Friday, March 31, 2017

Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana

To boost up an ecosystem of entrepreneurship for youngsters,Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has launched of Pradhan Mantri Yuva Yojana (PMYY).

The scheme was launched for the time period of 5 years(2016-17 to 2020-21) with a project cost of 499.94 crore rupees.
It will offer entrepreneurship and training to  7 lakhs students in 5 years through 3050 institutes.
It will also offer easy access to information and mentor network,credit and advocacy to built a     way-out for the youngsters
Institutes will carry out the training through Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs).

Donald Trump, new American president

Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of United States. He will be the first President of USA without political experience since Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th President). Besides, he is the oldest first term President of USA. He will succeed Barack Obama and is scheduled to take office as the President of the USA on 20 January 2017. In the 2016 Presidential elections, Donald Trump gained 48% of the votes and 279 votes in the Electoral College to defeat Democrat Party opponent Hillary Clinton who gained 47% votes. Hillary Clinton had created history in this election by becoming the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major US political party.
Trump who addressed the nation from the US capitol has promised to rebuilt the nation. He also promised to bring back their dreams wherein America First will be the key to his governance.

Surya Kiran-X

Indo-Nepal Joint Military Exercise Surya Kiran-X commenced at Army Battle School, Saljhandi, Nepal. It is the tenth in the series of such exercise between the two nations and is scheduled from 31 October to 13 November 16. The Surya Kiran series of Exercises are being conducted annually, alternatively in Nepal and India. Notably in the series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries, Surya Kiran series with Nepal is the largest in terms of troop’s participation.
            Indian Army is represented by the elite Kumaon Regt, while Jabar Jung Battalion of Nepal Army is participating in this edition of the joint exercise on behalf of Nepal Army. The aim of this exercise is to conduct battalion level joint training with emphasis on Counter Terrorism in mountainous terrain. Aspects of Disaster Management have also been included in the exercise.

The Joint Battalion Level Exercise will enhance defence co-operation and relations between the two nations.  It is an ideal platform for the contingent of both nations to share their experience and gain mutually. The Exercise will be yet another step towards taking traditional friendship between the two nations to greater heights.

New CERSAI chief

The Union Government has appointed Praveen Kumar Sharma as the Central Registrar (CR), Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest of India (CERSAI). The Appointments Committeee of Cabinet has approved his appointment for 3 years. Prior to this appointment sharma was General Manager,State Bank of India.

CERSAI is a central online security interest registry of India. It is a Government company licensed under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
It was primarily created to check frauds in lending against equitable mortgages, in which people would take multiple loans on the same asset from different banks.
CERSAI provides the platform for filing registrations of transactions of securitization, asset reconstruction and security interest by the banks and financial institutions.
Any person can also search and inspect the records maintained by the registry on payment of prescribed fees.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

BTP Amendment Act

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016 (BTP Amendment Act), will come into force from 1st November 2016, notified by Income Tax Department. This Act is designed to curb black money. The new law amended the Benami Transactions Act, 1988 and renamed as the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions (PBPT) Act, 1988. The Act defines benami transactions and also provides imprisonment upto seven years and fine for violation of the Act. The official notification says,‘The PBPT Act prohibits recovery of the property held benami from benamidar by the real owner. Properties held benami are liable for confiscation by the government without payment of compensation'.

National Data Registry (NDR)

The Union Government is developing a National Data Registry (NDR) to compile and serve metadata of different agencies and re-engineer the feature data sets for improving their use. The registry will also serve as a source of authenticated information. The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be the nodal coordinating agency of the NDR. NDR will require all agencies state, private and academic, collecting and storing geospatial data to provide details of data they store.

The registry aims to create a catalogue that will prevent duplication of data sets and to help users locate the right agencies to source information.

It will be a ‘meta-data’ repository to only inform about the nature of the data a service provider has. It is not actually be a source of geospatial data.

It can operate across a wide range of formats and can source information automatically.

Thus, Survey of India can vet it for accuracy and see whether it contains information that contravenes national security.

Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission of Indian Railway

Founder of Sulabh International Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak,appointed as a Brand Ambassador for Swachh Rail Mission of Indian Railway. Indian Railways had tied up with Sulabh International to clean some important railway stations across the country as part of the mission with an aim to promote cleanliness at rail premises. As a pilot project, Sulabh International had started cleaning and maintenance of five important railway stations Gorakhpur, Old Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gwalior from September 2016.

Sulabh International: It is a social service organization which works to promote environmental sanitation, human rights, non-conventional sources of energy, waste management and social reforms through education.

Paris agreement

The Paris agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016. The agreement deals with greenhouse gases mitigation,adaption and finance. The Paris Agreement to combat climate change officially entered into force after 55 parties to the convention accounting for at least 55% of total GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions ratified it. At present, 94 parties have ratified the convention,India was 62nd country to ratify it.

About Paris Agreement:
It is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC). It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 in a ceremony in New York city. As on November 2016, 193 UNFCCC members has signed the treaty,97 of which had ratified it.

Objectives(Agreement on Climate Change):
It is an international climate deal to combat climate change. It facilitates enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures in the post-2020 i.e. in post Kyoto Protocol scenario. Under it, all countries must pursue to keep global temperature rising below 2°C by 2100 above pre-industrial levels with an ideal target of keeping temperature rise below 1.5°C. It forces developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars annually to the developing counterparts beginning in 2020 to deal with climate change. It empowers countries to determine how to cut their emissions but mandates that they report transparently on those efforts.

National Food Security Act

The National Food Security Act (NFSA), which envisages supply of subsidised foodgrains, has been implemented across the country said Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan. With this, now NFSA has been implemented in all States and Union Territories. The NFSA aims to provide subsidized food grains to approximately two thirds of the population (75% in rural areas and 50% in urban areas).
As a result, 81.34 crore persons will get subsidised wheat at Rs. 2 per kg and rice at Rs. 3 per kg.


As part of the ongoing India Bangladesh defence cooperation, a joint military training exercise SAMPRITI 2016 is being conducted at Tangail, Dhaka, Bangladesh from 05 to 18 November 2016. Exercise SAMPRITI is an important bilateral defence cooperation endeavour between India and Bangladesh and will be the sixth edition of the exercise which is hosted alternately by both countries.

The joint exercise SAMPRITI 2016 will simulate a scenario where both nations are working together in a Counter Insurgency and Counter Terrorism environment under the UN Charter. The exercise curriculum is progressively planned where the participants will initially get familiar with each other’s organizational structure and tactical drills. Subsequently, the training will advance to joint tactical exercises wherein the battle drills of both the armies will be practiced. The training will culminate with a final validation exercise in which troops of both armies will jointly practice a Counter Terrorist Operation in a controlled and simulated environment.

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA)

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centres and hospitals. The national programme aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month. The scheme is applicable only for the pregnant women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months. It will provide all kinds of medical checkups completely free to pregnant women.

Objectives of the scheme are (i) Provide healthy life to the pregnant women. (ii) Lowering the maternity mortality rate. (iii) Making pregnant women aware of their health issues and diseases. (iv) Making sure safe delivery and healthy life of the baby.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2016 Asian Champions Trophy

Indian Women’s hockey team has won the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy by defeating China by 2-1 goals.Hockey tournament was held in singapore. The first goal for India was scored by Deep Grace Ekka in the 13th minute which was equalised by China’s Zhong Mengling in the 44th minute. The second and winning goal was scored by Deepika Thakur that gave the India formidable lead to win the tournatment.

National Milk Day

India's National Milk Day celebrated on November 26. This day mark birth anniversary of Dr.Verghese Kurien, father of the White Revolution in India. This year it was 95th birth anniversary of Dr.Verghese Kurien. It was established in 2014. The idea of observing National Milk Day was first mooted by Indian Dairy Association (IDA) in 2014 on the lines of World Milk Day (observed every year on June 1) under the aegis of UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In addition, the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets the Amul brand of milk and dairy products printed 150 million milk pouches with the National Milk Day logo featuring Dr. Kurien’s picture with the National Milk Day logo on it.

Bitcoins and other virtual currencies is not authorised by the RBI

Use of virtual currencies like Bitcoins is not authorised by the RBI and could result in breach of anti-money laundering provision said by Government. The Reserve Bank of India advises that it has not given any licence or authorisation to any company to operate such schemes or deal with bitcoin or any virtual currency. "The Reserve Bank is presently examining the issues associated with the usage, holding and trading of virtual currencies under the extant legal and regulatory framework of the country, including foreign exchange and payment systems laws and regulations,". RBI had warned that any user, holder, investor and trader dealing with virtual currencies would be doing so at his/her own risk.

ICICI Bank and Truecaller announces partnership

ICICI Bank announced a partnership with mobile app firm Truecaller for a new Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based mobile payment service. This feature will allow users of the app to instantly create a UPI ID, send money to any UPI ID or a mobile number registered with the BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app. It will also enable users to recharge their mobile number from within the Truecaller app itself. The partnership makes the Truecaller and ICICI Bank platform among India's largest mobile payment platform with 150 million customers of the app gaining access to UPI-based payments.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship

Rising boxer Sachin Singh,won gold medal in the finals of AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship in St. Petersburg. With this he became the third Indian boxer ever to win gold medal in the AIBA Youth World Championships. Others are Thokchom Nanao Singh (2008) and Vikas Krishan (2010). India won with one gold medal and a bronze medal, marking improvement from the solitary bronze medal won in the 2014 edition. Naman Tanwar had to settle for a bronze medal after losing in the semifinal in the 91 kg category.

UNCITRAL golden jubilee celebrations

India hosted the golden jubilee 50th anniversary celebrations of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in New Delhi. President Pranab Mukherjee gave the opening address. UNCITRAL was established by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 1966 to promote the progressive unification and harmonisation of international trade law. India is a founding member of UNCITRAL. India is only one of eight countries which have been a member of UNCITRAL since its inception. It has a membership of 60 States selected from among States Members of the UN. In 2015, India was re-elected for a term of six years (2016-2022). Out of total 60 members, 14 are Asian states, 14 are African, 10 Latin  American & Caribbean states, 8 Eastern European and 14 Western European and other States.

First digital village

Akodara village in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat has earned the title of becoming first digital village in india. The village with a total population of 1,191 people and 250 households uses a various cashless system for payments of goods and services. All transactions in the village are carried out through digital modes like SMS, net-banking or debit cards. The project was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochar to mark 60-year-celebration of the ICICI group’s existence. All households in village have savings account in local ICICI Bank branch. The bank has provided training to villagers to embrace digital technology to reduce dependence on cash.It can be said that this village has become prime example of how e-banking can be practically implemented in Indian villages without much difficulty to make India cashless economy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fidel Castro passed away

Former president Fidel Castro who led a rebel army to improvable victory in cuba passed away due to old age. He was 90. Under his leadership, Cuba became a one-party communist state, industry and business were nationalized and state socialist reforms implemented throughout society. He was commander in chief of the 1959 Cuban revolution 1959  and had successfully built a communist state on the doorstep of the United States during Cold War. He had ruled Cuba as a one-party state for almost half a century (from 1976 to 2008) before handing over the powers to his brother Raul Castro in 2008 due to ill health.His greatest legacy is free healthcare and education, which have given Cuba some of the region’s best human development statistics. In 2008, he stepped down as President of Cuba due to health issues. He was in office from 1976 to 2008. He world’s third longest-serving head of state, after Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the King of Thailand.

National Constitution Day

Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India. On this day in 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution of India, and it came into effect on 26 January 1950. The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) is the nodal Ministry for the celebration of Constitution Day. This year it is second edition of the Constitution Day. On this occasion Prime Minister Narendra has released two books on Constitution ‘Making of Constitution’ and ‘New Version of Constitution of India‘

In October 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared 26 November as Constitution Day as part of year-long nationwide celebrations of 125th birth Anniversary of Dr. B R Ambedkar, Chairman of the Drafting Committee of Constituent Assembly.

First live payments bank

Airtel has launched India's first live payments bank,which would provide an interest of 7.25% per annum on deposits offering services in Rajasthan in a limited scale. The payments bank is testing systems and processes ahead of a full scale, pan-Indian launch, the company said in a statement. The pilot will run at 10,000 Airtel retail outlets where basic banking services will be provided. Airtel Payments Bank is planning to expand its merchant network in Rajasthan to 100,000 by the end of the year. Customers can open bank accounts by using Aadhaar based e-KYC. Airtel subscriber’s mobile number will function as a bank account number. The bank will accept deposits not exceeding Rs 1 lakh. It cannot perform lending activities, except while giving loans to its employees on approval of the board.

Global wealth report

The total quantum of wealth in India is rising but disparity between rich and poor is also rising as per a report on global wealth published by Credit Suisse. The uneven growth has left 96 per cent of the adult population in India at the base of the wealth pyramid. Further, wealth in India is dominated by property and other real estate that make up 86 per cent of its estimated household assets, according to the global financial services major. However, a small fraction of the adult population (0.3%) has net worth of more than $100,000.

Indian Scenario: The wealth in India is mostly dominated by property and other real estate. It makes up 86% of its estimated household assets. The wealth in India in local currency terms increased 5.1% in 2016 but due to adverse currency exchange movements. India’s household wealth fell by 0.8% to $3 trillion in dollar terms. The annual growth of wealth per adult in rupees has averaged 6% between 2000 and 2016. The number of millionaires remained flat at 1.78 lakh with $973 billion in wealth. Among these, ultra high-networth individuals increased by 5.2% to 2,260, including 1,040 with more than $100 million. The number of millionaires in India is projected to increase by 9.5% in the next five years to 2.8 lakh in 2021. Meanwhile, the personal debts are estimated to be 9% of gross assets in India which is much lower than in most developed countries.

Global Scenario:Overall growth in wealth remained limited in 2016. It is continuing the trend that had emerged in 2013 and is contrasting sharply with the double-digit growth rates witnessed before the global financial crisis of 2008. The total global wealth in 2016 edged up by 1.4% or $3.5 trillion to a total of $256 trillion, a rise in line with the increase in the world’s adult population.

Monday, March 20, 2017

FICCI president

Chairman and managing director of Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Pankaj Patel has been elected president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) for 2017. At present Pankaj Patel is Chief Managing Director of Zydus Cadila. He is actively involved in various educational institutions and is on advisory committees and academic councils of several educational institutions such as IISER (Kolkata), IIM Ahmedabad etc. He is also the Vice President, Executive Chairman and Trustee of the Gujarat Cancer Society and Chairman of the Gujarat Cancer and Research Institute, one of the largest of its kind regional Cancer Centre in India.

Balamuralikrishna passed away

Singer-composer Mangalamapalli Balamuralikrishna, who caught the nation’s attention in Doordarshan’s iconic music video ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ in the eighties, passed away. He was considered as doyen of classical music. During his long musical career he had excelled as a prominent Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer and actor. He had innovated the whole Carnatic music system by keeping its rich tradition untouched. The ragas like Ganapathi, Sarvashri, Mahati, Lavangi etc. were credited to him. He also had composed over 400 compositions in various languages including in his native tongu, Telugu and in Kannada, Tamil, Sanskrit, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, and Punjabi. His compositions range from Devotional to Varnams, Krithis, Javalis and Thillans, in all the fundamental 72 melakartha ragas to film music. He made his acting debut with Bhakta Prahlada (1967) as Narada and also has acted in various films including in Kananda.

IMO award for Exceptional Bravery

Captain Radhika Menon became first woman in the world to receive the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. She was presented with this award for saving lives of seven fishermen from sinking fishing boat in Bay of Bengal. Captain Menon was nominated for the award by the Government of India, for her great determination and courage in leading the difficult rescue operation to save all seven fishermen from the fishing boat Durgamma. The boat was adrift following engine failure and loss of anchor in severe weather. Food and water had been washed away and they were surviving on ice from the cold storage.

IMO:It UN’s specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.

Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea: It is an annual Award established by IMO. It seeks to provide international recognition for those who perform acts of exceptional bravery at the risk of losing their own life.

India in CERN

India became an associate member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the world’s largest nuclear and particle physics laboratory.  The agreement was signed by Dr. Sekhar Basu, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and CERN Director General Dr. Fabiola Gianotti in Mumbai, Maharashtra. As an associate member, India can take part in meetings of the CERN Council and its committees (Scientific Policy Committee and Finance Committee). However India will not have voting rights on decisions of the council. It will open up new avenues for Indian scientists to engage with their counterparts in front line research in physics and engineering It will help to boost India’s science credentials and give access to high end scientific technology. It will also make Indian scientists eligible for staff appointments in CERN.India will formally become member of CERN around January 2017 after depositing an instrument of ratification.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) has finally been launched by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in Agra on 20th November 2016. Under PMAY-G Government aims to provide affordable, environmentally safe and secure house to every rural household living below the poverty line by 2022. The beneficiaries for this scheme will be selected through a completely transparent process using the Socio Economic Census 2011 data and validating it through the Gram Sabha. It uses ICT and space technology to further confirm correct selection of beneficiaries and progress of work. The unit cost for houses has been increased with convergence of a minimum support of nearly Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 1.6 lakh to a household is available. If the beneficiary desires, then there is also a provision of Bank loan upto Rs. 70,000. PMAY-G will be also serve as a major step forward in bringing together Skill India, Make In India, IT/DBT Aadhaar platform, Digital India and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.

“Islamic window” in banking

Reserve Bank of India, has reportedly proposed opening of “Islamic window” in conventional banks for “gradual” introduction of Sharia-compliant or interest-free banking in the country.Both the Centre and RBI are exploring the possibility of introduction of Islamic banking for long to ensure financial inclusion of those sections of the society that remain excluded due to religious reasons.In this regard, RBI has also prepared a technical analysis report and submitted to the Union Finance Ministry for its consideration.
Islamic or Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest. The charging of interest is prohibited under Islam. However, in recent times both the Union Government and the RBI have been exploring the possibility of introduction of Islamic banking for a while to ensure financial inclusion of those sections of society that have remain excluded due to religious reasons.


Union textile Minister Smriti Irani launched a scheme of ‘Pehchan’ identity cards to artisans in Ahmedabad.‘Pehchan’ identity cards distributed to artisans from five clusters of Gujarat namely Jamnagar, Naroda, Surendranagar, Amreli and Kalol.The cards will give national identity to the artisans who will be covered under a database.The artisans can avail benefit of anyt government scheme through these cards.Besides, minister also announced that to give tool kits and safety equipment women and BPL artisans for metal craft for free of cost in a bid to encourage women.
Pehchan cards scheme was launched as part of the Pehchan’ initiative of Union Textile ministry to register and provide Identity (ID) cards to handicraft artisans and link them to a national database. It is a new upgraded ID card for artisans that will be linked with their Aadhar numbers and bank accounts so that they can receive direct cash transfer benefit.

China Open badminton tournament

Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu clinched her maiden Super Series Premier title after edging out Sun Yu of China in the final of the $700,000 China Open badminton tournament.In the summit clash held in Fuzhao, Sindhu (World No 11) defeated China’s Sun Yu (World No 9) by 21-11, 17-21, 21-11 score In the Rio Olympics, she became the first Indian woman shuttler to clinch the silver medal.

Project Insight

The Income Tax department is bringing out an initiative called 'Project Insight' from May 2017.To monitor high value transactions, with a view to curbing the circulation of black money. 'Project Insight’ is an integrated platform that will utilize vast amount of information easily available on social media to conduct raids online rather than traditional way of conducting random searches, known as tax raids. It will use data mining, big data and analytics to scoop out tax evaders from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It will also be leveraged for implementation of Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Inter Governmental Agreement (FATCA IGA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
It will help in catching tax evaders in a non-intrusive manner using technology and without traditional intrusive methods like search and seizure. The integrated platform will play a key role in widening of tax base and data mining to track tax evaders. The reporting compliance management system of project will ensure that third party reporting by entities like banks and other financial institutions is timely and accurate. It will also set up a streamlined data exchange mechanism for other government departments.

2016 Sumitra Charat Ram Award

2016 Sumitra Charat Ram Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Indian classical music awarded to Legendary flutist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia at Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra.The award, which recognises the contribution of individuals in the field of Indian Classical Dance and Music or other disciplines of Indian Art and Culture, was presented to Chaurasia by Najeeb Jung, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. Sumitra Charat Ram was also the founder of Shiram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, one of the country’s premier institutions of performing arts.

Friday, March 17, 2017

2016 Nobel Prize in medicine

Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi,has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on how cells break down and recycle their own components. Ohsumi,,will receive the prestigious 8m Swedish kronor (£718,000) award for uncovering “mechanisms for autophagy”, a fundamental process in cells that scientists believe can be harnessed to fight cancer and dementiaWith this he becomes the 23rd Japanese national to win a Nobel prize and overall the sixth Japanese medicine Nobel laureate. Mr. Ohsumi had received a PhD from the University of Tokyo in 1974. Currently, he is a professor at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Nobel prize in physics

Three British scientists David Thouless, Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz have won the Nobel prize in physics for their work on exotic states of matter that may pave the way for quantum computers and other revolutionary technologies. They will share the 8 million Swedish kronor prize. These trio physicists had worked in the field of condensed matter physics and have discovered totally unexpected behaviours of solid materials. Based on their individual discoveries they came up with a mathematical framework in the field of topology to explain these weird properties. The discoveries have paved the way for designing new materials with all sorts of novel properties that have significant potential revolutionize advances in electronics and future quantum computers.

David J Thouless: He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, US.
Duncan M. Haldane: He is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics at Princeton University, US.
Michael Kosterlitz: He is the Harrison E. Farnsworth Professor of Physics at Brown University, US.

RBI monetary policy review

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its fourth bi-monthly monetary policy review for year 2016-17 has cut the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25%. This monetary policy decision was taken by the newly constituted Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).  This was also Urjit Patel’s maiden monetary policy announcement as RBI Governor.
Repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF): Reduced by 0.25 basis points to 6.25 percent.
Reverse repo rate under the LAF: It was adjusted to 5.75 per cent.
Marginal standing facility (MSF) and Bank Rate: It was adjusted to 6.75 per cent.
Reserve Ratios Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks: Unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability (NDTL).
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR):20.75 per cent.

International Astronautical Federation 'Hall of Fame' award

Former ISRO Chairman and space scientist Prof Udupi Ramachandra Rao became the first Indian to be given the 'Hall of Fame' award by the International Astronautical Federation ( IAF ). The award has been given for his "outstanding contribution to the progress of astronautics within the framework of the IAF activities''. He was inducted during the closing ceremony of the 67th IAF Congress 2016 held at Guadalajara, Mexico.
Under his guidance, ISRO had designed more than 20 satellites including India’s first satellite Aryabhatta. Under his leadership, India had initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.He also had served as the first Chairman of Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the ISRO. He has published more than 260 scientific and technical papers in various journals. He had played pivotal role in promoting the use of space technology for broadcasting, meteorology, education, disaster warning and remote sensing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nobel prize for chemistry

Jean-Pierre Sauvage, J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa won the Nobel chemistry prize for work on molecular machines that may lead to developments like new materials, sensors and energy storage systems. Molecular machines can be developed to function as artificial muscles to power tiny robots or even prosthetic limbs in case of Bionics. These three laureates will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (around $933,000) prize equally.
Sauvage is professor emeritus at the University of Strasbourg and director of research emeritus at France’s National Center for Scientific Research. Stoddart, born in Edinburgh, is professor of chemistry at Northwestern University in the United States, while Feringa is professor in organic chemistry at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
molecular machines:
Molecular machines or nanomachines are the world’s smallest machines. Their working is inspired by proteins that naturally act as biological machines within cells. Molecular machines are discrete number of synthetic molecular components fused together. They produce quasi-mechanical movements in response to specific external stimuli such as light or temperature change. Molecular machines can be put to work as tiny motors, pistons ratchets or wheels to produce mechanical motion and can move objects many time their size.

Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes

Senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer Sushil Chandra appointed as the Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) by union government.Decision in this regard was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT):
CBDT is nodal policy-making body of the Income Tax (IT) department under the Union Finance Ministry. It is a statutory authority established under The Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. It is also the supreme body in India for framing policies related to direct taxes. The composition of CBDT includes Chairman and six members.

Sustainable Development Leadership Award

2016 'Sustainable Development Leadership Award' honoured to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling by President Pranab Mukherjee during “World Sustainable Development Summit” in New Delhi. The award was presented to Chamling in recognition of his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country according to citation presented by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
Sikkim is only state in India that has attained the official status of fully organic state in January 2016 announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Around 75,000 hectares of land in Sikkim has been converted into certified organic farms following the guidelines as prescribed by National Programme for Organic Production. Sikkim contributes around 80,000 tonnes of organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of recorded production in India.

World Sustainable Development Summit

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).The aim of the summit is to provide various stakeholders a single platform in order to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of the global community. It underscored need for businesses and private sector to take lead in poverty reduction and to ensure rapid and sustained adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It had brought together Nobel laureates, decision-makers political leaders from around the world to deliberate on issues related to sustainable development.
Themed "Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress", WSDS has replaced what was earlier called Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS), which was also organised by The Energy and Research Institute (TERI). The first DSDS was organised in 2005.


For improving infrastructure facilities around core heritage sites in five cities Union Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth Rs.114 crore under Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme.
Five cities are: Varnasi in Uttar Pradesh, Amritsar in Punjab, Dwaraka in Gujarat, Puri in Odisha,  Warangal in Telangana. These sites are selected with the recommendation from inter-ministerial HRIDAY National Empowered Committee.

About HRIDAY scheme:
Central Government introduced the HRIDAY to renew the rich cultural heritage in the country by creating infrastructural facilities around the heritage sites. The aim of course is to promote tourisms and national pride.It aims to bring urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation together for heritage cities. It seeks to promote an inclusive, sustainable and integrated development of heritage sites, focusing on maintenance of monuments and advancement of their entire ecosystem.

Nobel Peace Prize 2016

 Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos  has awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the peace process with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels. He dedicated the prize to the victims of his country's civil war. He was selected for the prestigious award by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
He is second Colombian to win Nobel Prize after writer Gabriel Gracia Marquez who had won the literature Prize in 1982. Santos is also second Latin American to receive Nobel Peace Prize after Guatemala’s Rigoberta Menchu had won it in 1992.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

World Post Day

To spread awareness about the postal services and their role in the everyday lives of people and businesses World Post Day is observed each year on October 9. The event was declared by the 1969 Universal Postal Congress in Tokyo as a means to mark the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union's (UPU) creation in 1874. The UPU's member countries are encouraged to organize their own national activities to celebrate the event, including everything from the introduction or promotion of new postal products and services, to the organization of open days at post offices, mail centres and postal museums.
2016 Theme: “Innovation, Integration and Inclusion”. In India, this day is celebrated by Department of Posts. For more than 150 years, India Post has been the backbone of the country’s communication network. It is the largest postal network in the world providing mail parcel, banking, money transfer, insurance and retail services.

World Mental Health Day

To raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has introduced 10 October as World Mental Health Day. It is recognised by World Health Organisation (WHO). It was first celebrated in 1992. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples' life worldwide. In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.
2016 theme: “Psychological First Aid”. It highlights importance of both psychological and social support to persons suffering from mental health issues.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Jitu Rai awarded 'Champion of Champions'

Ace shooter Jitu Rai awarded the 'Champion of Champions' title for pistol shooting in 2016 by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). Jitu Rai beat Serbia's Damir Mikec, 29.6 to 28.3 in the Champions Trophy 10m Air Pistol final held at the TSN Shooting Range in Bologna, Italy. Jitu was also awarded a cash reward of $5,587 (5000 euros) along with the title.
It was the mixed knock-out competition meant only for the medallists in the World Cup Final. In this event shooters are eliminated after the first four shots, one each after every successive shot. The last two compete on a three-shot format.


National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) established a high altitude research station in Himalaya called Himansh (meaning a slice of ice) began functioning above 13,500 ft (4000 m) in a remote region in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh. Himansh is considered to be the highest point from where an Indian glacier research facility is functioning. The research lab, established by the NCAOR, has automatic weather stations, ground penetrating radars, geodetic GPS systems and other sophisticated facilities to study glaciers and their discharge.

International Day of the Girl Child

United Nations declared October  11 as International Day of the Girl Child(IDGC).The International Day of the Girl Child promotes girls’ rights and highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys.In December 2011, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted Canada backed Resolution to declare 11th October as the IDGC. It was first observed in 2012 with theme ‘Ending child marriage’. The theme of IDGC in 2013 and 2014 was ‘Innovating for girl’s education’ and ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence’.

2015 theme: ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030’. This year’s theme focuses on adolescent girls and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to be achieved by 2030. SDG has set 17 international targets including on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.

2016 Nobel Prize for economics

Bengt Holmström and Oliver Hart,have won the 2016 Nobel Prize for economics. Two academics who developed modern ways to think about writing contracts in areas as diverse as car insurance, bonuses for chief executives and the provision of public services. Mr Hart, a Briton based at Harvard University, and Mr Holmström, a Finn who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, share the $925,000 award from the Swedish Riksbank in memory of Alfred Nobel, for their “contribution to contract theory” in the 1970s and 1980s. Their work provided economists microecomic tools to understand interactions between entities, such as design of performance incentives in firms, corporate governance, privatisation, constitutional law and entrepreneur-investor relationships.

International Energy Agency support for UJALA

International Energy Agency (IAE/ IEA) is going to collaborate with India to implement the government of India’s Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) initiative universally for energy savings. International Energy Agency has been impressed with performance of India’s UJALA programme in terms of hugely improving access to LED lighting while reducing their cost drastically.
About Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme
UJALA was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on 1st  May, 2015.UJALA scheme is LED-based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) that aims to promote efficient lighting, reducing energy consumption and energy savings.Under it, every grid-connected consumer having a metered connection from their respective Electricity Distribution Company will get the LED bulbs at subsidized rates.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

2016 Nobel Prize in Literature

American singer-songwriter, artist and writer Bob Dylan (75)won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy has selected Dylan for this prestigious award for creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition. He is one of the best-selling artists (musician) of all time and has sold more than 100 million records.He also received numerous awards including 11 Grammy Awards, Golden Globe Award and Academy Award (Oscar). The Pulitzer Prize jury had awarded him a special citation in 2008 for his profound impact on popular music and American culture.

Secretary-General of the United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has formally elected Antonio Guterres (67) as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr. Guterres,was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He will become the world's top diplomat on 1 January 2017, and hold that post for the next five years. He has to run an unwieldy bureaucracy and manage the competing demands of the world’s big powers. His role is to step in both publicly and privately to prevent escalation of international disputes.
The UN Secretary-General is the head of the United Nations Secretariat. He is de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The role Secretary-General has been mentioned in Chapter XV (Articles 97 to 101) of UN Charter. The post lasts for five years and is limited to a maximum of two terms.

International Day of Rural Women

The International Day of Rural Women was observed across the world on 15 October 2016.This  day highlights the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women in enhancing rural and agricultural development, eradicating rural poverty and improving food security.
2016 Theme: “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”.The theme tries to bring focus on farmers, fishers and pastoralists who are standing on the frontlines of food insecurity as temperatures rise, weather patterns become less predictable and climate-related disasters become more frequent.
The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. The day was constituted by the UN General Assembly by passing resolution 62/136 in December 2007.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Russian company took over Essar Oil

Russia's state-controlled oil giant Rosneft took over India's second biggest private oil firm Essar Oil in an all-cash deal valued at about $13 billion.The all-cash acquisition, which includes the assumption of Essar Oil’s $5.5bn debt, marks the largest foreign direct investment in India to date.The deal was announced in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a BRICS summit in Goa on October 15.Rosneft bought a 49 per cent stake in Essar Oil's refinery port and petrol pumps, while Netherlands-based Trafigura Group Pte, one of the world's biggest commodity trading companies, and Russian investment fund United Capital Partners split another 49 per cent equity equally. The remaining 2 per cent is held by minority shareholders after delisting of Essar Oil. 

World Food Day

World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's 20th General Conference in November 1979.
2016 Theme: “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”. It highlights the issue of food security related to climate change. It calls adopting sustainable practices for growing more food with less area of land and use natural resources wisely.

8th BRICS Summit

India hosted the 8th BRICS Summit on 15-16 October 2016 in Goa. The theme of India’s BRICS Chairmanship is Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions. First-ever BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit was also held on side-lines of 2016 BRICS Summit. Leaders from both forums planned to jointly explore possibilities of expanding ties between them on issues such as terrorism, economy, trade and connectivity. BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. BIMSTEC member countries are Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.The two day summit was attended by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michel Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma.Ninth BRICS Summit will be hosted by China in 2017.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

'United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on October 17. It promotes people’s awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution worldwide, particularly in developing countries.2016 Theme: “Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms”. It highlights importance to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion suffered by many people living in poverty.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


At the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP28),a historic global climate deal was reached in Kigali, Rwanda.It is one of the most significant actions governments have ever taken to protect the climate. HFCs are highly potent greenhouse gases that have a global warming potential 1000’s of times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). Under Kigali Amendment, in all 197 countries, including India have agreed to a timeline to reduce the use of HFCs by roughly 85% of their baselines by 2045. The Kigali Amendment amends the 1987 Montreal Protocol that was designed to close growing ozone hole in by banning ozone-depleting coolants like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Thus, amended Montreal Protocol which was initially conceived only to plug gases that were destroying the ozone layer now includes HFCs responsible for global warming. This move will help to prevent a potential 0.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperature by the end of the century.


The BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) countries have expressed commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.Of the seven countries in BIMSTEC, five are part of the SAARC grouping and two are from South East Asia. The BIMSTEC  comprises Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.BIMSTEC countries strongly condemned the recent terror attacks in the region.The states who encourage and support provide sanctuary to terrorists should be identified and held accountable. Strong measures against such states must be taken. They recognised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization.

Monday, March 6, 2017

INS Tihayu

The sixth WJFAC Car Nicobar Class vessel ''INS Tahiyu'' to be commissioned and allotted to the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy. It was commissioned by the Flag-Officer-Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command Vice-Admiral H.C.S. Bisht in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Built by Kolkata-based shipyard Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), INS Tihayu is the 20th vessel in this class to be built by the shipyard.

India's first indigenously made electric bus

Country’s first 100 per cent indigenously made electric bus,was launched by Hinduja Group's flagship company Ashok Leyland.It comes with several benefits such as zero emission, longer life cycle, lower maintenance costs and higher residual value when compared with conventional diesel buses, the high initial cost is one of the major barriers. These buses can cost anywhere between Rs.1.5 crore and Rs.3.5 crore depending on the number of seats and battery sizes,” 
These buses were unveiled in lines with National Electric Mobility Plan which aims at a 20% penetration of electric/hybrid (eco-friendly) vehicles by 2020. They enjoy a subsidy under the Central government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme. 

UN Conference on Disarmament ambassador

Senior Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1992 batch Shri Amandeep Singh Gill has been appointed as the next Ambassador/PR of India to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Geneva. He had represented India on the UN Secretary General’s Panel on Missiles from 2007 to 2008.  Besides, he was also member of the Indian delegation to the Conference on Disarmament during the negotiations on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Electricity from water without using any power or chemicals

Team of scientists led by Dr. R.K. Kotnala from Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) developed a novel way using of producing electricity from water hydroelectric cell at room temperature without using any power or chemicals.Dr. R.K. Kotnala and team used nanoporous magnesium ferrite to split water into hydronium (H3O) and hydroxide (OH) ions and used silver and zinc as electrodes to make a cell that produces electricity.To further enhance the activity of magnesium ferrite, about 20% of magnesium is replaced with lithium. The substitution of lithium at magnesium site increases the sensitivity of magnesium ferrite. This is helpful in dissociating water at room temperature as the electrons get trapped in the oxygen deficient sites.

Saina Nehwal gets another recognition

A rare honour for an Indian sportsperson: Saina Nehwal has been appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission. She is the first Indian to win Olympics medal in Badminton and had achieved this feat by winning the Bronze medal at the London Olympics 2012. She is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and was also the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament, by winning Indonesia Open in 2009.

INS Arihant

India has completed its nuclear triad ''INS Arihant''which was formally commissioned by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. INS Arihant is nuclear submarine capable of carrying nuclear tipped ballistic missiles. Thus it belongs to class referred to as Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN). INS which stands for ‘Indian Naval Ship’ is affixed to a ship only after it is inducted into service.
India becomes sixth country to have a nuclear triad. Other countries having nuclear triad are Russia, United States, United Kingdom, France and China.

First International Conference on Voter Education

The first ever International Conference on Voter Education was hosted by Election Commission of India in New Delhi inaugurated by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr Nasim Zaidi. The topic of the Conference is Voter Education for Inclusive, Informed and Ethical Participation. The Conference is being organized with an aim to share best practices, policies and initiatives of voter education by election management bodies. 27 countries and 5 international organizations are participating in the three day event. It will deliberate upon five topics ranging from Role of Information Communication Technology in Voter Education, Electoral Literacy to Enhanced participation by special categories of voters and Strategies for Informed and Ethical Voting. The Conference will see the launch of the ambitious VoICE.NET project, a Global Knowledge Network on voter education.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project gets world bank funding

The  Union Government and the World Bank signed a $650 million loan agreement for construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC)-III project.The project aims to enhance rail transport capacity, improve service quality and boost freight carriage on the 401-km- long Ludhiana-Khurja section of the EDFC. This project will provide the power and heavy manufacturing industries located in the Northern and Eastern parts of India. A smooth railway network for efficient transportation of their raw materials along with distribution of processed and consumer goods.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Aryaman and Atulya"

Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS)"Aryaman and Atulya" designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, were commissioned on Oct 21 at Kochi. Aryaman literally means ‘Possessor of Greatness’ and Atulya meaning is ‘Unrivalled’. These ships are the eighteenth and nineteenth in the series of twenty Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) designed and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.Both FPVs are 50m long and have displace of 317 tonnes of water. They can achieve a maximum speed of 33 knots with range of 1500 nautical miles.And are ideal platform for undertaking multifarious close-coast missions such as surveillance, interdiction and search and rescue.
Aryaman will be based at Kochi under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (West). Atulya will be based at Visakhapatnam under the administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East).


Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in New Delhi has launched the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) which seeks to get more people to fly in the smaller towns.It rolled out on January, 2017 and will be in operation for a period of 10 years.UDAN is an innovative scheme to develop the regional aviation market. It is a market-based mechanism in which airlines bid for seat subsidies. This first-of-its-kind scheme globally will create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.

United Nations Day

Charter of the United Nations(the founding document of UNO)entered into force on 24 October 1945,anniversary of this day is observed as ''United Nations Day''.This day devoted to making known to people of the world the aims and achievements of the United Nations Organization. United Nations Day is part of United Nations Week, which runs from 20 to 26 October.
This year’s UN Day will be used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Besides, UN Day Concert is also organised in the United Nations General Assembly Hall with the theme “Freedom First”.

Kabaddi World Cup

India defeated Iran in Kabaddi World Cup to win third consecutive Kabaddi World Cup in the Standard Style version of Kabaddi. Earlier India had won in 2004 and 2007.The competition has been previously contested in 2004, 2007 and 2016. All the three tournaments have been won by India by defeating Iran in the finals.

NWDA gets funding

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned Rs 19,702 crore loan to National Water Development Agency (NWDA) for 50 irrigation projects from 11 states which was announced during the Budget 2016-17 under Long Term Irrigation Fund (LTIF).
The loan funds for these irrigation projects will help to create additional irrigation potential of 39.14 lakh hectares in 11 States. Thus, it will support government’s vision to double the farmers’ income by 2022 as providing assured irrigation to farmers is one of the important prerequisites to achieve that target.
This loan will be part of the Central share of assistance to State Governments.
It will ensure front loading of resources so that the identified incomplete irrigation projects under Pradhan Mandtri Krishi Sinchai Yojna (PMKSY) are executed in time.
Loan released by NABARD to NWDA would be disbursed to the respective State Governments as Central Share in the projects sanctioned.

Urja Ganga

"Urja Ganga", the highly ambitious gas pipeline project in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh has been launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Urja Ganga’, the gas pipeline project which promises to provide piped cooking gas to residents of Varanasi within two years and CNG gas for the vehicles.
Under this project work on 2540-km long Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Natural Gas pipeline project will begin and will be completed between 2018 and 2020. Seven East India cities Varanasi, Jamshedpur, Patna, Ranchi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack – will be the major beneficiary of this network development.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

National Tribal Carnival


Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first National Tribal Carnival(aimed to promote a sense of inclusiveness amongst the tribals and showcase and promote various facets of tribal culture on a large scale) in New Delhi.
The idea behind the carnival is to preserve and promote various facets of the tribal life relating to culture, tradition, customs and their skills.
The carnival hosted activities like displaying documents on traditional socio-culture aspects, exhibition of art/artifacts, cultural performances. It also demonstrated skills like paintings, traditional healing practices, sports, etc.
Workshops on issues like implementation of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 were also held.

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise

India-Sri Lanka joint military exercise Mitra Shakti 2016 conducted at Sinha Regimental Centre in Ambepussa, Sri Lanka from 24 October to 06 November 2016 in order to strengthen the bond between the two nations, .
The main focus of this edition of the joint exercise was to enhance inter-operability while carrying out Counter Insurgency (CI)/Counter Terrorism (CT) operations under the United Nations Mandate. A comprehensive training programme spanning fourteen days has been drawn up for the purpose.The exercise also provided an opportunity to both the armies for greater cultural understanding, sharing experiences and strengthening mutual trust and co-operation.

2016 Man Booker Prize

Paul Beatty's novel  “The Sellout,” has won the 2016 Man Booker Prize,marking the first time an American writer has awarded at a ceremony held in London’s Guildhall. His novel tells the story of a young black man who tries to reinstate slavery and racial segregation in a suburb of Los Angeles.

Jammu and Kashmir tops life expectancy

According to the data given by the Registrar General of India (RGI) Jammu and Kashmir has the highest life expectancy,except life expectancy at birth.According to the RGI's Sample Registration System (SRS) data Jammu and Kashmir has surpassed Kerala as the state with the highest life expectancy which used to be the leader in life expectancy in almost all categories of age till 2010.

Kerala still has the highest overall life expectancy at birth at 74.9 years -- 72 for men and 77.8 for women -- according to the survey.
Delhi is second, with an overall life expectancy at birth at 73.2 years, 72 for men and 74.7 for women.
Jammu and Kashmir stands at third and it had the second-highest life expectancy at birth -- behind only Kerala -- even during 2006-10.

Director of the Enforcement Directorate

Senior IPS officer Karnal Singh has been appointed as Director of the Enforcement Directorate.Decision in this regard was taken by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will be in office till 31 August 2017.

India and New Zealand signed three agreements

 In the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his New Zealand counterpart John Key after the delegation-level talks, signed three agreements between  India and New Zealand.In the areas of double taxation avoidance(DTA), food security and sports.
Agreements that signed are:
Arrangement between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) and the Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand regarding Food Safety Cooperation.
MoU was signed between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and Sport New Zealand on cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.
Protocol to the convention between India and New Zealand for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

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