▼ G. Balakrishna, Arnold Schwarzenegger of Whitefield wins Mr. Asia title [10-26-16]
G. Balakrishna, also known as Arnold Schwarzenegger of Whitefield, won the Mr. Asia title at the 5th Phil-Asia bodybuilding championships in the Philippines
- He is a Bengaluru based water tanker driver
- The 25 year old also works as a gym instructor
- In 2013, the India won the Mr Universe Under-24 junior contest in Germany
- A year later, he won the Mr. Universe title in the same category at the world championships in Athens
- He is a resident of Ramadonaahalli in Varthur
- He has been trained by well known bodybuilders Sangram Chougla and Manish Kumar
▼ Iraq votes to ban sale, import and production of alcohol! [10-24-16]
Iraq parliament on 22nd Oct voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol in a surprise move to anger minorities, but please state religious parties
- Those who proposed the ban argued that it was justified by the Constitution which prohibits any law contradicting Islam
- Many opponents argue that it violates the same constitution which protects the rights of minorities
- Article 14 of the law bans the import, production and sale of all kinds of alcohol
- Every violation of this law incurs a fine of 10 million to 25 million dinars [roughly $8,000 to $20,000]
- Drug abuse has been on a rise since Basra emerged as a trafficking centre
▼ Nazi military base discovered in the North Pole! [10-24-16]
A secret Nazi military base in the Arctic has been discovered by Russian scientists- this site is located on the island of Alexandra Land 1000 km from North Pole 0150 which was constructed in 1942 a year after Adolf Hitler invaded Russia
- It was codenamed Schatzgraber or Treasure Hunter by the Germans.
- It was used as a tactical weather station
- The base was abandoned when scientists stationed there were facing food poisoning and had to be rescued by German U-boat
- It was rediscovered 72 years later and more than 500 objects have been found including well preserved documents.
- The ruins of bunkers, rusted bullets and other lyrics dating from WW2 have been discovered at the site, many in good condition preserved by cold weather
- The island was vital in the Second World War as a meteorological report it produced were essential for planning the movement of troops, ships and submarines
- The name given to the base has led to speculation it may have been a secret base
- Alexandra Land was a disputed territory for many years and is now part of the Russian Federation
▼ Bhojpuri, Rajasthani become official languages [10-21-16]
Bhojpuri (a language spoken in Bihar) and Rajasthani were given the status of official language by including them in the 8th schedule of the Constitution
This study has been conducted by the Central government
- The report of the official language commission has indicated that three languages including Rajasthani and Bhojpuri will be included in the 8th schedule of the constitution of India
- Rajasthan is a north Indian state bordering Pakistan and it is called Land of Kings because it is home to many kingdoms; it is the largest state in India by area.
▼ 43rd India International Knit Fair Begins [10-18-16]
The 43rd India International Knit Fair is scheduled between Oct 19 and 21 at the India Knit Fair Complex, Tirupur in TN India
- Tirupur District Collector S. Jayanthi is scheduled to inaugurate the event
- A Sakthiyel, Chairman Indian Knit Fair Association indicate overseas buyers have been coming for this fair and constitute a good international response to Indian textiles
- Buyers from South America, Israel, Australia, Dubai, Brazil, Spain, Italy, UAE, Japan, Hong Kong, UK, South Africa and Singapore as well as Slovakia confirmed their visit
- The fair is held by the Apparel Export Promotion Council supported by the Government of India, Ministry of Textiles in collaboration with the Tirupur Exporters Association
- The Association has been conducting the Indian Knit Fair since 20 years with the aim of working to promote Indian knitwear items from the country
▼ Finland - The safest country on earth! [10-18-16]
Finland is the safest country on earth according to the Global Travel and Terrorism Report by the World Economic Forum.
- India has ranked as the 11th most unsafe country in the world
- Qatar and UAE follow Finland in the ranking
- Austria and Iceland complete the top 5
- At the bottom of the survey is Nigeria followed by Colombia, Yemen, Pakistan and Venezuela
- Numerous countries also fell to the lower part of the list such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya and North Korea
- Finland is a N. European nation bordering Sweden, Norway and Russia
- The capital Helsinki occupies a peninsula and surrounding islands in the Baltic Sea
- Northern Lights can be seen from the Arctic Lapland province which has national parks and ski resorts
- The official language of Finland is Finnish and Swedish.
▼ River Saraswati existed! [10-18-16]
A report on the paleo channel of NW India, a review and assessment by an expert committee was released by Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharati on 15th Oct 2016
- The report was prepared by a 7-member committee headed by Prof. KS Vaidya an eminent geologist which suggests River Saraswati is not mythical and that it actually existed
- Report is based on the study of the land texture of states of North-west India including Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan
- It is based on the account of geological changes that took place in the past
- Report is an assertion that River Saraswati originated from Adibadri in Himalaya to culminate in the Arabian Sea through the Rann of Kutch
- It is around 4000 km in length of which around 3000 km fell in India while the remaining 1000 km fell in present day Pakistan
- It has two branches namely western and eastern
- The western branch is represented by Himalayan born Satluj River of the past flowed through the channels of the present day Ghaggar Patialiwali rivulets
- The eastern branch is represented by the Sarsuti and Markanda rivulets in Haryana representing the western branch of the river
- In a six month research, the committee came across a Palaeo channel a path abandoned by the river when it changes course, related to the present Sarsuti, Ghaggar, Hakra and Nara Rivers
- Nearly 1700 small and big villages and towns were located around the paleo channel during Harappa Civilisation
- The report will now be studied for further action
▼ Maldives to leave Commonwealth of Nations [10-17-16]
Maldives government in Oct decided to leave the 53 member Commonwealth of Nations.
- The organisation warned of suspension by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group if further steps were not taken to promote the rule of law and democracy
- Maldives has decided to leave the Commonwealth saying it was treated unjustly and unfairly
- The organisation also asked Maldives to encourage political dialogue and increase democratic institutions apart from releasing opposition leaders
- Nation was put on CMAG’s formal agenda on 23rd September 2016 and cautioned if it failed to attain progress in six key priority areas
- Maldives government decision to quit the Commonwealth has invited concern from several quarters within and outside the country.
- Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland expressed disappointment over the decision and hoped the move will be a temporary one.
- After the nation cracked down on former president and leader of the opposition Mohammad Nasheed, Amnesty International said a severe human rights violation had taken place
- Commonwealth of Nations tried to address this.
▼ India - Fourth highest population of high net worth individuals in Asia Pacific [10-17-16]
India is home to the fourth largest population of high net worth individuals in the Asia Pacific region with the total wealth of USD 797 billion according to a report
- Asia Pacific region is an area comprising the whole of Asia as well as regions bordering the Pacific ocean including the small nations of East Asia
- The most commonly quoted figure for membership in the HNI club is USD 1 million in liquid financial assets
- Number of HNIs in India jumped to 200,000 last year from 180,000 in 2014
- The overall wealth rose by 1.6 percent during the same period, according to the Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2016
- Japan has the largest HNI population in the Asia Pacific at over 2.7 million followed by China at more than a million in 2015 and Australia, 230,000
- Asia Pacific HNI wealth rose 9.9 percent in 2015 to USD 17.4 trillion, growing 5.8 times the 1.7 percent growth rate of the Rest of the World
- Asia Pacific High Net Worth Individuals numbers have risen by 115 percent in the past 15 years as against a global growth rate of 82 percent
- HNWI in Asia Pacific are expected to rise by 50 percent over the coming 10 years, reaching around 5.2 million by 2025
▼ Three pronged approach to revitalise trade! [10-17-16]
The Centre has worked on a three-pronged approach to revitalise India’s retail and wholesale trade– this includes a regulatory body for internal trade, a comprehensive domestic trade body and a board for internal trade
- The strategy will soon come up for decisions
- Currently, there is no single regulatory body or ministry for domestic trade- comprising non corporate small businesses providing employment to 460 million people
- There are about 6 crore such enterprises across the nation with a yearly turnover of INR 30 lakh crore
- CAIT has conducted 46 conferences across India in the past two months on creating awareness for GST traders
- It has been estimated that 70 percent of the country’s retail trade has not been linked to computers and digitised
▼ WHO releases Global TB Report 2016 [10-17-16]
The World Health Organisation on 13th Oct 2016 released the Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 showcasing that countries need to move on faster to prevent as well as detect and treat TB.
- The report highlights the inequalities among countries in enabling people with TB to access existing cost effective diagnosis and treatment interventions that can accelerate decline in TB worldwide
- Report signals need for bold political commitment and increased funding to access cost effective diagnosis and treatment for meeting international targets
- In an effort to respond to TB, more than 3 million lives have been saved in 2015; the TB burden is higher than previously estimated indicating survey data from India
- In the year 2015, there were 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide.
- Six countries accounted for 60 percent of the total burden with India bearing the most massive load, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa
- An estimated 1.8 million people died from TB in 2015 of which 0.4 million were infected with HIV-AIDS
- While global TB deaths fell by 22% between 2000 and 2015, the disease was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2015
- Gaps in testing for TB and reporting new causes are a major issue- of an estimated 10.4 million new cases whereby 6.1 million were detected and notified, there was a gap of 4.3 million
- Additionally, the rate of reduction in TB cases remained static at 1.5 percent from 2014 to 2015
- The need is to accelerate this to 4-5 percent by 2020 as per the World Health Assembly approved end TB strategy
- Multi-drug resistant TB remains a crisis in public health with the WHO estimating that 480,000 people fell ill with MDR-TB in 2015
- The country carries a major burden of Multiple Drug Resistant TB long with China and the Russian Federation which account for nearly half of the cases globally
- In 2015, 22 percent of HIV positive TB patients were not enrolled on antiretroviral therapy
- Close to 84% of the financing available in middle and low income countries in 2016 was from domestic sources
- This was mostly accounted by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa)
- Other low and middle income countries relied considerably on global donor financing with more than 75 percent coming from The Global Fund ti Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
- WHO estimates that at least an extra 1 billion US dollar per year is required to accelerate the new vaccines, diagnostics and medicines
- India underreported TB for 15 years from 2000-2015, according to WHO which then underestimated the global TB epidemic
- India has reported only 56 percent of its TB burden in 2014 and 59 percent in 2015
- As India accounts for more than one quarter of the TB cases and deaths in the world, the revisions in estimated have a considerable impact on international estimates
- Revised estimates place the incidence of TB in India at 217 per 100,000 people in 2015 as against 127 which was previously estimated
- In fulfilment of the SDGs, numerous governments have agreed to end the RB epidemic at both the World Health Assembly and the United Nations General Assembly
- Targets include 90 percent reduction in TB deaths and 80 percent reduction in cases in 2030 as against 2015
▼ China and Russia to hold second joint anti missile drills in 2017 [10-13-16]
China and Russia will hold their second joint anti-missile drills in 2017
- Chinese state media said on 11th Oct that this followed plans to deploy by US and South Korea to deploy an anti missile system
- Russia and China held their first exercises in May as the US terminal high altitude area defence system was put in place in Washington and Seoul to protect against North Korean threats
- THAAD is now being deployed and the powerful radar of the system has increased defensive on the Korean peninsula
- Tension on the Korean peninsula is high commencing with the North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January followed by a satellite launch, a test of numerous missiles and the fifth and largest nuclear test in the previous month.
▼ World Economic Forum establishes new centre in hi-tech city San Francisco [10-13-16]
World Economic Forum has established a new centre in San Francisco to connect tech companies and policy makers in the heart of the tech industry of the world
- WEF has organised its annual Davos meeting of global leaders and also opened toe new centre to focus on policy issues, develop new technologies such as AI, drones, IoT, digital currencies and more
- Office is named the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- This is in light of the recent Davos gathering in January which promotes collaboration between industry stakeholders
- The plan is also to develop existing forum projects such as the security of connected devices, digital trade, and use of technologies to manage the oceans of the world
- It plans on collaboration to use existing Forum projects such as the security of connected devices, digital trade and use of new technologies to manage the oceans of the world
- The European Commission is in the planning stages of regulations to better secure Internet connected devices, amidst a wider overhaul of communications and digital policy aimed to enhance the regulatory environment to new technologies
- World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Cologny, Geneva
- The forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German born professor at the University of Geneva
- First named the European Management Forum, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987
- It has aimed to broaden its vision to include a platform for resolving international conflicts
- Recognised by the Swiss authorities as an international institution for public-private cooperation, the mission aims at improving the state of the world by engaging political, business, academic and other leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas
- The forum is best known for annual winter meetings in mountain resort Davos at the Alps region of Switzerland
▼ India ranks 97th of 118 countries on Global Hunger Index [10-13-16]
India secured the 97th rank in a survey of 118 nations by the International Food Policy Research Institute Global Hunger Index in 2016 behind Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
- However, India was ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian nations
- It was positioned at 80 of the 104 countries in the previous year
- India has improved its score on various parameters over the past few years
- But, 2 in 5 children below 5 years of age are stunted in India
- Stunting measures chronic malnutrition and affected children’s height which is lower beyond the average for their age
- The country also has serious hunger levels according to the 2016 Index
- The country has only the fifth highest rank in the whole of Asia, better than North Korea, Pakistan, Timor Leste and Afghanistan
- Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had higher ranks among 96 nations than India
- India also had the lowest rank among BRICS nations with Brazil in the top 16, Russia at 24, China at 29 and South Africa at 51
- The Central African Republic, Chad and Zambia were estimated to have the highest level of hunger
- For the developing world, GHI score was estimated at 21.3 according to the report which is at the lower end of the serious category.
- The Global Hunger Index is based on the performance of the country on indicators such as proportion of the undernourished in the population, prevalence of wasting in children under 5 years, prevalence of stunting in children under five years and the under-five mortality rate
- Data presented in the report showed that on each of these indicators, India has progressed over the past few years
- Towards the close of 2016, around 15 percent of the country’s population was undernourished down from 17 percent till the close of 2009.
▼ India is the fourth largest FDI source for Arab nation Qatar [10-13-16]
India currently ranks 4th in terms of FDI to the Arab kingdom according to Qatar Financial Centre/QFC. QFC us a completely onshore business and financial centre under the Qatar government. A multi-city roadshow has been organised to boost investments in the Gulf state currently
- Many domestic companies have invested USD 450 million in the Arab nation in the past 7 years, creating 2,000 jobs in Qatar
- A total of 21 Indian companies have invested in Qatar between January 2010 and May 2016- USD 225 million was invested in Doha alone
- Indian companies invested in Qatar included LIC, TCS, L&T, ICICI Bank, HDFC, SBI, Voltas and Shapoorji Pallonji.
- Qatar has invested in world class infrastructure and aims to grow in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and also attain the Kingdom’s 2030 vision for sustainable growth
- Non-hydrocarbon exports are growing at a healthy rate of 12 percent, a positive sign for growth from India
- Investments are in diverse areas such as IT, BFSI and professional services.
▼ Haryana government to install telephones in state jails, plans India’s first open jail [10-12-16]
Haryana government is considering a proposal to install telephones in all state jails for the use of prisoners
- The police department sent a proposal to the state government and the plan seeks to replicate the success of Delhi’s Tihar jail
- Under the plan, one or two special telephones will be installed in 18 prisons of the state for calling family members or seeking legal aid
- Numbers will be registered as jail and no other number will be permitted for use by prisoners
- There are close to 70,000 prisoners lodged in 18 jails of the state
- A Special phone will also have the facility to identify the prisoner prior to the call being made
- Day, date and time of the conservation will also be duly recorded
- Special software will be installed
- Innovative project will cost money to the tune of INR 15 lakh per phone set
▼ Telangana now has 31 districts, as state redraws map [10-12-16]
On 11th Oct, 2016, the day of Vijay Dashami, the youngest state of India Telangana has redrawn its map creating 21 new districts.
- The state now has 31 districts
- Telangana came into existence on 2nd June as the 29th state of India
- It started out with 10 districts
- On an average, each district will have a population of 2-4 lakh families except Hyderabad which has larger numbers
- CM C. Rao inaugurated the Siddipet district carved out of Medak. Other 20 districts were inaugurated by cabinet members
- The new districts are Siddipet, Mancheriyal, Vikarabad, Jagtial, Jangaon, Jayashankar, Warangal (Rural), Mahabubabad, Kamareddy, Medak, Rajanna, Asifabad, Suryapet, Kothagudem, Nirmal, Wanaparthy, Nagarkurnool, Yadadri, Peddapally, Jogulamba and Medchal/Malkajgiri.
- The state government has also created 25 new revenue divisions,125 new mandals and 4 new police commissionerates
- Around 23 new police subdivisions and 28 new circles as well as 91 police stations have also been created
▼ Himalayan region gets its own high altitude research station HIMANSH [10-12-16]
Himalayan region has the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps as the region is known as the Water Tower of Asia
- It is the source of 10 major river systems providing irrigation, power and drinking water for over 700 million people living in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
- This is nearly 10 percent of the world population
- Understanding the behaviour of the glaciers and their contribution to the sustainable supply of water for mankind and agriculture is one of the grand challenges of the Indians scientific community
- As part of the government’s initiative to better study and quantify the Himalayan glacier responses towards climate change, the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa under the Ministry of Earth Sciences has established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called HIMANSH
- This means slice of ice
- The station is located above 13,500 feet at 4000m in the remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
- The station houses many instruments to quantify the melting glacier and its relation to climate change
- Some of the nutriments available at the research facility include Automatic Weather Stations for weather monitoring, water level recorder for quantifying the glacier melt, ground penetrating radar to know the thickness of glaciers, geodetic GPS system to study glacier movements, snow fork for studying snow thickness, steam rill, snow corer, temperature profiler and numerous glaciological tools
- Researchers would also use this as base for undertaking surveys using Terrestrial Research Scanners and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles that digitise the glacier motion and snow cover variations with exceptional precision
- Ongoing initiative by NCAOR will contribute to the integrated study of the glaciers in the upper Indus or Chandra basin in HP and contribute to their discharge
- As per the UN data, the contribution of snow/glacier melt in annual stream runoff is higher in the Indus basin as compared to Ganga and Brahmaputra basins
- Therefore, understanding the glacier mass balance and their contribution to the Indus River is more critical than other basins towards the understanding on the impact of glacier retreat on the water cycle in N. India and Pakistan
- Some of the benchmark glaciers being studied include Bada Shigri, Samudra Tapu, Sutri Dhaka, Batal, Gepang Gath and Kunzam.
- An integrated study using glaciological, geodetic, galcjio-hydrological methods will shed light on the glacier response to the changing climate in the region
- This will quantify the contribution from glacial melt water to the river discharge in the Indus basin
- Himansh will also provide support to the scientific research on Himalayan glaciers and its hydrological contribution
▼ The Second Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav celebrates Indian culture [10-12-16]
The Second Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2016 will be held from 15-23rd Oct 2016 in the premises of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Janpath New Delhi
- Fringe folk arts like Baazigars, Behroopiyas and Kacchi Ghori are set to take place
- The artists performing here are also known as Maidaani Kalaakar as they perform in the open without any need for stage
- Photo exhibitions will also be held
- The exhibition is part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan
- Folk, classical and contemporary art will be celebrated at this cultural event
- The 7 Zonal centres in the country for culture will be holding the RSM in Delhi
- They will also be taking the mahostav to different cities of the country under the banner Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat
▼ Russia objects to blocking Aleppo bombing [10-12-16]
Russia on Oct 8 2016 vetoed a UNSC draft resolution demanding the end to the city of Aleppo’s bombing in Syria.
- Draft text proposed by France and Spain won 11 votes in favour, Russia and Venezuela voted against the resolution while China and Angola refrained
- This marks the fifth time the Russian nation has used a veto to block UN action to end the 5 year war in Syria
- The United Nations estimates that Syrian conflict has driven more than 4.8 million refugees to neighbouring nations, hundreds of thousands in Europe and displaced 6.6 million people inside the Syria against the pre-war population of more than 20 million
- The war has claimed at least 200,000 lives
- French foreign minister Jean Marc Ayrault urged the UNSC to take steps to save Aleppo from being destroyed by the Russia backed Syrian bombing campaign
- Russia presented its own draft text that urged for separation of moderate and extremist forces in Syria yet made no mention of the halt to the bombing go Aleppo
- Draft failed to get support of 9 full votes- text received 4 votes in favour, 9 against and 2 abstentions
- Russia’s introduction of a rival resolution took Western supporters of the French draft by surprise
▼ Telangana state festival Bathukamma enters Guinness Book of World Records [10-10-16]
Telangana state festival Bathukamma has entered the Guinness Book of World Records.
- Close to 9300 women participated in this festival also attended by Tennis star Sania Mirza
- They dance around the bathukamma or flower stack arranged with different unique seasonal flowers attributed with medicinal values
- Bathukamma festival is a symbol of Telangana cultural identity and celebrated during the latter half of the monsoon and before the onset of winter
- Festival celebrates the relations between earth, humans and water
- During the week before, when make Boddemma a Gauri deity/ Mother Durga image with early mud along with the Bathukamma and submerge it in the pond
- This helps to reinforce the pond and retain more water
- Flowers used in Bathukamma purify the water, cleanse the ponds and ensure the environment becomes better.
▼ Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis inaugurates India’s first centre for international arbitration [10-10-16]
Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis has inaugurated India’s first centre for International Arbitration in Mumbai.
- The Mumbai centre for International Arbitration is located in Express Towers but will be shifted to Mumbai’s business district BKC
- MCIA is an important milestone in the journey for developing an ecosystem for International Financial Services Centre in Mumbai
- The London Court of International Arbitration and Singapore International Arbitration Centre accounting for 30 percent of the cases that involved Indian businesses.
- Businesses lose their precious money and time in arbitrations
- It will attract cases and business world over to make India the top arbitration centre in the world
- The MCIA demonstrates the Maharashtrian government’s resolve to create an IFSC in Mumbai
- MCIA will be governed by a 17 member governing council
- The attempt is being made to pull in place policy mechanism and physical apparatus for transparent, efficient and credible dispute resolution systems
▼ Delhi Waqf Board dissolved by LG [10-10-16]
LG Najeeb Jung on Oct 7, 2016 dismissed the Delhi Waqf Board
- The Board’s constitution was referred to a CBI probe for alleged corruptions and procedural irregularities in the functioning
- The constitution of the Board and appointment of its CEO and members was also marked illegal and void ab innate
- In view of the deliberate acts of illegality, rule violation, corruption allegations and malafide intentions, the entire matter pertaining to Delhi Waqf Board was referred to the CBI for investigation
- LG further directed Divisional Commissioner A. Anbarasu to set up a committee to review the legality and proprietary of action decisions and action taken by the board after the constitution in 2015
- A Waqf is a permanent dedication of movable and immovable properties for religious, pious and charitable purposes is recognised by Muslim law, as per philanthropy
- Grant is called mushrut-ul-khidmat where the person making the dedication is called Waqf
- State Waqf boards were established by the state government as per Sections 13 and 14 of the Waqf Act 1995
- The 1995 Act is not applicable to Jammu & Kashmir
- Currently, there are 30 Waqf boards around the country in 29 states and UTs
- The states like Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and the UT of Daman and Diu currently have no Waqf board.
- At present, there are 30 Wakf Boards across the country in twenty-nine states/Union territories. The States like Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim and the UT Daman & Dieu have no Waqf Board at present.
▼ Pakistan demands Mohenjodaro statuette called Dancing Girl [10-10-16]
Pakistan has gone on an offensive in the cultural front aiming to unsettle India.
- The warring neighbouring country has demanded a bronze Mohenjodaro statuette called the Dancing Girl
- This is a 4500 year old artefact which British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler has called perfect.
- The statute is 10.5 cm or 4.1 inch high in terms of its height
- It dates around 2500 BC
- It was discovered in 1926 from the ancient city of Mohenjodaro of the Indus Valley Civilisation in Sindh by British archaeologist Ernest Mackay.
- Syed Jamal Shah, director General of the Pakistan National Council of Arts has said the statue will be demanded under UNESCO conventions and the aim of Pakistan was “to protect the heritage.”
- The statue recovered in excavation from the HR area of Mohenjo Daro indicates two major breakthroughs
- Indus artists knew metal blending and casting as well as other technical aspects of metallurgy
- Well developed society of the Indus had innovated dance and other performing arts as modes of entertainment
▼ Reliance Jio sets world record with 16 million subscribers in its first month of operations [10-10-16]
Reliance Jio has introduced Aadhaar based paperless Reliance Jio SIM activation across 3,100 cities and towns. This ensures that the customer completes SIM activation in minutes with only the Aadhaar number
- The company has created a world record by crossing the 16 million subscriber mark in the first month of operations in Sept 2016
- Jio is a fresh entrant in the 4G market and has achieved faster growth than any other telecom operator or startup across the globe including the likes of Skype, Facebook, WhatsApp.
- Reliance Jio Infocomm is a subsidiary of RIL
- It launched commercial services on September 5, 2016
- At RIL’s 42nd AGM, Mukesh Ambani the RIL chief said that the new telecom venture would aim to acquire 100m customers in the shortest time possible and create a fresh world record
- This would mean data usage of 250 crore GB per month
- Jio introduced Aadhaar based paperless Jio SIM activation and had an entry into the world’s second largest telephony market which sparked off a tariff war
- It has onboard 1.5 million users on its 4G network during the test phase
- The company is competing head-on with players like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone by giving users free data
- Vodafone currently has over 200 million subscribers and Idea close to 177 million subscribers in August
- The subscriber count of Aircel was 89.7 million while Telenor was pegged at 53.2 m
- State owned MTNL had 3.6m users while Bharti Airtel broadband reached 35 million. Vodafone and Idea have 25 million broadband users together.
▼ Oxford English Dictionary includes Aiyoh in lexicon [10-10-16]
In its September list of new words, the Oxford English dictionary has included entries such as yogasana, aiyoh and aiyah.
- Ayioh is one of the most versatile words in the Dravidian lexicon and expresses a range of emotions including shock, consternation and apprehension.
- The term aiyah is spoken by speakers of South Indian languages and the expression differs from Ayya used as an honorific.
- The Oxford English Dictionary/OED is 150 years old.
- It has up to 600,000 entries and its publisher, the Oxford University Press calls it the definitive record of the English language.
▼ India and the EU sign an MoU for Water Partnership [10-10-16]
India and the European Union on 7th Oct signed an MoU for a Water Partnership to clean Indian rivers with European assistance.
- The MoU was signed at the World Sustainable Development Summit organised by The Energy and Resources Institute
- The sixth goal of the UN SDGs is Clean Water and Sanitation
- One of the latest central government initiatives for cleaning up rivers is the National Mission for Clean Ganga
- Other rivers also need to be focused on
▼ India’s first diamond mineral block auctioned in Panna, MP [10-10-16]
India’s first diamond mineral block has been auctioned in Madhya Pradesh. In a first, a diamond mineral block in MP’s Panna district having precious stone deposit worth INR 106 crore has gone under the hammer.
- Hatupur Diamond mineral block was successfully auctioned on Oct 5, 2016 in Panna district
- This is the first diamond mineral block in the country, which went under the hammer
- Bansal Construction Works emerged as the preferred bidder by submitting the highest final price after two rounds of competitive bidding
- The block is under G3 category and is spread over an area of 133.50 Ha.
- It has 0.604 MT of inferred resources with diamond incidence of 10.20 carat/100 tonnes.
- An additional revenue of INR 25 crore is estimated from a block to the state government over the mining lease period
- The royalty and other statutory payments over the lease period are estimated at INR 11 crore
- SBI capital markets was the transaction adviser for the auction process
- MP is aimed to become the top mining destination in the country
▼ IGIA First Terminal to Get Platinum Rating From IGBC [10-10-16]
Delhi International Airport Limited on 6th Oct 2016 announced that Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport attained platinum rating from Indian Green Building Council.
- With this, the Terminal-3 of the IGIA has become the first platinum rating from the Indian Green Building Council
- This is under the Green Existing Building O&M rating system by the IGBC
- This is another significant environmental achievement by IGIA after being accredited as the first Carbon Neutral airport in the Asia Pacific recently by the Airports Council International
- The Indian Green Building Council, part of the Confederation of Indian Industry was formed in 2001
- The vision of the council is to enable a sustainable built environment for all and facilitate India to be one of the global leaders in the sustainable built environment by 2025
- Council offers a wide array of services which include development of new green building rating programmes, certification services and green building training programmes
- The council also organises Green Building Congress, the annual flagship event on green buildings
- Committee based council is member driven and consensus focused
▼ First medipark set up in Tamil Nadu! [10-7-16]
The Union Cabinet on 5th October 2016 approved the establishment of a medical devices manufacturing medipark at Kanchipuram district’s Chengalpattu through an PSV.
- A miniratna PSU under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, HLL Lifecare Ltd will sublease over 330 acres of land at the said location
- As a result, the shareholding of the HLL in the project will be above 50 percent
- Medipark project will boost the business of local manufacturers producing high end products at affordable rates, resulting in cost efficient healthcare services delivery to a large group of people
- The contribution will be for the development of medical devices and technology sector as well as allied disciplines in the nation
- HLL will sublease the land to investors through a transparency bidding process
- The centre will be set up in 7 years with physical infrastructure being set up in the first phase
- A knowledge management centre will be developed in the second phase
- Emphasis is on reducing dependence on import and creating a strong base for indigenous and domestic industries
▼ Plastic bags and cups are finally banned in France! [10-7-16]
France has imposed a total ban on use of plastic bags and cups at supermarket checkouts. A law has been passed by the country in Sept 2016 which will go into effect in January 2020 which also calls for disposable tableware to be made from 50 percent biologically sourced materials that can be composted at home
- Number will rise to 60 percent by January 2025
- Measure is an addition to the French Energy Transition for Green Growth Act
- This wide ranging law was adopted in 2015 with the aim of mitigating impact of climate change
- In July 2016, a total ban on lightweight plastic bags was imposed at supermarket checkouts
- According to the French Association of Health and Environment, 150 single use cups are thrown everyday in France
- This amounts to over 4.70 billion cups in a year
- Only 1 percent of the cups are currently recycled because they are made of polypropylene and polystyrene mix
- France has enacted the Energy Transition for Green Growth Bill on 17th Aug 2015
- Act lays out a map for transforming France’s energy model without disrupting growth
- There are six objectives of the act focused on reducing GHG emissions, energy consumption, waste management increase and development of nuclear energy power.
▼ Jawhar Sircar resigns as CEO of Prasar Bharati [10-5-16]
Jawhar Sircar on 3rd October 2016 resigned as CEO of Prasar Bharati Corporation
- His resignation came four months ahead of the end of the tenure which is due to end in February 2017
- As per rules of the Prasar Bharati or 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
- Chairman or other member in such cases will be deemed to have vacated his office
- Sircar was appointed the Prasar Bharati CEO in 2012 by UPA
- He also served as Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, GoI from 2008 to 2012 where he reported directly to the PM for most of the tenure
- Prasar Bharati is a public service broadcaster of India and is a statutory body under the Prasar Bharati Act
- It came into existence in November 1997
- Objectives of public service broadcasting was attained in terms of the Prasar Bharati Act 1990 through AIR and Doordarshan
▼ China blocks Brahmaputra tributary Xiabuqu [10-4-16]
China on 30th September 2016 blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet
- Chinese news agency Xinhua confirmed that China is constructing a hydro-project on XIabuqu River, a tributary of Brahmaputra in Xigaze, Tibet
- This is closely located to Sikkim
- The blockage of the river tributary may impact water flows into lower riparian countries like Bangladesh and India
- The tributary blockage comes at a time when India has decided to suspend talks with Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty as part of the effort to hit back Pakistan following the Uri attack
- Just like the Brahmaputra, the Indus originates in the Chinese Tibetan plateau
- In 2015, China operationalised its USD 1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station which is the largest on Tibet’s Brahmaputra river
- Both India and China have no water treaty similar to the Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan
- But they have established an Expert Level Mechanism on trans-border rivers.
- In October 2013, the two nations signed an MoU on strengthening the cooperation on trans-border rivers as part of which Beijing will provide water flow data to India
- Chinese Lalho project in Xigaze of Tibet on the Xiabuqu river a ,tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo(Tibet’s name for the Brahmaputra) has started in 2014 and will be completed by 2019
- As per reports, China in the 12th 5 year plan has approved three more hydropower projects in the mainstream of the Brahmaputra which has been approved for implementation
- Chinese efforts to redraw the water map will impact India as a vastly dense population of the NE states depends on water from Brahmaputra and its tributaries
- The river is a lifeline for the region and any blockage will impact both ecology and economy
- China will have control over the water of the river after it completes the dam constructions- this is a direct attack on India which is also a violation of the global norms of river water sharing
▼ World’s longest and tallest glass bridge is reopened! [10-3-16]
The world's longest and highest glass bridge in China's Hunan province has been reopened for public after clearing a security inspection, officials said on Oct 2nd.
- With a capacity to hold 10,000 people a day, the glass bridge saw a trial operation in late August this year, but was closed 12 days later due to "overwhelming demand".
- Glass bridge was not closed for safety reasons as rumours had suggested.
- It cleared security inspection and its construction was up to standard, the official statement said.
- According to some reports, some deficiencies of the soft and hard facilities seen during the trial period was the main reason behind its closure.
- The 430-meter-long structure is believed to be the world's longest and tallest glass pedestrian bridge offering a 360 degree view of the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon.
- During its trial operation, the bridge held no more than 800 people at a time. Each day, 8,000 visitors had the opportunity to walk on it.
▼ US, UK petition to declare Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism [10-3-16]
An online White House petition seeking to designate Pakistan a state sponsor of terrorism has gained a record half a million signatures, five times the number needed to get a response from the Obama Administration.
Petition was created on Sept 21 by a person with the initials RG and needs 100000 signatures in 30 days to get a response form the White House.
- Supporters of the "We the People ask the Administration to declare Pakistan, State Sponsor of Terrorism" petition had set a goal of one million signatures.
- The petition comes after Congressman Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, along with Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, introduced H R 6069, the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act in the House of Representatives.
- An initiative of the US President Barack Obama, "We the People" online petition at the White House website provides a window to American citizens to campaign before the administration on key issues .
- A new petition filed on the official UK Parliament website calling on Britain to "strongly condemn" Pakistan for providing a safe haven for terrorists on Sunday crossed the threshold of 10,000 signatures, making it incumbent upon the UK government to respond to it.
- The petition titled 'UK Govt to strongly condemn Pakistan or providing safe haven for terrorists' has now crossed the number of signatures required to make it incumbent upon the UK government to respond to it.
- Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing after militants stormed an Indian Army base in Uri on September 18, killing 19 soldiers.
▼ RTI Act - 4th best law across the globe [10-3-16]
India’s Right to Information (RTI) Act, that was passed in 2005, has been ranked 4th best in the world, according to the latest rankings of 111 nations with these laws.
- The rankings were based on the strength of the legal frameworks that ensures the efficient implementation of the act.
- Mexico has topped scored 136 points out of a possible total of 150, followed by Serbia and Slovenia.
- India scored a total of 128 out of 150 points. While India scored well in terms of Right to Access, RTI law scored 26 in the ‘Exceptions’ category since the ‘harm test’ is not applicable to all the exemptions mentioned in Section 8 of the RTI Act.
- India scored the highest on ‘Appeals’ (29 out of 30). In the ‘Sanctions’ category, India scored 5 out of the 8, since there is no strong legal protection for whistle blowers.
- India scored 13 out of 16 in the ‘Promotional Measures’ category since there are no prescribed standards for record management and they are not followed in practice.
- Top 10 nations with their scores can be seen below:
Mexico ------ 136
Serbia ------ 135
Slovenia ---- 129
India --------- 128
Croatia ------- 126
Liberia -------- 124
El Salvador ---- 122
Sierra Leone --- 122
Sri Lanka ---- 121
Tunisia ---- 120
▼ Fiercest storm in Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew, headed for Haiti [10-3-16]
Haiti has begun evacuating residents from outlying islands in preparation of Hurricane Matthew.
- This is the fiercest storm to cross the Carribean for years
- With winds at 240 mph, it will make landfall as a major storm on Kingston, capital city of Jamaica and its only oil refinery
- Simultaneously. the storm is forecast to lash southern Haiti, dumping up to 101 cm of rain there and up to 64 cm in Jamaica, possibly triggering life-threatening landslides and floods, the US National Hurricane Centre said.
- By early Tuesday, Matthew is due in eastern Cuba, with a path that could take it over the colonial city of Santiago de Cuba and the US naval base in Guantanamo.
- The ferocity of the storm, the strongest in the Carribean since Hurricane Felix in 2007, has led to concerns of economic devastation in the poor countries in its path.
▼ Pakistan bans Indian TV channels [10-3-16]
Pakistan has banned the broadcast of Indian TV channels in the nation for showing what it calls “illegal content”
Pak theatres have also been taking down Bollywood films.
- Pakistan’s electronic media regulator PEMRA said that after Oct 15, if television channels and distribution networks fail to follow these directions, strict action will be taken according to law
- Pakistan government has also done this after India’s oldest association of Film makers banned Pakistani artistes from working in India until ties between the two countries have been restored to normalcy. Comedian Raju Srivastava also cancelled his show in Pakistan
- Meanwhile concerts of Atif Aslam and Shatquat Amanat Ali have been cancelled in India
▼ World’s deepest underwater cave discovered! [10-3-16]
Polish explorer Krzysztof Starnawksi has made the discovery. The world’s deepest under water cave, 404 m or 1325 feet down, is located near the easternCzech town of Hranice.
- The explorer found the cave in the Hranice Abyss, which he had been exploring since 1998
- He scuba dived to the narrow slot at 200m depth
- A specially made underwater robot then went to the depth of 404m
- Hranice Abyss which divers have explored for years now was 12m deeper than record holder Pozzo del Merro, a flooded sinkhole in Italy
- Czech Speleological Society believed that the cave was deeper than 404m
- Mud and the water temperature of 15 degree C or 59 degree F made diving in the cave tough
- The water’s mineral composition damaged equipment and exposed skin
- The limestone abyss beats the previous record holder
|Chronology of events
West Bengal government has decided to install monorail from Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas to Ruby Connector in Kolkata
Hooghy district of West Bengal was declared as an open-defecation free (ODF) district in September 2016.
The 18th edition of World Congress of Criminology will be held in India in December 2016 in Sonipat, Haryana.
Hospital that launched a medical rehabilitation hospital in Hyderabad recently jointly with Italy’s KOS group is Apollo Hospitals
A unique event that will take about 100 differently abled delegates for - a one-day tour.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2017
Colombian voters in a referendum rejected the peace deal with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels
Jharkhand on Oct 1 became India’s first state to implement DBT in Kerosene in the following districts- Chatra, Hazaribagh, Khunti and Jamtara.
The India Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi in Oct 2016
India on Oct 5, 2016 signed three MoUs with Singapore to strengthen ties on countering terrorism and skill development
University of Houston and Oil Indian Limited signed an MoU to augment the university’s reserve base and maximise recovery from ageing oilfields in Oct 2017
Arjun Vajpai scales the world’s 6th highest mountain Cho Oyu.
Pakistan passed anti-rape and anti-honour killing laws w.e.f Oct 7, 2016.
The World Heritage site declared the cleanest iconic place in India is Rani ki Vav in Gujarat
Thailand had relaxed its strict laws against abortion to cover foetuses with proven birth defects linked to the Zika virus according to health officials, doubling to 24 weeks a deadline for the procedure
The US government on 7th Oct 2016 formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic party organisations during a campaign for the November 8 presidential elections.
250 terrorists belonging to three Pakistan-based terror groups are active in the Kashmir valley, trying to target security forces to "avenge" the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army in PoK on 10th Oct 2016
Railways to introduce trains with glass ceiling coaches Train passenger equipped with infotainment systems; J&K to have first such coach
Islamic State on Oct 10 confirmed the death of its propaganda chief, whom the Pentagon said was killed in a US-led air strike in Syria's Raqqa namely Wa'il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad, also known as Abu Mohammed al-Furqan.
Ram Lila at Aishbagh in Lucknow has symbolised social evil for the depiction of Ravana; In 2013, the evil depicted here was corruption; in 2014, crime against women; and last year it was cow slaughter.
America's Amber Neben won the women's time-trial title in Qatar on 11th Oct, the second time she has been crowned world champion at the event.
A group of Hindus in Sri Lanka has launched ‘Siva Senai’, an organisation to “protect Hindus from threats from other religious groups” in the island, in Oct 2016.
Of the 29 countries and three multi-national constructs identified for the purpose, white shipping agreements have already been inked with 10-11 by India as of Oct 2016
Pampore’s Entrepreneurship Development Institute was attacked by militants on 10th Oct; both militants in the J&K city were killed and the building secured by 13th Oct 2016
CCEA approved the mechanism for revision of ethanol price of supply to the Public Sector OMCs(oil marketing companies) to carry out the Ethanol Blended Programme
India and Hungary sign an MoU on cooperation in the field of water management
India signed an agreement for cooperation in the field of water resources including innovations in irrigation technology with Hungary
#Sandesh2Soldiers was launched by PM Narendra Modi; this is a campaign through which people can send Diwali greetings and messages to soldiers
Muslin Shrine that has granted general and equal access to women for entering the entire premises is Haji Ali Dargah
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and National Buildings Construction Corporation (India) Ltd and Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for redevelopment.
The Uttarakhand HC ordered a complete ban on the sale of whitener in the state w.e.f Oct 2016
India Sri Lanka Joint Military exercise MITRA SHAKTI 2016 was held at Sri Lanka’s Ambepussa from Oct 24 to Nov 6
G. Prabha’s Sanskrit film, Ishti will be the opening movie of Indian Panorama 2016 at Goa in the 47th IFFI.