Books and Authors - Current Affairs for July, 2017
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▼ New book on issues faced by Indian Universities [07-17-17]
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will receive the first copy of the book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ at a function to be held at Rashtrapati Bhavan on July 17, 2017.
He will receive the first copy of this book from Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen who will formally release it.
The book ‘Future of Indian Universities: Comparative and International Perspectives’ 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 Indian Universities.
It has been complied by Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Vice Chancellor of JGU University and is published by Oxford University Press.
▼ Pranaber Preyosi: Book entitled President’s Lady on Late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee [07-14-17]
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the first copy of the book “President’s Lady” (Pranaber Preyosi) on his wife Late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee on July 13, 2017.
The book was received from Vice President of India, Mohd. Hamid Ansari who formally released it at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Ms. Sangeeta Ghosh, author of the book and all those who have brought out the publication were acknowledged.
Late Smt. Suvra Mukherjee was essentially a private person with a strong interest in music (particularly Tagore music) and paintings.
She confined herself to music, painting and writing. She tried to take Tagore music to a non-Bengali audience.
Born in Jessore (now in Bangladesh), she faced the uprooting that visited millions in the sub-continent as partition cut through not only the map, but also across the social and cultural fabric of the land.
She built a new life in Kolkata, with her love for the academic pursuits resulting in degrees in History and Political Science.
As the first lady, she brought her love of sangeet to the Rastrapati Bhawan, with her harmonium and tanpura, gifted to her by the Bengali music maestro DL Roy, accompanying her here.
Smt. Mukherjee was a vocalist, an exponent of Rabindra Sangeet and performed in the poet’s dance-dramas for many years in India, Europe, Asia and Africa.
She was also responsible for setting up the ‘Geetanjali Troupe’, with the mission of showcasing Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy through song and dance.
The book recounts how in 2013, pushing aside protocol concerns, the First Lady sat with her troupe and sang her favourite numbers of Tagore on the occasion of Rabindra Jayanti.
She also authored two books- the first, ‘Chokher Aloey’ a personal account of her close interaction with former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, and the second, ‘Chena Achenai Chin’, a travelogue recounting her visit to China.
Smt. Mukherjee was also a talented painter, with several exhibitions to her credit. In pursuit of this art, she drew inspiration from her mother, who was a critically acclaimed painter.
This bilingual compilation (English and Bengali) also contains reminisces of people who knew Smt. Mukerjee, including former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, Smt. Sheila Dikshit and other members of the Family.
▼ Japanese comedian’s song is UN anthem [07-13-17]
Japanese comedian Pikotaro has adapted his catchy song, Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen’, to promote the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
The original went viral last year after pop star Justin Bieber tweeted that it was his favourite video.
Kazuhito Kosaka is known by his stage name Pikotaro.
The PPAP star beamed at the invitation to accompany the diplomat to New York and pledged to do his utmost for the awareness campaign.
The UN version, “SDGs”, debuts in July.
In the original PPAP song, Pikotaro mimics stabbing a pen into an apple and a pineapple while singing simple English lyrics and dancing to a catchy beat.
The UN action plan sets goals in fighting poverty, climate change and other global challenges
Pikotaro said it would be a challenge to achieve all the goals.
But he was happy to accept the Foreign Ministry’s appointment to the promotional role and to help by doing what he does best.
▼ Defence Ministry Makes in India, releases booklet on indigenous production [07-7-17]
Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley released a booklet highlighting efforts made by Department of Defence Production in the last three years in pursuance of self-reliance in defence sector.
It is a compilation of the achievements of the Department of Defence Production in the field of indigenous production of weapon systems/platforms and policy initiatives undertaken in the past three years.
Ever since the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative in September 2014, the focus has been to improve the business environment by easing processes to do business.
To encourage participation of Indian public and private sectors in defence production and promote innovation and indigenous development of equipment and weapon platforms has been the aim.
The booklet mentions a number of policy initiatives which have been taken by the Department of Defence Production.
These are relaxation in Foreign Direct Investment policy, providing exchange rate variation protection to domestic industry, level-playing field to private sector in terms of excise duty/custom duty at par with public sector.
It also spoke of liberalising licensing policy and extending the validity of industrial licensing to 15 years, streamlining defence offset guidelines and restoring services as an avenue for discharge of offsets.
It also includes facilitating exports by issuing NOC online, hosting procedure for issue of NOC and list of military stores in public domain besides doing away with end-user certificate.
The focus is also on revising make procedure to promote design and development, promulgating green channel policy, categorising certain Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) products as non-core, aligning payment terms of Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), etc.
It also mentions about ‘Make in India’ portal for defence production which is a very industry-friendly website covering all policy procedural issues.
The booklet also mentions that Ordnance Factories and DPSUs, working under the administrative control of Department of Defence Production, have not only enhanced their production from ₹ 44,000/- crore to ₹ 56,000/- crore.
They have also delivered many state-of-the-art platforms to the Armed Forces, including Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, Surface to Air Missile System ‘ Akash’.
During the last three years, 128 industrial licences have been issued.
Other highlights are, all naval ships and submarines on order are being constructed in Indian shipyards and percentage of capital procurement from Indian vendors has gone up from 47 to 61 in the last three years.
A number of steps are being taken to augment production capacity by DPSUs, such as infrastructure building for Mine Counter Measure Vessel at Goa Shipyard Ltd..
The new helicopter manufacturing facility at Tumakuru, second production line for Dhruv at Kanpur have also been utilised.
Indigenisation of manufacturing capacity for T-90 and PINAKA Rockets and manufacturing facilities for Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) at Ibrahimpatnam, Hyderabad also took place.
▼ Exams Stress? - PM is willing to help! [07-6-17]
In a first-of-its-kind initiative by a serving Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has planned to write a book dedicated to the youth.
Through the book, Prime Minister Modi will try to address core issues like overcoming examination stress, keeping one’s composure and even what to do after the exams are over.
Publishers Penguin Random House (PRH) India on 3 July 2017 said the book will be in multiple languages and will be out in bookstores later this year (2017).
The book will cover many aspects that students can relate to, especially with regard to the crucial class X and XII examinations.
Through the book, the prime minister hopes to become a friend of the students and support them as they prepare for the examinations.
The tone and tenor of the book, which states why it is important to prioritise knowledge over marks, and how to take responsibility for the future, is informal and conversational.
The idea for the book came from Modi himself. In the wake of the good response to his ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the prime minister decided to compile those thoughts, complementing them with some unique new insights and anecdotes, in the form of a book.
Mann ki Baat is a radio programme hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Bluekraft Digital Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, will be the technology and knowledge partner for the book.
In a rare and unique initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to directly address the state of the students through this book.