▼ PV Sindhu, CRPF’s brand ambassador [08-30-16]
The largest paramilitary force CRPF has taken the decision to appoint Olympic silver medallist OV Sindhu as the brand ambassador and bestow the honorary rank of Commandant on the ace badminton player.
- Official sources indicated the force moved a formal proposal to this effect
- Sindhu will be honoured and presented the rank badges and camouflage combat fatigues of the CRPF at the ceremonial event
- Sindhu has been informed and her consent has been obtained by the CRPF
- Commander rank in the CRPF equals the position of a Superintendent of Police/SP and such an officer commands a battalion of 1000 personnel when posted in field operations
- About 3 lakh strong personnel strong force, mainstay for anti Naxal operations and numerous internal security duty tasks in the country, choose Sindhu for honour as appointment will motivate personnel to do better and send the message of women empowerment
- Being the brand ambassador of the force, Sindhu would be asked to hold motivational sessions with troops when she is not playing or training and her message will be send to personnel deployed across the nation
- Central Reserve Police Force also has the credit of raising the first all woman battalion in a central paramilitary and a police force way back in 1987 and at present has 4 such contingents with three in active duties
- Border guarding force BSF has appointed cricketer Virat Kohli as brand ambassador.
- Sindhu won a historic silver in the women’s singles badminton at recently concluded Rio Olympic Games and was conferred recently with the nation’s highest sporting honour- The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna along with Olympic star wrestlers Sakshi Malik, gymnast Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai.
▼ Women allowed to enter Haji Ali Dargah sanctum: Bombay HC [08-29-16]
Bombay High Court on 26th August 2016 ruled women should be permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the Haji Ali Dargah in the heart of Mumbai.
- The 15th century Dargah of the Sufi Saint Haji Ali Shah is located off an islet on the coast of Worli in South Mumbai
- Division bench of Justices VM Kanade and Revati Mohite Dere in its 56 page judgement said a ban imposed by Haji Ali Dargah on women entering the sanctum sanctorum contravene their fundamental rights and must be lifted.
- Court said ban of entry inside the Dargah sanctum violates the fundamental right to practice any religion
- Rebuking the Dargah Trust, the court said the trust had no right to discriminate against women and deny them entry into a public place of worship under the guise of “managing the affairs of religion.”
- It refused to accept the claims permitting women in close proximity to the grave of a male Muslim saint was a sin in Islam
- It also refused to accept that the ban was imposed to prevent harassment of women
- Court in its judgement also highlighted few constitutional provisions that give equal rights to all faith practitioners
- Bench asked the Dargah Trust to take effective steps like having separate queues for men and women and also said the state government is duty bound to ensure safety of women at such places.
- Judgement was passed on PIL filed by Bharaitya Muslim Mahila Andolan, a Muslim rights group based in Mumbai and several other women activists urging the court to lift restrictions imposed on entry of women in the Dargah by the Haji Ali Dargah Trust
- The founders of BMMA are Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz
- The Dargah Trust will now challenge the decision in the SC
- The Haji Ali Trust was the first Sufi followers in India to bar women from the spiritual tradition of shrine visitation
- In February 2016, Maharashtra government said according to the Bombay HC, women should be permitted to enter the inner sanctum till the board is able to prove the ban is part of their religious practice with reference to Quran.
- Earlier in April 2016, Bombay HC passed a similar ruling lifting the ban on women’s entry into the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.
- The Trust of the temple imposed the ban on the basis of a 400 year old tradition which proclaimed against women entering the inner sanctum of the Lord Shani temple
- The trust allowed the women to enter the temple within one week of the order of the court
▼ Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry signs MoU with BCCI [08-29-16]
Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) for promoting renewable energy.
- BCCI energy committee chairman Deb A Mukherjee said the agreement will forge an alliance between the chamber and TERI to work together in the domain of renewables.
- The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is a research institute based in New Delhi that conducts research work in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development.
- Established in 1974, it was formerly known as Tata Energy and Resource Institute.
- As the scope of its activities widened, it was renamed The Energy and Resources Institute in 2003.
- TERI was registered in Delhi in 1974 as the Tata Energy Research Institute.
- The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a chamber of commerce based in West Bengal, India.
- Established in 1853, it is the only such institution in India.
- The organisation has its headquarters at the former Royal Exchange in B. B. D. Bagh, Kolkata.
▼ First children’s court set up in South India’s Telangana state, Smt. Maneka Gandhi launched POSCO e-box [08-29-16]
First children’s court was inaugurated in Hyderabad for South India on 25th August 2016.
- Two other states, Goa and Delhi have got their child friendly court.
- Court was jointly inaugurated by acting HC CJ Ramesh Ranganathan and TS directory general of police Anurag Sharma.
- It features separate waiting rooms for children and a video camera trial for the accused
- Child who is the witness/victim will be allowed direct interaction with the judge
- Accused will be in a different location and hear the proceedings via two way video conferencing in the courtroom
- A two way video communication system will allow the child to identify the accused on camera
- The judge will not sit on the dais, so that he can be more approachable
- Police accompanying the child will not be in uniform
- WCD Minister Smt. Maneka Gandhi on 26th August launched the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences/POCSO e-box
- The POCSO e-box is a platform where child victims of sexual abuse can report such cases online
- It is an initiative of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights for direct online reporting of child sexual abuse
- The e-box is an online complaint management system which facilitates direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against offenders under toe POCSO act
- It is incorporated on the home page of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) website http://ncpcr.gov.in/.To register a complaint, the complainant will have to push a button named POCSO e-box that will navigate him or her to a page where at least one picture option will have to be selected (describing the category of harassment)
- Later, a form will have to be filled along with details such as mobile number, email and description of the harassment followed by the submit button after which a unique auto generated complaint number will be flashed
- e-Box is incorporated in the home page of the NCPCR which is a national level body for the protection of child rights
- Sexual offences against children are rampant, yet a small percentage is reported
- Government enacted the POCSO Act 2012 to protect children from offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography.
- The Act also safeguards the interest of children at every stage of the judicial process by incorporating child friendly mechanisms for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and speedy trial of offences through designated Special Courts
- Any human being up to 18 years of age is recognised as a child under the Act.
▼ AIR launches Maitree channel [08-26-16]
President Pranab Mukherjee launched the Akashvani Maitree channel for Bengali listeners and its multimedia website which provides a platform for blending content from India and Bangladesh and preserves Bengali culture.
- The channel is a unique initiative of AIR for Bengali listeners living in different parts of the globe.
- The channel will be broadcast from a state-of-the-art brand new high power 1000Kw DRM transmitter with a capacity to reach the entire length and breadth of Bangladesh through medium wave and will be also available globally on its website and mobile app.
▼ Scorpene, the conventional powered submarine [08-26-16]
Scorpene is a conventional powered submarine weighing 1500 tonnes. It can reach depths of 300m and was built by DCNS France.
- In October 2005 India signed a deal of USD 3.75 billion to get six submarines built at the Mazgaon Dock Limited in Mumbai with the transfer of technology.
- Additional deals were signed by the Indian company with Thales and MBDA for systems and weapons.
- Following repeated delays over 4 years, the first submarine began sea trials in May 2016
- Remaining 5 submarines are at various stages of construction
- Submarine is the quietest and most potent military platform and influences second strike capabilities
- Every military platform shows up on the radar by which adversaries can be tracked; so stealth technologies like Scorpene that are virtually undetectable command a premium
- As submarines operate under the water, they use sonar or sonic waves for communication and detection
- An Australian newspaper has leaked 22,400 pages of documents from the DCNS manual detailing technical specifications of the submarine
- This includes combat and stealth capabilities, what frequencies they gather intelligence it, their diving depths range, endurance and level of noise they make at numerous speeds
- It also discloses magnetic, electromagnetic and infra red data as well as specifications of the submarine torpedo launch system and the combat system.
- The question remains whether such information leaking poses a danger to stealth capabilities of the submarine
- The manufacturer’s technical manual has been revealed on public domain and the operation and tactical procedures to be used once the submarine is inducted could be the only thing unique about it now
- It is possible submarines under construction could be tweaked to change their signatures
- Government of India has said the reported leak of documents have been examined and do not pose a security compromise as vital parameters have been concealed
- Indian Navy has also taken up the matter with the DG Armament of the French government and investigate the matter
- An internal audit of procedure to rule out security compromise is also being undertaken
- Indian Navy is also conducting a detailed potential impact, which is being taken by a high level of committee constituted by MoD.
▼ DNA profiling for criminals by AP. Digital Literacy programme by Assam. [08-25-16]
Andhra Pradesh on 20th August 2016 launched the DNA Index System or DIS for the DNA profiling of criminals.
Assam launched the Digital Literacy programme in 126 gram panchayats aimed at making every family digitally literate.
- DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid
- It is a system using the latest DNA technology tool called RapidHIT DNA System developed by Integen X of the United States
- With this, AP became the first Indian state to allow generation of DNA profiles from live samples like buccal swabs, saliva and blood stains etc.
- The DIS project creates DNA profile in 90 to 120 minutes and could help suspects prove their innocence while bring down the crime rate
- It aims to resolve missing persons case with on the spot SNA testing and creates DNA profiles of 7 persons within 2 hours.
- Programme has been to leverage information and communication technology to spread digital literacy to every household in Assam
- As a part of the Digital Literacy programme, a training session starting from Aug 26 till Dec 30, wherein each beneficiary will be trained for 10 days, 2 hours per day in Assamese, English and Bengali has been initiated.
▼ Union Cabinet clears India’s DTAA with Cyprus [08-25-16]
Union Cabinet cleared a new India-Cyprus Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement providing for source based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares instead of one based on residence.
- Cabinet approved the revised DTAA and it was agreed to provide to provide for source based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares. A grandfathering cause will be provided for investments made prior to April 1, 2017 in respect of which capital gains would be taxed in the country where the taxpayer resides.
- India and Cyprus have a DTAA since 1994 and the foreign nation is a major source of foreign funds flow in the country. From April 2000 till March 2016, India received foreign direct investment to the tune of INR 42,680.76 crore from Cyprus. Completion of negotiation on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion has paved the way for the removal of Notified Jurisdictional Areas respectively from November 2013.
- India also took this as a major step in the fight against tax evasion, base erosion and profit shifting.
▼ ICFR to be set up, 3 As approach for fertilisers in the country proposed [08-24-16]
The “3 A” approach towards fertilisers in the country, these being authenticity (Quality), availability and affordability were proposed.
- Inaugurating a Conference of Officers of State Agriculture Departments handling fertilisers in New Delhi, Sh. Ananth Kumar said that the ultimate aim of the Government should be to provide last mile timely availability of quality fertilisers at affordable rates to the farmers.
- This, he said, would ensure the fertilisers security of the country which is essential for the food security.
- There is planning to set up Indian Council for Fertilisers Research, on the lines of ICMR and ICAR.
- Research is very much required to discover and develop various means and ways of producing quality fertilisers, fortified fertilisers, hybrid fertilisers, nutrients and various combinations which are good for the soil.
- Research has a role to play in the all aspects of the fertiliser chain which includes production, transportation, storage, availability, application, etc.
- The Conference of Principal Secretaries/Secretaries/Directors dealing with the Agriculture Departments in the State/UTs is the first such initiative of the Department of Fertilisers.
▼ Railways to collaborate with Google for showcasing heritage platforms [08-23-16]
Indian Railways is set to collaborate with Google for digitising and showcasing heritage on digital platforms.
- Search engine major Google will collaborate with Indian Railways to digitise its heritage assets
- It will also help create a digital repository for universal access online free of cost.
- Indian Railways has a massive list of heritage assets including bridges. steam locomotives, buildings, artefacts and museums to be showcased for a global audience.
- An agreement in this regard will be signed between National Rail Museum and Google Cultural Institute.
- GCI is a non profit organisation that partners with cultural organisations to showcase their heritage and share their cultural assets online.
- Collaboration will make NRM accessible online and offer virtual tours.
- It will also help digitise the national transporter’s entire heritage inventory including more than 20 museums and 100s of coaches, station buildings, bridges and steam locos.
- Once placed online, it will act as a great tourist attraction.
- GCI works with government organisations and NPOs for providing digital collection management systems and storytelling tools free of charge.
- Various ministers and government institutes have already collaborated with GCI to display and preserve India’s cultural heritage digitally.
- Google is also working with railways to provide free Wi-Fi service in 100 stations.
- Meanwhile, IR is preparing a comprehensive conservation management program to preserve and promote heritage assets.
- Dedicated rail heritage website under Railway Board’s website is also operational for dissemination of information.
▼ Qatar based Doha Bank to open state-of-the-art branch in Kochi [08-22-16]
Qatar based Doha bank became the first GCC or Gulf Cooperation Council Bank to open a branch in India.
- Doha bank will open a branch in Kochi, located in the LULU International shopping Mall at Edapally, It will mainly cater to the needs of the large NRI population, both in Kerala and the Gulf.
- Bank branch will be inaugurated in August last week
- Doha Bank commenced operations in Mumbai in April 2015
- It provides corporate banking, retail banking, trade finance, treasury and foreign exchange services.
- Bank is focused on the GCC trade flows.
- It will become the bank of choice for GCC based NRIs mainly from Kerala and the business community who are based in GCC countries in India.
- Doha Bank operates in Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It also has representative offices in Singapore, London, Turkey, Korea, Tokyo, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Bangladesh, China, Sharjah, Frankfurt and Hong Kong.
- Doha Bank is one of the largest commercial banks in the State of Qatar.
- It was incorporated in 1978 and commenced its domestic and international banking services in Doha, Qatar on March 15, 1979
- Another South Indian state, Telangana has plans to set up a INR 270 crore leather complex.
- Telangana government plans to establish the leather complex at Station Khanpur village in Warangal district
- Sanction of INR 105 crore is sought under the Leather Development Programme in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
▼ Kerala launches special police beat for women called Pink Police Patrol [08-19-16]
Kerala police has a new addition in the Pink Police. These lady officers will move in pink coloured cars and have a special badge.
- Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan launched the new beat of city police called Pink Police Patrol aimed at enhancing women’s security
- 20-25 policewomen and 5 vehicles will be assigned in the city per day. Each team will have sub inspector ranked women officer and may be present in any part of the city from bus stops to buses and places near educational institutions.
- Coordinator of the Pink Police Assistant Commissioner A Pramod Kumar said the initiative has been named pink for girls as blue is associated with boys and pink with girls.
- Team will monitor crowded areas from 8 am to 8 pm and can be reached by the public through toll free number 1515.
- The aim is to look at crimes against women in public places. This includes harassment, anti social activities women abuse. The patrol will guard women, children and those with disabilities especially late in the evening.
- Two Pink Patrols have been constituted and they will work on alternative days.
- Pink team will work with shadow police, a special wing constituted 5 years ago for crime prevention and resolution which will function as an independent team.
▼ World’s largest aircraft takes flight in August 2016 [08-19-16]
The world’s largest aircraft embarked on its maiden flight on August 17th 2016 from an airfield in Cardington, Central England.
- It is called Airlander 10 and is part plane part airship.
- Successful flight comes after another airship R101 took off in 1930 killing 48 people on board in a crash in France and halting the development of airships in Britain for years.
- Airlander 10 also developed originally for the US army as a surveillance aircraft, the 92 metre long aircraft also has potential uses in the commercial sector such as carrying cargo according to makers Hybrid Air Vehicles.
- The firm has described Airlander as the largest aircraft currently flying receiving the British government grant of USD 3.7 million to develop the project.
- Airlander 10 hybrid airship can fly up to 4880 metres and reach speeds of 148 kilometres per hour according to HAV.
- Filled with helium, it can stay airborne for more than two weeks unmanned and up to 5 days if manned.
- HAV CEO is currently Stephen McGlennan and the aircraft was cheaper and greener than helicopter technology.
▼ India’s first bio-CNG plant to be inaugurated in Pune [08-17-16]
India’s first bio-CNG plant will be inaugurated in Pune and set up by Pune based Primove Engineering Private Limited.
- This plant will use agricultural residue to generate CNG which can be used as automobile fuel.
- 600 million tonnes of agricultural waste is generated per year in the country with lack of use of its residue, most of it is wasted.
- Using agriculture residue for CNG generation was seen as a way to reduce disposal of agricultural waste which is a major concern in the country.
- Process of generation of CNG from agricultural waste involves treating water with a special bacterial solution.
- After this, the gas generated is cleaned and compressed for use in vehicles.
- Plant is located in Pirangut, Pune
- It has been set up as a Proof of Concept centre i.e it can be replicated elsewhere.
- Company has invested around INR 4.5 crore in the plant and applied for a process patent for it. Close to INR 15 crore investment is needed for 5 tonne standalone plants
- This is an instance of use of bio-CNG for the first time in India; Bio-CNG was used as automobile fuel in Europe as a matter of practice.
▼ INIP launches first Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance policy for India [08-17-16]
The India Nuclear Insurance Pool on 12th August 2016 launched India’s first Nuclear Supplier’s Insurance Policy.
- New India Assurance Company Limited and INIP will issue the policy and administer the claims on behalf of the pool.
- INIP has become the 27th insurance pool in the world as countries like France and the US have put similar risk transfer mechanisms in place.
- The policy will cover the risks of liability of nuclear operators and suppliers under Section 6(2) and Section 17 of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages (CLND) Act, 2010 respectively.
- It provides three types of policies viz., tier 1 policy for operators, tier 2 policy for turn key suppliers and tier 3 policy for suppliers other than turn key suppliers.
▼ Massive Tricolour yatra from Leh to Khardung La led by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju [08-17-16]
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijijju led the massive tricolour yatra from Leh to Khardung La in Leh district as part of the Tiranga Yatra. He also flagged a team of para cycling amputees of the BSF.
- Department of empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) is running the Accessible India campaign to provide universal accessibility for disabled.
- BSF is celebrating 2016 as the year of Divyang Yodhas.
- The BSF paracycling expedition from Manali led by Commandant BSF RK Negi covered 583 kms of Himalayan heights.
- Team of 34 crossed difficult terrain and comprised nine divyangjan of BSF, other CAPF and Aditya Mehta Foundation supported by AMF and BIAAT.
▼ Tactile and feel garden for visually impaired people inaugurated near Calicut University in Kerala [08-16-16]
A first of its kind tactile and feel garden for visually impaired people in the country was inaugurated at Kerala near Calicut University Campus.
- Garden has 70 aromatic, herbal and medicinal plants that are from various parts of the country.
- Garden is arranged in such a way tat visually impaired get inputs by touching and smelling plants and also receive audio inputs
- The name of the plants are written in English, Malayalam and Braille and are set on a higher level apart from Sonic Labeller in pen shape on the nameplate according to which visitors can listen to complete details about plants
▼ Cuban cigar maker creates world’s longest cigar at 90m for Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday [08-16-16]
Cuban cigar Maker Jose Cairo better known as Cueto, broke his own record on 12th August 2016 by rolling the world’s longest cigar at 90 metres or 295 feet which is the length of the soccer field.
- Cueto has broken the world record 5 times before.
- Cueto eclipsed his previous record of 82m with a new creation which took 10 days to roll.
▼ Two important MSME initiatives launched in August 2016 [08-16-16]
Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister launched two important MSME initiatives: MSME Databank Portal and Online Finance Facilitation Web Portal at the sidelines of the 14th Meeting of the National Board of MSME.
- MSME Ministry is also making an online census of the MSMEs in the country for the first time by launching a comprehensive databank ; This will save effort and resources for census
- Databank will provide information and be used for public procurement purposes.
- No grant or subsidy will be given to any MSME until the data is captured on the MSME databank.
- Portal will also allow MSMEs to apply for loans from various banks on the NSIC portal and MoUs have been signed with 33 banks, 14 of which are going to work with the online Finance Facilitation Web Portal
▼ Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers commenced work on the FPV [08-16-16]
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers/GRSE commenced work on the first in a series of Fast Patrol Vehicles built for the Indian Coast Guard.
- The order for the FPVs was placed in March 2016 and the first ship will be delivered in February 2018.
- These ships have a unique design in that they are cost effective, fuel efficient and ideally suited for patrolling, anti smuggling, anti poaching and rescue operations.
- They are an improved version of Inshore Patrol Vessel built earlier by GRSE for the Coast Guard.
- FPVs are designed and developed by the in-house design centre of GRSE for the Coast Guard.
- FPV is 48.9 m long, 7.5m wide and has a displacement of 300 tonnes.
- It is capable of attaining maximum speed of 34 knots- at 12-16 knots, these ships have endurance of 1500 nautical miles.
- They are fitted with three water jet propulsion systems powered by marine diesel engines, developing 2720 KW of power to be fitted with CRN-91 indigenous 30mm guns.
- The ship can accommodate 35 personnel.
▼ Fifth Green Technologies enters into agreement with Anna University [08-16-16]
Agreement is regarding research on life of critical equipment working in high temperature environments
Company will be inviting its client to participate in the research as well.
- Research is a unique attempt to use physics in three areas- creep, corrosion and fatigue- to study and predict the remaining life of critical equipment.
▼ Indian Navy’s operational reach extends through INS Satpura [08-16-16]
India’s commitment to peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and Indian Navy’s increasing footprint and operational reach were testified by the arrival of the INS Satpura that has arrived at Part Majuro on a 2 day visit for an operational turnaround as part of the deployment in Western Pacific Ocean.
- Ship also participated Exercise RIMPAC-16 which is the largest multilateral naval exercise in the world conducted biennially by the US Navy of the Hawaiian coast.
- Navy personnel will have professional interaction with Republic of Marshall Islands police forces, enhancing the cooperation between the two nations.
- Bilateral relations between India and Republic of Marshall Islands have developed over the years through bilateral visits and interactions at numerous global forums.
- Republic of Marshall Islands voted in favour of India’s non-permanent seat of the UNSC for 2011-2012 and supported the G4 short resolution on UNSC reforms.
- India is engaged in capacity building and human resource development of the Island nation, especially in education and health sector through Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme.
- The current visit is the first ever by the Indian Ship to this nation.
▼ 6 corridors on diamond quadrilateral identified for high speed rail connectivity [08-16-16]
Six corridors on the Diamond Quadrilateral connecting metro cities and growth centres of the country (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) have been identified for feasibility studies for high speed rail connectivity i.e:
- Delhi Mumbai
- Mumbai Chennai
- Chennai Kolkata.
- Kolkata Delhi.
- Delhi Chennai
- Mumbai Kolkata
▼ Encephalitis to be made a notifiable disease [08-16-16]
Encephalitis which claimed many lives in eastern India, will be made a notifiable disease after concerns voices in the LS regarding failure to check it.
- INR 50 crore given to this state for vector borne disease control is still unspent.
- A notifiable disease must be reported to the authorities as per law allowing preparation in time to take preventative measures.
- According to a Government of India estimate, close to 757 encephalitis cases have been reported from UP.
▼ CEZ to be set up under Sagarmala Programme [08-12-16]
Under the Sagarmala Programme of Ministry of Shipping, five reports have been prepared to provide implementation of roadmap for holistic port-led development in the country and to engage with various stakeholders
- The reports have been posted on the Ministry of Shipping website. The Ministry is reaching out to relevant stakeholders to apprise them of the findings / recommendations in these reports and to obtain relevant feedback on the same.
- The reports include the cargo traffic projections in the ports and related logistics bottlenecks, plans for port capacity enhancement, perspective plans for the Coastal Economic Zones proposed under Sagarmala and the policy level recommendations to make port-led development successful in India.
- The programme will change the way logistics evaluation is carried out in the country and will require active participation of stakeholders including central and state government, industry bodies and agencies
▼ 70 Saal Azaadi, Yaad Karo Qurbani movement launched in MP [08-11-16]
PM Narendra Modi on 9th August 2016 launched the 70 Saal Azaadi, Yaad Karo Qurbani celebrations in Alirajpur, MP, the birthplace of freedom fighter Chandra Shekhar Azad
- This is a 15 day programme celebrating 75 years of the Quit India Movement and 70 years of independence
- People will learn about heroes and history of freedom struggle through this movement
▼ Quit India movement 2 launched [08-10-16]
Commemorating the Platinum Jubilee anniversary of the Quit India Movement, government of Maharashtra has launched Quit India movement 2 to rid the the state of social ills like poverty and casteism
- The state says ‘Quit India’ to illiteracy, discrimination, disunity and disharmony, terrorism and anti-nationalism in a bid to take the country from ‘Swaraj’ to ‘Suraj’
▼ Archeologists discover 1000 cliff paintings in China [08-10-16]
Archeologists have discovered 1000 cliff paintings dating back to 1000 years in North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region
- Paintings are well preserved and feature hunting scenes and animals
- Images have been engraved by the ancient tribal people known as the Tujue, and the Dangxiang, of which the modern day Qiang are descended from, about 1,000 to 1,500 years ago.
- Over 10,000 ancient cliff paintings have been discovered in the Yinshan Mountains.
▼ Madras HC clears uncertainty over classical language status [08-9-16]
Madras HC on August 8, 2016 cleared the legal uncertainty over grant of classical language status to Kannada, Telugu, Odia and Malayalam rejecting a challenge to conferment of honour on them
- Expert body was satisfied that languages comply with the eligibility criteria and HC cannot delve into the opinion and findings of expert body
▼ MAA launched for promoting breastfeeding among mothers [08-8-16]
Union Health Minister JP Nadda on 5th August 2016 launched a nation wide programme Mother’s Absolute Affection that is for promoting breastfeeding among mothers
- MAA is an intensified programme of the Health Ministry for creating an enabling environment to ensure that mothers, husbands and families receive adequate information and support for promotion of breastfeeding.
- The Ministry has allocated INR 30 crore rupees for the Programme and INR 4.3 lakh rupees for each district will be allotted for implementing the various activities under MAA programme.
- The chief components of the MAA Programme are Community awareness generation, Strengthening inter personal communication through ASHA, Skilled support for breastfeeding at Delivery points in Public health facilities, and Monitoring and Award/recognition.
▼ TRAI proposes stiffer penalties for call drops [08-8-16]
Regarding mobile operators and call drops, TRAI has proposed stricter quality norms for local areas and imposing financial disincentives for poor services
- Quality norms at service level area are there but the quality of customer experience will be assessed through this QoS or Quality of Service is assessed using these norms.
▼ CSIR developed Nutrice cream enriched with Omega 3 & Vitamin E [08-8-16]
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research constituent lab, CSIR Central Food Technological Research Institute in association with Oleome Biosolutions and Dairy Classic Ice Creams has developed Nutrice
- This cream is enriched with Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids and is a enriched frozen nutritional desert from vegetarian sources.
- Dietary supplementation of Omega-3 fats which are the Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids have been reported to benefit health including brain development.
- CSIR and CFTRI has developed nutri chikkis, high protein rusk, fortified mango bar and rice mix to name a few more products rich in nutrients.
▼ Dhanush guns inducted into Indian Army [08-8-16]
- Three Dhanush guns have been added to the Indian Army in June 2016 for use. Special features of Dhanush guns include 8 km more range than BOFORS Gun, modified double baffle muzzle brake and modified loading trough to accommodate Bi Modular Charge System
- Electronic Suite will include Enhanced Tactical Computer, Inertial Navigation System, Muzzle Velocity Radar and Automatic Gun Sighting System for enhanced accuracy and auto laying of the gun.
▼ DK Gayen has been appointed GM of ECR [08-8-16]
DK Gayen was on 4th August 2016 assumed charge of General Manager of East Central Railway headquartered in Hajipur, Bihar.
- Gayen succeeded Rajeev Mishra, GM of Eastern Railways who has holding additional charge of ECR.
- Gayen is a 1979 batch Indian Railway Services for Mechanical Engineers officer and earlier worked as Chief Mechanical Engineer of South Eastern Railway at Kolkata.
- ECR or East Central Railway is one of the 16 railway zones in India and is headquartered at Hajipur apart from 5 divisions- Danapur, Dhanbad, Mughalsarai, Sonepur and Samastipur.
▼ Government has proposed setting up of 4 major ports [08-5-16]
Government of India has proposed to set up 4 major ports in the following regions:
- Sagar in West Bengal.
- Vadhawan in Maharashtra
- Durgarajpatnma in AP
- Enayam in TN.
- Cabinet has converted in principle approval for setting up Enayamport in TN on 5th July 2016.
▼ Nigeria’s Boko Haram elects new Wali [08-5-16]
Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamic extremists have a new leader to promote their terrorist activities namely Abu Musab al-Barnawi.
- al-Barnawi is new Wali or governor of the West Africa province- Wali title was previously used to describe Boko Haram leader Abubaker Shekau.
- Terrorist attacks have been carried out by this Islamic extremist group.
▼ US adds Jamaat-ur-Ahrar to its list of international terrorist outfits [08-5-16]
US has added the Pakistani militant outfit Jamaat-ur-Ahrar to its global terrorists list, stepping up sanctions against a group which has attacked people many times.
- It is a splinter faction of the Pakistani Taliban movement which declared loyalty to Islamic State’s leadership in Middle East
- Designation announced by the US State department means those who support the terrorist group could have their assets frozen by the US government
- Pakistan has also cracked down on movements targeting its own citizens and institutions including the Pakistani Taliban who are fighting to topple the Nawaz Sharif government
▼ DCI signs MoU with Shipping Ministry [08-4-16]
Dredging Corporation of India has signed a Memo of Understanding with Ministry of Shipping for FY2016-2017.
- MoU comprises performance evaluation parameters and targets for Dredging Corporation of India Ltd for the ensuing year.
- As per the targets set in the MoU for 2016-17 that was signed today, DCI is to achieve a turnover of Rs.770 crores.
- The target for operating profit is Rs.65 crores for 2016-17 as against the actual of Rs.45 crores for 2015-16.
▼ SCI signs MoU with Ministry of Shipping [08-4-16]
Shipping Corporation of India has signed an MoU with Ministry of Shipping for the year 2016-2017.
- The MOU is based on the MOU guidelines 2016-17 issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).
- It consists of parameters drawn on the prescribed evaluation criteria and factors such as capacity and its expansion, business environment, projects under implementation have been considered.
- SCI has set ambitious, growth oriented and aspirational targets against these parameters keeping its growth plans and objectives in view.
▼ eSign services launched on Aadhaar platform [08-4-16]
Legal Desk, a startup in online legal documentation on 4th August 2016 announced launch of electronic signing feature- eSign Desk- talking digital signature to the masses beyond companies.
- Constructed on the Aadhaar platform, eSign in a government initiative enabling citizens with Aadhaar to remotely sign any document
- The National Payments Corporation of India which is an organisation run by all banks in the country is also coming out with own version of unified payment interface which will make sending and receiving money simpler
▼ NDDB launches Project Giftmilk [08-3-16]
GoI’s NDDB (National Dairy Development Board) has registered a trust/society called NDDB Foundation for Nutrition to implement an initiative called Giftmilk to improve child nutrition through provision of milk and milk products free of cost.
- NFN has been registered on 9th October 2015 in Gujarat under Societies Registration Act 1860 and Bombay Public Trust Act 1950
- NFN has also been granted approval u/s 80G(5) of the Income Tax Act 1961.
▼ CHAMAN project for horticultural crops launched [08-3-16]
Nature of horticulture crops assessment of production has become easy due to a new project called CHAMAN instituted by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare.
- As per this project, sound methodology for estimation of horticulture crops is being developed and initiated on pilot basis using Sample Survey methodology and remote sensing technology.
- Under CHAMAN, another project for area and production assessment of 7 major horticulture crops through remote sensing is being carried out by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre.
▼ Indian Railways to build country’s longest rail tunnel and world’s tallest girder rail bridge [08-3-16]
Indian Railways took another step towards connecting the NE with the rest of India through good rail network by laying the foundation for Imphal station and announced commencement of country’s longest rail tunnel and world’s tallest girder rail bridge.
- Tunnel will be built on Jiribam- Tupul- Imphal new broad gauge railway line in Manipur- the 111 km log line has 37 tunnels on it.
- New tunnel will be 11.55 km long more than famous Pir Panjal railway tunnel in J&K.
- The world’s tallest girder rail bridge over Iring river will be equal to two Qutub Minars stacked atop each other.
- Currently, the Malarijeka via duct on Montenegro Europe with a height of 139m is the highest rail bridge.
▼ Typhoon Nida hits China [08-3-16]
Typhoon Nida has made its landfall near Dapeng Peninsula in China’s Guangdong province on 2nd August 2016.
- Nida carried gale force and heavy rain lashed the city of Hong Kong located 42 km from the peninsula.
- Nida generated winds of 145 km per hour as it moved towards Hong Kong.
- Chinese State Oceanic Administration has issued a red alert, the highest in China’s 4 tier colour coded warning system for ocean waves and storm tides
▼ Investment banker and JM Financial Limited MD Nimesh Kampani steps down [08-3-16]
Veteran investment banker and market expert Nimesh Kampani currently the MD of JM Financial Ltd has announced the decision of stepping down on September 30 after attaining 70 years of age.
- Kampani will continue to be non executive chairman of the company and the group.
- He will also continue as director on board of some companies at JM Financial.
▼ ESC approves projects worth INR 400 crore for Namami Gange project [08-2-16]
In a step towards implementation in Namami Gange in mission mode, the Empowered Steering Committee of the National Ganga River Basin authority approved projects worth INR 400 crore.
- Projects include development of ghats and crematoria from Rudraprayag to Guptkashi.
- It also includes rehab of ghats and crematoria in Kanpur, diversion of sisamau and other nails in the city, development of ghats and crematoria in Bijnor and Allahabad as well as Kahalgaon.
▼ Buckingham Canal and Irrigation Canals from Kakinada to Pedaganjam declared NW-4 [08-2-16]
Buckingham Canal and irrigation canals from Kakinada to Pedaganjam linked with Godavari and Krishna rivers has been declared National Waterway-4.
- Close to INR 4.5 crore has been allowed for development of the same.
- NW-4 will be developed in a phased manner. This also includes irrigation canals from Kakinada to Vijayawada and the stretch of Krishna river from Muktyala to Vijayawada.
▼ MP to open IT park in Indore [08-2-16]
MP government will develop a new IT park in Indore to woo companies.
- MP’s government is working on a new park with an investment of INR 47 crore
- New park will be developed on 2.5 acres near Crystal IT Park.
▼ Luke Aikins becomes first man to sky dive without parachute and land safely [08-1-16]
42-year old skydiver Luke Aikins who has made 18,000 jumps made history by becoming the first person to sky dive without a parachute and land in a net.
- Following a two minute fretful, Luke landed dead centre in a 100X100 foot net at Simi Valley outskirts in a movie ranch.
- The stunt, broadcast live on the Fox network for the TV special “Stride Gum Presents Heaven Sent,” nearly didn’t come off as planned when Mr. Aikins revealed just before climbing into his plane that the Screen Actors Guild had ordered him to wear a parachute to ensure his safety.
▼ Draft National Encryption policy inputs sought from industry associations [08-1-16]
Following the withdrawal of the controversial National Encryption Policy, government has restarted the world on drafting the blueprint checking with industry bodies for advice.
- Ministry of Electronics and IT recently wrote to leading industry associations such as Cellular Operators Association of India, Association of United Telecom Service Providers of India and Internet Service Providers Association of India.
- Associations like COAI and AUSPI have asked the government to bring out a discussion paper on the issue.
▼ SEBI proposes changes for startup listing platform [08-1-16]
The Securities and Exchange Board of India has proposed considerable changes for startup listing platform to enhance its appeal for new age firms going public in local markets.
- Regulator indicated that based on feedback received from market participants, the decision has been taken to relax rules and rename the institutional trading platform as High Tech Start Up & Other New Business Platform.
- The proposal has been to eliminate the rule which says no single shareholder shall own more than 25 percent after listing, which many promoters were not comfortable with and has increased the allocation of shares more for HNIs and corporates.
- Earlier only 25 percent was reserved for HNIs and corporates.
- The hike in the limit on share allotment to individual institutional investors has gone up from 10 to 25 percent.
- Regulator also proposed to permit market making compulsory for at least three years for IPO of less than INR 100 crore.
- There is no provision mandates market making currently. Under the current rules, startups can also list on the separate institutional trading platforms of stock exchanges.
- Platform has not attracted a single start up for listing so far.
- SEBI has now eased the rules.
- Regulator has also proposed lock in for pre-issue shares held by venture capitalists and employees under the ESOP scheme for six months following the IPO
- Proposal has also been made to lower minimum trading lot from 10 to 5 lakh.
▼ DST rechristens INSPIRE as MANAK [08-1-16]
Department of Science and technology has renamed a popular outreach programme aiming to interest children in science and research as well as innovation.
- INSPIRE or Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research) has now been rechristened MANAK (Millions Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) from 2017.
- Since the scheme was conceived in 2010, close to 13.85 lakh students have been funded as per the official website.
- The aim is reformulation of existing programme and stress upon original ideas to use technology to solve problems.
- The National Innovation Fund will also be involved in the projects.
- INSPIRE awards is part of the larger INSPIRE programme to attract and retain talent in the field of science proposed since 2010.
▼ CBDT deems people become older a day before their birthday for tax purposes [08-1-16]
Central Board of Direct Taxes has decided that for tax purposes, a person would be deemed to have attained a certain age on the day preceding their birthday rather than the birthday itself.
- The issue is vital for those turning 60 to 80 years of age on April 1, since these two ages bring income tax exemptions with them applicable to senior and very senior citizens.
- CBDT in exercise of powers under section 119 of the Act holds that person born on April 1 would have been considered to attain a particular age on March 31, the day proceeding the anniversary of his or her birthday.
- Individuals will now benefit from senior citizen exemptions in the year they turn 60 rather than in the next year.
▼ Sruthi Palaniappan becomes youngest delegate to attend DNC [08-1-16]
Sruthi Palaniappan became the youngest delegate to attend the Democratic National Convention.
- The 18 year old high school graduate is set to join Harvard University to study the government.
- Father Palaniyappan Andiappan also attended the convention as a member of credentials committee.
- Sruthi became one of four delegates elected by the district convention directly to the national convention that permitted her to bypass the election at state level.
▼ Centre has approved INR 1601 crore for J&K [08-1-16]
Centre has approved INR 1601 crore for J&K under the skill development initiative Himayat to train 1.24 lakh local youths in vocational courses, according to the Rural Development Ministry.
- PIA will be selected by State Level Project Appraisal Committee whereby experts from National Institute of Rural Development and DDU-GYK will participate along with state government officers.
- Under the relaunched HImayat programme, youths in rural and urban areas of the state would be trained in job intensive vocational courses over three years.
- INR 1605.51 crore has been approved as per the scheme which will provide six months, nine months and one year job oriented training through residential and non residential courses.
- State will also establish a Himayat Mission Management Unit at the state level.
- Himayat is a training cum placement programme which will provide short term training for at least 3 months
▼ Syrian branch of Al Qaeda breaks ties with international terrorist network [08-1-16]
Syrian branch of al Qaeda, Al Nusra front broke ties with the international terror network in a video showing Abu Mohamad al Jolani, its leader for the first time.
- The split between al Qaeda and its Syria affiliate comes when the group, a main rival of IS jihadist group, seeks to distance itself as a target of foreign air strikes.
- Al Nusra will now change its name to Jabhat Fateh al Sham (Front of the Conquest of Syria) and unify ranks with mainstream fighters in Syria.
- Al Nusra aims to rebrand itself following increased pressure from Moscow and Washington regarding jihadist groups.
- Jolani said the split from Al Qaeda was aimed at safeguarding the Syrian revolution.
▼ Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals implements the PCPIR Policy [08-1-16]
Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Petrochemicals is implementing the Petroleum Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region policy to promote investments, boost manufacturing and generate employment.
- Considerable investments by upstream Anchor Units in the Refinery and Cracker segments are envisioned to lead to other investments in the chemical and petrochemical downstream sectors and ancillary industries.
- GoI have approved the establishment of 4 PCPIRs namely the following:
1. Dahej (Gujarat)
2. Paradeep (Odisha)
3. Cuddalore-Nagapttinam (Tamil Nadu)
4. Vishakapatnam-Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh)
▼ AYUSH Ministry creates Traditional Knowledge Digital Library in collaboration with CSIR [08-1-16]
Ministry of AYUSH has created the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library in partnership with Council for Scientific & Industrial Research for digitalisation of traditional medical knowledge.
- Under TKDL, close to 2.9 lakh formulations from the texts of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems have been digitalised till date to keep safe Traditional Knowledge from misappropriation of wrong patients by providing defensive protection.
- DIPP, Ministry of Commerce & Industry has provided information that government has approved the National Intellectual Property Rights Policy on 12th May, 2016.
- Present IPR policy envisages integration of IP as a policy and strategic tool in national development plans.
- It foresees a coordinated and integrated development of IP system in India as well as holistic approach on IP legal, administrative, institutional and enforcement related matters.