threats in the Indian Ocean is essential to purpose economic opportunities and provide security to the people of both the countries.

 

Pondy CM Presents Tax – Free Budget For 2017-18

Chief Minister of Puducherry, V. Narayanaswamy Presented Rs. 6945 crore Tax-Free budget for the fiscal 2017-18 on May 25, 2017. Total Budget outlay of Rs. 6948 crore comprises Rs. 4445 crore for non-plan head and Rs. 2500 crore under plan. Puducherry government will contribute Rs. 4022 crore from its own resources, while central assistance will be of Rs. 1411 crore. Grants under the centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) including the Central Road Fund (CRF) has been estimated at Rs. 361 crore.

 

Entertainment, Cable TV, DTH to attract lower Taxes Under GST

The Union Finance Ministry on 23 May 2017 announced that the taxation on entertainment, Cable TV, and DTH services will come down under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Cable TV and Direct -To- Home (DTH) services will attract 18 percent GST. With regard to circus theatre, Indian classical dance including  folk dance and drama, the GST rate is 18 percent. The Entertainment Services like events or cinematography films in Cinema theatres will attract 28 percent GST with effect from 1 July 2017.

 

Three Indian Brands among the World’s top 50 Luxury goods companies

The three Indian companies Gitanjali Gems, Titan and PC Jeweller have been named in the list of top 50 luxury companies. In the list it was topped by Louis Vuitton. Gitanjali Gems Ltd was placed in the 30th rank, followed by Titan Company (31st) and PC Jeweller (44th) in the fourth annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report. The average luxury goods annual sales for a top 100 company stood at USD 2.1 billion.

 

Japan’s Softbank Invests Rs. 9,000 crore in Paytm

Japan’s Softbank invested 1.4 billion (over Rs.9,079 crore) in digital payments platform paytm. This is the largest fund investment by a single investor in an Indian start-up and also Softbank’s largest investment in a single company in India. The company plans to invest Rs. 10,000 over the next three to five years. Paytm, which runs India’s biggest digital payments system with more than 220 million users.

 

India Ranks 26 in World Bank Power List

India to be ranked 26th in World Bank’s electricity accessibility list in the current year from 99th spot in 2017. Out of the 15,452 villages which lacked electricity, over 13,000 villages has been provided access to electricity. The flagship scheme Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with as aim to provide 24×7 uninterrupted electricity supply to each rural household across the country by 2022.

 

Adani signs steel supply deal with Australian Steel group Arrium

Gautam Shantilal Adani signed a 74 million dollar landmark deal with Australian steel group Arrium to buy steel for a 400 km rail line for its Carmichael coal mine project. Arrium’s division One steel Manufacturing Proprietary limited will supply 54,000 tonnes of steel to build the rail line Adani’s 16 billion dollar Carmichael mine project has been resolved recently.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

US Successfully tests intercontinental ballistic missile defence system

The United States of America on 30 May, 2017 successfully conducted the first ever test of its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The test was long planned. US Missile  Defence Agency (MDA) stated that a ground based interceptor was launched at a california airbase and it successfully shot down a mock ballistic missile. Experts compare the exercise to hitting a bullet with another bullet. The enormous distance involved further added to the complexity of the test.

 

India reports its first 3 cases of the Zika Virus

India has reported its first three cases of the Zika Virus, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies. Health Ministry Officials said that the three patients in Western Gujarat. Zika is transmitted by the day time active Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The medical journal Lancet has said 2.6 billion people living in parts of Africa and Asia could be at risk of Zika infection, based on analysis of travel, climate and mosquito patterns in those regions. People infected by Zika Virus never get sick and symptoms are mild for those who do, so surveillance systems may have missed cases.

 

Researchers discover glass frog in Ecuador

The newly discovered glass frog was found in the Amazonian lowlands of Ecuador. It was so translucent you can see its heart. The remarkable frog, whose beating heart can be seen right through its chest. It has dark green spots on its back, and red heart that can be seen through chest. Scientists have placed the newly discovered frog in the genus Hyalinobatrachium, which are known to share some of its extraordinary traits.

 

IIT Delhi Scientists develop Cheapest respiratory Filter

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi developed cheapest respiratory filter, named “Naso filters”. The filter, which is ready for commercialisation, restricts entry of Up to 95% dust and air pollutants. It is the cheapest naso filter available in comparison to the face masks and other alternatives available in the market to fight critical levels of air pollution. The product will soon be available in Indian and Global markets under the brand name Naso filters by Nano Clean Global Pvt Ltd.

 

Scientists discover First Natural Human Antibodies against Ebola Virus

A team of scientists from United States of America discovered a possible cure of Ebola Viruses. They have discovered the first natural human antibodies that are capable  of neutralising and protecting animals against all three major disease causing Ebola Viruses. Ebola Virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. It was first identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a Village near the Ebola.

 

North Korea missile test way “new type of ballistic rocket”

North Korea has claimed that the  missile Hwasong – 12 it tested on 15 May, 20107 was a new type of rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead. The missile, launched at a steep angle, reached an altitude of 2111.5 km (1312 miles) and travelled about 787 km (490 miles), landing in the sea west of Japan. North Korea is believed to be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching the main lands in USA.

 

India test fires surface to air missile “Spyder”

India on 11 May 2017 test fired a surface to air missile ‘Spyder’ from test range in Odisha as part of missile launch Practice of a series of tests of the short range quick reaction, Spyder was test fired from a mobile launcher at launch complex 3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur and targeted a pilot less target aircraft.

 

Atmosphere Discovered Around “Worm Neptune”

Astronomers have discovered ‘the primitive atmosphere’ surrounding a planet “Warm Neptune” with the help of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope. The study revealed that the exoplanet found around 430 light years from Earth has an atmosphere that composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, with a relatively cloudless sky.

 

Brazil declares end to Zika emergency

Brazil on 11 May, 2017 declared an end to public health emergency for the Zika Virus after about 18 months of fight against this mosquito borne virus. The Zika Virus emergency fell up on Brazil when the country was preparing to host the 2016 Olympics, fueling the concerns that Rio Olympics could spread the Virus. In November 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) lifted its own international health emergency status for Zika.

 

Last dinosaur species to survive on  Earth discovered

The fossil of one of the last living African dinosaurs was discovered in a phosphate mine in northern Morocco. The species, Chenani Saurus barbaricus, is reportedly one of the last ones to have survived on earth before an asteroid strike wiped them out 66 million years ago. Its analysis suggests that a distinct dinosaur fauna evolved in Africa following the breakup of the Gondwana supercontinent in the middle of the cretaceous period. Dinosaurs are known to have lived between 230 and 65 million years ago, a period that is known as the Mesozoic Era.

 

India launches first South Asia satellite GSAT – 9

India launched the first South Asia Satellite built by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and funded entirely by India on 5th May 2017. South Asia Satellite include mapping natural resources, telemedicine, IT – Connectivity and people to people links. It is also expected to cement bonds between Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka and overcome the negative vibes from Pakistan, which is the only South Asian Country to opt out of the project.

 

China and Europe to build Moon Village

The space agencies of Europe and China discussing about collaborative projects on the moon base. Moon Village will be used as as International launching pad for future missions to mars and also for the development of space tourism. The moon village proposal is along the live of NASA’s aim of getting astronauts to the vicinity of Mars by the end of the 2030.

 

SpaceX Launches Intelligence Mission on Falcon 9

United States America based manufacturing company Spacex successfully launched and landed a rocket carrying NROL – 76 for US intelligence from the Kennedy Space centre in Florida on 1st May, 2017. This was the fourth Space X booster landing at cape Canaveral and fifth successful mission in 2017. It is the US Space X’s first intelligence mission.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

George Kurian appointed as vice Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities

George Kurian has been appointed as Vice Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities on 30th May, 2017. He is a renowned social and educational activist from kerala. Other members of the commission are Sulekha Kumbhare Sunil Singhi and Vada Dasturji Khurshed Kaikobad Dastoor. The government had appointed noted social activist and former national general secretary of the BJP Minority Morcha, Syed Ghayoor Hasan Rizvi as commission’s Chairman.

 

Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi as Chairman of National Commission for Minorities

Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi has assumed a charge of the Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities in New Delhi. He served as Chairman U.P. Minority Finance Development Corporation Limited. Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi is a Graduate in Arts and also holds Diploma in Mechanics. He has been actively participating in social service. He Worked for the improvement of the basic facilities and working conditions of Beedi Workers and Weaver Community in Uttar Pradesh.

 

US Senate Confirms Amul Thapar to Key Judicial Post

The United States Senate has confirmed Indian American Judge Amul Thapar to a key judicial position on the powerful US Court of Appeals. The first Indian American to be nominated by President Donald Trump for 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr Thapar was confirmed by the senate 52-44, a vote which took place on party lines. With this Mr. Thapar will become the second South Asian Judge to be on a US circuit court of Appeals.

 

Google India head Rajan Anandan appointed IAMAI Chairman

Google’s Vice-President for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan appointed as new Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India co-founder and Chief executive officer. Make My Trip Chairman and Group CEO Deep Kalra will be the Vice Chairman. Facebook’s managing director for India and South Asia. Umang Bedi will be the new treasurer. Subho Ray will continue to be the President of IAMAI.

 

Anurag Tripathy Appointed as Secretary of CBSE

 

Senior bureaucrat Anurag Tripathy was on 25 May, 2017 appointed as the secretary of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). Tripathy, a 1998 batch officer of Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS), has been appointed to the post for a period of five years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training. The CBSE is a notional school education board. It also conducts IIT JEE and NEET exams for engineering and medicine admission.

 

Sanjay Mitra took charge as Defence Secretary

Sanjay Mitra took charge as the Defence Secretary on 25 May, 2017. Mitra succeeds G. Mohan Kumar. Mitra, a 1982 batch IAS officer of West Bengal Cadre, will have a fixed two year tenure. His appointment as the new Defence Secretary was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on 10 May 2017. He also served as Joint Secretary in PM’s office Manmohan Singh from November 2004 to July 2011.

 

Socialist Lenin Moreno sworn in as President of Ecuador

Lenin Moreno was sworn in as President of Ecuador on 24th of May 2017. The Lenin Moreno is a socialist leader and he is 64years old. Moreno is one of the world’s few paraplegic heads of state and he said in his speech that he will continue anti poverty programmes. Guillermo Lasso, a farmer banker, called for a recount after losing the run off election. The electoral council upheld Moreno’s 2.3 percent margin of victory.

 

1st Indian Woman elected to city of London Corporation

Rehana Ameer, a 43 year old UK entrepreneurs, has become the first Indian born woman to be elected as a councillor to the city of London Corporation. Ameer, who was born and raised in Chennai, aims to promote city’s businesses in International Markets and focuses on road safety, improved air quality and developing the city’s presence overseas.

 

Hassan Rouhani As President of Iran

Hassan Rouhani re-elected as the President of Iran. He was elected as President for his first term in 2013. His resounding Victory came after a hard fought election campaign in which he promised to increase Iran’s engagement with the World and improve civil rights domestically. Before winning the 2013 presidential elections, he was a members of the Supreme National Security Council.

 

Air Marshal PN Pradhan appointed as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff

Air Marshal PN Pradhan appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Operations). He was closely associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer – 135 and C-130 fleets in the Indian Air Force (IAF). He was awarded ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014. Pradhan hold various positions like Assistant Chief of Air staff (Transport and Helicopters) and Assistant Chief of Air Staff (personnel Airmen and Civilians) at Air Headquarters.

 

Ovais Sarmad appointed as the deputy executive secretary of UNFCCC

Ovais Sarmad is an Indian national appointed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the post of DeputyExecutive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He is currently the Chief of Staff to the Director General of the International Organization for Migration. His appointment is mainly aimed to stabilize greenhouse emission and slow down climate change.

 

Edouard Philippe named as Prime Minister of France

French President Emmanuel Macron on 15 May, 2017 named Edouard Philippe as Prime Minister of France. Philippe comes from the ranks of a center right party outside Macron’s own movement. Philippe is a member of the Les Republican’s party and is close to Alain Juppe, the former Prime Minister who endorsed Macron after he won the first round of the Presidential election. He has also served as mayor of Le Havre in France.

 

VK Saraswat named as New JNU Chancellor

The HRD Ministry has named scientist and former DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat as the next chancellor of JNU. A full time member of NITI Ayog, Saraswat will be replacing ISRO Chief K. Kasturirangan, who completed his term on 30 March, 2017. Saraswat was conferred Padma Shri in 1998, Padma Bhushan in 2013 and had served as a chief scientific advisor to the Minister of Defence.

 

Amitabh Bachchan Appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis

Veteran Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan, a Hepatitis B conqueror, was on 12 May, 2017 appointed the Who Goodwill Ambassador for the Hepatitis awareness programme in Southeast Asia Region. He says nobody should suffer from the disease. The famous actor has been brought on board to boost awareness and intensity action to arrest the Hepatitis epidemic. Announcing his association with WHO, Poonam Khetrapal Singh Regional Director for WHO Southeast Asia.

 

Vinay Mohan Kwatra named new ambassador to France

Vinay Mohan Kwatra named as new ambassador to France. Currently he is a joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Vinay is a 1988 batch Foreign Service Officer. He will succeed Mohan Kumar. He is an experience of dealing with the UN Organisations such as International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO). He has also served in Indian diplomatic missions in China and the U.S.

 

Aruna Sundararajan appointed as secretary of Department of Telecommunications

Aruna Sundararajan was on 10 May, 2017 appointed as secretary of Department of Telecommunications. However, she will continue to serve as the secretary for Union Ministry of Electronics and IT. Aruna succeeds PK Pujari, who was appointed to the post temporarily in March 2017. Sundararajan secretary position will also be temporary. The post of full time secretary JS Deepak was removal from the post in March 2017.

 

Mark Lowcock to be named as UN Humanitarian Chief

Mark Lowcock, the head of Britain’s International Development Department, has been appointed has United Nation’s new Humanitarian aid Chief

April 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

Former Iranian President disqualified from President Elections

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been disqualified from running in next month’s Presidential elections. His name was left out of the final list of approved candidates, that was announced on 20 April, 2017. The decision was taken by the Guardian Council, a group of influential jurists and clerics that was charged with the responsibility of screening the candidates for the upcoming elections, which were scheduled to be held on 19 May, 2017.

China to host BRICS Film Festival in June

The 2017 BRICS Film Festival will be held in Chengdu, South West China’s Sichuan Province from June 23 to 27. There will be 30 films from BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Screened during the festival, including an anthology by five directors from the aforementioned countries. The feature film consisting of five 18 minute shorts on the same theme is a joint work by walter Salles from Brazil, Aleksey Fedorchenko from Russia, Madhur Bhandarkar from India, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka from South Africa and Jia Zhangke from China.

Philippine President Duterte wins Time 100 Reader Poll

Rodrigo Duterte, the President of Philippines has won this year’s Time Magazine’s Readers Readers Poll of the 100 most influential people in the world. Duterte received 5% to total, Yes Votes. He maintained the lead, right from the beginning of the poll. Time 100 Readers Poll closed on April 16, 2017. Time 100 Readers Poll is an online server conducted by Time Magazine, under which the readers are asked to vote for probable contenders of the list.

North Korea starts celebrating birthday of countries Founder

North Korean leader Kim Jong un started a massive parade in the capital city on 15 April 2017. The country celebrating the birthday of Jong’s late grandfather North Korea Founder Kim II Sung. North Korea put on a huge military spectacle on the founder’s birthday, parading its series of new and technologically advanced missiles in front of Kim Jong Un and in a defiant show of force in front of the world.

Two billion people drinking contaminated water WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a report, Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking Water (GLASS) 2017, that states that nearly two billion people currently use contaminated water. This contaminated water is also a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma. As per the report, countries have increased their budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene.

US drops ‘MOAB’ on ISIS caves in Afghanistan  

The United States on 13 April 2017 dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat on an Islamic state tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan. The bomb was dropped by an MC-130 air craft, operated by the Air Force special operations command. A GBU 43/B Massive ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nick named Mother of all Bombs was dropped on a tunnel complex of ISIS – Khorasan, a regional affiliate of the terror group in  Achin district of Afghanistan’s Nanagarh province.

Achim Steiner as New Administrator of

United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres appointed Achim Steiner as new administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 12 April, 2017. Steiner, A German with extensive experience at world organization. He will succeeded Helen clark, a former New Zealand Prime Minister. Clark has steered the United Nations Development programme (UNDP) since 2009 Steiner has served at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

First rail freight service to China departs UK

The Government of China recently launched a rail freight service between China and London. The train is loaded with whisky soft drinks, vitamins and baby products.  The train with 30 containers filled with UK produced goods, set off on the 7500 – mile journey from Stanford –le-Hope in Essex. The train will reach its destination in 18 days. It is the first direct rail link between China and Great Britain.

Lenin Moreno elected President of Ecuador

Ecuador elected Lenin Moreno as the country’s new President, according to the CNE (National Electoral Council) electoral agency. Renowned Moreno and his Vice President Jorge Glas won with 5,057,149 votes or 51.16 percent over former banker Guillermo Lasso and his Vice President Andres Paez, of the right wing CREO – SUMA alliance, who secured 4,827,753 votes and 48.84 percent.

Japan officially recognises Bitcoin as Currency

Japan officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money with effect from 1 April 2017. The recognition comes after implementation of a new law amending Banking act in Japan for legalizing these currencies. The step will facilitate integration of digital currency into legal banking system through regulatory scrutiny. Bitcoin is a crypto currency and an electronic payment system.

Myanmar becomes SASEC’s 7th Member

Myanmar become the seventh member of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) partnership, opening up new markets and supply chain links for trade and business between South Asia and Southeast Asia. SASEC countries Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka coordinate the planning of projects and activities to increase economic growth by building transport connectivity, facilitating faster and more efficient trade and promoting cross border power trade.

INDIA & WORLD

India ranks 136 in World Press Freedom Index 2017

In the list of 180 counties mapped, India stands at 136, down from last year’s 133, colour coded again in red to show the situation as difficult. India has slipped three notches in the World Press Freedom Index 2017, a report released by global media watchdog Reporters without Borders. In this index including 72 countries Russia, India, China are in the situation as difficult. Norway ranked 1st in the Index, Sweden 2nd, Finland 3rd position in the list. While North Korea ranked 180, at the bottom of the Index.

Bill Gates praises PM Modi for Swachh Bharat Mission

Microsoft Co-founder and the World’s richest person, Bill Gates has Praised PM Narendra Modi for the Swachh Bharat Mission. Bill Gated specially mentioned the mission’s aim of building 75 million toilets across India, and at present 30% of India’s villages are now open defecation free. Clean India started with 42% of Indians but today it achieved more than 60% successfully.

Indo-French Naval Exercise “Varuna” Commences

The Indian Navy has began a joint maritime exercise with the French Navy at the Mediterranean Sea to further deepen combat coordination between the two Navies. Guided missile destroyer INS Mumbai, stealth frigate INS Trishul and fleet tanker INS Aditya are taking part in the ‘Varuna’ exercise which will continue till April 30. The ‘Varuna’ series of exercises began in 2000 and have grown into an institutionalized form of interaction between the two navies.

India becomes World’s fifth largest military spender

As per figures revealed by Stockholm International peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has become World’s fifth largest military spender in the year 2016. India’s military expenditure for 2016 was $ 55.9 billion, which marks 8.5% growth over 2015 figure. United States of America with $ 611 billion. China with $ 215 billion, and Russia with $ 69.2 billion.

India replaces Japan as No. ‘2’ LPG Importer

Import of LPG, which is mostly used as cooking fuel in India, during 2016-17 was 11 million tonnes. This marks a growth of 23% as compared to previous year. During the same period. Japan imported 10.6 million tonnes LPG, marking a 3.2% reduction as compared to previous year. In context of this news, it is to be noted that Japan is deliberately cutting back on usage of LPG as cooking fuel and is moving to cheaper alternatives such as Natural Gas. China has retained its position as world’s top LPG importer.

Time releases list of 100 Most Influential People of 2017

Time Magazine on 20 April 2017 released the annual list of 100 most influential people of 2017. This years list included the names of Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs and celebrities for the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, the genius of their solutions to problems that could not be solved before. This year only two Indians to feature on the list Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Paytm founder vijay Shekhar Sharma.

Gandhi Stamps sold at 500,0000 pounds at an auction in UK

A set of four rare stamps, featuring the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi has fetched 5 lakh pounds at an auction which is so far, the highest price ever paid for Indian Stamps. The auction was held in United Kingdom, the purchaser is a private australian stamp collector. As per authoritative issue records, only 13 of these 1948 Gandhi 10 – rupee purple Brown and Lake ‘Service’ stamps are in circulation.

China renames six places in Arunachal Pradesh on its official map

China has announced its official names for six places in Arunachal Pradesh and has strong protests with India over the Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier state. It was aimed at declare China’s claim over Arunachal Pradesh. The official names of six place using at the Roman alphabet one Wo Gyainling, Mila Ri, Qoidengarbo Ri, Mainquka, Bumo La, and Namka Pub Ri.

Australia Abolishes Work Visa Policy 457 Used Largely By Indian

Australian Govt will replace its popular 457 Visa that brings temporary foreign workers to the country with a new version that will recruit only the “best and the brightest in the nation interest” The move to abolish the Visa, used by over 95,000 temporary workers, a majority of them Indians, aims at tackling the growing unemployment in the country.

Alia Bhatt features on Forbes 30 under 30 Asia list

Actress Alia Bhatt has featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list. She is the only Bollywood Actress who has made it to this year. The actress has got a place in Forbes Under 30 Asia list. Alia got her name in the elite list after doing some of the highest earning films and gave best performances in recent times. Alia Bhatt has been acted in over 20 high earning Bollywood movies.

CISCO launches 5th Global Cyber Range lab in Gurugram

US-based tech giant CISCO has launched its fifth global range lab in Gurugram, Haryana with an aim to train Indian firms and govt. agencies on real-world cyber attacks., The facility was inaugurated by National Cyber Security Coordinator Gulshan Rai. CISCO has four other such labs in Australia. CISCO will also launch a security operations centre (SOC) in Pune, its fourth after the US, Poland and Japan in the next few months. It would be linked to other CISCO SOC’s across the world.

“Colours of Northern & Southern States of India”  

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri inaugurated cultural programme “Colours of the Northern Southern States of India” at Kathmandu. The two day event is organised by Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), Embassy of India on the occasion of Baisakhi and Nepali New year 2017. A troupe from India performs Bhangra and Giddha and students of ICC present Bharatnatyam and Hindustani music during the programme.

India, Australia signs on Sports Partnership

India and Australia  on 12 April, 2017 started a partnership aimed at increasing cooperation in sports, in the presence of visiting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and batting great Sachin Tendulkar. Also involved in the launch was Sports Minister Vijay Goel. It will advance India – Australia Cooperation in four areas – athlete and coach training and development, sport science, sport governance and integrity and grassroots participation.

Narendra Modi Becomes Most followed World Leader – Instagram

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just topped the list, beating US President Donald Trump to bag the first spot. PM Modi has 101 posts and 6.9 million followers currently. He is also the most “Effective World leader”, an assessment made on the number of likes and comments he receives on his posts. US president Donald Trump came in second with 6.4 million followers and pope Francis came third with 3.7 million followers. There are 325 Instagram accounts of heads of state, Government and foreign ministers and whose activity was monitored over the past year.

Pak Military court awarded death sentence to Kulbhushan Jadhav

Over a year after Indian Navy Officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, was arrested, a military court in Pakistan has sentenced him to death for “espionage and subversive activities, triggering sharp reaction from India which called it “premeditated Murder”.  The Pakistan Army announced that its Chief, General Qamar Ahmed Bajwa, on 10th April 2017 approved Jadhav’s execution after a Field General Court Martial found him guilty of all charges.

India Ranks 9th among 41 countries in corruption in Business

India has ranked 9th out of 41 countries in bribery and corrupt practices in business as per the EY (Ernst & Young) Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) Fraud Survey 2017. The ranking has improved marginally since 2015 in which India ranked 6th. Improvement in India’s rank has been attributed to emphasis on transparency in governance and better regulatory scrutiny. Countries which rank higher than Indian are : Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Kenya, South Africa and Hungary.

India’s travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world

India’s travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the terms of its total contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic product (GDP), according to a new report of the World Travel and Tourism council  (WTTC), 2016. India’s travel and tourism sector generated Rs. 14.1 trillion (USD 208.9 billion) in 2016. Which is the World’s 7th largest in terms of absolute size the sum is equivalent to 9.6% of India’s GDP. The USA, China and Germany at the first, second and third positions respectively.

IISC ranked best educational institution by HRD Ministry

The Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore, the first Indian institution to make it to the top 10 in a global ranking, has been ranked at the top in the annual national rankings released by the HRD Ministry. Seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITS) have also made it to the list of top 10 educational institutions released under the national Institutional RAnking Frame Work (NIRF), the other two being Banaras Hindu University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. IISc figured at the top in Overall and Universities, the domestic rankings were announced by HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.

NATIONAL

Reliance Industries Ltd. become most valued Indian Company

The Mukesh Ambani-Led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) Regained it status as India’s most valued firm by market capitalisation. RIL overtook Tata Group’s crown Jewel TCS. TCS had replaced RIL as the most valued firm more than four years ago but a sharp rally in the shares of the Mukesh Ambani led firm in the recent past has helped the company close the gap.

Rajnath Singh inaugurates Civil Services Day function

The Department of Administrative Reforms and public Grievances (DARDG) along with the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and pensions is Organising a two day Civil Services Day Programme from 20 April to 21 April 2017. The function was inaugurated by Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister and will be president over by Jitendra Singh, who holds the port folio of the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) among many others.

First Made in India industrial robot Brabo

TAL Manufacturing Solutions in April 2017 unveiled India’s first conceptualized, designed and manufactured articulated industrial robot called BRABO. BRABO stands for “Bravo Robot”. It has been developed indigenously for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in India. TAL Manufacturing Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors.

Union Govt puts an end to lal batti on VIP Vehicles

Union  Cabinet on 19 April 2017 decided prohibiting the use of red beacons (lal batti) on all vehicles except for certain exempted categories. The only five categories would be allowed to use it are President, Vice – President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, and the Speaker of Lok Sabha. The decision comes into effect from May 1, 2017. If directed the states to amend the Motor Vehicle Rules to restrict the use of the red beacon and impose an exemplary fine on those who misused it.

Centre launches training programme for Women Panchayat Leaders

The Centre launched a training programme for Women Panchayat leaders to skill and administers them so that they can give special emphasis on efficient usage of funds for achieving their overall development. The National Commission for Women (NCW) with help of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai has developed training modules for empowering these elected women. They will get training under experts from the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD and PR) in Hyderabad.

Prakash Javadekar launches Portal and Mobile App of RUSA

The Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resources Development, on 17 April 2017 launched its own portal and mobile app. The portal and app were officially launched by Union Minister of Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi. The portal is a one-stop location for states. Higher Education Plans, the decision of the State’s Higher Education Councils and details of the resources.

Suresh Prabhu launches new rail coach with glass roof, GPS

Suresh Prabhu inaugurated the new Vista Dome Coach which has glass roof, LED lights, GPS based infosystem and rotating seats among other features. While flagging of the train with Vistadome Coaches between Visakhapatnam and Araku through video conferencing from Rail Sadan in Bhubaneswar. The video coaches features will enable tourists to enjoy scenic beauty along the Journey. The coach also has a glass domed ceiling, automatic sliding doors and a multi tier luggage rack.

“Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva” launched in India

India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ministry of Earth Sciences in implementing Agrometeorological Advisory Services (AAS) under the scheme Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva (GKMS) in the country. GKMS of IMD is rendered twice a week to farmers in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities (SAUS) Institutions of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), IITs etc. District level weather forecast for next 5 days in respect of Rainfall, maximum temperature, minimum temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and clouds, crop specific advisories are provided to farmers.

Ganga patrol team planned to check pollution

The government is planning to recruit IPS officers, personnel of the Army, paramilitary forces and state police who have retired from service for raising an exclusive Ganga Voluntary Force. It is expected to prevent water pollution and desecration of the holy river. The proposed central force will police the entire stretch of the Ganga (2,525 km) in 5 states Uttarakhand, Uttarpradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal. Which are on the mainstem of the river.

Union Govt launches Aadhaar Seeding Application

The Union Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched Aadhaar Seeding Application for efficient service delivery and widening the reach of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) benefits. It was launched at the 2017th special meeting of the central Board of Employees provident Fund (CBEPF/EPFO) in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Minister of state for Labour of Employment Bandaru Dattatreya.

Government launches operation clean money 20

The Income Tax Department has launched another drive to catch tax evaders who had deposited large sums during the demonetisation drive. The first phase of operation had scrutinized deposits worth with Rs. 10 lakhs. The second phase will examine deposits between Rs.5-10 lakhs. This new operation is named as operation clean money 20.

Union Govt. launches URJA MITRA app  

The Union Ministry of power has launched Urja Mitra app for empowering citizens by real time information sharing on power supply. The app is a first of its kind, which provides a central platform, web portal (www.Urjamitra.com) as well as mobile app for state power distribution utilities to disseminate power outage information to rural/urban power consumers through SMS/ Push/email notifications across the country.

India’s first ever micro-drama festival held in Delhi

India’s first ever Micro-drama festival was held in New Delhi. With respect to it, the festival is named ‘Thespis’ after Thespis of Icaria the fir4st actor in Greek drama. The longest film of the festival was not more than 10 minutes and shortest film not less than 42 seconds. The day – long event saw screening of 28 independent plays at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Art in New Delhi.

Venkaiah Naidu launches 352 housing projects in 53 cities.

The Minister of Housing & Urban poverty Alleviation M. Venkaiah Naidu lanched 352 projects in 53 cities i 7 states across the country. The project was started with an investment of over Rs.38,000 cr to build over two lakh houses. These housing projects to be taken up by the members of consideration of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI) Across the country is the first major private investments initiative into affordable housing.

Harsha Vardhan launches ‘nakshe’ portal to Celebrate Survey of India’s 250 Anniversary

The Union Minister for Science of Technology and Earth Sciences,  Harshvardhan launched a new web portal called ‘nakshe’ in New Delhi on 10 April 2017. The launch commemorates the 250th anniversary of survey of India. The event saw in attendance Y.S.Chowdary, the Minister of State for science & Technology and Earth sciences. Swarna Subbarao,  the surveyor General of India and other top scientists and professional from the Geospatial Industry.

Rajnath Singh launches Web Portal “Bharat Ka Veer” in New Delhi

Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar launched the website Bharat Ke Veer” during an event held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi on 9 April 2017. The Web portal will enable the donors to contribute for the welfare of the kin of fallen soldiers. Rajnath Singh also presented bravery awards and medals to some of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

PM to launch Digital Exhibition on Champaran Satyagraha

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch a digital exhibition in the national capital on 10 April 2017, to mark the 100th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s Champaran Satyagraha. The PM will also address the gathering after the launch at the National Archives. The exhibition titled “Bapu Ka Kavyanjali” will not only focus on the champaran movement, but with this event the govt is planning to re-emphasise the importance of cleanliness, which was close Mahatma Gandhi’s heart and was also a key element of the movement.

Govt Officially Launches BS-IV Grade Fuel Across India

Following Supreme Court’s ruling to ban the sale of BD-III compliant vehicles in the country, the Government of India has now launched Bharat Stage (BS) -IV grade fuel across the nation. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of state for petroleum and Natural Gas, formally launched BS-IV grade transportation fuels from Bhubaneswar, odisha recently. The BS – IV Complaint Vehicles release less pollutants Carbon Mono-oxide (Co), Hydrocarbons (HC), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX), Sulphur (SOX) and particulate matter (PM) compared to BS III Complaint Vehicles.

Union Textile Minister launches Power Tex India Scheme

The Govt has launched Power Tax India, a comprehensive scheme for powerloom sector development, simul taneously at over 45 locations in the country. Launching the scheme in Bhiwandi, Thane district, Maharashtra. The Union Textile Minister Smt smriti Zubin Irani launched Power Tex India Scheme. Recalling that the Powerloom sector alone employs over 44 lakh people and especially benefit for small power loom weavers.

STATES

Bhubaneswar becomes 1st Indian city to win Pierre L’Enfant Awards – 2017

Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, on 27 April 2017 was selected for the Pierre L’Enfant Planning Excellence and Achievement awards 2017. The city was selected for the award for good and advanced town planning and engaging its residents in the planning process. With this, Bhubaneswar became India’s first city to be awarded the prestigious award instituted by the American Planning Association (APA)

UP Govt to set up anti land mafia task force

The Yogi Adityanath government has set up an anti – land mafia task force in Uttar Pradesh. UP government ensure that the land mafia and the encroachers will not be spread and land or property grabbing can be stopped. The 4 tier task force would be headed by a principal secretary followed by Commissioner, DM and SDM in their respective areas. The UP govt has mentioned that the task force would soon submit a report from tehsil to the district and state level about such encroachments.

Northeast India’s Largest IT Hub Opens in Tripura

North east’s Sixth and largest hub for information technology has been inaugurated in Agartala, Tripura. The hub has been set up at a cost of Rs. 50 crore to boost employment and e-governance besides export of software technology. The hub is expected to create more employment opportunities for the youths and extend the e governance to cover all the people of the region.

Central University for Divyangs to be setup in Uttar Pradesh

Union Government will set up a Central University for Divyangs in Uttar Pradesh. It was stated by HRD Minister prakash Javadekar while addressing the convocation function of Shakuntala Mishra national rehabilitation University, Lucknow. The Minister mentioned the University Grants Commission has been instructed to make arrangement for special training of instructors providing education to divyangs.

“Kilkari” Mobile app Launched Haryana Government

Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar launched a mobile app as named “Kilkari” to awareness pregnant women & New born baby. Under this scheme Haryana Govt, Provide important information to maternity. Milkari app will mainly awareness women & Newborn baby health. Time Appropriate Audio messages will be sent via the app in the crucial stages of pregnancy, Childbirth and Child Care.

Hyderabad Police gets Golden Peacock Award

Hyderabad Police’s HYD COP’ app has been awarded the Golden Peacock Innovative Product Service Award for 2017. The award was Presented at the Golden Peacock awards ceremony held in Dubai on 19 April 2017 in the Presence of business leaders during IOD India’s “27th World Congress on Business excellence and innovation United Arab Emirates”. Culture and Knowledge Development Minister Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Presented the awards at the ceremony.

UP Government renames Gorakhpur and Agra Airports

The Yogi Adityanath Government has renamed the Gorakhpur and Agra Airports. The Gorakhpur Air Force Station has been renamed as Mahayogi Gorakhnath Airport. It was named after the founder of the Nath Monastic movement. The Agra Airport will be renamed after RSS ideologue Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Airport. The Department of Disabled Welfare will not be known as Divyang Jan Vikas Empowerment.

Tamil Nadu Tops in Rural Job Guarantee Scheme

Tamil Nadu has made use of the current spell of drought to create on all – India record in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) During the financial year of 2016-17, Tamil Nadu emerged as the top state in generation of person days under the scheme. Against the revised target of 35 crore person days the state had recorded about 39.59 person days. The Original target was 31.5 crore person days.

Kerala Govt to give Pension to Circus Artistes

The CPT (M) led LDF government in Kerala has decided to provide pension to former circus artistes in the state and allocated Rs. 1.13 crore for the scheme. Kerala was giving a nominal pension of Rs. 1200 to all circus artists who had a ration card and had been working in the state for at least 30 years. Hundreds of artistes from the State Working in different Parts of the country do not come under this scheme.

Madhya Pradesh to ban polythene Carry Bags From May 1

Madhya Pradesh government decided to ban plastic polythene bags across the state from May 1. The consumption of polythene bags results in a large number of cow deaths. The state cabinet, chaired by the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has accorded nod to the proposal of imposing the ban on plastic/polythene bags across the state from 1st May. Besides, the plastic polythene bags are also harmful for the environment.

Telangana passes bill to hike reservations for Muslim and STs

The Telangana passes bill to hike reservation for Muslims and STs. Under this bill the reservation for socially backward people and Muslim people has been increased. For Muslim 4% to 12% increased and for Scheduled Tribes 6% to 10%. In includes total Quotas in government jobs and educational institutions, The total Quota in the state now increase to 62%. The bill will be included in the 9th Schedule of the constitution.

Dr. Hanchinal receives M.S. Swaminathan

The 6th addition of M.S. Swaminathan Award for agriculture has been given to Rayappa Ramappa Hanchinal Chairperson of protection of plant varieties and Farmers Rights Authority. This award has been given to Dr. Hanchinal for his contributions and continuous efforts in areas of seed production technology, crop improvement for hot and very hot dry environments and intellectual protection rights in plant varieties. This Award was presented by C.Parthasarathy Secretary, Agriculture and cooperation Govt of Telangana.

Punjab CM bans names of Ministers, MLA’s on inaugural stones

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh prohibited the inclusion of names of any government functionaries, including ministers and MLA’s on foundation stones and inaugural plaques. It aimed at building a stronger connect between the government and the people by removing the VIP culture barriers. The Chief Minister’s order comes after state cabinet minister Sadhu Singh Dharamsot allegedly threatened to suspend a school principal on finding his name was third on the inaugural stone.

Andhra Pradesh to introduce “Ammaku Vandanam” in Schools

A Unique Programme to pay tribute to mothers will be introduced in the government – run schools in Andhra Pradesh from this year. Under this programme Mother Worship the school Children will take the blessings of their mothers and may also do Paada Pooja. The government also decided to implement the programme in 5,000 high Schools across the state from the academic year 2017-18. The mothers would be invited to the schools on a specific day every year for the special function.

UP Govt, centre sign MoU for “Power for All” Scheme

Uttar Pradesh Government and  the centre have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the ‘Power for All’ Scheme in the state. The aim of this scheme is to ensure 24 hour quality power supply in the state by October 2018 and electric connection to every house and agricultural field by 2019. The agreement was inked in presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister of state for Power Piyush Goyal and UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma.

Haryana Govt launched “Operation Durga” to ensure women safety

Haryana Govt has been launched “Operation Durga” to ensure women safety in the state. Under this operation, teams formed by the Chief Minister’s Flying Squad visited public places such as schools, colleges, bus stands and railway stations and caught persons including in crime activities against women like eve-teasing, stalking, harassment and other such activities.

Himachal Pradesh bags Krishi Karman Award 2015-2016

Himachal Pradesh Government has bagged National Award in Agriculture Sector for 2015-16. Hamirpur District of Himachal Pradesh has been selected for the Prime Minister’s Award for excellence in public Administration for the excellence in implementing Soil Health Card Scheme. Hamirpur bagged first prize in implementation of Soil Health Card Scheme and the Hill and North Eastern States. This award was presented by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Jharkhand police initiates Taare Zameen par programme

Jharkhand police has initiated Tare Zameen par programme to enlighten children in Naxal-affected areas in the Palaman district of Jharkhand. This programme is aimed to restore confidence in the State police force and to encourage children to lead happy lives. As a part of the programme, the state lives. As a part of the programme the state police appealed the locals to donate bags, shoes, books clothes improve the basic amenities of the children in the Nanal – affected areas.

Telangana Minister to address meet on water resources in US

Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao has been invited to address a conference on water resources and environment in the US next month. The Minister will deliver the inaugural address explaining the state Government Schemes such as mission Bhagiratha (to provide safe drinking water), according to an official release. He has been also invited by the Stanford University to speak in its annual meeting on May 18 and 19.

Indian Institute of petroleum and Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for setting up of Indian Institute of petroleum of Energy (IIPE) at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as an institute of National importance: through an act of parliament. The institute will have the governance structure as well as legal mandate o grant degrees in a manner similar to the enjoyed by IITS. A separate Act will also impart the required status to the Institute to become a “Centre of Excellence” in petroleum and energy studies.

Pink Patrol vehicles to secure women in Bengaluru

The Bengaluru police have taken an initiative to increase the safety of children and women by introducing 51 pinck patrol vehicles. In addition to this, security app called ‘Suraksha’ is also launched by the Karnataka  government through which women and  children can send complaints to these vehicles and get quick assistance. At present the app is available on ios as well as Android Smartphones.

Unemployment rate in Uttarpradesh higher than National average

The unemployment rate in Uttarpradesh is higher than the National Average. The centre will soon join hands with the new state government to deal with the problem, according to the Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. The National average of unemployment stood at 5.8%. While the unemployment rate in rural areas it was 4.4%.  In Uttar Pradesh, the rate, of unemployment in rural areas was 5.8% and in Urban areas 6.5% which is quite high.

UP Govt to build music village in Bismillah Khan’s honour

The Uttar Pradesh Govt. led by Yogi Adityanath has given its approval to building a music village named “Bismillah Khan Sangeet Gram” to honour of legendary Shehnai player Bismillah Khan. This project is planned to develop at Varanasi, it will be evolved by Padma Shri Soma Ghosh, the adopted daughter of the legendary shehnai player. It will have a museum centre, a training cum research centre and many other varieties  associated with musical “gharanas”.

North India to get DNA bank for wildlife

The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh is going to set up a DNA bank for wildlife, first of its kind in North India. Researchers at the institute are in the process of collecting the DNA of all wild animals. They have up until now collected samples of around 140 species. The bank would be only next to Hyderabad’s Laboratory for the conservation of Endangered species (LACONES), which is currently the only such facility in India.

MP CM launched Deendayal Rasoi Yojana

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has launched subsidized meal scheme at Rs. 5 in Gwalior. This scheme helps people to get economical nutritious and good quality food under the Deendayal Rasoi Yojana at cheaper rates. It is launched in 49 districts across the state. Under the scheme the poor people will get four chapatis, one vegetable curry and dal verty day between 11 am to 3 pm. Breakfast will be served at Rs. 5 and lunch will be served at Rs. 8.

Haryana govt to provide Rs.21,000 to families for third girl Child

Haryana government would provide one time grant of Rs.21,000 to all those families whose third girl child was born after August 24, 2015. Under the “Aapki Beti, Hamari Beti” scheme. Under the scheme, the eligible families would receive the amount irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, income and number of sons. The scheme is aimed to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio and promote girls education in the state.

Venkaiah Naidu to Inaugurate National Children’s Film Festival

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu will host a three-day National Children’s Film Festival (NCFF) in Visakhapatnam on 7 April, 2017. It is the largest film festival for children in the country giving the audience quality and wholesome entertainment. The aim of the film festival is to expose children to quality cinema and to introduce novel elements beyond films.

Jhargram as now district no 22 in West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on March 4, 2017 declared Jhargram as the 22nd district of Bengal. A long-standing demand of the people has been fulfilled. The days of violence and blood shed are gone. Peace reigns in Jhargram now. April 4 will be celebrated as Jhargram Divas from now on. Jhargram has been formed by bifurcating Wist Midnapore, which has a population of more than 11.37 lakh. The district has one mahakuma, eight blocks, one municipality and nine police stations.

First biogas Bus in Kolkata with Flat Rs1 fare

A city based company has claimed to have launched the first biogas fuelled bus in Kolkata keeping a flat fare of just Rs-1. All buses will have a flat fare of Rs.1 irrespective of the distance, even in excess of 40 km. Presently the lowest fare in Kolkata hus is Rs.6. The first bus will run a distance of 17 km Ultadanga and Garia in the southern fringes of the city phoenix india will run the biogas service from its Corporate Social Responsibility fund.

Madhya Pradesh Govt launches ‘MP e-nagarpalika’ app

Madhya Pradesh Government has launched an app named ‘MP e-nagarpalika’ to provide various municipal services on live. The mobile app was launched by state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.The app would offer 378 services like online payment of property tax, seeking building permission, birth,marriage,death, certificates etc. It will also register complaints related to garbage, water, street lights etc. Online payment gateway would be available on this app. This mobile app would encourage the cashless transaction.

Kanha Tiger Reserve becomes first in India get official mascot

Kanha Tiger Reserve in the Madhya Pradesh, March 2017 became the first tiger reserve in India to officially introduce a mascot, named Bhoorasingh the Barasingha. Barasingha (Swamp deer) is the state animal of Madhya Pradesh. The Kanha tiger reserve is the only place in the world where the species exists. The mascot will also species from possible extinction.

Bihar to pais power bill subsidy to Consumers

The Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar announced on 31 March 2017 that the state government would be providing a subsidy on power bill to the consumers instead of power companies from the 2017-18 fiscal year. The announcement was made in the state assembly in the Presence of Energy Minister Prasad Yadav. The move comes six days after Bihar Electricity Regulatory Commission (BERC) introduced an unprecedented hike of 55 percent in power tariff that sparked protests all across the state.

Chandrababu Naidu got another International Award

A.P. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was honoured with many awards and he earned good for developing the A.P. State, now he got another International Award. US – India Business Council (USIBC) has honored Chandra babu Naidu with the “USIBC Transformative Chief Minister” award to recognize his efforts to transform A.P. He has been requested ta attend the felicitation Ceremony to be held on 8th May in California.

CONFERENCES

India, Sri Lanka Sign MoU on Economic Cooperation

India and Sri Lanka Countries on 26 April, 2017 signed an MoU on economic cooperation. In the presence of PM Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe. Modi earlier had comprehensive talks with the Lankan PM on ways to strengthen bilateral relations. The MoU proposes Indian investment in a port, oil tank farm, highways and railway projects in Sri Lanka.

India to host 18th World Road Meeting

The international Road Federation (IRF) on 26 April 2017 announced that India will host the 18th World Road Meeting (WRM 2017) which will be held on 13 November 2017. The theme of the World Road Meeting 2017 is “Safe Roads and Smart Mobility “ The Engines of Economic Growth”. The conference is expected to attend by the 4000 delegates across the World and will include plenary sessions with eminent and well-known speakers discussing important issues facing mobility sector.

India, Armenia sign 3 agreements

India and Armenia on 25 April, 2017 signed three agreements after vice president Hamid Ansari held a bilateral meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan in Armenia. The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)  on peaceful uses of outer space, another MoU cooperation in youth matters and a programme of cultural cooperation for the years 2017-2020.

1st India, Indonesia Energy Forum held in Jakarta

1st India Indonesia Energy Forum was held in Jakarta Indonesia on April 20, 2017 Mr. Piyush Goyal Union Minister of State (IC) for power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mr. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia took part in this forum. The report of 2nd joint working Group on Oil and Gas, 4th Joint Working Group on coal and 1st Joint Working Group on New and Renewable Energy, which preceded the Energy forum, were Presented to two ministers during the Energy Forum.

Steel Minister inaugurates “India Steel 2017” in Mumbai

Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh was Inaugurated “India Steel 2017” in Mumbai from 19th to 21st April, 2017. It was the third edition of International Conference and Exhibition Center. This exhibition cum conference has been Organised by Federation of Indian chambers of commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with Union Ministry of Steel. More than 200 exhibitors from the steel sector participated in this event.

President of India inaugurates first NIM CARE World Health Day Summit 2017

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first NIM CARE World Health Day Summit 2017. The slogan of the first NIM CARE World health day summit is, “Unite for a Healthy Mind”. Depression affects people of all ages from all walks of life and in all countries. As per the National Mental Health Survey 2015-2016 conducted by NIMHANS, 5.2% of the Indian adult population suffers from depression in some from or the other.

CFC 2017 Begin in Uttarakhand

19th Commonwealth Forestry conference (CFC) 2017 began on 3rd April 2017 at Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Uttarakhand Governor Dr. K.K. Paul was inaugurated the 19th Commonwealth Forestry Conference at the FRI in Dehradun. The 5-day conference is being organized on the theme “Forests for prosperity and Posterity” provide a platform to encourage and strengthen forestry research and development for the benefit of people and Industry that depend on forests and related materials.

AWARDS & HONOURS

Dileep K. Nair receives Dr. B R Ambedkar International Foundation Kerala State Award

India’s youngest ever chancellor Dileep K. Nair, has received Dr. B.R. Ambedkar International Foundation Kerala State Award for the year 2016-17 for his excellent performance in the field of education. The 358 year old academician, who is currently the chancellor of the NEFTU in Arunachal Pradesh, was conferred with the award by Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien.

Vani Jayaram gets Ghantasala National Award

The Versatile playback singer in South Indian Film Industry, Vani Jayaram was presented with the Ghantasala National Award. The award is instituted by the Ghantasala National Art Academy in Andhra Pradesh. The 71-year-old singer received the award from A. Ramalingeswara Rao. A high court Judge in Andhra Pradesh and R. Ananda Bhaskar, Rajya sabha Member from the congress party.

Prafulla  Samantra selected for Goldman Environmental Prize 2017

Top environmental activist Prafulla Samantra of Odisha has been selected for Goldman Environmental Prize or Green Nobel from Asia region for Championing the cause of State’s Dongria Kondh tribals and safeguarding their land and culture, Samantra, the sixth Indian to win the prize, had led a historic legal battle that protected the Niyamgiri Hills in Odisha. And safeguard the living area of Dongria kondh from massive destruction due to mining.

  1. Viswanath wins Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2016

Veteran filmmaker and actor Kasinadhuni Viswanath has been conferred Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2016 by the Ministry of Information and  Broadcasting. The award consists of Swarn Kamal (Golden Lotus). A cash prize of Rs.10 lakhs and a shawl. He has also won 5 National Awards, 20 Nandi Awards, 10 Filmfare Awards including Lifetime Achievement Award. Dadasaheb Phalke Award is conferred by the Union Govt for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema.

Kailash Satyarthi honoured with PC Chandra Puraskar 2017

Nobel Laureate and social activist Kailash Satyarthi was given on 23 April, 2017 PC Chandra Puraskar (Award) for his global crusade against child slavery and exploitative child labour. The 63- year – old Satyarthi was handed over a citation, a trophy and a cash cheque 10 lakh rupees. Satyarthi, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 with Malala yousafzai of Pakistan.

Dr. Bhakti Yadav from Indore Presented with Padma Shri

The 91 year old gynaecologist, Dr. Bhati Yadav was Presented with the Padma Shri award at her residence on 20 April 2017. The award was presented to her by district collector P. Narahari in the presence of the state’s Finance Minister Jayant Malaiya and Mayor Malini Gaud, as she was unable to attend the function organised in in New Delhi on 13 April where the president of India Pranab Mukherjee had given away the prestigious civilian Award to the recipients. Dr. Yadav has been offering free treatment for the last 68 years.

Saiyami Kher receives Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence Award

Actress Saiyami Kher, who made her Bollywood debut in Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s film Mirzya, received the best debut award at the Dadasaheb Phalke Excellence. Awards 2017. Saiyami Kher is the granddaughter of Actress Usha Kiran, and niece of Tanvi and Shabana Azmi, despite hailing from one of the privileged families of the Bollywood. The actress starred in Mirzya opposite veteran actor Anil Kapoor’s on Harshvardhan kapoor.

Kapil Dev, Aamir Khan to get Dinanath Mangeshkar Award

Indian Cricket icon Kapil Dev and Bollywood Actor Aamirkhan will receive the 75th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards. Kapil Dev will be honoured with the Vishesh Puraskar for his outstanding contribution to Indian Cricket, while Aamirkhan for his Best Film Dangal. The event will be organised by Master Dinanath Smruti Pratishthan and Hridayesh Arts. The Awards is given to those personalities who have given extraordinary contribution in the field of social service, literature, Drama and Music etc.

Italian Mayor Giusi Nicolini wins UNESCO Peace Prize

The UNESCO has awarded its Peace Prize to Giusi Nicolini, the Mayor of the Italian island of Lampedusa, for her commitment to saving the lives of Migrants and refugees. Nicolini was bestowed with the honour on 19 April 2017 for her effort that saved thousands who fled across the Mediterranean often on unseaworthy boats to find a better and peaceful life. Lampedusa is the first European landfall for people fleeing war and economic hardship in Africa and the Middle East.

Saira Banu, Jackie Shroff gets Rajkapoor Awards

Veteran actress Saira Banu and actor Jackie Shroff were named for the Prestigious Rajkapoor Awards of the Maharashtra Government. The names of duo were announced on 19 April 2017 by the State Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde in Mumbai. Saira Banu (72) will be awarded with the prestigious Raj Kapoor Lifetime achievement award, while Jackie Shroff (60) was selected for the Rajkapoor Special contribution award. They will be awarded for their cinematic journey and contributions to the Indian cinema respectively.

Aniruddhan Vasudevan Conferred with Sahitya Academy Award 2016

Anirudhan Vasudevan has been chosen for Sahitya Academy Award. He is chosen for his novel “One Part Woman”, a translation of perumal Murugan’s controversial Tamil Novel “Maadhorubaagan” Kerala Sahitya Academy Award is given  each year by Kerala Sahitya Academy. It was given to Malayalam writers for their outstanding books of literary merit. The award was handover Anirudhan on 23rd June in a special occasion.

Trupti Jain wins Cartier Women’s Initiative Award

An Indian environmental engineer Trupti Jain won this year’s prestigious “Cartier Women’s Initiative Award” in Singapore for providing women working on farms with water management solutions and protecting small farmers against droughts and flash floods. Trupti Jain, 45 was one among six winners chosen from over 120 countries and were selected by an independent international jury.

Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik, Sanjeev Kapoor honoured with Padmashri

President Pranab Mukherjee recently presented the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Padmashri awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present for the occasion. In this occasion president conferred Dipa Karmakar, Sakshi Malik and Sanjeev Kapoor with Padmashri Awards. Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was among the sports persons who were picked up the prestigious Padma Shri.

President of India presents National Geo Science Awards 2016

On April 12, 2017, President of India Pranab Mukherjee conferred National Geoscience Awards 2016 on 27 bright Geo-Scientists of India. The awards were conferred at a ceremony held in Rashtrapati Bhavan. The National Geoscience Awards 2016 Comprises one young scientist award and 16 individual /teams awards in 11 fields of geosciences. Dr. Abhishek Saha, NIO, Goa got young scientist award – 2016.

National Hindi Sevi Samman Awards announced

Professors from Japan, USA to be honoured for promoting Hindi. 26 writers including two Japanese and American professors Hindi Sevi Samman by President Pranab Mukherjee for their efforts to promote the language. Fujii Takeshi (Japan) and  Gabriela Nik ILieva (USA) will be presented George Grierson award in the foreign Hindi writers category.

Tim Berners – Lee Wins 2016 ACM AM Turing Award

Sir Tim Berners  Lee in the first week of in April 2017 was honoured with the 2016 ACM AM Turing Award. Berners – Lee received the 2016 Turing Award for inventing the “World Wide Web”, the first web browser and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale. The computer scientist is one of the world’s most influential voices for online privacy and government transparency.

Two Nagaland officials get Shaurya Chakra

Two Nagaland police officers – Sub Divisional Police officers – Sub Divisional Police Officer of Kohima, At Zumvu, and captain Elisen AJami, were decorated with Shaurya Chakra (third – highest peacetime gallantry award) at a grand function held at Rashtrapati. Bhavan in New Delhi. The awards were conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Zumvu  is posted as Sub – Divisional Police officer (SDPO), Kohima while army officer captain Jami is from 12th Battalion of the parachute Regiment.

Indian – origin educationist Asha Khemka named “Asian Businesswoman of the Year”

Asha Khemka, an Indian – origin educationist in the United Kingdom (UK) has been named the “Asian Business woman of the year” at the 5th annual Asian Business Awards Midlands, which honours the outstanding achievements of local Asian business. The award ceremony has held at Edgbaston Cricket ground in Birmingham, UK. Asha Khemka is the current principal and CEO of West Nottinghamshire College.

Tim Berners – Lee wins Computing Nobel Prize

Most People who search on Google, Share on Facebook and shop on Amazon have never heard of Sir Tim Berners – Lee. But they might not be doing any of those things had he not invented the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee, 61 is this year’s recipient of the A.M. Turing Award, computing version of the Nobel Prize. The award announced 4th April 2017 the Association for Computing Machinery. It is named in honour of British Mathematician and scientist Alan Turing.

Kohli Named Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world for 2016

Indian cricket Captain Virat Kohli was named Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World for 2016. Kohli amassed 1215 Test runs at a stupendous average of 75.93 last year. Ten ODI appearances fetched him 739 runs at 92.37. And also he scored 641 runs in T-20 Internationals runs at 106.83, only six batsman have ever scored more international runs in a calendar year than Kohli but none of them have come close to the Indian captains average.

Harmanpreet Kaur adjudged the Women’s Player of the year

Indian Women’s T-20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur has been given Sydney Thunder’s Women’s player of the year award. She won the award for the second season of the Women’s Big Bash League. Harmanpreet earlier has become the first Indian cricketer to play in Australia’s Big Bash League, when she was picked by the teams last year. During her time with the Thunder, Kawr played in 13 matches and scored 296 runs at a very, very impressive average of 59 and strike rate 116.

8 Sportspersons including Kohli receive Padma Shri Award

Virat Kohli, Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar, Mariyappan thangavelu, Deepa Malik, PR Sreejesh, Vikas Gowd, Shekhar Naik were received padma Shri Awards, Pranab Mukherjee, the President of India, bestowed the award upon them at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in India. The above all were done exceptional achievements in their sports.

SPORTS & GAMES

India wins 16 medals at US Open Karate Championship

India finished with three gold, two silver and 11 bronze medals at the US Open Karate Championship held in Las Vegas. Shaifali Agarwal, Abhishek, Sengupta won a gold medal, a silver in two different individual events. India also won a gold medal in the team event. The Indian team was led by Sensei Yashpal Singh Kalsi. The other members of the Indian contingent were Abhishek Sengupta, Rantej Singh, Harcharan Singh chowhan and Shaifali Agarwal.

MCC offers honorary life membership to “Sandhya Agarwal”

Sandhya Agarwal, former captain of the Indian women’s Test cricket Team has been offered honorary life membership of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in recognition of her distinguished service to the game. Sandhya Agarwal is from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. She has played 13 Tests and 21 ODIs from 1984 to 1995. After her retirement, she has been associated with cricket as a selector and coach, besides being a member of the BCCI’s women’s Committee.

Manpreet Kaur bags Gold at Asian Grand Prix Meet in China

Indian shot putter Manpreet Kaur has clinched a gold in the first leg of Asian Grand Prix Athletics Meet in Jinhua, China, Manpreet came up with the best throw of 18.86 meter, which has nearly one meter more than her earlier national record of 17.96 meters that she had set in 2015. With this performance, Manpreet also qualified for the IAAF World Championships to be held in August 2017 in London.

Nadal wins Monte Carlo Masters Singles Title

Rafael Nadal has won the Men’s singles title of Monte Carlo Masters Tennis Tournament. He was defeated Ramos vinolas on 23 April, 2017. With this Nadal claimed a record 10th Monte Carlo Masters Title. Earlier Bopanna and his partner Pablo Cuevas lifted the Monte Carlo Masters Doubles Title after defeating a hard fought three set win over Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez in Monaco.

Cricket, Sambo were removed from 2018 Asian Games

One of the sports to miss out from the programme list of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Palembang is Cricket. Apart from the cricket, skateboarding, sambo and surfing are among the other sports which have been removed from the programme in order to reduce the burden on Indonesian Organisers. This measure was taken as a part of the series of changes aimed at reducing the total number of events from 493 to 431. Also omitted from the list are kurash and belt wrestling events.

Asian Games will feature video games in 2022

Video Gaming will be featured at the 2022 Asian Games, with competitors in electronic sports set to receive medals for the digital powers. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) says it will introduce esports to the official programs of the Asian Games of  Hangzhou, China, Main aim of launching this video gaming is to bring the rapid development and popularity of this new form of sports participation among the youth.

India’s first Visually impaired athlete to complete Boston Marathon

Sagar Baheti has become the first Visually impaired Indian runner to complete the historic Boston Marathon. Bengaluru based 31 years old Baheti Completed a distance of  42.16 km distance in just over four hours. Supported by the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Baheti finished the 121st Boston Marathon as one 30,000 runners. The 2017 Boston Marathon has been recorded as the second hottest Marathon in a decade.

Muttiah Muralitharan to be inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Sri Lanka’s Legendary off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, the first cricketer from his country to be voted into the ICC Hall of Fame, will be formally inducted during the ICC Champions Trophy in England later this year. One of the most iconic cricketers of the game, Muralitharan has been synonymous with the rise of Sri Lankan cricket since the early nineties. He was key role of their World Cup Winning squad in 1996. He has the art of mastering the ‘Doosra’ Murali will also be joined by former Australia captain Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris and George Lohmann.

Pankaj Advani wins Asian Billiards Championship

Indian Pankaj Advani won his seventh Asian title by defeating Sourav Kothari 6 – 3 in final of the Asian Billiards Championship – 2017. In recognition of his achievements, the government of India has bestowed several awards upon Advani – Arjuna Award in 2004. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2006, and Padma Shri in 2009. Advani won the 2014 IBSF World 6 – Red Snooker Championship, on his debut in that discipline.

Gayle becomes first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in T 20

Chris Gayle became the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in T 20 cricket. He accomplished this feat while playing Royal Challengers Bangalore against Gujarat Lions in an Indian Premier League (IPL), 2017 match. Before the start of 2017 IPL, Gayle needed 63 runs to reach the 10,000 mile store. As of new, Gayle is the only cricketer in the 10,000 runs club in T 20s. No other batsman has crossed even 8,000 runs mark in T 20 s. Highest run scorer after Gayle is Brendon McCullum with 7596 runs in T 20 s.

Pullela Gayatri Wins twin crown is Jakarta

Pullela Gopichand a National Badminton Coach daughter has won both single and double crown at the Pembangunan Jaya Raya Junior Grand Prix in Jakarta on 16th April 2017. Gayathri teamed up with Samiya in doubles title and win over Indonesian Players of Kelly Larissa and Shelandry Vyola. Gayatri and Samiya both trained at Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. She has won under – 15 doubles title.

Sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has taken out the Bahrain Grand Prix from Lewis Hamilton. The victory was Vettel’s second of the season after the four time world champion won the opener in Australia. Hamilton who won in China last weekend, crossed the finish line 6.6 seconds behind. Vettel’s win lifted him to 68 points, with Hamilton second on 61 points. Thus Ferrari’s sebastian Vettel wins Bahrain Formula one Grand Prix.

Sai Praneeth won maiden Super Series title in singapore

Sai Praneeth has won the title match of Men’s singles at Singapore Open Badminton beating his compatriot Kidambi Srikanth. In the Singapore Open Badminton tournament Sai praneeth won his maiden Super Series Title. Praneeth prevailed 17-21, 21-17, 21-12 in a 54 minute contest, which was the first all- Indian Super Series final in the history of the game.

Harbhajan Singh as Ambassador for ICC Champions Trophy

Eight cricketers including Harbhajan Singh and Former Pakistan Captain Shahid Afridi have been appointed an ambassadors for the ICC Champions Trophy – 2017, which scheduled be held from June 1, 2017 in UK. The ambassadors will be involved in the ICC champions Trophy Tour and will participate in the cricket for good coaching clinics, a programme aimed at providing school children with an opportunity  to meet and play with legends.

NBA Launches International Basketball Schools Network in Mumbai  

NBA Basketball schools open to young male and female players; Top players at each  basketball school will have opportunity to attend NBA Academics. National Basketball Association (NBA) opened a network of tuition based basketball development programmes around the world open to International male and female players ages 6-18. The first NBA Basket ball school launched in Mumbai 9 April 2017.

Hamilton beats Vettel to win his fifth Chinese Grand Prix  

Mercedes’ British Formula one racer Lewis Hamilton defeated Ferraris four – time formula one World Champion Sebastian Vettel to lift his fifth little at the Chinese Grand Prix on 9 April 2017. Red Bull team males Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished third and fourth respectively in Shanghai. Sahara Force India’s  Sergio perez finished the race in the ninth place.

Shyam Kuma Claims Gold in Thailand International Boxing

Indian Boxer K. shyam Kumar (49 kg) Clinched a gold medal at the Thailand International Tournament in Bangkok without even stepping inside the ring for  his summit clash on 8th April. How ever Olympic Champion Hasan Boy Dolmatov of Uzbekistan was unable to play the match due to his injury. It was the second gold prize to Shyam. Shyam, who won a gold Prize at the 2015 edition of the event.

India ranked 3rd in WADA doping charts

India had been ranked 3rd for the third year in a row in a doping violation report published by world 117 athletes from the country being punished after testing positive for banned substances. India followed Russian Federation (176) and Italy (129), at third sport in the doping violation chart released by the WADA, the same position as in the reports of 2013 and 2014. All the dope violations by the Indians came from urine samples.

FIFA Bans Former Guatemalan FA President Brayan Jimenez

FIFA (International Federation of Association Football) Banned Guatemala’s former football Chief Brayan Jimenez for life time over corruption, bribery and other offences. Jimenez was banned for life from all football related activities at national and international level. He was banned for life time for accepting bribes worth several hundred thousand dollars in exchange for media and marketing rights for key matches. Guatemala is a country in central America and  its capital is Guatemala city.

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal to win Miami Open

Roger Federer picked up his third title of 2017 on 2nd April 2017. He was beating Rafael Nadal  in straight sets to claim the Miami open and continue his sensational resurgence. The Swiss great beat his Spanish rival for a third time this season and fourth in succession. He had take 94 minutes to claim his 91st career title and with it. Federer defeated Nadl with straight sets 6-3, 6-4 victory in Florida.

Sindhu lifts India Open Badminton title

Olympic Silver medalist P.V. Sindhu defeated Carolina Marin in straight sets 21-19, 21-16 in 47 minutes at the India open Badminton Championship in New Delhi. Sindhu had lost to Caroline  Marin in the Rio Olympics final and had to be content with silver medal. However the victory will be a huge booster for the Indian and soothe the pain of her Olympic defeat. Sindhu had also beaten Carolina in the Dubai World superseries Finals in December 2016.

Joyciline smashes three world records at Prague Half Marathon

Joyciline Jepkosgei smashed the world half marathon record at the sportisimo Prague Half Marathon. She also breaking three other world records on her way her time of 64:52. The Kenyan clocked splits of 30.05, 45:37 and 61:25 to improve the 10km, 15 km and 20 km world records respectively. Defending champion Violah Jepchumba finished second while Fancy chemtai wor third.

ECONOMY

IMF retains India’s growth forecast at 7.2% for FY 18

India is pegged to be the fastest growing economy in the World in 2017-18 and will be a key driver for Global growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Retaining its growth forecast of 7.2 percent for India for the fiscal year, the IMF, in its World Economic outlook, also estimated that India would grow at 7.7 percent in 2018-19. It has pegged world output at 3.5 percent in 2017, rising marginally to 3.6 percent in 2018. By 2022 it estimates global growth to rise to 3.8 percent.

President Pranab Mukherjee approves GST

President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to the landmark Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, a major step towards rolling out the new indirect tax effect from April 1 Next Year. This bill was passed Unanimously by the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha in August. After the president assents, the government will notify the GST Council, Union Finance Minister will head the council, which will comprise state Finance Ministers.

Petrol, Diesel prices to change every day From May 1

State run fuel retailers, Indian oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan petroleum, have reportedly decided to revise the prices of petrol and diesel every day from May 1. The daily revision will initially be implemented in Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Udaipur, Jamshedpur and Chandigarh. Currently the prices are revised on 1st and 16th of every month. And next this will be implemented throughout the country.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India Successfully test fires Agni – III ballistic missile

India on 27 April 2017, successfully test fired Agni-III ballistic missile from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha Coast. The surface to surface nuclear capable intermediate range ballistic missile can hit targets in the range of around 3000 km. The two stage solid propelled missile has length of 17 metres, 2 metres diameter and its launch weight is around 50 tonnes. The missile was inducted into the armed forces in June 2011.

NASA discovered Ice ball Planet though Microlensing

NASA scientists have discovered a new planet OGLE – 2016 – BLG- 1195 lb that has the same mass as Earth and Orbits its star from the same distance as Earth Orbit the Sun. The newly discovered planet is nearly 13,000 light years and orbits a small star. Ice ball planet is the lowest mass planet ever found though microlensing. Microlensing is a technique that facilitates the discovery of distant objects by using background stars as flash lights.

NASA launches super pressure Balloon from New Zealand

The National Aeronautics and Space administration (NASA) on 25 April 2017 successfully launched its football stadium sized and heavy lift Super Pressure Balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand. The Balloon will float for 100 or more days at 1,10,000 feet (33.5 km) across the globe in the Southern Hemisphere’s mid-latitude band. It will observe a broad swath of the Earth’s atmosphere to detect the UV fluorescence from the deep space cosmic rays coming in the above.

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson sets a new space walk record

NASA Astronaut Peggy whitson on 24 April 2017 set a new US Record for most cumulative 650 days spent in space. With this Whitson surpassed Cosmonaut Jeff Williams record of 534 days, 4 hours and 48 minutes aboard the International space Station (ISS). With the recent extension of her stay at the ISS, the Expedition 51 Commander has five months to rack up another record.

Indian Navy successfully tests land attack Brahmos Supersonic Missile

Indian Navy successfully tested a Brahmos land attack supersonic cruise missile from a naval ship on 21st April 2017. The variant of the long range Brahmos was fired in Bay of Bengal, off the eastern coast. Previously the antiship variant has already inducted into the indian Navy. The present land attack variant provides Indian warship the capability to attack the selected in deep inland far from the coast.

Space X Launch the First Recycled Rocket

Space X made history by successfully launching the first re-used rocket. The launch is scheduled to take place from the Kennedy Space Center, at pad 39 A, in cape canaveral, Florida. The Falcon 9 completed an unmanned resupply mission to the ISS this time last year, before returning to Earth and landing on a platform at sea. It was first time Space X founder Elon Musk tried to fly booster that soared before on an orbital mission.

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

Syrian Lady Made UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appointed Yusra Mardini a Syrian refugee who together with her sister Swam for three hours in the Mediterranean Sea off Turkey’s coast, pulling a capsizing boat of refugees to safety as its new Goodwill Ambassador. Her actions saved the lives of 20 refugees who were fleeing the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Justice Gita Mittal appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Delhi High Court

Justice Gita Mittal, the senior – most judge of Delhi High Court, has been appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Delhi High court with effect from April 14. Her appointment comes at the backdrop of the retirement of current Chief Justice Gorla Rohini. President of India has appointed justice Mittal as the Chief Justice by exercising his powers conferred by article 223 of the constitution of India.

Anuja Ravindra Dhir becomes first non-white judge at London Court

Indian – origin Anuja Ravindra Dhir became the first non – white judge of the old Bailey Court of London. She is also the youngest circuit judge currently to sit at the court. The old Bailey court of London is the Central Criminal court of London. It houses 15 judges including 10 men and five women.

Former SC Judge Shiva Kirti Singh to Head TDSAT

The Union government has cleared retired Supreme Court Judge Shiva Kirti Singh as the next Chairman of The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT). The appointment is for a period of three Years from the date of assumption of office or until further orders, whichever is earlier. As per rules, the head of the dispute resolution agency for the telecom industry must be a person, who has been a SC Judge, or the Chief Justice of a High Court.

MD Tomar appointed India’s Ambassador to Germany

Mukta Dutta Tomar was appointed as new India’s Ambassador to Germany. Tomar, a 1984 batch IFS officer. She is presently working as the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs  (MEA). She is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Earlier, Gurjit Singh was holding this post till in March 2017. Tomar succeeded Gurjit Singh.

Malala named Messenger of  peace to

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 7 April 2017 named nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai the messenger of peace for the international body. She became the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate in Dec, 2014. She was sharing the honour with Indian Children’s rights and education advocate Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai is the first Messenger of peace designated by Guterres and will help to promote girls education around the world.

Aleksandar Vucic as New President of Serbia

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has won a Clear Victory in the country’s Presidential election. He Won about 55% well above the threshold to avoid a runoff, with most results counted. His closest challenger, Sasa Jankovic, Polled 16% while satirical candidate Ljubisa Preletacevic came third with 9% of the votes. He became Prime Minister after landslide Victory in early parliamentary elections  held in 2014.

RBI Appoints Malvika Sinha as Executive Director  

The Reserve Bank of India has appointed Malvika Sinha as Executive Director )ED) who took charge on April 3, 2017. As Executive Director, Sinha will look after Foreign Exchange Department, Department of Government and Bank accounts and internal dept, Management Department, Notably, Sinha holds a Masters Degree from University of Bombay and has done her master’s public Administration.

First Transgender Police Officer Appointed in Tamil Nadu

Prithika Yashini won her first fight against the society when she decided to undergo a sex change operation to become who she believed she was from within. Born pradeep Kumar, Yashini left her parents house before completing a computer studies course and under going surgery. After struggling with the social dogma and gender bias, she recently applied to become  a police sub-Inspector in Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu. A court in Chennai, Madras has now ruled in her favour.

Rajiv Kumar Chander as India’s permanent representative to UNO  

Rajiv Kumar Chander was appointed India’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations Offices in Geneva. Chander belongs to the Indian Foreign Services (IFS) batch of 1983. He is the Consul General of India in Vancouver at present, a post he held since August 2015. He has degrees in History and law. He will succeed Ajit Kumar at the Geneva Office.

Raman Roy as new Chairman of

It Industry body Nasscom on wednesday appointed Quattro CMD Raman Roy its Chairman for fiscal year 2017-18. It has also named Rishad premji, Wipro Chief strategy officer and son of technology czar Azim Premji, as the Vice Chairman. Roy who served as the Vice Chairman in the previous fiscal year. He was take on the newrole from 6 April. National Association of Software and services Companies (Nasscom) is the full form.

Geeta johri as Gujarat’s First Female DGP

Geetha Johri, Gujarat’s newly appointed Deputy General of Police has  scored many firsts to her credit. Gujarat’s first female IPS officer, also became the first female DGP after the outgoing DGP – in – charge PP Pandey decided to step down due to litigations against him. Panday, a 1980 batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, had made headlines after he was accused in alleged fake encounter case of Ishrat Jahan.

M.S. Dhoni as one day CEO to Gulf Oil India

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has worn many hats over the years, worn another feather in his cap on 3 April 2017. The “Captain Cool” has been appointed as the CEO of Gulf Oil India for a day. Dhoni was named as the brand ambassador of Gulf Oil back in 2011 and since then has shared a good bond with it. To taken this relationship a step forward, the company decided to appoint him as CEO for a day.

Indira Banerjee appointed as CJ of Madras High court

Justice Indira Banerjee was appointed as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court recently. Now, she is serving as the judge of Delhi High Court. She succeeds Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, who was transferred to the Supreme Court in February 2017. With this Banerjee became the second woman to head the Madras High Court. Justice Kanta Kumari Bhatnagar was the first lady to head the charted court in 1992.

Vipul takes charge as New Consul General of Dubai

Diplomat Vipul a 1998 batch Indian Foreign Service Officer took up the charge as the new consul General of Dubai. Mr. Vipul has succeeded Anurag Bhushan. Before joining the consulate at Dubai, he was working in the office of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He had earlier served at India’s diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka and Egypt. Dubai is recognised as the commercial capital and tourism centre of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Vanaja Sarna appointed as Chairperson of CBEC

Senior bureaucrat Vanaja Sarna was appointed as Chairperson of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). Sarna, a 1980 batch officer of Indian Revenue Service, is at present member in the CBEC. She will take over charge from incumbent Najib Shah who completes his term this month end. The appointments committee of cabinet has approved Sarna’s appointment an order issued by personnel ministry. The CBEC which works under finance ministry comprises of a chairperson and a maximum of 6 members.

B). RESIGNS

Farooq Abdullah wins Srinagar Lok Sabha by poll

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on 15 April 2017 won the Srinagar Lok Sabha by poll after defeating PDP Candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan by around 10,000 votes. Abdullah had faced his first electoral defeat in his over 35-year long political career when he had lost to PDP’s Tariq Hameed Karra in 2014 General elections. Karra had later resigned from Lok Sabha.

C). DEATHS

Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna dies of Cancer

One of India’s most well-known Bollywood actors Vinod Khanna has died with suffering from Cancer. He was 70 years old. He is best remembered for his performance in films like Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh,Gaddaar, Jail Yatra, Kuchhe Dhaage, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, Qurbani, Dayavan and others. He was popularly hailed as one of the most handsome lead actors ever in Bollywood, along with Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Shammi Kapoor.

Veteran Journalist Nora Chopra no more

Due to multi-organ failure, veteran journalist Nora Chopra passed away on 20 April 2017. She was 64. Chopra was widely admired and respected for her journalistic skills. She had a long and distinguished career, especially with the Sunday Guardian and Asian Age. In her death the nation has lost one of senior most journalist.

Top Maoist Comrade Narayan Sanyal Passes Away

A top maoist leader Narayan Sanyal has passed away on 18 April 2017 in Kolkata. He played a key role in mergers of Naxalite factions. Sanyal was known for his keen interest in football. He was born in an affluent family in undivided Bengal Bogra district. He was the polit Bureau member of CPI (Maoist). He left his job in a bank in Kolkata to join the Charu Majumdar – Kanu Sanyal led movement.

Former AP Minister Devineni Rajashekhar Passes Away

TDP leader and former Andhra Pradesh Minister Devineni Rajashekhar (Nehru), died of cardiac arrest. He was 63. A powerful youth leader, Devineni Nehru has been part of the TDP since its formation in 1982 by the supreme and leading str NT Rama Rao. He was elected MLA from Kankipadu in 1985, 1989 and 1994 and served as a minister in the NTR Cabinet. After switching over to the N. Chandrababu Naidu camp in 1996, when the TDP split, he later joined the congress. He was lost the elections in 1999 but was later elected in 2004 and defeated in 2009 and 2014.

Former Bihar Minister Narsingh Baitha Passes Away

Former Bihar Minister Narsingh Baitha Passed away at patna after prolonged illness, He was 100. Baitha was elected MLA for three times from Bagha reserved seat since 1962. Later, he represented Shikarpur reserved seat in West champaran in the State Legislative Assembly in 1985. He was minister in Congress government two times headed by Daroga Prasad Rai and Jagannath Mishra.

Girish Chandra SAXENA, Former J & K Governor Dies

Former Jammu & Kashmir governor Girish Chandra Saxena, lovingly called Gary died on 14 April 2017 after a brief illness. He was 90. Saxena’s brother Naresh Chandra, former Cabinet Secretary and ambassador to the US. He was born in Agra in 1928 and is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Former Union Minister Akhilesh Das Gupta passes Away

Congress leader and former Union Minister Akhilesh Das Gupta passes away after suffering with heart attack. He is the son of Freedom Fighter Late Shri Babu Banargidas, former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Akhilesh Das Gupta has been a National level badminton player and had represented the State of Uttar Pradesh 1977 to 1983.

Kishori Amonkar, Hindustani Classical Vocalist passes Away

Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar Passed Away in Mumbai on Monday, 3 April 2017,after a brief illness. She was 84. Born on 10 April 1932, Amonkar was recognised as the of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and as an innovative exponent of the jaipur gharana. Amonkar was awarded the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002). In 2010, she became a fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

D). VISITORS

President of Nepal, Bidhya Devi Bhandari Visit to India

Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the first female President of Nepal, was on an official visit to India from 17th to 21st April, 2017. During Ms Bhandari’s Visit, both sides assessed the implementation of ongoing cross border connectivity projects including development of Terai roads, cross border railway lines, integrated border check posts, and cross – border pipeline for carrying petroleum products which is the first of its kind in South Asia.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s four day visit to India

PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina was on an official visit to India from 7th to 10th April 2017. In a bid to strengthen bilateral ties, India and Bangladesh signed 22 agreements for cooperation in various area viz. civil nuclear cooperation,  cyber security, media, judicial sector, peaceful uses of outer space, defence, information technology, electronics and transport connectivity. After comprehensive talks between Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh, India announced $ 4.5 billion line of credit for development projects in Bangladesh.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak Visits India

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was given the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. This year marks the 60th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations. Malaysia’s father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Visited India in 1962. India and Malaysia signed their strategic partnership in 2010. Now, PM Modi and PM Najib will hold substantive talks, particularly focusing on enhancing business ties.

E). MISCELLANEOUS

India’s Srishti Kaur wins Miss Teen Universe 2017

On 25 April, 2017 Srishti Kaur from India was crowned Miss Teen Universe 2017. The beauty Pageant event took place in Managua. The capital city of nicaragua. Kur beat out 25 contestants from other parts of the world. Kaur also won the prize for the best national costume at the prestigious pageant. The costume featured a peacock, India’s national bird. The other two finalists were Ary Trava from Mexico and Samantha Pierre from Canada.

‘Newton’ wins best film honour at Hong Kong International Film Festival

Bollywood film Newton has won the best film honour at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. The lead actor of the film is Raj Kumar Rao. Amit Masurkar directed “Newton” is a political  satire. It had its world premiere at the 67th Berlin Film Festival where it won the International Federation of Art Cinemas Award in its Forum Segment.

Canadian Defence Minister Pays Obeisance at Golden Temple

Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan on 20 April 2017 paid Obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, where he was honoured by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Mr Sajjan who had arrived in the city on 19 April night, reached Harmandir Sahib early the next day and went to the sanctum to offer prayers. The visiting dignitary spent close to an hour at the premises and then left for his native village, Bambili in Hoshiarpur.

Violet Brown as World’s oldest Human Being

Violet Brown, a Jamaican Woman who spent much of her life cutting sugar cane in fields around her home. Now, she has become the oldest person in the world. Born on 10th March, 1900, Brown is 117 years and 38 days. Previous oldest person Emma Morano, Born on 29th November, 1899, was died at 117 years and 137 days old. However, Brown has not yet been declared the world’s oldest person by Guinness Book of World Records.

World’s First Museum of Polar Lands

A new museum built by the son of renowned French explorer aims to show “the  beauty of Polar Landscapes” and illustrate the consequences of climate change. The museum, Espace des Mondes Polaires Paul Emile Victor, provides a visually compelling tutorial on these changes. The centre in the eastern France is the only permanent museum devoted Arctic and Antarctic in the World. Built in the shape of a jutting iceberg and with 60% of its volume buried under ground. Museum was conceived by anthropologist Jean christophe Victor son of Paul – Emile Victor.

PLACES IN NEWS

World’s 5th tallest building “Lotte World Tower” Opens in Seoul  

South Korea celebrates the opening of Lotte World Tower the world’s fifth highest skyscraper a, 1819 feet seven star hotel in Seoul. Lotte World Tower is a 123 floors building built on the banks of River Han in Seoul. The landmark building boasts some record setting amenities such as the World’s highest swimming pool, world’s highest glass bottomed observation deck, the world’s fastest elevator taking visitors to the top just one minute.

BOOKS IN NEWS

PM releases book “Matoshree” authored by Sumitra Mahajan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book authored by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan in New Delhi. On 11 April 2017. The book “Matoshree” covers the life and time of legendary Devi Ahilyabai Holkar who ruled the Holkar Empire spread over the Malwa region from 1767 to 1795. The region of Ahilya Bai of Indore in Central India has became almost legendary as a period during which perfect order and good government prevailed and the people prospered. She has participated in several plays on the life of Ahilyabai.

COMMITTEES

Nita Ambani made member of IOC’s Olympic Channel Commission

Nita Ambani has been made amers of International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Channel Commission, which handles IOC’s digital platform. Besides the Olympic channel, she has also been made a member of IOC’s Olympic Education Commission. In August last year, Nita became IOC’s first Indian woman member after being elected at the 129th IOC session in Rio de Janeiro.

India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements

India and Malaysia recently signed seven agreements including in the are as of civil aviation and human resources development, following delegation level bilateral talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Najib Razak in New Delhi. An agreement was signed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Malaysian Minister of Transport Sri Liow Tiong Lai to boost air services between the two countries.

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

World Intellectual Property Day April 26

World Intellectual Property Day  is observed on April 26 each year with a variety of events and activities worldwide. It aims to increase people’s awareness and understanding of intellectual property (IP). the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIFO) world together with various government agencies, non govt organizations, community groups and individuals to hold different events and activities to promote World Intellectual Property Day each year.

25 April World Malaria Day 2017

World Malaria Day is all about celebrating the successes there have been in the drive to eradicate malaria from the world as well as raising awareness of the disease and its prevention. This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) has made “ending malaria for good” its theme for World Malaria Day 2017. A Tropical disease which is spread by infected female anopheles mosquitoes.

National Panchayati Raj Divas – April 24

Every year April 24 is being observed as National Panchayati Raj (PR) Diwas Across the India. Amendment Act 1992 that came into force with effect from 24 April, 1993. Every year on this day Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj Organises, National Conference to commemorate the National panchayati Raj Divas. Best performing Gram Panchayats are conferred with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar by the Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj.

World Book and Copyright Day 2017, 23rd April

The World Book and Copyright Day was celebrated on 23 April 2017 across the globe. To mark the occasion, special events were organised to promote reading, publishing and copy right across the world including India. The World Book and copyright Day is an opportunity to highlight the power of books to promote UNESCO’s vision of knowledge societies that are inclusive, pluralistic, equitable, open and participatory for all citizens.

English Language Day Observed on 23rd April

UN English Language Day is Observed annually on 23rd April. The event was established by the UNESCO in 2010 to seeking to celebrate multilingualism and Cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use  of all six of official working languages  throughout the Organisation. April 23 was chosen as the date of English Language, because it is the anniversary of both birth and death of William Shakespeare.

International Earth Day April 22

The World Earth Day is being observed on 22 April, 2017. The day is celebrated every year on 22 April and encourage people to look after the planet by being environmentally friendly, The theme of 2017 is ‘Environmental and climate Literacy’ The day is celebrated worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The most significant dangers to earth are the rising global temperature which contributes to rising sea-levels and the melting of glaciers.

International Day For Monuments and Sites April 18

International Day for Monuments and Sites is observed on April 18, 2017. The International Day for Monuments and Sites is held each year around the world with different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences, round tables and newspaper articles. The aim is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity and efforts required their protection and conservation.

126th Birth Anniversary of BR Ambedkar : 14 April

Ambedkar Jayanti is celebrated every year by the people with great enthusiasm more than like a festival on 14th of April. Nation remembers Dr. Bhim Rao Ramji Ambedkar on his 126th birth anniversary on 14 April, 2017. President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid floral tributes at Babasaheb statue in the parliament house complex. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Chief Architect of the constitution  of India, was born on 14th April 1891 at Mhow in Madhya Pradesh.

International Day of Human Space Flight – April 12, 2017  

Every year 12th April is celebrated as International day of Human Space Flight to mark the day when the First Human Space Flight, carried out by Yuri Gagarin on 12 April, 1961. On April 7, 2011, the day was proclaimed by the UN at the 65th session of the United Nations General. To promote aspirants to explore and maintain outer space for peaceful purposes.

World Homeopathy Day : 10 April 2017

Minister of State Independent Charge) for Ayush, Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated the National Convention on World Homeopathy Day on 10 April 2017 at New Delhi. The event was organized to commemorate the 262 nd birth anniversary of the founder of Homeopathy Dr. Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician, who was a great scholar, linguist and acclaimed scientist. A special session is also being organized to pay tribute to him.

World Health Day-April 7

World Health Day is on the 7th of April each year. This day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization which was founded in 1948. The world Health Organization (WHO) is the leading global health authority within the United Nations System. The theme of 2017 World Health Day is “Depression Let’s talk”. More than 30 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015.

6 April – International Day of Sport for Develop ment and Peace

The International Day of Sport for Development and peace (IDSDP) is an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development and to foster peace and understanding. Creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1986, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, and has been celebrated each year ever since 2014.

April 4 International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance

International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action was observed on 4 April 2017 across the world. The theme of the year 2017 is Needs Driven. People centred. Mine Action ensures that landmines and explosive hazards in war torn are as are found and destroyed, making possible the delivery of humanitarian assistance so that people and supplies reach those most in need. Driven the people to safer places.

World Autism Awareness Day – 2nd April

2nd April 2017 is the tenth annual World Autism Awareness Day. Since 2008 Organizations around the world celebrate and promote this day every year with awareness raising events. The 2017 the theme of the day is “Toward Autonomy and Self-Determination”. This day is an internationally recognized day, encouraging the member  raise awareness about children with autism throughout the world.

81st Foundation Day of Odisha – Utkal Divas  

On April 1, 1936, Odisha was formed and since then the day is celebrated to mark the contributions and sacrifices made by people of the state in the formation days. The day is also called as “Utkal Divas”. Besides people from different walks of life paid tributes to the legends and renowned personalities like Utkala Gaurav Madhusudan Das, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Maharaja Rama chandra Bhanjadeo, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Raja Baikuntha Nath Dey and so on helped Odisha to get status of separate linguistic state, which carved out Bengal-Bihar-Orissa province.

 

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February 2017 Current Affairs

INTERNATIONAL

UNICEF launches 3.3 bln USD to aid millions of Children

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on 31 January launched an appeal of 3.3 billion US dollars to provide emergency assistance in 48 countries around the globe, against the backdrop of ever increasing number of children driven from their homes due to conflicts, disasters and climate changes. The United States is by far the top donor to UNICEF, followed by Germany, Britain and the European Commission.

 

Ireland became the world’s first country to stop investing in fossil fuels

Ireland has voted to be the world’s first country to fully divest public money from fossil fuels. The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favour of dropping coal, oil and gas investments. Independent MP Thomas Pringle, who introduced the bill, said the bill would send a message to climate change deniers and lobbyists.

 

Alibaba made app helps find 611 missing Children in China

In today’s world where Child trafficking is rampant, a mobile app in China helped recover hundreds of missing Children last year. The ministry of public security has said that the app helped to find 611 missing Children in China. The mobile app named “Tuan Yuan”, or “Reunion” in Chinese was developed by Alibaba group holding Ltd was launched in 2016. This has allowed the police officers to share information work together.

 

Federal Judge temporarily blocks Trumph’s travel ban

A federal Judge in Washington state on 3rd February temporarily blocked enforcement of president Trump’s controversial ban on entry to the U.S, and airlines planned to begin allowing passengers from banned countries to board, according to a person familiar with the matter. The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American People.

 

World’s smallest Pacemaker unveiled in U.S.

The World’s smallest pacemaker, which is about as big as a large vitamin capsule and provides the most advanced pacing technology, has been successfully implanted for the first time in a patient in the U.S. The pacemaker is for patients with bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow heartrate, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. The device is the size of a large vitamin and unlike traditional pacemakers, it does not require cardiac wires or a surgical pocket under the skin to deliver a pacing therapies.

 

Queen Elizabeth – II marks Sapphire Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II, the world’s longest reigning sovereign, on 6th February set a new record as the first British Monarch to reach her Sapphire Jubilee, with 65 years on the throne. The Queen, now 90, rose to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25 upon the premature death of her father, King George VI. Despite her reluctance to celebrate publicly, the occasion will be marked in Britain.

 

Qatar Airways launches world’s longest commercial flight

The world’s longest commercial flight launched Qatar Airways. It was travelled from the United Arab Emirates Doha to Auckland in New Zealand in 16 hours, 5 minutes and in 17 hours, 20 minutes on her return Journey. This has made Qatar Airways the new title holder for the world’s longest commercial flight.

 

China Becomes the World’s Largest Solar Power Producer

Besides being the World’s most populous country, China is now also the World’s largest producer of solar energy. The National Energy Administration (NEA) noted that the nation officially claimed the lobel after doubling up its installed photo voltaic (PV) capacity last year. With the increased capacity China has surpassed Germany to become the World’s largest producer of solar energy.

 

UK’s House of Commons Pases Brexit Bill

House of Commons, the lower house of British parliament passed legislation on 8 February 2017. Authorising Prime Minister Theresa May’s govt to initiate Brexit talks with the European Union. The historic legislation witnessed 494 Members of the Parliament Voting in favour of Brexit and just 122 against. Among the MPs who voted against the bill, 52 were labour MPs, the leading opposition party, who went against their party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s orders of backing the bill.

 

Sudarsan Pattnaik Creates World Record with Tallest Sand Sculpture

Sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik on 10 February created a Guinness World Record by sculpting a more than 48 feet tall sand castle at Puri beach. Sudarsan along with 45 students of his sand Art Institute created this 48 feet 7 inch tall sculpture which beat the previous record which was in the name of a sand artist from USA. The record-breaking sculpture was built with a message of world peace and featured sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautama Buddha, and Nelson Mandela.

 

Neelu Rohmetra becomes first Woman Director of am IIM

The Govt has appointed heads of 10 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) including the first woman to head one of the 20 premier B-School in the Country. Professor Neelu Rohmetra of Jammu University is the first woman to be appointed Director of an IIM at Sirmaur. She specializes in HRD and cross-culture management professor.

 

Diego Maradona Gets Ambassador Role at FIFA 2017

The FIFA governing body has named Argentina’s former soccer player Diego Maradona as the new Ambassador of the FIFA. The 55 year old will have major role in FIFAs activities to promote the game across the globe and will also be involved in relevant development projects. The FIFA is the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach.

 

Yo-Yo Ma and His ensemble win Best world Music Grammy

Cello Virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma on 12 February Won a Grammy with his Silk Road Ensemble for “Sing Me Home”, an exploration of the musical connections across Eurasia. The French -born Chinese American cellist had previously won an impressive 17 Grammys but his latest is his first for Best World Music Album.

 

The International Aero India 2017 begins at

Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru on 14 February 2017. The 5-day show will conclude on 18 February 2017. It is the 11th edition of the biennial International Aero India Show. It is Considered as Asia’s premier air show. Aero India 2017 will act as a significant platform to bolster business opportunities in International aviation sector.

 

India’s first dedicated heliport in New Delhi

The National Capital will soon get India’s first dedicated “Heliport” for flying in and out of Delhi to nearby areas in choppers. The heliport, built by state-owned Pawan Hans India, consists of a terminal building, nine parking bays and four hangers with a parking capacity of 16 helicopters and having capacity of 150 passengers. It will inaugurate the new facility on February 28 at Rohini in New Delhi.

 

Dustin Johnson dominates Genesis Open to overtake World No.1

American professional golfer Dustin Johnson has claimed No-1 Position in Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career in the world. This feat comes after he ended up with a world-class performance by winning Genesis Open 2017 at Riviera Earlier the Golfer bagged the 2016 U.S. open at oakmont country club.

 

Mumbai Named Richest Indian city with Total Wealth $ 820bn

According to the New World Wealth report released on February 21, 2017, Mumbai. The financial capital of India has been named as the Richest Indian City with a total wealth of $820 billion. The South African based market research group, New World Wealth has reported that Mumbai is home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires. Mumbai is followed by Delhi at second place with total wealth of $ 450 billion and having 23,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

H1B and L1 reform Bill introduced in US House of Representatives

A legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives on 03-01- 2017 which mandates the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to be doubled to $130,000. This is more than double of the current salary of $60,000 which was established in 1989.The Lofgren bill, titled “High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017,” has been introduced at a time when there are reports that President Donald Trump might come up with an executive order to clamp down H-1B and L1 Visas.

 

India ranks 43rd in USCC’s IP Index

India ranked at 43rd position out of 45 countries in the 5th Annual International Intellectual property (IP) Index of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 2017 International IP Index, named as “The Roots of Innovation”, was released on 8 February. India was ranked just above Pakistan and Venezuela. The top four positions of the Index were fetched by US, UK, Japan and European Union.

 

Shawna Pandya Third Indian origin woman to go to space

A general physician, 32-year- old Shawna Pandya is one of two candidates shortlisted from 3,200 people enrolled in the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA)program. She will fly with eight other astronauts in space missions slated to take off by 2018. After Kalpana Chawla and Sunitha Williams. Here is the 3rd Indian Origin Woman will go to space.

 

Indian cycle tourist establishes a Guinness World Record

Prasad Erande from Pune travelled 14,576 Kilometers on a bicycle India, establishing a Guinness World Record for the longest journey by bicycle in a single country. He covered the distance between June 22-November 9 in 2014. It increased by inner strength and taught me how to survive when conditions are not in my favour.

 

India to host maiden ITTF World Tour event in February

India is set to host ever International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) world Tour Event in New Delhi from February 16 to 19. India has previously hosted on ITTF event in 2010. The 2017 world Tour will be played in 12 countries excluding the Grand Finals, points earned from the World Tour Finals will see the top 16 players qualify for the Grand Finals to be held from December 2017.

 

India, UK signed bilateral MoU to allow more flights to boost tourism and trade

India and United Kingdom in February 2017 signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to allow more flights to boost tourism and trade in both the countries. The agreement was signed by Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Lord Ahmad in New Delhi, while Raju is the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Lord Ahmed is representative of UK Government.

 

Union Govt signs agreement with Croatia on economic Cooperation

The Union Government on 14 February 2017, signed agreement with the Republic of Croatia on economic Cooperation in Zagreb, Croatia. The agreement was signed by Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce and Industry Minister and Martina Dalic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy of the Republic of Croatia.

 

Norman Isaac became first Indian to be FIBA’s Technical Delegate

Norman Isaac in February 2017 became the first Indian to be promoted by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as the Technical Delegate. He is appointment/ Promotion was confirmed by the sport’s worldwide governing body. Prior to this appointment he was worked as FIBA Commissioner.

 

Govt appoints 5 new Judges to Supreme Court

Five new judges are appointed to the Supreme Court by the President Pranab Mukherjee. Now the total number of judges in the Supreme Court raised to 28 from 23. New judged are Madras HCCJ Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Rajasthan HCCJ Naveen Sinha, Kerala HCCJ Mohan M.Shantanagouder, Chhattisgarh HCCJ Dipak Gupta, Karnataka HCJ S. Abdul Nazeer. Supreme Court consisting of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and other 30 Judged.

 

IMF opens technical centre in New Delhi

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has opened a first of its kind South Asia Training and Technical Assistance centre (SARTTAC) in New Delhi for economic capacity building in South Asia. It will work to support local member countries of South Asia via India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to build human and institutional capacity and implement policies for growth and poverty reduction.

 

India as the World’s Largest Arms Importer

India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012-16, according to a new data released by Stockholm International peace Research Institute (SIPRI) According to the data in Asia, India increased its arms imports by 2007-11 and 2012-16 which is far greater than the imports by its rivals China and Pakistan. Major arm suppliers to India include Russia, USA, European Union, Israel and South Korea.

 

India, Japan ink pact on Rail Safety

India Signed an agreement with Japan for enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety. The Memorandum of Corporations was signed between Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Vice-Minister Hiroshi Tarata. Under this agreement, the areas of cooperation include rail inspection, rail wielding automatic railway track safety inspection.

 

India clears a mega missile deal with Israel

A Rs.17,000 crore deal has been cleared by the government for jointly developing with Israel a Medium Range Surface-to- Air Missile (MR-SAM) for the army, reflecting India’s fast growing defence ties with the Jewish country. The project will be implemented by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industry.

 

World’s First Robot Table Tennis Tutor sets new Guinness World Record

FORPHEUS, the world’s first robot table tennis tutor has created a new Guinness World Record with its extraordinary technological intelligence and educational capabilities. The Japanese technology has been given the Guinness title for being able to play table tennis way better than most humans. FORPHEUS is short for “Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring possibility of Harmonised automation with Sinic Theoretics”

 

NATIONAL

 

E-paathsala launches technology-backed services for higher education institutions in India

E-paathsala, a Bangalore based start-up, launched its first-of- its-kind, end to end integrated accreditation and ERP technology solution for managing colleges and universities with multiple accreditation s for standards such as NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) and NBA (National Board of Accreditation) etc.

 

Jaitley unveils education reforms, to set up National Testing Agency

The government unleashed measures to revamp the country’s education system, including setting up of a National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.

 

Rail Museum celebrates 40th anniversary

The National Rail Museum in New Delhi celebrated its 40th anniversary on 01st February 2017. The museum, which houses a large collection of life-size rail exhibits, allows visitors to take a tour on a toy train. Its attractions include the saloons of the Maharajas of Indore and Mysore and Fairy Queen, the oldest working steam locomotive still in operation.

 

Govt, forms panel to improve Haj Policy

The Centre has formed a six-member committee to give a report on ways to improve India’s Haj Policy and also look into issue of subsidy to the pilgrimage in light of 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing abolishing it by 2022. Former Consulate General of India (CGI) Jeddah, Afzal Amanullah has been appointed as high-level panel, Union Minister of state for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that.

 

Health Ministry launches Measles-Rubella Vaccine (MR) Campaign

With an aim to eradicate Measles and Rubella from India. The Union Health Ministry on 5th February launched Measles- Rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in Bengaluru, targeting 41 crore children in India. After the campaign the MR vaccine will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the two doses of measles vaccine given to children at 9`12 months and 16-24 months of age.

 

Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) launched in Assam

In a move to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched the Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY) in Guwahati. This Scheme is a mega mission with a financial outlay of Rs.30,000 crore and it will be implemented in all the village the state.

 

Muslim Organisations to oppose triple Talaq as is practiced now low panel          

Law Commission Chairperson Justice B.S. Chauhan said that, a majority of those who had responded to its questionnaire on a uniform civil code, including many Muslim Organisms have opposed spontaneous triple talaq. Justice Chauhan said the larger consensus was that spontaneous triple talaq, as is currently practiced, was not keeping with what was stated in the Shariat, which mandates a three-month iddah period meant for reconciliation and arbitration.

 

Indian Railways Approves Rail Project in Andaman and Nicobar

The Narendra Modi Govt has given a green signal for the laying of a 240 KM broad-gauge railway line connecting port Blair, the capital of the union territory located in the southern part, with the northern population centres in Andaman’s. Connectivity is an issue because the only reliable ways to travel from north to south is a 350 km bus and ferry service that takes more than 14 hours. The railway link, among the other things, will boost tourism, defence and business in the region.

 

Indian Navy launches Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance system

Indian Navy has launched and Integrated Under water Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) in Mumbai, Maharashtra to enhance the security of valuable naval assets against asymmetric threats. It was inaugurated be vice Admiral Girish Luthra, Flag officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command.

 

SC Clears plan to Verify mobile phone users through Aadhar

The Supreme court approved the government’s plan to record the identification details of mobile users through an e-KYC (Know Your Customer) mechanism linked to Aadhaar in a bid to enhance national security and prevent fake users. The mechanism could cover at least 100 crore mobile phone subscribers, 90% of whom use prepaid cards.

 

Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan

The Union Cabinet Chaired by the Prime Minister has approved “Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan” (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate. This is in line with the announcement made by Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2017-17 PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world,. Under the scheme 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17, 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18, and 300 lakh in the Fy 2018-19. The Digitally literate persons would be able to operate computers/ digital access devices send and receive emails.

 

RBI setup panel on strengthening cyber security

The Central Bank (RBI) said it will form an inter-disciplinary standing committee on cyber security. It will review threats inherent in existing and emerging technology, study adoption of various security standards and protocols, interface with stakeholders and suggest appropriate policy interventions to cyber security and resilience.

 

Govt appoints 3 directory to RBI Central Board

Govt on 9th February appointed three part time non-official directory on the all powerful Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Ashok Gulati, Manish Sabharwal and Rajiv Kumar as part time non-official directory on the Central Board. Stating this, the Department of personnel and Training said the appointments are for a period of four years. The RBI’s affairs are governed by the Central Board of Directors.

 

Govt to make “Aadhar” compulsory to ration from PDS shops

The Govt of India on 9 February announced that people who have ration cards under the National Food Security Act need to undergo Andhar Authentication Process to receive their further subsidies. This notification comes into effect from today. This condition will also be applicable for all the new beneficiaries and in all States and Union Territories except the States Assam, Meghalaya, and Jammu & Kashmir.

 

Govt to open 56 Post Office passport Seva Kendra facilities

Head Post Offices as Passport Seva Kendras, the government has now decided to scale up this programme by opening 56 such facilities across the country. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Posts had earlier decided to join hands to deliver passport – related services to the citizens. The pilot project of the post office passport Seva Kendras have been running successfully to Mysore and Dahod.

 

Kerala’s Nilambur teak to get GI tag

Kerala’s Nilambur teak known internationally for its superior timber quality and elegant appearance will be added to the list of Kerala Produces with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Due to its superior mechanical and physical properties as well as aesthetic appearance, the teak was exported to England and other parts of the world.

 

GMR Hyderabad Airport bags CAPA award

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, has own the centre of Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Chairman’s order of Merit for its focus on environmental sustainability and becoming the first airport in Asia Pacific to become carbon neutral. GHIAL received the award during the CAPA 12th Annual India Aviation Summit in Mumbai earlier this week.

 

China releases theme, priorities of BRICS

China has released the theme and the cooperation priorities of the 2017 BRICS Summit, which is scheduled to begin in September. The Summit will be held under the theme BRICS “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”. It will also feature five key priorities such as depending cooperation, strengthening global governance, carrying out people- to- people exchanges, making institutional improvements and building broader partnerships.

 

INS sarvekshak installs solar Power System

Indian Navy’s survey vessel INS Sarvekshak has gone green by installing a solar power system on board. Which equipped on the ship works on sunlight and hence is 100 percent reliable for power source that can be used for communication equipment, battery charging and general lighting on board round the clock with battery outputs.

 

Sachin Tendulkar adopted Donja Village for Development

Being the Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar continued his service for the nation. Previously he adopting a village in Andhra Pradesh Sachin changed the village totally. Now, it may be the turn of Donja Village of Maharashtra. The 2016 in November sachin adopted Puttamraju Kandrika Village of A.P under sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Now the village dazzles with concrete roads and continuous supply of electricity.

 

Food grain Production to reach record 272 million tonnes in 2016-17

It is higher by 6.94 million tonnes than the previous record production of 265 million tonnes in 2013-14. Agriculture Ministry in its 2nd advance estimates of production of major crops for 2016-17. The record is going to be made due to good rainfall and various policy initiatives taken the Government.

 

‘Science Express’ Train Flagged off from New Delhi

A “Science Express Train” named “Science Express Climate Action Special” was flagged of Safdarjung Railway Station in New Delhi on February 17, 2017 on a seven-month journey to spread awareness about climate change. The train was flagged off jointly by two Union Ministers Suresh Prabhu, Dr. Harsh Vardhan and a Delhi Minister Anil Madhav Dave flagged of event through video conferencing.

 

UAE Unveils Plan to Build First City on Mars by 2117

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has unveiled plans to build the first city on Mars by 2117. The announcement was made by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. This is the 100-year National Project for the UEA Govt, The team would to develop action plan to facilitate the transport of people to and from the planet.

 

Delhi AIIMS wins first prize for sanitation

Premier health institute AIIMS New Delhi, has won the first prize, and a cash award of Rs.5 crore for maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene under the Govt Kayakalp awards. AIIMS was followed by North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences. Shillong which got a cash prize Rs. 3 core. Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh received the third Prize of Rs. 1 crore.

 

INSV Tarini inducted into Indian Navy

Indian Navy’s second ocean going sail boat Tarini was inducted on 18 February 20147 at a ceremony held at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool. INSV Tarini is a sloop built by M/S Aquarius Shipyard PVT Ltd at Divar Goa. The boat draws her origin from the famous Tara Tarini Temple of Orissa’s Ganjam District. The Word Tarini means a Boat and is also a sanskrit word for savior.

 

Virat Kohli first Indian sports person to ink Rs.110-crore deal with Puma

Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs.110-crore endorsement deal with a single brand. Kohli signed an eight-year deal with sports apparel brand puma worth Rs.110 crore. The Indian cricket captain is now set to join the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry among others, as global ambassador for the brand.

 

Ravi Shanka Prasad launches Cyber Swachhta kendra in New Delhi

Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi on February 21,2017. It was launched for Botnet cleaning and Malware analysis as a part of Digital India Initiative. He also launched two mobile apps “M-kavach” to protect smartphones and tablets from hackers and “Samvid” to protect desktops from suspicious applications.

 

SC Judge appointed as Chairman of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal

Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre has been appointed as the Chairman of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) He was nominated for the post by Chief Justice J.S. Kehar. The post full vacant following the resignation of Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan. The Govt also proposed to introduce some benches to look into disputes as and when required. Unlike the tribunal, the Benches will cease to exist once the disputes are resolved.

 

Union Government launches Bharat QR code

The Union Govt has launched “Bharat QR Code” a quick response (QR) code to enable digital payments without card swiping machines. It is world’s first interoperable payment acceptance solution launched by Indian Government to move towards less-cash economy. Bharat QR code has been developed by jointly National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Visa, MasterCard and American Express under instructions from Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

 

Govt doubles maternity leave for women workers in Industries

The Government doubled the maternity leave for women Working in industries from the existing three months to six months. However, the benefit will be restricted to women who make a monthly contribution to the employees state insurance corpus from their salaries. About 29 lakh Women Working across various industries will be benefitted by the move.

 

Suresh Prabhu Unveils Antyodaya Rail Coaches

Equipped with cushioned seats, aluminium composite panels, LED lights of the Antyodaya Express, a newly unreserved train for the common man with specially designed colour full coaches unveiled by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, ready to be pressed “into service on busy routes, the first Antyodaya Express will be launched between Mumbai and Tatanagar, and the second will be between Ernakulam and Howrah shortly.

 

STATES

 

Telangana, Rajasthan bageGov awards

2017 under the State category, Rajasthan and Telangana emerged Winners of Excellence while the Award of Recognition went to Odisha and Nagaland. The Center’s intense focus on Digital India seems to have drawn greater response this year to the CSI -Nihilent e Governance Awards. Instituted by the Computer Society of India’s (CSI) Special Interest Group with sponsorship from Nihilent Technologies, these awards help recognize the efforts of e Governance practitioners from across central and state departments, projects and in district administrative units as well.

 

2% reservation to sports persons in Govt Jobs CM. Raghubar Das

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das on 6th February said the state will give two percent reservation to sports persons in government jobs and nutritious food to them. Mr.Das said to promote football, Kamal Clubs are being set up and for this the government would give kits to players and competitors would be held at mandal black, district and state.Previously 2% reservation was given in police department. The CM said that the state Govt is committed to promote sports persons on national and international level.

 

Telangana launches India’s first social innovations hub

The Telangana government has launched India’s first Social innovation center. The Kakatiya Hab for Social Innovation in Nizamabad. This hub was funded by the Telangana Govt and implemented through Kakatiya Sandbox will function like a rural incubator to encourage entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. The rural incubator in Telangana will be run exactly in the same as any other high-end incubator like the T-Hub, the country’s biggest, located in Hyderabad.

 

First smart Police Station inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh

First smart police station of the country inaugurated by CM of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu in the state. The Model Police Station in Andhra Pradesh in build like a corporate office building with plush interiors and green environment. The First Smart Police Station opened at Nagarampalem in the capital region Amaravathi. The Model Police Station will work on smart policing system that will make the police process much transparent.

 

Gujarat becomes first cashless state for PDS

Cashless system was introduced in the Gujarat. There by Gujarat becomes first in India for introduce cashless system in PDS. From now onwards the beneficiaries of National Food Security Act carry only Aadhar Cards to get their food grains in Gujarat.

 

National Women’s Parliament begins in Andhra Pradesh

India’s First National Women’s Parliament (NWP) began on 10 February 2017 in Amaravathi, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh. The three day conference, which is the first of its kind, is being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly. The theme of the conference is “Empowering Women-Strengthening Democracy”. This inaugural session was attended by spiritual Buddhist leader Dalai Lama and Andhra Pradesh CM. N. Chandrababu Naidu.

 

NCS and Jeevan Pramaan Facility for EPFO Pensioners Launched in Hyderabad

The Union Minister of state for labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya launched the National Career Service (NCS) for youths and Jeevan Pramaan Facility to EPFO pensioners through post offices at Dak sadan in Hyderabad. The post offices will serve as an Employment Registration Centers for Unemployed rural youth on behalf of the NCS.

 

Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in disproportionate assets case

The Supreme Court of India (SC) on 14 February 2017 convicted Sasikala disproportionate assets case. It over ruled a Karnataka High Court’s Judgement in a disproportionate assets case related to Sasikala. The ruling of the SC renders Sasikala ineligible to contest Assembly elections. The Judgement was delivered by a bench of the apex court comprising Justices PC Ghose and Amitava Roy.

 

Kerala Govt gave approval for Airport in Sabarimala

The Kerala Cabinet gave its approval for construction of an airport in Hindu Pilgrimage Centre Sabarimala. The approval was given by the cabinet at a meeting Chaired by the State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on 15 February 2017 in Thiruvananthapuram. The airport is expected to reduce the heavy traffic on the roads leading to Sabarimala during the Pilgrim season.

 

Palaniswami takes oath as TM CM along with 30 ministers

  1. Palaniswami was sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor Vidyasagar Rao. Palaniswami took oath first, followed by 30 ministers in four batches. The swearing in ceremony was held at Raj Bhavan. This is the third ministry in the last 10 months since AIADMK won the assembly elections in May 2016.

 

Maharashtra Approves Rs. 250 crore Cloud Seeding Programme

The State Govt of Maharashtra has approved a Rs.250 crore Cloud Seeding Programme to experiment whether cloud seeding produces sufficient rain. Seeding is a technique which involves spraying chemicals into clouds. Under this programme the weather scientists will fly Aeroplanes loaded with Silver Iodide and Dry ICE over clouds. The programme is coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

 

31st State Hood Day of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram 20 February

On 20 February 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people of two states Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on their 31st state hood day. Conveying his best wishes and prayed for the two states progress immensely in the years to come. Union Minister Rajnath Singh greeted the states. Rajnath is expected to attend the ‘Arunachal Pradesh statehood day’ function in Itanagar.

 

Germany Opens Consulate Office in Hyderabad

Federal Republic of Germany on 21 February opened an Honorary Consulate Office at Madhapur in Hyderabad. Achim Fabig German Consul General for Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry and BVR Mohan Reddy Honorary Consul of Germany for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh opened Honorary Consulate Office in Hyderabad. The office of the Honorary Consul will also provide limited consular assistance in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

 

National Biodiversity Congress 2017 in Kerala

The Third National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on February 22,2017. The NBC is hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board. This year event is comprises programmes including conference, Exhibition, capacity building workshops and Children Biodiversity Congress. National Biodiversity Conference, governed by a national advisory committee comprising biodiversity experts on 23rd and 24th February as a part of NBC.

 

Rajasthan becomes 2nd Largest Crude Oil Producer in India

Rajasthan Governor Announced that Rajasthan has become the second largest crude oil producer in India. The oil fields in the state were producing nearly 90 lakh tonnes oil annually which accounted for 24% of the total domestic crude oil production. On the other hand, The Bombay High, an offshore oil field of Mumbai is the largest producer of crude oil in India which accounts for 50% of the total domestic crude oil production.

 

Vasundhara Raje inaugurates Medical project RAHAT

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje recently inaugurated a medical project Rajasthan Heart Attack Treatment Programme (RAHAT). The programme is a ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI), a very serious type of heart attack, management Tele medicines platform that captures and transmits patient’s EKG along with clinical history from remote geographical locations to heart command center hub.

 

CONFERENCES

 

A 3-day global nuclear security meet in New Delhi

India is host a key meet on nuclear security in New Delhi on 8th February from February 8-10 which us attended by delegates from over 100 countries, including Pakistan. Foreign Secretary S.Jaishankar inaugurated the meet organised by Ministry of External Affairs and the Department of Atomic Energy. India’s commitment to global nuclear nonproliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

 

Indian seed congress-2017 in Kolkata

The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the Indian Seed Congress 2017 in Kolkata. The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy” 2017 Indian seed congress in Kolkata iii. The theme is in line with vision of PM Modi Govt to bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of farmers by doubling their farm income by 2000.

 

2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) Begins in Barcelona

The 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) began in Mobile World Capital Barcelona on February 27, 2017 and will conclude March 2, 2017. Some of the leading industry participating in the event includes Blackberry, Motorola, Google, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, Huawei, LG, ZTE and HTC among others. And also participate prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners across the world.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Alastair Cook awarded Order of the British Empire

England Test Captain Alastair Cook has been honoured with Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). The 30-year old is the only England Player to have scored over 10,000 runs in Tests and has also led England in the most number tests. It is very proud moment to be awarded for him in his cricket career.

 

Indian – Origin British Sculptor Anish Kapoor wins $ 1 Million Israeli Prize

Renowned Indian – Origin British Sculptor Anish Kapoor was honoured with the prestigious $1 million 2017 Genesis Prize on 6th February 2017 by Israel for his utmost contribution for Jewish Community. The 62 year old Anish was chosen by the prize committee headed by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky.

 

Hyderabad Surgeon Raghu Ram Honoured with BC Roy Award

Hyderabad based Surgeon Dr.P. Raghu Ram, President of Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI) has been honoured with the prestigious “Dr. BC Roy National Award” for outstanding service in the field of socio medical relief for the year 2016. The award will be conferred upon Ram by President Pranab Mukherjee on July 1,2017 which is also observed as National Doctors Day. He is the youngest Surgeon ever from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to have been selected for the award.

 

Indian Tabla player Sandeep Das wins 2017 Grammy Award

Indian Tabla player Sandeep Das on 13 February 2017 won the 59th Annual Grammy Award for the Best Global Music Category. He won the award for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble “Sing Me Home” Yo-Yo Ma’s ‘Sing Me Home’ features tunes composed by different artists at global level. Apart from Sandeep Das and Yo-Yo Ma, there were other musicians as well as who contributed in the album.

 

Adele sweeps top prizes at 2017 Grammy Awards

The queen of pop, Adele dominated the 59th annual Grammy Awards by picking up all the top awards including Album of the year, Record of the year, Song of the year, Best pop solo performance and Best pop vocal album. The legendary singer took away the album, record and song of the year categories in 2012. Adele is the first singer to take all the top three awards from Grammy twice.

 

Usain Bolt wins Laureus “Sportsman of the year” award

Usain Bolt and simone biles, the 2016 Rio Olympic Champions won world Top Awards of ‘Sportsman of the year’ and ‘Sportswoman of the year’ at Laureus World Sports Awards 2017, held in Monaco. Bolt was conferred with the top honour for the fourth time equalling the record set by Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Kelly Slater, who are all four-time Laureus winners, with this Bolt created a new record.

 

Jawaharlal Nehru University Won Visitor’s Award

Jawaharlal Nehru University has won the Visitor’s Award 2017 for the best Central University in India. President Pranab Mukherjee Presented the award to Vice-Chancellor M.Jagadesh Kumar. This is the third edition of the awards which were instituted in 2015 to prime healthy competition among the Universities.

 

Hindi Scholar and Writer Surendra Verma selected for Vyas Samman 2016 Award

Surendra Verma, a well known Hindi scholar and writer, was selected for Vyas Samman 2016 Award. He was chosen for the prestigious award for his novel “Katna Shamika Vriksha”. Verma will be the 26th recipient of this prestigious award. Vyas Samman was instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation and carries a cash award of Rs.3.50 lakh, a citation and a logo.

 

Corporation Bank Bags 2017 National MSME Excellence Award

Mangalore based public sector lender Corporation Bank was awarded the 2017 National MSME Excellence Award at a function in New Delhi. DV Subramanya Varma, General Manager of Corporation Bank received the award from Union Minister of state for MSME, Haribhai P. Chouday. The award is instituted by the Federation of Industry, Trade and services (FITS).

 

Lata Mangeshkar honoured with Legendary Award

Indian melody queen Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with the Legendary Award, 2017 by Brand Laureate. The Brandlaureate Awards recognize world-class achievement in branding amongst individuals and companies. The legendary singer has already been bagged almost all of the music awards in home and abroad. Now this award will add an extra feather in her crown of success.

 

‘Newton’ wins top honour at Berlin Awards

Rajkumar Rao and Anjali patel Starrer Political Comedy “Newton”. It had its world premiere at 67th Berlin International Film Festival, won the “Art Cinema Award” in the Forum segment. Directed by Amit Masurkar, “Newton” revolver around a clerk placed on election duty in a conflict ridden area of Chhattisgarh.

 

Katamati Iron Mine Wins Best Green Award

Katamati Iron Mine, owned by Tata Steel was conferred with the “Best Green organization of the year Award. It was given at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards held in Mumbai. The Global Green Future Leadership Awards, Organized by World Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Day, was honoured to Katamati Iron Mine in recognition of its environmental protection measures.

 

Milind Soman gets the title Ultraman

Milind Soman an Indian Supermodel and the national level swimmer successfully completed a 517.5 km race, an extremely high endurance event called “Ultraman” recently held in Florida. The race that was divided into three days included swimming, cycling and running. The 51-year- old man completed the whole event barefoot and gaining the title Ultraman.

 

Oscar Awards 2017 Lala Land won maximum awards

The 89th Academy Awards, popularly called Oscar Awards, were conferred on 27 February 2017 as per the Indian Time. The Award ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Los Angel Comedian Jimmy Kimmel hosted the awards ceremony. The nominees for the 89th Oscar Awards were announced on 24 January 2017, Via global live stream from the Academy. Movie LaLa Land received the most nominations with a record tying fourteen.

 

Shooting World Cup India bag 1Gold, 1 Silver Medals

India on 27th February bagged two medals, a gold and silver, at the Shooting World Cup in New Delhi. In the 10m mixed team air pistol event, duo of Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu clinched the Gold for India, making it the first Gold in this event for the country. Jity teamed up with Heena to finish ahead of Japan’s Yukari Konishi and Tomoyuki Matsuda 5-3. Slovenia’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon and Kevin Venta were placed third.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Pankaj Advani wins National Snooker Championship title

Sixteen-time world champion Pankaj Advani ended the year on a high by bagging the National title in 6-red Snooker, the shorter format of the game in Mumbai on Friday. With only a few days to switch to snooker after winning the IBSF World Billiards Championship (point format) in Bangalore last week, Advani proved once again why he is the absolute authority in cue sports.

 

Lakshya Sen becomes World No.1 Junior Badminton player

India’s Lakshya Sen has become the World No 1 Junior Badminton player. He achieved the distinction in the latest rankings of the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Fifteen-year- old is the first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the numero uno spot at the international level.

 

Virat Kohli features on Wisden 2017 cover

Indian Skipper Virat Kohli, who led his side to victory against England in all three formats of the game recently, has featured in the latest cover star of the bible of cricket – Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack. Kohli becomes only the third Asian Origin Player after Tendulkar and England all rounder Moeen Ali to be featured on the cover of the magazine. The cover image shows Kohli playing a reverse sweep, a shot which he rarely plays in Tests or ODIs Cricket. Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said it under lines the fact that he is a very modern Cricketer.

 

Iran Lifts ban on American Wrestling team

Iran has lifted a ban on U.S. wrestlers, allowing them to take part in the Freestyle World Cup later this month in the Iranian city of Kermanshah. The wrestlers were originally banned on 4th February from the February 16-17 competition after America President Donald Trump temporarily suspended travel from seven Muslim majority countries, including Iran.

 

Sourabh Varma Clinches Men’s Single title in NBC

There was huge buzz ahead of the men’s final of the 81st National Badminton Championship (NBC) at the Patliputra sports complex in Patna. On 7th February the competition was between Lakshya Sen, the 15-year old and an experienced Sourabh Varma, the third seed. Finally Sourabh Clinched the title with 21-13, 21-12. Earlier. Rituparna Das of Telangana, the second seed bagged the women’s single title by beating Reshma Karthik.

 

India to host FIBA Women’s Asic Cup

India will host two international events in 2017, the FIBA Women’s Asia cup and FIBA under – 16 Women’s Asian Championship, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) said that. The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will be held from July 23 to 29 in Bengaluru and FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship will be held from October 23 to 28 in Hyderabad.

 

India’s first centre for disabled sportsmen in Gandhinagar

India’s first ever centre of Excellence for differently abled sportsmen will be established in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The centre will be built on 7.5 acres of land belonging to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). It will train the Para athletes for various international sporting competitions including Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. Which will be the first-ever training facility in the country dedicated to Para athletes.

 

Delhi Mohit Ahlawat becomes first batsman to score 300 in T-20 Cricket

Delhi cricketer, 21-years Mohit Ahlawat smashed an incredible unbeaten 300 off just 72 balls hitting an unbelievable 39 sines, 14 fours in a Twenty-20 match. He was playing for Maavi XI against Friends XI in the Friends Premier League. A wicketkeeper-batsman, Ahlawat has played three first class games for Delhi, making his debut in 2015. He got only 5 runs in three games. Now, he got the World Record 300 runs in a T-20 match.

 

Kohli get a new record for most Test 150 s by an Indian Captain

Virat Kohli recorded his sixth test 150, against Bangladesh at Hyderabad on 10 February 2017, to set the record for most 150 plus scores by an Indian captain in Tests. Kohli went past Sunil Gavaskar and Mohammad Azharuddin, who both have five 150 plus Test scorers each as captain. Notably, all of Kohli’s last five Centuries have been of 150 + runs.

 

Mission XI Million launched to promote football among school Children  

The Union Government on 10 February 2017 launched Mission XI Million initiative to promote football awareness among school children. The Programme was launched by the Union Minister of State for youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel in the presence of the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel in New Delhi.

 

Official mascot of FIFA U-17 World Cup Kheleao

The Official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, “Kheleao” was on 10 February unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, It was unveiled, with just 238 days remaining for the start of the tournament. In a glittering ceremony attended by Sports Minister Vijay Goel, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee and AIFF president Praful Patel.

 

India win T-20 Blind World Cup – 2017

Defending Champion India thrashed arch rivals Pakistan by 9 wickets in the final to be crowned champions of T-20 Blind Cricket World Cup 2017 in Bengaluru. Chasing a target of 198 runs, India (200/1) achieved it in 17.2 overs comfortably at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The two teams had already clashed in the 2012 edition final as well with India emerging triumphant.

 

  1. Ashwin becomes Fastest Bowler to claim 250 wickets

Indian -off spin specialist Ravichandran Ashwin became the world’s fastest cricketer to take 250 wickets in Test Matches. He achieved this feat in his 45th test match against Bangladesh on 12 February 2017, when he dismissed captain of Bangladesh team Mushfiqur Rahim at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad.

 

Joe Root Becomes New Test Captain of England

The England and Wales cricket Board named Joe Root as England’s Test Captain on 13 February 2017 who will take over Alastair Cook. Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the Vice-Captain. Root will become England’s 80th Test Skipper with his first game to be held against South Africa at Lord’s on July 6.

 

De Randamie Crowned First Women’s Featherweight Champion

Germaine De Randamie was Crowned the UFC’s first female featherweight Champion after defeating Holly Holm via Unanimous decision. All three judges scored the fight 48-47 in De Randamie favour against her American opponent, who is a former bantamweight Champion.

 

Jehan Daruvala wins New Zealand Grand Prix

Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala created history by winning the New Zealand Grand Prix, 2017 at Chris Amon Circuit. With the win, Jehan became the first and only Indian to win a Grand Prix in Motorsport and has joined the elite list of Grand Prix Winners including KeKe Rosberg, Bruce Mclaren, John Surtees and si Jackie Stewart.

 

Indian Hockey player To Get Honorary Doctorate

Indian Professional Hockey Player Sandeep Singh has been honoured with an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Desh Bhagat University, a private educational institution in Amloh, Fatehgarh Sahib District of Punjab. He is the second Indian hockey player to receive this award after Dileep Tirkey, former hockey captain and present Member of Parliament.

 

PV Sindhu Attains Career-Best Rank at No.5

Indian ace shuttler PV. Sindhu achieved her career best Badminton World Federation (BWF) Women’s single ranking by being placed at 5th spot. Previously the top seeded player was placed at sixth position. She was moved a place ahead of Akane Yamaguchi of Japan to attain her career best ranking. Saina Nehwal who has been placed at No.9

 

22 Football Players & Officials Gets life Ban

Twenty-two players and Officials from Laos and Cambodia gets life ban punishments for match-fixing. The action followed an investigation that started in 2014, and that it will seek to have the bans extended world wide. Fifteen of those banned are current or former players of the Laos national side or Vientiane based Lao Toyota FC.

 

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga wins 2017 Rotterdam Open

France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on 19 February defeated David Goffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the 43rd ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. with the title came an end to Tsonga’s two-year title drought. He had last won a title in the year 2015. As of 13 February 2017, he is ranked world No.13 position.

 

India win Silver at Asian Women’s Rugby Sevens Trophy

The Indian Women’s team won a silver at the Asian Women’s Rugby Sevens Trophy tournament at Vientiane, Laos, A total of seven countries from across. Asia including South Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, India and hosts Laos vied for to honours in the tournament. In the last match, India was beaten by South Korea by 29-0.

 

Ben Stokes gets highest bidding at IPL auction

Ben stokes becomes the most expensive overseas acquisition in the history of the Indian Premier league. The Rising Pune Supergiant prised him away for a massive Rs.14.5 crore. Tymal Mills is the second most expensive overseas player. He is sold to Royal challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs.12 crore in the IPL auction.

 

India to host 2019 combined World Cup for Shooting

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced that India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for Shooting in 2019 during the meeting held in New Delhi. The Combined World Cup will a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It will comprises all the three categories shotgun, rifle and pistol

 

Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet kaur in top -10 ICC rankings

India’s one day captain Mithali Raj and top order bats woman Harmanpreet Kaur were placed 2nd and 10th in the bats women’s rankings released after World Cup qualifier that ended on 21st February. Meg Lanning of Australia leads the chart with 804 points, while Mithali Raj with 733 points is second in the list. Harmanpreet Kaur, known for her towering sines has 574 points is last of the list.

 

Dohmen, Navomi named best hockey players of 2016

Belgium’s John-John Dohmen and Netherlands Naomi van as male and female Hockey Federation’s player of the year award. In an event hosted in Chandigarh on 23rd February, the Olympic silver medalists Dohmen and Naomi were handed these awards. Great Britain’s Olympic gold medalist Maddie Hinch won the Hockey star 2016 female Goalkeeper of the year award. While, Ireland’s David Harte was crowned the best in the world for the second year in a row as he received the male Goalkeeper of the year awards.

 

ISSF World Cup Pooja Ghatkar gets Bronze

Indian Shooter Pooja Ghatkar made the country proud on 24 February as she clinched the bronze medal in the women’s 10 mt Air Rifle event in New Delhi at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. The 28-year- old woman shot a score of 228.8 to finish third in the finals and clinch her first medal at a Shooting World Cup. China’s Meng Yang Shi bagged gold medal and set a new world record with score of 252.1. While Dong Lijie settled for silver score of 248.9 in the finals.

 

R Aswin Breaks Kapil Dev’s Record to become Highest Test Wicket Taker

Indian off spinner R.Aswin surpassed India’s former legendary all rounder Kapil Dev to become the highest wicket-taker in Test Matches. Aswin has scored 67 wickets from 10 tests in 2016-17 season played in India. Former Indian Captain Kapil Dev took 63 wickets from 13 matches in the 1979-80 season. Aswin achieved the feat when he dismissed Mitchell Starc of Australia in their first innings on the second day in Pune.

 

Saina Nehwal to represent Olympic Committee in BWF

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who was appointed a member of the International Olympic committee’s Athletes. Commission in 2016. Now she would to representing Olympic Committee’s panel in the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Currently, ranked world number 10 in BWF rankings, Saina is aiming to won in the All England Championship in next Month.

 

Kalinga Lancers crowned Hockey India League

Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai 4-1 in a thrilling final to lift their first Hockey India League title in Chandigarh on 26 February 2017, Skipper Moritz Frusta 30th, 58th converted two penalty corners and Glenn Turner 18th minute scored a field goal, as last year’s runners-up won the fifth edition of the tournament.

 

ECONOMY

 

Arun Jaitley introduced Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 31 January tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. The survey projects the economy to grow in the range of 6.75% to 7.50 in the next fiscal year 2017-18 in the post-demonetization year. The survey was prepared by chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian said the adverse impact of demonetization on GDP growth will be transitional.

 

Highlights of Union Budget 2017-18

 

  1. For quick refund of tax returns time-frame reduced to 12 months
  2. Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried
  3. No transaction over Rs 3 lakh will be permitted in cash
  4. To cut presumptive turnover threshold for companies w/turnover up to Rs 2 cr to 6%
  5. Basic customs duty on LNG cut to 2.5% from 5%
  6. Propose to reduce tax for small companies with turnover of < Rs 50 cr to 25%
  7. Govt proposes carry-forward of MAT to 15 years from 10 years
  8. Post demonetisation deposits between Rs 2.80 lakh made in 1.09 crore accounts
  9. FY18 revenue deficit pegged at 1.9% of GDP
  10. Fiscal deficit for 2017-18 pegged at 3.2%, in-line with market expectations
  11. Defence capital expenditure: Rs 86,000 core
  12. New FDI policy under consideration
  13. Aadhaar Pay will be launched shortly
  14. Propose revised mechanism for time-bound listing of PSUs
  15. Govt doubles lending target of banks to Rs 2.44 lakh cr
  16. Amend Negotiable Instruments Act to protect payees of dishonoured cheques
  17. Govt to take steps to promote digital payments at petrol pumps, hospitals
  18. Propose to create a payment regulatory board at RBI
  19. Propose to create an integrated oil major
  20. Budget 2017: Focus on welfare, infra with fiscal prudence
  21. Service charges on e-tickets booked via IRCTC to be withdrawn
  22. New Metro Rail policy to be announced; will open up new job possibilities.
  23. New rules for pricing medical devices should benefit common man.
  24. Railways to implement end-to- end solutions for some commodities.
  25. Propose to feed 7000 solar railway station in medium term
  26. 2000 km of coastal roads have been identified for development.
  27. AAI Act to be amended to enable monetisation of land.
  28. Cash less reservation have improved to 68% from 58%.
  29. National highway allocation at Rs 64,000 crore
  30. Affordable housing to be given infra status
  31. Have hiked allocation for women skill development to Rs 1.84 lakh crore in FY18.
  32. Mahila Shakti Kendras will aim for Woman Empowerment
  33. Govt to set up 100 India-International skill centres
  34. Mahila Shakti Kendra will be set up at village level; allocation Rs 500 crore
  35. 5 special tourism zones to be set up in partnership with states
  36. Unmanned Rail level crossing will be eliminated by 2020
  37. At least 25 stations re-development contracts will be awarded in 2017-18.
  38. Propose to invest Rs 1.31 lakh crore in Railways in 2017-18.
  39. Total capital development outlay for Railway at Rs 1.3 lakh cr.
  40. Railways to implement end-to- end solutions for some commodities
  41. Propose to feed 7000 solar railway station in medium term
  42. Railway throughput to be enhanced by 10%.
  43. Pilot project for Aadhar cards containing health details for senior citizens.
  44. Govt to undertake reforms in UGC to improve higher education.
  45. New rules regarding medical devices will be formulated; will attract investment in sector, will reduce cost of the devices
  46. Outcome-based monetary measures to SC, ST by NITI Aayog
  47. Allocation to scheduled castes upped to Rs 52,393 crore
  48. Govt to set up 100 India-International skill centres
  49. Outcome-based monetary measures to SC, ST by NITI Aayog
  50. Govt committed to ensuring conducive labour environment
  51. Will take legislative reforms to simplify labour laws in India
  52. Govt committed to take structural reform in medical education & practice
  53. Propose to amend drug rules to ensure drugs available at reasonable prices
  54. 1.5 lakh health sub-centres to be transformed to health wellness centres
  55. Will encourage reputed hospitals to start courses
  56. Affordable housing to be given infra status
  57. Bank lending rates for housing loans coming down in wake of demonetisation, says FM

58.Innovation fund for secondary education to be created

  1. Sanitation coverage in rural areas risen to 60% vs 42% earlier
  2. On our way to achieve 100% village electrification by 1st May 2018
  3. Govt to achieve 100% rural electrification by May 1, 2018
  4. Rs 4,800 crore allocated under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
  5. Propose to finish 1 crore houses by 2019 for those living in kachcha houses
  6. To up crop insurance coverage to 50% in FY19
  7. Pace of construction of roads has increased to Rs 133 km/day in 2017
  8. Long-term irrigation fund set up in NABARD, additional corpus Rs 20,000 cr
  9. MNREGA target at 48000 cr in FY18
  10. Participation of women in NREGA has increased to 55% from 48% in the past.
  11. Govt to set up dairy processing fund
  12. Pace Of Construction Of Roads Has Increased To Rs 133 Km/Day In 2017
  13. Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana construction at 133 km per day now against 73 km per day earlier
  14. Increased allocation to Rs 23,000 crore for PM Awas Yojana,
  15. 19000 cr allotted for PM Rural road plan in FY18
  16. Will undertake reforms in UGC to improve higher education
  17. Total allocation for rural sector up by 24% at Rs 1,83000 cr.
  18. Allocation for rural, agri & allied industry at Rs 1.87 lakh crore, up 24% YoY
  19. Coverage of national agriculture market will be expanded.
  20. Dairy processing infra fund will be created with corpus of Rs 8,000 crore in 3 yrs
  21. Long term irrigation fund set up in NABARD, additional corpus Rs 20,000 cr
  22. Will support NABARD to digitise 63,000 primary agri co-operatives
  23. 5000 cr worth dedicated micro irrigation fund to be set up by NABARD
  24. Will take steps to make sure farmers get better prices for harvest
  25. Sowing farmers should feel secure against natural calamities
  26. To up crop insurance coverage to 50% in FY19
  27. Will ensure flow of adequate credit to under privileged areas
  28. Committed to double farmer income in five years
  29. Propose to present Budget under 10 district themes
  30. Agriculture expected to grow at 4.1% in the current year
  31. Target for agri credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh crore this year
  32. Overall approach has been to spend more with fiscal prudence
  33. Looking to spend more on rural infrastructure and social spending
  34. Overall approach in Budget has been to spend more in rural areas
  35. Have done away with planned & unplanned allocation
  36. Merger of Rail & General Budget is a historic step
  37. IMF estimates world GDP will grow by 3.4% in 2017
  38. Govt reduces existing tax rate for personal income of Rs 2.5-5 lakh to 5% from 10%

 

Govt proposes Payments Regulatory Board in RBI

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today proposed creation of a six-member Payments Regulatory Boardin the RBI, headed by its Governor, as part of bringing about structural reforms in the payment Eco-system. For the purpose, necessary amendments are proposed in the Finance Bill 2017 to create a Payments Regulatory Board in the Reserve Bank of India by replacing the existing Board for Regulation and Supervision of Payment and Settlement Systems.

 

Rs.10,000 penalty for late filing of IT returns

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made it easier for the small tax-payers, the budget has however proposed a fee for delayed filing of income tax return. If the income tax return is furnished after the due date but on or before the December 31 of the assessment year, there will be a fine of Rs 5,000 imposed. In other cases, there will be an imposition of a fine of Rs 10,000.However, in a case where the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the Budget proposed that the fee amount shall not exceed Rs 1,000.

 

Sunil Mehta has been appointed as the Non Executive Chairman in Punjab National Bank          

According to order issued by Personnel Ministry, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet has cleared his appointment as Non-Executive Chairman for a period of three years. His appointment is subject to a condition that he needs to resign from the board of state Bank of India before joining the new post.

 

RBI increases with drawal amount Rs.50,000 per week

The Reserve Bank of India issued on January 30, 2017 and announced the weekly limit on withdrawal of cash from savings bank accounts will be increased to Rs.50,000 from the current Rs.24,000 from February 20, 2017. The limit will be removed from March 13, till there is no limit on current account and there is a cap of 50,000 for farmers a week and 2.5 lack for marriage.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

SAARC programming committee meeting Held in Kathmandu

The 53rd meeting of SAARC Programming Committee meeting held on 01-02- 2017 and could mark revival of the regional bloc following the postponement of the 19th Summit that was scheduled in Pakistan in November last year after India and some others members expressed their inability to participate. During the two day meeting they will discussions about the budget allocation of five SAARC regional centres, some specialized bodies and their annual programme. It will definitely set appositive tone to reduce tensions between India and Pakistan and for resumption of the SAARC process.

 

Scientists confirm multiple therapeutic properties of Neuro Calyx Calycinus

Neurocalyx Calycinus is a shrub endemic to South West India, found in evergreen forests. Recent researches suggests this plant has wound healing, burn-healing, analgesic, anti-cancer, anti inflammatory, platelet-augmentation and antioxidant effects. The Southern parts of Western Ghats and Sri Lanka could offer scientists the key to new herbal formulations and modern drugs for the treatment of cancers, wounds and burns.

 

Horse Antibodies may effectively treat Ebola

In a first, scientists have developed an effective rapid and economical treatment for the deadly Ebola Virus using antibodies from horses. This is a cost effective treatment that can be used in low-income countries like Africa where equine production facilities are already in operation for producing snake-bite antivenom. The largest recorded outbreak of Ebola Virus occurred primarily in West Africa from 2014 to 2016.

 

Earth like planet “Proxima b” Unlikely to host life

As the search for life beyond Earth, Continues the just discovered Earth-sized planet Proxima b Unlikely to hold like despite it being in the habitable zone or the Goldilocks region of its host star. The reason for the planet not holding any possibility of life is due to the effects of frequent stellar eruptions. This informations was given by NASA scientists who have been investigating the possibility of life on the planet.

 

ISRO creates a World record With 104 Satellites in One go

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 15 February crate a World record in the space arena by sending 104 satellites in a single rocket. In these satellites 96 belongs to Israel, Kajakistan, Netherlands, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates respectively. Three satellites belongs to India, in these CaboSat-2 Weighs 714 kgs, INS-1A and INS – 1B each one weighs with 15kgs.

 

Scientists Are Getting Really Close to a Malaria Vaccine

A new malaria vaccine candidate has proven up to 100 percent effective in clinical trials. The Potential vaccine introduces live malaria parasites into patients paired with medication needed to combat them. The highest dose were 100% protected against the disease for at least after Vaccination.

 

Scientists Create Graphene from Soybeans

A group of Scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) created a strongest material graphene. Graphene is a carbon material that is the atom thick. It is made by soybean. Its this composition and high conductivity, it is used applications ranging from miniaturized electronics to biomedical devices. It was used in computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors, and soon.

 

Scientists discover a Continent Zealandia

A group of scientists have claimed to discover a continent two-thirds the size of Australia beneath the south west Pacific Ocean. The newly proposed continent is about 1.74 million square miles in size and 94 percent submerged. However, the continent protrudes above the ocean surface in the form of New Zealand and New Caledonia.

 

7 New Earth – Like Exoplanets Discovered

Nasa Astronomers have discovered not one, not two, but seven earth sized planets orbiting a star called TRAPPIST-1 and announced the discovery of 60 other potentially habitable planets. Three of them have habitable zone where liquid water can exist on the surface of the rocky planets like Earth. “The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter”, said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate of NASA.

 

7 Tiny New Frogs are Discovered in India

After 5 years of extensive explorations in the Western Ghats in India, researchers have discovered seven tiny new frog species, known as Night Frogs. The Adorable creatures are among the smallest in the World, and four of the new species are tiny enough to fit on a fingernail. Despite only just being discovered, the researchers warn that five of the new species are under direct threat of extinction, and urge environmentalists to set up conservation programmes immediately.

 

NASA may send robotic spacecraft to sun in 2018

The America’s National Aeronautics and space Administration (NASA) plans to send its first robotic spacecraft to the Sun in 2018. The “Solar Probe Plus Mission”, which is going to be NASA’s first spacecraft to the sun, is expected to get within 6 million kilometers of the sun to probe its atmosphere. The Sun is about 149 million kilometers from the Earth.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

 

Ashok Amritraj Appointed as UN in India Goodwill ambassador

Award winning Hollywood film producer and Wimbledon tennis player, Ashok Amritraj has been appointed United Nations in India Goodwill Ambassador for sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mr. Amritraj is first ambassador for UN in India. He was also the former CEO of National Geographic Films. He is responsible to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

 

Alok Verma joined as the new CBI Director

Alok Verma joined as the new CBI Director. As a director he will hold in this post for a period of two years. A three member committee comprising Prime Minister, Chief Justice and opposition leader in the Lok Sabha selected Mr. Alok Verma for this post.

 

Arun Kumar elected as Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India

KPMG India board has elected Arun M Kumar as Chairman and CEO to lead the India operations of the consulting and accounting major. He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who stepped down in November last year following a large scale exodus of Key people from the advisory team. Kumar, who spent the majority of his career with KPMG in the US, will take charge from February 5 for a five-year term.

 

Jovenel Moise Sworn in as Haiti’s new President

Jovenel Moise has been sworn in as Haiti’s new President, opening a new chapter in the country’s history after a long-running political crisis. The 48 year old entrepreneur took the oath of office in a Parliament Chamber packed with Haitian lawmakers and foreign dignitaries from countries including the U.S, Venezuela and France. A business man from northern Haiti, Moise had never run for office until he was hand picked in 2015 to be the Tel Kale Party candidate by Martelly.

 

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo elected as Somalia’s New President

Somalia’s Ex-Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed beat President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a surprise result. The vote was held at the heavily guarded airport complex in the capital Mogadishu, as the rest of the country is too dangerous. Traffic was banned and no-fly zone imposed over the city to prevent attacks by militant Islamists.

 

Hemant Bhargava appointed LIC’s MD

Hemant Bhargava was appointed as LIC’s Managing Director on 10 February, 2017. He is at present worked as LIC’s Zonal Manager, Delhi. The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved Bhargava’s appointment to the post till his superannuation i.e., July 31, 2019. The top LIC management consists of the Chairman and three Managing Director.

 

Govt Appoints Ajay Tyagi As New SEBI Chief

The Govt on 10 February appointed Ajay Tyagi, an additional secretary in the finance ministry, as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Tyagi, who will be the ninth sebi Chairman, will take over U.K.Sinha the second longest serving chief of the capital markets regulator after D.R. Mehta.

 

Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected President of Germany

Frank Walter Steinmeier was elected as the new President of Germany on 12 February 2017 by a Special Parliamentary Assembly. He became the 12th person to hold the post in the post-war era. The special assembly comprised 630 Federal Members of Parliament and unequal number of representatives from Germany’s 16 Federal States.

 

Sandeep Jajodia takes over as ASSOCHAM President

Sandeep Jajodia, CMD of Monnet Ispat Energy Ltd, has taken over as President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM). Similarly Bala Krishan Goenka, Chairman of Welspun Group, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Vice-Chairman of GMR Infrastructure Ltd have taken over as senior Vice-President and Vice President of the ASSOCHAM respectively. It play a leading transformational role both Nationally and Internationally.

 

Narinder Chauhan appointed as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Philippines

Former IAS officer Narinder Chauhan has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of the Philippines on 11 February 2017. Currently Narinder is working as the Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia.

 

Jean-Pierre Lacroix appointed as new UN Peacekeeping Chief

France’s Jean-Pierre Lacroix has been appointed as the Under-Secretary- General for the United Nation’s Peacekeeping Operations. He has been appointed for the period of one year beginning 1 April 2017. In his new position, Jean-Pierre Lacroix will be replacing Herve Ladsous, who will step down in March 2017 after six years of service. The announcement was made by the United Nations New secretary General Antonio Guterres, who took over from Ban Ki-moon on 1 January 2017.

 

Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey as new ICAI President

Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey was appointed as new President of “Institute of Chartered Accountant of India.” (ICAI) for the year 2017-18. Prior to this appointment, he was the Vice President of the CA institute in 2016-17 since 1985.

 

Justice Vikramjit Sen takes charge of DDCA

Justice Vikramjit Sen, former Supreme Court Judge, on 15 February 2017 took charge of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA). He officially took the charge from justice Mukul Mudgal. The association is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)

 

  1. Palaniswami to Be Sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

V.K. Sasikala loyalist Edappadi K.Palaniswami is all set to be the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Governor Vidyasagar Rao invited him today (16 February) to form a government at the earliest. He is expected to take an oath of office at 4.30 pm today and prove his majority with in 15 days.

 

Vikas Swarup as High Commissioner of India to Canada

Vikas Swarup was appointed as the High Commissioner of India to Canada. A decision in this regard was taken by the Union Ministry External Affairs (MEA) on 16 February 2017. At the time of elevation Swarup was working as the spokesperson of the MEA. In his nearly over three-decades long career, he represented India in Various positions.

 

Neelam Damodaran is Bank of India new ED    

The Govt has appointed Neelam Damodaran as Executive Director of Bank of India. His tenor is up to November 30, 2019. Prior to his elevation as ED, Damodaran was General Manager with Bank of Baroda. With this appointment Bank of India now has two E.Ds. R.A Sankara Narayanan has been ED of the bank since May 15, 2015.

 

Nanda Kumar Sai Appointed as Chairman of NCST

BJP veteran and tribal leader from Chhattisgarh, Nanda Kumar Sai, has been appointed as Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST). Sai will take oath on February 28 at New Delhi. A veteran tribal leader, who was state BJP president during undivided Madhya Pradesh, was the first leader of the opposition in the Chhattisgarh assembly after the state was carved out in the year 2000.

 

Trump Appoints HR McMaster as National Security Adviser

The White House announced on 20th February that Lieutenant General H.R. Mcmaster will become new National Security Adviser, replacing Michael Flynn, who was resigned last week. President Trump Announced the Pick at his Palm Beach Club, Mar-a- Lago, saying Mcmaster is a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.

 

Turbohelize Liezietsu as Nagaland New CM     

Nagaland People’s Front (NPF) leader Shurhozelie Liezietsu was on 20 February 20 elected the new legislature party leader of the ruling Democratic Alliance to be the new Nagaland Chief Minister. Shurhozelie was elected after Chief Minister TR Zeliang resigned on 19 February. Shurhozelie has been unanimously elected the legislature party leader of the NPF and as CM.

 

Chandrasekaran takes the Chairmanship of TATA Sons Ltd

Natarajan Chandrasekaran has become the Chairman of TATA Sons Ltd, the holding company of Tata Sons Ltd announced in January, 2017 the appointment of Chandra, who joined the tata Group in 1987 after obtaining a Masters Degree in Computer Applications from the Regional Engineering College Trichy in Tamil Nadu.

 

Abhijit Sarkar appointed Vice President of AHF

Malaysia headquartered Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) has appointed Abhijit Sarkars as Vice President and also the Chief of AHF commercial and TV Committee> He led the group in promoting various sports in India by sponsoring both the Indian National Cricket Teams as well as Indian Hockey Team. Sarkar has served as the Head of Corporate Communications, Corporate Affairs and Relations and the Sports Division at Sahara India Pariwar since 2004.

 

Shilpa Shetty as Swachh Bharat Brand Ambassador

Indian Film actress, producer, former model Shilpa Shetty appointed as the Brand Ambassador for cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission by the Central Govt, It was announced by Director of Swachh Bharat Mission and Urban Development Ministry Joint Secretary Praveen Prakash. Swachh Bharat Mission’s aim is to make India open defecation free by 2019.

 

Former CM TR Zeliang Appointed Finance Advisor To Nagaland Govt

Nagaland State Governor, PB Acharya on 26 February appointed former Chief Minister, TR Zeliang as Finance Advisor to Government of Nagaland in the rank and status of Cabinet Minister with immediate effect. He will be entitled to pay and allowances and all other facilities admissible to a Cabinet Minister. This was stated by Cabinet Secretary Pankaj Kumar.

 

Khursheed A Ganai appointed as CIC of Jammu & Kashmir

Retired IAS Officer Khursheed A Ganai was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Jammu & Kashmir on 27 February 2017. Ganai’s appointment to the post was approved by the state Governor NN Vohra in the exercise of the powers vested under section 12 (3) of Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Act, 2009. His name was recommended to the Governor on 21 February 2017 by a selection panel headed by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

 

Gopal Baglay Appointed External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson

India’s Senior Diplomat Gopal Baglay was appointed as External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson on 27th February, 2017. He was succeeding Vikas Swarup, who was made India’s new High Commissioner to Canada. A 1992-batch officer of Indian Foreign Service, Baglay was handling the sensitive PAI (Pakistan – Afghanistan – Iran) division in the ministry till now.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Alastair Cook steps down as England Test Captain

Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test Captain after a record 59 matches in the role. He was resigned for his captaincy on 5 February. Cook, England’s leading scorer in Tests with 11,057 runs, became the captain in August 2012 and led his country to Ashes glory on home soil in 2013 and 2015 as well as series wins in India and South Africa. He has been the country’s most capped Test Skipper and has scored more test centuries than any previous English captain.

 

US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigns

Michael Flynn has resigned as national security adviser over his contact with Russian Officials before US President Donald Trump took office. His resignation on 14 February followed reports a day earlier that the Department of Justice warned the Trump Administration weeks ago that such communications could leave him in a compromised position.

 

Nagaland CM TR Zeliang resigned

Nagaland CM TR Zeliang resigned as Chief Minister of State on 17 February 2017. He resigned against the backdrop of widespread protests in the state, which was triggered due to Govt’s decision to reserve 33 percent seats for women in urban local bodies. Zeliang resignation was accepted by the Governor PB. Acharya. Asper reports, the governor has asked zeliang to continue till further arrangements were made.

 

BCCI General Manager RP. Shah resigned his post

RP Shah one of the three General Managers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has resigned from his post citing his age reason. Shah was serving as the General Manager (Commercial). The reason is that I am 61-years old. I had taken the decision back in October. There was no pressure or query from the COA.

 

C). DEATHS

 

Veteran Journalist Dileep padgaonkar died at 72

Senior journalist Dileep Padgaonkar died in a Pune hospital on 27 January. A former editor with the Times of India. Padgaonkar had diabetes and Kidney-related problems. He had began his career in journalism at the age of 24 as the Paris correspondent of  The Times of India. He was also the part of a three-member interlocutor’s team selected by the Centre in 2010 to hold talks with people in Jammu & Kashmir.

 

Former Minister E Ahamed Dies After Suffering Cardiac Arrest

Former Union minister and Indian Union Muslim League leader E Ahamed has passed away after he suffered a cardiac arrest. Ahamed was put on life support at the hospital and died at 2.15 am on 01-02-2017.Mr Ahamed, who has served as Minister of State for External Affairs in Dr Manmohan Singh’s government, represented Kerala in the Lok Sabha.

 

Ex-CBI Director Joginder Singh passes away

Former CBI chief Joginder Singh, who oversaw investigation of several high-profile cases including Bofors scam and Bihar’s fodder scam, died on Friday(03-02-2017) aged 77 years. The cremation would be held on 4th Feb at electrical Crematorium, Lodhi Road,New Delhi at 1 pm.

 

Renowned Urdu Author Bano Qudsia Passes away

Renowned Urdu novelist and short story writer Bano Qudsia has died after a protracted illness. Bano Qudsia, 88 was under treatment over the past 10 days at a Lahore hospital. Bano was a writer, playwright and spiritualist. She is best known for her novel Raja Gidh. she was also wrote for television and stage in both Urdu and Punjabi languages.

 

Veteran freedom fighter Racharla Samrajyam passes away       

Racharla Samrajyam, a veteran freedom fighter, passed away on 6 February 2017 following age-related illness at Visakhapatnam. She was 98, She is survived by her only son Saranga Rao. She was inspired by the Quit India Movement at the time when she was undergoing hindi pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942. It was at this point of time, she had quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement. At that time she was arrested in Bezawada and was sent to Raya Vellore Jail for six months.

 

Netaji’s driver Colonel Nizamuddin passes away

Colonel Nizamuddin, former driver and bodyguard of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, passed away on 6th February morning aged 116. Nizamuddin was a member of the Bose’s Azad Hind Fauj during the freedom struggle. Bose Changed his name to Nizamuddin from his original Saifuddin as he was working as secret service agent.

 

Japanese manga legend Jiro Taniguchi dies at 69

Jiro Taniguchi, a legend in Japan’s comic art of manga, died in Tokyo on Saturday (11th February) at the age of 69, leaving behind an international following for his exquisite line drawing of scenes from everyday life. Just over a decade later after starting this art, he hit the International Magna Scene with “A Distant Neighbourhood,” about a Japanese salary man who travels back to his Childhood.

 

Eminent Journalist and Laughter Persona Pandit Dharmsheel Chaturvedi Dies

The Eminent thinker, writer, Journalist Pandit Dharmsheel Chaturvedi passed away on February 11, 2017 in Sir Sundarlal Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. The Hindi Kavi Pt. Dharmsheel Chaturvedi was considered as “Swayan Mein Banaras” means ‘Banaras in Himself’ in elite circle. Pt Dharmasheel Chaturvedi was nicknamed as AKKhad Banarasi’ all over India for being the star at the Hasya Kavita Enthusiasts.

 

Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Mansfield Passes away    

Sir Peter Mansfield received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2003 for advances in using MRI for medical science. The high-tech scan (MRI) allow doctors to see detailed images of the internal organs without the use of X-rays. Sir Peter was shared with Paul Lauterbur, for discoveries concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). He was a Professor at the University of Nottingham. He was passed away on 8 February in London, at 83.

 

Veteran Indian Journalist T.V. Parasuram passes Away

Veteran Journalist T.V. Parasuram, who served for long as the Washington Correspondent to the Indian Express, died on 13 February 2017. Parasuram passed away in his sleep in Bethesda, the family said. He is survived by his wife Anantha Lakshmi, son Ashok Parasuram, and daughter Anitha. Parasuram who won a Harvard Nieman Fellowship in journalism.

 

Former CJI Altamas Kabir passes away

Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir passes away on 19 February at the Kolkata Hospital. In March 2005, Justice Altamas Kabir was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court. After that he was being elevated as a judge in the supreme court in September the same year. Justice Kabir appointed as the CJI on September 29 in 2012. He held the office till July 18, 2013.

 

Celebrated Hindi Novelist Ved Prakash Sharma Passes away

Celebrated Hindi Novelist Ved Prakash Sharma, who was 176 Novels to his credit. The 62-year old was not keeping well for the last few months and had developed some infection and complications which led to his demise. His famous novels which broke many records and added to his popularity included “Qaidi No-100” and “Vardi Wala Gunda” Sharma had also written scripts for about half-a-dozen Hindi Movies.

 

Former Union Minister P.Shiv Shankar passes away

Former Union Minister P.Shiv Shankar Passed away in Hyderabad on February 27, 2017. He was 89. He represented the congress as Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat from 1985 to 1993. He has served as External Affairs and Human Resource Development Minister. He has also served as Law Minister in the Indira Gandhi cabinet in 1980. After some allegations with congress party, in 2008 he was joined in the Praja Rajyam Party floated by actor Chiranjeevi.

 

Nobel Winning Economist Kenneth J.Arrow dies at 95

Nobel winning economist and mathematician Kenneth J. Arrow passed away at his home in Palo Alto, in the San Francisco in USA. He was 95. He was the joint winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics with John Hicks in 1972. To date he is the youngest person ever to have received this award, at the age of 51. He spent most of his career at Stanford University. Five of his former students went on to become Nobel Winners.

 

D). VISITORS

 

Shahabuddin Ahmed invited as in Residence guest

Well Known Painter and Freedom fighter Shahabuddin Ahmed of Bangladesh will be the first foreign artist to live in Rashtrapati Bhavan as a guest of Pranab Mukherjee. The renowned painter will stay as an Artist in- Residence from February 18 to 22. He was a platoon commander who fought in the Liberation War of Bangladesh when he was 21 years old.

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake

India’s first floating elementary school named “Loktak Elementary Floating School” was on 13 February 2017 inaugurated at Langoslabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur. It will provide educations around 40 children from class 1-111 by engaging two local teachers.

 

Indian Panorama Film Festival Organised in Port Blair

The Five-day, Indian Panorama Film Festival got underway on 15 February, with its inauguration by the Chief Secretary, A & N Administration, Mr. Anindo Majumdar at DBRAIT Auditorium in Port Blair. Smt. Rupa Ray Padmashree Awardee, Mr. Naresh Chander Lal, secretary IP, Dr. A.K. Singla IP & T, Mr. Amit Anand were Present on the occasion.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

Khajuraho Dance Festival to be begin in Madhya Pradesh

One of the famous cultural events of India, Khajuraho Festival grabs attention of every traveller in the month of February. Khajuraho Festival is Organized by the”Kala Parishad” under the Madhya Pradesh Government, where by many popular classical dancers from all over India perform. The aim to hold this festival is to promote the cultural, heritage of India.

 

Books in News

 

Salman Rushdie’s novel “The Golden House” announced

The renowned Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled “The Golden House” is slated to release in September 2017. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House. The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House, which acquired the subcontinent rights from the Wylie Agency. Salman Rushdie is a British Indian novelist and essayist.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Norway Nobel Committee Chairwoman Kullmann Dies At 65

Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairwoman, Kaci Kullmann Five, died on February 19, 2017. She was 65, Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible to select the peace Prize Laureates. Former businesswoman of Norway, Kullmann served as trade and shipping minister from 1989-1990. In 2003, Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Novel Committee while was elected Chairwoman in 2015.

 

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 

World Cancer Day 2017: 04 Feb 2017

World Cancer Day (WCD) 2017 was observed across the world on 4 February 2017. The theme for the World Cancer Day 2016-2018 is ‘We can. I can.’ It also aims at saving millions of preventable deaths each year. Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).

 

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The International Day of Women and Girls in science was observed across the globe on 11 February 2017. The day comes as an opportunity for all to take a stand for girls and women in science. Science and gender equality are vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development. In 2016, the UNESCO launched a Manifesto “For Women in Science”, with the L’oreal Foundation.

 

13th February-World Radio Day

World Radio Day was Celebrated across the world on 13 February 2017. The day is observed every year to celebrate radio as the medium of entertainment, the mode of communication and information. Themed “Radio is You”, this year the calls for a greater participation of the both the audiences and communities in the policy and planning of radio broadcasting.

 

International Mother language Day-February 21

The United Nations (UN), International Mother Language Day annually celebrated on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, International Mother Language Day is announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. It was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution Establishing 2008 as the International year of Languages.

 

74th Central Excise Day Celebrated on 24 February

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on 24 February 2017 celebrated the the central Excise Day across the country. To mark occasion, the Central Excise Officers all over the country Organized seminars, workshops, trade interactions and cultural events. The central Excise and salt Act, which was enacted on 24 February 1944.

 

Chandra Shekhar Azad’s martyrdom day observed on 27 February

Chandra Shekhar Azad, the Indian revolutionary freedom fighter was in news on 27 February 2017. He came in news on his 86th martyrdom day. On this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to Chandra Shekhar Azad. Modi said, we can never forget his valour and ultimate sacrifice for our nation.

 

National Science Day 28th February

The Science day is celebrated to honour the Nobel laureate- Sir C.V. Raman for his invention of the Raman Effect on 28th February 1928. For this he got Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1930. Various activities are organized on the day, like debates, quiz competitions, exhibitions and so on. Whole Nation takes honour of thanking all the scientists for their remarkable contributions and dedication on this occasion. The theme of the year 2017 is “Science and Technology for specially abled persons”.

 

 

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JAN 2017 Current Affairs Study Material

 INTERNATIONAL

Trump bans 7 nations from entering US

American President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on January 27,2017  to temporarily  ban visas for refugees for refugees belonging to seven Muslim majority countries namely Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the Nation safe. The ban is not aimed at restricting Muslim countries from entering US.

 

Dragon Ball Z Goku to be 2020 Olympics ambassador

Dragon Ball Z Son Goku has selected as the ambassador of the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, according to reports in Konbini. It has been in the knowing that the next Olympic Games will be held in Japan and the host country has found a good opportunity to show off its culture. Goku is a world renowned character a the Olympic Committee has decided that he is well worth investing in at the biggest sporting event in the world.

 

India ranks sixth on eight great power sin 2017

India is ranked at the sixth sport, behind China and Japan, in a list of eight great powers for the year 2017 by a leading American foreign policy magazine which is topped by the U.S. Where as China and Japan are at tie for being on the second spot. Russia (fourth) and Germany (fifth) are the other two countries ahead on the India. Iran is ranked seventh and Israel is on the eighth spot.

 

Apple named most innovative company 2016

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has named technology giant Apple as the most innovative Company in 2016 in its annual list of the world’s 50 “Most Innovative Companies”. Inter-net search giant Google ranked second, Amazon ranked fifth, Facebook ranked ninth and IBM are BCG’s tenth most innovative company

 

2016 was the hottest year ever recorded – UN

The UN weather agency has said that world witnessed the hottest year on record in 2016, surpassing the exceptionally high temperatures of 2015. The globally average temperature in 2016 was about 1.1 degree celsius higher than the pre-industrial period, according to a consolidated analysis by the World Meteorological Organisation

 

Norway to become first country to switch off FM radio

Norway will shut down FM radio in the country beginning in 2017, Radio-no-reports. The Norwegian Ministry of Culture finalized a shift date this week, making it the first country to do away with FM radio entirely. The country plans to transition to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as a national standard.

 

Donald Trump names Dan Coats as US intelligence Chief

Donald Trump is expected to name retired Indiana Senator Dan Coats to replace James Clapper as Director of National Intelligence. Mr. Coats is a long – time Republican member of congress, having served in the House through the 1980s, the Senate the 1990s, and as US ambassador to Germany during from 2001 to 2005. He returned to the Senate to serve from 2011 to through 2017.

 

2017 International Year of sustainable Tourism for Development – UN

The United Nations (UN) declared 2017 as the International year of sustainable Tourism for Development as the resolution recognizes the importance of International Tourism. This in order to foster better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world.

 

Antonio Guterres takes Charge as UN Secretary- General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres has been sworn  in as Secretary – General of the United Nations, as the ninth UN Chief. Antonio Guterres was formally appointed to the post by the UN General Assembly on October  14, 2016. Guterres took over for a five-year term that can be renewed by member states for an additional five years. He succeeded Banki-moon.

 

China announces ban on ivory trade by end of 2017

China says it will ban all domestic ivory trade ivory market in a move wildlife conservationists believe will help curb elephant poaching in Africa. China is one of the biggest global markets for ivory, where it is used a precious material in Jewelry, furniture, sometimes even in Chinese medicine.

 

INDIA AND WORLD

 

 Bengaluru is Most Dynamic City in the World

The World Economic Forum (WEF)  has endorsed a ranking of Bengaluru City as the most dynamic city in the World, beating United States Silicon Valley. Hyderabad secured the fifth place in the list, a place above London, Pune (13) rose above New York and Paris, Chennai (18) beat San Francisco, Delhi (23) and Mumbai (25) secured a position much above Los Angeles and Stockholm.

 

India Ranked 78th in Global Passport Index

India Ranked low at 78th position on the recently released Global Passport Index 2017 with a visa-free score of 46. Ranking is based on the number of  nations their citizens can visit without a visa or an arrival. Germany ranked No.1 in 2017 Passport Index with a visa-free score of 157 followed by Singapore with visa-free score of 156.

 

India slips to 92nd rank on global talent competitiveness Index

Last year, India came in at the 89th position on the index. India has slipped 3 places to 92nd rank on the Global index of talent competitiveness that measures how countries grow, attract and retain talent, a list topped Switzerland. India’s ranking is worst among the five BRICS countries. While Brazil 81st, Russia Federation was 56th, China was 54th, South Africa at 67th position

 

India, Pak exchange lists of nuclear sites

The agreement on the prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations between India and Pakistan was signed on December 31. Both countries also exchanged lists of nationals (including civilian prisoners and fishermen) of each country lodged in Jails of the other one. This is the 26th consecutive exchange of such lists between the two countries, the first one having taken place on January 1, 1992.

 

NATIONAL

 

India post releases stamp cover on Sindhu, sakshi and Dipa

The Indian Postal Department released a special stamp cover featuring Olympic Medalists PV. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and gymnast Dipa Karmakar in Agartala on 21st January 2017. The special cover is titled “Golden girls of India- pride of Nation” one of the images on the cover also features Dipa’s coach Bishweshwar Nandi, who was awarded the Dronacharya Award.

 

Nation Pays Homage to Netaji on his 120th Birth Anniversary

Today is the 120th Birth Anniversary of an eminent Indian freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose who sacrificed his life for India’s independence. This legendary leader is familiar to Indians and the world as well for his radical actions against the colonial rule. So, the nation is paying tributes to Netaji on his birth anniversary by remembering his accomplishments.

 

India’s First Madame Tussauds Museum in Delhi

London’s Madame Tussauds Museum branch in Delhi unveiled its first wax statue Amitabh Bachchan that stole the hearts of millions. Guests present at the screening put their selfie sticks to good use by clicking pictures with wax models of Big B and Lady Gaga. PM Narendra Modi and “Master Blaster” Sachin Tendulkar, who have already received a great response at the Madame Tussauds in London, will be featured at the Delhi Museum as well.

 

PM Narendra Modi announces Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Pravasi Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PKVY), as skill development program targeted at Indian youth seeking overseas employment. PKVY will provide training and certify Indians who are seeking overseas employment in selected sectors in line with International Standards.

 

Google introduces tools for small business in India

In an effort to tap into the 51 million strong and small, medium businesses in India, online search major Google today launched a brand new tool My Business. Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google who is in the capital for a day made the announcement. He said that the brand new tool has been introduced in India and it would be taken to other countries from here.

 

NPL syncs a Leap Second with Indian Time

An atomic clock at National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in New Delhi added a “leap second” (extra one second) to the Indian Standard Time (IST) at 5:29:59 hours on 1st January 2017 to synchronize with the Earth’s rotational clock. The clock was programmed to add an extra second to the year 2017 in order to compensate for a slow down in the Earth’s rotation.

 

First Laser Technology-Based Check-Post In India

Gujarat CM. Vijay Rupani inaugurating India’s very first laser technology- based advanced Automatic Vehicle Monitoring System (AVMS) equipped inter state RTO check post at Shamlaji of Aravalli District near Gujarat-Rajasthan border. Carrying a heavy cost of Rs.4.72 crore, the check post comes equipped with advanced ray technology. It’s state-of-the-art automatic system is capable of checking overload vehicles and fining them.

 

Pointers on PM’s Speech

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced two housing schemes, tax incentives for small traders, interest rebate for farmers and monetary assistance for pregnant women. In a big relief to house buyers, New schemes under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana were announced. Now get 4% interest relief on home loan up to 9 lakh rupees. And 3% cut for home loan up to 12 lakh rupees.

 

STATES

 

Goa to be first state to offer online postal ballots

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Syed Nasim Zaidi on 24 January said that the Goa will become the first state that will opt for the electronic transmission of postal ballot in the Assembly elections. The returning officers will transfer the postal ballots to service voters by electronic means. So, the voters can download it, fill it and sent it via-e-mail to returning officer. This would be the first in the region and around the globe

 

TN assembly Unanimously passes Jallikattu Bill

The Tamil Nadu assembly on 23 January, 2017 passed a bill that replaces an Ordinance and realizes Jallikattu, the bull taming sport, in the state. The Bill was earlies was tabled in the assembly for approval. Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao on Saturday (23, Jan) approved the Ordinance issued by the State Government revoking ban on Jallikattu. So, the Bill passed Unanimously in TN Assembly.

 

National Anthem in Gujarat set New World Record

More than 3.5 lakh people in Gujarat’s Rajkot district set a new world record by singing the national anthem at the event. The occasion was installation of idol of goddess Khodiyar at a newly built Khodal Dham Temple in the town, Over 3.5 lakh people sang the anthem together at the idol installation ritual in the presence of observers from Guinness World Records.

 

Dharamshala declared as second capital of Himachal Pradesh

The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Virbhadra Singh has declared Dharamshala the second capital of the state. Situated in the snow-capped Dhauladhar range. Dharamshala will serve as the state’s winter capital, Singh said that the city fully deserved the status because of its history and significance.

 

Bengal’s Sitalpati gets UNESCO recognition

“Sitalpati” Cooch Behar district West Bengal has been recognized as an ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Weaving sitalpati mats is an age-old cultural tradition of cooch Behar region. It consists of weaving together the green cane slips of the Murat plants, indigenous to the region. Through this the State Govt is acting as a facilitator between the artistes and their crafts.

 

Kozhikode becomes 1st Elderly-Friendly Corporation in Kerala

Kozhikode Corporation was declared as the first Elderly-Friendly corporation in Kerala. The Kozhikode corporation, state Govt has planned to set up senior citizen’s club, Day care centers as a part of Vayomithram project for the elderly friendly status, the corporation has begun to collect basic details of all the senior citizens in the city through  its 543 Anganwadi centers.

 

TN Govt launched mobile app “Pinakini” for Tourism

For the benefit of both domestic and international tourists, Tamil Nadu Tourism Department has launched a mobile app “Pinakini” with information on tourism in Tamil Nadu with audio facilities. The app in two languages Tamil and English which covers world heritage tourist sites like Mamallapuram,Thanjavur Big Temple, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram.

 

Kerala launched its First Solar Powered Boat Aditya

The country’s first solar ferry boat “Aditya” was launched in the 2.5 km Vaikom-Tavanakkadava sector on 12th January 2017 to replace the existing fleet of diesel boats with solar- powered ones. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the first “Solar-Powered Boat” of the state water transport department, Aditya on January 12, 2017 at a function held in Vaikom Boat Jetty in Kerala. Piyush Goyal, Minister of state with independent charge for New & Renewable Energy, Solar Powered boat was the Chief Guest.

 

Telangana state celebrated 6 days International Kites Festival from 12th of January

Hyderabad and two other Telangana districts participated in this second International Kite Festival. Telangana Tourism conducted this festival to create awareness on education and empowerment of girl children. From 17 countries with 70 international and 40 national kite flyers participated and a special night-flying event is also planned at People’s Plaza as a per-festival event.

 

PM Modi inaugurates Nobel Prize exhibition in Gujarat

‘The Nobel Prize: Ideas Changing the World’ a free exhibition was inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It exhibited the artifacts of Alfred Nobel and several Nobel Laureates. This exhibition is open till 13th February of 2017.

 

Haryana to  set up “Prarambh School for Teachers Education”

Haryana has started state level “Prarambh School For Teachers Education. It would be set up at village Silani in district Jhajjar over an area of 10 acres. Mr. Manohar Lal Haryana Chief Minister presided over the first meeting of the Governing Body of Prarambh School For Teachers Education.

 

Ninth edition of Jaipur International Film Festival

The ninth edition of Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) began in Jaipur in the presence of renowned filmmakers. This edition of the festival will witness participation by 250 filmmakers and artists. Jaipur International Film Festival (JIFF) became expanding establishing in organizing world film festival every year in Rajasthan.

 

Island Tourism Festival 2017 begins in Andaman and Nicobar

The Island Tourism Festival was begun on 6 January at port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Lieutenant Governor Jagdish Mukhi was inaugurated the Mega Event at ITF Ground. During the 10-day event, performances by the cultural troupes from main land will help  the Islands renew their cultural ties with mainland India.

 

Govt launches Swachh Bharat Survekshan 2017 in 500 cities

Union Ministry of Urban Development, headed by M. Venkaiah  Naidu, launched Swachh Survekshan 2017 to evaluate and rank 500 cities across the country on cleanliness. The cities surveyed under this will have a population of  1 lakh and above. It will be conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in order to encourage competition to improve sanitation.

 

Delhi registers India’s highest per capita income

National capital Delhi has registered the highest per capita income among all states and union territories of the country, during 2015-16 at about Rs.2,80,000. Delhi’s per capita income is over three times the national average (Rs.93,293). It is followed by Chandigarh and Sikkim with per capita incomes of Rs.2,42,386 and Rs. 2,27,465 respectively.

 

A.P Govt launches NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme

Andhra Pradesh Government has launched NTR Arogya Raksha Scheme. It is intended to provide health insurance cover to every individual in a family on payment of a monthly premium of Rs.100 per head of a year. It was launched by AP’s CM N. Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada. The new health scheme offering medical insurance to those who were not covered under any of the existing health schemes of the state government.

 

PM Modi inaugurate Indian Science Congress at Tirupati

Tomorrow’s experts will come from investments we make today in our people and infrastructure. Science must meet the rising aspirations of our people. The Nation will always be grateful to the scientists who have worked tirelessly to empower our society. By 2030 India will be among the top three countries in Science & Technology. The brightest and best in every corner of  India should have the opportunity to excel in Science.

 

Mori in Andhra Pradesh gets Smart Digital Village tag

Mori, a tiny village under the Sakhinetipalli mandal in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh now sealed its place on India’s digital map by transforming completely into a Smart Digital Village, in every sense of the term.  All the 1189 households in the village with a  population of 4500 became fully digital as CM.N. Chandrababu Naidu finally launched the AP Fibre Net Project that will provide internet at a speed of 150 mbps, WiFi, a telephone connection and 250 cable television channels for a total of price of Rs. Rs.149 per month.

 

Sikkim became India’s First Fully Organic State in 2016

Sikkim has become India’s first fully organic state by converting around 75,000 hectares of agricultural land in sustainable cultivation. We have achieved fully-organic status in the end of December. PM Narendra Modi will formally announce that at a sustainable agricultural conference in Gangtok on 18 January, Sikkim Organic Mission’s executive director Dr. Anbalagan told it.

 

CONFERENCES

 

PM Modi Inaugurated Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017

8th Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2017 inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi at Gandhinagar Various Countries Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers deputy Prime Ministers and CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies Participated in this Summit.

 

The 20th National Conference on e-Governance began in Visakhapatnam

The 20th National Conference on e-Governance began in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The theme of this years conference is “Internet of Things and e-Governance” and newly evolving areas of e-Governance would be discussed ever five plenary sessions.

 

International Conference on Yoga for Diabetes

On 4 January 2017, International Conference on “Yoga for Diabetes” was Organised at New Delhi. The three day conference was inaugurated by Minister of State for Ayush, Shripad Yesso Naik. The Conference aims to generate discussions on the role of Yoga in the prevention and  management of Diabetes and to draw up a road map  to be adopted for the control of Diabetes through Yoga.

 

14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention begins in Bengaluru

The 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) convention began in Bengaluru on 7th January. The three-day event kick started with youth PBD, the theme of which is “Role of Diaspora Youth” in the Transformation of India. The PBD convention is a very important platform for engagement of the central and state governments with the Overseas  Indian Community. PM. Modi inaugurated PBD with the Chief guest of the event, PM of Portugal Dr. Antonio Costa.

 

AWARDS AND HONOURS

 

Donald Trump Sworn in as 45th us President

Donald Trump has taken over as the 45th President of the United States, putting Republicans in control of the White House for the first time in eight years. Mr. Trump was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts, reciting the  35-word oath with his hand placed upon two Bibles, one used by his family and the an other in former President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. He reigns the power from Barack Obama.

 

Filmfare Awards 2017: Dangal, Aamir Khan, Alia Bhatt bag top honours

Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt bagged the Best Actor and Best Actress in a leading Role respectively and ‘Dangal’ swept away three of the top four awards at the 62nd Jio-Filmfare Awards 2017. The ceremony was held on saturday (14-1-2017) night in Worli Mumbai and was hosted by Karan Johar, Shah Rukh Khan and Kapil Sharma. After a long span of  19 years, all three Khans competed for the Best Actor category this time and Aamir, with his “Dangal” gained the upper hand.

 

Amitabh Bachchan get US Embassy award for fighting TB

India’s most lovable and legendary actor of Bollywood was honored by US Embassy award. US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma awarded megastar of India, Amitabh Bachchan for his invaluable contributions to US-India partnership on tuberculosis.

 

Shradha, Ghyan Sham Kumar Devansh Chosen for 2016 Jnanpith Awards

Two new Hindi writers Shradha, Ghyansham  Kumar Devansh have been Chosen for Bharatiya Jnanpith Navlekhan Award for the year -2016. Shradha was chosen for her story “Hawa Mein Phad Phadati Chitti” and Devansh for  his poem “Akash Mein Deh”. They were unanimously chosen by a selection panel chaired by eminent poet Vishnu Nagar.

 

British – Indian Professor receives “Knighthood” from Queen

Shankar Balasubramanian, an Indian – Origin British Professor of Chemistry, has received a Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth-II for his contribution to the field of science and medicine. Herchel Smith Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Cambridge University, has been recognized for his work as a co-inventor of “Next Generation DNA” sequencing, described as the most transformational advance in biology and medicine for decades. His work has spawned an entirely new, discipline of “Bioinformatics”.

 

SPORTS AND GAMES

 

Former CAG Chief Vinod Rai appointed as BCCI Chief

The Supreme Court on 30 January appointed a committee of four administrators headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai to manage the affairs of World’s richest cricket body BCCI after its president and other top office bearers were barred from cricket administration. Rai as BCCI Chief, along with noted historian Ramachandra Guha and IDFC MD & CEO Vikram Limaye as administrator of the sport body.

 

Serena Williams wins Australian Open for 23rd Grand Slam

Serena Williams rewrote history on 28 January to surpass Steffi Graf and capture a record 23rd grand slam title as well as the World No-1 rankings by beating her sister Venus Williams in the Australian Open final. Serena, 35, who equalled Graf’s mark of 22 at Wimbledon last year, now stands just one behind the all time 24 won by Margaret, who was in the president’s box to witness her feat.

 

Roger Federer Wins Australian Open

Remarkable Roger Federer own his 18th Grand Slam title by beating Rafael Nadal in a battle royal at the Australian Open. In front of an adoring crowd Down Under, the 35- year old Swiss superstar become the second oldest man to win a major title by beating his old foe 6-4,, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in three hours and 38 minutes.

 

Usain Bolt loses an Olympic Gold Medal

Usain Bolt has been stripped of one of his nine Olympic gold medals because of a doping offence committed by his teammate Nesta Carter. The Jamaican no longer owns the hallowed “Tripple Tripple” of Olympic sprint titles after being told to hand back the 100 m relay gold medal won at Beijing 2008 alongside Carter. Bolt has realized this was a possibility after if emerged last June that carter had retrospectively failed a drugs test from the Beijing Games nine years ago.

 

Gujarat Beat Mumbai by 5 Wickets To Win Ranji Trophy

Gujarat lifted the Ranji Trophy title for the first time by beating 41-time champions Mumbai by 5 Wickets in Indore on Saturday (14-1-2017). Chasing a daunting 312 run target, Gujarat Skipper Parthiv Patel (143) led from the front with a fluent century. He was supported by Manpreet Juneja, who scored 54 runs. Gujarat recorded the highest-ever run chase in Ranji Trophy history with the win, and became the 17th team in the country to get their hands on the trophy.

 

Ranieri named as FIFA coach of the year 2016

Leicester city boss Claudio Ranieri has been named as the Coach of the year at the FiFA Foot ball awards in Zurich. The Italian was up against Fernando Santos, who led Portugal to Euro 2016 glory in the summer, and Zinedine Zidane, who guided Real Madrid to the Champions League title last season. Ranieri was presented with the award by Diego Maradona.

 

Virat Kohli Named ODI, T-20 captain

Virat Kohli has been appointed the captain for team India’s T-20 internationals and ODIS. The announcement was made after the selection committee meeting in Mumbai. Chief selector MSK. Prasad added that even though MS Dhoni has stepped down as the captain of these formats. He will still be a part of the limited overs team.

 

Satish Kumar Clinches Sixth consecutive gold

Rio Olympian Sivalingam Sathish Kumar from Railways won the Gold, for the sixth consecutive year, in the mens 69th men’s and 32nd women’s senior National Weightlifting Championship, at the Ponjesly College of Engineering. Sathish Kumar lifted a total of 317 kg (141-snatch and 176 – clean & Jerk) while Ajay Singh from services won the gold in the clean & Jerk category by lifting 177 kg and 137 kg in the snatch category and finished second with a total of 314 kg.

 

Nadal wins Mubadala Tennis Championships

Spanish tennis veteran Rafael Nadal defeated Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 to win the Mubadala World Tennis Champion Ships- 2016 in Abu Dhabi. Nadal received his trophy from Sheikh Nahyan bin zayed al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi sports council.

 

ECONOMY

 

India GDP growth to slow to 7.1% in FY 17

India’s economic growth is likely to decelerate to 7.1% from 7.6 the previous year, chiefly due to an industrial slowdown, the government said on January 6th sidestepping the possible impact of demonetization. Per capita net national income during 2016-17 estimated to be Rs.1,03,077, rise of 10.4% as compared to Rs. 93,293 during 2015-16 with the growth rate of 7.6%.

 

NRIs can exchange defunct notes up to June 30: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to exchange defunctioned Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes till June 30, 2017. This facility will be available through RBI offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Nagpur. Resident Indian citizens who failed to deposit old notes and were abroad between November 9 and December 30, 2016 can avail themselves of this facility up to March 31st, 2017.

 

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

 

Two NASA missions to study early Solar system

NASA has announced two ambitious missions that will look towards asteroids to unlock some of the secrets of the formation of the solar system. The new Discovery missions Lucy and Psyche are expected to launch early next decade. These missions will study such objects which are relics left over from the early beginnings of the solar system, providing new clues as to how planets and other bodies formed.

 

Astronomers discover powerful cosmic double Whammy

Astronomers have discovered a cosmic one-two- punch unlike any ever seen before. Two of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe, A supermassive black hole, and the collision of giant galaxy clusters, have combined to create a stupendous cosmic particle accelerator. This double Whammy is found in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412 located about two billion light years from earth.

 

Agni-IV Missile Successfully test fired

The flight- trial of India’s long range, strategic ballistic missile, Agni-IV, on Monday from a road – mobile launcher on Abdul Kalam Island, off odisha coast, was a grand success. Agni-IV is a two stage, surface to surface missile that can travel 4,000 km and can carry a nuclear warhead weighing one tonne. Agni-V has a range more than 5000 km. The Strategic Forces Command of the Army fired the Agni – IV.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

  1. APPOINTMENTS

 

President appoints Banwarilal as Governor of Meghalaya

President Pranab Mukherjee has given Governor of Assam Banwarilal purohit  additional charge of Meghalaya. There appointments come after President accepted the resignation of V. Shanmuganathan, as Governor of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. President also gave Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya additional charge of Arunachal Pradesh. Banwarilal purohit was appointed as the Governor of Assam by President in August 2016.

 

A.K. Verma Appointed as New CBI Chief

Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Kumar Verma was appointed as director of CBI on 19January 2017. Verma’s name was cleared by a three-member selection panel headed by PM Narendra Modi and Comprising  Chief Justice of India J.S. Kehar and Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Mallikharjuna Kharge as members. At present Gujarat-Cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana is the acting director of CBI

 

RBI Appoints  Surekha Marandi as executive director

The Reserve bank of India has appointed Surekha Marandi as its Executive Director (ED) in place of U.S Paliwal, who retired on December 31, 2016. She has also served as on the Boards of United Bank and Bank of Baroda. Prior to being promoted as ED, Marandi was Principal Chief General Manager and Chief Vigilance Officer in the Reserve Bank of India.

 

Justice Jagadish Singh Kehar sworn is an CJI

Justice Jagadish Singh Kehar was sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on 4th January 2017 by President Pranab Mukherjee. He took his oath at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi. Kehar succeeded T.S. Thakur as the 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI). Justice Thakur as the 44th Chief Justice of India (CJI). Justice Thakur had formally recommended Justice Khehar;s name for the post on December 6. He will serve as the 44th CJI for eight months till he retires on August 27.

 

David R Syiemlieh appointed as new UPSC Chairman

President Pranab Mukherjee on 2 January 2017 appointed professor David R Syiemlieh as the Chairman of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Syiemlieh will take over the position with effect from 4 January 2017 till completion of his term as member on January 21, 2018. Syiemlieh, who is serving as the Member of UPSC, was succeeded Alka Sirohi, a former IAS officer of the Madhya Pradesh Cadre.

 

Sunil Lanba appointed as Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee

Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba took over the boton of the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) from outgoing IAF Chief Marshal Arup Raha at a ceremony on thursday. 58 year-old Lanba, a specialist in Navigation and direction, will have the full three – year tenure as the Navy Chief. He was succeeded Admiral R.K.Dhowan who retired.

 

Birender Singh Dhanoa takes charge as new Air Force Chief

Air marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa took charge as the next Air Force Chief.Arup Raha retired from Indian Air Force Chief Position on saturday. AIR Force Chief Arup Raha inspected guard of honour on his last day in office. Prior to this appointment Birender was Vice-Chief of IAF.

 

Bipin Rawat takes over as Army Chief

General Bipin Rawat has taken charge as the new “Chief of Army Staff”. General Rawat has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas, and various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades. He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LOC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the North-East.

 

Justice Saqib Nisar appointed as Chief Justice of Pak

Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was appointed as the 25th Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) on 31st December, 2016. Nisar has replaced Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, who retired on December 30. After serving as the Chief Justice for 15 months since his appointment in September 2015. President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath to Justice Nisar during a ceremony held at President’s House in Islamabad.

 

  1. RESIGNS

 

19 year old Yana Kudryavtseva, 13 times world champion in gymnastics retired

Yana Kudryavtseva won 13 world championships from 2013 to 2015 and won silver in 2016 Rio – Olympics. Due to severe damage to her feet retired at an early age of 19.

 

Britain Ambassador to Europe Union Quits

Britain’s Ambassador to the European Union Sir Ivan Rogers dealt a blow to the UK’s Brexit  negotiations by quitting and urging his fellow British Civil Servants in Brussels to assert their independence by challenging ill founded arguments and mudded thinking. The U.K’s ambassador to the European Union Ivan Rogers has resigned from his post.

 

  1. DEATHS

 

Holly Wood legend actor John Hurt dies at 77

Holly Wood Iconic actor John Hurt died on 27 January at the age of 77 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was renown for his performances in The Elephant Man, Alien and Midnight Express but is best known to this generation as Mr. Ollivander, the beloved wandmaker from the Harry Potter film franchise His character first appeared in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and he reprised the role again in 2010 for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part one, and the movies second part in 2011.

 

National award – winning filmmaker Deepak Roy dead at 67

The National Award Winning filmmaker Deepak Roy died at the age of 67. The acclaimed film maker made a movie named “Limit to Freedom”, which got him national award in 1996. Roy began his career as a Film Critics in 1974 and moved on to direction in 1982. He has a production house named “Angik Films”. He has been known for making more than 90 short films all produced his own banner. He was died by suffering cardiac arrest.

 

Padmashree awardee K. M. Philip passes away

A whole time director of MRF Ltd K. M. Phillip passed away. He was an active member of the YMCA and brought prestige to the organization as the first Asian to be elected as the president of the world alliance of YMCAs with its head quarters in Geneva. He was honored with the award Padmashree.

 

Iran Former President Rafsanjani died

Iran Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died due to heart attack at the age of 82. From 1989 to 1997 he served two terms as Iran’s President.

 

Former West Bengal Minister Saral Deb Passes away

Veteran All India Forward Bloc leader and former West Bengal Minister Saral Deb passed away following a prolonged illness. He was 82. He was a six-time state legislator, winning from Barasat constituency of North 24 parganas district. Deb was the state Library Minister from 1977 to 1982 and held Cooperative portfolio from 1982 to 1987.

 

Veteran Actor Om Puri Passes away

Veteran Actor Om Puri, who gave countless memorable performances in movies of diverse genres, died at his residence on January 6th morning after a massive heart attack. He was 66. From Bollywood to Hollywood, from independent to art films, the noted actor known for his versatility, gave several acclaimed  performances. He was awarded the Padma Shri, the country’s highest civilian award, in 1990.

 

Former Union Minister Balasaheb Vikhe Patil passes away

Former Union Minister and congress leader EKnath Rao alias ‘Balasaheb’ Vikhe Patil passed away at his residence in Loni village Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra on Friday evening. Following prolonged illness, his family said. He was 84. Leaving the congress to join Shiv Sena briefly, he served as Minister of State for Finance and later as Minister for Heavy Industries in then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s government.

 

  1. MISCELLANEOUS

 

Union Govt launches mobile app for Haj Piligrimage

Kerala opened first transgender school in India. “Sahaj International” in Kochi will serve as a skill development centre to transgender school dropouts. They were trained under the National Open School System. The country’s first transgender school will also guide students with examinations equivalent to class X and XII. The school will have boarding facility. It will provide opportunities for soft skill training and organic farming.

 

BHIM becomes the most popular Android app in India

Just days after launch, government’s on line Payments app BHIM (Bharat Interface for Mobile) has become the most popular Android app in India. The app is topping the charts on Google’s play store in India with a rating of 4.1. PM Modi launched the BHIM app last week at an event in New Delhi. The app is based on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and common across all banks and financial institutions.

 

Amazon wins patent to launch Drone Deliveries

E-Commerce leader Amazon. Com (AMZN) has been awarded a US-patent for a flying warehouse that would act as a launch pad for its drones that the company plans to use to deliver certain products to customers doorsteps. It says it will use UAV or “Unmanned  aerial Vehicles” (drones) to deliver items from airborne fulfillment centers, or AFCs to customers. When an order is placed, a drone or UAV will fly down and deliver the parcels

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

DU becomes first public Versity with ‘monumental’ flag

Delhi University is set to host its first monumental flag. Even months after all Central University Vice Chancellor resolved to install the National Flag “Prominently and Proudly” on their campuses. According to Flag Foundation of India, DU is the First Public University in the country to get a monumental flagpole.

 

China to build world’s highest altitude Telescopes in Tibet

China is setting up the World’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet Prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India with a budget of $ 18.8 million to detect faintest echoes resonating from the universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang Theory.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

Miss France Iris Mittenaere Crowned Miss Universe 2016

Miss Universe 2016 Iris Myttenaere is the second crowned queen from France after 64 years. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach the French beauty at the Mall of Asia Arena in pasay city before 20,000 people all over the world. The 23 year old model Iris turned beauty queen is pursuing her Dental Surgery degree in the last five years. She had always been fond of extreme sports, travelling the world and cooking new French dishes.

 

BOOKS IN NEWS

 

Former wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat’s biography released

Former wrestler and coach Mahavir Singh Phogat made his way to the launch of his authorized biography ‘Akhada’ in Chandigarh . Sports journalist Saurabh Duggal released the biography.

 

Book titled “The people’s president : Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam released

Vice President Hamid Ansari on 4th January 2017 released a book titled. The People’s President: Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. The book was released at a function in New Delhi which has attended Union Minister for Finance and Corporate, Arun Jaitley National and International tours by the great president Kalams.

 

DAYS AND DATES

 

National Immunization Day-29 January

The National Immunization Day was observed on January 29, 2017 to spread awareness about eradicating polio. As a part of the President Pranab Mukherjee launched the pulse polio programme on January 28, 2017 by administering polio drops to children aged below five years at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Around 17 crore Children of less than five years across the country will be given polio drops on this day.

 

India Celebrates its 68 Republic Day

India is Celebrating its 68th Republic Day on 26 January 2017. The Celebrations were began with president hoisting the Indian Flag. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan the Chief Guest at the annual parade in New Delhi. The theme of 2017 Republic Day is “Skill India and Beti Bachao Beti Padhao”. Every year this day is celebrated on January 26, as it was on this day that the Constitution of India came into force in the year 1950.

 

National Girl Child Day Observed on 24 January

National on 24 January 2016 observed the 9th National Girl Child Day. It is celebrated to spread awareness about the inequalities faced by the girl child in the country. It is observed on 24 January every year. It was initiated by the Govt in 2008. Union Ministry of Women and Child Development has been taking different initiatives to address and reverse the trend of declining sex ratio in the country.

 

69th Army Day – 15th January 2017

69th Army Day is being observed today (15-01-2017) The day marks the taking over of the Indian Army by the First Indian Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal KM Cariappa, on January 15, 1948. He took over the reigns of the Army from Lieutenant General sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in- Chief and became the first Commander-in-chief of the independent India.

 

January 12: National Youth Day

The Birth anniversary of social reformer, philosopher and thinker Swami Vivekananda celebrated as National Youth Day. Every year on January 12 to mark as the National Youth Day. Observance of the day seeks to Vivekananda for which he lived and worked. It will also help and act as a great source of inspiration for the Indian Youth.

 

January 10th celebrated as 11th World Hindi Day

Hindi, the Indo-Aryan language is growing in a rapid pace and World Hindi Day is not only celebrated in India, across the world it is celebrating. 11th world Hindi Day is observed on 10th January 2017.

 

Birth Anniversary of Savitribai Phule- 3 January

Hailed as the country’s first woman teacher, Savitribai Phule was a social worker and a poet. Born on January 3, 1831 in Maharashtra’s Naigaon. 2017 marks her 186th birth year. Savitribai Phule was credited with laying the foundation of education opportunities for women in India and played a major role in improving women’s rights in the country during the British Raj. Many of her poems were against discrimination and spoke about the need to get educated. She campaigned against untouchability, sati tradition, child marriage and other social evils most of her life.

 

 

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Dec 2016 Current Affairs Study Material

INTERNATIONAL

Japan successfully launches solid fuel rocket

Japan’s space agency has announced successfully launched a 26- meter long rocket named Epsilon-2, which put a satellite that helps study radiation belts in orbit. Epsilon – 2 is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets, which can reduce launch costs up to one – third reduction in cost can allow countries to put more communications and weather satellites in space.

India surpasses Britain to become world’s sixth largest economy: Forbes magazine

India has now surpassed its former colonial master, the united kingdom, making it self the sixth largest economy in the world. For the first time in more than 100 years, India has achieved this feat. The US, China, Japan, Germany and France make up the top five economies of the world.This advancement is primarily because of the rapid economic growth of India and Brexit fiasco

Ukraine Nationalized Nations largest private Bank “Privat Bank”

Privat Bank,  Ukraine’s largest private bank, is being nationalized to protect country’s financial system and preserve an essential bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund. It was running out of money because of the recession in Ukraine and questionable loans. The central bank said 97% of its corporate loans had been made to companies to its share holders.

Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle crowned Miss World 2016

Puerto Rico’s 19-year-old Stephanie Del Valle has been crowned as the Miss World 2016 at an event held in Maryland, US. Miss Dominican Republic Yaritza Miguelina Reyes Ramirez was the first runner-up. Notably, Valle is the second Puerto Rican to hold the title after Wilnelia Merced won it in 1975. India’s Priyadarshini Chatterjee also reached the top 20.

China opens first fully-owned satellite ground station near North Pole

China has launched its first fully-owned overseas satellite ground station near the North Pole enabling it to collect satellite data anywhere on the Earth at fastest speed in the world. It is formally known as China Remote Sensing Satellite North Pole Ground Station. It is located about 200 kms north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.

Indian-American woman elected as Mayor of Californian city

For the first time, an Indian-American woman has been elected as the new Mayor of the key Californian city of Cupertino, globally known for its Apple headquarters. Savita Vaidhyanathan, an MBA who worked as a high school Math teacher and an officer in a commercial bank as well as in non-profit management.

Rio Gets UNESCO World Heritage Status

The  Marvelous City or Rio de Janeiro officially has entered into the UN’s list of world heritage sites. The UN cultural body, UNESCO given this status to Rio to highlighted the “extraordinary fusion” of man-made and natural beauty.

India becomes world’s 4th largest defense spender

India has outshone Russia, France, Japan and Saudi Arabia in the defense budget and has become world’s 4th largest defense spender . With an expenditure of over 3 lakh core in 2016, India is now behind the US, China and the UK. Furthermore, by 2018 India will surpass the UK.

Sushma Swaraj, Vineet Nayar in FP’s Global Thinkers 2016 list

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and philanthropist couple Anupama and Vineet Nayar are among the Indians who have been named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 List compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine. Swaraj was named in the ‘Decision-makers’ category along with the Democratic nominee for US President Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch among others.

Viola Desmond becomes first Canadian woman to appear on banknote

Viola Desmond will appear on the Canadian $10 bill – replacing the nation’s first prime minister John A Macdonald who will be moved to a higher bill – when new banknotes go into circulation in 2018, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on Thursday morning.

China launches advanced weather satellite Fengyun-4

China has launched the first of its new generation weather satellites Fengyun-4.
The New technology on the satellite will improve the accuracy of weather forecasts just in time for the winter season.It was China’s First second-generation weather satellites launched as well as the country’s first quantitative remote-sensing satellite in the geostationary orbit.

Donald Trump is Time magazine’s Person of the Year

Donald Trump, the US President-elect who bitterly divided his nation by running a campiagn that close to half the US considered racist and sexist, has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year.Time magazine named President-elect Donald Trump its Person of the Year. Time editor Nancy Gibbs said on the programme that Democrat Hillary Clinton was the No. 2 finalist.The Time cover reads, “Donald Trump — President of the Divided States of America” and the cover image features a photograph of the President-elect sitting in his private residence at Trump Tower.

BRICS nations to share tax information automatically to eliminate tax evasion

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries have agreed to share tax information automatically as per their commitment to ensure the fairness of the international tax system. Decion in this regard was taken at the meeting of Heads of Revenue of BRICS Countries in Mumbai, Maharashtra.BRICS members will exchange tax information, both on request and on automatic basis, and to adopt global standards on tax transparency.They also reiterated their endorsement for global Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) on a reciprocal basis to prevent cross-border tax evasion.

Crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn becomes Thailand’s new king

Thailand named its crown prince Maha Vajiralongkorn as its new king on 1 December 2016, 50 days after the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadei. Dressed in white, prince Vajiralongkorn ascended the throne and accepted his new responsibilities at the invitation of the National Legislative Assembly’s (NLA) President in his Bangkok Palace amidst the whole of Thai media.

Mercosur revokes membership of Venezuela

The South American economic bloc Mercosur has suspended Venezuela from it for violating the bloc’s democratic principles and failing to meet its basic standards. The membership was revoked by the Foreign Ministers of the four founding members of Mercosur — Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.

UAE-based Indian girl Kehkashan Basu wins 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize

UAE based Indian environmental activist Kehkashan Basu (16) has won 2016 prestigious International Children’s Peace Prize. She was bestowed with this prestigious award for her fight for climate justice and combating environmental degradation. She was presented with the award by Bangladesh’s Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus at a glittering ceremony held in The Hague, Netherlands.

UNESCO includes Yoga in Intangible Cultural Heritage list

Yoga, India’s one of the ancient practices to keep oneself healthy, has been inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It was inscribed on the list during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The declaration describing Yoga as a Human Treasure got unanimous support of the 24 members of the Committee.

Pak-China start direct rail and freight service

China and Pakistan have launched a direct rail and sea freight service with the first cargo train departing from China’s southwestern Yunnan province. The service was launched with the first cargo train loaded with 500 tonnes of commodities left Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, an inland province in south-west China departed for Karachi, state-run Xinhua.

INDIA AND WORLD

India tops Asia’s innovation chart Index

India has Topped the Asia’s innovation chart Index.The ‘Silicon Valley’ of the east, Bengaluru, which is 5th largest hub at global level, saw most of the innovations in 2016 including opening of 3 new centres between March and October 2016, apart from setting up of startup accelerator by Apple.

Priyanka appointed UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador

Priyanka Chopra has been announced as the UNICEF Global Goodwill Ambassador to promote child rights at the UNICEF 70th anniversary event.  She was presented as the ambassador by former footballer David Beckham and actress Millie Bobby Brown.

India, Indonesia sign three agreements

India and Indonesia have signed three agreements following delegation-level talks headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo on 12th December.

  1. MoU on Youth and Sports Cooperation.
    2. MoU on Standardization Cooperation between the Bureau of Indian Standards and the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.
    3. Joint Communique on the Voluntary International Cooperation to Combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and to promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance between the Union Government and the Government of Indonesia.

India, Vietnam sign Civil Nuclear deal, three other agreements

India and Vietnam have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. With this, Vietnam became 14th country with which India has signed the civil nuclear deal.
The MoU in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was signed by Sekhar Basu, Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy and Pham Cong Tac, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in New Delhi.The two countries also signed three other agreements in the fields of energy, aviation and government cooperation.

Molinari Rail to set up manufacturing unit in India

Swiss major Molinari Rail will set up a manufacturing and assembly centre for auxiliary power units for diesel locomotives in India by next year. Molinari Rail AG has entered into a strategic pact to design, manufacture and deliver the auxiliary power units (APUs) for 1,000 diesel locomotives to be built in India for Indian Railways.

India, Bhutan signs agreement on trade for better bilateral relations

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Bhutan’s Economic Affairs Minister Tengye Lyonpo Lekey Dorji signed the agreement in New Delhi. The first agreement on trade and commerce between both countries was signed in 1972.

India, Vietnam sign Civil Nuclear deal, three other agreements

India and Vietnam have signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement. With this, Vietnam became 14th country with which India has signed the civil nuclear deal. The MoU in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy was signed by Sekhar Basu, Secretary of Department of Atomic Energy and Pham Cong Tac, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Science and Technology in New Delhi. The two countries also signed three other agreements in the fields of energy, aviation and government cooperation.

Pakistan Lifts Undeclared Ban on Import of Ginned Cotton from India

Pakistan has removed an “undeclared” ban on import of ginned cotton from India. Earlier from November 23, The Department of Plant Protection (DPP) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research had banned the cotton imports from India through Wagah and Karachi port as the shipments did not fulfil phyto- sanitary conditions.

India, Qatar inks five agreements

India and Qatar have signed five agreements including in the field of visas, cyberspace and investments. These agreements were signed after bilateral talks held between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in New Delhi. Singed Agreements are
1.Protocol on Technical Cooperation in cyber space and combating cybercrime.
2.Letter of Intent on an Agreement on grant of e-Visa for businessmen and tourists
3.MoU on greater collaboration and exchange in the field of national ports management.
4.Agreement on exemption from visa requirement for holders of diplomatic, special and official passports.
5.MoU between Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).”

NATIONAL

  1. Narendra Modi launches BHIM APP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 30th December launched a new mobile app called BHIM to enable fast, secure and reliable payments system that uses smart phones for cashless transactions. BHIM, shor for Bharat Interface for Money. can be used with other Unified payments Interface (UPI) applications and bank accounts.

Government to set up single tribunal to arbitrate inter-State water disputes

The Union Government has decided to set up a single permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-State river water disputes. This single body will subsume all existing tribunals for resolving grievances of inter-State water disputes in a speedy manner. It will be headed by a retired Supreme Court judge. The Tribunal will also have more teeth as whenever it gives order, the verdict gets notified automatically. Until now, the Union Government was required to notify the awards, causing delay in its implementation.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana comes into effect

The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) comes into effect from 17 December 2016. Any unaccounted cash or deposit in a bank account can be disclosed under the scheme before April 1, 2017. The PMKGY provides for 50% tax and surcharge on declarations of unaccounted cash deposited in banks.

Nation pays tribute to bravehearts of 1971 Indo-Pak war on Vijay Diwas

The nation is paying tributes to the bravehearts on 16 December 2016 who laid down their lives during 1971 India-Pakistan war on the occasion of Vijay Diwas which is observed on 16 december of every year . On the occasion, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar along with three Service chiefs paid tributes to the bravehearts at Amar Jawan Jyoti.

Union Government launches Lucky Grahak Yojana, Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to promote digital payments

The Union Government has launched Lucky Grahak Yojana to encourage consumers and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana to encourage merchants for transition to digital payments. These award based schemes were launched by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, government’s policy think-tank.

President Pranab Mukherjee launches 100 Million for 100 Million Campaign

President Pranab Mukherjee launched a ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The campaign was conceptualized by Nobel peace prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and was organized by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.The campaign aims to mobilize 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world. Its prime objective is to end child labour, child slavery, violence against children over the next 5 years. It also seeks to promote the right of every child to be safe, free, and educated. It will strive to inspire 100 million children to speak and act for the numerous other unfortunate children living in terrible conditions to build a child-friendly world.

Triple talaq unconstitutional, violates rights of Muslim women: Allahabad high court

The Allahabad High Court has ruled that the practice of triple talaq (Talaq-e-bidat) among Muslims is unconstitutional and violates the rights of women enshrined in constitution. The order was passed by HC Justice Suneet Kumar while hearing a petition filed by a woman who claimed her husband arbitrarily divorced her. Besides, the High Court also held that No Personal Law Board is above the Constitution i.e. it was indirectly referring to All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). Talaq-e-bidat is Muslim man divorcing his wife unilaterally by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ thrice in one go. Thus, it is oral talaq pronounced for irrevocable instantaneous divorce at one go. Many activists say that this practice is not of Islamic origin.

Horse racing not animal cruelty: SC

The Supreme Court has ruled that horse racing per se is not animal cruelty. It held that it is different from Jallikattu, which metes out specific methods of torture to bulls. This observation was made by a Bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud on a petition challenging a Rajasthan High Court’s order banning tonga races in the State. The Rajasthan High Court had banned tonga races in the state by relying on a Supreme Court judgment of 2014 banning jallikattu. Against the tonga races ban, a petition was filed in the apex country saying that the 2014 judgment banning jallikattu was confined only to bulls and not horses.

NITI Aayog to provide Rs 5 lakh per district

To encourage each district in the country to take the digitization route without fear, the NITI Aayog will be immediately transferring Rs.5 lakh to every one of them as seed money to kick start this drive.A letter has been written to district collector, commissioners and magistrates in this regard by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who is also member of the committee to promote cashless payments.For availing the incentive, the district collector, commissioner or magistrates would have ensure that individuals transiting to digital payment mode should do at least two successful transactions by any of the five methods.These five modes are – unified payment interface (UPI), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Aadhaar Enabled Payments, e-wallets and Rupay debit/credit/prepaid cards.

Modi wins reader’s poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the reader’s poll for TIME ‘Person of the Year 2016’.Mr. Modi won 18 per cent of the vote, significantly more than his closest rivals, including U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange.The Prime Minister was also ahead of other prominent figures, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (2 per cent) and U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (4 per cent).The editors of the magazine will decide the ‘Person of the Year’ later this week.Last year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the title.

Union HRD Ministry launches Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan

Union HRD Minister launches ‘Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan’ to use the network of Centrally-run educational institutions for propagating the benefits of digital mode of payment in wake of the government’s demonetisation move. It was launched by Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi.It is campaign by Higher Educational institutions for digital economy.VISAKA aims to create awareness among people about digital economy and cashless modes of transactions It was launched on line with Prime Minister’s appeal to youth in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for creating awareness for making India digital and cashless economy. Under it, young students and faculty members will be roped to encourage and motivate people to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of fund.

STATES

Sasikala takes charge as AIDMK general Secretary

Former CM. J. Jayalalithaa’s close friend V.K. Sasikala on Saturday took charge as the party’s general secretary in front of the portraits of her predecessors MGR and Jayalalithaa. She came to the party office in the same car used by Jayalalithaa amidst slogans by partymen greeting the New leader. On entering the party office she garlanded the MGR statue and paid floral tributes to a portrait of Jayalalithaa in the office entrance.

Kuchipudi performers create a Guinnes world Recores

AP’s own classical dance “Kuchipudi” found a place in Guinnes World Records yet again when a record 6,117 dancers came together to present a show at the IGMC stadium in Vijayawada, Guinness adjudicator Rishinath declared that “Jayamu Jayamu” items presented in unison by the participants created a new record and handed over a certificate Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. Thde “Maha Brunda Natyam” (grand group dance) was organised as part of the 5th International Kuchipudi Dance Convention.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurates first air ambulance service in Bengaluru

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurated state’s first air ambulance services at HAL air port in the state capital Bengaluru.The air ambulance Service has fleet three nearly built helicopters which are specially designed to fulfill the requirements of the patients while transporting them from one place to another.

Lanura is first village to go cashless in J&K

Lanura in Budgam district has become the first village to go ‘cash less’ in Jammu & Kashmir. At least one member of each family in the village has been trained by using  the Electronic Payment System (EPS).It was achieved due to the efforts of the CSC e-Governance Services India limited and the National Informatics centre.

GOA Celebrated 55th liberation Day

GOA celebrated its 55th liberation Day on 19 Dec, 2016.  On this day in 1961 Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule after a prolonged freedom struggle and military operation.It was granted state hold in 1987. Later on it went ahead to become one of the richest and highest per capita in come states for the country.

Manipur Chief Minister inaugurates two new districts amid Naga protests

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has inaugurated two new districts Pherzawl and Noney. Pherzawl carved out of Churachandpur the district, and Noney from Tamenglong district in Manipur.Now, the total number of the district is 11. Manipur government resolved to create Kangpokpi, Jiribam, Noney, Tengnoupal, Pherzol, Kamjong and Kaching districts by carving up seven of the existing nine districts of the state on 8 December 2016.

First Cyber crime police station opens in Shimla

In Himachal Pradesh, the first Cyber Crime Police Station has been opened at state police headquarter in Shimla. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh inaugurated this Police Station through video conferencing from his office. According to Deputy Inspector General CID and Cyber Crime Vinod Kumar Dhawan, the main objective of this police station is to deal with increasing crime based on misuse of information technology by the High tech criminals.

Kochi to get India’s first transgender school

Sahaj International School in Kochi in will be the first residential transgender school in the country. The school will initially accommodate 10 transgender children, who will study under the National Open School system. The school will be inaugurated on December 30 by transgender rights activist and artist Kalki Subramaniam.

Haryana becomes first state to launch Mahila Police Volunteer initiative

Haryana became the first state in the country to launch Mahila Police Volunteer (MPV) initiative for safety of women. It was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. Mahila Police Volunteer is a joint initiative of Union Ministry of Women & Child Development and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.

Rajiv Gandhi airport achieves carbon neutral status

  1. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has achieved carbon neutral status.It is the first in the Asia-Pacific region in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category to attain this status. Earlier in September 2016 GMR Group-led Delhi Airport had become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve carbon neutral status among all categories.

Andhra Pradesh launches website of APEDB

Andhra Pradesh Government launched website of state Economic Development Board (AP-EDB). It aims at providing a repository of knowledge on investing in Andhra Pradesh, policies of various sectors and give investors various investment opportunities offered by state.

Madhya Pradesh launches Narmada Seva Yatra

Madhya Pradesh Government has launched five months long Narmada Seva Yatra to turn the Narmada river pollution free. It was launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Amarkantak. The Narmada Sewa Yatra aims to create awareness about the conservation of the river. It is one of the biggest public campaign of the world to conserve river and environment.

Tropical Cyclonic Storm Vardah to hit Andhra Pradesh

The tropical cyclonic storm Vardah over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to hit Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada. It is the third cyclonic storm of the season after Cyclone Kyant and Nada, that were formed during the Northeast Monsoon season.It was created as depression (low pressure) over Andaman Sea and later slightly intensified further as cyclonic storm. The reason for the intensification can be attributed to warm sea surface temperatures of Bay of Bengal and longer sea travel.

Panneerselvam sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following death of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao at a solemn ceremony held in the Raj Bhavan, Chennai.Besides, all 31 members of the outgoing Ministry from the Jayalalithaa’s council of Ministers were sworn in.This is for third time he has sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Maharashtra Gets Its First ‘Cashless Village’

Amid the Centre’s push for the digital transaction, Dhasai village in Thane district has become the first “cashless village” in Maharashtra. This was informed by Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on 1st December. All payments in the Dhasai village are being done through plastic money. Traders, vegetable and fruit vendors and others providing goods and services in Dhasai are using swipe machines for cashless transactions.

CONFERENCES

5th Global conference on Cyber Space in India

Global conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) will be held in India in 2017. This will 5th edition of GCCS and India is hosting it for the first time. Over a 100 countries are expected to participate in this conference. It and law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. India has been selected for hosting Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS) in 2017.

6th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development begins in New Delhi

The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) began in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. The three days conference seeks to address issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, mega-cities and urban corridors etc.

7th World Ayurveda Congress held in Kolkata

The 7th World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) was held from December 2 to 4, 2016 at Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was organised by the World Ayurveda Foundation with the support of the Union Ministry of AYUSH to facilitate development and growth of AYUSH system of medicine comprising Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy. The focus theme of the Ayurveda Congress was “Strengthening the Ayurveda Ecosystem“.

AWARDS AND HONOURS

Mary Kom givenn AIBA Legends Award

India’s legendary boxer MC Mary Kom was awarded the Legend award at the 70th anniversary of International Boxing Fedaration (AIBA) in Montreux, Switzerland. The Indian Boxer who’s a five time world Champion and an Olympic bronze medal winner was honoured for her promising career in boxing.

Goalie who died in plane crash named Brazil’s player of year

Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo, who died in the Colombian plane crash, has been posthumously named as Brazil’s player of the year on 12 December 2016.  Danilo’s mother, Ilaides Padilha, collected the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro. Danilo, whose last-gasp save in the semi-final helped his side reach the Copa Sudamericana final, got 48% of the fan votes.

5 decades and 200 films later, Jackie Chan ‘finally’ wins Oscars

Hollywood actor Jackie Chan received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film on November 13th at the annual Governors Awards. While receiving the award Chan (62) praised his hometown Hong Kong for making him “proud to be Chinese,” and thanked his fans.

Professor Raj Bisaria selected for Kalidas Samman

Madhya Pradesh Government has selected renowned theatre personality Prof Raj Bisaria for the prestigious ‘Kalidas Samman’ national award for 2015-16. He will be bestowed with the prestigious award for achievement in theatre in a ceremony to be held in Ujjain. He was born on November 10, 1935. He is director, producer, actor and educationalist. The Press Trust of India (PTI) describes him as the father of the modern theatre in North India.

Indian-origin humanitarian gets Global Citizen Award

An Indian-origin man from South Africa was awarded the Global Citizen Award for his “innovative and visionary” contribution to the global community. Imtiaz Sooliman founded the internationally-lauded Gift of the Givers Foundation, which is Africa’s largest disaster relief organization. “It will build faith and confidence in others to support African NGOs in the future

John Kerry conferred with Highest French civilian award

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been has been awarded Officer of the Legion of Honour, the highest French civilian distinction for his contribution in peace effort.

President presents 2nd ICCR Ideologist award to Prof. Yu Long Yu

Prof. Yu Long Yu of China was awarded the second Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Ideologist Award for the year 2016.He was presented with this award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. He is Professor and Director at the Centre for Indian Studies, Shenzhen University. He has studied Indology for half a century and is the pioneer for Indology in South China.He has set up the Centre for Indian Studies and Tan Yunshan Sino-Indian Friendship Museum in Shenzhen University.

SPORTS AND DAMES

Ravichandran Ashwin – ICC Crickter of 2016

Indian off – spinner R. Aswin has claimed the top ICC awards – ICC cricketer of the year and Test cricketer of the year. Ashwin is the third Indian after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid  to win the Sir Garfield sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the year. In 2016 alone, he picked up 72 wickets in 12 Tests and became the second-fastest bowler to 200 wickets during the Kanpur match against New Zealand.

Vijender Singh retains WBO-Asia Pacific Super title

Indian boxing star Vijender Singh knocked out former world Francis Cheka to retain WBO-Asia Pacific Super Middleweight title. Vijender took less than 10 minutes to beat Tanzanian boxer to defend his title at the packed Thyagraj Stadium in New Delhi last night.
Vijender landed the winning blow in the third round of what was to be a 10-round contest to leave Cheka dazed and delirious.

Pankaj Advani beats Peter Gilchrist in final to win his 11th World Billiards Championship

Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani Monday won his 11th World Billiards (150-Up format) Championships title by beating Peter Gilchrist of Singapore in the summit clash in Bengaluru. Advani beat multiple world champion Gilchrist by six games to three in a gripping final contest to wrap up his 16th world title overall.

LeBron named Sports Ilustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year

Basketball player LeBron James has been chosen as the Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, becoming the second athlete ever to win the award twice. James edged out Usain Bolt, Phelps, Premier League champions Leicester City, among others. James had led his team Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA title and was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP).

ECONOMY

India’s foreign exchange reserves down by USD 887.2 mn to USD 362.987 bn

India’s foreign exchange reserves declined by 887.2 million dollars to 362.987 billion dollars in the week ended 9th December. A RBI press release has informed that foreign currency assets, a major part of the overall reserves fell by 873 million dollars to 339.258 billion dollars. In the previous week too, the reserves had declined by 1.431 billion dollars to 363.874 billion dollars.

RBI to introduce new 20 & 50 rupee currency notes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is going to issue new currency notes of Twenty and Fifty rupees denomination in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005. All old the previous currency notes of old Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 denomination issued by the Bank will continue to be legal tender.The 50 rupees note will be without inset letter in both the number panels. The 20 rupees note will be with inset letter ‘L’ in both the number panels. Both notes will bear signature of incumbent RBI Governor Dr. Urjit R Patel. The year 2016 will be printed on the reverse of both the notes.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

India successfully test – fires its Agni-V

India on Monday (26th December) successfully test-fired its nuclear-capable, Inter continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Agani-V, that has range of more than 5000 km or the ability to reach northern most China, Agni-V is the most advanced with inbuilt new technologies for navigation and guidance war head and engine.

Long range nuclear – capable subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay test fired

The defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is all set to go for a fresh trial of India’s home made cruise missile Nirbhay from a defence base of Odisha coast on Wednesday 21st December. The indigenously developed surface to surface sub-sonic missile. Which is compared with America’s Tomahawk missile is likely to be test fired at chandipur – on – sea.

NASA successfully launches 8 mini-satellites for hurricane forecasting

The NASA has successfully launched constellation of eight mini-satellites as part Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) into space to improve hurricane forecasting. These satellites were air launched by aerospace company Orbital ATK onboard of Pegasus rocket fired from plane at height of 12km. NASA had opted for air launch rather than traditional rocket liftoff from the ground, to cut costs.

ISRO signs deal for first privately built satellite

The Indian Space Research Organisation has signed an agreement with a consortium of six companies to deliver India’s first industry-built satellite by late 2017. The agreement was signed between M Annadurai, Director of ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and the consortium lead Alpha Design Technologies P Ltd. ISAC assembles India’s satellites for communication, remote sensing and navigation. It is for the first time that ISRO outsourced the construction of entire satellite.

Scientist creates Nano ceramic material for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors

Scientists from US including one of Indian origin have created a nano ceramic material that can used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors. The new material is made of aluminum oxide nano ceramic coating. It can withstand high temperatures, the harsh effects of radiation and also becomes tougher under radiation. Potential Applications: It can be used in next- generation nuclear reactors that will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields, producing more energy efficiently, safely and economically.

Japan successfully launches space junk collector into orbit

Japan’s space agency (JAXA) successfully launched a Kounotori 6 (HTV-6) spacecraft that will deliver a large magnetic tether, a space junk collector technology into orbit. The spacecraft was launched on board of H-IIB rocket from Tanegashima Space Center. It was also carrying essential supplies for International Space Station (ISS). The space junk collector (electromagnetic tether) will perform Kounotori Integrated Tether Experiments (KITE) in order to test out new technology. It is an experimental space scavenger that aims to study possibility of getting rid of space junk (debris) left into orbit by earlier space exploration missions.

Elon Musk named most admired leader in technology

Tesla and SpaceX Founder Elon Musk has been named the most admired leader in the technology space, in a survey conducted by VC firm First Round Capital involving over 700 startup founders. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos emerged as the second most admired technology leader, followed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Steve Jobs.

TeamIndus to launch India’s first private moon mission in 2017

TeamIndus, a private aerospace starup company is planning to send a spacecraft to the moon aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) rocket on December 28, 2017. It will be India’s first private moon mission to be launched. It will be launched onboard of ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).TeamIndus moon mission’s aim is to land this spacecraft on the moon. It will also travel at least 500 metres and beam high- definition images, video and data back to the earth.Except for the launch vehicle, all of the technology that will power the lander and rover will be developed in-house by TeamIndus.

PERSONS IN NEWS

  1. APPOINTMENTS

Viral Acharya appointed as RBI deputy governor

The Govt has appointed Viral Acharya as deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for three years. The CV Star professor of Economics in the Department of Finance at New York University stern school of business. He is the program Director for Financial Economics and a Research Affiliate at the center for economic policy Research, a director of WESTERN FINANCE association, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)

Lt Gen Bipin Rawat appointed Chief of Indian Army Staff

The Union Government has appointed Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat as new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS). He succeeds Army Chief General Dalbir Singh who retires on December 31, 2016. His appointment goes against the long-held tradition of appointing the senior-most eligible officer to the topmost post. With this criterion, he has superseded two seniormost commanders Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Southern Army Commander Lt Gen PM Hariz.

Paolo Gentiloni named as Italy’s new Prime Minister

Paolo Gentiloni has been named as Italy’s new Prime Minister following reformist leader Matteo Renzi’s resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat. Gentiloni, who served as the Foreign Minister under Renzi, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new centre-left government on 11th December that will guide Italy to elections due by February 2018.

Antonio Guterres sworn in as UN Secretary-General

Antonio Guterres, a former Portuguese Prime Minister, was sworn in as the ninth UN Secretary-General on 12th December 2016, succeeding Ban Ki-moon as the chief of the 71-year old world body.President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson administered the Oath of Office to Guterres at a special plenary meeting of the 193-member General Assembly.

Batra 1st Indian to be International Hockey Federation chief

Narinder Batra has become the first Indian to be elected the President of the International Hockey Federation. He was voted to the top post by an overwhelming margin during the penultimate day of the 45th FIH Congress in Dubai. Batra, who is the president of Hockey India, defeated David Balbirnie of Ireland and Australia’s Ken Read to become the 12th FIH President and also the first Asian to grab the post.

Bernard Cazeneuve named as new French prime minister

Bernard Cazeneuve, currently French interior minister, will replace Manuel Valls as the country’s new prime minister. Valls is stepping down in order to seek the Socialist Party’s nomination to be its presidential candidate in the 2017 election.

Alexander Van der Bellen elected Austrian President

Independent candidate and pro-European Alexander Van der Bellen has won the Austria’s re-run presidential election with around 53.5% votes. Bellen had won an earlier election in May by a narrow margin after which it was declared void by the Constitutional Court due to irregularities.

Justice JS Khehar appointed as 44th Chief Justice of India

Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar (64) will be the next Chief Justice of India (CJI). He will be the 44th CJI and shall succeed Chief Justice TS Thakur who retires on January 3, 2017. Justice Khehar will be sworn in as the CJI by President Pranab Mukherjee on January 4, 2017. With this, he will be the first Sikh to become the CJI. Justice Khehar’s name for appointment as the next CJI was recommended by SC collegium headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur. He would remain in office from January 4, 2017 till August 4, 2017 i.e. till he attains the age of 65.

  1. RESIGNS

Narender Batra resigs as IOA associate Vice President

Senior functionary Narender Batra on Friday resigned as the associate Vice-President of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) as a mark of protest against the IOA for not taking back its decision to appoint scam-tainted Suresh kalmadi and Abhay Singh Chautala as honorary life presidents. Batra, who recently became the International Hockey Federation (FIH) president, said he was strongly against the back door entry of kalmadi and Chautala in the IOA.

Actor Midhun Chakraborthy Resigns from Rajya Sabha

Veteran Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty of the Trinamool congress has resigned as a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP), citing failing health, according to the party’s chief of the upper houe, Derek O’ Brien. Mithun Chakraborty was nominated to te Rajya Sabha in January 2014 by All India Trinamool Congress, following which he became a M.P to Rajya Sabha, Mithun’s term was due to end in 2020.

  1. DEATHS

Former Sri Lankan P.M Ratnasiri Passes away

Former Sri Lankan P.M. “Ratnasiri Wickremanyake” passed on 27th December. He was 83. Wickremanayake was the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2001 and 2005 to 2010. He entered politics in 1960, winning a set in the legislature as a member of the Mahajana Eksath peramuna (People’s United Front). The 83 year – old leader, ailling for some time now, breathed his last on 27th December morning his family said.

Co- Artist of Nationl Emblem, Dinanath Bhargava died at 89:

Dinanath Bhargava, a co-artist in the team that sketched the National Emblem “Lion Capital of Ashoka” and decorated the pages of the constitution’s manuscript, died at the age of 89 in Indore.

British Singer George Michael dies at 53

British Singer Grorge Michael who has launched his career with wham in the 1980 s and continued his success as a solo performer, has died on 25 December 2016 at the age of 53 and cause of death was heart failure.

Noted economist saumitra Chaudhuri passed away

Noted economist and former member of erst while planning commission saumitra Chaudhuri passed away due to lung cancer, He was 62. He was appointed member of the planning commission in June 2009 and was one of the longest serving members of the planning commission. He also had served as chairman of the committee for formulation of All Industry Rates of Duty Draw back. (2005 – 06 to 2009 – 10) in the Union Ministry of Finance.

  1. MISCELLANEOUS

A dead Zone discovered in Bay of Bengal

Scientists including those from India have found a huge dead zone of an estimated 60,000 square Kilometres in Bay of Bengal.This area is said to supports microbial processes that remove vast amount of nitrogen from the ocean.The study published in Nature Geosciences.Deal Zone is an  area in water body that contain little or no oxygen in bottom and near-bottom water.They are well-known off western coasts of North and South America, off coast of Namibia and off west coast of Indai in Arabian Sea.

Brexit word added in Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has officially added word ‘Brexit’ in it. It is among 1,500 new words added to the OED. The OED has defined word ‘Brexit’ as “the (proposed) withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and the political process associated with it”. Another popular new coinage is the word ‘YouTubers’ was also added in OED. It has been defined as “frequent user of the video-sharing website YouTube, especially someone who produces and appears in videos on the site.”

PLACES IN NEWS

World’s first solar road opens in France:

A small village in France is now home to the world’s first solar road, aka watt way.French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal officially inaugurated the 1 km-long road covered with 2800 square-meters of resin – encased panels in Tourouvre in Normandy on Thursday.The French ministry of Environment invested $ 5.2 million to build the project engineered by French road construction company “Colas”

BOOKS IN NEWS

Harry Potter script best-selling books of 2016

Amazon has announced its best-selling books of 2016, with the two-part play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” topping the chart.Other entries in the top ten include books in David Baldacci’s Amos Decker series, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels, Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series.

COMMITTEES

24th National Children’s Science Congrees inaugurated in Pune

The 24th National Children’s Science congress (NCSC) was inaugurated at Vidya Pratisthan’s Institute of Information technology, Baramati in Pune, Maharashtra. The five day science congress will see participation of more than 700 child scientists under one umbrella to show case their talents. The top 25 projects will be shortlisted and respective students will be provided with training support.

DAYS AND DATES

December 25 : Nation Celebrates Good Governance day

Former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna recipient Atal Bihari Vajapayee’s 90th birthday was observed as National Good Governance Day on 25th December 2016. In order to mark the occasion of this day, several programmers were organized Nationwide and new initiatives were announced. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting held New Delhi.

December 24 : National Consumer Day

The National Consumer Day is observed every year in India on 24th December. On this day the consumer protection Act, 1986 had received the assent of te president. It highlights the importance of the consumer movement and promote basic rights and responsibilities of all consumers.

December 22 : National Mathematics Day

The National Mathematics Day is observed every year on 22nd December to celebrate birth anniversary of great Indian autodidact Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. This year it is 129th birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan.The National Mathematics Day instituted in 2011 by the Union Government to celebrate Ramanujan’s 125th birth anniversary.Besides the year 2012 was also declared National Mathematics year.

December 10: Human Rights Day

The Human Rights Day is observed annually on 10th December to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Observance of the day seeks to encourage, support and amplify measures to be taken by everyone to defend human rights. 2016 Theme or campaign: “Stand up for someone’s rights today”. It aims to re-emphasise how important it is to live in peace and harmony, compassion and concern for each other’s rights with respect towards the idea of mutual co-existence. In run up to the celebration of Human Rights Day, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had organised a series of events.

December 4 : Navy Day

The Indian Navy Day is observed annually on 4 December to celebrate the magnificence, achievements and role of the naval force of the country. Indian Navy is one of most potent maritime forces in the world and the most lethal in Indian Ocean. On the occasion of 45th Navy Day, President Pranab Mukherjee extended greetings to all members of the Indian Navy and their families.

December 3 : International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) 2016 was observed across the world on 3 December 2016. The theme for the day was Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want. In 2016, the goal of the IDPD is assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs. The day also looks forward for laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities.The observance of the 2016 International Day of Persons with Disabilities coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the CRPD.The CRPD is one of the most quickly and widely ratified international treaties put forth by the United Nations till now.

2 December: National Pollution Control Day

he National Pollution Control Day 2016 was observed on 2 December 2016 in India with an aim to make aware the people and industries about the need of Pollution Control Acts.This day is observed every year to give honour to thousands of human beings who lost their lives in 1984 due to the Bhopal gas tragedy and who were left severely affected due to leakage of poisonous gas from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal. This catastrophe was the worst in the world’s industrial history and people there still continue to witness physical and mental disabilities.

 

Nov 2016 Current Affairs Study Material

INTERNATIONAL

Patel most common Indian surname in UK: dictionary

Patel has emerged as the most common Indian surname in the UK, according to a new Oxford dictionary. The ‘Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland’ has put together the origins of nearly 50,000. One of the most common Indian surnames, Patel, was a status name from a Hindu and Parsi name for a village herdsman. It is one of the most common Indian surnames in Britain, with over 100,000 bearers recorded in the 2011 census.

 

2016 will be hottest year on record

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the year 2016 was the warmest year on record globally. It was mentioned in the WMO’s preliminary assessment provided in its ‘Status of the Global Climate in 2016’ report. WMO is the United Nations’s authoritative voice on Weather, Climate and Water. Global temperatures for January to September 2016 were 1.2 degree Centigrade above pre-industrial levels and 0.88°C above the average for the 1961-1990 reference period (baseline).

 

Moon came close to Earth after 1948

The Supermoon was observed after the moon was closest to the Earth at 356,509 km. This is for the first time moon came closest to Earth since 1948. Last time, the moon came closer to earth on 26 January 1948. Next time the supermoon will be observed on 25 November 2034. During this time moon will be even closer than this year. Supermoon or perigee full moon is a phenomenon that occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon being the closest to the Earth on its orbit. During this time, the natural satellite appears roughly 30% larger in area and 30% brighter than the smallest full moons.

 

Peru to host 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum’s Leaders Summit will be held in Lima, Peru from November 19 to 20, 2016. The theme of the summit is “Quality Growth and Human Development” and the official logo is the architecture of the ancient city of Caral. It will be the second time Peru hosting to the APEC Summit, previously it had hosted the event in 2008. The 2016 summit will gather leaders from the world’s 21 most important member economies, as well as over 1,500 investors and entrepreneurs. These 21 member countries collectively account for nearly 50% of the world’s trade and about 57% of GDP.India is observer of APEC since 2011 and has applied for membership.

 

Coradia iLint – World’s first zero-emissions hydrogen train unveiled in Germany

World first hydrogen-powered and zero-emission passenger train named as Coradia iLint was un-veiled in Germany. The first of its kind ecofriendly train has been developed by French rail company Alstom. The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere. Coradia iLint is powered by a hydrogen fuel tank fitted on its roof. The fuel cell is supplied with hydrogen and oxygen from the air.The train is totally carbon-neutral and carbon-free which makes it a much more sustainable alternative conventional diesel trains.

 

Paris climate agreement becomes international law

The Paris Agreement to combat climate change officially entered into force after 55 parties to the convention accounting for at least 55% of total GHG (green-house gas) emissions ratified it. The threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved on 5th October 2016. 94 parties have ratified the convention. India was 62nd country to ratify it on 2 October 2016. It is an international climate deal to combat climate change. It facilitates enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures in the post-2020 Under it, all countries must pursue to keep global temperature rising below 2°C by 2100 above pre-industrial levels with an ideal target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C. It forces developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars annually to the developing counterparts beginning in 2020 to deal with climate change.

 

Bangladesh introduces temporary ban on catching Hilsa Fish

Bangladesh has arrested more than 900 fishermen and deployed the army to patrol its waterways after introducing a temporary ban on catching hilsa in an effort to save the hugely popular fish. Some 60 percent of the world’s hilsa are caught in Bangladesh, but indiscriminate fishing has depleted much of the stock, driving up prices and putting the fish beyond the reach of the poor.

 

CO2 level reaches record high in 2016 WMO

According to the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin level of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the atmosphere has reached a record high. The globally averaged concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reached to 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in 2015. It is expected to surge again to new records in 2016 on the back of the very powerful El Niño event. This is for the first time CO2 levels have reached the 400 ppm barrier on a global average basis for the entire year.

 

World Bank must aid countries to manage shift away from coal

The global development lenders like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ABD) must provide help countries including India to shift away from coal for energy purpose. It was proposed by the World Coal Association to finance countries to help them to shift fromtheir to more efficient technologies so that they can meet their COP21 commitments. Super critical and ultra-super critical (USC) plants technologies have capability to substantially reduce CO2 emissions and virtually eliminate PM emissions. It will help countries in reducing their emissions from coal, rather than reducing coal itself and meet target provided in Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Thus some target of Paris agreement on Climate Change about reducing the emissions from coal power plants will be achieved.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

India and UK sign three Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed three Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with the Competent Authority of United Kingdom (UK) to reduce tax litigation. Earlier both countries had exchanged mutual agreements amongst them under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) Article of the India-UK Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC). With this, CBDT so far has entered into 111 APAs. These three APAs cover international transactions in the nature of payment of intra-group service charges and pertain to the telecom industry. They also have a roll-back provision.

 

Mauritius PM inaugurates AYUR Herbarium project in Goa

Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius Anirood Jugnauth inaugurated AYUR Herbarium project in North Goa, an initiative by the pharmaceutical major in association with Union AYUSH Ministry. Jugnauth inaugurated the project at the property of Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd at Saligao village, 10 kms away from Panaji. The Mauritian Prime Minister along with his delegation is on a tour of India to reciprocate the cordial invitation of delegates of Goa government, who visited the island country in the recent past.

 

Twenty Nations sign agreement of International Solar Alliance as process begins

Over 20 countries, including India, Brazil and France have signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The framework agreement of ISA was opened for signatures on the sidelines of CoP22 to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Marrakech, in Morocco. The signing of the framework agreement has to be followed by ratifications by countries. The agreement will become operational after at least 15 countries have ratified it.

 

India, Japan sign landmark civil nuclear deal

India and Japan on Nov 11 signed a landmark civil nuclear cooperation deal after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Shinzo Abe, a move that will boost bilateral economic and security ties and facilitate U.S.-based players to set up atomic plants in India.The two countries had reached a broad agreement for cooperation in civil nuclear energy sector during Mr. Abe’s visit to India in December 2015, but the deal was yet to be signed as some issues were yet to be worked out. India is the first non-NPT signatory to have such an agreement with Tokyo.The deal would allow Japan to export nuclear technology to India, making it the first non-NPT signatory to have such a deal with Tokyo. It would also cement the bilateral economic and security ties as the two countries warm up to counter an assertive China. Other nations who have signed civil nuclear deal with India include the U.S., Russia, South Korea, Mangolia, France, Namibia, Argentina, Canada, Kazakhstan and Australia.

 

India rises to second place in global business optimism index

The latest Grant Thornton International Business Report for the July-September quarter has placed India 2nd on the global scale for business optimism. During the April-June 2016 period, India was ranked at the 3rd position after being on top for two consecutive quarters. Indonesia took the top spot, with the Philippines coming in third. India was ranked third during the April-June period after being on top for two consecutive quarters. India regained its top position on this parameter, from second position in the April-June period, while profitability expectations also moved up.

 

India, Venezuela sign deals to increase oil production

India and Venezuela have signed an oil production deals worth about 1.45 billion US dollar to increase oil production. The agreement was signed between Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Venezeulas Petroleosde Venezuela SA (PDVSA), and Venezuela’s consortium Delta Finance BVin Caracas. The Indo-Venezuelan partnership created in 2009 is expected to double the daily oil production of San Cristobal field from 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of oil.

 

Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings

The sunrise state Andhra Pradesh has been ranked number one in the World Bank’s ‘Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’. The ranking of the states were released in the World Bank’s study report titled: ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’. Andhra Pradesh topped with overall score of 42.01 followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34) and Maharashtra (39.29). Kerala, Gujarat, Delhi (UT), Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are the other states in the top ten ranking in that order. Andhra Pradesh topped the list by achieving an energy saving of 1,500 million units (MU) i.e. around 650 MW in two years through use of LED lighting.

 

India, UNISDR sign Statement of Cooperation on Sendai Framework

India and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction signed a Statement of Cooperation (SoC) of the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). It was signed during the second day of the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 held in New Delhi. SFDRR is an international Treaty that was approved by UN member states in March 2015 at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai, Japan. Statement of Cooperation aims to ensure effective implementation and monitoring of the SFDRR through Training and capacity building for Asian countries. It also seeks at promoting international and regional cooperation to reinforce political commitment.

 

India-Bangladesh joint military exercise SAMPRITI-2016 to commence from 05 Nov

The joint military training exercise “Sampriti-2016” will be conducted between India and Bangladesh at Tangail, Dhaka, Bangladesh from 05 to 18 November 2016. Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh and will be the sixth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.

 

RCEP members worry over market access to China

The 15 Asia-Pacific nations including India of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are concern to give greater market access to Chinese goods without gaining in return. All these countries in the RCEP grouping are also worried about agreeing to eliminate tariffs altogether, a move that will mainly help China. RCEP is the proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between 16 Asia-Pacific countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the 10-member ASEAN bloc. Trade ministers of these countries are slated to meet on November 3-4 at Cebu, Philippines to take forward the FTA negotiations.

 

India, South Korea sign revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement

The Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation, D.V. Sadananda Gowda has launched the International Household Survey Network (IHSN) Toolkit. He also had launched new Website of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in New Delhi. The IHSN is a standard bench mark which can be used as an active management tool for better integration of administrative structures and statistical access for policy making.

 

India, New Zealand Sign Three Agreements

“India and New Zealand signed three agreements in the areas of double taxation avoidance (DTA), sports and food security to carry forward the ties between both sides. The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister

Narendra Modi and his New Zealand counterpart John Key after the delegation-level talks in New Delhi. Both countries have reached an understanding on further co-operation on cyber security, counter-terrorism, customs, education and food safety. Signed agreements are:“(i) Arrangement between the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand regarding Food Safety Cooperation and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) “(ii) MoU on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports. It was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and Sport New Zealand.“(iii) Protocol to the convention for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

 

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti 2016 begins

The fourth edition of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Military Exercise ‘MITRA SHAKTI 2016’ began at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka. The main focus of this edition of joint exercise is to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Terrorism (CT) and Counter Insurgency (CI) operations under the UN Man-date. Under this mandate the comprehensive training programme spanning fourteen days (24 October to 06 November 2016) has been drawn up. In this edition of exercise, India is being represented by a platoon from the RAJPUTANA RIFLES Regiment and Sri Lankan Army is represented by a platoon from the Sinha Regiment. The bilateral military exercise will be conducted in two stages in which both armies will get familiar each other’s respective methodology of such operations, arms and equipment and the command and control systems. It will also graduate towards tactical understanding to en-hance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Terrorism (CT)/ Counter Insurgency (CI) operations.

 

India ranks 87th on the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016

“India has been ranked 87th out of 144 countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016. India has climbed 21 spots from 108th position in 2015. The report measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four areas “(i) Educational attainment“(ii) Health and survival“(iii) Economic opportunity and (iv) Political empowerment. “The report was topped by Iceland (1st) followed by Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd), Sweden (4th) and Rwanda (5th). “In case of education attainment, India has made considerable strides moving up from 125th rank in 2015 to 113th in 2016. On economic participation and opportunity too, India has moved up to 136th rank in 2016, from 139th in the year 2015.

 

India ranks 130th in 2017 Ease of Doing Business index

“India has been placed at 130th position among the 190 countries in the recently released World Bank’s ease of doing business index for the year 2017. The index was released as part of the World Bank’s annual report Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All. This report had revised India’s rank to 131 from earlier 130th for the year 2016. Thus, India has improved its place by one spot in the 2017 index and its place remained unchanged from the previous original ranking of 130 in the year 2016. The ease of

doing business index is annually released by World Bank in its Ease of Doing Business Report. It was introduced in 2004. In this index, ranking of country is based on index averages the country’s percentile rankings on 10 indicators each having equal weightage. A higher ranking of country in this list means that its regulatory environment is more conducive and favourable for the starting and operation of firms.“Top 10 Countries: New Zealand (1st), Singapore (2nd), Den-mark (3rd), Hong Kong (4th), South Korea (5th), Nor-way (6th), UK (7th), US (8th), Sweden (9th) and Macedonia (10th). “BIRCS Nations: India ranks lowest in Doing Business among the BRICS nations. Russia (40), South Africa (74), China (78), Brazil (123) and India (130). “India’s Neighbours: Bhutan (73), China (78), Nepal (107), Sri Lanka (110), Pakistan (144) and Bangladesh (176).

 

NATIONAL

 

Pradhanmantri Grameen Awas Yojna to provide 3crore housing units across country

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Pradhanmantri Grameen Awas Yojna, an ambitious housing scheme meant for rural poor in Agra. Designed entirely for the rural masses, the ambitious scheme aims to provide affordable houses to all those living below the poverty line by the year 2022. In addition, the prime minister distributed allotment letters to 50 beneficiaries of the scheme, which aims to provide about 3 crore new housing units countrywide.

 

Income Tax Department to launch Project Insight in May 2017

The Income Tax department is planning to implement the first phase of ‘Project Insight’ from May 2017 to monitor high value transactions, with a view to curbing the circulation of black money. This project has been initiated for data mining, collection, collation and processing of such information for effective risk management with a view to widening and deepening tax base.

 

Union Govt launches Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana for entrepreneurs

The Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entre-preneurship has launched of Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana (PMYY) to scale up an ecosystem of entrepre-neurship for youngsters. The scheme was launched by Union Minister of State(I/C) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy to mark 2nd Foundation Day of Ministry of Skill Development and Entre-preneurship (MSDE).PMYY is MSDE’s flagship scheme on entrepreneurship education and training. The scheme spans over five years (2016-17 to 2020-21) with a project cost of 499.94 crore rupees. It will provide entrepreneur-ship education and training to over 7 lakh students in 5 years through 3,050 institutes.The institutes under the PMYY include 2,200 institutes of higher learning (colleges, universities, and premier institutes), 500 ITIs, 300 schools and 50 entrepreneurship development centres through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

 

India’s first LNG-powered bus rolls out in Kerala

India’s first eco-friendly liquefied natural gas (LNG)-driven bus was launched in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The first pilot run of the eco-friendly bus was jointly flagged off by Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.The project has been a joint effort of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOL) and Tata Motors Ltd. LNG is considered to be a cleaner and safer fuel which emits 50% less carbon, for mass transportation. It eco-friendly and more economical compared to diesel for public transportation.The project has been a joint effort of Petronet LNG Limited (PLL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOL) and Tata Motors Ltd.

 

Govt to open Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendra in every LS constituency

The Centre has decided to open Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Kendra in every Parliamentary Constituency to impart skill training to the people and make them employable. According to Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy, through these centres, a standard will be created to enhance the skill level of trainees so that they could earn more money.

 

GST Council approves 4-tier rate at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%

GST will be levied at multiple rates ranging from 0% to 28%. Decision in this regard was taken by the GST Council meeting chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.GST Council approved a four-tier GST tax structure of 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%, with lower rates for essential items and the highest for luxury and de-merits goods that would also attract an additional cess. Goods and Services Tax is a proposed system of indirect taxation in India merging most of the existing taxes into single system of taxation.

 

Food Security Act implemented throughout country

The Union Government has announced that the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 which envisages supply of subsidised foodgrains has been implemented across the country. Announcement in this regard was made by Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan after last two remaining states Kerala and Tamil Nadu rolled out the NFSA from November 2016. Now NFSA has been implemented in all States and Union Territories. As a result, 81.34 crore persons will get subsidised wheat at Rs. 2 per kg and rice at Rs. 3 per kg. At the current coverage, the monthly allocation of foodgrains to States and UTs under the Act is about 45.5 lakh tonnes. The subsidy implication of about Rs. 11,726 crore per month and it is overall about Rs. 1,40,700 crore per year.

 

India’s first titanium project starts test production in Odisha

The first titanium project of India has started its test production Ganjam district of Odisha.The project has been established by Saraf Group.This is first of its ksind titanium plant and the only one in the country. During the test run, one of its four furnaces became functional. After inception, this plant is expected to produce 36,000 tons of titanium slag and 20,000 tons of pig iron per year.

 

NDTV India ordered to be taken off air for 24 hours

An Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry asked for one-day ban on a leading Hindi News Channel, NDTV India from 12.01 A.M. of 9 November to 12.01 A.M. of 10 November 2016. The channel is facing the possibility of a complete blackout for 24 hours for revealing strategically-sensitive information during its coverage of the anti-terror operations at the Pathankot airbase in January 2016.The telecast under scanner was aired on 2 January 2016 when Indian military forces were preparing their counter attack strategy at the Pathankot airbase.The order by the Inter-Ministerial Committee claimed that the channel revealed several confidential details like location of the ammunition depot, details of arms cache and fighter planes, details of schools and residential areas located around the airbase, endangering lives of both civilians and defense personnel.

 

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 comes into force

The Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, designed to curb black money and passed by parliament in August 2016, came into effect. The new law amended the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988. The amendment act also to strengthen the parent Act in terms of legal and administrative procedure. Persons indulging in benami transactions may face up to 7 years’ imprisonment and fine. Furnishing false information is punishable by imprisonment up to 5 years and fine.

 

PM Modi pays tribute to Sardar Patel on his 141st birth anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 31 October paid rich tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 141st birth anniversary. The day is being celebrated as ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’ (National Unity Day). Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of the Indian Republic, played a key role in the country’s struggle for independence. The Prime Minister also paid tribute to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her death anniversary.

 

DoPT launches Employees Online Application

The Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has launched Employees Online (EO) App. The mobile application aims to update on Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) appointments and postings on real time basis and to bring transparency. The EO App has been developed keeping in mind the spirit of maximum Governance, minimum Government and meet the need of the hour to bring high-tech systems in the governance.

 

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates first National Tribal Carnival

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inau-gurated the first National Tribal Carnival in New Delhi to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals. The main purpose of this four-day carnival is to promote a sense of inclusiveness among the tribals. It will also showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale. In this carnival around 1,600 tribal artists and around 8,000 tribal delegates from across the country are taking part.

 

PM Narendra Modi launches Urja Ganga in Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the foundation stone of Urja Ganga, the highly ambitious gas pipeline project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The gas pipeline project aims to provide piped cooking (PNG) gas to residents of the eastern region of the country and CNG gas for the vehicles. The project is being implemented by state-run gas utility GAIL. It envisages laying a 2,050-km pipeline connecting Jagdishpur (UP) to Haldia (West Bengal) by 2018. From Varanasi’s perspective, 50,000 households and 20,000 vehicles will get cleaner and cheaper fuel PNG urja-gangaand CNG gas respectively.

 

ECI amends election rules to allow e-transfer of postal ballot

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has amended the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 to facilitate the e-transfer of postal ballot. The new rules empower a returning officer in any constituency to send postal ballots to an eligible voter by electronic means as specified by the ECI. In India, postal ballots have played a critical role in extending the electoral process to voters who are unable to exercise their franchise due to either the nature of their job or geographical location of their posting.

 

Union Govt planning to fast-track irrigation projects in Indus basin

The Union Government is planning to fast-track four projects in Indus river basin to increase irrigation area in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) by nearly 2.05 lakh acres. This decision was taken after India had decided to ex-ploit to the maximum the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers Indus, Jhelum and Chenab as per Indus Water Treaty (IWT). Three projects Prakachik Khows Canal in Kargil, Tral Irrigation Project in Pulwama and restoration and modernisation of main Ravi Canal in Jammu’s Sambha and Kathua are expected to be completed by this fiscal. The fourth project of Rajpora Lift Irrigation is planned will be completed by December 2019.

 

PM launches Sandesh 2Soldiers campaign

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a campaign through which people can send their Diwali greetings and messages to the soldiers to boost their morale. The messages can be sent under the #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign on the Narendra Modi App, through MyGov.in, and also through All India Radio. PM Modi will be leading the campaign.

 

PM Narendra Modi announces India’s first Railway University in Vadodara

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the integrated terminal building of Vadodara’s Harni Airport on 22nd October 2016. He is also scheduled to attend a programme to distribute artificial limbs and other implements to more than 8000 ‘Divyangs’ (disabled persons) in the city. The event has been jointly organised by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Kanpur based Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), and Vadodara district administration.

 

NABARD sanctions Rs. 19,702 crore loan to National Water Development Agency

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has sanctioned loan worth Rs. 19,702 crore to National Water Development Agency (NWDA). The loan will be provided through NABARD’s Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF) for 50 irrigation projects from 11 States. This loan will be part of the Central share of assistance to State Governments. It will ensure front loading of resources so that the identified incomplete irrigation projects under Pradhan Mandtri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) are executed in time. Loan released by NABARD to NWDA would be disbursed to the respective State Governments as Central Share in the projects sanctioned. The LTIF was set up by NABARD as a sequel to the initia-tives announced by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for irrigation purpose in his Budget Speech 2016-17.

 

Aviation scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) takes off

The Centre unveiled a regional connectivity scheme, known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), with flights priced at Rs.2,500 for one hour of flying time to and from regional airports. Operators have a six-week window (till December 2) to submit their initial proposals. The Government will take two-three days to scrutinise the proposals from various operators keen to operate on RCS routes and announce the winner within 14 days and the entire process is likely to take 10 weeks to complete. The scheme, which provides Viability Gap Funding for operators who cap fares on these flights at Rs.2,500, allows only one operator to fly on a RCS route for three years.

 

STATES

 

Jammu and Kashmir Government launches Jhelum-Tawi Flood Recovery Project

Jammu and Kashmir Government has launched Jhelum-Tawi flood recovery project to give push to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure post-2014 floods in the state. The project which is funded World Bank was formally launched Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar. The project was conceptualised and pursued by former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in the aftermath of devastating floods of 2014 in the state. It aims at reconstructing and recovering support in flood-affected areas in which public infrastructure and livelihoods were impacted severely. It will focus on 20 flood-affected districts in state. As a follow up the Union Government and World Bank had signed a $250 million credit agreement for the project.

 

Maharashtra becomes first state to adopt Fly Ash Utilization Policy

Maharashtra became the first state in the country to adopt the Fly Ash Utilization Policy. It was approved by state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The policy paves way for prosperity by generating wealth from waste and environment protection. The policy seeks 100% use of fly ash generated from thermal power plants and biogas plants for construction activities. Facilitates use of fly ash to make bricks, blocks, tiles, wall panels, cement and other construction materials.The policy extends use of fly ash to 300 kms radius of power plant from earlier 100 kms radius of power plant. It will help in environment protection and save soil excavation. It also will make available raw material for construction at low cost to help ‘Housing for All’ projects. It will also help create new employment opportunities in the power plant sector and pave way for prosperity by generating Wealth from Waste.

 

Gujarat govt to open generic medicine stores for poor patients

“Gujarat govt has decided to start Deendayal generic medicine stores to sell generic medicines.“These stores will remain open 24 hours and sell around 1000 generic drugs to the poor patients at 40 to 80 percent lower rates. As per the decision announced on 10 November 2016, in the first phase, 52 stores will be opened in cities and towns. Minister of State for Health, Shankar Chaudhary said, trained staff will operate these computerised stores.”

 

Andhra Pradesh tops World Bank’s energy-saving rankings

The sunrise state Andhra Pradesh has been ranked number one in the World Bank’s ‘Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’. The ranking of the states were released in the World Bank’s study report titled: ‘India’s State Level Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness’. Andhra Pradesh topped with overall score of 42.01 followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34) and Maharashtra (39.29). Kerala, Gujarat, Delhi (UT), Punjab, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are the other states in the top ten ranking in that order. Andhra Pradesh topped the list by achieving an energy saving of 1,500 million units (MU) i.e. around 650 MW in two years through use of LED lighting.

 

Maharashtra first to launch cyber police stations in all districts

Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to have a cyber-police station in each district to take on cyber criminals. In this regard, state government is converting 42 state-of-the-art cybercrime labs into cyber police stations simultaneously. These cyber police stations will also be set up at police commissionerate and Range IG offices. Any offence related to cybercrime will be registered in these police stations at district level. Be-sides, additional cyber police stations will also be set up in some cities.

 

51st Haryana Day observed

The 51st Haryana Day was observed on 1 November 2016. The day was observed as Haryana Golden Jubilee (Swarna Jyanti) across the state. The day marks completion of 50 years of Haryana’s existence as a state of the federal map of India. The year will be celebrated as Haryana Swarna Jyanti from 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017.

 

Kerala becomes open defecation free state

Kerala has become the third Open Defecation Free state in the country after Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) (Gramin). The announcement in this regard was made by the Drinking Water and Sanitation Secretary Parameswaran Iyer in New Delhi on the occasion foundation day of Kerala (1 November). With this Kerala becomes first high density populated state in the country to achieve Open Defecation Free status. All 14 districts, 152 blocks, 940 Gram Panchayats and 2117 villages of the State have been declared free from open defecation. Freedom from open defecation has been proven to lead to significant health benefits in terms of incidences of water-borne diseases, especially in children, and provide safety and dignity for all, especially women and senior citizens.

 

November 1 to be observed as No Tobacco Day in Punjab

Punjab government will observe November 1 as ‘No Tobacco Day’ in an effort to discourage tobacco use in the state. Chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has issued directions to all the deputy commissioners in this regard. The aim of this campaign is to reduce prevalence of tobacco or nicotine use in Punjab in order to reduce prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Sale of loose cigarettes, tobacco and e-cigarettes are banned in Punjab.

 

Maharashtra tops NITI Aayog’s agri marketing index

“Maharashtra has been ranked first state in the country in 2016 Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index. The first-ever index based on initiatives taken by the states in implementing farm sector reforms was issued by the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. The index ranks states based on their initiatives taken in implementing provision of seven farm sector reforms. These reforms have been proposed under model APMC Act, joining eNAM initiative, special treatment to fruits and vegetables for marketing and level of taxes in mandis. States are ranked based on score on the scale ranging from 0 to 100. The minimum score of 0 implies no reforms at all and score of 100 means state is friendliest to farmers. The index identifies three major parameters. They are “(i) reforms in agricultural marketing“(ii) land lease and “(iii) forestry on private land.”

 

Ease of Doing Business A.P., Telangana top in 2016 all-India ranking

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has released the report on State-wise Ease of Doing Business rankings on 31st October 2016. The rankings are on the basis of 340-point business reform action plan and their implementation by the States. This covers the period from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Andhra Pradesh and Telengana topped the all-India ranking with 98.78 per cent each, followed by Gujarat with 98.21 per cent; Chhattisgarh with 97.32 per cent and Madhya Pradesh with 97.01 per cent. Haryana ranked sixth with 96.95 per cent followed by Jharkhand with 96.57 per cent; Rajasthan with 96.43 per cent; Uttarakhand with 96.13 per cent and Maharashtra completed the top 10 with 92.86 per cent.

 

Himachal Pradesh declared India’s second Open Defecation Free State

The State of Himachal Pradesh was officially declared Open Defecation Free (ODF). Every individual household in the state has functional toilet under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. With this, Himachal Pradesh becomes the second State in the country after Sikkim to achieve the feat. However, among bigger states Himachal Pradesh is the first state to become ODF. Himachal Pradesh has successfully achieved total rural sanitation coverage of 100% in the state. Besides, all 12 districts in state were declared as well as verified as ODF. This status will further entitle Himachal Pradesh to receive World Bank funding under Rs 9,000 crore project to sustain sanitation campaign. Open defecation means people defecate in open spaces such as fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water rather than using the toilet.

 

Life expectancy highest in Jammu and Kashmir RGI Data

According to the data given by the Registrar General of India (RGI), Jammu and Kashmir has the highest life expectancy (i.e. post-60 life expectancy), except life ex-pectancy at birth. With this, Jammu and Kashmir has surpassed Kerala which used to be the leader in life ex-pectancy in almost all categories of age till 2010. RGI’s Sample Registration System (SRS) had published state level life expectancy data prepared following surveys done between 2010 and 2014. The data was released for different ages: 0 (at birth), 1, 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70. It had defined life expectancy as estimate of average number of additional years that a person of a given age can expect to live. However this statistical system was confined only to 21 bigger states and UTs and it did not produce life expectancy numbers on 15 small states and UTs such as Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep.

 

Haryana to observe 2017 as Garib Kalyan Varsh

Haryana Govt has decided to observe 2017 as the “Garib Kalyan Varsh”. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Manohar Lal on 26 October 2016. During the observation period of Garib Kalyan Varsh, the government would lay emphasis on welfare of poor people and generating employment opportunities for the youth.

 

Uttarakhand High court bans sale of whitener

The Uttarakhand High Court ordered state government to completely ban on the sale of whitener in the state following the death of a teenager from sniffing an excess of it. The High Court issued the order by taking suo motu cognisance of the death of the 14-year-old boy due to sniffing excess whitener for a kick. Besides, the high court also ordered that items such as Feviquick, Iodex should not be sold to children below 18 years of age in view of prevalent abuse of these among teenagers. Whiteners are mainly used for erasing ink on paper and as shoe whitener. It contains volatile aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons such toluene and trychloroethane which are intoxicating chemicals.

 

CONFERENCES

 

World Internet Conference 2016 concludes in Wuzhen, China

The 2016 World Internet Conference concluded on 18 November 2016 in Wuzhen, China. The theme of the 3rd World Internet Conference, which commenced on 16 November 2016, was Innovation-driven Internet Development for the Benefit of All-Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace.

 

International Conference on Brucellosis 2016 inaugurated in New Delhi

The International Conference on Brucellosis 2016 and the 69th meeting of the International Society on Brucellosis was inaugurated in New Delhi. The three day conference has been organised by the Department of Bio-technology (DBT) in collaboration with Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR). It highlights to Provide a technical platform for scientist and experts from all over the world including Participants from 26 countries and Help endemic countries in designing effective control strategies and eradication methods as per the laws governing the livestock production systems.

 

India to preside next edition of COP in Geneva in 2018

India will preside the eighth edition of the Conference of Parties (COP) to WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which will be held in Switzerland’s Geneva in 2018. Health Secretary CK Mishra has been chosen as the President of the COP Bureau, for the next two years, after a unanimous decision by the COP7 Plenary session.

 

Union Govt unveils steps to boost cybersecurity

Union Government has unveiled a slew of measures in an attempt to strengthen cyber security in India. It was announced by the Union Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Economic Editors’ Conference-2016. The conference was organised by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Finance in New Delhi.Central Government is taking measure to strengthen Cert-IN (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team), the governments’ cyber security arm Mandatory for all organisations having a significant IT infrastructure will need to appoint cyber security officers.

 

Interior Ministers of IOR adopts Colombo declaration to Counter Drug Trafficking

The High Level Meeting of Interior Ministers of Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to Counter Drug Trafficking was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It had adopted Colombo declaration. The delegates from 18 littoral states of the IOR have resolved to work towards making the region a “Drug Free Zone”. Indian delegation was led by the Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir. The high-level meeting was attended by 18 littoral states of the IOR which included seven Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Home Affairs/Interior. It was also attended by seven international organizations and UN agencies engaged in counter-narcotics initiatives in the region.

 

PM Inaugurates 1st Intl Agro-biodiversity Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first In-ternational Agro-biodiversity Congress in New Delhi. The 4-day Congress (from November 6 to 9, 2016) will be attended by 900 delegates from 60 countries to discuss conservation of genetic resources. The conference has been organised by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources and Biodiversity International, a CGIAR Research Centre headquartered in Rome, Italy. It will address the threats imposed by climate change and ways to achieve sustainable agriculture production. It may adopt ‘Delhi Declaration on Agrobiodiversity management and use’. India is one of the most diverse countries in the world possessing unique crop and animal diversity. It covers only 2.4% of the world’s land area and yet it harbours 7-8% of all recorded species, including over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals.

 

New Delhi Declaration, Asian Regional Plan adopted at AMCDRR 2016

The 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) adopted ‘New Delhi Declaration’ and ‘Asian Regional Plan for Implementation of the Sendai Framework’. It was the first AMCDRR to be held after the advent of the Sendai Framework for DRR (SFDRR) 2015-2030. The next AMCDRR will be held in Mongolia in 2018. AMCDRR was established in 2005. It is a biennial conference jointly organized by different Asian countries and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).The Conference also commemorated the first World Tsunami Awareness Day (observed on 5 November) to spread awareness on tsunami. The observance of the day stressed on the importance of early warning systems and preparedness of communities in order to mitigate damage from the often devastating natural hazard.

 

India to host 7th session of COP7 on tobacco control from Nov 7-12

India will host 7th session of Conference of Parties (COP7) on tobacco control from November 7-12, 2016 at India Exposition Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The conference will provide an opportunity to learn from other countries and showcase the steps taken by India to check tobacco consumption. More than 1500 delegates from 180 countries along with other Observers in official relations with the WHO FCTC Secretariat, Geneva are expected to participate in the conference. It is the first occasion that a Conference of Parties (COP) meeting is being held in India.

 

47th international film festival of India to be held in Goa in November

SEVEN MARATHI films – including four feature and three non-feature films – have made the cut to be screened at the Indian Panorama of the 47th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa from November 20 to 29. The block-busters like Sultan, National-award winning Baahubali and Airlift will be screened at the upcoming 47th International Film Festival of India. The selection has been made from a submission of 38 feature and 22 non-feature Marathi films.

 

Global Conference to strengthen Arbitration & Enforcement held in New Delhi

The first ever global conference to strengthen Arbitration and Enforcement in India was held in New Delhi. The 3-day Conference was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 21 October 2016. The conference aims to provide impetus to commercial arbitration in country or faster and efficient dispute resolution outside the court room. It was started with title ‘National Initiative On Strengthening Arbitra-tion and Enforcement’. It was held to change the face of dispute resolution in India. For the first time six leading international arbitral institutions and all major industry associations had participated in it. Discussions on Indian Arbitration Act, Case Management of Arbitration, Setting up an world class autonomous arbitration institution and court support for arbitration were held.

 

Western Zonal Council Meeting held in Mumbai

The 22nd meeting of the Western Zonal Council consisting of the States of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli was held at Mumbai under the chairmanship of Shri Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers and Ministers of these States and Administrators of Union Territories as well as senior officers of Central and State Governments. The Council reviewed the progress of implementation of the recommendations made in the last meeting. Thereafter, the Council took up issues which relate to coastal security, internal security, issuance of bio-metric identity cards to fishermen & issue of card readers, formulation of plans for countering terrorism, modernization of police force etc. It also reviewed other important issues such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban) Mission, providing shelters to the urban homeless, and surplus lands of Union Government for ‘Housing for All: 2022’. Issues related to checking pollution in Daman Ganga River and Kolak River due to discharge of untreated effluents from Vapi industrial area was also discused.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Latin Grammy Awards 2016

“The 17th annual Latin Grammys has been announced at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, US. The nominations were announced on September 21, 2016. Latin Grammy Award is given by The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the Latin music industry.“ List of Winners:“1. Record of the Year-Carlos Vives & Shakira, “”La Bicicleta 2. Best Rock Album-Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, La Salvación De Solo Y Juan 3. Best Pop/ Rock Album-Julieta Venegas, Algo Sucede 4. Best Singer-Songwriter Album-Manuel Medrano, Manuel Medrano 5. Best Regional Song-””Ataúd,”” Erika Ender, Manu Moreno & Mónica Vélez, songwriters (Los Tigres Del Norte).”

 

5 decades and 200 films later, Jackie Chan ‘finally’ wins Oscars

Hollywood actor Jackie Chan received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film on November 13th at the annual Governors Awards. While receiving the award Chan (62) praised his home-town Hong Kong for making him “proud to be Chinese,” and thanked his fans.

 

Professor Raj Bisaria selected for Kalidas Samman

Madhya Pradesh Government has selected renowned theatre personality Prof Raj Bisaria for the prestigious ‘Kalidas Samman’ national award for 2015-16. He will be bestowed with the prestigious award for achievement in theatre in a ceremony to be held in Ujjain. He was born on November 10, 1935. He is director, producer, actor and educationalist. The Press Trust of India (PTI) describes him as the father of the modern theatre in North India.

 

Shamik Chowdhury wins the German Green Talent award

Indian researcher Shamik Chowdhury was awarded the German Green Talent Award. His name is among the list of 25 young researchers who have been honoured with the award. The award was conferred to Shamik Chowdhury by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for his innovative approach in sustainable development, resource efficiency, cleaner production and eco-innovation.

 

Saudi Arabia awards water prize to 8 scientists

Saudi Arabia has awarded eight scientists the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water at a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York.The ceremony was hosted on 3 November by UN. Friends of Water and presided over by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon along with the prize committee chairman Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz. The bi-annual prize, established in 2002, aims to provide recognition to scientists and others whose work creatively addresses the problem of water scarcity.

 

PM gives away Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has presented the Ramnath Goenka Awards for Excellence in Journalism at a function in New Delhi. The honour acknowledges exceptional work across 28 categories in print, broadcast and online journalism in English, Hindi and regional languages. The Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Awards, the biggest annual event in the Indian media calendar, was instituted by the Ramnath Goenka Foundation in 2005 to celebrate the legacy of the founder of The Indian Express Group. It recognises excellence in journalism and showcases outstanding contributions by individuals each year. In both the size of the award and its scope, these are the largest news media awards in the country. With this year, over 300 journalists from over 50 news organisations – domestic and international – have received these awards. Its categories cover investigative, political and sports journalism, non-fiction writing, feature writing, sports and entertainment, commentary and work done in regional languages.

 

2 Yazidi women Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji win 2016 Sakharov Human Right Prize

Two Yazidi women Nadia Murad Basee and Lamiya Aji Bashar have been selected for European Union’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights for year 2016. Both of them were among thousands of Yazidi girls and women who were abducted by Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and forced into sexual slavery in 2014. But both survived and had escaped sexual enslavement. Now they campaign for the Yazidi community. They also have become figureheads for effort to protect Yazidis, followers of an ancient religion with more than half a million believers concentrated in northern Iraq.

 

Paul Beatty wins 2016 Man Booker Prize

Paul Beatty has won the 2016 Man Booker Prize. With this he becomes the first US author to win this prestigious literary award. He was be-stowed with this award for his racial satirical novel ‘The Sellout’ at a ceremony held in London’s Guildhall. His novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles.

 

Bill Murray wins Mark Twain Prize for American Humour

Comedian Bill Murray was honoured with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour. He was presented with the award at the ceremony organised at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington DC. Murray was awarded the 19th Mark Twain Prize for making an impact on U.S. society similar to Mark Twain’s.

 

AIIMS, Ganga Ram doctors chosen for Dr B C Roy award

Randeep Guleria, Head of Pulmonology from the AIIMS and C S Yadav, department of orthopaedics from the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital have been selected for the prestigious Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy Award for excellence in the field of medicine.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Ashwin 1st bowler ever to take 50 wickets in consecutive years

Ravichandran Ashwin, with his 5-wicket haul against England in the Visakhapatnam Test, became the first bowler ever to complete 50 wickets in two consecutive calendar years. The off-spinner took 62 wickets in 9 Tests in 2015 and has so far claimed 52 wickets in 9 Tests in 2016. Notably, Ashwin was the top wicket-taker in Tests last year.

 

Sindhu wins maiden Super Series Premier title

Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title after edging out Sun Yu of China in the finals of the USD 700,000 China Open badminton tournament in Fuzhou,China. Sindhu, who became the toast of the country after becoming the first Indian women to win a silver at Rio Games, continued her rampaging run as she lifted the prestigious title after beating Sun 21-11 17-21 21-11 in the summit clash that lasted an hour and nine minutes.

 

Indian Women’s hockey team wins 2016 Asian Champions Trophy

Indian Women’s hockey team has won the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy held in Singapore. It was the maiden win of Indian Women’s hockey team in Asian Champions Trophy. In summit clash held in Singapore, India defeated China by 2-1 goals. The first goal for India was scored by Deep Grace Ekka in the 13th minute which was equalised by China’s Zhong Mengling in the 44th minute. The second and winning goal was scored by Deepika Thakur that gave the India formidable lead to win the tournatment.

 

Dhoni most valued athlete among Indians, Federer globally Forbes Fab 40

Team India’s limited-overs cricket skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains the most valued Indian athlete in 2016, despite a drop in his brand value when compared with last year, shows the Forbes Fab 40 list released recently. The annual Forbes Fab 40 list, which estimates the brand value of top sports labels, athletes, teams and events, reveals that Dhoni’s brand value reduced from $21 million in 2015 to $11 million this year, and his rank slipped from fifth to 10th during the same period. However, he remains the only Indian among the top 10 athletes globally. Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer toppled golf great Tiger Woods as the most valued athlete globally. With a brand value of $36 million, Federer gained two notches from third last year, while Woods dropped four spots to stand fifth on the latest edition of the list. Among other top athletes on the list is Argentine foot-ball star Lionel Messi, ranked eighth. He was not among the top 10 last year.

 

Lewis Hamilton wins 2016 Mexican Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton outpaced Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to win the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo ended on the third spot in the race. The Mexican Grand Prix is an FIA-sanctioned auto race held at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City.

 

Sania Mirza retains World Number One ranking in Women’s Doubles

Ace Indian tennis star Sania Mirza will end the season as world’s top doubles Tennis player for the second straight year. Sania finished this season with seven Women’s Tennis Association, WTA titles, a Grand Slam and a semi-final finish in the year ending WTA Finals in Singapore. The ace Indian tennis star was close to being uprooted by Bethanie Mattek-Sands from the top spot, had the American won the WTA Finals Doubles title. However, Bethanie lost in the final and ensured that Sania willend the year at the top once again.

 

Union Govt recognizes Boxing Federation of India as National Sports Federation for Boxing

The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recognized Boxing Federation of India (BFI) as the National Sports Federation (NSF) for Boxing. This decision will give massive fillip to the recently-formed BFI and also give a boost to the sport of boxing which had suffered due to absence of an NSF in the discipline since 2012. The BFI was formed recently and had conducted its elections of its office bearers in September, 2016. AIBA, the International Body for boxing had recognized these newly elected office bearers of BFI. Considering the election report and other documents submitted by BFI, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports granted of recognition as NSF for Boxing.

 

Portugal’s Renato Sanches wins 2016 European Golden Boy Award

Portugal’s Renato Sanches on 24 October 2016 was awarded the 2016 European Golden Boy award. Sanches will be handed a trophy at a Monte Carlo ceremony. He defeated Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Bayern’s Kingsley Coman and AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donna-rumma to bag the prize.Sanches was selected following a vote by journalists from 30 newspapers across Europe to name the best player in 2016 under the age of 21.

 

India wins 2016 Kabaddi World Cup

India has won the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup by de-feating Iran by 38-29 score in the final match played at the Arena By TransStadia in Ahmedabad (Gujarat. It was India’s third consecutive Kabaddi World Cup in the Standard Style version of Kabaddi. Earlier India had won in 2004 and 2007. Captain of Indian team: Anup Kumar Captain of Iranian team: Meraj Sheykh. Kabaddi World Cup is standard style indoor international kabaddi competition conducted by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF). The competition has been previously contested in 2004, 2007 and 2016. All the three tournaments have been won by India by defeating Iran in the finals.

 

BCCI approves use of DRS in India-England Test series

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given its consent for using the Decision Review System (DRS) in the forthcoming five-Test series against England in November 2016. BCCI will use the DRS on a trial basis to evaluate the improvements and changes made to the system over a period of time. Earlier, BCCI as well as many members of the current Indian cricket team including Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had objected used of DRS as is not 100% accurate.

 

FIFA unveils mascot for 2018 World Cup

Zabivaka the wolf followed in the footsteps of Naranjito the orange, Footix the football-playing rooster and Fuleco the armadillo by being named as the official mascot of the 2018 World Cup. FIFA described its latest creation, unveiled during a live television show in the presence of Russian deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko and former Brazil striker Ronaldo, as “a wolf who radiates fun, charm and confidence”. The wolf, whose name according to FIFA means “the one who scores”, received 53 per cent of the more than one million votes cast in a poll, beating a tiger (27 percent) and a cat (20 percent).

 

ECONOMY

 

Union Budget to be presented on February 1

The government has announced that it will present the Union Budget for 2017-18 on February 1 and the budget session may begin in January. The government had issued the customary budget circular in September. Notably, the Centre earlier approved the scrapping of the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget and merged it with the Union Budget.

 

Govt, 3 PSUs to set up $2 bn equity fund for renewables

Union Govt decided to launch a 2 billion US dollar clean energy equity fund. The fund is being created to support government’s ambitious target of adding 175 GW renewable energy generation capacity by 2022.The government will launch the fund jointly with state-run power entities namely, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) and Power Finance Corporation Limited (PFC). In addition, the government is also seek-ing to collect 4 billion dollar per year in the next 3-4 years for a clean energy fund.

 

Australia announces 19 grants worth $6.3 million for projects with India

In a bid to boost ties with India, the Australian government on 02nd November 2016 has announced 19 grants worth $6,30,000 dollars for several projects in the field of education, science, sports, arts and culture. The successful grants include an exchange between TAFE NSW and India’s Centurion University to share expertise for training indigenous learners, collaboration between University of New South Wales and Indian scientists to develop effective new water purification systems for the country’s water supply.

 

SEBI tightens norms for credit rating agencies

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 01st November 2016 tightened rules for credit ratingagencies, prescribing more disclosures on suspension and with-drawal of ratings. The capital markets regulator also directed agencies to disclose the nature of their compensation arrangements with rated entities, including exchange of gifts. CRISIL, ICRA and CARE are the major agencies that assign credit ratings to issuers of debt instruments. The SEBI move follows an increase in the number of defaults due to a deteriorating corporate debt profile.

 

Benami Transactions Act to curb black money comes into effect

The new law to prohibit benami transactions will come into effect from 1st of next month (01st November 2016). Parliament had passed the Benami Transactions (Prohi-bition) Amendment Act, 2016 to curb black money. After coming into effect, the existing Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 will be renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions, PBPT, Act, 1988. The new legislation provides for seven years imprisonment and fine for those indulging in illegal transactions.

 

TRAI suggests Rs 3,000-crore fine on incumbents

Telecom Regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended Department of Telecom (DoT) to impose combined penalty of 3,050 crore rupees on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea cellular. It had mentioned that the penalty should be imposed on these telecom companies for allegedly denying interconnectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio. The Reliance Jio had alleged that due to inadequate interconnection points its subscribers were unable to make calls to other networks. TRAI has found that these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

Make in India in defence, Navy inducts 4 indigenous sonars

“The Indian Navy has formally inducted four types of indigenously developed sonars that will boost its un-derwater surveillance capability. The systems have been designed and developed by NPOL Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL), a Kochi based laboratory of DRDO.“These 4 types of sonars are“Abhay: It is an advanced hull mounted active-cum-passive integrated sonar system.“Humsa UG: It has been designed for upgrading the existing Humsa sonar system for intensifying the command over the high seas. “AIDSS: It stands for Advanced Indigenous Distress sonar system for submarines.“NACS: It stands for Near-field Acoustic Characterisation System.

 

China launches pulsar navigation satellite XPNAV-1

China has launched a navigation satellite, which will conduct in-orbit experiments using pulsar detectors to demonstrate new technologies. The X-ray pulsar navi-gation satellite was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center today. While in orbit, the satellite will undergo tests on its detector functions and space environment adaptability.

 

Scientists discover water on metallic asteroid Psyche

Scientists have detected the presence of water on Psyche, the largest metallic asteroid in our solar system. It was detected based on the new observations from the NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in Hawaii. The telescope observations show evidence of water or hydroxyl on its surface.It is a 3-meter telescope optimized for use in infrared astronomy. It is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii. Psyche is made of almost pure nickel-iron metal and is about 300 kilometres across.

 

NASA’s MMS creates new Guinness World Record

NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) Mission on 5 November 2016 set the Guinness world record for highest altitude fix of a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal at 70000 kilometers above the surface of the Earth. Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission successfully completed commissioning activities on 1 September 2015 and is now in full science mode.

 

NASA completes construction of James Webb Space Telescope

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has completed the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) after more than 20 years of work. JWST is the largest-ever space tele-scope is expected to launch in 2018 following the in-depth testing. It is bigger and more powerful than NASA’s operational Hubble Space Telescope. It is a 8.8 billion US dollars worth space observatory built to observe the infrared universe like never before.

 

IISER Researchers develop Gelator to scoop out marine oil spills

Researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram have developed a compound named gelator to scoop out marine oil spills. They had produced gelators using glucose as a starting material and through several other chemical reactions. The gelator molecule is partly hydro-philic and partly hydrophobic. The hydrophilic part helps in self-assembling to form gelator fibres, while the hydro-phobic part is responsible for its diffusion into oil layer. Since outer part of the fibre is hydro-phobic, oil tends to gets into spongy network made of fibres. Once inside the fibre network, oil loses fluidity and becomes a gel. The gel was strong enough to be scooped with a spatula.

 

India, Russia agree to double the range of BrahMos Missile

India and Russia have agreed to double the range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from 290 km to over 600 km. The decision in this regard was taken during the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Goa on the sidelines of the BRICS summit. Earlier, India was denied access to the missile technology with range over 300 km as it was not member state of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). But India’s recent accession to MTCR, allowed Russia to provide the critical systems and technology to extend the range of the missile beyond 300km. It will enhance the stand-off capability and the operational radius in striking targets of the missile. It will have major force multiplier due its speed and accuracy.

 

Uranus may have two more moons Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Idaho, US Uranus may have two tiny, pre-viously undiscovered moons orbiting near two of the planet’s rings. These two moons were detected by re-searchers after analysing decades-old images of Uranus’ icy rings taken by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft which had flown by the planet 30 years ago. Scientists have found that the pattern in Uranus’ rings was similar to moon-related structures in Saturn’s rings called moonlet wakes. They have estimate the hypothesised moonlets in Uranus’ rings may be four to 14 kilometres in diameter. It means they are as small as some identified moons of Saturn.

 

ISRO starts landing tests for Chandrayaan-2 mission

The Indian Space Research Organsiation (ISRO) has started a series of ground and aerial tests linked to the critical Moon landing of Chandrayaan-2. These tests were started as ISRO’s new site at Challakere in Chitradurga district, 400 km from Bengaluru. This site has simulated craters. ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) is the lead centre for the second Moon mission. It has arti-ficially created close to ten craters to simulate the lunar terrain and test the Lander’s sensors. ISAC will conduct many tests including on avionics and electronics, testing the Lander’s legs, followed by a combined full test. Chandrayaan-2 mission is tentatively set for late 2017 or early 2018. The mission includes an Orbiter, a Lander and a Rover. The Orbiter spacecraft will be launched from Sriharikota will travel to the Moon and release the Lander, which will in turn deploy a tiny Rover to roam the lunar surface. The mission includes soft-landing on Moon and moving a rover on its surface. All three project components will be sending data and pictures to Earth.

 

China’s Space Lab Tiangong-2 launches Micro-Satellite Banxing-2

China’s experimental space lab Tiangong-2 orbiting the Earth with two astronauts on board has successfully launched a micro-satellite Banxing-2. The two astronauts were launched into space onboard of the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft carried two astronauts on 11 October 2016. It docked with Tiangong-2 on 13 October 2016. The micro-satellite Banxing-2 is roughly the size of a desktop printer and the media has nicknamed “Selfie Stick”. It weighs 47 kilogrammes. It has series of visible light cameras, in-cluding a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers. It also has an infrared camera that is temperature-sensitive. Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong II and the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which has been docked with the lab. The micro-satellite has three solar panels which generates enough power to adjust its orbit to shoot pictures of the lab and spacecraft. its predecessor, Banxing-1, accomplished the same mission for Shenzhou VII in 2008. Banxing-2 is new model of its predecessor Banxing-1 which had accomplished the same mission for Shenzhou VII in 2008. However Banxing-1 is smaller and has a higher capacity.

 

ICGS Aryaman and Atulya Commissioned into Indian Coast Guard

The Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGSs) ‘Aryaman’ and ‘Atulya’ were commissioned into Indian Coast Guard in Kochi, Kerala. These ships are the eighteenth and nine teenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited. The ships have been christened ICGS ‘Aryaman’ and ‘Atulya’. Aryaman literally meaning is ‘Possessor of Greatness’ and Atulya meaning is ‘Unrivalled’. Both FPVs are 50m long and have displace of 317 tonnes of water. They can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with range of 1500 nautical miles. They are equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry, advanced communication and navigational equipment. These FPVs are ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast missions such as surveillance, interdiction and search and rescue. These ships have onboard Integrated Bridge Management System (IBMS) and Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS). Aryaman will be based at Kochi under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West). Atulya will be based at Visakhapatnam under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

Ami Bera re-elected to US Congress for third consecutive term

Ami Bera has been re-elected to the US House of Representatives for a 3rd consecutive term in a close election. This is the first time that the House would have 4 Indian-American members. Another Indian-American Kamala Harris has been elected to the US Senate.

 

Donald Trump elected 45th President of United States

Real estate mogul-turned politician and Republican Party candidate Donald Trump (70) was elected as 45th President of United States of America (USA). He will be the first President of USA without political experience since Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President). Besides, he will oldest first term President of USA. He will succeed Barack Obama and is scheduled to take office as the President of the USA on 20 January 2017. In the 2016 Presidential elections, Donald Trump gained 48% of the votes and 279 votes in the Electoral College to defeat Democrat Party opponent Hillary Clinton who gained 47% votes. Hillary Clinton had created history in this election by becoming the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major US political party.Born as Donald John Trump on June 14, 1946 in New York City, New York, United States. He is the chairman and president of Trump Organisation, a principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests.As of 2016, Forbes Magazine had listed him as the 324th wealthiest person in the world and 156th in the US.

 

Kamala Harris becomes first Indian-American to win US Senator seat

California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris (51) created history by becoming the first India-American to win the US Senate (upper chamber) seat from the state. She defeated fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez from her own party. She will replace Barbara Boxer who had announced her retirement in 2014 after serving more than two decades in the Senate. She is the sixth black individual to be elected to the US Senate. US President Barack Obama was the fifth black elected Senator. She is also the first black woman elected to the upper chamber in more than two decades. Kamala Harris is an American politician, lawyer and member of the Democratic Party.

 

Union Government appoints Praveen Kumar Sharma as CR, MD & CEO of CERSAI

The Union Government has appointed Praveen Kumar Sharma as the Central Registrar (CR), Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest of India (CERSAI). He was appointed by the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) for the tenure of three years. Prior to this appointment he was Sharma General Manager at State Bank of India (SBI).CERSAI is a central online security interest registry of India. It is a Government company licensed under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.

 

Ratnesh Kumar appointed MD and CEO of BoB Capital Markets

Bank of Baroda has appointed Ratnesh Kumar as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of its wholly-owned investment banking subsidiary, BoB Capital Markets Ltd. The public sector bank stated that Kumar started his career in the Indian capital markets and financial services sector in 1993.

 

Sarabjit Singh Marwah becomes Canada’s first Sikh Senator

India born Sarabjit Singh Marwah has become the first Sikh to be appointed to the Canadian Senate (upper house). He was among six people from Ontario who have appointed to Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. With this, he becomes the only Indian-origin member of the Canadian Senate. He is third Sikh person in the Canadian parliament after Defence Minister Harjeet Sajjan and Science Minister Navdeep Bains. There are over 20 MPs of Indian origin the Canadian House of Commons (lower house).

 

Bindheswar Pathak appointed as brand ambassador of Swachh Rail Mission

The Union Ministry of Railways has appointed Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak (73), the founder of Sulabh Inter-national as a Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission of Indian Railway. Indian Railways had tied up with Sulabh International to clean some important railway stations across the country as part of the mission with an aim to promote cleanliness at rail premises/ As a pilot project, Sulabh International had started cleaning and maintenance of five important railway stations Gorakhpur, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gwalior from September 2016.

 

Sushil Chandra takes charge as CBDT chairman

Senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Sushil Chandra took over as chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) today. He succeed Rani Singh Nair who retired from service. Chandra is a 1980-batch officer of Indian Revenue Service. Prior to this appointment he was working in the board as Member (Investigation). CBDT is nodal policy making body of the Income Tax (IT) department under the Union Finance Ministry. It is a statutory authority established under The Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. The composition of CBDT includes Chairman and six members. It is responsible for framing policy and administrative issues related to direct taxes and the Income Tax department.

 

Spain breaks deadlock,re-elects Rajoy prime minister

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s acting prime minister and leader of its center-right Popular Party, was re-elected after winning a parliamentary vote. Mr Rajoy has led a caretaker administration since losing his overall majority in an election last December. A repeat election in June failed to end the impasse but strengthened his hand. Spain has its first fully functioning government since December, when a general election left no party with a majority.

 

World Bank appoints Kristalina Georgieva as chief executive

Kristalina Georgieva, a former head of EU humanitarian affairs, has been appointed chief executive of the World Bank. She will succeed Sri Mulyani Indrawati on January 2017. Georgieva is a Bulgarian economist and administrator and currently serving as European Commission Vice President for Budget and Human Resource.

 

IPS officer Karnal Singh appointed as Director of Enforcement Directorate

The Union Government has appointed Senior IPS officer Karnal Singh as the Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED). Decision in this regard was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be in office till 31 August 2017. Karnal Singh is 1984-batch IPS officer of the Union territories cadre. Prior to this appointment, he was holding additional charge as Director of ED for over a year. The Economic Enforcement is economic intelligence and law enforcement agency agency responsible for en-forcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.

 

International Hockey Federation appoints Jason McCracken as new CEO

The International Hockey Federation has appointed New Zealand’s Jason McCracken as its Chief Executive Officer. McCracken will be leaving his role as Head of Insurance and Investment Risk at banking group ANZ to take on his new post at FIH’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. He will replace Kelly Fairweather, who is leaving for the International Tennis Federation after six years in the role.

 

Ratan Tata replaces Cyrus Mistry as Tata Sons chairman

In one of the biggest upheaval in the corporate sector, the Tata Sons Board has appointed Ratan Tata as the interim chairman of the group, replacing Cyrus Mistry. The decision was taken at a Board meeting. Mistry has resigned from his post as chairman.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Bulgarian PM resigns after losing presidentialelection

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov gave resignation of his cabinet after his party’s candidate Tsetska Tsacheva , failed to win the country’s presidential election on November 14, 2016. Right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party candidate Tsetska Tsacheva, speaker of parliament, was defeated by Socialist Party-supported independent candidate Rumen Radev.

 

Twitter COO Adam Bain is stepping down

In a big loss to Twitter, the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Adam Bain who was in charge of the micro-blogging website’s revenue business, has decided to leave the company. According to a company filing, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anthony Noto will take over as COO. Bain joined the company six years ago from Fox and has been credited with building Twitter’s entire multi-billion dollar advertising business. He’s in-credibly well liked inside the company, and some even believed Bain would take over as CEO last summer when Dick Costolo stepped down.

 

Twitter India MD Parminder Singh resigns

Two days after Twitter India head Rishi Jaitly announced his exit, the microblogging network’s MD for India, Southeast Asia and Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). Singh’s departure marks a series of high-level changes in Twitter’s man-agement, even as the company’s growth slows down globally and layoffs continue at its offices around the world.

 

Miroslav Klose confirms retirement and joins Germany coaching staff

Miroslav Klose, the top scorer in World Cup history, is ending his playing career and will join Joachim Löw’s coaching staff as he studies for his pro licence, the German football association (DFB) have confirmed. The 38-year-old retired from international football after winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014, scoring twice to bring his total goal tally from four tournaments to 16. He is also Germany’s record scorer with 71 goals.

 

C). DEATHS

 

World’s first heart transplant doctor passes away

Renowned heart surgeon Denton Cooley, who performed the world`s first artificial heart transplant in the United States, has passed away at the age of 96 in Houston, Texas. Cooley, who was the founder of Texas Heart Institute, pioneered many techniques still used in cardio-vascular surgery.

 

Former J&K Governor Lt Gen S K Sinha passes away

Former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen S K Sinha passed away at a hospital after brief illness. He was 92. He was first admitted to the base hospital here on November 1 with a fracture in his femur bone and ribs and was later shifted to the R and R hospital after some complications developed.

 

Noted geophysicist Janardhan Negi passes away

Noted geophysicist Janardhan G Negi (81) has recently passed away in Hyderabad. He was the former Director-grade scientist at the National Geophysical Re-search Institute (NGRI). He was known for making out-standing contribution in understanding earthquakes, mass extinctions, especially dinosaurs and the movement of the Indian sub-continent plates.

 

Leonard Cohen dies aged 82: tributes pour in to legendary singer-songwriter

Leonard Cohen, the baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who seamlessly blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like Hallelujah, Suzanne and Bird on a Wire, has died at age 82. Cohen, also renowned as a poet, novelist and aspiring Zen monk, blended folk music with a darker, sexual edge that won him fans around the world and among fellow musicians like Bob Dylan and R.E.M.

 

Former J&K Deputy Chief Minister passes away

Former Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma died on 3 November 2016, after a prolonged illness. He was 85 years old. The six-time legislator also served as speaker of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. He served as Deputy Chief Minister in the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-Congress coalition government and later served as Health Minister in 2006, when Ghulam Nabi Azad took over as Chief Minister of J&K.

 

Japan’s Prince Mikasa, world’s oldest royal, dies at 100

Japanese Prince Mikasa, uncle of Emperor Akihito, died at the age of 100 on Thursday, 27 October. He was the oldest imperial family member in the world. Mikasa was the fifth in the line of succession to the Japanese throne Chrysanthemum, a metaphorical name for the monarchy.

 

Legendary Kashmiri singer Raj Begum dies

Celebrated Kashmiri singer Raj Begum passed away on 26 October 2016 in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. Begum was one of the most recognized female singers in the Kashmir Valley. She was 89. She was awarded Padma Shri in 2002.

 

Legendary football Carlos Alberto Torres dies

Legendary footballer Carlos Alberto Torres passed away on 25 October 2016 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was 72. Carlos was known for scoring one of the greatest goals in World Cup history in 1970 final against Italy.

 

Tom Hayden, famed anti-Vietnam war activist, dies at 76

Tom Hayden, a 1960s anti-war activist and one of the era’s most prominent, counter-culture radicals who went on to serve in the California state assembly and senate, has died aged 76. Hayden died in Santa Monica, California, after a long illness.

 

Mehar Mittal, legend of comedy in Punjabi movies, passes away

Veteran Punjabi actor Mehar Mittal, who acquired legendary status with his comic roles, passed away at a hospital in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, on Saturday after prolonged illness. He was to turn 81 on October 24. Mittal has been a well-known face in Punjabi movies for over four decades. He worked in more than 100 movies and ruled the small screen too.

 

D). VISITORS

 

Israel President arrives in Mumbai on 6-day visit to India

Israel President Reuven Rivlin arrived in Mumbai on November 14th on a six-day visit to India to further strengthen bilateral ties. He will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The Israeli leader will join President Pranab Mukherjee in opening an agro-tech conference in Chandigarh.

 

Mauritius PM Anerood Jugnauth to visit Mumbai on November 18

Mauritius Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth is set to visit the city on November 18, where he is expected to discuss various issues, including one that provides a sub-sidy for Bollywood films shot there, with the Maharashtra government. Jugnauth, along with a team of eight officials will visit Mumbai on November 18, where the both governments are expected to sign deals which would benefit manufacturers and exporters in both nations. Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar will hold a meeting with the Mauritius PM at the state guest house Sahyadri, where a 100 people, besides officials from both governments, would be invited.

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

Sonu Sood’s Xuanzang is China’s official entry to Oscars

China has selected historical-adventure film Xuanzang, which co-stars actor Sonu Sood, as its official entry for the 89th Academy Awards. The 43-year-old actor, who made his debut in the Chinese film industry with the film, is playing the character named Harsha. Sonu shared the news on Twitter and posted his look from the film. Directed by Huo Jianqi, other Indian actors in the cast include Neha Sharma and Ali Fazal.

 

Daughters of Mother India wins at CAM International Film Festival

Indian National Award winning documentary ‘Daugh-ters of Mother India’ won the first prize in the Documentary Film category at the sixth CAM International Film Festival in Cairo, Egypt. The CAM International Film Festival was organised by Arabic Egyptian Society for Culture, Media and Arts (CMA). The fest was held from 8 October to 13 October 2016. The fest is organised annually to promote cinema as a means of combating ignorance, poverty and terrorism. India was the Guest of Honour in the film gala with 12 entries.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

‘Lost’ Chandrabhaga river found in Odisha

Scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have claimed to discover evidence of lost river Chandrabhaga in Odisha. Earlier, KS Valdiya led expert committee had found out that Saraswati River did exist and flowed through India and Pakistan before meeting Arabian Sea through Rann of Kutch. Chandrabhaga River is an ancient mythical river believed to have existed at a distance of about two km from the 13th century Sun Temple at Konark (built by King Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty in 1255 CE.), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Odisha. It has been mentioned prominently in ancient literature. Besides, almost all lore regarding Konark, including illustrations and photographs, indicate presence of the river in proximity of temple. However at present, no trace of any water body is at present visible in proximity of temple.

 

Antartica’s Ross Sea declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area

Antartica’s Ross Sea was declared as world’s largest Marine Protected Area (MPA) to protect the Earth’s most pristine marine ecosystem. It was declared after landmark international agreement among 24 countries and European Union in Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart, Australia. The Ross Sea is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world. It covers 1.6 million square kilometers.ross-sea MPA status to Ross Sea will bring blanket ban on commercial fishing across about three quarters of its area for 35 years. Ross Sea in the Southern Ocean is home to 38% of the world’s Adelie penguins, 30% of world’s Antarctic petrels and around 6% of world’s population of Antarctic minke whales. It is also home to huge numbers of krill, a staple food for species including whales and seals.

 

Books in News

 

Vice President Releases Throor book ‘An Era of Darkness, British Empire in India’

Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari released book ‘An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India’ authored by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, the Lok Sabha MP. The book recalls in some detail the misdeeds of the British in looting India and making it suffer an agonizing and violent death. In it, author has rightly points out that British rule in India was effectively and regularly supplemented by famine, forced migration and brutality – the three examples of why British rule over India was despotic and anything but enlightened.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Union Cabinet approves constitution of Special committee for inter-linking of rivers

The Union Cabinet has approved constitution of ‘special committee for inter-linking of rivers’ in compliance with a 2012 Supreme Court order. Decision in this re-gard was taken in the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The constitution of committee will help in monitoring precious projects to be carried out under its National Perspective Plan, 1980. The special committee will submit status-cum-progress report bi-annually to Union Cabinet to fa-cilitate faster and appropriate decisions in the interest of the country.

 

GoM recommends heavy fine and ban on celebrities endorsing products in misleading ads

A high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) has approved imposing a heavy fine and ban on celebrities who en-dorse products making unrealistic and dodgy claims. The GoM headed by Union Finance Minister was tasked to look into the issue of Celebrity endrosement and recommendations of Standing Committee of the Parliament on the recently introduced The Consumer Protection Bill, 2015. GoM recommendations are – First time offender celebrities should be fined Rs 10 lakh and banned for one year. Second and subsequent offenders should be fined Rs 50 lakh and banned for up to 3 year. Dropped Standing committee’s proposal of jail term to celebrities found guilty for misleading endorsement.

 

Union Govt reconstitutes Inter-State Council

The Union Government has reconstituted the Inter State Council (ISC) and the Standing Committee of the ISC under Clause 2 of the Inter State Council order,1990. The Inter-State Council is a constitutional body to facilitate coordination between states and the centre. It will be headed by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

Composition of reconstituted Inter State Council (ISC) Members

Chief Ministers of all states and Union Territories (having legislative Assembly), Six Union Ministers. Besides, administrators of Union Territories which do not have legislative Assembly are also members of the Council.

 

One-man judicial Committee on OROP submits report to Defence Minister

 

The one-man judicial committee on One Rank One Pension (OROP) set up by the Union Government, has submitted its report to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The Union had appointed the committee under the Chairmanship of retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court L Narasimha Reddy in December 2015. It was tasked to look into the anomalies arising out of implementation of OROP. The committee had held hearings at around 20 cities and towns across the country and interacted with cross sections of ex-servicemen as well as their associations. It also had received 704 representations from individuals and various ex-servicemen associations and had held extensive interactions with all stakeholders.

 

Union Govt forms panel to resolve telecom penalty row

The Union Telecom Ministry has formed a commit-tee to look into the regulator TRAI’s recommendation of a Rs. 3,050 crore penalty on top three telcos-Airtel, Vodafone and Idea. The committee has been asked to give a report on the recommendations soon likely to be before 15 November 2016. Earlier TRAI had recommended Department of Telecom to impose penalty on these three incumbents telecom companies for denying interconnection points to Reliance Jio. According to TRAI, these three companies have violated licence norms by denying adequate interconnection points to Reliance Jio Infocomm. TRAI had recommended fine for Airtel and Vodafone to Rs.1,050 crore for 21 service areas (all, expect Jammu and Kashmir) and for Idea the penalty was pegged at Rs 950 crore for 19 service areas (all, except for Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States).

 

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 

Universal Children’s Day is observed on November 20

United Nations Universal Children’s Day was established in 1954 and is celebrated on November 20th each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare. November 20th is an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It is also the date in 1989 when the UN General assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

 

November 19 : World Toilet Day

The World Toilet Day is observed every year across the world on 19 November to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the global sanitation crisis. Significance of Day: It seeks to draw attention of people around the world to raise global awareness of the daily struggle for proper sanitation which in fact is a human right along with clean water. 2016 Theme: “Toilets and jobs”.

 

November 17 : World Philosophy Day

The World Philosophy Day was observed globally on 17 November 2016. This year, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) organised the special events from 16 November to 18 November. The Day is celebrated on every third Thursday of November. This year, the Day was celebrated in line with the International Day for Tolerance (16 November).

 

International Day for Tolerance 2016 observed across the world

The International Day for Tolerance is observed globally on 16 November every year. The Day aims at educating masses about the need for tolerance in society and helping them understand the negative effects of in-tolerance.

 

November 14 : World Diabetes Day

The World Diabetes Day is observed across the world on 14 November. The theme for this year is “Eyes on Diabetes”. World Diabetes Day is an annual campaign, led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. It is celebrated every year on 14 November and engages millions of people worldwide in diabetes advocacy and awareness.

 

November 14 : Children’s Day

On 14th November, Children’s Day is celebrated every year to mark the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Pandit Nehru had a great love for children. He wanted to be among them, talk to them and play with them. The children also loved and respected him and called him CHACHA NEHRU.

 

November 12th : World Pneumonia Day Observes today

World Pneumonia Day is observed across the world on 12 November. The day is annually observed to raise awareness about pneumonia, the world’s leading killer of children under the age of five; promote interventions to protect against, prevent and treat pneumonia; and generate action to combat pneumonia. This year theme is, “Keep the Promise, Stop Pneumonia Now”.

 

November 10 : World Science Day for Peace and Development

The World Science Day for Peace and Development is observed on 10 November 2016 across the world to raise awareness of benefits of science in our daily life. 2016 Theme: “Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums”. It highlights the importance of science centres and museums for capacity building and to send strong messages about the importance of science for sus-tainable development. To mark the day, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had organised special campaigns, visits to science museums for school children, etc.

 

November 5: World Tsunami Awareness Day

The First World Tsunami Awareness Day was observed across the world on 5 November 2016 to spread awareness among people across the world about Tsunami. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had constituted the day by adopting a resolution in December 2015. The proposal was first mooted by Japan after the 3rd UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai (Japan) in March 2015. World Tsunami Awareness Day 2016 Theme is “Effective Education and Evacuation Drills”. It aims to spread awareness among people across the world in matters related to the dangers of tsunami. It will stress on the importance of early warning systems in order to mitigate damage from the devastating natural calamity.

 

2 November: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

The International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists was observed globally on 2 November 2016. The Day is celebrated to spread awareness against the violence and crimes done to journalists and media workers and to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers, and ensure that victims have access to appropriate remedies. It aims to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and with out undue interference.

 

October 31: Rashtriya Ekta Diwas

Rashtriya Ekta Diwas (National Unity Day) is observed across India on 31 October to commemorate birth anniversary of Independent India’s first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel. Observance of the day pro-vides an opportunity to re-affirm inherent strength and resilience of our nation to withstand actual and potential threats to unity, integrity and security of our country. National Unity Day 2016 Theme is: “Integration of India”. To mark this occasion various activities and events are being organised across ministries and departments all over the country. Besides, Run for Unity was organised in New Delhi. The idea of Rashtriya Ekta Diwas was mooted by PM Narendra Modi in October 2014 to mark the birth anniversary of country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

 

October 31: World Cities Day

The World is observing Cities Day globally on 31st October to work together for a planned and sustainable urban life in the wake of rapid growth of population and problems. The day aims to promote international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world. 2016 Theme is “Inclusive Cities, Shared Development“. It highlights the role of urbanization as a source of global development and social inclusion.

 

Vigilance Awareness week commences from 31st October 2016

The Central Vigilance Commission, as part of its efforts to promote probity in public life and to achieve a corruption free society, observes Vigilance Awareness Week every year. The week in which 31st October, the birthday of late Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel falls is observed as Vigilance Awareness Week. The observance of the Vigilance Awareness Week has commenced from today (31st October 2016), with pledge taking by public servants in the Ministries/ Departments/ Central Public Sector Enterprises/ Public Sector Banks and all other Organizations. “Public participation in promoting integrity and eradicating Corruption” has been chosen as the theme for Vigilance Awareness Week this year by the Commission.

 

28 October: National Ayurveda Day

The first National Ayurveda Day was observed on 28 October on the occasion of Dhanwantari Jayanti. The theme for this year is ‘Ayurveda for Prevention and Control of Diabetes‘. Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine based on the idea of balance in bodily systems and uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. It has been incorporated in Atharva Veda, the last of the four Vedas. To celebrate this day, the Union Ministry of AYUSH had organized a day-long national seminar on Prevention and Control of Diabetes through Ayurveda in New Delhi. Besides, the Ministry also had launched Mission Madhumeha through Ayurveda on the occasion. The Mission Madhumeha will be implemented throughout the country through a specially designed National Treatment Protocol for effective management of Diabetes through Ayurveda. The national treatment Protocol was also released on occasion of National Seminar.

 

27 October: World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage was observed across the world on 27 October 2016. The theme for the day was “It’s Your Story – Don’t Lose It.” It aims to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken to safeguard audiovisual document. It also focuses on acknowledging the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity.

 

October 24: United Nations Day

The United Nations Day is being observed globally on October 24. The day marks the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter (the founding document of UNO) in 1945. It entered into force on 24 October 1945 after it was ratified by the original five permanent members of the Security Council-China, France, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (now Russia), United Kingdom, and United States and majority of the other signatories. With the ratification of UN Charter, the United Nations officially came into existence. This year’s UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Besides, UN Day Concert is also organised in the United Nations General Assembly Hall with the theme ‘Freedom First’.This day is part of United Nations Week,which runs from 20 to 26 October.

 

21 October: Police Commemoration Day

Police Commemoration Day was observed on 21 October. At the Annual Conference of Inspectors General of Police of States and Union Territories held in January 1960, it was decided that October 21 would be ob- served as ‘Commemoration Day’ in all Police Lines across India to mark the memory of police personnel who were killed in Ladakh in a faceoff with the Chinese Army and all the other Police personnel who have been killed on duty elsewhere. The faceoff took place at Hot Springs in North Eastern Ladakh. A memorial has been erected at Hot Springs and, every year, Police personnel from across India trek to Hot Springs to pay their respects. Since the year 2012, the Police Commemoration Day Parade is being held at the National level at the Police Memorial, Chanakyapuri. Loss of lives Since 1961, 32, 557 police personnel have lost their lives in service of the nation and society. Between September 2013 and August 2014, 662 police personnel throughout the country have lost their lives in the line of duty.

 

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Oct 2016 Current Affairs Study Material

INTERNATIONAL

Historic Global Greenhouse gas emission Agreement signed in Kigali

 

A historic global climate deal was reached in Kigali, Rwanda at the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP28). The so called Kigali Amendment which amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol aims to phase out Hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), a family of potent greenhouse gases by the late 2040s. Under Kigali Amendment, in all 197 countries, including India have agreed to a timeline to reduce the use of HFCs by roughly 85% of their baselines by 2045. HFCs are a family of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that are largely used in refrigerants in home, car air-conditioners and air sprays etc. These factory-made gases had replaced CFCs under the 1987 Montreal Protocol to protect Earth’s fragile protective Ozone layer and heal the ozone hole over the Antarctica.

 

WHO releases Global Tuberculosis Report 2016?

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 highlighting that countries need to move much faster to prevent, detect and treat Tuberculosis (TB) in order to meet global targets. The report highlights the considerable inequalities among countries in enabling people with TB to access existing cost-effective diagnosis and treatment interventions that can accelerate decline in TB worldwide. While efforts to respond to TB saved more than 3 million lives in 2015, however TB burden is actually higher than previously estimated and reflecting survey data from India. Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa. Three countries carry the major burden of MDR-TB-India, China, and the Russian Federation – which together account for nearly half of all cases globally.

 

Russia & Turkey agree to intensify military, intelligence contacts

 

The Russia and Turkey have agreed to intensify military and intelligence contacts. They also have agreed on the need for aid to get to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Decision in this regard was taken after meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin on sidelines of World Energy Congress in Istanbul. The two countries also have signed a deal to construct two TurkStream gas pipeline pipelines to send Russian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey. Turkey will use one pipeline for its domestic consumption and the other will supply southeastern Europe, bypassing Ukraine.

 

France becomes first country to ban plastic cups and plates

 

France has become the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic cups and plates. The country has passed a law in September 2016 that will go into effect in January 2020. The law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials that can be composted at home. That number will rise to 60% by January of 2025. The measure is an addition to France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act, a wide-reaching law adopted in 2015 with the aim of mitigating the impact of climate change.

 

WHO declares Region of the Americas as Measles free

 

The World Health Organisation, a specialised agency of UN has declared the Region of the Americas as Measles free. With this, the Americas became the first in the world to have eliminated measles, a viral disease that can cause severe health problems, including pneumonia, blindness, brain swelling and even death.

 

Cuba, Russia sign Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation

 

Russia and Cuba have signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of peaceful atomic energy use. The agreement was signed between Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom and Cuba’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in Vienna. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of International 60th Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference held in Vienna, capital city of Austria. The deal lays down the basis for further cooperation in different fields from agriculture to training nuclear specialists.

 

Typhoon Megi Hits Taiwan

 

The powerful typhoon Megi has recently hit island-nation Taiwan with winds up to 230 km/hr that causing heavy rains and triggering damaging winds. It is equivalent to Category 4 tropical cyclone. Pakistan assembly passes marriage bill protecting Hindu women’s rights Pakistan’s lower house of parliament has passed a landmark bill that will address the Hindu minority’s concerns over the registration of marriages, which is required for measures aimed at protecting women’s rights. The bill will address other key issues of the Hindu community, including matters related to divorce and forced conversions.

 

Colombia, FARC sign Historic Pact ending 52-years Civil War

 

The Colombian Govt and left-wing FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) rebels have signed a historic agreement that formally brings an end to 52 years of civil war. The agreement was signed by President Juan Manuel Santos and rebel leader Timoleon Jimenez, known as Timochenko at the ceremony in Cartagena. Under the deal, the FARC will be re-launched as a political party and will be able to contest elections scheduled to be held in October 2016. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is Colombia’s largest rebel group and Latin America’s oldest left-wing insurgency.

 

UNSC approves resolution for global implementation CTBT to ban nuclear weapons tests

 

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has approved a resolution urging quick global implementation of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty (CTBT) to ban tests of nuclear weapons. The resolution has welcomed progress made towards universalization of the Treaty with 14 votes in favour of it and one abstention (Egypt). The CTBT bans all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes. It was adopted by the UNGA under resolution 50 (1996). The Treaty will enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification by all. So far, 183 countries have signed the CTBT and 166 States have deposited their instruments of ratification.

 

193 countries sign declaration to stamp out drug-resistant infections

 

The 193 countries of the United Nations (UN) have signed a landmark declaration to rid the world of drug-resistant infections or Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs. It is the fourth time a UN declaration has been reached on a health issue, following HIV in 2001, non-communicable diseases in 2011 and Ebola in 2013. The signatory countries now have two years to submit action plan. These submitted plans are expected to address the seriousness and scope of the situation. It will also agree on sustainable, multisectoral approaches to addressing antimicrobial resistance.“Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs such as antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, antimalarials, and anthelmintics. Microorganisms that develop antimicrobial resistance are sometimes called as ‘superbugs’.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

Russia to lease another nuclear-powered submarine to India

 

Russia has quietly signed an agreement with India to lease out a second Russian Akula-2 class nuclear-powered submarine to the Indian Navy. The attack submarine will arrive in Indian waters in 2020-21. The lease agreement was signed between PM Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the BRICS Summit in Goa.

 

BRICS to set up credit rating agency

 

The five-nation group of emerging economies BRICS has agreed to set up an independent BRICS Rating Agency in its efforts to challenge western hegemony in the world of finance. It was announced during the 8th BRICS summit held in Goa, India. BRICS comprises five emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS Rating Agency will be based on market-oriented principles to strengthen the global governance architecture. It will be launched as per the shared vision of the BRICS nations for institution-building to transform global financial architecture based on the principles of fairness and equity. It will assist BRICS and other countries to rate infrastructure and sustainable projects in the emerging economies. Thus, it will further bridge the gap in global financial architecture.

 

India, Russia sign 16 agreements across diverse sectors

 

“India and Russia have signed 16 agreements across diverse sectors including in defence, infrastructure, energy, space, ship building sectors etc. They were signed following delegation-level talks co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 17th India-Russia Annual Bilateral Summit in Goa.“Some of the signed agreements are:“1. Agreement on cooperation in International Information Security.“2. MoU for expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.“3. Shareholder agreement for establishing a Joint Venture to manufacture Ka-226T helicopter in India.“4. MoU for developing smart cities in Andhra Pradesh and Haryana.“5. MoU for setting up an investment fund of $1 billion by the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).”

 

Global hunger index – 2016

 

India ranked 97th out of 118 countries on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Global Hunger Index (GHI) in 2016, behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, among others, but ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian countries. It was positioned at 80 out of 104 countries the previous year. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is a multidimensional statistical tool used to describe the state of countries’ hunger situation. It descrebes India’s hunger situation as “serious.” On a 0-100 point scale with 100 being the absolute worst in hunger levels, India scored 28.5 – a marginal improvement of a quarter point since the turn of the century. But with the country all set to be the most populaous in the world in the next 10-odd years, the improvement may well reverse.

 

Pakistan announces postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in Islamabad

 

Pakistan has postponed the 19th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit after India and four other countries announced to boycott the Summit. The summit was schedule to be held on November 9th and 10th, 2016 in Islamabad, capital city of Pakistan. Besides, it was also announced that new set of dates for holding the summit at Islamabad will be announced soon by Nepal, the Chair of SAARC. Pakistan’s decision is a boost for India’s diplomatic efforts to corner Pakistan over the terror attack at Uri.

 

IGI becomes Asia-Pacific’s first carbon neutral airport

 

The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport has become Asia-Pacific’s only and one of the world’s few airports to achieve a carbon neutral status. The announcement in this regard was made by the Airports Council International (ACI) during the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate presentation ceremony to IGI in Montreal, Canada. The Airport Carbon Accreditation certificated has upgraded the IGI airport’s status to “Level 3+, Neutrality,” the highest level for airports across the world. Less than 25 airports in the world and most of them are located in Europe, have earned this carbon neutral status.

 

India will not attend SAARC Summit in Islamabad MEA

 

India will not take part in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad (Pakistan) to be held in November 2016. This decision was taken in view of the continuous cross border terrorism by Pakistan which has created environment which is not conducive to successful holding of Summit. In this regard, the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has conveyed to current SAARC Chair Nepal. Besides, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also have conveyed their reservation about attending the Summit. Increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and Growing interference in internal affairs of member states by one country (not naming Pakistan).

 

India, US Joint Military Training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2016 concludes

 

India and United States (US) Joint Military Training Exercise Yudh Abhyas 2016 concluded at the Chaubattia Military Station in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand. The bilateral military exercise was the twelfth edition in the YudhAbhyas series which started in the year 2004 under US Army Pacific Partnership Program. This was the third time the exercise is being conducted at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand. The YudhAbhyas 2016 aimed at strengthening and broadening the inter-operability and cooperation between the Indian and US armies. It had witnessed Field Training Exercises of Brigade Headquarter based Command Post Exercise and also discussions on issues of mutual interest by experts of both countries.

 

India, Russia begin joint military exercise in Vladivostok

 

The 8th edition of the Indo-Russia joint military exercise ‘Indra 2016’ was flagged off in Vladivostok in Russia. Indra, a portmanteau of the names of both the countries, is a biannual exercise which has been carried out between the two allies since 2003. This year, the focus is on Counterterrorism Operations in Semi Mountainous and Jungle Terrain under United Nations Mandate. Interestingly though, Russian troops arrived in Pakistan the same day for the first-ever Pakistan-Russia joint military exercise dubbed “Friendship-2016″.

 

India, France ink deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets

 

The Union government has cleared the deal with France for buying 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly away condition at a cost of €7.878 billion. The deal will be signed, in the presence of French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian. The contract for the deal was cleared by the Cabinet Committee on Security earlier. The price was fixed in May. The government also cleared the Inter-Governmental Agreement.

 

NATIONAL

 

Union Govt proposes 4 GST slabs

 

The Union Govt has proposed a four-slab rate structure for the new indirect tax regime i.e. Goods & Services Tax (GST) ranging from 0 to 26 per cent. It was proposed at the meeting of the GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and included representatives from all states in New Delhi. Outcomes of Meeting based on consensus Compensation of states due to loss of revenue after implementation of GST from 1 April 2017. Secular growth rate of 14% will be taken into consideration for calculating the revenue of each state in the first five years of implementation of the GST. Base year for calculating the revenue of states will be 2015-16. Good items along with other 50% items of common usage to be exempted from the tax to keep the inflation under check. The GST is proposed to be levied at 6% (lower rate), 12% (Standard 1 rate), 18% (Standard 2 rate) and 26% (Higher rates) on the goods and services. It will be 0% on host of goods and services, including food, health and education services, and 26% on luxury items, such as fast-moving consumer goods and consumer durables. On consumption of ultra-luxury items and demerit goods, such as big cars and tobacco products, cess must be imposed over and above a 26% GST rate.

 

2nd Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav

 

The second edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav (RSM)-2016 was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in New Delhi. The 10-day event aims to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India in all its rich and varied dimensions. RSM 2016 will show-case Handicrafts, Painting, Cuisine, Photography, Sculpture, Documentation and Performing Arts-Folk, Tribal, Classical and Contemporary in one place. Nearly 2,000 artists from across the country will showcase India’s cultural heritage through performances, arts during the cultural extravaganza. It is one of the five such festivals planned in this financial year in different parts of India including Bangalore, Varanasi and Jammu and Kashmir.

 

PM launches National SC/ST hub and Zero Defect – Zero Effect scheme

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National SC/ ST hub and the Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) at Ludhiana in Punjab. Besides, he also presented National Awards to MSMEs. He also distributed 500 traditional wooden charkhas (spinning wheels) among women. The objective of the SC/ ST (Schedule Castes/ Schedule Tribes) Hub is to provide professional support to entrepreneurs from the SC/ ST. It also seeks to promote enterprise culture and entrepreneurship among the SC/ ST population and to enable them to participate more effectively in public procurement. ZED Scheme aims to rate and handhold all MSMEs to deliver top quality products using clean technology. It will have sector-specific parameters for each industry. MSME sector is crucial for the economic progress of India and this scheme will help to match global quality control standards.

 

Ashok Leyland launches first India-made electric bus

 

Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland today launched – Circuit – the first “Made in India” electric bus. The bus with a minimum seating capacity of 35 to a maximum of 65 can run up to 120 kilometres on a single recharge under standard test conditions.

 

Union Govt launches satellite-based illegal Mining Detection System

 

Union Government has launched Mining Surveillance System (MSS), a pan-India surveillance network to check illegal mining using latest satellite technology. MSS is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to check illegal mining activity through automatic remote-sensing detection technology in order to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration. Mining Surveillance System (MSS) is developed by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) in coordination with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar.

 

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Shaurya Smarak in Bhopal

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 October 2016 inaugurated ‘Shaurya Smarak’, the war memorial in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The ‘Shaurya Smarak’ was constructed by the state government in honour of those who laid down their lives for the country. The Smarak built over an area of 12.67 acres of land. It was developed at an expense of 41 crore rupees includes a 62-foot Shaurya Stambh. It has light and sound facility to narrate stories of bravery of the nation’s valiant soldiers, who have laid down their lives fighting enemies on the borders. Various stages of life, war, death and victory over death have been displayed here.

 

22 MPs from smaller parties, independents in Rajya Sabha recognised as a consolidated bloc

 

Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has recognised a group of 22 MPs belonging to smaller parties and certain Independents as a consolidated bloc – the United Group. With this recognition the United Group, will be the third largest group of MPs in the Rajya Sabha, after the Congress and the BJP. This is only the third time in the history of Indian Parliament consolidated bloc has been recognised, the first was in 1983 and the second in 1990. In 1983, the first such consolidated group was called United Associations of Members was recognised by the then Rajya Sabha Chairman M.Hidayatullah. In 1990, the then chairman of Rajya Sabha recognised organised group of Parliamentarians and was re-named as the United Group.

 

Cabinet approves setting up of IIM Jammu

 

The Union Cabinet has approved the setting up of an Indian Institute of Management school in Jammu on 13 October as part of PM Narendra Modi’s development package for Jammu and Kashmir. The development package included better facility for education of children, employment to youths, modern facility for treatment, facilities for promotion of tourism in the state and special arrangements for production of fruits in the State. The government recently set up an Indian Institute of Technology in Jammu.

 

Draft National Water Framework Bill, 2016 suggests basin-level management

 

The Central Govt has brought final draft of the National Water Framework Bill, 2016 to provide uniform national legal framework to manage water in a better and efficient way. The comprehensive draft Bill proposes model law for all states. However, water being a State subject under VII Schedule of constitution the law will be not binding on States for adoption.

 

Himansh, India’s remote, high-altitude station opens in Himalayas

 

A high altitude glaciological research station in Himalaya called Himansh (meaning a slice of ice) began functioning above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Researchers will use this station as a base for under taking surveys that would digitize the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision. Himansh station will provide much needed fillip to the scientific research on Himalayan glaciers and its hydrological contribution. The re-search lab has been established by the National Centre for Ant-arctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Spiti Valley, one of the most uninhabited parts of the country The station houses instruments to quantify glacier melting and its relation to changing climate.

 

Union Government extends anti-dumping duty on certain Chinese products

 

The Union Government has extended anti-dumping duty on import of certain Chinese products, used in garment, toys and footwear manufacturing, for another five years i.e. till 2021. Decision in this regard was taken by Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) based on recommendations of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD). This extension will protect domestic industry from the harm caused by dumping (import) of the cheap Chinese products. The DGAD made the case for continuation of the anti-dumping duty on Chinese products after its second sunset review of the anti-dumping duty in force on the imports. Earlier in October 2010, the Revenue Department of the Unio Finance Ministry had extended the levy (anti-dumping duty) till October 2015.

 

Women can also be prosecuted under domestic violence law-SC

 

Not only men but women can also be prosecuted under the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence (DV) Act. The Supreme Court has struck down the words “adult male” from the pertinent provision in the DV Act to lay down that a woman can also file a complaint against another woman, accusing her of domestic violence.

 

India’s first international arbitration centre inaugurated in Mumbai

 

The first International Arbitration Centre of India was inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra to provide an arbitration platform for Indian business houses to negotiate commercial disputes. The Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA) was launched by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. With this Maharashtra becomes first state in the country to clear policy for institutional arbitration. It is also considered as a major step towards making Mumbai an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) The MCIA will be an independent, not-for-profit organization (NGO) governed by a council comprising eminent national and international legal luminaries. It will provide world-class infrastructure for arbitration, 24×7 functionality and live transcription services recording during arbitration proceedings for transparency. It will be in sync with the Make in India campaign and will provide a time bound and cost-effective facility to reinforce investor confidence.

 

India-Pakistan border to be sealed completely by 2018

 

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that India-Pakistan border will be completely sealed by December 2018. Announcement in this regard was made after Union Home Minister held meeting of representatives of 4 states sharing border with Pakistan in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. Central government has formulated time-bound action plan to completely seal the entire stretch of 3,323-km-long border between the two countries. The process of sealing border will be monitored at Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) level, Border Security Force (BSF) level and chief secretary of states level.

 

Government integrates 250 mandis in 10 states with e-agriculture market in 1st phase

 

The government has integrated 250 mandis in 10 states with the electronic national agriculture market (e-NAM) in the first phase. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the e-NAM on a pilot basis with 22 mandis in eight states. The target was to integrate 200 mandis by September this year and total 585 by March 2018.

 

Union Government approves Rs.114 crore worth projects under HRIDAY Scheme

 

The Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth Rs.114 crore under HRIDAY scheme for improving infrastructure facilities around core heritage sites in five cities. These five cities are: Varnasi (Uttar Pradesh), Amritsar (Punjab), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Odisha) and Warangal (Telangana). Projects in these districts were selected based on recommendation of inter-Ministerial HRIDAY National Empowered Committee.

 

Cabinet approves amendments to HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014

 

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce amendments to the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Bill, 2014. The Bill seeks to safeguard the rights of people living with HIV and affected by HIV. It seeks to prevent social stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV (PLHIV). It also seeks to strengthen legal accountability and establish formal mechanisms for inquiring into complaints and redressing grievances to probe discrimination complaints against those who discriminate against PLHIV.

 

Election Commission of India collaborates with Facebook to register young voters

 

Social networking site Facebook is collaborating with the Election Commission of India in five states, which are going to polls next year, to run a voter registration drive aimed at encouraging youth to participate in the democratic exercise. Facebook is collaborating with the Election Commission and the office of Chief electoral officers in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand for the first time in the country to run a voter registration drive. With over 155 million people in India on Facebook, the ‘Register to vote’ button is designed to encourage citizens across these five states to exercise their vote in the upcoming elections. From October 6 to 9, Facebook users in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand who are 18 years and above received a reminder in their News Feed to register to vote.

 

Union Govt launches Indian Bridge Management System

 

The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched the Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS). It was launched by Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi as a major step towards ensuring safety of bridges in the country. IBMS is being developed to create an inventory of all bridges in country and rate structural condition of the bridges. The rating will help for their timely repair and carrying rehabilitation work based on the criticality of the structure. IBMS is the largest platform in the world owned by a single owner, with database that could exceed one lakh fifty thousand bridge structures.

 

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India Sanitation conference in New Delhi

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India Sanitation conference (INDOSAN) in New Delhi ahead of second anniversary of Swachh Bharat Mission. PM Modi in his inaugural speech highlighted need of behavioural change to achieve the dream of Swachch Bharat and also need to ensure a dirt free India like Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha which was instrumental for the end of colonialism. The Prime Minister also gave away cleanliness awards to Sindhudurg District (Maharashtra), Mandi district (Himachal Pradesh), Pune, Chandigarh and Mysore Municipal Corporations, Gangtok city (Sikkim), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Surat railway station, PGIMER Chandigarh, heritage site Rani ki vav in Gujarat and Kendriya Vidyalaya FRI Dehradun. INDOSAN is envisaged as an annual national event, that seeks to brings together all stakeholders working in sanitation.

 

Indian Army carries out surgical strikes on terror launch pads across LoC

 

Indian Army has successfully conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line of Control () in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) i.e. along India’s de-facto border with Pakistan. The surgical strikes were India’s first direct military response to attack on Uri army base by Pakistan-based militants that had killed 18 Indian soldiers. The motive of the operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into the Indian territory. During the operation, significant casualty was caused to terrorists . The cross-border action comes India reviewed Indus Waters Treaty with Pakistan and pulled out of the regional SAARC Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan as part of a wider diplomatic offensive to isolate Pakistan. Surgical strike is a military attack which is intended to only damage to the intended legitimate military target and no or minimal collateral damage to surrounding structures, general public infrastructure, vehicles, buildings and utilities.

 

Union Cabinet gives approves Varistha Pension Bima Yojana, 2003 and 2014

 

The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2003 and Varistha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2014. The Cabinet also granted approval for expenditure incurred on subsidy amount released to LIC for the both schemes. VPBY was launched on 14th July, 2003 and was open till 14th August, 2015 and VPBY was launched on 14th August, 2014. Both the schemes are closed for future subscriptions. These schemes were implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). Both are pension schemes intended to give an assured minimum pension to Senior Citizens based on an assured minimum return on the subscription amount. The pension is envisaged until death from the date of subscription, with payback of the subscription amount on death of the subscriber to the nominee.

 

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s 109th birth anniversary observed across India

 

India is observing the 109th birth anniversary of revolutionary socialist Shaheed Bhagat Singh. He was born on 28 September 1907, and was an influential figure in the Indian independence movement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Bhagat Singh on his 109th birth anniversary. Delhi Government decided to commemorate the day by organising Shaheed Utsav.

 

Union Govt decides to suspend talks on Indus Waters Treaty

 

The Union Government has decided to suspend all talks on India-Pakistan Indus Waters Treaty in the wake of the Uri attack. Decision in this regard was taken by meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was attended by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, Water Resources Secretary and senior PMO officials. No review or abrogation of the Indus Waters Treaty. Decision to utilise water under India’s share to fullest. Suspend talks on the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC), the dispute redressal mechanism until terrorism stops. Review the 1987 suspension of the Tulbbul navigation project that Pakistan had objected. Build more run-of-the-river hydropower projects on western rivers (Indus, Jhelum, Chenab) to exploit full potential. Expedite construction of Pakal Dul, Sawalkot, Bursar dams in Jammu and Kashmir. Use 20% of river water allocated under treaty for Jammu and Kashmir farmers.

 

CSIR celebrates its platinum jubilee

 

India’s largest civilian research and development agency Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) celebrated its platinum jubilee. The platinum jubilee celebrations were in-augurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is also the President of CSIR. PM Modi also released seven new plant varieties developed at CSIR laboratories. He also witnessed exclusive CSIR Showcase on major technological contributions of CSIR.

 

Govt appoints ICICI Prudential AMC to manage new CPSE ETF

 

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management, Ministry of Finance has appointed ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Ltd as the asset management company for the creation and launch of a new Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) comprising stocks of PSUs in the current fiscal with an estimated corpus of Rs 6,000 crore. The government proposes to create and launch the ETF in addition to the existing CPSE ETF, comprising stocks of listed CPSEs and the central government’s stake in other corporate entities.

 

Union Govt to launch Mission Parivar Vikas for improved family planning services

 

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is going to launch Mission Parivar Vikas for improved family planning services in 145 High Focus districts in seven states. The objective of mission is to accelerate access to high quality family planning choices based on information, reliable services and supplies within a rights-based framework. These districts are located in the seven high focus states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam. They are having the highest total fertility rates and constitute 44% of the country’s population. They also have a substantial impact on maternal and child health indicators. As about 25 to 30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths occur in these districts.

 

Nation world’s largest solar power plant in TN

 

Adani Green Energy (Tamil Nadu) Ltd, part of the Adani Group has dedicated to the nation the world’s largest solar power plant of 648 megawatts (MW), set up at Kamuthi in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The plant has been set up with an investment of around Rs. 4,550 crore. It is part of the state government’s target to generate 3,000 MW in line with its new solar energy policy unveiled in 2012. The company sourced equipment and machinery from various parts of the world to set up the 648 MW capacity within a record time of 8 months.

 

Govt merges Railway Budget with Union Budget

 

The Cabinet on September 21 has approved the scrapping of the 92-year old practice of presenting a separate Railway Budget and merged it with the Union Budget. The Cabinet also approved the advancing of the date of presentation of the Union Budget to February 1, as against the current practice of presenting it on the last working day of February.

 

Indira Awas Yojana Renamed After Prime Minister

 

“The flagship rural housing scheme Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), started by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, has been re-structured and renamed as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), which will be launched next month. The IAY will be subsumed by the PMAY from April 1 next year. Under the new scheme, the government is aiming to construct one crore houses by 2019. Under IAY, the government has set a target of con-structing 38 lakh houses by end of the current financial year (2015-16), out of which 10 lakh have been completed. “Launched by Rajiv Gandhi in 1985, IAY is a centrally sponsored scheme funded on a cost sharing basis between the Centre and states in the 60:40 ratio, except in case of north east states and Union Territories (UTs). For north east states, the Centre funds 90 per cent of the cost and 100 per cent for the UTs.

 

STATES

 

Irom Sharmila announces formation of political party named PRJA

 

Human rights activist Irom Sharmila announced the formation of her political party named Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA). The announcement was made with a promise to fight for justice and peace among the people. While launching the party, the Iron Lady of Manipur said that she is entering electoral battle to fight against injustice after ending her nearly 16-year long hunger strike. Sharmila further said her party will contest for at least 20 seats in the coming state Assembly election to be held early in 2017. She will contest from two seats, Thoubal and Khurai. Thoubal is her home constituency, while Khurai is represented by Chief MInsiter Okram Ibobi Singh.

 

Telangana Govt creates 21 new districts

 

Telangana Government in its the biggest administrative reform has created 21 new districts. With this reorganisation, the total number of districts in the State went up to 31 from 10.

 

The 21 new districts are: Siddipet, Jayashankar, Jangaon, Jagtial, Yadadri, Warangal (Rural), Peddapally, Sangareddy, Kamareddy, Mancheriyal, Kothagudem, Vikarabad, Rajanna, Asifabad, Suryapet, Wanaparthy, Nirmal, Mahabubabad, Nagarkurnool, Jogulamba and Malkajgiri.

 

Earlier 10 districts are: Hyderabad, Mahabubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Karimnagar, Medak, Adilabad, Warangal, Nizamabad, Khammam and Nalgonda.

 

MP to launch ‘Lalima Abhiyan’ to make state free from anaemia

 

With an aim to make Madhya Pradesh anaemia-free, the state government has decided to launch a scheme-’Lalima Abhiyan’- that will be effective from November 1. Under the campaign, free iron folic acid tablets will be provided in aaganwadis’, academic institutions and hospitals. The Center has assured full cooperation to the state government in the matter. Acoording to National Family Health Survey data, 52.5 percent of women, aged between 15 to 49 years, are suffering from anaemia. Natural, modern and traditional measures will be publicised during the campaign that will involve the Public Health Engineering, Ayush and School Education Department as well.

 

Jharkhand becomes first state to implement DBT in Kerosene

 

Jharkhand has become the first state in the country to implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Kerosene Scheme. The scheme is being implemented in four identified districts of the state from 1st of October 2017. These districts are Chatra, Hazaribagh, Khunti and Jamtara. Under the DBTK scheme, PDS kerosene will be sold at non-subsidised price and the subsidy will be directly transferred to consumers directly into their bank accounts. It aims at rationalising subsidy based on the approach to cut subsidy leakages but not the subsidy.

 

Delhi Police launches Mobile App for senior citizens

 

The Delhi Police has launched a mobile application “Delhi Police Senior Citizen” for senior citizens to provide immediate assistance to them in distress. The facility was launched by Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at a function in New Delhi on the occasion of International Day of Older Persons (observed on October 1). The application has an SOS button integrated with a dedicated existing helpline for Senior Citizen – 1291. The app has been designed with features that allow users to press the SOS button in case of an emergency. The call will reach a dedicated station. If the user is unwell, an ambulance will be sent. In case for any other reason, a beat constable will be asked to contact the user.

 

Gurgaon officially renamed Gurugram

 

The Union Government has given its approval to change the name of Gurgaon to ‘Gurugram’. With this both the city as well as the district of Gurgaon would be known as Gurugram. It was announced by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar after presiding over the first meeting of the State-level ‘Swarna Jayanti Celebrations Committee’ at Panchkula. Gurugram is the mytho-logical name derived from Guru Dronacharya, the master of archery in Mahabharata who groomed the Pandavas and Kauravas in war tactics. It is said the village was given as ‘gurudakshina’ to Guru Dronacharya by the Pandavas and hence it came to be known as Guru-gram.

 

Telangana ties up with ISRO for bandwidth to telecast coaching programmes

 

The Telangana Government has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to get band-width to telecast Mana TV programmes. To start with, the TV channel will air coaching programmes for students appearing for various competitive examinations to get government jobs.

 

Agriculture Minister inaugurates Krishi Unnati Mela in Mathura

 

The Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has inaugurated the 4 days Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Krishi Unnati Mela – 2016, in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. Upadhyaya conceived the political philosophy Integral Humanism – the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The philosophy of Integral Humanism advocates the simultaneous and integrated program of the body, mind and intellect and soul of each human being.

 

TN government for Thaaliku Thangam scheme under marriage assistance programme

 

Tamil Nadu government has allotted Rs 204 crore towards the implementation of the enhanced gold scheme under a marriage assistance programme. Rs 204 crore has been allotted for ‘Thaaliku Thangam’ (Gold for Mangalsutra) scheme for the year 2016-17 to benefit 12,500 women. The scheme involves providing marriage assistance and gold for daughters of poor parents and widows among others to make ‘thaali.’ The assistance of Rs 25,000 for beneficiaries who have passed Class X and Rs 50,000 to those with an undergraduate degree or diploma is also given as part of the scheme.

 

Delhi’s Race Course Road renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg

 

Delhi’s Race Course Road has now been renamed as Lok Kalyan Marg. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence is located on this road. A decision to this effect was taken at a high-level meeting of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), presided by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The NDMC also decided to rename the Gurdwara Rakabganj round-about adja-cent to the Parliament complex as Guru Gobind Singh Chowk.

 

CONFERENCES

 

8th BRICS Summit concludes in Goa

 

The eighth BRICS summit was held in Goa from 15 to16 October 2016. The summit concluded with adaptation of Goa Declaration. The two day summit was attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma. The theme for the summit was “Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions”. BRICS nations condemns terrorism in all its forms and stressed that there can be no justification for such acts. International terrorism, especially the Islamic State (IS) is an unprecedented threat to international peace and security. The ninth BRICS Summit will be hosted by China in 2017.

 

First BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition held in Delhi

 

The first BRICS Trade Fair and Exhibition held in the national capital, ahead of the BRICS political summit in Goa. The fair is a platform for respective BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to exhibit state-of-the-art technologies and advances made in industrial development.

 

4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting held at Jaipur

 

The 4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting was held at Jaipur, Rajastan. The purpose of the meeting was to further strengthen the collaboration amongst the BRICS countries in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The meeting adopted a five-pronged approach, viz. Institution Building, Implementation, Integration, Innovation and Continuity. In alignment with the theme of India’s Chairmanship of 8th BRICS Summit, Building, Responsive Inclusive and Collective Solutions, Jaipur Declaration was unanimously adopted. The BRICS member countries have resolved to intensify, diversify and institutionalize STI cooperation through the BRICS innovation and research initiative. India’s proposal to establish a BRICS Science and Technology driven Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnership Programme to harness innovativeness of youth was also agreed.

 

India to host 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction

 

India is hosting the 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) from November 3 to 5, 2016 in New Delhi. This will be second time India hosting AMCDRR. The conference will be hosted by Union Government in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR). It will be first AMCDRR after advent of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRRR) which was adopted at 3rd UN World Conference in Sendai, Japan in March, 2015. India by hosting AMCDRR re-affirms its commitment to the cause of Disaster Risk Reduction. It will also set the direction of Sendai Framework implementation in the region. The aim of the conference is to trans-form the commitments of governments and stakeholders during the Sendai Conference into national and local action.

 

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates World Sustainable Development Summit

 

The President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of the World Sustainable Development Summit on the theme ‘Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress’ organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi on 06 October. WSDS has replaced TERI’s earlier called Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS). The first DSDS was organised in 2005. The aim of the summit is to provide various stakeholders a single platform in order to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community.

 

2nd SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism held in New Delhi

 

The second meeting of the High Level Group of Eminent Experts to strengthen the SAARC Anti-Terrorism Mechanism was held in New Delhi. Delegations from all eight SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) member countries participated in the conference. SAARC members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Issues of terrorism and the measures to strengthen the SAARC anti-terrorism mechanism were discussed. Besides, other important issues discussed during the meeting included terrorism financing, drugs trafficking and cybercrimes.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Robert De Niro to be honoured with Chaplin Award

 

The Film Society of Lincoln Center in the second week of October 2016 announced Robert De Niro as the recipient of the 44th Chaplin Award. De Niro will be presented with the award at an award gala on 8 May 2017. The Film Society of Lincoln Center is one of the world’s most prominent film presentation organizations.

 

R.A. Mashelkar conferred award by Centre for Organisation Development

 

  1. A. Mashelkar, former Director-General of CSIR, has been conferred the V Krishnamurthy Award for excellence by the Hyderabad-based Centre for Organisation Development. The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and Governor of Tamil Nadu, K Rosaiah, presented the award at a function in Hyderabad on 13 October. The award was instituted in 2000 to recognise excellence in management. V Krishnamurthy had contributed enormously to the public sector, BHEL and SAIL.

 

Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel prize in literature

 

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, for “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”. Dylan, 75, has won numerous awards, including twelve Grammys and one Academy Award.

 

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank awarded by Ugandan govt for his literary work

 

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has been conferred with a prestigious award by the Ugandan government for promoting human values through his literature. Nishank, who is currently a BJP MP from Haridwar, has authored a number of books and anthologies.

 

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

 

The Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 has been awarded to Co-lombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his efforts to end his country’s 50-year civil war. Mr Santos negotiated a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) guerrilla group but the peace deal was rejected by a narrow majority of Colombians when it was put to referendum. “The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process,” said a statement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

 

Three win Nobel chemistry prize for molecular machines

 

Frenchman Jean-Pierre Sauvage, British born J Fraser Stoddart and Dutch scientist Bernard Feringa on 5th Oct won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing molecular machines. The laureates share the 8 million kronor (USD 930,000) prize for the “design and synthesis” of molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added. The academy said molecular machines “will most likely be used in the development of things such as new materials, sensors and energy storage systems.” The chemistry prize was the last of this year’s science awards. The medicine prize went to a Japanese biologist who discovered the process by which a cell breaks down and recycles content. The physics prize was shared by three British-born scientists for theoretical discoveries that shed light on strange states of matter.

 

Thouless, Haldane & Kosterlitz win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

 

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 has been divided, one half awarded to David J. Thouless, the other half jointly to F.Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz “for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” Announcing the Prize on Oct 04 in Stockholm, a statement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that “This year’s Laureates opened the door on an unknown world where matter can assume strange states. They have used advanced mathematical methods to study unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, super-fluids or thin magnetic films. Thanks to their pioneering work, the hunt is now on for new and exotic phases of matter.” Last year, Physics Nobel was awarded to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. MacDonald for their work with neutrinos.

 

Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi

 

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” The professor is currently at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Announcing the Prize in Stockholm, the Nobel Committee said that the cell biologist “discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental process for degrading and recycling cellular components.” The 1974 Medicine laureate, Christian de Duve, coined the term autophagy (meaning “self eating”) in 1963. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for discoveries concerning novel therapies against river blindness, lymphatic filariasis and malaria to William C. Campbell, Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu.

 

Murga wins first prize at Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival

 

Murga has won the first prize at the Swachh Bharat Short Film Festival (SBSFF). The short film was directed by young filmmaker Katyayan Shivpuri from Maharashtra. The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu be-stowed award upon Katyayan with a certificate and cash prize of 10 lakhs rupees. The SBSFF was organised and curated by National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) on behalf of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The festival was the cinematic presentation of short films of not more than 3 minutes duration, dedicated to the Swachh Bharat Mission initiative of Central Government.

 

The Hindu wins reader engagement awards

 

The Hindu has been awarded the Silver and Bronze awards in the ‘Best Reader Engagement’ category of the South Asian Digital Media Awards at the WAN-IFRA (World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers) India 2016 conference in Kolkata. The Silver award went to the Ask Ashwin Contest from The Hindu Group’s sportstarlive.com. The Hindu’s online coverage of the Tamil Nadu Assembly Election Campaign 2016 bagged the Bronze award in the Best Reader Engagement category. The awards were presented at a glittering ceremony. The awards, presented by WAN-IFRA and Google, recognise publishers who have adopted digital media and mobile strate-gies as part of their total product offering to meet the major changes in how people consume news today.

 

Syrian aid group White Helmets wins Right Livelihood Award

 

Syrian aid group White Helmets has won the prestigious Right Livelihood Award which is also known as ‘alternative Nobel’ prize. The White Helmets also known as the Syria Civil Defence is a Syrian civil organisation of emergency responders in rebel-held areas. It has been honoured for their outstanding bravery, compassion and humanitarian engagement in rescuing civilians from the destruction of the Syrian civil war. The White Helmets will share the prize with Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina, Egypt’s feminist leader Mozn Hassan and leading independent Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Novak Djokovic retains top spot in ATP rankings

 

“Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic retained the top spot in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings. He is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Djokovic lost 640 points after he was defeated by Spain’s Roberto Bautista in the Shanghai Masters’ semi-final clash. Scotish player Andy Murray garnered 640 points after winning Shanghai Masters to be at second spot with 10.485 points.“The current ATP rankings are:“1. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 12.900 points“2. Andy Murray (Scotland) 10.485 points“3. Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland) 5.820 points“4. Milos Raonic (Canada) 4.690 points“5. Kei Nishikori (Japan) 4.650 points”

 

Andy Murray defeats Grigor Dimitrov to win China Open

 

British tennis player Andy Murray beat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets to win the China Open on 09 October 2016. Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska defeated British tennis player Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2 to win the China Open Women’s Singles at Beijing, China.

 

Kieren Dsouza becomes the first Indian to complete World’s toughest race, Spartathlon

 

Bengaluru’s Kieren Dsouza has become the first Indian to complete the Spartathlon, widely described as the “world’s toughest race”. The 23-year old completed the 246.6 km distance in the 2016 edition on Saturday, in 33 hours, one minute and 38 seconds. The Spartathlon is an annual run between Athens and Sparta in Greece, with a reported success rate of 50%.

 

Rani becomes 1st Indian woman to cross 60m in javelin

 

Javelin thrower Annu Rani broke her own national record and in the process became the first Indian woman to cross the 60m mark on the third and penultimate day of the 56th Open National Athletics Championships in Lucknow. 24-year-old Annu was representing Railways. Today’s effort was his fourth national record in two years.

 

India wins historic 500th Test by 197 runs against NZ

 

India notched up a mammoth 197-run win in their historic 500th cricket Test to assert their supremacy in home conditions, bowling out New Zealand for 236 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. After setting the Kiwis a rather improbable target of 434, the Indian bowlers, especially senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (6/132), revelled in home conditions to rip through the visiting team’s line-up with more than a session to spare.

 

Japan to host 2026 Asian Games Olympic Council of Asia

 

Japan’s Aichi prefecture and its capital city Nagoya were confirmed as co-hosts of the 2026 Asian Games. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) formally endorsed the bid after Aichi Prefecture governor Hideaki Ohumra and Nagoya city mayor Takashi Kawamura presented their joint offering to the OCA General Assembly in Danang, which is currently hosting the 5th Asian Beach Games.

 

Anup Kumar to lead India in Kabaddi World Cup

 

Star raider Anup Kumar from Haryana will lead India in next month’s Kabaddi World Cup to be held in Ahmedabad. All-rounder Manjeet Chillar will be Anup’s deputy in the 14-member squad for the tournament that is set to commence on October 7 and will feature 12 teams. The countries which will take part in the tournament are Iran, South Korea, Bangladesh, USA, England, Australia, Poland, Thailand, Japan, Argentina, Kenya and hosts India.

 

ECONOMY

 

Rosneft-led consortium buys India’s Essar Oil for $13 billion

 

Russian consortium led energy giant Rosneft Oil Company has agreed to acquire India’s second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil in an all-cash deal valued at about US $13 billion. The consortium includes Rosneft Oil Company, Netherlands-based commodities trader Trafigura and private investment group United Capital Partners. The business transaction was announced in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa. Under this deal Rosneft bought a 49% stake in Essar Oil’s refinery, port and petrol pumps, while Trafigura Group Pte and United Capital Partners split 49% equity equally. It includes $10.9 billion for Essar Oil’s Vadinar refinery (India’s second-largest refinery with a capacity of 20 million tonnes) and $2 billion for a port terminal that helps feed refinery. It also includes Essar Oil’s debt of $4.5 billion and about $2 billion debt with the Port Company and power plant.

 

In the First, Bank deposits cross Rs 100 lakh crore

 

According to the data released by the RBI ,India’ banking system reported total deposits of Rs 100 lakh crore for the first time ever in September month of this year. With demand deposits crossing Rs10 lakh crore and time deposits crossing the Rs 90 lakh crore mark, the month saw the highest-ever monthly rise of Rs 5.32 lakh crore – more than the total deposits in the banking sector 20 years back. Banks’ deposits grew at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.88% in the last five years, they had grown at a CAGR of 19.9% in the previous five years.

 

India now the 12th largest holder of US govt bonds

 

India’s holdings of the US government bonds touched a high of $123.7 billion in July, making it the 12th largest holder, US Treasury Department’s latest data showed. There has been a mixed trend in terms of India’s holdings of these securities in recent months amid the world’s largest economy seeing improved growth prospects. In July, China’s exposure stood at USD 1.22 trillion, followed by Japan with holdings to the tune of USD 1.15 trillion. Latest data available with the US Treasury Department shows that India raised its exposure by little over USD 6 billion to USD 123.7 billion in July.

 

Forex reserves touch record high of $372 billion

 

India’s foreign exchange reserves scaled a new high of USD 371.99 billion, up USD 1.223 billion for the week to September 30. The increase was on account of a USD 1.468-billion surge in the foreign currency assets. Previously, they had touched a high of USD 371.279 billion in the week to September 9. Foreign currency assets which are a major component of the overall reserves surged by USD 1.468 billion to USD 346.71 billion.

 

IMF revises India’s economic growth upwards to 7.6% for FY17 and 18

 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 4 October raised projections for India’s economic growth by 0.2 percentage points to 7.6 per cent for 2016-17 and 2017-18. The projections came in at a time when the Fund said global economic growth will be subdued this year, following a slowdown in the US and Britain’s vote to exit the European Union. It, however, retained global economic growth at 3.1 per cent for 2016 and 3.4 percent for 2017.

 

Flipkart becomes 1st e-commerce in India to cross 100 million customers

 

Flipkart has crossed the 100-million registered users mark, becoming the first e-commerce company to hit the milestone in a single country outside the United States and China. The Bengaluru-based company has doubled its user base over the last year. It added 25 million users in the past six months alone. The e-commerce company’s user-base represented about 63 percent of the total broadband users in the country.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

India completes nuclear triad by commissioning INS Arihant

 

India has completed its nuclear triad by inducting the first indigenously built strategic nuclear submarine INS Arihant into service. With this, India becomes fourth country to have a nuclear triad i.e. capable of delivering nuclear weapons by air-craft, ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles. Other countries having nuclear triad are Russia, United States and China. INS Arihant was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba in August 2016. INS Arihant is nuclear submarine capable of carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. It weighs 6000 tonnes and is 112 metre long. It is powered by 83 MW pressurised light water nuclear reactor with enriched uranium fuel. It will be armed with the K-15 Sagarika missiles with a range of 750 km.

 

China successfully launches its longest ever manned mission to space

 

China has successfully launched longest-ever manned mission by taking two astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong into the orbit. They were launched on board of Shenzhou-11 (heavenly vessel) spacecraft from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre near the Gobi Desert in northwest China. The spacecraft was put into orbit by a Long March-2F carrier rocket. Both astronauts will spend a month aboard an experimental space laboratory Tiangong-2 (Heavenly Palace 2).

 

IISER researchers use human hair to produce cheaper cathodes for solar cells

 

Researchers from Kolkata based Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) have produced cost-effective, metal-free cathodes using human hair for use in solar cells. This is the first instance where a bio-waste-derived electrode (in this case human hair) has been used as cathode in a quantum dot sensitised solar cell device. IISER researchers have developed graphitic porous carbon cathode by cleaning and drying human hair and treating with sulphuric acid to achieve precarbonisation. It was then heated at different temperatures in the presence of inert gas for six hours to carbonise and bring better electrical conductivity for efficient charge transfer. This efficient green cathode achieves highly catalytic graphitic porous carbon stage at optimum temperature of 850 degrees C.

 

ISRO successfully launches GSAT-18 from Kourou in French Guiana

 

India’s latest communication satellite, GSAT-18 was inducted into the INSAT/GSAT system on October 06, 2016 from Kourou, French Guiana by Ariane-5 VA-231. Weighing 3404 kg at lift-off, GSAT-18 carries 48 communication transponders to provide Services in Normal C-band, Upper Extended C-band and Ku-bands of the frequency spectrum. GSAT-18 carries Kuband beacon as well to help in an accurately pointing ground antennas towards the satellite. GSAT-18 is designed to provide continuity of services on operational satellites in C-band, Extended C-band and Ku-bands. GSAT-18 was launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by Ariane-5 VA-231 launch vehicle. After its injection into GTO, ISRO’s Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan took control of GSAT-18 and performed the initial orbit raising maneuvers using the Liquid Apogee Motor (LAM) of the satellite, placing it in circular Geo-stationary Orbit. The designed in-orbit operational life of GSAT-18 is about 15 years.

 

New species of pika named Ochotona sikimaria discovered in Sikkim

 

Scientists have discovered a new species of Pika, a mammal belonging to the rabbit and hare family in the Himalayas in Sikkim. It has been identified as ‘Ochotona sikimaria’. It is quite distinctive from all other pika species based on the fecal pellets and tissue samples. Ochotona sikimaria Pika species looks similar to the Moupin Pika, genetically it is completely different. Their specific differences are not visible in physical observation. But they are genetically very different.

 

World’s first three-parent baby born in Mexico

 

The world’s first three-parent baby boy was born in Mexico to a Jordanian couple with the help a controversial new fertility technique that incorporates DNA from three people in the embryo. The ‘three-parent’ technique also known as Mitochondrial donation (Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy) allows parents with rare genetic mutations to have healthy babies.

 

ISRO successfully launches 8 satellites into two different orbits

 

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for first time has successfully launched eight satellites into two different orbits in a single mission. These satellites were launched onboard of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C35 (PSLV C35) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta. It was PSLV’s longest and most complex mission. It is also for the first time PSLV has successfully placed satellites in two different orbits in single mission. Among the eight satellites launched, three satellites were from India, three from Algeria and one each from Canada and United States. SCATSAT-1 satellite of India weighing 371 kg was the primary payload and remaining other seven customer satellites were secondary payloads (5 foreign and 2 domestic satellite) weighing 304 kg in total.

 

Indian Air Force successfully test fires long range air-to-air MICA missile

 

Indian Air Force (IAF) has successfully fired recently acquired long range air-to-air MICA missile from Mirage-2000 Upgrade combat aircraft on a manoeuvring target. During the test, the missile achieved a direct hit on a target which was much smaller than an actual aircraft and flying at a low altitude. With this success IAF has become one of the few air forces in the world that have capability of launching such beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile.

 

Sun Pharma signs deal with ICGEB to develop India’s first dengue vaccine

 

India’s largest pharmaceutical company Sun Pharma has signed deal with International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) for clinical development Cissampelos pariera (Cipa), India’s first vaccine (drug) for the treatment of dengue. The partnership between Sun Pharma and ICGEB aims to develop` safe, effective and affordable botanical drug Cipa. Under the deal, Sun Pharma will get access to all the intellectual properties (IP) rights of the drug across 17 countries. ICGEB will establish assay systems for the development of Cipa for the treatment of dengue infection. ICGEB had explored Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda, to identify plants that could be a source of dengue inhibitory activity.

 

Researchers produce carbon from sugarcane waste for use in batteries

 

Researchers from Pune (Maharashtra) have produced high-quality carbon from sugarcane waste within minutes by using a low power microwave system. They had used a simple, cost effective and quick process to convert sugarcane bagasse into anode-grade porous, conducting, activated carbon material for use in Li-ion batteries. They had carried out initial carbonisation overnight at room temperature by mixing bagasse with concen-trated sulphuric acid. The acid treatment had dissolved most of the inorganic impurities present in bagasse except silica. This helped in forming robust carbon double bond backbone structure. The solid product obtained from acid treatment was washed thoroughly and was oven-dried at 70 degree C. Later it was mixed with potassium hydroxide to form slurry. The slurry is then heated in a microwave oven for a few minutes. The heating had led to graphitisation and pores were formed when potassium hydroxide reacts with carbon.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

 

A). APPOINTMENTS

 

Geeta Phogat appointed DSP in Haryana Police

 

Haryana Government has appointed international woman wrestler Geeta Phogat as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Haryana Police. A proposal of the Home Department was approved at a meeting of the state cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

 

Sanjay Singh appointed Member Secretary, Law Commission

 

Former legislative secretary Sanjay Singh has been appointed as Member Secretary, Law Commission of India. President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Singh to the post for a period upto August 31, 2018. The tenure of Twenty-first Law Commission, which was constituted on September 1, 2015 is till August 31, 2018. The Law Commission of India is mandated to identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed.

 

Abdelilah Bekirane elected as Prime minister of Morocco

 

Abdelilah Bekirane was re-appointed as the Prime Minister of Morocco for second term. Benkirane has been serving as Prime Minister since November 2011. It was officially announced by Mohammed VI, the king of Morocco after Benkirane’s Is-lamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) emerged victorious in recent general election. Now PM Bekirane will now reach out to other parties to form a coalition government as he does not have absolute majority in lower house.

 

Antonio Guterres appointed UN Secretary-General

 

Portugal’s former Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was on 13 October appointed as the next Secretary-General of the United Nations by the General Assembly. The 193 member states of the General Assembly adopted the resolution by acclamation, appointing 67-year-old Mr. Guterres as the ninth U.N. Secretary-General to take over from Ban Ki-moon, whose tenure will end on December 31, 2016. Mr. Guterres, who was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, will assume his new role on January 1, 2017 for a five-year term that can be renewed by member states for an additional five years. Mr. Guterres had emerged as the frontrunner in all the six informal polls conducted in the Security Council to select the Secretary-General amid a heightened call by several U.N. member states and civil society organisations to elect a woman chief for the world body, which has had a man at its helm for all the 71 years of its existence.

 

Renu Pall appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Austria

 

Former Indian Foreign Service officer Ms. Renu Pall has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Austria. It was announced by Ministry of External Affairs. Austria is a German-speaking country in Central Europe, characterized by mountain villages and baroque architecture.

 

Obama nominates ambassador to Cuba

 

The United States President Barack Obama has appointed its first Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis to Cuba in 55 years. The new ambassador DeLaurentis had been working at the new US embassy in Havana, which opened since 2014.

 

Jim Yong Kim re-appointed as World Bank President

 

Jim Yong Kim has been re-appointed as President of World Bank for a second five-year term beginning 1 July 2017. He was unanimously chosen by the Executive Directors of the World Bank. He was the only candidate in a process. Jim Yong Kim is a South Korean-American physician and anthropologist. He is the 12th President of the World Bank and for first time was appointed in 2012. He was a global health leader and was formerly the Chair of Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The Forbes Magazine had named him in its list of the world’s 50th most powerful in 2013.

 

Sachin, Amitabh in new Swachh Bharat campaign

 

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has launched an ad campaign featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar, for the Swachh Bharat Mission. Under this campaign, three ad films featuring.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Visa CEO Charles Scharf to resign

 

The San Francisco-based payments network Visa’s CEO Charles Scharf had resigned from his post October 18, 2016. The company named Alfred Kelly Jr, a former president of American Express Co and a current Visa board member, as CEO.

 

Usain Bolt to retire after the 2017 World Championships

 

Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt has confirmed that he is going to retire after the 2017 World Championships in London, and also informed that the Racers Grand Prix later this year will be his last race on Jamaican soil. Bolt is expected to feature in both the 100m and 200m events at the 2017 World Championships. Bolt is widely considered as the greatest sprinter of all-time and is the first man to hold both the 100m and 200m records as well as the record being a part of the 4X100m relay. The Jamaican is also the reigning world and Olympic champion.

 

British Olympics icon Jessica Ennis-Hill announces retirement from athletics

 

Jessica Ennis-Hill has announced her retirement from athletics. Ennis-Hill, 30, who won a gold medal for heptathlon at London 2012, hinted after winning silver at Rio 2016 that she could leave the sport, and confirmed her decision on 13 October. Ennis-Hill became the poster girl for London 2012 after her gold medal success in the heptathlon event on “Super Saturday”. She returned to defend her title in Rio this summer but fell just short, finishing in second place behind Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium. The Sheffield-born heptathlete leaves her sport having also won gold medals in two world championships, one world indoor championship and a European championship.

 

Jawhar Sircar resigns as CEO of Prasar Bharati Corporation

 

Prasar Bharati Corporation CEO Jawhar Sircar has resigned four months ahead of the end of his tenure, which was to draw to a close in February 2017. As per rules of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990, chairman or any other member may resign the office by giving notice thereof in writing to the President of India and on such resignation being accepted, the chairman or other member shall be deemed to have vacated his office.

 

Govt removes Sushil Muhnot as CMD of Bank of Maharashtra

 

The Centre on 26 September has sacked Sushil Muhnot, chairman and managing director of Pune-based Bank of Maharashtra, four days short of his scheduled retirement, and appointed Ravindra Marathe as the state-owned lender’s new chief. Mr. Muhnot was appointed as the chairman of the bank in November 2013, and was scheduled to retire on September 30. The new chief executive officer Mr. Marathe, who was an executive director with Bank of India, took charge on 26 September. The head office of Bank of Maharashtra is in Pune.

 

Ritu Rani retires from international hockey

 

Former Indian women’s hockey captain Ritu Rani has retired from international hockey after being deeply hurt following her axing from the Rio Olympics-bound squad. Ritu was controversially dropped from the team for the Rio Olympics citing “attitude” issues. Under her captaincy the team qualified for the Olympics after 36 years after finishing fifth in the 2014-15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League Semifinals. The 24-year-old midfielder made the announcement in a mail to Hockey India president Narinder Batra.

 

C). DEATHS

 

King of Thailand dies

 

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej – the world’s longest-serving monarch – has died aged 88. King Bhumibol, the ninth king of the 234-year-old Chakri dynasty. After the demise of the Thai King, 63-year old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is expected to become the new king.

 

Dario Fo, Nobel-winning playwright, dies aged 90

 

Italian satirical dramatist Dario Fo, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1997, died on 13 October aged 90, prompting an outpouring of tributes for a provocative playwright unafraid to clash with authority. The writer and actor succumbed to complications arising from a lung condition he had suffered for several years. Left-winger Fo, one of the leading figures in 20th century farce and political theatre, was best known for his works “Accidental Death of an Anarchist” and “Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay”.

 

Style icon Parmeshwar Godrej passes away at 70

 

Parmeshwar Godrej, philanthropist and wife of Godrej group chairman Adi Godrej passed away in Mumbai on October 11 2016. She was 70. She was among India’s foremost style icons and a gracious host. She was Mumbai’s original queen bee and will be fondly remembered by many as a style icon in her signature beret, who hosted some of Mumbai’s most memorable evenings peppered with a globally eclectic guest list – including businesspersons, Hollywood actors and beautiful people – with an ease which no one has since been able to match. Godrej used her position and natural charm to champion many social causes. She campaigned for AIDS at a time when people were still embarrassed to talk about it. One of her biggest initiatives in philanthropy was joining hands with actor Richard Gere, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to combat AIDS through the launch of the ‘Heroes Project’ in 2004.

 

Oscar-winning Polish film director Wajda dies aged 90

 

Oscar-winning Film director Andrzej Wajda, best known for chronicling Poland’s struggle for democracy during half a century of communist rule, has died at the age of 90. One of his best-known releases, 1957’s “Canal”, showed the struggle of the Polish underground army in the Warsaw uprising.

 

Former boxing champion Aaron Pryor dies at 60

 

Aaron Pryor, whose erratic swings and stances won him the world junior welterweight boxing championship but also mirrored a career-ending struggle with cocaine addiction, died on 9 October at his home in Cincinnati. He was 60. The cause was complications of heart disease. Pryor built a 39-1 record with 35 knockouts during his career.

 

Shimon Peres, former Israeli president, dies aged 93

 

The former Israel’s defining political figures and a Nobel peace prize laureate, Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93. He had served twice as a prime minister and once as a president.

 

Golf legend Arnold Palmer passes away

 

US golfer Arnold Palmer passed away on 25 September 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania due to heart complications. He was 87. Palmer is generally regarded as one of the greatest players in professional golf history.

 

Oscar-winning writer and director dies at 71

 

Oscar-winning writer and film director Curtis Hanson has died at his home in Hollywood at the age of 71. He is known for his work in films like Kevin Spacey-starrer LA Confidential, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and The River Wild. Hanson won an Oscar in 1998 for best adapted screenplay for LA Confidential. He also directed Detroit hip-hop movie 8 Mile starring Eminem, who led the tributes.

 

D). VISITORS

 

India, Singapore sign three agreements

 

“India and Singapore have signed three agreements (MoUs) in the fields of skill development and IPR to boost bilateral relations between them. These agreements were signed in New Delhi during Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s official state visit to India.

 

Signed MoUs are:

 

  1. Signed MoUs are:MoU in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation

 

  1. MoU on collaboration in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and ITEES Singapore).

 

  1. MoU on collaboration in the field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (between Government of Assam and ITEES Singapore).

 

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince to be Chief Guest on 2017 Republic Day

 

The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the chief guest for the 68th Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2017. In this regard, announcement was made the by Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesman Vikas Swarup in New Delhi after the crown prince accepted invitation. Earlier Chief guests of Republic Day parades: 2016- Francois Hollande (French President), 2015-Barack Obama (US President), 2014- Shinzo Abe (Japanese Prime Minister), 2013- Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (King of Bhutan), 2012- Yingluck Shinawatra (Then Prime Minister of Thailand), 2011- Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Then President of Indonesia). It should be noted France holds distinction of being the guest of honour for the maximum five times of Indian Republic Day parade followed by Bhutan (four times); Mauritius and Russia (three times each).

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

Mizoram’s Pachuau declared India’s oldest working journalist

 

The Mizoram government and the Mizoram Journalists’ Association declared Lalbiakthanga Pachuau as the “oldest working journalist in the country”. The 90-year-old former soldier is the editor of ‘Zoram Tlangau’, a Mizo daily, started by him in 1970. Notably, Pachuau studied only till class III before joining the British Army in 1945 at the age of 18.

 

Bathukamma Event Enters Guinness Book of World Records

 

The Telangana government on 8 October organised the traditional state festival of ‘Bathukamma’ on a grand scale at the Lal Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad. The event, attended by about ten thousand women, found a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The Telangana government has declared ‘Bathukamma’ as a state festival.

 

World’s largest radio telescope built in China

 

China has built world’s largest radio telescope nicknamed Tianyan (Heavenly Eye” or “The Eye of Heaven) or the five-hundred-metre aperture spherical radio telescope (FAST). It has started its operation and is part of China’s drive to become a science powerhouse. It is located in the Dawodang depression (vast natural crater), a natural basin in Pingtang County in the Guizhou Province, Southwest China. With its opening, the intensive testing phase of the telescope will begin. It is the world’s largest filled aperture (single dish) radio telescope and the second largest radio telescope after the Russian RATAN-600, which has a sparsely filled aperture. It is made up of 4,450 panels and has reflector as large as 30 football pitches. It has 500 meters diameter, giving it more sensitivity.

 

Visaranai to take a shot at Oscar nomination

 

Visaranai, the Tamil docu-drama crime thriller, has been chosen India’s official entry to Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards to be held in 2017. The national award-winning film, directed by Vetrimaran, and produced by actor Dhanush’s Wunderbar Films, documents four migrant workers who suffer police brutality and corruption after being jailed on false charges.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

Brazil opens Latin America’s first elephant sanctuary

 

The first elephant sanctuary in Latin America has opened in Brazil to provide a home for an estimated 50 circus animals from across the region. Guida and Maia, both over 40 years old, are the first residents. They will be provided with veterinary care and live out their lives in forested areas with pastures. A US-based group bought the land to give the elephants a refuge as zoos in the region close and more laws prohibit the use of animals in circuses. Both elephants are thought to have come from Thailand, where they were illegally taken to be used in circus. The first phase of the project will host up to six animals. The sanctuary will not be open for visitors.

 

Powerful typhoon Chaba to hit Japan

 

Powerful typhoon Chaba barrelled toward Japan after it hit a South Korean resort island causing flight cancellations and flooding streets. The typhoon hit the South Korean resort is-land of Jeju, bringing heavy rains that flooded streets, forced flight cancellations and disrupted power to thousands of homes.

 

Books in News

 

Venkaiah Naidu releases book titled Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy

 

  1. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Information and Broad-casting, released the book titled Modi’s Midas Touch in Foreign Policy. The book is authored by Ambassador Surendra Kumar. The book draws round the progress and the indelible imprint on the conduct of India’s Foreign Policy by the Prime Minister Modi in the last two and a half years. It maps the different policy initiatives focusing on the vision of developing India into a strong economically developed nation.

 

Arundhati Roy’s next novel to be out in 2017

 

Nearly, 20 years after Arundhati Roy’s Booker prize-winning novel ‘The God of Small Things’ was published. Arundhati Roy has announced the release of her next novel titled “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” in June 2017. She was born in Shillong, Meghalaya.

 

President, PM launch VP’s book titled “Citizen and Society”

 

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari’s book titled “Citizen and Society” at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. The book is a collection of lectures delivered by Hamid Ansari ranging from the role of women in a multicultural society to other dynamics of a democratic nation. Mohammad Hamid Ansari is the 12th and current Vice President of India, in office since 2007. Ansari is the only person to get re-elected for the post of Vice President of India after Dr. Radhakrishnan.

 

COMMITTEES

 

Saraswati River existed: KS Valdiya committee

 

“The K.S. Valdiya committee in its report submitted to the Union Water Resources Ministry has concluded that Saraswati River so far considered mythical, existed. The committee comprising of geologists, archaeologists and hydrologists say that they have found evidence of the course of the river Saraswati. Earlier, River Saraswati was considered as a mythological river and has been mentioned in the ancient Hindu scriptures like the Rig Veda, Ramayana, Mahabharata and others giving credence that it existed during those times. Committee found that Saraswati River originated in the Himalayas. It was approximately 4,000 km in length and flowed through saraswatiriver India and Pakistan before meeting Arabian Sea through Rann of Kutch. Two-third stretch of river measuring nearly 3000 km in length fell in India and reaming one-third of the river stretch fell in present-day Pakistan. The river had two branches viz. “(i) Western Branch: It represented by the Himalayan-born Satluj River of the past which flowed through the channels of present-day Ghaggar-Patialiwali rivulets. “(ii) Eastern Branch: Palaeochannels (remnants of defunct rivers) Sarsuti-Markanda rivulets in Haryana were courses of eastern branch of river, known as Tons-Yamuna. “The confluence of the branches was near Shatrana, 25 km south of Patiala. From this confluence point river flow crossed dessert (Rann of Kutch) and meet gulf of western sea.”

 

BCCI president Anurag Thakur part of powerful ICC sub-committee

 

BCCI president Anurag Thakur has taken charge as the member of the ICC’s powerful Finance and Commercial Affairs committee. Anurag Singh Thakur is a member of Lok Sabha from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh.

 

Finance Ministry constitutes committee to consolidate regulation of pension products

 

The Union Finance Ministry has constituted a high-level committee to consolidate the regulation of pension products that is currently being done by three different watchdogs including insurance and stock market regulators. The committee would have representatives from all financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA. Its mandate will be to look into the issue of bringing these companies which are offering pension plans under different regulators under the purview of PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority).

 

IMPORTANT DAYS & DATES

 

17 October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

 

The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed globally on 17 October for eradication of poverty through-out the world. It seeks to promote awareness among people to eradicate poverty and destitution around the world particularly in developing countries. 2016 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty Theme is “Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms”. It high-lights importance to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion suffered by many people living in poverty.

 

16 October: World Food Day

 

The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. It aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around the world to take action in the fight against hunger. The theme of this year is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. It highlights the issue of food security related to climate change. It calls adopting sustainable practices for growing more food with less area of land and use natural resources wisely.

 

International Day of Rural Women: October 15

 

The International Day of Rural Women is observed across the world on 15 October. The theme for the day for the year 2016 is Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too. Under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, focus is on progress of rural women and enhancing their access to support and information they need to utilize their potential without leaving their communities.

 

World Student Day: October 15

 

Unarguably the most loved President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam was a scientist who made India proud with his missile defence programme. But his favourite job was teaching and that’s how he wanted the world to remember him. Due to his love for students and focus on promoting education, the United Nations declared his birthday 15 October as ‘World Student’s Day’ in 2010. He was the 11th President of India.

 

World Standards Day: 14 October

 

World Standards Day’ or ‘International standards day’ is celebrated internationally each year on 14 October. The day honours the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The aim of World Standards Day is to raise awareness among regulators, industry and consumers as to the importance of standardization to the global economy. 14 October was specifically chosen to mark the date, in 1946, when delegates from 25 countries first gathered in London and decided to create an international organization focused on facilitating standardization. Even though ISO was formed one year later, it wasn’t until 1970 that the first World Standards Day was celebrated. The theme for World Standards Day 2016 is “Standards Build Trust”. Around the globe, various activities are chosen by national bodies to commemorate the date.

 

International Day for Disaster Reduction: October 13

 

The United Nations General Assembly declared October 13 as the International Day for Disaster Reduction which is also a part of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. In the year 2002, the United Nations General Assembly declared the day to encourage the global culture of natural disaster reduction, promoting prevention, mitigation and pre-paredness. In 2009, October 13 was designated as the official date and the name of the day was changed to International Day for Disaster Reduction. International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction was observed in 1990s. This was done with an objective to decrease the loss of life, property, destruction and any kind of disruption caused by natural disasters. The day is celebrated to spread awareness and encourage citizens and the government about disaster risk reduction and building disaster-

resilient nations. This year, the theme for the day is ‘Live To Tell: Raising Awareness, Reducing Mortality’.

 

First World Tsunami Awareness Day to be observed on Nov 5

 

The government of India will be observing the First World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5. It will be observed during the upcoming Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016. The conference is slated to take place in Delhi between November 2-5.

 

International Day of the Girl Child : 11 October

 

International Day of the Girl is observed annually on 11 October; it is also called the Day of the Girl. The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl (11 October) is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls”. On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/ 170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

 

World Mental Health Day: 10 October

 

World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in sup-port of mental health. The theme of 2016 World Mental Health Day is “psychological first aid”. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

 

World Post Day: 9th October

 

World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern. The theme for this year 2016 is Innovation, Integration and Inclusion.

 

Indian Air Force Day: 8 October

 

The Air Force Day is observed annually on 8 October across India. This year is the 84th celebration of the Day which began in 1932. On this day, the most renowned aerobatics display teams, Red Arrows of the Royal Air Force, enthral audience at Indian Air Force Day celebrations in New Delhi. The Indian Air Force (IAF; IAST: Bharatiya Vayu Sena) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. It is the world’s fourth largest air force. Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. The President of India serves as Supreme Commander of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an Air Chief Marshal, is a four-star officer and commands the Air Force.

 

5 October: World Teachers’ Day

 

The World Teachers’ Day (WTD) 2016 was observed across the world on 5 October 2016. The theme for the World Teachers’ Day 2016 was Valuing Teachers, Improving their Status. It embodies the fundamental principles of the fifty-year-old Recommendation. It also throws light on the need to support teachers as reflected in the agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 2016 WTD also marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/ UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. It is also the first world Teachers’ Day to be celebrated within the new Global Education 2030 Agenda adopted by the world community in 2015.

 

4–10 October: World Space Week

 

World Space Week is an annual event that is observed from 4 October to 10 October 2016 in various parts of the world including Europe and Asia. The 2016 theme is “Remote Sensing: Enabling our Future”. This year’s theme celebrates Earth Observation from Space for the betterment of the human race. By Resolution 54/68 of 6 December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed World Space Week, to celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. The dates recall the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, on 4 October 1957 and its entry into force on 10 October 1967, of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.

 

3 October: World Habitat Day

 

The World Habitat Day (WHD) is observed every year on the first Monday of October throughout the world. This year it was observed on 3 October 2016. 2016 Theme is “Housing at the Centre”. It aims to raise awareness about need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, cities and towns. Access to adequate housing is a global challenge due growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in informal settlements and slums. An increasing number of urban dwellers, especially the poor and vulnerable groups are living in precarious conditions.

 

International day for non violence: 2nd October

 

The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “dis-seminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”.

 

1 October: International Day of Older Persons

 

The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1 every year. The theme for International Day of Older Persons 2016 is Take A Stand Against Ageism. The theme for the 2016 IDOP draws attention to and challenges negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing. Ageism is a widely prevalent and prejudicial attitude that stems from the assumption that age discrimination, and sometimes neglect and abuse of older persons is a social norm and therefore, acceptable. On December 14, 1990 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons.

 

International Translation Day: 30 September

 

The International Translation Day is being observed today on 30 September across the world with the theme “Translation and Interpreting: Connecting Worlds”. This is the annual event for the translation community and event is marked with a series of dedicated events, seminars and symposiums across the world. Established by the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the annual celebration of the International Translation Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of translators who endeavor to make the world a slightly smaller place by breaking down language barriers.

 

World Maritime Day: 29 September

 

The World Maritime Day is observed across the world on 29 September to highlight the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment. Several events are organised to mark this day by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), member Governments, maritime industry etc., World Maritime Day 2016 Theme is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”. The theme focuses on the critical link between shipping and global society. It also raises awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. According to UNCTAD, around 80% of global trade by volume and over 70% of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide.

 

World Heart Day: 29 September

 

World Heart Day is being observed annually on 29 September across the world. The objective of this day is to inform people around the world about the danger of heart disease and stroke. The World Heart Day 2016 theme is ‘Light Your Heart, Empower Your Life’.

 

World Rabies Day: 28th September

 

The World Rabies Day is observed on 28 September across the world to raise awareness about the rabies disease and its preventable measures. Observance of the day seeks to raise awareness about the impact of rabies on animals and human beings. It also seeks to share information on how to prevent the disease. Theme of 2016 World Rabies Day is “Rabies: Educate. Vaccinate. Eliminate”. The World Rabies Day is an initiative of Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Observance of the day was initiated in 2007 to create a global opportunity for people to focus on rabies prevention. The day is annually on 28 September on the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, a French chemist and microbiologist who had developed the first rabies vaccine along with his colleagues.

 

World Tourism Day: 27 September

 

The World Tourism Day (WTD) is being observed annually on 27th September. Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. Theme for World Tourism Day is – ‘Tourism for all promoting universal accessibility’.

 

21 September: International Day of Peace

 

The International Day of Peace is observed across the world on 21 September every year to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Significance: The International Day of Peace acknowledges the efforts of those who have strived to end conflict and promote peace. This day is also observed as a day of ceasefire. The theme for International Day of Peace 2016 is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”. To inaugurate the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rung the United Nations Peace Bell at UN Headquarters in New York City. The bell has inscription on its side reading “Long live absolute world peace“. The bell has been casted from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa. It was given as gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as a reminder of the human cost of war.

 

 

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Sept 2016 Current Affairs Study Material

INTERNATIONAL

China, Russia conduct joint naval exercises Joint Sea-2016 in South China Sea

China and Russia have carried out joint naval exercises dubbed as Joint Sea-2016 in the resource-rich South China Sea (SCS) off China’s southern Guangdong province. The exercises follow a spike in tensions after Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague rejected China’s claims in the SCS and slammed it for causing environmental damage there. The eight-day naval exercises (from September 13 to 19) were held in a non-disputed area in SCS off China’s southern Guangdong province. It had featured surface ships, missile destroyer, anti-submarine vessels, missile frigates, ship-based helicopters and conventional submarines among others from both navies.

 

World’s longest bullet train network established in China

China’s high-speed railway has completed over 20,000 kms of track network in the country, becoming the world’s longest bullet train network. Construction of the line started in December 2012. The line has 9 stations and trains run at a speed of up to 300 kph. China is conducting feasibility study to build the bullet train track between Chennai and New Delhi.

 

Mother Teresa is being declared saint by Pope Francis in Vatican City

Pope Francis has declared revered nun Mother Teresa a saint in a canonization mass at St Peter’s square. The canonization comes on the eve of her 19th death anniversary. A 12-member central delegation led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and two state government-leveldelegations from Delhi and West Bengal, led by Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee had attended the ceremony.

 

World’s first self-driving taxis launched in Singapore

The world’s first self-driving taxi service was launched in Singapore. This launch is significant as it offer technology demonstration that could revolutionize the future transport industry. The self-driving taxi service was launched Singapore based nuTonomy, an autonomous vehicle software startup. With this nuTonomy became entity in the world first to offer self-driving taxi rides to the public.

 

North Korea test fires new ballistic missile

North Korea fired a submarine launched missile that flew about 500 km (311 miles) towards Japan, a show of improving technological capability for the isolated country that has conducted a series of launches in defiance of UN sanctions. The test comes one day after the United States and South Korea launched joint military exercises on the peninsula.

 

INDIA & WORLD

 

India ranks 112th in 2016 World Economic Freedom Index

India has been ranked 112th out of 159 countries in the 2016 World Economic Freedom Index (WEFI). The index was release as part of the 2016 annual report of the Economic Freedom. The report measures the economic freedom by analyzing the policies and institutions of all 159 countries and territories and was based on data from the year 2014.

 

India takes US renewable energy dispute to WTO

India has complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about support given to the renewable energy industry in United States. The complaint alleges these 8 states in US have prop up their renewable sector with illegal subsidies and domestic content requirements, an obligation to buy local goods rather than imports. These 8 US states are Washington, Montana, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan and Minnesota. By filing the complaint, India has triggered a 60 day window for US to settle the dispute, after which India could ask the WTO to adjudicate.

 

Joint Indian-US army exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas 2016’ to begin in Uttarakhand

As part of the ongoing Indo-US defence cooperation, a joint military training exercise, ‘Yudh Abhyas 2016’ is set to be conducted in Uttarakhand from September 14 to 27. The exercise in Chaubattia was being conducted by the headquarter Central Command. The exercise is aimed at simulating a scenario where both nations were working together to counter insurgency and terrorism in mountainous terrain under UN charter. The two week exercise will witness participation of about 225 personnel of the US Army and similar strength of Congo Brigade of the Indian Army.

 

India, Kazakhstan Joint Exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 begins

India, Kazakhstan joint bilateral military exercise PRABAL DOSTYK-16 began in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan. The fourteen day will be a significant step towards fostering military as well as diplomatic ties between both countries. ‘Prabal Dostyk’ means ‘Robust Friendship’. In this edition of exercise, Indian Army is being represented by a platoon strength and the Kazakhstan Army is represented by platoon from Special Operating Force’s Unit.

 

World’s first made-in-India leprosy vaccine out on pilot basis

The Indian Institute of Immunology in New Delhi has developed mycobacterium indicus pranii (MIP), an exclusive and completely domestic vaccine for leprosy. MIP, World’s maiden leprosy vaccine, will be launched on trial basis within a few weeks. Leprosy affects around 1.25 lakhs people in India annually.

 

India Myanmar ink four agreements to boost bilateral cooperation

India and Myanmar have signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations between the two countries. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting counter part President of Myanmar U Htin Kyaw in New Delhi. President Kyaw was on a four day visit to India from 27 August to 30 August 2016. He is the first democratically elected President of Myanmar to visit India.

 

NATIONAL

 

Indian Railways launches Yatri Mitra Sewa to help elderly, differently-abled

Indian Railways has launched ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ in a move to make rail travel comfortable for elderly, differently-abled and ailing travellers. The ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ will facilitate access to wheelchairs, battery operated cars and porter services elderly, differently-abled and ailing travellers. ‘Yatri Mitra’ or ‘Passenger Friend’ can be a “Sahayak (assistant)” or any other person nominated for the purpose. The service will be available at major railway stations across the country. The service can be availed at the time of online booking of tickets, calling or messaging ’139′, accessing an app to be developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), or by simply dialling a dedicated mobile phone number to be activated for the purpose.

 

Union Govt approves 500 crore rupee projects for tourism in Jammu and Kashmir

The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 500 Crore for integrated development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir under Swadesh Darshan scheme. The projects were approved for the scheme as part of Development Package of Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan. The new projects are envisaged at tourist infrastructural development in Jammu and Kashmir. The projects also involve developing a Convention Centre in Gulmarg and Patnitop, development of Ethnic Villages, Development of Water Sports Centre at Baghliyar Dam – Pool Doda.

 

India Declares itself Free from Avian Influenza (H5N1)

The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare has declared India free from Avian Influenza (H5N1) from 5th September, 2016. India had notified outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1) on 09 May 2016 at Humnabad, Bidar district, Karnataka. There has been no further outbreak reported in the country thereafter.

 

Govt launches toll-free number for postal complaints

The government on 12 September has launched toll free number 1924 to register postal complaints, over a month after introducing Twitter Sewa for redressal of telecom and postal grievances. It will initially be operational for 12 hours on working days and has been started in Hindi, Malayalam, and English. Notably, Department of Posts (DoP) is the 8th largest department in terms of the number of complaints.

 

Indian Coast Guard commissions offshore patrolling vessel Sarathi

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has commissioned well-equipped offshore patrolling (OPV) vessel named ‘Sarathi’. It was commissioned by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) shipyard at Vasco in south Goa. ICGS Sarathi is the third in the series of six OPVs built by GSL for Indian Coast Guard (ICG). It is designed and built indigenously by GSL. It is the largest i.e. 105-meter long and is most advanced new generation off-shore patrol vessel. It has been fitted with advanced EW and electronic systems and guns. The vessel will be joining coast guard fleet based at Kochi, Kerala and will form part of the Naval Training Squadron.

 

Indian Railways launches travel insurance for 92 paise

The railways has launched a scheme allowing a person to get an insurance cover of upto Rs. 10 lakh on booking a train ticket online by paying less than one rupee. A person booking a train ticket through the IRCTC website will be able to opt for travel insurance cover for a premium of 92 paise only. The railways will provide optional travel insurance for train journey at the time of booking. The new facility will be available to all passengers, excluding those travelling by suburban trains while booking online irrespective of the class. The cover will not be applicable for children upto 5 years of age and foreign citizens. It will be for passengers holding tickets such as confirmed, RAC and wait-listed ones.

 

UC approves MoU between India and Myanmar in field of Traditional Systems of Medicine

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine. The MoU will provide structured frame work for promotion of AYUSH/ Traditional Systems of Medicine in Myanmar. It will boost the importance of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) systems of medicine and conservation, production and standardisation.

 

STATES

 

Andhra Pradesh tops in attracting industrial investments

Andhra Pradesh has emerged on the top among all other states in attracting industrial investments in 2015-16, pushing the previous year’s topper Maharashtra to the third spot. Andhra Pradesh attracted an investment of Rs 21,914 crore out of the Rs 1,38,700 crore gross investments across India, the state government said in an official release, quoting a report by the Reserve Bank of India. This was 15.8% of the total investments of over Rs 10 crore each unit. In 2014-15, AP’s share in the country’s investments was 8.1%.

 

Haryana wins Best Horticulture State award

Haryana has won ‘Best Horticulture State’ award of the Indian Council of Food and Agriculture (ICFA). The award was bestowed upon the state for its concerted efforts made to increase the income of the farmers in horticulture. The award was received by Haryana Agriculture Minister OP Dhankar at two-day 9th Agricultural Leadership Summit 2016 that organized by ICFA in New Delhi. Besides, the 2016 Best Agriculture State award was bestowed upon Odisha in recognition of state’s efforts towards development of agriculture and bringing rural prosperity.

 

Sikkim cleanest state in India

Sikkim has been adjudged the cleanest state while Jharkhand comes last in the list of 26 states. Gujarat is ranked 14th in the survey conducted by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). The results of survey carried out last year by National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) was released by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in New Delhi. Gujarat is ranked 14th in the survey. Kerala, Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya are among the top 10 states.

 

Second unit at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant connected to Southern Grid

The second 1,000 MW unit of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu was connected to the grid. This marks the generation of electricity and its supply to the grid by the second reactor of KKNPP. The plant had attained criticality in July 2016. Besides with this synchroni-sation, the total atomic power generation capacity of Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) crossed 5,000 MW. The KKNPP is located in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, around 650 km from Chennai. It is built under India-Russian Nuclear agreement of 1988. KKNPP is India’s first nuclear power plant to use imported pressurised water reactor (PWR) technology for generation of electricity.

 

West Bengal Assembly passes resolution for State’s name change

The West Bengal Legislative Assembly has passed a resolution changing the name of the State to Bengal in English and Bangla in Bengali. Despite the Trinamool Congress government trying hard to arrive at a consensus of all political parties on the issue, the Congress, the Left Front and the BJP did not support the resolution. While representatives of all the three parties participated in the debate, Congress legislators walked out of the House during discussion, the Left Front wanted an amendment to the name change resolution and BJP opposed the resolution. In the end resolution was passed through voice vote.

 

India’s first textile university to come up at Surat

Gujarat government is planning to set up India’s first textile university at Surat with an investment of about Rs.800 crore – Rs 900 crore. The main aim of the university is to provide all kind of support including technology, research and development (R&D), skilled manpower etc. The university will build on over 250 acre land in Surat and it is expected to get operational in the next one and a half years.

 

CONFERENCES

 

Vice President Ansari to represent India at NAM Summit

Vice-President Hamid Ansari will be representing India at the upcoming 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held at Margarita Island in Venezuela from September 17-18. India is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement and India hosted the 7th NAM Summit in 1983 in New Delhi. The last NAM Summit was hosted by Iran in 2012.

 

2016 BRICS Wellness Workshop begin in Bengaluru

The first BRICS Wellness Workshop has begun in Bengaluru, Karnataka from September 10, 2016. Besides, National Fair on comprehensive Indian Medicine system (AROGYA) was also inaugurated. The four day event has been organized by Union Ministry of AYUSH, in collaboration with Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). The Workshop is designed to have sessions related to Traditional Systems of Medicine, Trade and Economy. It includes a session on WHO strategy for Traditional Medicine.

 

BRICS Convention on Tourism begins in Madhya Pradesh

The two-day long BRICS Convention on Tourism was inaugurated inKhajuraho Madhya Pradesh. Union Culture Mahesh Sharma will inaugurate the convention. Delegations from the BRICS countries India, Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa will participate in it.

 

BRICS countries adopt Udaipur Declaration on disaster

The two-day meeting of Ministers of Disaster Management of BRICS countries concluded with the adoption of the Udaipur Declaration. This was the second meeting and in the follow up of the first meeting of the BRICS MDM convened by the Russia in St. Petersburg in April, 2016. BRICS nations to set up a dedicated Joint Task Force for Disaster Risk Management for regular dialogue, exchange, mutual support and collaboration among them. The meeting was a new milestone in collaboration and cooperation among BRICS countries in the field of disaster management. The roadmap for implementation of the three-year Joint Action Plan for BRICS emergency services (2016-18) was also finalised.

 

BRICS Women Parliamentarians forum passes Jaipur Declaration

BRICS Women Parliamentarians forum has unanimously passed the Jaipur Declaration on the concluding day of the Forum’s meeting held in Jaipur. The 19-point declaration was adopted at the two-day meeting of BRICS Women Parliamentarians forum held in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The meeting was attended by heads and members of delegation from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Declaration will strengthen strategic partnership between members on all three dimensions of sustainable development viz., economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

 

AWARDS & HONOURS

 

Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to get humanitarian award

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been honored as the 2016 humanitarian of the year by students and faculty at the Harvard Foundation. Suu Kyi gained international prominence as the General Secretary of the newly formed National League for Democracy in Myanmar in 1990. She became one of the world’s most well-known political prisoners during her 15 years of house arrest for participating in protests against the government.

 

Malayalam critic M Leelavathi bags Mohanan Suvarna Mudra award

Eminent Malayalam critic and academician Dr M Leelavathi has been chosen for the prestigious N Mohanan Suvarna Mudra Award 2016, instituted in memory of well-known short story writer N Mohanan. The honour comprises a gold medal of one sovereign. Jnanpith winning poet late O N VKurup was the previous winner of the honour, the office-bearers of ‘Sammohanam’, a gathering of the friends and well-wishers of N Mohanan which instituted the award. The award would be presented to Leelavathi in a function to be held at press club here on October 3.

 

Two India-Born MIT Scientists Win Prestigious US Awards

Two Indo-American scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been conferred with prestigious awards for their path-breaking inventions. Nasik-born Ramesh Raskar, an imaging scientist and inventor at MIT, has been awarded the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize 2016, it was announced at Cam-

bridge, in Massachusetts. Dinesh Bharadia, the re-searcher at MIT, won the Paul Baran Young Scholar Award of the US-based Marconi Society. Raskar, 46, is the co-inventor of radical imaging solutions including femto-photography an ultra-fast imaging system that can see around corners low-cost eye-care solutions for the developing world, and a camera that allows users to read pages of a book without opening the cover.

 

Indian-American Abraham Verghese selected for National Humanities Medal 2015

Indian-American physician-author, Abraham Verghese (61) has been selected for the prestigious 2015 National Humanities Medal. President Barack Obama will bestow the honour upon Verghese along with 11 others recipient’s at a ceremony to be held in Washington on 21st September 2016. He has been selected for the prestigious award for reminding us that the patient is the centre of the medical enterprise. He was born in Ethiopia to parents from Kerala who had worked as teachers. Currently, Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine. His work has emphasised empathy in medicine. He has authored several acclaimed books, including “My Own Country” and “Cutting for Stone”.

 

Padma Sachdev awarded 2015 Saraswati Samman

Jammu-born poet and novelist Padma Sachdev has been chosen for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for the year 2015 for her autobiography ‘Chitt-Chete’ (published in 2007) in Dogri language. She was felicitated by Delhi’s Lt Governor Najeeb Jung in New Delhi. Sachdev is first modern woman poet of Dogri language. She also writes in Hindi. She has published her several poetry collection and has 60 books to her credit. Her poetry collection Meri Kavita Mere Geet (My Poems, My Songs) has won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971.

 

Actor Kamal Haasan selected for France’s Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres

Prominent film actor Kamal Haasan (61) has been selected by France for its prestigious Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres. It is also known as Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He has been chosen for this prestigious award recognition of his high level artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements. He will be the second Tamil actor to be chosen for this award after the legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. The award is part of French Government’s premier award “The Legion of Honour.” It is aimed at honouring artists and writers of world repute.

 

IOA President N Ramachandran bestowed with Olympic Order award

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President N. Ramachandran was awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement. The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, that is, recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975.

 

SPORTS & GAMES

 

Rio Paralympics 2016 Concluded

The 15th Rio 2016 Paralympic Games 2016 (7-18 September) is over and this time we have witnessed some of the world record-breaking performances by the athletes. The 2020 Summer Paralympics, the 16th edition of the international multi-sports event, will be held in Tokyo, Japan, from 25 August to 6 September 2020. The Paralympic Games are an attempt to provide an equal platform for athletes with disabilities to showcase their skills at a stage that lets them represent their countries. India capped off a successful Paralympic Games campaign in Rio de Janeiro by procuring their best ever haul of four medals, including two golds and a silver and bronze medal apiece. The Nineteen Indian competitors (16 Men & 3 Women) participated in Rio 2016 paralympic games for India in Five sports.

 

India Blue wins Duleep Trophy tournament

Gautam Gambhir-led India Blue has won the inaugural day/night 2016-17 Duleep Trophy Cricket tournament played with a pink ball. The 2016-17 was 55th season of Duleep Trophy. In the final match held in Greater Noida, India Blue defeated India Red, captained by Yuvraj Singh, by a massive 355 runs. Ravinder Jadeja, who bagged 5 wickets in the second innings, finished the game with a 10-wicket haul. Cheteshwar Pujara was named player of the match. The Duleep Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket tournament played between teams representing geographical zones of India. The Tournament was instituted in 1961-62 by BCCI. The tournament is named after Kumar Shri Duleepsinhji of Nawanagar. It was contested by three teams, namely India Red, India Blue and India Green.

 

Stan Wawrinka Beats Defending U.S. Open Champion Novak Djokovic

Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland over-whelmed World No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 at the Flushing Meadows in New York to clinch his first US Open tennis title and his third Grand Slam title. It was the 31-year-old Swiss’ third Grand Slam title in as many major final appearances, after he won the Australian Open in 2014 and the French Open in 2015. Wawrinka now becomes one of eight men to win at least three Grand Slam finals without losing. He also becomes one of just five players who have won at least two Slams at age of 30 or older.

 

Chinappa rises to 10th in PSA rankings

In Women’s Ranking Indian squash player Joshna Chinappa rose to 10th while Deepika Pallikal remained at 19th in the latest Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings. In the men’s rankings, Saurav Ghosal dropped to 21st from his previous perch of 17th. Mahesh Mangaonkar gained a position to be on 60th, while Vikram Malhotra remained 73rd.

 

Vietnam wins 1st Paralympic gold with world record

Vietnam won its first-ever Paralympic gold medal after para weightlifter Le Van Cong lifted 183 kgs, to set a new world record at the event. Vietnam also ended its six-decade-long wait for an Olympic gold last month in Rio with a record-breaking performance by shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh in the 10-metre air pistol shooting event.

 

Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze medal turns to silver

Indian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt’s bronze medal from the London Olympics is set to be upgraded to silver after reports that the silver medallist from the 2012 Games, deceased Besik Kudukhov of Russia, has been stripped off his medal for using banned substance. Following the upgrade, India now has eight Olympic silver medals.

 

Ronaldo wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named Uefa’s Best Player in Europe for the second time after winning the Champions League and Euro 2016 last season. Ronaldo, 31, claimed the prize ahead of his club team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.

 

National Sports Awards 2016

The Union Government bestows National Sports Awards every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports in India. These awards include Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar.

 

2016 Dhyan Chand Award

It is bestowed upon sportspersons for life time contribution to sports development. “Recipients: Satti Geetha (Athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (Hockey) and Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (Rowing).

 

ECONOMY

 

Reliance Communications and Aircel to be merged

Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications (RCom) has signed a deal with Maxis Communications Berhad (MCB) for merger of wireless businesses of Aircel Limited with itself. The merger is considered as the largest ever consolidation in the Indian telecom sector. The merged entity will be country’s fourth-largest phone company in terms of customers and revenue. The merged company will have second-largest spectrum holding amongst all operators in the country aggregating 448 MHz across the 850, 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands. It will be one of India’s largest private sector companies, with an asset base of over $9.7 billion (Rs. 65,000 crore) and net worth of $5.2 billion (Rs. 35,000 crore).

 

Wadhwa Group ties-up with Snapdeal

Realty player Wadhwa Group has tied up with e-commerce platform Sanpdeal to make its properties accessible to customers online. With this tie-up, the Wadhwa Group has stepped into the e-commerce space, and is now showcasing their project. Snapdeal.com is an online marketplace, featuring a wide assortment of products across categories like Mobiles, Electronics, Fashion accessories, Apparel, Sports, Books; and services like Restaurants, Spas & Entertainment amongst others.

 

PayU acquires Citrus Pay for $130 million

Global online payment service provider PayU has acquired Indian payments technology player, Citrus Pay, for $130 million. Citrus Pay’s managing director Amrish Rau will take charge of the merged entity, and as chief executive of PayU in India.

 

Ten Sports sold to Sony Pictures for Rs 2,600 crore

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and ZEE have entered into definitive agreements to acquire TEN Sports Network and its sub-sidiaries for $385 million. The acquisition will add five sports channels, TEN 1, TEN 1 HD, TEN 2, TEN 3, TEN Golf HD to SPN’s existing portfolio of channels.

 

Pfizer to acquire oncology specialist Medivation for $ 14 bn

The US-headquartered pharma major Pfizer Inc has entered into an agreement to acquire Medivation Inc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercialising small molecules for oncology, for a total enterprise value of approxi-mately $ 14 billion. The merger will give a boost to Pfizer’s consolidation effort through a series of acquisitions, especially after its bid to take over Allergan Plc in a $150 billion deal late last year fell apart when the Obama admini-stration prevented the proposed combination with new rules.

 

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

 

Scientists successfully grow three-dimensional lungs in lab using stem cells

Scientists in the United States including those of Indian origin have successfully grown three-dimensional (3D) lungs in the lab, using stem cells. The 3D lungs or organoids was created by coating tiny gel beads with lung-derived stem cells and then allowing them to selfassemble into the shapes of the air sacs found in human lungs. To show that these tiny organoids mimicked the structure of actual human lungs, researchers compared it with real sections of human lung.

 

Surgeons use robot to operate inside eye in world first

British surgeons have successfully performed the world’s first robotic operation inside the eye, potentially revolutionising the way such conditions are treated. The procedure was carried out at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, where surgeons welcomed its success. Current technology with laser scanners and microscopes allows surgeons to monitor retinal diseases at the microscopic level. This is the first time a device has been available that achieves the three-dimensional precision required to operate inside the human eye.

 

World’s first daily driverless bus service launched in Lyon, France

The world’s first daily driverless bus service has started in Lyon, France which will run in the city’s Confluence area. The driverless bus service includes two electric shuttles that will transport passengers on a ten-minute route hosting five stops. The driverless buses can hold up to 15 passengers and are electric buses. It has features like LIDAR radar technology and motion sensors will help to avoid accidents. The LIDAR radar technology allows these buses to know exactly where they are and to detect everything happening around them.

 

China tests stealth-defeating quantum radar

China has claimed that it has successfully developed and tested a radar system that uses quantum entanglement to beat the stealth technology of modern military aircrafts. This first Chinese quantum radar was developed by the Intelligent Perception Technology Laboratory. Prior to it, US was only the country stealth-defeating quantum radar. Quantum radar is a device that uses quantum entanglement photons to provide better detec-tion capabilities than conventional radar systems.

 

India’s light utility helicopter maiden flight successful

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully completed test flight of indigenous Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) Bengaluru. The LUH will replace the military’s obsolescent fleet of Chetak and Cheetah helicopters that have flown for over three decades.

 

Scientists for first time develop laser from fluorescent jellyfish proteins

Scientists for the first time have developed LASER (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) from fluorescent jellyfish proteins that were grown in bacteria. The first of its kind represents a major advance break through in so-called polariton lasers operating at room temperature. To develop the fluorescent Polariton laser, scientists had engineered barrel-shaped fluorescent proteins from jellyfish DNA. They had filled optical microcavities (between two mirrors) with this protein before subjecting them to optical pumping. Nanosecond flashes of blue light from an external laser were used to bring the system up to the required energy to create laser light. After the threshold was reached for polariton lasing, scientists pumped more energy into the device setup that resulted in conventional lasing.

 

PERSONS IN NEWS

A). APPOINTMENTS

V K Sharma gets additional charge as LIC chairman

V K Sharma, who is currently one of the two managing directors at Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), has taken additional charge as Chairman, LIC of India. He will take the place of S K Roy who has been relieved of his duties.Asper the LIC Act, the insurer can have four MDs and a chairman, as part of its top management.

 

Nadia Murad named UN Goodwill Ambassador

Nadia Murad, a former ISIS captive, has been named the UN’s new Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. Nadia Murad, 23, a member of the Yazidi community was kidnapped by Is-lamic State (ISIS) forces when they raided her village over two years ago.

 

Jim Yong Kim heads for second term as World Bank president

Jim Yong Kim is heading for another five-year term as president of the World Bank. Kim, 56, has focused the World bank on programs to reduce extreme poverty. Kim’s first term ends on June 30, 2017. Jim Yong KimMD, Ph.D, also known as Kim Yong is a South Korean-Ameri-can physician and anthropologist who has served as the 12th President of the World Bank since July 1, 2012.

 

Bakytzhan Sagintayev appointed as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan

Bakytzhan Sagintaev appointed as Prime minister of Kazakhstan by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev on September 9,2016. Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic.

 

OP Kohli sworn in as MP Governor

Senior BJP leader Om Prakash Kohli has been sworn in as the 26th governor of Madhya Pradesh. Acting Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court Rajendra Menon administered the oath. Kohli, who is also the Gujarat Governor, has been given the additional charge of Madhya Pradesh after Ram Naresh Yadav’s tenure in office got over on 7th sepetmber.

 

Maharashtra Governor sworn in as Tamil Nadu’s acting Governor

Governor of Maharashtra Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao, was sworn in as the acting Governor of Tamil Nadu. Rao was administered the oath of office by the Madras High Court’s Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul at the Raj Bhavan, Chennai. President Pranab Mukherjee had given additional charge of Tamil Nadu to C Vidyasagar Rao as per Article 153 of Constitution as the tenure of K. Rosaiah ended on 31 August 2016.

 

Jagdish Mukhi sworn in as Lt Guv of Andaman and Nicobar

Senior BJP leader Jagdish Mukhi assumed office as the 12th Lieutenant Governor of the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He was administered the oath of office and oath of secrecy by Justice Girish Chandra Gupta, acting chief justice of Calcutta High Court at a formal swearing-in-ceremony held at Raj Niwas in Port Blair. He had been a minister and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly in the past.

 

B). RESIGNS

 

Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa removed as Arunachal Pradesh governor

Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa was removed from the post of Arunachal Pradesh Governor. V. Shanmuganathan, Governor of Meghalaya has been given the charge of Arunachal Pradesh by President Pranab Mukherjee.

 

Abhinav Bindra announces retirement from Shooting

Abhinav Bindra, India’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist, has officially announced his retirement from shooting. He announced his retirement after playing for almost two decades.In Rio Olympics 2016, Bindra nearly missed a second Olympic medal by a whisker and came fourth. Presently, he is the Chairman of a review committee formulated by the NRAI to examine and identify in a cold and ruthless manner the reason as to why shooting failed to secure any medal at Rio Olympic Games. He is the first Indian to win an individual Gold medal in Olympic since 1900 the year our country participated in the Olympic Games.

 

Wipro’s chief learning officer Abhijit Bhaduri quits

Abhijit Bhaduri, chief learning officer of Wipro has resigned. Bhaduri will start his own executive coaching company. Bhaduri is the man behind many of Wipro’s initiatives like global 100 program. He has been with Wipro for 7 years.

 

C). DEATHS

 

Former Italian PM Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dies

Former Italian president, prime minister and central bank governor Carlo Azeglio Ciampi has died at the age of 95. As treasury minister he is credited with leading Italy into the euro currency.

 

Noted animal rights activist Claude Lila Parulekar passes away

Animal rights activist Claude Lila Parulekar, daughter of eminent editor and founder of the Marathi daily ‘Sakal’, Nanasaheb Parulekar, passed away. Ms. Parulekar, a spinster and a former director of ‘Sakal’, was confined to a wheelchair since 2007 after she was struck by a series of paralytic strokes. Her sensitivity and passion for the welfare of animals, and tireless advocacy of the law to care for their well-being, made her one of the best-known figures in animal rights activism.

 

Noted Assamese poet Nalini Dhar Bhattacharyya dies at 95

Noted Assamese poet, literary critic and author and winner of the Sahitya Akademi award Nalinidhar Bhattacharyya passed away in Guwahati. Bhattacharyya, aged 95, was suffering from age-old ailments.

 

Noted painter, art historian Dinanath Pathy passes away

Eminent painter, writer and art historian Dinanath Pathy passed away following a cardiac arrest at a hospital in Bhubaneshar. He was 74. He is known for his versatility; Pathy was a former secretary of Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and Bhubaneswar and is regarded as the pioneer of the art movement in Odisha.

 

Singapore’s Indian origin President passes away

Indian-origin former Singapore President S R Nathan died at a hospital, days after suffering a stroke. He was 92. He was the sixth and longest-serving President of Singapore. He was closely associated with the country’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew.

 

D). VISITORS

 

President of Egypt to arrive on three-day visit to India

President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has arrived on August 31st for a three-day visit to India. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Ministers, officials and business leaders.

 

E). MISCELLANEOUS

 

Abhishek Bachchan Holds a Guinness World Record

Abhishek Bachchan might be the most underrated actor of the industry, but one didn’t know that he’s actually hold a Guinness World Record. Jr Bachchan holds the record for ‘Most Public Appearances made by a Film Star in 12 Hours.’ In fact, he beat Hollywood actor Will Smith who had made three public appearances in 2 hours during the promotions of his film I, Robot in 2004.

 

World’s largest LEGO ship sets Guinness record

A new Guinness world record for the largest LEGO ship has been set in Den-mark, where employees of a shipping company successfully constructed the incredible 2,860 kg boat using over one million interlocking plastic bricks. The blue and white LEGO boat measures 12.035 metres in length. It took 900 person hours to build and thousands of DFDS employees from across the world got on board, assisted in the challenge by a few LEGO building professionals.

 

China’s unmanned submersible sets new national record

China’s unmanned submersible has dived to a depth of 10,767 metres at the world’s deepest ocean point, setting a new record for the country to enable it to explore ocean beds for minerals and other natural resources. This dive created a new record for China that also helps the country to enable it to explore ocean beds for minerals and other natural resources.

 

PLACES IN NEWS

 

Ankasamudra to become a conservation reserve

The Karnataka State Wild-life Board, chaired by Chief Min-ister Siddaramaiah, has decided to declare Ankasamu-dra tank in Hagari Bommana-halli taluk as a bird conservation reserve. The Ankasamudra tank was gaining popularity as a natural bird sanctuary when about 140 species of birds, both local and migratory – Rosy Starlings, painted storks, open billed storks, Northern Shovelors, Northern Pintails, Sand pipers, cormorants, parakeets, egrets, ibis, herons among others – chose it as not only a roosting place but also as a breeding spot. This is the first bird conservation reserve declared in the entire Hyderabad-Karnatak region.

 

Majuli named world’s largest river island

The Guinness World Records has declared Majuli in Assam as the largest river island in the world. The beautiful river island is situated on the Brahmaputra River. It has toppled Marajo in Brazil to clinch the record. The river island covers an area of around 880 sqkm. According to Guinness World Records, the island lost around one-third of its area in the last 30-40 years due to frequent flooding of the river.

 

Toxic gas leak at Bangladesh fertiliser unit sickens 250 plugged

About 250 people, including children, have fallen sick and hundreds of residents have been evacuated from their homes after a toxic gas leak from a fertiliser unit in Bangladesh’s port city of Chittagong. Di-ammonium phosphate (DPA) leaked from the DAP Fertiliser Company Limited on the bank of Karnaphuli river last night and firefighters battled until late morning to plug the leakage. DPA is one of a series of water-soluble ammonium phosphate salts that can be produced when ammonia reacts with phosphoric acid.

 

World’s largest indoor theme park to open in Dubai

The world’s largest indoor theme park is set to open in Dubai this august to lure back some of the tourists and residents who often flee abroad during the scorching desert summer. In a sandy suburb beyond Dubai’s concrete jungle and pockets of artificially green spaces, IMG Worlds of Adventure’s boxy exterior belies a 140,000-square metre (1.5 million-square foot) air-conditioned cathedral of entertainment teeming with animatronic dinosaurs, roller coasters, Marvel superheroes and Cartoon Network characters. Zombies pop out from dark corners of a haunted house and the Velociraptor coaster throttles passengers within a misty simulated rain forest dubbed the Lost Valley.

 

Books in News

 

Malaysian envoy releases translated book on Sai Baba

The Consul General of Malaysia in India Eldeen Husaini Muhammad Hashim has released the translated version of ‘Sai Charitra Granth’,a book on the life of Sai Baba.Sai Baba, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint, fakir, and satguru, according to their individual proclivities and beliefs. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees, and during, as well as after, his life it remained uncertain if he was a Hindu or a Muslim.

 

Uttarakhand governorreleases book by author Nagrath

Uttarakhand Governor K K Paul has released a book titled ‘Shanti ki Talaash mein Zindagi’ written in Hindi by Haridwar-based author and journalist Radhika Nagrath. The book is a philosophical treatise written in simple language incorporating interesting examples and anecdotes from day-to-day life.

 

Chris Gayle launches his autobiography ‘Six Machine’ in India

Explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle has launched his autobiography ‘Six Machine, which contains extensive details about his life and career. Published by Viking – Penguin UK, the book was unveiled by Anurag Singh Thakur, President of the BCCI. Christopher Henry “Chris” Gayle is a Jamaican cricketer who plays international cricket for the West Indies.

 

Book based on Arunachal wins UK award for historical fiction

Famous Author Stuart Blackburn’s “Into the Hidden Valley”, a book based on Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, won the MM Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016 in the UK. He is the author of 16 books on Indian culture. The award is n